Our 5-Ring Circus

Our 5-Ring Circus

Scooter, Quab and Bugs

Scooter, Quab and Bugs
Serving the Princesses since 2004

Tiana and Goose

Tiana and Goose
They really need all of those big brothers...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Names for the New Year

It has come to our attention that the minor residents of our Blog World do not like the nicknames chosen by their Mother to protect their identities form the meanies on the internet. Thusly and henceforth, forever and ever or until they change their minds, the Green Enough Children shall be known as follows:
Bugs shall still be Bugs-the oldest and the only one who liked his name
Dawg shall be known as Quab. Don't ask, it makes no sense to any of us. Get used to that phrase, we use it a lot.
Toad shall be Scooter. HE chose it. Again, don't ask.
Princess shall be Bellerella. She has two favorite Princesses and wouldn't feel right about using just one of their names.
Little Sister (who isn't actually the Little Sister anyway) shall be Tiana. Actually she insists on being called Tiana in the real world too.

And it shall be so, under penalty of something really, really bad that the boys will tell you about when you need to know.

The Princesses Take Over

So, before Little Sister came home, we asked the Princess if she would like to share a room with her sister. She was not.interested.at.all. Her space has always been almost sacred to her and she resents any intrusions into her little world. So we prepared another beautiful room for LS. She loves it. In fact, Princess loves it too. She has been camped out in there since LS came home, with the exception of a few nights that we convinced her to use her own room, so fiercely guarded just weeks ago. Last week the girls ganged up on us brought a discussion to the table about sharing one of their bedrooms. When asked where we would put two beds and the big dressers, they suggested a "pretty bunk bed." Who will sleep in the top bunk? We learned from the boys that it is prime real estate. They will take turns and will switch every week when we change the sheets. When we wondered where all of their babies/Barbies/princesses/dress-ups would live, they casually  mentioned that the pink room (previously the Princess's Fortress of Solitude) might make an excellent "Girly Play Room." They had an answer for every concern. And they did this together. They conspired cooperated and thought through the whole plan like girls much more mature than 5 and 6 years old. It is a rare day that the girls agree on anything and even more rare that they can work together on such a grand scale. Frankly, the shock and surprise of their coordinated attack efforts left us no choice but to agree and move forward. We are being held hostage granting their request.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The actual day of Christmas has passed, but can't we continue to give all year long? Can't we look to our Savior for an example of love, every single day we live? Can't we give because we want to be like Him, not because we want recognition or praise or a reward? Let His love and care for us be the reward, and let our service to our brothers and sisters be His.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

1 Month, 1 Week, 1 Day

So says the fairy ticker on the sidebar. I kind of like her now. But I think she's lying. Little Sister hasn't possibly been here that long, and then again it feels like she has always been here. Tiana (which she insists on being called since our D*sn*y trip) says that she misses Ghana, but she also loves Utah. Especially Buddy. And her family. So we rate just slightly below a movie character and a mutt. We were kicked to the curb long ago by the other Princess too, in favor of Barbie, Cinderella and the same canine of questionable pedigree. Such is life with little girls.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I LOVE this!

Wait for the end. It will be worth it.

Someday I will be coherent again and will post something worth reading. But apparently not yet.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Well, almost. I see this on a lot of other blogs, and I like the idea. Especially since I don't have many words right now, and I'm too tired to type them even if I did!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Everything I Needed To Know About Life, I Learned In Primary

Meet the new girl and smile.
Hold hands with the new girl.
Sit beside your friends.
Introduce the new girl to your friends.
Giggle a lot with the new girl and your old friends.
Invite your little sister and the new girl's little sister to sit with the "big girls" too.
Sing as loudly as you can and smile as big as you can.
Hug the new girl when she is afraid to go to the front for the "Hello" song.
Hold hands with the new girl as you walk to the front together.
Hug the new girl again.
Share your fruit snacks.
Giggle some more.
Wink at the new girl's Mom.

One of the highlights of this whole week was my sweet little towheaded friend sitting beside my sweet little African daughter in Primary (children's class at church). These two could not be more different in looks. Both so tiny compared to the others in their class, but both mighty in spirit. They met once for an hour this week and are now, according to both, Best Friends. Miss P, you are my hero, and my daughter's hero. Your heart is golden and your inside is as lovely as your outside. Thank you for welcoming our Little Sister and making sure your friends are her friends too. Your Mom and Dad must be so proud of you.

If any of you are sitting there thinking "I would love to adopt, but will she be accepted? Will the neighbors notice her skin is dark and her accent is thick? Will she make friends, or will the kids be afraid of her?" you should come spend a day here. Do I think my daughter will never hear an unkind word or be treated unfairly simply because she looks different? No, I am not naive. But this last week has been 7 whole days of pure Christlike love toward our family and especially our new daughter. I could share a story from every day and have a bookful to spare. Sometimes we have to listen to the still, small voice that tells us to stay put when that bigger, nicer house tempts us. We have to ignore the faults we see in our physical surroundings and appreciate the people we have been blessed to associate with. So many times over the past few years we have thought of moving, and each time we just knew that we should stay. Maybe it was all for this. For the children who have been raised by such goodly and Godly parents to show us how we should be. And where we should be.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

We Can Always Learn From the Scriptures

I have been reading in Proverbs and Psalms a lot lately. I enjoy the simple messages and beautiful praises found in those books. I am not sure whether I came upon this scripture tonight because I have met so many fools with big mouths lately, or because I have been one myself.
Proverbs 17:28 says "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding." (KJV)
Then, I followed the references and found another gem in Job 13:5 "O that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your wisdom." Yes, the exclamation point is there in the original scripture.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Miraculous Monday

It is good to be home!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

YES!! (fist pump, chest bump, touchdown dance)

We received our I600 approval today! It was a long and frustrating wait. Really, any wait during the adoption process feels long and frustrating. The time after you go to court and get the adoption decree, but before you can bring her home has been the worst part and the hardest to deal with on a daily basis. She was ours the first time we saw her picture, but became ours legally back in August. So for two months, OUR DAUGHTER has been thousands of miles away, across an ocean, and we couldn't do much to change the situation but wait. Mostly patiently and sometimes notsomuch. She is well cared for and loved there, but we miss her terribly! We'll be headed to Ghana very soon to see Little Sister, get her visa and (dare I say it) bring her home! I think I need to use a Few!More!Exclamation!Points!!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Best I Can Do Today

UPDATE: They are coming home tomorrow!!!

Just look at the sidebar and read, right at the top. Then stick your tongue out at the fairy, who is once again on my very last nerve with her counting. Still holding on to the knot and praying for news. I keep going back to this post:

Now, will you all please pray for a wonderful friend who is waiting for good (fabulous, wonderful, excellent) news in Ghana tomorrow afternoon. She has been there for many weeks and I know her family here would love for her to come home soon with their new siblings!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Knot and The Promise

I don't have much to say, just hanging onto that knot at the end of my rope. But I saw this on another Ghana family's blog, and it felt just right for today:
Hebrews Chapter 10:
35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

In FHE tonight we talked about Trust and Faith, and how our faith in Jesus Christ allows us to do things. J taught that trust causes us to act. We talked about how people can fail us and break our trust, but our Lord will never fail us. His plan for us is divine and perfect and we follow it because we trust Him. And so we wait another day and we hang onto the picture we've had in our minds for 7 months now of a little girl with a huge smile and tiny braids. He put it there and has made that image a reality that we have seen with our own eyes and held in our arms. We WILL "receive the promise."

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sappy Thursday

This is long, but (prepare for cheesiness) it has changed the way I parent all of my children. Not long after this song became popular, Steven Curtis Chapman lost his youngest daughter in a tragic accident. So we now dance whenever we can, and the world can wait. Today I am playing with the Princess because she invited me, and because she makes the whole crazy impatient business of the world and our adoption fade into the background. The dishes, the laundry, the room I need to finish painting, they don't spin around and giggle. I swear, her laughter is magical. I dare anyone to listen to it and not feel better than before. The boys grow up just as fast, and their moments of needing us (at least admitting it) grow farther apart and become that much more precious. I'm talking to myself as much as to you, Don't Miss those quick glimpses back to their little-boy selves who loved to sit on your lap and be tucked into bed at night. They are still there if you look. Just take a minute today to appreciate your children. Tell them how much you love them, and why. They drive us crazy, they break things, they whine and they argue and they roll their eyes. But they love us and they want to know that we love them. So say it and DO it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tender Mercies

The weekend was filled with wonderful moments. To list just a few: I heard from a family who is making it possible for me to keep a promise made to a special little girl. I watched my oldest handle a major disappointment first like a boy and then like a young man. I saw my little cheerleader rope her brother into cheering with her at the game, and I suspect he enjoyed it. There was a great deal of laughter from the whole group. I got to teach ALL of my fantastic 10 year old friends in Primary, and again learned more than I taught. I have to give a "shout out" to the boys who sit behind us (they know who they are), for again looking out for their brother and acting like they didn't know what I was talking about when I thanked them. I saw a new gappy smile from my youngest son. As if he wasn't cute enough already.
I want to apologize for my rebellious attitude and foot-stomping and yes, prayer made all of the difference. Sometimes the blessings and the comfort are just waiting for us to be humble enough to ask for them. Often, we do not choose humility. Instead, we are beaten down by our trials until we accept it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Learning Patience


Today the difference between 30 days and 30 business days is glaringly obvious. No word from Ghana, no plans to bring Little Sister home except the ones in my mind. Today I feel very very deserted and very very tired. Just wrung out and incapable of dealing with anything but the basics. Yes, I know I should spend some time on my knees pleading with the One who can make it right, but if we're being real today I don't wanna do it! Trying to contact anyone who may have answers has been fruitless, and I'm so ornery that even the dog doesn't want to be around me. Yes, I would like some cheese to go with my whine. And make it snappy.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Are You Ready For Some Football??

Bugs is playing his first season of tackle football. That is him on the end, #12 in purple. Suddenly we spend a great deal of time at the field watching him practice, and part of every Saturday yelling ourselves hoarse. The first few times I heard them cracking their helmets and pads together, I nearly yanked him off the field and drove right home. He is bruised, sweaty and filthy every single afternoon and doubly so after a game. And he walks off the field with a HUGE smile. So we go back. And we cheer. We paint our car windows with all manner of obnoxious team spirit on Saturday morning and we leave it there during the week because it really bugs his friends and cousins who play for other teams. We have become a football family. Everyone has their game-day gear that we wear proudly. Elena cheers for her brother and his team, and they all love to see their families on the sidelines. The "X" on Bugs' helmet means that he is above the weight limit for his age, so he can only play on the offensive or defensive line. Scary as it is, he is smaller than a lot of the other "X-Men" from other teams. Bugs has a game every Saturday until Halloween, then playoffs and a local tournament. If you want to join us and you look good in purple, we're happy to share the schedule with you. If you prefer baseball, watch for Toad in the Spring.

Back to School (yeah, late again)

So, the boys all went back to school the day after J and I came home from Ghana. Grades 1, 3 and 5. Yes, Bugs is almost my size. Wait until you see the football pictures! Toad has already used his big brown eyes on his teacher and Dawg is excited that he is in a different class than his best friend (for the first time) so now they can "totally compete all year long." They begged me not to take their pictures this year, which I ignored just like last year. Apparently the poses I choose are "dorky." So I let them pose themselves, with a promise from all that they would do something normal. Now you see what I deal with on a daily basis. This IS their normal.

P.S. The Toad would like you to know that his pants are zipped in the pictures, the part that covers the zipper just "goes all funky" sometimes.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Write it on your heart

One of my favorite bloggers posted this poem a few days ago. Some recent events make it even more fitting and even more lovely.

Write it on your heart
by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Fairy Ticker and a Fairy Princess

A few months ago, the little fairy ticker on the sidebar was annoying me so badly that I took it down for a while. It was depressing to see the number grow larger each day. Each time the count went up by a day, my frustration grew at the total halt brought to our lives while we waited for something, anything to happen. For those of you waiting, those months right in the middle drag by, but they do end eventually. Then there was a sudden flurry of activity and travel and general craziness with school starting for all four kids at home. Now that life is settling down a bit and we are kind of counting down to Little Sister coming home, I'm more able to see those ticker days as a positive. SIX months today. In comparison, our wait has been short, even shorter than our domestic adoption of Bugs. The ticker reminds me that we have had six whole months to rely on faith. Plus, that fairy is darn cute, if you ask me. Little Sister's new room will have PLENTY fairies (to borrow one of her favorite words) for her to enjoy, thanks to the Princess's interior design expertise. Once she realized that one of the fairies (Iridessa) in her favorite Di$n*y movie "has brown skin and tiny braids like Little Sister," she informed us that she knew *just* what to do for the new bedroom. It is going to be beautiful and fun and I think it will really suit our newest fairy princess very well. Her Highness really has a good eye for color, with a slightly disturbing fondness for glitter. She works for goldfish crackers and M&Ms if any of you want to hire her.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Missing My Girl!

I'm sitting here listening to Her Highnesss singing something about beef jerky, our dog, and her new gold shoes. And, as always, she makes me laugh. She is never silent or still except in sleep and I wouldn't change her at all. But it also makes me miss my other little girl who was constantly singing and dancing while we were with her. Wednesday will be two weeks since we filed the immigration paperwork, so according the estimate we were given at the Embassy, we'll be about halfway to the end. Then you have to factor in Ghana Time (everyone who is familiar with this concept just rolled their eyes or let out a frustrated sigh) and a passport hiccup from the first trip means we have about another week added to the visa process, so we're more realisticially 1/3 of the way there. Suddenly that seems like a long time because Little Sister made me promise that we would bring her home soon. And I said we would, as fast as we could. But how does the waiting feel to a 6 year old, if her Mama is already going nuts after two weeks! I wonder if she believed me when I made that promise? I hope, I pray and I trust that we will see her again soon, and this time we will not have to leave her behind.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Time Flies

While uploading our trip photos for printing, I came across this one in an old album. As you can see, the kids have changed just a little in the last four years. But it felt like about four minutes!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Home Again

We are back home as of midnight last night. So much to sort through in our suitcases, our minds and especially our hearts. And a little piece of those are somewhere in Ghana with a sweet, sassy, cutie patootie of a girl.

I expected to spend a great deal of time praying for our health on this trip. instead, I was MUCH more focused on our safety, but only when we were in a moving vehicle. In case you wonder what driving is like in Accra, J sent his brother a text message (from the passenger seat of our taxi) detailing where to find our Will and fireproof box containing important documents. That was only RIDING in a car there, and J has nerves of steel. Driving? Inconceivable!

P.S. I added a picture of us with LS. Be kind. We definitely look like we're on day 9 in Ghana!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

XXX rated

Sitting at the XXX in Buduburam. Best spaghetti evah. Little Sister is amazing, all of the children are beautiful. In the middle of nowhere, Ghana, we can write a blog post. Technology is wonderful, especially when it is used to keep my Ghanaian Coca Cola cold.

The connection here is sketchy, but we are here safely and enjoying every minute. Yes, I said every minute.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Good News From a Far Country!!

"As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." Proverbs 25:25

This scripture has been on the sidebar for a few months. Lately it has new meaning. We are now a family of SEVEN! Little Sister (who is actually a Big Sister to the Princess) is finally ours, officially and legally. We will travel sometime soon to meet her and file our I600. Then we just wait for approval and bring her home. I cannot wait to squeeze her and hear that giggle again!

There were a few days when I felt like this might not happen. But way more days when I knew it would because there was so much resistance. I struggle with having patience and faith when things are difficult. But I am stubborn, and she is our daughter, and I have my Father in Heaven to hold my hand when all I can do is reach out and hang on. I always make fun of J's impatience when we are driving, going through a line somewhere or waiting for something insignificant. But when it is something BIG like this adoption, and like Bugs' adoption, his faith never wavers and he seems to be able to wait as long as it takes without complaint. He knows the desired result and knows it will come. The "Dark Side" cannot sway his course. Master Yoda, he is much like.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Ready, OKAY!

Since we live in Utah, the most appropriate phrase I can think of is Oh My Heck! We have a cheerleader in our home. And a full-contact football player. An X-Man, which means he is able to leap tall buildings in a single bound and/or flatten most other kids his age. I'm not sure which is more frightening to me. Probably the cheerleading. To all of my friends who know what a Herkie is and can do one, you know I love ya!

And One More Time!

If my task in this adoption journey is to learn to curb my potty mouth, I'm going to have to ask for a do-over of today.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Again. And again. And again. Aaaaaaaand again.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Come here, snakey snakey snakey...

I remember a few summers ago, my boys found a "cute" little snake in our back yard. They were so excited to catch it so I could see it. I was excited to get inside the house where there were no snakes! I.do.not.like.snakes. Last year they found another "cute" little snake and brought it to me. They had my sweet, feminine little Princess with them, encouraging me to "Pet him, Mom. He's so tiny!" as she held the nasty little beast in her hands. Now, I will not be called out by a 3 year old. So I touched the (~shudder~) little snake and satisfied the dare. This morning I went outside to water our garden. There was a (not tiny OR cute) snake sitting on the patio. Instead of running inside to hide, I went to find a bucket to put him in, so the boys and their snake charmer sister could see him when they woke up. I was sad when Mr. Snakey slithered away into the bushes before I could catch him. Too fast for a picture, too. I'm sure he or his friends will be back. I think I'm becoming a Boy Mom! From shrieking (like a girl, no kidding) to attempting a capture in just a few years. I hope there is a t-shirt for this momentous occasion.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Well Said (and not by me)!

I don't have many words lately, and when I do they seem to be the wrong ones. So read this post from another Ghana Mom. It is perfect!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

ATTENTION 8 year old boys and other daredevils!

Please read carefully. Memorize these words. Follow them. Do not ask questions.

If your friend, cousin or brother tells you to climb onto a metal shelf in the garage then jump off, do NOT do it. Especially if your loose t-shirt may get caught on the shelf and flip you upside down when you jump. Yes, you do know better.

Garage floor+head=5 staples IN your head. Very painful and not at all impressive to the ladies, especially your Mom or your friend's Mom.

If your Dad tells you that chicks dig scars, he is just trying to cover up for his own clumsy childhood. What chicks really dig is a boy who uses his head, and not for breaking concrete. It is definitely not awesome to hear the words "CT scan" or "cervical collar" in the middle of the night. Girls also think it is cool when you listen to your Mom, your friend's Mom, your Aunt, your Grandma and any other female who attempts to ruin your life by making rules and doing all those things that you consider "lame." Yes, we were all put on this Earth to "harsh your deal" and we enjoy it because it seriously harshes our deal to have to drive you to the hospital while keeping you from passing out. I just saw you roll your eyes. That isn't cool either.

Trust me on this one, guys.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

"Please Come."

That is what Little Sister said to us a few minutes ago on the phone. There is no doubt that we will come, as soon as we can.

She is six years old. She shares a birth month with one of our boys and he thinks that is "awesome." He stayed awake long past bedtime just to be able to hear all about his sister first.

Her voice was such a perfect mix of tiny and sweet and just a little giggle. I miss her.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Anything boys can do...

Last night as we were driving home from dinner, the Princess saw her (boy) friend riding his brand-new bike. No training wheels. She suddenly said "I need to take my training wheels off my bike!" Now, in case you don't know, she is only 4 (until September) and she has never tried to ride a 2-wheeler. So we pulled into the driveway and Daddy started taking the training wheels off her tiny bike while she geared up with helmet and elbow pads. Pink, of course. I suspected that she would fall a few times and her training wheels would be back on within the hour. By the time I ran into the house and grabbed the camera, expecting to get many pictures of her wobbling and falling with Daddy holding onto her seat, she was halfway down the sidewalk. He said he put her on the bike and she just took off. You can see him in the top corner of the picture in a red shirt. This girl is determined that NO boy is going to do anything that she can't. Every night when we tell her that it's bedtime she asks "Are the boys going to bed too?" If they go out to play with friends, she has to go with them. Don't get me wrong, she can get her Diva on at a moment's notice, but she will NOT be left behind!

The funniest part of all this? In our family, you get a new "big" bike as soon as you can ride the little bike without training wheels. But she is so tiny that the next size bike is too big! She says that she will grow enough by her birthday, and she has her sights set on a bright pink Barbie bike with butterflies. With matching helmet, because her current helmet "is not the right color of pink." She's still a Princess.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Each morning, the school that our children attend begins with the Pledge of Allegiance (yes, with ALL of the words, even with emphasis on "under God") and on Wednesday mornings during the school assembly, they add the singing of the Star Spangled Banner, first and last verse. The first time we visited on assembly day and heard 500 beautiful, clear young voices singing our national anthem, I was moved to tears. I have probably attended 40 assemblies since and my reaction is always the same. I am ashamed to admit that I had never sung the other verses until my children taught them to me. Now, that last verse is my personal favorite. Growing up in a military family definitely instills a sense of patriotism in you, regardless of your political leanings. The thought that, at any moment, my father could and would give his own life to secure the freedoms that we enjoy was never far from my mind. He spent months and years at a time in a different hemisphere, and we never knew for sure that he was coming back alive. There is a popular poem titled "Freedom is Not Free." Indeed it is not. Not only do we have earthly men who defend it and value it above their own lives, we also have a Heavenly Father who guided the founders of our country by His hand. For anyone else who is not familiar with our national anthem past the point where we hear a lot of cheering and the words "Play Ball," here is the last verse. You should hear the kids at school on those last two lines. It is incredible!

O! Thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with vic'try and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must when our cause it is just
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Putting On Our Armor

I said I wasn't going to post anything else this week, but this needs to be said. We (or at least I) seem to be fighting against some strong and evil forces recently. To which I say, Bring.It.On. My girl is in Ghana. I am coming for her. There is nothing more powerful than the love of a Mother (or Father) for a child. My Heavenly Father is on my side, so do not stand in our way!
I am reminded of the words in Ephesians Chapter 6:

"...Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God...
Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen."

For my LDS friends, the same message is in D&C 27.

Game on. Let's get ready to rumble.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

No News is Good News?

I really can't believe it has been a whole week since I posted our last non-update. Well, if no news is good news, then we must have GREAT news. Still waiting (im)patiently. How do you spell out a long, loud scream? Phonetically? I'm not a model of productivity or serenity right now. More like a big pile of whiny frustration with a side of attitude. Just keepin' it real.

J and I are headed to the travel clinic in the morning to get our vaccinations. I'm hoping that Heavenly Father will see that as an act of faith on our part, since he knows how I feel about shots, and he'll give our case a little push in Ghana. Maybe I'll get the shots twice! The kids were worried today that I would be scared, and Elena offered her special "Ni-Nite" to me so I wouldn't cry. Which made me cry. So I'm kind of a mess this week but I know it will pass. It's just the one-foot-in-front-of-the-other that is so hard sometimes.

For those who pray, please keep my friend B in your hearts. She and her husband J are about to bring their little girl home from Ghana, and they really need some peace and the warmth of our Savior's love to surround them. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Little Sister Little Update

Things are moving along. Progress has been made, but we still don't know when we will get to bring her home. We're just praying and planning and enjoying the little miracles, and even the opposition. It is just more confirmation that we're doing the right thing.

We have learned a couple of things that are good for the adoption, but leave our hearts aching for our little girl. We appreciate beyond words the people who are working so hard to make it happen. We will update when we have more news, and until then we're filled with hope and confidence that Little Sister will be in our arms soon. The more we learn about her, the more we love her and the harder it is to wait. But she is loved and cared for and safe. She is already far ahead of so many children in her country.

As a special favor to someone dear to me, please pray for people to act according to the will of the Lord, and not their own. For comfort for a group of vulnerable children whose lives are being tossed every which way but the right one, and for some common sense to be granted unto those who lack it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, Bugs!

I woke up this morning to a 10 year old. I don't feel old most of the time, but his 10th birthday makes me feel a bit creaky! Especially since he is soon going to be taller than his Mom.

Bugs, you are our sunshine, our superhero, our little boy with freckled and dimpled cheeks. Your heart is always open and always kind, and you love fiercely and without fear. You were worth every minute of the wait, and you have blessed us every day since you were born. We could not ask for anything more than we have in you, our first baby, our Bugs, our sweetheart. Thank you for still blowing kisses to your Mom, even in front of your friends. Thank you for laughing because it is infectious and we can't stop ourselves from joining you. Thank you for being a friend to those who need you most and being loyal to them. You just get better the older you become and you make us so proud. We "love you MUCH!"

Happy Birthday!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Shake it off and Step Up!

My 4th grader's teacher read this to the class and parents during their end-of-year party this morning. She must have wondered why I was in tears, but it came at just the right time for me and I know some of you will appreciate it too:

A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule.
The mule fell into the farmer's well. The farmer heard the mule 'braying' - or - whatever mules do when they fall into wells. After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving. Instead, he called his neighbors together and told them what had happened...and enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.
Initially, the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back...a thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back...HE SHOULD SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP! This he did, blow after blow.

"Shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up!" he repeated to encourage himself. No matter how painful the blows, or distressing the situation seemed the old mule fought panic and just kept right on SHAKING IT OFF AND STEPPING UP.
You're right! It wasn't long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, STEPPED TRIUMPHANTLY OVER THE WALL OF THAT WELL! What seemed like it would bury him, actually blessed him...all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity.

THAT'S LIFE! If we face our problems and respond to them positively, and refuse to give in to panic, bitterness, or self-pity...THE ADVERSITIES THAT COME ALONG TO BURY US USUALLY HAVE WITHIN THEM THE POTENTIAL TO BENEFIT AND BLESS US! Remember that FORGIVENESS--FAITH--PRAYER-- PRAISE and HOPE...all are excellent ways to "SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP" out of the wells in which we find ourselves!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Are you smarter than a 2nd Grader?

Apparently not! But Dawg really enjoyed seeing me admit it in front of his class today. By the way, for those of you who may have been misinformed as I was, the DeathStar is NOT a battleship that his class studied this year. What kind of education is he receiving, anyway?

Monday, June 1, 2009


Enough whining. Deleted!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Poisonous Pinkness

In preparation for Little Sister's arrival, we have all kinds of moving/painting/rearranging of rooms planned. We started today by giving the Princess's room a very-mini makeover. It looks much more like a big girl room now and I'm not sure how I feel about that. But she was so excited to pick out a new quilt, and so adamant that she did not want her room painted. That's good because I didn't want to paint it either. I love her room because it is just *so* her. The boys claim that the upstairs will be hazardous to their health, what with all of the "poisonous pinkness" we are adding. To save their lives, we'll clear out the guest room/craft room and move the Dawg and Toad downstairs. Once that happens, the menfolk tell me that the basement will become a man cave and no girls will be allowed. I guess we can add bathroom cleaning lessons to our "summer enrichment program," then. I'm perfectly happy to let them take it over.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Customer Service? Who needs THAT?

Begin rant/
Let's say that a person (me) wires a large sum of money. This money is important and needs to be received by an organization that will be integral in the future of a little girl. MY little girl to be exact. So, the bank here in the US, with all of their computers and fax machines and telephones can take the money from our account the very same day that we request the wire. They can also help themselves to $40 just for the pleasure of wiring our money. They promise to send a confirmation as soon as the wire is completed. Confirmation never shows up. Do you suppose it is a coincidence that the money is now lost? Did it ever get sent in the first place? How about if I called the bank and was told "Well, the only thing we can really do is send a message to the receiving bank and see if they know anything." Seriously? When I asked when I could expect to hear news, I got "Well, that depends on them, we can only inquire." Okay, we don't have millions of dollars sitting in their fine financial insititution, or any instituation for that matter, but we have been members of this certain credit union almost as long as we have been married. Is it too much to ask for a little bit of effort?

How many Credit Union Customer Service employees does it take to change a light bulb? None! They don't change light bulbs. That might actually be helpful.
/End rant.

Monday, May 18, 2009

They have NO shame!

My littles were engaged in a full-fledged squirt gun war just about the second they stepped out of the car after school. We have not yet properly stocked our arsenal for the season, so they were scrambling to find decent weaponry for the opening battle. Being the excellent Mom that I am, I was digging through bins of summer gear and closets of sports equipment looking for the "big guns." When I finally found one, I handed it over to the Dawg, who proceeded to fill it and test its range by shooting at a tree. Maybe he has retained some of the water gun etiquette that I have been teaching every summer. I shed a single tear of pride. I came back inside to find the rest of the good stuff. When I dared venture back onto the battlefield, I was greeted by a very long, very cold stream of water down my back/front/side from the very child unto whom I had bestowed The Good Gun not 5 minutes before. I threw the rest of the weapons onto the grass and retreated, calling for a temporary cease-fire so that I could refill their water bucket. They all stopped squirting each other (and giggling at their dripping Mom) long enough for me to walk up to the nearly empty bucket. Then all four of my beautiful children, whom I love and serve day in and day out, unleashed a full aquatic assault on my person. They.have.NO.shame. The angelic expressions should have been a dead giveaway. They forget who has car keys and permission to go to W*l-M*rt loooong after they are sleeping peacefully in their cozy beds. I will have my revenge, and it will be dragon-shaped and hold ice cubes.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Little Man's funeral was this morning. There really aren't words to describe what it was like, but there was a beautiful slidesow set to this song, and the words were so touching and so perfect. I hope I'm not breaking too many laws by sharing the lyrics with you and adding it to my playlist (you should be hearing it right now). It is called Fly, by Celine Dion.

Fly, fly little wing
Fly beyond imagining
The softest cloud, the whitest dove
Upon the wind of heaven's love
Past the planets and the stars
Leave this lonely world of ours
Escape the sorrow and the pain
And fly again
Fly, fly precious one
Your endless journey has begun
Take your gentle happiness
Far too beautiful for this
Cross over to the other shore
There is peace forevermore
But hold this mem'ry bittersweet
Until we meet
Fly, fly do not fear
Don't waste a breath, don't shed a tear
Your heart is pure, your soul is free
Be on your way, don't wait for me
Above the universe you'll climb
On beyond the hands of time
The moon will rise, the sun will set
But I won't forget
Fly, fly little wing
Fly where only angels sing
Fly away, the time is right
Go now, find the light

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Heavy Hearts

After a brief and difficult life, our dear friends' baby boy passed away last night. He was such a welcome blessing to his family and we are heartbroken for them right now. Please remember E and D and "the Ladies" in your prayers tonight.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mission Accomplished (William)

Our nurse in Ghana sent this update:

Again, thank you for all of your help. The children will be so blessed because of your generosity and prayers.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

About William (Great News!!)

Becky sent an update soon after she arrived in Ghana. According to her, William's burns have been properly cleaned and bandaged and he is starting to walk again! She said that he is very eager to get back to playing, and is very appreciative of everything being done for him. THANK YOU all for your kind words, generous donations and prayers. You have made a big difference in the life of a little boy. Please continue to pray that William and his sister will find their forever family very soon. According to the Ghanaian requirements, you must be 20 years older than the children, which means any of you over 31 are good to go! Yeah, a few of you are going to have to give up the whole "29 again" gig too. You're not fooling anyone.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My Little Farmers

You've really got to love living in a town with a feed/farm store. We are guaranteed an hour of free entertainment during chick/duckling season, and bonus time if it is also vegetable/flower season. Yesterday I took the littles there, and we wandered and giggled and said "aaaaaaw" a thousand times. Her Highness fell in love with the pink cowboy boots. We walked through the garden area and learned just how many varieties of tomato plants you can grow. They have so many that they alphabetize them! So, the Princess wants to grow cucumbers and Toad wanted to try a crazy dark purple bell pepper. We do not have the best track record with growing vegetables. Our best year yielded two zucchinis. Not two plants, two bushels or two pounds. Just two zucchinis. They were big and delicious, but at some point you have to admit defeat. I embraced it long ago, but the kids haven't quite caught up. So we'll be babying our little cukes and purple peppers this summer. Do you think Peter Piper picked any Purple Peppers? The kiddos are also hoping that our mysterious pumpkin patch appears this year. We carved pumpkins in the front yard a few years ago and the next two summers we had a gorgeous "magical" pumpkin patch in our flowerbed. Apparently the things we plant unintentionally do very well! Last year, not a pumpkin to be seen. They all thought it was because we dug up a lot of that bed and built a wall, so the seeds were afraid. All I am going to admit is that I am fairly sure that there are pumpkin seeds in the right spot this year. None of the kids read the blog, so they'll be just as excited this year when the vines start winding around our fountain. There is something to be said for letting them believe in magic for one more summer.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I learned far more today than I taught.

This morning I had to speak in church. If you know me at all, you are well aware of my feelings on speaking in church, especially when other people are there looking at me. Ironically I was speaking on Faith, and mine was shaky all week as I thought about getting up there. I didn't feel like I had much to say on the topic, since I am often the one who has fear instead of faith. I am sure that the Lord gave me the words I needed, because I said a lot that was not in my notes and left out a lot that was.

Then I went to teach my 9 and 10 year old class. These kids know their stuff better than I do most of the time. Giant spirits in little bodies. In sharing time, the children in my class and some of the other classes taught by their examples. One girl spoke of her older brother, who is autistic and nonverbal. She related a dream that she had where he spoke to her, and said that she looks forward to the day when she can have a conversation with him. She said, "I have so many questions I would like to ask him." Tears! Another girl stood to share her testimony. She is a beautiful, sweet girl who has some difficulties. She was very reluctant to speak until her father told her to look to the back of the room at her dear friend, who sat with a smile on her face the entire time. Then the rest of the class welcomed her back to her chair with smiles and high fives. More tears! Another class sitting behind me, all raised their hands to volunteer to help with singing time, then when chosen a boy said "We just all raised or hands for B (their classmate with autism) so he could come up." ALL of these children know what is right and how to be, and they just did it, all of them, without a thought to who was watching or whether it was cool to show love for a classmate or a brother or a friend. I am humbled by their examples and I am blessed to know that my children will grow up with friends like these.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Speaking of Dogs. . .

If you take your adorable little dog to your adorable little daughter's adorable little preschool to show her to the class, guess what will happen? Remember, it is rather warm here today, so you will probably leave the adorable little dog in the car, which is running, so she can enjoy the A/C. This is so you can make sure that all of the preschool kids actually want to meet the adorable little dog without screaming or having an allergic reaction. When you go back out to get her, you will notice that the doors are now locked. Adorable little dog, whose feet are just the right size to hit the door lock button, is still inside, with your purse, cellphone and keys. You will be tempted to say a not-so-adorable word. Then you will remember that you have OnStar! This magical button will allow your car to be unlocked from some mysterious location. You will ask the friendly OnStar operator to do it again so you can watch this time (she can lock the doors too, I swear). And it will be so cool that you will forgive the adorable little dog. Adorable little daughter will be mad at you for making her leave her beloved school, though. THANK YOU ON STAR! and THANK YOU, C for picking up the Toad from kindergarten, driving to my house to get the spare keys, and not yelling at me when we didn't need them after all.

Shameless Advertisement

If any of you are local and have a dog, know a dog, or just enjoy dog treats, please come see us at the Utah Humane Society on Saturday from 10:00am to sometime in the afternoon. Bugs will be there with his Amazing Dog Treats. There will also be an agility course for your dogs to try out. We watched several dogs run the course last summer and it was a lot of fun. We love the UHS! They gave Bugs a big boost last summer by inviting him to give out samples of his treats at their summer event. The volunteers took it a step further by insisting on paying him for the treats. Then they lobbied for the fees for whatever dog he wanted to be waived, when we were ready to bring one home. So, that is how Buddy came into our lives and how Landon got his start as a Doggie Chef. He went on to totally kick my butt at Town Days, selling double what I did. It wasn't fair, though. The kid has dimples AND freckles!

The menu will include his AMAZING Cheesy Biscuits, Buddy's favorite Peanut Butter Bones, Wheat-Free Rye Crisps (with mint) and carob chip muffins. He is giving out free samples!

Bugs will give half of the money he makes this time to the UHS since they "took good care of Buddy until we could find her." He and Buddy are so cute together.

Utah Humane Society
4242 South 300 West
Murray, Utah

An AMAZING update!

Go see what Jessica has to say this morning:

THANK YOU!! The words are inadequate, but you have blessed the life of a little boy who will not forget it.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Making a Difference

"Never doubt that a small group of committed, concerned citizens can make a difference in the world. In fact it is the only thing that ever has"
~Margaret Mead

Donations are "pouring in" for William, but the need is still so great. We only have a couple more days before Becky will need to order the medical supplies that she is taking to Ghana with her. Follow the links below if you wish to donate, and please KEEP PRAYING! William needs a strong body that will heal and he and his sister need a family. If anyone would like to know more about them or see pictures, please leave a comment or send an email. I would LOVE to help bring them home.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Update on William (read the post below this one first!)

The latest update on William and the supplies that are needed: (this is from the nurse who will be going to Ghana and training the staff at Luckhyill to continue his care)

"My main concern now is the actual wound supplies. I know people have been donating money. That is SO great! We'll use anything we get to buy the cases of supplies we need. Lois should be calling me to update me about how much money we have. Please encourage more donations! If people are uncomfortable donating money, please tell them to order the Kerlix and Telfa pads that Jessica has linked on her blog, some can be purchased for as little as $1.00. They can send them directly to my house. I can't even begin to explain how many bandages he is going to need for me to really make some progress with those wounds. Any extra money that is donated will be put toward buying him extra food to fatten him up!

I'm SO overwhelmed by the outpouring of support. God is moving people to help this little boy that is on the other side of the globe. That is a true miracle."

If anyone wants to donate or order the bandages, please email me or leave a comment and I will give you the addresses you need. THANK YOU!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Little Boy Needs Help!

There is a boy at Luckyhill, where Little Sister lives, who had a terrible accident. He needs all of our prayers for healing and safety, and quite a bit of medical attention that is just not available to him right now. Follow the first link for the story and the link below for a small update. If you can help in any way, please please do. If you can pray, please please do. He is Landon's age. Suddenly my boy who I just wrote about being so grown up is little again. I see the pain in William's eyes and I know how stoic and "big and bad" 9 year olds try to be, but they're still just little boys. The pictures do show his burns, so be ready. If you have questions please leave a comment under this post or email (or call) me.

William's story and pictures:


My friend who is going to Ghana to care for William's burns:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hoppin' Down the Bunny Trail

After the kids woke up way earlier than usual, ingested an unauthorized quantity of candy, went to church (today was not a good day to be a Primary teacher!) and came home (still bouncing off the walls) I forced/bribed/suggested that they should come outside for some Easter pictures. We do this every year and it is a lot of fun to compare the pictures with previous years. The children do not share my enthusiasm for this tradition. When I loaded these onto the computer I was taken aback by how much they have grown and changed in the past year. I notice it most in the oldest and youngest, who seem to have become much more grown-up and poised versions of themselves. My family is beautiful, in my humble and unbiased opinion. But WOW are they ever growing fast. I also look at the pictures and feel like they aren't *quite* right. Little Sister should be in them too, and next year she WILL be! As I was calmly (ha!) negotiating with Her Highness this morning to get her hair into an acceptable style, I realized that soon I will have two little girls to get ready. I cannot wait! Apparently I was sorely mistaken in thinking that bedhead is NOT the perfect hairdo for Sunday morning. Thank you, Princess, for straightening that out for me.
On a completely different topic, I am so blessed to have the technology that allows me to listen to and watch General Conference while I prepare Easter dinner this evening. We were traveling last weekend and missed all of conference. I was so grateful to find the entire conference already online in video and audio formats.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

He Must Have Lived in Utah!

From another blog that I follow:

"The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
a cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
And wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March."

- Robert Frost, Two Tramps in Mud Time, 1926

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I am allergic to snow.

It has been snowing all day, I have been sneezing all day. There has to be a connection. In the name of good health and saving trees from being turned into tissues, can we please call an end to winter and move on to Spring? That would be great, thanks.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Homestudy Down, Loads of Paperwork to Go

The homestudy/home visit are over. PHEW! And PHEW again! It was a great (dare I say fun?) experience and I even learned some things about Jaime that I never knew. Go figure. Someday I will learn to stress about the things that I need to and to let the rest go. Apparently I'm not quite there yet. Thanks to my dear friend (you know who you are) for showing up at just the right time with just the right advice. My Coca-C*la stash is your Coca-C*la stash.
Now comes the fun part. The dossier for Ghana. We're hoping to get everything ready before our vacation. Not holding our breath, but still hoping. One step at a time, right? Of course, I would prefer them to be double-time steps!

Please pray for another family adopting from the same orphanage. They are waiting on one piece of their paperwork that will allow them to travel this week. We would love to see them go!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gray Skies and Sunshine

This morning I was feeling totally overwhelmed, totally frozen with doubt and totally alone. The gray skies and snow never help, either. I could not, no matter how I tried, shake the bad feelings. So I went about my day trying to seize any little bit of sunshine I could. Sometimes our Heavenly Father lets us feel like this so we can feel the "good stuff" much more intensely. I did a good bit of throwing things that could have been carefully placed into their receptacles and even let fly a few choice words while my kids were distracted with Thumbelina. (Yes, really. Just being honest here). It didn't make me feel any better but I got a lot done in my frenzy. I made progress. I took a break to check my email (which I have done obsessively for the past few days hoping for new pictures from Ghana). There I found not only MANY pictures, but the sweetest, most precious videos of our girl. OUR girl. She is amazing and funny and silly and lovely and did I already mention beautiful? Her smile is bright and full of joy. My heart was healed in an instant and I spent some time on my knees, humbled and grateful. Once again I am reminded that even when we have to trudge uphill against a gale of doubt, we will be blessed as long as we hold on to our faith and keep moving forward. And sometimes the Lord pours out his mercy upon us in unexpected ways that are JUST what we need. He loves us! He wants us to be happy and to feel all that this earthly life has to offer, the gray skies and the sunshine.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Can a kingdom be ruled by two Princesses?

It has been a long time coming and a long time working out the how, when and where, but we are so excited to announce that we are adopting again! We are hoping and praying for a little girl in Ghana to join our family this summer. She is beautiful, and we hear quite spoiled. She'll fit right in, don't you think? Soon (please?) we will be able to share pictures and more details. It is quite a process to get her home and there is a lot of unknown, but we know we will be watched over by the Lord as long as we allow Him to guide us. We pray that she will be too. She already feels like my daughter and I miss her so much as I tuck my kids into bed every night and say prayers with them in the morning.

Now, how many of you think we're a little bit crazy? We see you raising your hands!

Friday, January 23, 2009

What is Grosser than a houseful of 8-year old boys?

Aaaah, the Totally Gross party. I don't think I was as appalled as I was supposed to be, but I bet the Moms of these boys were! My juvenile side definitely enjoyed this one. First, we played musical chairs. Everyone had a whoopee cushion, which they had to inflate before they started walking around the chairs. When it was time to sit, they had to sit *on* the whoopee cushions. There was entirely too much giggling, and we blew holes in 5 of them in the first two rounds. Note to self: always, always buy flatulent toys in bulk.

Then it was on to the diaper sniffing game. We had seven diapers with assorted chocolate melted inside. The boys had to inspect the diapers and try to identify the contents. My baby nephew was at the party, so we told them that one of the diapers had real poop in it. Their reaction was classic. They all dropped the diapers and ran, and it took a lot of convincing to get any of them to come back into the room. They were very intense during this game and took their jobs seriously. I have a hysterical picture of them all sniffing and making faces, but I don't have permission from some of the other kids' Moms to post it. If you have or know an 8-year old boy you've seen the faces before.

Our next game was the potty toss. I made brown and yellow beanbags, and each team had to toss six of them into a plastic potty. Then they switched. The brown beanbags were (of course) a crowd favorite and several of the boys asked to take them home. Lots of giggling during this game too.

Then we searched for body parts in a bowl of "guts." let me tell you, out of all of the things that we did, this one grossed me out the most. The noodles were cold and slippery, and the parts were sticky. :hurl:
Bugs and Dawg go head-to-head

You know you can't have a Totally Gross party without an appropriately disgusting cake. Of course Dawg had to have a kitty litter cake. My youngest two helped me make it, and both swore that they were *NOT* eating any of *THAT!* It does look rather realistic, doesn't it? Princess thought the stuffed kitty was "poofect." The boys all murmured variations of "gross" under their breath, then "awesome" much louder when I pulled one of the T*otsie Rolls off the cake and ate it. We also had pizza, jell-o brains, gummy worms and green dip with chips (served in another potty). The boys all made "trash can punch" by mixing various soda in their own trash can cups. Unfortunately we didn't get any pictures of dinner. It's probably for the best. Total carnage. Seven boys, two little girls, 4 large pizzas, no leftovers.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Who's In Charge Around Here?

If you really know our family, you don't even have to ask. We all know who makes the rules and issues the orders. Sadly, it is not me. It is, however, the other girl who lives in our home. She drives a purple Solstice. Yeah, the 4 year old has the nicest car in the garage. A couple of years ago, she had a shirt that said "I'm in charge here. The parents are just for show." That's the truth, baby.