The day I got married, one of my closest friends looked me in the eye and said "God has many wild and wonderful things ahead for you and Jeremy."

Being called mom by 7 kids is definitely wild. Each day I look for the wonder in it all...and give thanks.

Partnering with my husband in life, parenting, work and serving is definitely wonderful. He is my favorite.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Counting our blessings

I have avoided the computer the last few days and haven't even considered writing an update because, frankly, I was kind of....ticked, to put it nicely.  The day before yesterday we found out that Jeremy's wallet was not lost at home, but in fact, stolen.  And somewhere in Mexico.

I panicked.  I was trying to call credit card companies and the bank from overseas and the phone numbers wouldn't work.  Jeremy was out with the bigs and he wasn't answering his cell phone.  He had the ONLY credit card in our possession and I needed the number to get through to someone on the phone.  We found out that we would have to cancel that card as well therefore leaving us with just a few pesos in our pocket and no other way to pay for our doctor appointments.

So I started counting (about 24 hours later)....

blessing #1: The thief spent less than $60.
#2: After spending $85 on the first phone call from my cell, we were able to call the remaining companies successfully through skype. (Thanks, Todd, for your help!)
#3: Capital One sent an emergency replacement card within 18 hours.
#4: That card works.
#5: We were able to keep the doctor appointments and found out the Chest x-rays all came back clear!
#6: We also found out we got Judge #5, who is supposedly very good, and our rep expects Finalization within a couple weeks. We still estimate to be home by Sept 27th.
#7: Although the "honeymoon" with the new kids is over, we are deepening connections and learning more about one another.
#8: All the friends and family praying for us and sending encouraging notes!
#9: The kids like the arepas I make!
(for my southern friends, to me, arepas taste a little like hot water bread--minus the hot water)


Here are a few pics from our outing last Friday at el centro and Monserrat.

 (A new friend, Nick, who joined us for the day)

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Okay we are ten days into it and I have started feeling overwhelmed.  You might think, "WOW, you made it 10 days before feeling overwhelmed?" But I think I have been kind of on auto-pilot the last 2 weeks.  I knew a little bit about what to expect, we had Nana here helping with the daily chores and loving on the kids, and we have a lot of people praying for us.  I set very small expectations because I wasn't sure how everyone was going to do.

Now as I look at the next few weeks that we will still be here, and even think a little bit about the weeks and months to follow once we get home, the feelings of....

How are we going to do this????

...set in.

It's kind of like looking at a 1000 piece puzzle as you just begin and don't know how you will ever get it done...

I know for my friends, school starts tomorrow and life is carrying on as usual for everyone back home.  I am glancing at facebook and see my homeschool friends getting their rooms organized and lessons planned.  And some have already been doing school for weeks.  I think about the 7 kids that are now enrolled in my homeschool~~and think,

There is no way! I'm not doing it.

But then God, tenderly reminds me---

I focus on what is right in front of me right now
and we are making progress.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Good news and Bad news

The good news...

Thank you for your prayers!
We passed integration week!!
Today our paperwork was submitted to the judge!


We had a great day visiting el centro and Monserrat.
(more pics to come later)

The bad news:
Today is the last day we had Nana--Jeremy, Katerin, and Wesley took her to the airport tonight.

all of us will miss her

Also 3 of the kids have to have chest x-rays and blood work
after having their TB tests read this afternoon. 
Appointments will be next week.
Keep that one in your prayers for sure!

Just a note about Thursday night--Katerin spent hours with us that evening asking questions and talking.  It was like after we passed the interviews, walls came down.  We talked about how God had brought us together, dating, college, family, and so much more.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

One week down

Tomorrow is a pretty big day. 
ICBF visits and interviews us to see how "integration week" went. 
This is the day we also tell them we haven't changed our minds and we still want these kids.

We still want these kids.  
Even with the tantrums, shutdowns, and defiance.
We still want these kids.
Thanking God for the learning, laughter, and growing.

We headed to Simon Bolivar Park for some fun

This is a favorite! A dog walker...this guy had 9 or 10 dogs on leash.
They go out twice a week for about 4 hours.
Wesley wants this job.

Sometimes I wish I had something like this...

What can you pray about right now?  That interviews go well tomorrow so that paperwork may be submitted to the judge.  Pray for favor from the defender, assistant, and judge who will thoroughly review our case.
The kids had TB tests done today and they are supposed to not bathe, hit, or bother their arms in any way until the tests are read Friday afternoon.  This will be a challenge--especially for my lively BOYS.
Continue to pray for us as we merge.  So much happens in a day that I cannot even begin to write about it all.  I am processing it, praying for wisdom, and hoping each one feels loved.

Thank you for faithfully praying!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

These glasses

Every time we set the table we pull out 9 glasses from the cabinet.  
Each one is different.
And I glance around the table and look at each one of us and how we are all so different.

Yet we go together.

At the table, sometimes we are scrambling, sometimes everyone is peaceful (not often), sometimes we are dealing with a kid who doesn't like what we are having, sometimes we are laughing.

Most of the time we are laughing about a new food we tried to make 
but it just didn't turn out like we hoped.   

And sometimes we don't laugh about that. :-)

Today was one of those days that will swim through my head as I try to fall asleep.  
We tried to do a little "school" today.  
Oh my.  That was disastrous.  
But we figured out what NOT to do so tomorrow we will try again.  

And amazingly enough, they are willing.

Tonight ended well with an enthusiastic game of Hide-and-Seek.  I am so impressed with how much Spanish the 3 blancos are picking up and how the kids are able to communicate without help from mom and dad at times.

Nine of us.  
Each one different.  
Each one important.  
Each one in the right place.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

What's up in COL?

We have been together for 4 days now and it's hard to describe all that is transpiring here.

God is good

I'm thankful.  I'm amazed.  I'm at a loss sometimes.  We are adjusting really well, and when I send an email or skype with family I say, "Yes, we are well."

But doing really well includes grief.  It includes discipline.  It includes trying and trying again.

As hard as it is to see my kids grieve, I'm thankful they ARE expressing their grief and not bottling it up or ignoring it.  And in the midst of it, they receive love and they give love.  How humbled we are with this blessing. 

Thank you - thank you - thank you for your prayers.  I know your prayers are carrying us right now.  Here are a few pics from our first days together.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Gotcha Day!














Thursday, August 16, 2012


We made it!  We are actually here!  We THANKFULLY checked all six 50 lb (maybe ONE was 50.0001 lbs) and then proceded to carry-on, yes carry-on 12 maximum sized pieces of luggage. 

When we were filling the overhead bins, the flight assistent said, "I'm surprised they let you get all these carried on."  As we loaded the last one up high, I passed her and said, "Me too."

My goal this first day was to get settled in the guest house and go grocery shopping. 

We are settling and we went shopping.

The kids will have to get used to carrying groceries home.
mom too! :-)

It's about a 20 minute walk but they got to tour the mall connected to the grocery store.

We met with our agency rep and lawyer tonight and they went over details for tomorrow and the following weeks.

Our family will look totally different TOMORROW!

How are we doing?  Pretty good! 
Excited, ready, emotional, and at PEACE.
Thank you for the prayers!!
(And I have to give a shout out to my mother in law who is here with us a few days...she has already been so helpful!) 

We are blessed.