27 January 2009

and 10 more Liberians makes 13

Don't freak out. We're not adopting 10 more. Sure, I dream of adding more Africans to our family, but we're not completely insane!! Or are we?

We received word yesterday that the Liberian refugee family that we are going to sponsor will arrive in Philly on February 11th. For those of you who haven't heard the story, in November our church was offered the opportunity to sponsor a Liberian refugee family that has been staying in a refugee camp in Sierra Leone. It's a mother, her 2 adult children, and her 7 school aged kids. They've been through some really horrific stuff that won't surprise you if you know much about the war in Liberia (or Sierra Leone or Uganda or the DRC). Peter and I only had to consider for about 2 minutes before agreeing to be on the resettlement team.

Resettling a family basically means doing everything for them for the first 4 months they are here. Finding them housing, jobs, English classes, and schools. Furnishing their new home. Clothing them. Teaching them to use electricity and running water. Teaching the older ones to drive. Applying for social security cards and social services. Taking them all to doctor and dentist appointments. Teaching them how to manage money. Teaching them where to shop and what to buy. You get the idea.

It's a huge job, but we have a great team of a dozen or so people who have committed to make it happen. So what did I do? I agreed to be the team coordinator. That means that I will be the family's primary contact, and I will have to make sure the team is doing everything that needs to be done.

And part of the family will be staying with us for the first week or two while we get them ready to transition into their own home. And it's likely that the whole family will be eating at our house a lot of nights during those first weeks. And I'm leaving for Guatemala for 9 days on March 7, leaving Peter alone with the kids for his first extended period of time. But we're all fine with it. No stress here. None at all.

I'll post more soon about the kids' reaction to all this excitement and a list of ways you can pray if you're into that sort of thing.

24 January 2009

great aspirations

Peter and Joshua were just having a rare quiet moment alone. They were talking about how Joshua is growing big and strong and soon he'll be able to help Daddy with any job. When I came in, Joshua briefed me on the discussion. Then he added that he wants to be good at making lots of food, but he wanted to know if boys could do that or only girls. We responded that some boys are really good at making food. Peter pointed out that Uncle Gabes is really, really good at making food. I added that Joshua can do anything he wants to do when he gets big. He thought about it and queried, "I can be a super hero?"

20 January 2009

inauguration coverage

We have the TV on, and we're eating lunch early so we can watch the swearing in of our new president. Every time they show the crowd on the mall waving at the cameras, Garty waves back. He thinks all those people are waving at him!

19 January 2009

because doing something worthwhile seemed dull

I just uploaded a collection of some favorite pictures from 2008 to Facebook. Even if you don't have an account, you can view them here.

it's snowing!

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17 January 2009

it had to happen eventually

Garty decided to help himself to some toilet paper. At least the roll was almost finished.

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finding identity in activities

Patience started ballet this week. Joshua decided that he wanted to take ballet as well, but we discussed that Patience really loves to dance and he loves to play soccer and play his drum. Looking at it that way, he agreed that he would rather play soccer and let Patience do ballet. A few minutes ago Joshua was playing his drum while Patience practiced her ballet moves. They started talking and declared that the kids in our family are, "a ballerina, a soccer player, and a potty train." Poor Garty. We better sign him up for something before potty training become his legacy.

15 January 2009

day 2 in review

A picture really is worth 1000 words, which is good because I'm too exhausted to write any.

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14 January 2009

we made it

We all survived the first day of potty training! I'm unbelievably tired, but I think we're making some progress. We had some accidents and some successes. The candy is a popular reward, but it seems that the more exciting reward is flushing the toilet. Garty gets so excited about flushing that I'm letting him do it even if he only puts a few drips in the bowl. I fear that we're going to have a disturbingly high water bill this month. We also called Daddy, Grandmom, and Gram at several points throughout the day. Garty told them all the same thing: "I go potty in the big, big toilet." I know some of you are praying for us, and I'm ever so grateful. Surviving one day is one thing. Having the stamina to do it again tomorrow is another.

potty training day 1

Last night I started coming down with a cold, so I was dreading potty training today. However, Garty is super excited, so I'm going to quickly take care of a few things and then head downstairs where we'll take his diaper off and let him run around on the bare wood and tile floors while I sit there armed with a big pile of towels. We're well stocked with plastic candy canes full of M&M knock offs that we purchased for 9 cents at CVS. Garty is thrilled about his Pull Ups that have a doggie on them for when we need to leave the house. When I brought them home yesterday he showed me how he can step into his Pull Up instead of laying down like he does to put on a diaper. God help us!!

13 January 2009


Joshua's surgery today went well. It took longer than expected, so I had time to get into my new book that I'm very excited about. He didn't seem to want to wake up from the anesthesia though. When the nurse and I finally had him dressed and sitting up, he started crying huge crocodile tears that just kept coming. No noise, no movement, just lots of tears. He perked up a little when the nurse gave him his Icee and put him in the wheelchair for the ride to the car. We had another round of tears in the car. Then more that included noisy sobs over the eggs and toast that he requested for lunch. After watching Babe and resting on the couch he seemed improved. Then about 4:15pm he suddenly became his usual self and has been running around yelling and jumping ever since. Anesthesia does weird things to a little boy. He has two stitches in the back of his earlobe and a bunch of packing protecting his newly repaired eardrum. In 6 weeks we'll go back to the ENT to see if worked. Prayers for healing are appreciated, as we're hoping to avoid the next more drastic step.

12 January 2009

big week

It's a big week at our house. Tuesday Joshua is having outpatient surgery to have the hole in his eardrum closed... again! If it doesn't work this time, the ENT will have to do a much more invasive procedure next time where she actually cuts through the back of the ear. We really want this one to work! Wednesday we're starting to potty train Garty. He's been asking to use the potty for a while, but I couldn't deal with it over the holidays. Some of you know that I'm petrified of potty training after Patience's issues revealed that I have a really short fuse in this area. Prayers are appreciated on all fronts. I'll keep you updated as we go.

11 January 2009


This evening Joshua told us, "I'm coming wear a skirt like Daddy." It's hard to know how to respond to a statement like that. What he meant was that he was going to get out of the bathtub and wrap a towel around his waist. However, I think I'll just tell people the first part of the story.

07 January 2009

bad news

Despite the fact that many of our friends use Facebook, I've refused to open an account. Why? I'm not a very balanced person. When I get into a good book, I have trouble pulling myself away to attend to important things like feeding my kids. When I start scrapbooking, I need an entire day. I knew I'd become addicted to Facebook and waste lots of valuable time. But Monday I finally fell of the wagon because many of my former middle school students are all grown up and chatting with Peter on Facebook. And now I'm addicted. It's not good. 45 minutes ago I saw a friend that had a "cities I've visited" tab. I just finished tagging mine. My poor, poor children.

05 January 2009

holiday report

We had a wonderful time over the holidays catching up with family and friends. Christmas Day was actually a first for us. All our family gatherings were on other days, so we were home for Christmas. Peter and I accidentally turned off the alarm and slept in until 10am! Some of you will probably judge us for being bad parents, but the rest of you are now jealous because your kids woke you up at an insanely early hour. Our 3 are clearly not completely Americanized yet. We only left the house to walk around the corner for brunch with friends. Here are some favorite pictures from our holiday adventures. Many more can be seen in our Christmas album.

01 January 2009

December recap

One evening as we were rushing to get out the door, I shoved my feet into my shoes and ran to the car with them half on. It wasn't until we were away from the house that I noticed a slight issue.

That pretty much sums up December in Becky's brain. In case you're wondering, it was really uncomfortable walking around with a 1.5" heel on one foot and a nearly flat sole on the other.

Once I get the kids settled back in school on Monday I'll post pictures from our holiday activities. There are plenty of cute ones.