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The Back Cover of a Book

“Mama, here are my barbies, we can give them to friends, I just like books now.  And notebooks.”


“Ummm…wait, what!?  Well, ok, actually, that’s ok.   Ok.”

We donated them to Alex and Yana’s garage sale, and found her perfect Christmas dress in the piles.


The day Malala won the Noble Peace prize, Maria and I went and got her her own library card.  She started Italian at her school.

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“Extremists have shown what frightens them the most: A girl with a book.” -Malala Yousafzai


Goodbye ladies.  Their exit resembles to me the closing of a door, a step out of childhood, and towards her future.

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Yet, also, to the entrance of restoration, the place that is supposed to be.  The cliche of children growing up quickly feels stronger here.  When we adopted a 10 year old, the extent of her life left her very young, and we were fortunate to participate in stages that would have otherwise been long gone.  Yet I know, as her interests change, her heart, kind and strong, filled with caring and compassion and awed joy at the world, is still the same.

So we packed up the plastic girls, and tucked this life stage away.  Closing the back cover of a book.  Gladness for the time we got in those stages, knowing well that they were stepping stones in her life to where she is today.  Barbies to books and confidence.

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” 
― E.E. Cummings

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We remain with a sense of busyness, and not.  The state of our lives, and the current pursuits leave us with little choices for extravagance.  Yet, this is one of the things God often reminds me is a secret pearl of goodness, one of his better plans.

Elijah forms full sentences these days.  He is busy, equal parts tender and spritely with toddler mischief, lip out.

Brave and filled with life, to the brim.

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“E, what’s your favorite part about being alive?”
“Hippos, tacos, and snuggle you.”

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For the Ladies Only

Alright.  Get ready.  I am going to be talking about that time of the month, ladies, because I found two things are amazing–amazing enough to take the time to share them on the internet, even though I debated writing about it.  #TheInternetIsNotForeverRight?  Some people think periods are TMI, but personally I don’t think they have to be.

That said, if you are one of my male readers, bail now.

Ok, so first off:  The Diva Cup.  I am new to it, and I really like it, such a good change.  When I first heard about it, I thought it was strange, and couldn’t quite understand how it would work, but now that I’ve tried it, I appreciate it so much and won’t use anything else, which is a pretty big statement, am I right?  A girl in my growth group has one and she said it’s super easy and she just changes it in the shower and replaces it.  You only have to change it once or twice a day because as it is not absorbing anything from you or putting nasty chemicals into you.  No risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome.  The best part is, I am set now.  No more running–or Andrew running, to the store to buy things if we run out, I’m good to go!  I could go to a foreign country for an extended time with just this, and I’d be fine.  No more spending $ every time that time comes, or filling up a land fill.   It’s so much more peace of mind on so many levels.  I’m a fan.  There was a small learning curve, but now I am all about it.


Secondly. An essential oil specifically for pms and the cramps.  My friend who told me about it said that once in a while, her husband will just hand it to her, without saying anything more….we laughed.

It’s called Clary Calm.   I used it for the first time this month when I was in a lot of pain.  It was early in the morning, and it was terrible.  I put it on the back of my neck.  What’s funny is that I LOVE all the scents of the oils, but I always said this one was weird, not my fave.  But… when I put it on my neck at that time, it smelled heavenly to me.   First, my body relaxed, I was able to close my eyes.  Then, my pain subsided.  Then I calmed down, (bitter/sweet to Andrew because then he could rest, but he also thinks I am so funny when it’s happening to me because I can be so off the wall., OH honey.)   THEN I fell back asleep–which doesn’t happen.  So…that was a win.

CLARY CALM!  Ladies, no joke, get this.  Keep it in your medicine cabinet, toss any powdery pills that maybe only help one symptom for a time in the trash, and USE THIS!  Later that evening, I felt on edge, I put it on, I was calm.  I mean–pain AND hormones help, ladies, yes.

I have one more story for you….it’s funny:

Before I ever used Clary Calm on myself, I had used it on Andrew.  And in his defense, it was right when we quit caffeine, so he was grumpy that first day.  Or hangry, I don’t know.  He was doing the dishes that night, grumpy with the world, taking it out on the suds and sponges.  I tip toed up behind him, and with the little roller stick put it on the back of his neck.  I didn’t feel like I should tell him I was putting PMS oil on him, since that might be rude, but 5 minutes later, he seemed better, out of his cloud.

“Thanks.  I actually feel better.  More light hearted.

“Haha, good honey, I put the PMS oil on you.”

Smiling, “Haha, it works….”

What a guy :)

So, I got all up in Clary Clam to see why it helped me so much, here are the ingredients:

Clary Sage: Helps balance hormones and estrogen associated with pms.

Lavender:  Soothing and calming

Bergamot: Relieves Stress

Roman Chamomile: Antispasmodic and helps to relieve stress

Cedarwood:  Relieves nervous tension (people use it to help fall asleep)

Ylang Ylang: Brings feelings of self-love, confidence and joy (uummmm, yes)

Geranium:  Hormonal balance

Fennel:  Helps with symptoms associated with menopause

Carrot Seed:  Relieves symptoms of pms

Palmarosa: Reduces Stress

Vitex: Regulates estrogen leves.

–So wow, right?  This little roll on packs a punch.  Now I see why it’s so heavenly to use on my poor, pathetic body during that time.

It helps with symptoms of pms, menopause and aging.  Find it here under Oil Blends.  Get it, order it now, your whole family, but mostly you, will thank me.  If you add up all the days throughout the year effected with pms, it can end up being a big chunk of your life feeling low, which effects everyone.  Kick Aunt Flow in the behind and feel fantastic when she comes around.  #BootyKICK!



Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t have kicked men out of this blog post…I bet they may love it after all ;)

Enjoy ladies, you and your bodies and feelings are worth being cared for well!

See, it wasn’t too hard to write about that time of the month!  DID IT!

(PLUS, with all things Essential Oils, there is NOTHING synthetic going into your body, not artificial fillers with unknown side effects.  Natural plant power to find real healing and relief.  And, with all things essential oils here, it helps your health and to bring our little one home from an orphanage.  Powerful purchasing, load up if you like, it’ll feel good (pss.  Elevation is 10% off this month, thats the joyful/crack blend ; )

kisses xo



One of Maria’s gifts is the ability to create anything out of nothing.  Out of some trash, she created a school room one day after school for the boys, with assignments.

“Mama, they are working right now…” she told me seriously.

“I am on board with this situation….”

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Each mid morning, we have been making green smoothies together, it’s the highlight of the boys’ morning.  I give them a tiny dish of sprinkles, their ‘own’ to decorate themselves when they are done.  It’s a good way for me to use the goodness that is growing so that nothing goes bad, but rather nourishes us.



They are involved in the process since it is simple enough to let them throw things in.  They start off by running out to the garden, which is filled with small white butterflies these days, flitting around with paper like wings encircling them as they work, as they grab the hearty kale.  Elijah has a harder time and returns with jacked up pieces, proud, and Finley gets bunches full.

Our Green Smoothies

-Almond Milk

-Frozen Blueberries

-Raw Honey




Or whatever else we have around at the time.

Oh…and sprinkles :)


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I let them have a special straw and we set them out with the sprinkle dishes, and they think it’s their greatest treat as they enjoy.




Then, they can continue playing.  “K, then we can both be baby lions, then you can eat me, k?”

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On Saturday we were gifted with tickets to Disney on Ice.  We aren’t normally able to do such fun excursions, and we were so excited!  We invited one of Maria’s friends from school, which was big for her, and she ended up the sweetest child and we all headed down to the sports arena 45 minutes away.  Andrew and I were pretty nervous for how Elijah would do.  His little sensory system can’t handle being overwhelmed, nor is he able to sit for very long periods of time, and this show was about two hours.  If we are going out to dinner or to a place of high stimulation, we always bring a small, silkie blanket so he can suck his thumb and calm himself down while tuning out the overwhelming sounds and sights.

I brought the ergo carrier in case he got way crazy, a big blanket and two oils: Balance and Serenity.  Balance is used to help with anxiety, hyperactivity, nervousness, mood swings, tempers, even autism and bi-polar disorder.  It is a grounding blend that helps even tantrums and emotional melt downs.  Serenity is ultra calming and what we use to help our kids get good sleep–that one was in case of emergency.  Our friends who adopted Vlad let him use Serenity, and he said he got such deep sleep he was having dreams, which rarely happens for him.

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I was packin the goods

So right when we found our seats, I put Balance all over her chest and temples so he would just be in a constant little cloud of Balance for himself.  Notice his face, most the other kids were smiling ear to ear, but for Elijah, his enjoyment was clouded by his senses and overwhelm, which usually leads to hyperactivity to calm himself.

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Yet…what is interesting is that even though this setting was maximum sensory overload, for a very long time of sitting, not once did I use the ergo.

Or Serenity.

Or, most surprisingly ever, his blanket.

Because this kid sat…for TWO HOURS.  Calm and focused.  For two hours.  Sat, calmly.  If you have a child with sensory issues or hyperactivity, orrr…..a toddler, let that settle for a second.  Two whole hours!  I wanted to call the news.

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During the last act, Finley began to get antsy and was hopping up and down in his chair.  I whipped out the Balance and just put it under his nose, and his whole body relaxed and he was able to sit, and enjoy the end.  Balance (under Blends) is something I recommend often for parents of little ones with emotions, or with anything sensory, or toddlers, or teenagers, lol.  We use it on all our kids.




Yesterday, we celebrated :) :) :)


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It was October 9th!!!!!!

Why is that important?

It marks the end of the rainy season in Ethiopia.  Our paperwork, which has sat in their embassy since August….can now be processed!  Which means more waiting, but ACTIVE waiting!  Purposeful waiting.  We get pictures every month, I can’t even handle the immensity of the honor this process is, the joy that is waiting for us, the powerful anticipation.  The 5 of us mostly can’t handle our lives.  Our three children diligently pray for baby sister to get home quickly, as I am constantly impressed with their compassion and grace, the love they naturally have stored for her, ready to flow out to this sweet, little one.

We have been very gentle with our emotions through this processes, but we may have stopped at a consignment shop yesterday, October 9th, to celebrate with something a little, tiny bit tangible.

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For I will pour water on the thirsty ground
    and send streams coursing through the parched earth.
I will pour my Spirit into your descendants
    and my blessing on your children.
They shall sprout like grass on the prairie,
    like willows alongside creeks.
This one will say, ‘I am God’s,’  

// Is. 44.2-4



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