Monday, May 28, 2007

Great Article

Adoption is obviously very near to our heart and has been for many years (way before we adopted our boys). John Piper wrote a wonderful article here about adoption. He beautifully paints the picture of God adopting us and draws the biblical parallels for earthly adoptions. He includes a bit at the end about adopting his daughter. Please take time to read it. It blessed and encouraged us!

Saturday, May 26, 2007


We don't watch Scrubs very often but we just have to give props for Thursday night's musical episode. It was very well done and hilarious! You can view the episode here.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Patrick Murat Rudolph

A brief look at Patrick's interests and skills.
Aspiring Golfer

Resident Charmer - who can resist those eyes?

Great helper - he mows the lawn almost daily!

Animal lover - this blow-up giraffe took up residence with him in his playhouse.
Patrick's favorite:
Snack - Goldfish crackers
Animal - dog (giraffes are a close 2nd)
Food - chocolate (but not a fan of sweets in general)
Movie - Monster's Inc.
TV Program - Sesame Street
Song - Jesus Loves Me or Jesus Loves the Little Children of the World
Book - Hmm, still deciding
Color - Blue or Red
Character - Elmo
Outdoor Activity - Mowing
Toy - Keys & phones (play or real)

Calvin Amirkhan Joseph

Here is a glimpse at Calvin and his interests of late.
Experimenting with gravity - no stopper for him which he thinks is fun!
Containers - one of Calvin's favorite things along with the sandbox.

100% boy - playing with sticks.

Real-life Calvin & Hobbes - his favorite stuffed animal.
Calvin's Favorite:
Snack - Fruit snacks
Animal - dog (fish and birds are close 2nds)
Food - chocolate, yogurt
Movie - Monster's Inc. & Baby Einstien
TV Program - Sesame Street
Song - B-I-N-G-O
Book - Curious George
Color - Yellow
Character - Elmo & Thomas the Tank
Outdoor Activity - anything with water
Toy - mega blocks


...Getting into mischief.
...Playing together.

...Loving each other.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Incredible Story

This story has touched me so much that I just have to share it with you. I found it on another blog that also shared this amazing family's blog. God's grace and sovereignty are so evident and the faith God gave has given this couple is such an example. It blessed me and their loving story definitely made me cry.

Surgery & Potty Training

Praise the Lord! We finally have a 1st surgery date - August 28. We will be on a cancellation list if something is available sooner but it's not likely since we are coordinating a couple of different surgeons. We are happy to have a date but disappointed that it is still 3 months away. We really thought we would be on our 2nd surgery by now - God is testing our patience but we trust He knows best. Please pray that Calvin's speech will not be effected too much by the surgery delay - he is trying so hard to talk but we cannot understand very much. This 1st surgery will close the lip - not as helpful for the speech issues. He will receive speech therapy at some point but I'm not sure when in the surgery process.

Okay, I've been really hoping to wait on potty training but we are starting to have some issues with taking diapers off. We've tried various methods of discouraging this - only wearing onesies etc. Calvin seems to mainly do this when he is bored in his crib in the morning or at naptime - it also seems to be a bit of a control issue. Today he undid his brand-new diaper underneath his onesie and in true boy-form - peed out the side (only a little on the diaper). I'm not sure this was actually his plan... It does not seem related to how full the diaper is. Short of getting him up immediately upon hearing him (we are trying to avoid this solution), I'm at a bit of a loss.

Any suggestions? Also, any great potty training books - perhaps specifically geared towards boys? I'm considering trying a couple of days to test his readiness (I'm not convinced he is really ready at all) and then stopping if he's not ready but still working on potty introduction at bathtime, naptime etc. I'm not sure if I want to potty train before surgery - seems like it may complicate his hospital stay and recovery for a number of reasons. Any thoughts on that?

Here's hoping for any advice or insights! Doesn't he look so innocent? :) :)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Reflections on Being a Mom

In honor of my first Mother's Day, I've thought about some of the things I love about being a mom - here's my TOP 10:
10) Dressing them in cute clothes and shopping for them (of course!).

9) Enjoying the way they embrace life and live it fully.

8) Watching them learn.

7) Cuddling in the rocking chair and reading books.

6) Seeing (and hearing) their excitement when they have a new toy or treat or see a dog!

5) Having my nose poked twenty times a day and agreeing that yes, it is still my "no."

4) Smiles - enough said. :)

3) Tickling them and hearing them laugh.

2) Hugs - or hug-a-bugga as we sometimes call it.

1) Kisses - the best kind, sloppy wet and all.

This is definitely not a comprehensive list. :) I'm so thankful that God has entrusted these children to Andrew and me. I am blessed. This has been an amazing year and I look forward to many more wonderful years of being a Mom. Of course this post would not be complete without a couple of pictures - please don't mind this proud mama.

A Call

Tonight this little boy was playing with Daddy's cell phone when we heard this, "9-1-1, what's your emergency?" What?! Somehow Patrick had managed to unlock the keypad and make a call. Daddy quickly hung up but Mommy made him call back to let them know it wasn't an emergency since they seem to be able to track you anywhere. :) Thankfully, the operator understood. Needless to say, the phones will now be off limits.


We had a full weekend! Aunt Margaret graduated from highschool on Saturday so we enjoyed her ceremony and open house. She is headed to Purdue in the fall and we will really miss her!

Yesterday was my first Mother's Day and it was wonderful. We decided to spend it as a family so Andrew cooked dinner and then we all took naps. Calvin and Patrick sent me flowers but their biggest gift was napping for four hours yesterday - I napped, too!

Here I am with the two wonderful boys that I'm Mama to!
This was taken on October 5 - the day they came to live with us!

Today we enjoyed my cousin Rita and her son, Toby. They spent the day with us and we had a great time playing inside and outside but especially in the pool!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Outside Fun

We spent lots of time outdoors this past Saturday. It was so beautiful and the boys have a bunch of fun outdoor activities to occupy their time. We inflated their pool and Patrick surprised us by being the waterbug! He didn't care how cold the water was - Calvin wasn't so sure but by later in the day he was in on the fun, too.

They had swim trunks on earlier in the day but they thought sandals and onesies were better!

Thanks & Gardening

First, thank you to the many of you who offered encouragement and support through a very difficult week. I was blessed by the calls, comments, and e-mails. My Grandpa was laid to rest on Friday after a wonderful funeral service - God was truly glorified. We will miss him but we take a great deal of comfort in knowing he is in Heaven and in the many memories we have with him.

Now on to my post. Andrew and I have been diligently working on landscaping/outdoor living area since we moved in to our house 3 1/2 years ago and this year is no exception (my Grandpa would be proud :). 2 years ago we built our deck, last year we put in our fence, and this year we are working on improving our flower beds and garden. By the time April rolls around, I anxiously wait until it is "safe" to plant my flowers. Something about visiting the local garden centers is always exciting - perhaps it's the thrill of choosing what colors and plants will grace my beds or maybe the joy of the warm weather returning.

My favorite plants are my herbs - I have a few periennals and then I add several annuals. I love cooking with them throughout the summer and fall. This year I'm featuring chives, sage, thyme, spearmint, peppermint, lovage, basil, lemon basil, rosemary, italian flat leaf parsley, curry, and oregano. My personal favorites are chives, lemon basil, cilantro, and rosemary. We are also growing some vegetables - tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, okra (for Andrew), and peppers. We have one bed that is entirely tomatoes - 14 plants in all including cherry, yellow pear, orange, purple, and roma. Fresh salsa is one of our favorite summer dishes. We use the lasagna gardening method and have found it to be fairly successful.

I'm also doing several different kinds of flowers in the beds and terra cotta pots. I'm hoping to keep up with all the gardening better this year since I will be home more and my boys LOVE playing outside! (And yes, I know it's a little earlier than recommended for planting but we just couldn't wait!)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Great-Grandpa Judd

Calvin and Patrick lost their great-grandpa this week. They did not have the chance to know him for very long but I'm so glad they met him. He held them and played with them the best he could. His mind failed yet he couldn't resist two cute boys. :) He heard them one more time - chattering away as he was in his final hour of life on Monday. They don't understand all that's going on this week - why Mommy is sad and Daddy has been home more and why Uncle Wesley has been staying with us and Uncles and Aunts have been coming and going but they have brought us joy in the midst of grief. I think somehow he knew that he had two more babies (he called us all his babies) and loved them as only he could.

Grandpa: January 7, 1921 - April 30, 2007

My Grandpa Judd passed away on Monday - unexpected yet expected, he was 86. Within 3 hours of finding out he wasn't doing well, he peacefully died with many of us surrounding his bed. He went to church on Sunday with Grandma - what a great place to spend your last day on earth.

Memories have flooded my mind all week (well, I guess it's been just 2 days but it's felt like a week already). As I sat and stood by his bed talking to him and just holding his hand, rubbing his arm, and stroking his hair (he would have hated that! :) in his final hours, I couldn't help but remember how much he loved me. Even as his mind failed these past few years, he nearly always told me he loved me and that I was pretty. I know he could hear me as I told him I loved him and as I brought my boys in to say goodbye to a man they didn't have the privilege of knowing very long. He would have loved them as he loved all of us - his babies as he fondly called us.

He made the best swiss steak, ham, and eggs & bacon (with a side of Roselyn's coffeecake). He was an excellent gardner and had an orchard and grape arbor in addition to his garden. He teamed well with Grandma - he lovingly tended his plants and trees while Grandma made the best sweet pickles, grape jelly, and apple crisp! Grandpa loved to tell us about how he wooed my Grandma and how lucky he was. He regaled us with stories of growing up, the navy, and of course, about our Dad. He was proud to be a pharmicist and hoped one of us would follow in his footsteps (he was proud of us even though none have, so far).

I loved going to his house. I knew I would be spoiled and I knew I would have the opportunity to paint ceramics. He taught me how to pour molds - the precision and patience necessary to make a good piece of bisque. He showed me how to paint, how to choose colors, and especially how to make the perfect eyes on my animals. He made each of us a lamp and even my boys have a music box he painted. He loved ceramics!

Grandpa, I will miss you more than I could ever express. Your unfailing love was more than any of us deserved. You were always proud of me and all of my family. I'll miss your kisses, your smiles, your jokes, your hugs, your squeezing my hand, your compliments, and your steak but most of all I'll just miss YOU. You were a wonderful Grandpa and I will always love you.