A sparrow when I'm broken, and eagle when I fly.....

Welcome to my world. I am an ordinary wife and mom who has been extraordinarily blessed by an amazing husband and house full of beautiful children. My prayer is that you will be somehow blessed by our family's story. It is a tale of God's grace and forgiveness...His loving kindness and patience with us His children as we strive & struggle everyday to bless His name with our lives

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Our new daughter Towabech

Here she is...isn't she beautiful? Towabech is a nine year old darling girl that we've been waiting to bring home from Ethiopia. She is now with her new Daddy Mike and new sister Yasab in Addis Ababa. The U.S. embassy appointment is next Wednesday. If all goes as planned Towabech will have her visa on Friday and the three of them will fly home next Friday night. They will be here a week from today! Here is an earlier photo of her last winter after she found out she had a family...

I love this picture of her swimming at the Hilton on an orphanage field trip. She looks delighted to be in the water. She is post polio and her legs do not function well...Being in the water is something she loves! It give her more freedom of movement. I'm so glad God gave us a home with a nice in ground swimming pool. I just know Towabech will become a "fish" next summer just like the other kids. Once our hot tub is fixed it will be great therapy for her just like it is for Maggie with her CP.

Here I am with my brand new daughter! This was taken last month when Mike, Jarib and I traveled to Ethiopia for the court date for adoption. I just can not wait to love on this girl!

Here is her proud Daddy with her...

Soon we will all be together again and Towabech can get to know the rest of her family. What an amazing Thanksgiving celebration we'll have!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Anniversary~Family Day

Tuesday November 9th was Mike and my 20th wedding anniversary. If you read my previous post you heard about the surprise super duper camera he bought as an anniversary gift. On Tuesday night he came home early from work to finish packing to leave for Ethiopia the next morning. I'd found a prime rib hiding in the freezer to make for dinner and also served giant Costco baked potatoes with all the extras added. The kidlets tummies were huge and bloated with beef when dinner was done. Those guys are all such carnivores. After the kids went to bed Mike and I opened a small bottle of champagne and got to visit just the two of us for about an hour. Not the most romantic anniversary that ever happened...but still a pleasure. I will always remember it as the anniversary that Mike left early the next morning to bring me home a child. As far as I am concerned there is nothing hotter than a man who travels around the world to bring me a new "baby".

As we celebrated our wedding anniversary we were really celebrating our "Family Day". That day twenty years ago Mike and I became a family. At our wedding there were also six children...Mike's two daughters and my four children. But even if we had been childless then, that was the day our family was formed. Mike and I and the Lord ARE the family. The children we had when we married and those we have added since then...are all welcomed members of our family....but Mike and I would be "family" with or without children. And we would NOT be family or anything for that matter without the Lord. I can say with 100% surety that if the Lord was not a member of our marriage...we would not be married. Most likely would never have been married.....but for sure we would not still be married. Mike is an amazing wonderful man but he is just as flawed a human being as I am. When things are going great...there is the Lord showing us it is Him who is blessing us. When things are going horribly , there is God ever ready..showing us grace and mercy. Teaching us about "do overs". In laughter and in sorrow it really always is about Him. All of it. Even when things are so stressful that both Mike and I could just about explode into a million angry pieces...There is our Father..wooing us from the side lines.."Do it My way" "show love" "show patience" "seek peace" "forgive" "Don't give up!" and like always.. "Just lean on Me". So Mike honey...I miss you so badly now when you are half a world away. You are my hero always and forever. Thank you sweetheart for your patience with me all these years. Thank you taking such good care of all of us and being such a good leader. Thank you for making me feel like the prettiest girl at a party. Thank you most of all for loving God and choosing every day to follow Him..on the easy paths and the hard, hard roads. It's all been a grand adventure and there is no one else I'd want to share it with.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Shiny New Things

I have always referred to myself as a high maintenance kind of gal. When I say this it is referring to my need to be coddled and "held up" in my frequent super charged emotional times (which happens to me a lot). Mike is very good with me. I get too passionate about stuff sometimes and just so blooming dramatic that it takes a level head to remind me everything is okay. Mike (my level headed better half) reminds me:
#1) the sun will come up tomorrow
#2) I am not responsible for everyone's happiness
#3) in our marriage we have endless "do overs" when one of us screws up #4) I can not save every child...
and most important ...
#5) God's grace in big enough to cover our mistakes and He is still on His throne!

In other ways I am not so needy. Don't need expensive clothes or makeup. Don't need birthday and anniversary gifts. Don't need to be surprised with flowers or dinner out. I really don't even need my husband to talk to me when he gets home from work with his daily alloted words already used up.

I do though have a "love language". It involves small shiny things...and I don't mean jewelry. Mike bought me an IPOD nano after Jonathan died so I could listen to praise music on my walks along the river. It was so cool. Soon I wanted a bigger one. Mike then bought me a superduper IPOD which holds more music than I could ever possibly listen too plus tons of T.V. and movies. I love it.

Then there is my phone. I have gone from a Blackberry (now Tigist's) to a G1 (dropped in the pool), and now have this little beauty below. The Samsung Vibrant is called a smart phone but you don't even have to be smart to use it. Who would have ever thought a phone could do so many things?
Mike really is a thrifty guy. If I tell him I want something like a new phone...he always says no, can't afford that. When I tell him the kids need new shoes...he says no, that will have to wait. You get the idea. He automatically says no to spending money. But everyone's needs always get met in the right time. And when he has the money for something he knows I want he gets it for me. And I am always surprised. Really. I think sometimes Mike waits to buy me a longed for item. I think he waits for one of those hard days that I really need something special to give me a lift.

This came a few weeks ago after a rough week. A pretty new home for my IPOD with excellent speakers. Now we can all listen to the great music collection and also watch the videos on the TV that is wired to the stereo too
And sometimes BIGGER is better. Since I like shiny little things my cameras have always been slick slim small ones that slide into my pocket. But I have been disappointed with the quality of photos. Lately I have just been using my phone for picture taking. I have for years admired the photography of some of my fellow blogger moms (and you know who you are). They cart around these huge cameras with long lenses that look so cumbersome. But oh my! what gorgeous photos those moms post on their blogs and facebook. I have dreamed and dreamed of someday taking those kind of photos for my family. But getting a camera like that seemed way out of reach financially. I just kept dreaming.

Mike and I celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary on Tuesday. He has no days off to celebrate it with a date night and he leaves Wednesday for 10 days in Ethiopia. But he sure made it up to me. We took the littles to Costco for lunch last Wednesday and we walked out with this!!! Happy Anniversary!
I am the proud new owner of a Nikon 5000D with all the goodies. Sometimes bigger is better and I don't think this will ever feel cumbersome. I am so spoiled.
I know happiness never comes from "stuff". But new stuff sure can be fun! Here's to many happy years of amazing photos of my beautiful children and grandchildren and even some of my handsome loving generous husband.

I miss the peeps!

Our son Jake and his wife Holly came for a visit last week with their three darling children. Holly is a avid photographer...I grabbed some of Holly's photos off her blog of the little "peeps" Silas age 5, Lauren age 3 and Claire just turned 1. Aren't they beautiful?!

We had such a great visit with Jake, Holly and their kids when they came. Not only is she a great photographer, Holly is also a talented blogger and she wrote an entertaining post about their visit last week. I HIGHLY suggest you check it out. Holly tried to teach me how to add a hyperlink to a name...if I remembered it right then you should be able to get to her blog post by clicking in her name.
Jake and Holly are about my most favorite grownups (along side our other adult kids of course) and the "grandblessings" make getting older worth it. You have to get older to get grand kids right? All those wrinkles, achy knees and gray hairs seem just a slight irritation compared to the pure joy of a grandchild's neck hug and sweet sticky kiss.