We Choose

may 19,2014 by Nama

As sure as you will draw your next breath , you will make your next choice.

Nothing is chance, imposed upon us or not of  our choosing. We choose, creating the choices on the other side of our choosing.

For the past two weeks i chose to love this cuteness.IMG_4916

i also chose thisIMG_0686i can not do IT ALL !!

as i rocked Timothy and hummed Jesus Loves You, Little One,

IMG_0687

Blessing’s dance recital costumes piled high on the empty chair in the kitchen after each dress rehearsal.

We did a little less reading in our homeschool but…
IMG_4908Kaydra got to snuggle her newest nephew for a moment each day between managing the baristas and teaching her hip hopper’s.IMG_4828Blessing learned to dress Timothy and i delighted in hearing them giggle together. Blessing said at the end of our last day “i am going to miss Timothy so much mamma !”IMG_4937After 100 hours of baby bouncing and bottle warming i didn’t find the energy to get to the flower aisle to pick up blossoms for our Ballerina.IMG_0675

i chose to “upcycle” the least faded from my fading fast Mother’s Day bouquet. i am not proud of this, it is just how it is around here sometimes most of the time.

Timothy’s mommy and daddy have also been making some tough choices. Parker and Kristi are choosing to have Kristi stay home full time with their little guy.

Some have said “Ohhh, they are so lucky, how nice that they get to do that.”

i am not certain they “get to” have Kristi home full time. i am not convinced it is “luck” . We have watched them weigh their options. We have watched them process and seek wisdom and count pennies. From the moment they told us their little surprise was on his way they knew decisions were not going to be easy. They are making the choice to have Kristi at home which more practically means…

They are choosing to live in an older apartment which some considered too small for their little family before we sat down the first box of their belongings. They are choosing to drive cars that end up in Fix It Dad’s repair shop all too often. They are choosing less nights out to Dinner and a Movie. They are choosing secondhand career attire and last years summer sandals for another season. Krisiti Beth is trading in cute and in charge by 8am each day for no shower and “will I ever get out of my PJ’s?” some days. She is choosing to trade scheduled yummy lunch  for a bowl of cold cereal grabbed between nursings. Her promised coffee breaks have all been used up. Kristi is choosing to put in 40 168 hours each week with absolutely no, nada, zero compensation for her committed investment.

They are also choosing for this little man 10363323_10152077949466937_7304429988087403086_n(2)

to know his Mamma’s voice and smile better than anyone elses.

They are choosing to not need this pictureIMG_4912or this text messageIMG_0700to know how their boy is doing today.

His Mommy will be the first one to see this brand new blonde fuss, telling us his big boy hair is going to be just like his Daddy’s.IMG_4929

I will be forever grateful for the 100 hours Parker and Kristi shared Timothy with us.  I could not be happier in knowing the preciousness we have had with this little guy is all his mommy’s from now on. i hope Kristi and Parker will share more of their “why” and “how” in this decision with all of you someday.

Perhaps not every family “can” choose to find a way to have a parent home full time. My heart breaks for single parents, on your own. I know this is not an easy discussion, but many of us do have real options. Many of us could drive fewer cars or older cars or smaller cars, freeing us up to make different choices in other areas. The choices we make today truly do determine the outcome of tomorrow for all those our life’s touch. We choose, and those choices matter.

i stumbled on to this John Piper Book, i suspect it is on the verge of being my new favorite marriage resource. i am obsessed !! You can get a free PDF copy at the above link.

Please consider this quote by Pastor John…

“Marriage is not mainly about prospering economically; it is mainly about displaying the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his church. Knowing Christ is more important than making a living. Treasuring Christ is more important than bearing children. Being united to Christ by faith is a greater source of marital success than perfect sex and double-income prosperity.”

― John PiperThis Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence

Choices.

We all make them. I would not have chose exhaustion for the past two weeks had i not believed the pay off far outweighed the cost. Helping those around us make the choices they believe in is something we choose to believe in.

What will you choose today? This week ? Please choose to share your thoughts on choices and what you are choosing.

 

 

Advertisements

Blessed~Dress Rehearsal

may 16, 2014 by Nama

i loved my mamma years of  Star War figures and football cards, but there is nothing like an ocean of Pixie Ballerinas in a rainbow of tutus to put a smile on your face.IMG_0493 (3)

Last evening as i drove Blessing to dress rehearsal #3 she said , very seriously…

“Mom, I need to talk to you about something.”

 “Okay, what is it?”

 “Could you please not be THAT mom, that is at the front of the stage taking pictures?”IMG_0534 (3)

“i am sorry if that is hard for you, but no, i cannot, NOT be THAT mom . Your daddy works very hard to give you dance , we are very proud of you and we DO get to have pictures.”IMG_0645 (2)

“Come on mom, i just really need you to be a normal mom ! ” (i hear this alot)

IMG_0660 (2)

Sorry sweet girl, we detoured off the path of normal so long ago i can’t even remember where normal was taking us or why we wanted to go there.IMG_4400 copy tummy grass8x8

i miss this little blonde ballerina IMG_0640 (2)but what joy to watch Kaydra pass along all she has learned at MDU.

A portion of that joy was directly related to the impossibility of Kaydra getting all 15 of these little guys to do anything she asked them to do in synchronization .  Oh. My. Energy… on that stage !!!

I Fix therefore I am – By Pappafish

may 13, 2014 by PappaThe-Art-of-Fixing-ThingsPart 1 of many (July 3, 2011) . . . .Hi, My name is Tim and I’m a fixaholic. I have been a fixaholic all my life, I don’t remember not wanting to fix things. It consumes me. My motivation in developing lingual skills came in an effort to explain to my father how to fix the broken latch on my crib. The solution was quite obvious if I remember correctly. Most people would be fishing, or boating, or beaching on a beautiful 4th of July weekend. Not me – I line up the projects from 5 PM Friday to 10 PM Monday night; repairs, reconditions, replacements.

imagesI’ve often wondered if I chose it, or did it choose me. Was it genetic, environmental or a random act of cosmic karma (all of which God is ultimately in control of). Was I a clean slate as a new born babe only to have the boney fingers of poverty and necessity write this epilog onto my sub-consciences before I had even written the introduction?

I chose a moderately paying career and a wife whose heart and passion are toward home and family. Wouldn’t have it any other way. And how ironic that I supervise a crew of men who “fix things”. This choice of conservative lifestyle has left us with the reality of an older home, pre-owned cars and “gently used” everything else. Is it any wonder then that my life is full of fixin’. Now did I subconsciously chose this life just so I could have things to fix. Had I chose a vocation of doctoring, lawyering, banking, I would probably have a new home, a new car, and a sunburn earned on the river or golf course rather than on a broken mower. No – I’ll have no part of that . . . what would there be to fix? Fixing brings a quality of life which I could find no other way. I feel the same rush of adrenaline from hearing the “schlanck” of golden brown bread bursting from the top of newly reconditioned toaster as Dr. Frankenstein must have from the reanimation of that lifeless corpse.

I have no choice . . . I . . . . Must . . . . . Fix!!

 

A week in review . . .

Dryer broke . . First attempt to repair lasted a mere day or two. Now I am confident that with the proper amount of duct tape and solder, a couple of electrical switches from Menards (one for heat – one for blower), and I could have had that bugger working for another year, maybe two, but that would be the folly of the single man. Being married 30+ years has given me the intuitive ability to know when to hold and when to haul. Now you might think that a fixaholic would find that hard to swallow, but my fixaholism is uniquely counterbalanced by another addiction: I-can’t-pay-retail-aholism. So my sweats and shakes from fixious interuptous were quickly squelched by the rush of surfing “Overstock.com”. Auction won, invoice paid, delivery within 7 to 10 working days. $700 dryer in the basement for $350. Handyman cocaine brother, handyman cocaine.

Driving 1998 van down the interstate. Hard to tell with all the vibration coming from the scalloped tires due to the bad tie rods but pretty sure that the tranny is slipping. Currently shopping Craig’s List, and Ebay – wait on in folks – fodder for future blogs.

 

Finally ready to go to bed at 2 AM Friday morn – hear terrible racket coming from frig. Tear apart ice-maker to isolate noise. Can’t leave is as is – something is definitely wrong. Can’t turn it off til morning – everything will spoil – 90 degrees in there. A few well placed fist bumps with the Frigidaire and an ice cube dislodges from the fan – I’m feeling fiiiiiine.

Friday evening – head over to Ty’s house (a repo house to a fixaholic is like a liquor store to a alcoholic). Working on pressure tank to eliminate air at plumbing fixtures. Great company (thanks for the help Corey) and maybe a fix – we’ll call it a draw until we get a little more data over time. As I walk through the house my pulse races like a child in Fleet Farm’s toyland the week before Christmas – so may projects, so may “fixes”. Just a little saliva seeping from the corner of my mouth. I quickly lick my lips to hide any signs before anyone can see.

Saturday morning – doing some dishes as an act of love for my beautiful wife – notice drain basket is broken – add to mental list. Remove old dryer from basement in preparation for new one coming in 7 to 10 business days. Notice need to clean out lint vent – jumped on it. I have a homemade cleaner stick all ready – foam rubber in a sweat sock taped to a layup stick (duct tape of course). Works beautifully – job complete in 15 minutes (also noticed need to fix vent cover/flap on side of house) added to mental list. Got dolly and moved dryer outside – noticed door handle on basement door about to fall off – added to mental list. Loaded mowers onto trailer – rider and push, noticed weather stipping falling off van door – added to mental list, then erased from mental list since we have to buy a new vehicle due to slippy-tranny. Checking email on computer – noticed water spitting out of window air conditioner – definitely something not right – added to mental list. Wife shows me broken coat hook ( 7 year old with hidden repelling skills) – maybe record fix/replace – like two minutes front to end. Went to Ty’s and mowed the lawn – flipped rider mower while loading – thinking burial at sea might be most appropriate, but spirit buoyed by thought of finding a deal on a new, or rather gently used one. Oil from upside down mower leaked all over neighboring church’s parking lot which I used to unload. Heading to Menard’s to buy oil dry (kitty litter). While at Menards – buy supplies for next 4 projects. Dryer vent for my house – dryer vent to fix Ty’s dryer vent issues, water line splice for Ty’s ice maker, clips for gas line temped through Ty’s basement with pieces of twine, and of course a roll of duct tape because you just never know. Saturday evening – very nice time with Parker/Kristi/Kaydra/Ble and K at China Inn. Had several glasses of “Pessi”. Can’t help but notice many things around that place that needed to be “fixed”. Spend time in between mouthfuls of Gen. Tsao’s chicken calculation time estimates on each project. Then home for some ice cream while I cap the night off with fixing Kristi’s car (which I have been putting off for many months now, so this is a good opportunity to get ‘er done).

 

Replaced right turn signal, replaced right headlight, straightened fender, replaced left headlight, troubleshot and replaced faulty light bulb that came with new headlight. Bright, dim, and directionals all working. Fixed front license plate holder, replaced rear license plate, fixed fuel tank cover – mosquitoes drove me inside or I would have gotten to the windshield washer line and the brakes. But at least now I have something to fix tomorrow . . .

To be continued . . . (because we live in a decaying world)

Dreadlocks in Pictures

may13,2014 by Nama

dreadlocs 1 June 2011We started Blessing’s Dreadlock journey in June of 2011. She was 7 years old, this is the last picture of her little Afro loaded up with conditioner right before we started braiding.Dreadlocs 2 june 2011

Very first Dreadlocks. July 2011.

Blessing’s dreadlocks could also be referred to as Braidlocks as we started them by braiding her hair. She had 248 tiny braids on her little head at this point. It took us 3 weeks to complete the process. We worked in 2 hour sessions, watched lots of Disney movies and had lots of tears. Blessing wanted the dreadlocks but it is a tough process for a busy little 7 year old.

Dreadlocs 3 August 2011

Fall 2011, 4 months of growth and newly locked.dreadlocs 6 fall 2011 (2)Fall 2011, you can see the “braid ” pattern in each lock if you look close. This picture was taken before we relocked them,  you can see the “outgrowth” at the top of each braid.dreadlocs 10 june 2012

Spring 2012, about one year of growth.Dreadlocs 9 June 2012

One year of growth. IMG_0552

Winter 2012, 18 months of growth and newly locked + a brand new little niece.IMG_0375

18 months of growth and locking + a brand new puppy.June 2013 (2)

July 2013 two years .June 2013 (1)Blessing’s hair is long enough for a pony tail. This is a BIG deal !! Two years.December 2013 (4)

Fall 2013, two and a half years of growth.December 2013 (3)December 2013 (2)

Two and a half years of growth and locking.IMG_0305

May 2014, almost 3 years of growth.IMG_0288

Blessing’s dreadlocks are almost 3 years old.IMG_0293Look at that ponytail . Almost 3 years of growth.

June 2013 (1)

 This picture is Blessing’s ponytail with 2 years of growth.

IMG_0293

This picture is Blessing’s ponytail with 3 years of growth.

A challenge with Dreadlocks can be how to keep them clean and moisturized. Many products marketed for deadlocks will build up in the locks, this is not healthy for the hair or scalp.  Build up is not attractive.  We developed build up at about 18 months of growth . i was heart broken, i felt like we were failing and feared we may have to give up the dreadlock journey. After much research we found an amazing cleansing process and we have settled on using only coconut oil for moisturizing .

dreadlocs  11 June 2013 (5)

This picture shows the irregular color and white spots from the sad build-up. This was at 2 years into our journey.

IMG_0288 (2)

This picture shows the dreadlocks cleansed and using only coconut oil.

IMG_0380

 Today they are healthy, clean, neat and beautiful !! Blessing and i are delighted to be mastering the dreadlock  journey.

 

Living the Tension of Racial Issues

May 9, 2014 by Nama

467745_10200623191874818_1637327657_o

Experiencing and navigating the road of racial diversity in our safe little white, white, white world has been one of the biggest learning curves adoption has brought us. We are ever grateful for the opportunity to learn more about the joy and pain of diversity through the gift of our Blessing. The beauty of being a multi colored family is something we will likely write about often. We are at the very beginning of this curve, we are new, we are learning and we make mistakes. We look forward to a lifetime of refining and growth. We pray we are becoming the light of  racial harmony our Lord’s Word commands. Just two of the many questions we are asked that deserve discussion are; Do you believe racial issues still exist in our culture ? and Have you personally felt and experienced racial unkindness ?

330806-R1-05-5A (2)

For now i want to share the simplest and truest answer we have found for navigating the very real tensions of being a multi colored family. My intend is not to minimize the reality of racial tension in our culture or the very real and deep pain of our African American brothers and sisters. This is a tough, complex, messy, sensitive and emotionally charged issue. We have to start somewhere, this is the bedrock of truth that we return to in the twists, turns, questions and hurts that arise.

IMG_6525_edited-1 (2)

I Corinthians 13~The Love Chapter

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

10274288_10202737200363709_6940638110230787933_n

             “Some white people Hate black people, and some white people Love black people, Some black people Hate white people, and some black people Love white people. Some white people Hate white people, and some black people Hate black people.  So you see, it’s not an issue of black and white, it is not an issue of race, it’s an issue of Lovers and Haters.” ― Eden Ahbez

              From The Help

“Once upon a time they was two girls,” I say. “one girl had black skin, one girl had white.”

Mae Mobley look up at me. She listening.

“Little colored girl say to little white girl, ‘How come your skin be so pale?’ White girl say, ‘I don’t know. How come your skin be so black? What you think that mean?’

“But neither one a them little girls knew. So little white girl say, ‘Well, let’s see. You got hair, I got hair.'”I gives Mae Mobley a little tousle on her head.

“Little colored girl say ‘I got a nose, you got a nose.'”I gives her little snout a tweak. She got to reach up and do the same to me.

“Little white girl say, ‘I got toes, you got toes.’ And I do the little thing with her toes, but she can’t get to mine cause I got my white work shoes on.

“‘So we’s the same. Just a different color’, say that little colored girl. The little white girl she agreed and they was friends. The End.”  emphasis by Nama

Baby Girl just look at me. Law, that was a sorry story if I ever heard one. Wasn’t even no plot to it. But Mae Mobley, she smile and say, “Tell it again.”

― Kathryn Stockett, The Help

IMG_9863

As we share our journey there may be terminology, references and stories relayed that do not fit your understanding of  racial harmony. We would love to answer questions and try to give understanding where that is possible.

We can assure you that our hearts, actions and words are rooted in the Love of our Lord and Saviour for All His Children, red, brown, yellow, black and white, for they are precious in his sight.

Galatians 3:26,28,

“In Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. . . There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

When our hearts were called to Liberia Africa ten years ago we suspected there may be some sweet little truth of racial harmony seen in the making of this new Fischer family. The tensions that arise and the message that is being written is much louder than we ever could have foreseen. We are honored to be a part of HIS story of healing and love.

Our world without our Blessing would be as wrong as a chocolate chip cookie without the sweet, rich dark morsels of deliciousness that makes it exactly what it was intended to be.

1456508_10201686546698024_131618491_n

We pray and expect that the diversity of our family will continue to grow. We pray that it is all about His Love for His children. All glory and honor is His alone.

 

Summer Weighted Blanket

may 10, 2014 by Nama

I need to make Blessing a “cooler” weighted blanket for warm summer nights as our home does not have air conditioning. It gets hot and sticky here.

I am so very excited about these fabrics.IMG_0429

Blessing chose the Paris Fashion print for the front and i chose the buttercream to back the quilt.

I also ordered this 100% cotton batting.IMG_0427Look how thin it is, I think the 100% cotton fabrics combined with this cotton batting for cozy comfort will make a perfect summer weighted blanket.

Apparently the weighting beads alone can be irritating to some with sensory challenges. If you use two layers of batting placing the beads in between the two layers of softness the blanket is much softer and is often more likely to bring the comfort you are looking for. I’ll let you know how this all works out when i get to sew in June.

For now i am just so stinkin excited about this fabric……IMG_0439and in my world all things good are even better when shared .

The Gift

may 10, 2014 by Nama

IMG_0412

Sometime a gift is so much more than the package that is opened. Even when the contents of the box are perfect, the bigger GIFT may be completely unseen.

Our Blessing has struggled with disturbed sleep from moment one in my arms, sleeping on my chest, on a mat, on the floor in the orphanage in Africa.

We have worked hard to figure out what may help her settle and what might be our ticket to a full night’s rest. Tim and i typically need to sleep separately allowing one of us to rest for tomorrow while the other one nurtures our Blessing .

Several experts had mentioned a weighted blanket through the years. For about 18 months i have intended to do something about a blanket.

IMG_0409

 But…..

We have tried so many things, invested much time , energy and $$$  yet we remain sleepless in Wisconsin. i am skeptical, i am processing, i am cautious.

Weighted blankets are really expensive, we have grand-babies in California and plane tickets are really expensive. Choices. Priorities.

i could sew, but last night was exhausting and i can’t think clearly, let alone weigh beads.  i will work on that idea tomorrow …..18 months of tomorrows.

A friend mentioned an organization that donates weighted blankets to struggling children. i reasoned that we were not candidates for the service, after-all  i could sew, we “could” find the $ in our budget and our girl’s diagnosis’s fall on the mild side.

 i don’t like to need. i don’t like to be served. i am a fixer, i could would handle this. i sensed there was pride holding me back,

i chose to swallow hard and summit our Blessing’s request, within days sponsorship came in and our girl was gifted with a blanket.

IMG_0412

We anticipated the arrival of the box. “Mamma, is my blanket coming today ? “

IMG_0420

 The wait wasn’t long, it arrived ! Blessing was thrilled ~ pink and purple with sparkles !

 i held my breath doubtful that it would be the help we had been looking for. i was afraid to hope this bundle of beads and polyfiber may actually bring comfort and rest to our 8 years of restless nights.

i was sooooo wrong.

IMG_0408

Easy, calm, sound and peaceful sleep for our girl.

The science is beyond me but the results of snuggling our Blessing under the 9 pounds of plastic pellets in this miracle blanket are indisputable.

 i have been waiting to share, fearful this good thing would come to an end. A month into this journey i am convinced the science and therapy behind weighted blankets is nothing short of genius. We are all resting better in our fish pond, but the real gift goes so much deeper. This process has gifted us with some treasures we were not even aware we lacked.

We found a community of others walking similar journeys to ours.

We realized we are less alone than it sometimes feels as an organization jumped at the chance to come along side us, as a young single mom gave of her time, energy and love to actually construct Blessing’s blanket and as unknown sponsors gave the cash needed to allow Blessing’s blanket to be given.

IMG_0444

Our girl is happier~calmer~more focused~IMG_0449

more obedient~less impulsive~doing measurably better academically~IMG_0443

funnier~more cooperativeIMG_0442~having more fun and did i mention Happier !

We have been so blessed by this process we are looking for opportunities to pass the blessing on.  We have ordered supplies to try our hand at sewing a  cotton summer blanket for Blessing. We plan to assist a friend in sewing one for her little guy who also struggles with sleep.

To all those who were personally a part of this gift to us

images

We are blessed to be resting calmly under our plastic pellets, and when i say we, i mean WE because everyone in the house seems to find a little extra weight very comforting.

Final Post Note : i have wondered what would happen if i took the blanket away for a night. Over Mother’s Day we traveled to Grandma’s house and i forgot our 9 pounds of  magic. That mistake got us four and a half  hours of restless, fitful, anxious sleeplessness…for Blessing and for this tired old mamma. We Love our Blanket !!


Blessed~Missing Makeup

may 2014 by Nama

IMG_0223See that blush compact ? See that makeup brush ? i have been searching for days, perhaps into weeks, i have had concerned inquiries as to my well being in the absence of my typical rosey glow. Apparently Barbie and Ken and Monster High Freak girl were in need a makeover.