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Wednesday, June 13, 2012


We have packed up and moved to a new web-home.
Come join us at www.LibertyHillHouse.com

See you there!

Monday, May 28, 2012


Our family has a special connection with a generally unknown milky pink rock called rhodochrosite.

My father tells a story of when I was a very young toddler. He took me to the grocery store and an older woman came up to me and cooed "Say Mama," to which I obediently replied, "Mama." She smiled and continued to play with me asking me to repeat Dada, and I obeyed.

My dad, a geologist who knew my great 1 year old oratory skills, turned to me and cooed, "say rhodochrosite," and I dutifully repeated, "Rhodochrosite!" to Dad's great entertainment.

And so my great attachment to Rhodochrosite was born.

The special necklaces in the photo above were a gift from my inlaws who traveled to Argentina, and, knowing my special fondness for this rock, brought them back for both my girls and me.

Apparently, the Argentineans (hmm... That spelling looks wacky, but spellchecker approves, so I'll move on) have a custom of giving rhodochrosite to girls. They believe that women who own this stone will stay married for life.

I'm happily married, so I'm assuming that the rocks have been at work.

My favorite rock. Now you know.

The Rules of Saying Goodbye

Saying goodbye to Daddy every morning is one of those adorable kid-designed rituals that requires explicit care to execute just right. This is the basic plan:
1. Each child must be hugged and kissed before Daddy can leave.
2. Daddy walks out the door.
Aah, you say that sounds easy... but this is where things get complicated.

Should a delay happen between the hugs and Dad's departure (a quick conversation, or a return to the house for forgotten keys), the hugs are void for the purpose of saying goodbye, and step 1 must be repeted.

All hugs must be given out equally. If a child is still in bed and they hear the door open, they will dive down the stairs to get their hug. Should Dad not hear them running, they will stand on the porch waving their arms to get his attention until he comes back in and hugs them ... necessitting a return to step 1 because of the delay mentioned before. If a child is so deeply asleep tht they miss Dad's departure, another one will appoint themselves hug-master and will give the sleepy child "half" of their own goodbye hug from Daddy when the child wakes up and inevitably cries because Daddy is already gone.

Weather can also play a role in our goodbye routine. On rainy or cold mornings, the kids are content to kiss Dad at the front door, but if it is sunny outside, they consider it a great thrill to wave at his car from the front porch. On particularly beautiful days they will run barefoot through the yard waving and shouting "Goodbye! Goodbye!" until his car is completely out of sight. The neighbors must think tht we have royalty visiting the house on those mornings.

Oh, and just to put things in perspective, Dad only works about 4 miles down the road.

We obviously love that guy a lot.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bathtub Tribute

Aww...  I luv uoo too little boy.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Charming snake charmers

This isn't what I expected.

When we invited the cousins over we decided that the boys would go with my husband to move dirt (much more exciting than it sounds ... tractors are involved) and that the girls would play in our backyard. I envisioned the girls feeding the horses, giggling, and creating pretend worlds. What I did not see coming was this:

The ladies played with this snake for so long that it eventually appeared as if it trusted them.  They could put it down, pick it up, pat it on the head, and carry it around without startling it.


Sunday, April 8, 2012


The Easter story is one of my favorites.  

Luke 24:1-12 ESV

(1) But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. (2) And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, (3) but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. (4) While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. (5) And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? (6) He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, (7) that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” (8) And they remembered his words, (9) and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pulling the Story Together

I promised several people that I would send them the link to my sister's adoption story, then I realized that the saga is currently scattered across the internet and getting to all of the bits involves a lot more than one link. So, for all of you who have asked, or are curious about, these three adorable boys, I tried to organize it a bit.

Click away. Everything should fall into chronological order.

If you are looking for the truly long version of the story, snuggle up with your laptop and read straight through my sister's blog starting at The Golden Ticket (click "newer post" at the end of each post and you should work your way forward in time), but be aware that it is long, there are several stories that are about other children waiting to be adopted, and you will see lots of fund raising information. To simplify I linked the most informational posts below.

Start here: Jen answers the question, "why adopt?"

Anxious about transfers - there are many posts similar to this one, but the idea conveyed is the same. These boys really didn't belong in the baby house any more, and the alternative was horrific institutionalization ... for life. From another post:

What does it mean...


with only minimal amounts of food,
with very little attention,

with no thought to teaching basic hygine,

with little to no communication,

nor any form of education,

or any ability to age out of the institution.

They will never have a job,

never get married,

never feel the love of a family,

never blow out candles on their birthday,

never have a dad to take a thousand photos of them because of some minor accomplishment,

never catch rain drops.

The boys are promised to another family and the Demls must grieve and decide what to do next.

Traveling to Ukraine: Day 1

Finding out that the boys are still available for adoption! Unbelievable!!

Day 11 - Permission to go to the boys' location

Meeting the boys!!!

Groundhog day - aka. daily visitation

10 day waiting period - a deeper understanding of just how small the boys are for their age

Grandpa can't help with the flight home so Jen Miller steps up to help

Gotcha Day - The boys are now officially Demls!
Gotcha Day 2 - juggling more paperwork

Adventures in traveling from home from Kiev with 3 small children who neither speak your language, nor understand what is expected of them ... and the frustrating hoops that need to be jumped through.

Home and thriving! Everything is new to these boys. I watched the 4 year old reach out to grab a lightbulb this evening simply because it was close and shiny. The sweet little guy had no understanding that it would be hot. As Jennifer says, they are in all in the 2 year old exploring stage. What we take for granted is fascinating to them, and it is impossible to predict what they will do next. They are all adjusting well, and play beautifully with their new siblings.

Keep checking out Jen's blog FillingTheHouseWithBlessings to see what great things happen next for my new nephews!