Wednesday, December 29, 2010

This Day in History

December 29 is a double-special day in our house.  And this year, it's even more special...16 years ago, Jonathan David Fisher made his appearance into this world--and it's never been quite the same since!  Below is one of the earliest photos we have of Jonathan, as he didn't enter our family until he was six, going on seven.  We are thankful for his birth mother and her choice to give him life 16 years ago.

Happy 16th Birthday, Jonathan!  We love you!

One of the earliest photos we have of Jonathan (left) and Sabastian (right)
Jonathan this summer at the Maryland Zoo

December 29 is also special because 15 years ago on this date, I married my best friend.  It was an icy Friday evening, as I recall, and we had to start the ceremony late because my grandmother had a hard time getting to the church in the inclement weather.  It was a beautiful Christmas wedding, and 15 years and (almost!) five kids later, we still enjoy one another's company!

Happy Anniversary, Dave!  I love you!

We were young and in love!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Memories

Christmas Eve tradition...the first Christmas pajamas!

After two hours of wrapping presents, the stockings are stuffed, and Dave and I are off to bed!

The little boys are ready to dig into their stockings...they were very patient!

Jonathan will be 16 in a few days...need I say more?

Sabastian will be...well...not sure what his excuse is!

Now that's better!  This is exactly what he wanted!

Jonathan is starting his own tool out world!

Here's the tree before the gifts were opened...we are so blessed!

The only person year!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Birthday, Sophia!

Today is our daughter's third birthday.  Unfortunately, we are not with her on this special day, but we know she is being well cared for by a foster family who loves her very much.  We are still in need of over $6000 to make the trip to Taiwan to bring her home.  Please continue to pray that this need would be met, and check out our adoption blog for ways you can help support us on our journey...perhaps you would even consider a donation in honor of Sophia's birthday!

We love you, Sophia!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

All I Want for Christmas...

Benjamin pulled out his second tooth all by himself tonight while in bed.  It's the top tooth directly above the bottom tooth he lost earlier...Dave says he looks like one of the "Beverly Hillbillies"!  I just had to photograph him in front of the tree to reference that classic holiday song!

Mommy's Knights in Shining Armor

Nathaniel's 3rd Birthday

I have been lax in keeping up with family happenings this fall, so I'm going to do a little catch up this long weekend!  On October 2, Nathaniel celebrated his third birthday.  "Poe", his babysitter, joined us for gifts, cake, and ice cream.  Following our some photos from that evening.  We love our little Nathaniel!

Ohh...what does he see?
Balloons and gifts...what fun!
I think the balloons were the best part!
This was a great thrift store find that Nathaniel has gotten a lot of good play use out of!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Christmas Card Photo

This morning I tried to get all four of my boys to lie on the floor in a certain order on the floor wearing Santa hard could that be?  I was attempting to get an "aerial" shot of their heads with the hats for our Christmas card.  Well...the three year old wouldn't lie still; the five year old wouldn't give me a toothy smile; the thirteen year old wouldn't smile at all (par for the course!); and, lo and behold, the fifteen-almost-sixteen year old totally cooperated!  I never cease to be amazed!  As for the'll just have to wait and see!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dossier Update

I'm happy to post that our dossier was mailed last week to our agency, and hopefully is on its way to its final certification here in the U.S. before being mailed to Taiwan!  Now we focus on our last monetary need of $7000 for our travel expenses.  God is able!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Two Thousand Three Hundred Dollars all that stands between our dossier leaving our house and arriving in Taiwan. Two thousand three hundred dollars. It's not a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, but it's more than we have sitting un-earmarked in our bank account. Could you please pray with us this week that God will show us His will regarding this last bit of money that we need? We could use credit, but we committed at the beginning of our adoption process to not do that if at all possible. We have decided to wait and pray until next Monday, November 1, before making any decisions. Thanks!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Still Here...

It's been a crazy few weeks at our house.  Lots of downs and very few ups, but we're hanging on to the Lord and His perfect plan for us and our children.  I do have some photos of Nathaniel's 3rd birthday to post, and Sabastian turned 13 this week.  (He will be having a party next month, so the photos will be delayed for him!)  I thank God for my children, but must say that parenting is not for the weak of heart!  I'm very thankful for a long holiday weekend, and the relaxing Saturday we are enjoying right now.  Someday I'll be back to my regular postings, but life needs to settle down a bit, first!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Getting Closer...

I just wanted to remind everyone about our name doily adoption fundraiser, as Christmas is getting closer, and perhaps you would like to order a name doily as a unique gift and at the same time, help us meet our orphanage fee goal!  We also have our Forever Family cookbooks available for $15--these have received rave reviews from everyone who has used them!  Lastly, we have a limited amount of beautiful hand painted Chinese glass ball ornaments available for $20.

They come in their own special Chinese box and are also great for gift giving.  Any one of these items would bring us closer to our orphanage fee goal which we hope to have to pay soon!  If we can help you check off some gifts on your list, leave a comment, and I'll get you the information you need...thanks!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Back to School Monday!

Here's our annual "Back to School" photo was the day our new school year began.  This year I have a 10th grader, a 7th grader, and a Kindergartner.  We had a beautiful day today to start our school year, and all in all, it went well.  It will take a bit of time to get back into the routine, but in some ways, it feels like we never left it.  I think time just goes by faster when you get older or something!  Here's a photo of Benjamin with his Kindergarten teacher...

Yep, that's me!  Pray for us this year if you think of it.  He did a great job today with remembering to call me "Mrs. Fisher" as much as possible around his classmates, and not trying to get my attention unduly.  We'll see how it goes when the novelty wears off!  Hope your back to school has gone well, whatever shape it takes in your household!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Handmade Doilies by Brenda - New Adoption Fundraiser!

Are you looking for a unique, handmade gift for that special occasion coming up? Well I have just the idea for you, and I can bet that no one else will give the same gift! My mother-in-law, Brenda, makes beautiful, handmade, crocheted name doilies. She is offering her talents as a fundraiser to help us bring Sophia home from Taiwan.

Now for the details...these unique doilies are available in white or ecru/tan, horizontal or vertical, with a lacy shell or pointed edge border. They are beautiful matted and framed, or as a pillow top, and are usually ready in 1-4 weeks. They make great holiday, graduation, wedding, birthday, teacher or baby shower gifts and are excellent for first and/or last names, nicknames, slogans or favorite sports teams. The doilies cost $25 for up to 5 letters and $3 for each additional letter. You choose the color, edging, and of course, the personalization. This is a fundraiser for our little Sophia with a minimum of $10 per doily being donated to Sophia’s adoption...and you get a unique, personalized keepsake for yourself or to give as a gift!

We are taking orders on a first-come, first-served basis, so get your holiday orders in as soon as possible! To place an order, e-mail me at with your desired color, edging, and personalization. I will then send you an invoice via Paypal. As soon as I receive your payment, your order will be processed and filled! (For those orders requiring shipping, an additional charge of $5.00 will be added to cover priority shipping costs.) Please help us pass the word around about this fundraiser, and thanks for supporting our family and helping us bring our daughter home from Taiwan!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Paint Colors

Here are the photos of the two paint colors we used recently in our home...I know some of my friends wanted to see them.  They didn't photograph really well, but you can get the idea.  They are both from Sherwin Williams...a very helpful place, I might add!  (And, no, I'm not getting paid to say that!)  Thanks again to my friend Tiffany who helped me paint...I wouldn't have been able to do it without her!  At least one summer project was accomplished this year!

"cay" in my craft room
"lighthearted pink" in Sophia's room

Grandmom's Pound Cake

Grandmom Christian's pound cake was a staple in her house growing up.  And because we lived overseas, when we were home, it was a really special treat.  I grew up hearing how ornery the cake was, because sometimes it didn't turn out as a pound cake--but as a ten pound cake--way too heavy and a waste of precious ingredients.  I have always been a little afraid of trying it, but I just got a hankering for it and, after calling Grandmom and getting some last minute advice, I tried baking it today for the very first time.  And, I'm proud to announce...IT TURNED OUT BEAUTIFULLY!  

just out of the pan

ready to be eaten...yum!

If you would like this recipe, it's in our Forever Family cookbook that we are selling as an adoption fundraiser...check it out here!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

We're Losing It Around Here!

"It" being teeth!  This week Benjamin lost his very first tooth.  It had been quite wiggly for some time, and finally I just yanked and out it came!
I shed a few tears about it, too...not because it hurt him, but because this means my little boys is growing up!  He starts kindergarten in a few short weeks (with yours truly as his teacher--pray for us!) and is really maturing in a lot of ways.  I still have by baby, Nathaniel, but he's growing up way too fast, too!  When Benjamin lost his tooth, Nathaniel wanted me to pull one of his out too...didn't want to miss out, I guess! 
Benjamin was very surprised when his tooth under his pillow "turned into" four quarters...we don't make a big deal about the tooth fairy or anything, but we told him to just put it under his pillow to see what would happen.  He was happy to put the money in his piggy bank and that was that! 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Today's Inspiration

"The steps of a man are established by the LORD;
And He delights in his way.
The law of his God is in his heart;
His steps do not slip."

Psalm 37:23, 31

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Blind Side

We just finished watching this movie...yes, we are behind the times.  I'm almost at a loss as to what to write about it because it impressed me so much.  Having adopted two children out of foster care and away from a life not too unlike what the movie portrays about the "projects", this movie really hit home.  The "what if's" don't come to mind all too often any more, but after watching this movie, I can't help but wonder...what if our boys had not come into our lives when they did...where would they be now?  Of course there's no need to wonder, really, because God had His hand on their lives from the very beginning and brought them into our family in His perfect time.  But humanly speaking, I do wonder sometimes.  I also wonder what our boys, especially our oldest, thought about the scene in the movie where Michael remembers being taken from his birthmom by protective services.  This happened to our boys, and it breaks my heart to think about what was going through the minds of a two year old and a four year old being torn from the only life they had ever known...albeit, not a healthy one.  It will definitely be cause for discussion at a later time!  This movie touches on so many themes that our family can relate, interracial adoption/foster care, education, family life.  (Here's a great review from a Christian perspective.)  If you haven't seen it, give it a try...if you have, what are your thoughts on it?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Painting Frenzy

I don't have any photos for this post, but I will take photos of the end result...I promise!  Yesterday my good friend, Tiffany, came to help me paint my craft room and Sophia's room.  What a job!  I am no house painter, so I naively thought it wouldn't take too long and we could get it all done in one day...well that didn't happen!  We were able to primer Sophia's room (it was a very bright yellow for Nathaniel) and get the first coat on in the craft room.  The taping and cutting in really takes awhile, I found out!  (That, and managing the scuffles of six children at the same time...)  But Tiffany is a self-proclaimed perfectionist when it comes to painting, and a good teacher.  She is making our rooms look great!  We were going to continue today, but one of my boys wasn't feeling well, so we are postponing to next week.  We should be done in one or two more days...I'll post photos of the finished project!  THANKS, TIFFANY!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Keeping Busy...Little Boy Style

When it's stinkin' hot outside and there's no extra money for "paid entertainment", what are little boys to do?  Well if they are my little boys, plenty!  Here are this week's top two ways to keep entertained in the heat and on a budget!
What's more fun than building a really long train track?
They were especially proud of this one!
Now if they would only share the train cars nicely...
Big brother helped them build this really cool fort in the basement with lots of hidden doors and storage areas
Lots of room for everyone!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Angels are Singing!

It was a very busy week in our house this past week.  This week was our VBS at church, and three out of the six of us were involved each night in some way.  Benjamin attended the VBS with his kindergarten buddies while Sabastian served as part of the worship team leading the songs and motions in the opening and closing, and helped out with the four-year old class.  I taught the Bible lesson four times each night to the elementary students...with groups ranging from 35-75 or more kids at a time, it was quite a challenge to teach an active curriculum (as in the kids were to be part of the story!) and keep order at the same time!  Fortunately the children were divided into "crews" and the crew leaders were mostly adults or teens who were able to help out with discipline and crowd control.  On Thursday night I shared the gospel as part of the Bible lesson with a very powerful visual presentation that was part of the lesson for the evening.  Many children raised their hands indicating that they were accepting Christ as their Savior that night, but we like to personally talk with the children and make sure they understand what they are doing.  On Friday night, a couple of the Children's Ministry volunteers took time to meet with each child who indicated that they had prayed to become a child of God.  Out of a rather large group of children, the ladies were pretty certain that 23 understood the decision that they were making.  Praise God...the angels are singing in Heaven this weekend!  It's such a blessing to be able to be involved in such a meaningful ministry and to see young lives changed.  It makes the craziness of the week all worth while!  Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be teaching the same curriculum in two other locations that are outreach ministries for our church.  Sabastian will be joining me to help lead the music.  Please pray for the children in these two locations, too, that their hearts will be ready to hear the truths of God's Word!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Union Canal Tunnel Park

On Monday, while I was out shopping with my Mom in Lancaster, Dave took the boys on a hike at the Union Canal Tunnel Park in Lebanon.  This park boasts the oldest transportation tunnel in the United States, and, in the summer on Sunday afternoons, you can still take a boat ride on the canal and get an up-close-and-personal view of the tunnel.  On this day, Dave and the boys went on a  hike around the canal to see what they could see.  It was their first visit to this park, and in spite of the heat, they had a great time.  Even Nathaniel (age 2) did the hike on foot...I was impressed!  Here are some photos from their visit...

The boys love to find...and eat...berries on their treks

Jonathan (up) and Sabastian and Benjamin (down) checking out the canal

I hope Dave was paying attention...this photos scares me a bit!

The littlest brothers trekking along!

A view of the canal

The water is a bit murky, but still has a beauty all its own!

I'm thankful for my husband's willingness to take the boys on adventures such as this and make some good memories with them.  I'm also grateful that he allows me to venture out on my adventures with my a house full of boys, I need that every once in awhile!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Will You Be My Roomie?

We have been working on some rearranging of room assignments at our home this summer in anticipation of Sophia's arrival.  The first big change occurred a week ago when Nathaniel moved into Benjamin's room and the two little boys became roommates!  Benjamin moved to the top bunk and Nathaniel now occupies the bottom bunk, so both kiddos have had some adjustments to make.  Dave thought it would take a week to adjust, but Nathaniel is still enjoying his new found freedom of getting out of bed, turning on the light, and climbing up to join Benjamin at least once a night.  Both boys are getting less sleep than they were used to, but maybe that's not a bad thing.  I'm sure eventually they will settle down...just in time for a new schedule when school starts!

Benjamin's room is painted bright yellow with other primary colors as accents, so we decided to repurpose Nathaniel's old changing table/dresser by painting it red and using it as his permanent dresser.  Last week, while Sabastian was camp, Jonathan helped me sand it down, and I painted it.  We started with spray paint, which Dave applied, but that didn't work too well.  But the final effect is pretty cool...almost looks distressed without being distressed...people pay big bucks for that!  You can see the process and final product in the photos below...

This is what the finish looked like before it was sanded

Jonathan hard at work sanding the drawers...he did an awesome job!

The main piece after being sanded...the brown that remains added to the distressed look in the end!

Dave surveying his spray painting...and not liking what he was seeing!

The final product...doesn't it look cool against that yellow wall?

Nathaniel likes it!

The next step in the room switcheroo is to move the remainder of my craft stuff upstairs to our guest bedroom/back room.  It used to be up there originally, then I moved to the basement, and now I'm moving back up...go figure!  Before I move completely I am painting that room, so currently I have four shades of blue on the wall in an attempt to decide what color I want in there.  Hopefully I'll get that painted with the help of a friend, and then I can move the remainder of my stuff up and get settled again.  That will open up the downstairs area outside of the younger kids' rooms as a playroom, which will be nice.  There will be lots of space for a play kitchen area which I can't wait to have for Sophia and her brothers to use!

The final project is Sophia's room.  I'm SO excited to be decorating a little girl's room finally.  Of course, it will be pink, with brown as the accent color.  I already have a lot of decorations picked out or made.  I'm enjoying collecting items from Etsy and other places, and also making and repurposing items.  I am going to paint the crib white and turn it into a toddler bed (hopefully...we can't find the directions!) and paint a current dresser that we have white and give it some new knobs.  I have already spray painted a grapevine wreath white and have pink and brown ribbon to decorate it with, and I have fabric that will be incorporated into a quilt for her bed.  Little sparrow birdies and plum/cherry blossoms are going to be the motif.  It's going to look really cool!  I'll show photos as I go along...I'm very excited, but need to get the other projects done first!

So, there you have it.  The summer is a good time to do all this movin' and groovin' indoors, especially on days like today when it's a bloomin' 100 degrees outside in the shade!  I hope you're keeping cool in your little corner of the world!