Thursday, December 30, 2010

Our Crew

Yes, my hands are full and yes, I do get really tired. But I love being the mom to these four amazing kiddos. The Lord has blessed us abundantly with our sweet family. Here's some fun shots of our crew over Christmas break:

Poor Naomi. She doesn't get any attention from her brothers. Don't you feel sorry for her?

Luke's comment when he saw this picture? "Too much cleavage."
(I don't think he was kidding.)

Naomi and Andrew are best buddies. I often wish I could know what they are thinking...

The days are busy, but I love my job!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Andrew's 2nd Birthday

Last week was Andrew's 2nd birthday. His birthday was Tuesday, and we had a big family birthday party planned for him on Saturday. Luke and I had expected Andrew to relish being the center of attention, opening his presents and, of course, eating his birthday cake. Boy were we surprised by what really happened...

The party started out fine. We ate dinner (lasagna, one of Andrew's favorites) and he was having a great time playing with all his cousins. After dinner, we decided to open his presents before diving into the birthday cake. This is going to be Andrew's favorite part, right?

He started out a little hesitant. Luke helped him open up a drum set from Uncle Nathan and Aunt Kelly. He liked it and played with it a little bit, but he wasn't really sure what was going on.

We tried moving on to the next gifts, and as you can see below, he wasn't really sure about these presents...
Then....complete meltdown! He wanted nothing to do with the gifts. Every toy someone handed him he pushed away. I was flabbergasted. Crying...over presents? Nothing we tried would settle him down so we decided to move on to the birthday cake.

Every kid likes their birthday cake, right? Can you tell how much Andrew enjoyed it when we all sang to him?
(Isn't this a great picture of me laughing while my child is traumatized? Another one of my "Mother of the Year" moments...)

So after all this crying over presents and birthday cake, we adults all speculated as to what his problem was:

"Was he tired?" This was a possibility because he hadn't gotten much of a nap that day.

"Were his molars bothering him again?" Maybe, he's had some grouchy days lately because of his 2-year molars coming through.

"Was he overwhelmed by all the attention?" Not a problem we anticipated Andrew having, but maybe that was it. Could too many people watching him have freaked him out?

I spent the weekend wondering what made him so unhappy, and I think I figured it out today at the orthodontist. I had to take all four kids to Isaac's orthodontist appointment, and when Isaac was done the kind receptionist let Caleb and Andrew pick a toy out of the toy box with Isaac. Caleb and Isaac got their toy, and then the receptionist asked Andrew what he would like. He took one look inside the box and...another meltdown!!! He started wailing because this lady had asked him if he wanted a toy car! I couldn't believe it. I had to drag him out of the office crying because someone wanted to give him a toy. I've heard of kids throwing fits because they couldn't get toys, but I've never seen a kid cry because they were given a toy.

One of my friends joked that maybe Andrew is afraid of becoming too materialistic. Or maybe he's going to be a neat freak and is afraid of his room getting too cluttered with toys. Who knows? But for whatever reason, our son does NOT want anyone to give him any presents. Christmas is going to be fun this year. :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Our Pianist

Today Isaac had his second piano recital. He's progressing really well in piano and we love to listen to him. He played three songs for the recital. The last one, an arrangement of "Go Tell It on the Mountain," is our favorite. He had to work extra hard to learn that one, but he persevered and did a fabulous job today!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Why we love transracial adoption...

“You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” Revelation 5:9

"The ultimate community of God is transnational, transtribal, transracial, translinguistic. In that sense, Los Angeles is a better anticipation of heaven than Tulsa, Oklahoma. Let the church, strengthened by the grace of God, live out now, as largely as possible, what she will one day be."

(Carson, D. A. (1998). For the love of God : A daily companion for discovering the riches of God's Word.)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Andrew!

Our big boy turns two today! We'll be celebrating with cake and presents and all the other fun birthday stuff, but most importantly we are thanking God for Andrew's life and that He chose to bring this precious child into our family. What a great two years it has been!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Isaac, Caleb and Andrew love to make Naomi laugh. She usually smiles as soon as she sees one of them, and then they will break out in a silly song or dance to try and get the giggles going. Here's a short video of Andrew getting her to laugh last night:

The quality of the video is horrible, but her giggles are priceless!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ode to Andrew

Isaac wrote a funny tribute to Andrew on his blog tonight. You might want to check it

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Yes...we're still here

I know it has been a really long time since I have posted on here. Honestly, I have wondered at times if I should even keep this blog going since I just don't have the time to post much on here anymore. I don't think I need to explain why I don't have much time to write on a blog, but I do have four good reasons. (And if you want to know the names of the four reasons, you can look at their adorable pictures over on the left sidebar.)

But even though my four adorable reasons don't allow me much time to sit down and write blog posts, I've decided to keep this blog going. Luke and I enjoy this blog, and it's been really fun to scroll back through the archives and see how God has worked in our family over the last few years. So even though it might be a while before I get back to posting regularly, I'm going to try my best to stick with it.

The last time I posted pictures, Naomi was barely a week old. Now she's three months old and totally adorable:

She is smiling, talking, and sitting up in her Bumbo like such a big girl! We have all just fallen in love with this little gal.
Andrew is almost two(!) and growing in leaps and bounds. He is saying a lot of words now and tries to copy everything his big brothers do. He loves Naomi, and gives her dozens of kisses every day. Here he is in his stylish new glasses:
And here he is trying to "do school" like his brothers:

And last, but not least, here are the big brothers of our crew. Isaac and Caleb have been very busy this school year with their 2nd grade and Kindergarten work. They have also been on lots of field trips and stayed busy with our homeschool co-op. Their last soccer game was this past Saturday, and they were very sad to see the season end. They're quite a pair, and (most of the time!) are great buddies.

So even though our four kiddos don't allow me time to do much blogging, I wouldn't trade them for anything. The past few months since adding Naomi have been soooo busy, but I love being the mother of four. God has been very kind to us, and I'm thankful for the privilege of being a very busy wife and mom.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Girl time

The past few days have been pretty laid-back for myself and Naomi. Naomi has to stay in St. Louis until the court date tomorrow, so Luke and the boys headed back home on Sunday for a few days while Naomi and I stayed behind. At first I wasn't real excited about three days stuck in a hotel, and was counting down the days until we could go home. I knew I was going to miss Luke and the boys, I had no car, it was 100 degrees outside, and I thought, "This is going to be a long. three. days."

But then the Lord convicted me of my grumbling heart and I realized what a gift this time was. I have had three days of total relaxation (which every mom needs once in a while) with no distractions from enjoying this new little one God has given us. I thought of how someday I'm going to look back on this special time with her as a gift from the Lord, not a burden that had to be endured. So I decided I was going to relax and just simply enjoy this time.

It's been wonderful to have these three days with our sweet little gal. God is so good.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Finally....some pictures!

I know I promised to post pictures soon...but as you can imagine this has been an extremely busy week. And since most of the people who check this blog are also on Facebook, I haven't been in a big rush to post pictures on the blog.

I'm not going to recap our entire week, but let's just say it's been very, very busy. We drove home from vacation in Iowa on Tuesday night after we got "the call." We woke up early Wednesday morning and drove to St. Louis where we got to meet our little Naomi Marie. The days since then have been kind of a blur filled with doctor's appointments, meetings with our attorney and adoption agency, and taking care of a newborn away from home. Whew! We will rest well when all this is over, but we have to say that God has been so good to us through it all. He has provided in so many ways, so we are not going to complain about the busyness of our week.

Here's a few pics from the last two days:

We have a few more busy days and then all the adoption stuff will be taken care of and we can start settling into life as a family of six!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

An Exciting Announcement!

About two hours ago we got "the call" and learned that we have a little girl! She was born on Friday and we will be driving to St. Louis tomorrow to pick her up. We'll probably have to stay in St. Louis for a couple days until the attorney gets the legal stuff taken care of, and then we'll be back home until the court date sometime in the next week or two. This has all happened soooo fast, but we are super excited and so thankful for God bringing this little one into our family.

We'll be sure to post pictures soon.....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Adoption update

I just realized I haven't shared anything about our adoption process lately so I thought I should catch everyone up as to where we are with it all. Our paperwork is complete, the home study is finished, our family profiles are done ..... so now we are officially in the waiting stage. We know of one birthmother (due in October) that might be looking at our profile soon. We don't have any other information about potential situations, but are hoping to get that information soon.

As we learned with Andrew's adoption, we just need to be ready because we could get "the call" when we are least expecting it. We are all getting very excited about bringing another baby home!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Adoption Update

I'm having a hard time keeping up with this blog--our summer has been so busy! It's been a while since I posted about our second adoption, so I thought it was high time I updated everyone on where we are with the process. We have submitted all our paperwork to Bethany (thanks to my super-organized hubby we had it done in less than a week!), we had the visit with our social worker, and all our referrals and background checks are in. So now we have to create our family profile (this is what the birthmothers look at when they are choosing a family for their child) which I am working on this weekend. So hopefully very, very soon we will be ready to be matched!

This process has been so quick, much easier the second time around! We are very excited to welcome another new little one into our family--let the waiting begin!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Today while Luke was mowing, he caught a snake and let the boys play with it for a while.

They, of course, were thoroughly impressed that Luke had caught a snake and loved taking turns holding it. (Luke kind of liked holding it too.)

I got close enough to take a picture, but did NOT want to hold it. Then I got asked that famous question....

"Can we keep it for a pet?"

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Our big announcement

Have you guessed what the big announcement is? I'm sure most of you who know us well already had an idea what we were talking about. But for those of you who didn't already know....we're starting another adoption!!!

The reason why I wanted to wait until this week to officially announce it is because we were waiting to see if our house would sell. Our contract with our realtor ended May 17th, and we wanted to be certain we weren't moving before we started in on the adoption process. Now that May 17th has come and gone, we're moving ahead with the paperwork!

After much prayer, discussion and research we have decided to adopt again through the Minority Infant Program with Bethany Christian Services just as we did with Andrew. We really liked Bethany (would highly recommend them!) and they seem to still need families in their Minority Program. We also really liked the attorney we worked with through Bethany, so that was another reason why we wanted to stay with them. We had a great experience overall with Andrew's adoption, and are excited to work with Bethany again to bring another little one home to be a part of our family!

We have already got our application turned in to Bethany, so now we have a huge packet of paperwork to work on. We're hoping to get that turned in sometime next week. Since this is our second adoption with this agency we have a little less paperwork to do, and since our homestudy with Missouri is still current we only have one visit from our social worker. So the process should move a little quicker this time.

So...there's our big news! Please be praying for us as we start our second adoption journey. We'll update the blog throughout the process so that we can keep everyone informed as to how things are going.

We're excited to see what God will do!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Pictures, pictures, pictures

It seems like lately all I really have time to do with this blog is post pictures. I love to write (really write, not just put captions on photos) but I have really struggled with finding the time to do that lately. So until I find that time, I'm just going to keep posting pictures. Luke and I enjoy the pictures though. It's been fun for us to go back and look at pictures and stories from the past couple years. It's kind of like an online journal for our family.

This first round of pics comes from our field trip last week to the Shatto Dairy Farm. It was a great trip, although I spent most of my time walking around outside with a fussy, molar-cutting, sleep-deprived little boy named Andrew. I couldn't be upset with him though--his poor gums are so swollen. I think he's handling the pain much better than I would. But despite Andrew's fussiness, Isaac and Caleb enjoyed themselves. Here's a few shots from the trip:

The boys posing in front of the Shatto Milk truck.

I managed to get one smile out of him.

Isaac petting a baby calf. (Thanks Marcy for this photo.)

Sampling some of their flavored milk. (Thanks again Marcy!)

At the end of March, Luke and I took a trip to Boston together. He had to go for work, so I flew out to join him for the weekend. We had a great time! We dearly love our sons, but it is so nice to get to have time alone together.
Here's Luke posing with the statue of John Harvard. (At Harvard's campus, of course.)

We loved visiting all the historical sites. It was fascinating to see the actual places where so many historical things had happened.

On the home front, Isaac and Caleb are becoming master builders. Here's a few of their latest masterpieces:

This is one of my favorite recent pictures of all three boys. This was taken Easter Sunday.

I also tried to get individual shots of each boy. Isaac is always the hardest one to get a decent picture of. That's because when you ask Isaac to smile, this is what you get:

Isaac is a super-smart kid, but he just can't quite figure out how to smile for a camera and look natural. His "smiles" always look like he's in pain. I've decided to quit asking him to smile for pictures. I'd rather have a serious face than this crazy grimace he comes up with.

As for Caleb, he is extremely photogenic, but I always get the same comment from people who see his pictures. Everyone always says, "He looks ornery." In this case, looks aren't deceiving.

And then there's Andrew. Andrew's at a difficult age to get pictures because he is always on the move, and doesn't always look at the camera. But every once in a while he'll slow down enough and I'll be able to snap pics like this:

Andrew managed to keep himself clean for a few hours. But then after church we went to Luke's cousin's house where someone decided to leave a box of cupcakes sitting on the patio outside. Andrew found that box, and then he looked like this:

April 22 was a day Isaac was very excited about. He had been counting down the years until he was old enough to attend "Take your Kid to Work Day" with Luke. He was finally old enough to go this year. He told Luke that it was one of the most exciting days of his life.

Next week, we'll be posting a big announcement on our blog! I don't want to reveal what it is yet until everything is official, but check back next week to see our latest news. We're very excited about it, and can't wait to share it with all of you!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Need a Mother's Day Gift?

Last year we discovered the story of an amazing young woman named Katie Davis. She is a twenty-something, beautiful American young woman who has given up her comfortable life in the U.S. to minister to people living in Ugandan slums. I don't think I have ever read any of her blog posts without crying. She is such an example of dying to self, and living for Christ.

I read something on her blog today that I thought I might pass along to others. She has been working with a group of Ugandan woman and trying to help them make money to feed their children. They have been making necklaces to sell through Katie's ministry, Amazima. You can read the blog post explaining her work here. You can buy the necklaces here.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Isaac's thoughts....

Isaac's been writing on his blog again, if you would like to check out his work. You can find his blog, Isaac's thoughts, right here. (And he loves when people leave comments.)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Birthday, birthdays, and more birthdays

The months of February and March are filled with birthday celebrations for us since Caleb, Luke and Isaac all have their birthdays in those months. Isaac's birthday was last weekend, so now we can finally slow down a little (and quit eating so much birthday cake!).

We decided this year for all three boys' birthdays not to buy them presents to open. Instead, we decided to start a new tradition of putting that money towards something we can all do together as a family. This year we decided to try out the Great Wolf Lodge. (The Great Wolf Lodge is a large hotel near us that has an indoor/outdoor waterpark.) It was a lot of fun, and I think the boys agreed that making memories together as a familiy was much better than getting another toy. Here's some shots from our time there:

Caleb splashing around with a basketball

Isaac standing amidst the sprayground

Andrew splashing on the stairs

Our trip to the Lodge was not without injury, unfortunately. When we were getting ready to leave, Andrew fell in the changing room and cut the inside of his mouth wide open. We almost took him to the doctor to see if he needed stitches, but decided against it. It looks much better now, so I'm glad we didn't put him through the trauma of stitches. The Great Wolf Lodge staff was really nice about it, and gave us a free day pass for all of us to come back since Andrew got such a bad injury. They also gave him this stuffed wolf to comfort him, which we thought was really nice. We decided to name the wolf "Ouch." Ouch has become Andrew's little buddy, and he likes to carry Ouch around and give him hugs.

Then Isaac's birthday came on Friday. Friday night we celebrated (just the five of us) at home with Isaac's favorite meal. Our tradition on the actual birthday is to have the brothers exchange gifts they pick out for each other. This year Caleb decided to surprise Isaac with a big box of Ramen noodles and Hubba Bubba bubble gum. (Isaac loves Ramen noodles, but I won't buy them very often because they're so unhealthy.) As you can tell from the photo above, he was very excited about the gift.

The next day we had our extended family over for the big birthday meal. Here is Isaac's Indiana Jones Lego cake.

Opening presents while Caleb looks on

Andrew cheesing it up over Daddy's shoulder

Uncle Mark was very generous and gave Isaac a tool bag filled with really nice tools. He's very excited to get started building stuff with his daddy!
Our birthday fun for this season is done, but we enjoyed every minute of it. Celebrating the lives of the children God has given us is such a joy!