Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Good Bye Old, Hello New!!

Obvioulsy, this blog hasn't been updated in a LONG time!!!  It was mainly used as an Adoption Journey blog and now that we're done with the process..... we're just settling back into "normal" life.  The last 18+ months have definitely been filled with struggles and adjustments, but it is life and God has been continuing to bless all of us and grow and change all of us for the GOOD!!!  I thought about just shutting down this blog, but since we are over half way through our first year of homeschooling (my oldest) and then will start in the fall with all 3 home, I think I will try to pick the blog back up as we continue to journey down this path that God has chosen for our family!!!! 

With that.......

I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid curriculum review. Time4Learning offers an online curriculum for prek-8th, and resources that help with things like homeschool portfolio reviews. This can be useful as an afterschool curriculum as well. Be sure to come back and read about my experience.

Be back SOON!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Turning His Mourning into Dancing!

Marshet is a happy, funny boy. But last night, there was something different about him. He had JOY that I hadn't seen before. Has it been there and I have missed it? Maybe. But I watched him through a different lens, and something changed. I think I added one more notch to our attachment ladder. Not sure how or why dancing did that, but it most definitely did... and I'll take those wonderful notches anywhere and anyway I can get them!!!

I'm also not totally convinced that the Gladney Care Centers aren't running a Night Club as well-- because really, where does one get those dance moves?!?!?!?

Monday, September 19, 2011

"A Hungry Child Can't Wait: Ask 5 for 5"

Guest Blogger: Sarah Lenssen from #Ask5for5

Family photos by Mike Fiechtner Photography

Thank you "Homeward Bound" and nearly 150 other bloggers from around the world for allowing me to share a story with you today, during Social Media Week.

A hungry child in East Africa can't wait. Her hunger consumes her while we decide if we'll respond and save her life. In Somalia, children are stumbling along for days, even weeks, on dangerous roads and with empty stomachs in search of food and water. Their crops failed for the third year in a row. All their animals died. They lost everything. Thousands are dying along the road before they find help in refugee camps.

At my house, when my three children are hungry, they wait minutes for food, maybe an hour if dinner is approaching. Children affected by the food crisis in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia aren't so lucky. Did you know that the worst drought in 60 years is ravaging whole countries right now, as you read this? Famine, a term not used lightly, has been declared in Somalia. This is the world's first famine in 20 years.12.4 million people are in need of emergency assistance and over 29,000 children have died in the last three months alone. A child is dying every 5 minutes. It it estimated that 750,000 people could die before this famine is over. Take a moment and let that settle in.

The media plays a major role in disasters. They have the power to draw the attention of society to respond--or not. Unfortunately, this horrific disaster has become merely a footnote in most national media outlets. News of the U.S. national debt squabble and the latest celebrity's baby bump dominate headlines. That is why I am thrilled that nearly 150 bloggers from all over the world are joining together today to use the power of social media to make their own headlines; to share the urgent need of the almost forgotten with their blog readers. Humans have the capacity to care deeply for those who are suffering, but in a situation like this when the numbers are too huge to grasp and the people so far away, we often feel like the little we can do will be a drop in the ocean, and don't do anything at all.

When news of the famine first hit the news in late July, I selfishly avoided it. I didn't want to read about it or hear about it because I knew I would feel overwhelmed and uncomfortable. I wanted to protect myself. I knew I would need to do something if I knew what was really happening. You see, this food crisis is personal. I have a 4-year-old son and a 1 yr-old daughter who were adopted from Ethiopia and born in regions now affected by the drought. If my children still lived in their home villages, they would be two of the 12.4 million. My children: extremely hungry and malnourished? Gulp. I think any one of us would do anything we could for our hungry child. But would you do something for another mother's hungry child?

My friend and World Vision staffer, Jon Warren, was recently in Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya--the largest refugee camp in the world with over 400,000 people. He told me the story of Isnino Siyat, 22, a mother who walked for 10 days and nights with her husband, 1 yr-old-baby, Suleiman, and 4 yr.-old son Adan Hussein, fleeing the drought in Somalia. When she arrived at Dadaab, she built the family a shelter with borrowed materials while carrying her baby on her back. Even her dress is borrowed. As she sat in the shelter on her second night in camp she told Jon, "I left because of hunger. It is a very horrible drought which finished both our livestock and our farm." The family lost their 5 cows and 10 goats one by one over 3 months, as grazing lands dried up. "We don't have enough food now...our food is finished. I am really worried about the future of my children and myself if the situation continues."

Will you help a child like Baby Suleiman? Ask5for5 is a dream built upon the belief that you will.

That something I knew I would need to do became a campaign called #Ask5for5 to raise awareness and funds for famine and drought victims. The concept is simple, give $5 and ask five of your friends to give $5, and then they each ask five of their friends to give $5 and so on--in nine generations of 5x5x5...we could raise $2.4 Million! In one month, over 750 people have donated over $25,000! I set up a fundraiser at See Your Impact and 100% of the funds will go to World Vision, an organization that has been fighting hunger in the Horn of Africa for decades and will continue long after this famine has ended. Donations can multiply up to 5 times in impact by government grants to
help provide emergency food, clean water, agricultural support,
healthcare, and other vital assistance to children and families suffering in the Horn.

I need you to help me save lives. It's so so simple; here's what you need to do:

  1. Donate $5 or more on this page (

  2. Send an email to your friends and ask them to join us.

  3. Share #Ask5for5 on Facebook and Twitter!

I'm looking for another 100 bloggers to share this post on their blogs throughout Social Media Week. Email me at if you're interested in participating this week.

A hungry child doesn't wait. She doesn't wait for us to finish the other things on our to-do list, or get to it next month when we might have a little more money to give. She doesn't wait for us to decide if she's important enough to deserve a response. She will only wait as long as her weakened little body will hold on...please respond now and help save her life. Ask 5 for 5.

Thank you on behalf of all of those who will be helped--you are saving lives and changing history.

p.s. Please don't move on to the next website before you donate and email your friends right now. It only takes 5 minutes and just $5, and if you're life is busy like mine, you probably won't get back to it later. Let's not be a generation that ignores hundreds of thousands of starving people, instead let's leave a legacy of compassion. You have the opportunity to save a life today!

Friday, September 16, 2011

One full week of school... and everything else, under our belt!

It's Friday!! We are ALL exhausted, but we survived the week!!! This summer was pretty mellow, especially August, as we were hunkering down as a new family of 5. So..... the first full week of school took us from mellow (schedule-wise) to insane!!! 2nd Grade, pre-K, swim lessons for little ones started, swim team started up again for Jake, 1st Scout meeting (they are only once/month-- of course it had to start this week!!) This week also brought Marshet's 5th birthday!!! And.... 2 doctor appointments and an evening/night at the ER with Grace--(bad asthma attack due to a cold), and a dentist, ENT, and chiropractic appointment, and meeting for church for me. GOOD GRIEF!! Thankfully, next week is looking pretty quiet. :)

Birthday boy-- Lightening McQueen FAN!!!!

1st day of 2nd grade

2nd grader's fan club!!!
1st day of Pre-K!!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

So much to say.... but I only have the energy for pictures!!

I didn't want to be "that blogger" that dropped out of the blogging world once our adoption was "completed". I have wanted to blog so many times, but then... I don't. I'll be honest. It's been HARD! We had about a week of a honeymoon period, and then life picked right back up! Everything was textbook behavior-- from all 3 kiddos, but it still didn't make it any easier. We've been trying to set some serious boundaries around here, with a lot of resistance at times, well... most of the time!! :) I don't think sweet M had really ever been told "no". And I think his adorable little smile got him almost everything he ever wanted! So, yes, add that to the list of the hundreds of ways his little world has been totally turned upside down.... and I truly understand the reasons behind all of his behaviors. That doesn't mean that Mike hasn't come home from work and found the kids playing and me, hiding from the children, in the garage, while crying. :) It's been HARD. But..... we are coming out of the funk and are having incredible moments, hours, and even days!!!!! Starting school has done wonders for EVERYONE!!!! Structure and routine= more successful days. Everyone has said, "It will get better." It's hard to believe that when you're in the middle of huge fits and meltdowns, but it's true. It's better. And, it keeps getting better. He is one, cute, AMAZINGLY special little boy!!!!

My sweet friend took our pictures last night!! :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

stomach issues, but not giardia???

I don't really want this to be a graphic post, but.... trying to figure out what's going on! Marshet has been having "loose stool" issues since Mike took placement of him in Ethiopia- and probably long before. All stool test results came back negative. So, no parasite, giardia, etc.... But, obviously something is going on. Has anyone else struggled with this, and/or found some answers? He eats TONS and is SUPER skinny!

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