Franklin Five

Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Three Months Ago

It has been three months since we brought Lidiyanna home, and tonight, we met with our social worker, whom I just love, for our first post-placement visit. This was the first out of three meetings to discuss bonding, attachment and the adjustment process. It went really well, and I joked later saying that our social worker said we could keep Lidiyanna.

It's hard to believe our little girl has been with us for three months. The time has gone by so quickly. But, in other ways, it seems like she's always been a part of our family.

The other day I was thinking about how small Lidiyanna's hands are and wondering if she'll always have little hands. I glanced down at my own hands questioning if she got her small hands from me. In that moment, I had completely forgotten that Lidiyanna is not related to me through blood. I smiled and got a little choked up realizing she completely feels like my daughter.
Last year, the boys helped me paint a bird ornament to hang on the tree for Lidiyanna. At that time, we had no idea who God had for our family, but we were hoping and waiting for our sweet daughter. On the back of the ornament, I wrote "waiting for baby girl", and I remember praying that God would bring us our daughter by Christmas time the next year.
Graham found the ornament this year as we were decorating the tree. When he showed it to me and I read the back, I was filled with thankfulness that God had answered our prayers. Immeasurably more.
Ephesians 3:19-21
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever, Amen!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Mother's Love

My mom came to visit this past week while Tim was in Japan on business. With her came a flurry of snow. As the frigid temperatures kept us indoors, out came the scissors, glue, markers and stickers to create the crafts my mom had prepared for the kids. She spent lots of time with my kids in the kitchen baking yummy treats and designing Christmas decorations. My children loved it. My boys would much rather be in the kitchen crafting and baking than playing with toys. My mom understands this, and I think she enjoys it all just as much as they do.
She also spent lots of time on the floor with Lidiyanna cheering her on as she tried to crawl and pull up. I was thankful they got to spend this time together, and I was so thankful for all of my mom's help.
It was a crazy week with the snow, Christmas excitement, school parties, and well...a fender bender. Needless to say, I was not always the happiest mom around at times. I was stressed, tired, and running low on patience. I had hoped the week with my mom would be peaceful and calm. I envisioned the kids playing happily in the other room while my mom and I spent hours chatting over cookies and hot chocolate. Well, actually, I am more of a realist than that, but I was hoping for a calmer week.
Despite all the chaos, we made it through and have some fun memories to take with us. Last night, my mom and I sat on the couch hugging and not wanting to say goodbye. I knew she was tired and ready to get home just as I was ready to have Tim home, but she's one of my dearest friends. It's never easy to say good-bye to her.
Throughout the week, my mom babysat so I could go to Graham's school party, the grocery store, and a doctor's appointment. She helped fix dinner, gave Lidiyanna her bath, and helped entertain the boys. She did a lot of wonderful things, but the best gift she gave me was through her love. She loved my children despite their moodiness, selfishness, or fussiness. She let me know it was okay that they weren't perfect, that I was doing a good job even though I didn't feel like it, and that she thought my kids were pretty special. After a long week that could have brought discouragement and doubt, God used her to lift me up and remind me of unconditional love. The same kind of love that my mom poured out on me and my kids even in our ugly moments is the same kind of love God pours out on me.
Fiercely Loyal.
No matter what kind of Love.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday morning

Posted by Picasa


Last year, Wesley would not go down on the sled at all. Today, he was the first one down the hill on the sled. He loved it!! So proud of him every time he tries something new.
Posted by Picasa


Posted by Picasa

Rosy Cheeks

Warming up after playing in the snow

Posted by Picasa

Pretty Red Dress

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 05, 2010

by the tree...take one

Posted by Picasa

by the tree...take two

Posted by Picasa

by the tree...take three

Posted by Picasa


Graham likes to pick his sister up and carry her around the house. It makes me a little nervous, but I think it's kind of sweet, too. Tim had the music on last night and got this sweet shot of Graham dancing with Lidiyanna. Just precious!!Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Wonderfully Made

For You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful; I know that full well.
Psalms 139:13-14

Lidiyanna Jo
She is adorable and kissable. She loves to be snuggled and tickled. She likes to hold her blanket up to her face as she falls asleep. Tim calls her his chocolate chip. Her hair is challenging and yet irresitable. She loves other babies and children. She waves at everyone, and everyone smiles at her. Her eyes are dark and enchanting. She loves her bottle and does not like baby food. She happily kicks in her crib when I come in her room. She's my baby girl.

Wesley Mark

He's passionate and feels deeply. He's goofy and loves it when his daddy is silly with him. He wants to be tightly tucked in every night with two or three blankets. He likes to feel secure and needs a lot of assurance. He asks to pray for his grandparents often. He loves his tricycle and going off-roading. He giggles easily. He pays attention to details. He finds great joy in picking out a piece of candy to put in his lunchbox. He's my baby boy.

Graham Timothy

His smile lights up a room. He's loving, friendly, and compassionate. He trips and falls often, and most of the time, he just gets up and keeps on going. He is really into shopping with mommy and picking out an item he can buy with his quarters. He wants to buy a meal for a homeless man he sees on the side of the road, help a lost boy find his mom at a store, and comfort his friend on the bus who is sad. He's energetic and busy, always finding a project to get into or a craft to create. He's sometimes grouchy in the morning and gets a burst of energy right around bedtime. He's full of life, excitment, and hope. He saves the notes I put in his lunchbox. He's my firstborn.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

So much to be thankful for...

I'm sorry it's been a month since I've posted pictures or blogged about anything. Part of the reason is we are temporarily without a camera. The other part is that we are just busy! Three kids require a lot of my time, and I drop into bed at night after very full days. As a dear friend said, "It's a good kind of tired." (Thanks, Florence, for your card!! I miss you, sweet neighbor.)

Over the past few weeks, Lidiyanna has learned to clap, wave, and has been trying to get up on all fours making efforts to crawl. It's so fun to watch her learn new things.

She loves to clap for herself. It's so cute!

The boys keep Lidiyanna entertained (and maybe sometimes a little annoyed). Graham thought she might like this ribbon around her to help her feel a little more festive. I'm not sure what she thought about it.


and more hugs.

Wesley and Graham were very into decorating the tree. Wesley stuck with it longer than Graham, and his ornaments always ended up in clumps around the tree.

For Thanksgiving, we stayed at home and had family come to us. Tim's mom and my mom and Sam celebrated with us. My cousin, Andrew, and his parents came over on Thursday as well. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of my mom, but she was here and got to meet Lidiyanna for the first time. I am happy that she is coming back in just a few weeks for a slightly longer visit-and to help me while Tim is on a business trip.

On Friday, we decided to skip the malls and go bowling instead with my brother and his family.
Graham and Will

Grandpa Sam giving Graham some pointers

Perpy and Lidiyanna

The cousins wanted to present a "program" to us one evening. Graham and Grace were a big hit on the piano.

Wesley and Graham enjoying their Thanksgiving lunch.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Just a little glimpse into the past...this picture was taken in 2007. Graham was two and Wesley was almost four months old. So fun to remember and to see how much they've grown. 2010
Graham was a race car driver (again-mom likes that), and Wesley was a dragon (the costume Graham wore when he was three-mom likes that, too). Lidiyanna was a strawberry.

Even though Lidiyanna didn't wear this trick-or-treating, I just had to put her in the pea pod costume that both of my boys wore.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Our Littlest Pumpkin

This is a face Lidiyanna makes often. She has discovered how fun it is to stick out her tongue.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Brother and Sister

Lidiyanna can now sit up on her own. She loves to sit next to a basket of toys and play. She would much rather sit up than be on her tummy or back. I'm just amazed how quickly she is growing. She is quite vocal now, too. She loves to make noises and explore with her voice.

Wesley and Graham continue to be great big brothers. I think some of the newness for Wesley has worn off, and he sometimes struggles with no longer being the baby. It's hard to give up that slot, but he's learning. I try to give him extra hugs and time together while Lidiyanna is napping. I have to admit it is very busy being a mom of three, and making special time for each child is a challenge. I love it though. My heart is so full of love for each of my children.

This picture cracks me up. She's giving him a look that says, "Don't you mess with my ball."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Airport Homecoming

My cousin, Andrew, brought his friend, Jen, to the airport to take pictures when we arrived home from Ethiopia. I knew it would be a special moment when Graham and Wesley would meet their sister for the first time, and I was so thankful Jen could capture the moment for us.

We had some great friends meet us at the airport, too, but they met us downstairs at the baggage claim. We had a few minutes with the family before heading down to see our friends. I was so exhausted after over 24 hours of travel with a sick baby, but I could not wait to see my boys. I remember walking towards them and seeing them waiting for us behind the glassed-in area. My eyes welled with tears and I gulped back the lump in my throat. The long-awaited moment was finally here. My children would all be together, and we would finally see what God had planned for our family long ago.

If our homecoming was just a taste of what we'll experience in heaven when we are finally home with our Father and the loved ones who have gone before us, I cannot wait. What a glorious day it will be!!
Perpy and Andrew meeting Lidiyanna

My dad and the boys watching us walk towards them.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9