Friday, November 28, 2008

Flashback Friday

Thanksgiving 2005

We have tried to take our Christmas picture this year, but we can't seem to get three little girls to look at the camera at the same time. Hopefully tomorrow we will have three bright smiles!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

More adoption drawings

Lydia made this new picture and she really wishes that we could just mail it to her new siblings.  Grace, Adie and Lydia are the bigger ones and the two little ones off to the left are her new brothers or sisters.  They are loved so much already and we don't even know who they are yet!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Big decisions

God is calling us to a few big decisions and one of them might be to switch the adoption agency that we are using.  We were told of a different agency who is much more friendlier to our situation (already having 3 children in the home)  and their wait time is SIGNIFICANTLY less, they will let us adopt out of birth order and would let us adopt two children whether they were siblings or not.  (of course they would become siblings once they were apart of our family.)

So  Carl and I are taking this Thanksgiving weekend to pray over this new situation,  please join with us so we make the best decision for our family and that we would glorify God with the decision.  

Also pray that we would be able to work with our health insurance.  I am totally amazed at how uncooperative they can be with an adoption.  When you are self-employed, you fall into a totally different category which doesn't carry the same standards as everyone else, so thus an insurance company can just say, "No" because they, the children,  are older than 90 days old.  And there is not much I can do about it.  But with God on my side anything is possible and I am going to stand firm on that truth!

Now this is only one decision that is on our plate right now, the other I can't share publicly but it is heavy on my heart.  I am trusting in God's ultimate wisdom and grace.


I am in the thick of packing for the ranch tomorrow!  I hope I don't forget anything too is 50 plus miles to town!  Now talk about crazy living!  I can't wait to post pictures from our adventures!

Monday, November 24, 2008

High heels and duct tape

In order for us to keep a diaper on Adie we have resorted to duct tape!  
She understands when she has gone to the bathroom but doesn't like to sit on the potty.

Grace and Lydia have found the two pairs of high heels that I own and run all over the house.
I can't imagine all the pairs of shoes that will be in this house in 10 years!  

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I just found this picture from a couple of weeks ago of Lydia and I thought it was just beautiful. I could just eat her up!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Adoption Classes

We just completed the next step in our adoption which was to attend two days of classes. 

Was it helpful?  Over all I would say yes but there were aspects that I thought could have been extremely better.  I know we made some great connections with other families who are in the same place we are right now and I am looking forward to their friendships continuing in the future.

One thing that I took home was the fact that we are now a minority family.  We are not a caucasian family but a transracial family from here on out. We will look and act different than what we were before.   This is something that my extended family with have to deal with too.  But I want to stress that whenever you add a member to your create a new family identity. 

The paperwork is going to ....stink!  I wanted to use another word to describe it, but refrained myself.  My life has never been so completely invaded by complete strangers in my life.  Questions up the wazoo with the never ending..."what is your philosophy..."  and a stranger is going to be able to meet us twice and come into our home once and decide if we would make good adoptive parents.  (I completely understand why they have to do it, but the process just takes so long that it is frustrating.)  

I am so looking forward to the day when I can meet our heart longs for them, but God is calling me to a long season of patience endurance and it is going to be well worth the wait.  

I have paper over load because I think we took home a whole tree of paper!  

Good night!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Big Bummer!

We just found out that the potential lead on buying our house just put an offer in on a different home down the street.  Bummer!  It would be such a relief to have that chapter closed.  In the grand scheme of life, this is a small matter.  I trust that our home will sell and the right people haven't seen it yet.  I have been praying for it to be a godly family to be a light to the neighborhood.  

For now I am standing on firm ground that God did call us to move to St. Cloud and He has much bigger plans for our family than we can ever expect.  Beth Moore said in one of her bible studies that God's dreams for our lives are so much grander that we can think of .  (and I am a big day dreamer!)  So even with our house not selling, I am believing the promises of God.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Adie saying Elbow

She is acquiring more words!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Honey do list...

We completed the WHOLE "honey do list" this weekend.  I cannot believe it!  and there were some big projects on there too!  (fix the skylight so it wouldn't be a vent for all of our heat to escape this winter.  Caulk around the kitchen floor because the installer did a pretty poor job, completed the sound booth, mud and taped the bathroom ceiling, changed thermostats, and many small little things that never get done.)  I even took a picture of Carl with everything checked off!

Now we could not have done without my mom coming and playing with the girls, running to Menards for us, and holding my hand while I broke two screws trying to put up safety latches under the sink.  (she broke two we improvised with a few nails.)  So, thank you mom for everything.  A girl still needs her mom no matter how old she is!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cookies and adoption

I let all three of them sit on the counter while we made cookies.  Let's just say they were very happy!

Grace has been my little saver recently.  She wanted to have a piggy bank so we could save our money for the adoption.  Even when we are out shopping, she will continually remind me (especially when are in a store that she doesn't care for) that we should save our money instead of spending it.  
Lydia brought me this picture last week and explained that Carl and I are on the left and our two adoption children are on the right.  (notice that they are two girls:) I don't know if that is what she is secretly praying for or not.

Story behind the flashback...

A few of you wanted to know the story behind this flashback friday.  I wrote a letter to my girls right after I shaved my head.  I will share it with you now.

July 23, 2007

My Dearest Girls,

I wanted to write to you while this is still fresh and God fingerprints are still anew in my mind. One week ago Sunday I had the privilege of having Lauren Ellwein shave my head. She is currently undergoing chemo treatments for Ewing’s sarcoma.(A type of bone cancer found in her pelvic bone.)

About 3 months ago we were all driving home from Nana and Papa’s house, when I leaned over and told your Dad that I had a feeling that someday I would shave my head. I felt the Lord was preparing me in advance for something that I was going to do. He said that I would look cute bald. I thought maybe I would have cancer, or one of you or someone very close to me and then I would shave my head. Timing was a mystery to me but I thought it would be something in the far off future.

Little did I know that God had a different plan for me. Just over a month ago, Lauren was diagnosed. I gave it a little thought but then let it pass my mind. One night while I was praying and reading God’s word the Shama came to mind. “Love the Lord while all your heart, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.” I would shave my head in an instant for one of you, now would I do it literally for a neighbor girl? It was a done deal in my mind. I talked to Lauren’s mom and then called her in the hospital and asked if we could shave our heads together. She giggled and thought it would be fun.

I learned while she was shaving my head that she wanted to be a hair dresser. So I was her first official client. Pretty easy cut – don’t you think? We video taped it and Nana watched via Ichat. Daddy was in Omaha that weekend so he saw me the next morning.

All the firsts were crazy! The first time you wash your hair and put conditioner in out of habit. Or the first time you lay down on a pillow…it feels really weird. But it nothing compared to what Lauren is going through right now. We went to the mall together to look for hats. People look. But that is just because we are different.

I am praying for a miracle for Lauren. I want to see her walk down her wedding isle someday and have her send me Christmas cards of her growing family. God has a special plan for her life just as he has for yours. He knows the number of our days before one of them comes to be. He knows the number of hairs on our heads. I put my trust and hope in Jesus – The Way, The Truth and The Life!

My prayer is that my life will point you closer to God. I want to be the best example of Christ for you. I love all three of you more and more everyday.

I am doing exactly what God has called me to do…be your mommy!

I love each one of you more than you will ever know!

Flashback Friday

Remember when I didn't have any hair?  I sent Carl a picture text when I did it because he was in Omaha that weekend.  This year Lauren is cancer free and has the cutest little pixie cut right now.  

This is when three girls actually fit in the tub without fighting for space.  They have gotten so tall in the past year.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

God's favor and Grace

Last night I could not remember where I put a very important piece of paper. It was something that I should have know exactly where it was at all times since our move.  I stayed up well past midnight and could not find it and like any mother, I laid in bed just thinking about where in the world could I have put it.  Thus, I did not sleep well, but in the morning I was granted grace and it all worked out even though I still haven't found it.  

This afternoon Carl received great news that we have some awesome potential business by the end of the year! Yahoo!

And....drum roll please....
We might have sold our house! Keep praying on this one because a LOT of details need to be in place before we can say for sure.  But even the slightest glimmer of  hope, gives me great hope! I love our old house and all the memories that are there, but I am ready for someone else to begin to create new memories there.

I am feeling so overjoyed.  God is always watching over his children and His timing is not always our timing.  There are so many times that I wonder what in the world is God up too?  Why this or why that?  I trust Him full well that He is working for my good even in the trying and stretching times of life.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Last night I was over at my sister-in-law's house when my niece came up to me and gave me a dollar for our adoption fund.  She wanted to tithe the birthday money that she received.  It was such a sweet act that melted my heart.  She gets it!  I am still blown away that the average church going person only gives 2.2% of their income away.  There is so much joy in giving that it is not even measurable.

Today Grace  got her bank and gave money for our adoption fund too!  This was an unprompted act on her own part!  Grace and Lydia also made about 20 pictures for our "adopted" children.  They really wanted me to make sure that they got it, so I am going to tuck those pictures away so someday our children will know that they were loved long before they were ever adopted into our family.  A child's heart is so precious!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Flashback Friday

Remember when Adie didn't sleep through the night until she was about 15 months old.  I was so desperate for sleep that my mom bought Adie a new bed to help her sleep better.  She loved her bed and actually was better in the morning.  The little stinker still loved to be up every 1-2 hours...and boy could she cry!  She would lay in her bed and kick and kick and that would make her bed bounce, which she just loved!  

Isn't she so sweet?  

and they are too! 

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I love surprises...especially when you can pull off a great one!

We surprised my father-in-law for his 60th birthday by inviting all his friends over to Matt and Carrie's house.  

The Rouse:

We invited my parents (Nana and Papa) to go out bowling for Lydia's birthday and of course Grandpa and Grandma needed to come with us.  (aka: we needed Peter and Caroline out of the house so they could set up for the party)  We came back to my house and "had" to look at pictures and my parents did a great job of keeping Peter talking!  We then walked over to Matt and Carrie's for everyone to say, "Happy Birthday!"  From what I could tell, he was really surprised.  

It was also great to put a face to a name with all of their friends.  Of course, many were at our wedding, but I wasn't too concerned about them on our big day.  

But now I am tired and off to bed - because my children haven't been sleeping in.  I am sure you can tell if you have read previous blog posts.

Six kids

This is what was looking at me when we drove to Sauk Centre.  There are lot of pairs of eyes!  

I am thankful Lydia wanted just cupcakes for her birthday.  Everyone was able to decorate their own with as much sprinkles that could possibly fit on their cupcake.

This was the best pouty face that they could give me.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Birthday Lydia

My Liddy Bug turns 4 today.  FINALLY!  Lydia was the most mature 3 year old that I know who thinks she is more like 7 than 4.  Always wanting to keep up with her older sister and cousins, she will not be left out!  She is such a sweet girl who brings so much life and energy to our family.  Usually every morning she comes in bright and early to greet the day and she always has a huge smile on her face and is really hungry too!  Lydia couldn't wait to eat her bran muffin this morning.

This afternoon we are going to Papa and Nana's house for a long awaited slumber party and her three cousins get to come too!  She planned her menu of sausage, smashed potatoes, and LONG green beans, (the short ones taste different) and birthday cake.  Plus she is getting her hair cut at Jessica's.  Pictures will come tomorrow!

Monday, November 3, 2008

5:15 AM

Since they went to bed early two nights ago, they made up for it this morning.  

5:15  - Lydia starts crying - Adie thinks it is time to get up

5:27 - Lydia and Grace are talking in bed

5:32 - I hear wrestling in bed

5:48 - They are playing the Kazoo in bed.  Seriously - who wants to hear that in the morning!  I love my children to pieces, but the kazoo? 

6:12 - I yell for the 8th time that it is still the middle of the night and they all need to go back to sleep.  (In my book, unless there is a 7 on the clock - the first number mind you, then it is still the middle of the night.)

6:45 - We finally all get out of bed to start the day.  Adie had started the process of taking her PJ's off when I went to get her out of her crib.  So very helpful at the young age of 21 months!

I am laughing right now just thinking about what they all did this morning before they were actually out of bed.  I am hoping Adie takes a nice long nap to make up for a few hours of lost sleep.  

We are awaiting the arrival of daddy at 4pm.  He was gone for the past two days working on a PULSE event.  We have become so accustomed to having him around that it is really lonely when he is gone.

I am off to enjoy this AMAZING fall day here in Minnesota!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

6:15 am

This was the time the wee ones decided that it was morning around here.  I then had the brilliant idea that they should stay in their room until there was a 7 on the clock.  (Just like any other day)
They made it until 6:50 when all mayhem broke out.  Not too bad for being put to bed so early!

We spent the afternoon and evening with extended family for November birthdays.  Lydia felt like a queen since it will be her b-day on Tuesday.  

I also made 25 sets of bows last night.  I have been working very hard to build up my inventory so that I can sell my nursing shawls, bows, and head scarves here in St. Cloud as well as Sioux Falls. I am putting all the money that I make into our adoption fund.  $10 dollars here and $20 dollars there starts to add up over time!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


My children were, let's just say a little tired tonight.  So, I decided that it was going to be an early bedtime especially since Adie thought she needed to be up from 11 - 1 am last night.  I was so proud of myself that I was able to get everyone into bed and shut the door at 6:45 pm.  I remind you that they were VERY tired and usually go to bed around 7:30 ish.  

I come into the office and start researching on how to clean bath tubs because I just can't seem to get mine clean.  Anyways, I go and read Fox News to only see that tonight is daylight savings. YIKES! that means my children went to bed at 5:45 pm.  They are going to be up soooooo early tomorrow morning.  I am guessing that tomorrow will be a long day.  Hopefully they all take a nap. 

Last night Carl and I had the best date!   He ran and got cheesy bread from Papa John's and rented Pride and Prejudice.  (awesome movie!  I should read the book sometime with all my free time)  I felt like I was back in college ... that was until Adie thought she needed to watch the last half with us.  I completely fell in love with the characters and Carl even liked it too!

I am off to go and make hair bows!