Sunday, June 29, 2014

When there are never any "no's"

It's been a very long time since I have posted.  Life has been busy and I have not been very inspired.

We are now in a time of significant transition and there is much to decide, to process and to work through.

We brought home our little one from China yesterday.

In spite of all the preparation we did, it seems that maybe you are never really ready.

Our little one comes from a "hard place".  Abandoned.  Multiple care givers.  Lived in 2 different facilities.  Trips to the doctor.  Crying and no one coming.  Hungry and not being full.  Scared and not being comforted.  Needing to learn and not being taught.

He also comes from a place of never really learning the word "no".  When your world is so small, so scheduled, so limited...there's no place to ever be told "yes".  But, then there are not many opportunities to be told "no" either.

So, he leaves the facility and goes into a flashy world full of food, stores, toys...and people.  Two of those people have been assigned as his parents.  (And he has no idea what a parent is or does.)  And those assigned people started saying "no" to some of these amazing things before his eyes.  And "no" is a hard word when you rarely have heard it and it seems that everything before you is so good.

As I've have struggled through these first days with our new little one, I have often thought of God as a Father.  How often He loved me when I was behaving like an angry child.  Walking with me as I have kicked, fought and raged about not getting my way.  He loves me through my frustration and inability to understand His plan...the times He has said "no".

Perhaps I am not unlike my new son; not really grasping what a loving Father is to understand when it seems He is saying "no".

As I watched our young one rage, lash out and spit...I had a brief hint of what it must be for our heavenly Father to stand by and watch his children turn their backs and refuse to be loved.

To choose to love in the face of rejection is profoundly painful as a parent.  It doesn't come with the warm feelings welling up from the heart.  It comes from a conscious choice to put aside your anger and to do the right thing.

It is the hardest thing I have ever done.  Yet, God gave the ultimate sacrifice for me when I was unlovely and difficult.  How deeply humbling this is.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Today was a wonderful day.

...a tall peppermint mocha from $tarbucks...

...a wonderful walk at the nature center with my 2 kids...we walked through the woods, climbed over fallen trees and ran with abandon down a snow-blown hill...

...except the part where the Badgers lost the Rose Bowl...

...cheese fondue with bread and apples...

...a fantastic husband who loves me like crazy.

My word for 2013:


My Bible passage:  Nehemiah 6:2-4. intentional...stay the not be discouraged or distracted...

Good-bye 2012.

You were a hard year...  

Monday, December 31, 2012

Turning Over a New Leaf....

Bedtime at our home can sometimes be long, drawn out event.  It frequently involves many reminders to put away laundry, clean, up, floss, brush, etc, etc, etc.

I recently had a wonderful, refreshing chat with a very wise mom. She has always been a source of encouragement, experience and wisdom.  She suggested a list might help my little buddies remember what they need to do each night.

My little dude was very concerned about the list.  His response to the ideas was, "But, Mama...I can't read everything yet."  

So I went to a modified list--with pictographs.

Tonight, 12-31-12 was our first night.  

It went well.  Little Dude took the "No Mess" part very seriously.

What a blessing it is to have such wonderful friends. 

First snow...

These are our snowmen.  

They are vegan. 

Brussel sprout eyes
Carrot noses
Sweet red peppers for lips
Come to think of it, that is more vegetables than some people eat in a year...

That is not a leopard or a cheetah next to the snowman...that's Kate.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

morning at the lake...

Today was a beautiful, warm day and we seized the opportunity to head down to the Lake.  We had a wonderful breakfast at one of our favorite coffee houses and then walked over to the beach and marina.

K & S really wanted to go into the water...until they realized how cold big Lakes are in spring.

A girl has to have her shades...

A guy has to have his baseball hat...

jumping the "waves"...

We loved the warm breeze and time together as a family.  Maybe summer really is around the corner...

Monday, April 30, 2012

Pascal Aristotle 
May 15, 1998 - April 29, 2012
He brought our family great joy, companionship and love.  We will miss seeing him in the window, playing with his glitter balls, chasing any thing that resembles string, purring so loud it can be as heard across the room and cuddling on the couch. 

He was the first pet our children had and we will miss him deeply.  

Today we are sad.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Prepare to be intimidated...
Here are two very scary warriors...
Do not mess with her...she leaps great heights with her foam sword....
He defies gravity and has a mighty swing...
Armed with his *iPhone* and a foam ax, the king would successfully defend his kingdom from the blond serf