8 years!!!!

8 years ago I was given the deepest desire of my heart.
I had longed to experience the joy of motherhood.
I had already experienced the expectancy, pain and endless love of motherhood but I was childless and waiting.
We grieved, we prayed and we waited.

8 years ago my life began, like a sunrise after a long night.
I was blessed with a precious and slightly precocious little girl.
Full of spunk and spirit.
Brimming over with life and love.

Life has never been the same!

Sleepless nights, pink dresses, diaper bags and fuzzy sleepers.

(23 months)
Singing and twirling, princesses and pigtails.
Tantrums and tears,
dancing and laughter.

(4 years)
Endless chatter, characters and stories.
Playing house and pushing swings.

(6th birthday)

Collecting treasures, writing and performing.
Tu-tu's and tiaras
Books, Barbies, music and friends.

8 Years of Aili!

She is growing up SO fast, right before my eyes.
In only a few short years we will be plunged into
braces and book reports, changes and choices.
broken hearts and big dreams.

She is already giving us glimpses of the woman she may someday become.
Bright, thoughtful, generous, assertive and creative.
She will lead, teach and take care of others.
The past eight years are full of happy memories and
whatever the future holds for her....
I have no doubt that she will leave her mark on the world!

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Harvest 2009

We have wrapped up our first full week of harvest! Today is Sunday and I am so glad we shut everything down for some rest and family time. Both are desperately needed after a week of working long hours and the kids being shuffled to grandma's house everyday.
I'm nursing a nasty sore throat and generally feeling really sickish so I'm hoping some rest (and lots of hot lemon and honey) will have me back in working form tomorrow.

The kids usually join us in the field at dinner time which is brought to us by my mom...who is also babysitting my three kids. Auntie Odette was around this week and my kids loved hanging out with her. She was a great help on the home front while her husband helped in the field. Harvest on this farm is a family affair, usually involving three generations. A few years ago we had 4 generations out in the field eating dinner together. That's farm life. The kids have all had a turn riding in the combine with mom or dad.

Here is the view out the front window of my combine. We've been harvesting red lentils, green lentils and dry yellow peas this week. That's a lot of soup! As semi loads of lentils role out of the field its fun to think of all the people who will have dinner on the table somewhere in a foreign country. Its neat to be part of that process.

It was hot this week. Its been beautiful warm dry weather which is perfect for getting a crop off. Next weeks forecast looks good too.

Dinner in the field is a tradition that goes back as far as harvest itself I think. My mom brings us out one hot meal and we pack a lunch in a little cooler for the rest of the day. Its my one chance to stretch my legs and get the blood flowing again. I usually opt to stand and eat :) Sitting in one place for 10 or more hours a day can really be hard on a body...especially one that's used to movement. I enjoy the work though and its a fun change from housework. The work I accomplish in the field actually stays done for a year!...unlike housework which is never done. I enjoy listening to my satellite radio. My hands are always busy, steering with one hand and the lever and buttons in the other. I don't really get bored because there is always something to be paying attention to....besides I'm totally OK with boredom :)

Dumping some green lentils into the semi.

Tomorrow is Aili's 8th birthday! I don't know what she was thinking being born in the middle of harvest. ;)
I need to get my body in gear today and make a birthday cake, put up decorations, wrap a present, stuff a pinata, and get ready for tomorrows party. She's having 5 girls over for a "High school Musical" party after school. Tomorrow is their first day of school. What a way to celebrate a new school year. I need to remember to get all their school stuff gathered and packed for tomorrow morning too.

I will be out in the field most of the day while the kids are in school ,but will leave work early to party with my girl.
My plate is a little bit more full than normal right now....so I'm a little frustrated that I'm feeling less than my usual healthy self.
This is the nature of harvest on the prairies though....a crazy busy pace.

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Kid Talk

I admit, I am really bad at recording all those wacky , adorable things kids say. I have posted them on occasion here but I'm usually stuck with..."I know she said something funny but I can't remember what it was".
So in an effort to record ,for posterity sake, some of the cute things my kids say:

Here are a few recent Romanism's

"Mom, if I was out playing at the tree house and a war broke out ,I think the best thing to do would be hide...but it would be really dumb to hide in the canons. "

" Mom, if you ever find food at an antique store, don't eat it".

I'm so glad someone in our family thinks of these things. I for one would be completely without a strategy if a canon battle broke out in Hickville. If I ever come across an eighty year old twinkie (probably the only thing that would last eighty years) at an antique store I will definately follow his advice.

Last night we were driving home from the lake. It was our church's annual day at the beach. We were looking out our car windows and commenting on the beautiful prairie sunset. A couple minutes later Roman very softly and seriously said

Roman: "Hey mom? Could you open my window for a second please?"

Mom:" why do you need your window open honey?"

Roman:" I want to put my face out the window so I know what the sunset feels and smells like."

Mom:(opening window and smiling)

Roman: "
aaahhh...thanks mom"

You know, in all my days I have never wondered what a sunset felt or smelled like.
That's something I love about this boy...he always looks at things just a little differently and notices things we overlook.

He experiences the world intensly through both his imagination and through his senses. Two usually contradictory ways of experiencing the world .
He hasn't fully appreciated something until he's caressed it, smelt it, and maybe even tasted it.
Take for example new paint on our wall or our new basement bathroom ceiling tiles.
"Hey Dad? Can you lift me up to feel the ceiling?....oooh they are really nice."
"Hey Dad? can I feel the new paint on the wall?...wow that's a really nice color"

Physical touch has DEFINITELY always been his love language too. He's an expert at giving it out but I have to make sure he gets enough coming his way too.
He gets off balance so easily. Sometimes it just takes upping the amount of snuggles, head caresses or back rubs to get him back to his pleasant enjoyable self.
He's a complex little boy full of extremes and full of paradox. Life is never dull with my little Romeo around.

Last night when we got home from the lake late and dirty. The main floor bathroom door had blown open which is usually firmly shut to keep in the construction mess( it was torn apart this spring but has yet to be reconstructed). I muttered to myself while hauling my brood to the basement for a shower that 'it will be nice to have a main bathroom again". Silas exclaimed ,with a shake of his head and his hands in the air.
"Daddy broke it!....it not my fault!."
Can you tell he has older siblings? :)

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Country Kids the Sequel

The boys, their Dad and their Grandpa were burning up some old wooden grain bins that had piled up. What a show that was for the boys (Aili was having some one on one girl time with Grandma that day.) They both asked if we were going to have marshmallows. :)

Nathanael's former firefighting skills still come in handy every now and then :) The fire was getting too hot too fast so they kept it burning a little more slowly with some water.
They would never burn without the farms water truck near by.

Roman having fun on one of the "new-school" grain bins. Out with the old...in with the new.
Who needs monkey bars when you have stuff like this to monkey on?

I've been reading the book "Wild Things. The art of nurturing boys" and it is SO good. I love how it really helps me (as someone who has never been a little boy) understand how they are wired and what makes them tick. It sure helps me as a parent understand what they need from me and truly appreciate how God made them.
One of my favorite quotes in the book so far is:
"boys bear a unique image of our wild, playful and imaginative Creator"
I love that!
I think boys in their element doing what God wired them to do makes God's heart happy.

I think this one has an extra charge of voltage running through that wiring! :)

Future farmer? This boy has always been crazy over trucks and tractors. Roman is more likely to run off into the field in search of an adventure or find something to climb. Silas will run straight for something he can "drive".
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Country kid pictures

Her shirt says "Total Girl".
I love this age when being all girl still means building tree forts.

He is proudly showing off his new "bench". He gathers sticks and props them up all over making shelters and spots to sit.
He looks like a little beaver with all his piled up sticks.

I love this picture of Roman. This is so him. Lost in his own imagination, unaware of anyone or anything. No end to the adventures and possibilities. I love the way God made little boys! Nature is his favorite playground and school right now. He learns and discovers so much.

All three kids having some old fashioned outside fun.
I wish I could post more than 4 photos at a time but with my slow speed it just doesn't work. I will post another batch. Country Kids the Sequel. :)
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Family Time

One of our favorite things to do together as a family is go for after supper bike rides. It does take a bit of effort to get our lazy parental butts out of the house after a long day of work (at home and outside the home) but we really enjoy it once we get out there. Being active as a family is important to us. Like everything else involved in parenting; kids learn best by their parents setting the example.
Its so nice that the "big kids" are now old enough to have bikes (and bike riding skills) to keep up on a real family bike ride. (In case you are counting there is a neighbor girl along for the ride).
Its fun time spent together and its great exercise....which is important for us "30 something" parents :)

Yes, Roman is wearing his spider man pajamas. I can't remember why , but for some reason he had showered and got ready for bed early that evening. We decided afterwards to go for a bike ride and it wasn't worth having him change. The gravel road and the trees don't really care anyway.
We got him his first training- wheel- free bike this spring. He was ready for it years ago but keeping him on a little slow bike had its benefits...less trips to the ER. He's been riding since shortly after his 2nd birthday. Keep in mind we only have a few months out of the year to ride bikes up here.
This spring it took about 3 seconds to show him how to mount and balance on his big kid bike and he was off. He hasn't looked back since. Within a couple days he was building jumps and within a week he was doing this!
What a stunt boy.
Roman LOVES his bike.

Silas likes his new seat too. He sits in a child seat in front of Dad and feels like he is really riding a bike. He even fights with Daddy for control of the handle bars. :)

Its that time of year again. We are gearing up for another harvest. We could be harvesting lentils within the next few days. We have had SO much rain and cool weather lately that we are pretty late getting started. I'm picturing a muddy harvest!
Considering our tendency for drought we hate to complain about moisture but some dry weather would be ideal for getting this crop off.

I must admit I feel a little unfocused this year. We've been thinking so much about our post harvest move to Mexico that its hard to focus on what needs to get done first. I have been filling my freezer with baking (buns, muffins, cookies) in preparation for packing field lunches and back to school lunches though so I guess I haven't lost focus completely (I just run mental packing lists through my head while doing it :)

Its been SO nice to have some chill time at home to recover from our slightly hectic summer and prepare for the next season. A couple weeks ago all the kids were burnt out and grumpy. This week they are back to their normal cheerful cooperative selves. Its amazing what a bit of routine, some decent sleep and some quantity (not just quality) time with mom will do for a kid!

I miss and think about "Cub" a lot , but I must admit I am enjoying how much more time I have in the day and how much more energy I have to pour into my own kids right now.
Considering the major life changes that lie ahead I think God knew we needed that time to re-group as a family.

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A Positively Peculiar Post.

I had begun making Pizza for supper last night when our party girl Aili had an idea. "Let's have a "p" party since Pizza starts with "P"! Our perky party planner was persuasive and persistent. She then proceeded to demonstrate her party planning prowess. "Are there peppers on the pizza? do we have pepperoni? Do we have any peas? What about pop?"
Peppers definitely, pop no, pepperoni...well I have turkey sausage , close enough.
Our supper, provided by the lovely kitchen personnel, was both punctual and palatable.

Much to our pleasure we were seated on pillows, dressed as princesses and princes, used place mats, wore our pajamas , drank punch and ate pizza. The party was positively perfect.

I can assure you there were no "p" jokes happening at this table. That would be preposterous.

What "p" party programme would be complete without after dinner entertainment?

What a performance.
Applause please.

p.s I presume you found your peek into our peculiar and playful family particularly pleasant.

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13 years!

Thirteen years of living life together.
We began as two young people, taking our first step into the world of adults, full of hopes and dreams. Thirteen years later we have laughed and cried, shared sunshine and storms. We've celebrated carefree days and helped each other through long troubled nights. Your support and love has made my blessings more meaningful and my heartaches easier to bear.
We have been through so much together.

Two kids began a journey together, no money, no education, and no idea what what it meant to be married. That long haired mountain boy and that wide eyed farm girl had everything going against them. According to statistics they should have gone their separate ways years ago.
Thirteen years later we are still hand in hand waiting to see what God brings around the next corner.

It hasn't all been easy. We've had our share of hard times and disappointment along the way.
There were days and years when it seemed it would be easier to cut our losses and walk away from the life we had begun.
With God's help, and because of our enduring commitment to each other ,we have made something beautiful.
Two imperfect people in love with a perfect God.
Two imperfect people learning a little more every day how to love each other as God intented.

In 13 years we have lived in 3 different countries, 5 houses (not including camping trailers) and have had many different jobs. We have made 5 children, 3 of which we have the privilege of loving here on earth. We have opened our hearts to 5 other children for various lengths of time as well. Life has never been dull but there is no one I'd rather share this adventure with!

One of the greatest gifts of our relationship is the comfort of always knowing I can be myself with you.
I can be silly, serious, spazzy, spontaneous or sad and I know when I need a friend ... I never have to be alone.
You accept me for who I am but encourage me to be the woman God intended for me to be.
You have taught me what loving unconditionally means.
True love is a choice..we have chosen to love even when love gets hard.
The beauty of our love ,that was founded on commitment and established by effort, is that it has been freed to grow into something pure and passionate.
We left behind all false expectations and selfish ambitions long ago.
Our marriage has been refined in fire and has come out pure and lasting.

You are my best friend and my one and only.

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Swimming with the kids

This is such a funny picture of Aili jumping off the spring board. She is so careful and nervous about each jump. This just captures it so perfectly.
I don't have a picture of Roman doing flips off of it but I should look through my archives and find one. Not a careful or cautious bone in that kids body.

Skinny rocket boy.
p.s I do feed my kids. They aren't ill or starving , just healthy and very active. :)

Dad's new work out plan. The goggles are just for looking extra cool. :)

This little water boy's eyes match the water. He loves to be wet!

Our hot summer days were in short supply this summer and are already feeling more like fall days. We are squeezing as much summer fun out of our too short summer as possible.
Harvest is just around the corner.
It just occurred to me that I've been blogging for a full year!

The count down to Mexico has begun. Not so much in days but it things that need to be done before we leave. Yikes.
We are all excited for this trip, especially the kids. I'm so relieved and happy about that. We didn't know if they would start to resist the move or grumble about it as it approached. Aili and Roman talk about our upcoming adventure all the time.

This week I'm mostly getting caught up in the garden, yard and house. This evening I need to climb and fold Mount Washmore.
I guess I should get off the computer and get something done!
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The last couple days

This post will likely be a somewhat scattered compilation of the happenings of the last few days.
This "little bear" shirt is one I bought for "Cub" a few days before he left. I thought it was pretty cute...given his bloggy alias.

This past weekend my husband's twin brother and his family were out for a visit. We had a really good time with them, lots of visiting and playing. The Dads took the kids for quad rides, out to play in some nearby "forts" and gravel pits. I think they took the city cousins explore the farm a bit.
The kids all got along great, (minus the occasional sword fight gone bad). Not too bad for 6 kids under 8 years old.

Me and my girl hanging out next to the backyard campfire. Still not too big to sit on moms lap.
I'm so proud of this girl.
After years of strong wills, butting heads and irritating quirks I can honestly say I am enjoying her to pieces right now...irritating quirks and all :)
She is turning into such a lovely big girl. I feel so blessed not only to have a daughter but one as kind hearted as this one.

Making Smores!

Silas thoroughly enjoying a Smore!

Yesterday my hubby and I celebrated 13 years of marriage. I suppose I should right a post in honor of all that life we have spent together. That is a lot of living! Maybe in another post.

Yesterday we spent the day together in the City. We had to drop "Cub" off at the Social Services building at 2pm so we decided to make a day of it. We left the other three kids with Grandma and we spent the day shopping for our upcoming migration to Mexico. We enjoyed our time spent together. Even the 2 hours of driving each way made for great uninterrupted conversation time. That's something not taken for granted after a housefull of kids and 13 years of marraige.

We found some great off season clothing sales and bought a few new things for each family member. We don't do a lot of shopping and clothes shopping usually gets put at the bottom of the list. We tend to "make-do" with what we've got for as long as possible.

Looking ahead to six months worth of growing kids , wear and tear, line drying in the desert sun....it has become apparent that we need to go strategically and well stocked with clothing.
My best big sale was at the "Dawg's" store (you know those rubbery colorful shoes?)
I had a pair of sandals that I love and have worn for 2 summers but they are wearing out so I went to look at getting another pair. The first pair cost $40. I wasn't sure if I was willing to pay that much again even though they've been well used and they would be perfect for this winter.
I got to the store and the "Dawg's" shoes were $5!!!
The sandals I wanted were $12!

I outfitted our whole family in sandals and shoes for $60!!

I even bought Silas 3 pair since he is notorious for loosing his shoes and he is growing so fast.

We also started buying other various supplies that we will need while down there.

On a less cheery note.... dropping of "Cub" was really hard. I had remained emotionally numb, disassociated or something for most of the weekend and morning. As usual, the dam started to break as we drove up to the building. I did my best to hold it in with only a few tears and sniffles as we said goodbye. It took so much effort to hold in the torrent of emotion that after I left I felt so extremely drained and even nauseous for the rest of the day.

The few errands we did right after (wood stores and such) were hard. I felt like a zombie wandering around pretending to be a person.
Just existing was exhausting at that moment. At one point while standing in a woodworking store waiting for hubby I had a ridiculously strong urge to lay down on the floor and just lay there.....which I didn't actually do. I did however imagine, with amusement, the scene that would have ensued had I given into my urge to lay lifeless on a store floor.
I then envisioned myself asking the clerk if they had a corner or a hole or something I could crawl into and have a good cry...you know, something less ridiculous than laying on the floor.
Am I the only one who runs bizarre scenarios through my mind? It seems to happen quite frequently for me...like a little "Scrubs" daydream. Maybe I'm just weird that way.

After we left that store (which I refrained from making a scene in). I requested we go to the Christian book store. I LOVE it there. The smell of coffee and fresh baking, aisles and aisles of books, music ....ahhh. I spent too much money there. Call it therapeutic shopping.
We stocked up on some Christmas and birthday presents for the kids there (we are stowing them away in the trailer until Christmas in Mexico...the gifts ...not the kids) . We bought chapter books and some dvd's for them....shhh don't tell. I found a family devotional book and a parenting boys book.
I figured I could use the help right about now. I haven't read it yet but it looks REALLY good.
Wild Things, the art of nurturing boys
a practical guide to understanding the way, the mind, and the heart of a boy
by Stephen James and David Thomas
While at the store we ran into a friend of Nathanael's from Bible College days. He and his wife then joined us at a Mexican restaurant for dinner. I know it was a God thing. We needed encouragment and distraction and He provided it in His wonderfully perfect and unexpected way. Two hours of good uplifting conversation followed and a new friendship was forged.

We also bought a new cd!
"tenth Avenue North"

I'm in love with this band now!
I SO enjoy music ...at risk of sounding oddly like an eccentric artist...it speaks to me.

I do have an artist's soul....not to be confused with autistic soul :) (I'm a little sensitive about that one since as a child I couldn't say my "r"'s and I loved to draw and paint! I used to announce things like "I'm very awtistic" )
Music, images, words, dance...so many ways to express and create beauty.
Its one of the ways we were created in the image of God, the Master Artist.
When we create or appreciate created beauty we connect with that little reflection of God in us and have a greater appreciation for the Great Artist.
I put some songs of theirs on my playlist at the bottom of my blog.
I have a question for you. Does my music work?
Since I have dial up I can't always get the music working...in fact it has been quite some time since I've actually been able to hear it.
I have no idea if it is even working at all.
Let me know if it works and what you think.
Is having music too distracting?

I suppose if it is, you can always turn down the volume on your computer while you read or hit pause on the playlist.
Like I said I love music and lyrics and like to share them with others.

Today I still feel wiped out...to quote vegi tales "like pudding spread across too much ham"

My coping mechanism, my drug of choice, is sleep (well maybe nachos and a Mojito are right up there too). When faced with unpleasant emotion all I want to do is sleep. Unfortunately with three kids left at home that's not really an option.
So I'm busying myself with chores instead....I'm also trying not to stress too much about all the things that have fallen behind and that need to be done...apples need to be picked and made into jam, beans , peas, raspberries all in need of picking.
One thing at a time.
If the peas rot in the garden while I'm recovering on the computer I'm kind of ok with that right now.
I have managed so far to do many loads of laundry, bake cookies, go for a bike ride with the kids and unload all our shopping bags from the car.
Just putting one foot in front of the other.

For the most part I'm feeling "ok"...not my usually fabulous self :) , but I'm coping well and functioning. Mostly I feel a little dazed and spacey as I go about my day. Kind of just going through the motions. Every so often it catches me in my tracks and I find myself gasping for breath (literally)...that squeezing in my chest and choking feeling in my throat that reminds me that my heart is feeling sad. If I stop and think about him too much the dam bursts for a moment until I can function again. I keep coming across baby blankets, burp cloths, used bottles and all sorts of baby things. I've busied myself gathering all that kind of stuff washing and putting it away again.

Every so often I forget he's not just napping or I feel like I'm forgetting someone. Its a weird feeling.

We have no idea where Cub went or who he is with. All we know is he went to another foster home. That is the hardest part I think. Where is he? What is he doing right now? Will they take care of him?
Is he crying?
Its enough to break a mommy's heart.

Ok, here I go again......

I know God loves him even more than I do so that will have to be good enough for this mommy.

Thankyou for all of you that have kept us and little Cub in your prayers. I have felt upheld and sustained through out the last few days.
Please continue to pray for Cub as he faces a very uncertain future.

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Goodbye ...again.

Yesterday was a rough day. Started out with grumpy kids and a frustrated mommy. One of those mornings.

It ended with an abrupt phone call from "Cubs" case worker resquesting I bring him in today.
Since we have family coming out today to spend the weekend with us I told them I couldn't come until Monday.
Like I needed an excuse.
I worked on his baby scrap book all yesterday evening and got it finished. I feel good about how it turned out. Now I wish I could keep a copy for myself. I might have to photograph some of the pages.
I don't know if the foster family that he is going to live with will keep up with it or not but the first chapter of his life has been recorded in loving detail.

We brought him home at 4 days old...he will leave our home a day before his 2 month birthday.
We are considered short term emergency.
I think I would be better suited to long term/forever.

This is SO hard.

I wasn't expecting it to happen like this....this suddenly.
Although it has happened like this most every time.
A cold abrupt phone call interrupting my peaceful life.

We will be moving to Mexico in 2 months so we really can't demand that he stay longer. We don't have a leg to stand on.
The transition will only be harder for us and for him a month or two from now.
As much as I would like to keep him, he's not mine.
I'd take him with us if I could , but from what I know of the law....running for the Mexican border with a baby wouldn't be considered a noble thing. (I have only briefly pictured this bizzare scenario in my head...usually involving my mugshot on the evening news).

I have enjoyed being a mommy to him though.
He feels like my own....but he's not.

Its funny how a year ago I wondered if we ever adopted how it would feel to have a baby that didn't look like "my" babies.
You know how your biological kids all have "that look".
My babies all look like Burlando babies.

Well ,with each new baby I foster....the Burlando baby "look" changes.
My babies now have fluffy black hair that stands straight up and big brown eyes.
Every time I see a raven haired baby he will look like one of mine.

3 more days.

How do you count down the days until your baby leaves and you pack up the baby stuff and put it away? Its not like when my kids moved onto new stages and didn't need the cradle or the swing anymore...even then there was a sense of sadness. It will be cold turkey. Here one day and gone the next. It will be strangly like he was never here.

What kind of a crazy person sets themselves up for this?!

There is a lot of grief involved right now but its so strange and unusual....he's not dying. I will just never see him again.

I will miss him.

I guess its comforting to know he won't be looking for me for very long. His memory will be short lived. I wish my own was. Right now he adores his mama and definitely has a preference for me. That's a healthy bond but I feel like a traitor. I feel like I'm abandoning him.
He's had a good two months. Tons of snuggles, kisses, warm baths, soothing massages, lullabyes and time spent in the rocking chair.
He's been camping 3 times and been to 5 different lakes.
He's been loved on by three adoring "siblings".
All I could do for him was give him a good start on his journey through life. I played a role in the first chapter. It will be a very short chapter and one that he won't remember though. He will have proof that ,whatever comes..someone loved him and thought he was precious once upon a time.

I know I'll get through this. I know I'll come out the other side just fine. I also know that its going to hurt and feel awful for a little while. It doesn't get easier each time like I had hoped. I think this one will be the hardest to say good bye to in fact.

This little guy will be our last for this year. I think my husband and I both are wanting to open up our home again in the future, when we are back from Mexico. I'm looking forward to being available for longer term "placements"....not that it would make it any easier to say goodbye. We will be open to whatever God brings into our lives.

Please pray for us on Monday.
It happens to be our 13th wedding anniversary that day too. Sounds romantic doesn't it?
Dinner out with a red eyed , blubbering, snotty lady. My poor husband , pray for him too. :)
Please pray for "Cub" and his long term arrangements and case plan.
They still don't have that figured out for him yet.
So much uncertainty.

I don't really know how to pray right now other than the inner cry that pleads "go with him God....take care of him when I can't".

Thankyou for keeping him in your prayers!

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10 things about me

I am posting 10 things about me as part of a getting to know each other "McLinky" community over at my favorite blog. Lynette, I might not be able to join you on your front porch for a good chat but I do have a pile of beans that need to be snapped. :) I'll think of you while I'm snapping.

Here goes!

1. I'm a big dork/ nerd that tries in vain to pretend that I'm not. Now the truth is out. Those who know me are not at all shocked.
( In an attempt to rearrange the writing and pictures from their currently disfunctional format I accidentally deleted the picture to go with this point...and have since discovered it is also deleted from my picture files..hmm. The rest of the pictures have no particular purpose or placement)

2. I'm a totally flexible and spontaneous person. Life is more fun that way.

3. I like to dance in my kitchen with my kids. Why? see #1.

4. I like adventures. I like to see new places and try new things. I've never had the resources to travel extensively....but I would like to see as much of the world as possible someday.

5. I'm actually a pretty shy person. Small talk and meeting new people (in person) makes me totally uncomfortable. Fortunately my husband is an extreme extrovert so I just hide behind him in new social settings. Once I warm up though , look out.

6. Despite some residual shyness and insecurities I am not at all a private person. In case you haven't noticed I'm pretty much an open book. What you see is what you get. I have definite aversion to hidden motives, ugly secrets and phony facades.

7. I have "thick skin" and take life as it comes. Things really don't shock me any more. I am not easily offended and usually assume and look for the best in people and situations. I'm not a big fan of "drama" or pity parties.

8. Although I appreciate and strive for a sense of order and cleanliness in my home ( I'm a bit of a germ phobe) I am not at all talented in the area of organization and structure. My house is clean enough to be healthy but messy enough to be happy.

9. I like learning about nutrition and healthy living. I'm not extreme and make no "off limits" rules but I think its important to take care of the bodies that God gives us. Its part of good stewardship. Being healthy also makes life a heck of a lot easier. Teaching kids to enjoy healthy foods and eat adventurously early sets them up for a lifetime of good habits. I will never serve my kids stuff like kool-aid or pop tarts...but if they happen to have "junkfood" somewhere else or on a special occasion I don't give it a second thought.

10. My happy place is a beach chair overlooking a warm ocean. Sitting under a palm tree with a good book in one hand an exotic drink in the other. Nothing but the soothing sound of waves.
Not a frequent occurrence for this prairie farm girl but I like to imagine myself there on occasion (usually the occasions that include screaming children and dinner burning on the stove!)

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