Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Almost done

The kids were out there early to watch the workers. I teased with the workers that this is probably the first time they had a crowd of fans watching them at 6 am in the morning. Joanna and Jacklyn found the little bench we set up under what will be a fast growing shade tree - the one I plan on sitting on to watch them when they ride bikes and rollerblade. Unfortunately the workers had to haul in all the sod in about 10 truckloads. The sod company left all the pallets of sod at the major cross streets under the traffic light where anyone could have gotten it - crazy!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Yay new pictures!

It has been 2 months since our referral and our director just sent us new pictures. Boy has Jeremiah grown - he definately has a belly (and he looks like he is patting it :)) and Josiah looks older (more like 2 yrs. instead of 1) with a new haircut - his curls are gone :( - but he is still so handsome. That was a fun surprise to find in my inbox today.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Produce Baskets

I have started buying our produce through a co-op. Here is what I got this Saturday for $15/1basket. I actually buy double this (2 baskets) since it is only every other weekend. They are all over the valley and you can buy much more than just produce. Check them out at this website

Janae has been posting

Go check out Janae's blog . She has done some great posts. She does a better job at documenting the fun day to day things that we do. She has posted some cute pictures and some blessed news. You can't imagine how proud I am of her. She is reserved, especially around others, but she has an amazing heart and is truly the leader and care taker of the kids and the one that all of my kids fight to be with.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Grass and the rest of the gravel come Wednesday.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Goodbye tumbleweeds!

Today the guys started our landscaping. We found some workers that were landscaping down the street and hired them to work on the side because the companies were just too expensive. My dad helped me figure out the plants/trees and design because Javier basically told me what he likes and left it up to me. We are just so glad to get rid of all of the terrible huge and poky tumbleweeds that grow like crazy out here in this town. The kids can't wait for some grass to play in. Thankfully, we live in a quiet cul de sac, so they can play in the front yard without a problem until we get the backyard done (which might be a while).

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Javier always tells me the same stories of his childhood and one is that his dad only allowed 1 hair cut his whole time he lived at home - a buzz cut. Javier wanted jerry curls - you know like Lionel Richie? Well, since he missed out on all these hair styles, and of course there were no yearbooks on his island, I thought I would help him live out his teenage dreams - LOL.


They are growing!

Josiah is now 18.5 pounds and 28 inches tall at 17 months old and Jeremiah is not far behind at 14.5 pounds and 24.5 inches tall at 5 1/2 months old.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

1/2 way done and praying for a way

Did you see on my ticker to the right? I am 1/2 way done with this pregnancy? Yay! I am very thankful for my pregnancy and baby, but I don't LOVE being pregnant like some women. My pregnancies are not that "fun" between the sickness, acne, aches and pains, preterm contractions and sometimes bedrest, but I do LOVE the births and the babies that come from it -so it is all worth it. I see the doctor tomorrow and am hoping to see what he thinks about me traveling to Ethiopia. Maybe I should bring him chocolate :).

We (especially Janae and I) are praying that the Lord would provide a way for her to go with us to Ethiopia. She has been a big part of this adoption from the beginning. Before we ever decided to adopt and she knew we were discussing it, she hid notes all around (under daddy's pillow, in the car, in drawers) asking if we could please adopt and promising to help -oh and she had all the kids sign the notes:). She has a tender heart and she just loves these boys already just as she loves her current siblings. I think it would be a life changing experience for her that I hope may plant a seed as she starts to think and dream about her future and the purpose/work the Lord has in store for her. We talked that it may not be God's will for her to go, just as it may not be His will for me to go, but God's word says we do not have because we do not ask, so ask the Father - which is exactly what we are doing.

Monsoon storms

In summer here in AZ we get Monsoon storms. Strong storms that seem to come out of nowhere with strong winds, crashing thunder and heavy rain. We LOVE these storms here because it gives us a break from the 115 degree weather. Thankfully the last couple of weeks we have been down to around 100. A few weeks ago, I let the kids go out and play in the rain, puddles and mud once the wind and lightning settled down. Soon we will have landscaping and the chance to play in the mud will be gone so I let them take advantage of it now. Oh yes, and they caught a frog. Fun times. The last picture shows the littles after I hosed them down and shampooed them outside :).

More camping pictures

Yes - here he is again goofing around

I thought this picture was so cute because look who is leading the group :). Can you see little Joanna way in front?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Who knew Daddy could have so much fun at a 5 year old's b-day party?

Javi's job has been so stressful and he has had long hours lately - so this was just the cure - oh and the kids loved it too :).


We took the kids camping the weekend before Labor Day Weekend. We had not been camping since we went with our young marrieds home group and we just had Janae (1 year old) and I was pregnant with Jordan. Now we attempted to go for the first time as a family of 8 - I know we are crazy, but hey we needed to learn sometime. We fixed up my parents old trailer which still works great and we headed off about 1 1/2 hours from our house. We had a good time and hopefully we will have an even better time next time now that we know better what we are doing and as the weather gets cooler.


*lots of hikes
*climbing trees
*playing in the hammock
*cooking yummy breakfasts
*worship time under the amazing stars
*shooting bb guns at targets and cans (my 3 oldest kids are sharp shooters thanks to my dad)
*the out houses (Joanna was afraid to fall in and she insisted there were baby zebras down in them that would get her)
*oh and the 3 brave girls sleeping in the tent (Joanna, Julia and pregnant mommy - Javi will never live this down - he was not interested in the tent after seeing the bear warnings at our campground :))
- click on any of the pictures to see them larger-
Partners in crime
Yo quiero Taco Bell (yes we smuggled her into Taco Bell on the way home)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

We are EVEN - the boys finally caught up after 9 years!

Saturday I will be 19 weeks - almost 1/2 way done. We had our ultrasound and the baby looks great and is healthy - Praise God! The technician was so thorough explaining everything and there was a flat screen tv on the wall for us to watch the ultrasound which was nice. When we found out we were pregnant Javier did not want to find out. I did not approach the subject until a few weeks ago and I explained my reasons why I would like to find out and he said that was fine. I was shocked - he wasn't just appeasing me, he was really being thoughtful. (I think how and when we approach our husbands makes a big difference) Since then, I kept asking if he is sure and he said yes. So today we found out.

18 wks 5 days

meeting Daddy for lunch so we could reveal the news together to the kids - They each opened a card - some said "its a boy" and some said "its a girl" -So whichever there were more of was the answer

Jordan started cheering and high fiving his Dad. The girls were all fine either way and had good attitudes - they just care about holding a baby. Can you believe this? After 9 years with all these girls and only 1 boy, we will be tied up - 4 girls and 4 boys! It will make preparations, choosing a name, and passing down clothes much easier, but 3 boys under 2?! Wow - seriously I need prayer for an increase in energy. I have struggled after 2 of my babies' births with feeling overwhelmed and exhausted/lacking normal energy. I know that a good diet, B-12 and exercise helped before, but if you have any suggestions of specific things or other tips to help my energy now and especially postpartum, please share them.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Praising God Through Suffering

It has taken me a bit to get the energy to write this. Before I right what happened, I want to share that we can truly say that we do not regret opening our home to Charina and choosing the "risky yet abundant life" of following what we believe Christ called us to (see my June 11 post). We took her into our home, although with little warning, with a purpose - To show Christ to her. She did not see a perfect family, but what she saw, lived and learned in our home is something that a book or a witness could not have told or preached to her. She saw an intact family that loves and forgives by the grace of God, a loving marriage that is truthful and faithful. She went to a Bible teaching church, shared in our evening Bible/worship family times, joined in on our family gatherings and vacation. She lived in a home where praise and worship songs were playing often. She was the recipient of forgiveness and tough love multiple times the last 2 weeks, instead of malicious words or physical abuse. On Friday afternoon, when we were piecing everything together, the kids were sharing their feelings. They just couldn't wrap their minds around how someone who seemed so nice and who was their cousin could sin so badly and hurt us so much. Janae had been quiet and she had tears in her eyes and said, "I feel so betrayed. And she was our cousin and said she loved us??!!" We stopped right then to pray and thank God for the feelings of betrayal and suffering that we were feeling. We prayed that from this we would better understand the betrayal Jesus felt when he was crucified on the cross and the betrayal he feels when we have idols in our life. Providentially, I had started in the book of Hosea in the old testament that morning which is a picture of Israel's unfaithfulness/betrayal to God -isn't He good? We would not change this for the world. We have had so many great opportunities and first hand examples to talk to our kids about forgiveness, love, the dangers of an unrepentant heart, the dangers of sin, submission and a truly changed heart that bears fruit. I share all of this, not to get nice comments or to lift ourselves up in any way, but in excitement of what the Lord is doing and to encourage others not to be afraid of suffering for the sake of the gospel. Our prayer is that the love of Christ that she experienced in our home would not be in vain - that the Lord would save her and make her His child.

About a week and a half ago we took the whole family camping (more about that in a later post). Well, we came home to a stressful week of uncovering lies, receiving a bill with credit card theft, finding international cell phone charges, schemes, Charina running away, much contact with the Sheriff's department, uncovering all of our kid's cash was gone from their wallets, some of our bills/financial info had been taken and hidden and Saturday confirming she was "safely" in New Jersey with her troubled older 1/2 sister. Each day we would uncover more. Much of it we couldn't make sense of until days later. We probably still have not uncovered everything, but she is gone and our family is safe. I am exhausted from the hours spent on the phone with credit card companies, the airlines, the Sheriff, the bank, her sister etc.

About 3 weeks ago Charina and I had a long talk at night about following Christ. She was so excited about Christ and the forgiveness she found in Him. I told her it was not always going to be easy to follow Him and that an excited feeling would not be enough. When the hard times come, it will show if she will do the hard thing and turn from her old ways and follow Christ as the king of her life and that would show if she was truly saved and changed. We discussed how you can not serve 2 masters and Christ can't be a "good luck charm" you tag onto a life of going your own way. What sparked that long talk that night was that her troubled sister in New Jersey called and Charina was sharing the gospel with her. She continued to communicate with her sister (some secretly) and soon after the lies, deceit and steeling began. Once we found some of the charges we got the whole family together, prayed and confronted her on it and told her we forgave her but did not trust her and I told her in 3 different conversations that she needed to ask Javier for forgiveness (the lies and deceit had mostly been against him and caused him the most trouble at that point) and at least say she was sorry and I told her we would likely send her back home if she could not show us that we could trust her. She had just started a job at McDonalds so we were trying to decide if we should allow her to stay and have her work off her debt to us or if it was too risky. Well, we did not have to decide because she ran away leaving a nice note saying that we treated her better than anyone ever had and she could not face us. Financially it appears that most of it we will get back and we think we will only be out the cash and some of the phone charges. That is not the big deal. It greatly impacted our kids and Javier's family. There is so much to be thankful for including the safety of our children and their hearts for her that were revealed through all of this.

My husband reminded me that a pastor said that if you are going to serve a lost world and broken, hurting people, then expect to suffer. 1 Peter 4:12-13 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

PS - I will post some great pictures and hopefully good news later this week - so check back :)