Friday, October 30, 2009

Tiring Progress

I am tired! John has been having loooooooong work days lately. We are a great team together & I really feel it when my team mate is not here. However, we are still making some good progress. This photo shows how cold the boys were when they first arrived. They were wearing their winter coats in the house & one night they even wore winter hats to bed! (We had the heat on - honest!) Since then they have acclimatized very quickly. At first I kept asking them if they were cold but then I realized they really were feeling OK now. I did NOT adapt to the heat of Ghana that quickly - kids are amazing!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Thing are going really well at our house. I am very thankful! But we certainly do have our issues. They just are not fazing me too much (usually!) because they all seem within the range of normal so far.

Food issues - check
Tears - check
Whining - check
Squabbling - check
Insecurity - check
Approximately 2,047 questions for Mom each day (that do sometimes tire one out) - check
Meltdowns - check
Silent moods - check

I won't go on - you get the idea. But, these things ARE normal for us right now, I think? And I still think we are doing really well. I have read about so many families that have dealt with so much more difficult problems, I am just counting myself blessed & taking our "issues" one day (or one hour) at a time.

Sometimes when I read other people's blogs, fear tries to take a hold in me & occasionally I have let it move in & stay awhile. But fear does nothing to help me prepare for the future & definitely doesn't help me in the present. I am planning on trusting God to walk with us through whatever the future holds, and dealing with our minimal issues with thankfulness (OK - this part is sometimes hard at the end of a long day!).

Just a little honesty...

School Time

Mark did school today too - I'll have to get a picture of him next time.
The problem is that he is camera shy!

Tubby Time

This is our new tub in the new bathroom - part of the home addition we built so
we would have room for our new cutie pies.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Family Fun

Luke at the playground

Upside down Mark

Nathan & Mom on a hay ride

Getting ready to go to the pool at the YMCA

Friday, October 23, 2009

Happy Snuggles

I have really missed having a baby these past few years. I was secretly hoping one of my boys would turn out to be a snuggle bunny & I got one! Nathan Godfred is my little snuggler & I am loving it! Even now, he is sitting on my lap as I type!

New Things

Luke & Nathan are trying lots of new things in America. Some have been a big hit & others NOT so much.

Things They Like:

ice cubes
new shoes
being tucked in & kissed at night
playing audio tapes in their room
Thomas the Train
gym class
riding bikes
visiting the library

Things They Don't Like:

green beans (does any kid like them?!)
cold weather
seat belts

They are great little guys & are doing very well with SO many new things to adjust to. I am cooking a variety of American foods now & just ask them to taste each thing & then if they don't like it they can always have the "old standard" chicken & rice. Nathan has also been asking for Jollof Rice so I am going to look for a good recipe for that online. It's funny,because whenever I point out a restaurant when we are out driving he'll ask, "Do they have rice?" Maybe that's a new idea for McDonald's?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wednesday & Thursday

Wednesday was Luke & Nathan's first visit to what we call "Wednesday School". It's classes for the kids & the Moms to attend from 9-11am at our church. It was also Mark's first day back in 5 weeks. All boys did pretty well. Mark said he was happy to get back to see all his friends & Luke & Nathan both played well in their class. I stayed with them & plan to do so for the next few months at least. It's not that they need me every minute, but there are a few minutes here & there that they do feel they need me & those are the important minutes I want to be there for.

We left their classes a little early so I could get Mark to a Drs' appointment on time. He, like me, has allergies & gets sinus infections easily. Luke & Nathan's Drs' appointments will begin next week. I've been trying to wait on them because they are going to involve shots & lots of them. Ouch! They always seem to hurt me at least as much as they hurt my kids. :(

Today was the boys' first day at their home school gym class. It's at a local YMCA & it is so great! The boys are with lots of other good friends & they do an hour of organized sports, followed by a hour of swimming lessons. Everyone really seemed to enjoy themselves except for Nathan who semi-cried throughout the last hour. I think he was just feeling overwhelmed &, being unable to articulate his feelings, just needed to cry a little in my arms. When that happens I hold him close & we have a good snuggle.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Poor Luke Emmanuel had to have three baby molars pulled that were in such bad shape they couldn't even be capped. That's GOT to hurt! We've got him bundled up in bed watching a movie & pumped full of Tylenol. I hope he'll be able to sleep tonight. The "Tooth Fairy" will have to be generous!


Today has been a 'mixed bag" of happy & sad, playing gloriously well for awhile & then dog-piling over a few toys. I've just put all the boys down for an early nap as they are all being crabby with each other & none are feeling completely well yet.

Luke actually, is taking Tylenol for tooth pain and is heading to the dentist at 2pm for emergency care. He needs some pretty major dental work I think. We'll get it started today & then both he & Nathan will be back again tomorrow for cleanings and x-rays.

I'm also going to the Dr. tomorrow to see if I can head off another sinus infection.

It's just another "normal" day with it's routine ups & downs. I'm thanking God for the privilege of having it at all - the good and the bad ... with my three sons.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The First Sunday

Today was our first Sunday all going to church together in USA! It was a normal Sunday in many ways, but only God knows just how many prayers have gone up in the last months & years, asking Him for this day. AWESOME!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Today John stayed home with three boys with "the sniffles" & I did the weekly shopping run - Walmart, Ross & SAM'S Club. I enjoyed the time driving alone - time to talk to God & to reflect a little on how things are going in our family.

This is a tiring but really precious time as we are taking our first "baby steps" together. Today was the first day one of my sons felt comfortable enough to run up and hug John when he came in from mowing the neighbor's field. Today was also the day he asked me what would happen if he was sent away by relatives & left all alone & he didn't know anyone & he had to hide in the woods at night. Of course I assured him that Mom & Dad are here to always take care of him & we talked about how God says in the Bible, "Do not be afraid, for I am with you..." but my Mother's heart aches for my little one who thinks to ask such questions.

It's a tender, tiring, precious time.
I am thankful for the love & support of good friends & family.
I am thankful for a wonderful husband, who is also a fantastic Dad.
I am thankful for a Heavenly Father Who has always proven Himself faithful in my life. I can tell my children of His trustworthiness & be absolutely sure of Him myself. I am so thankful for that.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Honeymoon Over?

I think we are moving out of the initial "honeymoon stage" where everyone is on their best, careful behaviour. I knew it would happen & it is a good thing because it is part of the process of us becoming a family all together BUT, the last two days have not been fun! Lots of tears (all three boys - not me yet!), fits, testing of boundaries, whining, squabbling, tattling etc. etc. I am praying for wisdom & maintaining our 1-3 pm nap time so we can all get a good break from each other. Tomorrow is Sat. & John will be home. We will all be happy to have Daddy around - for parenting "back up" & for fun! :)

On a more positive note, I still think we are all doing pretty well. We are managing to get some home school done every day & are playing well together at least some of the time - play dough, painting, train set etc. We also went to the library together today & each boy signed out 2 books & 1 movie. Every baby step counts & I am proud of each persons' efforts. Still...I am tired! Must go rest while boys are resting!

P.S. I got sweet note from Luke and Mark yesterday. "We love Mommy." That's going in my journal! :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009


All my boys are sick. :( They have a sniffly cold with fever. I don't think it's going to be serious, but they are all just "so-so" & could not go to their home schoolers' gym class today. Staying home is NOT my favorite thing but we are keeping busy with daily school lessons, playing basketball & painting.

I am trying to decide how to handle sibling "squabbling" - any advice from more experienced Moms? I don't always want to be a referee. They are already pros at bugging each other.

P.S. I got my first kiss from my 5 year old today. Pure "Mommy Bliss"! :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday Pictures

John & Luke Emmanuel

Nathan Godfred's idea for how to play frisbee (note the beloved cowboy boots that he likes to wear everywhere!)



John & Nathan

Monday, October 12, 2009

Misc. Ghana Photos

Christina was a big help to me in so many ways!

Mark took this pic of Luke E. & I love it!

Of course, I had to make friends with Kabob.

My cute niece, Olivia

More Ghana Pics

*my boys, plus cousin Levi, trying to "Crack The Egg"
( bounce Daddy) on the trampoline

*Luke & Nathan at their very first restaurant (in Accra)

What My Days Are Full Of

*three meals & two snacks
*nap from 1-3
*pint sized super heroes in my living room
*poor Nathan car sick ... again...
*first trip to the library
*learning how to put on socks...and remembering to add shoes before going outside
*Mt.Everest of laundry
*happy, happy giggles
*pure delight on Mark's face a few times - he is so glad to have brothers to play with
*playing "Go Fish"
*watching Veggie Tales
*praying together as a family
*my first kiss from my 4 year old :)
*lots of snuggles
*lots of guidance
*some correction
*lots of questions for Mom
*a few tantrums - pretty mild though
*lots of playing outside
*tubby baths
*wrestling with Dad
*My heart full & singing with joy! God has brought my children home!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Family Of Five At Last!

I LOVE this picture! It's going in a frame on my bedside table asap!

Today I just wept for joy at finally having my 3 children all safe in my arms & in our USA home. Thank You God!

Airplane ride home

Welcome to America - now let's go to the Fair!

We all had a lot of fun at the Fair. It was John's choice for what he wanted to do
on his birthday!

Luke E. even got to be in a magic show - he was delighted!

Luke E. & Nathan G. LOVE dressing up as Super Heroes.

Fun in our back yard

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Our First Days At Home

The first few days at home have kind of been like an extended Christmas morning. So many things are new & exciting to the boys. Ice cubes! Twin beds! Apples! Pet chickens! Microwave! Dishwasher! Our own van! Socks! (You don't need to wear them in Ghana) Strawberry scented shampoo!

The Trips Home

Mark & I had a long trip - Accra, Amsterdam, Detroit & finally Charlotte. Mark rested pretty well but I was only able to sleep maybe 4 hours out of the 24. Yuck! We sure were glad to land in NC!

When we got home, we had friends waiting at our house with dinner ready, welcome home signs, flowers, etc & then I realized they had also been cleaning my house, moving some necessary furniture, & even making up our beds! Mark & I were kind of wandering around our house, getting reacquainted with it after being away a month, & admiring ALL the thoughtful things our friends had done. Mark said, "Oh wow Mom! They are acting just like Jesus!" He was exactly right!


John, Luke & Nathan had a more direct flight - Accra, NY, Charlotte. They all rested pretty well on the planes but Luke had trouble throwing up on the first flight. They got through US Immigration OK & ran to get on their connecting flight. John said they got there just in time for boarding. Phew!

I lay down that night, happy to be in my own bed again, & just silently worshiped God. He really CAN do anything!

Friday, October 9, 2009

We're Home!

We're all home at last & it feels GREAT! We are jet-lagged & probably more overwhelmed than we know, but I think we are all doing very well. Thank You God!

It's day # 2 in America for our boys & it's excitement & busy, busy, busy...I'll update with details soon...gotta run! :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Answered Prayer

I am sitting up in bed in the dark with the lap top as my three boys sleep. It is gradually feeling more "real" that we are now a family of five. It feels WONDERFUL! I know we surely have some really tough transition times ahead, but at this moment I am just enjoying living right in the middle of this miracle that God has done in my life.

John and I have been praying for more children for about five years now - begging the Lord to make a way for us. Meeting the two little answers to our prayers has been amazing. We are so enjoying getting to know them a little more each day.

Mark is handling all these big changes well I think. He is generally feeling a bit "crowded" but I know that will ease with time & it will help when he is back to having his own bedroom at home. All three boys have their squabbles, but they are doing pretty well joining in with family prayer time and playing together right now. John & I are monitoring them all very closely so we can address issues early on. I guess it will be a lot more tiring for me once we are home & he is back to work, but at least I will be at home - on "Mama's Turf"! :)

Prayer Time/ Send-off At Beacon House

The children all sat in a big circle around us and prayed for their friends and their new family. Precious, precious prayers!

The boys were really excited about their send-off. Luke was watching the clock and Nathan Godfred was walking around with his hat & back pack on "all ready" for at least an hour before we got started.


We got our visas today! We all came home from the Embassy and sat down together and thanked God. Everyone took turns praying and, for me, it was a little slice of heaven.

Now we are celebrating with granola bar snacks & all the boys lying on the bed & watching "Little House on the Prairie".

So, Mark & I are due to fly out tomorrow night & then John, Luke & Nathan go early Wed. am. Great excitement! "Will I see a plane Mom?" "Will they give us food?" "I think I might be scared, Mom." "I want tomorrow to come fast Mom!"

All I can say is "Thank You God!" with a BIG SMILE on my face!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Everyone except for me is sleeping well at night & I think we are all doing great in sometimes very challenging circumstances. We are all going to go to church together this morning for the first time. I need to take pictures. :)

Tomorrow is our day to pick up the boys' visas & I will be so relieved when they are in safely in hand.

Thanks for your continued prayer support.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

First Night & First Morning

Last night Luke & Nathan fell asleep well before John & Mark & me. At one point one of them stirred & I had to laugh as all of us - Mark included - sat straight up to check on them! :) I slept all night like that - every little sound caused this Mom to wake up. It was a lot like the first night you bring your new born baby home from the hospital. Everyone else did fine though.

This morning Luke asked me if he could have an apple for breakfast. It was his first apple ever! Then he tried his first peanut butter. Fun!

Friday, October 2, 2009

"Forever Family Day"

Today was it! October 2, 2009 is our first "Forever Family Day". Thank You Jesus! Thank You Jesus! You are the one who put this in our hearts in the very beginning & You are the one who has brought it altogether. I am in AWE of You!

Tonight John & I tucked in our two youngest sons, prayed with them & lay down with them until they fell asleep (did not take long!) for the very first time. My heart is full.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Post Embassy Appointment

Here we are after 4 hours waiting at the Embassy & the taxi ride back to Beacon House. The kids all did great!
Nathan Godfred was really TIRED - thus the sad face.
I went to check on them later in the day & they were both fast asleep.

Another sweet little princess helping out with the lunch dishes