Friday, August 31, 2007

Day one of our vacation to Holland

We have got our act together, and we are taking it on the road. I had a really bad sleep. I just couldn’t stop the lists from running through my mind. We got on the road at about 8:30am. We stopped at McDonalds hoping to save some time and dishes. 9 egg Mc Muffins and 45 minutes later, we finally got going again.

Later…we ate lunch at IKEA in Holland. The kids are stressed out. I’m ready to turn back and forget the whole stupid idea!



Later…I’m sitting in the car with Jessica and Nicole. We are on a car ferry somewhere in the North Atlantic. Jessica is deadly afraid of boats.

Who ever said “it’s the journey not the destination” never spent 9 hours in the back of an overcrowded minivan surrounded by 5 bored kids. Trust me people; it is the destination that counts! And if you read my blog for spiritual input let me preach it….IT IS THE DESTINATION!!!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2





We are here! It's really nice! Praise God we are here!!!

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

bee dreams

This morning around 6 am I heard the sound of a bee buzzing me. I dived under my blanket and listened for movement. I finally sat up after a minute to look around. I found nothing. Perhaps it was a dream? I still have a wound on my cheek from the last sting. It shouldn't surprise me if I'm having nightmares about bees! Anyway, I couldn't get back to sleep. During vacation we are staying up until 1am and sleeping until 9 or 10am. Maybe it's time for me to get back to my old clock. School begins in one and a half weeks. Thomas and Philip both switch schools. Philip is scared. Poor sweetheart! You can really see it bothers him. Please pray for grace and help. He doesn't need a babysitter, he needs a very good teacher. He needs a positive environment where he can make some progress. He is so scared. I try not to show it, but I'm scared too.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The green house

It's almost 8pm and Juergen and Nicole are out working on the green house. My mom told me it took my brother in law Eric 3 days to put my sisters green house together. Yep! That is about how long it takes to put up a green house. But they are doing a super job. It looks solid and I think it will last awhile! It really isn't so big. I have a banana plant in my garden. It will probably be able to fit in the green house for the winter.
We are pulling all the details together so we can take off on our vacation to Holland. We leave God willing on Friday morning. I bought portable CD players for Philip, Thomas, and Sarah. We have a pretty good collection of kids books on CD. Maybe it will help entertain them on the long drive (between 6-8 hours). Jessica has a portable DVD player, and Nicole has a MP3 player. Juergen and I are going to use the low tech form of entertainment, we hope to talk! I also bought some yarn so the kids can keep their hands busy weaving in the car. Philip at least is pretty excited about weaving. We will also be working on our math. Thomas needs to brush up on his multiplication table, and Philip should be able to add all the numbers up to 20.
Juergen is going to buy a roof top luggage carrier. We would love to go with out it, but with 7 people in the car we just have no luggage space. We booked the doggy hotel for Mickey. He goes to his favorite babysitter on Thursday night. now I just have to finish the laundry.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Waltrud needs prayer


Juergens wonderful mom needs prayer. She had an exam today by her surgeon. She has 3 brain tumors that are growing pretty fast. They have operated 4 times on her over the past 9 years. Today they said they would no longer operate. Today they said they can do nothing. We all knew that this day was probably going to come. For the longest time we have known. I'm not sure if I wrote it, or only thought it but I was so surprised to see Waltrud as well as I did at her 70Th birthday party last weekend. She was so clear thinking, so amazingly with us. She was pale and weak in body but 100% in her mind. She has 3 tumors. Juergen didn't even know the number. I prayed and I just knew there were 3 tumors. Please pray for Waltrud to be healed. She is a godly women. She is so beautiful and so loved. I don't want to loose her so quickly. We have a God that heals! Please pray with us for those 3 tumors to vanish! Thank you!

The dishwasher

I was loading the dishes into the dishwasher this morning. Thomas walks into the kitchen with a spoon in his hand. He asks me where he should put it, on the counter or in the sink? I said he should just put it in the dishwasher. He gets this perplexed look on his face. What, you want me to put something in the dishwasher? I said yes! So my almost 10 year old son placed his first utensil into the dishwasher. Juergen, who is a perfectionist probably would have given him a 10 minute lecture on the correct placement of spoons in dishwashers. I am no where close to perfect! I said thank you, good job. Maybe we can work up to putting his cup in the dishwasher. It is what I live for...it's what I dream about at night! Not really! I'm getting silly, I haven't had my coffee yet!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

bee terminology

Let me try to get this bee terminology straight. The creatures that took over my laundry room were not bees; they were the more aggressive but not endangered cousin of the bee- wasps. Juergen has sprayed a poison into their nest. Most of the wasps have died but some still live. I am afraid to go into my laundry room. I don't want to be stung again. In the mean time, the laundry keeps piling up! I have looked allot like John McCain the past few days with my swollen jaw. The swelling is starting to go down.
We had another cousin of the bees; a hornet flew into my house just now. It looks like a bee on steroids. It was a giant! I killed it with a hard bound copy of TD Jakes book He Motions. The kids have been running in and out of the house all week. They let the hornet in the house. I'm sure the neighbors will be glad when school finally starts again. My kids are rather loud. I just started to read He Motions so I could begin to understand my husband’s emotions. I'm sure Juergen doesn't understand his own emotions...I thought it was important at least one of us did!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

It's here



Nicole and Juergen worked about 4 hours today putting the frame together. They will need maybe 2 more hours to finish the greenhouse. It took Nicole and a friend maybe 4 or 5 hours just to dig out the foundation earlier in the week. It's going to look great!

Friday, August 24, 2007

A great week at VBS





Too cute!!

Not again!!!


I went to the laundry room to wash the vacation Bible school t-shirts of my kids (like a good mommy).The kids do a small performance tonight for all the parents. I wanted my kids to look clean. The bees must have broken through the screen Juergen put up to keep them out of the laundry room. 10 bees swarmed me, and I got stung on the face! Some people actually allow themselves to be stung by bees as a kind of immune system therapy. Perhaps God just wants to give my immune system a real work out this summer. Ouch! It's not very pretty either!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

It was the people


I was clearing the dishes from the breakfast table this morning when Nicole asked me about the time I worked as a waitress. I had worked as a waitress in a Chinese restaurant when I was a student. I said the actual waitress job wasn't hard, it was the people. Some people (most I should say) were wonderful. There were a few real creeps that made the job hard. One customer I had kept asking me to bring the food back. After the drunk man asked me very loudly to bring the food back for the forth or fifth time I was in tears, and the manager took over and kicked him out. Some jobs are very hard, but it's usually the people that make the difference. I always try to teach my kids to be kind to the people who serve them. I almost think everyone should have to work as a waitress or maid for a month. Perhaps if they did the job, they would show consideration for those who serve.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Do you ever do really dumb stuff?

Do you ever do really dumb stuff? I generally manage to avoid the really dumb mistakes. Last year about this time (summer vacation 2006) we were in Thailand. Juergen and I just forgot the days. We told ourselves we fly back on Friday, and arrive on Saturday. On Thursday night at 11pm we pulled out the suitcases and began to pack. I asked Juergen to check the airline tickets. He said “Oh no”! Our flight had left about one hour before. We missed our flight and there was nothing to do but call and reschedule our return.
Yesterday I was supposed to send Jessica’s urine sample to a lab in the USA. We are checking to see if she needs to go back on a special diet. I had everything ready to ship by fed-ex. They wouldn’t pick up the lab work because we don’t have an account with them. Juergen said he would take it later in the evening. I placed the urine sample in the refrigerator. Then I said to myself “Juergen has enough to do. I know where fed-ex is, I will just take it myself”. I packed Jessica and Sarah into the car and grabbed the box. I shipped the box to the lab in America for 55 Euros. This morning I went to the refrigerator to get butter, and I saw Jessica’s urine sample in the door. I guess I shipped an empty box to America. I always do these dumb things during the vacation. I think it’s not healthy for me to have my kids 24 hours a day 7 days a week. It just isn’t good for my mental health!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

No gifts?


We were sitting at the dinner table tonight. Out of nowhere Thomas asks Nicole, "didn't you open gifts on your birthday"? She started to explain to him her gift was coming in the mail but I interrupted her. I said very seriously, "Thomas, we decided not to give anyone birthday gifts this year. Daddy didn't get gifts this year, and Nicole didn't open any gifts"! You should have seen his face. His birthday is coming up in 2 weeks! The photo is from Thomas' last birthday spent in Thailand. This year he turns ten in Holland. He has been sleeping with the Lego catalog under his pillow!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007





I got up a little early this morning to straighten up the house. A good friend was bringing her daughters for breakfast. Their house is always so clean, and mine is always so messy. I know she doesn't care...but I do. We had a good visit. It's never so great to talk and pray with all the kids running in and out (there were 9 kids in my house this morning). Then another friend came by to pick up the boys. She ended up taking Nicole and Sarah. They went to the park. I sent my camera with them. Maybe I will have some photos for you later. Right now Jessica is taking a nap, and I'm in an amazingly quite house! I'm doing laundry and getting us ready to go to Juergens parents house on Friday. His mom has her 70Th birthday party. The whole big family will be there. We are spending two days in a hotel. The kids are excited about the hotel pool. Juergens mom is very sick. Juergen and I are anxious about seeing her. With so many people there, we know it will be difficult to have much more then a short talk. Sort of like my morning breakfast. I wish we lived closer. They can not handle the stress of our whole family. I can only praise God for the visit we will have, and for the wonderful long hours we have had in the past. You want more time to say the things you want to say...but the time goes by so fast, and I love you is the only thing you can say. I can not say good bye.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Me first,me biggest,me best!!!






The kids played for over one hour today with bubbles. One thing that really bothers me is Thomas' need to be first and best! He steps on others to get the "best" bubble blowing tools. He chooses the best spot by the bubble fluid. He pushes everyone away, steps on others, and threatens to spill the fluid if he doesn't get what he wants. You might think it's just bad character driving this rotten brat attitude. You could think that, and just stop there. When I think about it I know there is more. He grew up in an orphanage with 300 other kids. If there was anything good going on, it was only the pushy aggressive kids that got any of it. If you were polite, you missed out. Some things (good things) have brought out the pushy aggressive “I'm going to step on you" kind of behavior in my son lately. I really hate to see it. How long will it take for him to realize there finally is enough of the pie to go around? How long will it take for him to relax and wait for his turn? When I think of all those years he waited for a family (almost 7 years) it makes me sad. We don't see this behavior in Philip because he was so young when he was adopted. We see some of it from Sarah. I pray God heals my children and causes the memories of hunger and poverty to fade.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

wig fun


After church today Sarah,Philip,Nicole, a few other kids and I had some fun with wigs! I think Philip looks like Tina Turner and Nicole looks like Pippy Long stocking! just click on the photo to get a bigger picture.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Nicole's Birthday


Juergen took the kids to a medieval fair . Here are some of the photos from Nicole's 14Th Birthday.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Nicoles birthday gift


In just ordered Nicole's birthday gift online. It will not come for 10 days to 3 weeks. It is made of plexi glass and it comes with a foundation and window in the ceiling. I also bought her a heater that is gas powered and can heat the house for one whole week. I want to buy one table for the green house, but they were too expensive. I'm going to need to look around. I have a super small garden, so the green house is pretty small 193cm x 134cm. She will not be able to grow allot of stuff in there...but it's a start! I looked at a number of stores and garden stores this week. I had hoped to be able to give it to her tomorrow, but the store prices were often 2 times higher. She doesn't mind waiting!I would also love to buy a wooden green house or even a green colored green house but the price just wasn't right. I'm feeling pretty good about what I bought. It will fit perfectly into the garden and I didn't over spend! It has a 15 year guarantee.

Philip was todays cook!



bitter sweet 16


I've been thinking allot about Nicole's 14Th birthday on Saturday. Nicole continues to grow strong, wise, and more and more independent. If you have not caught on...she makes us extremely proud. Jessica also has a birthday coming up in a month. She will be sweet 16 on September 8TH. I remember turning 16, and what a big deal it was to plan the party. There will be no party for Jessica. She hasn't got a single friend. The sad thing is she never has had one. She has spent her entire childhood in self imposed isolation. I use to cry rivers of tears over what she has never experienced. The loss seems cruel. Perhaps it was? But I haven't got any more tears for her childhood. I think about a story I think is found in Hinds feet in High places. Much Afraid asks about the beautiful mountain flowers that bloom and die never being appreciated by man. Then she is told that God himself walks through the Meadows where they bloom. They are his personal garden. I believe many people see and acknowledge the beauty and talent of Nicole, but only God knows the glory hidden in Jessica. I pray God will allow me to know her more then I do, but I am grateful for what I have. As I contemplate her birthday, it seems bitter because she remains sick and 100% dependent, but on her birthday I want only to celebrate the sweetness of my first born child. She is a hidden flower, very isolated and alone. Her worth could never be measured and you could not fathom the influence she has had in my life.

The photo was taken on her 15Th birthday

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Just some thoughts

It's just after 10am. I just tucked Jessica back into bed. She decided to take a morning nap. I turned the CD player on. It is playing a Andrea Bocelli CD, her favorite. It's cool in the room and dark because the curtains are shut. I must say Jessica knows how to rest!
I rubbed fresh Aloe Vera in Philip this morning. He is covered from head to toe with bug bites. He dragged his blankets into the garden yesterday. Then dragged the same bedding back into the house last night...with the bugs. Now I need to wash the blankets, and put borax power all over his room to kill what I think are flees. I also have to buy Aloe Vera spray (100%) to spray on his skin. My poor Aloe Vera plant just isn't big enough to cover all these bites!
Philip is getting excited about going to the USA. He told Juergen last night, “What gift do you want me to bring you"? He plans on bring gifts for the whole family! I guess we will be shopping in America!

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Poor Philip


I bought my airline tickets to come to the USA. I need to bring Sarah to the USA to finish her US citizen process. She will be an American when she arrives in Portland, Oregon on September 28TH. I decided to bring Philip with me because I thought it would make the whole trip easier for Sarah. She hates leaving her family. If Philip is coming along maybe she will not be so afraid. When I told Philip the good news he got very afraid and told me he didn't want to go. When we asked him why, he said he didn't want to go to school in America. Poor baby! We quickly assured him he would not be going to school in America...he is only going for a short visit! He would be helping me with Sarah and I would never leave him there!!!

I took a nap


I don't generally take naps but I've been really tired. Today when Jessica took her nap, I told the kids they could have their computer time and I got into my PJ's. I never really fell asleep, but it was wonderful to just rest. Sarah actually fell asleep. She never seems to get enough sleep and it affects her behavior. I think I'm going to make this a regular habit. I wonder how much more I'll be able to get done just because I'm not exhausted.

Coffee could be good brain food!


I love my coffee. I always joke that coffee and chocolate are the worlds 2 most perfect foods. I have developed a taste for lemon yogurt...so I may be adding it to my perfect food list (funny). Here is a news story about new coffee research.

Monday, August 06, 2007

driving Jessica's taxi



It's been really hard to drag Jessica out of her room lately. One thing she loves is her nightly car ride with her dad. Here is Jessica waiting at the foot of the stairs for Juergen to put her shoes on her and take her for a car ride. It's almost midnight, but she wants to ride in the car before she will sleep. Is there any question why we are often a little tired? I already took Jess for a long ride today, but she wants her time with dad too. I always use my taxi time as a good time to think and pray. I'm sure Juergen does too.

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Trying to take a photo of Jessica & Nicole



Plan B


Nicole's Birthday is on Saturday. She will be 14 years old. It's hard having a birthday during the summer vacation. Everyone takes off for the 4 corners of the planet. Very few of her friends are ever home in August. I was going to take her to Köln for a Asian cooking class. The class got canceled, so we are on to plan B. Nicole thinks she would like to be a plant scientist when she grows up. She wants to run experiments on plants. I'm looking at green houses. I don't have a very big garden. It's going to be a very small green house. The cooking class was much cheaper, but I see it as an investment in her education. Perhaps she will love it, and move on to a great career as a plant research scientist. Perhaps she will find it boring, and I won't waste college money on a major she ultimately decides is not for her! Maybe she can start my plants from seeds next spring and I'll at least save money on plants.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The wrong side of the bed


I think everyone has those days when nothing seems to go very right. I've been having one of those days. I woke up to find Nicole giving our dog Mickey a bath in the bathroom I just cleaned. Black hair was everywhere. The rug I just washed was soaked with dirty water. She tried to wipe it up with big bath towels...so I have to wash those too. Jessica also made a huge mess in her room. More laundry. All this before my first cup of coffee. A spider or mosquito bit my eye lid. The whole right side of my face is swelled up. I feel like I have a sign on me that says bite me! I've had two bee stings and now this bite in one week! Philip decided to play in the water outside with Sarah. They had their street cloths on (no swimsuits). More laundry! I got e-mail that Nicole's cooking class( her birthday gift) was cancelled. Now I have to find her another gift. None of these little things really matter. I've just had one of those days. If I could gain back a better attitude, I wouldn't be feeling so uptight! I'm probably just too tired. I've been home too much. The kids have vacation so I'm working harder then ever! I wish we could get Sarah to stay with a babysitter. I think Juergen and I could both just use a little break!

Friday, August 03, 2007

sarah's art

A better day

The kids played really well together this morning. It was wonderful as compared to yesterday(not so good). I love to hear them laughing and singing together as they build Lego for hours. It reminds me of the many long lazy hours I spent with my brother and sisters. I think one of the greatest gifts I could give them is siblings. I'm so glad they are close!
Nicole, Philip and Thomas rode horses today. I put some of the photos Nicole took on my adoption blog. Sarah had a great time riding her little tricycle. I found it in the sperrmüll. That's the trash people leave on the streets here in Germany. It's a cute little tricycle. It has a monkey on the front of it. I'll have to take some pictures of it. I'm so glad its the weekend. I hope to drag Jessica out of her room this weekend. She seems so content to just eat, sleep and watch videos. We need to take her swimming and maybe shopping. She is a typical teenage girl...she loves to shop!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

There is a hive in my house!


There is a bee hive in my house! A few posts back I took a photo of my infected foot. I was stung by a bee and got a bacterial infection from the sting. My foot is much better Thank God! It really is the kind of thing that can kill a person. What I didn't write was I was stung while doing the laundry in the laundry room. I thought it was just a fluke. It wasn't! Bees have built a hive in an air vent leading from the outside of my house into my laundry room. Juergen has the challenge of sealing the vent with out killing the bees. Did you know there is a very big shortage of bees in the world. It's a big problem because bees help pollinate 1/3rd of the plants in the world. No bees no food! Last year bees built a hive in my roof and we couldn't sleep in our bedroom for 3 months because bees kept flying into the room. It was an aggressive kind of bee that would sting you at night. If I didn't love plants so much I would hate the bees. Good thing for them I love my plants!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

ATTITUDE!!!




My Son Thomas has a bad attitude. He always rolls his eyes at me in a very disrespectful way. He gets this look like he is either very constipated or has been sucking on lemons. What do you do when you are always greeted with such a bad attitude? He use to be such a happy kid. Now he gets moody, mean spirited, and acts like the world owes him something! He is almost 10 years old. I sure hope he out grows this rotten attitude.
The boys got to visit a rock quarry today. It was part of our cities summer vacation program. They even got to see part of a mountain blown up. When they returned home I got a 30 second report about the day. I'm sorry, but what is this economy of word thing? Is that a male thing? Anyway, I got 30 seconds of enthusiasm, and then back to the grumpy attitude. "Mom, what's for lunch"? and "Mom, can I play on the computer"? The computer is a "no"! It only contributes to the sour attitude! Anyone who doubts man has a fallen nature should spend a few hours at my house. How boys grow to be men of honor and good character is truly a work of God! I pray God does that work in the lives of my sons.