Monday, December 15, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

This is the book I am using for my devotions right now. Thank you, Al! It is a fantastic way to redirect my thoughts and feelings to remember our many praises. We are so thankful for Noelle's partial healing. We are thankful for an addition to our family;) More on that later. We are thankful for resources and family and so many things.

Our new addition is an almost 17 year old, named Hassan (far left). It is a bit of a long story, but he almost literally showed up on our doorstep. Which is what I told God it would take for us to have five children! God truly has a sense of humor. Hassan was born in Liberia. If you have read my blog forever, you might know that we originally intended to adopt from Liberia. Again with the sense of humor. Hassan is a dedicated student, a soccer player, great with Sabrina, grateful and helpful. We are in the process of finalizing legal guardianship.

At school, Sabrina had two occasions to dress up and celebrate Thanksgiving. I neglected to get a picture of Pilgram Sabrina, but so love this little Native American Sabrina!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Just a few leaves...

We love Halloween!

Yes, I know as a Christian there can be some issues with this holiday. And I will admit I wasn't sure about allowing my seven year old to be a zombie; I was outvoted. But carving pumpkins and dressing up is so much fun!

Noelle, Sabrina and Aubrey were all Zombie soccer players. Now I just need to throw away all this candy!!

Chicago and Endo update

October 24th was supposed to be my big night...the CHER concert. BUT, she postponed:( Noelle and I had already scheduled an appointment with an endometriosis specialist in Chicago for that same day so we went ahead with our plans. We liked the doctor, which is a real answer to prayer. He did not have any immediate answers for Noelle's pain. Which leaves her petrified of her next cycle:( He is wondering if some of her pelvic pain is unrealated to endometriosis. So we have been referred to a urologist and a GI doctor. Noelle will have an ultrasound of her kidneys and bladder on Monday. Needless to say, she is very tired of the endless parade of doctors. We are praying for answers that lead to a reduction in pain!

While we were in Chicago we felt the need to eat great food, shop a "little", and have some fun! Noelle's favorites are Vera Bradley and LUSH! So she is stocked up with bath luxuries for awhile.

Sabrina's latest interest is Legos, so we had to go to the Lego store. This is Noelle and Lego Ironman!

Noelle's friend, Aubrey happened to be in Chicago for school that same weekend. The girls played soccer together for a number of years so we decided to go to a Chicago Fire game.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Pink Ribbon

Last year Noelle and I participated in the Pink Ribbon 5K. I think it may become a tradition! This year we did not take a wheelchair. In fact, Noelle has not used it since April. So we walked the whole thing:) Sabrina rode most of it especially since it was very cold! The blanket was necessary.

It is very frustrating that now, later in the day, Noelle is in tremendous pain. It is so difficult to accept. Things are much better than they were but still a far cry from "normal" for an 18 year old. On another health note, we have made an appoinment in Chicago with an endometriosis specialist. We are also waiting for our insurance to approve Botox for Noelle's daily migraines. A few years ago, just prior to her Lyme diagnosis, she had two Botox treatments and felt that they lessened her pain. We now have new insurance so we are waiting for approval.

September pics

I had minor finger surgery on the 24th to remove a cyst that keeps growing back. I still have the stitches actually. Everything went well as soon as I stopped taking the pain pills:/

Noelle and her friend, Aubrey, at the UNI homecoming. This was the day after Noelle had her wisdom teeth removed. Strong girl, as usual!

Every September we have a local fair called Cattle Congress. When I was younger it was actually 10 days, I believe. It is now just a long weekend. Friday is always Kids Day and all the public schools cancel. The schools pretend it is for "professional development". Sabrina was able to go with her class for a special Iowa State Extension program. But on the weekend the whole family went. Well, everyone but Jake:)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Seven years!

I got an email from a fellow adoptive parent who had been referred to my blog. After answering her email, I scanned back through my blog. My first entry was August 23rd, 2007. So much has happened during that time, yet so much is the same. I read with dismay the beginning of Noelle's health journey. I read posts written years ago that could have been written today about the stress I often feel. I read with great joy the journey of our family. It is especially fun to follow the years through pictures.

Has anyone turned their blog into a book? Which service did you use?

Monday, August 25, 2014


Many years ago my Grandma (who is now 100!) gave me some family spoons that she had framed. I found them as I was sorting and had them re-framed. I LOVE the way they turned out!

With Sabrina going back to school today and the other kids out on their own I am excited to have time to reinvent myself. One of the things I plan to do is go room by room and sort, repair and improve. I have always loved to decorate and do house stuff so I am excited.

Quick Visit

In July we had the pleasure of seeing Scott's sister, Rachel, and her family for a quick visit. Here are some photos from that visit.

Apparently we took no pictures of our beautiful niece, Holly. Sorry, Holly!

Sabrina's First Day!

Sabrina goes to a small Christian school. There are 11 students in her class. These are the 7 girls!

Ice Bucket Challenge

Scott, Teme and I have all been challenged. I wasn't actually there when Teme took the challenge but I happened to see this on Scott's phone. Scott and I will be making a donation:)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Cute pictures

Noelle watched Sabrina while we went golfing and out for dinner for our anniversary. They went to an outdoor movie in the park, "Brave". They are both so beautiful!

Happy 27th!!

Once upon a time a scared Iowa girl went on a missions trip to the Fiji islands. She came home with a renewed heart for Jesus and a Wisconsin boy:)

I will be honest. It hasn't been an easy year. We have been pulled in many directions. We spent two months apart. But we are in it, together, forever!

Back to school, and on their own!!

One by one the kids are heading back to school. The first one to move out was Noelle! On August 8th she moved to an apartment! So unbelievable! We are so proud of her. Technically due to her large amount of absences over the last two years especially, Noelle has one semester of high school left. She will begin Hawkeye Community College in January. She will be there for two years and then pursue her BSN at Allen Nursing School. Here are a few pictures of her apartment. She has two roommates that were assigned to her. They are doing well so far.

August 19th Teme headed back to school. He is in the 8th grade.

August 21st the big guy headed back to Ames. He has changed his major to Chemistry with a teaching certification, with the goal to teach high school Chemistry. I think this is a good fit. In fact, I have been encouraging him in this direction for awhile. I actually felt the need to ensure that he did not change because of my pestering. I would hate to be responsible for an unhappy choice. He assures me it was all his decision.

His room is TINY! And I have laughed at the difference getting a girl off to her own place for the first time versus a boy, especially Jake. So funny.

Sabrina will head to second grade tomorrow. I will definitely add photos later.

Family Vacation

August 11-14th we had a vacation with my family in southern Iowa at the Honey Creek Resort on Lake Rathbun. My mom and dad, sister Karen and her family and my sister Kat and her family were there. We were just about to load up the car when Jake came down with the flu. Unbelievable. So we went ahead intending to come back and get him the next day. He ended up feeling icky most of the time we were gone so he missed out and we missed him:(

We had lots of yummy food, kayaking, boating, inner-tubing, wave runners, family sand volleyball games, golf, indoor waterpark and a bonfire. I did a really bad job with the camera but I have a few shots from Noelle and Scott's phones. Have I mentioned that I still have a "dumb" phone?

Friday, July 18, 2014


Unfortunately the results of Noelle's laproscopy showed that she does indeed have Endometriosis. She does a great job of explaining her diagnosis on her blog.

Please pray with us as we decide which treatment options to consider.