Friday, May 30

New Fence

We've been planning it for two and a half years, but last week we actually put our fence in!

Hubby took Friday off and rented an auger to drill the post holes. We live on a rock bed and even with the hydraulic auger and even with Ryan's great help, we weren't able to finish the holes all in one day.

Friday evening we picked up my dad from the airport. He is always so good to come and help us with projects! Thankfully, Saturday was a mostly dry day and we were able to finish the post-hole digging and set the posts in concrete.

We stayed home from church so we could finish the fence, but we got rained out fairly early on. We packed up the kids and took them to Out of This World for a few hours, and when we got home the weather had cleared a bit and we were able to get the cross pieces put up.

Memorial Day was spent putting on the dogear boards. It took most of the day, but we got it done! Unfortunately, the gate kit was not in stock, so we are waiting for that to arrive. When it does, it will be a half-day project to get the gate up. We also need to stain the fence, but it needs to be dry for a couple of days first. That hasn't happened yet.

Once we get the gate hung and the fence stained, I'll post some final pictures. It feels so good to have the backyard enclosed, even without the gate. But I can't wait till the gate is hung and I can send the kids outside to play and not have to worry about them!

Tuesday, May 27

Temporary Isolation

I have been having a problem with my wireless adapter for quite a while and need to have my mother board replaced (again) on my laptop. Since our PC died last week, I will not have access to my email or my blogs or the internet until I get my laptop back (horrors!). Hubby brought home a spare computer from work to use for a while, so hopefully he will get that connected soon, but until such time I will be out of contact with the cyberworld.

Thursday, May 22


My thoughts and prayers have been with Steven Curtis Chapman and his family today. They suffered a breathtakingly tragic loss yesterday. Their youngest daughter, five-year-old Maria, was struck by a vehicle and died of her injuries. Though he is probably best known as a Christian musician, he has also been a champion for adoption in many ways, setting up Shaohannah's Hope and themselves adopting three little girls from China. They have set up a blog to remember her, for people to share their condolances, and where you can view a cute video of Maria if you so desire.

I know I will give my five-year-old (and six-year-old) an extra hug tonight.

Wednesday, May 21

Sweltering Cold

Today's high is forecast to be 53 degrees (with showers), but just five days ago we had a high of 95 degrees. This time of year usually has some diverse temperatures, but more than a 40-degree swing is pretty extreme! Personally, I am hoping the Lord will give us a long stretch of 70-degree weather soon.

Monday, May 19

Humiliations Galore

My six-year-old son just put me in checkmate after a scant four moves. I know I should be really proud (Okay, I am!), but I think I'm more humiliated than proud.

I recently checked out the book Chess for Kids from the library for him, and apparently he's actually been reading it, not just looking at the pictures as I had supposed! Maybe I should put it on his wish list, or then again maybe not. I don't know if I want to suffer many more humiliating losses! (Just for the record, I DID beat him the next two games.)

Sunday, May 18

Summer Gatherings Begin

This Saturday we had some friends over for fellowship and a BBQ. Though just a few days earlier our temperatures were in the 60s, on Friday it was 95 and Saturday it was 91! That is really hot for our part of the country, especially when you've had no time to adjust to warm weather.

The kids helped by washing off our patio chairs and then decided to clean all their outside toys as well! They had fun splashing and getting wet. In fact, I had to change Abby because she got completely soaked.

While the coals heated and we waited for our guests to arrive, Daddy played catch with the kids. Ryan is learning how to throw really well!

After lunch, the kids got on their swimsuits and cooled off in our tiny wading pool (One of the best $6.99 I ever spent! This is the third summer we've used it.) Our friends got their little girl (also named Abigail) into her suit and let her get into the pool for her first time.

Though I ended up feeling sicker as the day wore on, we had a nice visit and time together. We have several more of these days planned this year, but hopefully the next ones won't be so hot!

Foster Care & Adoption

Since this is National Foster Care Month, I wanted to get another plug in for the kids who are waiting in the system for someone to open their hearts to them. The adoption agency we used, Bethany Christian Services, has a new program called Project Open Arms which is aimed at the children in foster care in Michigan:

Bethany is reaching out to thousands of children in Michigan who are in foster care and waiting for adoptive families. Bethany has received more than $1 million in private funding for Project Open Arms, an initiative to find loving, permanent families for foster children by recruiting families through churches in Michigan. Project Open Arms' bold goal is that Michigan will be a state where no children are waiting for adoption. With more than 12,000 churches in Michigan and 6,000 children waiting for adoption, Bethany needs to find a family in just 1 out of 2 churches to adopt 1 child. In the future, Bethany hopes to expand this program into other states to find adoptive families for the more than 100,000 children waiting across the country.

Can you imagine how incredible it would be to have all of those children in Christian homes? I can't think of a better way to glorify Christ and to live out His commission to make disciples! I will be praying for this project and for God's leading as to what else He is calling our family to do.

Friday, May 16

Punctuation 101-Lesson 1

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation says:

Periods and commas always (emphasis mine) go inside quotation marks, even inside single quotes.

The sign changed from "Walk," to "Don't Walk," to "Walk" again within 30 seconds.
She said, "Hurry up."
She said, "He said, 'Hurry up.'"

Wednesday, May 14

National Foster Care Month

May is National Foster Care Month, and to highlight it I thought I'd make yet another movie recommendation. Have you seen Martian Child? It is a story that is loosely based on true events about a single man who adopts a boy from the foster care system who thinks he is from Mars. It is a heartwarming story that I think you will enjoy. Who knows, maybe it will cause you to consider fostering or even adopting one of the thousands of kids that are waiting for a home. Could God be calling you to take a little "Martian Child" into your heart?

Sunday, May 11

Mother's Day Prayer

Reposted from Mother's Day 2006

As I was enjoying a rare and blissful pleasure this morning, an uninterrupted shower, I was praying and thinking about Mother's Day. I find it peculiar that now that I am a mother, I don't have the unreserved joy on Mother's Day that I had once thought I would enjoy once I attained the illusive title, "Mommy."

Maybe the joy is muted by the memory of the many babies I never held or the lingering scar of years of infertility and childlessness. Maybe it's the knowledge that this day holds pain for some that are precious to my heart. I think of those who fear they may never know the joy of raising a child, those whose arms are empty because they loved a child selflessly enough to trust another mom to give what she cannot give, those who are separated from their mothers by death or estrangement or many miles, those who find it hard to celebrate a mother who seems unworthy of praise, those who don't have food or shelter for their children, those who are suffering the pain of watching a grown child make devastating choices, or those who fail to be the kind of mother they know God is calling them to be.

Still, as I enjoyed a pancake breakfast prepared by my husband this morning, I was overflowing with joy. It is a breathtaking privilege to look around the table and see the beautiful faces of two children I have been given the honor of raising. I am joyous this morning because of sticky hands and obnoxious noises that come from my two charges, and I thank God with all that is in me, again, for making me a mommy.

For those who are on the painful side of this day, I want you to know that you are not forgotten, you are loved and needed by many. And I prayed for you today.

Tuesday, May 6

Another Recommendation

I finished reading Nim's Island aloud to the kids this morning, and since we have a spanking new cinema in our little community now and since Daddy got home early from work today, we decided to take them to the matinee to see the movie. The kids liked it, and I really enjoyed it too! Okay, I admit, the special effects (particularly the CG) are not stellar and the story flounders a bit where they decided to stray from the book, but it inspires a love of reading and adventure and being courageous, all things we try to encourage in our children.

I was nervous about taking my kids to a PG movie that I haven't previewed (this is the first one they've seen that hasn't been filtered), but my apprehension was unfounded. I despise all the bad attitudes, potty humor and sexual innuendo that pervade so many movies aimed at kids, but that was missing in this one for the most part (the sea lion burps once and passes gas once).

When I finished reading the book this morning, Ryan said, "Can I read it now?" and when Daddy asked them after the movie if they wanted to see it again sometime, he said, "Yeah, I want to own it!" I think he liked the story, don't you?

Sunday, May 4


I saw this book at Target a month or so ago. It intrigued me, but I'm too cheap frugal to buy books at full price, so I went home and requested it from the library. Since it was brand new, they didn't have the book processed yet, but I was first to request it. I got the book yesterday, and began reading this afternoon. I couldn't put it down and finished it a few minutes ago. If you're looking for a great true life story and don't mind shedding a few tears, I would highly recommend this book! Not only is it an unbelievable story, it was encouraging to see God at work through the families involved and to hear them give Him glory despite unimaginable suffering.

Saturday, May 3

Adoption Credit and the Stimulus Check

I just wanted to clear up something that had me confused for the last several weeks, just in case anyone else might be confused too.

If you filed your taxes and claimed an adoption credit, you may not get what you expected to get in your stimulus payment. I know we didn't, and it took some digging to find out why. The bottom line is if your adoption credit brought your tax liability down to zero, then you will only get $300 per person instead of the $600 you might have been expecting.

So our new fence will probably not be completed this month as we had hoped since we are $600 short of what we were hoping for, but at least we'll get it started and pray for the money to finish is sometime this year!

Thursday, May 1


I belong to a Yahoo Group for people using the homeschool curriculum that I use, and one of the moderators is wise and often funny too. Her solution for dealing with kids who say they're bored is priceless:

In the medical field, we ask patients to rate their pain on a scale of 1 to 10. When my kids complain of boredom, I ask them to rate it on the same scale. If they are approaching a 10, this is a true emergency! No amount of mindless entertainment can save them now. Only rigorous work can maintain the heart rate above asystole.

I have never had a child become so bored that I had to start CPR, but anything is possible once boredom reaches life threatening levels.

Once the patient says, "stop it mom, you are not funny", then you know you have successfully converted a code W (W stands for whining) to a normal rhythm.


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