Saturday, July 28, 2012


I love the Olympics.  LOVE THEM!  I enjoy watching all the sports and I love the background stories and seeing the triumph on winners faces.  It'll occupy most of our next couple weeks.  OLYMPIC MANIA has begun.

Last night we had our small group here for Opening Ceremonies.  Everyone has teenagers except us and let me tell you- watching it with teenagers is great fun.  Commentary in fake British accents made the time brilliant fun I didn't take a group picture;)  I did take pictures of the food- turn out my friends are just as big of fans...

I made Go USA PUNCH:) probably something few people would appreciate...but my friends do...

 They got equally into the fun- Nikki brought Baklava and Greek Salad- ya know, cuz the Olympics are rooted in Greece and Heidi brought fruit pizzas in honor of the host country and in support of Team USA...we also had our Sheboygan version of British Bangers and Mash- Brats and Potato Wedges;)

We let our children stay up a little late and watch the show and part of the parade of countries, but they had to retire about the time Jamaica was making their appearance.  This morning, we let them see the recording from Team USA's enterance through the torch lighting.

Seeing the torch assemble last night was cool- seeing my kids amazed at it- even cooler;)

Then in true Aneed Silly Supper Tribute- we had an Olympic Breakfast:)
USA pancakes and berries

Our Olympic torch (made with pancake, scambled eggs, and fruit loops- THANKS pinterest;)


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Humble Pie

Dear Target Shopper of Ol'-

You certainly don't remember me; I am quite sure you didn't even notice me, but about five years ago, I saw you shopping at Target.  You had a toddler boy with you and put him in a cart and gave him candy to keep him quiet while you walked around Target.  I was appalled at your actions.  I believe I may have been appalled enough about it to gossip about you to my friend, Bobbi.  I am sure my words were something like, "If you can't discipline your kid, then leave him at home.  What is WRONG with that woman that she sugared up her kid just so SHE could look at clothes.  How selfish!"

I just want to say, I am sorry.  See, at the time, I had one child- a little one year old girl.  She was a compliant child for the most part and an excellent sleeper.  I had no idea how easy my life was.  I spent my time making organic baby food and reading her books.  Books she kept in perfect condition, mind you.  Since then I have had two more children- neither of them fantastic sleepers and certainly farther from the compliant end of the temperament spectrum.  I had no idea the exhaustion that can set in for a mother- oh, I thought I did, of course, but I didn't have a clue.

Last night, I went with my youngest into Hobby Lobby.  She wasn't acting up at that moment, but I know her MO is to usually last about five minutes before some antics erupt.  I really wanted to meander through the store and browse.  I immediately went to the candy section and handed her a box of Mike and Ikes and I thought of you.  See, I thought you were selfish, but really you probably just needed a few moments of peace...and now I realize you were wise.

My first child didn't have sugar or candy until age two.  My third helps her self to my candy drawer.  I am taking a bit of dramatic license, of course, I do feed my kids a healthy diet MOST of the time, but I also realize most of what I worried about when I didn't have battles to pick was insignificant.  My youngest thanks you for your brilliant candy idea.  She enjoyed my Hobby Lobby stroll as much as I did and I left refreshed (a little browsing does THIS mama good, okay?!) and I think a little happier.  Hats off you to mama.  As I look back now, you look like you were probably a really good mom and I am very sorry for judging you just to stroke my own self ego!  Turns out a tiny bit of Candy is okay every now and then- SHOCKER!


Dear Debbie-

You don't know this but 6 or 7 years ago, I watched your fourth child, a 3 or 4 year old at the time, walk around with a pacified and I was digusted.  I told my husband, "That will NEVER happen when we have kids."  I anxiously awaited the time to take away my first child's paci.  We made sure she only used it in for sleep and were embarrassed that she had it until 3 1/2.  No one really knew except our close friends, but I worried what everyone thought.

My youngest child is 2 and she walks around with a paci; we haven't even attempted to restrict it to the bed only yet.  Her teeth are fine, she talks up a storm and now I have enough perspective to know she ain't takin' it to kindergarten.  You walked around unashamed and I thank you because really- "who cares!?"  I was a pompous idiot to judge you.  I now realize some kids just need a little help soothing themselves.  No one judges the thumb suckers (or maybe they do- who knows?!).  Why does everyone care if MY kid has a pacifier?  She is developmentally on track and cute as a bug.  A few years into parenting and I realize these things are no big deal; I'd rather take a lesson from your playbook and focus more on shepherding their hearts than meeting other people's standards of the perfect parent.

Thank you for holding your head high and giving me the opportunity to laugh at my own juvenile stupidity and now hold my head high too.

Life is short, battles are many- serenity is worth it;)

I hear your daughter is I'm hoping mine will be too.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

All Business;)

I've had a few questions about how the Haitian adoption process works.  It is a little different from some other countries in that it seems referral (being matched with your child) comes more quickly, but then the waiting for country clearance takes longer.

For the really curious among you, here is a link to our agencies blog that details the process;)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Meet Our Treasure:)

Meet our little guy!  Christian is 14 months old and we just cannot wait to bring him home!  Is he not pure preciousness?!

We have signed paperwork to officially "accept" the referral and now begin the long hard wait to bring him home.  Please join us in praying for our precious baby boy!  He is in a wonderful place as far as orphanages go.  His nannies really love him and have asked that when we do bring him home we send bi-yearly photos to keep them updated.  We are so thankful for the care they are giving him and yet we know there is nothing like a family.  All children deserve a family.

 He is so beautiful.  Our hearts ache for him already.  We are praying God really prepares his tiny heart for the transition, prepare ours with wisdom for how to make it as smooth as possible for him, and for every person caring for him in the mean time.  Please pray for the process and for patience and peace in the waiting!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Blessed Familiarity!

March 17, 2006-  A little girl entered the world, who'd I've been getting to know in utero.  I knew I loved her, but I wasn't prepared for the unspeakable way my heart burst at the first sight of her.  I didn't know at the time there was a crisis.  I just remember a bit of confusion as a nurse ran from across the room at something the doctor said, and forcefully gave a push at the top of my belly.  Later I learned her head was delivered but her shoulders were stuck- a situation in which they have very little time to get baby out before there is a crisis. She also had meconium.  Because of these things, they immediately took her to the examination area instead of laying her on my chest as planned.  I could hear her crying, but I could only see her two little feet. It was a bit of a fog until that moment.  I can still remember that precious cry and those two kicking pink feet. Two tiny version of my very own feet.  I started sobbing.  She was mine in a way I couldn't describe.  My heart felt so full I thought it would burst.  I knew a new kind of love, and it was amazing.

October 22, 2008- After a long induction and the worst labor I could have imagined due to intense shaking and vomiting (I literally thought I was going to die), a little boy was born.  Instead of just being relieved that the labor was over, all discomfort was erased as I saw the most handsome little creature in the world.  The first thing I noticed were his two front teeth.  I had to check again to make sure I wasn't imagining things;)  Again my heart full of love took over my entire presence.  All discomfort forgotten,  I sobbed.  My beautiful Phineas had arrived; and though I couldn't previously imagine my heart had any more room for love, it filled even more.  It was overwhelming.

June 15, 2010-  A short labor.  I remember this one in detail.  I'd been through it before; this time I was completely present in the process.  I was not trying to get my mind in another "happy" place to deal with the pain, but just embracing the moments, knowing this labor might be my last- knowing the beauty that lay at the end of the pain.  Beauty couldn't begin to describe sweet Chloe when she entered into the world.  Her face- oh my, her face, was pure preciousness!  My heart gushed again- love taking over my body from the top of my head to the tips of my toes.  Sobbing, so familiar, once again took hold.  My sweet Chloe captured my heart just like each of the others...sometimes my heart felt so full I wondered if my chest could contain it.  I felt blessed beyond measure.

July 13, 2012-  A long horrible night, interrupted first by a child's nightmare, next by a child's stomach bug, and finally by my dear husband remembering at 4am that he left the hose running;)  I woke up exhausted, praying I'd make it through the day ahead with joy- knowing I'd likely be doing vomit clean-up and cuddling. I toted them all to Walmart to get milk for Chloe, and indulged in a couple things (ie. chocolate and a magazine) to help me along should the day get rough.  I was admittedly so tired, I was moving through the morning in a blur.  I got everyone comfortably settled in front of a movie and sat down to have tea and check email.  An email from our adoption agencies Haitian Director with the subject "REFERRAL NOTICE" immediately caught my eye.

I was confused- "What?  Referral?  Diana told us we'd need to be patient and wait".  I was scared, "Maybe it will say referrals have ceased to do a change related to Hague."  I was excited, "What if?!"  I clicked it first, of course, unable to wonder any longer.  The sweetest little round black face greeted me; his dark sparkling eyes jumped out at me, his chubby cheeks begged to be kissed.  A familiar phenomenon occurred- I sobbed uncontrollably.  My heart once again so overflowing with love that tears could not be contained.  I knew instantly, "He is mine!"  My heart knew "THIS is the precious little boy I've been loving and waiting for in expectation.  This is the little boy I have prayed for. "

I didn't know what to expect, this being our first adoption and all, but what I found was the familiar place of me, the mother, seeing my blessed child for the first time.  A deep sense sense of protection overtakes me, their vulnerability so clear that I want to hold them close.I've known that type of joy and tears three previous times. I shouldn't be surprised; it doesn't really matter if a child is first carried in your womb or in your heart, you KNOW when you see them- they are yours.   Love knows no boundaries.  This time, however, the longing to hold my precious baby boy will go on.  My outstretched arms will have to wait, but my heart will continue to spill forth with unspeakable love.

Monday we will sign papers to officially begin the process of asking the Haitian government to allow us to make THIS precious boy a legal part of our family.  My heart says, "He already is!"  He is gorgeous, and I cannot wait to introduce you to him.  As soon as allowed, I will share our little treasure's picture with you.  I guarantee- you'll fall in love too!

We have a long road ahead.  It is projected that from this point, it will most likely be 12-18 months until we bring our treasure home.  It will be hard; it will be long.  We WILL be able to visit him as often as we'd like, once his file and ours are officially attached together in Haitian social services.  We pray God somehow speeds the process, yet we know His timing is perfect; His ways are right.

Please pray for our precious treasure- for his protection and health.  Please pray God readies his heart for transitioning to our family and a new place.  Please pray for our hearts in this period of waiting.  Please join us in praying that God brings our son home sooner than projected!

Friday, July 13, 2012

I'm a NERD!!!

If you've only known me as an adult, you may not realize that I completely, totally, and utterly love to eat NERDS.  I think you perhaps might assume I am exaggerating, so let me enlighten you a bit on a few childhood facts.

1)  As soon as we were old enough to walk to the nearby candy store, I would always buy NERDs, except for a short time when I would alternate with another Wonka candy called "Punkies", which really were like clusters of nerds.

2)  I am not a big ice cream fan, but I loved going to Dairy Queen with my family for....NERD blizzards.  When my parents said I couldn't spend that much money on a choice, I'd convince the DQ gals to make up a nerd sunday.

3)  In Eighth Grade I wrote a two page essay on NERDS.  We were in Indonesia and were supposed to write about something dear to us.  I missed NERDS while living overseas, that is the topic I chose.  No, I am not kidding.  My mother saved this little essay.  I even decorated a cover page for it- a drawing of boxes of nerds.

4)  In highschool, I would regularily eat the movie size boxes of rainbow nerds from Walgreens all in on sitting.  Why by a small box for 75 cents when the large one is a dollar?!  I shared very few of them.

5)  I still get ECSTATIS if I find Neon NERDS or Raspberry NERDS- they are hard to find.  I dig grape and strawberry, but the these flavors are my favorites;)

Yep, I love NERDS and welcome your teasing in the form of many boxes of NERDS deposited my way;)

Now you ask, why I am thinking about NERDS, right?  This morning on my daily facebook checkin- I learned that NERDS is doing an anti-bullying campaign.  I totally joined.  Won't you join too?  My daughter was the victim of bullying this year and it was painful.  I am all for anyone who is helping kids learn to stop it!

They have this cute teeny bopper video on youtube:

And if 10,000 people go on facebook and write why they are a nerd...WONKA donates $25,000.  I am posting this to win nothing, gain nothing- nothing.  Only because I love NERDS and hate bullying.

I am Kim and I am a nerd for NERDS (obviously), reading, knitting, SURVIVOR, certain Miley Cirus songs, etc.  Embrace YOUR inner nerd and help educate kids on bullying;)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Don't Cry over Spilled Milk....

I've been in a fragile place for the past week.  Just feeling less than confident, tired, unsure about many things.  I was really was convicted of the truth that it's because I've not spent enough time with Jesus.  This week, I'm really try to focus on nothing but Christ and ask him to give me the strength for each day and the wisdom for each situation that arises.  It's been good.  It's the way it has to be for me to live this life in a way that glorifies him!  How easily I am derailed by busyness!!

Today, I got up and was able to have a quiet time right away- a rarity (usually I have to plop my children in front of the TV).  I came down sure it was going to be a great day.  I caught up on the house and laundry competely by yesterday and today we can just play.

Marc had gotten the kids breakfast's out, I just needed to pour milk into their bowls.  I did that and walked, my heart spewing with peace, over to get my tea- delighted that the day was starting with such a calm.  It was at that precise moment that I heard major liquid spillage.  I turned around to a "Sorry, mama!" uttered in a two year old voice and saw Chloe returning the now half empty milk carton onto the table.  Immediately thoughts of  "my clean house!  No!  Not more laundry after it's all finally done!" were a swirling.

 "OH NO!  How in the world did she get the cap off?!" I uttered, as I raced to the table with towels.  Before I got to my destination, Phin said, "I took it off for her cuz she wanted more milk in her bowl, but I guess she missed!"

His sincerity of heart and Chloe's sweet, "uh oh!" were a gift and a reminder that it's only flippin' milk and this was a great opportunity for a picture;)

You can't see the huge milk puddle on the floor, but suffice it to say, it took 6 kitchen towels and half a roll of paper towels to clean up all this up;)  Still, these are the things we can laugh about.  My kids weren't trying to make life difficult- they were just being kids and I love these kids...and their spilled milk.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Conversations to Remember;)

If you are my facebook friend you may have seen a couple of these this week on your newsfeed, but I am doublin' up and bloggin' 'em too cuz, these moments are for remembering!  Here are a few of our funny kid conversations this week:

Time- Sunday evening
Place- Car while waiting for Mom to get food in Corner Bakery

Marc:  Ava, I am madly in love with your mom.
Ava:  That's great.  One day, you'll be madly in love with me too.
Marc:  What do you mean?
Ava:  (in a sort of jesting tone) I don't care what people say, I am still marrying you when I grow up cuz I love you!
Marc:  Well, don't worry when you are grown up you won't feel that way; you'll be madly in love with your future husband and you'll be very glad that he's madly in love with you too
Ava:  How do you know?
Marc:  Because Mommy and I pray for you future husband all the time.
Ava:  YOU DO!  (at this point I have entered the car)
Marc and I:  Yes, we do.
Ava:  Do you pray for Phin's girl too?
Kim:  Yes, we pray every day that she'll love Jesus with her whole heart and love Phin.
Ava:  You should pray that she really likes poop too.  Phin loves to talk about poop.

Time- Tuesday morning
Place- Breakfast Table

Ava: Chloe, you are SOOO cute
Chloe:  I NOT tute!
Phin:  But you sure are pretty!;)

Time- Thursday evening
Place- Dinner Table

Kim sneezes
Chloe: Bless you!
Kim:  Thank you sweet, baby.
Chloe:  Mommy, Mommy
Kim:  yes, Chloe?
Chloe (with the most pitiful facial expression purposefully put on):  My tummy hurts
Marc:  (genuinely concerned, of course, as this is the first time she's ever complained of a tummy ache)                    Really?  why does it hurt?
Chloe:  Because we don't have any sausage

(She works it already and a true born in Wisconsin gal, she LOVES sausage;)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wasp up with this?!

Our house is made of Cedar...looks mighty pretty but we've been having trouble apparently convincing nature that WE not "they" belong living here.  First, our trusty cardinal (who IS by the way still pecking at our windows on a daily basis, has gotten in Marc's car when he left a window open and covered the interior in poop, and was in our garage one day when we came home).  Next, we had a deer sleeping in our front lawn.  I never could get a picture of her...but did you know they curl up and sleep just like a dog? very cute, but quite unsettling as they rush towards you when you spook them by daring to pull into your driveway or open your front door.  We've also been battling wasps since moving in.  We are constantly seeing the little things and finding starts of hives like this around the eeves of our home, the cracks in our deck floor boards, or in this case the track on our sliding door!:

We've had to vigilantly and aggressively monitor our perimeter and attack with pesticide spray.

Then, Marc went to Lebanon and we've been lax in our security.  Todays inspection first revealed this:
(It's about 5 small hives)

and then we were HORRIFIED to find THIS:

We quickly realized our new neighbors had set of a colony and were claiming squatting rights and we knew we could merely attack them with a spray purchased at Walmart, so we picked up the phone faster than batman...and are praising God for same day service!

Schoen's=Superhero's in our eyes.

Not only did they take care of our "guests" (estimating there were about 500 wasps in the large hive pictured above),  They helped us remember the wonder of God's creation  (He said, "Wow!  That is a beauty" when seeing the crazy big hive) and they told the kids all about how they humanely care for pests of all kinds.  He let them try on the gloves he wears when trapping raccoons, skunks or opossums and such, told the kids how they trap them and where they take them to let them go without hurting them.  He is a GREAT guy!

I sincerly hope you don't have problems such as we do (thank GOD it's all exterior!!!),  BUT if you do have any issues, call this guy.  Not only will he restore order, but share the joy he takes in his job with you.  Who knew having Wasp's nest removed would turn into an evening of entertainment?!

(note- yes, Phin IS wearing fleece Christmas pajamas in 90 degree weather.  The boy insists and USUALLY is inside in air conditioning- don't judge; we pick our battles;)

Adoption Update

As some of you know, there has been some speculation of late as the future of Haitian adoptions.  Haiti voted to ratify the Hague convention on 6/11 and the implications of that are unclear.  For more specific information (all the information we know at the moment) you can read our director's blog.

What most people who know have asked me is, "am I anxious?"  In short, no, I am not.  I haven't blogged about it, simply because we don't know what will happen.  There is not much to say short of speculation that can be found in multiple places on the internet.

What I know is that thus far we have done what God has led us to do.  I know God is doing something in my heart and I don't believe that it will not come to fruition.  Is it being overly optimistic?  maybe.  I just know that we have taken steps of obedience to get us where we are.  I can't imagine God closing the door, yet, I know it is possible.  I also know what we have experienced in our hearts and family and our relationship with God to this point is God led.  If the door closes, we know he has purpose in that and will direct our steps from there.  Marc and I both feel that if the door closes, God has something else for us to do in Haiti and will show us at that time.  We feel very called to the children of Haiti and thus far all arrows have pointed at adoption.  But we acknowledge the future is never guaranteed and completely out of our control.  We have complete peace- truly.  We know that the God of the universe DOES know exactly what he has planned for us and we know He will work his purposes in us and through us as he sees fit.  We will wait and watch in expectation.

As this point, we will continue to proceed with our adoption, knowing the risks, because we feel that is where God is telling us to go.  If he changes the course, we will change the course.  Our faith is not in governments or our own abilities, our faith is in a Sovereign God who knows EXACTLY what he is doing.  We know his ways are higher than our ways and we surrender to where ever he takes us.  We hold the future with expectations but with open hands and hearts, trusting him completely for he's promised to guide and lead us.

So today we go and get our biometrics done at immigration, the final step in our "approved" to adopt by the goverment step....and then we continue waiting and seeing where God leads next.  It's a little fuzzy from our view, but the future is crystal clear to him!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Lest I forget what the Lord has done....

I was pondering God's goodness last evening and again this morning.  Convicted how easily I take it for granted.  EVERY good and perfect gift is from above.  EVERY one.  Nothing good in my life is deserved, earned, or owed me- it is all a gift from God.  Beautiful friends, Beautiful opportunities for ministry, Beautiful Worship, Beautiful family...small foretastes of a Beautiful God.

Many people have asked how I survived Marc's time in Lebanon.  We missed Marc greatly, but really it went as well as it could go without him.  I did not have ONE day when I felt alone.  I did not have one day when I wondered if we'd make it.  Not one bad day.  I was tired- oh yes, definitely was tired.  I missed my man- for sure, but there really was nothing remarkable to complain about.  Nothing.  It's easy to miss how remarkable that is in itself.  I spent 10 days with three kids- supported by friends and family.  I didn't have a blow up at my children.  I didn't want to give them away.  We experienced joy of other's checking in on us;  we had moments of fun.  It went very well.  People have credited me from time to time in asking how it went and finding out it went well, and I was convicted yesterday to just take a moment to remember not ONE ounce of credit goes to me.  God knows how weak I am.  I have bad days as a mom when Marc IS home.  To not have one bad day in 10 when parenting alone?  It is really a miracle.  It is good.  It is a gift.  God granted me that.  He provided the friends to support me, the energy for my kids, the joy in supporting my husband.  He gave me a gift and I don't want to overlook how large a gift it really was.  I did nothing to deserve or earn it- he bestowed it.  I am SERIOUSLY grateful.  Praise him for his provision and love.  Praise him.