Monday, June 18, 2012


I have enjoyed this process so much that I am hoping to bring more of Tim and the kids thoughts and ideas to it.  So my friend has recreated my blog and you can now find us HERE

See ya soon!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Can't Wait!

I have a friend currently overhauling my blog to give it a fresh, new look!  I can't wait - hopefully we'll be set up for you to hear from not only me but each of us from time to time.  I wanted to make it more of a family blog to get the kids in the habit of sharing.  Should be interesting.... stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Game

My girlfriend asked me today if I had any advice for her 7 year old who's got some neighborhood kid issues - like ever other kid alive, right!!?? We get this question a lot and with 3 kids already having gone through (and still going through!) this kind of thing, God literally gave me this conversation to have with Emma about 3 years ago when she was 7 - yes, 1st grade.  She had been having issues at school with a certain 'popular' girl and this particular day came home devastated saying, "Mom, **** said today that if I don't be her friend that she not only wouldn't invite me to her party but she would make it so every kid in class won't like me either.... and she can do it too! She's got that kind of power!"  That was it, this was a daily conversation in the van on the way home and I had been praying about it for a long time.  How on earth do you teach your kids about this stuff!??? And then it happened, like God does... this conversation flowed out of my mouth and I just sat back and let it roll.

My dear child, **** and the girls on the playground making your life miserable are playing a game. Its called the Drama Game and if you play - you loose.

It doesn't matter if you are right, sticking up for yourself or someone else or what... if you play, you loose. So here's what you do. Don't play, go play something else - hopscotch, jumprope, swing, anything! But keep these 2 things in mind as you do this.

1) The people playing the drama game most likely don't even know that are playing it and I'm certain they really don't want to play it either... they don't know what else to do. Its what they have seen or heard and its what they know. I'm just guessing that these are pretty good kids, they want to be nice, have fun and live a happy life but they *don't know what else to do*. So its up to you to be a leader. Be nice to them, why? Because thats the kind of kid you are! And if you change your behavior because of someone else then you are just as irritating as them. Thats hard to take I know, but its true. If I loan you $5 because you *need it (*need meaning a serious situation, not something silly) and next week I need to borrow $5 but you tell me no, what do you suppose I should do the next time you need $5? Well let me tell ya, I'm going to give it to you, why? Because thats the kind of person God created me to be, to do the right thing because its right, not because of what you might do for me.

The easy thing would be to say just don't play with them but its really not an option, right? Step up and suggest something else. Don't acknowledge the drama just switch gears. If you give a better idea of what to do I'm sure they will want to play that and if they don't - then just let them go. But I guarantee you others will want to play what you are playing, why? Because there is NO DRAMA there and ultimately nobody enjoys that!

2) Sadly, you've got to get this figured out now because as you grow older you will see that the same behavior happens in adults. But, because you are a Christian you are called to lead others in a positive direction - a direction that makes God proud and hopefully will direct others to want to know Him too.

 I'm so sorry that you have to go through this, I really am but I deal with this kind of stuff every day too.(this shocked her by the way) Its not easy, not fun - but God never promised us easy or fun, He did promise that He will be with us, always. This is hard stuff but I promise you that it is a worthwhile behavior to work on.

So my dear, the next time someone wants to play the Drama Game, I hope you know what to do! As soon as you identify it, pray. And I promise that God will help you.

My dear, sweet, precious 7 year old looked at me and said, "Oh, ok!" And that was it, it was over.  Now obviously this comes up all the time but the conversation goes much different.  It is more along the lines of 'so and so were playing the drama game and this is what happened....'  She identifies it and is approaching it very differently!

My prayer is that her life will be filled with way less drama and more with blessings that only God can bring from the yucky situations.  Thats not too much to ask, right?

Monday, June 4, 2012


The Psychologist came by for a visit a couple of weeks ago and that was very interesting.  He and his wife have adopted from Ethiopia and hearing his experience was challenging and exciting at the same time.  He said he would need to come back a couple of more times (apparently Tim is pretty messed up, ha!) to complete the study but it seems to be pretty simple process.  We got to the 'sticky' part of the conversation concerning his fee and he stated that his wife really liked the tshirts we have for sale through a fundraiser. He wondered if we couldn't buy her a tshirt for his payment...Um, ok!  Everyone we have heard from says this process is anywhere from $1000-$5000.  What a crazy awesome blessing this has turned out to be!  And since they have already adopted we know that he is aware of how the process goes and what needs to be stated - that is invaluable!

Our Home Study Rep came a couple of days later to finish it up... only we weren't able to.  There was a small issue with bedrooms in the basement not having opening windows. I know, I know!  It was on our list, we just hadn't got to it yet!  But as much as she hated it she wasn't able to finalize the Home Study until the Egress window was installed.  It made complete sense but I was really bummed because Michelle, our rep from America World Adoption went to Haiti last week to visit the orphanage we applied to and I really wanted her to have this Home Study info on our family in order to possibly see what children would be a good fit for us.  It killed me but I realized my micromanaging was getting out of control so I had to step back and give the reigns back to the One who is in control and loves us, has faith in us, and is just as excited as we are! Even though micromanaging *is* my spiritual gift! 

Back to the window - boy, has that been an interesting process!  We decided on the location and figured Tim had to dig about 8 feet down in order to have room for rock under the window for rain drainage.  Boy that looked like a lot to dig!  We gave a call to a very good friend in the excavating business and sure enough they had a small digger and would be happy to come dig it for us = HUGE! When she got here last Friday she had a note in her hand.  She said she was talking with her family about Tim renting the saw to cut the concrete wall for the window and they all agreed it would be much.... 'better' to have it done! Mind you, Tim is amazing, very handy and can do most anything house-improvement related.  But this must be a major thing because literally 100% of the people we talked with suggested having it done but with the cost involved in that, Tim was willing to give it a whirl.  Well, Susie had already made the call and set it all up for us = $0. With an added donation for the window and whatever that U-shaped thing is called that goes in there too = $0 so far.  We will be bringing some rock in to put in the hole but I can't imagine that will cost much either.  Loving our family here thats for sure!  I'll post some pics at the bottom of the post, kind of interesting.

#haitianbycrofts puzzle has been such a fun thing.  We really didn't spend much time promoting it but the purpose really isn't as much for fundraising as it is for participation.  We have had SO MUCH love and support shown to us through this process that we are utilizing the puzzle for remembering.  For each $10 donation we put your name on the back of a puzzle piece. Once it is filled we put it together  and will frame it in between glass so that we can always see the names of our friends/family.  We just think it will be cool for the kids to be our age and have a tangible piece like this to reflect on.

In between all of the hubub we have begun our get out of school soon (June 11), wedding/graduation season. We even took the kids to Six Flags on Saturday and had a blast!  My mom got us season passes for Christmas last year so we will be utilizing those a lot! Yes, I am a coaster mom, I love it!  Living this close to Six Flags and Lake Michigan make for interesting day trips!

Here are some pics from the window project -


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Are You Safe?

I was talking with my mom last night and so enjoyed the interest she shows in our journey.  The love and support shown by so much of our family and friends is amazing!

Mom stated how happy she is for me and how much she loves watching God work through us.  I said, "It is an exciting life, thats for sure!" And I forget just how she said it but it was something along the lines of acknowledging the fact that our life is one where you never know what God is going to do next.  To a degree I get that and yet the more I think about it, I wonder why it is that everyone doesn't have the same opportunities we have?  Or do they?  Do you have the same options each day that God presents in my life?  Technically, no but I do believe that the same opportunity *is* there for adventure, for risk, for God to challenge you to do something you never would have before - but now you can because you realize and understand more fully that He is WITH YOU and you trust Him.

Nothing gets me going more than that; seeing someone do something they never thought they would/could before!  But because they trust God they are moving!  I don't care if it is adoption, quitting your job and moving away from the only family and friends you have ever known in order to pursue a dream, running a marathon, leading a small group, sitting in a different seat a little bit closer at church, or whatever!  Ask yourself, what is God challenging you to do? Do something kind for your neighbor? Smile at someone at the grocery store?  Maybe follow her and when you see her add up her groceries and then place items out of the cart because she doesn't have enough to cover it, secretly pay the cashier for the items?  I love the drive through game where you get to the window and the person says your coffee is paid for by the person in front of you! For no reason...then if you realize it quick enough you pay for the next person :)

Life is so short, guys.  And from the very few experiences we have had and are in the midst of, can I please tell you - risk it!  Be wise, use good discernment, but do something bold for God that you never, ever thought you could or would and then trust Him.  There is no roller coaster to give you a bigger thrill than that. It definitely can feel like the very tip of the monstrous hill right before you plunge, you know where your tummy is not yet flipping - but almost!?? Nothing on earth will be a better feeling than at some point seeing someone in heaven that tells you that they are there because of something God allowed you to be part of.  I promise the opportunities are there, take them!

I've used this clip several times as an illustration in messages I've given.  I'd like to share it with you today and ask one simple thing,

how safe are you?