Sunday, November 29, 2009

The First Hike






Luke & Nathan had never gone hiking before, or at least they had never done anything that was called a "hike". I explained that we would
take a long walk in the woods.

They asked, "Why?"

I assured them it would be fun but I think they were sceptical. They did have fun though! We all love hiking now!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Of to A Good Start

This morning I was able to take a shower with NO frantic knocks on the door with the accompanying "Mommy Mommy! Usually this happens at least 4 times during the short time I am in the bathroom. Yay! Progress! (I really enjoyed the peace too!)

Later, when I was getting breakfast ready, I did not have one person remind me, "I'm hungry." This normally happens multiple times and can really try my patience since, there I am - MAKING the breakfast!

Also, I got the food on the table unnoticed! All three boys were busy playing. This is huge! My kids are really starting to relax about food! This is the biggest encouragement for me. It is a joy to see my children able to relax about food. Thank you God for healing for my children & a much more peaceful morning for me! :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Blind Side

I am dying to see this movie! Anyone seen it? Comments? I think I am going to need plenty of kleenex!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Brothers



Nathan spent some one-on-one time with Daddy today, & Mark & Luke attended a "Pack a Shoe Box Party" (Operation Christmas Child) with me. They decided they wanted to make sure everyone knew they were brothers so they got dressed in similar outfits. I even heard them happily commenting,
"We look like twins!" which I LOVED!

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Cool Dude


Mark is seven now. He is smart, fun, intense & very strong. When he was about two & a half years old he started moving our couch when there was a toy underneath that he wanted. I would tell my friends that he could move the couch & they would think I was exaggerating, but then I'd ask him to demonstrate and sure enough...

Mark is not just physically strong though. He also has a good strong will. Before we brought Luke & Nathan home from Ghana, I had many moments of concern over how Mark would adjust to his two younger brothers. I tried to prepare him in every way possible. I prayed. I worried. I prayed some more. I decided God had a plan. Duh...I know! :)

We have all been together about 10 weeks now (counting our 4 weeks in Accra) & I am amazed & thrilled to report that Mark is doing GREAT! He is doing so much better than I dared hope. John & I are both so grateful & thankful. We don't take the credit for it, that's for sure. It is a VERY COOL thing that God is doing; there's just no better explanation for it. Mark has his moments, for sure and we are working to help him through those times, but overall, he has really stepped up to the plate of becoming a big brother. He is sharing better than we had hoped. He is caring better than we had hoped. He is loving better too. Yesterday he started giving his brothers "gifts" from his collection of stuff in his room (he is a huge "collecto"). He was really enjoying being a giver & I asked him why he was doing it. I was pretty sure I knew the answer but I wanted Luke & Nathan to hear. Mark explained the giving with, "Because I love them!" Later on, Luke & Nathan also decided to start giving gifts & even I was receiving small cars & plastic horses - awesome! Ha!

Today is a new day, of course, and we have already had plenty of squabbles etc. (Two out of the three boys have very strong wills after all!) but I am hanging on to Mark's words & actions & hanging on to HOPE that yes, of course God has a plan. Duh!

It is really cool to see it working out in my "cool dude" Mark.
I am so proud of him & thankful to my Heavenly Father!


Visit To The Train Museum







So many times in the past year, we would go on a family outing & I would be painfully aware that there were two family members missing. Sad, sad feelings!
The train museum was one of those places... so it was a really happy time for us to ALL be able to go there this weekend.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thanksgiving Tree

We created a "Thanksgiving Tree" today in school. It was interesting to see what each boy was thankful for.


Mark:
smoke detectors
Dad
Mom
Baby Jesus
Luke & Nathan (Awesome!)
Lego.com
Birds


Luke:
Jesus forgives our sins
Jesus rescues us
Mommy
Dad
My Sunday School teachers
Dad loves Mom (Oh my heart!)
Baby Jesus
My family
My new home
Two beautiful dogs


Nathan:
Black horses (we just watched "The Black Stallion")
Cheetah
Horses


Monday, November 9, 2009

Thought To Ponder

"How we live our days is how we live our lives."

Francis Chan

First Dr's Appointment

Luke E. & Nathan G. had their wellness check ups today. They are doing well & have each gained about two pounds in the last month. Yeah! :)

They did have to begin their vaccinations today though -lots of tears & fears. (And not just for me either! Ha!) Later on though Luke commented that,"...but Mommy was with us ..." as if that was a really helpful thing for him, so I felt great about that at least. I do think we are all doing well in growing in attachment. Both boys feel comfortable to come up & share hugs & kisses with me. (I LOVE it!) and both are becoming more & more comfortable to play-wrestle with & hug & kiss their Dad. I love to hear all four of them playing together. Those little boys giggles are SO PRECIOUS!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fun At The Park




Their tongues are out because they were pretending to be puppies.

This isn't a remarkable photo but I love how Nathan's belly is hanging out!
So cute!


Mark & Nathan Godfred


Nathan LOVES to play in the water - even washing his hands is fun to him &
he'll do it for ages if I let him.


"Spider Man/Men"!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Posing With Our New Friends



Last week we got to go to an Operation Christmas Child/Veggie Tales party. The kids got to meet Bob & Larry & watch the new Veggie Tales movie,
"Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving". Fun!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bits n' Pieces fromThursday

We are having a good day today! This morning all three boys were being so nice to each other. I asked Mark about it & he said that he woke up with a "new idea" to be nice! Yay - I love that "new" idea! :)

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Conversation I overheard today:

Older brother: "I can do this so well! You will be very impressed when you see!"
Younger brother: "I have to poop." (Obviously very impressed!)

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We also talked today about getting married. The boys were interested in how John & I got to know each other & how we decided to marry etc. One of them said he didn't think he would get married because everyone he knew
was already married. I asked him about that, & it turned out he was forgetting that all the children his age were going to grow up right along with him. He had just noticed that all the ladies of marriageable age that he knew (like my friends) were already taken! :)

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Another thing we did together today was listen to an old Geoff Moore album with the song "Friends For Life" on it. I told the boys that I hoped they would grow up to all be each others' best friends. They obviously thought about that, because later that day when we were praying together, one of them asked God to "help them all grow up to be good friends". Such prayers are music to this Mom's ears!






Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I read a biography of Mother Theresa earlier this year & it gave me a lot of food for thought. A quote of hers I've been thinking about is:

"Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary.
What we need is to love without getting tired."


Obviously, at least in my way of thinking, this kind of loving is not possible without God's help. At times I am really sensing God strengthening me in this way & at other times I feel I might only get a C if I was being graded. Good thing I've learned that I can show love whatever my feelings! An even better good thing is that God is patient with me & is merciful! :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fun At A Friends'

I'm not sure about the sticker on the forehead thing, but it's a very
minor issue at this point! :)




This is one of the few pics I got of Mark. He doesn't like to pose for me
& he is QUICK!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Farm Field Trip

After our field trip, Mark wrote, "The pigs are playing and eating and I ran and playd and playd. " He said the picture is of him and "Charlie", the dog.
Luke wrote, "Today I saw a donkey. I ran with the donkey."

Nathan Godfred & "Daisy"

Mark & baby "Maggie" - only 11 weeks old!

Mark & "Charlie"


Luke E. & Nathan G. can't wait to learn how to ride a golf cart!
Nathan & "Maggie"

Monday

We are getting into more of a routine, which has been really good. Our days look something like this:

*Up at 7am
*Breakfast
*Get dressed
*School begins around 8am
*Snack at 10am
*More school or play or visit library, chores
*Lunch at noon
*Nap from 1-3pm (If the older boys aren't tired they can read books or play quietly in their beds. This resting time has been VERY important & helpful to us, and not just for needed rest, but also for a break from each other)
*Video after nap for those who have been well behaved
*Play outside, visit with friends etc.
*Dinner
*Play with Dad/family time
*Baths
*Bed around 8:30pm

We have plenty of exceptions to this schedule but this is our basic model. On Wednesdays the kids all have classes at our church from 9-11:30am. On Thursdays the two oldest have "Gym & Swim" from 9-11am. We always have lots of play dates, time at the YMCA, & field trips too.

Today we are going on a trip to visit a farm. Afterwards, Mark & Luke will write about what they saw, heard & touched. Nathan will tell me about what he noticed.

More fun to come this afternoon too, but I will write about that & try to have some pictures later.