Friday, August 12, 2016

Catching Up Part II

Holy cow time flies!  Much has happened in a year (since my last post!).  

We were lucky to travel to California last September, with the girls, for a visit to Disneyland! Never had I thought we would visit Disney World and Disneyland in the same year!  Brad had business in CA, so us girls went along and hung out by the pool during the day, and visited Disneyland in the evening.  I know, a hard life, right!  

Then, in the fall, we began looking into a dream of ours to have a little place a the beach. Well, we had actually been researching, saving, and crunching numbers for several years, but but began to actually look at places in October.  In the beginning of April 2016, we settled on a little condo in Corolla, NC.  We love it there and it's perfect for our family.  Three bedrooms, 2 baths, a hot tub and access to many pools, amenities and lots of little extras. Unfortunately, we can't live at the beach all the time, so right now, our little place is more of an investment property that we rent out via a property manager during the vacation months. Hopefully one day we can take it out of the rental business and be at the beach more often, but for now, it's a win-win for us.  It's usually available when we can go down, and when we aren't there, it's being rented out for other families to enjoy.  We named it "The Anchor House" because to us, it's our little shelter from the storm of life and gives us hope for the future. [Hebrews 6:19].  The beach is our happy place!   To see a little about our condo, you can visit or blog-in-the works at  Or you can visit the property manager site at and search for The Anchor House.    If you are interested in a stay, let me know!  Below is a picture of the sunset on the sound directly across from our place.  We love it!  

Note the horses in the back on the dune.  This is why we love Corolla! 

The girls hanging out in the hot tub at The Anchor House!

In May, we celebrated my mom and dad's 50th Wedding Anniversary.  Despite the fact that they wouldn't let us have a party for them, we surprised them with a stretch limo and a trip to Baltimore's Inner Harbor for a yummy brunch.  

Here's some pictures of the boys -- one heading to prom and one heading to a wedding.   They dress up pretty well!! 

In other news, we now have a Junior in College, a Senior in High School, a big First Grader and a kindergartner!  Life's about to get really busy again with sports, school and everything Fall!

Ellie is doing fantastic.  She made it through kindergarten, even though I wasn't ready for her to go!  I cannot say enough about early intervention for her.  I know that many people frown upon putting a "label" on their child, but they seriously helped Ellie get into the grove and catch up with some things she struggled with when we brought her home!  I'll post another time about all of her therapies, but I just can't say enough about getting help early in a child's journey.  With that being said, life isn't perfect and sometimes her early trauma and abandonment issues are very evident.  But, we typically know how to get her back to a place of safety, and then all is well.  

Ellie's 6th Birthday Bash! 

Did I mention that Ellie is swimming like a crazy person?  Seriously, this poor little girl screamed at the sight of water when we brought her home (b/c water wasn't for play in Ethiopia).  She is now jumping in the deep end and swimming the length of an Olympic pool. She has made serious progression with water and I could see her being on a swim team some day!  We will pick lessons back up in the winter months, because who doesn't love getting into a cold pool in the middle of winter!  Ha!

Both boys are ramping up for another Football season - so you know where to find us every Friday night and Saturday, mid-August through November!  We really do love the game and watching the boys blossom into young men and fight for their team.  We also really love getting to know other families and tailgating and just having fun with them all.  This year will be bittersweet for Dylan, as it will be his last high school football season.  That last game and senior walk on the field after the game is tough!  Colt leaves tomorrow for his college football season.  I don't know where the summer went.  It seems like he was just getting home from spring semester!  

Faith is our littlest and will head to kindergarten this year.  Cue the tears .....  She is more than ready and super excited to start her "school career!"  Ha Ha!  She is a smart girl (who loves to talk), so I sorta feel sorry for her teacher when she begins a dissertation on flamingos or the blue footed booby.  She sure does love her animals.  I see some parent-teacher meetings coming my way soon!  
Faith had preschool graduation in May  -- that was a sweet moment!

Brad and I will celebrate our 24th Wedding Anniversary in October!  Keep in mind that we've known each other since we were 12, so really we are celebrating our 30-something year together!  Next year maybe we will do something special, but to me, everyday is special with him.
I hope everyone one (the 2 of you) who read the blog are doing well.  Like I say, no news is usually good news!  Maybe I'll try to post again before a year goes by! 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Catching Up

I have to be the world's worst blogger.   I hate to say we've been too busy, because who isn't busy these days.   So for those 2 or 3 people who still read my blog, let me catch u up!  

Let's start in January --  we went to DISNEY!!! Yep. All 6 of us -- even our college guy.  We had an awesome trip and beautiful weather.  I've been saying for awhile that I wanted a trip to disney with all of us but I thought the girls might be a little too young, but I knew our time was ticking with Colt being in college.  It was truly a magical trip, despite some early grumblings from our teens who thought they could sleep until noon every day!!    The girls met all but one princess, and the boys even had a good time (who knew).  We got a fantastic deal on flights back in October that we couldn't pass up  -- long story short -- sometimes you get what you pay for and our cheap flights found us staying in Orlando one extra night or we could have hung out in airport for a 15 hour flight delay.   Luckily we still had a bit of disney magic in our blood so it didn't seem like that big of a deal.  Plus it was 80 degrees in Florida and the good folks at Disney gave us another night for 50 percent off!  With a high of 10 in Pennsylvania, we weren't overly excited to get home!  

Here are some of my favorite pics.  I'm still sorting through the 1000 or so pictures that we have.  I might do another whole blog post on our trip and what worked well etc.  You all know I'm a planner ;) 

Besides a lot of snow, February bought a few special birthday people, and a new driver.  

March.  Hmmm. It was a blur for me.  I had a cold, sinus infection, strep, ear infection and then had radioactive iodine on my thyroid!  We had plans to visit for a weekend in DC with two families who adopted from Ethiopia.   My sickness had other plans for me but we still did manage to drive down for an evening to say hello.  It warms my heart to hang out and chat with our fellow adoptive friends.  

March also was a special month for Ellie for 2 reasons!    For one thing, we registered her for kindergarten!  Well Brad did.  Registration happened to be on one of those days I was sicker than a dog!  I had not initially planned on sending her in the fall but girlfriend is smart and spelling and starting to read words.  So she's registered!!  I still can change my mind ;)  but I guess my little punkin is ready.    March 31st was also her THIRD anniversary home.  So hard to believe!  She's such a big girl! 

April brings us into full swing baseball season and colts birthday.  Then finals for our first year college kid and home for the summer to work and save. 

May 1st was the day Faith got about 10 inches cut from her hair.  Ever since we visited Disney in January and a little girl from Make A Wish Foundation walked into bibbidi bobbidi boutique, Faith has been asking to get her hair cut so she could share it with people who are sick or need a wig.  She got her wish and I think she looks adorable! 

That should about bring us up to date!  
What have you been up to? 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


In the busy-ness of the season, it seems like the entire reason for Chrismas gets over looked.  This year I am super excited to do an Advent calendar with the girls.  We are actually doing two.   

One is a set of Disney Princess ornaments with numbers on the back.  The ornaments open so they can be filled with goodies or notes.  For the princess ornaments, I used the alphabet and made each letter correspond to some part of the nativity story.  Some also have candy or a special note to pick a prize.  

The second one is a little house with 25 little drawers.  In each of those, I printed bible verses that tell the entire story of Jesus' birth.  

It didn't take me long to do, and the verses in the little house were actually found on the internet so I just had to print, cut and get the girls to help me put in the drawers.  

How about you?? What do you do to keep Jesus in the season? 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Bad Blogger

Ok, I admit I've been REALLY bad about blogging lately.  Life has been incredibly busy lately with football season in full swing.  Dylan is playing HS varsity on Friday nights, and Colt is playing college football on Saturday and sometimes Sunday.  This past weekend, for example, we spent a total of 26 hours traveling, attending, tailgating, and more traveling for football.  Crazy, right?  But, if we can swing it, we do it. We would hate to miss that "winning touchdown" or awesome catch...and we want to fully support our kids in whatever they do.  Thankfully, we only have 4 weeks left!  Amen!  We thoroughly enjoy watching the boys play, and it's a chance for us to hang out with Colt after his games at college and catch up with what's going on in his life... oh yeah, did I mention he went away to college (no, because I'm a bad blogger)!! 

The girls are growing like weeds and soaking in knowledge like a bunch of sponges.  Ellie started occupational therapy a few months ago and it is doing wonders for her balance, coordination, and self-esteem!  We are now getting into the phase of noticing that we are all different in look (and color).  It's been a challenging time, but we are getting through it!  Faith is our little engineer always wondering how things work and are built.  Too bad we can't get her to care about letters or numbers or writing her name! 

So anyway... because life has been a little crazy lately, most of my daily or weekly life happenings have been posted on Instagram, since I can capture a picture with my phone and quickly post it. . .  and a picture is worth a Thousand words, right?   I placed my account pics on the top of the blog so you can see what's going on in our life lately.  If you belong to Instagram, feel free to follow us.

Hoping to get back in the swing of things soon and share what's been going on in our world. 

Hope you enjoy the beautiful fall weather (and colors) if you are in the Northeast! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


For those of you who follow my blog, you've probably already heard most of this story, but I just can't pass up the opportunity to reflect again on how God always knows my heart, and always does what is best for His kingdom.   I'll admit, it's not always what is "easiest" but He knows that too!
For the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts  (1 Chronicles 28:9)

 3 years ago today, we were given a referral for this little beauty, Geneme, decked out in her green thermal footie jammies and fuzzy little hair (believe me, I've studied this picture from front to back and can close my eyes and still see it):
We were originally told that we would most-likely be referred an infant, but to our surprise, we were referred a sweet 14 month old 'toddler.'  Our Agency had told us that we didn't have to take her.  What...? I was confused . . ?  They explained that many families do not want toddlers, rather they prefer infants.  
But you see... even before we knew her name and face, this sweet 'toddler' fit perfectly into our Family, and God knew that! 
Back story 
When began our adoption story nearly 6 years ago, we began to call our future child, Baby "E."  She was "Baby  E" because of our silly alphabet family (Angie, Brad, Colton, Dylan).. and the next letter was E.  I must admit, I was a little nervous starting over again, and a bit worried about not having a play-mate sibling for Baby E, like Colton and Dylan had each other.  But we had plenty of friends with wee-ones, so everything would be fine. 
As we planned, and waited for Baby E, God gave us a little surprise nearly a year into our wait . . . a bio pregnancy with Baby F!  Among other things, my OCD kicked in when I realized that our silly little name game was going to be out of order now.  Baby F would most likely be older than Baby E (still assuming we would be getting an infant).  "Oh well," I thought . . . "It will make an interesting story..."  Little did I know! 
As excited as I was for our pregnancy, I still felt a loss, since our adoption would be put on hold until our baby was 6 months old. 
As my heart grieved for Baby E, God knew she wasn't yet born.  Baby E was born just a few days after we found out about Baby F.  [of course we didn't know that at the time] 
As my heart ached that we were leaving an orphan waiting, God knew she wasn't even in an orphanage yet. 
As my heart grew anxious for a referral, God knew her paperwork would be complete, the day our name came up for a referral.   
And most of all, God knew Elliana Geneme Jayne would even fit into our silly little name game.  She is 7 months older than Baby Faith. 
  -- Now, mama, on the other hand, wasn't so sure God's plan was going to work -- going from a family of 4 to 6 in less than a year . . . but that's a whole other story . . . --
And what's more remarkable, God knew 2 little girls in our family of mostly-boys would explode our emotions and melt our hearts with things only little girls can see, say and do . . . and He knew these 2 little girls would be forever sisters.  They both know they came from different mommy's tummys, but that doesn't change the fact that they are 100% sisters. 
They are the chip to each other's dip, the cheese in each other's macaroni, the flip to each other's flop . . . and the milk in each other's cookies.  Their personalities are complete opposite, but yet compliment each other . . . and God knew that. . .
. . . and I can't imagine one without the other! 
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 
Psalm 37:4
"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the Lord.  "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.  For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts" 
 Isaiah 55:8-9
So blessed to have you in our family, Princess Ellie.   

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Happy Birthday Elliana Geneme Jayne

We love your spunk, kindness and your sweet giggle.   Happy 4th birthday!!  

Monday, June 16, 2014

31 Little Words of Wisdom

Colton's high school football number was 31, so we decided to give him 31 little words of wisdom for graduation.  It's funny when you have one graduating, you hope and pray that you've taught them everything they need to know... and then you find yourself (at least I do) in the middle of the night wondering if you every told him 'this' or 'that'..... 

All I know is that we have people (sometimes strangers that know Colt but not us) tell us what a great kid he is.  We are so thankful for those words of praise for him and it reassures us that maybe he did hear a few things that we've tried to pass along over the years!  

For fun, I thought I'd post them here.  His College football number is 85.  Guess I better get started on his college words of wisdom now!!

1.    Never say something you can't take back
2.      Remember you have 3 siblings that look up to you
3.      Know you will make mistakes.  Pray that you learn from them and grow in the process.
4.     Don't ever make a split second decision that will change your life forever. 
5.      Don't be afraid to have fun!
6.     Always open the door for your girlfriend, wife, etc. 
7.      Learn to cook at least one good thing ;)
8.     Be the type of person you were made to be. 
9.     Work hard.. Play hard (but work first) ;)
10.    Look people in the eye when you speak. 
11.     Have confidence in all that you do, and do it for the glory of God.
12.    Invite God into your day, daily.
13.    Learn to manage your time wisely.  You can't get it back.
14.    Don't get too busy doing life, that you forget to live and enjoy it.
15.    Visit your mother ;)
16.    Learn to say no and not feel guilty about it.
17.    Be Slow to anger -- quick to forgive.
18.    Learn to give grace - you will need it someday too!
19.    It's ok to be a leader that leads from behind. 
20.    Everybody makes mistakes (see 18 above)
21.    Learn to say I'm sorry and really mean it.
22.    Learn to forgive and not hold grudges.  Unforgiveness will make you a bitter person.
23.    Understand that good intended people will hurt you (see 22 above)
24.    Take time to enjoy a sunrise and say a prayer before you start your day. 
25.    Take time to enjoy a sunset knowing that you gave your best to the day.
26.    Stand up for those who can't do it themselves. Defend the defenseless.
27.    Make each day count -- make an effort.  You will never get today back.
28.    It’s better to GIVE than to receive.
29.    Encourage others and help them get ahead.
30.    Never take anything for granted!

31.    Never forget that we love you… no matter what.

Senior Moments

It's official.  We have a 2014 Graduate!  This year has flown by and the last month has been no exception.  Luckily, we've been so busy that I haven't had time to comprehend the fact that our firstborn has graduated and will be heading to college in just 9 short weeks!!!

Colts baseball team went into district playoffs and won their district title. For a "planner" who plans out every last minute and has to figure out how to shuffle 4 kids to where they need to be, this stressed me out a bit.  We had 4 extra games that weren't planned on (one of which we traveled to 3 times [2 hours away] before we actually played the game due to rain postponements and delays-- but wow, talk about a couple of exciting games!! And all the rain in our area made getting all these district games in before the deadline a nightmare.  But this group of guys did it!!!  Unfortunately, we got knocked out in our first round of states, but it was an awesome ride!!!  It was an honor to watch these young men play -- 9 of which were seniors! 

Here's a few pics of the district championship game.   So glad we were all there to share in the moment.

Next it was "signing day" at school.  That's when all the student athletes that will be playing a college sport get together (news cameras and all) and sign their letters of intent etc (even though most of these kids didn't really sign anything) :)  it's just a fun day to celebrate all these kids who are heading off to college and playing a sport that they love!   Such an awesome achievement.   

Colton will be going to a private college in Pa and will be playing football.  He will be majoring in physics (yikes, I'm not even sure I can spell that!!).  We are super proud of him and his college choice.  It's a really great school with loads of opportunities. 

Next came graduation -- in the midst of baseball -- well actually we finished up a few days beforehand.   We haven't gotten the chance to officially celebrate, but plan to do so in July!!  Here's a few pics of Colton with grandparents and all of us.  He only was allowed seven guests at graduation ... But no worries .. I have a big enough scream that he definitely wasn't lacking any cheers!!! 

His superintendent spoke about Square One -- and how that's not necessarily a bad or scary thing and that's where most of these seniors are finding themselves.  I can certainly attest to that.  I've personally found myself at square one a few times, and trusting God's plan each time has brought me to the finish line -- not that it was easy and not that I didn't slide back down a few times -- but knowing God has a plan and trusting Him in that is the first step.  

A man’s heart plans his way,

But the Lord directs his steps.  - Proverbs 16:9.

We are proud of you Colton~  Can't wait to see what plans God has in store for you! 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

May happenings

May has been super busy already for our family and graduation in June is just around the corner.  It hard, in these milestone moments, to "enjoy the moment" and not stress about everything else going on, or what's happening tomorrow!   But we are 
surviving one "moment" at a time and celebrating God's goodness along the way.  

Dylan is done with JV baseball but just starting his summer league, and Colt's varsity team made it to the playoffs, slightly extending their season.  

The girls graduated from preschool and start part-time daycare next week.  They are excited for a fun summer with new friends.  

Here are some glimpses of our last few weeks of God's goodness 

Colt's Sr. Prom (with 2 little escorts)

C & D


Dyl and his best girl hijacking the limo from prom :)

Dylan stealing home 

Sr Night/Parent's Night

Colt as Team Captain

The girls and I had time to make a "Fairy" Garden.  Too Cute! 

Ellie cheering on the team! 

Faith at baseball game (of course!) 

A rainy game 

Rainy game 

Faith at preschool graduation 

Ellie - preschool graduation