OUR PLANS MULTIPLIED

In the beginning, JD adamantly only wanted two children. I thought that four would be perfect. Once we caught God's vision of putting orphans into families, our plan was multiplied by God. We are currently blessed with 12 children; five biological, six adopted and one more waiting in Ethiopia. Our first adoption was from the U.S., the next three were from Liberia, West Africa, and our last two were from Ethiopia. We are traveling back to Ethiopia this year to bring home our 12th child. We have found God's ways are higher than our ways and true joy is found in following His plan!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring

 It's beginning to feel like spring; I even bought flowers to plant, but am waiting to be sure we are past dipping below freezing at night. I leave for San Diego this week; I will be guaranteed spring there.


 While I was attempting to do some much needed catch up work this morning, the kids went right out to play. JD has several loads of dirt dumped to build up a hill behind the gun range area. Apparently, there was a lot of clay in the dirt because the kids have been building things out of it.

Some were fine and just made creations like Tori's turtle -


Others all but wallowed in it. By the time we put an end to their "fun", I had lots of people and clothes that looked like these -


Julia and Selah were the worst offenders and won the job of beating the huge clay chunks off their boots. Julia had even packed it in two backpacks.


  Never a dull minute; I had to take a serious break from my work to bathe children and beat and wash clothes. The front porch still resembles the above mitten picture.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Play Pictures


 Setting up the dinner before the play -




 Behind the scenes -







a few notes on the hand
My whole job was to keep my children quiet in the back two rooms after their scene and before bowing at the end. I resorted to putting a few under a table with a movie and ear-buds.




Hard to imagine that these two could have ended up in separate families if we hadn't been brave enough to do two adoptions at one time. Their bond is far closer than most siblings!
 

This is our friend, Sammy, from Ghana with the kids that played his family in the play.
 

It was a good experience for everyone, but we had two nights of the kids in bed later than midnight. They did very well considering.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Play

 My parents have had a big week. My only brother took a teaching position in China and boarded the plane just days ago to head over.

My mom, brother Kent and my dad
 This isn't Kent's first overseas adventure. He taught in Taiwan before and has done work in South America. We are all praying for him as he battles serious medical conditions and the care in China isn't quite America.

Before boarding
 My mom made the trip to Virginia that both my parents were planning to come on, since Kent wasn't home to care for my mother's array of rescued animals. She currently has two dogs that would literally kill each other if there was any contact, so she didn't feel safe leaving that to someone who may slip up. So basically, my Dad didn't get to come so he could doggie-sit. 

On a side note, he used to have "stray rules" way back when I was young. Generally, we were only allowed one stray animal picked up on the side of the road at a time. Over the years, he has softened and currently he has a pit bull in the backyard and a cat colony that lives on the front porch. (I remember one time in high school when I brought home a supposed neutered male cat missing his tail from the mall parking lot. Shortly after, we were a bit shocked when "Bob" delivered a litter of kittens. We were concerned we had drastically violated the one stray cat rule, but that wasn't the only litter of kittens I brought home, so somehow litters kind of started counting as just one.)

JD was wise and learned early on that I had my mother's same animal compassion, so he hasn't really bothered with many stray rules. Of course, it really helps to live on a farm, not in a neighborhood. 

Anyway, my mom has come for my sisters' drama production that is tonight! My children are all in it. Julia, Elijah, Selah and Bella have non-speaking parts, but they are going to try and control the passover lamb as he also makes his debut performance. (JD is off at the farm picking him up as I type). Between the children and the lamb, it will be most entertaining I am sure.

These pictures were taken at last night's dress rehearsal. It was semi-dress for my crew as Bella looked like a gypsy, rather than a little Hebrew girl, and Ben had an elaborate costume of his own choosing that resembled the prince of Egypt. I will get new pictures tonight of their final costumes.

Selah, Elijah and Bella
 After attending Seussical last weekend, Elijah was pretty excited to be in the play and he wanted to know if I thought he was a good actor once he had completed his "just stand here on the stage for this scene" performance. 

Tori and up have speaking parts. They are doing a good job, especially since the first thing we all say to Tori and Ben every time they speak is, "I can't hear you!"

Tori

 The pictures I took in the pitch black with the spot light on were really bad other than this one of one of Ben and James' scenes.


Ben, David and James

Hoping for good attendance and reception tonight since this is put on for the Afghan refugees that my sister works with!



Sunday, March 8, 2015

Tragedies and Comedies

 While JD, Alyssa and Julia spent the weekend in PA, and Alei is in CA with the baby smiles, the kids and I at home had a fun weekend together.

Baby Nathan
 The kids played out in the snow both Friday and Saturday morning. It was all good until Saturday when a certain brother caused Selah to fall face first on the ice. By the time she was accompanied to the front door, there was blood from her mouth to her boots. Since my normal course of action in these situations is to scream, "JD", I had to change course and deal with it myself. It took a good while to stop the bleeding, enough to see the full source. While she did have a few cuts, the blood bath was from her semi-lose teeth being knocked fully lose - all three of them. My estimate is her two top teeth will be out in the next few days. 

 We decided to make a trip to the library on Saturday afternoon. Elijah decided to wear his pirate eye patch from Aunt Deb.


 We have a nice new library where we live and I enjoy a full book basket of new books to distract the children from asking to watch TV.


I had to prepare to teach Sunday school today and my CC class on Tuesday. 


After dinner and setting the clocks back super early, we watched the new DVD release Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day. While it did have few rated PG things, it was a really good family movie that displayed the refreshing message of teens whose loyalties were to their family over their peers. In addition, it was hilarious and everyone enjoyed it. 

Sunday was our big day. The kids helped me teach my class since JD was out of town. We then went to lunch and headed to Suessical the Musical to celebrate Ben's 14th birthday. It was an excellent production and unfortunately the only photo I snapped was this quick one after the show of the little guys with the Grinch. I'm showing it in spite of it being blurry and Elijah's eyes closed because the Grinch is a big deal around here. 


All if all, the seven kids in my care and I had a nice weekend making memories, and my messy house proves that I did more fun things than clean!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Snow Many Trips in the Snow

 This was a serious travel week in our family. JD and Ben headed to Richmond on Tuesday for a long day of testing. JD brought him home and immediately headed for Virginia Beach (right back through Richmond) to work down there for two days. 

The plan for Thursday was I needed to head to DC early early to take Moriah for her planned trip to NY; JD was scheduled to head home late Thursday night in time to take Alei to DC early, early for her flight to San Diego on Friday morning. Then in the same afternoon, JD had to head to PA to take Alyssa to speak on missions. All in all, a complicated week enough without the snow.

The only explanation I can come up with for the additional snow storm two weeks before spring must be global warming! The forecast showed heavy snow moving in Wednesday night. Schools were cancelled and much to Moriah's dismay, her trip to NY was delayed. The freezing rain started Thursday morning and the snow was very heavy by noon.  Under normal situations, JD would have waited out the storm in VA Beach, but left early to try and beat the storm since he really needed to be home, to leave again. Unfortunately, he drove a lot of the trip very slowly on snowy, icy roads.

 
  
JD got up at 2:30 a.m. to get Alei on her 6 a.m. flight. He came home and plowed us and our neighbors out while I made a grocery run. We met back home for a frantic hour of packing and he and Alyssa (and JULIA!) left right after lunch for PA. Alyssa is speaking at a Saturday evening and Sunday morning service at our brother-in-law's church. 

Since it's just me and most of the kids for the weekend, I bundled them up to go and play in the snow. It is the third time that I've warned them to have fun because it's bound to be the last snow of the season! We were supposed to host a camp out next weekend, but the weather has delayed that until April!

I sent Moriah out with my camera to get a few pictures. Here is the snow-slug that Ben and Selah built. 

  
Here is Toby greeting the snow-slug - 


  
This shows the lack of respect that Toby had for the snow-slug -


Here's the snowman that James and Elijah built; Toby did not seen to have any issues with him. 


Chewy is waiting for spring as well!
 
  
Alei made it to San Diego and is getting to know her little nephew, Nathan. I told her to tell him that his MiMi is coming...


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Little of This and That

 I am quite weary of the cold; this has been the coldest Virginia winter I ever remember. We are supposed to get snow again tonight. Here are my ridiculous "farm" dogs. What is funny is neither of them have ever gotten on any furniture, but one day, Lincoln got a wild hair and climbed up in the left chair to sleep. Fiona apparently was envious because the minute he got down, she took the chair. When Lincoln came back, he just sat and stared at her sitting in the chair until JD went out and showed him that there was a second chair and he happily took it over. So now, they have "their" chairs; it's all cute until I recover them this spring with the new fabric I already bought and I won't want either of them on the chairs!


 When I got my "your library books are late" email, I threw our million library books in the car and deposited them in the drop box. When I came home, Elijah had found the empty basket had other uses. He was reading the one book that Tori had from her school library.


 I am pretty pleased with my chickens, they have been laying like crazy all freezing cold winter! We are getting as many as a dozen a day. Look at the size of this egg, the one on the left of it was small, but the green one on the right was large. 


My big weekend project was putting crochet braids in Julia's hair. They went pretty well and she is enjoying her long hair. This picture was when she returned from gymnastics so the back was in a pony tail. She also got reading glasses to help her eye tracking issues.


This weekend is Tori's hair weekend, but she wants nothing to do with long  hair!


blurry phone picture - hair down


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Big News - Nathan has arrived!

Announcing the arrival of our very sweet first grand-son - Nathan Gabriel!

 He was born in San Diego yesterday - February 18th.

He weighed 8'14" and is 21.5" long.

Mom, Dad and Nathan are all doing well after a long labor and an unanticipated c-section. We are so thankful that he and Alayna are healthy! 


Alayna and Gabriel just a few days before the birth