Wednesday, February 29, 2012

We Started With No Puddles

Like the rest of the Midwest, we celebrated the warm weather with time in the sunshine!

Don’t laugh people in warmer climates.  65 degrees in February feels like a heat-wave.

We walked down the lane and I gave strict instructions, NO PUDDLES!

outside 207 outside 212

They danced close to the edge but obeyed.

outside 220 

outside 225

outside 238 outside 240

Look, I can cross my arms!

outside 244

And then the shoes came off and Mama lightened up her rules because she couldn’t resist the carefree toddlers.

outside 252 outside 249

Looking at the clouds and treetops.

outside 261  outside 264


outside 269 

outside 278

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Happy Tuesday

A sad truth in my life is that, even though I am closing in on thirty, I still struggle with acne like a teenager in puberty. 

I have a particularly large zit this morning. I walked into The Littles room and Little A gasped, “What happened, Mama?!”.

What a great way to start my Tuesday. ;) Thanks Baby.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Catch the Wind, Mama

The Littles have always had a fascination with the wind.  When they were younger, it took their breath away and they would just stop and enjoy it. 

Here’s a few pictures from their younger days, enjoying the wind.

5-24 150[3] 5-24 220[5] 

See more of The Littles lovin' the wind

They’ve grown a bit and lots of things change but they still stop in their tracks to enjoy the wind.  “Catch it, Mama!”

165 168

“ooh, windy!” –Little J

169  172


“Catch it!”

Saturday, February 25, 2012

There's Movement!

In the Ethiopian adoption world, it doesn’t take too long to look at the numbers of referrals, hear the long waits of families and what is being asked of them before it can become downright discouraging. There is wonderful news to report! There’s movement!

Our friends, Jason and Joy, bring home there 8 year-old daughter, Meron, TODAY! Actually, they land in three minutes. PRAISE GOD. Seriously people, let's praise Him. I will post a picture after I am sure I have permission.

Within the past week, we have received some wonderful news! First, Jon R. wanted to meet (my) Jon for breakfast. Jon and Beth are long-time friends who have been on the Ethiopian waiting list for a llllooooonnnggg time. Jon R. hid pictures of their sweet baby boy (and I do mean sweet, like scrumptious, want to look at him forever, sweet) in the menu to surprise Jon G. Such a special moment.
You can follow their journey at Riggalicious Reflections
And if that wasn't enough good news, our friends, Jeff and Sarah Stoller, received a surprise this week...after a very short wait, THEY JUST GOT THEIR REFERRAL!  They have decided to name their precious new son, Joah.  He is a doll, breathtaking and beautiful with two, melt-you-into-a-puddle, big eyes in a tiny body. It reminds me so much of the early pictures of our Littles.

The Stollers recently heard from the doctor that evaluated him that he has some potentially serious health concerns.  Though he was born at a normal birth weight, after three months, he has gained very little weight.  He is eating but not getting the nutrition from it.  Joah is tiny.  After The Littles, tiny babies don't scare me, because, oh, God can bring the growth.  However, what this means is that something isn't working in his little body.  The problem could be as simple as a formula allergy or possibly a more serious diagnosis (there are lots of possibilities).  The agency has committed to running more tests and doing more extensive work into the problem.  If it isn't figured out, little Joah will waste away.

God has recently impressed on my heart the need to BATTLE in prayer, for my family, my friends, even those I don't know. Would you pray with me on behalf of these three families?

1) Pray for Meron's adjustment.  I am sure you can imagine the many hurdles present to changing absolutely everything in the life of a grieving 8-year-old.  

2)Let's praise God for Jon and Beth's referral and for their heart as now they parent in prayer, waiting once again, but this time, with a little face, a name, a precious son they will bring home. The wait gets easier now, but HARDER too. 

3) Another praise for the referral!  Pray for little Joah.  He is sick.  Pray that Jeff and Sarah could wisely advocate on his behalf, they would feel the peace of God and that Joah's health problems would be figured out so that he would grow!

4) There are still so many children waiting for families and families yearning for children.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Do You Ever Get So Tired of Looking At Something That You Want to Burn It?

Yeah, that’s where I am at with princess dresses.  Okay, just kidding. sort of.

FIRST thing in the morning, they RUN to the dress up box. I hid the pink dress. It is so tattered and they fight over it.

Shots from BEFORE breakfast.

167 165

Good morning Snow White and Cinderella.

Shots from breakfast:


Snow White loves her oatmeal.


Little J insists she is “Cinderella” and wants a bib so her dress doesn’t get messy.

Immediately after breakfast:


Little A models what Snow White would look like should she ever become a homeless person.

Mama can only put real clothes on them if I assure The Littles, “Okay, we are just going to take it off for a tiny bit to put warm clothes underneath it”. They reluctantly oblige.


Yes, as a matter of fact, their hoods have been up since this picture.  The Littles think having a hood attached must mean we use it!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tuesday Tip (A Psalm Of Your Own)

Along the way, I have collected little tidbits of helpfulness that I want to occasionally pass on…so here is the first, “Tuesday Tip”.

Psalm 136 is so refreshing, a good place to look and be reminded of the Omniscient, Omnipresent, Sovereign God we serve.

A friend challenged me to make this personal, to use the provided format of recalling events in history of our lives where we look back and see the faithfulness of God and sandwich it with, “for his steadfast love endures forever.”

She keeps this list with her and when she is feeling worried or anxious about the day or events ahead, she pulls it out and recounts what God has done.

The original version.

Psalm 136

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

4 to him who alone does great wonders,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
5 to him who by understanding made the heavens,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
6 to him who spread out the earth above the waters,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
7 to him who made the great lights,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
8 the sun to rule over the day,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
9 the moon and stars to rule over the night,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
11 and brought Israel out from among them,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
12 with a strong hand and an outstretched arm,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
13 to him who divided the Red Sea in two,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
14 and made Israel pass through the midst of it,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
15 but overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
16 to him who led his people through the wilderness,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

17 to him who struck down great kings,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
18 and killed mighty kings,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
19 Sihon, king of the Amorites,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
20 and Og, king of Bashan,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
21 and gave their land as a heritage,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
22 a heritage to Israel his servant,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

23 It is he who remembered us in our low estate,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
24 and rescued us from our foes,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
25 he who gives food to all flesh,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

26 Give thanks to the God of heaven,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

Monday, February 20, 2012

She Can Bring It!

J&A 025

Occasionally, Little A resurrects her “Angry Bird” expression.  (Don’t remember anything about this?, click here). It usually has us laughing, but last night, she would stare someone down until they looked away.  I love this picture as Papa and Little A, though very fierce looking, are just one moment away from letting a smile break through. 

Friday, February 17, 2012


In my recent past, when I vocalize frustration to Jon about future transitions, details, life change, he smiles and says, “Ames, this is good training”.  He is right.  Now when I find myself saying something complaining about my transitions/lack of control over circumstances/general chaos that comes from transitions, I sigh as I hear a perky voice in my head, “This will be good training!”. I grimace and just wish I could bask in the glow of my grumpies but I eventually think, “Okay, here goes.”

Lately, the Lord has been showing me His mercy as He is stripping away the flesh and refining me, SLOWLY.  He has been letting me baby step and balk along the journey.  It hit me one day, the way that He has been preparing me in many little ways and, wowza, I am so thankful it hasn’t happened all at once.  Oh, so many more crusty layers He has to clean off and while I am not particularly looking forward to the process, I delight in His thoroughness and His patience.

And just so we don’t have a pictureless post:



Enjoying Grandma’s visitors

133 141

Eating dessert like kitty cats

Valentine's day 082

Sick days in the big girls bed 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

And That’s A Start

You’d think after yesterday and the 10 stinky diapers I changed, at least a little could have gone in the potty.  No…diarrhea and potty-training are not good friends. After all your good advice, The Littles caught a many day virus which involves all kinds of yuck.

But today, well, it was a new day and we had our first success on the potty.


It may have been the size of a dime, but OH, IT COUNTS.

photo (2)


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Brown Baby Doll For A White Baby?

I have never posted about skin color before. I’m about to open a whole can of worms but that’s okay. It needs talking about. We tend to avoid this topic as it suddenly feels like we are a big clumsy elephant trying to dance through a china store. Today I write nothing new, ground-breaking or even intelligent, just a smattering of thoughts, as a mom, trying to figure out how to navigate this sea of political correctness and reality.

Here is a question for you to consider before we start.

Would you buy your white babies a brown baby doll? Would you buy your white babies books with a brown main character? Why or why not?

Now, as I parent two brown-skinned babies, who are forming their own identity of what is beautiful, I am more aware. One luxury of white privilege is that we don’t even notice it, we may complete deny its existence (which is another topic).

Our culture presents a subtle message that lighter is more beautiful. Recently it was time to get The Littles a comforter of their choosing. The comforter set they wanted to get:


I redirected. We chose a different one. Yes, there is a place for perfect-figured, blond-haired beauties but I don’t want my girls to have this princess standard of beauty (and it was just hideously gawdy).

Then there is the whole “Beyonce controversy”. Yes, even gorgeous Beyonce must be feeling the pressure of a culture, the unspoken message that lighter is more beautiful, more market-able or at least more acceptable. Look at her past advertisements compared to more recent ones.


As research has been done on parents and the way they are educating their children on skin color, it’s been shown that it is a topic largely ignored. We want our children to be “color-blind” but by not discussing this issue with our children (who are very observant), it results in them coming to their own conclusions brought on by subtle social cues and the media. What if Christian parents took the same approach to teaching their children about sex? What kind of lies would our kiddos pick up? Click here for a very insightful article on this topic.

We quietly sit by as the media forms for them a twisted perception of race. Our kids measure themselves and decide themselves as superior and inferior. We need to be proactively teaching a Biblical view of race, there is ONE race. We all descended from man. In response to the question, “Would you be comfortable with your child marrying a different race?” I heard a prominent pastor answer, “Of course NOT. My child can only marry another human being!”

We have to tackle this topic in our own hearts and then with our children. One object lesson that I’ve adapted as a starting point for young children comes from the book “I’m Chocolate, You’re Vanilla”. Sit down with your kids and a bowl of M&Ms.


Talk about the differences they observe. Yes, the reds do look different than the yellows. Doesn’t it make it pretty to have a mixture of colors. Wouldn’t a bowl be so boring with only blue M&M’s?


When your kids bite in, look inside, it is all the same. Like us, maybe different in our coloring, our weight, socio-economic status, etc but it’s okay. It’s good. We are each uniquely created by God. Isn’t He creative?

Here are some books that are helpful too. These aren’t just for adoptive families trying to affirm an adoptive child of a different background. These are books we should all have, especially if everyone around your family is vanilla. ;)

We're different Book

102640258  imagesCAPKOG4A

Could we make our toy boxes a little more representative of the colors of the world? Could our bookshelves be full of stories of heroes with all shades of skin?

Do you have ideas for intentionally teaching about diversity?

In This Is Love

While I was hoping to do a post about The Littles in their frilly pink today, we are still fighting sickness.  Little A calmly threw up breakfast in multiple places.  I put her in the tub and she just laid there. I said, “Okay Baby, let’s get you out so Mama can snuggle you.” She responded from her position, “No Mama, just lay”.  She didn’t want to expend any energy to get out of the tub. 

So, our day of making cookies and cutting out construction paper hearts will have to be postponed. However, here is my Valentine thought of the day.

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1 John 4:10

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Rock and A Hard Place

My stomach has a hard knot in it as I read this post. It feels like hopelessness. 

Please read the following post and then join prayerfully on behalf of the people from the Nuba Mountains.

You can take additional action by following the link on the post.

Friday, February 10, 2012

What’s Been On My Mind

I know you are all dying of suspense to know my thoughts.  ;)

I love to read and am heavily influenced by books. I have read or reread a few lately and just thought I would pass on some of my recommended.


My #1 recommendation for parents raising or considering getting involved with “children of trauma”


A wonderful and funny look at heart-oriented discipline.


Be inspired by this man’s testimony within the persecuted church in China.


Haven’t read this one yet.  Stop everything and read it.


Wow.  A book about economics that is funny and fascinating and I believe a MUST READ for Christians working among the poor/orphaned/oppressed/widowed.


Be blessed through one woman’s example of loving as Jesus loves.


A gripping (at times graphic) account of some need to know information about human trafficking and the plight of people in Sudan.

Recent Kid’s favorites:


An amazing Bible story book for kiddos and adults!  From creation, the author does a masterful job of weaving together the Bible as ONE story, HIS story. 


The Littles current favorite book. Such a powerful lesson presented in an impactful way for littles.

Next on my list: Re-reading my favorite marriage book:


And then hopefully: (does anyone local have a copy I could borrow?)

321910_1_ftc 329305_1_ftc 672965

What books would you recommend?