Sunday, January 31, 2010

The snow is still here

And so is the ice. Our "dry creek" is running, even under the snow and ice.

Some of the smaller trees are bent over with the ice.

The "redneck open sleighing" has been good this time. We haven't ruined the bottom of the sleds. That's J behind A on Lady.

This is what happens when it rains on top of snow and then freezes. It's hanging over about 3-4 inches, maybe even 5 in places.

J sledding behind the house.

Well, several of the families from our O have their children home. When the director gets her steam back, she'll head back down to try to get the other 12 who were already matched with parents, visas. Her husband is trying to find suitable housing and may have found something but hasn't heard back from the owner yet. We'll see. I'm still praying that all the children who were already adoptable before the quake will get humanitarian parole. Check this blog out; Pray for Ronel, our O's 12 and the rest of the kids. One of our O's kids is stuck in Miami. How about that? He got to the states and they won't let him go home.

R is planning on heading west tomorrow. My dad will ride/drive with her and then fly back. That's the current change subject to plan. It's a shame that these kids can't be together since they're married and he's deploying on the 21st. Sigh...I'll keep you posted.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

We are home for another snow day. Maybe we'll get enough to sled in without destroying the bottom of the sled. My dad was putting hay out for the horses and we saw them get out. We had to race outside to help get them back in. When we went out, it had just started snowing. 30 minutes later it looked like this.

Zoiks! If it keeps coming like this we'll have several inches. We are pumped. Except for R who wanted to begin her journey to CO today. Sigh...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Several home or on their way

The O directors made a late Sunday decision to go the airport and get out of Dodge. They loaded up the kids who had visas and managed to get them on two different flights. They were supposed to go to Miami on Monday but instead ended up in Orlando on Sunday night. Zoiks! They were able to get the kids fed and comfortable and then to Miami and waiting parents late Monday or early Tuesday, I'm not sure which. Some are home already. Hal is still in Haiti with the remaining 47 (and nannies) looking for suitable housing.

I had another one of those "why are you fighting me on this and why are crying about taking a shower!?!?" moments with J tonight. He drains me sometimes. I yelled at him and I already know I shouldn't have, so don't worry. I told him he was going to loose tv time if he didn't change his attitude. I don't know exactly why the shower is a trigger for him. I had to change the shower curtain in the kids' bathroom to a clear one. Anyway, when he got out of the bathroom I asked him how his attitude was and he nodded his head. I asked him again if it was better and he nodded again. This was our exchange after that;
Me-What are you afraid of?
Me-Why don't you like to take showers?
J-In Haiti, I don't take showers.
Me-What? You never took a shower?
J-In Haiti, I only take showers on Saturdays. I only like to take a shower on Saturday.
Me-Well, remember when you didn't change your socks and your feet stunk? Your whole body would stink if you didn't take a shower more than once a week.
J-blank stare
Me-Why are you afraid to take a shower?
J-more blank stare
Me-Do you have a bad memory from the shower?
J-(nodding) I'm afraid dat someting will come and ...(puts his hands around his neck)
Me-You're afraid that something will strangle you?
Me-Has anything ever tried to strangle you in the shower?
Me-Where does fear come from?
Me-What are you supposed to do with your fear?
J-(mumbling)Fear go away.
Me-You're supposed to say 'I rebuke you fear in the name of Jesus'. Let's hear you say it.
J-mumbles it
J-mumbles it louder
Me-Yell it out! (yelling) I rebuke you fear in the name of Jesus!!
J-(yelling) I rebuke you fear (looks at me and smiles) in de name of Jesus!!

Then we stomped around and smiled and laughed because we have power over fear in Jesus' name. Hallelujah.

So, apparently the kid has a fear of being strangled in the shower. Movie? Feeling vulnerable? Small space? I don't know what the original trigger was but before his next shower, which will be less than a week away, we will be practicing again, "I rebuke you fear in the name of Jesus!"

Our evening was much more enjoyable after that.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Some from J's O coming home

The O director from J's O has been at the embassy since Thursday morning and has finally been able to get visas for 56 of the kids. These are ones that have been in the process for quite a while now. There are 22 more to go, hopefully before Monday morning when they are supposed to fly. Those are the ones who have been matched with parents but no papers submitted. That will leave about 25 who are adoptable but haven't been matched yet. I'm praying that if it's the Lord's will, that bunch will get to come to the US too. There have been several inquiries about adopting them.

I don't really know what to tell you about adopting them, if they get to come. I guess the first steps would be to get a home study done and a dossier put together and to fill out an application. The application can be found at

Before you commit to adopting one of these, think it through, pray it through. Be positive that this is what the Lord would have for you. We can tell you loud and clear that parenting an adopted child is nothing like parenting a bio child. NOTHING. J is pretty good most of the time but it certainly is not easy. He's very needy, especially for his age. He doesn't act his age at all, acting more like a 6-7 year old. Read up about RAD. Read up about parenting an older adopted child who has been through trauma. J is pretty good and I credit a loving first mother for him to be able to attach to us and show empathy. He also has a conscience and can hold eye contact. I mention those things because they are things that he would not be able to do if he was having trouble attaching.

Please pray for the people of Haiti. Consider giving to one of the organizations that I mentioned around Christmas time. It's the people who were already on the ground that are getting things done. Read their blogs and see what they're doing.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Well, we heard from T's parents and they are fine after this mornings 6.1 "aftershock". They said that a lot of people are being sent to Cap Haitian on buses and trucks and they have unattended injuries and the hospitals there are already full. She said Cap Haitian, Milot and Limbe hospitals are full. They are praying that they can get their containers delivered. They have much needed supplies on them and they've just been sitting on the docks waiting for paperwork. Sigh...

J's O is working hard to get their kids out. I'm not really sure how the humanitarian parole works but some of the kids may come out even if they don't have adoptive parents. Please don't quote me on that as it's a huge question. We'd like to keep up with what happens to J's friend. And we still haven't heard about his birth mom. If anyone is interested, especially if you are "paper ready", let us know if you'd like info as it becomes available on how to adopt these kids who are not already in the process. Leave a comment with contact info or keep checking the HIS Home website at .

I've had people ask me if I'm angry that these kids are coming home all of a sudden after we waited for 4 years to get J home. My answer is NO. Any child coming home is good. I'm thankful that J was already home and I'm happy for these parents if the kids get to come home regardless of when they started the process.

We have been reading "Adopted and Loved Forever" at bedtime the last few nights. J is really into that book right now. The other night he asked me if adoption is really forever because he knew of a kid(s) that was sent back to Haiti. Last night he asked T if he did too many bad "tings" would he get sent back to Haiti. Oh my, squeeze our hearts a little. T told him no, that we love him. Then, wanting to lighten the mood, he told him that we might send his dirty underwear back but not him. J laughed and all was well. There is a lot going on in that head of his.

Things have changed for R and JT and she will not be leaving Friday as originally planned. will take a couple weeks or more to in process and a lot of things are still up in the air. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Earthquake-how can I help?

We have had many people ask us how they can help out the people of Haiti. The most needed thing is monetary gifts. We've heard on the news about scammers so I'll tell you of some missions that I know of and that are established. At J's O they are staying outside in the corner of a church yard. Both houses were damaged too much to be safe. The director has an EMT background and is busy helping injured people besides taking care of kids. They have not heard from all of their nannies so they don't know if they are safe or not. They are taking donations on their website at Another idea is; T's parents are expecting an influx of people in their area and we know they will do all they can to help those people out. Their blog is They have links to WOMI (who their support goes through) and MFI who flies missionary and humanitarian aid. Another idea is the Livesays who work with World Wide Village and with Heartline. Links to their sites can be found on the Livesays blog at I stayed with the Livesays overnight when I was in Haiti last year. They are wonderful people. And another group that is doing a great work in Haiti is Real Hope for Haiti at I don't personally know them but I've followed their blogs for quite a while. One more option is the Apparent Project. These are the people that were house parents for J and we stayed with them when we were in Haiti to pick J up. Their site is Those are all ways that you can help.

We haven't heard about J's birthmom. There are two different adoptive parents with plans to go into Haiti next week bringing supplies and food with them. They have both said that they would try to find out about his birthmom.

In other news, J's team lost their first game today. seemed to bother the coach more than it bothered J. He didn't get a lot of play time but when he played he did pretty good especially considering we were in KY when they had practice this week. It was a close game and very intense at times. As long as he enjoys it, that's what's important to us.

We went up to JT's grandparents today. J loved it. He got to ride on a 4-wheeler with R and drive the Gator with Pawpaw. He couldn't reach the gas pedal and I thought they were all (dogs in the back too) going to have whiplash because he kept hitting the gas and slipping off and hitting the gas and slipping off. It was funny.

T and Pawpaw will be taking R out to CO on Friday, if nothing changes. It's the army and JT hasn't been "inprocessed" yet. He says it's beautiful there. I hope they get to stay.

That's all for now.

Friday, January 15, 2010

We're home

We are home from JT's graduation. That was very emotional. He is at his new base now and R will be joining him, possibly next week. I'll post pics when I have more time.

My dad and two other team members are almost home. I haven't heard what their take on the earthquake is yet but I do know that they had enough rain that they baptized someone right in the road. They couldn't get to the river and this person wanted to be baptized so they baptized them right in the road. My brother and nephew will be flying home this afternoon.

Our local paper wants to interview all of us.

The Livesay children that had passports are in the states now. Keep checking their blog, the RHFH blog and the Heartline blog and also the Rollings blog. I know most of these people and when I look at the pics they post, I recognize some of the places. I've been in the women's center at Heartline and had dinner with the McHouls. It's surreal to me. J has not said any more about his birthmom. We have someone who will be checking on her next week. We did hear more from the O and the boy's house is damaged more than originally reported and they will be needing to find another place to house them. Keep praying for the people of Haiti. To try to imagine 100K people dead is beyond me at this point.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


We are in KY at the hotel. We just got back from the graduation dinner. The actual ceremony is tomorrow.

We've been watching the news about Haiti and J just asked me if his Haitian momma was dead. I told him that we haven't heard anything yet but we've asked for info about her. He seems fine with that and is on to cartoons. Poor kid. I really wonder what's going on in his head.

Keep checking the links I've posted previously. RHFH has some new pics up with another update. We haven't heard anything more from J's O.

Earthquake part 3

Well, we haven't heard anything new from Haiti other than other blogs. The Livesays, rescue center and Heartline are all updating as they can.
Of course, there are lots of news stations reporting about it too. The fatality numbers could be in the 100K's. It's hard to imagine. We have not heard info about J's birth mom.

We are in KY getting ready to go to JT's graduation dinner. J and I spent about an hour in the hotel pool. He loved it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Earthquake cont.

Okay, we have heard from my dad's group and they are all fine. T's sister just talked to their mom and they are still feeling aftershocks in Cap Haitian. We haven't heard any more directly from the O that J was at other than the boys' house is fine. We don't know the extent of the damage at the main house and they haven't heard from their main adoption worker yet. His house was near the hospital that collapsed.

Another ministry that has an O has posted a few pics. They can be viewed at They are having the kids sleep outside because of the aftershocks and the danger of things falling on the kids. I know that J's O had the kids outside for the same reason but we don't know if they were sleeping outside.

That's all we know for now.


There was an earthquake in Haiti this afternoon just off the coast of Port-au-Prince. It was a 7 on the richter scale. The O where J used to live is reporting some damage and the kids are staying outside right now as the aftershocks keep coming and they don't want anything to fall on them inside. My dad, brother, nephew and some family friends are in Haiti right now. T is talking to his dad and they felt it in Cap Haitian (which is where our family members are) but everyone seems fine. Haven't heard from dad and co. yet. Please keep all in your prayers.

J had another first today. It was his first time at Chuck E Cheeses and he loved it. Chuck E cheeses is better than school anyday, right?

Tomorrow we head out for JT's graduation and the hotel. More firsts.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Snow day #4

Yup, you read that right. We are in for snow day #4 tomorrow. I do believe we will have to do something. This is the 6th day in a row, counting the weekend. Sigh...we've got cabin fever.

J is excited about taking our little trip on Wed and staying in a hotel. He is pumped about that. Never mind that JT is graduating, we are going to stay in a hotel! Yeah, that will be a first for him. Kind of funny considering all the time I spent in Haiti with him that we never stayed in a hotel.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Snow day #3

It's been well over a week since we've made it above freezing here in TN. I remember growing up in WI where it never got above 0 the whole month of January one year but this kind of cold in TN is practically unheard of. We are cold. I'm tired of wearing long underwear and wool socks. I'm fairly cold natured and with fibro the cold kind of hurts. Brrr.

We were getting ready to put J to bed when T got the text msg. that schools were closed again for tomorrow. J asked if he could go to bed a half hour later and we said no. His head dropped a little but he was ok. Then we said he could stay up for another movie and he was like, what? Once he figured out that we were telling him he could stay up for 2 more hours and watch another Star Wars movie, he was quite happy. And don't tell him yet, but he may have some friends over tomorrow afternoon.

I think he is actually missing school even though he wouldn't admit it. I'm really looking forward to getting into a routine again.

So, a lot of the snow in the yard melted today but Saturday was the day we had enough snow to think about getting out the sleds. At our house we do something we call "redneck open sleigh" where we pull the sleds behind the horses. Lady is an old pro at it but she is getting up there in years. She is at least 23, maybe 24, so we decided that we better "train" Bridget to pull the sleds too. She did pretty well although she was a little nervous about that thing following her every where she went. She acted up a couple times but she didn't get out of control. This is me getting Lady lined up for J's first redneck open sleigh ride.
T took a lot of video of the "sleighing" and I may try to post a short clip another day but all I can post tonight are pics. A helped J take a ride on Lady after I pulled him on the sled.

This is one of the times Bridget acted up and E fell out of the sled. Notice how quickly the snow is fading in the grassy area.

So we decided to go to my brother's place. He is in Haiti with my dad and nephew and some other guys on a short term mission team but my SIL was there and she welcomed us over. There was not a lot of snow there either but you make do with what you have.

J loved it. On one of A and E's first runs they hit a bump which stopped them short and they tumbled out of the sled. A few runs later J hit the same bump only he was by himself and the sled stopped and he kept going. It was so funny looking because he just kind of shot out of the front of the sled and his legs were sticking out like he was still in the sled as he was flying through the air.

I'll have to try to get a video or two uploaded. We have DSL but it's still not that fast for uploading video. Pray for us tomorrow. It's the kids' fifth day in a row of hanging with each other ;) and T and I both work. Well, T will work some of it anyway. The kids do better when they have a little break from each other. Maybe having some friends over will help. We'll see.

Friday, January 8, 2010

More pics (non-wedding)

Wow, I can't believe it's been a whole week since I last posted. We are currently on snow day number 2. I grew up in WI and you didn't get out of school in WI unless there was an actual blizzard. Here in TN, the schools closed before a flake even fell. does get bad on the back roads and we just don't have the equipment to clear the snow like they do in WI. Either way, we are on our second day of missed school due to weather. J is out in it right now.

A few people have asked me how he did over Christmas and with the wedding and all. He did great. I guess things that are out of the ordinary can throw adopted kids off and out of control. He really did well even with the excitement of Christmas and all the wedding stress, meeting new people, etc. It didn't seem to throw him off at all. He did a great job in his role as ring bearer in the wedding. We are thankful.

Here is a pic of this year's tree before Christmas morning. Pics coming up of New Year's Eve.
J is following in his sister's (and mother's-I used to dress the cats too) footsteps and dressing the poor cats. Here is Dexter in the first vest that I made for J which was too small.

The day after the wedding we spent with my cousin and her family who had come down from WI. The kids swam in the pool and then we went out to eat before they got on the road. We both have birthdays in Jan so we celebrated together.

Here are their girls. J enjoyed playing with them.

We finally convinced him to turn off the tv for a while and he made a cute swimming pool scene out of play doh.

Okay, New Year's eve. This is the tree fully engulfed. Well, not fully engulfed as only half of it would light. But the fireworks were good. It was so cold that we all wanted to get back inside anyway.
R and JT opened up their wedding gifts that night too. They had just gotten back from Gatlinburg.

J can't find his camera so he took mine and went upstairs and took pics of the kids up there.

A self-portrait. He is his Bampa's grandchild (dad is always taking self-portraits).
The boys.

A and her friend C.

A and her friend E.

A laying on her friend E. Don't ask. We don't know either and we don't really want to ask.

J decided that he should play the piano. I put some sticky notes on an octave and gave him some very basic instruction and he was able to play 3 songs before he lost interest. Oh, and that's the keyboard I got for my birthday. It's just like the one at church. I love it.

A drew this pic of R and JT from that wedding pic beside it.

She did a good job, didn't she? The kids never cease to amaze us with their artistic abilities.
J made and decorated this cake for me (with some help from me of course) for my birthday. Yeah, again. Don't ask. We don't know either. He just thought it was pretty.

And this pic brings us up to this morning, day 2 of snow days. A's friend E is here and she always "tortures" Misty. At least it sort of looks like Misty is enjoying it. Sort of. Either way it's a cute pic.

So that pretty much catches us up for now. R is busy packing up her stuff and getting her name changed and getting her own car ins. and stuff like that. JT graduates on Thursday and then if nothing changes he will head to CO. We're not sure when R will be able to go. Sigh...such is life in the army.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year and the wedding pics

Wow, this is a super long post and I finally got all the pics uploaded. Happy New Year to everyone. We did blow up the tree last night and I will post pics of that later. For now, here are the promised pics of the wedding.

This is JT and his groomsmen getting him ready and checking the time.
While R's bridesmaids were busy making her more beautiful.

Funny pic of J before the wedding.

While I was busy putting up some of my favorite baby pics of R.

JT and his family.

JT and his mom.

Getting the girls cinched up into their dresses.

JT and his dad. Two peas in a pod, right?

Ah, the girls are dressed and ready. Aren't they beautiful?!
Final check in the mirror.

Nanny and R.

R and the precious little flower girl.

JT and his mom's family.

The couple on the left is my nephew and his fiance. They are the next wedding in our family.

JT and Pastor H waiting for the ceremony to begin.

Aww, aren't they cute?!

Here comes the bride.

This is where T choked up a bit giving JT the key to R's heart.

Instead of a unity candle they braided three cords together. R came up with the idea reading Ecclesiastes. It was very special.

Love this pic.

You may kiss the bride!
Us five.

We gained two sons in one year.

All of my immediate family. How did my brother get so tall?

R and JT's wedding party.
And one with the ushers.

The sisters. T and I are often amazed that God gave us these two lovely young ladies.

R with her bridesmaids. The young lady on the left is my brother's daughter.

R and JT with the flower girl and ring bearer.

The happy couple with JT's dad.

I really like this pic.

Getting ready to cut the cake.

Oh, the garter. I made two garters for R, one to throw and one to keep. I made them out of army camo and lace.

Once JT finally got the hang of how to throw it (it took three tries) J caught it.

And A caught the bouquet. Kind of weird, but they were both happy.

We tried to get them to hide their car but they didn't think anyone would mess with it. Ha!

Love this pic.

Daddy and daughter danced to "Cinderella" by Steven Curtis Chapman.

22 years, Baby.

A dancing with her daddy and J dancing with his momma.

A and J did a little impromtu dance and it was pretty good.

Lining up for some Cha Cha Slide, Macarena, and of course the Chicken Dance.

And a good time was had by all.
Well, JT has to be back to his base by Sat night so they will leave on Sat morning. R will take care of some paperwork and be back here for about a week until JT graduates. If nothing changes, they will head to CO after that. Only time will tell for sure. We'll keep you posted.