"Anyone can have one kid. But going from one kid to two is like going from owning a dog to running a zoo." - P. J. O'Rourke

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Re-living My Childhood

I went camping this weekend.  Most of my family had other commitments, but Emily, Raelea, Zoe and I met up with my sister, Deb, and her family at William O'Brien State Park.  We camped a LOT when I was a kid, and one of our favorite campgrounds in Minnesota was O'Brien State Park.  We went there many, many times while I was growing up.

It was so fun to spend the weekend there again!  The weather was only so-so (rain on Saturday), but we had a fun time hiking, playing, eating and generally being strange.  Mom and Dad also came out to join us for lunch and a hike on Sunday.  So much fun!!

Deb modeling the latest in rain poncho fashion

The kids looked like a bunch of colorful ghosts.

The kids made dream catchers with the rangers at the park.

The sun came out today, and Raelea couldn't wait to climb down by the water.
 
Zoe & Max having a little bonding time.

The leaves are just starting to change along the St. Croix

Happy hikers

What?  You mean you DON"T let your girls throw tomahawks? 



Had a really great weekend and can't wait to go again with more of my family!



The Day Has Come

Almost 20 years ago, I knew this time would come.  I knew it was inevitable, and I knew it was a good thing.  Now that it's here, I know that it is a good thing...but that doesn't mean I can't be a little sad about it.


Yes, as of today, Evan no longer lives under our roof. His room is empty (sort of), and his stuff is gone.  I am SO happy for him to be venturing out on his own, and sad for me to be missing him.  Truly, I just don't get those parents who can't wait for their kids to move out.  Even my kids who drive me batty some days, I will miss horribly when the time comes for them to fly out of the nest.

The room is being claimed by Nina, but the bed will soon have Molly sleeping on it.  With seven kids still under the roof, nothing remains vacant for long!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Aidan's Assessment

Aidan has been in a public school for four weeks now.  Emily asked him if he liked it better than being homeschooled.  His response? "It's more entertaining."

There you have it, folks!  A personal assessment of Aidan's public school experience thus far.  Apparently, homeschool is boring.  I'll need to work on that, I guess ;-)

Thought You Should Know

Tomorrow's my birthday!

Just thought I should give you all a head's up!

You're welcome!

It will be my 19th time turning 29.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Little Mid-Week Music

A little Castlecomer to brighten up your week.  Here they are with a mash-up of a Matt Corby song and a Haim song.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Cost of Adoption

Since we've done this adoption thing a few times, people frequently ask us questions about adopting.  Sometimes they're just curious, but often they are interested in adopting themselves.  They want to know "how it all works."

One question that comes up frequently is, "How much does adoption cost?"  Pretty straightforward question...or is it?  I could (and sometimes do) give a dollar amount.  Let's see, domestically it costs about $15,000 to $30,000.  Internationally it costs upward of $25,000.  It's expensive!

Usually, I leave my answer at that.  This week however, I have been reflecting on REAL cost of adopting.

"How much does adoption cost?"

It will cost you your life.

The dollar amounts above no longer look like much when put in proper perspective.  The checks written out to finance your adoption are the easiest, least painful cost you will pay.

I'm not anti-adoption.  I LOVE adoption!  I am very pro-adoption!!  I am also very pro-truth!  No one is benefited when something is promoted in ignorance.  No one.

So what do I mean by "it will cost you your life?"  Well, all parenting costs you your life in some sense.  Once you become a parent, you will learn to die to your selfish desires.  You will give up sleep.  You will give up hobbies.  You will give up a clean house.  The list goes on and on.

When you adopt, you may have to add to the "normal" list.  You may give up being understood by most other parents.  You may give up your vacation because you need to pay for therapy for your child.  You may give up time alone with your spouse because you can't leave your kids with a babysitter.  You may give up being loved back by a child you love.  You may give up being safe in your own home.

Does adoption always cost those things?  No, of course not.  Does it sometimes cost that much?  Yes, and sometimes much more.

Is it worth the price you pay?  Absolutely.  It may not always FEEL worth it, but it IS most definitely worth it.

"Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of what falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."  - Jesus (John 12:24)


The Grinch Came Early


Who knew?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Aidan in Action

Just in case you don't get the opportunity to come to one of Aidan's games, here's your chance to see him in action...

8th Grade Football

When you have teams made up of 13 year olds to almost 15 year olds, like you do in 8th grade football, you end up with some rather "mismatched" teams.  Take tonight's game as a case in point.

On the left are a couple of our players.  On the right are a few players of the opposing team.

Not sure what they're feeding those boys up there, but apparently it's not the same thing we're giving our guys!  Yikes!  I'm just thankful that our boys made it through the game without any serious injuries!!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

(Happy Birthday)²

Birthday Month mania continues at our house. Today we had birthday times two, as Aidan & Emily celebrated their Golden birthday.  Hard to believe they are 14 already.


Aidan & Emily, you are both such a blessing to our family and it is such a privilege to be your mom.

Happy birthday to my favorite twins!  I love you tons!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Start the Weekend Off Right

Nothing like a little Bastille to get your weekend off to a great start!  Trust me!


Free Advertising

I bought (on clearance) a new Horny Toad shirt a few weeks back from Title Nine.  It's long-sleeved, so I haven't worn it until today.  Within the first three hours of wearing it I already received four compliments on how I looked. This, in and of itself, wouldn't be blog-worthy, but when you add it to the following story....

I bought a Horny Toad dress a few years ago (from REI, if you care to know), and in the description of the dress it said if you do not receive a compliment about how you look within the first two or three wearings of the dress, you could return it for a full refund.  I thought that was a pretty odd statement, but whatever!  So, I got the dress.  Sure enough, the very first time I wore it I got a really nice compliment.  And, every time I wear it, I get complimented.

So, now I own two Horny Toad items (actually I have a pair of shorts by them, too), and I get wonderful compliments every time I put them on.  I like that!!  If I'm ever feeling down about myself, I think I'll just pull out one of those items.  Better yet, I think I will ONLY buy Horny Toad clothing from now on!!

Compliments aside, this shirt is the most comfortable thing ever!  AND, and this is an important and to me, the sleeves are long enough - a perennial problem for me and my monkey arms.

So folks, it's totally worth the money to go out and buy all the Horny Toad clothing you need and can afford!

The end.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sweet Sixteen

It seems like just yesterday that this sweet girl was a little smiley baby!  Now look at her!  Almost all grown up and still as smiley as ever.


Love you, Molly Doll!  Your beautiful inside and out.   I hope this year brings you much joy and excitement!

Memories Made

So.....many....emotions!

I'm home.  Back from that little festival I went to.  After an amazing weekend, great music, precious little sleep and 12 hours in the car, I'm a little emotional.

Instead of a weepy, reminiscing post I will sum up the weekend in some short phrases or words - each one has a story (stories) behind it, each one carries a precious memory of my time in Guthrie...OH!  now I've done it, I'm crying....

Okay...

Here's the list...

  1. Sisters of the Road (Oh, man, I'm crying again!)
  2. Hugs!
  3. Ivan
  4. HOT
  5. Graffiti
  6. Dust
  7. Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
  8. Wal-mart
  9. Bastille
  10. Rythm of the Night
  11. Walking
  12. 5:00 AM
  13. Ice
  14. Security Guards
  15. WATER!
  16. The Vaccines
  17. "We love you!"  **usually said to #14 because of #13 and #15
  18. Adam
  19. Kansas
  20. Half Moon Run
  21. Lucy
  22. Hair freedom
  23. Tattoo
  24. "If you close your eyes...."
  25. God
  26. Spring
  27. Barrier
  28. Drum stick
  29. Mumford & Mums
  30. Sunscreen
  31. Sweat
I'll stop now. Feel free to ask for the story behind any of those, if you're interested.  I'd be happy to share memories with those that are interested.  For now, a few pictures...

FINALLY, I got to hug some of my Sisters of the Road!!  Notice the intensely happy face!

Graffiti was encouraged, so we obliged (thanks to Ben for the fine artwork!)

  • More SOTR arrived the next day!

    Molly & Ben doing the festival thing in Guthrie.

    Sunrise at the queue.

    Waiting for gates

    Barrier spot secured.  LOOOOONNNNNGGGGG wait in the heat.  Ice in a bottle is a glorious gift!


    Notice how much happier they look now that the sun has set!!!  It's almost Mumford time!!

    As I've said before, it doesn't matter if there are 100 people or 30,000 people at the concert if they're all behind you!  And yes, there were 30,000 people there.

    Just about the only decent picture I got of M & S.  I'm lousy at taking concert pictures and I would MUCH rather just enjoy the show.  And enjoy it I did...thoroughly...even though I had just seen them three days prior...and no I am not obsessed....okay, maybe just a little bit....

    Oh, one last thing....
    it's mine now :-D



  • Tuesday, September 3, 2013

    SIsters of the Road Trip

    I have been woefully negligent in keeping you all up-to-date on the impending road trip to Guthrie, Oklahoma.  I hope none of you have lost any sleep wondering if I was, indeed, still going to trek 11 hours south to hear some bands play.

    Rest assured the road trip is still on.  I have just had precious little time to blog about it, what with school starting and all.  Sending two girls off to community college for the first time, and then today sending Aidan off to the public school for the first time, I have been a busy little beaver.

    Oh, and then there's that little concert thing I'm going to here in St. Paul tomorrow...

    Let's not forget teaching my first science class at co-op tomorrow, as well.

    And prepping for school to start next Monday here.

    And Meal planning for Chris, so that they have things to eat while I'm away.....

    Yeah.  It's been a little crazy around here.

    I will probably be out of touch of the blog until I arrive back in Minnesota on Sunday. :-(  Sorry about that.  It's hard to blog from my ipod, and there will be no internet at the campground, I'm sure.  I will try to post stuff on Facebook and Instagram as the opportunity arises, but if you don't hear from me, just rest assured that I am having a GREAT time.

    And, oh, the stories I will have to tell upon my return!

    Ta ta!

    How Did This Happen

    Can someone please explain to me how my little girl has reached the age of SEVEN?  This is so weird having my youngest child be that old!
    Well, even if it's hard to believe, it has indeed happened.  Zoe turned SEVEN today! 

    Happy birthday, little Zo-bug!  We love you so much.  You make us smile every day, and we're so happy you're our daughter!

    Monday, September 2, 2013

    It Can't Be

    My beautiful Nina has turned 17!

    I love her spunky, tell-it-like-it-is attitude.  I love her sense of humor and her generosity.  I love her intuitiveness and how she can always tell when I'm down or sad.  I love that she is her own person.  I love her through and through!  So privileged to be her mom.

    Happy birthday, Sweet Nina!  We love you tons!!