Sunday, December 07, 2008

Swim Away and pray--part 2

Tanya wrote an earlier post called Swim away and pray
Well today, Daddy had to make a visit to the anger management basket.
the pictures only tell part of the story.
Tanya didn't get to go to church today, because Jesse has a bad cough, we exchanged Jesse for Kaylee after church and Ta took K to a practice for violin concert tonight.

I only had 4 kids with me at home - piece a cake, right? WRONG!
I had one in the bathroom, awaiting his discipline for what had gone wrong at Menards,
The other three were busy and quiet somewhere else.
Isaac was trying his hand at Hair Design with Erin and, of course, the mess of her hair was nothing compared to the mess in the bathroom! Hair clips, ribbons and qtips everywhere!

Jesse, was quietly spreading some expensive makeup all over our toilet seat and rug.
Oh yes, what you see in the picture is Warmth All-Over Face Color #36077 from BareEscentuals

Did i get angry ?? Yes. But, by grace, I did not lose it!
This happens to me once or twice a month - what I realize is that this is just normal day-in, day-out for my wife.

I am so thankful for Tanya!! She has taught me more about patience, gentleness and self-control than I ever dreamed I need to know. I have to believe that Christ has a beautiful purpose for things like these that happen, but when you are in the thick of it, it sure is difficult. Mom's--You have a TOUGH job!! I need to be praying for my wife and my kids on a regular schedule, and I need to be encouraging Ta with scripture more often than I do.
Right now, 3 of 4 are sleeping, so I'm going to make the most of this time.....On my knees!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

1st sled action for this winter

I was hoping I'd get some good video today.
This is fun, a little more than 2 minutes long.

snowy saturday

Trying to give Ta a day off today.
there's 2 inches of fresh snow on the ground, so were going to try some sledding today.
Hopefully i'll get some video to share :)
Between chores, Isaac plays we three kings on the piano -

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Swim away and pray!

God has been teaching me a helpful parenting strategy. A good friend and I are trying to keep one another accountable in parenting and training in love and gentleness. I often feel very short tempered, anxious and quick to get angry with my kids. I wonder if I can possibly endure one more little person saying, "MOMMA". Even if my words are calm( which they are not always) there can be this underlying tone of feeling annoyed. My kids pick up on this very quickly. I see them copying me and treating each other in ways that make me realize they are like little sponges soaking up my bad habits.

The Christian adoption counselor we are seeing, gave us this example to help kids deal with anger. (I am applying it to myself, too) Think of little fish in a swimming area of a lake. When you reach down to catch one they swim away, they don't reach out and attack you. So, when you feel upset, annoyed, angry.........just swim away and pray.

I have added to this some advice from a friend. I have begun an anger management basket. In this basket I have a journal of verses and quotes that I go to when I am "swimming away". My sweet sister just gave me a gift from a conference she attended. It is a kneeling pad with a bible verse on it that is for praying on your knees. It is a tangible reminder to me to pray even if I don't always get down on my knees. I usually try and go to this spot in our bedroom and begin by taking a few deep breaths to lower my heart rate! Ha! I start to read Bible verses in my journal pertaining to anger, parenting, graciousness.......etc... and then I pray. Most days I am pleading with the Lord to take away my anger and give me the ability to love my children (when they don't seem so lovable) with Christ's love. Here are some of the verses in my journal so far. I hope to keep an on going collection.

Galatians 6:1 " Brothers, if anyone is caught in any spiritual transgression you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself lest you too be tempted."

Here is a quote by Matthew Henry about this verse, "Many needful reproofs lose their efficacy by being given in wrath; but when they are managed with calmness and tenderness, and appear to proceed from sincere affection and concern for the welfare of those whom they are given, they are likely to make a due impression."

Proverbs 16:24 "Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body."

Lord, I cannot be this type person on my own strength. I need your grace so often in a day. Please help me to come to you when I am struggling rather than try to "pull up my boot straps" and take care of things on my own. You are so loving to give us your word, the Bible, to help us fight against our self- centeredness. Your refinement is a gift of grace!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Kaylee and Erin Playdate

Kaylee and Erin had their first violin playdate.
The video is a bit long, but it's fun to listen to.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lay Up Treasures in Heaven

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21

Our alarm was set this morning to a talk radio program. This was not my idea of waking up peacefully. The program was talking about our country's current economic crisis. This sent my mind a whirling. I began worrying about money, tax increases, food prices, mortgage rates......I began to wonder how we would make any more cuts in our budget. We have cut back so much since I am not working outside the home. I began to wonder what it would be like if I needed to go back to work. Then my mind spun into thoughts of my crazy busy day. I couldn't even remember all that I had to keep track of. Today was a home school day, a Levi preschool day, a violin lesson day for now TWO children, Isaac was having a friend from Clark over after school was done, dinner, laundry, Kaylee was taking ITBS tests at Clark in the am and I had to get her there and I had a sitter coming in the morning to play with the little ones so I could teach school.

I began fretting about the day and actually had a racing heart thinking about it..........Ugh......... Anyway I almost set aside my Bible thinking I would read it later (yeah right) but God in His graciousness prompted me to take time out and breath in His words. I opened to this verse. What spoke to me was the reminder to keep my day focused on the true TREASURE in heaven, Christ! I was sinking into a frenzy of worry and anxiousness. It is easy for me to get caught up in the things of this world and forget how very short my life actually is. What am I doing with my days? Sometimes I feel that I am on this roller coaster called "life" and it is just whizzing by.

Dear Lord, help me to trust you and to set my eyes upon YOU. This life on earth is so short. Help me not to worry about worldly things that pass away, or can be taken away. As a mom with little ones in the house, help me to center my days on seeking you for strength, wisdom, patience and love so that my little ones and the ones who know me may feel your love. Help my life to be a sweet aroma that points to the HOPE you give through Christ Jesus.

Our new violin student

Erin had her first violin lesson today. She has been asking since this summer when she could play violin like her big sister Kaylee. Kaylee started playing violin at four years old and I vowed never to start a child of mine that young again because selfishly it was just so much work as the parent to keep up with all the Suzuki method wanted you to do "alongside" your child.

Well, here I am again tracing footprints for proper foot positioning and jotting notes on what to work on for the next week. Erin was persistent in asking to play and God worked on my heart to make this commitment again. She was elated to start her lessons to say the least. I am thankful she will also have a very helpful big sister to practice with on the days mommy just can't keep it all together!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

ramp it up.

I took a goofy little video when the kids had friends over to play.
They love this ramp in our front yard with their bikes.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or treat

The kids had a great day with a party during the day and Trick or treating tonight. We ate chili at gma bopies and then treked over to Neb. to visit great gma and gpa. They were wiped and fell asleep on the way home.
They are sleeping now and looking forward to a fun weekend.

John Piper's Heart in this election

Friday, October 17, 2008

Vote for Kaylee!

To the left is the Jersey that Kaylee designed for the "Reading is Cool Program" and the Sioux City Musketeers Hockey team contest.
She is a top ten finalist!!!
If her jersey gets the most votes, they will produce it for the team to wear and then auction them off after the game.
Click Here to vote for Kaylee's Design:

All the proceeds go to support literacy education.
She was SOOOO excited to be chosen as a finalist! Thanks for your support!!!
Voting is only open until SUNDAY, Oct 19th.
Tell all your friends!

Friday, October 10, 2008

About a year ago...

This is from a picnic at Stone Park about a year ago.

This is from Today during my lunch hour.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Praying for Ethiopia

Below is a link to images that were taken in July, 2008
Many of the images are very difficult to see. They especially hit us hard because they were taken in the region of Mudulla, Ethiopia. This is the exact southern region where Levi and Jesse were born.
Please pray for the people in this area.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

My Brother, My Guest?!

I had a very interesting conversation with our four year old daughter the other day. Just a little background info..........E is our daughter by birth and L is our son that we adopted from Ethiopia. E is 4 and L is 5. They are VERY close. E has been L's language tutor and best friend since the very beginning of our family uniting. It has been beautiful to watch their relationship grow.

Anyway, E says," Mom, Levi is my guest brother." I ask her what she means. She explains that he is her guest brother because we got him from Ethiopia. I cringe a little at her word usage here. I went on to explain that we wouldn' t call him our guest because guests just stay a little while and then go away. I said "Honey, L is not going anywhere he will be in our family forever just like you. We met you for the first time in a hospital and met L for the first time in Ethiopia. God has planned you and L to be in our family forever!" She seemed somewhat comforted by these words and was soon skipping of to play with L in their pretend play world.

I was left reflecting on this conversation. We continue to deal with many questions from all the kids regarding adoption. Lately, K,I, and E want to know more about L and J's life in Ethiopia. The other day out of the blue while I was hard boiling eggs, L had a very far off look in his eye and expressed that he remember his mom in Ethiopia making those. It took my breath away to be reminded of how often he thinks of her. I thanked God that he shared this detail with me. He is doing more of this since we started taking him to counseling. When he opens up it gives Layne and I more opportunities to show him our love and comfort.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Finally blogging again

-----------------------------------It's been almost a month since posting, we really need to do better writing updates. Tanya and I are going to both write something tonite.
Our life just seems sometimes to be one big blur! Everything goes by so fast.
It's really hard to know where to start. Here's a little taste of what makes things so busy. Of course, my job and the demands of being gone 8 hours of 5 days a week. Most dad's have to deal with that. One of the perks I have is being able to come home almost everyday for lunch and I can leave and take the kids to school most days. Homeschooling AND public schooling. Kaylee and Isaac go 2 full days a week for music, pe and art. Preschool, Levi goes to Promiseland Preschool 3 different days for 2 hours at a time. Isaac is playing football on Sat. mornings. Kaylee is now in a youth symphony, Kaylee and Isaac are both taking piano lessons. Awana on Wednesday nights, clean the church on Thursday nights. Making sure we try to get one-on-one time with each kid -THAT IS DIFFICULT. Bedtime is kinda my thing, but I really need to be using that time better with scripture lessons and bible stories with the kids. I usually pray with each one when they are in their beds, but it is so easy to rush through it. Because my time is sooo limited with the kids, I really need to make the most of the moments I get.
Pictures above are from August trip to Adam's Nature Center and Marcus Fair and last weeks trip to meet cousins.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Happy 10th Birthday, Kaylee Bugg

Kaylee Turns 10 on 9/8/08, she was born on 9/8/98 (cool birthdate, huh!)

She enjoyed having her friends over this weekend for a Spa party and they were pampered!!
Then we surprised her Sat. night and took her to the mall to get her ears pierced! She has been floating on a cloud all weekend. She looks so much older!

Comment to tell Kaylee Happy Birthday!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Summer Happenings...........

It has been a while since I (Tanya) have blogged. I must admit Layne has been the regular blogger on our site, but for some reason tonight I feel the urge to jot some things that have been happening in our home.

1. God blessed us with a wonderful family vacation in July. We traveled to northern Minnesota and shared a cabin on a lake with my sister and her family. Many other extended family members on my mom's side rented cabins also. There were 10 little ones all under the age of 9years. We love this vacation because we truly relax while the kids swim at the beach, canoe ride, ride paddle boats, tube behind my uncle's ski boat and jet ski. Three of my highlight were double skiing with Layne, watching Levi paddle a boat around the swim area non-stop, and Layne and I pulling Kaylee and Isaac around the lake on a tube behind a jet ski. We came away refreshed and reminded of all the grace He has given our family this past year. A year ago we could hardly leave the house because we were adjusting to having 5 kids and poor Levi struggled so much because he spoke no English.

2. I was able to attend a Beth Moore Christian Women's conference with my sister, mom, aunt, cousin and dear friend. What a powerful girl's weekend. God reminded me that HE alone is our rock and refuge and we need to cling to him. Beth used a word picture that makes me smile and I relate to. We need to be like cling wrap stuck to a mountain. This is how close we need to stay to Jesus. On the days I feel the walls crumbling in and am anxious I try to thing of sticking to my Saviour this way.

3. School decisions..............We have prayed and decided to dual enroll Kaylee an Isaac in public school some while primarily homeschooling again. Levi will go 3 afternoons to a preschool in a church nearby.

4. We camped in our driveway with my grandma's pop up camper. We invited friends over to cook a campfire meal of Indian pizza pies and hot apple pies for dessert. The kids played board games in the camper and flash light tag in the dark. When our guests left Layne slept with all the kids in the camper except Jesse. He and momma were comfy in our own beds. Smile..........My grandparents brought over, fruit, donut holes and choc milk for b'fast.

5. We are trying to think of creative ways of promoting attachment and bonding between Isaac and Levi. They have made pancakes, played board games, legos and this is all under mommy's close supervision and coaching with encouragement. God has laid it on my heart that I need to spend more time with the two of them together "teaching and showing them what brotherhood can be like. We seem to be making small but encouraging steps.

Finally, we have been taking Levi to a Christian counselor who specializes in bonding and attachment in adoption. I will update more later at the many ways God is blessing all of our family through this. Levi is sharing memories and pain that he has never expressed before. It has been hard for him, but we see some healing taking place. Levi remembers many things about his life and family in Ethiopia and we feel so very thankful that he feels close enough and loved by us enough to open up his pain so we can grieve with him.

Friday, July 25, 2008


We went to the movie the other day. It is really cute, the kids love this little clip of the curious little robot.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Are we dreaming!!

How could 13 years of passed so quickly?

We celebrated our anniversary last night with a wonderful date and the time spent together alone was so valuable!

We reflected on things God has taught us together over the years, places He has taken us, and things we've done. We both agreed that we have a lot of growing to do.

I don't think you ever stop learning how to be married! I am soooo thankful for Tanya and the person God has made her. She is the most AMAZING wife/mother/friend! I thank God for her everyday!


Friday, July 11, 2008

Finally Finalized!

We had our court date today at 1:30. It went really well. We were a little early getting there so took some pictures. Then Grandpa showed up-What a blessing from God. Shortly after our lawyer showed up. She informed us that the judge wanted us to testify on the stand about how children are decreed orphans in Ethiopia. He allowed us to both testify. Most of the questions were yes or no, but she asked Tanya, "Tell me about your trip to Ethiopia to meet your sons."
Needless to say the tears were flowing, Tanya grabbed the Kleenex box and answered the question. The judge was great and I loved hearing him say that "Layne and Tanya are deemed the legal parents of Levi Geremu Henn and Jesse Habtamu Henn."
We were so glad that Wally could be there because Levi and Jesse were up with us in the area in front of the bench, but Kaylee, Isaac and Erin had to sit in the audience area. They were able to sit with Bompa, Isaac took some video, but I haven't seen how it came out yet :)
I took the rest of the afternoon off and we went to Minerva's (fancy restaurant) for a late lunch celebration (it was about 2:30). The kids were sooooo good and soooooooo hungry! Levi at a whole 10" pizza, Erin ate a huge grilled cheese sandwich on Texas Toast! We went home and napped- Jesse fell asleep before we got out of Minerva's parking lot.
After naps, we went swimming at Cook Pool, then came home and watched movies on airbeds!
What a wonderful day!
Psalm 118:24 This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me!

My cousin posted this to a family blog we have and it brought tears to my eyes. I thought I would share it with those of you who read our blog. May it be and encouragement to you.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

July 7th was 1 year Anniversary

On 7/7/07 the became a family of 7!
What an exciting year it has been.
We snapped a picture of the kids all together at church on Sunday.
There is so much more that we want to write about. Hopefully, this will be a 2-3 part post. However, it is VERY late, so off to bed I go!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Home Improvement

We're trying to expand our house and make our porch more usable.
First step was All-season windows, next was an all weather door.
Now we are changing the way you get into the room and putting in french doors to the dining room.
It's really jazzing this place up!

Radish Harvest

We have our first harvests from the garden, radishes! They are plump and beautiful. Too bad nobody in our family is a big radish lover, but the kids LOVE to grow them. We have little green balls on our tomato plants. Our jalepenos are looking a little ragged, but the cantaloupe is flourishing.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

pics from chicago trip

Here's some pics from our weekend trek (as promised). The shady ones are from a downtown park with fountains in Chicago. The boys met up with the girls right after they finished their shopping at American Girl. Needless to say, they were a bit delayed after getting an "unplanned" bus tour of the city :)
We ate a lunch (that the MEN packed and brought) The girls were way hungry. We then proceeded to the Taste of Chicago (big waste of time, don't do it with kids, especially on a 90 degree day, 100%humidity) The best part was Isaac coming out of the spot a pot screaming "DAD, you gotta see those things!! they have their own washing system for your hands where you pump with your feet and the water trickles out!!) Levi was baffled by the BLUE water in the bottom and why we couldn't flush away the big piles! We spent $22 on some tickets for 3.5 oz of frozen gelatin/yogurt. Oh, did we mention we didn't bring enough water for eleven people and a baby. The $5 water bottle was rationed very sparingly!! We ended our city time by walking another 12 blocks back to the train station. The lines for the busses were INSANE and getting all of us on one bus with our ginormous strollers was too much to ask. We needed our OWN bus!

The picture in the racecar was from the Downer's Grove Heritage Festival on Sun. This was a homerun! It even rained, but the kids didn't care!

Where ever we go, we seem to be a bit of a conversation piece. It is fun though, because we get to talk about Christ and the reasons behind our family. For example, at McDonalds on Sat., a woman asked us if we had a daycare! The conversation started there but continued towards adoption and why we adopted from Ethiopia. What a blessing our kids are!! What a testament of Gods grace and the joy He brings!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Windy City

We have been on a vacation to visit family near Chicago. We have had a great time!!
Just spending time with cousins is so fun for the kids.
Sat. we went into the city. The girls all went to the American Girl doll store. The boys came a little later. We all met at Taste of Chicago. It was a huge event, thousands upon thousands of people, and with 8 kids it was an experience to remember. Very hot outside! We stayed just a little while, and didn't taste much of the food.
We were well equipped, 2 strollers that hold three kids, bus passes and water.
I think the highlight for the kids was riding the train.
Sunday we went to Downer's Grove to the Heritage Festival. The kids really loved this. We managed to get free food at a church and they let the kids play in these big blow up jumper things in their parking lot. Then, we went into the festival and rode the kiddie rides. It was much cooler, even rained a little, but the kids didn't mind at all. They had soooo much fun.
I'll put some pictures up later.

Friday, June 13, 2008

We have a court date!!!

We are ready for finalization and have received a court date. It just happens to be the day before our wedding anniversary!


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Family News

Lea called today and announced she is coming to visit. Since she lives in the Chicago area and has 3 kids now, I was very impressed. I admire her.........she is very adventuresome we all can't wait to see them. She and her husband have a new baby. God has blessed them again through the miracle of adoption. Kaylee, Erin and I have met the baby but now everyone here will get to meet her.

Another piece of news in our house...........Layne is back in school for another Master's degree. He wants an administration masters so he would be able to be a school principal or do more administrative duties in the field of educational technology. Anyway, this means his nights are filled with paper writing and on-line classes. This is a huge time commitment for the month of June and July and he should be able to complete the degree in about 2 years. God has opened doors for this opportunity and we are excited to see what He has in store.

Our dear Ethiopian friends are moving. We are sad to see them go, but he was offered a job teaching agriculture at a state school here in Iowa. Thankfully they will still live in Iowa and we will keep in touch. I am going to help watch their kids this week as they get some packing done. Tess, my friend has been so kind to supply with Ethiopian food. Levi will miss this tremendously. They have family that live near the village the boys were born. Lord willing, we hope to travel back to Ethiopia some day and would love to go with this family.

I Think it is the Chicken!!!

Oh my, was I cracking up at Levi tonight. They kids were getting ready for bed and I was overseeing the flossing routine. As I was flossing Levi's teeth he cried out in pain. He explained his mouth hurt. I looked inside and discovered yet another canker sore. He had one about two months ago too.

Now before I explain what he said, I must tell you we had chicken, potatoes, and carrots tonight for supper. Levi is not a huge fan of meat, especially larger pieces that have to be chewed. I really think this is just a result of not being familiar with eating much meat in Ethiopia. His diet for four years consisted of corn bread and occasional roasted grain. ANYWAY, he did eat supper, but was not to excited about the chicken.

Now back to the flossing and canker sore.................
As I examined his sore he looked me straight in the eye with the most SERIOUS face. He said, "Mom, eating chicken gives me the sore in my mouth!" This just caught me so off guard and made me giggle. I said, "Really?!" We ended up both giggling about it and he explained again that he did not like chicken very much.

Posted by Tanya

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Erin turned 4 today! Happy Birthday!!

These pictures are from her party on Sunday with Mema, Bumpakk, Bopie and Bompa. She wanted to wear her bonnet and her tutu for most of the party, until she opened the pretty twirly dress that's in the bottom picture. She had a beautiful princess castle cake made by a very special professional cake maker (mommy) Erin was so happy about her cake. She kept telling Tanya, "you did such a good job mommy, thank you!!"
Today she had a special day too. She went to Drama camp, ate a lunch at McDonald land playplace, had a special outing with bopie and attempted to go to "Horton hears a Who" but showtimes got mixed up and it didn't work out. She then played with her friend Helena at Isaac's baseball game. I can't believe she is already 4! What is a Daddy to do?????

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Boys at the Safety Fair

Coach Pitch schedule:
  1. 5/27 7:15 Hinton field 2
  2. 5/31 10am Hinton field 1
  3. 6/3 7:15pm Headid field 3
  4. 6/7 Sat. 12:30 pm Hinton field 2
  5. 6/12 thurs. 7:15pm Headid field 3
  6. 6/14 Sat. 12:30 Headid field 3
  7. 6/16 Mon. 6pm Headid 3
  8. 6/21 Sat. 2pm headid 3

Monday, May 19, 2008

video from Isaacs Birthday Party 5/3/08

It took longer than I had planned but i finally put a little video together from Isaac's B'day party.
The first part is the Calesthenics, then Isaac running the obstacle course (double-time).

Friday, May 09, 2008

Happy birthday, Isaac!!

Isaac turns 7 years old today! He had a party last weekend with a bunch of his friends. They were all dressed in camouflage and we did soldier drills and played football. It was super fun. We are doing some very special stuff this weekend for his birthday.
Comment to wish him a happy bday!

Monday, April 28, 2008

difficult to describe

We had a date night and some very dear friends of ours met with us. 2 of their children babysat the kids while Tanya and I had some valuable time to talk, connect and laugh together. I say laugh together because that is what felt so good. So often when we are home together, the busyness of our house doesn't allow us to really connect, be goofy and just enjoy each other. It was good to do that tonight.
The couple that met with us was encouraging to us in a deep way. They too have experienced adoption and the difficult to describe emotions that come with it. They understood so many things and graciously, lovingly ministered to us. Here's some of the verses God used in our conversation tonight:

Matthew 5:39 Jesus teaching us about being "non-reactive"
John 8 --- Jesus gentle handling of the woman is a testimony to his kindness and truth.
Romans 2:2-4 - 2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?
Leviticus 19:34 You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. 35 “You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measures of length or weight or quantity. 36 You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. 37 And you shall observe all my statutes and all my rules, and do them: I am the Lord.”

Dueteronomy 8:2 And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. 3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you. 6 So you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him. 7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, 8 a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, 9 a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. 10 And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.

What a gift of grace to have these people who care deeply for our souls and for the spiritual well being of our children. They acted out 1 Thess. 2:12 by Exhorting us and encouraging us to walk as parents in a manner worthy of God.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Levi and the bike

Ever since we got home last July - Levi has loved riding his bike with training wheels. It was a sad day last winter when we put it in the shed and said goodbye to it for a few months. Well, now that it is getting nicer outside and he is 5, I decided that we would try to get him to ride without training wheels. I really had built this up in my head to be a major event. Full of hardship, tears, possibly bleeding and bruises. Perhaps some real powerful teaching moments about perservering and then, in the end accomplishment, joy and success! Almost metaphorical as to what we have been through together in the last 8 mos. I had Isaac help in the process. He used the crescent wrench to remove the training wheels. I held the back of the seat for balance as Levi got on the bike. I reassured him that I wouldn't let go and not to be afraid.
However... His feet merely touched the pedals and he sped away from me across the front lawn. perfectly balanced, quickly- like he'd done it a million times. He attempted to turn and gently fell to the grass. Levi turned to look for me as I came running towards him. I exclaimed " You DID IT! you can ride your bike!!" and he looked up at me with that HUGE Levi smile and said "Yup, and you didn't even help me."
There went my metaphor, right out the window. Or did it?
I told Tanya this story and she explained that maybe what God is showing me is that I just need to "Let go and let God" and she's right. I tend to try to shape things into what I think they should be. I know that I'm guilty of this with our kids. Trying to get them to behave a certain way so they look right, instead of really addressing their hearts and encouraging them.
The bike, well, lets just say the tires are going bald and were putting some serious miles on during these sunny days! He rides like a champ and keeps up with Isaac, which is no easy task.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Spring Game

I got tickets and I took Isaac and Levi to Lincoln, NE. Home of the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Tanya's dad and sister went too (It is Wally's Birthday today!)
It was an amazing time, the boys were really good and we had FUN!
I tried to make a little slideshow (below), but it's hard to read the captions :(
Just look at the pictures and ignore the captions, you'll get a better idea for how the day went!
It's a little more than 2 min. long.
Mom and Dad, you are going to hate the end!


It's been over a month

We haven't really blogged at all in the last month. We are bad bloggers!
There's been a lot to blog about, but no time to do it.
March 27th, 2008. One year previous, Levi and Jesse were spending their first night in a strange place. I can't imagine the confusion and emotion they have had to encounter in this past year.
April 16th was the 1 year anniversary of our referral for Levi and Jesse.
The emotions of that day are still so clear in our minds and hearts, and yet what a ride our family has been on since then!
Soon we will be experiencing another milestone. We will be finalizing legally our adoption. This process is something that we are a little nervous about because we don't know exactly what to expect. Many have assured us that it is simple and nothing to worry about. We have a lawyer and the steps are in place to expedite the process. Hopefully, everything will go smooth.
1 Peter 5:7 "Cast all your burdens on Him, because He cares for you"


Thursday, March 20, 2008