Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Land Between the Lakes

We got the camping itch again! And when we get that itch, we just have to scratch. On this trip we went to Land Between the Lakes for three days. It was just what the doctor ordered for a family consumed with paperwork, reading and the unstructured summer break.


We stayed on the Sweet Gum Loop of the Piney Campground.

We fished!

We swam.

We got to swing until our hearts were content.

Some of us misplaced our snacks :-)

We played cards.

We played with machetes.

We chased the wildlife!
Some of it (mainly the raccoons, who surprisingly love marshmallows)
had to chased away in the wee hours of the morning (more than once)!!

Caught baby frogs (with only one casualty). Some of us love hard.

Played with creepy crawly things! EWE!

We got as muddy as we wanted.

We fished some more.

And, we looked for the fish we were not catching!

More than one of us passed out from all the the exhausting fun we had!
(And, no the baby did not stay in the sun!)

We slept as late as we wanted...well, parents only slept as late as the first one awake.

Someone tried to pull an all-nighter one night!

But we started the days with this view!

And, we had coffee! What more did we need?

Kind of getting that itch again!!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Out of Town Visitor

We had the privilege of housing a guest from out of town for a few days recently. Well, in all fairness, this guest was not from a different town, but a different habitat. He was heroically saved from the middle of the road and brought home as a new (semi and very temporary) member of the family.

Our turtle is a red-eared slider, the most popular species of pet turtle in the United States. In this picture you can see ever so slightly, a hint of his red dash around his ear, giving his species its name.

Sine he was semi-aquatic, He was ushered into a new home in the baby swimming pool. 
Our kids immediately put water in the pool in hopes to make him more comfortable.  

The kids were fascinated by home for the few days he stayed with us. They checked on him often, picking him up to study him a bit closer. They even brought him lettuce to eat. Although this turtle like plants, it is an omnivore which means it eats animals as well. Too bad we did not have any snails or crickets.

 After a short stay dad released him into more reptile friendly surroundings.
I love that our kids love nature.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Breakfast Fundraiser

Our church's youth group has thrown our first fundraiser! We are humbled by their generosity, time sacrifice and servant's hearts! Our young people, youth minister and his wife, along with other friends and church members met early Sunday morning, no doubt when our family was still in the assembly-line-hustle-and-bustle morning ritual of preparing for church, and prepared a pancake breakfast for our church family. They prepared eggs, bacon, and chocolate chip pancakes for the congregation. There was an outpouring of love shown, raising $926 in donations for our adoption fund. We are getting closer to our $8500 goal needed for our dossier submission! 

Thank you Hillcrest Baptist Youth!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Eleven Months!!!

     We are on the final countdown. Shy is now eleven months old and that  does not seem possible. She is already planning her first birthday party. (Okay, maybe Mom is!) She can get around wherever she desires via crawling if she needs to get there quick, or cruising if she wants to show off and make us clap. She loves our praise! She continues to make various sound effects and mimics our sounds. She is quite puzzled with Dad's "elephant sound". She has added some new vocabulary...she says Eli! All of the other siblings are vying to be the next name she calls out. She waves hello and bye bye, but they are different. She waves her arm up and down for hello, and open and closes her fists (yes, both) for bye bye. She has grown very fond of her binkey and knows it by name. If I ask for it, she will sometimes give it to me. She also has a new game she loves to play. she will take and item (sometimes part of her dinner) and throw it on the floor and say "uh oh". She loves her bath, laughing and splashing nonstop. She is only waking once during the night around eleven or twelve. It will be bittersweet saying goodbye to our late night cuddle time. She has her two top teeth ready to come in any day. Her new favorite food is cottage cheese. She is super busy and getting much harder to photograph, having no time at all to pose for mom's camera today! 
And, she is still always a happy girl!



 She loves to play the drums with big spoons and pots from the cabinets.
 Being doted on for a moment!

Standing all by herself. She will be walking in no time!

"Bye Bye" She is so proud of herself. 
And it is perfectly fine with us that she is waving at herself!
Always a daredevil!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

DIY Style

I should have labeled SAVE as one of my few resolutions in a January blog post. We kind of thought our resolve to live frugally deemed us successful in that aspect. Where I do believe we do very well in that area, we did not exactly envision ourselves in the midst of a very expensive adoption mid-year. If you have not tuned in lately, we are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia! It costs a pretty penny, but it nothing in comparison to the plight of these children at this very moment. As a result we are taking a number of additional measures to cut costs and save money. So...

...I got a new toy in the mail a few days ago! Actually two, a pair of hair trimmers and an edger. One more thing to add to the list of actions taken to save money. Calculating a haircut for each boy every 8 weeks and one for Dad every 6 weeks, each costing approximately $15 (we did the Wal-Mart $10 Tuesdays plus tip), that came to approximately $315 per year save. May not sound like much to you, but that calculates to 63 miles closer to our children in Ethiopia! Changes perspective for some of us. Now, I must admit I have been completely traumatized in the past after giving Eli a very bad haircut as a toddler. This has taken a great deal of courage on my part to even agree to attempt this feat. I know that hair grows back, but not immediately! Here we go!

Victim #1 before...

 ...and after!

Victim #2 before...

...and after!

That was enough hair to keep a small animal warm during the winter!

Now I still have some courage building to do before I attempt my husband's hair. He does have to appear professional in the business world. My kids just have to look cool...or so they think!