Thursday, September 29, 2011

Embracing the Camera & the Changing Weather

Embracing the camera is making sure you, the adult, gets into the picture.
Don't you love the photos you have from your childhood 
with your adulloved ones in there with you? 
Don't forgeto get in there & embrace it.

We went down to the Capitola pier on Sunday morn, after church.
It began as a sunny day.

About 20 minutes into our exploratory walk, it started raining.
For some of you folk, that is normal.  
For us, it is not.
Quickly changing weather is strange to us.
I love it.

Here the rain has begun & Gillian & Peyton are freaking a bit.
I yell athem to get in the picture.
Instead they race for the partial shelter of the stroller.

It is Embrace the Camera day over at Emily's.
I forgot we had the photos from Sunday.
So, I took a photo of me doing what I do almost all the time 
- Rock a Bye little Kendall.
Little, big, chubby, 8 month old Kendall.
Chubby, "hold me", eat so much "real" food my diapers now stink, Kendall.
Oh.  And, abouthis photo & the weather.
Yesterday, we had mid 90 temps (unusual & a wee bit hot for me).
Today?  Cool & lovely.  I goto wear my new scarf from Target.  Happy Fall!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Retreat to the Lake

Adoptive Moms - are you going to the Created to Care Retreat?
January's retreat filled up in several hours.  
And the waiting list was quickly a couple hundred ladies long.

Created to Care ladies then worked their tails off to putogether a 2nd retreat!
March 23-25!  I'm in!
I know ladies who got into the January retreat.
But, who is going is going to go with me in March?
Registration opens tonight 12:01am.  (for us west coasters, it will be open @ 9:01pm)

You know what?  
If you are thinking you may wanto adopt, but wanto learn more, you can come, too.
Come!  It should be amazing.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Front Porch Sittin'

My guy & I have been really busy lately, it seems.
We didn't get too many at home dates this past month.
He had nights of writing breeding reports & presentations.
He had travels to Europe & to Butte Valley.

I had baby rocking & dish washing & dossier copying & collating.

We got a date night this week.
take out Sushi from Miyuki's on our front porch!

 Gillian & Peyton were SO excited
when they found out there would be a date night that evening.
Gillian was eager to help with anything she could.
She swept the porch, cleaned cob webs, & set up floral arrangements.
Peyton wanted to know what we would have for "beezert" &
if they could have some of the leftovers.

Gillian's own "vase-ment" in the blue.

After a warm day, it turned into a chilly evening.
So, instead of the Gelato bars I had in the freezer for dessert, we had cups of green tea.

We took the time to talk about our small group study questions together.
We sat back & relaxed.
Scott told me about work, without constant interruptions.

We did have a few brief interruptions from neighbors.
Such is front porch sitting.
Different from the privacy of a backyard picnic.
I like it, though.
It is nice having a place set up in the front to relax & interact with the neighborhood.

My kids rode bikes with neighbor kids for the first time,
while we waited for daddy to get home.
I love it & so did they.  And so did the neighbor girl.
Hopefully we'll get more times like that in, in the near future.

I'm linking up here with Rebecca & Andi for Dinner at Eight - 


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Of Coffee & Treats & being Hungry

I am copying, copying, copying.
We now have the money to send our dossier in, 
just in the nick of time (before the docs expire).
I was planning to finish the copies over the weekend, 
& mail it all out Monday.  
Here it is Tuesday.  Still copying.
And, my printer/copier runs out of ink.
An errand to Staples becomes necessary.

I expecthe kids to beg & beg for Starbucks treats,
since we have to walk right pasthere, to geto our destination.
I determine ahead of time thathe answer will be no.
Respect, kindness & obedience have all been nearly forgotten this morning.
I won't reward that with a petite vanilla scone.

Much to my surprise, no one begged for a treat.
It was brought up, of course.  
"I have an idea!  How about we getreats!"
I say no, nothis morning.
No one objects.
Except for me.  I am whining inside my head.
I say to myself that it has been a hard morning.
I'm worn out.  I should get a treat.
We are so close.
No, I tell myself, I can make some at home.

Back home in my messy kitchen.
Messy due to constant use.  
Never ending food preparation & consuming.
I have cookies on the counter.
I have coffee beans & an espresso maker.
I already have all these things I am whining for.

I feel like a deserve this $4 coffee.
And then I think about why I am out.
We are getting the ink for our dossier docs.
And I think about our little guy for whom we are waiting.
And I wonder abouthe famine in the Horn of Africa.
Is he suffering under this?  
How much hunger has he already known in his short life?

Even with all the times we have felt some sort of hunger pangs,
have ever really known hunger? 
We have always been able to answer our bodies request for food.
We never had to go hungry. 

Right now there is a the world's firsfamine 20 years, 
affecting millions & millions of people in Somolia, Kenya & Ethiopia.
And one of those millions may be our little guy.

What can we do?
It's too overwhelming, right?
Wrong!  A lot of people caring can go a long, long way.
God knows how to bless our gifts & multiply them.

Right now, Sarah Lennsen is running a Ask 5 for 5 campaign.
Will you take part?  
Go & give $5 & ask 5 friends if they will give $5 also.
Her goal is to raise $40,000 for World Vision as they fighthe hunger in the Horn of Africa.
As of today, 75% has been raised.

Hear from her directly - 

Guest Blogger: Sarah Lenssen from #Ask5for5
Family photos by Mike Fiechtner Photography
Thank you Erin and nearly 150 other bloggers from around the world for allowing me to share a story with you today, during Social Media Week.
A hungry child in East Africa can’t wait. Her hunger consumes her while we decide ifwe’ll respond and save her life. In Somalia, children are stumbling along for days, even weeks, on dangerous roads and with empty stomachs in search of food and water. Their crops failed for the third year in a row. All their animals died. They lost everything. Thousands are dying along the road before they find help in refugee camps.
At my house, when my three children are hungry, they wait minutes for food, maybe an hour if dinner is approaching. Children affected by the food crisis in in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia aren’t so lucky. Did you know that the worst drought in 60 years is ravaging whole countries right now, as you read this? Famine, a term not used lightly, has been declared in Somalia. This is the world’s first famine in 20 years.12.4 million people are in need of emergency assistance and over 29,000 children have died in the last three months alone. A child is dying every 5 minutes. It it estimated that 750,000 people could die before this famine is over. Take a moment and let that settle in.
The media plays a major role in disasters. They have the power to draw the attention of society to respond–or not. Unfortunately, this horrific disaster has become merely a footnote in most national media outlets. News of the U.S. national debt squabble and the latest celebrity’s baby bump dominate headlines. That is why I am thrilled that nearly 150 bloggers from all over the world are joining together today to use the power of social media to make their own headlines; to share the urgent need of the almost forgotten with their blog readers. Humans have the capacity to care deeply for those who are suffering, but in a situation like this when the numbers are too huge to grasp and the people so far away, we often feel like the little we can do will be a drop in the ocean, and don’t do anything at all.
When news of the famine first hit the news in late July, I selfishly avoided it. I didn’t want to read about it or hear about it because I knew I would feel overwhelmed and uncomfortable. I wanted to protect myself. I knew I would need to do something if I knew what was really happening. You see, this food crisis is personal. I have a 4-year-old son and a 1 yr-old daughter who were adopted from Ethiopia and born in regions now affected by the drought. If my children still lived in their home villages, they would be two of the 12.4 million. My children: extremely hungry and malnourished? Gulp. I think any one of us would do anything we could for our hungry child. But would you do something for another mother’s hungry child?
My friend and World Vision staffer, Jon Warren, was recently in Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya–the largest refugee camp in the world with over 400,000 people. He told me the story of Isnino Siyat, 22, a mother who walked for 10 days and nights with her husband, 1 yr-old-baby, Suleiman, and 4 yr.-old son Adan Hussein, fleeing the drought in Somalia. When she arrived at Dadaab, she built the family a shelter with borrowed materials while carrying her baby on her back. Even her dress is borrowed. As she sat in the shelter on her second night in camp she told Jon, “I left because of hunger. It is a very horrible drought which finished both our livestock and our farm.” The family lost their 5 cows and 10 goats one by one over 3 months, as grazing lands dried up. “We don’t have enough food now…our food is finished. I am really worried about the future of my children and myself if the situation continues.”
Will you help a child like Baby Suleiman? Ask5for5 is a dream built upon the belief that you will.
That something I knew I would need to do became a campaign called #Ask5for5 to raise awareness and funds for famine and drought victims. The concept is simple, give $5 and ask five of your friends to give $5, and then they each ask five of their friends to give $5 and so on–in nine generations of 5x5x5…we could raise $2.4 Million! In one month, over 750 people have donated over $25,000! I set up a fundraiser at See Your Impact and 100% of the funds will go to World Vision, an organization that has been fighting hunger in the Horn of Africa for decades and will continue long after this famine has ended. Donations can multiply up to 5 times in impact by government grants to
help provide emergency food, clean water, agricultural support,
healthcare, and other vital assistance to children and families suffering in the Horn.
I need you to help me save lives. It’s so so simple; here’s what you need to do:
  1. Donate $5 or more on this page (
  2. Send an email to your friends and ask them to join us.
  3. Share #Ask5for5 on Facebook and Twitter!
I’m looking for another 100 bloggers to share this post on their blogs throughout Social Media Week. Email me at if you’re interested in participating this week.
A hungry child doesn’t wait. She doesn’t wait for us to finish the other things on our to-do list, or get to it next month when we might have a little more money to give. She doesn’t wait for us to decide if she’s important enough to deserve a response. She will only wait as long as her weakened little body will hold on…please respond now and help save her life. Ask 5 for 5.
Thank you on behalf of all of those who will be helped–you are saving lives and changing history.
p.s. Please don’t move on to the next website before you donate and email your friends right now. It only takes 5 minutes and just $5, and if you’re life is busy like mine, you probably won’t get back to it later. Let’s not be a generation that ignores hundreds of thousands of starving people, instead let’s leave a legacy of compassion. You have the opportunity to save a life today!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Wonder If I'll Ever Get the Hang of It

Yesterday evening I was able to prove that having 4 little kids whom I parent 24/7, 
does not necessarily mean that I know what I'm doing.  

We headed out to the county fair, right after daddy got home from work.  

Mistake #1 - I allowed all 3 walkers to wear rain boots.
walking for much of a distance in clunky, 
loose-fitting rain boots cannot be a good idea.

Mistake #2 - I didn't bring a stroller.
(Fairly self explanatory)

Mistake #3 - without the stroller, I didn't choose to bring the baby snacks.  
I didn't want to carry the bag.

Mistake #4 - baby was grabbing at all our food, wanting something, 
so I let her have the one thing she would be able to eat - Cotton Candy.  
Yep.  I did.  I gave my infant cotton candy.

Guess who had an awful night of close to zero sleep last night...
Yep.  Apparently little babies shouldn't have cotton candy.
Too much sugar, YA THINK?!?!

(Plus, I forgot the camera, on top of it all.)

Not only was sleep poor last night, naps were a terrible ordeal this afternoon.
Peyton got up, just when I finally got Kendall to sleep.

I'm copying dossier papers &
He's making pictures on the back of all my copy errors.
He's got a lot of pictures to do...

We took a minute to embrace the camera.  
It is thursday, after all.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Identity Confusion

Personality tests are fascinating to me.  I love them.  
I love seeing the results for myself & for others. 
It can make us feel understood, I guess.
But lately, they are causing me some confusion.
Not really an identity crisis.  An identity confusion, perhaps?

I used to be a strong ENFP.  
I never failed to gethe same result on any test.
And I was happy.
I was glad to be the Champion.  
That was back in my days of singlehood.
Now, I guess I have changed quite a bit.
I married a very strong INTJ.
You know, as in, a Mr. Darcy.
i.e. Mr. Brilliant.

He probably influences me a lot.
I've seen some grief now, in losing my baby.
And, I am now a mom, with 4 littles with me almost always.

I used to be a strong Extrovert.
Now, I think due to all the life changes I mentioned,
I would, indeed choose a quietime with a book, over a big party.
I still am an "e", just a moderate one.  One with more balance?

When I tried taking the Jung this weekend, I got different results each time.
I guess I don't even know myself enough to answer the questions.  
Argh!  Who am I?

I am moving between the ESFJthe ESFP.  
What happened to my iNtuition?  
I'm confused.

When I got the ESFP result, I was bummed.  
A Performer?  No.  I don't want to be that.
What - shallow & obnoxious?
But, then I saw that Ronald Reagan was an ESFP.  
I guess I could bear it & use it for good & not evil.

I took the test again, just to make sure, cuz i didn't feel like a performer
& I was so sure I was really an ENFP.

Second result was ESFJ.  
Provider.  Hospitable & neighborly & event coordinating.
i.e. Martha
Maybe that is close?  I feel it could be.

As I receive varying results, my husband tells me I am not being true to myself.
Wait!  I thoughthat was supposed to be my line!

I'll try to not worry about it too much.
I'll take a break from re-taking the test.
I may need professional help.

On a serious note, at least I know I am a daughter of Jesus.
And I know I was made to serve Him.

But I want to know about you.
What is your "type"?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Kindergarten or Whatever it May Be

the school year is here.




a smidge young, I know

think we are doing kindergarten with Gillian this year.  Maybe?  
We had been struggling along with letter learning.  
thought she would be no where near learning to read this year.
A couple weeks ago?  Wham!  
She gets it.  She is remembering her letters.
A month ago, the recall % was close to 0.  
Now, suddenly, it is up to about 85%
It is amazing to watch little ones learn.

So, I think it is a kindergarten year for Gillian.

We are still going through theme letter lesson based on totally tots ABC craft cards.

"m" is where we began this year.  the kids had a blast with magnets.
Gillian knows thathat magnetic items contain a high amount of iron.
She knows a compass works because of the magnetic poles in the earth.

We studied maps & we are learning to use a compass.
(So Free Range parenting, no?  Pretty soon, I'll let my kids navigate the city on their own.)

this pin?  I didn't DIY.  I followed the link & just bought the stuff.  It seemed like a hazardous project.  I don't want anyone to breath in magnet dust.

We've been using these coloring/writing sheets here
you can customize them to say whatever you want!

Happy Fall, Ya'll!