About Me

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My husband and I, the Dynamic Duo, have been married since 2003. We've weathered the storm of chronic disease (diagnosis 2006), infertility (diagnosis 2007), turning 30 (2006/2007 respectively) a first adoption (2009) of a tender hearted, compassionate Ukrainian BIG boy (born 2006), who has told us he'd like a baby sister, baby brother, big brother, and REALLY big sister. We recently completed our second Ukrainian adoption journey, which brought us a daughter (born 2005). We'll see what else God brings our way!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Jesus Makes Me Special

They say that when you hit a spiritual peak, be cautious of the pitfalls (or in our state, the potholes) of valleys ahead.  And that is so true!  Eli has been great this week, even though every morning we've had something going on.  Mon and Tuesday was Bible study, Wednesday Chiropractor, Thursday Get braces, Friday Chiropractor, Saturday Botox, Sunday church, Mon and Tuesday Bible study...then we go to Grandpa Stobie and Bop's house!  Phew...I need to catch my breath!

This winter has been cold...really, really cold.  But yesterday morning I hear birds!  And today the squirrels were out playing :)  Ah, spring is around the corner.  Sort of.

Eli and I made eggs again the other day.  He did MUCH better and remembered to hold his bowl with both hands.  While we were in process Eli looked at me with his sweet eyes and said "Mom, I'm special."  I said "Eli, do you remember why you're special?"  He thought about it for a second, then excitedly said "Yes, mom.  Because Jesus made me special!"  It was so sweet.

Then today, we walked to the library (it was in the 50s today!).  While we were on the way, I asked if he wanted to sing a song or just talk.  He said he wanted to talk, so I asked about school, friends.  Then he said "Mom, you talk about Jesus."  So I spent the entire time there and back telling him stories from the Bible.  We went through Mary being really scared, to Joseph working with wood.  We talked about how he amazed the people in the temple as a little boy.  Then we talked about the boy's food that was used to feed a lotalot of people.  I then told him that Jesus died on the cross so we could be His friend forever and ever.  And that's what God really wants...but we have to believe.  Little tid bits...who knows what he'll take away from it, especially considering the fact that he was jumping in puddles and walking in the snow!

By the time this evening came, we had about had it with each other.  He was really whiny for some reason.  So it was an early bedtime! (Pothole!!!)

Eli got his new braces today.  I'll have to take a picture...they are darling.  They have Scooby-Doo with red straps.  And he loves them!  He got on the bus today and was showing all his friends.  Tomorrow I get to volunteer in his class...so excited!  I just hope we have fun together.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

School Issues

This past Thursday I had the privilege of attending an information meeting at our church with a social worker who has worked in the schools for the past 9 or so years.  The topics of the meeting were 1. What to do when your child is struggling with school and 2.  Bullying.  I learned quite a lot about how to support my school district and how NOT to react when my teacher tells me something I don't want to hear (like my child hit another student!).  I think for the most part I'm pretty level headed, so I don't anticipate this being a problem, but it's always good to hear.  

There were a few comments that particularly stood out to me.  The first is that our job as parents (and especially moms) is to teach and guide our children.  But we aren't responsible for their choices.  And sometimes, our children don't make great choices even with great parenting.  Why?  Because it's all part of growing up.  We all make bad decisions from time to time and we learn from those decisions.  And some decisions yield real consequences.  We as moms take these things very personally and tend to blame ourselves or feel an enormous amount of guilt.  I'll be honest, I struggled with this when we first came home 2 years ago.  I would get embarrassed when Eli would throw tantrums at the store, instead of recognizing this as a time to set boundaries.  

We had a great discussion about bullying.  One woman told a story about a victim being taunted by a bully.  So the victim put a little mustard on the bully's shirt.  The bully lunged at the victim and started choking him.  Both boys got suspended.  One mom said "That's not really fair that the victim got punished too."  The social worker responded "Fairness isn't equality...it's getting what you need."  Hmmm.  She went on to say that schools can't condone violence so everyone involved has consequences based on actions they took.  Victims need someone to tell that they feel safe with before things get out of hand.  And chances are that bullies have multiple targets.  Bystandards are the largest portion of the problem in our society.  Often they stand around watching someone being bullied without stopping or reporting it.   They don't feel like they have a safe place to go, or they don't feel like any action was taken when they did speak up.  So I'm going to teach Eli now (and hopefully it'll sink in sometime in the future!) to stand up for the weak and befriend the friendless.

I'm also reading Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson.  I've only read the first 4 chapters, but it is awesome.  I'll give you a book review soon :)  

Saturday, February 12, 2011


We are making some serious progress on our dossier, with only two forms outstanding.  Our home study addendum (and license) is on its way, and our proof of home ownership form is awaiting a notary.  We've had to redo form after form with this adoption, which is no fun!  But it's almost done and I can't wait to have this off my plate!!

Eli is doing great.  We have a fitting for his new braces this week, along with an appointment with a chiropractor, my 2 hour cleaning of a friends house, my dentist appointment, and I'm volunteering in Eli's class this week.  It's going to be fun, but busy!

Eli got in trouble this week at school.  He has a hard time with getting overly silly and he ended up hitting another kid.  Nothing malicious, just a boy thing.  So the teacher put him in time out and sent a note home to let me know what was going on.  I emailed her to thank her for disciplining him, then had a chat with my boy.  We talked about not getting too rough with the other kids...school is for learning.  Hitting is not OK, obey the teacher, walk away from trouble, etc, etc.  I told the teacher this is going to take some time for it to sink in with him, and if she ever feels like we need to do something else at home to let me know.  The teacher felt like this was really just a guiding moment, no big deal.  Oh, those boys!  Friday Eli came home in a really foul mood.  So I sent him to his room for a few minutes while I decided what to do next.  I sat with him in his room and said "Eli, you seem angry.  How did school go today?"  He went on to tell me something about needing extra space on the rug, but another kid was too close.  I'm not sure what he did in class, but we talked about what he could have done differently.   And his mood picked up from there.  I was quite relieved!  I told him he needed some unwind time, so he spent about 15mins in his room playing with his toys.  Then we had a great afternoon and evening.

He's now reading the words cat and hat (can you tell what books he likes).  And we're still working on other phonics things.  He's starting to take interested in his computer more and more.  He played one game for about 15mins and whipped up on it!  I was really impressed.  And he's really getting to be quite the clown!  Dave is teaching him to say "Mom, cut me some slack!"

My favorite part of this week was our cooking lesson.  Eli expressed the desire to cook with me one day, so I decided Friday we would make eggs.  I let him crack two eggs, we mixed them, and then he watched while I put them in the pan and scrambled them.  When I was finished, I put them in a bowl, let him add salt and pepper and viola!  We had scrambled eggs.  It was a messy blast.  As he was carrying his eggs to the table with only one hand (grrr!), he dropped the entire bowl on the floor.  Whoops.  I told him to place the eggs back in his bowl and throw them out.  We talked about how mistakes were OK, and what we learned from this experience.  He told me he'd use two hands from now on...and he has!  I'm also showing him how to make his own peanut butter and honey sandwiches.  We still need lots of work on that!

Saturday, February 5, 2011


I love winter...I mean REALLY love winter.  I love the snow, the colder temps, the dryness.  But, I gotta tell ya, this winter has been brutal.  It's snowing.  Again.  And not just a little dusting.  A big whopping snow storm.  We just got about a foot a few days ago, and now we're getting another 5-6 inches today. The roads are terrible, and I really need to go grocery shopping, but I don't really want to venture out in to the horrible conditions with a bunch of nutso's driving around.  From what the weathermen were telling us, this was supposed to be an hour long storm with heavy snow, adding only 1-2 inches.  But apparently something changed or the computers were just flat our wrong.  This storm started 2 hours ago and is still going on strong...and we're going to have to dig out the fire hydrant in our front lawn.

I've been following the turmoil in Egypt right now.  Perhaps because I don't follow news very closely, I was so very surprised and totally not expecting Egypt to rise up and demand new government.  I don't completely understand what's going on, or when it started, but I'm paying attention now.  We're studying prophecy in Isaiah and Egypt has come up a few times.  It would be really easy for me to get nervous that the "end times" are near (which I do believe), but instead I feel such assurance knowing that God has a plan.  His plan is unstoppable, unchanging, and victorious!  The weather always reminds me that no matter what man says, God is always in control.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Eli's Bear Hug Baby Laugh

We recently discovered that when you bear hug Eli, he laughs like a baby!  It is soooo cute :)  He doesn't wear shirts to bed...crazy kid.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


We have had a very cold, very snowy winter.  And that makes my husband very happy :)  He's complained the last few winters that there isn't enough snow to use his snow blower.

January 21st, it finally got warm enough to build a snowman.  We don't have a snowman set, so we used cars for the eyes, cookie cutters for the buttons, and barrels of monkeys for the mouth.  His hat is a visor, and his scarf is mine.  It works!  We had some punk kids knock it down, but Dave and I stood him back up.

Our dog loves the snow and colder weather, too.  He hops around like a deer in the deeper parts of the snow.  And when he comes inside, he has massive amounts of snow trapped on his body in little (and sometimes quite large) balls.

This morning, this is what we woke up to.  It was a winter wonderland!  We might have had a foot at best, but some of the snow drifts were pretty tall.  The ice missed us, fortunately, otherwise this could have been really nasty.

Eli and I ventured outside.  In some parts of the snow, it was up to my knee.  

We pushed down the snowman and started performing plastic surgery on him STAT!  Which means we used Eli's plastic tools to attack him :)  He was pretty much solid ice, so we didn't do much damage, but it was still fun.

I'm not sure if you can tell how much snow was in the driveway.  Poor Eli was having a hard time walking around.

I buried Eli in the snow after I made him fall out of the sled.  It was great!  He loved it, although we couldn't go very fast because the snow was so deep.

My husband got good use of his snow blower today!  He took care of 5 driveways and most of our street's sidewalks.  What a great guy!  He used up more than a tank of gas and it took him about 2 hours.  

Christmas Part 2

On Christmas Eve, we put cookies and milk on the table for Santa.  Santa must have enjoyed them because they were all gone when we woke up on Christmas.

Papa and Eli after presents watching a movie.

Papa and Eli watching a movie.  I offered Eli a choice of straight pretzels or raw broccoli with butter.  Yep, he chose the broccoli!

Eli and Papa enjoying their computers together :)