Saturday, August 30, 2008

A first video clip...

Okay, I think this will work. I tried to get a clip of Phoebe walking in the dress Margaret and Milana Lake got for her, and I had my camera tilted the wrong way so you'll see it sideways. The dress is still a little big but should fit her perfectly when we go to Florida and Hawaii later in the year. For now, I hope this works...

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Wave petunias in the fall...
with a few surprises like snapdragons and last years "annuals"

I know, strange photos to have displayed first. My flower gardens are starting to die off. But there are still many flowers, kind of like our friends. As they age they are still beautiful, full of surprises, but you can tell not as colorful, not sprouting or as green, a little withered. That must have been like how my 92 year old friend, Lila Nieman, felt these last few years of her life. She was still very beautiful, wrote me the most incredible letters(I love those handwritten letters), and always supported our family through prayer. I know she was key in bringing home both our babies safe, and very quickly. She was such an encouragement to us during those days when family just didn't get it and often said hurtful things. She even remembered Michael's first birthday and sent him a card and 10 dollars!!! I was so incredibly touched. She passed away last Sunday...she inspired me. I met Lila as a single woman in my "frontier" days up in Alaska. She taught me how to fry up some great grayling, cook some carrot cake, and make the most tender venison ribs-I learned this while her son and my hubs were out deer hunting. We went up river on flat river boats 50 miles into the Alaskan wilderness at her spry age of 82!! She herself spent years up in Coldfoot, Alaska, as a school teacher with her husband. They built their log home in North Pole, AK, where my hubs and I met. I loved hearing her stories...I will miss her greatly, and I am sorry that my children will not ever meet her here on earth. It makes me tear up to know she had their photos up on her fridge...
I also have tears of joy however knowing without doubt that someday we shall all meet again and rejoice-celebrating together, for now so long my dearest, Lila, we will miss you!!!

I am often reminded that sorrow often is accompanied with joy. In the peace of the day, the south winds brought some fallish type weather. Not in the first picture(that was taken 3 days ago and it was 90 degrees) but in the ones that follow. We have dry conditions and a gorgeous 70 degrees! My children make me so happy during my sadness. The weather sure made Phoebe excited and Michael a very happy 18 month old!!!
our little pool
can I please pick it, Mom? my experiment with a tomato garden, I'll have to say not bad for a 1st try and no caretaking!!!
He's heading for the lake!!
fooled ya, I was going for the swings!!
on the way back
phoebe gets sidetracked
she tasted a maple leaf
mom had to get a photo
Being 18 months is exhausting!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Beautiful Summer Days...

We should be outside!!

I can't believe summer is almost over. The days are shortening, my nanny went back to school(that's a tough one), but alas, there are still some beautiful days left to enjoy. On one of the last days Heather was with us(yes, she gets to come back next summer, YEAH), we went to the Minnesota Children's Museum. It was a blast, so much to explore and play with!! My kids loved it. We'll have to say that both Heather and I were exhausted after that trip, and Heather is about half my age so imagine what I feel like some days...
Nanny Heather
Love the slide
Princess Phoebe
Prince Michael
My favorite...
Mom, this place rocks!!

To help with the transition, my 7 year old niece, Rebecca came a couple of days last week. Wow, I couldn't believe how much help that provided. I got to sleep in, she entertained the kids for me, helped them go down for naps:) We had a ball, and both Michael and Phoebe adore their cousin. She of course got some down time, she got a felt board that she could change all these outfits on, and a piggybank that she painted and then baked so we could put some of her "nanny" wages in it. She was a joy to have!
The cousins had matching shirts
The back of the t-shirts!
Then today, I LOVE SUNDAYS, we got to go to my girlfriends house and swim in just fantastic weather. The best thing was, we shared a common friend, Rory. Rory and her husband live in Kyrgyzstan. They went to our church here, and last year we first met them while picking up Michael. By visiting with them we found out that Rory and Kat were in the same class during family practice residency. What a hoot!!! It's such a small world!! We saw them again when we picked up Phoebe, and they came home for the summer so Rory could take her board certifications again. So we had a grill out and then all hung out at the pool. Rory and her family go back to Kyrgyzstan at the end of this month, but we hope, when our children are out of diapers, to go back and visit them with our babies. I can hardly wait I know!!! So we wish them well as they go back to work there, may we see them again soon!!
Michael(& Phoebe too) loved the pool!
The "Kyrg" Gang

Friday, August 8, 2008

And the Brilliant Bloggers are...

I'm finishing my Brilliant Blogger award responsibility. Thanks again, Andrea, I often get inspiration from you! First of all I would like to bestow these fellow peeps with this award. There are many brilliant bloggers out there, but these are the ones I read most often!

1} Kami D.-unfortunately, she has a private blog, but you can email her if you want to see it. Just email me and I'll forward it to her. She has a son Kaleb who is just a week older than my son and they were orphanage mates in Bishkek, his pics have been known to show up on my blog once in awhile and I share a very special friendship with Kami.

2)Rachel-who lives in the same burb in Florida that my bro lives in, and has a daughter who was in the same orphanage as Phoebe

3)Hilary-my sweet friend that I hope to meet someday soon! Her daughter Anara was also in Tokmok but definitely did not see my little Phoebe:)

4)Jackie-she also adopted from Kyrgyzstan, and her daughter Nola was also in Tokmok-she has become a good friend of mine after meeting in Florida last February.

5)Margaret-okay another private blog, but you have to keep in touch with those Tokmok girls! You can email her at the link provided.

6)Ivy-I love her journal about picking up her son. Yup, private...but you can again try to get access at the link:)

7)Lisa-a fellow Minnesotan in line for a Kyrgyz referral!! Yeah, my children will not be the only Kyrgyz in this Northern State:)

Now ladies pay attention, not only do you get to award 7 more brilliant bloggers, you get to answer these questions A to Z!!

A. Attached or single? Attached

B. Best friend? Hubs

C. Cake or pie? Cake

D. Day of choice? Sunday

E. Essential item? Ice cream

F. Favorite color? depends on my mood, could be pink, black, green, or brown

G. Gummy bears or worms? Bears

H. Hometown? Minneapolis

I. Indulgence? One hour massage from my favorite massage therapist

J. January or July? January-I like snow, my hubs was born then, start of a new year

K. Kids? 5-my 2 Kyrgyz kiddos, my 2 dogs, and my Hubs

L. Life isn’t complete without? Family and faith

M. Marriage date? 02/28/03

N. Number of brothers & sisters? Older bro, a younger bro & sister

O. Oranges or apples? Oranges

P. Phobias? Heights

Q. Quotes? It doesn't matter where you are, it's who you are with. A journey of 1000 miles begins with 1 step.

R. Reasons to smile? my 5 crazy children

S. Season of choice? Fall

T. Tag seven peeps! (see above)

U. Unknown fact about me? It wouldn't be unknown if I told you :) Got that straight from Andrea:)

V. Vegetable? Tomato, if you think that's a fruit then asparagus

W. Worst habits? procrastination

X. X-ray or ultrasound? ultrasound

Y. Your favorite food? good spaghetti and ice cream

Z. Zodiac sign? Gemini

Now of course I have to add some pics of my babies...

Awards and the way God works...

Andrea bestowed this award to me the other day. I was honored to meet her at the CWA picnic along with alot of my blogger buddies. Of course, there are many out there who do a better job than I do, and I am humbled at the thought. Thank you, Andrea, for reading my blog and thinking of me:) You made my day!! On my next post I'll hand out the award to some well deserved people but I have some other pressing news that I would like to share.

Of all the awards to be given, there is a woman who helped my blogging possible, and will surely be awarded in eternity. She pioneered and opened up the way for many families to bring home their Kyrgyz children. Her story is very inspiring. Her name is Tami Snowden and her story indeed inspires. Here is the link to the newstory, don't miss it!

Tami Snowden's story

What is even more amazing to this story is the background she wrote to let us know what it all involved. Here is a clip from the letter she wrote to the Kyrgyz Yahoo board:

Hello all,
Thank you all for your kind comments regarding me and Tabi's story. I made my first trip to K-stan in the fall of 1999, and worked in the baby orphanage in Bishkek for 6 weeks. That is when I first met Kenny (Cindy LaJoy's son). After 6 weeks, I left to come back to America--knowing I would return after I finished seminary. The one thing I started praying in 1999, was that laws would change, and that in the meantime God would really work in the hearts of the workers to love the children. If the institution was to replace a family (can't really replace a family --but you know what I mean) then I wanted children to have the best love they could..and that the workers would become their "moms."

I prayed continually for changes in laws for adoption. When I arrived early Jan 2002, I immediately began my work at the Bishkek Baby House.
Once a month, other missionaries in town would meet at my apartment and we pray for laws to change. We prayed for 2 1/2 years. My other friend and I would walk around the white house in bishkek and pray for officials to be put into place that had a heart for the children and would allow foreign adoption.

When I left Bishkek in Jan 05, I was thrilled to have my daughter with me, but also grieved leaving all the other children behind. I begged God not to forget them, and to make a way for them to be homes like Tabi.

God is Faithful!!!

In your journey with your children, don't forget to tell them about the many missionaries who lived in bishkek, and our prayer teams back in America who prayed for years for laws to change so that they could have homes.

Exodus 22:22 says, Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry.

GOD DID HEAR THEIR CRY---They are not forgotten.

For the children,
Tami Snowden

Because of Tami, and all the others who pleaded with God, we, and many other families have beautiful children in our homes. She truly deserves and award for her courage and faithfulness, not listening to others, and choosing the narrow road. It makes me bow my knees before a truly FAITHFUL God.

And the amazing thing is that our God does not always work through feel good stories. He works through tragedy. And although it is painful to say, God is faithful even when He allows this to happen. The next is a story on Steven Curtis Chapman and the loss of his adopted daughter, Maria. As Christians, we do not have all the answers, and we do not have perfect lives, our lives are broken, yet God finds a way to help us in our grief, shares in it with the sacrifice of his own son Jesus and speaks volumes about Himself. Listen to what they have to say...

Steven Curtis Chapman Interview

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Bling, Bling!!

Miss Phoebe got new earrings about a week ago!! She did great throughout the piercing, I felt the same as when she was getting shots but she quickly forgot about it! I had to take each ear separate to get good shots, she's got ear anatomy that likes to hide the earrings from the camera!!

"I got attitude" look...