Thursday, May 30, 2013

Happy Father's Day... early

Alayna made these for Dan and on the front of the card it says Happy Father's Day. I love that she adores her daddy and I pray one day she finds a man just like him.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Basketball Camp

This week started summer fun activities.  Sadly, Alayna didn't have any this week, but the boys each have basketball camp.  Josiah has gone for a number of years, but it's Seth's first year.  I love watching my boys play and maybe someday I'll be watching them play for West Fargo. :-)

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Today was the last day of school which means it was Josiah's last day of year is Middle School...I'm excited for him, but it's hard for me to believe he's done with elementary already...  

Anyway, they had an awards ceremony today.  We were so proud to see what he was awarded!  He was nominated to be a Student Ambassador this year for Freedom Elementary and so they had those kids stand to be recognized for their leadership at Freedom throughout the school year.  

Then they started handing out awards...

National Physical Fitness Award 

                                          Citizenship Award

 Presidential Gold Award for Excellence
-- To earn this award he needed to maintain at least a 3.5 GPA and 85% average or higher on standardized testing throughout their elementary years.                

Holding up his Presidential Gold Award for Excellence.  We were invited to go to the ceremony and we knew ahead of time that he would be honored with either the Silver (maintained 3.5 GPA throughout elementary) or Gold (GPA and standardized test score results throughout elementary) but they told us it would be a surprise that day which award they were given.  We were so proud either way, but he told us as they were calling the Silver winners he was really hoping they wouldn't say his name. :)  

Way to make the most of your elementary years...I pray you would continue to strive to do your best in Middle School as well.  We love you and couldn't be more proud!!

Happy 11th Birthday!!

Yesterday was a bit emotional, but today we need to celebrate!  It was 11 years ago today that the Lord blessed us with our first born.  Josiah Daniel, you changed our life in ways we never could have imagined, we're so thankful for you.

I've written about your life and birth story here, here, here, and here.  We didn't anticipate meeting you on May 23rd 11 years ago, after all, you weren't due until June 19th.  The Lord had other plans though and on this day 11 years ago you were born....quickly. :)

I came across this blog post a while ago and though I've changed it a bit to fit you I had to share it...

Today you are 11 and there are 11 things I want to share with you:
You don’t have to fit in. The world expects you to act a certain way. Culture demands it. But it’s okay to be a square peg in a round hole, to look different, be yourself. It’s alright to chart your course to God’s plan, even when others might not understand it. Yes, you might feel odd or weird chasing it, but that’s okay, most world changers do.
You don’t have to give in. You already know about the pressure–to talk or dress a certain way, to disrespect adults or girls, to be like those that do. But you possess the strength and character to walk away, the Christ living in you will help you stand. You don’t have to give in.  But if you do…
You get second chances and third and fourth… You can start again. Every sunrise is a second chance to get it right, to say no, to say I’m sorry, to ask forgiveness, to make a new start. I want you to know that this is what God is about. He wants to give you as many chances as it takes, just don’t every stop taking them.
You don’t have to be tough (all the time). Boys are supposed to be rough and tough. Maybe you've heard that “real men don’t cry” and always wear a stiff upper lip. But I want you to know real men are tender, they care about others, and root for the underdog. They rush to open the door for elderly women and use their manners. They cry over poverty and when they grow up, they tuck their babies into bed.
You don’t need a girl (yet). Girls. They are everywhere and their influence can be intoxicating, you’ll discover that soon enough. I can’t wait to see the girl God brings into your life and I already pray for her. Become friends with Godly girls, but don’t be in a hurry to make them a girlfriend. That time will come, enjoy today.
You make me proud. If you didn't do another thing, win another award, get another A, I want you to know I’m proud of the young man you've become. I love the way you love your brother and sister (most days). I love the way you are a good friend and listener to others. I love the way you opened your heart to foster care even though it was hardest on you initially. I am proud of you, son.
You are a success if you love God and others. I don’t know what you will be when you grow up. I think an engineer (that's been your goal since you were 7, but that could change) or a millionaire, a pastor, possibly a missionary or an artist. The sky is your limit and it’s up to you and God to decide. But no matter what you accomplish or don’t, in my eyes, you’re successful if you love God first and others second. Always remember this is true success.
You have great men in your life. God has given you amazing men to shadow. It doesn't get better than your father.  You have also been blessed with wonderful grandpa's as well as men in our church. They love God and their families more than themselves and if you aren't sure where to step next, look for their footprints.
You can always come home. No matter what happens in this life, what you do or don’t do, you always have a place with us. We might make you want to leave with our rules or ask you to because of your actions, but we won’t stop you from coming home.  
You are loved. No matter how long those legs grow or how high I have to look up to you, you will always be mine. I can still wipe your tears and listen to your heart. I can still ground you and make you say your sorry (hopefully). No matter what you do or what happens in this life, you are mine and nothing can change that. If you never hear another word I say or choose not to listen, you must believe that you are loved deeply by your parents. But even more than we love you, you are loved by a God who sent His son for you. Don’t ever doubt it. Believe it. This life might bring great joy or sorrow, great wealth or loss, but you can make it because you have His love. Make sure you give it away and share His love with others.
And most of all, we say a lot by not saying anything at all. We can accomplish a lot by praying these words from Psalm 63:8, “Lord, please instill in my child a soul with a craving for You, a heart that clings passionately to You.”  

I long for that to be your heart.  We are soooo proud of you and yet I don't want you to feel pressure to be perfect, but instead I want you to be the 'boy'/'man' that God intends for you to be and I pray that your dad and I are able to give you the freedom to do that.

You are loved Josiah Daniel Holder and there is nothing you can ever say or do that will change that.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


After 11 months in our family, today our foster daughter leaves after school to live with her extended family.  The past week has been full of 'lasts'.  If I'm honest, I've been doing pretty well emotionally...not that I haven't had breakdowns, but not as much as I anticipated when we first began as foster parents.  Truth be told, I'm excited for her to be able to live with family because she wants this and loves them very much.  She will still be in town and she's already planning different times with our family and with Alayna...yet, she will no longer be 'my' daughter...that's hard.  She's called us 'mom' and 'dad' for the past 11 months and that will most likely end.  When she comes to our home in the future she will come as a 'guest' not as our 'daughter'.  It's hard to wrap my mind around how to transition from feeling responsible to love her and teach trusting someone else to do that.  It's reminded me how, with all my kids I have to hold them with open hands.  The Lord has blessed me with each of them to love and teach them, but ultimately, He is in control of each of their lives.

I've tried not to make it an emotional last couple days because ultimately I don't think that's helpful for her.  If it's super emotional it seems like more of a 'good-bye' rather than 'see you later'.  However, last night as we tucked her in and prayed with her, she hugged me tighter and held on for longer and I couldn't help the tears from pooling in my eyes.  She asked me to lay with her and so I did and in the darkness the tears just rolled down my face.  This little girl has stretched our family, challenged my patience, pushed each of our buttons...and yet, she's also been open to learning, ready to love, blended into our family so well that early on people had no idea she had just joined our family.  

When I think of all she's been through and how that story is still continuing my heart aches.  She truly is a special little girl who desperately wants to belong and be loved.  I pray that she found that in our family for a season, but ultimately, I pray that she continues to learn and believe that the only place any of us can belong and be loved is through knowing Jesus Christ.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Jonathan Park

These 2 love listening to Jonathan Park cd's.  They have listened to all of them that we have and yet love listening to them over and over again.  This morning they woke up to continue listening to the one they started last night.

If you have kids around this age... check them out, your kids will love them!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Follow the trail

This morning Seth told me to follow the trail of toys to the treasure.  I admit, it took me a bit to figure out where the trail began because I was upstairs and the trail didn't start there, but once I found it, it was easy to follow. :-)

At the end of the trail I found a note and the note had copied words he'd written, his name and love mom.

Preschool is done...

Today Seth had his preschool program and I have to admit, I was nervous.  Would he be the goofy kid on stage?? Would he not want to do anything??  Well, he did GREAT!!  He knew all the songs, the actions, his part in the play and he did all the letter sounds plus the actions to go with it.  He was a pro!!  

It's hard for me to believe that my BABY is done with preschool, but I'm thankful for all that he learned this year and the ways we've seen him grow in his interactions with friends.  

Way to go Setharoo!!  Now it's time to enjoy the summer!!