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A Baby Update!

We brought Phoebe home to meet the family almost one week ago.

Progress report: We are surviving.

holdingphoebePhoebe sleeps and sleeps and somehow is still way more DRAMA than Enoch ever dreamed of being. Like, if you pick her up too quickly, she cries. Silly girl.

And Enoch has just flipped the switch from baby to toddler or something. He’s not technically toddling yet, but he’s crawling very fast to get into EVERYTHING.

And then I hurt my toe. It’s really not serious… kind of a massive stubbed toe, that may or may not lose its toenail. But when you’re sleep deprived and the bigger baby is trying to chew on computer cords and the tiny baby just puked down your shirt, a stubbed toe is just too much.

So between all that excitement and spending copious amounts of time holding Phoebe, we haven’t had a chance to give you guys an update on our adoption fundraising.

A couple really exciting things have happened!

First: In a week’s time, you guys have given about $5,000. That’s amazing! We are so grateful!

Second: We received an interest free adoption loan that allowed us to pay the agency their fees. This is a big blessing!

You can help us pay back this adoption loan by giving here. As we return the funds, the money goes directly to finance other families’ adoptions. So your donations are the gift that keeps giving to adoption!

Remember, every donation of $15 or more will receive a tiny little baby, hand-painted by me! (For those of you who’ve already given, yours will be coming shortly, as soon as we are awake enough to remember where the Post Office is!)


Pretty soon we’ll be sharing some exciting fundraising stuff that will brighten your autumn and might even help you out with your Christmas shopping! So stay tuned.


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Now We are 6

So one minute you’re sweeping the floors and the next you’re finding out you might have a baby.

Well, that was our Thursday night, anyway.

The agency called us about a baby girl that had been born the day before. I mean, normally with adoption, you have at least a few weeks to prepare. But she was already here!

At midnight we got the confirmation that her birth mom had picked us to be her family and we needed to be on a plane to Utah the next day. So that was the end of sleeping.

Do you know how much you can get done on a surge of adrenalin at midnight? I cleaned the bathroom while Chris contacted our friend to see if she could watch the kids. I packed clothes while Chris ran to Wal-Mart to get last minute essentials. I made TO DO lists while Chris booked a flight. I did laundry while Chris did the dishes.

And then we laid in bed, wide awake.

Because we were getting a baby in less than 24 hours. A BABY, people!

Since we were running on about 2 hours of sleep, the next day was crazy. I mean, with 3 kids staying at home, you don’t just pick up and leave. You write letters to the school, and try to have some food in the fridge and list out their schedule and how to make bottles. And you make sure all the school uniforms are clean. But no matter how much you plan, it turns out Enoch has no socks just as the weather turns cold.

Once we got through all that, flying wasn’t much better, because they decided to leave us sit on the Tarmac for an hour, LIKE THEY DIDN’T KNOW WE HAD A BABY TO MEET.

When we finally got to Utah (about 10:30 pm, Louisville time), we headed directly to the hospital. We walked into the nursery with our social worker. And there she was! Just laying in her little hospital crib, so tiny (6lbs, 12oz and 18in), waiting for us.

It was kind of surreal, because everyone was just talking all calm and normal and we were meeting our daughter.

We named her Phoebe Cheyanne Glory Davis. And she is our girl.

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Because this all happened so fast, we’d hardly gotten started with fundraising. We need to come up with $15,000 pretty quickly. Just over the weekend, we had people already give $2,300 which has totally blow us away. Thank you all so much!

If you’d like to help us too or share our link with your friends, head over to Thanks a million!

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Hey White People, Let’s Talk About Ferguson

When we adopted our son, who is African American, I began to quietly read blogs, books and news related to his culture. A lot of new ideas opened up to me, many of which I’m only beginning to grasp. It’s humbling to learn how little I may understand the perspective and experiences of my fellow Americans.

In light of this, I’ve been very troubled by some of the responses of white people to the events transpiring in Ferguson, MO.

Our Black fellow-Americans are finding a voice to let the nation know that, to an extent, this is their every day. Every day they are afraid of being guilty until proven innocent. Every day they are afraid of suspicion based on their skin color or hairstyle. Every day they are afraid that they are viewed as less than human. Every day they are afraid someone will shoot first and ask questions later.

They are telling our nation this and saying, “Now do you see?”

Unfortunately, I don’t think we are listening very well.

Instead, we’re talking. We’re making excuses and dismissing their feelings as either paranoia or that they are “doing” something to bring this on themselves. We’re trying to point out the problems in the Black community (which is not our job). We’re trying to explain away what law enforcement’s intentions might have been (again, not our job).

I think we are tempted to diminish their concerns because we’ve never personally felt what Black Americans are describing to us. So we invalidate their experiences in our minds.

I flew on an airplane a month or so after September 11th. It was a scary. There were military personnel with machine guns stationed in the airports and you could be searched at many different points, even as you boarded the plane. Though I knew I’d done nothing wrong, I was nervous every time I came to a security checkpoint, because if I forgot I had a nail clippers in my purse, I might find myself getting strip-searched in a holding cell (at least that’s how my 18-year-old mind played it out).

Friends, this is what Black people are telling us they feel EVERY DAY. We need to listen.

As I see the pictures of the extreme military-style police presence in Ferguson, I keep thinking back to the civil rights movement, and how the police in Birmingham turned fire hoses and dogs on the peaceful protestors. When the images from that day hit the newspapers, it shocked many in our nation into action.

But I wonder how many others read the newspapers and thought, “Well, that’s their problem. They shouldn’t have been marching anyway. If they had just complied with law enforcement, they wouldn’t have gotten hurt.”

And yet in the broad scope of history, we look back and think, “Why did people just stand by and let this happen? What was wrong with us?”

This is why we must listen more and speak less. We don’t understand the struggle, because we haven’t lived it. But we can humbly learn from those that are finding their voice, as the nations’ eye is on Missouri. Maybe we won’t know how to help solve the problem today or tomorrow. But if we listen and learn, our hope is that our country’s dark history doesn’t have to repeat itself.

Photo Credit: “Birmingham campaign dogs” by Bill Hudson, of the Associated Press. Licensed under Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of Birmingham campaign via Wikipedia.
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When You Take City Kids to the Farm

If you are ever in Wisconsin and you think to yourself, “I just want to FEEL Wisconsin. I want to smell stinky cow air. I want to see corn growing. I want to touch farm animals and taste Wisconsin-y things.” If you ever think thoughts like this, there is a place for you.

Go to Mulberry Lane Farm. (There are probably lots of other places to smell cow and see corn, but this is the place my parents always take my city kids.)

I’m not big on the country life, but it’s pretty cool for a farmy type place. The scenery is picturesque and the grounds are about as clean as a farm can be. The animals are all very tolerant of people touching and holding and squeezing them.

Because we didn’t go to the farm on the day Leah expected us to, she spent a whole afternoon moaning about wanting to see kittens. Two days later, when we were actually going to the farm, she felt she needed to stay home, because she was afraid to milk the cow and ride the ponies.

Leaving 7-year-olds at home alone is frowned upon in most States. So we told her to get her booty in the van, because she was going anyway.

We started our farm tour in the chicken-holding pen.

My big kids refused to hold chickens. Something about not wanting to get pooped on. Enoch was willing to tentatively poke a feather with one finger when I held a chicken up by him.


Next was the goats.

Leah refused to let the goats eat corn out of her hand. Isaiah tried to avoid walking on goat poop, which was about as easy as walking on water. Enoch tried to grab the goats’ ears, which he found amusing. I imagine the goats did not.


Then we visited the sheep pen.

The big kids tried to dodge more poop on the ground and they both refused to touch the sheep because they were “dirty.” There were also a couple of calves in the pen that they would not touch.

We got to the pony rides.

Isaiah self-declared himself too old. I declared Enoch too young. So the boys and I parked in the shade. Leah decided she wasn’t, after all, afraid to ride the ponies. She came running back to me like a conquering hero when her turn was done, “I did it! I rode the little one!” Bravery comes in all sizes.

We moved on to the cow-milking station.

My kids were the ones with their backs pressed to the fence, as far from the cow as possible. There was no way they were going to touch a cow udder, which Isaiah said was basically the cow’s “private parts.”

Next was a hay ride.

This was overall a hit. Enoch enjoyed trying to fist handfuls of hay into his mouth. Isaiah “pretend” complained about having to see farm sights. Leah was a little concerned that the ride was too fast. But everyone seemed open to doing it again, should the opportunity arise.


When the tour was done, they released us to find the bunnies, kittens and chicks.

This was the part my city kids had been waiting for. (OK, I’m not going to lie. I’d been waiting for it too.)

The big kids were good at cuddling bunnies. Enoch chortled when I rubbed a bunny on his cheek. Then he grabbed its paw and held on for dear life. The bunny seemed remarkably calm under the circumstances.

The kittens were pretty much the same story, except Enoch chortled and grabbed them by their loose kitten skin. Leah kept telling me she saw a sign saying the kittens were ready to “adopt,” like this was relevant information for our life.

When we got to the chicks, I decided that baby birds might not be able to handle Enoch love.  Turns out, Isaiah has impressive bird catching and holding abilities.

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We ended the day at the farm’s playground.

The kids had been asking about the “park” all day, like there was some kind of gravitational force pulling them in. They played in a sandbox and climbed on things. Enoch tried to rip up as much grass as he could and eat it.

So here is a recap of our visit to the farm:

My small people went to a farm, which they enjoyed, as long as they didn’t have to touch anything but kittens and bunnies (which they could find in any pet shop). And so they could play at a park. City kids.

farmboytractor   farmgirltractor

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Crazy Baby Name Parents

So an odd thing happened when we named our youngest son Enoch.

We thought, “It’s a Bible name. It may be a bit obscure, but most people can pronounce Bible names regardless of their religious background, because they filter into culture.”


Even those nearest and dearest to us couldn’t pronounce it.

Before we brought him home, my mom was talking to Isaiah about “baby EE-nick.” Isaiah somehow had snagged the correct pronunciation from the beginning and corrected her, “GRANDMA. It’s EE-nock.”

I was completely mystified how I had grown up in this woman’s home and somehow still came away pronouncing a Bible name differently than her (you might not think that’s shocking until you realize how MUCH Bible she read to us).

I didn’t even know “EE-nick” was a potential pronunciation.

But it became an increasing problem. I heard our friends at church stumble over his name the first few times, because they knew it wasn’t supposed to have “nick” on the end, but old habits die so hard.

People who met Enoch, after only seeing his name written under his Facebook pictures, called him EE-nick.

Even the guy that reads the audio version of the ESV Bible on YouVersion says, “EE-nick.” For the love!

I was starting to feel insecure about our pronunciation. Maybe they were all right and I was wrong. I mean, there is no “I” in Enoch, so phonetically, I couldn’t see how they had a leg to stand on. But it was so prevalent.

Then Chris’ mom completely brought awareness to the issue.

She was visiting a few weeks back and asked, “Did your church people have a hard time learning to say Enoch’s name, since they were used to saying EE-nick?”

I mean, she just assumed that all “church people” said EE-nick. And people that aren’t church people don’t even know the name exists (trust me, I’ve painfully discovered this as well). So church people are pretty much the pronunciation plumb-line on this one.

I started to wonder if I was one of those parents. You know, the ones who name their kid Ann, but spell it “Ayhn.” Or they name them something gender neutral that really isn’t so neutral any more, like Leslie for a boy. Or they name them after whatever they just ate for breakfast: “This is my daughter, Toast.”

That’s when kids start going by J.D. or something.

So, fearing for Enoch’s future name pronunciation self-esteem, I decided to google the correct pronunciation of his name. This typically should be done BEFORE the baby is born. Not 8+ months into his life. Because there’s not much we can do about it now.

But turns out. YOU ALL ARE CRAZY!

We’ve been pronouncing his name right all along! Told you so.

Someone even took a poll:


In case you’re still in doubt, here’s a video:

If you can’t see the video, click here.

OK, I feel vindicated. We are not those parents. We aren’t like people that name their daughter Brian and claim you say it “Bree-Ahn.” Nope.

I realize I’m going to have to include pronunciation guides for his name on all his school forms and camp forms and VBS forms, world without end. But at least I know I am right.

We’re normal people, with a normal baby name, with a normal pronunciation. Now if I could just convince everyone around me…

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Shocking: My Husband’s Reaction to My Cooking

My husband isn’t what you’d call and adventurous eater.

And he’s been anti-vegetable since I’ve met him. Basically, if it was green and it wasn’t salad, it shouldn’t be on his plate.

This was extremely limiting to the cooking process. Coupled with my lack of culinary skills and I was left with about 6 recipes that we could all agree on.

And I was BORED. So, so bored.

I was so bored that I felt bitter every time I had to cook dinner again.

Through a series of unfortunate events involving a scale, Chris and I both concluded that we had to start eating healthier, and we stumbled across a plan that intrigued us. Problem was, it cut out all grains and processed sugars.

Did you know pasta is made out of grain? And tortillas are made of grain? And rice is a grain? I mean, there went ALL my recipes.

But my husband said the most beautiful, magical words to my ears, “All bets are off. I’ll eat anything.”

A blank slate! And no veggie was restricted (except artichokes, because I once sneaked them into a meal and he still hasn’t forgiven me).

As exciting as this was, I was also dreading the experiment a bit, because of past trauma with feeding Chris food he didn’t like. During an offensive meal, he didn’t talk. He just concentrated on choking down the awful food and he didn’t talk at all. Awkward silence.

So I kind of started out slow, sticking to veggies I knew he tolerated. And then I got brave and reckless.

I made roasted broccoli. And he said it was so good he could eat it every night. He took a second helping. I cried a few happy tears.

I made “spaghetti” and meatballs with zucchini noodles. He declared it delicious.

I made bacon wrapped asparagus that I didn’t even like. He loved it (OK, I did say bacon, so…).

ohmyAll this acceptance kind of went to my head. I decided to have a treat night of pancakes and my recipe had me make cinnamon apples to put on top, instead of syrup.

I thought, “Well, that will never fly.”

Chris wasn’t a big fan of anything apple related. But it looked delicious to me, so I thought maybe I could smooth things over by having real maple syrup on the side that could be drizzled over the apples to sweeten the deal.

He took a bite and exclaimed, “What did you do to the apples?”

“Nothing. Just cinnamon and butter,” I hesitantly admitted.

“They are SO good! They’re so sweet!” (By the way, these were Granny Smith apples, which probably don’t get described as “sweet” very often.)

Honestly, it’s a pretty big thrill for my less-than-skilled-cook heart to hear my husband extol my cooking. But I have to admit. The most exciting part is that the things he is enjoying are items I’d been trying to convince him to eat for years.

I win.

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In the Middle of the Night

Shocking as this may seem, there is actually something I hate more than cleaning the house.

Going to bed.

Chris is not a night owl. At about 10:30, he is just done. Like someone flipped a switch. This is kind of awful for me, because I come alive at night. My brain starts whirling and I want to do things and write things and make things and… everything!

The problem is, we’ve always BELIEVED in going to bed at the same time. When we are counseling a bride and groom-to-be, that’s the advice we dispense. And I still agree with it in concept.

But since we’re currently sharing a room with a baby, going to bed at the same time has lost it’s glossy sheen a bit. I mean, you can’t even have a whispered conversation for fear of waking someone.

So we’ve broken our own rule a couple of times recently.

Now, I won’t stay up after Chris has gone to bed to watch a movie or anything trivial like that. Mainly because then he would judge me. It’s completely mystifying to him why anyone would want to stay awake past 11 at night. But if I burn the midnight oil to do something productive, then he’s way less judgey.

Remember how I mentioned that I hate to clean the house? Our current summer-break status hasn’t been helpful to me in that area. There are just so many distractions! Loud, talkative distractions that seem to always need lunch.

So the other night, when I suggested I stay up late and get some cleaning in, Chris toned down his “I fail to see why anyone in their right mind wouldn’t want to sleep at a conventional time.”

nightCLEANINGOnce he went to bed, I put a TV show on my laptop and scrubbed the kitchen from top to bottom (except inside the fridge, because that’s not a job to take on lightly). It was great! And the situation was potentially enhanced by how ALONE I was (Again, summer vacation. It’s an introvert killer.)

But I’m not going to lie, I probably cleaned the kitchen better than I ever would in the daytime. Just to avoid going to bed.

That is how much I like staying up late.

I mean, this could be a new housecleaning motivator. The procrastinator in me is awesome at doing something, anything, to put off doing the thing I hate the most. So if avoiding bedtime gets my house clean, it’s a win/win.

Except the waking up… the waking up the next morning is so hard to do.

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I Need to Repent

prayingI’ve judged people. I’ve called them names, like wimpy. And weak.

And now I need to repent.

I need to repent to people who put stuff in their coffee.

We drank our coffee black for years. Not only that, we wore it like a badge of honor. When baristas asked if I wanted “room” I was like, “Psh. No!”

Really, it all started with convenience. One time, when Isaiah was a baby, I bought a coffee at the mall. After purchasing, I realized I had one hand to hold Baby and one hand to hold coffee. There were no hands left to add sugar or anything else. So I shrugged and decided, then and there, to become a black coffee drinker.

It served us well in all our years of low-fat, calorie counting eating. I mean, coffee is like zero everything, if you don’t add stuff. (But we’ve given up calorie counting in favor of Paleo/Low Carb. So that’s not really a hindrance for us now.)

And I’ll admit, 2/3 of the time when we ordered coffee out, it tasted like black tar. Even Starbucks’ coffee has a bitter, burnt thing going on. So unless we were at one of our local coffee shops or we brewed our own coffee, it was rarely good.

But dang it, we were black coffee drinkers!

So a couple of weeks ago, flying to our vacation, Chris and I both asked the flight attendant for black coffee. But when he brought it, mine had somehow become “coffee with cream.”

Chris felt bad for me and half-heartedly offered to take the offensive cup, but I knew he really didn’t want it. Plus, I was trying to wrangle a baby, so I was more concerned about imbibing some caffeine without spilling on myself. It wasn’t like I was expecting the 4 oz. airplane coffee to actually taste good anyway.

creamincoffeeOK, here’s the thing. I took a sip and it was delicious. I didn’t know how that could be, but it was. The cream just smoothed everything out and compensated for any nasty flavor. I actually enjoyed that dinky cup of coffee.

I hesitatingly mentioned this phenomenon to Chris. And it kind of came to mind a couple of more times over the next week, but I WAS A BLACK COFFEE DRINKER. So I just went back to drinking my coffee black.

When we got home from vacation, Chris texted me from work saying, “You inspired me. I tried cream in my coffee. I really like it!”

I texted back, “Are we going to be THOSE people now? The ones that put stuff in their coffee?”

Apparently we are, because we’re hooked.

It’s just so smooth and silky. And I can only imagine all the bad coffee that can now be helped by a little cream.

But I do feel like I need to apologize to all the wimpy people that put stuff in their coffee. We’re now one of you.

Except sugar. I’ll still judge you for that.

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Husband Vs. Wife, Vacation Style

My husband and I have very different approaches to vacation.

I like no plans, no agenda, and the ability to sleep in and lay around reading. So basically, I want to relax!

He wants to do things. All the things that can possibly be done. He wants a schedule and every second maximized for ultimate productivity.

The kids? Typically, they just want to swim in the hotel pool.

Last week, we took the first actual family vacation we’d had in 6 years. The last time, the kids got diarrhea. On a road trip. So you can see why it took us awhile to try again.

But we wanted to take the big kids to Disney before they were too old to care. And we’d been promising Isaiah a visit to Legoland for years, and the “don’t care” ship had almost sailed there too.

So we scheduled a vacation to Orlando.

husbandorganizedvacationIn the weeks leading up to our trip, Chris repeatedly went over the itinerary he was planning for us. This was not so I would know what was going on. No, he was trying to wear me down by repetition, so that I would just accept the busyness.

His PLAN was no joke. He had apps to predict crowd flow and weather and wait-time on rides and who knows what all. He scheduled our Fast Passes to harmoniously coincide so that he could ride roller coasters while I took the kids on baby-safe rides.

As he went over the proposed schedule, I refused to commit to anything. I mean, how am I supposed to know how I’ll be feeling by the next Thursday and if I’m going to want to go to the beach and then back to Disney for the Electric Parade? I can let you know on Thursday. I might just want to lay around that day (That was not even an option).

So I guess we kind of compromised when we got there.

Our first day, the park opened at 9:00, so I suggested we leave the condo by 10:00. He agreed, but said, “You know this is really hard for me, right?” Because if the park opened at 9:00, he wanted to be there at 8:45.

And I just had to find ways to get my relaxing reading in, in spite of the schedule.

babysleepingvacationI’m not a huge fan of rides anyway, so as soon as the baby fell asleep in the stroller, I was like, “I’m out! Park me in some shade.”

Chris kept offering to sit with the baby so I could ride stuff. I wanted to be like, “Are you crazy?! Why would I leave my book, this bench and the shade to go stand in line in the hot sun?” But instead, I just said self-sacrificingly, “No, that’s fine. You go ahead.”

I mean, I still wouldn’t say it was exactly a restful trip. But I got a few moments in. And Chris was able to keep our itinerary organized. So we were both happy.

Of course, the kids’ favorite part (as always) was the pool at the condo. We flew all the way to Orlando so they could swim in a pool…

It might be another 6 years until the next “vacation.”

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The Runaway

We don’t even like our dogs. So why do they get such a hold on our hearts?

Our beagle Chester is a grumpy old man. A grumpy “Get off my grass, you crazy kids!” kind of old man. He was an old man when he was still a puppy. I mean, who ever heard of an introverted beagle?

When you say “beagle” most people get all mushy and tell you a tale about a beagle they had once that was the “best dog ever.” “Beagles are great with kids,” they say. Beagles are so playful,” they say.


Chester alternates between sleeping on his pillow, growling at anyone who comes close, barking for 3 hours straight at the neighbor dog and tipping over the garbage can. No happy kisses. No cute antics. Just glares and huffy standoffish-ness.

When he was 8, we got him a puppy-brother, which wasn’t the best thing that ever happened to him. But it did make him look like the good dog, because at least he wasn’t chewing the table legs and attacking our toes when we sat on the couch.

I guess being the good dog got old or something. Because, the other evening, when one of the kids didn’t latch the gate properly after retrieving a ball, Chester took the big break and set out to explore the neighborhood.

Chris, always the delegated dog-finder, walked around the block and then took the car to search further afield. No Chester.

It ruined my night. That dumb, rude dog ruined my night.

He doesn’t cuddle. He doesn’t even act like he loves us, unless we’re going to feed him or he’s been boarded at the kennel for a week.

But I went to bed sad that the dog was missing.

There was no Chester and no news in the morning. The city’s lost-dog department didn’t open until noon. There was nothing to do, but mope around the house.

Then, like a miracle, our vet (who’s number was on his tags) called to tell us a lady had found him. They gave me her number and we arranged to go get him.

There was much rejoicing in our house (and I’m assuming at Chris’ office, when I texted him the good news).

When Chester saw me, he ambled up and gave me some obligatory kisses. He was happy to jump in the car and come home. But he really acted like nothing had happened. He had been out all night, crossed 3 busy streets and wound up a couple of miles away. But no big deal, apparently.

photo(30)He didn’t follow me around, happy to be near me again. He didn’t seem grateful or sheepish or… anything.

So I tried to pay him extra attention, because SOMEBODY needed to acknowledge the trauma we’d all gone through. He groaned when I hugged him. He growled when his puppy-brother tried to say hello.

Finally, we just left him alone to sleep. Because he obviously wasn’t interested in any family bonding.

I laid up at night worrying about him and he just wanted to come home and sleep on the couch like nothing.  (Is this what parenting teenagers is like?!)

I’m glad he’s home. I’m just not sure WHY I’m glad.