Summer 2012

Summer 2012
Mikaela, Natalie, David, Jordan, Tobi and Aaron - our family in the wheat field up the road

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Short and Sweet?

   This needs to be short and sweet.  Can I do that?  I have a "walking date" with a friend.  The weather is cool this morning and Lord knows I need to get back into the routine of exercising!

   It's been a long time since I've written anything on my blog.  Life has been happening and it is worth recording so here I go...

   The big news is that we finished our Dossier and sent it to our adoption agency.  They approved it and sent it to Ethiopia!  Sooooo glad to have that done, one step closer.   We are requesting the adoption of one or two, boy(s) or girl(s) between the ages of 2 and 7 years, 11 months.  Preferably between 4 and 7y11m!  If we adopt 2 they will be siblings.   We've been praying for the children God has chosen to be in our family;  for physical and emotional healing, that they will be lovingly cared for and protected, for good and plentiful nutrition and clean water, for good friends to laugh with.  We've asked God to somehow let them know that they have a family that loves them and will come for them.  God has good plans for orphans.  I'm asking God to continue to prepare us to be a good family for them.  Now that the Dossier is done I am concentrating on fundraising.  We still have a large amount of money to raise to be able to bring these little ones home.  I am looking into an organization that helps families raise funds by selling T-shirts.  These are great shirts and I can't wait to get started.  Watch for more info on that topic...

   We've seen God's faithfulness displayed over and over in Jordan's life.  Jordan graduated from Basic Training in December and from Tech School in July.  He recently finished his seasoning here in Wichita and is taking on part time work for the Kansas Air National Guard.  He will still be able to take a couple of Gen. Ed. classes at Wichita State University in the Spring and then he plans to go to KU fall 2013. He's done most of the checking and planning himself.  He's really grown up and we are so proud of him! Most of you know Jordan and you've seen the amazing things God has done in his life.
David with Jordan in his Blues at Basic Training Graduation.
   This is Aaron's Junior year at Maize High and he is off to a great start.  He has a Game Design class - how fun is that?  He could probably teach the class.  He's already pretty good at game design.  He also has a C++ Programming class.  When he was in maybe the 5th grade he asked me to buy a C++ manual (huge) at a garage sale.  I bought it and he spent free time reading it!  I can't imagine.  He has US History and English 11 too but those don't really light his fire.  So far he's on top of the dreaded homework and he's woken up to his alarm, on his own, 2 of the 7 days of school!    I should say alarms.  He has 2 and one of them has 2 alarms so really it's 3 altogether.  We do what we have to do, Amen?

   Mikaela and Natalie are in the swing of 8th grade.  Nothing new this year except that they are among the oldest in the building.  There's something cool about that, right?  Hair is important.  Thank goodness we aren't into make-up yet. Just a little mascara for my strawberry-blonde girl. They have beautiful skin and faces.  The bus comes early, 6:40ish, but they get up, get ready for the day and make it to the bus.  I pick all 3 up after school to spare them from the foul language and grumpiness of some of the other afternoon riders. The early ride to school is typically quiet (most of them are asleep).  One perk in the morning is seeing the sunrise on the way to school :)  God is sweet!

   My hardworking husband, David, is running at full speed.  Work has been, well, consuming to say the least.  God has blessed him with a positive outlook thankfully.  He is so good at what he does - design and managing people.  He has been working on re-siding our house (with a little help from his family crew) and replacing boards on our deck.  He's just about to wrap those projects up.  That's the challenge, isn't it?  To completely finish those home projects?

Carpenter Dave - I'm so impressed Babe!
Aaron - someday you'll thank your Dad for teaching you this manly stuff!  Really!
   The antique bedroom furniture our good friends donated to us for the adoption finally sold!  A teen-aged girl talked her dad into buying it for her.  She loves antiques.  I knew the right person would come along.  We had stored the furniture in the garage along with all the siding materials.  I avoided the garage as much as I possibly could and kept the garage door closed.  My hubby, on the other hand, didn't mind allowing the neighbors a peek so there was a little tension over whether or not the garage door was open or closed!  It's kind of hard to work on those outdoor projects when your wife keeps sighing and closing the garage door!  Sorry Honey!!!

   My summer was a little rough.  I've struggled with a nagging level of depression/anxiety for several years.  It's presence has been up and down.  I finally went to see a friend of ours who is a psychologist.  Some of this is physical and some of it comes out of wrong thinking patterns.  I'm ready to get that all turned around and take this mind in the right direction.  I know truth but I have to get it ingrained into my thinking.  I hope to share what I learn with you.  I know that many of us believe lies and those lies send us into places that God never intends for us to be.  He gives us grace and freedom, that's where I want to live.  That's what I want to teach my children with conviction not just head knowledge.  We really tried hard to spend very little this summer so the entertainment was sparing.  There were definitely some great times though.

   A long time wish of mine became a reality when we put together two garden boxes early in the summer.  David built them and our kids and I helped him fill them with some magic soil mixture.  I planted cantaloupe, Dave's favorite fruit, Mikaela planted cucumbers, Natalie loves okra so that's what she poked into the ground and Aaron planted carrots (b/c that's what mom kind of forced him to do).  Wow did the garden produce!  More pics of our harvest soon.  I love it when my family works together.  I'll make farmers of us yet!
David, Mikaela and Natalie mixing it up and shoveling it in.
Nat and her okra.
Kaela planting cucumber seeds.
   Our family goes on a June fishing trip with David's mom, Joan, his sister, Susan, and her hubby, Mike.  We always go to Texoma Lake which is beautiful, especially at sunrise!  We caught our limit and had a lot of fun doing it! Now we have Striper Bass for dinner once in awhile and we all love it.

Texoma Lake early (EARLY) in the morning - Gorgeous!
Aaron, Tobi, David, Natalie, Mikaela and friend, Tori
Boys boat + Mike's mom, Kathy, who volunteered due to boys being outnumbered by girls this year!
The girls boat reached our limit first - just sayin'.
Guests of Honor! 
  I took each of our girls on a 2 day trip to talk about the all-important topic of Purity.  Mikaela and I went to Ponca City, OK.  The highlight of our time was visiting Marland Mansion, it's beautiful and we loved touring that gorgeous home. We also went to the Pioneer Woman museum. The content we covered was awkward at times but I'm so glad we had "the talk."  :)  It was a time to connect with my girls about womanhood and to communicate that I am here for them whenever they want to talk.  They are so precious to us and of such great value to God.  The curriculum emphasizes the importance of giving Jesus first priority in our lives.

Mikaela loved this place and took a lot of pictures - budding photographer!
She's glowing!
Tobi and Mikaela at home (with Avery).
   Natalie and I visited Abilene, KS and really liked the time we spent at the Seelye Mansion.  We had fun swimming together and visiting the Russell Stover factory.  Natalie is a truffle-loving girl.  I was able to buy our girls new teen girl Bibles and a pretty necklace to give them during our time away together.  I know I didn't do it all perfectly but I am so glad we spent time alone together to talk about God's perspective on purity and His gift of sex in marriage.
Natalie and the Russell Stover Chocolate Bear!
The beautiful Seelye Mansion, and my beautiful Natalie.
Me and the my chocolate dream man.
This box of truffles is for Natalie ONLY!

         Our summer wouldn't be complete without spending some family time at the Klein family pool!  My sister 's family lives on 40-some acres.  They have an amazingly fun backyard and all the cousins love to hang out there.  We have the majority of our family gatherings at the Kleins.  There's always lots of good food!

         River Community has a new church plant, West Ridge Community Church!  Our family will attend, worship, grow, love and serve from our hearts with this new body of believers!  While it is hard to leave the church we helped start 22 years ago (we'll miss so many precious friends) - we got married and had 4 children while attending RCC - we are excited about being a part of what God is going to do through WRCC.  Our opening date is September 2nd.  BTW, we have a coffee bar!  Our pastor and his wife, Dave and Heidi Mitchell, love God, love people and follow the Holy Spirit.  I can't wait to see who shows up and how God's plan unfolds.  I'll be teaching 1st - 2nd grade Super Church twice  a month :)   There's something about children at that age that I just adore!

   Yeah, I knew I couldn't keep it short.  But I hope it was sweet!


  1. SO glad to hear what has been going on. Glad to see you blogging again. Can't wait for the next one! ;)

  2. I'm so glad I'll be able to follow you still when you are at West Ridge! You are such a wonderful mother that I look up to.

  3. Wow, you all sure are busy!! Tobi, I just love reading about your family. I am so glad that you posted the link on Facebook...I didn't realize that you had a blog! I am your newest follower and look forward to reading more :-)