Saturday, July 29, 2006


The number of times, in the same number of days, that Grace took that number of steps.

Look out she comes!!!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

My Cousins Are Adopting....

....From Ethiopia!!!!!!!!!!!!


Pretty soon, this "little guy" will have a sister!!

Visit his Mom at All-In-A-Day.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

RV vs. Everything Else

When it comes to traveling with kids, I highly recommend RV's!!!!!!!!!

I went on A LOT of road trips as a kid! We always traveled in a large SUV. My parents put a lot of effort into making the trips pleasant. We brought board games, music and snacks. We even passed on the seat belts (shhhh!!) unless we were in the city limits f a MAJOR town. Overall, the time and miles passed without too much torture.

As a Mom, I have been on a number of road trips with my kids. I would be lying if I said I have particularly enjoyed them. I like getting to our destination, but the drive....Yuck! Well, that has changed. We got a motorhome a little over a year ago. With all the craziness of the last year, we did not get to take a REAL trip until our recent vacation. We were able to fix meals on the road, play GameCube on the road, watch movies in the road, take naps on the road, change into PJ's on the road, go to bed on the road, and most importantly, go potty on the road. WOW!!!! I am hooked!!!!!

Vacation Pics

We really enjoyed our visit to Colorado!!

It is always fun to visit our family.

If you find yourself in Colorado, make sure to visit the Alpine Slide at Heritage Square!

When Grace and I were waiting for the rest of the family to come down the hill, we played "photo studio". We even got a nice shot of some of the local wild life.

Just For Fun

Check out this site. It's a lot of fun!!

Here's my pic...

Thanks MP!!

Who Gets the Bone?


As Promised....

She also weighs 19 pounds now, and is teething like crazy!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Growing Fast

Grace is over 18 pounds now, she is crawling and cruising the furniture AND she is standing all by herself!! Wow!!!!

Pictures to follow soon......

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Two More Days

**Don't forget to check this out!!**

My three big kids have been traveling the open road with my Mom for the last two weeks. It has been nice to get a bit of a parenting reprieve. In fact, Justin told his Dad today, "It sure is quieter around here when they're gone." That is definitely the truth. But there's more to it than that. Justin also told us a few days ago, "It's lonely when you only have four people in your family." Hmmm, so true again.

Today, Will and I had just put our heads together and come up with a whole page (typed even) of stuff that we wanted to get done over the next two days before the three big kids come home. We had changed Grace, had Justin go potty, put the carseats in the smaller car since it was just the four of us and were ready to go out the door. That's when the phone rang. It was my Mom, saying we needed to come get them because the A/C went out in their motor home. It had limped along through Pueblo, Albuquerque and the Grand Canyon. It seems the heat of the Southern California high desert finally did it in.

Now, I would be lying to say this news filled me with elation. Couldn't the call have come an hour earlier; before we got the wild idea to get organized and make a plan. Couldn't it at least have come just a few minutes earlier so the carseats would still have been in the big car?! It's been 100+ degrees here everyday for goodness sake!!! But alas, no, life does not work that way. So Will switched the carseats back while I made sure we had everything we needed to head out with two little ones on a much longer than originally planned drive.

When we arrived at the RV shop, I saw my parents' motor home parked along the curb. That did not seem like a good sign to me. Surely, it needed to be inside the shop if it was going to be fixed anytime soon. It turns out, I was SOOO wrong. They had already fixed it! The A/C unit (they have two) will still need to be replaced eventually, but the whole system crashing was caused by a simple switch on the generator. Yippee!!

We had already agreed to pick everyone up, along with all their dirty laundry, so Will headed over to the RV with our big rolling hampers to start clearing things out. I had two sleeping kiddos in the car with me, so I got to play a game on my cell phone while everyone else played in stinky, camping in hot weather, dirty clothes. Oh darn! The best part of the day came just a minute later. I caught a glimpse of one of my big kids; then another; and finally the last one. They looked HUGE! How do kids do that? You know, grow 3 inches in two weeks! Obviously, my grumpiness disappeared instantly. I was thrilled to have them home!!!

Since the RV was OK after all, my Mom was able to follow us over to Denny's for dinner. The plan that was considered, when they were all still hot and tired over at the RV shop, was that we would take the kids home and my Mom would stay at the campground by herself for the night. If we could figure out how to reconnect the next day, they would go to Sea World, but Grandma was TIRED. After a leisurely dinner, Grandma had a change of heart. She decided they would continue on with the original plan before the A/C melt down. We all went to celebrate over dessert at Cold Stone. Yum!

As we dug out two days of clothes for each kid from the back of our car, and I had an argument with my daughter, and Grace was starting to freak out in her car seat, and my Mom and I were trying to figure out why one of my boys had medicine for three days while the other only had enough for one, and Will was trying to comfort Justin because he was sad that his siblings were leaving again; I was reminded of something. I really love these kids and being their Mom is the best choice I ever made!

Thanks Mom for the break, but I sure am looking forward to seeing you all at my house in two days.


**Don't forget to check this out!!**

This is WAY LATE, but I don't want to let it pass without proper recognition. My youngest brother Shane (better known as Uncle Shane around my house) graduated from the University of Chicago with his Masters of Divinity this summer. I am SOOOO proud of him!!!!!

Way to go Shane!!!!!!

Monday, July 17, 2006

*****31 & 4******

**Don't forget to check this out!!**

I turned 31 on Friday and Justin turned four Saturday. Needless to say, it's been a busy week! We had a party with Will's family and some of mine. The preparation was a little hectic, but the get-together was great. We really are blessed to have so much family around. Uncle Doug said that it took Justin 57 MINUTES to open all his presents. That is one lucky boy! Thank you to everyone for coming and sharing our special days!!

My neice (she's only 17!) made Justin's birthday cake. It might seem like a funny looking cake, but when given the choice of any cake he could think of, this is what he chose. It was so original. We just had to have it done for him. Thanks Emily!!!

My big kids are away on a road trip with Grandma Carroll right now, but we did have cousins come to the party that Justin could play with. They (and some of the adults) really seemed to enjoy the pool. It has been VERY HOT here. In fact, it was 111 degrees the day of the party! Yuck!!! I was feeling very grateful for good, strong air conditioning, and nicer weather once the sun went down. It was much more pleasant to sit around the pool after dark. The lights in the pool looked really cool too!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Quilt Raffle

My adoption/blog friend over at TheBus4Us has come up with a great plan. You see, our adoption agency has a cool fundraiser every year. A very dedicated (and talented) lady makes a beautiful quilt to be raffled off. She makes it out of African prints and includes drawings made by some of the children at Layla House. It must take many, many hours to complete this project. The great thing is that this single event raises large amounts of money to support the Ethiopian adoption process, and that is a cause worth supporting. So, on to my friends great idea.....

I am the world's worst salesperson. Total sales wimp. Utterly apologetic to be soliciting for even the best of causes. Horrible, I know, but here I go. This is the gorgeous quilt that is being raffled off to raise money for our agency's GRACE Fund. The GRACE Fund helps families who are struggling to finance an adoption of children who have been waiting for a long time for a family at the orphanage. Usually these kids are older, in sibling groups, or have medical issues. If I can get 20 people to commit to buying tickets, I will order a pack from our agency. I'll start the count - 1! Please leave a comment or contact me if you are interested. Each ticket costs $5. I have been so touched and amazed by the families I have learned about through adoption - so many large, gracious, loving homes - and I would like to creep out from under my shell to try to support them.

PS I will be starting the count on this blog as well - 1. My friend has agreed to go in together on packs of tickets if we need to. Just leave me a comment or email me at Please consider helping to bring these kids home to their forever familes.

Monday, July 03, 2006

It will be so good to be home!!!

We had a great time at the Family Reunion, and the beginning of the week in Colorado was nice too. The weather was cool and the skies were clear. I was definitely reminded why I love the mountains.

Unfortunately, I can't speak so fondly about the rest of the week. We are in the middle of PUKEWATCH 2006!! Justin got sick Wednesday night and Thursday. Followed by Will and Tyler Friday night and Saturday. Grandma Carroll and I Started feeling poorly Saturday night, and Grandpa John joined in on the party Sunday evening. That means only Kayla, Grace and Elizabeth are still healthy. Please Lord, a little mercy here!

Updates on the rest of the trip to follow after two long days of driving to get home. Please pray for no more vomit. We've already steam cleaned all the carpet and cushions in the motor home and washed all the bedding. Yuck!!!