Monday, June 28, 2010

50 by Taiwan!

To help us pass the time a bit as we wait to pick up our daughter Sophia in Taiwan, and get us motivated with a little accountability and competition to do something we really need to do, Dave and I are announcing that we want to try and lose a combined 50 pounds by the time we travel to Taiwan.  We aren't trying to lose 25 each necessarily, but just a combine weight of 50 pounds.  This should be very doable as we probably will not travel until March or April at the earliest.  We are planning on eating less and exercising more...the quintessential diet plan, right?  You can follow along on our ticker as we lose the pounds and get healthier for all of our children's sakes!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Rainbow Walk - Green

It sure is taking us awhile to get our entire Rainbow Walk (click on link to see our previous walks) adventure accomplished, but as my dear education professor always said, "It's about the process, not the product!" Today we ventured out to look for green. We wanted to find other things besides the obvious green plants and such, and I think we did well. We headed for our neighborhood cemetery, which is always an interesting walk. Here's what we found:

moss on a tree trunk

a green fish...was litter on the side of the road

a hosta plant...or as Benjamin used to say, "pasta!"

a street sign

an evergreen tree

Sabastian's shorts (totally unplanned!)

Benjamin's shirt (also unplanned!)

an interesting bush next to a tombstone

an old water pump in the cemetery

a fence post

a mailbox


a trash barrel

a medal indicating a US war veteran's burial spot

an old grave marker

Monday, June 21, 2010

Viva Chile!

Just a little shout out to my favorite South American country for winning their first two World Cup soccer games...



Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

A Father Is:

There in every memory

See his love and care

Strength and hands to count on

Freely he does share

Provider, toil so faithfully

To make our dreams come true

Give strong and tender discipline

Though it is hard to do

A Father is God's chosen one

To lead the family

And point it to His will for life

Of love and harmony.

(Sue Skeen)
Happy Father's Day to all the Dads in our lives...we love you!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Day Out with Thomas

On Thursday morning we got up bright and early and headed down to Lancaster County to the picturesque Village of Strasburg and its famous Strasburg Railroad.  We had heard that Thomas the Tank Engine was in town, and he is a pretty popular icon in our home.  Sabastian was on a missions trip, so it was Jonathan, Benjamin, Nathaniel, and I on this particular adventure.  We also met up with my mom there, which was a treat.  We had to park a little ways away from the railroad itself, and the first excitement of the morning for the little boys was their very first school bus ride!  Jonathan, of course, was less than impressed since he rides one every day of the school year!

After getting our tickets, we got in line to wait for our boarding time.  I love this photo of Nathaniel waiting so expectantly to see Thomas!  What a change from last summer when he was scared to death on the steam engine ride in New York...what a difference a year makes!

Finally Thomas appeared and we could board for our 22 minute ride!  We had a beautiful day for this adventure, and the scenery around Strasburg is some of the best in Lancaster County.  We couldn't have asked for a better day!

Here are a couple of photos from inside the train.  The family next to us was gracious enough to take our photo for us, which we then reciprocated.  Jonathan and my mom sat together on one side of the facing bench seats in the beautiful restored coach, while I sat with the little boys on the other side.

After the ride, we ate a picnic lunch that we had brought, and then the little boys went on the little crank cars three times in a row!  They were pretty good at it!  By the time that was done, Nathaniel was getting a bit cranky himself, so we called it a day.  But what a fun day it was!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Look Mom, No Hands!

Well, not exactly, but close!  Today Benjamin mustered up the courage to have his training wheels removed from his new bike (which he earned by "staying on green" all year in K4, by the way!) and to learn to ride without them!  Daddy took him up to our church's big parking lot, and he rode, and rode, and rode.  Apparently he still needs to master the art of stopping and starting on his own in a safe and productive manner, but he got the balance part!  I'm so proud of my 5-year old!  Way to go, Benjamin!

Friday, June 11, 2010

What a Week!

Last Friday feels like an eternity ago!  I have accomplished a lot this week on the adoption front, but there is still a lot to do.  The last day of school for Jonathan and Sabastian was Tuesday, so they are officially on summer vacation now.  Benjamin was done two weeks ago, so he's already in summer mode!  Nathaniel is adjusting to having everyone around all of the time again, and I am adjusting to being home with four boys all the time again!  There's always something to adjust to in life!

We don't have any real vacation plans this summer, but the boys and I sat down yesterday and made a list of all of the day trips we would like to take, and the activities we would like to do this summer.  We'll see how far we make it on the list!  The older boys have camp and summer missions trips to look forward to, and Jonathan is also working for a couple of weeks at a camp.  My full time job is just keeping track of our crazy schedule, it seems!

Next week should be a calmer week, so hopefully I can get more accomplished around the house and more accomplished on the adoption to-do list.  Summer is here, but will go quickly, so I want to make the best use of it that I can!  Here's to enjoying my family and life for the next couple of months!

Friday, June 4, 2010

We've Been Approved!

I was jumping up and down when I read the title to our agency contact's e-mail...GOOD NEWS!!  Yes, we've been approved to proceed with our daughter's adoption...and in record time, praise God!  It has been three weeks since we sent off the last of the answers to the questions we were asked by the orphanage, and I was getting ready to type my weekly "we continue to wait" post, but instead, I get to write this post!  Now we must paper chase the second round of documents, update everything (ugh!), and get our funds totally raised.  But God is good and He has a plan and it is proceeding in His time frame...Sophia, Mommy and Daddy and brothers love you, and we are on our way!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Quilt Raffle to Benefit a Friend's Adoption

One of the perks of being on our adoption journey is the opportunity we have had to "meet"--via the internet--so many wonderful people who are on their own adoption journeys.  There is a comradarie and fellowship among us that only happens when you have experienced or are experiencing something similar.  One of the first women I met was Robin.  I fell in love with the sewing creations that she was making to bring home her daughter, Mia Hope.  Our little Sophia will hopefully fit in several lovely outfits I purchased to support Robin and her family as they saved to bring Mia Hope home from China.  Now, they are on a new journey to bring home another daughter from China.  They are holding a raffle for a beautiful handmade quilt that contains many of the fabric remnants Robin used in her clothing designs while sewing to bring Mia Hope home.  I encourage you to take a look here and if you feel led, purchase a number (or two or three) and help this family on their quest to fulfill God's desire for the orphaned.  Thanks!