"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, December 29, 2008

Snow Day

h













.

We were forecasted snow for about 1 week before Christmas. We waited for it- the kids watched the forecast on the computer. We brought the BIG dog in to keep warm. Unfortunately we got skipped. All the cousins north of us got it- SNOWED IN!!! They got a whole week off of school. We got... rain!!! Then on the way to the Christmas program what starts falling from the sky???? SNOW!!!!! We didn't get 24 inches like the cousins got, but we got about 6 and that is enough to sled... Man did we have fun!!! Mom isn't as young and it hurts more later, but we sure enjoyed the boys first snowfall!!!

Catch-up








I have gotten behind with the holidays so it is time to play catch up. Just a few pictures of the "before" the holiday pictures. The first few are the annual Christmas tree hunt. Of course we picked a 16 ft tree. It really did look tiny when we were deep in the woods. But once we chopped it in half (ok so it was Tom and not "we") it was a pretty good tree. Nice and gappy- now I usually like them skinnier, but there are a few die hards who like big fat trees. Compromise!!! The last one is all the kids with the stockings. I only had to make 1 more- I had "thought ahead" when I made our stockings a few years ago. Always thought we might have 1 more... guess I should have made 2!!! :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The star must go on...

The fact that Christmas is 3 days away and the star still wasn't on the tree was killing Noah. Problem is that we have 10 ft ceilings. Noah convinced Tom that they didn't need a ladder. I am so suprised that no one got hurt, the tree stood, and nothing was broken. Man we were laughing hard!!! Large man on chair with 10 year old uncoordinated boy on his shoulders... Priceless.
video

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What do you want for Christmas?????

We went to the annual town Christmas program on Saturday (I'll have to post later about this). When it was all over Santa came and sat on the stage. Molly is terrified of Santa, but not this Santa. This is our local feedstore owner in a ridiculously hokey Santa costume. It is the same every year. After the kids came down off the stage, we asked them what they had asked Santa for.

Addie: "I just helped the littles"
Noah: "A Daisy 901 Powerline (BB Gun)"
Molly: "A cash register (yes, she has been asking for one since June)"
Bis: "I don't know- Why does Santa always ask what we want?"
Yordi: "Dinner"

Puts it all into perspective , don't ya think....

Friday, December 12, 2008

Excitement is in the air





Things are getting exciting around here- we are on the verge of a big storm... high winds tonight with power outages possible. Then up to 5 inches of snow headed our way by Sunday. We will have warm temps of 40 degrees until tomorrow and then we won't climb above freezing until next weekend. This is the biggest Artic front that we have seen in nearly 20 years. Yipee!!! I love the snow and I love the day of "getting ready". My laundry was all done by 8 am, floors mopped, soup on, and all the kids stuck into a hot shower first thing. Out in the country if we lose power we lose water, and being a small rural area not a big priority to restore our power quickly. We are so hoping to see snow- it would be the boys first!!!!

They say animals "know". Buzz has been strangely quiet the last couple of days. We hardly see him. He isn't trying to beat the car to the garage. Tom, in winterizing the house and animals went up to take a peak. His little house is busting at the seams. He has been hauling all kinds of plants and branches deep into his house. He has then taken a bale of hay and fluffed it up, so that after he climbs in and nestles down into his thick pile of pine branches, he then fluffs the hay up and around himself, so when you look into his house you cant even see him. Crazy Pig. I would let him have the garage (I am sorta a softee )

These pictures are from a surprise storm last year... It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Reindeer are spies

Oh the 3 littles crack me up.
We have been trying to explain to the boys "Christmas". We always try to downplay Santa in our home, but I will admit to using the power of Santa this time of year (terrible I know). They have all been to see the big guy in red. Molly has been rather upset by the fact that indeed Santa does not go all over the world to bring presents to all the children. The boys have told her that they have never had Christmas, presents, or santa. Each day more decorations come out, more lights go up, and so does the volume of the chatter.
Last nights conversation around the table (just the 3 littles) while I was making dinner- within earshot...
Molly: You have to watch out and be good cause everyone tells you that santa is watching.
Bis: Santa is coming??
Molly: Well, yes, but we wont get to see him. You have to be asleep. That's not fair you know.
Yordi: you goes sleep?
Molly: I don't think he can really watch everyone, especially if you cant see him. It is the reindeer you have to watch out for, really. They are like his spies.
Bis and Yordi: (looking around at all the little reindeer crafts that are hung up) ohhhhhhh...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I would have to agree....

Having been there and seen what we have seen, it is true. I DO need Africa , more than Africa needs me.

From the Mocha Club website: www.mochaclub.org

When I think of Africa, the following images immediately come to mind: Starvation. AIDS. Child soldiers. Genocide. Sex slaves. Orphans. From there, my thoughts naturally turn to how I can help, how I can make a difference. "I am needed here," I think. "They have so little, and I have so much." It's true, there are great tragedies playing out in Africa everyday. There is often a level of suffering here that is unimaginable until you have seen it, and even then it is difficult to believe. But what is even harder is reconciling the challenges that many Africans face with the joy I see in those same people. It's a joy that comes from somewhere I cannot fathom, not within the framework that has been my life to this day.

The images spilling out of my television showed circumstances that could seemingly only equal misery, and I was fooled. I bought into the lie that circumstance defines happiness. The truth is, in Africa I find hearts full of victory, indomitable spirits. In places where despair should thrive, instead I find adults dancing and singing, and children playing soccer with a ball crafted of tied up trash. Instead of payback, I find grace. Here, weekend getaways are not options to provide relief from the pains of daily life. Relationships and faith provide joy. Love is sovereign.

My new reality… I know now that my joy should have no regard for my circumstances. I'm ashamed by my lack of faith, but at the very same moment I am excited by my new pursuit. I'm forced to redefine the meaning of having much or having little. I'm uneasy with the prospect of change and of letting go, but just the thought of freedom is liberating. I want what I have learned to trickle down from my head into my heart - I no longer want to need the "next thing" to have joy.

I'm not saying that Africa does not need our efforts. It absolutely does need our partnership. But for me, I've come to understand that I NEED AFRICA MORE THAN AFRICA NEEDS ME. Why? Because it is Africa that has taught me that possessions in my hands will never be as valuable as peace in my heart. I've learned that I don't need what I have and that I have what I need. These are just a few of this continent's many lessons. I came here to serve and yet I've found that I have so much to learn, and Africa, with all its need, has much to teach me.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Something we can all do...

Please... this hits so close. Can you???? Will you???

Monday, December 1, 2008

Would you consider twins? Referral Anniversary









The exact date has passed, but with the busyness of Thanksgiving I just didn't get time to sit at the computer like I had planned. This weekend marked 1 year ago that Grace called us with a question that sent us in a tailspin. We have a possible referral... would you consider twins????? I can not believe that it has only been 1 year since that call. In ways it feels like eons, yet the process was incredibly fast for us. We had only sent in our application 19 days earlier- for 1 non the less... I won't retype the whole thing. If you want to read it again, the story is here. We have now had our boys home for nearly 7 months. Enjoy the pics- oh how quickly they change...

Bisrat's new do







Bis got himself a new "do". He has the tightest, curliest hair. I was so sure that adopting boys I would escape the hair issues. Come to find out NOPE!! Of all the kids Bis's hair takes me the longest each day and uses more products than all the girls combined. I would love to braid it but #1 I don't know how #2 don't know anyone who knows how #3 he is a huge weenie when it comes to his head. Squirting it with water has him dancing around saying ow. Sheesh!! So today I decided to twist it. I love playing with the curls ( which he doesn't like me to do) and have experimented a little bit. Today we turned on the tv and he sat and I twisted and he didn't complain. I think it looks cute. He likes it and it was a good bonding time for us. He usually doesn't choose to sit by me (unless I am reading) and he tolerates me putting lotion on him or just touching in general. But for 1 hour he sat still and although he was watching tv (more like glued to the tv) he didn't seem to mind a bit. And I got to play with those curls!!!! So, we'll see how long it lasts but it wasn't a huge time commitment so will definitely do it again.
Isn't he the cutest?????

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dear Mr. Govenor





I dont post much about Noah... what's there to say. To know him is to love him. Noah talks in facts- there is no grey. He didn't speak until he was 2 and then started in complete sentences. Noah has the vocabulary of a 29 year old (so they tell me), yet so often he has a hard time verbalizing, to get his many thoughts out the way he means to. Yet where is struggles verbally, he excels by writing. This is a letter he wrote at school today. Not an assignment, just something that has been on his mind to do. He has been talking about it for several days. This letter is a glimpse of the true Noah that so often isn't visible....

Dear Mr Govenor,
Hi, my name is Noah Thompson. I live in *** , Oregon. I go to school at *** Elementary and am in the 5th grade. I understand that the new 1 dollar coin is being manufactured to the public. All coins say "In God we trust", but the new 1 dollar coin does not. If I am given it I will refuse it. I will also encourage my family and friends to do the same. My family is a christian family and it would mean alot to me and most christian familys. Would you please try to encourage the govermnet to stop making the coins or put "In God we trust" on them.
Thank you. Sincerely your friend
Noah
PS please write back
hear are a list of people who agree with me on back...
(signed by his entire class)


Truly Noah will refuse this coin and woe be to anyone in this house if one turns up

Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Addie















Dear Addie,
Is it possible that you can be turning 14 today? Where has the time gone? I know you are in a hurry to grow up, but I would love to turn back the clock and keep you my little girl forever.
I am so amazed by the person you are growing up to be and you continue to make us so proud. You are a wonderful sister-

the little kids adore yo
u and respect you and you are so patient and helpful with them. You spent your whole day off of school making shrinky dinks and playing dress up with them. You aren't embarrassed to take them down the hallway at school (well, maybe you are, but you do it anyhow). You are amazingly patient with Noah and so understanding when he just doesn't handle life. You continue to try and help him with his homework even when he isn't being easy. I know it cant be easy having a brother with autism, yet you just deal with what God has given you. You are an amazing daughter- you are responsible beyond comprehension. You have our complete trust. You have opened your heart to Tom, and even though he isn't your "first" dad you never make him feel like he takes second place. I probably never say it enough, but your helpful spirit is so appreciated. You empty the trash and the dishwasher just to save me a little bit of time. You have a huge heart for others and no doubt will continue to do great things in your life. You are such a kind and loyal friend- noticed by everyone including your teachers and evidenced by the 10 girls sleeping over right now!!

You write letters- real letters, you know how to cook, you play violin beautifully, you can carry 50 lb feed sacks (and 40 pounds of naughty brothers), you muck out pig pens, cause it needs to get done, you protect me from snakes that your cat hauls home, you watch scary movies and are still able to sleep, you let your sister sleep in your bed, you never get tired of reading, and you always stick up for the underdog.

You have a wonderful heart for your animals- all of them (including your pig who is asleep in my garage AGAIN) and you are certainly not afraid to get dirty or have fun (this really impresses the littles). You are a wonderful creation of God and I thank him daily for making me your mom.
Happy Birthday. We all love you!!!

November is National Adoption Month



I have been planning on posting something great in honor of National Adoption Month- but it has been an absolutely CRAZY week (I say that like it is over...) but this video speaks so much. It is not adoption related, yet it touches my heart. Maybe because those are the same scenes we saw in Ethiopia, and maybe, because I hope Ethiopia and the people there changed us. We must never forget.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Music to my ears



I am making dinner and overhear a conversation between Molly and Addie-

Molly: I just love being your sister- you are the best big sister.

Addie: why is that?

Molly: You let me do all the really cool stuff like make your bed, sharpen your pencils and clean your bathroom...

Addie: Yep, got this big sister thing down!