Monday, April 30, 2012

Visit to Cincinnati

After many prayers, hard work and planning Richard is in America!!
He is mainly staying in Chicago where the board of trustees are for Cove Alliance but he got to sneak in a little weekend visit to us down here in Cincinnati! 
First on our agenda was Mass on Saturday night. Then we all headed over to Karen Sue's house for a Traditional America Thanksgiving dinner. 
 I was racking my brain trying to figure out something to get Richard for a gift. Everyone suggested some sort of picture. So I came up with a calender and included pictures of my family and the families of the others that went on our trip to Uganda last summer.
Traveling with Richard were three of the most amazing women I have ever met! Darlene (co-founder of Cove) Nina (her sister and supporter of Cove) and Carolyn (The funniest lady ever! plus she does a lot to support Cove too)
This is my Uganda Family! I love them all so much!

 The next day we planned on taking Richard around Cincinnati and show him our city, but the weather wasn't all that great..... so we took him to a butterfly show! (indoors)
 Afterwards we got lunch at Cincinnati's own Skyline!
 The rain held off so we walked around a Park that overlooked the City. They also had a pond filled with Ducks! Richard has never seen Ducks before. He was like a little kid feeding them! one even let him Pet him on the head! I have seen ducks my whole life and not once been able to pet one!
 Later I headed back home to help my husband get the girls ready while Richard went to a Soccer game to watch Kim's son play. Soccer is Richards favorite so we knew he would enjoy that.
After the Game we all met back up at Dan's house for a grill out.
It was the perfect weekend!  I am so grateful! I can't say enough about how wonderful it was to spend it with people that are just full of so much Goodness! I promise to give more details through out the week!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

my reading list :)

Sorry about not posting yesterday again I have a very grump one year old with another double ear infection!!!:(
 Today is the day Richard is coming into town!!!!! I can't wait to see all my Uganda family and eat a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner tonight! (that through Julia for a loop, she why thanksgiving in spring?)

Since I have a super busy weekend ahead of me I thought I would give you some links to read other blogs that I love and seriously feel like a stalker because I cant get enough of these ladies and their stories! 

1. My favorite blog : ashley ann
she has amazing photography of her kids and everyday life. I love hearing about her jurney to adopting a little one from china!

2. Enjoying the small things
Another mommy that's a great photographer. I love reading about ther littlest one Nella. so cute!

3. Whatever
I love this lady's house! her decorations and craft projects are so colorful and happy! love it!!

Seriously these parents are so inspirational in the fact hat they are taking life day by day and living each one to the fullest for their daughter! sooo sweet!

5. I will carry you
 My momma actually introduced me to this one and I can't stop thinking about this picture of her mommy after she gave birth to her daughter. she was praying out loud for god to help her live! amazing!!

Have fun!
tons of pictures and stories about Richards visit to come!!!! I have to go get ready now :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012


I have told you about my mommy moments where I am completely stressed out and feel like all I do all day is yell! Julia is the most spirited child I have ever met! She is always full of energy and loves to keep me on my toes! One day me and Brian were talking about how Miss Belle is so sweet and caring and how it's almost like she is already training herself for mommy hood.Julia chimed in
 "You don't think I will be a good mommy?"
(she does this a lo.! always feeling like if we compliment someone else it means she doesn't have those qualities.) 
We explained to her that she will make a great mommy! We feel like Julia has a different personality. Belle is sweet and sensitive, Julia is strong will and likes to be in control. There is nothing wrong with her qualities and they don't make her better or worse than her sister.

I have been trying to change up the punishments for when she does act out. I felt like my house was becoming a jail and very one was fighting all the time. So after I caught The Julia not helping with her chores I sent her outside to collect all the helicopters in my front yard and put them in a box.
 Of course after I felt she had been out there long enough. We had a talk about responsibility and pitching in to help keep our house running smooth. She apologized and then asked if she should throw the Helicopters in the garbage. I said "no, toss them in the air!"

                                                          I love being her mommy!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Soap isle

When you are at the grocery store do you ever notice how the body wash is in a separate location from all the other personal hygiene products? Doesn't that drive you nuts?! Well not me! 

You see it was my senior year of high school and I was working at the local grocery store on a slow day. A boy walked up to me and asked me what isle the soap would be in. I noticed right away how cute and confident he was in himself. I got the feeling he was going to try to flirt with me but he never did. I pointed him in that direction and then turned back to my friend to continue talking about prom.
A few minutes later the boy was back and asked if I could ring him out. he fallowed me to my register. we made small talk and then he put his purchases into a bag. He started to walk out and then stopped. turned around and asked "would you like to see a movie with me sometime? or get something to eat?"
I smiled and said yes. I took his receipt  and wrote my name and number on it. 
That receipt is now framed and hanging on my wall.

 You see seven years ago today I met my husband!
These are a few pictures of our first few years  of dating. It so funny to see how little we look. I still had braces in the first one. and Brian went through a mustache phase. (I was not a fan of it so that didn't last long)

  all because some genius  thought it would make perfect sense to put the body wash in the same isle as the laundry detergent!
Happy anniversary to my old man!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Field trip

Thanks to everyone that said all those kind things about my posting on Friday. I was blown away at how many people read my blog and all the love that we got from everyone. At one point during the day someone comment that I was an amazing women and as much as I would like to stand up and say yes I am! I have those days that I don't feel like I have anything under control.
Being  a mommy is really the hardest job! But probably one of the best things about it is the next day my girls wake up and its a new start. they forgotten about the stressed out mommy that I was yesterday and are ready to start today fresh. I love when they greet me with big smiles and say good morning mommy! like they have been up all night waiting to see me and can't wait for all the fun things we can do together.

Sorry about not posting anything yesterday! But I had a busy day of fun mommy duties with The Julia. (all these pics are from my phone. I am the kind of photographer that forgets her camera a lot)
  We went to the Aquarium with her first grade class.
Whenever I go on a field trip I always ask each girl in my group what they want to see the most and we try to make sure we see those things and spend the most time at each.

 The Julia was so determined to see the sharks! then we arrived at the location in the aquarium where you get to pet the sharks! She was in heaven!
 Then it was my turn I wanted to see the jelly fish! and of course take a new pregnancy picture :)

Friday, April 20, 2012


I really don't know where to begin with this post. I want to start off by saying I never mean to offend anyone or use any words that would hurt someone. I am just beginning to learn all the "right" things to say. I have been thinking very hard about how I would word this posting and what I would and would not include. I want this little place on the web to be a happy, fun, silly little outlet for me to show off my children and crafts and photography. I do have a secret hope that all my stories from Africa will inspire someone to take the leap of faith and go on a mission trip. This post however is not about those things.

Our first Sonogram with baby number three went awesome. we saw her little fingers and toes. Her smile and her snuggling up inside.
Afterwards we didn't have any questions or concerns so I felt confident that my husband could go ahead and put Miss Belle in the car while I finished up my doctors appointment.
  The doctor sat across from me and gave me a smile that I felt was a little forced. She said "I am not worried and don't feel there is any reason for you to be worried, but there is a small marker for Down syndrome." The air in my lungs escaped and I felt a bit panic. I tried to think of something to say or to ask but nothing was making any sense to me. All I could think about was my husband was outside in the parking lot and I needed him in here with me to speak for me, to ask all the questions, To hold my hand. Then the doctor reached out and said "we can do more invasive testing. would the outcome change if you would continue with the pregnancy?" I looked at her and smiled "No."
She said she would just have me come back in a couple of months to do another Ultrasound and get a better idea of the situation.
 When I got in the car I was debating on if I should even tell my husband or not. Do I even want to worry him if the doctor says she's not worried? What if he says he can't handle everything that would come with having a special needs child. What if this destroys my marriage. Can I do this on my own? Then I looked down at the ultrasound pictures, took a deep breath and I told my husband what the doctor said.
He grabbed my hand and held it tight. He blamed himself at first but we did research and found that we didn't do anything to cause this and that a lot of babies are born with a small marker but it turns out to be nothing. We decided to to only tell a few people until we knew for sure at our next sonogram.But no matter what we will love our baby and we will make it through this together.

I have always believed in  everything happening for a reason. God is up there in heaven building the path for us to fallow. I feel like God was giving me signs all round to teach me something. A friend send me a link to this story about a boy with down syndrome going on mission trips. Or a book at the store that Belle grabbed because it had cute baby feet on it.  I went to the grocery store and a down syndrome group home was there with volunteers helping them shop for groceries. a dream a friend had that I was babysitting a child with a mentally challenged condition. a Story on Good morning America.
         But the one sign I got that hit me the hardest was during church and Julia tugged at my shirt and pointed  across the isle. "Mommy is that a little girl?" I glanced over and saw she was talking about a young lady who visibly had the characteristics of a person with down syndrome. I replied and said "no honey she is not a little girl." I again was speechless. and thought about how it had never crossed my mind what it might mean to my daughters if they had a sister with special needs. I looked at them and knew with out a doubt they would protect her, love her and cherish her just as much as me and Brian would no matter if there was "something wrong" or not.
 I closed my eyes and prayed.
I know this is a lesson God is trying to teach me. That I have to trust in him to take care of my children, my marriage and myself. He gave us this gift of life because he trust that we will treasure it. God has a plan for my unborn baby. Already she has made me a better person. . She has made my marriage stronger because I now have faith that my husband would not run but instead fight right along with me for her well being. She has made me a better mother because I now know the truly unconditional love I have for my girls, the hopes and dreams I have for them is just that they are the best they can be and that they are happy loving followers of God. She has made me a better person because I now don't look at people with challenges and feel sorry for them. I now first an for most see them and I wonder what great things they have contributed or will contribute to this world.

I always thought about how sad and devastating it would be to get a diagnosis such as Down syndrome. But after learning more about the condition and other people that live with it, I have realized it does not describe who they are as a person. instead I am more than ever excited to meet my little one. I can't wait for my other two daughter to create an even stronger sisterly bond with each other. I can't wait to watch my husband stand up and be her knight in shinning armor. I can't wait to be the mother of this little gift who I know will be teaching the world lessons that only she can teach.

Today I went back to the doctor for my fallow up ultrasound. I sat in the exam room by myself again saying a little prayer that God will give me the strength to be the mother this baby deserves. 
The doctor walked into the room and smiled. "She is healthy. We see no indication of any kind of mental deformities."
I took a deep breath and said "Good." 
I thanked God again for all the blessings he has given me and my family. This gift he gave us is going to be perfectly healthy and 'normal' I also thanked him for the eye opening experience to show me that we can handle whatever he puts in our path. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I have been desperately wanting to get my garden started. Brian says I have to wait for him........ What is it with men thinking that a pregnant woman is incapable of doing anything. He thinks I need help  doing laundry, dishes, cooking, sweeping the floors.........what a minute why am I complaining?  on second thought He is right!  I think from now on I will use this pregnancy condition as a perfect excuses to get all the "HELP" i need from him :)

Since a crop garden is still on the back burner I thought me and Julia could build a fairy garden. 
We gathered sticks,
 Hot glued them together,

 secured the joints with some string,
 filled a small flower pot with dirt,
 Arranged some rocks, grass and flowers,

After we put the girls to bed last night Julia came running down the stairs, "Mommy! I see a fairy!!!hurry quick!" I fallowed her to her room and looked out the window.
"Honey that's not a fairy that's a star."

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Dancing is a huge part of the Ugandan culture. they welcome all visitors by signing and dancing to songs they wrote or learned in church.  And they have some hip shaken moves I would never even try to attempt. 

 Last year Darlene (the Co-founder) donated these drums for the kids to learn to play. They were pros!

The Ugandan children don't watch much TV. the electricity is just not very dependable and most families cant afford a television set. I noticed how happy and active these kids were. dancing and signing and playing games all day long. It made me long for a simpler time for my own family. 
So I decided I would limit my children's use of the TV and other electronics. I was really good at first, We got rid of cable and the Television set in all the rooms expect the living room where only two cartoons a day would be played!  but then I admit it seemed all to convenient to grab the remote when I needed to get some laundry done or take a shower or just have some peace and quite for a half an hour. I try to justify this by saying my children only watch PBS cartoons. they are educational and good clean lessons to be learned. But I know it's still not the same. So I vow to once a again cut back. Miss Belle will still get her Sesame street and Julia her Word Girl. but I hope there will be more enjoyment from music and dancing.......

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Googly eyes

Julia and I got a little bored........

Monday, April 16, 2012

The perfect day

For the past month I feel like it has been non-stop! meetings, Doctors appointments, errands, family get together, shopping trips, etc...etc...  I usually love being a busy person. but I think with being 6 months pregnant I am worn out, stressed out and grumpy!!! 
Brian promised me a perfect day! just us spending time together and having a relaxing laid back day. 
After Church we packed a lunch and headed down to the park:


                   Then we took a walk along the trail and I got to take a few posed pictures :)

The Julia always thinks it's funny to make funny faces during our family pictures! the camera was on timer and set to take 10 pictures in a row. this is the one right before she stuck her finger up her nose!! I love her and someday I will look back at these and miss her silly faces. 
                                            At least I got a perfect one of daddy and his girls

Then we headed home and started a fire. Here is a short video I made of our first family bonfire and s'mores.

I think I did a pretty good job considering it's only my second video. the first is here.

I am going leave you with one last picture:

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