Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's Been Too Long....But I am Back!

Life has really gotten the best of my time lately. I am trying to juggle being a great and loving wife, mom, and teacher. My personality is to be the best that I can be with everything I do. Sometimes I let that get in the way of being the best for me.

Last year was my most challenging year ever (home life and career). I questioned God almost every day as to why He allowed my life to be like this. I asked him many times what He wanted me to learn from this. As I look back, I can now see the blessings He gave me during this time. The twins of course were a HUGE blessing to us. They have brought grace and personality to our family. The class I had last year was so overwhelming with the challenges, but I have learned simplicity. That was a lesson that I also brought into our family. The more simple I keep things, the smoother our clan runs. :)

About 6 months ago, I began going to the gym ALOT! It is my home away from home. It was so hard to get going because I was so out of shape. Now, I love it and find myself feeling guilty for loving it so much. I love doing double classes (back to back). It gives me the feeling of really accomplishing a lot.

This upcoming year is a year to expand on simplifying. We are working on cutting all corners in finances. We are doing the Dave Ramsey plan. Our goal is to buy cash for a house within 6 -8 years. We have cut corners to pay things off and use every resource we can to get this goal accomplished. I am really excited for this. I know we can do it, but it is hard when your wants come out stronger than your needs. :)

In the next day or so, I will post our Christmas day! We had a beautiful and amazing morning with the children. They were were so appreciative with everything they got. That is the best gift to give....being grateful!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Camping in Payson

What is camping?

When I was a little girl, we used to camp all the time at Lake Conroe in TX. We had the tent, gas stove, fire, cots, etc. We did the traditional way of camping. Well, we decided to try a "camping" trip to Payson last week. We rented 2 cabins. Due to our family's size, the cabins only fit 4 people per cabin. The owners weren't kidding about only fitting 4 people....and I even think that is stretching it. :)

Anyway, we made a bomb fire to roast marshmallows. We played and explored nature. We just had the best time being a family with nature.

Any time something is new to the girls, we get major questions. Here are some of the examples of the questions we get:

Are we going to eat dinner there?
Are we going to eat lunch there?
What are we going to have for breakfast?
Are there cups for us to drink water?
Is there water for us to drink?

I just think it is so sad to still be worried about not being provided for and worrying about if they are going to eat or drink. Time is helping out with them trusting us, but it is still on their minds when they have a new experience. They did do very well and they really liked it once we got there. :)

Below is a slide show of our trip:

Friday, October 9, 2009

It's a New Look!

I am so excited for the new look to our blog! Our family has really settled down after the first year together as a family of 7. It has been a challenge but looking back it's been a good challenge. Every time things got a little rough, I always remember that God will never give us more than we can handle.

Our family has adjusted very well. We are in the process of some changing again. We feel God is moving our family into another direction, so we are open and following his guidance. The change we are going to occur will somewhat be of a challenge for us but in the long run it will be really good for our family. I am excited but on the other hand just a little nervous. This is where my faith needs to be stronger and that is something that I struggle with. I know and love God but my faith is always something that I need to work on. I am A personality so I am used to running and controlling things up until I became a Christian. I have learned in the last 16 years to let God control but there are times where I step in and then I get in trouble. :) With this big change coming, I really need to focus on God taking the driver's seat and I will sit in the very back to watch. :)


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Looking for a New Look

It's that time to create a new and updated look for this blog. I am having Nikki from Blogs for a Cause help design my blog. She designs blogs and the money she gets for it goes toward her mission. If you happen to get a chance go to her website and see the designs she has done. You can also see her work over seas and where her passion is. I love to support people who have a passion of helping others.

To read about her work in the DR and Haiti www.heroholiday07.blogspot.com

To read about her work in Ethiopia

Anyway, hopefully in the next couple of days this blog should have a new look. :)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

It's Finished!

Rita and Racheal got their hair professionally done today. I was looking for someone to do their hair where it will last for a long time. The style they got, should last 2 months. Now, this was just a treat for them. It's not anything we can do every 2 months, but once in a while. I had told them when school started we would look into getting it done differently.

The lady who did their hair took about 7 hours for the both of them. She was definitely faster than I am. I usually takes 6 hours per girl. We did braids and the ends are curled. This style will allow them to pull their hair back into many different styles. We will see if it last up to 2 months. I sure hope so.

The one new tip I learned today is that Olive Oil comes in a spray can. This is something you could spray on their hair twice a week. It keeps the scalp moisturized and shiny. I saw this type of spray at Walmart in the hair department.

Here are the pictures of their hair. The lady had it pulled up but they took it down when they got home.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

So Excited!

The girls are doing really well! They are beginning to really bond more with us. I feel like each week is getting better and better. I feel like they are understanding what has happened and how they are a part of our family forever! Rita is so much more affectionate with me. This has been something we have worked on, but for her to initiate it is a huge step forward. YEAH!

I scheduled an appointment for both girls to get their hair professionally done. This is a huge treat for them....... and ME! The girls want extensions and as much as I love to do their hair - I am ready for a little break. I found a lady who will do their hair. She is from Sudan which is cool for the girls. Their big appointment is Saturday. She is going to do corn rolls, which is something I am not able to do so that's why this would be a break for me. This is something I won't do often because it is part of our bonding. I am going to stay and watch her so hopefully I can pick up some tricks to do it. :) I will post pictures on Sunday!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

2nd Year Challenge

As you are going through the adoption process, you read a lot about what to expect the first year. You hear about how hard the first year is and the possibilities of issues that could come up. I haven't really heard or read about things / issues / challenges of the second year. I wonder if adopting older children - there really isn't that much out there. The things I read and hear are mostly of younger children. So I thought I would write a post on what challenges / issues we are facing the beginning of our 2nd year with the girls.

We started our 2nd year with separating the girls into their own classroom. Rita had a very difficult time with this separation. Racheal did very well and loves having her own classroom and teacher. It took Rita about 3 weeks to be comfortable with this new change in her life. She has begun to process this whole adoption thing. She has begun to recognize her feelings and she is trying deal with them. Rita has been the one (this first year) who is pleasing to everyone. She doesn't tend to go against us as much as Racheal. Racheal is very strong headed, while Rita is not.

The last couple of weeks, Rita has had dreams of her birth mother and me together. She says her birth mom comes to America and I tell her she can't stay with us. This is her dream and she wakes up crying. This is a dream that has brought out some of her emotions to this adoption. We talk about it and how difficult and expensive it is for her birth mother to come to America, so I don't think it would happen. I talk to her about how her birth mom had to decide she couldn't be their mom any more. We talk about how God has planned for us all to be together and how He has a plan for their birth mother. The one comment Rita has said to me that I think of often is "Mommy, I wish my birth mom would die and go to Heaven." I, of course, ask why she feels that way. She replied, "Because then I won't have to worry about her and she will be with my birth dad". I honestly have to say, I wish the same thing.....only so she doesn't have to feel the responsibility of worry about her. Now I would never wish for someone to die, but to hear the pain in Rita just kills me. It does seem like it would be easier for them to deal with this if she had passed away. But, because she is still living, they think of things like this. Rita has had some very well thought out questions like: Will I know when my birth mom dies? If I go back to Africa when I am 25, will my birth mom know who I am? Why does God not help my birth mom get money for food?

Those are such tough questions. I believe in being very honest with the girls and all of the children. I really encourage an open relationship. But, sometimes questions come up that I don't know they are really ready..emotionally...to hear the truth.

Racheal has handled this in a completely different way. She shows her independence with us. She will argue, complain, and basically do what she wants in secret. I know her all to well, and she doesn't get far with us. I have eagle eyes on her. She will do very well for a while and then slip back into this mood of hers. It's like she is testing us more now than before. I feel like this is the way she is handling the feelings of all of it.

Looking back at their last couple of years......They were brought to Eban House and stayed there for a year, then I came and got them, which they have been with us for a year. So I can see now how they are really beginning to understand they are here with us FOREVER and this has got to be scary.

I wonder if any other families have dealt with this type of issue. I am sure they have but I don't hear or read much about it. I know we can expect thoughts, questions, and issues to come up here and there. It just is sad to see them have to think about this and to try to process it. It's tough being an adoptive mom emotionally - I think. I love them so much and I hate to see them have to deal with this.

My Prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father, please wrap your arms around Rita and Racheal to let them feel your security, protection, and love for them. Lord, help them to understand this is Your plan and how You have such great Blessings to give them. Lord, I ask you to give Jarett and I the wisdom to help them understand what has occurred with them in joining our family. We ask You to help us speak to them honestly, lovingly, and biblically. Only You Lord, knows what is in this plan for them and for us. So continue to help us walk the path you have for all of us. In only Your loving name, Amen.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Change Is Good! Right?

Last week happened to be everyone's first week of school. This was a huge change for us because this year we have quite a bit of different things going on. Karleigh is in Jr. High. She is now in 7th grade. Oh Brother - this was huge for her. It seems like in just a week, she has grown up. She loves her classes and teachers. Every day she has a different story to share. It's great!

The biggest change for our family is that Rita and Racheal are in separate classrooms this year. They had high anxiety with the change and knowing they weren't going to be together right before school started. They kept asking why we did this to them. It's hard to explain that giving them this opportunity to learn in different classroom will help them in the long run. We talked about how they will be able to learn better being in different classrooms. This will give them the chance to learn all by themselves. Last year, they would answer for each other, do each other's work, and stick together. This year they will make their own friends, answer their own questions, and think for themselves.

Rita has had the hardest time adjusting to this new situation. She walks by Racheal's room and peeks into the classroom. She is hugging Racheal all the time (which she really never did). She has been much more clingy to me. It very weird how many steps backward she has taken. I honestly feel like this will be really good for her to be able to grow and accomplish things all by herself. Now, on the other hand, Racheal seems to be doing really well. She absolutely loves being in the classroom she has so far. I am really proud of her. Actually, I am really proud of both of them. They have never been separated like this so overall they are doing pretty good with it.

Karson is in 3rd grade also. This means we have 3 - 3rd graders. All in different classrooms. I hope I can stay up on it all. Kaiden is in fourth grade and really doing well so far. He is trying his best to get straight A's.

So overall, everyone is doing fantastic and growing the way God has planned it. We believe God is working in our family to make more changes. We are still praying about them and when they become final, we will share. You may be thinking.....adopting again....No we are not, nor are we pregnant. Nice Try though!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy American Birthday Rita and Racheal!



When you adopt, I feel there are several important and very specials dates that keep track of - just like a pregnancy.

There is the day (comparing it to pregnancy):

* you decide to adopt......you decide to get pregnant
* a day you have your homestudy......you get the news you are pregnant
* a day you get your referral......you hear the baby's heart beat for the first time
* you go to court......you get your first ultra sound
* you make your first trip......you take the birthing class
* you make your second trip with taking custody......delivery day
* a day you are home.......a day you are home

Throughout the adoption process we went through last year, I would refer it as a pregnancy. The concept and experience was pretty much the same. The only difference is my babies came out to be 8 years old.

Today is a very special day for our family. It's the day that...one year ago....the girls came home forever. Our other children finally got to meet them and we were united as a family of 7.

WOW! We did it! We made it through the first year. I have been told and I have read about how the first year is the hardest. As I look back, I can't say it was the hardest but it was a challenge. I think the challenge came more from me. If there was anything I could change about this year...it would be taking the full 6 weeks off to adjust. I made the mistake of taking only 3 weeks off and then I went back to work full time. As I look back, I was exhausted for 2 of those weeks just from the trip. Then getting all the kids to adjust to this new transition and getting ready for school was just to much. I think if I would have taken the other 3weeks off, then I would have been able to get the girls adjusted to school and give myself time to adjust to this new family. I had the most challenging class this year and I should have taken the extra time. My thoughts were.....they are older so I wouldn't need to take the time off like you would with a baby. That was the mistake I made. They were like a baby emotionally and needed the extra time with me. Other than that, I feel like we had a good year. I am sure if I were to really think about it, I could find other mistakes that I did as a parent. But, that will go with every situation. Parenting is hard, but it so worth it!

The girls have grown emotionally and physically. Both girls have grown 6 inches and gained 12-14 pounds. YUM - that American food! They have learned to read, write and swim. They have also learned how to be in social situations like birthday parties and family gatherings. These have been there accomplishments so far and I am so proud of them. I know I say it a lot, but for them to come to our family and join in their role of being sisters i truly amazing!

The most important accomplishment they have taken on this year is finally understanding they were adopted and what that means. We have had lots of conversations about it and now they understand. One of the amazing things is that they said they want to go back to Africa and adopt a child. That completely threw me for a loop when they said that....Karleigh said the same thing. She actually told me she doesn't want to have a child of her own, she wants to adopt. My dream for them has been planted. I have secretly wanted all my children to be open to adopting and just by conversations, they are planning it. Amazing and I am so thankful to God for doing all of this for our family.

Well, Happy America Birthday Girls! We love you so much!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Will We Adot Again?

I really believe that certain people are called to adopt. I believe God places this desire on the hearts of the willing. I have always wanted to adopt and thought a lot about it, but never figured we could afford it or even do it. It's really weird as I look back from the day we started the process to now with the girls being home almost a year ago. It has been an adventure and a journey that I would love to do again.

Jennine, one of my closest friends, is in the process again with adopting a little boy. My sister just came home with her adopted son. You would think with this all around me, I would be jumping in and wanting to adopt again. In the Eban House, there were 2 children (sister and brother) that stole my heart when I was there during the second trip. I was really concerned that God placed them on heart to do something about it. But, He didn't. I thought a lot about them, but never did I feel the nudge I got with Rita and Racheal. The pull I got from the girls was very clear and strong. I haven't had that pull or nudge at all. I can honestly say that .......NO we will not be adopting again. It's not a bad thing at all. God knows our hearts and what we can handle. We are so blessed with what He has given us. I went into this adoption hoping for a daughter. I was amazed with God blessing us with 2 daughters. I look at the girls at night while they are sleeping and think, how incredible they are to join our family. They trust us and love us. All I can say.......AMAZING!

Friday, May 22, 2009

We Met a Year AGO!

It has been a year from now when the girls and I first met. I can't believe it has been a year!

I remember the first time we held hands and the first smile at me. They remember the smell of the gum I was chewing when we first met. But, it has been a year!

During the last couple of week, Rita and Racheal have been acting very strange. I couldn't lay my hands on it. The behavior Jarett and I were getting was a very defiant type of behavior: "I'm not going to...." or "Next time, I am not...". This was very strange behavior for the girls because they usually aren't so defiant. I was concerned, but at the same time I was thinking well they are 9 years old and figuring out things. Now, words and phrases aren't allowed to be spoken like that in our family because it shows disrespect. So when they did that then they had to do a chore for me or something to help me out in the house. During this same time, they kept bringing up their family in Africa. Well, about a week ago, we had a friend of ours (who is a photographer) take family photos of us. Right in the middle of taking the pictures, Racheal says to me with tears building up, "I miss my family in Africa". Right then and there I knew that was the cause of the behavior. I told her, "I know you do, let's talk about it tonight".

After pictures and PJs on, the girls came into my room. We had an amazing talk. This was the first time I talked to them about being adopted and feeling like they now have a better grasp on it. They are still grieving quite a bit, but it seems like a more healthy grieving. This is so hard because they understand and still wonder about their family in Africa. We talked about how lucky they are to have two families and how one day we are all going to be together in God's house. The hardest question for me to answer was "How are we going to know when our birth mom dies". I told them I don't know if we will ever know but we will see her again in Heaven. Them seem ok about it now, but I know the grieving is going to come and go with them. They were old enough to remember their life in Ghana when they left almost a year ago. They have been mentioning seeing their mother a couple of times at Eban House. She lived very close to the home and would come over to see the girls. I think that made things much more confusing for them. But, having to give up my children due to poverty is something I could never imagine doing. If it helped her to know she made the right decision by giving them up, then I am ok with the visits. On the other hand, I wished she didn't do it or was allowed to go and visit because I do feel like it was confusing for the girls. They were under the impression that they were to come to American to go to school and then go back to Ghana to give money to their family. I am hoping with time and maturing, the girls will completely understand what has occurred with them.

We love the girls so much and I know they truly love us! They just need to understand their heart can hold on to so much!

Below are a few of our family photos:

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I have really been waiting for such a long time to gain back my ENERGY! I am usually a very energetic person. Sometimes, Jarett would get frustrated at the energy I would have because.....I would invite him to be a part of it. Boy, when we worked together we got so much accomplished.

Since we have adopted the girls, both of our energy levels has gone way down. I believe it was just the overwhelming feeling of having 5 children. The work involved was more than we both can handle or keep up. Both of my breaks (Fall and Winter) were full of other things, so this past Spring Break was awesome! I got to spend the whole time thinking and organizing things in the house. It has been at least a month of full organizing, throwing things out, and getting everyone involved with this. At the beginning of it, I was exhausted every day with the amount of work. Now (a month later), I am doing pretty well. Every weekend, I pick a project and complete it. Last night I stayed up until 3:00 in the morning. I got the front room completely cleaned, organized, and the way I want it. We have turned it into somewhat of a school room. All the kiddos have a cubby and some drawers. This is all the stuff we have had already. We just reused it for a better purpose.

This summer, I am planning on having our days be with at least one - 2 hours of school work. I am going to do crafts, cooking, and science projects with them as well. I really want the children to continue to stay in somewhat of a habit. Our summer days aren't as long as the traditional schedule. We get 7 weeks off, so I was hoping to keep them going. I am creating a calendar of events. I can't wait!

I really want my energy level to stay up. I haven't had it for so long, so now I am doing everything I can to keep it up. I have begun to work out and I am eating much more healthy. I am just hoping that my energy level stays up because I love it! :)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Yarn Braids

16.5 hours later and 2 very numb fingers, the girls have their yarn braids!

I do have to say that I LOVE THEM! The girls look so amazing with them. They walk around moving their braids as they walk. They are so excited to hair longer hair.

First, I started with Rita. We began on Friday night. I didn't really know how to part and was just winging it. :) Later on Saturday, I figured I was doing the braids way to small. So I got onto "You Tube" and watched some videos (during one of our breaks). I found out I was doing to many braids and my parts were to small. I kept going to keep it looking even in the back. But, in the front, I did the parts like what I had learned from the videos. That part was much easier and faster. :)

At around 6:00 pm, I started Racheal's hair. It definitely went faster with her hair because I believe it was the way I did the parts. The parts also make her hair easier to put into pig tails if she wants to. Now, I just have to find a swimming cap to fit their head and their hair. I really don't know if their hair won't last as long if they go swimming. Yes, my kiddos have begun to swim. I didn't allow the girls to go swimming today. I am going to have to find the caps for them.

Both girls were so amazing to sit there while I did this work. It was such an awesome bonding time for us. Rita actually keeps coming up to me today and kissing me. She says, "Mommy, you are the best at braids".

I am really anxious to see how their classmates react tomorrow (if they do at all). They are so excited to go to school tomorrow to show.

For the yarn experts: I have two questions
1. - What type of yarn do you use? On one of the videos I watched before beginning, the girl said she went to Walmart and just bought the yarn. So that's what I did, but found out that the yarn seems to shrink up as time went on. I braided Racheal's hair way longer than Rita's and they both seem to look about the same length. I am thinking it's because of the yarn that it shrunk up. I don't know, but if you have any ideas to make it longer, I would love to hear them. They both want really long braids (like to the middle of their back), but I am not sure how to do that. :)
2. What can I use to spray on their hair to keep it moist?

With twins, I am going to have to space their braiding days apart. My fingers and back can't take it, so I am thinking of doing one girl one weekend and the other the other weekend.

Here are some pictures of their hair:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cash Only Days Ahead

Jarett and I have been reading and studying the Dave Ramsey book, Money Makeover. It is such an amazing way to get you thinking back to the simple days and how to get your money back in control. We have struggled really hard the last six month. We started his program and we can celebrate because we have paid for:

* all our medical bills (total of $600, which to us was a lot)
* 4 credit cards
* got caught up on all bills so no more late charges :)

We also have our emergency fund in a seperate account.

We have 2 more things to pay off by the snowball effect. We anticipate it to take us about 12 - 18 months. Our next plan is to pay off our car and 2nd mortgage. That should take us another 24 months. So in about 3.5 to 4 years we will be completely debt free. I definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Now we can make it go faster by selling some things, which we may do. But, as of today, we found in our account a little over $1,000 missing. I pulled up our account and found charges to a vet ($200), Pizza Hut ($107.23), 3 separate charges to Great Britian ($200 each) and a charge to the same place in Great Britian ($100). On top of that, we have 4 charges of international fees that our bank has charged us. The scarey thing is no one at our bank alerted us of these weird charges.

Using my detective skills, I found the vet and called them. They pulled the reciept and information about this lady and man that posed to be us. The vet clerk said she remembers this lady very well because she thought they were acting weird. Since the lady was acting weird, she got copies of her driver's license and other information. The sticky part of this is I have a class tomorrow and Wednesday from 8:30 to 3:30. During this class, I will have to find time to call the police and make a report since we have some information about a particular person. Then I will have to race to my bank to file a claim and hopefully get all our money back quickly. I have canceled my debit card (yes, it was my number off of my card - it matched to the vet's receipt), so it's cash for me. Now, that's not the problem because Dave Ramsey says you should only carry cash for your spending. But, I have all but 2 medical bills that were pending to be paid. From what you ask? My debit card! I pray that they still get paid so I don't have to get a letter from our bank to prove about this mess. I feel fees are coming at us.


I was celebrating with our accomplishments and now I will have to deal with this mess to keep it going.

I just feel like since our twins have come home, Satan has been at our back door. We listened to God and adopted these wonderful twin girls and Satan is not at all happy with us following God's word. We can't seem to catch a break for longer than 2 days. Satan should already know that we aren't giving in and he needs to leave. We will not let him conquer us. God is going to take care of us, so he can do what he wants.

I usually don't ask for prayers, but if you have some extra time, we would appreciate any good thoughts and prayers about this mess cleaning up quickly, so we can continue our path to being debt free! :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pictures are IN

These are the pictures from the girls' first birthday party. We kept the party simple for them compared to what we usually do. They didn't quite understand what was going on, but we wanted them to have fun. So we rented a princess bounce house, ate pizza, and just had fun.

We really wanted them to have separate birthday songs and cake. So Costco was wonderful by allowing us to buy one cake and they split it into 2 separate cakes. Each cake had their own saying and we sang happy birthday to each of them. I think with twins (at least with us) we tend to see them as one, so I wanted to make sure they had their own special time to celebrate turning 9 years old.

I love birthdays. I love to celebrate the day that the Lord chose for that person to come into this world and join a chosen family. That is why I love Christmas. Birthdays are such a sign of God's amazing moments. Although, as the children get older, we are scaling down the parties; not the celelbration.

I love it when the girls' say, "Mommy, remember when.....". This will be something that will add to their memories and I can't wait until they say, "Mommy, remember when we had the birthday party with the princess house.". Oh, how my heart will melt! :)

Happy Birthday Baby Girls!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Rita and Racheal!

Oh boy, were they excited today! We bought doughnuts for their classmates and they passed them out today. We bought them skates for their birthday. They have been wanting to have a pair, so this was the perfect occassion. They aren't completely sure why they are so excited, but they are.

We have planned their friend party for Friday (tomorrow). We have rented a princess bounce house. The kids are going to eat pizza, jump, and have a great time. The girls are so excited (have I said that before?) We also, are going to have 2 cakes. Each girl will have their own cake with their own name on it. OOPs - I forgot to buy the candles. I better make sure I put that on the list. :)

I can't wait to share the pictures of their party. :) Come back soon!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ok, I am DONE!

I am done feeling sorry for myself. The last post I talked about test scores and how horrible they are to measure a child by them or even a teacher. I just read a post (past one) from one of the blogs I keep up with. It reminded me of the Lord's love for us and how He is with us at all times. She sited some verses from the Bible, which really spoke to me:

The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out. Proverbs 10:9

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.Hebrews 6:10-12

For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13

WOW - what beautiful words! Thank you Anita for sharing those verses - those hit home with me more than you ever will know. :)

My prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you so much for reminding me of your love for us. Thank you for lifting me up and encouraging me at this time of my life. You have said we will be prosecuted here on Earth, but how You know of our heart. Lord, You truely amaze me by Your love and dedication towards me. Thank you for loving me unconditionally and forever. In only Your name, Amen.

Beyond Caring

Beyond Caring is one of my passions in this life. It seems as though because of this passion, I tend to get in trouble or judged with it.

At school, I have a type of class that is challenging, but fun to be with this year. I really enjoy my class, but it takes a lot of energy to keep them down and learning. I have two students who are not on medications, although would benefit greatly from it. I have 7 students who have special needs in the academic areas. Now, I requested to have the special needs children because my heart is with them. But....I am being compared to other "normal type" classrooms. The way I am being compared is with test scores. If my special 7 were taken out of the equation, then that would be a fair comparison (which I am right there with everyone else).

When is evaluating the growth of a child (with or without special needs) going to become important. At regular jobs, it seems that people are evaluated based on your improvement and growth. So why can't the government see that what we are doing to children, with focusing so much on test scores, is more harmful then successful. This type of focus is causing teachers to teach to the test, rather than teaching children to THINK and problem solve.

Have you really looked at the test questions on any standardized test? All of them are written at a "Knowledge or Comprehension" level. For you that don't know "teacher talk" then you can google "Higher Level Thinking". It will give you the levels of higher thinking. Knowledge and Comprehension are the lowest levels of thinking skills. So basically, we are "dumbing" our students. It's hard when you teach the children to be "thinkers" because when it comes to the test, then they second guess themselves. Students say to me, "It's to easy, what is the trick". It floors me everytime I am required to give a test. Why does someone come to each student and test the student's thinking?

I have seen the ecomonic situations affect the classroom (students). I see parents who have to work more hours and are more stressed that their children feel it also. What is going to happen when all day kindergarden is taken away? These poor kiddos are going to have a rougher start to their education, due to the fact of less education daily. All of this blows me away. This is where my beyond caring passion comes to play.

I really need to turn this passion into my own family. I need to become a teacher who works 8 hours a day and not 11-12 hours a day. This would help me to be a better mom and wife. I need to NO more sacrifice my family for a JOB! I don't think God is happy that I have done this. I can be a great teacher during the 8 hours at school, but be an even better mom after the 8 hours. I am going to continue to teach children to be "thinkers" and I am refusing to "dumby" them, just for test scores. I am taking a stand - no more! :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Count Down is ON!

The count down is on for our family. We are counting down the days until March 1, 2009, which will be the day we begin the Total Money Makeover. This is a book written by Dave Ramsey. He is a gentlemen that was a millionaire and lost everything. He learned how to work your money, by giving you the tools to become discipline with your money to get out of debt. It's not a magic trick, it's reality.

Jennine let us borrow the book and Jarett has really enjoyed learning about it. I have also began to read it. We want to be on the same page as we go through this makeover with our money.

I am not trying to sell the book. It is just something that other people have recommended to us. We love the realistic ideas and strategies. So, we are counting down to our first day of this new adventure to becoming debt FREE! :)


Sunday, February 22, 2009


Well today was the day.....I am now on Facebook.

I have no idea what I am doing on there. I was excited though to see one of my friends from Texas contact me. It was so fun to see her picture and write to her. I am not sure what facebook is and I can't explain it to Jarett. I think it is pretty cool. I have been playing around with it tonight, but didn't get to far with it.

Anyway, it is official and I am on and have 16 friends so far! I know that doesn't sound like much, especially to my friends who actually have 168 friends. But for my first day on it, 16 is pretty cool to me. I am not as social as other people so I probably won't go higher than that - but seeing an old was worth it all. :)


Monday, February 16, 2009

I Wanna Be TAGGED!

Ok, my other blogger friends have this tagging thing going on. I was quite disappointed that I didn't get tagged. :) Most of the ones that got tagged are on this thing called "Facebook". I have been asked several times to get a "Facebook" account. I am thinking ......NOPE....I definitely don't need another online thing to have to write to and on. But, to be in the "tagging" world - I better get that account! :)

So I am sure you are wondering if I got an account yet......


I still haven't done it yet! I do plan on it, but I am thinking during my Spring Break (which is in 3 weeks) I will venture into the "Facebook" world. Up until then I have a TON of stuff to finished and turned in before then. So in due time :)

Sooooooooooo....I have been thinking about why do "tags" exist in this cyber world?! I figured it is a great way to get awesome information from several people. So the smart person that I am.....???!!!! I thought of a tagging "topic". I am trying to simplify our house and life. I am struggling with this, but do know of several people who are fantastic at organizing and simplifying things. So I am going to tag some people, in hopes, they will take the tag and participate. :O)

To the taggers:
Write 10 things you do to organize or simplify your house. After you are finished, tag 5 more people.

Simplying / Organizing our House:

1. The girls have so many beads for their hair, so I have a box that holds the beads in their individual colors. It also holds their combs and books that I have bought to learn more about their hair.

2. We make our own coffee. This is huge for us, since we figured that we spend over $100 at Starbucks. Now we don't go there anymore and make our own.

3. I have a tax folder that I keep all our receipts in. I place it by our phone, so when either one of us spends money that can be deducted we just place it in the folder.

4. I have a tub for each child with their name on it, in the closet for their clean sheets to be in.

That is about all I can think of! See this is why I really need this tagging thing to go! I really need to get ideas from only the professionals. :)

I am tagging:

Heather A.
Amy Fabu
Kristin Jag
Robin Dodd

* OK - so I tagged 7 people but I figure since I am starting it, the more the better to start off with :)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Welcome Home Akwasi!

I have been so excited this weekend, especially yesterday. Akwasi, my new nephew, came home from Ghana.

Story in a nutshell:
My sister went with me on both of my trips to Ghana for the adoption of our twin girls. Well, this little boy, found himself loving my sister. She definitely did not go to Ghana to adopt, but God had other plans for her. Anyway, the last 2 days there on our first trip, Akwasi came up to LA and said with a huge unforgetable smile, "I choose you to be my mother" and "I am going to follow you to America". Boy, did he grab her heart.

The odds were against them from becoming a family, but God did it all!

Below are pictures of the homecoming!

Here they come!!!!

Yeah - they are finally here!

Mother and Son finally together!

A hug from Grandma!

It was so fun to watch Akwasi with Rita and Racheal. It seemed like they were never separate.

Kaiden and Akwasi really got along really well.

After we picked them up, we out to eat at Chilli's. It was so fun to see how Akwasi just completely fit in with our family. It has been such a wonderful and Blessed weekend.

Welcome Home Akwasi!

Monday, January 5, 2009

My Shopping IDOL

If you don't know Jennine than you haven't met my shopping IDOL!

She is an amazing shopper! I have been thinking about posting about her because she is truely amazing and I hope that others can learn from her shopping wisdom. :)

Jennine knows everything about getting a good deal. I am the type of person that I go out for what I want/need and whether it is on sale or not...I will buy it. Not my shopping IDOL - Oh no - she will want or need something but she waits....and waits....and waits....before she will strike to buy it. She knows a good thing but may wait a little longer to get an even better deal.

Here is an example that just happened earlier this month:

She wants to buy a laptop. This is something she has wanted to buy for a while. I happen to call her one day and she is at a store actually buying one. Well, she is excited for it because she thought she got a really good deal. :) I called her a day or two later, and she has returned the laptop to the store, she was actually buying another one because this new one was "a much better deal". Not only did she take the time to return it (which I would not have done because I am not paitent like that) but she told the sales person about the new computer deal. He took her advice and bought one for his wife. You would think it would stop there - Oh no! Her new computer is wireless, so she waits...and waits....and waits...for the deal of the wire less device to go on sale. Well, it did go on sale and she got one. :)

This is one small example of what an AMAZING shopper she is and the wisdom she has to getting great deals. If you ever get the priveledge of shopping with Jennine, it will be such a huge treat. :)

Jennine - not only are you an amazing shopper, but you are a true friend! I am so lucky and Blessed to have you be such a huge part in my life. God brought you into our life and introduced us to Ghana, which also introduced us to our beautiful Ghaniana twins. Thank you so much for your wisdom and friendship. I dedicate this entire post JUST FOR YOU - YOU ARE MY SHOPPING IDOL!