Monday, August 30, 2010

What We've Been Up To Lately...

The Fair is in early October, so the boys & I have been preparing/creating the many projects they will enter into competition. They are doing all kinds of crafts as well as fine art. I'm entering 6 chickens. :) The ones above are, l-r: Mottled Houdan (French), Silver Laced Wyandotte (English) & Australorp (Australian).

Another big project of ours (John's really!) is building a new deck. We are really excited about having a pretty space to use our patio furniture. 

The last photo is my home schooling supplies, all organized. I took forever to get it done, but was pleased with the results. We are studying with the "My Father's World" curriculum this year & so far, we love it. It has a strong history & geography base. We are doing 3rd grade, 1st grade & Pre-school! Phew! 

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I glanced out the back door & what did I see? Three little boys that had invented a new use for the slide! I couldn't resist catching them on camera (without them knowing) & then telling them to STOP! I love Mark's expression on the second shot. It's almost like he is thinking, "This is a bad idea & I'm going to get caught!"

Monday, August 23, 2010

Going Out - Navigating the World as a Multi-Racial Family

I used to like going out - just wherever - the park, the Mall, a walk down the street. I still do. Usually. I have learned that I need to "prepare"though. Get my "game face" on.

It always takes me by surprise though. I'll be all set for a dumb or mean comment (like, "Do they have AIDS?" Yes, I have really been asked that!!@###!!) & none will happen & then I'll be just in a moment of living & BAM! I'll get hit with a "comment"! Ahhhh! 

Yesterday, it happened when we were at Luke's soccer game. We were just arriving & trying to figure out which field we were assigned, when Luke came up to me, called me "Mom", and a nearby stranger shrieked, "Mom!!?!!", as if it was a bad word or some freak show event. A sliver of panic shot through me as I looked to see if my sweet son had registered her reaction. He didn't. Apparently. Phew! I addressed her, "Yes, this is my sweet little boy." Done. Moving on, getting away...didn't slap her...good job...

Honestly, most people are nice, polite & some are even downright supportive. Some ask questions & that is OK because they are kind, interested & respectful. 

It's easy for me to become guarded though. Even insecure. Ugh! Hate that! If we are out in public, I try not to "read into" others glances. Do they think we are a family or that I am babysitting? Do they think the kids' skin looks too dry? Their hair? I get so many comments about their hair. So many women, all strangers, feel compelled to give me hair advice - use this brand, this method... shock - that I might be doing it kind of right (so I feel good - ah - approval...why do I even care - this is a complete stranger?!) or condemnation - "That hair is WAY too dry!" (shame on me - bad Mom!)  

Or, it could be..."Are these kids yours? Are you their Mom? Are they brothers?" (pointing at my African kids) I answer, "Yes, they are all brothers." They'll say, "No, I mean 'real' brothers",  as if they are somehow not 'real' because their skin is a different color. "Yes", I'll say. "They are biological brothers, but of course, now they are all brothers." (My attempt to educate) 

Yes, I am venting. Thank you for listening & understanding & not commenting that I need to not care what others think (I already know that.) Thank you for just loving me & my precious kids that I feel protective of. I need that love & I really appreciate it. 

At the end of the day, I think I am OK. The boys are OK. I am so very thankful for our family & I love that we are just who we are , differences & all. I vow to keep my attitude good (with God's help) & to keep answering as politely as I can, to try to kindly educate as best I can. I will continue to do my best to protect the boys, to attempt to protect them from feeling like they are on display & the subject of  gossip.

Thanks again for listening to my thoughts, my venting, my emotion. This is just a glimpse inside my head...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

John this one of my sweetheart with Nathan

Family Fun

On this particular day, our family fun consisted of posing with bears & "beating on" each other. Hmmmm...that sounds a bit strange! :) 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

BBC World Service - News - Hamas founder's son 'spied for Israel'

BBC World Service - News - Hamas founder's son 'spied for Israel': "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

This article & video are well worth watching. Very, very interesting! 


Sometimes we still have cultural mix-ups at our house.

Child: "Mommy, my tummy hurts." I think it might be because I ate the string with sugar on it." (It turned out to be flavored dental floss.)

We often still have things like this happening in our home, ten months after the boys have arrived in the USA. Sometimes I get very tired & frustrated that I am still having to coach showers ("No bar soap on your head. Only wash your hair once. 3-5 shampoos are not necessary.") I also have to keep the toothpaste put away so that it is not quickly eaten. 

John recently reminded me that the boys have only been practicing such behaviors for ten months or less out of their entire lives. Would I expect a 10 month old baby to have mastered these things? Well, no I wouldn't!'s all in the perspective sometimes, isn't it? 

Overall, the boys are doing great & we are very proud of their hard work to adjust to a new culture & to open up their hearts to dare to trust again.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Another Anti-Perfection Shot (This is the nastiest yet!)

OK, I really had to think about posting this one, because it is so GROSS! But, if I'm going to be keeping it real here, this qualifies. So...

This picture is the corner of my bed. See the yellow part? I noticed that recently & unhappily realized that it was from a certain visitor dog who had felt the need to leave his "signature"in my bedroom! Ugh!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Mark is eight now, & about to begin third grade. He has grown up so much this past year & has truly "stepped up" to the position of older brother. He definitely has his moments with his little brothers, but he often surprises me with his kind & generous big brother heart. He has come SO far & I am really proud of him! 
Love you buddy!

(Mark & a Sadie, a doggie friend who stays with us sometimes)