Welcome!! Grab a cup of coffee and visit with us! We hope you enjoy our story! (((HUGS)))

Welcome!! Grab a cup of coffee and visit with us! We hope you enjoy our story! (((HUGS)))

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Livin' Lodge ;o) or A boy a day keeps the Dr away!

This handsome young man is "large" and in charge! :o)
Moses (12) remembered coming here last year. He remembered that he liked it. Just as it was. No beds set up, no where to eat permanently. (we moved the table each time the builders worked) He was just happy to come with us.

What he didn't know was that the building was complete now. And all the piles of bunk bed pieces and shelving, were going to be put away!
He was amazed! But also incredibly bored watching us do it! LOL!
HE wanted to help!

These little riders were never on dirt. Only our deck at home and cement pad here. So we brought 2 into the lodge since there is space to ride them. Julius (10) can peddle now!! He loves it!

                             He is so proud of himself. It helps him burn off his excess energy.

Moses sleeps in his trundle bed tucked under a bunk. He does not want a trundle bed! He wants a TOP bunk bed!!
He spends a lot of time trying to "claim" a top bunk and show us he is big enough.

                                   Here he's snuck into sister Kitty's top bunk. He's busted! ;o)

                                             Nope, that's not another Hello Kitty! LOL!

Once on top the the 4 bunk beds intersect. Moses can't decide which he wants. This one is Julius'.

                                                 Now he's on Samson's. top bunk.

                   The rocking chair is Dad's chair. Until he gets out of it! Then its fair game! :o)

Pauly (9) is happy that the dining table, refrigerator and his bed are in the same room! Those things make him happy!

                                           Ooops! Noah (14) has Dad's chair now! ;o)

He's not sure if stealing dad's chair is o.k. with Kitty who is taking the pictures. Silly boy.

We have a big box of "camping clothes" up here. Noah loved this red shirt, even tho its a bit snug on him, but who could tell him no. This is camping!

Silly Jacob (12) loves this My Little Pony toy from the 90s! We always sent "old" toys that weren't nice enough to donate, up north. These boys love toys to death. At home toys become trash. So these are the last of the "old" toys ever sent up.

Mosie still in Samson's bed. The beds are decorated from home, where we used them before our son in love Dan made us (2) triple bunks for home.
The teens want to re-decorate/paint the old bunks up here.

                                          An old footstool from home now holds toys.

Samson turns 22 this summer. Where does the time go. He misses his home routine so he's a bit bored here this week. We need to get a schedule going for him. At home he likes to use his alone time cleaning up, vacuuming, folding clothes- helping wherever help is needed. He loves to help. Often I think "Wow! The teens cleaned this up nice!" Nope it was Samson!

Samson's picture above starts Kitty's favorite picture sequence, first 1 boy (Samson)

                                                                       Then Two boys

                                                                                 Then Three boys

                                                                            Four boys

                                                                              Five boys

                                                                  and lastly SIX boys!! LOL!

Plus one beautiful girl! Miss Mercy (9). She cried the last hour we drove up here. It's a 2 hour drive. That's my limit :o) And then she cried when we put her to bed the first night.

We held our breath because last year she hated the trailer. And she hated it here period.

I think you can tell by her first picture above................SHE LOVES IT here!!! ;o)
She's wearing one of Gabriel's old tshirts from the 9os. Gabriel loved Winnie the Pooh. He called Eeyore- "donkey now". Because in the Pooh song they sing "A donkey named Eeyore" but Gabe sang "A donkey now"!! LOL!

A lazy susan I painted for the table. There are 2 tables, the eating table and the multipurpose table.

                                          Ta-Da! My bunk set up! These are the 4 bunks.

Tom's bed in front of the teens 4 bunks.
SP's bed is to the far left by the couch. Mercy has an extra large hideaway crib on wheels. Pauly has a hideaway smaller crib on wheels, Moses has the trundle bed. I sleep in the large trailer (with the dogs) since I get up early to get breakfast ready, the lunch soup going etc. That way I don't wake anyone up.
I can also sew/repair things later in the night without bothering the sleepers.

The couch by the front windows. I'm recovering it tomorrow. These are just sheets on it. SPs bed is along this wall on the other side. Moses is looking out the french doors.

My beautiful french doors I waited 17 years for!! They have blinds in the glass. Vandals destroyed the sliding glass door we had before.

My sweet photographer (Kitty) eating clover. I should never tell them what is edible!

Thanks for stopping by! (((HUGS))) and prayers! God Bless

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Posting ;o)

Haven't had much time to catch my Loves/boys here with the camera. These days they are all off in different directions, just like kids who never grew up in orphanages. They are always busy now! So many things to learn and see! In the beginning it was all strange to them. They are past that now!
I promise to post new pics here in the next few days!

I have a new post on my blog Uncontainable JOY. (click the boys photo above. :o) its linked to that blog.)

And I have a new blog. :o)
http://whtachamakin.blogspot.com/ The link is spelled incorrectly because the link name was taken.

My post "On a Whim" at the new blog is about making sweat pants for 3 of the boys.

The blog is about "Praising Him with the work of my simple hands"

(((HUGS))) and prayers to ALL!

Friday, June 9, 2017

My heart aches, only God can console

I guess I've reached an age where I start losing friends unexpectedly.


Why wasn't it me? I have been sick for years with a chronic degenerative disease. (yes this was stated on our adoption applications signed by my Dr)
My immune system is weak and this winter we all had both influenza A and B about 6 weeks apart. My influenza was complicated with my poor immune system problems and other added concerns. I developed a secondary infection throughout my body. I had to take 2 super biotics, which caused a serious allergic reaction.
Mary Anne's second influenza was complicated with pneumonia. Pneumonia visited her often. She took the influenza meds (I did not) she had the flu shot. Pneumonia won.

I live, Mary Anne dies. The separation is so hard to bear.

And I ask God, why wasn't it me?

At my age winter kills off the weakest. We don't look forward to it. The boys came here with the same worry. Children died every winter at the orphanage. It's so good to see the boy's  immune systems strong enough to fight this now. They have real fighting chances now as virus' hit. Their first winter here was with great concern- they were incredibly ill. Now they have fighting chances! Without antibiotics.

Only sweet Mercy had a scare this winter. With her first bout of flu, the Influenza A. She had a seizure and was whisked off in the ambulance. She was born here but still has so many unknowns with her health.
For example after tons of DNA research and many many medication considerations we found that the two things that help her self injurious behavior are not medications they are supplements!

The photo of the beautiful (inside and out) woman above is my friend of over 20 years JRH.
She died yesterday.
She was 60.
She did not get sick until last summer.
JRH and Mary Anne were born the same year.
JRH was born in November , Mary Anne in December.
They both would have turned 61 this year.
And they both died within 8 weeks of each other.
So much similar.

The empty spots left cannot be filled.

JRH cared for all of my children. The oldest were teenagers when she started caring for them. Then the middles came to her and now the youngest boys from Bulgaria, Mercy, and the teens saw her.

I could tell JRH anything. She was a huge supporter and became my friend. She was a very caring person. She was there when I had a risky pregnancy at 46 (I was 47 when he was born) and was Isaiah's Dr since birth (12 years). She was there for me as my daughters died.
She was a huge gift from God.

She was a strong Catholic and loved the Lord with all her heart, mind and soul. I loved that she had a strong faith. I wish we'd had more time to talk about that.

I thought she was the picture of health. Everything I felt I was not.
Looks are deceiving.

For years I've told the kids- "When they tell you do "this" and you'll live longer." You better ask God what He thinks! :o) Because He will call you home when it's your time, not because you did the right things. He is not one minute early or 1 minute late when He comes.

It's the waiting that's hard. The loneliness can be so hard to bear. I want to be with God, in His Arms, with my friends. ALL of us- embraced by God! Oh! the JOY!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Fifteen woke up to rejoice in His name, and then there were fourteen left behind thanking and praising Him .

                       Our Mary Ann (above) at the lake, 2011.
                  I made her sweatshirt. It says "Camping Woman".

Inside the bunkhouse 2014. It was very cold outside, but very warm inside.:o)

 Always the ever watchful Mary Ann. (2014) Julius is dancing as she makes sure no one gets hurt. :o)

Our van has 15 seats. (2014) Every seat was filled with LOVE and JOY! The gals are hard to see way in the back :o) Mary Ann's empty seat sits empty now.

2014, the year after she survived pneumonia and ARDs. She was no longer steady on her feet. She lived every day to the fullest! And each day was a GIFT from God!

Always helping the children she loved. (2011)

 We called each other "BEST buddy". At bedtime she told me "Goodnight Sweet Prince"! I told her- hey! I'm not a prince! She laughed! (2010) We teased each other constantly! Same old jokes over and over! It never got old. Everyday was better than the last.

She modeled prayer shawls for me to sell for the boy's adoptions. She loved the boys. She called them the babies. Moses was her favorite. They had a special friendship. (2012) This was taken in her bedroom.

 So many silly sweet faces, she was crazy! The best kind of crazy ever! (2011) She liked it when we told her she was a "Wild woman"!!

We went to Taste of Home here, in WI in 2005.
We also toured the Jelly Belly factory in WI.
Not shown in this picture- Tom, Isaiah (18 months) and our gal SP. A dear friend Kathy invited us to come. My lovely post pregnancy body at age 48 1/2!! (Mary Ann was 48 1/2 too)

 Last summer (2016) in her camping trailer she shared with SP. Oh what a glorious absolutely wonderful time we had at the Lodge. She loved it. We loved it. It was the best time ever! Even though she won't be back to see the finished living quarters this year, we'll celebrate in her memory. It was all built to accommodate her.

 I made her an alzheimers sensory blanket this year. She loved it!

                Yes my sweet LOVE, I miss you so much I ache.

Here it's 2012, meeting the first two boys- Pauly and Julius.
At her Senior Center she made me a key chain for them. It hangs by my computer, it says Judith and Pual in beads. She forgot Julius' name. :o) She loved doing crafts there!

I can't sort my thoughts. I can't sum this up into a post. I can't write what I feel because it is a mix of JOY, sadness, LOVE, anguish, and most of all loneliness. Feelings- coming and going. We were both so incredibly ill this winter I thought it would be me, not her.

Samson and the boys are waiting for her to come home.

July 17, 1987 Mary Ann stole my heart and forever changed my life for the better. That was 29 years and 9 months ago. We were both 30 years old. We lived like twins. We were the same age, we both turned 60 this year. She shared her life with me and I shared mine with her. I don't know how to be 60 without her.

She was afraid to die. The Lord knew this and she died incredibly peaceful. She never suffered a serious illness her entire life other than her last bout of pneumonia. She lived a beautiful life! Praise God. I have been INCREDIBLY BLESSED to have been part of it. I am so undeserving.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Learning to Love

 Our school time includes pretend play. The boys and Mercy do not understand "pretending". They never dared pretend after years of rejection and isolation.
These are our puppet family- mom, dad, children. They act out silly stories. Moses likes to "help".

 He's so proud of himself when he joins in. But he doesn't like us to make a big deal out of it. ;o)

Sometimes he has to further inspect his puppet. :o)

 With his apraxia it is very hard for him to try to make sounds for a word. He tries so hard. I know one day he will form a word. Anything he sets his mind to he does!

He understands so many signs and copies them if we sign to him. But he really wants to "talk" with his voice. He's rejected attempts at using any device to speak for him. His favorite toys "talk" to him. He doesn't like adaptive speech devices talking "to him." In time hopefully he'll see he can use an electronic device to talk to us.

 He works so hard on his school work. He doesn't get bored easily and he picks his activities himself.

 He's so proud of his learning! We are always amazed by how quickly he learns. He does not get bored easily, and he works longer than the other boys, who eventually wander off.
He wants to do more than dress himself, set the table and clean up toys.
He paints with fingers and brushes. He draws and colors. He loves sparkly glue. He's such a joy to teach!
His brothers and Mercy let him be, they don't join in. He doesn't mind- more for him!

At the end of everyday, Kitty faithfully reads them a Berenstein story. She sits at the end of their bunk beds. They love it!

About a month ago I felt a little hand stroke my arm, gently and lovingly. And then a fuzzy little head rubbed my arm. I looked down to see Moses showing me he loved me. My eyes welled with tears, I was so honored that he loves me.

For 3, 5 and 6 years I have tried hard to earn his, Mercy's and his brother's love. I have loved them regardless. They have been wounded deeply by those they first loved.

And then seemingly out of the blue, Moses, the smallest (but not youngest) returns my affections in his own beautiful gesture.

Wow. no words. only emotions.
Praising God that a little boy 12 years old loves me, his Mom. And he really loves me from the depths of his soul. I am blessed!

As usual Moses doesn't like lots of attention for this. I scoop him up with kisses and hugs after he strokes my arm. He's slightly inconvenienced! But not enough that he will stop repeating his loving gestures.

I was incredibly honored that he told me he loved me first. Everyone was slightly jealous when they saw him! Since his orphanage days, women have never been at the top of his list. He loves men- he is a man! LOL! He was overjoyed learning manly things from Dad and Isaiah! We call him "tough guy"!

I am now reminded that by being with my boys and Mercy, they are doing more than just watching! They are thinking, learning every day.
This month Moses has gone on to tell Kitty, Lysa, Faith, Isaiah and Dad with his gestures, that he loves them too.
Our cup overflows! Praise God!

To everyone who helped fund bringing Moses and his brothers home, we never forget. You gave them a life. You gave them hope. You gave us joy! God Bless you always!