Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dane for a Day

Our little town of Viborg celebrates Danish Days every July (yes, during the hottest weekend of the summer) and this year was no exception.  We all got our Dane on!

GW and Quinn were our Candy Catchers for the parade.

Camille walked with our 4H club and handed our freezies that were much appreciated by the crowd. The temps rose over 100 deg before the end of the day.

Loren and Bri rode Mesa and Dyamond in the parade as well, with Lani and her family. This was a dream of Bri's ever since she was probably 4 or 5- to ride her horse in the parade.  So happy for her that she finally realized that dream!

Luke was also in the parade, but was moving the horse trailer for Loren and didn't get back to the Scouts in time to walk with his troop.  He showed up later in the parade in one of the covered wagons, but I wasn't expecting him to be there, so I didn't get a picture snapped. :-(

We also attended the Classic Car show in the park Friday night and got to catch up with many friends while everyone tried to stay cool in the shade. 

For all of you who have hometown celebrations, here's to honoring heritage, small towns, and summertime!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Luke!

The last several years, Luke has always been away at Boy Scout Camp during his birthday, so we have usually waited to celebrate the following week.

But this year, we decided to surprise him at camp with a visit from his family...because you know how much a teenage boy LOVES to hang out with his folks. :-)

But since we came bearing Dairy Queen Ice cream cake, he seemed pretty happy to see us.

Hungry Boy Scouts

The Birthday Boy!

Sisters with a view
Since it was about 100 degrees in the shade, the cake was a hit, although a somewhat messy hit.  We visited with the other scout leader and his wife while the boys played touch football and the girls played Enormous Chess.  (My name for it- the pieces were almost 3 ft high)

Still trying to wrap my head around the fact that my youngest son is now 15 years old!  I still remember being so happy that the doctor was finally going to induce me, because Luke was 10 days late, I was HUGE and uncomfortable, and the hospital had air conditioning and we didn't. 

And yah, I was pretty anxious to meet the little guy :-)

Happy Birthday to the coolest 15 year old we know. It's been a wild ride so far and I can't wait to see what you do during the next 15 years. 

Love Mom and Dad

Monday, July 16, 2012

Soar like an Eagle.....Scout

Loren was one of 5 Eagle Scouts from his Boy Scout troop to get his Eagle award the same year, and his dad was their scout leader, so that made it extra special.

So we were more than thrilled when Luke began working on his Eagle Scout project, with Loren as his scout leader.

An Eagle scout project requires that these young lads do something that will help out their community, while also growing their own leadership skills.  They are responsible for planning out a project, getting materials and such, and lining up the labor needed for the project's completion. And you must play Simon Says with the Boy Scout Board of Authority" to get approval for your project scope and idea.

So over the past year, Loren and Luke have been scoping out project ideas and discarding them just as quickly.  I reminded Loren that this was Luke's responsibility, and it will be up to him whether he is willing to put the effort forth to earn this honorable rank of Eagle Scout. 

 However, we must remember that we are dealing with a 14 year old boy here.  Getting up in the morning before noon is considered an accomplishment these days, so getting him to plan a project of this level of time and energy committment didn't come easy.  After months of waffling from one project to another, he and Loren stumbled on a project that the Development Corporation had planned to complete last year, but just hadn't gotten around to it yet.  They had contracted to have another city sign installed for the west entrance of town, and it was done and waiting to be put up.

 They were more than thrilled to have someone, even a 14 year old boy, take charge and get it completed.

And, oh by the way, could you get it done before Danish Days, which is next weekend???

So we 'rallied the troop' and managed to get the project done in 2 afternoons, with the help of a few skilled dads who knew what they were doing.  The better pictures are all on Loren's phone, but we did manage to remember to take a few with my camera.

And just in time, because Danish Days begin in 4 days, so here's to a successful and timely completion! The boys learned how to build forms for concrete, lay and seal blocks, install posts, while making sure it's all level. What a great learning experience for these boys and good PR for the Boy Scouts.

Now every time we pass this sign coming into town, we will all feel proud of Luke and Loren and their part in this nice little piece of Viborg.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hands and Feet of Jesus-June projects

Starting this past January, the kids and I started a little project we call Hands and Feet of Jesus.  I found that when we document and schedule our "good deeds", that we tend to do more of them! 


 Each month we're documenting the projects in the form of a scrapbook- maybe as a sort of validation?  Anyway, this is what we've been up to this past month.

Helped run VBS at Our Saviors Church- 5 days and an evening program.  (whew!)
Luke was in charge of Rec and I was in charge of Crafts.

The girls performed Danish Dancing for the residents at the Nursing Home.

Camille sang at the Nursing home.

Bri played her violin at the Nursing home also.

Volunteered at the VBS for Ethiopian, Burundi,and Rwandan children in Sioux Falls.

So glad that we were able to participate in so many incredible projects for the month of June because July looks to be super busy with kids activities and gardening deadlines.

I am also so grateful that I have the opportunity to be a SAHM and volunteer to help out with so many rewarding projects.

What do YOU do to make a difference?

"Bring me the sacrifice of your time; a most precious commodity." 

Jesus Calling- 365 Day Devotional

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Punks and bottle rockets

One of my earliest memories are of the 4th of July.  I was 3 years old, and we lived in Rochester, Minnesota.  I'm sure that being allowed to stay up until dark was a treat in itself, but it only got better.  I remember sitting on a blanket on the corner of our block, next to a fire hydrant, and watching the sky explode with color.  Since then, it's been one of my favorite holidays.

Which is why I pushed for Loren and I to get married on this date.  It also makes for a never-gets-old joke that "we will always see fireworks on our anniversary" :-) 

This year, however, the weather really controlled the day's events.  With the heat index over 100 and livestock warnings out due to the heat and humidity, that pretty much kept us inside most of the afternoon. 

That gave us a chance to watch our videos from China, along with some from the girls performances at the County Horse Show, so that was good use of our indoor time. :-)

We did manage to grill hotdogs and hamburgers, and had Grandma Lee and Tanner over for dinner and conversation.   

Finally, by 10:00 it was cool enough and dark enough to do a little firework-shooting.

Because of the dry conditions, we had buckets of water, and I ran around like a crazy woman pouring water on any sparks that I saw.

Not at all the celebration that we had in mind, but we are all grateful to be together and able to enjoy all of the freedoms that our country has to offer.  

And we woke up to the beautiful sound of rain!  Who knew that seeing puddles in your yard would evoke such feelings of happiness?! 

Happy 4th of July and Happy Anniversary Honey!!  And yes, I'm still seeing fireworks ;-)

Monday, July 2, 2012


My favorite Christian radio station has a gal on it that talks about how sometimes events are too purposeful to be considered coincidences, so she calls them "God-incidences". 

This week I've had some events that I think qualify :-)

Here's what happened.  About 2 weeks ago, I saw a little 3 yo boy on one of the adoption agency sites who just about broke my heart.  His thin little arms and his sad eyes caused my Momma Bear instincts to kick in and I was ready to jump full speed into the paperchase to bring that little guy home.  I had emailed the request to review his file and was quickly falling in love with that face.

Then, I got the email from the agency coordinator that another family had just submitted their PA to China for this little guy.  I felt as if I had been kicked in the stomach.

During this 2 weeks, there was activity going on the foster care front as well.  We were informed that our 3 yo Little Man would be transferred into a guardianship with his elder great aunt.  Even though he's been here only 5 months, he is part of the family and we will struggle with his absence. I'm starting to miss him already. 

Also during this 2 weeks, I have been praying for guidance in regards to future adoptions; wondering what our next step should be, and which direction we were being led. 

So when we were called by DSS in regards to a placement, and the placement just happens to be a 3 yo boy from Liberia, it seemed a little coincidental. 

Then it turned out that our transporter for Little Man's visits was the foster mom (I'll call her J) that was raising a little girl whom we had in care years ago.  This foster mom had adopted the full sister to this little girl years before, and DSS wanted the girls to be together, but hadn't discovered their relationship right away.  And 4 years later, this mom is now working at the Visitation Center and is transporting Little Man for his weekly family visits.

It gets better.  DSS asks whether we would consider also taking the older sister to the little boy whom we are getting.  She's been in emergency care because they couldn't locate anyone at the time who could take her as a permanent placement.  And guess who she is staying with in Emergency Care?

J, our transporter.  :-)

If you are confused, don't feel bad. It reads like a weird Agatha Christie novel, but all of the God-instances certainly have made me stop and take notice.

So now we will most likely have 2 new kids staying with us, hopefully for a long time.  And this will give us a little more time to decide on what our next step in adoption will be.

And I have to remind myself that God has his hand in the tapestry that is our lives, knowing how all these threads will come together to produce his handiwork.  My job is to be a willing servant, opening my arms and my home to the children that need me,and pray that our time together helps to heal them.