Tuesday, June 30, 2009


All those lovely bargain priced pots of flowers are IN the garden! I started before
8AM and wasn't done until after 11, but I am pleased with the results. I knew exactly where I wanted to put a lot of those plants but the tree roots from my Red Bud tree restrict my creativity more than I like it to. The French drain system under the garden AND the water pipes from the house don't help much either! Add to that how many early spring bulbs I discovered in the holes I was trying to dig, and how much time I added to my project re-planting dozens of now -dormant grape hyacinth, mini-daffodil and crocus bulbs............what I thought would take about 3 hours took way more than twice that in three different very dirty, sweaty sessions!I think I dug at least 8 or 9 holes for hibiscus plants and at least that many more for dahlias and begonias, only to be stopped by big, deep-down, or close -set tree roots which kept me from completing the holes and putting the plants where, in my mind's eye, they would look the best. I like to get up close and personal when I am gardening too, so I typically only use my little hand shovel. This is my "catch all the little weeds and grasses while I plant" technique and except for when I dig a BIG hole which can't be dug deep enough, is not a bad strategy. I can honestly say that 90% of the weed grass and grass roots I do notwnat living in my garden are now gone. I was more than 12 " down most of the time and I am now VERY familiar with the inner workings of my flower beds! IF I am diligent with watering and weeding, it should stay pretty out front. I saw lots of worms hard at work, and didn't find very many grub worms or other unwelcome guests hatching or hiding in the soil. Naomi came out and kept me company for while and invited me to come swim when I finished. THAT was so refreshing! Even being in the middle of a rather raucous game of Marco Polo while "lounging" on my floatie felt WONDERFUL after all that digging. AND, I rebuked my really bad habit of not faithfully wearing my garden gloves, so: NO blisters, no scrub-proof dirt under my nails, and NO broken finger nails!!
Malachi and Sopheak got back a bit ago, sleepy from the long drive, but safe and sound. Its SO good to have them home!!!
NEXT : off to Tulsa with Hannah and Jon and Mady to Baby Charlie's 4 D ultrasound!!! IF IF IF he can wrap up work early enough Papa Charlie will be there too!! He never got to be at an ultrasound with me for the last tow bio babes we had for which ultrasound was available, so this will be a neat treat for him!!!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Photos from the shower and Daniel's room...coming together!

Putting the pieces together...

Shower gifts on display! Even an outfit with a hat that I am pretty sure will fit Daniel and a great baby Guy diaper bag. Fun clothes I can't wait to PLAY WITH and a sling to wear my new little son in too

Yes, there is one photo of me at the shower; thanks daughter Hannah!

I tried to drape the gingham fabric over the curtain rod for some staged photos to show up the color match, but I didn't like the photos...DELETED. The fabric is PERFECTLY matched with our paint and our nursery decor. I am so pleased!!!!

I love these photos!!

Malachi and Sopheak are driving home from Florida right now, but their friend Hanna with whom they stayed ,took some AWESOME photos. OF COURSE, she had some beautiful subject matter with these two sweet young people and that gorgeous beach!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

hard to blog with no power

We had 18 brown outs yesterday!!!!!!! Somewhere around #12 the internet went out and stayed out. It returned sometime this afternoon. For NOW. When the temps are well over 103 degrees and some people are reacting by attempting to recreate the Arctic Circle inside their homes, the power grid can't keep up. Even those of us who keep our summer indoor temp at 82 are affected equally with those who are wearing sweaters during the day and covering up with ("needed") blankets at night. I am thankful for for cooled air , but DO NOT find my self enamored of $400+ electric bills in summer, much less the couple of bills in times past which topped the $550 mark ,and whose bank account -stripping -kilowatt hours did NOT make us "cool" anyhow. When it gets "Really Hot" in the house, we go OUTSIDE for a few minutes. It is AMAZING how C O L D that 82 degrees feels after spending some time in the "Real temp". Truly, none of us complain much, or often. We spend enough time outside doing farm chores, fishing, playing, gardening,whatever, we really DO appreciate that it is cooler indoors. Having just finished reading HEAVENLY MAN, I am convicted about complaining over ANYTHING, particularly "not being cool enough". Brother Yun, as you may recall I have mentioned in earlier posts, is a Chinese Believer who spent years in prison, was tortured horribly, beaten, starved, and lived in almost indescribable conditions, yet he chose to be joyful IN his circumstances and to serve the Lord with GLADNESS.
That said, I am GLAD and thankful to be in my very comfortable and reasonably cooled home, sitting near a small table fan, utilizing electricity which does not require the frequent purchases of gasoline to run a generator for a limited, and unpredictable amount of time, glad to have the ability to communicate by using my (currently un-interrupted/non- brown-outed) electricity.
So what all was going on while we had brown outs? We ate the first cucumbers and tomoatoes from the garden, my/ Daniel's baby shower was Friday night at church. Saturday, Charlie got bit by a Brown Recluse spider and spent the afternoon at the walk-in clinic having the bite assessed. He has a big swollen area around a nasty black bite -site, he got so fevery, achey, nauseated, fatigued....yahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. HE said he started feeling sick about 3PM. HE went to bed and didn't even wake up till after noon today. Trustfully it will respond to antibiotics and trustfully there will be no significant necrosis from the venom. Esther and Malachi have both been bitten, suffered necrosis of the sites, but while the bites were UGLY, did not require surgery. Some really do!!!!
Someone took photos at the shower, but NOT Esther, to whom I gave my camera.
I will post photos of some of the gifts we received as they are REALLY FUN!!!!!!!!!!!! Hannah and Esther both gave me "IOU" s. Hannah had ordered something which had not arrived and Esther said she would get Daniel something after she saw what he was still needing. CHALLENGE QUESTION: How many words can YOU make out of the words "Daniel Elijah"? I could have made more if I'd realized that the timer was in motion when Rachel spilled Sprite on Hannah, we all joked about her water breaking, and as we cleaned up the mess. I really like word games.This one was NOT representative of my WHEEL OF FORTUNE type prowess!! (little smiley sigh....) The popular game at showers around here is to smoosh candy bars up into diapers and play IDENTIFY the CANDY. If you've never played this game, I assure you, it looks really yucky and identifying those candies is not as easy as you'd think!!!!!!!!!!! It is a fun game nonetheless.
Since I love the outdoors and the heat anyhow, I was delighted yesterday to discover my favorite seasonal garden kiosk was having its end of season sale. NOT JUST 1/2 OFF, but FILL YOUR SUV for $30!!!!!!!!!! OH YES. I got hibiscus, dahlias, dianthus, pansies, petunias, Indian blanket, begonias, daisies, moss rose, lobelia, delpinium, geraniums....lots of them and a few more whose names escape me at the moment. I hve some really bald spots inthe front garden beds which are really jsut a result of time espent in the back with the vegetables, and now there will be about $450 worth of gorgeous color in the front beds which will delight me for a long time to come, especially when I remember how much money I saved when I bought them. Its cooler today, by over 10 degrees so after I take my mmom back to the nursing home I will take advantage of the relative cool, and plant my botanical treasures!!
WELL, I spoke too soon. Was just interrupted AGAIN by brown out and internet sputterings! I will be reading up on everyone else's blogs and emails as the power and internet stick with me!!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

a gumbo of a day

yes that's an accurate description...big pot of lots of different ingredients simmering. The "Simple" air filter repair job on the '01 Buick turned into a $580 repair of many things (and that was after the kind fellow at the shop (aside aside: where we get ALL our automotive work done) discounted over $75 from the initial ticket, and the "simple" recharging of the AC on our Big Green Van turned into an $800 total repair of the system, which he discounted down a little bit as well...............while the freezer was dying and did indeed cease to live up to its name. I am now the thankful owner of an older car which will run for many thousand more miles, a very thankful owner of a cooled Big Van, and the relieved and thankful owner of a new upright freezer which is now maintaining all that meat from spring butchering and frozen goat milk to be used later in the season. PRAISE GOD we didn't lose one single item from the storing in a dead freezer, moving the contents to cooler chests while old Faithful (that freezer was almost 18 years old) was hauled off and New Freezer was chilling. I am also the grateful house-mamma whose
2nd downstairs toilet is FINALLY fixed, after a long "out-of-order" spell. ONE toilet for everyone living downstairs got real challenging sometimes!!
Malachi and Sopheak left this morning for Orlando to visit friends of 'Pat's whom she met in Cambodia while they were doing missions work. The plan is to show M. and S. Disney World and the Atlantic coast, AND to go to the Cambodian Christian Church on Sunday as well. They will be back here sometime late on Monday. Sopheak's English is quite quite good, but I am sure she will be glad to let her brain go to "default mode" and "just" worship . She is the translator at her church in Phnom Penh so "just worshipping" will be almost a vacation in and of itself. (The pastor is American. 'Pat translates instantaneously for worshippers wearing head sets so they can understand in Khmer. When the Khmer pastor or worship leader speak in Khmer she translates that way too, so the non-Khmer speaking worshippers have their language too. YES.she's THAT GOOD!!! Malachi and she had a lot of fun this week giving Khmer classes to the younger children. ISaac and Leah remembered more than they thought they would; Malachi is truly quite conversant himself, but I digress.
It was so very hot today, even the pool was too hot! As a result, the house stayed pretty cool because NO ONE opened the doors to go out, or need to come back in!!! Lots of laundry got done, lots of games of Sorry were played and lots of NCIS and the 2009 NBA BASKETBALL DRAFT got watched on the tv too. The boys camped out side last night in their newly roofed tree house, but didn't sleep well because it never really cooled off last night.This added to the sleepy/lazy aura of the day too. I crocheted quite a bit on Baby Charlie's varigated camo colored afghan. It needs to be done for Hannah's baby shower on August 1!
One of the younger moms from church is having a baby shower for Baby Daniel and me tomorrow night! Hannah and I have garage sale-shopped for our baby boys, have been given /loaned nice cribs, our nurseries are almost completed, but there is still that "starting from scratch" element for both of us!
A little news about Daniel's adoption, sort of. There are a few docs required by his agency that our agency for Junior and Diamoh do not. I sent what I had from Addy's Hope to Acres of Hope. Acres has not had a coordinator for a while so we have been waiting, thinking that we were complete and ready to submit to the Ministry, not so much. Found out I need to send several more things, several of them notarized before our file is complete. They are being awesome about the fees and how to get them paid, and I am praying that there is grant money to help. God has gotten us all this far, He will be faithful to lead and guide us to the next steps. NEEDING TO REPAIR AND REPLACE ALL THAT "STUFF" was NOT on my budgetary agenda (well, the freezer was ..........)so now we are REALLY trusting for completed funding.
Thank you to those of you who left comments about sweet Baby Daniel. He IS lovely and yes, he DOES have God wrapped around his little finger; a great way to think about him!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Photos of Daniel Elijah!!!

I had been told by Daniel's agency not to share photos of him earlier, BUT I asked again, since he is our (referred) son, and we are waiting for that blessed court decree which will make him legally our son, and was told that it was fine for me to share photos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is our hope and prayer that he will be coming home before summer is over, for so many reasons, but that is up to God at this point as we trust Him and continue to pray for Daniel, and for Junior and Diamoh as well.
With a mamma's heart full of love, may I introduce an unmasked Daniel Elijah!

I zoomed in on a photo to share what Daniel REALLY looks like. Look at his sweet face ,those eyes which supposedly don't see very much. He was in his bed placed side-by-side with another very special needs little guy and I was told they really liked being close together. His face certainly seems to show that he is content, happy about being so close to Levi.
How I ache to hold him in my arms again and to bring him home!!

These are the "scary" Daniel photos, using Naomi's word It is how he often looks to human eyes, it is a fact of how his hydrocephaly manifests.............it is what I saw too, at first, until God quickly shifted my gears from human eye vision to Godly vision and I saw a sweet baby who needed a Mamma and a Pappa and brothers and sisters, and to be held and talked to , prayed with and for, sung to, invited and included,

In his new bed, which he received shortly after we met him in March

Sopheak's visit so far.............

has been a lot of fun I think! She and Malachi went shopping together:on the motorcycle .............and bought canoe paddles. We all went to a church family get together last weekend to welcome our friends the Morgan family who were visitng from their transplanted home in Athens, Georgia, after being part of our church body from its very earliest days . We have not seen Susan and Chris and children Tyler, Ally and Spencer for two years. They had changed, as had our kiddos. We all got a smile and a couple of good laughs that Sopheak, who looks a TINY bit like our Leah, was mistaken for Leah. She fielded a lot of "OH MY YOU HAVE GROWN!!!!" comments until the identities were straightened out. it was a really fun day. That same night Hannah and I took Sopheak to an American wedding, something she had hoped she'd get to see, but had no idea if THAT would be a dream come true or not. High school friends of Hannah's, Jennifer and David, married each other on the terrace of one of the stately buildings on the Oklahoma State University campus in a simple but lovely ceremony. (The terrace overlooks a very famous and favorite spot at OSU, Theta pond, where a number of ducks, swans and geese live year round. After the ceremony we all walked down to the pond to show it to Sopheak. Malachi and she took the little girls ther the next day as a result.) In typical Oklahoma cowboy fashion, the guys wore black jeans, black cowboy boots, cut away tux jackets with tails, and black Stetsons. The brides attendants were so pretty in their pale orange/peachy colored dresses; the mini- hit of the service were the tiny flower girl and ring bearer. We got to talk about the differences between Khmer and American weddings and discovered that while we here in the USA don't have 7 complete changes of clothing and make-up during a 16 hour wedding day, and we don't essentially send a bill to the invited guests to help pay for the wedding, boquets are thrown in Cambodia, garters are not, both have lots of music, tradition and ceremony. Sopheak told me that she and Malachi, if they marry in Cambodia will not do all the clothing changes, but will go simple. She did particpate in the bride throwing her boquet, but was not in the line of fire when it landed. THAT would have been a super fun story to tell back at home! We did get her on the dance floor with us to play around with "YMCA", also NOT a Cambodian tradition. We all enjoyed watching some of the older couples dance so familiarly with each other...........just lots of fun. Stillwater being the small town that it is , we ran into some people from our "other circles" at the reception. you never know where someone you don't expect to pop up..............does!!!!!
Father's Day was a new thing too, and another fun day. Malachi has some friends who live in the house where country music celebrity Garth Brooks lived when he was an OSU student in the late 80's. The house has a placard over the porch and it is a tourist spot, even though college kids live in the house year after year. Anyhow, Sopheak can go home telling friends that was in Garth Brook's former residence as on more of her American experiences. We have spent a lot of time in the pool since its been hot even for Cambodian standards this week. the dish washer and the garbafe disposal were two other American staples we have introduced "Pat to. They AMAZED her, especially the garbage dispoal when I shoved junk in the hole, turned it on and we watched radish greeens and left over food scraps disappear in to a noisy abbyss.
The little girls have invited her to bottle the baby goats with them, they have invited her to sleep in their room, and have come to spend the night in her (Leah's) room. I NEVER know where I am going to find the bodies of the sleeping around here. The sofa and love seat are SO comfortable it's not uncommon to find people never making it to their real beds to sleep, the kids camp back and forth in each other's rooms, I usually have company upstairs when Charlie is out of town. 'Pat has some friends in Tulsa and in Oklahoma City she will get to spend time with, but the big BIGGIE is that she and Malachi are driving to Orlando to be guests of some friends there who are taking them to Disney World!!! HEY I have lived here all my life and I have never been THERE!!! I hope they have a great time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There is a Cambodian church in Orlando so Sunday morning they will worship our Lord in Khmer together in the USA. The drive to Florida will be a super experience for Sopheak to get to see that not all of the USA is flat farm land. She has been to Australia and Thailand, the southern USA will give her lots to compare those places to, for sure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh, she shares my children's disdain for my home grown radishes too..........oh well!!!!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Baby Daniel's nursery

Lots of fun things for the walls, but the walls are lots of fun all on their own!

Sunrise in Baby Daniel's room will come every day, rain or shine on the outside!

Hannah painting a banana palm tree for her baby brother's nursery
LOVE that palm tree!

Daniel's dresser and book/toy shelf will match his curtains and his window trim!

The nursery window, which I'm sewing curtains for will be panels of alternating colors of gingham: green, blue and yellow, matches and pulls together the painted furniture and the accessories including the the zoo animal head board bumper pad shown below. The other accessories have the same gingham colors matched in with little zoo animal prints as well. Should be really cute when its ready!!

While I wait for the fabric to arrive in the mail from Joan Fabric Online, I will be doing the not-so-fun painting of the non-mural painted white walls and touching up the "skudged" places on the white walls and green trim.


and I am not very happy that I can not get that Tangle video to load to this blog so any one reading this blog can just click on it to see it. I don't understand what I don't understand about loading URLs that works for me sometimes and not other times. I am VERY HAPPY for son Issac, who went "money mining" up the street at the dance hall.Its a favorite pasttime of my kids to go up there and scrounge the parking lot for dropped money after the weekend dance hall revelers have departed. Some days they don't find much: maybe some change...BUT TODAY, in the 97 degree heat, with a heat index of 107, a bored Isaac went "mining" and found not only 2 rumply dirty $1 bills but the shredded, stinky, filthy dirty, but complete pieces of a FIFTY DOLLAR BILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He didn't even really think it was a 50 because it was SO DIRTY! It took some real rubbing and washing to reveal the numbers on the pieces! We called the bank and were reassured that if it could be assembled to be a whole bill, they would honor it and replace it for him. Malachi happily took him to the bank for his new money. Sopheak was rather amazed at the whole process so she and Malachi are now across the street trying their "luck". In this heat, I'll just stay indoors and steam my cauliflower and reheat my ham and greens for dinner and wait frothe rice to finish steaming, thank you!!
Sweet baby Daniel is SO on my mind today !! Even when I am not in the market to buy baby things for him ( or for Baby Charie) I am SO drawn (OK sucked in) by the baby department at Walmart which is right next to the frozen section, where I earn frequent flier miles as it were for buying popsicles and ice cream for everyone!
Hannah and I did go garage sale-ing Saturday morning though, and we did make some really good purchases for our baby boys. What could have been hundreds at Walmart was only $30 something and we outfitted two little guys PRETTY impressively well!!!!
This co-baby shopping thing is a lot of fun I have to tell you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am so fervently praying that Daniel will be home during the summer, well before summer ends and schools starts again. I know lots of you are praying too and I thank you for that!!!

God's Chisel


I am not usually a "skit" kind of person. This skit is SO real I wanted to share it with you. I was on Facebook,initially to respond to a "friend request" and saw and listened to a video someone else had shared. The abject, hopeless, tragic and angry piece of lost self-expression brought me to anguished tears for the sender and for the talented people who produced the thing, and to my knees in prayer. I NEEDED God's Word around me, and in front of me as well as in my memory as I watched that sin-surrounded few minutes. With Jeremiah 29:11-14 in front of me, I watched. I needed to watch that video because the sender/sharer is obviously identifying with what was shared. PRAISE GOD that as I was praying and reading, and afterward when I was hitting emails for prayer time, THIS skit was there. It I felt was directly from the Lord in answer to every word and thought and action expressed in that other video. It is my prayer that as I share, God will make His Word manifest wherever He ses the need. PRAISE GOD that where sin abounded, GRACE did much more abound (Romans 5:20)Lord please pour out Your grace upon Your needy people and draw them to Yourself. USE US LORD to be Your hands and feet, keep us from recoilng in horror, disgust, self-righteousness, pride from the neediest of Your chidlren. Its "easy" to love a needy special needs orphan, but God not so much so the grown-up people we seee every day whome we think "ought to know better" Forgive me Lord for my apathy and stir up in me a broader passsion and compassion.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

What was that birthday LIKE?

It was fun. All Noah really wanted for his birthday was a clock radio for his room, for our family to go bowling together, bbq hamburgers and hot dogs, and for me to make his FAVORITE CAKE. What cake might that be, you may ask. Why, my signature cake of course: Pecan Pie Cake!
Having used ALL the critical ingredients for this cake several weeks ago when our friend Rhonda was visitng from Cambodia meant making another trip to Walmart for "Stuff" ( he didn't mention THIS was T H E CAKE when he asked for birthday cake so I didn't shop for this "stuff" earlier or the day before. oh no.) RUSH RUSH, can you hear my after burners yet? Got it all together as Charlie was driving home from work...so far only an hour behind the schedule I had hoped to follow. Turn on the oven as I am adding the eggs, one at a time to the batter, and NO HEAT builds up in my typically fast nad wonderful gas oven. Malachi pulled it all apart, the broiler works, the cook top works, the oven is not getting propane though the system. OK then. $8 worth of pecans (off season, none from our trees are left) 9 eggs, (its a chiffon cake, lots of whites, lots of yolks in different steps in the cake and the filling) plus the other ingredients. HORRAY for having a few neighbors whien living out in the country!! My neighbor two lots south was home and happy to bake out cake while we bowled!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU BOBBIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And what, you may ask does it cost to pay for 4 adults, 6 Smith kids, one grand son and one friend, to bowl two afternoon games AND rent shoes? (Jael and Leah declined to bowl, Sopheak was eager, well, maybe eager, maybe not, to try this sport) It costs as much as a decent bicycle: $106!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Good thing the only other thing Naoh wanted was a clock radio, yes??)
We had so much fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was worth every family-shared moment for all of us. Sopheak did jsut fine, grandsone Blake did just fine, Malachi the cut-up was his usual comic relief oreinted self.
Bar-be-que-ing burgers and such later was the perfect end to the day. We retrieved the cake from my sweet neighbor Bobbie the HERO, I cooked the filling and assembled it all just in time for candles and singing "HAPPY BIRTHDAY". OF COURSE the camera batteries were dying so the photos are pretty bad. Maybe Jael can work her photo magic on them and make them share-able!! I love my son so much and celebrating his 12th birthday was MY PLEASURE!!!!! Heavenly Father THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for blessing our family with Noah for these past 6 1/2 years. Please bless us with many many more years into the future as precious as these have been!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Happy 12th Birthday Noah!!!!!!!!!!

My sister- in- law, Cheryl scrap books and makes the most wonderful birthday cards!!! She asked me what all Noah really liked so she could custom design his card..........this is pretty much a picto-biography!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Summer Squash Oregano

I wanted to share from Southern Living 1997 Annual Favorites Cookbook so you too can enjoy this yuumy quick and colorful veggie dish!! It's one of my favorite summer recipes, and a hit with almost everyone else too. Granddaughter Madyson likes it and calls it "Squash-a -Bug"

1/2 cup butter, or olive oil; the tastes will change the dish, both are wonderful
1 onion, minced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced, quantity according to personal taste
1 green pepper, chopped ALSO PRETTY to substitute or ADD to this
1/2-1 red, orange, yellow peppers, chopped
2 TBSP chopped fresh oregano, (dried is OK, but fresh is ALWAYS better!)
1 lb yellow squash, sliced
1 lb zucchini, sliced
4 tomoatoes, chopped
1/2-1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter, or pour oil into wok, add onion, garlic, peppers and saute' till tender. Stir in squash, zucchini nd oregano, cover and cook abou 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
STIR IN tomatoes, salt and pepper, cook uncovered until squash is tender, sprinkle with cheese, and serve.
About 6-8 servings

Are we, have we ever been a Judeo Christian Nation? If so when did we CEASE to be?

I got this from Tangle, which is what used to be "God tube" this is a speech you need to hear and share with your children. it is powerful!!!
It won't "hyper link" for me, even though it did for my facebook profile...you'll have to copy and paste, but it is a must listen to!!


a little bit of adoption news

This is really a cool God -thing! I had been wanting to get in touch with the group The shepherd's Crook for some time. It is the organization through which a friend heard about a "Baby Secret" and contacted us with the info she had. They are not an adoption agency but a not-for-profit organization which helps to make families aware of special needs children who are in need of adoption, they help sponsor children who will not ever/ can't be adopted, they PRAY and seek God's direction for what they do. Other adoption agencies may make known to this group some of their harder to place children in hopes that someone reading Shepherd's Crook updates (see where this is going?) will ask about and adopt those extra needy children. SOMETIMES, people who are not adopting a child themselves but who desire to help make an adoption possible for other families, have set up Grant funds through Shepherd's Crook.
ANYHOW, I kept getting bad address messages when I tried to communicate with Shepherd's Crook; the addies I had when I belonged to this group years ago were no longer valid. Finally after asking a friend for better /correct info, I made contact. The couple who "are" Shepherd's Crook, along with volunteeers and several paid staffers, have a large family of bio and adopted almost all very special needs children themselves: Kathy and Scott, blessed me with the warmest most excited email in reesponse to my own!! They had heard that Secret/ DANIEL might have been spoken for, but were not sure because we didn't make that decision right away and he had been listed for quite a while before that (I heard about him in late January)
Kathy aksed if we wanted to become a part of the Shepherd's Crook Family, for prayer and support, etc....OH YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will always pray with like -minded kindred spirit folks about adoptions..............mine and others!!!
BUT THEN, she told me that a fund had been set up in Secret's name way back when! There is already money in that fund for his adoption through Shepherd's Crook!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She told me that they will reactivate that fund so that if anyone who wanted to help with his adoption could do so by donating to his Shepherd's Crook fund!! We have raised money to about complete Junior and Diamoh's adoptions, when Liberia reopens. We have a matched grant for which ever need presents first and greatest, but we do need to keep a plan for that which comes second as well. SO PRAISE GOD.....someone was already planning for Secret to be someone else's son and was preparing the way for that to happen!!!! I don't know how much is in that fund, even half the cost of a visa is HALF THE COST OF A VISA.
When I emailed Shepherd's Crook, I never expected that! I was writing to say THANK YOU for your ministry; we would never have heard about this precious baby if not for them. I wanted them to know that their ministry had been successful in being used to find a home for DANIEL!! Thank you so much my dear friend Kim for passing SECRET'S info on to us, and THANK YOU Kathy and Scott for operating SHPEHERD'S CROOK !!
Here is the link for their web site : http://www.theshepherdscrook.org
if you'd like to go read more about them.
WHEN I am able to post a real, unmasked face photo of our sweet little guy, as soon as I have permission to do so, I have the most beautiful photo to share!!
Sometimes Daniel looks a little scary ( but then so do I...I am totally NOT photogenic) but Patty took a photo of him together in his crib with another little guy, Levi who has CP. (WHO also needs a family!!!!) They were just hanging out, so to speak, and it comforted him to have that little boy close to him...his face is not scary, the angle of the photo way plays down the dimensions of his growing skull, and the image you see is how I SAW HIM THROUGH MY HEART'S EYES when I held him in March.
We continue to pray for Junior and Diamoh. There is no word about any progress with new adoption law in Liberia. Right now I don't even truly know if Daniel's case will still be exepmted. We wait. We pray. WE prepare. I hear of political skuttle butt, BUT no progress. The prophet
Habakkuk reminds us to "wait for it, though it tarry , IT WILL SURELY COME!!!"
and I answer " Yes Lord. I will trust You becasue I know Your timing is perfect." This does not totally quelch the ache in my arms for my children, but it gives peace to my heart. I know that my Heavenly Father loves those chldren even more than I do.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

an editorial comment from my grandson.......

really made me get a bit teary eyed tonight. B. is Hannah's 11 1/2 year old step son. He is the same age as my Noah, a bit younger, but only by a few months. Isaiah and he are less than a year apart too. B. is not always an "easy" child for so many reasons. He's been here for two and a half days and it has gone very well: no disagreements, no outbursts, RISK play went very well, air soft gun play went well.This afternoon something went awry and all that peaceful atmosphere blew up in angry accusations and name calling. B. got upset at Isaac ,and it was not pretty. AS near as I can figure it was mostly, if not all B. who set things off, and his reaction to Isaac telling him that he was out of line added to the "ick" which cut short my swim with Naomi. I handled the out burst, addressed the issue of name calling and accusations in terms of how God wants people to love and treat each other, and how FAMILY treats each other. It sorted out with apologies offered and accepted after a while. Hannah took him home after she got off work and came to eat with us while B. was at his first tai kwon do class. She told me that he said to her,"You know, Gramma Linda has a lot of kids and a lot going on, but she really has it all together." Since I am a "Step gramma" to this boy who has a lot of family in a lot of capacities, I'm not always sure how bonded he feels to me, even though he is here quite often. I am taking this comment as affirmation that he knows he was disciplined and admonished, loved and accepted. THAT was my goal!!!!!!!!!!!!

What a guy!!!

YES, Malachi and Sopheak are playing Barbies with Naomi and Rachel. What a great Big Brother this guy is ...what a great Daddy he is going to be some day!!! It is so fun to have Sopheak here.for all of us! They kids are teaching her Monopoly (she said "I don't get the point, let's play Spoons!" GOOD PLAN. Oh Naomi says they have to play FORKS...the spoons are in the dishwasher!

Monday, June 15, 2009

it is really hard to blog when you have no internet connectivity!

and our server has been out for two days. We have the satellite tower on our roof, so when there is any kind of problem, we know it first. Seems like they have ahd a lot of problems lately...I am getting to know these guys far too well!!!! After two phone calls and a lengthy service call yesterday, we still have no service. Malachi loaned me his high speed wireless card or I'd still be incommunicado. Thankfully our service, such as it is, is free, because we have the tower on our roof. I'd be genuinely ticked if I were paying for this!
Sopheak and Malachi arrived after 3AM Sunday. YES the Mamma stayed up and waited, while making a roast for Sunday dinner, baking and icing a cake. When you are sleepy at 2 AM and don't measure the cocoa powder carefully enough into the butter and shortening for frosting, WOWZA!! Can you make an awesome fudge brownie tasting frosting!! It was the hit of the after- dinner- sweet -eaters-club, and there were not even crumbs left last night!
We had a really fun day yesterday! Esther (from two trips to Cambodia herself) and my three latest Khmer children of course knew 'Phaeak from Cambodia, so they had a fun reunion, everyone else loved getting to meet her for the first time. My mom loved getting to meet her next daughter-in-law to be!! Hannah and Gideon were still kind of shaking their heads that their little brother is really old enough to be at this stage of life! They just never thought he'd be a grown -up I guess!!!! That said, everyone had to tell Sopheak lots of "Malachi stories" of course! Malachi and Sopheak went shopping for some things later in the afternoon, and brought back new paddles for the row boat...........not unusual except that, in true Khmer style, they went shopping on the motorcycle!! He knew she could hang onto him and shopping bags and two boat paddles successfully!!! Not too much jet lagging was going on around here!
Before the fateful (and very successful) Lakers basketball game came on, we watched "Marley and Me" together and we all loved it, laughed and cried and talked about how real that whole movie was. I have had friends who didn't want their children to watch it because the dog dies at the end of the movie, but I thought it was a really great "third person" way to introduce life and death concepts to younger children who may not have experienced their mom having a miscarriage, or the death of a pet. It gets my stamp of approval. There is always language in movies , which really peeves me, but my non- nasty-language using children and some of my friends peeve me too, as I KNOW I do them, so I am applying James 2:10 to this facet of life..."who ever keeps the whole law but stumbles in one point is guilty of all" Don't use bad language? I bet you , like me, have some life-habit or another which qualifies for need of repentance and ongoing grace.... short temper, or a greedy streak,other ongoing bad habit, whatever......... I loved the movie !!!

My trip with Hannah for gingham to match Baby Daniel's nursery comforter set was not very successful, but we did buy paint and the painting of the nursery did begin. We opted to use the green from the accessories to paint the trim, rather than a wall, and go with white for the walls. Hannah is going to paint a mural of a money in a banana tree in one corner of the room. Should be VERY CUTE!! The window in that room is a huge half circle above a wide rectangular window, so my plan is to alternate yellow, blue, and green ginghams (WHEN I CAN FIND SAID GINGHAMS!!!) in the half circle, as well as when I make the panels for the lower window. Our nursery is actually more of a sitting room upstairs, it has no closet, and is open to the stairwell, but it served well as Naomi's nursery. It has a very high cathedral ceiling, so that huge window fits well. Anywhere else it would be overpowering. With its east facing direction, good curtains are essential in those windows for summer sleep beyond 4:30 AM ( and I DO want Daniel to sleep beyond 4:30!!!!!!!!)
Why do you suppose that neither Walmart nor Hobby Lobby have a good selction of gingham? Isn't that a pretty standard classic fabric? I see the handwriting on the walls at our older Walmart as its sewing department shrinks and shrinks though....
it won't be long until the higher priced Hobby Lobby is my only option for fabric in town. Our newer Walmart was designed without a fabric department at all...sigh...
The tomato harvest was set back a few more tomatoes yesterday too as our younger boys along with grand son Blake, neighbor boy Brice and frequent visitor and best friend to all the boys, Peter played in the back yard and someone fell into the tomato fencing and knocked unripe but good sized fruits off the vines. A VERY apologetic Peter came in with the evidence to confess. Boys!!!!!
Charlie loves the military strategy board game RISK, as do several of our older children. Hisbeing gone for two years actually fighting in the real war, left no time to teach the younger, but ready, boys his favorite game. Well Blake too is in love with the game, or the idea of the game. We decided to get a new set for Charlie for Father's Day and give it to him early so he could teach two generations of boys at the same time. WHAT A HIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jael is quite good at it as well, so she and Charlie got the boys going and while this cake baking, late night wait-upping Mamma went to sleep, those boys stayed up past 1:30 playing RISK! Obviously this is a great game, and the boys maintained detente' in the throes of battle because not one sound woke me up! They were a it slow getting up this morning, but all the chores are done now, so its all good.
What a blessed Mamma I am!! Thank You so much Heavenly Father that I get to be "somewhere near the earthly center" of this wonderful group of people who are my family, who make Smith Soup such an awesome ongoing work in process!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I love my life !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that said, I need to weed the gardens, spread some well needed manure, and come in to do some sewing.
Know that you are having a BLESSED DAY!!

Friday, June 12, 2009


Naomi brought this in after the storm stopped. These things were pelting the house, the animals, the barns , the cars, the gardens for a good twenty minutes!!

Isaiah shows off one of the stones that hit him while returning from the milking the goats

Leah said she didn't want her face in the photo, but I could not resist! She is always so pretty, even with a jacket on her head. She and Isaiah look so much alike...its always obvious they are sibs! This photo really showed it up to me!

Isaac with his evidence of the storm

Shot through the storm door, the photos are not real clear, but you get the point. Hail stones, lamb's ears, and geraniums, what a combination!

This is the hailstone that tried to eat my mint bed!!!

Sopheak is on her way!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jon is on his way!! Malachi is almost on his way!!!

She called me at 5 AM from the Phnom Penh airport with a potential problem/question, which I am presuming is resolved since she didn't call back, but She is now en route to Hong Kong and then on to LAX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
Malachi leaves here at about 10, driving to OKC and flying out to LAX himself to fly back with Sopheak tomorrow. He will arrive a few hours before her, but it will give him time to mark out a path for her when she has to return in August
( alone :-( )
Lots of layover time so we won't actually SEE our sweet future daughter-in-law until the wee hours of Sunday morning, but SHE IS FINALLY COMING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Please pray with me throughout the day for safe flights and alert pilots? She has flown before but never this far from home. I am sure her parents and sibs are going to miss her tremendously while we are enjoying her, so my prayers are with them as well.

And Jon... Hannah's husband of almost one whole year,is also traveling. He is meeting up with our oldest son Joshua in Maryland to discuss some job opportunities and job training. He is driving right now. We are praying that this be the beginning of the end of his three months of being unemployed.

God of this City by Chris Tomlin

There is no one like our God
There is no one like You God

Chorus 1
Greater things have yet to come
And greater things have still to be done
In this city
Greater things have yet to come
And greater things have still to be done here

Verse 1
You're the God of this city
You're the King of these people
You're the Lord of this nation
You are
You're the light in this darkness
You're the hope to the hopeless
You're the peace to the restless
You are

Verse 2
You're the Lord of creation
The Creator of all things
You're the King above all kings
You are
You're the strength in the weakness
You're the love to the broken
You're the joy in the sadness
You are

Chorus 2
Greater things have yet to come
And greater things have still to be done
In this city
Where glory shines from hearts alive
With praise for You and love for You
In this city
Great things have yet to come
And greater things have still to be done
In this city
Greater things have yet to come
And greater things have still to be done here

Misc 2
There is no one like our God
There is no one like our God
There is no one like You God
There is no one like You God

This song is our house favorite right now. I bought Tomlin's CD with "I Will Rise" on it, this song is also on that CD. It is a powerful CD!! I have been soaking in "Revelation Song " for weeks now and I am sharing my "soak time" with "God of This City" It's my top song on my playlist, but this video is striking towatch as you listen. Please mute out the playlist down at the bottom of my page to hear the Youtube version that my Isaac is so hooked on!!!">

Thursday, June 11, 2009

No news is still no news on the adoption front

Yes I posted a note on the 3rd of June that I didn't know anything new. All I know now is that all of our paperwork is in its proper places with Daniel's agency...in Liberia and in the state side office, Our dossier has been in place for almost a month, and we'd been told that "time was of the essence" but that seems not to be the case any more/now? Nothing new in the overall Liberian suspension situation as it pertains to all the waiting families and their children either. I KNOW that the Lord knows and His timing is perfect. My prayer is that I focus on God and not a claendar or a clock so that I don't question what I know to be Truth. The lovely poster on my wall above my computer which spells out the Fruits of the Spirit reminds me that "Long suffering is love's patience"..."Faith is love's confidence"... "temperance is love's victory".......God is certainly tilling and weeding and fertilizing the garden of my Mamma heart to grow fruits better and better suited to growing Spirit filled children!!!

First fruits

Yes our first fruits this year are radishes, lots of radishes. Not very many of us like radishes, but I do and they are fun to grow because they sprout and mature so quickly. A friend shared in her blog about cultivating and gardening and how she related this to the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. She shared a photo of some lovely strawberries in her hands. We are thinking along the same lines: gardening, tilling, cultivating, weeeding, fertilizing, watching fruit maturing. God wants to use every situation He allows in our lives to produce His fruit in our lives. It would be lovely if we went to bed one night "a barren branch or vine" and woke up some time later brimming with spiritual fruit, but that is not how the life of a follower of Jesus happens. God, the patient but diligent Gardener does much in our lives that we do in a garden to bring life to bare ground. Even the manure: the "nasty stuff" is so necessary to good fruit, or in the case of Calico Acres Farm, radishes for now....... and to Genuine Fruits of God's Spirit flourishing in the lives of those who choose to follow Him.
"...that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, that you , being rooted and grounded in love may be able to comprehend...the love of Christ which passes knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God..............." Eph 3:17

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

John 14:25-27 and Haggai 2:4-9 , Isaiah 54:13 and PEACE

There is a Psalm that we taught the kids one year in VBS that goes something like " If the Lord had not been on our side, all our enemies would swallowed us alive...all the raging waters, and the mighty floods would have rushed over us, IF THE LORD HAD NOT BEEN ON OUR SIDE......Blessed BE The Lord......."
This was one of those kinds of Psalm 124 weekends. Yes, and Haggai came to mind too...read the 2nd chapter to get the whole jist, but ..."and be strong all you people of the land, says the Lord and work, for I am with you, says the Lord of Hosts. According to the word I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains with you, so do not fear. For thus says the Lord of Hosts, ONCE MORE ( it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and the dry land, and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to The Desire Of ALL NATIONS, and I will fill this temple with glory, says the Lord of Hosts, ...the glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of Hosts, and in this place, I will give peace, says the Lord of Hosts."
It meshed with John 14..."peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
NO WAY is life uneventful, but PEACEFUL??? Absolutely!After some "raging waters", some threatened "floods", it is STILL "well with my soul".................lots of quotes today. My strength comes from the Lord, He is my sufficiency, and HALLELUJAH !! His mercies are NEW every morning and I am peacefully, contentedly singing and blogging to the testimony of HIS GRACE today as a result.
It isn't really all my story; when one has older children or is used of God in the lives of others, the story isn't always able to be told as if it were ones own.
That is OK. I can tell you, once again that even when life is ugly, sinful, and the peole all around are in desperate need of a Savior: God is faithful, His Word does not return to Him void. When we pray for people to have life changing experiences and for God to use what ever circumstances He needs to use,
HE WILL NOT WASTE A MOMENT. Jonah was fish barf, Saul/Paul was blind for a while............lives were changed forever. The WORLD was changed forever!!
for those of you who pray for my family and me, thank you. Please don't stop!!!!!
Don't stop praying and praising in your own lives either!! Don't stop turning your eyes on Jesus, DON'T (start/ continue/ be tempted to) turn your eyes toward your cicumstances any more than you need to, for the purpose of PRAISING GOD in them!!! God wants to grow your responses TO HIM in your circumstances, He does not want you focused upon them.
Praise be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ!! (2 Cor. 2;14)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

About that snake.............

Yes that snake was a bit disruptive, but they too are a regular part of farm life in Oklahoma. This one, out in the pasture pond was better to hear about than the one who was hiding in the kid's toy box all coiled up several springs ago. SO thankful that an older child found it and not a little one! That "WOW WHAT A COOL SNAKE TOY !!!" comment very quickly changed to a "Lets get that out of here!!!" comment. I know God created them for a purpose,, but my snake motto
is " the only good snake is a DEAD SNAKE". That 's my story and I'm stickin' to it!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

All your children shall be taught by (of) the Lord......

and great will be the peace of your children. In righteousness you will be established You shall be far from opression for you shall not fear, and from terror for it shall not come near you..................no weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgement You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me, Says the Lord." Isaiah 54:13-15, 17.
I am standing on these verses, for my children, one in particular, and I have stood on verse 13 for years and years. My children have given their lives to the Lord, I KNOW this, but sometimes bad choices, combined with special needs, deceive a child to be drawn away from what he knows to be true, and to lean unto their "own understanding" to reference Proverbs 3. DESPITE THAT, I know that my children have been taught of the Lord and I know that even when things look REALLY REALLY ugly, "great WILL be the peace of my children"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know that no weapon forged against any of us will prosper, and I stand on that promise that this is our heritage. Oh I am praying that my children, ALL of them, receive this in a spirit of teachability, repentance and contrition, and allow the Holy Spirit to flow where HE so aches to flow freely!!!!!!

Calico Acres Farm and some of the "farmers"

This is Miss Brownie and she is my favorite goat at Calico Acres. She is sweet and gentle, gives a lot of really good milk and does not have any "attitude" issues, unlike my other does, one of whom is her grand daughter, and mamma to the black and white twins you'll see in a moment. AND LOOK AT THAT MILK BAG!!!! This is hours before milking time and you can see how full she is!
The last of this year's baby goats. The little white buck with the horns is Aaron, The large white buck is "Moses Pork Chop." The black and white goats are a brother and sister twins, born of Brownie's grand daugther Sun Flower. HE, Ribs, is the much smaller one. I don't know why he is not a good eater but that is why he is so much smaller than his twin. SHE, Rose, will be my newest dairy mamma next year and he will stay "intact" and be a stud goat later this year.

I don't know exactly why the rooster is in my garden. He HAS a chicken coop where he is the only rooster in the hen house. He's a very pretty rooster so I took his photo while he was a "man outstanding in his field" and the nI instructed the younger boys to put him away. The guineas were chasing him around, and they can be rough!
My corn is up, the beans are sprouting. Even the corn I planted two days ago has sprouted already . Lots of little tomatoes promise to contribute lots of nutrition to many future meals too!!

Malachi sways through life to the beat of a different drummer. This boy is so comfortable in his own skin, that he has no hesitations about this kind of a haircut. He may only keep it for a few days, but he is having fun with the "WHY?" questions!

I told Esther tonight when she came over for supper that I had not taken a photo of her for a while, and since she has boyfriend Casey's dog staying with her right now, he needed to be in her photo too, so here is Esther with Shaggy

And then there was the snake. I had dinner all ready, for all of the home dwelling ingredients of Smith Soup, as well as Esther and Malachi, one extra who was being baby sat ,and three extra friends, but NO. The older boys found this snake and all wanted to see it, touch it, examine it to determine if it was poisonous or not (we decided probably not, but that is not always the case) and then of course, cut his head off, skin it ( THIS IS WEIRD..........it kind of peels backward and comes right off : inside out) and then grill him to see what this kind of survival food might taste like (a good time to experiment I suppose since they could really HATE it, opt to not eat it, and still have dinner. ) The grill was still hot from doing ribs (of course: goat...still enjoying the bounty of our "Liberty and Justice for All" Memorial Day goat butchering ..... :-} "Liberty " and "Justice" being the goats we butchered, if you were not reading last month and missed my sons' maybe slightly macabre sense of humor when naming the baby goats last year )
CONSENSUS: bad food choice, maybe just needs longer on the grill. Give this to the chickens because they will eat anything.

Prayers for a friend , the start to my day

My friend Anita is on her way to Ghana, on business for her adoption agency, but she is also going to be able to be with her just-recently-adopted daughter and file
I- 600 docs for her while she is in Ghana. (That's the next to the last step for completing an adoption and obtaining a visa for your new child.)I am so excited for their family and for this precious two year old. God was so faithful in pulling together all the details of this adoption, right up to a "randomly" sent email which resulted in SUPER positive and productive results for their case. Anita is traveling right now, so I am praying for her, and for her family here at home. AND then I am out to tend the garden! We have alreaday sttarted harvesting radishes. IF you LIKE radishes, these are really really good. If not, well you'll jut spit them out and call them disgusting, like Leah and Noah did. I personally like radishes. The other veggies are all coming up very nicely, and so far the only thing that the bugs are really into are my egg plants. PHOOOOEY! My corn will definitely be "knee high by the 4th of July" and then some! Look out remaining weeds, here I come!!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

"He Giveth More Grace"

I had already been led to this song to be part of our worship music for this Sunday but its words have become more and more precious to me throughout the week as I have shared them with several very needy people, and friends who are ministering to some very needy people, in some situations which seem "impossible". I went to YouTube for a video, and while the quality of the actual video I selected is not the "BEST",the spirit in which the song is sung WAS. If you go song surfing, you'll see what I mean. There is NO WAY I personally can sing "He giveth and giveth AND GIVETH again", seated, with my hands in my lap, and no expression on my face. Several vidoes were musical renditions only and they were beautiful, but I want to share the HOPE and the LOVE and the FAITHFULNESS of our heavenly Father with you, from my perspective. That required vocal music. Those of you who know me personally know that I am not a hands -in-the-lap kind of girl. SO, please, read the words I've shared, listen to the song, maybe close your eyes,
and invite the Lord to minister a fresh outpouring of His grace and His mercy over you! (Don't forget to go to my play list and mute out the sounds so you cna hear this video :-) )
He Giveth more Grace

He giveth more grace
When the burden grows greater
He sendeth more strength
When the labors increase
To added affliction
He addeth His mercy
To multiplied trials
His multiplied peace

Chorus 1
His love has no limit
His grace has no measure
His pow'r has no boundary
Known to men
For out of His infinite
Riches in Jesus
He giveth and giveth
And giveth again
Verse 2
When we have exhausted
Our store of endurance
When our strength has failed
Ere the day is half done
When we reach the end
Of our hoarded resources
Our Father's full giving
Is only begun
His love has no limit
His grace has no measure
His pow'r has no boundary
Known to men
For out of His infinite
Riches in Jesus
He giveth and giveth
And giveth again


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

no adoption news whatsoever so its true confession time

yes sometimes even we of Smith soup have confessions to make. Last winter after we'd pulled all the kids' summer clothes and too-small winter clothes out of the closets and dresser drawers, separated out the new rags, sorted the share-it and send-it-to Salvation Army stuff and bagged it up, we stacked the bags in the laundry room to await transport to their destinations. ALSO in the laundry room, in 3 bags were my mom's summer clothes which I had gotten from her closet at the nursing home, and tagged in big red letters with "MOM'S SUMMER CLOTHES" . Um, you can see where this is going, right? Its not an episode of "House" or an Agatha Christie mystery novel.........Charlie went out to the laundry room and grabbed the bags left after we'd shared the bags of things we'd identified and matched people and needs over. Since it was winter, I didn't give that errand a second thought...UNTIL............several weeks ago when it started to get warm and my mom asked me to get her clothes out. I went RIGHT TO THE corner where I'd placed the bags, and there was 1 bag marked "MOM'S SUMMER CLOTHES" but not the 3 I had left there. Oye ve and oh NO!! I searched all the suit cases in case a brain fade had occured and some portion of my memory of the corner spot was erroneous. I had not made a memory error. You have to understand. My mom LOVES clothes; she always has. Clothes Shopping was as much a hobby for her as sewing, even since her stroke its her favorite activity, and she had a LOT of clothes, mostly really nice, "name brand" clothes,a lot of them clothes with memories attached to them: "Joan gave me this for my birthday" "This is from Calebs' wedding," "Hannah's wedding," "I bought this from so and so store." OK, there were some things she honestly didn't remember having or losing, and last summer she was adamant that I'd lost some blouses although she told me she could not remember if they were blue, or pink, or yellow, but she KNEW she was missing some shirts. This year I gave her back a blouse that she swore she'd never seen before, and it was most definitely one she'd brought with her from Georgia, but I digress.
NOW we have to tell her that not only are her summer things not ready to bring to the nursing home, they are probably being worn by some other senior citizen in Stillwater who thought they got some awesome deals on Alfred Dunner and Sag Harbor clothes, and she has no summer pants, jackets, t-shirts, capris...............
Charlie told her Sunday. HE had taken the clothes out and she takes things better from him anyhow; she listens to him when he talks and she remembers what he says.
It didn't go as badly as it could have.
I had already gone about buying some immediate replacements, but there was still much work to be done. This afternoon Hannah, Mady, and I went downtown to the resale shops for baby things and Gramma things. No great baby boy finds. We did pretty good in the Gramma department though, I think!!!! I found 5 pair of capris/ slacks in a variety of colors and styles and a 2 piece church suit with easy -on slacks and a really pretty jacket in her favorite shade of turquiose...all for $11! There were truly no shirts that she'd wear or that were "her" so I spent almost that much again at good ole Walmart on some shirts. Its no where near what we gave a way, but it was a good start! We three genreations of girls took our finds over to the nursing home and visited for a while. I think she liked what we got, I HOPE she liked what I got. Money is not something growing on the trees around here, and replacing her wardrobe was NOT on our agenda for the year.
The funny part came when I was explaining to the sales clerk why we were out shopping. She laughed and told us that a LOT of people come in to the store and tell that same story: " I didn't mean to bring THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" So my confession is that we gave away my mother's spring clothes , along with a lot of little kid clothing. Didn't read the labels on the bags and gave them away! So, next time someone says to me , "Oh Linda I don't know how you DO it!!" I am going to tell them that my piling/filing system led to a clothing melt down, and how I "do it" is sometimes, just not very well...............
BUT we did find Naomi's changing table all dismantled and wrapped up in black trash bags in the garage and I thought I HAD given that away, so losses and finds kind of struck a balance!
When one has no attic or storage space, the huge back section of the laundry room has to serve as "bag attic", and THAT is a Salvation Army windfall waiting to happen. Hopefully its the last of its kind for a very long while!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday was a fun day!

Yes we did some school work because our school year is not over yet, but Jon and Hannah needed me to keep Blake nad Mady for the day, so our day was cut short. HOW TO BEST AMUSE 8 KIDDOS on a hot sunny almost -summer afternoon? I had adoption agency document stuff to complete and get into the mail, but after completing my admin tasks and putting them into the mail, what then?? Take them to a friend's house who has a spring fed pond and turn them loose!!! What fun we all had!! Jenny (who has 7, two of whom are Liberian) and I drank iced tea and chatted, I crocheted on Baby Charlie's camo-colored afghan for his nursery, and all those kids, in floaties, life jackets, life suits or "commando" dove and swam, rowed the boat around the pond, ran up and off the diving ramp...my 6 kiddos, two grand kiddos, 4 of Jenny's bunch. Children of every hue, aged 4-16, girls and boys, playing in perfect laugh filled loving enjoyment of the day, celebrating their friendships with each other ! Blake and Mady were new to this Tom Sawyer -Huck Finn -pond- play but all the kids included them and drew them in from moment one. Blake can be a bit hesitant over new things but he was totally caught up. And when Jon got through a bit early and came out to watch, that was an extra element of cool! My Khmer Kuties have gotten so dark this summer already that it was easy to mistake Noah or Isaiah for Winston or Uriah if you didn't look closely when a child passed by! It was great fun. I had baked Snickerdoodles earlier and took a big can of them over to share, but swimming was much more important than cookie crunching . That came later, after dark!! OOOPS, no camera for this one!
AND MALACHI.What a fun guy he is!!!! He found a web site from which you can upload a photo and down load a huge poster of that photo. Its black and white and very pixelated, but what an awesome production you can make! It prints one 8x11 page at a time, and makes essentially a puzzle. Here are two photos of Malachi and his poster.........guess what/ WHO his photo poster is of??? Hint: she arrives in 12 days!!! He took this back to his house. I think it covers a whole wall!

Jael went to the zoo with some friends. They obviously had a great time from all the photos they took, but I'll just share these She's a fun cutie, that Jael!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Talked to Caleb in Iraq today!

That is always so special for me. He is able to call every couple weeks. I know he calls Courtney more than that....as it SHOULD be, and we are both always so glad to hear his voice, even if the connection is delayed, choppy, disconnected and requires 5 actual phone calls to compelte "just one".
Thank you Lord for Your hand upon my son, and his wife who is missing him so much!
We are all very excited about his two weeks leave in September. HOW COOL WILL IT BE if he's here when his nephew is born?? WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY COOL, that's how cool!!!