Saturday, June 30, 2012

It's Her Day!

Happy Birthday Isabel TaiYu!  We love you!!

Anna made the party hat for the picture of Isabel that hangs on the whiteboard in our dining room/homeschool room.

We celebrated with cake and ice cream and lots of conversations about how much we love Isabel and cannot wait to bring her home.

Friday, June 29, 2012

I Needed That!

I think the crazy, busy weeks have caught up to me.  I now have the head cold that the little boys have. I also have been feeling discouraged and overwhelmed by fundraising and our Both Hands Project.  So, today when I received this picture in my email box, all I could think was, "Thank you, Lord.  I Needed That!"
A picture of Isabel taken just a few days ago is what I needed to refocus and renew my spirits.  No matter how awful I feel right now, this little girl needs to come home and I need to shift that focus from me to where it's needed.  Thank you, God, for the reminder that it's not about me and thank you for this sweet, precious girl!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

We've Got LID... Again!

As I've posted before, we used a "dossier copy" for Isabel and are letting our original dossier stay for a possible second adoption... someday.  It will save time and money should we choose to bring another treasure home. : )

So, we have been waiting for a new LID for the dossier copy.  Waiting and waiting... and then yesterday I received an email that our LID was June 21st!!  That means we are already 7 days into our Letter of Acceptance (LOA) wait.  Yes, I did it!  I did a little happy dance and skipped through the house to find Jim... yes, I'm in my 40's and I skip. : )

Now, back to planning our Both Hands Project.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

2 Cups of Coffee Kinda Days

I was never a coffee drinker until pregnant with Nate.  I only had a 1/2 cup with lots of milk.  I don't know why, but I craved it.  I was also careful while nursing.  The last few months I've been up to a full cup per day.  Lots of cream, of course.  Well, the last few days I've been creeping up to 2 cups.  Busy week last week.  Busy week this week and now both the little boys are sick.  They are up all hours of the night and Jim and I are E.X.H.A.U.S.T.E.D!!  We have been tag-teaming... he's got Dan and I've got Nate.  I don't know what I'll do tonight.  Jim's working.  It just may be a 3 cups of coffee day tomorrow!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Water Park

We are fortunate enough to live 10 minutes away from a water park.  It's not one of those massive, over-crowded water parks, thank goodness!  Just a local place that has the necessary water structure and lazy river.  We went later in the afternoon when the entry fee is only $5 per person.  Good thing it was so inexpensive because we didn't stay very long.  I spent the whole time either walking with Nate EVERYWHERE or standing closely next to him while he climbed all over the plastic chaise lounges.  He would not be deterred from those lounges and he wanted nothing to do with the water.

These were taken with my cell phone.  Not very good, but wanted to capture the day! : )
View from the bridge- In the lazy river
Another lazy river shot

He loved those lounges, I tell ya!
Odd angle, but cute pic!
Off to the beach this afternoon...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Busy Time

Last week it was Vacation Bible School for the older 3 kids and I worked part of the time as well.  Then the girls had Arts and Crafts Camp in the afternoon.  We were on the go from 8:30am - 4:30pm all week.  As a homeschooling family it is foreign for us to be out the door that early and away from home most of the day! : )  This week, I have my sweet niece visiting and the girls have Irish Dancing Camp in the morning.  We'll do some fun things in the afternoons like go to the water park, the beach and the zoo.

Will is at camp with the church this week.  He left this morning and I miss him already!  I know he will have a wonderful time.  His closest friend is his bunkmate and they have some fun activities planned.  I sent him with stationary and stamps to write home. I wonder if we'll actually get a letter... : )

July is scheduled to be a busy time too with a homeschool conference to attend and our Both Hands Project.  I guess it's good to keep busy so I don't dwell on the waiting for Isabel!  It's hard!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Prayers Needed - UPDATE

Latest Update: Christine and Sol have shared their gratefulness for everyone's support and prayers.  You can check out their blog for the latest information.

Update: Christine and Sol have been released from prison and reunited with their bio children.  The other 4 children are still at the orphanage.  Prayers are still needed for this family.  Additional information can be found here and here

I woke up this morning to the news about this family and how they have been wrongly accused of child trafficking while in Ghana.  This wonderful couple have been put in jail and their 6 children (2 bio and 4 newly adopted) have been put in an orphanage.  Their bio children are US minors (age 4 and 7).  They do not know the language and are most assuredly scared to death.  Their 4 newly adopted children are of course scared and confused as well.

This family needs our prayers.  The US Embassy in Ghana cannot do anything until Monday... but we can do something... we can lift this family up in prayer.  We pray for protection and peace.  We pray for  a quick resolution to this wrong so that the family can be reunited.  And we pray that God will do a mighty work through this trial... to His glory.

You can read more about their situation here and here.    

Friday, June 22, 2012


I really thought we'd have our new LID by now.  I don't think I mentioned it before, but when we accepted Isabel's file we were given the option to use a dossier copy for her and leave our original dossier in Ch*na for a possible future adoption. ; ) Since we were LID on our original dossier just a week prior to locking her file, I only had to redo one document.  It will save A LOT of time should we decide to adopt again and will save some money on the second adoption too.  Cost more now, though!  Anyway, we were DTC on June 8th with our dossier copy for Isabel... 2 weeks ago exactly.  Our last dossier took 13 days, but that's with the Ch*na team holding onto it for a few extra days before hand delivering to the CCC*A.  (We had to do that because we had to wait for Nate to turn 1.  Ch*na rule.) These steps have no rhyme or reason to their timing.  Who knows why this is taking longer; and there's still the dreaded LOA wait after this!!

I know God has a plan in all this.  We have seen his handiwork already with Isabel.  The timing and the people that God brought into this process has confirmed that she is not only our daughter, but she will come home at the perfect time.  I may not like it since I want her home NOW, of course.  But God sees beyond my wants.  He has the sovereignty of seeing the bigger picture, having all the puzzle pieces, and being far wiser that I could ever dream of being.  So, I think I'll stick with His plan... thank-you-very-much!

(Still praying that LID and LOA come soon!) : )

Sunday, June 17, 2012


A HUGE branch of a very old oak tree fell in the field across from our house.  Inside was a very large beehive.  Will, our Dr. Doolittle and apparently a bee lover, decided that he wanted to take a closer look at the hive.  There were hundreds, maybe thousands, of bees swarming... and then it happened... he got stung right between the eyes!  We did the baking soda and water paste and slapped it on immediately.
Doesn't he look happy! : )
That was yesterday.  This is how he looked when he woke up today!  Yikes!

He actually looks worse this afternoon, but I'm not going to make him pose for another picture. : ) We're monitoring it.  We've given him Benadryl for the swelling, but it didn't help.  Luckily, he said it doesn't hurt, but it sure is painful to look at!!

I'm hoping he's better tomorrow.  He has a full day of swimming for a Boy Scout merit badge and he's the Asst. Crew Leader for Vacation Bible School this week.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


My girls decided that they wanted short hair, so I brought out the scissors and we did a little hair cutting!  I think it turned out quite good.  The girls like their new do and it's nice to have the shorter hair during the hot summer months.

Kate's baby blues are amazing in this picture!

She has the cutest freckles!
Love those girls!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Irish Dancing

Anna and Kate's Irish Dancing recital was Wednesday night.  It was so fun to see what they've been learning this year.  The dance school is run by one of the daughters of the wonderful Wood Family.  The school is still in its infancy and is very family-friendly.  They don't compete.  Everyone is welcome.  Low key is perfect for us right now!  I can see this school taking off, though, and hope that more families join.

Kate's in the 1st class and she just has fun with it.  Right now, she's dancing in soft shoes, but if she keeps at it, as Anna has, she can move up to the 2nd class and start hard shoes.
Anna has completed 3 years of Irish Dancing.  The first year was hard for her.  She was (is) very shy and I feel that this year she finally is enjoying herself.

This year she also started on hard shoes, which I think has made dancing even more interesting for her!

Good jobs girls!!  We look forward to next year!!
Kate already changed out of her costume!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Isabel's Birthday

Isabel's birthday is at the end of this month.  We are sending her a birthday care package this week and hope it will get to her soon.  We have to send it to the orphanage and then we are not quite sure how they will get it to the foster family.

The candies are for the foster family.  We don't know if there are other foster children in the home, but if so we wanted them to have some treats.  Also, we are sending the foster mom some nice lotion.  I've included a disposable camera to have the family take pictures of our little girl over the next few months.  The idea is that they will give us the used camera when we get her so that we can have the pictures developed when we get home.  The adoption agency kindly supplied us with the instructions in Ch*nese to send with the camera. : )

Sending lots of love with this package to our daughter!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Awesome Fundraiser!

Just want to let you know about an awesome fundraiser for an awesome family.  They are bringing home 2 treasures from Ch*na very soon!  Check out Jennifer's blog and give to their ChipIn for a chance to win an Ipad and other great prizes.  But hurry... the giveaway ends this Tuesday, June 12th!!  Good luck!!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Our Daughter

Our adoption journey has been many years in the making.  All those years of dreaming, praying, enduring disappointments, and waiting has got us here.

Meet Isabel TaiYu...

Isabel is now 11 months old and living with a foster family in Ch*na.  She is fearfully and wonderfully made with some orthopedic special needs and developmental delays.  There is a great story to tell about how God worked out some amazing details years ago.  I'm working on that post and will share it soon.  For now, we are just so thrilled to share our daughter with you all!  We love you, Isabel TaiYu, and can't wait to bring you home!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

My Boy Scouts

I've always referred to my husband as my "Boy Scout."  He is the most honest, kind and helpful man I know.  Well, now my son is officially a Boy Scout.  How sweet it was to see my husband, the "Boy Scout" present my son with his Scout badge.  Love those boys!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Beast

Well, we did!  We traded in our minivan for a 12-passenger van.  With 4 children in car seats/boosters seats (once our daughter comes home), there was NO WAY we'd fit in the old minivan.

We're in the big league now!!  I officially look like I'm driving a day care or preschool van.  It's not any bigger than my husband's truck, but all I can say is thank goodness for parking sensors! : )

Meet the Behemoth:

(No, this is not the great news that I mentioned in my last post.  That post is coming soon... I promise!)

Friday, June 1, 2012


I am bursting to share the news.  I cannot share it yet... hopefully next week...  ohhhhh, it's just so wonderful!! : )