Friday, May 29, 2009

memorial weekend

Summer is in full swing! I always look forward to Memorial weekend as the "kickoff" to summer. I especially looked forward to getting to the 3-day Memorial weekend this year since the week prior was a bit of a difficult week for me.

We attended the funeral of a young mom of three boys and wife of my husband's coworker. I'll never forget the looks on the faces of those three little boys as they stood beside their mama's took my breath away.
Death is real and happens to real people...praise God Emily loved the Lord and is with Jesus...healed from all the pain she felt here on this earth. Praise God we all have that hope of an amazing life after death with Jesus if we receive Him as Lord of our lives and choose to live for Him.

We also got a bit of disappointing news that week concerning the most recent failed adoption. A significant amount of money paid by us that we thought would be reimbursed, well...isn't going to be reimbursed after all. Money we had been saving for three and a half years toward our next adoption. Disappointing, yes...but not despairing because we know that God is still in control and has a purpose...and we trust Him.

My dishwasher also stopped working that week.


On Friday, we had some good friends over. I took pictures of their three boys(you can see them here) and it was a perfect evening for roasting marshmallows around the campfire.

Coming back from a hike in the woods ooey gooey delicious!
On Saturday we headed south for the Stoll reunion. We stayed at a Bible college for two nights there. We didn't see the kids most of the time while we were there...they had a ball. There were cousins close to their age which was perfect. (thanks for the pictures, Ashley!)
Sam, Dryce and KaiyaI loved reconnecting with family that we don't see very often.
Cory & Leslie
Lots of chatting in circles for the ladies and lots of laughter...high pitched laughter let me tell you. My mom's sisters all have the same cracks me up every time when they are together. I LOVE hearing the's a testimony in itself of true joy...there are many difficulties and trials represented among this family and being able to laugh and have joy in the midst of that is a testimony of God's amazing grace! I had to steal this picture from my cousin Ashley...she captured the moment so perfectly.One of my favorite traditions is the family church service we have on Sunday morning. Lots of singing and sharing and a little crying too. I've always appreciated the heartfelt love and care expressed through the sharing times. I snapped these pictures of two cuties during the praise and worship time.

Here is my mom with her sister, Rose. Rose celebrated her 68th birthday over the weekend and mom made her this cake.
And here are the rest of the siblings that attended the reunion.

back row: Aunt Darla, Aunt Jean, Uncle Darrell

front row: Aunt Rose, mom, Aunt Ann

Caedmon thought he was big stuff playing basketball with the big boys. =)

Oh, and about the dishwasher...a new one is being delivered today...for free. The old one was under warranty and had lots of issues. Sometimes when things don't go as we would like them to, God has even better surprises and blessings that wouldn't have happened...if we hadn't experienced the disappointment.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Five and a Half

My five and a half year old is really growing up. He loves riding his bike right now. He sometimes even wants to ride it before school and immediately when he gets home. It's amazing to see the difference in his riding skills just from the end of last summer to now. He's fast! He'll ride for over an hour...up and down the lane....talking to himself about who knows his own little world.
On this day, the rain didn't even stop him from riding.
School is over now. His last day was on Thursday. Man did that go fast! I loved his teacher and I loved his school. He has learned so read, to write, to be loving and kind to his friends. He's learned 26 verses in the bible, computer skills, rhythm and addition. He's excited about kindergarten next year. I'm excited about a break from the school routine for a couple of months. Hello summer!!

We've also noticed a lot of maturity over the past several months in Caedmon. Temper tantrums and the whining we've dealt with in the past are gone. He's helping around the house with feeding the pets and putting dishes away. He looks out for his sister. I love to see the growth in him. New challenges will come I'm sure with each stage of life, but we are sure enjoying our five and a half year old right now!

Caedmon and Kaiya are old enough to play outside by themselves now with me checking on them occasionally of course. They've always been good about staying right around the house. I was running on our property one morning and saw them walk toward the back field...thinking they would stop at the edge of the back field, I let them explore a little. As I continued my running/walking, I frequently looked in that direction for any sign of their little bodies coming back toward the house. Eventually, I decided it was time to see what they were up to and exactly how far they had gone. As I ran toward the back field there was no sign of them anywhere. We have a little over thirty acres...ten of it being wooded. I ran to the back of the backfield which is quite a distance and into the woods. We have a trail through the woods that winds back around to the house. For a five and three year old it would have been easy to get off the path. I found them on the trail and they had almost made it all the way back to the house already! I couldn't believe that they had gone that far by themselves. When I approached them huffing and puffing, I explained that they were never to go that far without mommy and daddy's permission. Caedmon's first words were that he was "betecting" Kaiya...making sure nothing happened to his sister. Barkley the dog and Jack the cat were also along for the adventure.

They sure are growing up.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Five Years of Motherhood

Another Mother's Day has come and gone...and here I sit in awe at how God has blessed me with the chance to be what I thought I may never be...a mom.
Just a few years ago, Mother's Day did not bring the joy that it brings me now. I even remember staying home from church one year just to avoid the painful reminder that it was once again another Mother's Day with empty arms. Although I would never want to relive those years, I'm not sorry they occurred. It has forever softened my heart.

Our pastor did a wonderful job on Sunday acknowledging that Mother's Day though a joy-filled day for many, can also be a very painful day for others. Some are terribly missing their mothers or wives that are no longer here. Some have lost a child through miscarriage or early death. Some are just aching to hold a baby in their arms to call their own. And some have suffered terrible tragedies that are beyond what we could even imagine.

To these people I say, God has not forgotten you. He loves you and may He bring you abundant hope, comfort and joy that only He can bring.

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. (Is 40:31)

We also rejoice in our sufferings, because We know that suffering produces endurance; endurance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given to us. (Rom 5:4-5)

On Friday, Caedmon's Pre-K class had a Mother's Day Tea. While the mothers waited in the hall, Mrs. Rose had each child come out, hold out there arms and escort their mothers to their seats inside the classroom. My little man was quite the heart melted.

The kids made a cookbook for their moms. Here is the recipe submitted by Mr. Caedmon:

Ham and Noodles

Get noodle and ham from the store.
Put it in a pot and cook it 6 or 7 degrees for 20 minutes.
Take it off the stove and let it cool down for 8 hours.
Then eat it.

Here is Caedmon's teacher, Mrs. Rose. I seriously cannot believe that he only has one week left of school! I'm really going to miss Mrs. Rose. She has been amazing and has taught this little boy soooo much! What a change we've seen in him from the beginning of the year!
On Mother's Day morning, it was sweet to hear the kids Mother's Day wishes when they woke up. At age three, it's so hard to keep a secret. Kaiya told me several times that morning where my card from them was hidden. :) After church on Sunday, my husband planned a picnic lunch at Pokagon.

Grandpa teasing Kaiya

The grill master.

The icing on the cake that day was having both our mothers with us!!
While playing on the playground, our kids found some friends from church, Dawson & Branson. And I had fun chatting with their sweet mama, Nicole. Kaiya was in tears on our way home after church because she had forgotten the card she made for me in Sunday School. Nicole noticed she had left it and brought it to Pokagon knowing she would possibly see us there. So sweet!
What an amazing day of fun! Another highlight of my day...after we were home and had everything unpacked and put away, my kids snuggled with me on the couch to relax. I know these days are going so fast and the snuggling days will be gone before I know I will soak it in while I can!
I thought as I am focusing on Mother's Day for this post, it would be a good opportunity to include a little adoption update. It was natural for me to let my mind wonder a few times throughout that day at how this Mother's Day would have been different had the adoptions taken place that we thought would take place. Since the twins, we've had a couple leads that have fizzled out. Some of our paperwork has expired after a year and we've begun updating that recently. Yesterday, the kids and I visited the police station to get fingerprinting and police checks done again. Other than that, nothing much has happened. We continue to pray for God's will for our family and continue to trust that His timing is perfect.
Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

jake's prom 2009

My nephew, Jake had his very first prom on Saturday night. He called me earlier in the week and asked if I could take pictures. We were in Indy that day, but I wanted to make sure we were back for the big night. I limped around with sore muscles, but got some good shots of him with his beautiful date, Dara. We took the pictures at the cedars (where my mom works). She was thrilled to get to see her grandson since she had to work that day. She put together these little appetizers for them and served them by the pond. And they're off!