31 July 2010


This morning while I was cooking breakfast, I heard Joshua say, "I wish Mommy had 6 arms. Then she could do everything." After a few minutes of discussion amongst the 3 kids, the image had become even more bizarre, as they decided that my arms should be able to stretch all the way to the store to get everything we need. Just listening to their plans made me tired, and I realized that the real me must be terribly dull and disappointing. I fear they may try to turn me in for an upgraded model.

22 July 2010

a worthy motivation for parenting

Last night over dinner Joshua asked a new friend about his plans for having kids. When our recently married friend didn't give a definite answer about future plans, Joshua offered a suggestion: "Adopt kids from Africa! They talk funny."

There you have it, folks... the true reason why we adopted 3 kids from Africa.

19 July 2010


Tonight our oldest son had a meltdown. He went to bed a bit unhappy, but fine overall. 5 minutes later, he had worked himself up into an angry but controlled state. Knowing that he had himself under control, we gave him 3 options for how he could proceed. Unfortunately, he chose the option that ended with significant consequences.

Usually in these situations, consequences lead to full blown rage that goes on for quite a while. This time was different. Instead of reacting angrily, he reacted with deep sadness. As he cried and tried to get away from us, he kept saying, "I don't want to be your son anymore!"

As Peter assured him that the 2 of us love him very much and will always be his parents (whether he likes it or not), I realized that before bed I had talked with him about how our week would be very busy. I told him that we wouldn't have a lot of time to spend together, but then we would be going home and have plenty of time together next week. I suddenly wondered if that conversation had triggered his meltdown.

I told him that I wondered if his "big mad" (a phrase we picked up from our therapist) was really a "big sad." I wondered if maybe he was sad that we were so busy and if he really wanted us to spend some time with him. To my complete amazement, he calmed down and agreed that he was indeed sad. Then, with a little coaxing, he used words to tell us that he was sad and that he wanted us to spend some time with him this week.

Maybe this story seems insignificant to you, but I'm pretty certain that in 3 years we've never heard Joshua say he was sad except in therapy with help from the therapist. Not only did he let go of his "big mad" tonight, but he claimed to have feelings that he's never expressed before. On top of it, he wanted to be affectionate with both of us as soon as the conversation ended.

So tomorrow morning one or both of us will be up much earlier than we like to spend time with our little boy, but tonight we're celebrating a huge milestone while he sleeps. (If you can say that sitting here crying at the computer is a form of celebration.)

09 July 2010

cow appreciation day

In 2008, we went to Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A with a bunch of other mommas and kids. Last year we were out of town and didn't make it. The kids ask regularly when cow day is coming again, so today we ran out over lunch with a bunch of friends from New Staff Training. As much as I hated putting 5 costumes together for our crew, we all had a great time and a yummy free meal.

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08 July 2010

plenty of books

Between preparing to open the Norristown Community House in August and required reading for New Staff Training with the CCO, we're doing quite a bit of reading right now in the midst of everything else. I just updated our book list on the sidebar in case you're interested. We're always happy to give you our opinions about any books on our list.

05 July 2010

lots and lots of pictures

I have finally uploaded pictures from the past 6 weeks of our lives. They've been an extremely full 6 weeks, as we are in the middle of a huge life transition and still trying to have fun with our children in the midst of the chaos. Things are moving at a crazy pace, but I hope to sit still long enough to write a more detailed report on the state of our lives and ministry before long. For now, I hope you can take a few minutes to enjoy our pictures of the fun side of life. (I went all out and even added some captions for you. I'm sure you'll be impressed and amazed.)

another Garty-ism

As we were walking down to the riverfront to see the fireworks last night, Patience looked behind us and said, "Daddy and Joshua are slowpokes." Garty responded with, "But we're fastpokes!"