Friday, April 29, 2011


For the month of May, our family is being featured as an adoptive family on Hip Mom Jewelry. For this month alone, any necklace purchased from the adoption collection (many BEAUTIFUL necklaces, some specific for adoption, some more general) will garner 30% profit for OUR adoption!!!

If you could spare a minute to at least check out their site we'd REALLY appreciate it! They have WONDERFUL jewelry that would make anyone's day!!!

Thanks so much for your support! Please feel free to post this on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, wherever you feel called! Thanks!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Wedding Story

The following was posted on Millions of Miles by my "friend" Megan. Although we haven't met, I consider her a friend and LOVED what she had to say on the Royal Wedding preparations. Lots to think about and consider. And while we may not have this kind of money ourselves, and while it's easy to point fingers at what others are "frugally" spending money on versus what they COULD be spending money on, I also think this applies to each of us at times in our own situations and our own stories.

The Cost of the Royal Wedding... What if?

Every time I've turned on the television or opened a news website for the last two months, news of the royal wedding is at the forefront. Yes- I'm eager to see a picture of the princess in her wedding gown- but the numbers I'm seeing associated with the cost of this wedding break my heart every time I hear them mentioned. Some media outlets are estimating that the total cost of the royal wedding will fall somewhere between 40 and 50 million dollars. Add on top of that the burden to British taxpayers for security and lost productivity for declaring the wedding day a national holiday and the numbers get into the BILLIONS of dollars.
I can't help but wonder... WHAT IF...

What if...instead of a $434,000 dress...

Every one of the 88 abandoned and severely special needs children at Sarah's Covenant Home in India got the life saving surgeries and therapies that they needed.

What would that look like?

WHAT IF... instead of spending $800,000 on the royal flowers...

... 320 houses were built for families displaced by the earthquake in Haiti.

What would that look like?

WHAT IF... instead of the $80,000 cake ordered for the wedding...

...the financial burden was removed to bring 4 children home to eager and loving families...
What would that look like?

WHAT IF... the $65,000 that will be used just to clean the streets for the royal wedding procession...

...was used instead to clean up these streets in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya.
What would that look like?

WHAT IF... instead of a $600,000 luncheon hosted by Prince Charles...

...The remaining 144 un-sponsored children at Yezelalem Minch (Ethiopia) were sponsored for the next 12 years- or until most of them are adults- providing them with an education, nutrition and a safe place to grow up.

What would that look like?

The point is- there are choices that we all make, myself included. The choices aren't always easy. The world tells us that we need bigger and better things and that we should find our self worth based on the amount of "stuff" that we can amass. The amount that we deal with on a daily basis may not equal the millions spent on the royal wedding, but the decision is the same: continue our lives of comfort, or make sacrifices to support the least of these.

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. -E. B. White

May the plan for your day (and my day) include improving the world- even if it is only in a small way. I guarantee that there is more enjoyment in that than anything else in the world!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Morning

yep, we still do the Easter bunny, but we spend a lot of time talking about why we REALLY celebrate Easter. I love the video in a previous post that I found this year, it's really helped with explaining to Liam though I still don't think he truly understands.

Next year I'm hoping to make Resurrection Eggs. I had thought about this for a while, but when I came upon THIS POST this year, it was exactly what I had been wanting to do but wasn't sure how best to execute! Not enough time this year to accomplish it, but hoping to get it done for next year!

Liam was amazed that the eggs weren't in the carton any longer!

We just got our new "carpet" in the basement last night (actually bound carpet with adhered padding on the back so it didn't have to be installed, and a GREAT, AMAZING deal!), so the bunny decided to hide the eggs downstairs: perfect solution for a rainy day (though we've never hidden eggs outside!) and for a puppy who would be all over them upstairs.

They were all stumped over the egg I said I spotted on the shelves, can YOU find it!?

Each got some great things in their basket... two books, a chocolate bunny, and a few small toys.

See Liam's "How to Train Your Dragon" DVD???
Yep, he tried taking it out of the case himself and it BROKE in HALF!
I about cried! Money down the drain, even if it was a steal of a buy! :(

Our church is having family worship today and since that doesn't always work out so well for us, we're actually having church at home in a few minutes! We're going to read devotionals, sing songs, and do some role plays! They're so excited!!! Then it's off to the kitchen for me to make our dinner... sweet potato casserole, veggies, and ham!


Thursday, April 21, 2011


Treasure means such different things to different people based on perspective.

Last week Liam came out of day care, reached in his pocket, and with a HUGE grin, handed me the heads of about six dandelions he had picked while playing outside that day.
For me.
With love and grins.
Priceless TREASURE.

He then proceeded to take them (back from me) and give them to his teacher at church that night.
A young, most likely in college, girl who he enjoys spending time with each Wednesday night.
She barely glanced at them.
Folding them into her hand, ready I'm sure for the garbage.
And my heart BROKE for him.
He was so excited to hand them off and make someone else's day, as I had Ooooed and Awwwed over them when he gave them to me.

Today he came out with two more for me. All mine. I was thrilled.

These BEAUTIFUL FLOWERS remind me so very much of one of my favorite songs...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Excited for Summer

I cannot wait for summer!

I think that's pretty typical this time of year for kids and parents alike.
Summer conjures up images of running through the sprinkler, family reunions, travel, and WARMTH. (Something that seems to be missing for a while now around here!) :)

But more than any of that, I long to be a stay-at-home parent once again.

Being a teacher affords me that time during the summer and I relish it!

This summer I'm especially excited for we're going to try something new.
Usually I get the kids some type of workbook to spend a little time on each day during the summer. (The teacher in me I guess!) And this summer is no exception.

For Liam I'm very excited about his summer learning! He's (finally) at a point of learning. Of wanting to learn. Of understanding letters and sounds. And since he starts kindergarten next fall, I was thrilled with the Brain Quest Workbook I found on Ama*zon that seemed perfect (and is!)

These came in the mail yesterday and this workbook is so much more substantial than what I thought it would be! It looks so great! I think Liam will love it and I look forward to spending time with him on it!

Braeden and Olivia, however, needed a different approach for this year.

Braeden is such a smart smart kid. He reads almost anything and everything, sometimes is a detriment. :) He does fairly well with Math concepts as well. But overall, mostly because of his ADHD/behavior issues I believe, he struggles with school in general. I didn't want to fight to have him work in a workbook over the summer.

And Olivia, schoolwork has become an area of control for her. An area of battling with mom because it's not always easy for her, and it's something I was insisting was important. So earlier this year I stepped back from my role in that area. I had a feeling I knew what was going to happen, and it did. Instead of my "making" her do homework and checking it for her to "fix", etc. I talked to her, I explained why (not that this was a new concept or discussion!), and I stopped. She was no longer "made" to do homework and I would no longer check it unless SHE asked. If she did ask, she could not get in an argument with me. Often what would happen is that I would try explaining something she was working on and it became a battle. She would get furious, wouldn't listen, and would go back and not do what I suggested. Even with her wonderful teacher's help this was not getting better. I had a feeling that if I stepped "out" of the role, she would continue DOING the homework. She wanted too much to please her teacher and herself and the natural consequences of missing recess would win out. And it did. She still has occasion to argue with me even when she asks for help but then I discontinue the help. And her teacher has a way, I guess as an "outsider" to show her what she is doing and how she doesn't do that with her teacher, to where Olivia can then turn it around for a few days or more and stop the arguing to actually listen to what I say. I know most of this may seem unbelievable, but it did and does happen. Her other teachers didn't really believe me or see it but I am SO grateful for her teacher this year (a friend of mine to boot!) understanding and seeing herself some of the manipulation and issues and being able to come in with that understanding and explain it to Olivia so that she can also see what she is doing. Things have been so much better in this realm since Christmas.

And the more I processed what I DID want for them for this summer and more than that, for the long term, and the more blogs I see lately focusing on just that very thing: of growing children's hearts and not worrying so much about their heads, I realized that is exactly "it." I want to impact my children in lasting, adult-growing, heart-growing, ways.

So I decided instead of the typical workbooks, I wanted to do Bible studies with Braeden and Olivia. I asked them if they wanted to do one together, the three of us, or individually, and they went the individual route. I chose a few studies for each at their level and asked them to pick one, hoping that that too would help Braeden feel a sense of ownership and more desire to continue the study.

And here's what they chose (I am SO very excited!!!)...

Braeden, who is also going to a "Superhero Camp" this summer, chose Joseph- God's Superhero...

And Olivia, who is such a dardevil herself! chose Extreme Adventures with God...

The books look STUPENDOUS! The kids were SO excited to see them yesterday and I can't wait to begin!!!

And it certainly didn't hurt that I had a few five dollar codes to use at Ama*zon to make this deal even better!!! Want your own codes? If you haven't heard of or used Swagbucks, now is the time to start! You use it as a search engine, I use it daily as I would Go*ogle, and then occasionally are awarded "bucks" to redeem for anything in their store, I use them for Ama*zon cards!
Search & Win
Thursday, April 14, 2011

Open Abandon

My favorite time of the day is 3:20pm!

Every day at school, my class is ready to go home by 3:20 (hopefully!). The first bell rings then, signaling my one car rider to leave. Ten minutes later at 3:30, my two "regular" bus riders leave at the bell and make their way to the gym to wait for their buses. And sometime between 3:35 if it's early and 3:50 if it's late (teachers are SUPPOSED to LEAVE at 3:40) my last four walk out the nearby door to their bus.

And then starting at 3:20, my ears are in tune to any announcements being made. When I hear, "Bus 6 has arrived, students riding bus 6 can make their way to the front of the school." My heart races. Because I know that this one is making his way to my room...

Braeden's school gets out 30 minutes before mine. He rides bus 6 with the other students as they're dropped off and bus 6 makes it way to my school to pick up students from this building to take home. When it arrives here he gets off and comes in the front and down the hall to my room. If I'm not busy, I'm usually in the hall: somewhat "patrolling" for kids not staying on the right side, or wearing hats, etc, but mostly waiting. Because when Braeden sees me, he bears down so to speak like a football player ready to rush, locks eyes with me, and RUNS. With a HUGE grin and a yell of "MOM!" He jumps headlong into my arms and hugs. It. Is. Wonderful. And it happens day in and day out, no matter how good or bad his day may have been. No matter how wonderful or horrible our morning time together was. He Yells. He Smiles. He Runs. He Jumps. He HUGS.

And it melts my heart and makes it soar. Every. Single. Time.

Can you just imagine the pure joy that God feels every time WE come to HIM in that same way, with reckless abandon, with joy and love. Amazing.


A little while ago I was the winner of another blog's giveaway!

Shannon at Throwing Our Arms Open Wide was giving away a $50 gift card from CSN Stores! (Love CSN!) And I won!!!

I had been "watching" a mini-tramp on Ama*zon for a while now (did you know you can add things to your cart there and then every time you open the cart it will show if any items are up or down in price currently??? LOVE that!) Well, I found a similar one at CSN for $59.89 with FREE shipping! So I paid the whopping $9.89! I knew it would be good for the boys, and hoped they'd use it, but mostly was wanting one for our new treasure whoever she may be, to help with gross motor skills!

Well, the trampoline is GREAT! And Liam has become a BIG fan!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


...when you have days like my day yesterday...

...full of roller-coaster-worthy ups and downs, but heavily weighing on the side of the downs...

...there's nothing you can really do...

...except put in a little "JB", crank the volume, and sing and dance to "Baby", rockin it out in the passenger van...

Monday, April 11, 2011


Our weekend was just gorgeous! You could see from the pictures yesterday how warm and nice it was! Today after church we had lots of time to just be outside!

The kids worked on riding their bikes...

Braeden always ends up with a "pet", this time a (disgusting) black spider!

Liam thought it was warm enough for the pool and since I needed to clean it out anyway, I obliged...

Some water fights ensued...

And there was lots more bike riding...

Of course it's going to be cold again the rest of the week, but we took full advantage of the great weather this weekend...

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About Me

I am a single mom to four amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted. The first three were adopted through foster care, and we just completed an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!

Olivia - 14

Olivia - 14

Braeden - 11

Braeden - 11

Liam - 9

Liam - 9

Macy - 5

Macy - 5

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What you should know about HIV

-HIV can NOT be spread through casual/household contact. HIV is not spread through hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing toys, sneezing, coughing, sharing food, sharing drinks, bathing, swimming or any other casual way. It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles). - HIV is now considered a chronic but manageable disease. With treatment, people who are HIV+ can live indefinitely without developing AIDS and can live long and full lives. - People who are HIV+ deserve to be treated with love, respect, support and acceptance as all people do. Additional information on transmission of HIV can be found on the Center for Disease Control website:

Other Awesome Blogs

Orphan Crisis

• 147 million orphans in the world
• 50 million orphans in Africa 
• Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned by AIDS
• 16,000,000 have been orphaned by AIDS
• Every week, AIDS claims as many lives as American fatalities in the Vietnam War
• 854 million people do not have enough to eat
• Malnutrition is associated with the deaths of 5 million children under the age of five
• Every 2 seconds an orphan dies from malnutrition

Hence the title of my blog

Little Did I Know

Little did I know that the road would be so rocky
Little did I know that the trip would take so long
Little did I know that my heart could hurt so much
Little did I know that God is never wrong

Little did I know that love could be so powerful
Little did I know that a dream so far could go
Little did I know that God would place the right ones
Little did I know that my heart, so large, could grow

Little did I know that a dream has it’s own timing
Little did I know that this day would finally come
Little did I know that four souls would be sent to guide me
Little did I know that they would choose to call me mom

But God knew all along and He had a plan to follow
God knew all along that my dream would soon come true
God knew all along that we five should be together
God knew all along that I’d share it all with you