So Who Am I, Anyway?
Born and raised in Iowa, I left the corn-state (which I love) to attend Taylor University in Indiana. In 1996 I met my future husband, Cameron on a blind date. In 2000 I graduated in with a BA in Social Work and Political Science. We were married two months later.
After settling in Nashville, Tennessee, where my husband was raised, I was hired as a Child Counselor. This position involved working closely with foster parents and troubled foster children (aged from babies to 17-year-olds) with a wide variety of physical and emotional issues.
I loved my job and loved my foster kids. Cameron and I are praying that soon we will be able to sponsor our own foster children, eventually adopting them into our family permanently.
In 2003 we moved to Wisconsin, and have been enjoying the snow ever since. (Especially my husband, who was excited to purchase a monster-horse power snow blower...for our 20 foot driveway. "It's to help the neighbors." and, in all fairness...it has helped the neighbors...)
We have seen God's hand of blessing in this move. We've become involved in God's purposes by attending CrossWay Community Church, engaging with other believers in our Caregroup, and learning more and more about truth and grace through podcasts, books, and conversations (LOTS of conversations!). You can see some of those so-important resources here.
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the ded and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places...
~ Ephesians 1:16-20
Our first, Lauren Brooke, was born on October 29, 2003 at a tiny-teeny 6.5 pounds. She's six now (did I just type that?) and is in Kindergarten. We are homeschooling this year (it's a long story), which has been interesting.
As I type this, she and her sister Elena are dancing around the living room in their pink "ballet" costumes humming various songs. A normal activity for a very normal 6 year old girl.
Besides dancing, singing is her second favorite activity. Lauren's made-up songs are legendary in my extended family. Her key to success? Repeat the phrase over and over again until you can think of something else.
In this picture, she's showing off her first missing tooth. My father informed her the Tooth Fairy would pay her 5 dollars for her tooth. So, obviously, she was very excited. (Thanks Dad...the Tooth Fairy is sending you a bill...)
In a stroke of genius, my husband informed her that the first tooth was worth the most, because it was the first. After that, the going
rate for well-brushed teeth is $.25 a pop. (whew!)
Our second, Elena Marie, was born on March 3rd, 2007. She's an incredibly spunky 3-year-old. Right now we are learning to identify our ABC's and obey Mommy right away. The latter is by far the harder at this point! (To me, the three's are much worse than the two's.)
We are currently in the throws of potty-training. We picked out some Tinker Bell underwear and Mommy is insisting on some plastic covers until we get it down pat. Man, I've forgotten how much I hate potty training... If I have to disinfect the bathroom floor one more time...(sigh)
She is the ham of the family, cracking jokes with her little lisp left and right. Having discovered recently that Mommy hates "thpiders", she constantly pretends to find "thpiders" everywhere, and then laughs uproariously when I overreact, which, of course, I do each time.
Who knew that those nasty, hairy, long-legged disgusting arachnids could bring me such joy? ;-)
A little piece of her personality can be seen in this photo. I have no idea where she dug up those goggles, but she wore them almost all afternoon, even through dinner.
Our Isabella Rose was born on December 11th, 2009 at a whopping 9 lbs 4 oz. Naturally, I think she's the most beautiful baby in the entire world. She has her sisters dimples and makes my heart melt every time I look at her.
She has started smiling and laughing, which pleases her sisters. They love to get on the floor and put there head right next to hers to see what she sees, play with the dangling toys and blow raspberries on her cheeks. She takes it all in good stride.
So far, I've been completely blown away with how easy-going she is. Finally! A personality from my husband!!! God knows I couldn't handle another strong-willed child like me!
She doesn't cry during baths, she doesn't cry when I'm sucking stuff out of her nose...it's amazing. However, be a little late with lunch and she'll bring down the rafters with her sreaming. At least we know her priorities!
I love those little cheeks! In fact, just typing about it makes me want to go up there, wake her up, and shower her with kisses...but then again...
maybe I'll wait until naptime is over.
Last but not least is our little Perrin Perrito (to be sung to the tune of Frosty the Snowman). Perrin is our shih tzu and he joined the family over Christmas in 2008.
He is the closest thing my husband will get to a son (at least for now) and he's meeting all my boy-expectations. He's incredibly hyper, refuses to cuddle, and runs around in circles in the living room.
He destroys my tupperware by chasing and barking at it around the house, and barks at everything even appears to be coming within 5 yards of the front window.
Yet, he is adorable (as the photo attests), potty trained (YES!), and the girls think he's hilarious. Every now and then he'll even calm down enough to let Cameron brush out his hair or me to rub his tummy.
He's definitely a blessing and a wonderful part of our growing family.
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Talk about great motivation to keep writing...