Showing posts from 2008

Decking the Halls

We're starting to get settled here in TX, though it's kinda hard to feel Christmasy when the needle outside points to 72 degrees. I can't say I'm not enjoying it though, because I am! We all are! I felt a little down this weekend as my family celebrated together with my Grandparents at their annual gathering. The first one I've ever missed. My sister called me and told me about the feast and how everyone was doing, and everyone shouted, "HI, JODY!" so that I could hear them. I felt a little better.

Last week we were able to locate the box labeled "Christmas Tree" and then the boxes with the ornaments, and we set our tree up last week. The kids and I had fun making the house look festive, even if it's only one corner of the house. The other corners are still decked in brown boxes!

We even made a few batches of cookie dough together.

I'm also working on our Christmas letter. First up, I needed a family picture. I had outfits in mind. Rob had …

The bird has landed...

...and the mama bird is reassembling the nest.

We made it. The cable guy just left so we have internet...hooray! The movers got here this morning around 9:30, unloaded an unbelievable amount of boxes for about five hours, tipped their hats, and left me surrounded by mountains of items I have no idea where to tuck away. This is the first house we've had that does not have a room designated as an office, so I'm having to redefine our living space. Not necessarily a bad thing, but an overwhelming task, to be sure.

Our home is adorable and we all love it. It's very different having neighbors just a few feet away and a backyard that is barely big enough for the dog, much less four children. But we are adjusting already. I think we're really going to like it here.

Today's weather in Corpus Christi: Warm and sunny. It feels like we're on vacation...for the winter. I feel chilly for my friends and family in the northern midwest who are hunkering down for winter's fur…


That's how many days I have left until the movers come and start loading up our stuff.

I'm ready. As ready as I'll ever be.

I'm so tired. I have some funny stories and I remember thinking, "This would be a good blog entry to entertain the masses." But I have no energy to share tonight.

And our internet will most likely be disconnected sometime Monday. Let's call that time of world wide web detachment "The Dead Zone." I hope I can cope.

Don't be alarmed if you don't hear from me for a little while. I'm probably in a van with many children. In the next two weeks, I'll be logging in 3557 miles. Some by plane, most by van.

I'm a travelin' woman.

See ya on the flip side!

All I Want for Chrith-math...

Gabe's first toothless smile in seven years!

(He's actually already lost two bottom teeth, but the adult ones were already there to fill in the holes, so we didn't get any of the fabulous toothless smiles that I cherish so.)

The other front tooth is getting pretty loose, too...I can't wait!

He asked me afterward, his brow furrowed with concern, "So, how'm I s'pose' ta say the letter 'z?' It doesn't sound so good."

He's so cute and sweet he makes my heart ache.

Calling All Pinks

I'm answering Jeny's pink challenge today. I must say that nearly everything in my home that blushes in any shade of rose is of Lily. I just don't gravitate towards pink. But Lily LOVES pink, and as mother of three sons...I love that I can bring pink into my home.

Lily loves her pink camera. And boy, does she have an eye for detail!

I see pink toes peeking out of the pink blanket I bought for her when she was still waiting for us. We took it to China with us so that she would have something familiar to cuddle when she came to her new home.

This is the pink section of a gorgeous portrait Rob's mother painted of all of my children. She gave it to us on Lily's first birthday home with us. It is a family treasure.

These are some of the pink squares of fabric I've collected from family and friends--and some strangers from adoption groups--to make Lily's 100 Good Wishes Quilt. It's a tradition from Northern China. I have many different colors, but I just pulled o…

Blogger Vacation

I took one. A long one. But I'm back. I hope ya'll didn't give up on me.

These autumn days are all running into one another. Only 27 more days until I fly out to be with Rob for his graduation from the chaplaincy school. Only 30 until we're all together as a family! Woohoo!

The boys do have a trick-or-treat date set up with a friend of ours who works for a local nursing home. Caleb and Lily's costumes are finished. Gabe's is going to be the most work, but I should be done soon. And Seth...well, he said that wants to be a "blue cat with blue stripes who's a "NINJA MASTAH!" Um...Can we say redirection? If not, we'll figure something out! I do have some blue face paint and I know we have ninja costumes from the boys' dress up box. I may be able to make this work...

We carved our pumpkins two days ago. The experience was a study of the effects of sibling birth order in action. Does anyone else find that as interesting a topic as me? We have …

Road Trip

The kids and I just returned from a 2100 mile round-trip road trip. We journeyed out from Michigan to Rhode Island to witness their dad graduate as a Naval officer. The trip there was full of excitement and anticipation, and the kids behaved so well. My mom and Rob's mom came out with us--I doubt I would have been able to do this without them--and we drove Rob's jeep to him so that he would have transportation during the next section of his training. So we divided the kids between the two vehicles to ward off conflicts. It worked. On the way home, all seven of us were crammed in the van, and there wasn't a lot of fighting, but OH, THE NOISE. It was quite the challenge to drive through NY City and then down the New Jersey Turnpike with squeally Lily and yelling Seth and giggly Gabe. Caleb was the quietest one...unless he was sitting by Lily, who engaged him in her loud and physical play.

But other than the noise, the kids did great.

Oh, the joy of that very first glimpse of …

Cardboard Testimonies

::Watch this only if you want to feel so thankful to God for what he can do in a broken person's life::

He uses cracked pots. And we're all cracked pots.

He delights in redeeming prodigals. We have all at one time or another left the side of the Father who loves us to seek out our own desires...and failed.

He loves to lift the humble. If only I will humble my heart in obedience, He will do miracles in my life.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Praising God today,



After...still wet

Pretty Lily

The New Justice League

Three of these crime-fighters are my sister's.

Conversations heard throughout the day:

"Have you seen Super Lily?"

"I Spiderman!"

"Mom, Seth took my gun!"

"I am NOT a bad guy! Mom, Caleb says I'm a bad guy!"

"I need a cape, too!"

"Can you help me with my mask?"

Plus multiple sound effects including flying, shooting, swording and webbing.

::Evil-doers beware::

Peddling Pedals?

I told the kids to go outside for "recess" and ride their bikes.

They decided to play store with their bikes instead. Each bike was a different mechanical booth. Spin the pedals which spins the wheels, and out pops a treat. Very Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang-esque. I was wondering why they asked me if I wanted to buy a cookie.

This isn't exactly what I had in mind when I sent them out to get some exercise...

My Little Wild Man

*Notice Lily in the second frame trying to get away from the inevitable splash.

Don't you just L.O.V.E. the goggles???



I'm still mending, but much to my boys' chagrin, a little tiredness on mama's part does not stop school from coming to our house.

Caleb's says: "Hmph. I hate school."

Gabriel says: "I can't wait until summer vacation so I can get back to my real life."

Lily says: "Mommy, can you help me with my school?" while poking me with a pencil out of a deep sleep at 6:00 in the morning.

Seth says: "I don't have any pencil sharpeners," grinning and holding all four of them behind his back.

I mailed copies of these pictures to Rob so that he could see them all hard at work.

They are too precious. I SO love being their mom. When I die, if these children are all I have to show for a life's work, my life will have been full to overflowing and completely successful.

Rob's two

Two exes on the calendar.

Two colorful, construction-paper chain links clipped away.

Only 33 more until we see him again.

The kids and I are doing okay.

Lily asked on the way home from the airport, "Is Daddy going to church with us tomorrow?" "No, honey, Daddy will be in Navy school." "What?!" she exclaimed incredulously. She asked if we could go back to the airport tomorrow and pick him up. She keeps asking for confirmation that we are going to go see him on Seth's birthday, which we are. Over and over she asks. I gently reassure her over and over.

Seth said, "I miss my daddy. He's my favorite kind of daddy." I'm with ya, buddy. Then after church this morning, my mom picked him up from his class. Rob usually does this. Seth asked her, "Where's my dad?" She told him, "He's in Navy school." He didn't say anything, but just looked straight ahead, suddenly remembering.

Caleb said, as we watched Rob's red a…

Wanna see? ***Warning: Graphic Medical Photo

I'm still recovering. Feeling a little better sometimes, a little worse others.

You know, healing pains.

Did I tell you that I sent my camera into the operating room with one of my nurses? She took some pictures of the mega-cyst they removed from my midsection.

I was curious. Maybe you are, too?

Can you believe this thing?

I was seriously wondering why my pants kept getting tighter. I think I figured it out.

What do you think?


Hi. I'm home. Very glad to be home.

My mom drove up from MO to stay with me for as long as I need her. I'm so thankful. Boy, do we need her.

Rob and the kids are taking great and gentle care of me.

I'm laying in bed right now with my sister-in-law's laptop propped up on a pillow. Ah, I feel connected after three days of hospital isolation.

All is going well. Wow, I'm really sore. But God is so faithful.

I'm off to rest...

P.S. Thanks to all my faithful pray-ers out there!

Today's the day

Okay, so I'm showered. I have several books stuffed into my purse. I have toothpaste. I'm not able to enjoy a cup of coffee because of the pre-surgery fast, but I can at least smell it. I'm doing some last-minute laundry. I think I'm ready.

I'm ready for it to be over.

My sister is coming over today to watch the kids while Rob takes me to the hospital.

My mom is coming over Wednesday before I even get home to stay for as long as we need her.

I'm holding tightly like a little child to my Father's big, warm hand. He's very near.

I'm feeling a little blue that I'm going to the hospital and I don't get to come home with a baby. (What am I, nuts?! Maybe a little...)

On the Calendar

I have a surgery date: Tuesday, the 19th at 2:00 p.m. I'm really nervous about it now, more nervous than I ever was giving birth. That was natural. This is not.

I am, however, thankful for the gift of medicine and technology that God has given to talented individuals. I'm thankful for insurance coverage. I'm thankful that my family is stepping up to help in whatever way they can. I'm thankful for Rob's support and kinds words of encouragement that keep me light-hearted.

God is very good.

I'm really feeling sad about Rob 17 days.

The Good, the Bad, the really Ugly

The Good: The OB surgeon is AWESOME. I love her. I just accepted whatever referral my family doctor gave me, 'cuz we're in a bit of a time crunch here. And if I were given a hundred smiling, scalpel-wielding OB's, she is the one I would have picked. Also, she is going to do whatever she can do to get my surgery done before Rob leaves. Thank-you, God!

The Bad: Okay, I'm going to be cut open from above my navel, around my navel, and then down below my navel. Rob's getting ready to leave for Naval training, but I'm the one who stuck with navel warfare. (Get it? Navel? Naval? Oh, never mind.) Anyway, it's a huge surgery. Three days in the hospital. Three weeks of no driving, little or no stairs--good thing I live in a ranch house--no laundry, no standing and cooking for any significant length of time, significant pain, and lots of bedrest. Six weeks of no lifting or vacuuming. Help.

The Ugly: 17 cm X 13 cm X 9 cm. Yeah, that's how big this growth is. No wonde…

Another appointment

1. Blood tests for cancer: normal.
2. Swab test: normal.
3. Ultra-sound: looks like a cyst.
4. CT Scan: still looks like a cyst, but with the addition of some solid parts that look a little ominous. Yet, see number one and number two above, so don't be too worried.

Next step: Another appointment on Wednesday with a surgeon/specialist.

Still praying to get this taken care of before Rob leaves for Rhode Island.

In 19 days.

Keep posted...

My Weekend: In Photos And Captions

My baby is 9/Nine/Nueve/Neuf...growing too fast!

Celebrating Caleb's birthday at the playground with friends.

"Oh, no! Rain clouds up ahead!" This time she was right!

Jeremy and Caleb: best buds.

Wonderful commissioning service for Rob at church, with Lt. Carmichael.

Just gotta slide.

Movie-star smile.

My Lily. Forever.

Skater....with blankie.