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Seven years ago today – seven years ago – we met our children for the first time. It was a day filled with hope, longing fulfilled, and exhaustion. Dimples was all energy.  Eby was cautious, quiet,and scared. Little Man was a tiny baby who seemingly adjusted with ease. Bee was charming and captured our hearts. We didn’t know then that the next year we would travel back to Ethiopia and bring her home to our family too.


The photo above is of Dimples meeting TobyMac before his recent concert in Montana. Such a fun experience for her!

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a much better week

preparation for Refresh nearly done 

time to connect with some  of my big kids

daddy date for Bee and Sunshine


On Tuesday night Dimples went to the Toby Mac concert with three other girls and some staff members. The family of one of the children has connections with Toby Mac and was able to get them tickets. It was a big event for her and she was excited to tell me all about it in our Skype session.

She said, “Mom, it only costs $35 a month to sponsor a child  so they can have enough food and everything. I think we should do it.”

DSC02446editsmallHow was Valentine’s Day? We kept ours very low pressure. The girls made cupcakes complete with pink frosting and sprinkles. In the evening, we took four of our youngest kids out to dinner using a gift card we got for Christmas. It’s quite rare for us to take them to a restaurant, and it was a real treat.

When we got home, we found bouquets of carnations, each in its own vase with a handwritten note attached. Samuel had gotten flowers for his younger sisters. I was so touched. The notes were personal and heartfelt – telling them how beautiful and special they are.

My Ladybug

My Ladybug

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a quiet morning with my sick Little Man


movies, lots of movies

yoga pants and a comfy sweater


Sunshine's birthday one week before mine

Sunshine’s birthday – one week before mine

Thank you for all of the wonderful comments on Monday’s post about turning fifty. I am clearly in good company with many of us parenting young children.

A couple of you mentioned simply being grateful for every year, and I agree. As my 50th birthday approached, I found myself thinking of friends who didn’t get to live for 50 years, and how thankful I should be.

DSC_0293 I enjoy a good cup of coffee – in the quiet morning all by myself, in the afternoon with a friend, and always when I eat a sweet dessert. Coffee is a simple pleasure in my life. Not long ago, when Hannah was visiting, we had the opportunity to sample and review two Maxwell House International coffees. The package arrived at the perfect time – in the midst of a knitting project. We were making felted baby shoes, which involved experimenting with needle sizes, numbers of stitches, and how many minutes it took to felt the little shoes. I have to say, they turned out completely darling. I’ll get a picture from Hannah to share with you.



There’s a funny thing about blogging – it’s easy to only write about what you want to share. I was going to let this pass by, but my goal is to embrace a new milestone in my life, so here it is, I turned 50 last month. Yes, fifty, 5-0, fifty, and it feels a little scary to write that.

I’m being vulnerable here, I’m a mommy-blogger, I have a seven-year-old for heaven’s sake! I don’t feel old at all, maybe mid-thirties, but given that Russ and I will have been married 30 years this June, it makes sense that I can’t be 35.

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Over the past two days we’ve had three meetings for Dimples. We’ve had loads of meetings this year, but there was a distinct shift this week. We’re beginning to talk about the gradual transition home.

We need to do everything we can to ensure that Dimples will be successful living in the midst of family.  Family has always been hard for her – always. Even before she came home from Ethiopia, family was difficult. Sadly, those early experiences set us up to be the hardest relationships for her. 

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If you follow my One Thankful Mom FB page, you know that we’ve been praying for Rieden, a darling baby who had a liver transplant yesterday.

I have not gone through this, and I find myself wondering what is truly most helpful. So my question to you is:

In the event of a prolonged hospitalization or a death in a family, what can we do to help? What can we do to bring comfort?