Friday, December 30, 2011

Life According to Nathan

Do you want to know what a little boy who has been home for 1 year sounds like? Here you go! 

Nathan has been very insistent for months that I will have a baby boy and girl at the same time. He's gone through several sets of names (the first being Shaggy and Daphne) before settling on Redskin and Emily (as in Clifford and Emily), and every time we go to the store he talks about all the things the babies will need. It's really funny so tonight I decided to record it so we can share it with  you. He went on about numerous other things too. I know it's long but it's really worth it! 

My favorite highlights: 

* his brother will be in his room and his sister will be in Matt's,

* if they wake up at night we are to quietly get them up and feed them "five milks" and sing sleepy             songs...WITHOUT waking him up, 

* that he will be on call if we have any discipline problems with the babies even after he's grown and living on his own, 

* and that he will be changing his name to "Lightning McQueen" when he's Daddy's age.

Good to know.

After we finished filming this Nathan, of course, had to watch it. Then he promptly said "Mommy, you can't talk in my movie."  Oops.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Focusing on GIVING

Granted, it's only for our neighbors...nobody really needy in any major way...but it still helped a little bit to put the focus on giving. Nathan has picked up the greedy, consumer mentality amazingly fast, and is intent on making sure we all know exactly what he wants for Christmas...which is literally everything he knows of that has been mass produced and/or marketed to children. He knows all about Christ, and the true meaning of Christmas, but...

Today while Matt was off doing teenager things we delivered our little gifts for our neighbors. The great idea came from a blog called how does she? and they turned out to be quite cute.

The neighbors seemed to like it, and we got to "give" a little! :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I hate to just throw pumpkins away after Halloween and Thanksgiving so we gave our furry little squirrel friends a treat today.

Well actually they found their way into the big one by themselves and had a good time digging to the center. 

But then Clint cut one open for them and this little guy went to town on the seeds. 

Everybody was watching. Lego was going crazy. The squirrel didn't care.

See him jumping behind Sam?


Thursday, December 15, 2011


Christmas is such a great reason to eat a bunch of sweet stuff that we'd ordinarily never have.

We made some yummy treats out of Family Fun magazine. Peanut Butter Toffee Bars. It was basically a peanut butter and oats base, with a layer of melted chocolate, topped with toffee bits. What's not to love about that??

We eat gluten-free so we had to change it a bit, but they turned out really well.

Nobody was complaining anyway! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Summer highlights

Here are some of my favorite photos from this past summer. Since it's still technically 2011 I can post these without feeling too guilty about being late, right?!  

My three handsome guys!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Getting ready for Christmas

We are admittedly behind in our Christmas prep, but we are making progress. Getting a kindergartner and a teenager to do the same thing (at the same time) is almost impossible, even when it's Christmas we are talking about.


At least Matt and Mouse seem to like playing in the ornament wrappings!

Today we tried to do our "budget" photos so I can send our Christmas cards. Haircuts, showers, Christmas-y outfits, vacuuming the rug in case it shows in the photo, moving the furniture, setting up lamps, keeping the animals away, getting them to sit together and smile at the same time.....I'm exhausted! 

Test photo - can't believe how much bigger he looks than last year.

Think this is my favorite!

Or maybe this one.

Oy! Next year I'm hiring a professional.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Waiting on God's timing....again

I am once again in a serious season of waiting.

And it feels like I'm waiting on everything. A job. Health insurance. Finances. Wisdom. Infertility treatment. Adopting again.

At a time when (to my selfish heart) it feels like everyone else is moving forward at the speed of light, with good things spilling over their proverbial plates, I am stuck. Trying not to get swept down into bitterness and despair when I should be shouting with gratitude and singing songs of praise. And to make it worse, I am at home...alone...a lot...with nothing to do but stew about the fact that I am sitting here alone...a lot...with nothing to do.

And yet I'm not really alone. And it hits me that maybe this time to be still is a precious gift. And so I try to use it wisely and invest in the most important relationship in my life. My relationship with the One who formed me and knew me before I was born.

Exactly two years ago I blogged about God's perfect timing as we were just a few months into the adoption process...and a few weeks before we would find out that I was pregnant. I hope you'll go back and read it because it's really good (and no, not because I think I'm the most interesting blogger around, but because almost all of it was quoted from someone else that I really admire).

In a nutshell it says this.... We can take comfort in knowing that the same power of timing which affected the events of Christ's birth also operates in the circumstances of our individual lives. 

Christmas, the celebration of Christ's birth, is the perfect time to think about God's timing and the inevitable waiting that we must all do. And I am reminded that the sovereign God of the universe knows what He's doing. Even when I don't. Even when I feel like I can't possibly wait even one more minute. Even when I feel like Sarah, well beyond the point of possibility.

If we'll rest in God's goodness and trust His perfect, sovereign timing, we'll be able to say along with David, "My times are in your hands" (Psalm 31:15). Even when the hourglass seems to be running out and waiting proves the most difficult work we do. ( from Lazarus Awakening by Joanna Weaver)

Can anyone relate?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Down on the farm

Finding things to do that are fun for both a 14 year old and a 7 (think 5) year old is can be a challenge. Over the weekend we went to a nearby farm park that was having a Christmas celebration and it was reasonably successful. (It's the same place that I used to go to for a week during the summer for Pony Club camp. Good times.)

The line to see Santa was incredibly long prompting us to skip it all together, the mini cinnamon-sugar doughnuts were sold out, and the carousel would have made N throw up, but the animals were a hit!

Aren't you jealous of our coordinated Christmas outfits?

Catch-up post.....yeah right.

So it's been AGES since I posted anything and I'm not really sure why that is. All I know is that there's no way to really catch up on all that's happened since I last blogged. It's been a crazy, super speedy, up and down, roller coaster ride.

In a nutshell we've had a great summer with vacations to the lake and the beach, school off to a super start with a kindergartner and an 8th grader, Halloween, two birthdays (7 and 14 within 4 days of each other), Thanksgiving at our new house, Clint's first semester of work on his Masters, tons more infertility testing (immunological causes), struggles with attachment issues, plays, school performances, field trips, church events, HUGE growth in our relationship with Christ, and many, many more things. 

That pretty much brings us to today -- getting ready for Christmas which is (YIKES) in 19 days! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why we don't talk about being pregnant...maybe.

First let me say thank you so much for the caring comments on my first infertility post. It's nice to know I am not the only one when seemingly surrounded by people who get pregnant quickly and easily. I am sorry that others have gone through the same crazy ride but grateful that so many have found resolution one way or another. For you all I will be praying that your family will be exactly as it is meant to be, and that you will have peace about it one way or another.
Now on to "part 2"...            

There are a lot of reasons why people don't talk about infertility even though so many suffer through it silently. It's obviously intensely personal but beyond that I don't want to deal with the insensitive matter how well meaning people are. Exposing something so painful to others is no cakewalk.

It's also a little scary for me to put forth my feelings to my adoption and bloggie sisters. They are such a great, understanding and supportive group but I really don't want it to seem as though I don't love adoption. I do. I guess that ultimately everything surrounding infertility (and parenting too for that matter) is extremely complicated. Sigh.

But back to the first reasons...

Well-intentioned advice from those who have never walked a mile in my shoes (or even similar shoes) is rarely ever helpful. There, I've said it. People might mean well, and I do try not to take things personally, but it doesn't change how incredibly hurtful it can be. Things like "relax", "you just adopted so you'll be pregnant soon", "you already have two...why do you want more", "I have a friend who...", and on and on. I guess it just builds up over time and when you're dealing with SUCH an incredibly emotional issue to begin with... well, it's not good. Sometimes I think the worst are the "cheer up" comments because it SO trivializes what we are going through. And again, this is usually said by people who have never experienced this.

"Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart is like taking someone's coat in cold weather or pouring vinegar in a wound." - Proverbs 25:20

I'm not saying these things to try to make anyone feel bad...simply to bring some awareness so maybe there can be more sensitivity. And it works both ways. Through this process I have realized some of the unintentionally hurtful things I have said to others because I don't understand their situation fully...or because I was just plain stupid. Either way, it has caused me to be careful before I open my mouth. As in most things, a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, and a friend to pray with are best.

Working out my feelings on this is really tough, and we are doing it in an odd order. As one of you pointed out most people have wrestled with this before they head into adoption, but we didn't go into adoption because we wanted a child but couldn't conceive. We didn't know if we could conceive or not...we hadn't consciously been trying at that point...we just simply wanted to adopt. A few months after we started the adoption process we found out we were pregnant. We later lost that baby and from that time on we tried to have another one but couldn't. For no apparent reason. And believe me, they've looked. The stress of adoption, the devastation of a lost baby, and the crazy grief cycle of infertility is a lot all at once.

Some people have tried to imply that N should have filled the need for us to have a baby and I didn't understand why I still felt so much pain. Was I not grateful for him...or Matt? Was I just greedy? Depressed? Lacking faith? Selfish? It wasn't until I finally read the following...adoption is a wonderful solution for many couples but it does not erase all the pain of infertility...that I finally allowed myself to feel these things. In a nutshell, adoption allows us to nurture and parent a child, but there are other things, losses, that must be grieved.

So if you are dealing with infertility and need to grieve - please allow yourself to grieve. If you want to parent a child and think adoption might be for you - please look into it! If you need to do both - well, that's okay too.

Wow these posts are hard to write. Drained.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Unemployment is NOT a vacation- Part 1

Week away from home. Gorgeous mountain lake. Great vacation!

 A relaxing week at Douthat State Park in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains of much better than the pool.

 Matt is a natural...of course. These genes serve him well!

I still can't believe how grown up he is.

While I have always had a strong 'dislike' for the cheap, nasty, plastic poles with cartoon characters on them (like fishing isn't cool enough??), I ended up getting one for N since it was the only option we had. He didn't get a hook...just the little rubber fish tied on to the end. 

One morning Matt and I went out in a canoe for some early morning fishing. Maybe not super early, but still...we were on vacation.

Some of my favorite memories of my grandfather were going out with him, well before the sun was up, to try our luck in the river they lived on. My grandmother would always send me out with a  little piece of toast, cut and buttered (sometimes with apple butter), and folded up neatly in a little napkin package. I loved those times on the river, in silence, casting and reeling. Seeing how close I could come to getting my lure as far or precisely placed as he could. 

The lake and beach were perfect...for N, M and the adults too. 

Nathan is working on his "swimming" and loved to splash around in the calm water. The judge in Kazakhstan who grilled us about why we would ever go to the ocean would be so proud.

M got to pursue more exciting things. (No, not the girls, the slide and diving board.)

Have much more. Will post later!