Wednesday, November 5, 2008

a little direction

I'm happy to say that we finally got to appear in court today. Our foster daughter has been with us for 4 months today and her case had yet to be adjudicated (sp) The judge ordered her to remain in ACS custody for the time being. She will definitely be with us through the New Year, so it was comforting for all of us to have a little bit of certainty. There are still challanges of parenting a teen, but with the terrific support system we have it's not too horrible :).

We just wrapped up the football/soccer/cheer season and will begin the basketball/cheer season tomorrow. Mike and I will be coaching S in basketball :). Yes, non-athletic I will be coaching.

J really enjoyed his first year of football. His team went undefeated for the season. They won their first game of post season, but lost the championship to a team they had defeated 3 times. Our kids just didn't play like they wanted it like the other team did. I was so proud of J, after the game, before the trophy presentation, I asked him if was upset. He said "How can I be upset? We won every game except this one!" He displayed such great sportsmanship. Because the team kept winning we as parents were all concerned about them learning the valuable lessons that also come from losing. And I'm glad that he was able to lose with grace and honestly congratulate the other team (although I did here him tell one friend on the other team, we did beat you 3 times after the friend said something about winning).

S enjoyed soccer when he was there, he just hated keeping up with his equipment. At the end of the season he said he wants to play again in the spring, but I think he'll change his mind for baseball. Ugh, the running never ends.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Pallin with Palin

I started this post a week ago, and realized that I hadn't posted it yet.. OOOPS!

Wow, it's been a day and I'm still excited. Wednesday, Sarah Palin spoke in Jeffersonville, IN. I got tix for me and the fam. Unfortunately, Mike couldn't go because he had to work, but my BIL and SIL did get to go with us.

We arrive in Jeff around 4:00 and 1 hour later were scanned and in the building. Much to J's dismay, it was still an hour and a half before the festivities were to begin. He was pretty cranky about having to attend, he was certain it would be boring. At 5:30 Governor Daniels came out and spoke, then at 6:30 somebody with the campaign came out and we all said the Pledge of Allegiance, then local candidates gave their speeches. Hank Williams Jr. came out to sing a few songs and finally around 8:00 they announced Sarah Palin. My kids, finally perked up, when out came Sarah and Todd Palin from the "Straight Talk Express". She introduced her husband and asked Hank to lead us in the national anthem before beginning her speech.

We all craned and wiggled trying to get a view through the crowd of her. I picked up both the kids so they could see over the heads. They loved it when they saw her in person. About half way through her speech folks started moving towards the doors. It surprised me, but it was also getting late and VERY warm in the warehouse. I think these folks were just trying to get a jump on the traffic. The stump speech was pretty much the same stuff I'd heard from watching previous speeches. So we took advantage and moved closer to the stage where all of us could get a better live view of the candidate and we watched until she left the stage. I have to admit. I was very surprised at how emotional I became at the end of the night when I was in a position to actually see her speak. I'm not the kind who gets really excited about seeing famous people, they are just another person, who happens to be seen a lot. So I really had to think about why this moment was having such an impact on me. Then it struck me, Sarah Palin is someone I could be friends with, she embodies my values and comes from a similar background. Her success shows that the American Dream really is still available to all of us and to our children. She grew up in a middle class home, child of two teachers, went to PUBLIC schools, then attended several colleges, all state or small schools. She married and began her family, her husband worked as a commercial fisherman and is a member of the Steel Union. She became active in her children's public school and community and progressed from there. She has lived what is the experience of most of america. (minus the rise to national leadership ;) ).

Another thing that appeals to me about her, is that she is proud to be a woman. She is comfortable in her skin. For years, I have been turned off by the women that are dominant in the political discourse. I have watched the women we have in very visible leadership positions, and I've listened to the feminists and I finally have realized what it was that made me so uncomfortable about all of them, it seems that they resent being women. For years I've listened to how men and women are the same. And I've always been struck that we're not. There are tremendous physical and mental differences between the genders. Are we equally valuable, YES. But, we are different. And it seems to me that these women leaders on the left Hate being women, it's not that they want to be treated equally with men, they want to be men.

The most obvious thing that makes us different from men is our gift of motherhood and it's this very thing that the Left attacks the most. Lipservice is paid toward motherhood, but call a planned parenthood (the sacred temple of the feminist movement, and say that you think you're pregnant and abortion will be suggested, if not first very soon after). The most cherished priviledge to these "leaders" among women, is the right to choose to kill their unborn children. Somehow, if we can "control" the very thing that makes us powerful as women, Women are told that children are punishment, how often have women been belittled for choosing to raise their children? Large families are generally belittled and the women who would bear these children as unintelligent. This is why Sarah Palin, a strong woman, attracts me she is obviously comfortable with her femininity. She embraces her motherhood, she has five children and didn't abort the one that is the most vulnerable to abortion. She has stood by her values, even when it was scarey and "inconvenient" to do so.

I was impressed by Todd Palin, and his strength and support of his wife as she pursues the second highest office in our land. From the look on his face and actions throughout, I get the impression that this is a man, that is strong in himself as a leader of his family and comfortable supporting his outspoken wife. I really sense that this was a family decision. I can understand how this would work in a family, because I have a husband who is strong in himself, is the leader of our family and supports me in anything I choose to do. He married a strong(willed) woman and it isn't threatening to him, because he is a strong man.

Monday, September 15, 2008

checking in...

If there is anyone who really reads this, I thought I'd check in as I haven't written in a while. Life has been sooooooooooo busy! Having another child, especially a teenage child is definitely an adjustment. I wish you could all meet her, she's such a neat kid! And i'm not just saying that because she asked to watch FOX news the day she moved in, or has a McCain sticker on her notebook. For all that she's been through, she's very resilient and a bright, interesting child.

But, between her 2x a week appointments and the sports that the kids are all now involved in we are constantly running. K is cheering for the tackle football league, J is playing flag football, and S is playing soccer.

Awana started back up last week and so that is another day to be busy. No hanging out on Sunday afternoon anymore.

And we've been traveling a bit. L (our teen) isn't used to all this family time, but she is learning to love it. See, we pretty much do everything together, even a "I need Milk" run to wal-mart is a family event. The best part, is that she has never, or rarely done most of the things that we take for granted. We took her to louisville for a weekend and she got to hang out with us during the semiannual hospital marriage retreat. And, it was the same weekend of the State Fair, to which L had NEVER BEEN!. We spent about 9 hours at the fairgrounds. We walked through all the animals, most of the exhibits, and then let all the children do some rides. We were so grateful to be staying in Louisville and not having to drive all the way back to Ft. Knox that night.

Then we went to Gatlinburg for 5 days of camping fun with our dear friends Tim and Erin. Not only had she never been to Gatlinburg, she'd never been camping! The kids enjoyed teasing her about bugs and snakes and general woody types of things. She survived and even admited she had fun. We had a blast, we took tubes and went tubing down the little river in the Smokey Mtn National Forest. Nothing like standing in your bathing suit on the side of the road and just jumping into the water. We went to the Ripley's Aquarium. I've got to say here. THANK YOU Ripley's and Gatlinburg. They have tremendous military discounts, and it is GREATLY appreciated. We got 6 Ripley amusements, including the Aquarium for all of us, for $32.00 (it cost our non-military friends more than that for the 2 of them to just get into the Aquarium. So, military, go to Gatlinburg! We played at the campground, raced in the go-carts, and played miniature golf. We had so much fun we didn't want to leave and got home very late on Tuesday when we had originally planned to be home by 5 for sports practices. Oh well, who knows when we'll get to go there again.

Mike is now in SanAntonio for a Emergency Medicine Ministry training and comes home Friday. He's very sad to be away from us and we're all missing him too. Especially since J starting asking me questions about Wet Dreams this week. Turns out, K had been reading my "what's happening to me" book that my mom gave to me, and he was reading along with her. Now, mind you, I answered all of his question plainly and without any embarrasment. I have no problems talking to any of my kids about s*x and development. That taken, Mike can answer the Penis questions much better than I can, for obvious reasons (like I don't have one!) But, J seemed happy with the information he received and hopefully knows that he ask Mom about anything. I guess they can, since he asked more questions after I read our daily chapter of Proverbs and had to answer more questions about "immoral women".

S turned 6 yesterday and he loved celebrating his 1/2 birthday yesterday. Since dad's gone we only did 1/2 the celebrating, hence the 1/2 birthday as he is calling it. We'll finish celebrating when Mike gets home. If only he can get it through his head that he got his whole presents :).

Well, that's a quick update of the highlights. If anyone actually reads this, leave a comment, so that I'll know to update more often!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Keeping busy in Hiebtown

The last two weeks have flown by. The middle boys both got to visit with their cousins in Colorado. They had a terrific time albeit got homesick and admitted to missing their mom very much, even shedding a tear or two. We missed them too, but I will say the volume of the house doubled the day they came home. We are all adjusting well to our new addition and the Keilah is happy to have a big sister. It's added some more running around to our life as we take her to visit friends, but they are willing to share the load.

The biggest change I foresee is having a child in the public school. This will be a new thing having to work around the school schedule. The hardest part will be the early start to the day. L isn't too excited about the start of school, but I think she'll do well.

We are excited about the start of PWOC, the women's group I belong too. The kids will get to see their friends and I'll be leading a class this fall. I'm excited and nervous about this new opportunity. We'll be using the book by Dee Brestin "Friendships of Women".

We still have no word on any moves, Mike's branch manager (the person who determines the assignments for all chaplain assistants) is retiring so we don't know how this will affect the "winter move to Germany" but Mike's supervisor is willing to work on Mike's behalf for his next assignment. They are meeting tomorrow and will discuss this more. But, as I have learned from many false alarms God will move us when He wants and where He wants as I heard another army wife say "God cuts the orders the army pays for it".

Thursday, July 10, 2008

new addition

First let me apologize for the delay since my last writing. It's been super busy we have been Vacation Bible Schooling, Baptizing, Camping in Chatanooga, visiting family and friends for Independence day and had a surprise addition to our family this week!

You know that Mike and I are wishing to adopt. Well, as we wait for our chilren, we decided to make ourselves useful and had our case transfered to knox that we may work as foster parents in the meantime.

We got our first placement this week. She's a delightful girl and we are all glad to have her as part of our family. No, I can't tell you why she's with us, nor do we know how long it will be. I didn't expect to become the mother of a teenager (she is 14) but it has been a blessing to us as I hope and think we have been a blessing to her. So, pray for us and our families. God knows what is needed and His provision has already been evident.

Now, backtracking, we had a great week of VBS. This year all of the kids got to participate and they loved it! The week ended with our chapel hosting an open swim party at the post water park. During the party, we took a break and Justus and I were baptized. Justus, because he recently made a confession of faith and I because I have no clear memory of baptism. I thought I'd been baptized as an infant. Mom, said no when you were confirmed. Actually her words where "what, it didn't take the first time?" But, it was a special day for both Justus and I. I am thankful he chose to share it with me.

Justus going under :)

Mom's Turn

OK, I need to run my teenager to a friend's. So I'll post later about the trip to chatanooga.

Including Pictures :)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hunter Educated :)

OK, so I learned from my mother, that my grandmother thinks we're nuts:). So, I know at least 1 person is reading this. Hi Grandma. And, I must say it does go against the way we were raised. But, we are all quite excited about developing hunting skills. Mike, K and I all passed our class with style. During the shooting portion, K was the only one to hit the bullseye, but Mike had an excellent grouping. He says that is the important part. Me, I was glad to hit the target.

J wasn't allowed to take the tests. It turned out he was a year too young. So, if we're still around here next year he'll get to take the class again. But, it was well worth him going. Gun safety was covered thoroughly and he now has a little more appreciation for the danger that BB and Pellet guns present. BB guns are common on post, J even got one for christmas. He is only allowed to use it when Mike is around to supervise. Unfortunately, that's not how all parents feel, and he's encountered several situations where friends bring their's out to "play". He now understands that anything with the name "gun" needs to be taken seriously.

K and I are more interested in archery. However, it will be a while before we begin that hobby. It's an expensive hobby. The arrows alone run abou $5.00 each and that's not with the $200+ bow. We will probably look at joining a local 4-H program.

We'll all learn how to shoot as well, there is a shooting range on post , so that will be interesting when the time comes. Don't expect me to start decorating with animal heads anytime soon though :).

Mike and S have been doing a lot of fishing. They caught enough bluegill and catfish for me to fry them up for dinner. S really loves fishing, K enjoys it too. J doesn't have any patience for it, but he enjoys the cooking side. A is to little, he's more interested in trying to hook himself.

OK, well, that's a brief update. I'm off to clean the house some more. We actually got the boys rooms swept and mopped :). S even scrubbed his bathroom. I'd even consider going in there now, if I had to.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

change in tactics

Well, we've been approved since March and no bites on the old adoption line, so we are making a few changes. We are having our case transfered onto Fort Knox. This will allow us to become Foster parents on Fort Knox while we are waiting for our kids. While fostering for the sake of fostering was never our intent, it seems to be the appropriate direction for us at this time. For the last week we've had a delightful baby staying with us, as his fostermom is in Mexico for her husband's R&R. We will all be sad to see him go (surprising since this week has meant diapers and bottles, I thought that was behind me). We may not have another child stay with us, or we may have several. With Fort Knox only having one foster family at this time, it just seemed to be an appropriate move.

We are still praying for our children and searching. God knows when the right time will be.

Mike and I and the older two children are going to take a hunter education class this week. It should be a real learning experience as we move into our "homesteading" frame of mind.

S is proving to be my real outdoorsman. He has been fishing everynight for the last week and a half with Mike and even has caught some fish for our freezer. He's amazing, he'll bait his own hook, pick up the fish. And when they ran out of bait today, he'd just grab a cicada off the tree and hook it! K enjoys fishing but hasn't been out as often as she's either been grounded or wanted to help with the baby. J can leave it all together. He can't sit still long enough and doesn't care for touching bait or fish. He'll be the first to volunteer to help me cook them though. He was talking today about being a chef when he grows up and will always join me when I have a the Food Network on. (his favorite is Rachel Ray) A just isn't big enough, much to his dismay. He hasn't quite figured out the whole casting thing yet and isn't allowed to move beyond his kiddie pole yet.

On another thought, any family reading this, I need Photographs. I was finally hanging up the pictures on the wall in our stairwell (we've only been in this house for a year and a half) and I realized there are lots of folks missing. So, if you've got a family pic I'd really appreciate you sending it my way, I'll even take responsibility for having it printed at my local Wal-mart.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hunting Hound

No, we haven't gotten another dog. We had to hunt down the one we have, yet again. But, this is where being around military types all the time and having a husband that likes war movies comes in handy. (My standing as RISK champion probably didn't hurt).

So, our Boxer Scout, loves to take runs through our neighborhood. Mind you, these are runs he takes sans leash and they occur just about every other day. So depending on the time of day he takes off, someone either has to go out and catch him, or we just leave all the doors open and wait for him to get bored and come in. (This has resulted in 1 runin with the MP's, fortunately no charges resulted)

Daytime, requires a chase. So, as Mike left for work, I followed the kids out to track down our hound. The kids usually just chase him until they catch him (this has been known to take hours unless some kind stranger snags him) today I decided we'd out smart not out run the dog. As I am incapable of outrunning a slug. So, as the kids played dodge with him in the field I casually strolled on ahead of the dog. When the dog came up between two trees, I was in front of him and J and S were moving in behind. Unfortunately, J didn't wait for everyone to get into position and the devil dog took off through a hole. I had to call the kids down to explain the procedure for "tightening the net". "Don't chase the dog, Go to where he's thinking about going." I explained we needed to spread out and surround, then slowly move closer in to cut off his escape routes. Then we'd have a better chance of catching him. While we discussed our options Scout decided to cross the main road. This was of great benefit to him, because he now was on a narrower strip of land with a fence behind him. So, we all went to the road and spread out before we crossed. At the signal we all quickly crossed the road and stopped as soon as we got across. I think the heat was also working in our favor as the Dog remained in the shade.

While staying a good distance from the dog I went below, K&A went above and S & J stayed between Scout and the road. Then we put our plan into action. Slowly, we all stepped closer to the dog. Remaining casual and not calling his name. (he runs at the sound of his name when off leash) Soon, we were all within arms reach and Scout was obviously concerned. He tried to get by S (smart dog, choose the kid in the cast) But S wouldn't have it and grabbed him quick! We got him harnessed and leashed with one swat for his disobedience (Mike has been working on training him to NOT go out the front door) and led the way home. As soon as we walked in the front door he pulled me through the house trying to get to his kennel. Tucking tail as soon as he was in. LOL, guess at least understands that leading us on chases is naughty. Now if we can just get him to stop doing it.

Any suggestions we'd be glad to receive them. We've actually considered getting a second dog, just to keep him busy in the yard. Because when we dog sat, he didn't run. LOL a pet for the pet. What am I coming to?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

no madness to write of

this is strange, a 4 day weekend and we have nothing to do. And by nothing I mean no obligations to outside organizations. Nothing but choosing what to do for ourselves. It's been so long since we've seen a wide open window of time. So, Mike spent some time straightening up the garage and now watching Uof L play for the conference title in Baseball, the kids are all out playing with friends. It's so nice to live on a street full of children. And I've been ADD cleaning. What's ADD cleaning you ask? It's where I start in one room, say my bed room, on a cleaning/organizing project. I strip the bed and take the sheets to the laundry to start washing them. then notice the shelf i've been thinking of setting up in my craft room. So I start to do that, after a bit of mess, I realize it's too big for the space I've chosen. So, I decide to set it up in the laundry room, but that requires moving a picture. Back to the craft room to move pictures and clean up the mess I made trying to put up the shelves. Then into the laundry to set up the shelf in that spot. Now I notice that the dryer is covered in stuff that doesn't belong there and start cleaning that up. Then Mike asks for help outside, so I leave opening a few windows on my way. I start helping him, and notice a jacket that belongs to the neighbor. I take that to her and visit for a moment before returning. Where I decide to get a drink and check email.
Note, my bedroom is still a mess and the washer is now a mess from moving stuff on the dryer. But, I did manage to get my sheets into the wash and they are now ready to be dried.

And that's how I ADD clean and why my husband is a better cleaner than me :).

I did get a phone call from a friend, who foster parents on post, and we will be providing foster respite care for her for 1 week while she vacations with her husband during his R & R. we'll have a baby in the house again. I've already told K who is quite happy with the idea. It should be nice practice to having more kids in the house.

OOH, I do have to share with you all, I made bread this week with my new mixer. I pulled out the recipe a lady had taught me several years ago. My first attempt flopped. I killed the yeast, I think my water was too hot. My second attempt fared much better, however it still didn't work quite right. It was supposed to rise in 25 minutes, instead it took several hours. But, it rose and my family is enjoying it very much. So, I'm going to Whole Foods Monday to get more flour and some different yeast. But, I'll be making our own bread from now on. Eventually, I hope to start grinding our wheat as well, but that will have to wait until next year.

Our garden is taking off, thanks to this cool spring, my lettuce is growing nicely, I haven't harvested any yet, but I probably will tonight for dinner. Our strawberry's are also starting to ripen. We left the plants from last summer and they have just about taken over the planter box. We've put in our salsa garden with jalapenos tomatoes, and onions. We've also put in Cantaloupe, Green Peppers, zucchini, snow peas, green beans, and something else we can't remember. If you want to have a garden and don't have a lot of space or don't want to dig up your yard, I really recommend "Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholomew.

Come visit and I might share a salad, bread and salsa with you :).

Monday, May 19, 2008

Almost made it 10 years

Without a broken bone, but S had to be the first and he's enjoyed the attention.
Another busy week past. Last week was the final program for PWOC. The women's group I have been priviledged to have served as president over the past year. So, Wednesday I was planning to set up and finalize the program. The day started with all of us oversleeping due to a power outage. So instead of taking Mike to work at 7:30 as we had planned so that I could be at my "woman doctor" at 8:30, I had to wait for him to come back since Mike had an early meeting. It's always beautiful starting the day trying to hurry 4 kids while I am also getting ready. So, after getting kids up and ready Mike was able to pick us up at 8:23 to take us back to the hospital.
During the morning chaos I also made an appointment for S. He woke up still complaining about his arm hurting after taking a fall the evening before and said his throat hurt. Since I had multiple concerns I was refered off post, which means: Show up and wait. So at 10:30 I was waiting at the immediate care . At 10:45 we were in a room. At 11:45 I still hadn't seen a doctor and was going crazy trying to keep all 4 kids whispering in the small exam room we were occupying. After seeing the NursePractitioner in training, the doc came in and wanted x-rays. Thus confirming that Shep had fractured his left arm above the wrist. A "buckle fracture" he called it and refered us to an orthopedist in E-town to have it cast with the nurse admonishing me to call immediately to get in "this week". So, at 1:00 we were finally leaving, however, I was supposed to be meeting ladies to set up at 1. Fortunately, I'd gotten hold of one of the ladies and she emailed everyone informing them there would be a 1 hour delay. So, while I tried to get the rest of my shopping done so I could get a package in the mail for my little brother who needed warm underwear in Argentina, Mike began calling to confirm Tricare would pay the orthopedist and to make the appt. After being assured they would pay, he made an appt for the earliest time he could get, Friday (mind you, this was all Wednesday) So, disatisfied with the wait, he called a fellow NCO and was able to get S into the hospital that afternoon. So, I dropped S off and headed to set up tables. Fortunately a few ladies had gotten the message and were there to help. But, I hadn't been able to focus that morning and didn't have half of the stuff for the tables :(
We picked up Mike and S from teh hospital and headed to E-town. S's Codeine was kicked in and he was feeling pretty tired, but we had to get stuff done for the final program. We did take him for Spaghetti and got lucky to pick a restaurant that has Kids eat Free! I stayed up til 2 paying for my procrastination.
The program went wonderfully on Thursday and I crashed afterwards, however I was able to help Mike get some housework done. We tried to get some cleaning done for the AWANA gathering at our house Saturday. Then Friday I went with some ladies to help clean a house, while Mike stayed home to continue getting ready for the gathering.
I need to say what a great husband I have. He didn't get angry at all about being left with the majority of the work in preparing to have people over, not even when our cleaning job took 2 hours longer than we had prepared for. I hate to admit that he also did a better job than I would have done left to my own devices. Not only that I came home to a belated mother's day present, a Bosch Mixer I've had my eyes on for years!
Friday evening we'd promised the kids they could go to the chapel to watch "The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe" before seeing Prince Caspian on Saturday morning with the Chapel community. We had 2 hours to finish up the pesky last minute stuff before everyone arrived. Then we had tix to the Louisville Fire at 7. All in all a very busy day! Sunday felt much more relaxed, however I did have a candle party at 4, which went well and I had a chance to talk with the incoming Pres.
Whew, I'm tired all over again :) just writing about the week. But, after this weekend, everything should slow down for a few months. We'll see if it lasts.
Oh, S should get his cast off in 3 weeks. He got a white cast and had the Fire sign it after the game. He wouldn't let any of us touch it until then.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Managing maternal madness

Wow, I'm finally starting to catch up on sleep after an indescribable week.

I began the week making final preparations for the weekend retreat for the women of PWOC. Earlier in the month we had decided it would be great fun to take the kids and our dog, yes the dog, to a Bats game in Louisville (they sponsor a "bring your dog to the game night") We did not know at the time we would have 2 dogs, as we are now dogsitting for a soldier until May 1. So off we go Wednesday with our 4 kids and 2 dogs to the game where we will also meet Mike's brother who is avoiding a houseful of bridge playing women. When we arrive we realize that neither of us have any cash and proceed to drive around louisville trying to locate an ATM, after 20 minutes we succeed and go on to the game. All was well, we enjoyed ballpark food (even canibalized the dogs by giving them each a hotdog) and saw several old friends from civilian life.

One of these friends Mike and I took turns visiting with while the other sat with BIL Tom and managed the dogs while the kiddo's played on the playground. During my turn to manage the madness, I was watching the crowd "dodge the doodoo" and doing the occasional headcount. Middle son had already tired and returned to us when my oldest 2 appeared asking for drinks. I asked the oldest 2 where their youngest sibling was and they dutifully trotted back on to the playground and I tried to get a sighting on number 4. When I couldn't site #4 from my position I moved to get another vantage point. From my new spot I now understood why I couldn't see #4 . Because #4 was no longer within the fenced plaground. As my mind raced with abduction scenarious and the heartsinking thoughts of never seeing my baby again, I yelled his name. A lady nearby, hearing my desperate cry, asked for a description. Satisfied by my "little guy, green pants, blue sweatshirt" she pointed and said security. I began running to discover my delighted toddler in the arms of an officer proudly displaying his new ball. Not sure whether to cry or pee my pants (I think I did both) I thanked the officers who praised him for talking to them and answering questions. (although they couldn't understand his name at all, certain it was Alex) I returned shaken, but praising God, to my also grateful family (sans Mike who was still visiting with our friends). I should also mention that Mike noticed during the evening that middle son S had a large knot on his neck. His left Lymphnode appeared to be the size of a walnut. But he said it didn't hurt at all and he had no other symptoms. But we agreed to be safe, we'd take him to the doc the next day.

So after PWOC (my women's group) we did some last minute retreat shopping and then to the doc. S still said he felt fine and complained of nothing, only to find out he now had a 102 fever (taken after drinking a cold soda) a few minutes later it was 103. Strep test was negative and still no other symptoms or pain. So, we were prescribed a broad spectrum antibiotic and sent for a CBC with the encouragement (if his white cells are high he's fighting something, if they are low it could be bad like lymphoma) Hmmm, nothing to think about there! Now, I had to meet some ladies to drive to Louisville to pick up our speaker for the retreat. So, quickly drop the kids off, literally throw the trash from the car onto the front lawn with "kids take care of this" and off to pick up the ladies before heading to Louisville. I was 20 minutes late picking up the ladies, we had to detour around a faceoff between a motorcycle and car (car won) and still we arrived at the airport before she arrived. Thank God for delays, we took her to Rocky's on the River (Indiana) for dinner and had a wonderful evening before droppping her at the hotel and I finally made it home around 10.

Friday: fun day, up at 6:30 final prep for the retreat, pack, meet ladies at 11:15 to ride together.
12:00 Lunch w/speaker
1:00 Check in and begin set up
3:00 ladies begin to arrive
4:00 Retreat officially begins

I had shared with a few friends our concerns for S and that I was awaiting test results.

Somewhere in the evening I talked to Mike and got the results. "Low" but it's probably a virus. No mention this time of the L word. Another appointment Monday with the doc we really like. OK, so now I've got this in the back of my head and I have to host the ladies. When we finally broke for the evening for teh "late night hang out" I received a call from my father that my Gama was in the hospital with congestive heart failure. Now, I need to share that the retreat theme was "Prepare for the Bridegroom" and the theme verses were from Matthew, the parable of the 10 virgins. That evening we had listened to our speaker and discussed how we are each responsible for our own personal preparation, but that ultimately we are preparing to join God in His plans.

I left my room where ladies were gathering to socialize to search for some plates and got sidetracked by noise from the room next to mine. 4 dear dear sisters were inside. I made a little small talk and then asked the ladies to just pray for S and shared the results. Well, pray they did. Right then and there, they immediately began looking to the scriptures and praying for me, S, and my gama. One dear friend continually prayed for God to "work it out" and work it out He did.

We'd sung a son earlier in the evening and one line was about Him removing all fear. And I remember thinking during that song, but God you haven't taken my fear. Well, he couldn't take what i wasn't willing to give him. My friends prayed with me and for me as I confronted my faith and my creator. All the things that had been occuring over this previous year, month, and days had led in my life, to this moment. As President of PWOC I am responsible for the weekly meetings, and I have watched God provide weekly for every mole hill and mountain that came along. A month ago I had a vague feeling for about 2 weeks that something was wrong with one of my kids, attributing it to two many emails about sick kids I wrote it off thinking, what doc would see my kids with no symptoms but, "mom's feeling". Several times over the last few weeks conversations with Keilah had arisen that I admited I could never give one of them up, that's why I'm constantly overwhelmed by God's own sacrifice for our Salvation. During this time of Prayer, all these events came over me, I had always said that these were God's kids, now it was time to work it out, and put my money where my mouth is.

My sweet, sweet sisters did not stop praying until I was able to work it out. I was able to confess my faith and lack of it, my fear and desire to hold on, and finally realized and accepted that these precious children that I love so much are not and never have been mine. My fear came out of self and that fear kept the focus on what I can't do not on what He can do. Two stories came into my head during this time. Stories told over and over and often it seems as unatainable stories of faith. Aberaham when he went up to sacrifice Isaac and Shadrack, Meschach, and Abednego when they went into the furnace declaring Jehovah's name knowing that He alone could save them and even if he didn't that He was still God, yet they walked out of the furnace, with out even the smell of smoke on them. I realized, God was asking me two things: 1) To make the sacrifice of Abraham: to trust Him completely with my children (He loves them more than I could anyway) and 2: to face the fire and know, whether He is to put the fire out, walk me around it, or right through it, that He is still God and nothing can separate me from the love of Christ Jesus. I felt the peace that passes all understanding as I in that moment (and the moments since) was able to say Yes to both questions. If nothing else comes from all of this, but that I've confirmed those answers in my heart, then I am thankful and Praise God, that He has led me to this deeper understanding and trust in Him.

Saturday, we completed our retreat and I was able to sing the song again, only this time praising God that He HAD taken my fear! We finished up the retreat and headed to Louisville and I visited with Gama while Mike and the kids went to a Uof L baseball game. I had a nice, quiet 2 hour visit with her before all the other family started coming in again. i brought 3 of the kids up to see her and explained why s couldn't visit. Got home around 11.

Sunday: church, sunday school , Mike dropped me off at his brother's house for a wedding shower for his cousin. They headed back to post for AWANA and came back for me after , another late night home.

Monday: morning meeting, lunch with an old friend and in-laws, and niece and her kids who are in from Colorado. Mike back to work and we went to Patton museum before I took S to doc.
I really like our Doc, he's the type of doc you either love or hate, and many of my friends refuse to see him, He takes time to explain everything to us and answer questions. So he looked S over, checked all the results from the CBC and was of the opinion that this was an infection. He had some nasty little scrapes on his left arm, from falling, animals, and general boyness. Combined with the numbers that we should continue the augmentin and return Monday for another CBC to confirm everything was returning to normal. I could tell Mike was very relieved (I'd already "worked it out" :) ) but, was also happy for a "the fire's out" answer. So S continues to take his nasty medicine and I praise God for all that I have learned and lived over this past week.

Grace, Peace, and Much Love,

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A bite on the line?

Well, in an effort to be proactive in our search for children, I began requesting information from photolistings. Now that we have an approved homestudy we are allowed to do this. We received our first "send us your homestudy" response today. My expectations are actually kind of low, as we are just begining and the children’s discription ends with "not legally free" which means birth parents still have rights, but hey, it’s progress.
At home we are plugging along, and have been blessed with an answered prayer. A friend from PWOC (my women’s group) is moving (PCS’ing) to Colorado and had a particular musical instrument that she neither played nor valued and asked if I would. Since the price was music to Mike’s ears (Free) I finally heard the words that are music to mine, "When do you want to pick up the Piano?" So on Saturday we picked up our slightly dinged and out of tune upright. I am delighted to say that "Happy, Happy, Happy" now has a piano score in addition to the guitar chords :). Now, to find order the "Piano lessons on DVD" I’ve heard so much about.
Mike is trying to plan a family vacation to which I keep responding, sounds good, but...we may have 2 more kids, we may need vacation time/funds to visit kids, we may get orders to move. While most Christians will agree that we are always to wait on God, we often move through our lives with an ideal that somehow we are in control, and God is merely an observer. Free Will theology dictates that we alone determine our paths in life. We make choices and plans for the paths of our lives, America is founded on the idealic notion of independence and achieving one’s dreams. But, try as we might, we can’t accomplish everything by ourselves. All the great dreamers give credit to those that "help" them along the way, or the "fortuitous" circumstances, the "challanges" they had to overcome. Is it possible that all of these happenings in our lives were indeed arranged by a loving God? Who in writing our story blesses or challanges us through the people, events, and circumstances that we live through daily. Situations that, perhaps as dramatic as Abraham and Isaac, are just as telling about our Character and Faith? Well, now, as I’m being as active as I can, I also know that my "help" will not come from men. We have made ourselves available and obtained the proper paperwork, but I can’t make my children appear. We have made our requests for our next duty station, but we can’t make the branch manager send us there. So now, we wait, knowing with full faith and knowledge that the Lord who loves us will answer our questions, will consider our hearts desires and will order our steps so as to complete His perfect will. Even if that means forfeiting our vacation through the Northeast or moving to Germany, Hawaii, Korea, or (GASP) Alaska. And while we wait we will pray and prepare, that we may be worthy of the tasks laid before us.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

a new blog

OK, in order to express my more activist side, I've started a second blog I realize the names should actually be reversed, with hiebtown, being the family site and mshieb being the personal, but I just didn't have that all together when I started a month ago. SO, if your interested click on the link and you can read more of my ramblings and thoughts on current events/issues.


Happy, Happy, Hap-py

That's the title of the soon to be #1 hit from the mellow voice of my 3 year old. When he was born we were debating what his name should be: George Gilbert-honoring family or Samuel Asher- in tradition with our other children's names. We took family polls, contemplated and discussed. Finally, I did the unheard of...I left the choice to my husband and we decided to chose after he was born. Our thought was that he would "tell" us which it was. A was born so quickly, that I didn't get to see him until a few hours after his birth. M went with him to the nursery and when he joined me in the recovery room, I asked "so which is it?". With a mixed emotion he said "he's an Asher."

Funny thing though...the name Asher means happy. So it has just struck my fancy lately at how "happy" has become a theme from this child. When he likes something his response is "that makes me happy" or he'll just come in " I so happy" Summarized today of course, when he picks up the guitar, starts strumming and singing "Happy, happy, happy" One appreciates it more when they can hear it in his own speech impeded way.

Another thing about this child, he definitely sets his own agenda. His birth prepared me for that . He came a week before his due date (my only child to do that) then came much faster than any of the hospital staff expected (even though I told them it was a fourth child) and has been moving through life on his own terms ever since. He had this gorgeous head full of blonde curls, that I refused to cut short. Then one day M decided that he was cutting them off and A got the same buzz cut the other boys have. He was hysterical for the rest of the evening, "I want it back" he came crying to me. But, within the week he embraced this "new him" (the haircut changed his look from my baby to a little boy) and he decided that he WAS big (we'd been battling potty training, I'd ask don't you want to be big, babies go potty in their pants. And he'd say "I not big, I baby" ) After the haircut though he became big, at least in his mind, and there is no calling him baby anymore. Fortunately, he still loves hugs and cuddles, as do all my boys. But, heaven help me the day any of my boys say they are too big for hugs, for that's the day A will abandon them too.

Our "big" battle has now moved into the kitchen. His recent cause of un-happy-ness, was my refusal to allow him to cook Mac-n-cheese on the stove. His older brothers both can cook meals that require boiled water, and have learned to do most every step from filling the pot, to turning on the stove (I still drain the water) and adding the necessary ingredients to complete their pasta dish. Well, A just didn't accept that he's not big enough for cooking on the stove and full on tears ensued. Fortunately for me, his defiance is often in word only and while his mouth protests, his body complies. So, many tears and unheard explanations later lunch was on the table and A had not been near the stove. And after lunch all were happy again.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

No news is no news

This is the long hard part, waiting for a phone call saying we've got kids. Funny, when we were going through our classes, I could find all sorts of kids available. Now that we're approved the only sibling pair I've found that matches us aren't really available for adoption. So, I guess I'm getting one of those infamous lessons on patience. The army also has left us hanging and is not approving M to go to Fort Hood nor are they giving us any further hints about a time for a possible move to Germany (M believes it'll be a winter move).

On to other things, I got to scare a punk kid this week. I saw a neighbor boy who has been an "eddie haskel" type in my yard and he picked something up and threw it towards the house. Curious, I went to the window to watch him because he walked up to the sidewalk. He then proceeded to bend over and look at my Pansies and rip one out of the flowerbed, look at it and throw the whole plant on the ground. I immediately went to the door and demanded "Young man, what do you think you're doing?" He froze like a deer in headlights. I continued asking him why he pulled flowers out of my bed, but he couldn't give any kind of answer. He just remained frozen, I told him to get his dogs (who were peeing in my shrubs) and perhaps he could explain to his parents since he couldn't answer me. I threw on a jacket and followed him home. His parents of course were not there, but his older sister was. Perhaps I'll go talk to them tomorrow and let them know I was fussing at their son. I seriously don't expect them to do anything, however if they do decide he should make restitution of anykind I think I'll ask that they bring him to AWANA. This child needs Jesus.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

In like a Lion

March, what an interesting month, in our mind it's spring, but according to the weather it's winter. March is holding true to the saying perfectly, the wind has been blustery since the month began and the temperature tempremental. Just last week we were outside in short sleeves and today there is a foot of snow on the ground. I'd show you a picture, but my camera recently broke. Every bird in the neighborhood has discovered our feeder and I'm thanking God for friends who gave me outgrown winter boots this fall. I'm a packrat, so I accepted them with the thought that we probably wouldn't need them :). The kids are glad I was wrong, they've been praying for a good snow. It's a perfect day for staying in (well for me, Mike is desperate to find a sledding hill and I am not a cold weather outside kinda girl, but I'll be the good mom and go if that's what happens). However, we had other obligations today and M is at Blazer's, an indoor play place, with J for his Sparkies outing, and K has a birthday bowling party to go to, so I think it will get me out of having to play outside. :). Hope all of you are staying warm and enjoying life, whatever it has brought you.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


We got our letter, We got our letter, We got our letter! That squeal of joy heard throughout the surrounding counties, was me at my mailbox. We finally got our letter that verifies that the state of Kentucky has approved us as a resource home with the intention to adopt! Now the next step is to be matched with a sibling group based on our acceptance scale and homestudy. I know out there somewhere is a little boy and girl that is waiting for us. I'm just wondering if we can handle the wait. In some ways this is worse than pregnancy! At least when I was pregnant I knew that it was time limited in 40 weeks, give or take, we would have a baby. According to the letter if we aren't matched in FIVE years, our home is closed. I've called my worker and am waiting for advice on how to be proactive as possible. The preference is to adopt children from the state of Kentucky to avoid paperwork snafus. That and visitation would be much easier.
For all of you that have been praying with us through this process, Thank you! And don't stop! Our kids and we need them still. I'll keep you updated on this as we continue on this process.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

You know your military when...

I snagged this from a friend and the only thing that I haven't gotten down is the military time..

-When someone asks when your spouse will be home, you say July or August instead of 5 or 6pm...
-You live on your own and by yourself more after you're married than before you were married....
-You know all of your husband's coworkers by their last name, and rarely know their first name and you don't recognize them when they are in civvies....
-You say "I'm going to the commissary" instead of "grocery store"....
-When you need I.D. to buy groceries...
-You are called "Ma'am" at the age of 18 by every MP or SF that comes into contact with you....
-When you forget you have a driver's license and take your military ID everywhere with you....
-When you hear of another death or injury of a US Military and weep inside for that wife or mother that loved that Soldier.
-You read everything you can get your hands on to learn more about your husband's job....
-You really want something but you say "damn, well I'm going to have to wait for the 1st... or 15th for it"
-You ask someone "what's your rank?" instead of "what's your job?!"...
-When half of your wardrobe has some kind of Military insignia on it and once belonged to your spouse....
-When the sounds of helicopters, and Jets flying over your house shaking your windows, surprisingly soothes you!...
-You only write in pencil because EVERYTHING is subject to change....
-You know that a 2 month separation IS short, no matter what your civilian friends say....
-You know better than to go to the Px/Bx or commissary between 11:30 and 1:30 unless it's a life or death emergency....
-You show your military ID to the greeter at Wal-Mart....
-You know that any reference to "sand box" describes a deployment to Iraq/Kuwait, not your kid's backyard toys....
-You have enough camouflage in your house to wallpaper the White House....
-You don't have to think about what time 21:30 is....
-You can't remember the last time you saw a doctor who wasn't wearing BDUs/ACUs....
-You pick apart uniforms on TV and in the movies for being inaccurate with your spouse....
-You are asked to stop talking in acronyms and translate it all to English

MP military Police
BDU: battle dress uniform
ACU: Army combat uniform

Bureaucracy: our government slowing down my life

Well, we did not receive our letter this week. I did however speak to our social worker and he has done his part, his supervisor has done his part, and now the next supervisor must do their part before letting the bureacrat known to me only as "Frankfort" do their part and sign off on our family as an approved foster/adopt family for the state of Kentucky. There was no time table given for this portion of the events. So now, our family is at the mercy of "Frankfort". Frankfort, whoever you are....please, please have mercy and act quickly so that my children will stop asking me daily, "when are we getting our brother and sister." and instead I can begin saying daily, "remember, you asked for another sister/brother"

My friend who is also going through this process, but has the benefit of knowing her kids, told me her social worker said about a month. So, I'm going to try and keep myself busy and not be heartbroken every time I check the mailbox. I think this may be worse than pregnancy, at least when your pregnant you know it will be time limited. This process has already taken years for our family and we have no idea how much longer it will all be. But, I will seek comfort in the knowledge that God knows and that that he is preparing us all for one another. In the meantime I'll try to find other things to share about our life here.

Per Aunt Carol's request: some common army lingo.

TDY: Temporary Duty assignment, (i really don't know why it ends with a Y when the final word begins with an A, but that's the army for you) Most people would know this as a business trip.

PCS: Primary Change of Station: A move to a new post.

I also used DH in my last post this is internet for Dear Husband

As my DH and I like to joke, we've become institutionalized, neither of us can imagine life "on the outside" anymore. A friend of mine recently posted an "you know your military when" on her myspace, I think I'm going to snag it and repost it here for your enjoyment.

Mike did return from his TDY on Wednesday and the kids greatly enjoyed the trip to the airport to get him. K even made a "Daddy Hieb" sign so he could find his ride. Tradition has it that you get a few days off when you return from a school so that combined with the 3 day federal holiday we have enjoyed a nice vacation. We are very grateful to Grandma and our friend E who took the kids for us on Saturday night, and Uncle A and Aunt K for taking the four legged kid, so that we could enjoy a quiet night alone. It was very relaxing and restorative. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Punk Kids!

Punk KIDS! That's all I can say. Well, not really then what kind of blog would this be? One thing i love about military is that when people move they give stuff away that they don't want to pack along. You can get some really good stuff that way. So, my kids were given a cute Little Tikes log cabin playhouse. We placed it at the bottom of the hill on the edge of the woods behind our house. We even found an old section of wood fencing to place under it for a floor. Now they could play Laura Ingalls in Little House in the Big Woods. They and their friends have had fun playing with this. Well, last fall, while my DH was TDY, it was stolen. YES, a large kids playhouse, gone. We hiked through the woods, found it and drug it back home. No problems, I just knocked on the door of the home we were behind and explained why I was in their backyard and went on.
Then Sunday (hubby TDY again) I look out my son's window and....NO PLAYHOUSE. I was so MAD. I thought about calling the MP's but, I didn't have time to wait, because we had AWANA, so i called hubby to complain and practiced slow breathing and decided like Scarlett.. I'd deal with it tomorrow. Well, now, or yesterday, umm.. Anyhow after our morning meeting i decided to drive the neighborhood and check out the yards on the other side of the woods. When what do I spy, hidden back in the woods. A large Blue thing, with a very familiar Green roof. What to do? Do I bang on every door on the street asking whose kids did it? Try to drag it out now? Well, again, after practiced breathing I decided to go home and we'd hike into the woods and assess the situation. Now mind you it's below freezing and I am not a cold weather outside fun girl. So, K, J,(also mad that their house is gone) and I hike with me and we discover the house, the thieves had cleverly covered the entire house in a blue tarp and used the roof to secure the tarp in place, thus insulating and disguising their hide out. They had also pinned a blanket in the door way. I wish I had taken pictures, they had gotten this house over fallen logs and a "creek" and set it securely between several fallen logs. Well, I'm not going to let a little thing like dense underbrush stop me. So, we pull the roof off and carry it home. I'm still quite warm (bloodpressures up I suppose) but the wimps, I mean kids need to get warm and eat lunch. So we go in for a bit. Now I knew the weather report was calling for snow and I didn't trust that the little punks that took this wouldn't move it again, once they discovered their hideout had been compromised. So I grabbed the older boys and we headed out on our mission to reclaim our property. While warming up, my brain had unfrozen, and I decided that we would place the cabin on top of the theives tarp to drag the darn thing home, because I couldn't get the walls to disassembe earlier. Fortunately with out the roof it lightened up a bit. So after positioning the cabin we began the drive home. It worked suprisingly well. I pulled and the boys pushed. Once we got a rhythm down we were able to move surprisingly smoothly until I realized we had followed the path to the wrong crossing on he creek. So a little turn and we found a narrow portion.
Then once across the creek the tarp started shredding from the sticker bushes. We kept pulling and shoving trying to keep the thing together until it becam a bigger hindrance than a help. We stopped to reassess the situation, we were about 2/3 of the way home, it was now starting to snow, and we saw and heard a group of kids on the edge of the woods. Were they our thieves we pondered, only God knows. We decided to push on without the tarp. I'd pull using the window shutters and the boys would continue to push. This actually seemed to work even easier than using the tarp, I was starting to see that some motivated kids could get this through the woods. Only two more obstacles and we were home. A huge pile of decaying branches from a tree that had fallen the previous year and "the hill" a 65 degree incline that separated our house from the woods. J and I managed quite handly to navigate the fallen trees, but I wasn't so sure about the hill, which now had about an inch of snow on it. K came to our rescue, they pushed and I pulled, and we cheered each other on to the top of our mount everest. Only to realize, it wouldn't fit through the fence gate, because, now this baby was going in the yard! No more hikes for homes for this girl! And once again J helped me out. We flipped the house on the side, balanced it on the fence rail and passed I held it while he ran around to help his sister and they lowered it to the other side!
VICTORY was ours! I must say that it was a proud moment for us and I dare say one that will live in our memories. I just wish that I could have seen us dragging that thing through the woods. I hope God let's us watch video of our goofier moments in heaven.
But, now I'm paying the price as this very out of shape body is aching from it's work out, DH warned me this would happen should I actually start doing real exercise. I guess my only hope now is to keep exercising, that or popping ibuprofens. I tried the hot bath thing only to discover my drain doesn't seal and my tub won't hold more than 3 inches of water with the faucet running full strength. But, I'll leave that fix to maintenance. At least for today I'm a hero, and the kids and the dog now have a shelter in our back yard And I will go to sleep knowing the punk kids didn't win this round and praying they won't start another one!

We're almost expecting!

Ok, so I've been thinking I should Blog about this, but have been too lazy to find another blog site, so I'll start here. We are so excited. Ever since, well before even, we got married Mike and I have wanted a large family that included adoption. We decided to start with the biological and then add. Well, after several years of false starts we are 1 piece of paper from being officially allowed to find our kids. We just need our official approval paper recognizing us as approved Foster/Adopt parents by the state. Except we aren't allowed to actually Foster due to living on government land.
The kids are as thrilled as we are. Daily they ask when their brother and sister are coming home. K is desperate for a sister and the boys are fighting over who gets to room with the new brother. (Did I mention we want to adopt a sibling pair?) I know these next weeks (hopefully not months) are going to be probably the most difficult we've experienced as we try to locate the children God is preparing us for, but, I'll try to remember to bring you along for the ride :).
Oh, did I mention J got an 8 month old Boxer for christmas (he's taller than A!) and much to our cat Bad's dismay the other cat returned from his month's long wandering (I was sure that he'd been eaten by the coyote's! Glad I didn't have money on that one.)
So, now I'm daydreaming of a stuff list that includes bunk beds, a table that seats 8 with leaves to extend (for company of course), a sectional sofa to fit us all, and a twelve passenger van with all the comfort of a minivan: especially DVD. Oh, the little things that make a mom's life easier. I really never imagined that being a wife and a mother would fit so well. Now, don't think I'm all Pollyanna, we have our daily stress times, but I can't think of another life I would want.