Misery Loves Company

A familiar sight on our trips to Seattle.

My dear friend’s husband and daughter just left for Kenya. When Russ and my kids are out of the country, I have to work hard to stay happy and not worry, and I know it is the same for Kathleen. So I came up with a brilliant solution to keep her mind occupied and make the days fly by — I’m taking my youngest five to visit!

I’m heading to Seattle today with Honeybee, Dimples, Sunshine, Eby, and Little Man, where we’ll have two days of appointments, therapy for the girls on Wednesday and a full afternoon at Seattle Children’s on Thursday.  Amazingly (and thankfully), Sweet Pea has a rare afternoon and evening off, so we’ll get some special time with her as well. I’m praying for a safe and easy drive, fun with friends, and answers to some questions at our appointments.

Yesterday I spent a few hours working on paperwork for REACH camp, a very special camp we attend each Labor Day weekend for families affected by HIV. We love REACH, but do not love the paperwork. Most arduous is the physical required for each family member; with a family our size it is a huge task to get it all done. I currently have a stack of 49 pages of paperwork on my desk that needs to be completed and mailed in.

So many great things are still to come this summer. We have a family reunion at Russ’ parents at the end of July, followed by a trip to Whidbey Island where we’ve been invited to stay at a lovely home. Russ plans to squeeze in a father/daughter backpacking trip with Ladybug and friends in August. School starts August 22nd and homeschooling will start a few days later, once I catch my breath.

I’m trying to keep life very simple – pack light, cook simply, and keep the kids moving through their days.  How is your summer going?  Any tips on keeping it happy and simple?


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. darci
    July 12, 2011

    sounds lovely. 🙂 have a great visit and a wonderful summer. 🙂 darci

  2. Sarah Jane
    July 12, 2011

    I know that boat! I live in Seattle and drive east to see friends in Pullman every year. I'm not a very poetic person, but it always makes me daydream about the person who has that sea-faring boat sitting on a trailer in the middle of nowhere on I-90. A dreamer to be sure.

  3. Heidi
    July 12, 2011

    I love Kathleen! Give her a big huge hug for me & tell her I am praying for Erica! 🙂 Hope you enjoy your time there!!

    And I also love REACH. We had such a fun REACH dessert action at OCC a few years ago. Hope you have a wonderful time!

  4. Jillian
    July 14, 2011

    We have enrolled "Etude" in a one day a week summer program where he can swim and play with kids (almost) his age, more on his ability level. I think this is going to be a fabulous break for him from being the only boy in the house right now. The girls and I made a "to do" art list so we have one group art project each week. We are using Juicey Juice Apple Juice and baking soda to make invisible ink and be super spies next week. I am reading more, committing to less and even decreasing appointments. We will start homeschool when Etude starts public school on base this fall. He will go FT 4 days a week and any appointments he needs will be on the "off" day, so we only have one appointment day a week. I do so much better(and thus the kids do too) if we are HOME in our element. This is my first step to simplifying our lives, is the schedule!
    Enjoy your trip! SO glad Sweat Pea has a window of time off to visit with you all!

  5. Marissa
    July 14, 2011

    Can't wait to see you at REACH!

  6. shannon2818
    July 17, 2011

    That sounds very busy. I definitely don't have any tips on keeping it happy and simple. We're struggling with both right now.

  7. Staci
    July 23, 2011

    Lisa, I know you are busy, and I live in amazement and awe of all the hearts you fill with love and teach and coordinate on a daily basis, but I have a question for you. Do you have any resources you can recommend for families wanting to know more about adopting HIV+ children? I've seen your name connected with AHOPE in the past (before you moved blogs I think) and it's something on my mind.

    1. One Thankful Mom
      July 24, 2011

      Hi Staci, I would recommend that you check out the websites of From HIV to Home and Project Hopeful. Both advocate for the adoption of HIV+ children and have great information. Two of my children were at AHOPE prior to their adoptions and I volunteered for them for a time before working with From HIV to Home. There is also a great Yahoo group you can join, HIV Adopt. It is for people who are seriously interested in adopting children with HIV, those who are in process, and those who are home. The archives are loaded with great information from parents who are actually living it. Thanks for asking!


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