Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I love spying moments like these taking place outside my window...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

More kids???

Let me just start by saying this post has been ruminating in my heart for some time. But today I finally sat down and took the time to finish writing it and posting.

A few weekends ago, our good friends, KimB and Pushpyar and their 4 kids, and KimB's mom, Kim, who came as an extra set of hands, stayed with us. So we had 5 adults and 8 kids in our house! Thank God it's a big house! :) We had lots of room and everyone had a bed, except Emelyn (who let Mrs. Kim have her bed) and slept on the couch instead. What a lovely time we had catching up with these "old" friends before they leave for India in the fall. Now we didn't get many photos -- probably because there were 8 kids and 6 of them were under the age of 6! Yep, busy!! So here is the one I did get :)

As much as I could, I tried to help them with their little ones (who were such a joy to have around) and I tried to get as much snuggle time with baby Rebekah as possible. It's not often I have a baby to snuggle and I know I have to enjoy it when I can! On Sunday morning, Mrs. Kim had already headed home, and in order to "help" KimB out, I took Rebekah and snuggled her during the song part of church service (I'm such a good friend! lol) Oh how wonderful to hold a little one!! My husband was sitting behind me trying to keep tabs on our busy 2 year old and keep one of our older girls from goofing off. :)

A few days later, we stopped at the local super store to pick up some groceries. As we were walking, my oldest daughter asked us (again!) if we could either have or adopt a baby. My husband and I laughed and told her (again) "We'll see!" Then Garr told me that after seeing me snuggle baby Rebekah in church on Sunday, it made him want to have another baby. He said I looked so happy and content holding her, and he would love to give that happiness to me again. Awwwww.

Alright, let me stop here and say :


Ok, on with the story.

We continued on at the store and got into line. Now our family of 6 in line at the grocery store can look pretty crazy, I admit. Normally, I'm loaded up the belt with our items, and the girls are learning how Mommy likes it done! So they help out some too. Daniel is usually out of the cart at this point and he'll find some toys (on those low to the floor, last minute, 'what else can we convince you to buy bc $250 worth of groceries just isn't enough' shelves) and he will just play with the toys while he waits. So then the girls come around and start loading the bags back into the cart and one is usually staying next to Daniel making sure he doesn't take off.

There was a couple behind us who were smiling at our chaos and seemed friendly. At that point I don't have much time to pay attention so I just smiled back and went on with the race of getting the cart unloaded (so we could reload it with bags) before the cashier ran out of room for the bags she was filling. (did that make sense?) However, I did overhear them say to Garr, "Wow, you guys need another kid!"

Ok. I do realize they were trying to be funny, but their comment, said in jest, really hurt and made me angry. I know that what they were really saying was "enough is enough!" Really? Is it enough? Why? By whose standards? America's standard of 2.4 kids? Why does it matter to them how many kids we have if we are supporting them and feeding them and housing them ourselves?

I'm not saying I'm going to have ten kids, but I'm not saying I'm not! Children are a gift from God! And frankly, there are days when I would LOVE to have more kids and there are days when I can't imagine being able to keep up with anymore! But if God called me to take in more kids, I would do it and do it gladly.

Did you know there are 147 million orphans in this world? Can you imagine growing up without parents ... without someone to hold you when you're sick in the middle of the night ... without clean clothes and food ... not sure if anyone really loves you? The thought makes me just want to cry. I think about my children and how blessed they are (even though I won't buy them their own cell phones or ipods) and I think how blessed my life was ... even if I didn't have a lot of material things. My parents loved each other (and still do!) and loved me. How many kids in this world don't get that basic need met? The Bible says "Of all these, three remain : faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is LOVE." 1 Cor 13. It also says in James 1:27, "True religion is this: That you care for the widow and the orphan in their distress."

God has given me a love for children. A desire for children. I'm not sure if we are physically going to have more children of our own. I'm not sure if we will adopt children. I'm not opposed to it, but I'm also not convinced that this is the time. HOWEVER that doesn't mean I can't help orphans get home! There are people in this world who are sacrificing SO much to bring these children home, to give them a forever family, to love them and meet their physical and emotional needs! Even if we don't feel called to adopt ourselves, we can still help a child come home.

We have some local friends who are doing just that. They have adopted 3 or their 4 daughters from China. Can I tell you how blessed I am by this family? I see them (in person!) raising their daughters to be kind, responsible, caring people. It's amazing. And now? God is calling them our of their comfort zone (as He so often does!) and they are in process of adopting 2 little boys with special needs from an Eastern European country. If these boys are not adopted, they will soon be put into an institution and no longer be "adoptable." (not a word, but works for me!)

Am I in a position to bring these little boys into my home and care for them? No, not at this time. Can I still help? You bet! And guess what? So can you! If you click on the link to the right, you'll see Potato Bags. I'm making these to help her raise funds to bring her boys home. If you click on the link, it will take you to a page that explains what they do :) If you click on the link "Bringing Nathan home (and Peter,)" it will take you to the adoption company's web-page where you can "meet" the boys and make a tax-deductible donation to help bring the boys home.

I know there are so many great causes out there to give to. But I'm asking you to consider helping this family - helping these little boys come home. I told Jennifer (the mom) that I wasn't sure it was worth the $10 she would make from each potato bag. Really, it doesn't seem like much! But each time we talked about the bags, God poured out His blessing and multiplied the funds in other ways. Our God is a big God and He loves these boys so much!! I know it's His desire for them to have a home and it's our responsibility to help. Even a little bit - God can take and multiply. Please consider helping to give these boys a home.

Do you see what I see?

Do you see what I see?
Our girls LOVE this tree!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Some guy fun

The guys in my life love things that have wheels, loud motors, and that break/chop/cut really strong items down to size. Imagine their excitement over this... a new log splitter!

Our main (or I should say only) source of heat is our wood stoves. Garr installed both of these this year and we love them. We love watching the flames and feeling the heat. I don't love cleaning up the dust and wood chips but... they do save us a lot on heating costs. So I get over it. :) Garr knows some people who offered for Garr to cut down some trees so we get our wood for free. Well, it doesn't cost money, but it does cost a lot of time and muscle. Thankfully, my husband has muscle. (Time is another subject!) The past year though, he has been wishing and hoping for a log splitter. However anytime we saw one for sale, it was either too much money or sold before we got ahold of the people. Recently, we found one! We called and we went that night to look at it. And we towed it home. And we got a practically (used once) new splitter at a large savings!!

I was pleased.... and the men in our family were in heaven.

Daniel was nervous at first, but when he saw that it wasn't too loud (he's the only guy that doesn't appreciate the noise... but I have a feeling that will come with time!) he was quick to try it out. He liked putting smaller pieces of wood (bark) on top of the log Garr was splitting. Garr even let him use the lever and the boy was mesmerized!

So even though I'm loving the muscles that chopping wood has given my hubby (along with the hard work of training he does,) I'm happy for him. He has a new toy tool and it will save him a lot of time and effort keeping our house warm in the winter.

All 3 of my guys - Garr, Danny, and Dad

Man, can that thing cut through a chunk of wood!
It really is amazing.

Daniel after adding his "log."
He is a very "careful" boy.
(sigh of relief)

Trying it out

putting the lever back up - see big sis helping out :)
All done.
Wiping the dirt off his hands :)
Pleased with a job well done.

Daniel was also amazed by the hitch.
He was very interested in it.
The next day he wanted Garr to hitch the splitter back up
and take it for another drive! :)

Apparently he was very into
the arm crossing thing that night! lol

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Simple Woman's Daybook

My friend, Mindy, does this on her blog and I enjoy reading details and snapshots of what's happening in her moment. I thought I'd share one here as well.


Outside my is getting dark and Rocky is still barking off and on

I am thinking...that I am tired and I hope Garr will get home soon and I'm loving the quiet activities my girls have chosen tonight....drawing, coloring, and reading

I am thankful for...a hardworking husband, sweet children, and a big, warm home

From the learning rooms...currently reading, coloring, and drawing. Tomorrow that will be joined by fractions, multiplying, borrowing, pronouns, conjunctions, Moses, Japan, and Gladys Alward.

From the kitchen...fresh baked (Joe Corbi's!) chocolate chip cookies.

I am yoga pants, a comfy t-shirt, and my Uggs.

I am creating...potato bags and nursing covers.

I am bed soon to snuggle up with my little boy (who insists on sleeping in Mama's bed lately.) (I totally don't mind :) )

I am reading...A Well Trained Mind, various blogs, and American Patchwork and Quilting magazine.

I am finish the school year in the next 5 weeks and to visit Oswego this summer.

I am hearing...the sound of fans humming and my daughter rustling through sewing stuff.

Around the house...extra beds from our company last week...waiting for hubby to have a chance to carry them upstairs

One of my favorite things...sewing

A few plans for the rest of the week: school, Awana, sewing class on Sat, family bd party for my dad here on Sat, cleaning out the barn on Sat morning!

Praying for: clarity, friends, funds

A scripture for today: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous...For the Lord your God will be with you..." Joshua 1:9

A photo to share:

To learn more or to join in, visit A Simple Woman's Daybook

A new Playset

We spent Mother's Day weekend picking up and putting together a new playset for the kids. We were very blessed to get an awesome deal on an Amish built swingset through my mom's work. We picked it up from her office. I so wish I'd brought my camera. The tower of the set was SO heavy. Garr thought it might help to use the forklift. My mom said "That's fine - do you know how to drive one?" I thought I heard Garr say yes as he walked away from her. I looked at her and laughed - "Ok let's see! Garr is famous for saying he can do something (that he has never done before) and pulling it off!" Sure enough, he drove that forklift like a pro. :) Over and over, I'm reminded how blessed I am to have such a handy husband!

We finally got the set loaded, stopped for lunch, and then headed home. We got almost all of it together that day (and when I say "we" I mean dad and Garr!) Only the roof of the tower and the sandbox were left for Sunday. So Sunday morning, we went to church, and stopped for some supplies on the way home. We had a yummy Mom's Day lunch (Garr grilled the chicken and Ken and Dad did the dishes!!) and then finished up the playset. I love how park-like our yard is getting. It is such a blessing, this house of ours!
Garr getting started
Giving orders :)
A Happy Boy!!

There were no directions
(I doubt the guys would have read them if there had been!) lol
But the picture definitely came in handy...

Daniel was a big help -
he loves to get right in the middle and use the tools :)
First time sliding down!!
apprehensive but excited
too bad this photo is blurry, I still like it a lot!
Me helping
Mom helping
I do love the photos we get when I hand Abby the camera :)
Dad studying the picture :)
This is awesome!!!

Here it is all together!
We added the sand underneath and it is a big hit!
Kenny helping out
Eme monkeying around
Liv making sand creations and ....
holding them against her shirt?
Garr and Eme
Katie, Mom, Dad, and Ken
My nephew Justin
Rocky and Eme

Garr and I