Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Happy New Year! I've got some exciting things for ya'll today. 

I am moving to a new blog. I'm super excited about it. 

My reasons are the following: First, I am compelled to simplify. Being a wife and mother brings me great joy, and I am happiest when I am free to give my family my full and undivided attention. Long posts, while often thereaputic for me, simply take up time that I don't have. I truly enjoy blogging, and don't want to give it up entirely, so the new blog will be mostly photos with a few words.

Which brings me to reason #2: I have mostly been using iPhone photos on this blog lately, but on the new blog, I am committed to getting out the "real" camera and capturing life. 

Finally, I've been writing at In So Many Wards for nearly six years (!!!), and while I've loved it, I've been needing a new name for the blog so that our last name is not a part of it. The new blog is more anonymous. 
With these goals in mind, I hope to post a few times a week and do a better job of recording our days.

So, now that all that's been explained, head on over to dearling!
I'd be so happy to have you come along with us to the new space!

I've got a special surprise over there for you - exactly one year ago today, I flew home from Salt Lake City with a very tiny Lachlan. To celebrate one year home, I made a video that I hope celebrates God's faithfulness in Lachlan's story. Hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making it!

With love and gratefulness,

Sunday, December 22, 2013


It's been a cozy month.
We've done a lot of reading by the fireplace, enjoying our stack of Christmas books and Narnia - partly because that's how we roll and partly because we've all been sick since Thanksgiving with various colds, ear infections and such.

We've managed to have tons of fun celebrating Christmas though. Each day the children choose (okay- fight over who chooses) the card from the Advent Calendar for the "special Christmas activity" for the day. Folks, it's usually nothing spectacular, but the children looooove it. Often the activity is something we'd be doing anyway ("make Christmas cookies") but as they've gotten older, I'm trying to add more days with acts of service or kindness. The most fun this year was "pay for the person behind us in line at Sonic." The kids were giddy at this one and I'll admit it was a lot more fun than I expected. We were all giggling with joy at this tiny act of kindness/Christmas cheer. Try it sometime!

Little One is walking everywhere now -practically running at times! 

We're excited about celebrating his birthday this week. He is such a gift and a picture of the faithfulness of God; born on the day we celebrate Faithfulness Himself and the Gift of God - Jesus our Rescuer!

Happiest of Christmases to you!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

haikus, first steps, Tozer

{The photo above is a Christmas card out-take. I just think it's funny  -  those are my four!}

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The boys and I have been studying Japanese history. One of their assignments was to write a Japanese haiku: a three-line, non-rhyming poem, usually about nature. (The first line is five syllables, the second seven, and the third line, five syllables again.) 
My little guys wrote some awesome haikus. I can't read Sam's haiku without giggling!

The bird catches worms
in the garden where they live.
The worms are afraid.

And the big news of the weekend  - the first wobbly few steps of this little guy. He's definitely not truly walking yet, but we sure celebrated those first steps! It looks like he will follow his big brothers and be an early walker. 
As Harry says, "Now what are we going to do?" Life is about to get busier!

Finally, one of my favorites recently - -

Outside the will of God 
there is nothing I want.

And in the will of God 
there is nothing I fear.

AW Tozer

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Christmas & Adoption

Have you ever realized that Christmas is a story of adoption? Oh, how it is! 
God's plan of redemption for His people through the birth of Jesus has adoption at the very center.

Joseph… shows us how adoption is more than charity. It's spiritual warfare. 

… Joseph is not Jesus' biological father, but he is his real father. Jesus would have said, "Abba" first to Joseph.

 … And, perhaps most significantly, if Joseph is not "really" the father of Jesus, you and I are going to hell.
… It is through Joseph that Jesus finds his identity as the fulfillment of the Old Testament promise. It is through Joseph's legal fatherhood of Jesus that "the hopes and fears of all the years" find their realization in the final son of Abraham, son of David, and son of Israel.

… No one else was called to adopt this Christ-Child, but [Joseph] was. 
And because he believed his God, he obeyed him, even to his own hurt.
… [In Joseph] We might see how to image a protective Father, how to preach a life-affirming gospel, 
even in a culture captivated by the spirit of Herod.

(Russell Moore, Adopted for Life)

In the spirit of Joseph and of our God who rescues us, can I encourage you to support adoption with your Christmas shopping? 

Friends, we are not all called to adopt, but we are all called to care for the fatherless. Adoption is so. very. expensive. There are many really amazing and beautiful gifts available where your purchase of them will enable a family to adopt. Why give your money to some mega-company who doesn't need it, when you could make a real difference for a family? For a child? Can you beat that? 

If you're ready to do some shopping, here are a few places to get you started:

My friend Rebekah's Etsy shop Chickadee Circle sells darling clothes for kids, home goods and other items, all supporting adoption. 
I have bought many items from her shop and loved them all!

My friend Lora Lynn at Vitafamilae puts together a list called Home for Christmas every year that promotes adoption fundraisers. There are some great things here! Check the comments for additional sources.

My friend Melanie is selling t-shirts and cuuuuuute fishing lures made by her little boys to raise funds for their second adoption. 
A perfect stocking stuffer for little boys!

My cousin Meg and her family are adopting from China. If you are ordering from Amazon (and who doesn't?) use their Amazon affiliate link to support their adoption! It's so easy to do - just click HERE and shop!

(And please, if you are raising funds for adoption, add your link in the comments!)

* * * *

I can't think of a better way to celebrate Christmas.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

thankful tree 2013

It's thankful tree season again! This is one of my favorite family traditions. I never know what our tree will look like from year to year - I kinda make it up as I go, so they always look a little... amature? ghetto? Definitely not Pinterest worthy. But who cares, right? We're learning gratefulness, and Pinterest isn't good for that anyway. This year I just cut out a trunk and branches from some brown poster board and taped it to the wall. Please ignore the nails in the wall from another project. :)

It's always a treat to hear what we are all thankful for and to watch our tree grow throughout the month. 
A thankful heart is truly a happy heart.

This year, Georgia is cracking me up with her thankful leaves. 
So far, some of the things she is thankful for:
high heels
play fighting
tools for fixing cars
the flute
pitching fits
Georgia "cause I'm thankful for ME!"