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Five Shiny Quarters

As the woman walks away, her face bursts into a smile and looks up quickly to meet my gaze, as I am showered with her tangible joy, “I’m so excited,” she whispers with fists clenched.

“It’s pretty cool,” I tell her with eyebrows raised, my excitement never able to match hers about the things in life.  I let myself feel grateful for the past 1.5 years as the banker returns with a packet of papers with her name on it.

“Well, here you go Maria, you have now opened your first bank account,” as she tucks the packet into a fresh, blue cardboard folder and hands it to Maria who holds it gingerly, taking the packet of fine print out and begins reading closely, finger under each word as she pours over it.  Hers.

The banker goes over details with me and we smile before departing, thanking her.  Maria skips next to me towards the door, “…and I am going to get a highlighter, and read everything and highlight all the important parts!  ….My own bank account!!!”

 photo 4


We had saved some quarters in her bag and told her about giving.  “Because Maria, you have everything you need.  You have a mommy and daddy, and food everyday and special treats and twenty five dollars in your own bank account, and many people, even some adults don’t even have food.  Some people just have nothing, and something special that you can do is give, and it helps people all over the world.  We are blessed to bless others.”

She looked down at her quarters, “Mama….” she said, looking up, “I love my family…” she tells me, thumbing the silver discs in her palm.

“We love you too, honey, you are such a special girl.”  She shared with me about how in her church class they are supporting orphans in India, and a college student who is a missionary there shared with them about her experiences.  She tucked her money away to share.

It was Saturday, and the boys were in their deep, afternoon naps, while Maria and I ran errands.  We pulled up to the library next and put her two books on the conveyor belt that lights up, “All by myself, Mama.”

I told her we should probably get three this time, because she read those last two so fast, she grinned, excited again as she disappeared into the stacks.



She picks out two, I chose one for her.  We set a 30 min timer each day, and what used to be a challenge, she now asks if she can read more, or finish the book.  “It’s so cool, sometimes I feel like I am there…”IMG_3698




We squinted an eye with our arms extended, fingers up and threw a purple rope up, and yes! it looped over the crook of the tree.  Finley carried the piece of wood and their eyes watched me triple knot, and pulll.

“There,” I tell them.

“Elijah wants to go first,” they tell me, and he is grinning and nodding, grabbing it already, the brave little guinea pig.








Almond Blossoms



First Peach




Лёша jumped into the chicken coop, confident of his friend making ability.

“Chill, guys, I am just here to hang out, I thought we could be friends?”IMG_3182


















The carcass of an old carton cast aside, I pushed out squiggly puddles of bright colors on a palette, “Soooo cool,” she squeaked.  “How many pink ones should I make?”

“You decide,” I told her, which caused her eye brows to furrow, decisions.    The sea of unknown that we encourage toes to be dipped into.  We held them up to real flowers to see the color patterns.



IMG_4367 IMG_4365IMG_4369


We will have to show you our finished project when we are done.  She painted and painted, two hours, careful and focused.




First blueberries



I shared this photo on our facebook page, but I truly thought we had big mouthed bugs eating our chard, until I saw them in action.  #boysphoto 2






Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. // Ephesians 5: 1-2


At the end of the day Sunday, Maria told us, “This was a special weekend…and I feel so cool!”

What did you have going on this weekend?  One additional special celebration for our family was that we gained two more cousins, a niece and a nephew by means of adoption.  We are so excited.  You can see and read my amazing sis in law’s story here.


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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Kerry April 28, 2014, 5:14 pm

    I love Maria’s Katie Daisy print!

    • tinyteam April 29, 2014, 1:19 pm

      Thank you!

  • Leese April 28, 2014, 7:15 pm

    Oh my gosh – love the header w/ Maria on the swing! I always read through feedly so hadn’t seen it!

    The boys ending up being the giant bugs eating the chard cracked me up!

    But what I want to know is how the cat’s ‘friend-making’ attempt with the chickens ended…

    • tinyteam April 29, 2014, 1:19 pm

      He’s harmless, so he stirred them up, them then left, I think with his feelings hurt that he couldn’t lay on them 😉

  • Jantina Wennerstrom April 29, 2014, 8:13 am

    Thank you for your posts. What I admire most about you is your sense of being grounded. We to have adopted older children than our bio children. And every so often I get in this place of frustration for a child not being able to act their appropriate age. And then I come to your blog and I find a beautiful mix of leaving room for emotional growth partnered with the simple yet profound ways you are teaching her bigger things. Like bank accounts. My daughter who is also 12 can understand a savings account. She can have these learning moments while living safely in the place you speak of, the place with no wants or needs. She can learn to give too. And I can leave that space for her to mature in while teaching her practical things. Thank you for sharing your journey! My daughter thanks you too! 🙂 🙂

    • tinyteam April 29, 2014, 1:16 pm

      Thank you for this comment, it meant a lot to us, and it actually inspired us as well. We are not free from those moments of frustration, either–it takes a lot of intentionality on our parts, phew!

      You words really brightened my husband and I’s day! Thank you Janita