Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Today is Olivia's 7th birthday.
I put her in two ponytails because yes, she is still a little girl!
She is a bright and engaging little girl, one of the top students in her class. She loves to read and is especially excited when given a chance to read in front of others. She is a leader and a performer and has developed a helpful spirit (at school, at least). She is doing SO WELL at school and I am so proud of her.

Recent accomplishments: Mastering the back hand-spring, (almost) finishing her first full chapter book and getting two jewels in the same week at school. (I don't really know what this means except that it is a behavioral incentive for being helpful and attentive in class.)
She scored a pair of roller skates for her birthday and is SUPER excited about it.
It's hard to believe she is seven years old already, but it's also sometimes hard to believe that she is ONLY seven. She learns so fast. She is tall and fast and strong. She makes friends with older kids easily and tries to keep up with them in sports and some academics. She loves to be challenged and sometimes seems so much older to me.

It was just seven years ago when she was this tiny. Unbelievable.
Happy birthday, my sweet little girl! I love you so much!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A whole decade in

Ten years ago on this date, this happened:

A whole decade. So much has happened in those ten years. So much has changed. We have changed. But we changed together.

We had no idea what kind of challenges and unexpected joys would await. We were not really equipped for a lot of it. But we leaned on each other and, especially, on God and we faced each day and each problem as a united force. Wherever we journeyed, we always journeyed together. There is no one I'd rather have by my side.

Happy Anniversary to us! Here's to many decades more!

Honeymoon, Grand Canyon

Christmas 2004 (and the last time it snowed THIS MUCH)

Joe and Olivia watching TV together. She was about a week old.
Random off-center photo from 2010
Alaska, 2012

Baby Martin
2013 Family photo shoot
October 2014

Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy Feast of St. Martin de Porres!

Our little man is named for St. Martin de Porres, and today is his saint's feast day.
Mommy and Martin with a statue of his patron.
Happy Feast Day, Martin! Saint Martin de Porres, pray for us.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Adoption Awareness Month

November is Adoption Awareness Month. This means something to us, because of these two:
The biggest focus, though, of Adoption Awareness Month (that I can tell) is the needs of foster children who are waiting for adoptive families. I've been doing a lot of research on that lately and have found some incredible websites that raise awareness about this particular need. Some of those are listed below.

We are doing some awareness-raising at Olivia's school this year with fliers and information about Adoption Awareness Month. We are also doing a backpack/bag drive. I've learned that, many times, when children are removed from their homes and placed in foster care, they are given little more than a trash bag to carry their possessions. There just aren't enough resources to do more at many foster care agencies. So we are collecting bags to give to agencies so they can distribute them to foster kids in need. This project was inspired by the Journey Bags project. If you have a journey bag project going on near you, go donate some stuff! It is such a worthy cause. Let's help give kids a little hope for their futures in whatever way we can.

Here are some websites if you want to know more:

The Forgotten Initiative
The Dave Thomas Foundation
The Villages