Tuesday, August 26, 2014

We met her!

We met our daughter today!!!

She is so beautiful, and mischievously sweet!  I already miss her...

We get to go see her again on Saturday, this time with all the boys.  Hopefully we don't overwhelm her too much!

She is 1 1/2 years old.

Did I mention she's cute???

I'm sorry I can't post her picture till the adoption is final in a few months...

We are so thankful God has given us this blessing!

Saturday, August 23, 2014


It's the middle of the night, and I can't sleep.
A hundred thoughts are swirling through my mind-
Will she like us?  Will she have a hard time adjusting?
What should we get her for Christmas?  Maybe I should
sew her another dress...  That was sure a cute outfit we
found in town this afternoon...  How will I do her hair?
Her room is ready, the cute clothes we found this afternoon
have been hung up in the closet or neatly folded into her dresser.
The quilt I sewed for her many years ago is ready on her bed.
The play dishes are in the little cupboard, a doll is in my old
doll cradle, and sweet little hair accessories are in a basket on
the dresser.  I think we're ready!  You know, I started preparing
for having a daughter many many years ago.  I'd find a cute outfit
and buy it, sew a dress, make an afghan, paint her room pink,
all without knowing when she would come, just knowing that she would.
I was preparing a place for her.
And as I lay in bed pondering all these things tonight, I realized
that's exactly what Jesus is doing for me right now- he's
getting my room ready!  He's anxiously awaiting my arrival
in heaven, my forever home, just like we are anxiously awaiting
the arrival of our Little A here, to her earthly forever home.
He loves us so much!  Listen to his words-
Do not let your hearts be troubled.
Trust in God; trust also in me.
In my Father's house are many rooms;
if it were not so, I would have told you.
I am going there to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back and take you to be with me
that you also may be where I am.
John 14:1-3

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Back to (home) school

First I just want to say "thank you" so much for
all of your kind comments after my last post--
we are sure looking forward to meeting Little A!

This morning we started up our home school year
with SJ and AJ.  They are both in the same grade which
makes homeschooling them lots easier!  We had a great
morning together, and they had fun rubbing it in to their
older brothers that they finished up their school at 11:15
instead of 3:30!  We even had a successful science experiment,
which is a rarity for me.  One other fun thing we did
was go out in the woods and look for interesting
things to discover.  We found a few fossils, a backbone
of something, lots of cool and amazing spider webs,
and animal tracks.  I hope our year continues to go well,
and that they are able to enjoy school.

Grow in the grace and knowledge
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 3:18

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Guess what??


We are still soaking it in- it was so hard to believe at
first.  Late last night we got an email from our social
worker saying we were chosen, so this morning, it all
seemed a little like a dream.  The kids were so excited
but were having a hard time quite believing it this morning
too.  AJ kept saying things like, I know I'm not dreaming
because I don't feel like I'm in a dream, I could taste my
breakfast, so I know I'm not dreaming...  Then after a while
he said, "this isn't a dream, Mom, it's a dream come true!"
We are so excited and happy!!

Next week we will go to their office and read her file,
sign the paperwork saying we really want her,
and set up a visiting schedule.  We just can't wait
to meet her and hold her and get to know her!!

THANK YOU SO MUCH for all your prayers
for us throughout this process!!

As for God, his way is perfect;
the word of the LORD is flawless.
He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
Psalm 18:30

Monday, August 18, 2014


Recently I was asked to write up the story of my Great-Grandma, Emilie, and so I thought I would post parts of it here.  It was fun to find out a little more about her, since she passed on to heaven when I was young.  I took out the last names for this blog version.

Emilie was born October 22, 1899, as the sixth of nine children born to Johann and Anna.  Emilie's childhood was marked by the death of her mother when she was just 8 years old.  Her older sisters had big shoes to fill as they had to take care of all the family needs- the cooking, sewing and other household tasks.  Her sisters became very dear to her, and they enjoyed singing together and visiting throughout their lives.

Emilie's family, like many of that time, valued thriftiness and hard work- so much so that Emilie's father would not let them go to school on the first day for two reasons.  One, that it was too much excitement, and two, they didn't do any school work that day anyway so they might as well be working at home.  Sometimes when there was a lot of work to be done at home they would take turns going to school. 

When Emilie was 17 years old she was baptized on confession of her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ at Emmaus Mennonite Church, where she remained a faithful member her whole life.

Emilie got to know her future husband, John, while she was in grade school, but they didn't get married until she was 27, on June 8, 1927.  They were married at Emmaus, with John's father officiating.  Afterwards the reception was held in her father's barn's hayloft.  Her dress was beautiful and typical of 1920's fashion, with a low belted waist and two diamond shaped pins.  It was sewn by a seamstress in town for $7.00.  She wore a wreath of real myrtle leaves and flowers in her hair. 

John's father built them a new farm 3 miles from where Emilie grew up, where they settled and remained until they had to move to the nursing home.  The new house had an unfinished upstairs, and so it was very cold in the winter.  Emilie would put sad irons in the beds for warmth.  John and Emilie enjoyed farm life, and worked hard to provide for their family.  Emilie helped with the milking, separating the cream and washing the separator each day.  They sold milk, cream, and eggs at their door.

In 1928, a little over a year after they were married, they were blessed with their first child, a son, named Edgar John.  The first time Emilie took him to church was in 1929 for the dedication of the new Emmaus church building.  Edgar was six months old.  Then in 1931 their home was blessed with a daughter, Linda Marie, and nearly 6 years later, in 1937, they brought home their youngest blessing, Elfrieda May.  The children loved listening to Emilie tell them Bible stories, the story of the Good Shepherd was Linda's favorite.  They also would gather around the piano and sing while Emilie played.  One time when Emilie was in the hospital, Linda wrote her this note, "Dear Mother, I am going to try to be good, I am going to make the rooms look good tomorrow, and if I hit Edgar, please tell me that I should not do that, and I will try to mind you.  Sincerely yours, Linda Marie."  Emilie loved children, and always made sure visiting children were well entertained with cookies and toys. 

Two things Emilie really enjoyed were her garden and her chickens.  She raised a large vegetable garden and flower garden each year.  Some of the things she grew were strawberries, rhubarb, green beans, asparagus, and tomatoes, and she would do a lot of canning each summer, so they could enjoy the produce all year.  She had a large chicken house, and faithfully washed all the eggs in the basement even when she no longer had the strength to care for the chickens.  She would raise a new brood of chicks almost each year.  The chickens were also useful for eating, as this story told by her grandson, Stan, illustrates.

"One summer day when I was 7 or 8 years old, my parents left me at Grandma and Grandpa’s farm for the day. The morning activities took us out to the henhouse. First, we collected eggs in wire baskets, and then we washed the eggs. Then, Grandma got out these long rods with hooks on the ends, and showed me how to catch a chicken by its legs. Grandpa then appeared, and they suggested that I go in the house for a little while. I was curious about what Grandpa was going to do, so I stood at a distance. I sure was surprised to see him lift the chicken up to a stump, swing his ax, and “take care” of the chicken. I was also surprised that the chicken just fell there next to his chopping block, instead of running around the yard like my big brother had told me would happen in such situations. Grandma then showed me the process of scalding and plucking feathers. I had no idea that a chicken had different kinds of feathers in different parts of its body—the downy feathers were especially hard to pluck out. When we went inside later, I saw that Grandma had rolled out dough on the kitchen table and was cutting noodles. I then realized that chicken noodle soup was on the menu for dinner—I never did like chicken noodle soup very much, but I certainly wasn’t going to complain after all that work! Now that I’m older, I wonder how often Grandma and Grandpa butchered chickens. Did they do it that day to show me, or was that just part of their normal procedure for preparing dinner? After that experience, I remember how my brother and I would terrorize the chickens by trying to catch them with those wire hooks, when the grown-ups weren’t watching."

Emilie's granddaughter, Diana, also related a story about her Grandma's chickens and garden.

"One day Grandma butchered a chicken and brought it into the kitchen where the chicken clucked.  I couldn't figure out how a chicken could talk without a head.  I got the idea Grandma didn't like that it had happened either.  Grandma knew I liked flowers, so one day when I came over, she said, 'Come out to the garden, I want to show you something.'  Out in the garden was a large patch of blooming flowers.  They were very pretty."

Emilie enjoyed pretty things and was very thoughtful.  When company came she would set the table with her best china on a white tablecloth and often served meatballs, bread, rolls, carrot jello, canned peaches, and a piece of cake with frosting.  She tried on her wedding dress for her granddaughter, Diana, when she asked, and her daughters could not believe she had done that!  Her great grandchildren remember that she would serve them cherry nut ice cream when they came to visit and she would get out old antique toys for them to play with.

(this is me trying on Great-Grandma's dress back in 1989)

Christmas was a special time each year.  When the children were little, Emilie would decorate the tree in the parlor and not let the children in to see it till Christmas.  Elfrieda remembers the traditional foods they had were yellow soup (Gelbe Suppe, in German)  with raisins and currants, peppernuts, and a fruitcake.  In later years their granddaughter Diana remembers the German feather tree setting on a table with cardboard village houses covered in glitter lined up around the bottom.  There was also a candy sack for each family member.

Emilie and John enjoyed almost 65 years of married life together.  The last few years were spent at a nursing home.  Even when she could no longer communicate in whole sentences, she was still able to sing the old German hymns of her childhood.  Emilie entered heaven on April 16, 1992, at the age of 92.  She was a faithful, patient, understanding, loving and quiet wife and mother, who passed on to her children and grandchildren a love for God and His Word through her example.

Friday, August 15, 2014

End of summer news

Wow.  I can't believe it's been over two weeks and we still
haven't heard if we were chosen to be the family for Little A.
We have been doing a lot of thinking about what to do if we aren't 
chosen, and we still don't know.  Foster care?  Adopt privately?
Keep on doing what we've been doing for over a year with no success?

Sometimes little kids have a lot of wisdom--
AJ told me this morning, "Mom, we can't give up on adopting.
Even if it takes five years we have to keep trying."
Spoken by the child who we waited two years for-
I'm so glad we didn't give up before we were matched with him!!
(Here are AJ and SJ on their new bikes)

In other news, here are two new Lalaloopsy doll houses
I made this week.  They are so fun, I especially like the cowgirl
one.  If you want one for the little girl in your life,
check them out in my Etsy shop!

School starts for our kids next Wednesday. Sigh.  
Summer is never long enough.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I don't wanna be a Pharisee

Last month as I was teaching my first grade Sunday School class
we were talking about the life of Jesus, and those nasty Pharisees
kept coming up- in those stories the "bad guys" are always the
Pharisees, it's not the murderers or the prostitutes or the cheaters,
it's the Pharisees.  But you know, back then the Pharisees were
the guys that looked like they had it all together.  They were the
ones everybody thought were the "good guys".  They followed
all the rules, they were clean, they were always praying on the
street corners, wearing all the right clothes, these guys looked good!
But these guys had some serious problems, and if we aren't
careful, those same problems can trip us up as well.  So for
myself, I thought, what were their problems and how can I
avoid them?  Here are a few thoughts~
1.  The Pharisees spent so much time carefully observing all their traditions that they missed the working of the Holy Spirit.  Yeah, we have lots of traditions in our churches today, some more than others, but we all have ideas of the way things should be, just because that's how we've always done them.  But is that the right way to do things?  I believe we miss a lot of the Holy Spirit's prompting because we are just too busy doing what we've always done.
2.  The Pharisees loved praise from men more than praise from God.  John says that many of the leaders among the Pharisees secretly believed in Jesus, but they never spoke up because they didn't want the other Pharisees to look down on them.  Are we willing to speak up for what's right, even if it's not the most popular position?
3.  The Pharisees made sure the outside of their life looked good without too much concern for the inside.  Jesus criticized the Pharisees big time for this one, even calling them white-washed tombs!  What do I put more effort into- making sure we all look good for church on Sunday, or making sure our hearts are ready to hear what God wants to say to us in church?  Ouch.
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees,
you hypocrites!
You clean the outside of the cup and dish,
but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
Blind Pharisee!
First clean the inside of the cup and dish,
and then the outside also will be clean.
Matthew 23:25-26

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


This morning my mom, sister, and I went on a little outing
to Botanica, a garden in the city near us.  It was all so pretty!
I hadn't been there in years, so it was lots of fun.
They had a butterfly house, but this is the only one that
would sit still long enough for me to get a good picture!
Unfortunately I forgot my good camera and just had
to use my phone.  They had lots of pretty roses too.
We really liked all the lilies on the pond,
it was really fun, and now we have more
ideas for our flower beds at home!
Although, when I got home my little flowers
looked kind of pathetic after seeing theirs-
oh well, I have fun trying!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

On our 17th Anniversary~

Seventeen years, that's quite a while, isn't it?
I am so glad God led us to each other all those years ago.
Seventeen years of ups and downs,
joys and sad times,
times of plenty and want,
but always, we could make it through,
because we had each other
and our faith in a big God.
So does seventeen years make me qualified to give a little
marriage advice?  Well, here you go, whether you want it or not!
~ End each day with prayer together,
it's hard to be mad when you are praying together!~
~Forgive right away~
~Go on as many dates as possible~
~Have fun together~
~Be each other's best friend,
talk to your husband about it first!~
~Don't let negative, jumping to conclusions-type of thoughts
take hold in your mind~
~Love even when you don't feel like it~
Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

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