Sunday, February 28, 2010

What she said

My wonderful friend Bekah emailed me the link to a post this morning.

My heart so resonates with this woman's words...and her heart...and her hopes for her children.
I am challenged and inspired, all at the same time.
So here it is:

Thursday, February 25, 2010


One of the best parts about going back to California for a visit (we've been back twice now since we moved) is getting to spend a day with my friend Rebekah. We've been BFF's since 3rd from the time we were eight years old...which means we've been friends for over TWENTY YEARS!

We've had us some good times for sure. Now we're both married with kids, and living in different states...and while we don't get to see each other nearly enough for my taste, the time we do have is so sweet. (There is always guaranteed to be much laughter, the kind where you laugh until your stomach hurts. I really like to laugh.)

There's just something really neat about having someone you share that much history with. And because I'm an only child, she's the closest thing I've had to a sister.
Our kids get along great--she has the two sweetest, most precious girls.

Okay, I could go on and on about how I wish we still lived nearby, but I won't. BFF's are the best, don't you think?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Siblings and adjustment and adoption etc.

When you adopt, there are certain things you're "not supposed" to do. Social workers have various guidelines when it comes to adoption, and many of them are very wise. One thing they suggest you don't do is something called "artificial twinning." Basically, the idea that you should not adopt a child within nine months of a biological child's age.

My sons are eight months younger than Anna.

So I guess that would technically be artificial tripletting. :)

To be honest, when I received a phone call from the director of our agency one December morning in 2005, telling me about twin boys in Ethiopia whose adoption was being disrupted by their (first) adoptive family, it didn't even occur to me that we would reject them on the basis of their age being too close to our daughter's. And then reading their story, knowing they were in great need of a new family, and of course being open to two children under three years old, compelled us to adopt them.

There are good reasons though why social workers are wary of artificial twinning. Sometimes it can really upset a first born to be dethroned, to have to share the first-born-ness with someone else, especially if they're the same gender. Then that can lead to further family issues, resentment, etc. Occasionally the adopted child will struggle with this arrangement, further crippling the attachment process. Not good.

So why did we take that risk when we brought our sons home? I guess we believed that Anna was easy-going and laid-back enough, personality-wise, to share her place in the family with two brothers. (The fact that they're different genders helps too, although had we adopted a girl, I still think it would have been fine.) And for a long time, there was a huge gap, developmentally, between Anna and Yosef and Biniam. As time passes though, that gap is closing. We've found that we generally parent based around a child's responsibility and maturity versus age anyway, in terms of privileges etc.

Even though we apparently did something we technically shouldn't have, it turned out really, really well. Our kids are literally best friends. They play together all day long. They are always so excited to be reunited with each other on Monday afternoons, when Anna's been away. It's actually turned out to be a very healthy family dynamic.

Right now we're processing through some decisions related to future adoptions. Trying to figure out what exactly we're capable of, equipped for, and then of course attempting to discern God's will for our family in this area. Because adoption is inherently messy. There are lots and lots (and LOTS) of unknowns. Sometimes things go well, sometimes things go badly, sometimes things go differently than expected. It's a long road. We feel strongly about adopting waiting children...children who may have medical/developmental needs, or who may be older...basically kids who need homes TODAY, who are difficult to place, as opposed to us going on a waiting list for a healthy young infant. (Those children need homes too however. But the demand far exceeds the supply, and so many precious little ones are just waiting and waiting.)

The children we currently have, that is our priority of course. What is good for them, and what is good for potential adopted children? What type of child might we be good for, and what child would be a good fit for us? There is much to consider, with long-lasting implications.

You might not believe it (considering the sheer volume of children that we have), but we're actually in a great place right now. Just cruising along pretty much. Our kids are settled in, have healthy, secure relationships with each other and with us, Mary's being born was a completely easy transition for the kids (literally no bumps at all)...basically things are good. From that standpoint, I think we're decent candidates to adopt again at some point in the next year or two.

Anyway, my amazingly wise, sweet friend Lisa (who I get to meet in April, yay!!!) has a great blog that you should read, if you haven't already. She wrote this post that is full of great insights from herself and from other adoptive parents. If you've adopted or are planning to again I'd love to read your thoughts as well!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

On a somewhat related topic...

I just happened upon this BIZARRE breaking news story...

Those poor kids. What in the world?!

Something we will (most likely) never have

Technically the subject of this post could refer to many things:
respective laptops
respective cell phones
too many children
flat screen TV
expensive furniture that aforementioned kids can ruin
But really I'm referring to pets. Primarily dogs and cats. Sometimes people ask me if we have any, and my answer is always the same: No pets. Just kids.
We may be the only people in Colorado WITHOUT pets. Don't get me wrong, I think animals are sweet. Kids love them, and mine are no exception. (That's Anna playing with my in-laws' dog at Christmastime. Not even the stomach flu kept her from hours of throwing the stick for Scrappy!) It was super fun seeing them interacting with the dog. They loved him, and he seemed to like them too. It actually made me wish we had a dog.
BUT, unless we live on acreage someday (and we're not planning on moving out of our Denver neighborhood anytime soon) where a dog or cat can run around outdoors, we will be pet-free. Because the thought of walking a dog every day stresses me out to no end. AND you have to feed them. And pet them. And pay them attention. Then there are the vet bills, and here is a confession for you all: I would not be able to stomach paying hundreds of dollars on medical care for an animal (that's not some prize-winning racehorse that earns me more money than I'm paying out.) I grew up in a rural area where most peoples' pets happily stayed outside, got foxtails in their ears, and were sometimes "put down" by their owner. (We however visited the vet for those things. My non-gun-owning family was civilized like that. :) )
So there's a glimpse into my cold, cold heart. I like other peoples' pets, but generally have no desire for my own.
What sparked this random blogpost, you ask? I recently saw a commercial on TV that was talking about the adoption of animals as if the animals were orphaned CHILDREN. Schmaltzy music playing and photos of random animals...and the way the narrator was talking, yeah, you'd have thought they were asking for donations to help refugees. Ew.
So there you have it. The cold hard truth that, at least for the forseeable future, my kids will grow up without a pet.

Sunday, February 21, 2010's cold.

That's it. I'm tired of the snow.

Yes, I love seasons. That includes winter, cold weather, cloudy skies, and snow. I don't even mind driving in it, and I'm a total homebody, so I also don't mind staying indoors.

BUT, for whatever reason, I'm ready for some warm temperatures and sunshine!
Therefore, I'm posting this old picture from 2005 when Kevin and I took a cruise, sans Anna (our only kid back then), to Mexico. I believe we were on Catalina Island in this photo.
Total side-note, but everybody always raves about cruises. Oh, it's so great, they say. Well, you know what WASN'T great?

--The constant cloud of cigarette smoke all throughout the ship. (You can't tell in this picture, but my eyes were BLOODSHOT and ITCHY the entire time!)
--The loud, obnoxious drunks swarming everywhere. (Apparently I didn't get the memo that a cruise to Mexico is really just a low-budget way for middle-aged people to get completely wasted and try to relive the glory days. YOU'RE OLD! I wanted to shout. No amount of alcohol will change that!)
--The excursions they tell you to sign up for. Um, as fascinating as it was to visit the studio in Baja where they filmed part of Titanic, I would have preferred to sleep in. AND, while the kayaking in Catalina was pretty fun, Kevin made fun of me the whole time 'cause I went so slow. Yeah. We were literally WAY behind all the other people. Awkward.
--The evening "entertainment." Which generally consisted of nasty, dirty comedians who thought they were much funnier than they were (but when your audience is drunk, they still symbiotic relationship.)
Sure the food was good, but it wasn't the least bit romantic since they have you sitting with perfect strangers. How nice for an introvert like me! (Incidentally our tablemates were super nice and we even kept in touch for a time--Sheila, are you out there?--so it worked out. But I was scared at the beginning.)
All of that to say, I wasn't overly impressed.
And I suddenly feel better about the snowy, cold, overcast day we're having in Denver. :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Inspiring words for a Friday

My friend Jenny wrote this post today. It spoke to my heart in so many ways. And even has me thinking about a future blogpost of my own. (Ah, blogging. Does anyone else ever feel a little dorky for having a blog, or is that just me?)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

So, today is Ash Wednesday. Up until last year, I had never observed Ash Wednesday, or Lent. I loved last year's Ash Wednesday service though and am hoping to go tonight (Anna's been sick so we need to wait and see how she's doing.)

I don't know if I'll be giving anything up for Lent, but I'll definitely be doing daily Bible reading (hopefully also reading some stuff in No Greater Love and maybe from another book I got) and I'm also planning to devote more time to prayer...prayer for various friends of mine who are hurting, and then also about our family and what God may have for us in the next couple of years in terms of adoption.

Do you observe Lent?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A marriage examined: Part IV

Part I

Surrender is hard.
When God asked us to surrender our traditional views on contraception, we did. It was a process, and it took time to wrap our minds and hearts around the idea of being open to life within our marriage. But we could see the good in it. And were filled with hope.

When God asked us to surrender our very ability to conceive, that was much harder. I'd lost my baby and couldn't get pregnant. Yet nothing was physically wrong with me. Many times I found myself asking, Why?

And somehow, as the months ticked by, we came to find peace. We saw that being open to life meant ultimately being open to God's timing, and to Him saying no. It also meant being open to carrying a baby that may not live past twelve weeks in the womb, and enduring the pain that came with that. It meant saying Lord, I trust You with the growing of our family.

So we trusted. Continued hoping to get pregnant, but stopped worrying about it so much. Essentially, we moved on. We had a beautiful daughter afterall.

Then one day something happened. I was in the shower (isn't that where YOU do YOUR deepest thinking?), Kevin was at work, and Anna was napping. And in a deep place in my heart, I felt God speaking the words "international adoption." I KNOW that sounds crazy. I DIDN'T hear an audible voice, or have a weird vision. But suddenly I began thinking about something that I had never, EVER thought about before.

I literally knew nothing about adoption. So I hurried through the rest of my shower, got dressed, and got online. (Thank you Google.) What's the deal with the worldwide orphan crisis? Are there kids in orphanages needing homes? What does it cost and is it something we could maybe do someday?

As I sat reading adoption stories on agency websites and looking at photolistings of waiting children in developing countries, my stomach churned. My eyes filled with tears and I thought of my precious daughter sleeping soundly in her room...warm, content, with a tummy full of food and two parents head-over-heels in love with her. I thought of my 2200-square-foot, four-bedroom home that would be considered a major luxury in most parts of the world. And I thought of all the children who had, well, nothing.

We have to do this.

But what would Kevin say? God had been so unbelievably faithful in bringing both of us to the same convictions in the past...but would He do it again? Both of us really valued being on the same page. Anytime we've had a disagreement, we've worked at reaching a mutually agreeable resolution. So I instant-messaged him some stuff I'd been reading while he was still at work. I told him what I'd been thinking, etc. When he got home that day, we talked some more. And, amazingly, he was on board. He too felt that this was God's work, God's very heart.

Yet again, the Lord brought us to the Brought BOTH of us, because neither of us had started out there. The first seed had ultimately been planted a couple of years earlier when Gary Haugen gave a sermon at the church we attended in Santa Barbara. He posed a question that had stuck with us ever since: Do I care about what God cares about?

Through our research, we found ourselves compelled by the African AIDS crisis, so we made the decision to adopt from Ethiopia. We completed a homestudy, were approved for two siblings ages 3 and under with mild to moderate special needs, and only 7 months from the time we began the homestudy, traveled to Ethiopia.

Met our sons.

Visited two orphanages, including one caring solely for HIV+ orphans.

Attempted to process what we saw and how it inevitably changed us.

Yosef and Biniam were 16 months old when we brought them home. We know their background, their story, and it's tragic just like they all are. But still these boys were happy, and sweet, and ready to join a family.

And, yes, there were struggles. Biniam was sick and somewhat developmentally delayed when we picked him up. He had some emotional issues revolving mostly around food. We spent a bit of time wondering what his future might hold. I must also say that having THREE children ages 2 and under was HARD. Some days I don't know how we made it. But, we did. My sons today are healthy, happy, and loving. They're smart, funny, and kind. Biniam more than caught up developmentally and is actually the sole extrovert in our family of seven. God is good.

Four months after returning from Ethiopia, I became pregnant. Nine months later, Kaitlyn Jane entered the world!

We felt so, so grateful to have received another sweet daughter. To know we could become pregnant again. For the first time ever, Yosef and Biniam were big brothers. Oh how they adored their baby sister! And having a normal, healthy pregnancy and delivery was so healing for us, after our last pregnancy ending in miscarriage.

Life post-adoption (and post-child-number-four) was hectic to say the least. We were tired, and stretched. BUT...

I think our marriage got even better. We came to experience God's faithfulness and goodness and mercy in amazing new ways. We got to see God's heart and His provision for His precious children. In parenting so many little ones, including two who came to us with grief and trauma issues, we had to somehow die to self. Every single day. We had to trust that God's grace would be sufficient for us, because we knew we couldn't do it on our own.
And I came to respect my husband even more than I already did. He worked hard during the day (commuting over an hour each way) and worked hard at home. He changed diapers, emptied the dishwasher, took responsibility for the kids. I got to fall in love with him again and again as I saw his passion for our family and also for the many orphans around the world. We so cherished our quiet evenings together when all the kiddies were in bed, and we could talk and laugh and just be together.

All of this felt so right. It felt like this was how life was supposed to be.

Because God is in the business of making beauty from ashes. You see, the VERY SAME MONTH that I tragically miscarried what was most likely a twin pregnancy, twin boys were born in Ethiopia to a woman who, tragically, would need to place them for adoption. We'd be united as a family many months later. And shortly after they joined our family, God blessed us with another pregnancy, another child by birth. Nothing is too huge for God. There may be hard times, but we're not supposed to be shooting for an easy life. God is, thankfully, not content to keep us complacent for long...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

(I know, this is a picture from Christmas Eve. NOT Valentine's Day. But let's face it, we're all in it, so I'm posting it. AND we're wearing pjs. Bonus.)

Today was church, then out for Chinese food for lunch, then a quiet afternoon at home doing the following:

--organizing a bunch of my clothes (which I WILL fit back into in a few months), including several items that I'll be donating to the thrift store

--putting my two youngest down for long naps

--getting beat by Kevin at the ridiculous game "Bible Outburst" (and don't think I don't know the REAL reason it has the word "outburst" in the title. I'm still fuming. People who wore sackcloth in the Bible? REALLY?! Regular Outburst is way better.)

I love all my valentines. I love that every February 14th is spent with a great husband that I love being around, and five amazing kids. There's leftover pizza for dinner tonight, Anna gets to celebrate Valentine's Day at her homeschool program tomorrow...therefore, life is good. :)

Friday, February 12, 2010


Biniam: Mommy, when I grow up, I'm going to go tell people about Jesus! I'll tell them that He loves them and that they should believe in Him, and that He's God.

Me: Biniam, that's wonderful! There are some people who go all over the world and help people, and tell them about Jesus. They're called missionaries.

Biniam: Yeah! That's what I'm going to do!

Wait for it...

Yosef: Well I'M going to be a mailman when I grow up.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


This picture pretty much speaks for itself, but I just have to say that it's been nothing short of amazing watching Anna become a big sister yet again. There are over five and a half years between Mary and Anna, but that hardly matters. They love each other. Over the past four months Anna has gotten Mary to sleep, made her laugh, helped her to stop crying. Always ready and willing to grab a diaper, find a pacifier, or just sit with me and the baby. She has an open heart. And begrudges Mary nothing.
My oldest and my youngest. So, so sweet.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


My baby is six. SIX.

Where did the time go?

Six years ago today my water suddenly broke, we packed up and went to the hospital, and sweet little Anna Elisabeth was born. Our lives were changed forever that day.

I remember looking at her and feeling like I'd always known her. I remember the excitement I felt as I realized that we were a family. A family!

Today, six years later, she is a confident, easy-going, funny girl. She loves Jesus, reading, helping in the kitchen, and playing with her four siblings. Her favorite TV show is America's Funniest Videos and not a day goes by when she doesn't tell me that Mary is aDORable. In some ways I believe she is very mature, and in other ways, very innocent and young. When she grows up she says she wants to be a mom, and a nun like Mother Teresa. :)

Rejoicing in God's blessings today as I celebrate my first-born. Happy birthday Anna!!!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

A marriage examined: Part III

Part I
Part II

When preparing for marriage, Kevin and I talked about that four-letter-word among newlyweds: kids. Neither of us thought it was a good idea to get married if you weren't wanting to have kids, or if you couldn't joyfully accept a child God might give you. Let's face it, everyone knows how children are conceived and there's nothing worse than married people who are actually MAD that they're having a baby.

Still I decided to go on the pill. I had about a year and a half left of college (that would be put on hold since we were moving), and ultimately, you weren't supposed to have kids until you'd been married a good long time.

I remember going to the Cal Poly health center a couple of months before our wedding and getting a prescription for birth control. Simple, right?

Well, apparently putting synthetic hormones into your body can have side effects. Nasty ones. Like splitting headaches, horrible bloating (I seriously LOOKED pregnant), fatigue, and worst of all, emotional issues. I tend to be a pretty calm, level-headed person. I rarely cry. But the pill made me crazy. Things that shouldn't have been a huge deal made me sob, or made me angry. I would have meltdowns. It was awful.

But I continued taking the stupid little pills, hoping and hoping that as time passed, the side effects would go away. About a month and a half after our wedding though, I reached a point where I told Kevin I'd rather be a sane, happy mom than a crazy person with a college degree. He totally agreed--in fact, he'd been encouraging me to stop taking the pill for quite some time.

Awhile after I stopped, some friends shared with us some disturbing things about hormonal birth control. I felt frustrated that no one had told us this before. Turns out it's controversial in Christian circles, and if I'd just read the little package insert and given it a few minutes of thought, I would have seen why. From that point on I knew I could never go that route again, not to mention the fact that various studies link hormonal contraception to significantly higher rates of breast cancer. Lovely.

So we just decided to use the ol' calendar method for our family planning and to trust God with the details. Many months later, I enrolled in college again because we were moving back to the SLO area. Every month I got my period, I felt sad--SAD--that I wasn't pregnant. Both of us looked forward to having kids, I guess we just thought we weren't allowed.

That first week back at school, I was exhausted. Hmmmm, school must take more energy than I remembered, I thought. I'd come home in the afternoons completely famished. Needing to eat. Why am I so hungry? Did school used to make me this hungry? Finally one day it occurred to me that I was late. And on our one-year wedding anniversary, I took a pregnancy test. It was positive. Two people had never been more thrilled!!! It's a beautiful thing when God makes a decision FOR you, when His will is right out there in front of you and you know precisely what He's wanting for your life. No guesswork, no turning back. I made the decision to drop out of college (not enough time to finish my degree before the baby came), and I can honestly say that I've never felt as free as I did walking away from campus.

God giving us Anna when He did remains one of the best things that ever happened to us. He blew all of our preconceived notions out of the water. He humbled us and blessed us beyond measure. Somewhere amidst the sleepless nights and spit-up I praised the Lord and felt that this was what our lives would be about. This was how God would shape and change me. This was how I would serve the Lord and how our marriage was meant to be. It wasn't too long before we both came to the conviction that children ARE truly gifts from God, that they CAN actually make your marriage BETTER as opposed to worse...and that sterilization was off the table for both of us. A scary proposition for two people in their early 20s!

I remember in some of our discussions about it, feeling unsure. We didn't fit with some of the groups (typically Protestant Christians) who spoke out against contraception and I found some of their arguments to be a little off. (It would actually be years before we felt like we came to any sort of cohesive beliefs on this or on sexuality in general, and interestingly they came from a most unexpected place, Pope John Paul II and the Roman Catholic church. More on that in a later post.)

When Anna was six months old, I got pregnant again. Several weeks later, I miscarried. Ugh. One of the WORST nights of my life. The physical pain was excruciating, not to mention the emotional pain that comes from knowing your baby has died, and it's all ending in this horrible messy tragedy. My doctor had suspected that it was a twin pregnancy based on the ultrasound, and judging by the miscarriage, I think he was probably right.

Grieving the loss of our baby (or babies I guess), we also desperately wanted to conceive again. It wouldn't happen. Everyone I knew was pregnant, but not me. I never felt angry or jealous per se, just frustrated that it wouldn't happen for us. FYI, secondary infertility is a nightmare. Every month you get your hopes up, then they come crashing back down, and you start wondering what's wrong with you, if your firstborn was a fluke and if they'll never have a sibling.

God taught me something during those times though, something that no one had EVER taught me before. I didn't hear it at church, or from friends, or read it in books. The Christian people I knew didn't talk about it, so it was something I'd never considered. And it was this: fertility is a gift. My fertility is a gift. My ability and Kevin's ability to, in cooperation with God, bring forth a precious new life made in the image of God, is profoundly beautiful.

It would be twenty long months before I would get pregnant again. I don't look back on the struggle to conceive with much fondness, because it was hard in a lot of ways. But I DO believe God used it to show me something that I would have been too stubborn to embrace otherwise, even though it meant I would suffer.

And I believe there was yet another reason God prevented us from conceiving--two reasons, really. It would come to be the next big step in our journey together...

Monday, February 08, 2010

Just us Heldts on a Saturday

Thanks to blogging (and email), I have some really wonderful friends out there who I've never met, but would love to.

Because we can't hang out in "real life", here are some things you might find if you dropped by on a Saturday morning:

Cartoons. The big kids usually designate Kaitlyn to come ask if they can turn them on (even though she's not in this picture.) Sometimes we say yes, and sometimes we say no.

Playtime. Lots and lots and lots of playtime. During which Mary is often a part. She likes the crazy.

Bleary-eyed parents. Who stayed up way too late the night before watching Waiting for Guffman. (FYI, 5-year-old boys like taking pictures, and they don't mind if their subjects are still in their pjs. Said subjects don't mind either, because really, pjs are the best.)

Sadly the only picture I have of Kaitlyn from this past Saturday morning was of her sitting on the toilet. (Thus not with the other kids watching cartoons.) I won't be sharing that one. But she was pretty cute! :)

Friday, February 05, 2010

Oh good grief

Last night I was interrupted during dinner by a phone call from the Psychology Department at the university I attended, Cal Poly SLO. I get one of these calls once a year, pretty much. I've even posted about it before. And last night, it went something like this:

(Picture her speaking in a really ditzy, teeny-bopper voice)

"So are you, like, currently working in the field of psychology?"

"No, I'm a mom. I have kids."
(Five actually, but who's counting?)

"Oh! Um, okay! A stay at home mom."
(Wow, thanks for the validation...) "Well, have you EVER worked in the Psychology field?"

(Not unless you count parenting FIVE CHILDREN day in and day out, including two who came home with some trauma issues. But whatever.)

"Ummm, okaaaaaay. So have you been back to visit Cal Poly since you graduated?"

(Didn't have the heart to break the news that I didn't, in fact, actually graduate...that sometimes God has other plans that far surpass your own. I also refrained from asking her if it's NORMAL to go lurking around your alma mater when you're in your late 20s. Because at best that seems desperate, and at worst, creepy.)

"Okay, well, like, I wanted to invite you to Open House this year. Do you think you can come?"

(Really? She knows I live in Colorado. What on EARTH would I be doing at Open House?)

"Um, um, okay. So like here's the other reason for my call."
(Riggggghht. NOW we get to the REAL reason this college student, who by this time I'm certain MUST be either a cheerleader or in a sorority of some sort, possibly both, is calling me.) "Things have been, like, really hard with the budget cuts. Things have been, like, so hard this year. Like getting classes, and stuff with education, and, like the cuts..."

At this point she droned on and on (making less and less sense, but I patiently sat and let her finish.) FINALLy she stopped and awkwardly asked, "Um, like, so can you make a donation?"

"No thank you."
(Sorry, our charitable giving is generally reserved for relief organizations, the kids we sponsor in Ethiopia and Uganda, our church, and the girl scouts when it's cookie time. I ALMOST asked if she'd caught the news lately or heard of a place called Haiti, and whether she REALLY thought things had been so hard for her at college, but of course I didn't.)

"Well, if you enjoyed your time at Cal Poly at all, you really should consider making a donation."
(Hmmm, not really a fan of school. At all. I went to college to get a work permit, but ended up scoring a husband instead. The Psychology program was good and I did well, but I have zero CP green and gold mustang pride. Sorry folks.)

"No thank you."

"Okay. GoodBYE."

So yeah, she was rude on top of it all. Unable to hide her bitterness that I didn't shell out some money for the suffering college students in San Luis Obispo, CA. I was polite, but I sure couldn't match her enthusiasm. (Must have been the Red Bull or something.)

The thing is, I DO have some fond memories of the PSY department. I had some great professors and all that. But I REFUSE to be guilted into donating, and so long as they have these sorority sisters calling me and acting like I owe the university something, I won't be. Not saying it's not a worthy cause, but REALLY. The way she was talking you'd have thought she was trying to raise money for St. Jude's.

Hate to be snarky, but it is what it is.

Except that, like, maybe it's a little fun sometimes.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Just my day

I love my quiet days at home.

Today we had our daily Bible/prayer time over breakfast, Anna worked on some word problems, and then she read about birds and trees. Love homeschooling. Love, love, love it!

As for me I've been doing housework mostly. (In addition to spending too much time reading blogs and emailing.) I currently have a sweet little 3-month-old smiling up at me. After I finish posting here I'm off to finish mopping and then I'll clean the bathrooms. I even have a meal planned for tonight, chili in the slow cooker. (Is it a slow cooker or crockpot? I'm never sure what to call it.) This is really something because I've been getting over a sinus infection (thank you Amoxicillin) so the cooking around here has been a bit sparse lately. And yes I know all of YOU probably have really great dinners EVERY night, but these days it's quite an accomplishment around here! Let's just say I'm lucky that a certain 5-almost-6 year old around here loves making quesadillas.

Our community group that we host/lead meets tonight, and my friend is bringing cookies, so I don't have to bake. Not that I don't LIKE baking, and Anna usually helps me, but I have enough to do today to keep me busy. I'd hoped to get some more headway made in my Bible reading but sadly that has not happened yet. I am woefully behind, but I am DETERMINED to catch up.

And with that, I really need to finish my housework. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


I think prayer is really interesting. The idea that we can somehow play a role in the mysterious plans of God is...crazy and amazing all at once.

One of my favorite books on prayer is by CS Lewis, Letters to Malcolm, Chiefly on Prayer. LOVE it.

A few months ago I felt convicted to begin praying boldly for something: for two children we know of (who have some medical needs) to find a family. I don't usually do that--I guess I mostly just pray for things like my kids to have a good day, or to feel better, or for me to have more patience etc. But this had been weighing on my heart, so we pray daily for it.

This morning with no prompting, Anna, Yosef, Biniam and Kaitlyn each prayed for these children. In their minds, nothing--NOTHING--is too big for God. Praying that orphans find a home is no different than praying we'll have a good day, or that Mary will get over her cold.

I really want that kind of faith. I keep reminding myself that although I'm not certain what God's answer to our prayers is yet, He is working. Meanwhile our faith is being built and strengthened, and that's always a good thing.

Is there anything that you pray about that feels just-too-huge?

For me, prayer means launching out of the heart toward God; a cry of grateful love from the crest of joy or the trough of despair; it is a vast, supernatural force that opens out my heart, and binds me close to Jesus.
--Saint Therese of Lisieux

Monday, February 01, 2010

Lunch duty love

Today I had lunch duty at Anna's homeschool-school-thingy.

Which means that for the past WEEK, she and the boys and Kaitlyn have been SO EXCITED.

I love that my independent five year old daughter WANTS me at her school helping. Not only that, she wants her siblings there too. When we showed up, I instructed Kaitlyn, Yosef and Biniam to sit and eat their own lunch in an out of the way spot. Anna came rushing over, saying "No! Come sit by ME! I want them to sit with me!" Soooo sweet. Then when they were done eating and having recess on the playground, Anna was looking out for Kaitlyn. Priceless.

I'll definitely try to remember all of this the next time I feel overwhelmed by the tattling and assorted spats--which could very well be tomorrow. :)

Now it's time to put some pjs on and settle on the couch with a book. (Sadly I'm behind on my "Bible in 90 Days" goal, but I can catch up...right?!) I'm exhausted, Mary's sleeping, Kevin's tucking the big kids into bed (after leading them in a rousing rendition of "Father I Adore You"), and the kitchen is clean. Another Monday has come and gone!

Blog Template by