Monday, April 27, 2009

Whole Milk

Two posts in one day...can our life be that exciting? Not really, but someone else had excitement today.

We want to congratulate Tisha and her family on receiving a referral today for TWIN girls. Tisha and her husband home school their 3 boys in the Indy area, and God led them to adopt siblings from Ethiopia through the same agency we used. Today they got to see their two year old girls' faces for the first time! How awesome is that!?

On the home front, I was having one of those "down" days. One of those days where I had to remind myself constantly that these children are BLESSINGS from God. All you moms know the feeling. As usual though, Sam kept me laughing. Its hard to be serious around that little guy.

We always buy whole milk, which Sam refers to as red because of the cap. Someone recently gave us a gallon of 2%, which Sam refers to as blue. He must have overheard our conversation about types of milk because after downing a cup of blue milk he said, "Mom this is my favorite now. It doesn't have ANY holes in it."

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord. Psalm 127:3

Thank you Lord for the joy our children bring to us. Thank you also for Tisha's family opening their hearts to your children in Ethiopia. We ask that you prepare the family and the children's hearts for each other. Amen.

The Gas Cap

Yesterday we planted our garden. We decided to treat ourselves to Dairy Queen after church last night. First we needed to get gas. Josh forgot to close the tank and left the cap on top of the van. Once on the road, he heard and saw it fall off.

J: Oh, the gas cap just fell off. I've never done that before.

K: You must have been thinking about your slushy. Turn around I'll jump out and get it.

J: There it is in the middle of the road.

(We're sitting at a stop sign waiting for the suddenly busy traffic to die down as we look at our gas cap and the cars straddling it.)

Sam (from the backseat upon noticing that we are not on our way to DQ yet): What are you doing Dad? Driving to Africa?


Josh's mouth drops open as an older gentleman runs over and shatters our gas cap.

As he drives by us...

K: Is that a Dairy Queen slushy in his hand?!

Friday, April 24, 2009

On the move

Eli officially became a crawler this week. He's not real fast, but he is deliberate. He still prefers to roll, but with the right incentive, like a wayward color pencil, he can do it. Now I HAVE to keep the floor clean:)

We also had our first post adoption home visit this week. Our social worker will come three times over the course of Eli's first year home, and she will write reports that are sent to All God's Children and then on to the Ethiopian government. After the first year, we report on Eli ourselves until he is 18 years old! These reports are not mandatory, but they are STRONGLY encouraged. Foreign government like to see them, and it encourages them to continue adoptions.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Catch of the day

Saturday we had fishing and fun. My cousin Hayli, her husband Tim, and their son Michael were here from Tennessee (they brought shoes this time too, jk:). The guys went fishing in the morning, and they were having great success so they decided to start keeping them and we'd have a fish fry for supper. Since the fishing was so good, Josh parents and Uncle Mickey decided to join us too. We had plenty for supper, and each of us kept some to freeze too. Thanks Joy for cleaning the fish (next time I want you to teach me so I can help).

In the photo, Sam is pretending to cut his fish with his sword, but Cora is trying NOT to touch the fish. On the table is the catch from one of the ponds, the other half of the catch is already in the pot.

Our farm has 7 ponds. (I use the word "our" loosely. I was raised on this farm, and my grandmother, parents, and brother all have houses on the farm in addition to us. My brother is the actual farmer now.) These ponds serve many purposes.

  • The number one use is for good land management. They collect water from the hay fields and pastures so the fields drain well and produce better. They also prevent too much runoff and soil erosion.

  • Three of the ponds are set up as back up water supply for livestock (hogs, turkeys, and cattle). We used them last summer when our rural water lines were maxed out.

  • Also, one of them provides all the water for outside hydrants so we use pond water on our flowers and washing equipment.

  • One pond is also equipped to fill our rural fire department tanker truck if there is ever a need in our area.

  • Best of all, for the kids, one of the ponds is our beach! We can't wait for June:) I grew up swimming in the pond, and still love it. (I know some of you are cringing, but imagine no chlorine smell or burning eyes...just don't imagine snakes and turtles.)

We stock our ponds with fish to keep them clean. We have bass, blue gill, and crappie. Each pond changes yearly. The pond with the best fishing last year, may be the worst this year. We usually have at least one good spring fish fry, before it gets too hot for us and the fish.

There are also LOTS of turtles and frogs. In fact, Josh got a big bullfrog to take his worm Saturday, so we had two frog legs to eat also. Sam has been keeping a pet baby snapping turtle, until today we found out he had escaped...or had mom and dad let him go?

We went mushroom hunting Saturday evening too. We didn't have much luck, but it was fun to get in the woods. The kids really enjoyed playing in the creek. Josh got wet too because he had Eli on his back and he got into thickets where the only way out was the creek. When it gets warmer we'll take the kids to wade/swim in the creek before it dries up for the summer.

I enjoy sharing farm life on our blog, hope you enjoy reading!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Warning labels

Maybe children should come with warning labels. Here are few I thought of.

Ø Warning: May cause extreme drowsiness while keeping you awake at night.

Ø Permitting this child in your house will result in stained carpet, stinky bathrooms, and clutter.

Ø This child is capable of pulling hair, scratching face, and biting in one swift movement.

Ø Be advised: This child can melt your insides, steal your heart, and fry your brain.

Ø Loving this child will change your life.

Of course, even though we know all this, Josh has already asked when we can start the adoption process again. Although I gave him a rather cold look at the time, I’m sure it will happen. Besides with three little ones already, what’s another?!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Eli's Baby Dedication

Easter weekend we spent with family. Josh and Sam went golfing with the guys. Sam only made it 9 holes, but he enjoyed it (Josh on the other hand says he is never going again). We had a few egg hunts. Sam is the "get 'em fast as you can" stage, while Cora is the slower "wow, an Easter egg" stage. Sam is also becoming a master at "trading" Cora candy/snacks/toys, but he always gets the better end of the deal. Poor Eli will have two take advantage of him.

Easter morning before church we used an egg set we got a couple years ago to tell the Easter story. Each of a dozen eggs has a small token of the Crucifixion and Resurrection. We didn't use them all since our kids are so young, but we used the nails, spear, linen, stone, and empty egg. Then we gave them their Easter baskets. Later Sam asked me if they were really from the Easter bunny, but I broke his heart by telling him there is in fact no rabbit that brings plastic eggs to our house. Hey, we go along with Santa (begrudgingly), but I just don't get the bunny. Easter is about our LORD!

Easter Sunday morning we had Eli's Baby Dedication at church. We love Easter, the greatest celebration for those in Christ, and we were very glad to have his dedication that day. As with our other children, Pastor Jim gave brief descriptions of our roles as mother and father in raising Eli plus the churches role in supporting us. He gave Biblical references and prayed for us and Eli.

I remember Sam and Cora's dedications, and they were very special, but Eli's felt like a more serious commitment to me. God chose the path of adoption for our family, He led us to Ethiopia, and to Eli. I think I more fully understand that Eli is God's child, and we have a great responsibility in raising him. No more so than Sam and Cora, but it is more evident.

The kids all wore outfits we bought in ET, and Sam was particularly proud. He's already asked if we can wear them again. I wore a bracelet I bought there, but the earrings broke out my ears! Near the end, Pastor always holds the baby so he took Eli. Eli immediately started screaming and trying to get back to me. Apparently Pastor either puts him to sleep or scares him, depending on the circumstances.

Lord, we dedicate Eli's life to You. We thank you for making us his family and him our son. Thank you for a special reminder this Easter of all that you've done for us. We ask for your guidance in raising him and pointing him to you. We pray that at an early age he might know your love and forgiveness, and dedicate his own life to You. Amen!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Down on the Farm

Why did the chidckens cross the road?

I don't know, but its very embarrassing when the neighbors have to slow down for our chickens! We have 4 Just today we had to say goodbye to our beloved rooster, Batman. He was becoming aggressive towards the kids when they gathered eggs, so now he's dinner. As farm kids, Sam and Cora helped Josh kill and clean the rooster...very ethically for all you PETA members (which we like to think of as "People Eating Tasty Animals"). Now all we have to worry about is how to eat all our eggs...which we do a lot!

Also today, Sam got his kindergarten shots and Eli got his first immunizations. They both did great. We were actually given a shot record for Eli, but our pediatrician and the international doctor suggested starting over since the record was partly in Amharic and based on another calendar. Also, they may have been different doses and/or expired.

Other happenings on the farm today...Sam found a bird egg and sat it, because he wanted to hatch it of course. Cora pulled her pants down and peed standing up in the yard...doesn't work as well for her as her brothers. Eli ate his first scrambled eggs and loved them, but did spit up on me. Can you see a theme here....LAUNDRY!!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Happy Anniversary

We want to wish Nana and Papaw (Josh's parents) a happy anniversary. This is a few days late, but better late than never:) I don't know the year they got married, but it was in the 70's and they both had considerably more hair than now (think hippie hair).

They have one of those special marriages, truly Biblical. They know each others thoughts and predict their actions. They would rather be with each other than anyone else (except maybe the grandkids).
Speaking are Sam and Cora a few weeks ago. They had a pretend wedding in which I was the pastor, ring bearer, and soloist, and Eli was the witness and sloberer. This is their first dance...awwww. I wonder, how long until Sam decides marrying his sister is "gross"?

Josh and I attended the Indiana Association of Home Educator's Conference this weekend (which is a whole different post) and one of the speakers spoke about the legacy of fathers. Josh's parents are creating a beautiful legacy of love and faith for their children and grandchildren.
What kind of legacy are we creating?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

E-I, E-I-O

Cora calls Eli, "Ei", so we are always singing Old McDonald or calling him EiEio. Yesterday Eli met baby turkeys for the first time. He held this one for a long time before he gave in to the temtation to see if it was a teething toy. What a farm boy!

"I'll have the turkey please."

Sam's plane to Florida "blasted off" on Tuesday, and yesterday he was swimming at the beach! Cora just pretends she's at the beach, even thouhg it's 50 degrees.

"And my brothers adore me!"

Thank you, Lord, for these blessings!