Tuesday, December 4, 2012


I used to be a crafty person. Truly I did. The reason this blog is named "I really should be cleaning" is because I would often knit, scrapbook, read, or coupon my days away! And while it is true, I still should be cleaning- it is because I'm taking care of these crazy rugrats, or grocery shopping, or chatting with long distance friends on facebook cooking dinner or something like that. The past 3 weeks of waiting on this adoption have sent me back into my crafting mode though- definitely nesting. I've been going crazy trying to get some things done before my baby girl comes home. And I think a part of me is also trying to knit my way to her! :) Here are some of the projects I've been working on:

Scrapbook bunting for my friend's baby shower that I hosted. Ignore the ugly brown wood. We live in base housing remember? Also, ignore the fact that we don't have curtains...we hung the curtain rod only to realize we lost one of our curtains in the move. On my list- order more curtains!

Sewing pillow covers so we finally have pillows on our couch! 

Knitting a winter hat for my new love bug! Colors are much prettier in person. Pattern from Itty-Bitty Hats book.

Christmas cards. Ok, this is not really nesting, but I did decide to write a lengthy letter with ours (unusual for me) and got a cute stone stamp with our name in Hangul to stamp on all of the letters. Plus it makes me feel more productive if I add it to this blog post. :)

Sewed a fabric bunting for the kids playroom. This room is definitely a work in progress. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lifelong Love

Last week my husband's grandmother passed away. This week, his grandfather too passed away. They had both lived to be in their mid nineties and had spent the majority of their lives married to each other. Both of them had been deteriorating in health for some time. In fact, there was a time this summer where we thought he would die but he pulled through. My husband's grandpa was not an emotional man, unless you count getting worked up about politics to be emotional. He was a WWII veteran and enjoyed working on projects. My husband's grandma on the other hand, was probably the sweetest woman who ever lived. She gave selflessly (sometimes too much possibly) and loved Jesus. My favorite memory of the two of them was in December, after she had lost her sight and often did not remember her own daughters. When his grandpa sat down next to her and she was told that he was there, she reached up for his hand and proceeded to rub his fingers and hand. They just sat together like that for hours. When anyone else held her hand, she didn't do that. She truly loved him. And after seeing how he just gave up his will to live after she died, it is evident that he truly loved her too. I'm amazed at how that works. Praying that I will get to be married to my husband for as long as they were able to be together.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Habakkuk, where have you been all my life?

Several friends pestered me lovingly pointed out that I needed to post on my blog. I suppose I do. We have been blessed with the referral for an infant girl from the DRC. We have been moving forward in the process to bring her home. We still miss our Rory Grace so much, but have been very blessed with this new referral and with hope in our hearts that we will be able to bring her home to our family. She is officially our daughter legally, now we are working on our immigration forms, etc, etc. So much paperwork involved in adoption! And so much notarizing. And so much longing, and thinking, and praying. Dealing with the death of Rory has been very difficult but He has really been faithful to lead our family through it. We now miss her, and always will, but we are feeling much more healed. Our other major life stress still continues. It has been weighing on us for years. I am praying for resolution (praying for happy, JOYOUS resolution) in the next couple of months. 

In a giant coincidence (okay, okay, yeah right. Totally not a coincidence. We know WHO decided I'd be doing those studies during this time) both of the Bible studies I am in are about God's faithfulness and presence during times of trial and suffering. In our church small group we are reading Spectacular Sins by John Piper. This book is all about the sovereignty of God, and what his role is in creating or allowing trials and suffering. The other women's Bible study is Lord, Where Are You When Bad Things Happen by Kay Arthur which focuses on the book of Habakkuk. I have never read the book of Habakkuk before (or maybe I have, but don't remember any of it!). I am absolutely certain that God saved these words for me to read during this time of my life. A time where we have been through a lot. 

At the beginning of the book, Habakkuk says "How long, O Lord, will I call for help, and You will not hear?" This is often how I feel. That I have prayed for resolution to our current trial for so long. And that He is not hearing. He is not listening. He is not doing anything. I am the tantrumming two-year-old stomping my feet in front of the Lord. Why God, are you not taking away this burden? and Why did you have to allow Rory to die? 

The Lord has given me answers to both situations in Habakkuk. He says in verse 5 "Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days- You would not believe if you were told". God is truly in control. His plan is so much bigger than I could imagine. He doesn't reveal His ways to us. We would not understand. I would not understand. Like that two-year-old, who doesn't like his father's choices, I, the tantrumming adult cannot understand my Father's will. I have to trust that He knows best. "For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay." Habakkuk 2:3 His plan always succeeds, always occurs. His plan was for us to only love Rory from a distance, to see her in heaven someday, and to be the parents of our new precious daughter. His plan for our other trial will eventually come to light. As we walk through His plans, even if we don't understand them, we rejoice that He will be with us through it all. We hope that we will be able to bring our new daughter into our home and to be her parents here, for a very very long time. We also hope that we will be able to celebrate the end of our other trial soon, and that as it ends that it will end the way we desperately want it to end. At the end of it all, no matter what may come, we strive to have the same attitude and draw the same conclusions that Habakkuk did.

"Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds' feet,
And makes me walk on my high places."
Habakkuk 3:17-19

Praise be to God.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

He is here

The loss of my daughter has been an immense struggle for me this week. Added to that is the stress of being "alone" to weather it. My husband had to go away for the week for his job just 24 hours after we lost Rory. Couple that with just moving here and having a small (yet growing!) support system and living an ocean away from family...well it has been difficult.  I was chatting online with a good friend and she said "The Lord really is making you depend solely on HIM isn't He?" It was like a board across my head. She was SO. SO. right. This situation is NOT a surprise to Him. He knew when she would pass away, He knew when we would move to Korea, He knew when my husband had to be away. It should have been obvious to me, but it wasn't. I have been trying to rely on Him but this was a reminder that I only NEED him. His comfort and love are all I need to heal. It has really helped remind me to give it ALL to him, rather than picking up the phone to call someone first. 

That said- even though we are new- He is using SOOOOO many people, saying so many extremely kind things to minister to us. And that is an INCREDIBLE blessing to me/us. New friends, old friends, acquaintances near and far. I've had old friends drive up (or offer to drive up but then their kids get sick) from other bases to see me and distract me from my sadness, and new friends invite me and my kids to dinner. We've had so many encouraging emails with people saying how they read a Bible verse and it reminded them of us, and of course it is just the verse that I needed to hear. Last night we got an amazingly kind email from the pastor of our old church and his wife. I then decided to turn on some music while I got ready for bed and the song "How He Loves" by David Crowder Band came on. Listening to the lyrics about God's love for me made me think about all of the people surrounding us and lifting us in prayer. That is how He loves me. He is just POURING out his love through these people to me. Yes, this situation absolutely sucks. But because He loves me He is surrounding me with blessings. 

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realise just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/d/david_crowder/#share
Sunday, August 19, 2012

She is gone

Yesterday morning we received the news that no one wants to hear. Our precious daughter passed away unexpectedly in the DRC. From what we were told she was sick for only a day and then died. They don't know what she had or why she died. From what we knew she was healthy. We are absolutely heartbroken. We have prayed for her and talked about her, sent her packages and have held so much love in our hearts and hope and anticipation of the day we would hold her in our arms finally. Moving here, updating our homestudy...everything was falling into place. We were finally in the home we would bring her to. We were anticipating traveling in October or November. 

The night before I was opening boxes and sorting our little girl clothes, planning which ones would fit her when she came home. I have piles on my living room floor ready to put in her drawers for a little girl who will never wear them. A little girl who I long to hold in my arms and snuggle tight. A little girl who I will never get to meet this side of heaven. My daughter. 

We were told that the people who loved her and cared for her in the DRC will have a service of some type for her and a burial. This brings me comfort to know that she will be remembered in this way. It breaks my heart that I wasn't there when she was sick, and that I can't be there when they lay her in the ground. My poor sweet baby. 

In just one day, a week and a half after moving here, we have received an amazing out pouring of love and support. Three separate people brought us flowers yesterday and we have received many many emails and fb messages of love. We treasure these and thank you all for these. I know the Mighty Counselor will help us heal. Already today is a little better than yesterday. For now we look forward to the day we meet her again in heaven and take comfort knowing that she is in a place so much better than we could ever create. 

We love you, sweet Rory Grace. Forever.

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; 
    may the name of the Lord be praised.”

Job 1:21

(And no, this is in no way related to the other great or devastating news I talked about in the previous post. This is completely unexpected. That issue is still unresolved.)
Wednesday, August 8, 2012

We made it

So much has been happening in our lives...I don't even know how to sum it up in a blog post. It probably needs ten posts...but one will have to do! 

We made it to Korea 2 days ago. The kids and I traveled halfway around the world and lived to tell about it. They did fantastic on the flight over, and other than me not getting to sleep the entire time, a near meltdown after we landed and had to go through customs, having jet lag and then getting diagnosed with strep the day after we arrived, it went okay! :) We were met at the airport by my husband whom I hadn't seen in a month, and many amazing friends that we had been stationed with over the years. I'm so blessed.

We are starting to settle in somewhat. The suitcases look like they have exploded all over the house (that my hubs moved into after he got here). We have gotten our small initial shipment of our stuff and have government furniture until our main shipment gets here. We have a homestudy worker coming from Malaysia on Friday to do our homestudy update which we needed done only because of our move. It will be great to get that done and submitted to USCIS ASAP. Our main shipment ALSO may arrive on Friday...and while I'm looking forward to getting our stuff that we haven't seen in 2 months, I don't know if I can handle prepping for an update while getting all of our boxes at the same time. Plus our social worker may not be able to walk in our house if that happens! We may have to have them wait until Monday to deliver...but it sure would be nice to have our stuff! :) 

On the adoption front things are moving along great. We are officially the parents of our new Congolese princess!!! She will be moved in the next few weeks to the agency's transition home so she can get all of her paperwork done and come HOME!!! We got updated pics of her a few weeks ago and she is so precious. She burned her poor little hand very badly so that was hard to see, but I got pictures of it a few weeks after the incident and it looked much better. 

Our family could also really use prayer for an ongoing situation that I have alluded to in other posts. It is honestly the most stressful thing happening in my life right now (yes, more stressful than an overseas move and an overseas adoption combined!!). I'd love to be able to share more (don't hate me!) but I need to keep it offline for the time being. Hopefully someday I'll be able to share and it will be GREAT news (it will either be GREAT or DEVASTATING!!) but until then just send out a prayer for God's sovereignty in our life and His perfect peace to continue to surpass any worry in our minds. 

Blessings to you and your families!
Sunday, May 20, 2012

Inching along...

This past week finally brought a little bit of resolution to some items in my last post. We finally got our orders. What that means in the military world is that we were finally able to schedule packers, shippers, plane tickets, date to check out of our rental home, carpet cleaning, shipping our car, etc. A LOT of plans were hinging on getting those orders. We had been hearing that a lot of people were not getting movers when they wanted them as this is an EXTREMELY busy season in this area. People were having to rearrange vacations/cancel vacations, delay moves, etc. Despite our late orders we were still able to get movers scheduled in a very timely manner. In fact, it was better than we expected. The bad news is that means that one of our shipments goes out this week and I am SOOOO not ready! We have one quick shipment where we will send the items that we need as soon as we arrive in Korea (yet we will be without them for the next month or two...figure that out!), one main shipment of the remainder of things we want to go to Korea, and one final shipment will go to a storage facility to remain here in the U.S. for the two years we are in Korea. It is a LOT of sorting as you can imagine. And I'm really good at avoiding tasks like this until the last minute....except it already is the last minute! Ahh!

We also heard a teeny bit from our agency. We got a bill for our daughter's passport which doesn't mean much of anything except that they are beginning the process to get her one. Still it is progress! We also heard that our care package to her finally got sent. Which means (fingers crossed) that when it arrives we should see a picture of her soon after they deliver it! 

Oh! And I almost forgot! We got our US immigration approval in the mail this week! I was SOOO thrilled! We'll have to reapply for this with our new info after we get to Korea, but it shouldn't be too much of a problem since we have this approval already. 
Thursday, May 3, 2012


It feels like we are waiting for a lot of things in our life right now:

Waiting...on new pictures of our sweet baby girl.
Waiting...to hear about a court date for her.
Waiting...to have orders (what we need to start planning ANYTHING for our move).
Waiting...to ship our car, schedule our movers, officially reserve plane tickets.
Waiting...for another huge long-term stress to be resolved.
Waiting...to hear an answer from God on whether or not to homeschool next year (I think not??).

So thankful I have the Lord to talk to during these times where we wait. Thankful that He is in control of it all.
Monday, April 30, 2012

A few more things done!

The big news of the week this past week is that our dossier is officially in the DRC. I'm hoping things will finally start happening soon! :) We also were able to get our fingerprints for our USCIS approval and I'm SOOO hoping we get our approval for that soon too and that they don't need any additional information.

I have found a few good homestudy provider options for when we get to Korea, so I feel good about that. I'm going to try and get our homestudy update scheduled now, so that when the kids and I arrive in Korea we can get our update done and sent to USCIS ASAP. 

This weekend I saw a little girl with dark skin cuddling with her mama. I asked the mom how old she was and she was only a few weeks older than our little girl. It made me SOOO sad to actually see a little girl the same age as our daughter. I wish I had her to cuddle NOW! 
Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Moving along!

Since my last post I've received a couple of pieces of good news about our adoption. First, our dossier coordinator called and said that we are getting back $500 due to some changes in paperwork needs in our region of the DRC only! I was super excited to hear that! I kept waiting to hear the "bad news" from her, but there wasn't any! Yippee! The second piece we heard yesterday is that our dossier is officially in the Congo! That means stuff can actually start happening, like getting court dates scheduled, etc. We are still hoping to go and get her sometime in the fall...maybe September October ish? 

Yesterday my husband and our youngest were walking outside. My baby kept stopping at random points in the walk to declare "I win!" where he would then get tickled by Papa. I am so so ready for our girl to be home and join in these moments! 
Friday, April 20, 2012

So much!

SOOO much has been happening since my last blog post...I really should just quit this blogging thing altogether, since it mainly consists of writing posts in my head and that's all. Today I'm feeling the need to vent to cyberspace though, so I guess it is good I have it!

Big news #1: We're adopting again! I'm so so so incredibly excited. This is a surprise to NO ONE considering how much I talk about and love adoption and advocating for orphans! :) We have been matched with the cutest little toddler girl from the DRC. We started the process in January and have been trucking along well ever since. Our dossier should be sent to the DRC within a week (I think!), and then fun things start happening, like court dates, visas, etc.

Big news #2: The U.S. is kicking us out once again (Not really)! After reveling for the past 10 months (we were in Japan for 2 years) in the glory that is T@rget, Chip0tle, grocery shopping past 7pm, being in the same general time zone as family and friends, being able to visit said family and friends more easily...we are being sent back overseas courtesy of the military. This summer we head to South Korea to begin adventures there.

So yeah...international adoption=stressful, international move=stressful...combine the two= well, you can imagine! I've talked with our social worker for our agency and our move shouldn't cause TOO many changes in our adoption. We'll have to update our homestudy as soon as we can after moving so that US immigration will have a current copy and our current address. We may also have to figure out some sort of different visa for getting our daughter from the DRC into Korea...which may involve stopping for some time in the U.S. after picking her up in the Congo...but really I have NO idea. I'm still gathering info on how it is all going to work. I think once we find a social worker in Korea who can update our HS he or she will be able to provide us with more info. I think our adoption timeline should remain about the same...but it may delay picking up our daughter by a month or two which is a bummer to say the least.

The other big snafu regarding the move is that my husband is supposed to report to the ROK at the beginning of July...my sister is getting married at the end of July. The current plan is for me and our 3 kiddos to stay with my inlaws for that extra month, go to my sis's wedding, and then for me to fly...by myself...with our 3 young children...to Korea! Sigh. Needless to say I am already dreading the flight. I know there are TONS of military wives who have done the same thing, but that doesn't mean I want to do it! :) Start praying for me and the kids now, that they would be well behaved during the trip and that I would maintain my sanity between now and then! :) 

Those are the MAIN big things in our lives. Please say prayers for our family during these big transitions. I would much appreciate it!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Family Rules

A while ago I bought a set of these family rules. First, I love the rules; and secondly I love that the proceeds go to support Sixty Feet. Sixty Feet is an organization that is helping imprisoned children (yes, you read that right) in Uganda. They are truly a wonderful organization who are doing amazing things in the lives of these precious kiddos. (I chose the yellowy green flower one. VERY cute!)

I just got around to printing and hanging the rules in our home today. To be true to our family though, this should really include some of our OTHER family rules:
- no licking people
- no saying "eyeball" at the table (they think that word is SOOO funny)
- no singing at the table
- no rolling down the car windows in the winter
- no pushing/hitting
- no screaming in the house
- no wiping boogers on doors/walls
- you must always wipe your bottom after going #2
- you must wash your hands after going to the bathroom

Somehow I don't think these look as good as the list I ordered though.... :)
Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ode to Sugar

Dear Sugar,

It has been five days since I broke up with you. I know, it was sudden and abrupt. We have been through so much together and have been especially close since the holidays. You have been there for me when I needed you, and even when I didn't. I know on Sunday it seemed like our love was only growing stronger. My coffee creamer, brownies, hot chocolate, and ice cream indulgences only showed that my love was strengthening. In reality I was getting ready to say good-bye to you for thirty days. I was hoping I could make our love last. Alas, like most good things, there can be too much of it. I was enjoying your company too much. You were a part of my life in ways that I didn't even realize....that chocolate chip when I get something out of the pantry, that dab of honey on peanut butter toast. You brought me joy, but you also allowed me to continue to drag around this flat tire around my waist. You brought me happiness, but also cavities. So, on Monday morning, I said a temporary goodbye. I need to retrain my brain and body not to want and need you so much. Oh, but I do miss you so (SO SO SO) much. I hope that this is not goodbye forever, but only so long for a while. I want you to know though, that I am hoping to change and I may not need or want you in my life the same way as before. I may only want you on occasion. I hope that I do not continue to pine for you as I do now. But for now, my friend, my love, know that I am still thinking of you, and wanting you back in my life ever so much. I miss you.

Monday, January 23, 2012

2011 Recap

I saw this yearly recap on Rage Against the Minivan and thought it looked like fun. Here's mine!

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
I did a 365 photo project. I took a photo (at least one!) every day for the entire year. There were three days that I totally and completely forgot which really irks me, but I'm proud to say I stuck it out! I still have to finish uploading the photos and editing them...I'm still working on June! :) I'll hopefully bind them into a book. I LOVE having all of these little moments captured. 
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My resolution was to have more discipline. Mainly in spiritual matters, but also as far as being a more disciplined mom and wife and completing tasks around the house. Let's just say this is also my resolution for this year. :) 
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes. There are always tons of people I know giving birth! We are in the military community and most people are around those child-bearing years. I can't even begin to list them or I would be in trouble for forgetting someone. :) I also had one close friend adopt this year and that was fun to finally see their dream of becoming parents realized in that way.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No. Phew!
5. What countries did you visit?
Japan! (We lived there)
6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
Besides self discipline? :)
7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The day that Alex got a family.  The day that we left Japan. The day my son started Kindergarten. The day I started homeschooling my daughter for preschool. The day my husband finished a training he had been working toward for a long time. Those are just off of the top of my head. :) 
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Losing the baby weight I had been carrying around for a year.
9. What was your biggest failure?
See #2
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing too significant, thankfully. Shin splints and some asthma attacks in Japan.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Our new to us Honda Odyssey minivan. 
12. Where did most of your money go?
See #11. Also some of our furniture and other items got mold damage when it shipped from Japan back to the U.S. We got reimbursed for it, but not enough to buy new. So we ended up buying a new couch and loveseat that we weren't planning on buying and a few other items.
13. What did you get really excited about?
When I found Alex's picture on the MFFM page. I was also really excited to go see Alaska for the first time (it didn't disappoint). 
14. What song will always remind you of 2011?
JJ Heller: What love really means
15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? Happier. My hubby is home a lot more. There is WAY less drama in my life.
– thinner or fatter? Thinner. Yay!
– richer or poorer? Poorer.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Praying and reading the Bible. 
17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
18. How did you spend Christmas?
Visiting my in-laws. It was very relaxing. 
19. What was your favorite TV program?
Probably the X Factor. I was very surprised by the talent in that competition.
20. What were your favorite books of the year?
Hands down it was The Help. (was that this year??). Hunger Games, Room. 
21. What was your favorite music from this year?
David Crowder Band, JJ Heller...um, I'm not really sure! 
22. What were your favorite films of the year?
The Help
23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 31 this year. Just spent it with my hubby and kids. 
24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Less stress?
25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Try not to look TOO much like a stay-at-home-mom.
26. What kept you sane?
Praying. My husband and kids. Friends.
27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
God is sovereign.
Sunday, January 22, 2012

Coming out of the Woodwork

After all of the excitement about Alex I decided to take a little break from blogging. I decided that I'm going to get back at this! There are way too many cuties to advocate for and I'm sure my fbook friends are sick of me sharing (but I still will!). 

Here is a little guy on my heart:

This is Malcolm. Malcolm is a sweet, sweet little boy in Eastern Europe (different country than Alex). Malcolm has cerebral palsy and is able to walk a few steps. He is in an orphanage right now, but will be transferred to an institution on his birthday in April. He is described as a sensitive boy who is being hurt by the other, physically healthy children in the orphanage. Can you imagine? Being bullied by other children with no mom or dad to stand up for you? To hold you when you are sad? Poor sweetie! He is also described as a cheerful little boy who also has friends in the orphanage and has attachments to caregivers. He is just waiting for a family to call his own. Could he be your son?? Check out his Reece's Rainbow webpage to find out more about him or to donate money to help him find a family!

About Me

I am a sinner who has been chosen by God and redeemed by the death and resurrection of his son Jesus. I am a full-time wife and mom, though I hope to someday return to my job as an SLP. I love photography, coffee, reading, and adoption. I hate to clean, but sometimes do it anyway!
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