Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What Road Will I Take?

Am I going to walk down this road?

I keep asking God this question.

God has told Tony and me that we are going to one day walk down this road. But, I have questions. My number one questions is


I know - it's a pretty deep question.

The road in the picture is the road that leads from a hotel in Ethiopia to an orphanage called Hannah's Hope.

Really? Is that what you are calling us to do?

I keep questioning this because I have been positive in the past that God is telling me to do one thing, only to lead me in a different direction than I thought. Of course, it has always turned out better and I can see in hindsight what He was doing when I thought I was heading in the first direction. I am fully confident that if this is not what God has planned for us, He will use this to lead us where He really wants us to go. Until then I still ask -


You have a child that will not have any parents to take care of him and you want to place him in our family?

I don't feel worthy of God allowing our family to participate in this awesome plan. But - Yes, Lord. Please use our family and be glorified through the entire process.

I'm pretty sure there will be some people who question what we are doing. We already have four kids, there are lots of kids in America that needs homes, our family is white and Ethopian babies are black...

Somehow, I think I can handle the critical comments better than the complimentary. What I don't want is to be glorified for what our family has done for this child. This is what God laid on our hearts. He is clear in Scripture that we are to take care of the poor, and He put this adoption on my heart and Tony's heart at the same time. On our whole family's hearts. The kids started asking for a baby right when God started opening our eyes to this.

They are so excited.

But, I am having a hard time getting excited over this. I just keep waiting for God to tell me this was just step one, but He actually wants us to do something else. I want to be excited about adoption. I want to get frustrated with how long the paperwork takes because I just can't wait any longer.

I will trust that God has a sovereign plan and this step is part of it. I can know that if He is going to lead us in another direction before we go through the entire adoption process, then all of this is just part of where He needed to take us first.

It will be okay because God is in control.

Not me.

Until then, I think I'm ready to get excited about starting this adoption process. I'm getting excited about praying for a child that may not even be conceived right now, and praying for his parents, and for our family that will see that the orphans and the poor are real people that we need to love and take care of. I'm getting excited because I know this child will be a way bigger blessing to our family than we will be to him.

And, I'm getting excited about walking down that road to meet a child that God knew long before now and planned to place in our family.

This journey will take us down new roads. I'm ready to see where God leads us.


What a Day!

I can't believe it!!! We went from this:

To this:

What are the odds?

Pretty good when we add a couple of experienced (lucky) guys!

First, my dad came over. All the way from next door. He brought his very humane animal trap (the one that doesn't work on armadillos) and we headed out to the woods. What luck! We found Bella right away, hopping happily out in the open. Until she saw us. We did a little climbing through the briars, but she eventually evaded us.

Then, Mom noticed Dot lounging in the stump of a tree. I walked by that stump all day. I'm sure she was in there watching me every time I passed by. stinker!

The stump was hiding in the middle of a bunch of brush (of course). I climbed in and tried to be sneaky and grab her. It's hard to be sneaky while breaking through a bunch of dead tree limbs and leaves. So, she ran deeper into the brush. Fortunately, Dad and I had a plan. It went something like this:

Dad: I'll chase her out and you catch her on the other side. Ouch! Ow! Oh! Ouch! Okay! Here she comes!

Me: Oh! She got away! She's coming back your way!

Dad (just climbing back out of the brush): Okay - I'll chase her out and you catch her on the other side. Ouch! Ow! Oh! Ouch! Here she comes!

Me: I see her! Wait! She's coming back your way!

Repeat about 1,142 times.

Finally, on the 1,143rd try, she ran all the way to our house and found her cage. Mom, Dad, Tate, and I were able to surround her as she hid under her cage and I grabbed her.

1/2 Success!!!

Kids are thrilled! And, that was the purpose of their grandparents and mom climbing through snake infested thorns all afternoon. That would be major points for us. But, we don't keep score. I have to say my parents are the best! There was no way they were leaving without two, fluffy bunnies safely nestled in their cage for the night. No way!

So - on to finding Bella.

We looked and couldn't find her anywhere. I decided for the gazzillionth time to just give up, convinced we had her completely terrified after she just witnessed what went on with Dot. (I know she was watching us the entire time).

At this point, Tony comes home from work. He changes clothes and asks me to show him where we saw Bella last. I showed him and walked to the house. Two minutes later, I see him and Dad walking back to the house also. I'm thinking he gave up pretty darn fast.


What's in his arms?

It's brown and furry!

How did he do that?!

His story is quite compelling.

Are you ready?

He saw her and picked her up with his hat.

I told you - compelling!

Why didn't I think of that?

Bella, Bella

What am I going to do with that rabbit?

Not the one in the picture, that's one of the many other rabbits that live around here. Bella and Dot will have lots of company in their new home in the woods.

The good news is we found Bella hopping through the woods.

The bad news is she is hopping through the woods.

She's a rabbit.

I'm a human. A slow human at that.

That means I have spent the past 14 hours (that's what it felt like, anyway) sweating and climbing through the woods trying to catch Bella to no avail.

Here is a picture of the woods I've been crawling through:

Yes, Bella is in there. She hasn't been staying on that nice, open, path part either. Apparently, rabbits feel more secure in between all the brush. She's right in the part of the woods that is solid thorns and branches.

Coincidentally, rabbits like the same part of the woods that the copperheads and coral snakes like. How funny is that? I'm cracking up right now!

Long story short – Bella is a stinker. I know what she is thinking - she thinks she's Bugs Bunny and I'm Elmer Fudd. She may be right – I have called her a wascally wabbit multiple times now. And, I have turned to the kids with my fingers to my lips telling them, "Shhhhh". I'm certainly acting like Elmer Fudd. As long as I don't start looking like him, it's all good.

My kids got their hopes up, but Bella got away.

I have my limits, so I have to stop now.

We will set a trap for her later.

A humane trap. We want her in one piece if we can catch her.

I’m going to do a tick check now and take a shower.

I wonder where Dot is?

Lost - Pet Rabbit

Make that TWO pet rabbits.

Apparently, taking care of animals is not our family's forte. Neither is growing gardens.


We haven't found our forte (I hope I'm using that word correctly), yet. But, we will keep looking.

This morning we had two, beautiful pet rabbits. They were living happily in their cage in the backyard and were quite spoiled when they were brought in to get out of the heat.

We came home from running errands later this morning and found the bottom of the cage had been knocked out. If it was our dog, I know it was an accident because she just wants to lick them. And, she's kind of oafey like that, so I could totally see her messing it up. I'm not sure what knocked it out, but the bunnies were gone.

Yes, this is when I was trying to get a late start on our school day.

There was no starting school right then.

That's the benefit of sending kids to school. If this happened when they were in school, I could have had some time to either replace them with their bunny doubles, or at least make up a really good story about where they were.

That's not how it happens for homeschoolers. The kids are the ones that always find the dead pets. It just comes with the territory.

On top of all of this, Bear and I are both feeling sick.

God has given us 24 hours each day. Some days I feel like I need a little more time, but on days like this it's comforting there will be an end and I can just go to bed.

Where are those bunnies???

Friday, August 22, 2008

A is for Apple

Apple Pie, that is.

I thought it would be fun to do an alphabet book for Bear as she started Kindergarten this week. She knows her alphabet already, but I have not really spent the time with her doing the fun activities the other kids did. The fourth child can really get ripped off if we're not careful. I am going to try to be purposeful in not skipping activities with her just because I have already done it with three other kids, or I am just plain tired.

The other kids are excited about these fun activities, too. This week, we have written our letters in shaving cream, learned about Adam and Eve and Abraham in our Pray and Play Bible, read stories about ants (Magic School Bus ROCKS!), and today we made an apple pie from scratch. Fun times!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hard at Work

It's been a great first day of school. The kids all had positive attitudes and we finished everything on our list.

What more could I ask?

I'll share a few pictures of the kids working diligently. We did not have any experiments or exciting assignments today. It takes a while for all of us to get back on a schedule. It's been pretty free around here for a while now, but we are all welcoming the routine. I think it's just natural to like boundaries and knowing what is coming next. I can definitely see that in my kids.

Tate and Ellie do really well with seatwork -

Car tends to do better in any position that is not at his desk. I'm not sure why I even put a desk in here for him. How would he do in a traditional school setting? I'm sure it would depend on how understanding his teacher would be.

And - a girl can only handle so much excitement in one day.

(Notice she was studying her Presidents - kidding!)

Overall, I give this day two thumbs up!

I am looking forward to sharing some of the fun stuff we will be doing this year. I love homeschooling my kids - even though it is a lot of work - pfew!

First Day of School 2008-2009

We are ready to tackle another school year at home. The kids have been begging me to get started. I love the enthusiasm that comes at the beginning of the year.

Can we bottle some of it up and save for April?

Tate's starting his 5th grade year. I guess it's always hardest watching your first born get bigger. But, it's also exciting watching him grow and do new things. I am very proud of the young man he is becoming. No more elementary school for him!

Ellie is growing up fast, too. She's ready for 3rd grade. She is a huge help around the house and with the others. I am very impressed with how responsible she is and how well organized she likes to be.

Car is heading into 2nd grade. One of the benefits of homeschooling for Car is that he can wear his favorite jersey on the first day of school, even when it has a mark from a sticker that got washed on it. (Free tip of the day: remove all stickers from clothing before washing.)

Judging from this picture of Bear - I think she is excited about the idea of starting her first day of Kindergarten. She did calm down and worked very hard today. One thing we have to work on is her telling me what she already knows how to do and why she doesn't want to do what I give her.

Where did she get that?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Just Makes Me Smile

This just makes me smile everytime I walk through my kitchen.

My dream would be to have a garden where I could go through and put this together from my yard. That will be a while, considering my brown thumb.

I tried to grow sunflowers along our shed wall this year, but the rabbits enjoyed them when they sprouted. (As our dog slept soundly on our back porch, I'm sure!) Again, I thought sunflowers were something kids could grow.

But - I will persevere!

Until then, I will enjoy these beauties.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Homeschool Room - Again

It's coming along. We have furniture in the room, and I don't feel like passing out from the fumes everytime I go in here.

What do you think?

I think I need a new rug. And, curtains. Oh, and a white board.

But, like I said - it's coming along.

I have stopped decorating so I can plan the actual schoolwork for this year.

That might be important. :)

So far, Bear is quite content playing with the pencils on her desk.

That's fine with me. We'll work on Trigonometry later.

The kids all picked out their reading pillows (on the floor, there behind my desk). They have good taste - soft, feather pillows. Ahh... hopefully, they won't fall asleep during our reading time.

I'll post the Grand Finale when I get something on the walls.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Homeschool Room Update #2

To be more accurate - it's not the homeschool room.

Just the closet.

It's amazing to see all of our stuff all lined up.

And, I know where everything is!

Take a look around the corner -

I know.

I will have to take another picture after school starts to see how long this lasts.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Homeschool Room Update

The homeschool room is coming along nicely. I finished painting it and I luuuuuvv the color!

As much as I try to avoid all things Martha, I have to admit ...

the woman knows her colors!

I was looking for something both cheerful, yet peaceful. Nothing too bright, but I couldn't have the kids falling asleep in school.

I think it is beautiful. This room just makes me happy - and that's a good thing (pun intended :)) when I am schooling 4 precious little ones.

We are still working on the layout of the room, so I am only posting the color of the wall. I included a few cute kids because I didn't want to just post a picture of my wall.

I will post again soon with more updates!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Finally - Proof I've Gone Insane

The start of school is nearing. Time to plan a year's worth of studies for 4 children. What does that mean?

Paint the school room and completely re-arrange everything!

Yes, we had all summer to tackle projects like this, but - that's just how I work.

Fortunately, I was smart and hired some helpers.


I think the paint fumes are affecting my brain.

Those aren't hired help.

They're my kids!!!

By the way - that's not the paint color. It's the super-primer I needed to try and cover the Aggie maroon.