Monday, March 30, 2009

My Favorite Sites

I thought I would share with you some of my favorite places to hang out and learn things here on the internet. When you are stuck in the house as much as I am, and tend to stay up way to late, you find lots of places to visit in computer world! I have had to pull myself away from alot of adoption blogs. I promised Mark after we returned home with Mavery I would. And I did not at first. Because I knew I could look and be fine, for goodness sakes everyone knows I am totally overwhelmed and would not dream of any more children. Yet, as I would look and read, that tug is just always there. So, while I still check in on my friends, I have had to pull away from some of the lists. ALL of the lists actually. I told myself I was simply looking to find kids for all my friends! But then I would see a face that would just be a perfect brother for Sawyer and so, I moved on... for now.

The following blogs are not people blogs. Well obviously they ARE people blogs, people have to write them right? But they are not just normal people blogs written by normal people with normal lives like me. Forget it, just check them out if you would like! And I should add that I have just recently started visiting some of them because typically my world revolved around adoption and that was that. So, here we go, and I hope you have fun!


I actually have been visiting this one for awhile. Can't remember how I stumbled upon it, but I do enjoy organizing and I am on a neverending quest to BE organized. She always has some really great ideas, and one of these weeks I am going to join her Monday Menu thing. Take a peek for some clever ideas.

Creative Ideas

Another of my very fav's is this site. I am pretty sure Amy led me here- I am amazed at the CREATIVE ladies that are in this world. I WANT to be creative, I think I can be about some things, but I am probably a better copy cat. SHOW me the idea and the instructions, step by step by the way. So, if you are trying to come up with an idea, anything from a birthday party to decorating for a holiday to well just about ANYTHING, take a look.

Spiritual Growth

Now, this is more of a normal person blog, but not really. You just have to go and start reading to get what I mean. I think my friend Kathy led me to this site.

Her writing is amazing and so touching and I love to read Gods heart through her words. She has an amazing story and I hope that you go back to the beginning to read it. Her faith and love for Jesus, it is just a blessing.


Just because I need to laugh out loud at times, I enjoy this site. Messed up bakery cakes. I hope it gives you a giggle.

And this one, you name it, she talks about it. Just fascinates me!

I have others that I visit, and sometime will share those to!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Windy City

We were invited to go for a weekend with our good friends and we are SO excited! Excited that someone likes us enough to invite us somewhere (ha!) and excited to take the kids to Chicago! Mark and I have only been for our 1st anniversary(which was a LONG time ago) and then I went in 7th grade, a VERY long time ago! We are not going till late summer, but with 9 children between us, you can never do enough planning or start planning to early. (and just for the record, all 9 are not going, we might be crazy, but not that crazy!)

The main event that we girls are really excited about is AMERICAN GIRL STORE! The girls are already making plans on how they can save up money to do some shopping there. We have our hotel booked downtown and got a good deal. But we are still looking for tips and ideas. If you have any suggestions on must do, must eat, must avoid, please let me know! We have decided we are leaving the little girls behind for this trip. If you know them, you get it. Downtown city, 2 tiny tornadoes, little hotel room. Someday I will take them to American Girl, Grammy has already whined that she wants to go! So I know we will get them back. And no worries, we are working on a family vacation and they are going to LOVE it!

If you have been to the windy city and have any advice for me, leave me a comment or shoot me an email please!

Princess Feet

My little girls, they love to dress up. The first thing Sage asks when she gets out of bed is not can I eat, but "can I play dress up"? And not just any dress will do. It must "twirl". The bigger the skirt the better. Thankfully Mavery is not quite so picky, in fact I am typically happy if Mavery just has ANYTHING on as she would prefer to just streak around the house. Which is really fun when anyone comes to my door. Then there are the shoes. They run around in these heels every day! And I do mean run. I am amazed at how fast they are in heels, I can promise I am not even close to as good as they are! You can tell someone is obviously not concerned about matching, though in this house we are just lucky to find 4 shoes for them to wear.
These pictures crack me up. Can you tell who is who? Someone has a little more chunk to their ankles than the other! ;-)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Girls just wanna have fun

My Mavery, a rockstar in the making? A true diva that is for sure. Can you tell we just returned from gymboree? Media fast = to much shopping! But oh that new line is CUTE! Since we could not listen to the radio, Mavery made her own noise, I mean music.

A Recap of our Week

Monday began with a phone call that our friends, Renaldo & Terry, were going to deliver their baby by emergency C-section. 2 weeks earlier Terry had been put into the hospital to try and stop the baby from being born. But little Omari was not going to wait and so on Monday, at just 26 weeks pregnant, he entered the world. Thankfully they had been preparing him to be born and he cried right after birth! We have been very blessed in getting to know this sweet young couple and can't wait to go up and visit their little miracle. Please pray for them and this tiny little man as he grows. He is really doing amazing so far. You can take a peek at their website over at

We also had fun with our cat Jingles. You know the cat that we say we don't really have a cat but we DO have a cat that claims us? She is an outdoor cat, and so she comes and goes and lives in our garage and anytime the door is open streaks inside. Well we knew something was wrong when we walked into the garage and she just laid there and stared at us. She then disappeared for a day so I was certain she had gone off and died. (and if you knew our luck with pets, you would understand why this would not be so shocking to me) Well then she came back, we took her to the vet where they charged us a ton of money and kept her a few days and she is now back, loving life locked inside our bathroom so we can give her medicine 2 times a day. Which is really fun with a cat that has claws. And very sharp teeth.

This is from the week before, when Malaine was so sick. And I just think she looks so sweet. Thank goodness we have all been healthy this week! Mavery has had a neverending runny nose which I am starting to think is seasonal allergies. This picture was just to cute not to add in. I did a photo shoot with the girls, will add those in the next post.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Back to the Media!

Well, we survived the week, barely. It was hard! And yes, I cheated, a little bit here and there. I did not watch TV, I did not turn on a radio. But I did talk on the phone and I did use my internet a bit. There were things going on that I could not NOT use the internet. Oh and I did read books, I admit that. But that was late at night to fall asleep. Here are things I learned...

**If we do not turn on the radio in the car, there tends to be more whining and fighting. That would be from the children, not me. Well maybe me a little bit after listening to the children whine. HOWEVER, my children can be very creative and I found out Makenna could host her own radio show. She would do commercials for the kids and even took special song requests that she would get everyone to sing.

**It is really, really quiet in my house after the kids go to bed. When they are asleep is when we typically turn on the TV. Since we could not do that, we listened to silence.

**Or we listened to each other. I have had this big long list of things that we needed to get figured out. You know just those little things like dates on the calendar, homeschool stuff, etc.. We got through alot of our list.

**TV is not a problem for us with our kids overall. My older 3 barely watch TV, there is just not time! So that for us was not a big deal. But, we did make it a point to just play more, go outside for walks at night, and have fun. Thank goodness it was nice weather.

**TV and the younger ones, that was a bit harder. Not for Mavery of course. But Sage loves to watch diego, and there are times I love for Sage to watch Diego and WISH Mavery would watch it also. She asked alot and I told her how Jonathan asked us not to turn on the TV. One day she said she was going to call him and ask him if she could watch! Then we ran into our pastors wife at Walmart and Jonathan happened to call her. The girls of course insisted on talking and Sage asked him about Diego. I asked her what he said and she said "he said NO"! It was pretty funny. We were blessed with a gorgeous week that is for sure and the girls love to be outside so we were out much of the day. I did cave on Friday and let Sage watch a show!

**For me, it is LONELY being with out the internet or phones. There are not alot of people banging down my door to come hang out with a crazed woman and 2 toddlers. So, my connection is through my email and facebook! 2 very sweet things though. One of my dear friends actually sent me a letter in the mail, how great is that? She said since we could not chat online she wanted to send a note. That made my day, Thanks Sarah! Another day a friend just dropped in. I love people who just DO things! Even though I was unshowered and the house was a disaster at that time(closet switch out, ugh!) and the girls were half naked(as always) she truly blessed me. Kelly, I hope you will do it again, loved visiting with you!

**Besides it being kind of lonely, I can NOT do things with out the internet. We needed to book a hotel room. How did we do that before computers? We wasted hours and hours on the phone. Our friends delivered a baby at 26 weeks pregnant, how do you send out information with out the internet? How do you find out dates, hours, research why your cat might be sick, I never realized how much we do on a computer till I was not supposed to turn it on.

**I also realized if I did not have it, my house would be in better shape, I would probably be more organized and on top of things. Overall the house was in better shape, besides the clothes. Even without internet that job still stinks. I did get it almost all done which is a pretty amazing thing in a week with 5 children. (switching out from winter to spring clothes)

The whole point was about building community and while we were not more on top of it to make plans ahead to visit with others, I do think we did good spending quality time with our kids and each other. I am thinking we should consider making one day a week media free. Hmmm, we will see!

I do have some things to post about our week so hopefully will catch up tomorrow night. New baby, sick cat, fun times. (and no, not MY baby!) Not to mention my failing at my first week in the biggest loser group. Ugh... Who can lose weight when fasting from everything else in life!! ;0)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Going on a Media Fast? Say what???

So today in church our pastor challenged a media fast. Since I was not in church but home with Mavery, I say I am not included. You think? No? No.. He sent an email of warning out this week, so I knew it was coming. And since my husband was throwing a fit because it is March Madness, I was interested to hear what he came home saying. It must have moved him because he agreed to do it. This includes: phone, tv, Internet, computer, reading (besides the bible), radio, ipods, I think you get the picture. It seems rather extreme doesn't it? We are in the midst of the 40 days of community. Learning to build relationships. And I do agree, we spend to much time using those things. So I am going to try it. And it is going to be VERY hard, no doubt. I hope I can make it! Because for one, I am STUCK in this house. So, if I can't talk on the phone, can't email a friend, can't blog, can't read blogs, I might be taken to the crazy farm before the week is over. And yet, I could have a friend in. I could spend more time playing with my children. I think we are supposed to have nice weather this week and I am in the midst of changing out closets so we can be busy. In some ways, I look forward to the challenge. I think.
So if you need me, I guess you either have to come over or call me. (right, we can't talk on the phone but you know we can't get rid of a phone so we can check in!) And I will be anxious to share with you all in a week about what life is like being Amish. I mean fasting from the media. One thing I think will make it even harder is that I am also starting in a virtual biggest loser contest this week. So, no food and no computer. YIKES! ;0) I hope you all have a Happy week!

Maverys Blog

This week we celebrated Mavery being home FIVE months! I can't believe we have have held her almost half a year! I finally added her monthly photo over on her blog, you can click here.
I have wanted to do an update on her, but will save that for 6 months. She changes daily, it really is so amazing...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sleepover Fun, Sister Style

I wish I had thought to get the camera out earlier in the evening for this one. Malaine had been begging Makenna for some "time". Attention from her big sister, play, read etc. I suggested they have an American Girl doll Sleepover. Oh Malaine was SOO excited and though Makenna did roll her eyes, she went along with my idea and she planned it all out, every last detail. She had a full agenda and time schedule. They dressed up all the dolls, had a tea party, made a craft, watched the AG doll movie starring Kit complete with popcorn bowls for the dolls, and then got them all ready for bed in their favorite jammies. I think the smiles on Malaines face tell how much fun she had! Makenna is a really really good big sister when she chooses to be. She is SO creative and comes up with the best ideas. They all look up to her so much and I pray she will always be a good example to them. The girls are begging to go to the American Girl doll store. I sure would love to take them. Hopefully someday.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Outside Fun

I am still playing around with my camera, trying to learn and take more pictures. Along with having fun on picnik. I need to have my camera out more, I am enjoying some of the people who are doing a photo blog and the challenge is to take a photo every single day. Because I need another blog. ;-)

Spring is Coming!

I took this shot the other day & think it is so adorable. It just says spring to me! Bare baby chubby legs, cute red mary janes with springy flowers, swinging on a swing, warm weather & sunshine, it was GOOD to be outside! I am having fun with photo editing, more of our fun day and nice weather from last week in my next post!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Red Head!

I went to get my hair done tonight. I am feeling so blah and needed a new look. Since I do not have control over much in life right now, hair is the one thing I can do. I was tempted to chop it off, but since I have not done so well in the weight loss area, I don't need short right now. What else to do but color! It is red for sure. But I like it. Mark, and my hair girl, were not so sure. I know it is bright, but in a few washings it won't be so bold. Mark says I should not do things like this because our girls will be wanting pink hair when they are teens. I say if pink hair is the worst thing we deal with our teenagers, what a blessing! He also said I matched the girl on American Idol & why can't I have normal hair. It is a good thing I don't get my feelings hurt easily. But I figure coming from someone with no hair, he is simply jealous. hehe! Can't wait to see what my kids have to say in the morning! ;0)

**Some updates... Brett came through surgery well. They did have to cut a nerve so they are not sure what the result from that will be, but they don't think much. He was having weakness in his leg, but they said that is trauma from surgery. The next few days will tell.

**Malaine in on antibiotics for ear infection and is still running fever, but low and acts fine. Mavery just has a cold, thankfully and seems better.

** Glory... please pray. Pray for the friends that are surrounding her and caring for her right now. She is very very sick.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Please Pray for Glory

It has been depressing here. First you may have heard on the news about the preacher that was shot and killed while preaching today? That happened about 20 minutes from us, in Maryville, Illinois. You can read all about it here.

Then Esther told me tonight that our friend "Glory" is not doing well at all. I wrote about her awhile back and know that many of you have been lifting her up. You can go back and read my heart about her here. From what I understand, she has a tumor near her heart (cancerous) that they are not able to remove. She has been having chest pains all day but does not want to go to the doctor. Please pray for her and for Esther. This is hard on her to watch her friend suffer.

We will be going to the doctor tomorrow with Malaine and Mavery. Malaine has an ear infection I am certain. And Mavery has just held on to this cold for to long. She almost seems "winded" and I want to be sure that is the cold only, not anything with her heart. (being winded of course is a sign that the heart is starting to slow her down and so you can see why I am concerned).

Please keep Marks brother Brett in your prayers. Back surgery is Tuesday which is a blessing, he is in ALOT of pain. But it means more hospital stays, more stress on my sister in law etc.. We are not sure how long he will be in this time. I think he said 3 days flat on his back after then not sure.

Gods Glory WILL shine, I know that. I am hanging on to that.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Arms filled with HOPE!

Many of you have been to my friend Robins blog, she does all the amazing sewing over at And you might have followed her story and journey as she has waited for her daughter, Mia Hope. Robin contacted me right after we were matched with Mavery, because she had looked at her file and lives right across the river from me! She began her journey to her daughter on December 24th, 2007 and I am so happy to say that Ms Mia is FINALLY in her mammas arms! Robin has a daughter that is waiting for her sister to be home that is also 3. So I can't wait to get these 4 little girls together for a playday. Robin is amazing and I am so thankful that I have been given a chance to know her. So many people say "I can't afford adoption" and that is that. No one can REALLY afford adoption, not many have the money just sitting around. You just figure it out because you know your child is counting on you. And Robin is a true testimony of that. She has sewed and sewed her way to China, and stitch by stitch her daughter is now in her arms! It took alot of faith & much HOPE, but God has carried her through. You can take a peek at their blog, she does have a few pictures up at Her main journal has a password. I just love seeing new families formed through Gods amazing plans!!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Family Videos

I have started ANOTHER new blog. I love to share our silly videos at times, but I know it is a pain with the music on this blog to hear them. Sooo, I figured I would keep a separate blog of just video clips. I hope they make you laugh as much as they do me! I will post here when I add a new one over there, but over the next few days I will be adding quite a few. It takes a very long time to upload, am I doing something wrong? Anyone have any tips for uploading to blogger? Also, while I am catching up with videos, I might post some out of order, so scroll through to make sure I am not adding new under the first video. Hope you will take a peek!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Social Worker Visits and update on my Brother in Law

**Just random pictures from this past week. They love stringing those beads! And yes, I should be humiliated that Sage has a pacifier. No worries, it was in hiding for the SW visit! ;0) First thing the SW said when she walked in, oh you dress them in matching? And I started wondering, is that bad? Because I promise they CHOOSE their clothes every day and if I do not have a double shirt, they fight. So matching is much easier.

visit went well. Our social worker is very laid back, thank goodness. The girls were in bouncy form as always...
  • Jumping off the furniture? Check.

  • Climbing on the table? check.

  • Mavery yelling to watch Diego? (even though she wont' watch tv!) Check.

  • Dog licking all over the SW and refusing to stay out of her lap? Check.

  • Sisterly fighting? Check, check and Check.

But I think we passed. ;0) Only one more visit to go which is the 12 month post placement. She did offer some good tips on trying to use a timer to help Mavery get a concept of time. If I have not whined about, I mean mentioned, Mavery does not ask for things, she demands. It is not " I need a drink" it is "I WANT A DRINK WAHHHHHH". This is how it goes for about everything. Potty, a toy, riding in the car. And if I do not get it, with in negative 2 seconds of this screaming, she might pee on my couch, throw up etc.. So Susan suggested today using a timer to let her see the concept of time. I will get you a drink when this goes off, etc.. We will see. Overall just in the last week I have seen a HUGE improvement with Mavery. I know that alot of this just takes time.

We found out today that Brett (Marks brother) will be having back surgery to remove a "medium sized NF tumor" on his spine. They say that it is not a big deal, so we pray this is true. They gave him some medicine to try to ease his pain, but it sounds like he will be having surgery fairly soon. 4-6 weeks recovery for this. When it rains, it pours I suppose.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Spotlight Sunday-A little of everyone

It feels as if we have been sick or in the hospital since Christmas around here and I am ready for spring. Isn't it funny that the promise of spring seems to make everything better? Just a little rundown on everyone.

  • Makenna-caught the cold from Mavery that I started a month ago. Thankfully she has not been that sick. We have been so proud of her in school. She is doing so good and she must be the only kid I know that walks in the door and sits down to do homework with out being told. And REALLY spends time doing it. Her grades are reflecting that which we are thankful for. She sang in church today and did a great job. She loves to sing and I am glad her grandma includes her when she is on the Sunday schedule.

  • **Displaying his 100th day of school hat.

  • Sawyer-came home from school throwing up one day this week. I am seriously starting to wonder if he is not allergic to bacon because he seems to throw up or have a stomach ache every single time he eats it. Possible? Sawyer & school. Hmmm. Lets say Sawyer is doing wonderful at the social aspect of school. The rest, maybe not so much. Who has time to write out sentences or fill in blanks when there are friends to talk to and stuff to do? There is no doubt in my mind this child is better off being homeschooled. And it is not that the school is doing anything wrong, there are just alot of reasons that he benefits from the one on one of being taught. He does adore his new teacher this year and is having a blast with his friends. If only that seatwork was not required of him!

  • Malaine woke up one night this week running fever. She also has the cold that Makenna has that we all had. This poor girl has a constant chapped lip from colds. She is still enjoying school to and we are enjoying how well she is reading to us now. She is very excited to move through her readers each week. Handwriting is not going to be her favorite subject either. I am noticing a trend here. Artsy child, great at writing. Children not so artsy, not so into the handwriting. But keep trying Ms Sherman, maybe there is still hope for her?! ;0)

  • Sage is HEALTHY! Knock on wood. We are spending alot of time with her working lately on listening. Not an easy thing for her to do. We have set up "time out chairs" and they seem to be working the best. Well kind of. One night Malaine was building block towers. Mavery ran up and knocked it over. We told her no, Malaine built it again, Mavery knocked it over, again. So, into time out chair she went. Malaine built it again, Sage sat for a minute, kicked the tower over, and ran over to put herself into the time out chair. One day we caught her going down the steps headfirst. (which she knows is a no. ) and leading Mavery to do the same. Which of course did not feel to good on Maverys chest. The thing is Sage REALLY tries to be good. But being spicy is just so much fun!

  • Mavery woke up with a stuffy nose AGAIN. ARGH! Which is no surpise as Mark and I have both been sick with the cold AGAIN, I am sure catching it back from Makenna and Malaine. Praying that it does not turn into anything but just a stuffy nose. Overall, Mavery is doing really well. The scar is healing well,, but the bump is very, very prominent and I think is going to stay that way. She is sleeping good, praise God! She is an early riser, no matter what we do. But we are just thankful that she is going to bed easily and STAYING asleep. We are working through some "issues", which I am sure is part adjustment, part orphanage behavior. You know the things like if she gets mad at me, she pees on the couch, or makes herself puke, or hits herself or Sage. Actually the time out chair seems to be working pretty well with her to. Though it is funny because at first she thought it was cool to go in because Sage was in one. Then when I made her stay, it was not quite so fun. ;0) Tomorrow the social worker visits, which I am actually glad for. I have questions, lots of questions.
  • And Mark & I? Sick, but I think we are on the mend. I started the colds a month ago and I guess it was bound to return to me from taking care of all the sick kids. The joy of a large family, by the time it gets through everyone, it starts over. YES I do clean my house, yes we wash our hands, I am so sick of the smell of lysol and clorox. My girls think the hand sanitizer makes great foot lotion so not only do they wash their hands but their feet as well. I really think it is just the same cold and I probably caught it again from being run down from taking care of all these kids! But to make my mother happy I did go out and buy all new toothbrushes today. ;0)

A couple of other updates and prayer requests:

  • My brother in law is in severe pain from his back. They went to the ER last night and found a tumor on the back and some spinal fluid. He has never had a back scan, so this is most likely an NF tumor. (Mark has them on his spine) He goes to the doctor this week but I think the pain is HORRIBLE and nothing is bringing relief.
  • My friend "Glory." Is here in the states. I wish I could go into some details, and I will share more when I can, but please continue to pray for her. My heart just hurts for her.
  • My friend Gail is meeting with a surgeon this week. She had a biopsy done on a lymph node and they said it is not cancerous but found abnormal cells so want to remove the lymph node from her neck.
  • My friend Kathys newest daughter had cleft lip repair done on Friday. (many of you remember Kathys son Andrew was in the car accident almost a year ago) I was so happy to get to meet them for a little bit on Friday. Please pray for her as she recovers.