Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ann Marie's Celebration!

Ann Marie's adoption day also comes in June.  She and I celebrated by going out to Sourdough's for lunch on Saturday.  We had fun amidst the throng of tourists coming to Homer!  What a different town Homer becomes in the summer!
Ann Marie and Adams were adopted at the same time in Sierra Leone although they had different court dates for their adoptions.  Ann Marie is our last adoption, although she is our oldest child!  She was introduced to us in December of 2004 and both kids were able to come home in November of 2005. 

During our time in Sierra Leone we were able to spend quite a bit of time with Ann Marie's extended family in the small fishing village where she was born.  We enjoyed being able to take her back to her village of birth, discover the house where she was born, and be amazed by the beauty of the area!  We took several trips out to this area and look back on those time with such great memories.
Ann Marie was 13 years old when she joined our family.  This could have been a difficult age to transition to a new family, new country, new schooling, and just a new life in general; but Ann Marie adjusted so well and seemed to take all the new changes in stride.  We knew she missed her family and country, but she was determined to find her place with us.  God has done amazing things in this young lady's life, and for that we are all so grateful!  We are so blessed to call Ann Marie our daughter!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


We took our picnic dinner over to the Engebretsen Homestead last week and then took a walk on a path beside the river.  Our new friends, the Moyer family, joined us for the evening.  My mom and dad have now lived on the homestead property for three years and we enjoy getting to spend the time at their place beside the river.

The Anchor River is a busy place for many animals that like to feast on the bounty of the river.  In the winter the river bottom is a haven for "herds" of moose...my parents have often seen 15 moose together feeding on the willow along the river.  For the summer months, the moose move to higher ground while the bears and various other animals inhabit the area.  The eagles nest in the large cottonwood that grow along the rivers edge, and there are many different types of ducks float the river.  We saw quite an array of tracks on the edge of the river...
Down the river there is a rope bridge that beckons us when we walk along the river...
Why does a winding river hold so much intrigue?  It is like a magnet pulling us in...to wade in its icy pools, to catch minnows, to build dams along the edge, to cast a hook into its depths and hope for a trout, or just to amble along its banks...whatever it may be, the river lures us all in.  What a treasure to behold!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer BBQ's

Our summer tradition of Sunday evening BBQ's in our yard has begun once again.  All winter long we look forward to these times of good fellowship around the fire pit and the laughter of many children in our yard during the summer months. 

A couple weeks ago on a Sunday evening the younger kids and a couple "big kids" had gunny sack races up and down the lawn.  The younger kids never did tire of the races, but they sure wore out the older ones!

We sure are going to miss this great summer tradition, but we will cherish each moment we share with family and friends this summer.  Come join us around the picnic table on a Sunday evening...we would love to have you join us!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Adams' Adoption Day

June is another busy month for adoptions in our family!  Adams adoption day is June 6.  He could hardly wait until it was his turn to go out to lunch with mom or dad.  Lunch at Duncan House with dad was fun and yummy!

Five years ago I was in Sierra Leone wading through the red tape of adoption in a country that was on the brink of closing down its international adoption program.  Despite the difficulties of getting our time in court I loved my time in Sierra Leone...getting to know Adams extended family that loved him dearly. 

After our day in court we had to wait for visa approval which had a history of being a very long process, sometimes taking up to six months or more.  So I went home without my kids, but hoping to return soon.

In September of that same year I returned to Sierra Leone to spend time with my new kids in their country, get to know their extended families even more, and to see if we could push a little on getting their visas.  What a wonderful time we had in their birth country for two months!  Some of it was frustrating since we were just waiting and waiting...and we really wanted to be all together as a family of eight back in Alaska!  But it was also a time of bonding and getting to know our newest additions.

Adams was almost three years old and absolutely fearless!  For instance, he had never gone swimming in either a pool or the ocean, but while I was there he experienced both.  He showed no fear whatsoever as he jumped off the side of the pool...and he didn't want mom to catch him!  No way!!  That pool was about three feet deep and he could jump off the side and manage to keep his balance with his toes on the bottom and his nose above the water.  His fearlessness scared so many of us in those first few months!  He still has those same fearless qualities and a zest for life that is unmatched by many!

We are so thankful for our fearless little boy...our family has forever been changed by our African boy with his charming smile and exuberant nature!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Planting time

It's that time of year again...time to plant the garden!  Hopefully the last frost is in the past and our newly planted garden will grow in the warmth of the Alaskan summer sun. Saturday was garden planting day, and what a beautiful day it was!  We planted potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, romanesko, carrots, lettuce, radishes, swiss chard, zucchini, yellow squash, and various herbs. 
The kids are such great helpers and they love getting their hands in the soil...just like Steve!  With so many hands the work is easy.
Since we are going to be moving before the harvest season is over, we invited Danny and Kassy to help with the garden this summer and enjoy the harvest in the fall.  Danny, Kassy, and their two boys will be renting our house while we are in the Philippines.   So they came to help us plant...
Once the planting is finished then there is plenty of watering to do.  Saturday was a rather warm day for planting so those little plants needed  lots of moisture.  Kassy and I will be working together at keeping the garden watered and weeded, along with the help of the kids...   Summertime is so much fun and the many things that keep us so busy!