Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Right now our cat Sneakers is laying beside me, snoring, without a care in the world, atop a laundry basket full of beach towels. What a life! I'd snap a picture but I'm feeling a bit too lazy...
It's pouring out today, perfect for baking. Though my to-do list today was quite full, and no, it did not include baking anything. That just happened when poor little miss began whimpering in her bed early early that her "tummy ache hurt."
Oh, and that she'd already gone to the bathroom in her underpants.
Poor baby has a stomach bug and was in hysterics over having to miss preschool today. After a rough morning with a few more unsavory accidents, a warm bubble bath and a cup of hot tea, she seems to be a little more comfortable now.
So much for that list. Oh well. It's a good day for cookies and banana bread.
And for the refrigerator repairman to pay a visit. Funny, he isn't actually the one paying anything, is he? Our fridge is barely a year old. Not happy about that.

I know I've been MIA for a couple weeks. Thanks Ryan- you are so sweet and I appreciate you! I've been busy with life, routines, soccer games...all that stuff. It hasn't been an easy month, or summer for that matter. Lots of tough decisions to contemplate, and God feels so distant just when I need Him most. If you think of it and are so inclined, offer up a prayer on my behalf, k? Thanks.

 this apple was as big as her head! huge!

 just love this shot of my handsome boy

 atop the lookout tower at the orchard- i had my biggest lens on and couldn't back up enough to get a good shot!

 this peregrine falcon had its right wing amputated and lives at our local audubon society- her handler was spritzing water for her and i thought she looked so cute drinking it up

 all that guzzling makes a girl tired!

 next up was a red-tailed hawk, so SO pretty! the poor kids were staring straight up at the blazing sun for this shot

 tractor ride through the orchard!

 Isabelle's first day of preschool (a week late)'s a long story
such a beautiful, sweet little girl!!

so i didn't officially ask if this was okay K and K...whoops! they're so cute, I had to share!

Now I have to go hunt down the checkbook...hmpf!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I remember 9/11 so clearly. It was a beautiful morning. I was headed to my best friend's house with my barely 2-year-old Ethan and sweet 6-month-old Jonah. We had both heard snippets of what was happening, but somehow the reality of what was going on eluded us both. It seemed far-fetched, the newest sensationalistic story or perhaps an attention-getting ploy, a huge mistake even.

Of course it wasn't.

We were living in my parent's house, waiting on this house to be built. Caleb was but a distant twinkle in my eye, and God had not yet fully matured the strings on my heart that would later lead me to seek adopting a child. This time of transition spent in my childhood home (my parents were not there at the time) still resonates so clearly with me- I remember it all. Especially that day.

My heart leaped when I saw Bill drive down the driveway, a full three hours early. His office had sent everyone home early, not knowing what the rest of the day might bring. We had no cell phones to communicate that all was well, long-distance phone rates back then kept us from calling throughout the day to check in. It seems so absolutely foreign now, so absurd. Everyone and their uncle owns a cell phone today.

I don't, however, remember whose idea it was to make the drive out to a local farm. I bought beautiful mums for the mini-garden at the end of the driveway and a gourd for each boy. I can still see Ethan's face as he proudly clung to that silly little funnel-shaped, wart-covered squash.

We went back to that same farm on Sunday. It seemed like a poignant way to honor the ten-year anniversary. So much has changed since then, in the world and in our little family. So after drying my tears from listening to name after name read aloud throughout the morning ceremonies, we made the scenic drive out to the backwoods of Hopkinton to visit with the cows and horses, ducks, pigs and goats, among others.

My heart was heavy. But I have learned in these last ten years how powerful and good and just our God is. And how our time here really is a speck compared with all of eternity. It makes me want to run screaming through the streets and stores and schools and offices with the GOOD NEWS of salvation, to share this power with everyone around me, to love people- really love them- and live out my life in honor of what He has done for me!

Good triumphs! God triumphs! He has already won the battle.

Here are a couple of pictures from our afternoon at the farm. Life is so precious!

I have a picture of their cute ol' backsides since they were in diapers! This is probably the last one I will ever get of them all together like this...sigh...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Things I've Loved This Week...

Family fun! 
We had some gift certificates for Chuckster's and finally went there as a family! It was a fun, fun night!
**I just remembered...I got 2- count 'em, 2!- holes in one! And I didn't even cheat!  :)  **

These pretty blue flowers Jonah picked for me.

It was actually cool enough to wear my big fuzzy robe- I'll spare you a picture of that, ha!, but it felt wonderful.

Replacing the summer things on my mantel for some fall ones.

Here is a full view- honestly I love how it looks in person, but it seems kind of pitiful and horribly out of scale in the photos. Oh well, I love it! So simple yet a great pop of color.

Discovering just how knowledgeable the young men in this house are about all of the princesses! And how willing they are to engage in fairy tales galore with Isabelle. Priceless.

Remembering to read a passage of Scripture during each breakfast "shift"- maybe I will finally get some more verses memorized after all that reading! Today there was a pretty major brawl going on, and after we talked about it, I asked them (the boys) to bow their heads so we could pray about it. My parents love the Lord, but this is not something we did growing up; but I want it to be something my children do instinctively, as naturally as breathing. God totally and completely transformed each of us in those moments...amazing!

Seeing (and feeling) God's hand at work in really, really big ways and smaller, more intimate and special ways. Life can be so, so hard sometimes! What would I do without the One who knows me more than any other ever could or will?

Some things were, rather, unexpected...such as:
Buying brand new rear tires for my van (and deciding to walk across the street to the Olive Garden for lunch while the work was being done- it was the quietest lunch I've had all year!) and then trading that van in less than 24 hours later, and THEN watching this out the window this morning...
(more on that later, but this is the "new" car being hauled away, just so you know)

Getting a call from the school nurse- I know, I know. That's never good, right?- to come pick up Jonah because he has chicken pox. So I promptly asked her to check out Caleb while I drove in, and sure enough, he was sitting alongside big itchy brother when I got there. Ethan, too, stayed home on this dreary, rainy day. Lots and lots of red spots and dots!

I tried to make the best of it. :)
After I may have had Isabelle eat off the same spoon as a brother, the doctor and I decided that this is most likely NOT chicken pox. But they'll still be out tomorrow I think. There goes my plan to have friends over for tea. That's OK- I just want my guys to feel better.
This makes me very mindful of parents whose children are facing downright ugly illnesses with their precious children, and I'm so thankful for our general good health.

Updated 9/8...
Though we didn't forget to celebrate our 3rd anniversary of being reunited as a family of 6, I did forget to mention it above. I can't even begin to put into words that feeling of coming home that night three years ago! (The photos on my sidebar are links which explain in more detail what I'm referring to if you'd like to read about it.)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Our 14th Anniversary

I may have had a teeny outburst on my blog yesterday. Sorry about that. And thanks Sennie- you're sweet. Moving right along.
Someone recently told me that she didn't see the point in trying to impress (in the good, righteous way) her husband anymore. I think that is so sad! There is not one other person on this whole earth that I want to impress more than my husband! I want him to be proud of me and the things I do, the choices I make, the goals and aspirations I set for myself. I'll always want my man to be impressed with me!
Today is our 14th anniversary. I'm hoping one of these years we'll go on that cruise we've talked about...hint hint...  :)
Happy Anniversary Bill!
I love you.
A wife of noble character is her husband's crown...
Proverbs 12:4a

Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value...
Proverbs 31:11


Friday, September 2, 2011

How Did This Whole Week Fly By So Fast?

What a great week we've had! I was planning on posting pictures of the boys on their first day of school...on Tuesday! But the week never slowed down so I didn't get the chance!

Here are my handsome men on Tuesday morning after their deluxe waffle breakfast, ha!

Caleb has had wonderful teachers and loved them...but he is pretty excited to have a man for a teacher for the first time ever!

We're learning a completely new schedule, a new normal I suppose, and Isabelle Kate was still sleeping when I was getting the two boys ready- since we decided to not ride the buses this year, Ethan can stay home with her while I scoot the other two off to their school. What a huge help that is! Our mornings have been very smooth, and I really love seeing my boys off with a hug and kiss right outside of school. (Well, Ethan won't allow that part,'s nice to have the drive time with him just the same.)

 Isabelle came downstairs to a surprise from Caleb- he didn't want her to miss him too much, so he left her a note and all the pink and purple eraser caps! I thought that was just the sweetest thing!

And here is my big 7th grader- I still can't believe it!

luuuuuuuuuve those gorgeous blue-green eyes of his!

Ethan had a half day, to give the new 6th graders the whole morning to themselves, so we didn't bring him until noon. I sneaked in a mini photo session on the way to town...

...ran a few errands and decided to visit Great Gram in the "pink castle"- Isabelle came up with that one for the retirement/nursing home where she now resides, and it does look a bit castle-like with rotundas and pinkish walls.

I love my grandmother so much, but it has been very difficult to watch her memory fade over the last year, so visiting with her can be bittersweet. We had a wonderful visit on Tuesday, I can't even explain it! Isabelle just loved on her the whole time, and Gram smiled and smiled, soaking it all in. It was an absolutely beautiful thing to behold. I'll never forget it.

I think I blinked and here we are, already Friday morning. There is no school today or Monday, so I'm not entirely sure what we'll be doing for the next few days. Those remaining items on the summer list keep calling my name....  =)
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