Friday, November 30, 2012


We got some pretty exciting news this week about our Annie. It turns out that we have the opportunity to sponsor her while we wait. Someone else has been sponsoring our sweet girl, and we were able to take over her sponsorship. This allows us to 1) help the orphanage provide the care she needs while she waits for us, and 2) receive updates and pictures of her while we wait.

We have received 4 different updates this week from the past year. From what we've seen, it appears she's already had at least one haircut. She also seems to LOVE music (big surprise, right!)  They mention her response to music in almost every update. Here's one of our new pictures:

A Musing Maralee

Maralee Bradley is a dear friend and heart sister of mine. Her sweet mom has been my mentor for over 15 years now! Maralee was a high school student when we first met, and has become a beautiful wife and mother with stories to tell...and she tells them with great eloquence and humor.

After reading several humorous status updates about her kids on Facebook, I was convinced she needed to start a blog. Several others felt the same way, and I was so excited a few months back to see that she finally took the step.

Maralee and her husband Bryan have 4 children, ages 5 and under, representing 4 different races. Their little United Nations family brings such a smile to my heart.

I hope you enjoy reading about my friend's little circus as much as I do. (And if you like what you see...make sure you "like" her page on Facebook!)

2012 Singing Christmas Tree

Another year is in the books, and the 2012 Singing Christmas Tree was our best yet. It was a little bittersweet tonight to have our final cast party with kiddos are "aging out" after getting to know them for the last three years. We've seen some children really come out of their shells and become quite the performers. We've seen children develop beautiful singing voices. But most of all, we've seen children week in and week out come and learn what Christmas is all about: Christ.

Here's a great article from the local newspaper about our kiddos:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

When it Rains... pours!

I'm keeping my eyes on God right now, but it seems a whole bunch of things are just going wrong these days. I've been on crutches the better part of the last month. Just as I was getting ahead of this ankle sprain, I took a tumble on the crutches (some excitable kiddos took me out!) and did a number on my back when I landed.

On Thanksgiving, our sink backed up...way up...overflowing into the basement. (Thanks, Dad & Dan for taking care of that one.)

The day after Thanksgiving, our oven of 10 years decided to quit working. The repair is almost $300. Trying to decide if we just get a new oven. (Can't really afford either option.) And it looks like they can't get out until next week to fix it.

Dan just dumped a lot into replacing the clutch in his car. Turns out the clutch wasn't the only problem. We're a one-car family this week while we pour more into those repairs. With only one car, I can't pick up any sub jobs.

We also just finished a partial remodel on our basement and have those expenses (which were budgeted, but still ad to the pinch right now.)

So I'm tired, but keeping my eyes up. Just a hiccup along the way to get our sweet girl. The evil one doesn't like what we're doing, and for whatever reason, God has allowed all of these things to happen at once. In the grand scheme, we'll be okay. It just seems to be a lot of things at once.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tree of Thanksgiving

Every November, we hang an old bulletin board of a large tree in our hallway. We keep track of the things we are thankful for and write them on the leaves. This year, I did it a little differently. Each day (well...most days when we remembered) everyone at the dinner table writes on their leaf. With the visit from my parents for the past week, we've enjoyed reading their additions as well. no particular order ('s in alphabetical order):

47th Anniversary
Automobiles and things that have wheels
Blue skies
Bold, hot coffee
Box elder bugs
Bubble baths
Coke Zero
Comfortable house
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Finished projects
Foster Care
Good books
Good friends
Grandparents' Day
Holy Spirit
Jesus' Love
MaKaylee Kassebaum
My family
My job
New basement roms
Nick and the people who fought in the war
Our freedom
Our Veterans
Papa and Nana
Papa, Nana, Dayna time
Snuggling with Dayna
Squanto and the pilgrims
Sub jobs
The Bible - God's Word of truth
The color orange
The Father
The first Thanksgiving
The people who risked their lives on the Mayflower
The Son
The sun
Tolits (Toilets)
Vacation on road less traveled
Visits from family

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Baby Wrote Me Some Letters

HS - check (Home Study)
USCIS - check (United States Center for Immigration Services)
DTC - check (Dossier to China)
LID - check (Log In Date)
LOI - check (Letter of Intent)
PA - check (Pre-Approval)

What do all of these mean? Our family has been cleared and approved by the State of Nebraska, US Dept of Homeland Security, and the Chinese government to bring home a little girl. As of today, we can officially publish her information. Enjoy the video in the next post. (You'll have to scroll down.)

Dayna's Project

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cuteness Overload

How can this not put a smile on your face? All you have to do is Google "puppies" (or in this case, "bulldog puppies."

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Red or Blue?

I'm pretty sure I know how tonight is going to end. It's probably not the way I want it to end. And even if it ends the way I want it to...I don't know that I really want that, either.

I've put myself on a fast from Facebook this week so I can spend more time in prayer and less time getting my gut wrenched by all the venomous and often erroneous information posted by friends on both sides of the political fence.

We've had some interesting conversations about elections and authority with Dayna recently. And it boils down to this: whoever is our leader, that person is determined by God alone. I have no cause for despair if "my" candidate loses. And if "my" candidate wins, he still has a responsibility to lead wisely and can let me down at any time. In God alone can I put my trust. I will vote according to my conscience, and after great prayer. I will respect the position, no matter who fills it. And I will continue to pray that we are "one nation, under God."

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Miss Understood?

I once had a PE teacher who saw right through me. At the time, I really didn't like him; in fact...I was a downright brat in his class. At the end of the year, he wrote some words in my yearbook that have always stuck with me: "To the most well-intentioned but misunderstood young lady I know..."

He has no idea that those words have stuck with me.

I saw this today and thought it appropriate to some people who've made a difference in my life lately (not the good kind of difference...)