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.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Pine Cove

I want to share with you about one of our favorite places to go on the planet.

A friend told me about Pine Cove a LONG time ago but we never made it a priority to go.  While we were in Colombia getting our kids, we received an email that our family of nine had been gifted a week at Pine Cove Family Camp.

We had NO idea what a gift this would turn out to be!

One friend from camp described that she felt like they were crash landing with one wing on fire as they entered camp.  

 Pine Cove has been spiritual refreshment.

It has encouraged renewal in our relationship.

It has helped strengthen our family.

Pine Cove has provided exceptional experiences for our kids to grow closer to God, each other, and new friends.
The counselors are over the top AMAZING!

And it is just FUN!

We have been blessed to attend 2 family camps and also serve other families over Thanksgiving Camp.
Pine Cove has so much to offer!  You can find out more here.   You can check out Camp in the City, Castle Rock, and Overnight Youth Camp.

I want to pass along a special message from our friend, Randi Shaffer, about discounts you don't want to miss.  Don't let cost deter you from signing up.  Scholarships are available!
Mark your calendar for February 2!!
February 2nd is Super Goal Monday. It's the day after the big game, and it's registration day at Pine Cove. If you've never been to Pine Cove or you're a long time camper Super Goal Monday is the day to register.

Camp in the City is Pine Cove's summer day camp right in your neighborhood - and registration opens February 2nd. Register on Monday to reserve your spot, space is limited.

And for one day only on February 2nd Pine Cove is offering a special discount for first time campers at any of their overnight youth camps and Castle Rock, their on-site day camp. If you use the Coupon Code SUPERGOAL you can receive an extra $50 off each overnight youth camp registration and $20 off Castle Rock. 

To register, go to or give them a call at 877-4-PineCove to find out more.
And we have 1 $200 OFF coupon for a first time student camper!
It expires February 2nd so be the first to comment below if you want this coupon!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Adoption Saved Me (changes everything series)

Some might look at adoption as saving a child.  
I look behind me and see how adoption has saved me.

It has saved me from getting too comfortable. 
(I can barely think to expand on that because there is so much to say and I can't put it all together in my head or in a nice, neat list that you would want to even read.....but here we go.)
It's not comfortable seeing my issues and weaknesses come out. 
It's not comfortable learning how to love in a way that does not come naturally.  (especially when it is not returned)
It's not comfortable being someone people admire for what we did when what we did makes the first two things happen.

It has saved me from thinking that having children is all, what I want, when I want, who they look like, how many I have.
I look back at my 25 year old self when I gave birth to my first child and I don't think it is wrong to have dreams and thoughts about what you want in a family.  But I think we need to continually put those dreams and thoughts before the Lord and ask for His will and His way to be done.  Sometimes in joy and expectation and sometimes in grief and feelings of such longing and not understanding.

It has saved me from focusing too much time and money in a child's sport, hobby, passing interest. 
A. We don't have the time nor the money.  B. I am glad we don't.
Again, I don't think it's wrong to be involved and invested in these things.  I am focus more on developing and encouraging my kids' walk of faith, their character, and their effort and attitude in life over their performance.
Still learning.

It has saved me from thinking that I need to make my children happy.
This is a tough one.  We do things for them and with them that make them happy, but we also do things that are really hard on them. Not for the sake of making it hard on them, but it just happens....because we are a large family, because we value giving and people, because we adopted, because mom hates screens, because we have boundaries (they would say "STRICT rules"). 
This is a tough one because I hope that one day they will look back and see how God was with them and taught them and prepared them.  But they could also ditch God and say that was too hard and I am not following a God like that.

I don't know if this really counts, but I have noticed some things that I no longer do now that I have a larger family...

I buy the cheapest, largest, singly-ply toilet paper I can get.  I only notice when I go to other people's houses and find soft, cushiony toilet paper--and I remember what a toilet paper snob I used to be.

Going out to eat.  We rarely take our kids out to eat at a restaurant.  Again, has to do with the budget, but also it is just not fun.  It's hard to please 9 people. It's hard to have a conversation.  It's hard to enjoy a meal with kids constantly getting up, or are giddy with laughter because of the experience or maybe the high fructose corn syrup in their drink!  Most of the time I eat out with just my favorite guy.

So we have passed the 2 year mark since bringing our last 4 kids home....thinking about another post.