Wednesday, September 30, 2009

John Piper on Adoption

Don't forget to pause my playlist before trying to watch.

His closing encouragement:

I would suggest that you seriously consider not only supporting, but also doing adoption, both spiritually ... and also in terms of finding children who have no mom and dad who could be folded into a family—just like God planned from eternity to fold sinners like us, through Christ, into his everlasting family of joy.

May God bless you in all your dreaming, all your planning, all your praying, all your working in the cause of adoption.

Noah Update

We had Noah's follow-up appointment today, and are very thankful that his ultrasound and physical exam were completely normal. We did a follow up check, and the bleeding is gone, too.

Not sure why it was there in the first place, but the Dr. thinks that he probably had been a bit aggressive with the cleaning or had a bit of a bump, which caused a little bit of external bleeding and that is what showed up in the original exam.

We are very thankful and glad that this is over!

Noah was so funny at the Dr.s today. When Dr. Hunter asked him to take his trousers off so he could have a look, Noah looked at him like he must be crazy and replied, "You have got to be kidding"!

Monday, September 28, 2009

From the Mouth of Nathan

Overheard at snacktime this morning-

Nathan to Mommy: Mommy, I think I might need one more of those cookies, because I do need to keep my strengths up.

A Great Week-end

Last week stunk! Seriously! The kind of funny achiness of last week-end turned into a full week of flu for me. Not. Fun. At. All. Thankfully, by Thursday night I was convinced I might live, and by Friday I felt well enough to take Noah for his ultrasound. We had plans to take a family camping trip for the week-end, but decided that wasn't a good idea given the fact that we were just recovering and didn't have anything packed. Instead, we decided to just have a quiet week-end at home.

On Saturday morning, Gareth let me sleep in, so I didn't have to get up until 9:30!

Then, we enjoyed a lazy morning making brunch together: gingerbread waffles with homemade applesauce and whipped cream, fried ham, eggs, juice, and coffee.

By the time we'd tidied up, it was 2:00. So, we headed outside for some yardwork and spent a happy 3 hours washing windows, dead-heading flowers, and weeding in the vegetable beds. I planted some more lettuce and radishes, and we harvested the last of the pumpkins.

Gareth had tried to get a baby-sitter without success, so we decided to make it a family date and got everybody showered and cleaned up. We went to Woodland Hills and had gyros, then did some clothes shopping, and then my sweet husband treated me to a pedicure as a surprise!

It was absolute bliss!

Now that Fall is arriving and the lawn won't take so much time to mow every week, I am looking forward to lots more relaxed weel-ends together.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Spaghetti Squash

For some reason, the metformin (drug I took to treat the PCOS -polycystic ovarian syndrome I was diagnosed with in 2002) I used to take, I can no longer tolerate. Leaves me seriously, seriously nauseated and tired. So, I've quit. There are some alternatives, but the one that I can tolerate is SOOOOO expensive. Since I'm not trying to get pregnant, the best option for now seems to be to stay off the drug and work really seriously on eating a low-glycemic index diet. Blech! No potatoes, no pasta, no sugar, no bread or white flour, no cereal, -pretty much if it's white it's a no-no! Also, no fruit juices, and limited amounts of fruits like grapes, melons, pineapple, etc... It could be seriously depressing if I thought about it too much. So, I am working on finding some new low-GI foods that I actually like.
Last night, I tried spaghetti squash. If you had told me before then that spaghetti squash was actually a good substitute for pasta, I would have assumed you were crazy! But, I would have been wrong. It worked really well.
I was making spaghetti bolognaise for the family for supper (pretty much the kids' favorite), and this was a real lifesaver. It is really bland, so I tossed mine with a little extra virgin olive oil, fresh cracked black pepper, and a little sea salt. Yum! I ate about half of the bowl plain before I even put my bolognaise on! No squashy taste at all!
Here's how it works:
Spaghetti squash can be found in the squashy-type foods at Reasors. Buy one that is firm with no obvious soft spots. Store it in a cool, dry spot until you're ready for it (should store fine for 2-3 weeks). When you're ready to cook it, slice it in half from top to bottom. Scoop out the pulp and seeds and then place cut-sides down in a large deep baking dish. Add approximately 1/2 inch of water to the bottom of the pan and bake in a 350 oven for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven, turn the squash over, and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Then, drain off the water, and use the tines of a fork to gently scrape the squash from "stem to stern" creating noodles. Place in a large bowl, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with freshly ground salt and pepper and serve with your favorite pasta sauce!

Yummy! Yummy! I definitely want to try to grow these in our garden next year. Next I'm going to see if I can "mash" it to make a decent mashed potato substitute if I use a little butter instead of olive oil. Will let you know how that works.

Sunday Morning

I knew yesterday that I would have to be home this morning, as Nathan has a NASTY chest cold. Poor guy! I've been dosing him with large amounts of expectorant through the day and expectorant and cough suppressant at night, but it still makes me ache just to listen to him.

Yesterday, Gareth said his arms and neck ached and were the glands swollen? They were-absolutely disgustingly swollen and squishy. By yesterday afternoon, I ached and by yesterday evening we both ached pretty much all over. This morning, we crawled out of bed like we are seriously geriatric!!!! We don't "feel" sick, just horribly achy in our muscles and joints! It's kind of funny. We obviously have something, but minus the "sick" feeling we can laugh about it and are spending a fair amount of time laughing at the sight of each other gimping around like we're ancient.

So, none of us are in church this morning. Gareth wants to try to go tonight, but I am encouraging him to consider not taking whatever we have and sharing it around.

In the meantime, we are enjoying something that we don't usually have. A quiet week-end morning at home without doing much. We slept in a little bit, had a leisurely breakfast, and then put on one of our favorite worship cds. Noah and I gently pottered around the kitchen inventing a gourmet meal for this afternoon, Nathan and Rosie are playing upstairs, and right now Daddy and Noah are lying on the couch reading A.A. Milne's "Winnie the Pooh" to each other.

Such a peaceful morning! I'm going to enjoy the opportunity to catch up on some blogging and then enjoy a nice long warm bath to see if that helps with the achiness, and then look forward to family worship this afternoon.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

How wide and long and high and deep

I am trying to help Rosie learn to enjoy reading as her comprehension of English is growing rapidly. She doesn't really sit very well if I try to read to all of the kids together, so I have started cuddling up with her one on one to read just before she goes to bed at night.

This week I chose a book that I bought for her before she came home but that we hadn't read yet called "I Love You This Much".

It starts with a paraphrase of Ephesians 3: 17-18, "I pray that you may have power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ".

The story is about the love of a Mommy Bear and her cub. Throughout the day Mommy Bear sings a little song to her cub: I love you best. I love you most. I love you high. I love you low. I love you deep. I love you wide. I love you THIS much.

Rosie loves it. So do I.

I was in need of a new verse to pray for the many mini munchkins, and this book came at just the perfect time. My new verse to pray for them: And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is Ephesians 3:17 and 18


Thanks for those who have e-mailed or called. Our Dr.s office called, and Noah will have his kidney ultrasound next Friday at 7:30 a.m.

We are okay here. Hearing and reading words like blood, kidney, disease, and cancer all at once can knock you a bit off-center initially, but we are focusing on the truth of God's sovereignty and love and His control in all situations.

All we have told Noah is all he needs to know right now: the Dr. didn't find out very much from his other test, so we are going to go to the same hospital that Nathan went to and allow the Dr. to take some pictures of his kidneys. He's cool with that, as he thinks he might get to lay down and watch TV like Nathan did.

Will let you know more as we do.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Prayer Request (and the ramblings of a Concerned mommy)

Would you please pray for our Noah? When I took him in for his 6-year check up last Friday, our Dr. decided to run a urine screen just to be sure there was no infection contributing to the fact that we still haven't conquered being dry through the night.

This morning, Gareth got a phone call at work to let us know that there was blood in his urine. Our Dr. is scheduling an ultrasound of the kidneys, and he wanted us to make plans to bring him back after the ultrasound without the rest of the Mini Munchkins. (Just as an aside, but between my heart ultrasound because of the irregular heartbeat this year and Nathan's ultrasound for a heart murmur the previous year, we seem to be making far too regular a habit of ultrasounds for my liking!)

Blood in the urine is usually a sign of a urinary tract or kidney infection, but Noah doesn't have either of these. So, there are a couple of other possibilities:
1-it isn't a problem, no health issues will be found, it will eventually resolve itself, and all we'll need to do is monitor it
2-it is a viral infection-this one is not very likely
3-injury to the kidney-none that we know of
4-kidney stones-again, unlikely, as we have no other symptoms
5-kidney disease

The fact that our Dr. has made a specific request that we meet with him without the kids was enough to give me cold chills. I spent the afternoon praying for Noah and for us, crying , and trying to focus on the fact that regardless of whether this turns out to be nothing or something my Father loves Noah far more than I ever can. (Yeah, I know, probably sounds a bit dramatic, afterall, this might turn out to be nothing serious, but loving a kid can do this kind of thing to you). As I was praying, I thought back to an evening 2 years ago during our first Spring in Oklahoma.

Because the boys were upstairs playing, I was enjoying the rare chance to watch the evening news while I cooked supper. One of the lead stories that evening was a large tornado that had just ripped through Colorado. The video footage of the tornado was about half-way through, when I realized that Noah had snuck partway down the stairs and had seen the tornado. He was terrified. When the first big storm came through our area that Spring, Noah sobbed. As I pulled him onto my lap, he asked me if a tornado was going to come and blow our house away, too. I wanted so badly to tell him that nothing bad would ever happen to him and that I would always keep him safe. But, I couldn't. Even if I wanted it to be true, it wasn't. So instead I began to try to teach him a lesson that I know will serve him far better through his life.

As we rocked and hugged, I asked him who created the weather. And, if so, then who controlled where tornadoes went. Then, we talked about how much God loved him and the day that Noah had asked God to be His Savior and had given his life to Him. Then we talked about His promise that "all things work together for good to those who love God and who are called according to His purpose". As I reminded him of these things, I told him that I couldn't promise him that a tornado would never blow our house away, but I could promise him that God would never allow anything to come into his life that wasn't for his good.

Oh, how convicting! How easily I forget these lessons and how tempting to give in to worry and fear. How thankful I am for God's patience with me, and how desperately I want my children to learn these lessons now while they are young.

So, would you please pray for us? Obviously, I desperately want Noah's ultrasound and any other tests to reveal no health problems, but more than that, I want to set an example for the munchkins of a life lived resting in the knowledge that nothing comes into my life except that which is sifted through the hands of a loving God for my good and His glory.

Monday, September 14, 2009


1 Mommy in the living room+
1 aerobics dvd+
3 children who decide to join in+
1 cat who came in to lay in the middle of the floor and purr=
absolute chaos

I'm not sure which got more of a workout, my muscles, my nerves, or my laugh!


Okay, this post will be completely random, but here are a few things that made me smile this past week:

A quote from a friend on facebook-"If ignorance is bliss, then why aren't there more happy people?"

When the pharmacist asked him how he was, Noah's reply-"As well as can be expected for a 6 year old".

While fixing him lunch, Nathan says to me-"Mommy, did I ever tell you what a great cooker you are?"

And, last, but certainly not least, a quote to let you see how Rosie's English is coming along. This morning when Rosie walked into the kitchen, she looked at me and said, "Mommy, I have something I want to tell you. I want to tell you that I want Cheerios this morning."

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ethiopian New Year

Yesterday was Ethiopian New year. I had grand plans for a big celebration with a unit study all about Ethiopia, dressing up in Rosie's Ethiopian dress, watching some traditional dancing via the internet and then decorating the table with Ethiopian decorations. Unfortunately, I woke up on Thursday with a virus that has been making the rounds. I still felt pretty rotten yesterday, so we didn't do anything that I had planned. But, I had already ordered traditional Ethiopian food for dinner, so Rosie was able to enjoy her beloved injera (a fermented flatbread made from teff) and some dorowat (a spicy chicken stew). We also sampled several vegetable dishes. Here are cabbage, green beans, collard greens, and green lentils. It tastes much better than it looks!!!!!!!
I have learned to make the dorowat myself, and I am hoping to branch out and learn to cook more traditional Ethiopian food.
Rosie is excited because I ordered extra injera, so she will be able to eat injera all week!
The other highlight of our Ethiopian New Year was a letter from Meron, the little Ethiopian princess that we sponsor through Compassion International. She was very excited to tell us that she started school last month. What a blessing to be able to provide the opportunity for an education to a little one who otherwise wouldn't have the chance. If you haven't already, may I encourage you to consider sponsoring a child through Compassion? They do an excellent job of sharing the Gospel and providing practical opportunities for families to share God's love with little ones around the world.

Fall Family Foto


Woohoo! Rosie's hair is finally long enough to fit into only 2 pony tails! They are so cute, and it really emphasizes the beautiful shape of her face. Look how much hair she has. I can't believe how fast it grows! This picture was taken after I put it into 4 braids while it dried to see how much longer it would be if we didn't let it shrink all up. Rosie was surprised, and we both had a big laugh about her "big hair".
Pretty amazing when I stop to remember how little hair she had in January.
The hair salon that I go to has just hired a stylist who specializes in ethnic hair, so we are planning to have braids put in in a couple of weeks. I tried doing it myself, but couldn't get them tight enough to stay. I'll try again when it gets a couple of more inches growth so that I have more to hold onto.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Happy Birthday, Noah

Can it be? Is my baby really 6?

Doesn't seem that long ago that I was waiting (not so patiently) for this little guy to make his way to the outside world. Such a perfect culmination to the years of waiting and praying for a baby.
He just kept getting cuter!

And goofier!

And then went on to become the world's greatest big brother.

We've had to replace the word cute with handsome, but he continues to get better every day!

I never dreamed one little man could bring so much joy into our lives. He has definitely exceeded all expectations. It is so much fun to see the sweet boy he is and the kind young man he is becoming.

Happy 6th Birthday, Noah! Mommy and Daddy love you very much. We are so proud of you. You are a very special young man and we know that God has amazing things in store for you as you continue to learn to love and serve Him.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

From the Mouth of Nathan

We've been working on helping the kids learn some of the songs that we sing during church services that they won't learn in Sunday School. Evidently, Nathan is getting the hang of them. Well, sort of....

Overheard from the back of the van yesterday on our way home, " You are beautiful beyond prescription..."

Laughed so hard I cried and thought I was going to choke on my caramel frappuccino!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Note To Self

When trying out your new recipe for homemade organic deep conditioner for the Ethiopian princess' thirsty locks, run it through a strainer before applying it to her hair! Chunks of banana too small for you to see in the solution will become very visible after being left to marinate under a shower cap for 1/2 an hour, at which point they will be almost impossible to remove!!!!!!

For those of you with Ethiopian princes and princesses, please stay tuned. Despite my initial banana disaster, I think we're on to a winning formula for deep moisturising that is cheaper than the expensive organic, all natural stuff that we've been shelling out for! I'll be posting the perfected recipe as soon as I've finished tweaking it!

A Hard Days' Night-Take 4

The boys seem to be taking my posts of their crazy nighttime sleep habits as a personal challenge to invent increasingly odd sleep postures. Here is what we found when we went to check on the munchkins after our date on Saturday night.


Okay, the picture quality is terrible! But, hopefully you will still be able to see how Noah's handwriting is improving. These were his vocabulary words for Science yesterday. Last year he HATED having to write neatly, and we were both frustrated.

This year, something has clicked! The days of trying to teach him that doing his work "with all his might" and offering his best the first time seem to be sinking in. Combine that with improving fine motor skills, and his handwriting is so much better! He is taking the initiative to check for neatness himself before handing his work to me. So proud of my boy!

Loving the Garden

Look what we picked out of our garden! Our first pumpkin is ripe, and the kids were so excited! We've watched out pumpkins grow all summer, and it was so exciting to harvest the first one. We've turned it into a luminary for the front porch and are looking forward to being able to harvest all of the others.
Last night saw Gareth tilling the soil in preparation for our fall planting and me getting the next round of seeds planted. Hopefully we'll be enjoying spinach, salad, radishes, beets, carrots and onions this fall. We are still enjoying peppers and tomatoes, and I've got lots of salsa to make tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Unexpected Answers

It's been an interesting couple of weeks. Gareth had to take some unpaid leave, we paid for the cost of Rosie's re-adoption, the heater in his truck broke down (and this is after his air conditioning completely died), we started pre-school payments, the air conditioning in the house broke, Gareth was rear-ended on the way to work, and my camera had a little "accident". Ugh!

The unpaid leave had put us behind, and having that many unexpected incidents occur in such a short period of time felt impossible. Gareth had decided not to fix his air conditioning, was talking about going without heating, and I was looking at not getting my camera repaired anytime soon. None of these were matters of life and death, but it was still difficult.

This morning Gareth went to get a quote for repairs to his truck. Imagine his surprise when the check he was given for the damage to his truck was $700 more than what he had been told it would cost to repair the damage from the accident! He called me to tell me that God works in mysterious ways! By doing some of the work himself, we should have enough money to do all of the repairs to his truck, pay for the work he did on the house air conditioning, and have my camera repaired.

I was so excited and surprised! But, I shouldn't have been. Time and again God has proven His faithfulness to me and to us. Our needs have always been met, and many times our wants to. May I always be faithful to share with my children how God cares for His children.