Monday, January 27, 2014

Do Something Worth Writing

Among lots of other things, Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying, "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."

I haven't been writing much, so I guess I'm supposed to be doing the latter. 

My days lately have been filled to overflowing with homeschooling, cooking from scratch, laundry, diapers, more cooking. Is that worth writing about? Maybe...

But I know someone who IS doing something worth writing about. So I'll write about her.

Since early in December, my friend and Project TLC partner, Shelly, has been in Eastern Europe on a mission to adopt four children. It's been a tough road, with inexplicable roadblocks littered along the way including being told she would not be able to adopt the children she had grown to love and worked so hard to reach, but must adopt four different children or none at all. You can read all about it HERE.

Being a strong orphan advocate and experienced adoptive mom, Shelly was not about to go home empty handed. The Lord directed her to four darling little boys who might not have been discovered otherwise. Boys whose ultimate potential in their culture would have been realized in a mental institution. Finally, a ray of sunshine! Court is scheduled this week and she'll be bringing the new boys home to her family after a short waiting period.

With an extended period of time in country, funds for returning home have become an issue. Many of the costs associated with adoption in this country are on the back end. Medical appointments, immigration visas, plane tickets. Right now, Shelly is about $4000 short to get the kids home.

I'm so happy to call Shelly my friend. I love to hang out with people who are willing to do the hard things, the right things, the sacrificial things. After she gets home with the boys, I'll have some fun things to share about her adoption...sweet little threads of God's goodness. But until then, please help us raise the final bit of ransom to get these kids home!

A donor has offered a $100 Target gift drawing for all donations over $25. I'll draw a name from donations under $25 to receive a hardcover copy of The Boy from Baby House 10. Go here to donate and check on progress: 

Thank you!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tightening the Belt

We really had a nice Christmas season. It's always a little nuts having the kids out of school for so long, but with extra helpers around we managed ok. The best part was having our bigs home, if even just for a few days. It was nice not to rush around in the mornings to catch the just hang out with brothers and sisters!

New Year's Eve was a bit different this year, as dad did a series of runs...a 5k late in the afternoon, another 5k at 11:45pm, followed by a half marathon on New Year's Day. Our family "party" just wasn't the same without him and I actually rang in the new year in a hot bathtub, looking out the window watching fireworks going off in the neighborhoods to the south of us.

I planned to do some strategic planning starting on the 1st, but somehow we are back in survival mode again. It's so difficult to plan when you are putting out fires left and right. Soon.

I've been trying to trim our budget in any way possible. Last fall we got rid of our landline as well as cable TV. This month I'm experimenting with ways to cut the food budget. On a whim I made a big batch of bread one day a few weeks ago and everyone loved it so much, I've decided to just make our own bread each week. I've got a jar of sourdough starter fermenting and I can't wait to use it! Thank goodness we finally got another 50 pound bag of I can make granola cereal for super cheap. My kids love to eat cereal, but I don't love paying for it.

We are also experimenting with different ways to include beans in our meals. We have a freezer full of deer meat, so we are good in the meat department. What are some ways that you are able to trim your food budget?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


I've been dying to share Max's amazing new skill, but I haven't been able to get it on video! I have all but given up on my formerly institutionalized boys ever developing meaningful speech, but Max is gonna prove me WRONG!

A few days ago he was sitting at the top of the basement stairs. He wanted to go down and play but he's anxious about the stairs. My son Richard said, "mom, is he asking for help? Max, do you need help?" At that point Max shook his head "yes" and said, plain as day, "ELP!"

Max has said words on occasion, but none consistently. Now we are hearing ELP! all day long...and he is using it appropriately! However, when I attempt to take video, he clams up. He's a real smart turkey!