Follow our family as we journey through life.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Word for 2013







Sunday, December 29, 2013

Winter Hike

An Almost Adoption Possiblity

The other night I was watching a light saber battle in my living room when we got a phone call from the adoption agency. A young gal had given birth early and she was placing her baby for adoption. They were looking for interested families so that the birth mother could view some profiles and choose an adoptive family on Saturday. It was a little girl and she was healthy.
At first I was ecstatic! I had a strong feeling that THIS was the baby for us. The timing was perfect! We could all leave for Texas right away. But as the adoption coordinator continued, I began to hear things that challenged this feeling. Premature, 2 pounds, extended NICU stay, medical decisions, etc. Although she was healthy and breathing on her own, she was born three months too soon and was going to be in the hospital for at least the next ten weeks. If chosen as parents, Michael or I would need to be in Texas for the remainder of her hospital stay. And obviously as her parents we would be there. We wouldn't dream of leaving the youngest member of the family alone, 1300 miles from where we are.
We were not faced with an easy choice here. Easy-going Michael was all for it. Let this young mom see our profile and if she chooses us then we will work it out. "How?" I asked him. "How would we work this out?" "Don't worry about it, " he assured me. "It'll work out."
I was not so sure. We only had two hours to discuss and pray on this matter. Michael could take a short leave from work, that would buy us a couple weeks. Maybe his mom could come to help out. I knew that friends would help when and however they could. But we weren't talking about a week here. We were talking about a SEASON. When we returned with the baby it would no longer be Winter, it would be Spring.
Michael never waivered in his view that we should take the chance and we would work it out. This is one of the numerous reasons I love him. He is a believer in taking chances. "It's a baby!" He kept telling me.
I wanted to say yes. I wanted that very much. But looking into the five beautiful faces of my biological children I knew I had to say no. I could not take the chance that I would only see those faces a few times in the next three months. As a family I knew we could not handle such an intense separation right now. Although we may finally achieve our adoption dream, the emotional expense was too great for my crew to handle. We had to say no.
And we did, or rather Michael did because I knew I would not be able to without breaking down. We were sure to ask and make sure other families had said yes, so that the mother was not left with no possibilities. And several had. Several were able to make the sacrifices that this baby needed and deserved.
I still tear up when I think it. How for a brief moment I was filled with so much hope and so much possibility. How our saying "no" meant that another family was granted an amazing Christmas miracle. And how some day my sweet baby girl will be here for us to enjoy, and she will have been worth the wait.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Came Anyways

This year I was less than ready for Christmas. I really felt as though I had less time. Lots of other folks share my view. Although Christmas falls on the same day every. single. year., it was as though it came sooner this year. And know what? I wasn't ready.
Although I started receiving Christmas cards before Thanksgiving, I barely got mine out and I still have a stack to send. Cards for the sick and shut-ins? Christmas does last 12 days, right? And despite this, Christmas came anyways.
I didn't get all my gifts mailed in time to have them delivered by Christmas Eve. Fifty-five dollars to get it there on time or $13.38 for after Christmas delivery? It's the thought that counts, right? And maybe they'll appreciate it more when it's the only thing to open that day. Despite this, Christmas came anyways.
I didn't even finish purchasing stocking stuffers until December 24. Everything was pretty picked over but that just made the choices easier. Even if I hadn't gotten them, Christmas would have come all the same.
I also didn't shop for Christmas dinner food until Christmas Eve. This is something a little weird about my family: They have to eat every day. And I mean every. single. day. Buy food and know what happens to it? They eat it! It doesn't matter if it was for Christmas or dinner for the President. If it is food and it is in this house then they will eat it. So I kind of had to wait to Christmas Eve. But it was just one more thing on the list. And even though my list was no where near complete, Christmas came all the same.
I had scheduled obligations up until Christmas Eve, leaving very little time to decorate or mentally prepare myself and my family. But time has a way of moving forward, and despite my need for a few extra hours, Christmas came as scheduled on December 25.
Facebook was filled with some folks complaining about how commercial Christmas has become and others complaining about how religious people are being so dumb and some complaining about meeting up with family and a very few just quietly signing off to enjoy their reasons for Christmas. Whether they be family, or friends, or spiritual beliefs, or something else, Christmas came for them as well, just as it came for you.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


May your Christmas Season be a blessed and joyous time.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Cute Kid Photos

I took some cute photos before the piano recital.
Age 2

Age 5

Age 7

Age 11

Age 10

Monday, December 23, 2013

Try A New Recipe Tuesday

Chinese Christmas Cookies
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup roasted peanuts
1 cup Chinese Chow Mein Noodles
In a large bowl, mix peanuts and chow mein noodles. Set aside.
In the top of a double broiler, melt chocolate chips and peanut butter chips.
Pour into bowl with peanuts and noodles. Toss to coat.
Drop by teaspoon-fulls onto waxed cookie sheets. Put in fridge until hard.
Makes 24.
Check out more new recipes over at Try A New Recipe Tuesday

Christmas Piano Recital

Our Christmas piano recital was December 22.
It was Margaret's first recital. When her name was called there was a brief second where I was afraid she would not go up on stage. But she did and she played beautifully.
She played 'Jolly Old St.Nicholas' and 'Up On the Housetop.'
The boys have been in several recitals, but I am always amazed at how well they play.
Henry played 'Deck the Hall,' 'Trepak (Nutcracker Suite),' and 'Silent Night.'

Isaac played 'Trepak (Nutcracker Suite),' 'O Tannenbaum,' and 'Hark the Herald Angels.'

James played 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' and 'Waltz of the Flowers (Nutcracker).'
This was our last scheduled event before Christmas. Now I feel we can finally sit back and prepare for the coming of our Lord.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Freebies from IEW

Anyone who regularly reads my blog knows from my product reviews what great products Institute for Excellence in Writing produces. From phonics programs to high school level writing, there isn't a student that IEW can not teach.
I was recently contacted by IEW to offer my readers to opportunity to participate in the 12 Days of Christmas Giving. Each morning, December 26-January 6, participants receive an email with a special link to download a free gift. This is a great chance to sample IEW products for free!
Simply follow this link to register. It's really that easy.
Happy (Early) Christmas!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Spoken Here

I mentioned a few weeks ago that the kids were all in Christmas programs this year. Well wouldn't you know that Isaac got sick and missed his program. He was sad, but there is always next year.
My three LMCA kids had their program the night of December 18. It. Was. Unbelievable. I am not just saying that because my kids were in it. I was so impressed with the acting, singing, dancing, costumes, music, and directing. We have some very talented parents over at LMCA.