November 28, 2009

Children's Hopechest Vision Trip

This week a group of people we've met through adoption are traveling to Ethiopia with Children's Hopechest. They are traveling to lay the groundwork for children sponsorship programs to begin in Ethiopia. I love the way Children's Hopechest works and have been so excited about the beginnings of a program in Ethiopia. We are eager to see what comes of their trip. If you'd like to watch as the week unfolds--here are blogs of a few people going...

November 13, 2009

Out with the old, in with the new

Today, Sally donned "Yellow Jumbo" for the very last time. It's a huge relief to all of us that this day has come. Every morning I feel like we step back in time as I tighten her "corset".

This brace has been with us since last summer. She was on medication, newly home from Ethiopia, and much, much smaller. This day has been long overdue.

I wonder if her sillies will diminish now that oxygen can get to her brain.

Sally's new doctor wants her to wear this brace for another year. He was amazed at the 'fantastic work' and doesn't want her to get hurt on his watch. I'm more than happy to keep her safely strapped into the thing (obviously strapped around her torso, not her head).

Her biggest grievance? She wants to wear blue jeans.

November 10, 2009

And the winner is...

My sweet assistant (pictured in my favorite jammies making a very important phone call) kindly chose...

Amber to receive the Bottomly's book. Enjoy!

I've been thinking about doing this again...keep watching for another post.

November 9, 2009


We have seen the swine flu and survived.

Never before has the entire family been sick. Never before have we used so much ibuprofen (2 bottles of liquid and 1 bottle of chewables). Never before have I allowed so many videos in our home. We set up camp in the basement and hardly left for the week.

Nightly, a small, hot child would creep downstairs and climb into our bed. The nights were plagued with coughing and medicine. The days were plagued with Disney and whining. We are finally well, but exhausted.

November 4, 2009

Amazing Reads and My First Give-Away

I've been meaning to post about some great books for months. Books were once a passion. Reading for pleasure...a long lost love. I re-discovered that love momentarily this summer while I was living off my parents and being irresponsible. Sitting up late at night, knowing I would pay the price in the morning, but unable to close the book.

I read scads of great kid's books, but rarely do I sneak off at night to finish them. I read a few chapters, then promptly close the book and tell my kids how great it will be to read a bit more tomorrow.

Last spring Jill sent me her book list. That girl, she's a reader. Just like I used to be, four kids ago! I used Mother's Day as a reason to get nearly all of the books she listed. I read the first on the trip to Connecticut with Ella. I remember sitting, reading about African orphans, in the airport. Being transported to the slums of Kenya and then looking up, across the aisle at a very well-to-do woman and wondering what was reality. An enthralling, convicting book. As with most convicting books--I push away the conviction. We have FIVE children, people! What more can one family do? Move to Kenya? Run a missions organization? Okay, some fantastic, amazing, incredible families do that. Us, we just need to survive. I've said it before here, I know that we should do something, but what?

I, I'm on the airplane reading this book. And I'm completely with the author as she struggles to find out where she's supposed to be and what she should be doing. I won't ruin it by telling you, BUT she figures it out, she's doing this amazing thing, and in the last few pages she starts dishing it out to the reader. But remember--my hands are tied, big family...handful of kids. She writes (and I'm paraphrasing because Seth has since stolen the book), 'What's keeping you from doing something?' And she goes on to list a few things that might keep an average person from dropping everything and making a huge life change. Being the CEO of a company, for example. OR "A mother of five children."

WHAT?! I about fell into the aisle. My tried and true excuse, "Mom to five, sorry, I've got big obligations at home."

That gal saw right through me and called me out. What are the chances? Why not three kids or six, or even twelve?

That was back in March sometime. Evidently, I was terribly troubled for a while but have since returned to 'normal'. No thanks to the other books I read over the summer.

So, without further adieu, here is a short but sweet list of some amazing books I've recently (or not so recently) read...

It's Not Okay With Me by Janine Maxwell--The one that socked me in the stomach.

Same Kind of Different as Me This was loaned to me by my Mom. After I loaned it to Seth (after he took a few weeks to read the previous book), he told me, "Stop giving me books that make me cry on the plane. It's embarrassing."

Hope Lives This is a study book, and I'm ashamed to say I haven't made it through the entire book. I could just race through like some gal I know, but I want to actually ANSWER the questions as I'm going through. I'm having a hard time with the answers so I decided to close it until further notice.

Any of Tom Davis' books--I haven't read them all, but I've heard wonderful things about all of them.

Father to the Fatherless: The Charles Mulli Story Jill loaned this book to me last year. It's an amazing story.

There is No Me Without You--Can't have a book list without listing this one, because it's an Ethiopian adoptive parent must-read. And I didn't own my own copy until the Mother's Day book buying extravaganza.

From Ashes to Africa by The Bottomlys--I didn't pay much attention when I was buying this, but how weird to discover that I was adopting at the same time as them. Read their blog, actually. This book would be great for famlies who are just starting their adoption, or exploring the idea of adopting from Ethiopia. So, since I'm not in that category, as a reward for reading this far into the post--I'll give it to one of you. Leave me a comment and I'll have my youngest child draw the winner next Tuesday.

My very first giveaway. Nearing 300 posts, I probably should have been giving you guys my used stuff for the past three years.