First day

On a whim yesterday morning I decided to start school. Why start on Monday when we had the whole day stretched before us with not one thing to do? I told the kids early in the morning that I had a surprise for them, and that I would unveil it after we’d eaten breakfast, done our chores, and gotten ready for the day. We went about our morning routine and then at 9:30, I told them. “Guess what? We’re going to have school today!

Ella was so excited she about burst into happy tears. Really. Isaac tore off into the other room to get his “school book”, which is really a Tonka sticker book we picked up at Costco last week and told him he could do for one of his “school” activities. Ella raced in after him to help him reach it, and then they both sat at the table. Ella had grabbed her school box filled with pencils and erasers, and I set out a sheet of paper for her. She sat, ready and waiting, pencil poised above her paper. Isaias just followed along as if to say: “What? Everyone’s running to the table all excited? Me, too!” I got him some crayons and paper and he settled into his seat.

We began with phonics.

Well, actually- we’d begun over breakfast when we read a Psalm and did memory work, but at 9:30, we worked on phonics. I glanced at a few pages and we worked on a few sounds (me initially at the dry erase board), Ella at the table, sounding things out. This we did for maybe 10 minutes. Then I wrote a sentence up and had her read it aloud, which she did. And then she copied it.

And our copywork/penmanship segment began.

The cat sat by the mop. As she copied the sentence I watched her form her letters, noting which ones needed extra practice. So then I went over the correct writing of two letters: m and h, and told her to see if she could make 5 m’s and 5 h’s. And then mommy would choose my favorite one. She happily complied.

Isaac was contentedly working on his sticker book, interrupting only a couple of times to ask for help in getting a sticker loose. Isaias was in his seat, next to me at the table, coloring. And he only colored on the table twice.

When we’d finished that (about 10 minutes later), we pulled out Math-U-See. Ella worked on Lesson 1 and loved every minute of it. She would have gone through to Lesson 18 had I let her. While she did that, the boys played with their own little colored wooden blocks. This took maybe 15 minutes.

Then we cleaned up the table, tucked Ella’s papers into her binder and we all headed for the couch. On our schedule was chapter 1 of Hillyer’s Child’s History of the World, but I opted to read chapter 1 from our copy of Hurlbut’s Story of the Bible (which I’d tracked down after reading that Elisabeth Elliot’s father had read this aloud to their family. I love it.) I told Ella beforehand that I wanted her to narrate to me after I’d read it to her. I explained to her that ‘narrate’ meant that she could just tell me back what she remembered I’d read. She listened intently beside me, Isaias sat on my lap, and Isaac sat nearby, looking through another book but also listening.

When I was finished, she started right in on her narration, telling me (in reverse) what had happened. She did a great job. Then I told her she could draw a picture of anything she wanted to pertaining to what we’d read (Genesis 1 account). The boys followed her into the kitchen, whereupon they all settled again at the table to color. It was 11:00. I told them that we were done with school and they could play outside until daddy came home for lunch (at noon). Ella opted to finish coloring her picture, so she sat for another half-hour, coloring.

When Mark came home for lunch, she told him all about every bit of everything we’d done, and showed him her papers, and then we had lunch.

After lunch we had popcorn (because Mark had told us that his mom used to make popcorn for an after-school snack).

Ella beamed all day long. Isaac and Isaias were absolute gems. I am so thankful and I was amazed at how smooth it all went.

The rest of the fair

... in pictures. (Oh, who am I kidding? There is no way I could post just pictures. I have to say something about the pictures, too!) Me and Isaias, checking out the chickens A girl after my own heart See? We're all ready for a cow of our own! Found a buddy Checking out the new piglets And the horses A little face painting Searching for treasures First ride. Last year we did only the carousel. The kids were a bit nervous so asked me to come with them. The funny thing is that while all the other airplanes were going up, ours remained down. Everytime we went around, I'd call to Mark, "What? Am I too heavy or something?!" And then after about 2 minutes, I realized that those little levers in front of the kids? They work. Pull on those, your plane goes up. And right about then the ride ended. Isaias' first ride Can you tell he feels so grown up? All tuckered out

Then we took the kids to my moms, and Mark and I headed back for this:
video
(That snippet was especially for you, Michelle!)

***Huge bummer. I realize now that the video is not working. GRR! Let's see... for now, here's this:

If you can't see the video, and you don't already know who we saw, can you make a guess based on this picture?

The Fair

We try to make a yearly trek to the zoo, and I get so excited on the drive there I can barely stand it. I am WAY more into it than our kids as far as enthusiasm goes, I assure you. The elephants are my favorite, (especially if there are baby elephants in the herd). And the gorillas? I could watch the gorilla families for hours. I am not even kidding.

Now. Going to the fair tops even going to the zoo in my book.

And this, right here, is why:





That's right, folks.

The cow barn.

If I could watch the gorillas for hours, I could watch the cows for days. Some of you probably don't know this, but I really and truly want a cow. In my heart of hearts I want to buy me a cow, name her Bessie or Daisy or something cow-ish, tie a bell around her neck, and milk her every morning. I really do. Everytime we drive by a cow (which is quite often, actually) I get all sentimental and dream of my someday-cow.

One of the main reasons we dream of having land is so that yours truly can get herself a cow.

As I walked through the cow barn this year, I saw the sweetest sight: a girl of about 10 years old tucked in next to her cow, and they were napping together. I had to restrain myself from treading through the hay to find my spot there next to that sweet cow.

Did I mention I want a cow?

And do you even know how many gallons of milk you can get from ONE cow in ONE day? We asked. And we were told 8-9 gallons. Have any of you even LOOKED at the price of one gallon of milk these days?!?!?

So, see. We should all be wanting cows. But if you get one first, please do tell me so that I can come and milk her for you. Really.

And oh, yeah. As I glance up at the "title" of this post I see that I was going to write about the fair. There were other parts, too. Other than the cows. I'll try to remember my other fond memories of our fair trip and give you a The Fair: Part Two post soon.

Gratitude

You may remember that my name was chosen in Jewels' drawing.

I recently received her generous gift. What a sweet blessing it was! I am truly so grateful that someone I do not even know would mail me such a thoughtful and generous gift. Seriously. And not just any gift, but a gift containing an apron and dishclothes, both of which were made by hand. Now, really. Isn't that just the kindest thing?

Here is what came in my package from Jewels:

*Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Liquid Dish Soap (Lavender scent)
*Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Surface Scrub (Lemon Verbena scent)
*Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Ironing Spray (Lemon Verbena scent)
*Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day All Purpose Soap Bar (Lemon Verbena scent)
*2 handmade washclothes (which are just like the ones my grandma used to make)
*1 handmade apron
*a sweet card from Jewels




(I don't know why this final picture turned out so dark, but if you can't read it, the sign says: "Thank you, Jewels! I love my gift!")

Note to self:

Do not go into any stores with the kids from now until mid-November.

Why? Because we went out this morning and seriously, those Halloween displays keep getting scarier and scarier. Grr. Makes me mad. My son was terrified after being greeted by the HUGE mummy groaning at him when we walked in the front door of the store. Not to mention all the skeletons with glowing eyes. He spent the entire time in the cart, with his eyes covered and head down. I told him I was very thankful that he was being careful; and reminded him of that little song my mom taught me and I've taught my children: "Oh be careful little eyes what you see..."

***

Which reminds me... the other day at the fair we walked through the horse barn and the owners had the stalls all decked out in various themes. One entire section was Halloween-themed. As we walked by, Ella's eyes got wide and she said, "Mommy? I don't think these horses know Jesus."

Odds and Ends... and a poll

This week has been a bit crazy. You know how it is-- coming back from vacation, trying to get unpacked, get that laundry caught up on and get the house back in some semblance of order. And we always find that when the kids have been out of their routine for a few days we need to be extra diligent to help them settle back within the normal schedule and refresh everyone on what the boundaries are all over again. I told Mark at the beginning of this week that I wasn't going to plan to do anything but some tomato staking. So basically, I kept them close and we worked on first-time obedience. It's been a really good week.

I have a whole list of things I want to post on, but I haven't had time to get pictures from the camera to the computer nor to sit down and write. But here are a few odds and ends...

JOY!
First and foremost, I want to take a moment to rejoice with these women: Rebeca, Mrs. M, Sarah, Beka and Elise. Each of the above women are pregnant! All of them have have prayed and longed for another child, and God has heard. I am celebrating with them! Won't you, too? Stop by and congratulate them!

THE DRAWING...
Do you remember this? I got my gift in the mail from Jewels and will take pictures and post on that soon. It was such a wonderful, generous gift.

AROUND HERE
Yesterday was our big day at the fair with the kids. We had a blast! I hope to post pictures on that next week sometime.

Speaking of pictures, I realized that I've not posted pictures of the playhouse/chicken coop, nor the girls' room we painted this summer. I'll do that soon.

Dora continues to lay eggs for us; and we are still thrilled about finding an egg waiting us in the mornings. Now if the other three would just get the memo, we can stop buying eggs altogether!

Right now my fridge looks like this again. I've made a bunch of applesauce already but there is still much more to do. I'm just procrastinating on it.

We also headed to the blueberry patch this week and picked some berries. Not many, but enough to toss into some smoothies or into a berry pie or two. Ella was a great little blueberry picker. We were there for less than an hour and she picked a whole pound all by herself. AND she kept an eye on her youngest brother while she was at it. I think it's the first year she's actually picked diligently the whole time she was out there. When we paid for the berries the lady put hers in a little container- separate from the rest- so that she could show daddy all she'd picked. And then when she got home she washed them all up carefully and put them into a bowl on the table. Very cute.

SCHOOL
We've set a date for our first day of school. September 3rd. We have a calendar on the dry-erase board and are crossing off the days, counting down. We're all very excited about it.

On that note, I continue to ponder how we're going to do all that in addition to our normal routine. As of right now, I have no plan in place as to what to do with the boys while I'm working with Ella. I'm sure I have this unrealistic expectation that they'll come alongside what we're doing or play nicely in the other room. I figure we'll see how it goes and then make adjustments when necessary.

I've determined that in order for us to get school accomplished in the mornings I'm going to have to be showered and dressed by the time the kids wake up. And yes, that would be different than what currently happens. So that will be another adjustment.

Finally, a question for you homeschooling mamas: do you (or do you plan to) wake up your children at a certain time each school morning? One one hand I like the idea of starting at a certain time each day-- rather than one child getting up at 6:30, another at 7:00, and the other joining up at 7:20. And I see the benefits as far as self-discipline, the opportunity to have a little time with daddy in the morning before he leaves for work, etc. But on the other hand I can't really imagine waking them up if they're sleeping! I'd love to hear what you are doing; what has worked and what hasn't for your family and schedule.

Okay, I'm off to fold that laundry and figure out what we're going to do for lunch!

Blessings to you and yours today!

First egg!







In Which I Regale You With Happy Tales from our Camping Trip

Or not.

This post would be more accurately titled:

The Worst Camping Trip EVER

I am so serious.

It wasn't the campground. Although I would never go there again, because basically it was an RV park and that annoys me on many levels.

It wasn't the campfire, which we weren't able to have unless we rented a little contraption to hold the fire. So annoying.


It wasn't the nearby construction, nor the incessant beep-beep-beep noise from the trucks backing up or whatever it was they were doing all hours of the day.

It wasn't the fact that our kids woke up at 6 am every morning we were there. Maybe it was the beeping of those trucks?!?!

It wasn't the rain, although it did downpour (so no suncreen necessary, Dana!).

It wasn't a leak in our tent. Although there was a leak. But a quick trip to the store for an enormous tarp fixed that.

It wasn't the company. Although when we played Quiddler on Thursday afternoon I thought it just might come to blows over whether or not the words Mark and I were laying down were actually words. (What can I say? We play a lot of Scrabble. And they were words. We just didn't have a dictionary there to prove it.)

I could have handled all of that. Maybe not with a beaming smile and a great attitude, but I so could have done that. What made this the worst camping trip ever was this:

I got the stomach flu. First day. After lunch. Stacy sick. Apparent immediately: the flu.

Let's just say I spent a great deal of time in The Public Bathroom. Go ahead and picture the last camping locale you went to and imagine yourself there in that cold, airy, dirty cement structure of stalls. Nice, huh? So I was there, on the toilet. Or sitting on the one solitary bench in between trips to the toilet, and yes, LYING DOWN on that disgusting cement floor in a full feverish state. Mark and my mother- who intermittently kept watch over me- were appalled: "Get OFF that floor, Stacy! That is so gross." I tell you, I did not even care that it was likely the filthiest floor in the state. I just needed to lie down. And my bed was very, very far away. And also far away? The cozy rug on our bathroom floor at home. And the tent? Oh, well, the tent was a five-minute walk downhill in the pouring rain. So I promptly laid myself on the floor. At some point that evening I did make my way down to the tent but I did not sleep one second that night, I assure you. I dry-heaved in the bowl next to my "bed". And listened to the rain. And Mark snoring. And prayed that the sound of the rain pounding on the tarp might somehow lull me to sleep. It didn't.

Mercifully, sometime the following day (and just in time for that game of Quiddler), I was up and around. I still didn't have an appetite and I still felt queasy, but I was there. And can I just say for the zillionth time that I have a champ of a husband, who did all the meals and all the bathroom trips and bedtimes and every bit of everything with three kids camping while I was sick. And on top of all that he managed to walk me up the hill to the bathroom a few times, pray for me, and be there. I love that man.

And the kids had a grand time with their cousins, and loved the tent experience, rain and all, and so it was a favorable vacation for them. Although the last night Ella was in my arms weeping, "But I want to camp all over again so that you can be here and I can see you." But I think that was more because she was a tired little girl and she knew vacation was winding down and not really because she actually missed me all that much.

Some pictures?
My mom, with some OFF!, and that's our tent (who am I kidding? TARP) you see there in the background.

Roasting marshmellows for S'mores. (And I found out after we got there that my sister was responsible to bring S'mores for all of us, so I was off the hook to begin with! And believe you-me, that was the right decision, because my sister is SERIOUS about her S'mores. She does S'mores complete with the choice of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups or dark chocolate!)

Ella and me by the quasi-campfire

My handsome man




Gone camping!

Tomorrow morning we're headed out for a camping trip with my family- my parents, little brothers (21 and 16), and my sister, her husband and their three children.

It should be a hoot! And at the moment I'm feeling good about things preparations-wise. Although I just RIGHT.THIS.SECOND realized that when I was at the grocery store today, I did not buy ingredients for S'MORES. ~!!!~ Just what on earth kind of mother am I? Oh, just wait until Mark hears this one. Thankfully, I'm sure grandma will have more than enough S'mores-fixings, or we can make a quick stop on the way out of town in the morning.

My mom is doing the dinners for all fourteen of us, and we're each responsible for our own family's breakfasts and lunches.

Here's what we'll be eating over the next few days:

Breakfasts:
*bagels and cream cheese
*bran muffins, fruit
*cereal (and I splurged and bought Lucky Charms and Peanut Butter Captain Crunch)

Lunches:
*Pasta salad (with bacon, tomatoes, green pepper, red onions, olives, cucumbers and parmesan cheese- all pre-chopped and in baggies or tupperware dishes. The pasta is already in a gallon-sized ziploc bag with the dressing.)
*Curried Chicken Salad Wraps (with the dressing, lettuce, red grapes, green onions, chicken and walnuts in a flour tortilla. Again, everything is pre-cut and ready to go.)
*Sandwiches (with deli meats and cheeses)
Also to go with lunches: Pringles and Fritos, chunks of watermelon, pineapple, or grapes.

Drinks:
for the kids: apple juice boxes, milk
for Mark: Mt. Dew
for me: Vanilla Coke.
Oh, yeah. And bottled water.

Treats:
*2 9x13's of rice crispy treats (the absolute *best* dessert EVER!)
*Chocolate chip cookies. Best recipe ever-- remind me to give it to you sometime. So moist.
*Snack bin for the kids full of fruit snacks, little Handi-snacks cheese and crackers, and granola bars.
*Beef Jerky
*each of our favorite candy bars and gummy bears for the kids

I think we're set. Now I've got to go make those chocolate-chip cookies and the bran muffins while Mark loads up the van.

Have a wonderful week, all!

From my journal...

...a prayer:

I want to know You more fully, to love You more deeply, to read Your Word more, to pray more, to serve with the purest of intentions, to love others more, to.... DO.
But even if I did all of those things, You would love me no more than You do right now, today, this moment- in my current state of what can only be called slothfulness in all of the above areas.


Ephesians 3:17-19
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

A train. And some shopping.

While I wouldn't say that I looked forward to going back to school each year, there were two events leading up to the inevitable that I did look forward to: getting school supplies and going school clothes shopping. So a couple of weeks ago as we wandered the aisles of WalMart looking for pencils and erasers and paper, it was so fun to watch my girl select her little school box, scissors, markers, glue stick, papers, pee chee's... (all pink, I might add).

And after taking inventory of the kids' clothing, I came away with a modest list of things the kids need, and proposed to Ella that we go on a date to go "school clothes shopping" for her. She couldn't wait. Neither could I.

My plan was to head to the mall and spend one hour in one store and get a few things and then come home and let Ella show them off to daddy and the boys. But by the time Mark got off work and we received some unexpected out-of-town guests, it was past dinnertime and I hadn't even started dinner prep. Mark suggested that I take Ella to dinner first while he whipped up some macaroni and cheese for the boys. (Isn't he the best?)

So I figured we'd eat in the mall's food court (for efficiency's sake) before we went shopping. And then as we climbed into the van she said, "Mommy, I'm so excited. I've never gone out to eat with just you before!" And the way she said it made me think: she's thinking restaurant, not food court. (And now why wouldn't she be?) So I asked her, and she emphatically said, "Restaurant!" And not only that, but knew exactly what she wanted to order, too. A chicken burger with french fries. How's that for decisive?

So I drove towards a restaurant we hadn't been to in years, but I was pretty sure it had a train chugging around the walls of the restaurant, so I figured that would be a hit. And they had chicken burgers there, too.

Ella was wide eyed and appreciative of every detail, all night long. She commented about every single person she saw come in and get seated around us, and then pointed out the train going by, and then talked to me about that teacher (read: waiter or busser) cleaning off the tables, and how many dishes he was carrying, and then the train going by again, and then made observations about every one around us (and what they were eating if she could see their plate from her seat), and then the train again: "Look, mommy! It's going around the bend!"

Once when a couple got up from their table and walked by, she even exclaimed (to my chagrin): "That man has a BIG tummy!" Whereupon my eyes got wide and I checked to be sure the big-tummied man hadn't heard-- and I think he did not--, or at least he was gracious enough not to glare. I first assured her that I didn't think the man had heard what she'd said, but that while some people may indeed have big tummies, they don't always like it that they do; sometimes it makes them sad that their tummies are big. So I told her that if she thought that about someone it was best to keep the thought inside, because it might hurt someone's feelings if they heard you talk about their big tummies. She was very silent for a minute, processing it all, and then said happily, "But that man didn't hear me say that."

And that was all before we got our meal, and in between her coloring on the kids' menu she'd been given. And then when we got our meals, she was in such consternation as to what she should eat first: the fries? (too hot) the chicken burger? (also too hot) the corn on the cob, sitting atop a little dish with melted butter? (too hot) the applesauce? (with a scrunched up nose: "Here mommy, you can have that." the cookies? (a good place to start, apparently). And since they were tiny teddy grahams and the only thing besides the applesauce that wasn't too hot, I let her. And in between bites and temperature checks on her food, she continued to point out the train every time it went by and all the people and teachers ~smile~ around us and what they were doing.

By the time I'd finished my entire meal she had barely eaten 3 bites! I am SO not joking. She has been to a restaurant before, but she was just giddy.

And at one point I checked my watch and realized we'd been there nearly two hours, and encouraged her to finish up so that we could get some shopping done.

But then she had to use the Ladies' Room at the restaurant, and when we got to the mall it was after 8:00. It closes at 9:00, mind you. I got out my list and we begin to peruse clothes in the store and then she says urgently, "Mommy. I think I have to go poopy." Oh! Me: "Honey, we just went to the bathroom at the restaurant." Ella: "But I didn't have to go when we were at the restaurant." Aha. So we hurried across the mall to the restrooms, and by the time we got back to the store it was nearing 8:30.

Ella wanted pink everything. No surprise, there. When we got to the dressing room (absolutely her favorite part!) I had a pile of pink clothes over my arm. The pants she tried on were low-waisted so I said no on all of those, but we did head home with 3 long-sleeved shirts. (And only two pink ones. I convinced her to choose a blue shirt with little white hearts that had no trace of pink whatsoever!)

We stopped at DQ on the way home (at 9:00) to get dipped cones for us and the boys waiting at home. They were getting their pj's on, and had spent the evening happily over dinner: an orange themed dinner, I was told: with orange macaroni and cheese, orange juice, and orange sherbet ice cream for dessert. Then they played legos until we got home. And then they ate ice cream for the second time that night.

Ella tried on each of her shirts to the sheer delight of all of us. Daddy took pictures and complimented her, and even Isaac told her which one his favorite was. And he wanted to hear all about the dressing rooms. After I tried to explain what they were-- "You know, budders: sometimes you come in with mama when I try on clothes? There's a mirror in there and usually a bench?" Isaac said, "You mean, Ella went in there and tried on teeny clothes ?" So cute.

So that was our night of school-clothes shopping.

I hope all of you are having a great Saturday! Enjoy your Sabbath tomorrow!

August adoption update

Some of you have asked about our current adoption proceedings. I don't post much about our adoption not because it's not on my heart every single day [it IS], but because quite honestly, nothing has been happening recently. Well, today something happened. And no, don't get your hopes up, not THE something but... something, nonetheless. :) And for any of you who have adopted, any something any where any time within this long process is a *huge* something.

But, first: a bit of history. And I realize this may be tedious for some of you to read through, so feel free to skip or skim it. But I know some of you will want these types of details, so for you, here they are:
-Spring/Summer 2006 We felt God prompting us to adopt again; this time through our state's foster care system.
-October 2006 We went to the introductory meeting with a private, *free* agency.
-Shortly thereafter we completed and turned in our application to the adoption agency.
-December 2006 We had a pre-screening interview with a pastor affiliated with the agency.
-February 2007 We attended PRIDE training (the state-mandated courses, 30 hours worth).
-At our PRIDE training we received a hefty (and by hefty I mean 50 plus pages) of paperwork to complete. The paperwork contained autobiographies, family history, parenting philosophy/styles, homework from our PRIDE training, references, background and medical checks as well as spiritual evaluations.
-March 2007 We took additional classes covering Transracial Adoption, God's Will, Drug-Affected Infants, Transitioning Children from The Foster-Care System, and Parenting the Special Needs Child. We also completed our paperwork and turned that into the agency.
-April 2007 We were certified in CPR/First Aid.
-May 2007 We had our homestudy visits. (Agency caseworkers came to our home and asked us lots of questions, basically.)
-June 2007 Our adoption homestudy was completed. (We were approved to adopt 1-2 young children.)
-June-July 2007 We began working with the state to obtain a foster care license. (The children that will be placed with us will likely not yet be legally free (read: adoptable). We will be fostering them with the intent to adopt them once they are legally free. That process could take up to a year. Maybe longer.) Our experience with the state thus far has been less than exemplary. Suffice to say, it took them a month and a half to even mail us the foster license application. But we finally did receive the application, and completed it, with more background checks and fingerprints, and then notified our agency that we were done.

And that brings us to the current month of August. ~whew!~

Today we met with our agency's Placement Coordinator. Several times a month she goes to these round-table type discussions where the state presents children entering the foster care system who need homes (temporary or permanent). It is her job to review the files of the presented children and find the ones who are either already legally free (adoptable) as well as the cases where the (birth)parental rights have been terminated on previous children (older siblings) or are likely to BE terminated. Did I lose any of you? (Basically, she pays attention to children who are likely to be placed on the adoption track, usually because of the history of the birthparent (drug/alcohol use, abuse, neglect, the parent is in prison, etc)). So she then takes a look at those children and tries to match/place them with the approved families on her list.

As of our appointment today, we are now on her list. So we are officially a "waiting family", and when she attends these meetings from now on, she will be on the lookout for a child or children who would be a good fit for our family.

There. I think that's it in a nutshell. (HA!)

For those of you who are praying (and we thank you, so much!), please pray for...
*the child/children God has chosen for our family
*our ongoing communication with the state to obtain our foster care license
*discernment for the placement coordinator as she reviews children and tries to make matches with waiting couples/families on the list. (On a side note, I was so reassured when we met with her today, because she shared that she is very prayerful about this process of matching/placement, and said that often in these meetings when children are being presented, the Holy Spirit will just lay a specific couple on her heart in relation to a particular child. I just love knowing that.)

For anyone who has questions about any of this, I'll do my best to answer. [And if I can't, I'll ask my friend Kimmie to help answer questions as she's been down this road in its entirety, though in a different state.]

I'll just close now by saying that we feel immeasurably blessed to be in the process of adoption again. And we are *so* excited to meet... someday... (soon, Lord?)... the addition(s) to our family. I get teary-eyed just thinking about it. He knows. And so we wait, fully trusting His choice and His timing.

Saw this movie last night...



...and really enjoyed it. Very cute.

What was the last best movie (or video) that you saw?