Thursday, July 31, 2014

When "Thank You" Isn't Enough...

   One thing is for sure, I have the best friends in the WHOLE world.  Yes, I do.  Even better than yours. My friends are my very favorite. In order to be my friend, it is a requirement that you can make me laugh. That's it.  And I'm not even that strict about that because there are a few friends that I have that don't make me laugh. And I don't make them laugh...yet.  So either, you make me laugh OR I find it a challenge to make you laugh. One of those two scenarios and you are officially "in" the Darbi club. I have a particular friend who makes me laugh so easily. And hard. Like I consider wearing a diaper when I'm with her because I know one of these days the fortunate/ unfortunate event of laughing so hard and not making it to the restroom in time is just GOING to happen.  (Also, I come from a line of strong women...who laughed...and wet.)  Her name? Kluber.
    Kluber (or "TAMARA ANN!" when she's in trouble) is just that friend who everyone needs by their side.  Feeling happy and want to share it with someone? She's your gal! Feeling sad? Here she comes. She'll pour you a glass of wine and have you laughing in no time.  Got kids?  She's the best adopted Aunt out there.  Loves them like they are her own.  Want to go to Vegas?  She'll buy.  Wait a minute, WHAT???
    Let me back up. I love being a mom. Love it.  Love my kids so much. But it's hard. So hard. And I just need a change in scenery sometimes.  Something other than cleaning up poop and explaining for the fifteenth time in one week why we don't kick the dog, and why we keep our tongue in our mouth. Tiring.  Mike and I have been to Hawaii 3 times. To me that's the definition of a spoiled brat, so I have nothing to complain about, but I had just been feeling like I needed to get away to do something...but the child care would be very hard for anything more than a few hours. And then Kluber called. She just wanted to take me to Vegas because she loves it so much and wants her friends to see how awesome it is. That's it.  To her, it was probably a really nice thing for her to do. But for me, it was so much more. And she could only understand if she was in my shoes, which would be hard because I wear a size 5 and often glittery shoe, while she sticks to buying every shoe Nike comes out with. She just couldn't wear my shoes.  But for this blog post I wanted to try to thank her for her generosity...
  Tami- Seriously.  I got to take a shower for 3 a row...without having to get out, sopping wet and do roll call, making sure to hear all 4 childrens' voices before rinsing the shampoo. Just got to take showers! And when I was done, if I wanted? I could brush out my hair! Dry it even!  That part alone was SUCH a treat. Such. And you were the best hostess...always asking what I wanted to see/ do and not making me feel rushed. I'm still mad at you that we missed the drag show, but I guess that just means we have to go back. Mike will LOVE it.  Thanks for teaching me how to gamble.  Thanks for ordering room service and having a party in our room when I didn't feel too well. There were SO MANY OPTIONS for you...but you hung out with me.  Thanks for not getting mad when my new purple hair dye job turned our bathroom and half of the hotel towels purple...knowing the room was on your credit card.  Thank you for our dinner at Collichios.  I felt like we were movie stars but we just needed a break from the public so we went there to eat our lobster bisque. We laughed, we cried, it was the best.  
   Thank you for everything we did together and that you bought for me/ with me/ near me that trip. I will never, EVER forget it.  But it wasn't just the trip, it was that it was with you and your amazing family.  Your loving, generous spirit, your ears that are willing to listen to any lame complaint I have about life, your contagious laughter, I just can't say enough about you.  You're pretty dang amazing.  Dang amazing.  Thanks for being just who you are. Oh, and for taking me to Vegas. 
*****ALSO a HUGE thank you to my husband who trusted me to leave with Kluber (we didn't even get arrested! Not once!) and took on the kids by himself. I'd write more and get mushier about all of that, but he doesn't read my blog, so I'll just tell him again in person.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Darbi Dabbles in Oils...

(Sigh...)I'm that mom. When I call Poison Control I no longer panic. I just say, "Hi Doris, It's me again." And she says, "Hey, Darbi." I am the mother of four, and every time they sneak their tiny hands into something they shouldn't I always think to myself, "There is no way they can possibly top this!" And then they do. The kids have eaten sleeping aids, swallowed the insides of a glow stick, dipped cheddar chips in garden poison, gotten into prescription medicines, downed half a bag of cough drops, all while under my supervision. (Or perhaps one could argue to call it not-so-super-vision.) They are quick. They are stealthy. And while they are all alive and accounted for, I am constantly scared for the next time I have to call Doris. Every time I get myself into a frightening situation with my children, I think to myself, "Why does this constantly happen? What more can I do to keep my kids safe?" And friends, I think I have found something pretty amazing. DoTerra essential oils.
 It seems the more I am learning about essential oils, the more harmful things I can get rid of in my household, and replace those harmful things with the products which are made from natural resources, rather than harsh chemicals. In my short time with the products I have used them for help sleeping. For gardening. For stomach aches, headaches and the common cold. For mood lifters. For a household cleaner. Basically they have already replaced everything I have had to call Doris for except for a few prescriptions (although I'm working on getting rid of those!) and the glow stick. This is an amazing feeling. A sense of well-being, freedom from chemicals and pride in doing the best thing for my family came along with introducing essential oils into my household. I just can't keep this kind of information to myself, right? So if we were girlfriends having coffee in my living room (It would be something home roasted, brewed in a french press, served with heavy cream. No canned stuff in my home. Get the picture?), here is what I would say to you: Try some oils right now! I just made you some really good coffee! It's the least you can do! But the DoTerra catalog, to me, is a bit overwhelming. Each oil seems to have a use tied to it that I definitely will want to try eventually, but I can't buy it all. Plus I feel like starting with a basic set gives someone the chance to see if oils are right for them, before making a big investment. After one falls in love with the oils, then they can invest more confidently.
"So, what would you recommend I start with, Darbi, and can I please have some more coffee?" I thought you'd never ask...The three most versatile oils come in a nice, affordable package.
DoTerra's introductory kit introduces you to peppermint, lavender and lemon (5ml each) for just $26.67 (plus shipping).
To give you an example of how necessary DoTerra essential oils are, let me tell you some highlights of a vacation I recently took to Vegas and how my oils saved me:
- A little nervous about the flight? Lemon and lavender rubbed into my pulse points both lifted my mood and relaxed me.
- A seat next to a real talker whose breath smelled like 2 week old burritos? One swipe of peppermint under my nose and I was fine!
- Getting a headache from the stuffy air on the plane? Peppermint to the rescue again!
- Getting to the hotel only to find that a bottle of water cost $6 and the tap water tasted like warm feet? Lemon added to the water made it wonderful! And good for me! A great cleanse!
- Tummy getting a little upset from that 32 oz margarita? I drank a small glass of water with a drop of peppermint oil. Yes, they are so pure you can even drink them. Say goodbye to "that pink stuff" forever!
- Muscles sore from walking all around viewing all of the strange people...I mean architecture?  Apply peppermint to the sore area! (But avoid the eyes!)
- Can't get to sleep because of the cheap hotel pillow? A little lavender to the bottoms of my feet and the back of my neck and I was out like a baby.
This is just how I used the oils on a short trip.  In my home I use them so many more ways. There is just so much for me to still learn...and then pass along to you! Aren't you excited??
For more information on how to use these three oils go to
When you are ready to place your order go to  If you have any questions, feel free to email me at

Friday, July 15, 2011

And God will take care of you...

I just went to tuck Blake (7) in to bed. He was restless so I knew he wouldn't go down easy. He's been sensing things have been different around here. He knows Grandma Sue is sick, but we've just been waiting for him to bring it up when he's ready to. I've also been fearing his reaction when it really hits him. The worst thing in the world is to see your kids go through pain. It's hard enough to see your parents in pain but your kids? I can't do anything about this though but pray for peace and strength and that I can be the best example to him of what I want my biggest testimony to be; That NO MATTER WHAT, God will take care of us. I can talk about it, I can blog about it, but if my kids don't see it in my life then do I really believe it?
Blake was complaining that it was hot. He couldn't sleep. He said he wanted to pray. When we were done he said, "Mom, I keep praying and praying that I won't be afraid at night and no matter what I do God won't take that away!"
I said, "Well, that's normal. It sometimes doesn't go away right away."
B-"But what do you mean it's normal? I've been praying for a long time and I'm still scared. How long do I have to pray?" This was serious business.
Me- "Well, it takes two to make a prayer happen sometimes. I mean, it's one thing to ask God to make you not scared, but then you also have to trust that no matter what happens, God will take care of you. That's your job. Remembering each night that you have nothing to be afraid of because of God and then praying for Him to help you remember that, maybe that will work better." What did I do? Will he even get this?
B- "Mom, what do you mean?"
Me- "Okay, so like list the things you get scared of at night."
B- "Like a robber breaking into our house and taking our stuff."
Me- "So if that happened, we would get new stuff...and God would take care of you."
B- "But what if it was something really big, like our TV?"
Me- "Still, we would eventually get a new TV...and God would take care of us."
B- "Okay...then...what about if our house caught on fire in the middle of the night?"
Me-"Well you tell me. What would you do?"
B- "I would crawl down the hallway and make sure the smoke doesn't get in my lungs. Then I'd go down the stairs and out the door." (Note to self. We've REALLY got to teach the boys how to use the fire ladder ASAP. Now I'm going to be up all night worried about a fire in the top story. Way to teach Darbi.)
Me-"And where would you go?"
B- "To the front yard."
Me- "No, you would go to Linda's yard so the firefighters have room to work."
B- "No, Daddy told me. The front yard." (Note to self. Go over the whole fire evacuation plan several times! Way to go firefighter family!)
Me- "Okay well, we'll ask him in the morning. But either way, things would be hard for a while, but eventually we would get new stuff, and...God will take care of you."
B- "Hmm. Well what happens if you die and then daddy dies right in the house at the same time. Do we call Grandma and Grandpa or do we call 911 and then where do we live? Will we go live in foster care?" This is when my heart started to break. All of this time I was worrying that Grandmas sickness would be the first major worry of his life, when in reality he is already a human in a world full of sin. Therefore he already has a host of worries all on his own. Ugh.
Me-Gulp, "Well honey, first of all that will never happen. You know that right? And second IF it did..." and we talked it out at great length about who he should call, where he would go and why, etc. "And you know what? God will take care of you." (Note to self: Figure out who will take our kids now that there are four of them and put it in writing in case Mike and I die in our home! I was just fine until I went to tuck Blake in...geez!)
Me- "You know what? I already lost my mommy and it was pretty hard. I was really sad for a while. But now everything is okay. God took care of me. "
B- "And Papa."
Me- "Yep. And Papa too," I love that kid.
B- Starts to cry.
Me- "Are you scared about Grandma Sue?"
B- "Yeah. When we were in Sun River daddy took us for a walk down by the river and he said she's real sick and that she might go to Heaven."
Me- "Yeah. And how do you feel about that?"
B-"I don't know."
Me- "I feel sad."
B- "Me too." We hugged and cried. I think you're supposed to suck it up in moments like that but I don't think even Osama Bin Laden could have.
Me- "But Grandma has been sick for a lot of her life. She has had pills that make her hair fall out, and doctors poking at her and bugging her and people keep telling her she's going to get better and she hasn't yet. But the Bible says that in Heaven she isn't going to feel pain or be sick anymore! She's going to dance with her shoulders like Evie and Gracee and she's going to do crafts and ride bikes and hold Hope and Carter and do all kinds of stuff. And because we have Jesus in our hearts we KNOW we will see her again. And when we do we will never, EVER have to leave each other again."
B- "Okay." (He's sobbing. My heart hurts. Jesus, give me strength.)
Me- "And if she goes we are going to be really, really sad for a while. But eventually we will be okay. Because I will take care of you...And God will take care of you."

I helped him pick out a buddy and I tucked him in. I left him crying. I didn't tell him not to cry or to not be sad. I wanted to because I didn't want to see him that way. But the truth is it is okay for him to cry and be sad. It's okay for us to all grieve in the way that we are going to grieve. And even though it hurts like crazy to watch, I know he's going to be just fine. I trust and I know that God will take care of him.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

His Eye is On The Sparrow...

A long time ago the movie Sister Act 2 came out and the music was fantastic! My dear friend Briana Phillips and I at the age of about 13, were bound and determined to have the same gospel sound down of those amazing black teens who performed "His Eye is On the Sparrow" for our church during the special music. For weeks we BELTED it in her bedroom. She had her parts, I had mine, and perfect harmony was intertwined. If only we had known the dates for the casting call for Sister Act 2, we'd have surely been chosen.
The morning came for our performance and we met with the piano player. She already was familiar with the tune and didn't think a prior rehearsal was necessary. Well folks, it was. Turns out there is a MAJOR difference between the 1920's hymnal piano version of the song, and what we had been singing to on our CD. We did our best with what happened, but I'm just glad nobody got it on video. At least I pray they didn't. For whatever reason it still made our mom's tear up and I guess that's what was important, but for us I think we were just glad it was over.
Back then I didn't pay any attention to what the song meant. I wanted to sound good to the other youth group kids so they would think I was pretty much a rock star with some sweet skills. Maybe that's why God knocked me down a notch with that piano player gig, maybe not. It wasn't until a few years later that the song came back into my life.
My dad came home from work about the same time I came home from school and said to my mom, "You paid HOW MUCH???" in his angry tone. Mom always got him to calm down somehow. We all walked into the kitchen to see what was once an ugly wall paper border, ripped down and replaced with an artists painting of some sparrows in between the words, "I sing because I'm happy, I sing because I'm free. His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me." For years I stared at those words in my home as I ate my cereal, talked for hours on the phone with friends, and even stared out the window and chatted with mom about anything and everything in life. Not once though, did I ask her why she chose to have those words painted on her wall. I mean a common printing found in kitchens are ingredient lists, "FLOUR, SUGAR, COFFEE" and what have you. She could have stenciled those words there. And even if she just wanted a daily spiritual reminder, that's great, but why that? I mean, have you SEEN the bible? It's got a LOT of words in it. Why did she choose the reference to the sparrow?
I didn't hear the song again until her funeral. She died quickly. We didn't get to say goodbye. We didn't get to ask questions. DIdn't get to tell her all of the things we would have if we'd only known. For her service we had to guess what she would have liked. That's always awkward, but part of the process. A wonderful man, Herb Jones, stood up on the stage and sang the song with all of his might. "I sing because I'm HAP-PY!! I sing because I'm free!! His eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches me!" I honestly didn't get it. Why are we happy? I didn't plan this service, but I could have chosen a few other songs at that moment. Probably ones with swear words. That's probably why I didn't get to plan the service.
Fast forward to today. I was alone in the house. That's when grief hits hardest. It's good for me though. I don't have to be strong for anyone, I don't have to hide my feelings from the kids, I can just be. I decided to take a bath. While I was taking that bath that song came into my mind. And I cried. A lot.
My other mom, Mike's mom, is going to die. Soon. We know this. And it is so hard and weird and overwhelming AND a blessing. We get to go spend a week with her in Sun River before her body starts to feel too sick. This is a time I never got to spend with my mom before she died so I'm very grateful, but how do you possibly fit in everything you want to do with her before she goes? I mean, Blake can't get married. He's 7, It would be illegal. But to imagine the rest of my kids' lives without her is....there isn't a word for it. But instead of focusing on what we are going to miss out on, once again in life I must focus on what we do get to do. I get to write her a letter and make sure I've said all I want to say about how much I love her. I get to take a walk with her and squeeze her arm. I get to take a million pictures of her with me and of her with my babies. I get to ask her all of the questions I have about her childhood, hopes and dreams. I get to say goodbye in a totally different way, which is unknown territory and scary, but God's timing is perfect and His eye is on that sparrow, so I know He is watching over me. And even though I'm freaked out about watching my kids go through this loss, I also must trust that He is watching over them too.
Sue has been through so much. Breast cancer multiple times, lung cancer, brain cancer and now bone and liver cancer. She lost her only sibling to cancer and was with her when she died. She faced her moms death, her step son's near death and has burried two grand babies. She is ready to go to a place where there is no more tears, pain, suffering. She will be reunited with her loved ones and there will be great joy and dancing. And to hear her Heavenly Father say, "Welcome home my good and faithful one"...I just can't imagine! It's where she belongs. And she'll save a place for us all I know it.
So while I was in the bath tub I sang His Eye is On the Sparrow to Jesus and it was the prettiest I've ever sang it. Not because of my voice, not because the words were just right, but because I finally got it. And I sang it to Him with all my heart. "She'll sing because she's happy. She'll sing because she's free! His eye is on that sparrow, and I know He'll be watching over me!!"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Darbi the Liar

I don't like things that are hard. Never have. I think it's the way I was raised. When I knew it was the day I was "required to clean my room and do nothing else" I would sit on the floor and play with my toys for a while until my mom finally gave up and came in. I would continue to play with my toys while she cleaned the entire room for me. That's just how life was for me. I wasn't required to do anything that was hard so I didn't learn that I could actually do it, and thus resulted in a girl who just didn't want to try much of anything outside of her comfort zone.
In about the 7th grade my dad paid for my brother and me to go to ski school. I don't really remember wanting to go that bad, but I'm sure Ryan Oar was probably up on that mountain somewhere, so I probably begged my dad to take me and somehow won. For 7 weeks I learned to master that bunny hill like nobody else. Even how to stop without knocking very many of my fellow Japanese classmates over. But then the teacher said it..."Today we will be going to a Diamond 2 hill" or whatever it was. Translation: hard. Another translation: nope. I did NOT want to go on that hill. It was steep. There were those bumpy things. There were trees all over. There were people besides the Japanese kids. And I'm pretty sure there was Ryan Oar who would see me in my not so confident ways of taking the slopes. Crap. So there we went.
Within minutes I had fallen three times. The instructor was trying to "teach me how to fall" so that it wouldn't hurt. Well it did hurt. Bad. Each time. And I was supposed to just get up and keep going? The whole way? Well, I might have grabbed my knee and told a little fib. "Ouch!" I said. And here's where things got a little out of control. I mean, I don't really know what I THOUGHT was going to happen. Maybe that they'd go get my mom and she would walk me down or something. But before I knew it, there were 4 men loading me up in this red toboggan and they're rushing me down the hill to the tiny hospital to triage my fake injury. Mom and dad show up in no time and moms eyes are puffy from the panic. She's just glad to know I'm okay. I'm glad I am too. Oops.
Fast forward a few years to my freshman year in college. Mike and I decide to get a summer job that includes traveling through the country working at various summer camps, recruiting kids for our college. But first we must bond with our fellow counselors by going on a backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Okay. You need to know that before this my only camping experience was with my family where you drive into a Thousand Trails resort and walk into your fully furnished camper that is already parked and ready to go, is feet from the clubhouse with video games and a pool, and even though everything is only feet from your camper you drive there just because that's how your family does things. So here we go on our backpacking trip. Translation: hard. Translation: already hated it. Well three days in after one too many trust games and "how did that make you feel" questions, we find out that we are going to spend 24 hours ALONE with the Lord. ALONE. IN THE WOODS. Where there are SNAKES and MOUNTAIN LIONS and tons of other animals that would love me for a mid summer night's snack. I am all about 24 hrs. alone. I am all about time with God. But if you want me to be alone in the Mountains of California in the summer time without a man and a gun, you've gotta' be out of your mind. So, I MAY have stretched the truth a little and said I had diarrhea. I mean, I did poop that day (don't even get me started on pooping on a backpacking trip! Eeew!) so it wasn't a comPLETE lie. Okay. It was. 100%. So the leader thought it would be best if I stayed with another female leader. My friends all went and stuck it out on their own. I lied. Oops.
Fast forward several years and I'm a grown woman. God looks at me in all of my failures. All of my uniqueness. All of the things I've done right too. And He says, "Darbi I'm going to use you. Not this other person down the hall, but you. I'm going to make you go through some things that are hard. Some things you would never think you could go through. You are going to loose your mom and your babies and it is going to rip your heart out. But I have faith in you, Darbi the Liar. And I'm going to give you a new name. You are going to come out stronger on the other side of all of this and you are going to tell people how good I was too you. And maybe, just maybe, you are going to start to do things that are hard because you know I am with you, I will never leave you, and you are made to do the hard stuff for Me."
So now would I want to go skiing down a hard hill? Hell no. =-) Would I want to go backpacking for 24 hours alone? Not on your life. Because what is the reward? Not much. But when it comes to doing things for God I get a little more gutsy. Speaking to people in a prison in Poland? Check. How about the adoption process for these sweet little babies at the top of the post? Every day there seems to be a new challenge or a new fear. But you know what? I'm no longer Darbi the Liar. I am Darbi the Girl Who Does Things That Are Hard. Because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Going to a funeral...

I'm going to a funeral today. It's a "celebration of life" for a baby who lived for 45 minutes. I'm glad my friends have such a good attitude of the life of their little one but let's face it...that's not much to celebrate. I mean, don't get me wrong. Moriah is a LOT to celebrate. She's beautiful, perfect and whole and deserved to get to know all of the people here waiting for her. Waiting to love her for a long, long time. It sucks.
As I've been talking to Moriah's mom I've been naturally going down memory lane, and while I was at it I decided to pull out my box of cards people sent us when baby Hope died. I found a pretty amazing little gem. A poem I don't even remember writing. It was with a bunch of her pictures and a list of people I was going to send them to and never did. So, in honor of Moriah and my sweet Hope Michael, here's the poem.

I'll Be Right Here...

I thought life would be different, I'd grow up right there with you.
In pink dresses and pigtails doing all the things kids do.

While you're sad and missing me please know I'm missing you,
For while you dreamed of time together, I too dreamed of you.

But God knows what He's doing, that is clear for me to see.
When I think of all the earthly things He graciously kept from me.

I'll never have a broken leg, nor have a broken heart.
I'll never know what war is and will never take a part.

The best part here where I am which I think is pretty clever,
Once you're here you'll never leave! You'll stay with me forever!

And just as you prepared your lives to include little me,
By buying toys and books and clothes and my nursery,

I'm walking around with Jesus and our friends and family too,
And you can't even IMAGINE the place we've prepared for you!

But as you wait to get here there's a lot that you can do,
To make sure people know Our Lord and get to come here too.

It's hard to be apart...You are my family, my friends.
But I'll be right here waiting, AND WE'LL NEVER PART AGAIN!

by Darbi Johnson 6/2002

It'll always be a scar. Almost every day is a good day, but then when friends go through it I kind of relapse and wish it didn't happen all over again. But I have to remind myself that my babies never had to suffer, they will never know the pains of this earth, I will see them again, and they are with the only better Father than Mike and my dad that they could be with...until we meet again!

And a really sweet story is about Blake. When I was going through the Hope shoe box I asked Blake, "Have you ever seen Hope? He said, "No." I said, "Do you want to see her picture?" He said, "Yes!" And started jumping up and down. "I get to see my sister! I get to see my sister!" I showed him the picture. He just STARED. "Awwwww! She's so cute!!!! Mom....Can I have her picture in my room?" Oh my gosh. My heart melted. Now I have to find the perfect frame.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The good, the bad and the Johnsons

So far baby R has moved in and will officially be our foster daughter as soon as court is over (next Wednesday?). We have the birth family's blessing (sort of, more or less) and for now there is minimal drama in that department. Visitations will start with her birth parents possibly next week...let the drama begin.
Throughout this process I just find myself tearing up at different points in the know, when I REALLY think about all that has taken place in my life. I really wanted baby R back. REALLY wanted twins. But I wasn't asking God for those things because what were the chances? He knew the deep down desires of my heart and sometimes, in some situations, He is able to work out the perfect circumstances for it all to come together like a Heavenly dream. I mean, that's the only way I can describe it. Like I just want to call somebody and say, "You've GOT to make a movie about my LIFE somebody!!"...At LEAST a Lifetime channel one!!...or at least a really long commercial! Seriously...The girl who looses a girl, then gets twins, then looses a twin, then gets two miracle boys, then gets another girl, then looses another girl, then gets another girl, then gets the girl back and ENDS UP WITH TWINS...I mean, I would fold laundry watching that movie FO' SHO'!
But this wonderful place we find ourselves in has not come without having to go through a lot of pain (that hurt a lot), a lot of waiting (when we didn't want to wait), a lot of trusting (when we didn't want to trust) and a lot of hope for what was yet to come (and still is). And we don't know what's around the corner either...These babies are still not ours. They can be taken in an instant just as R was taken last time. But when I feel anxious, I just take my babies to the Lord, just as I do when my sons have health scares, and I put them in God's hands and remind myself that they are all His children first and if he wants them to be in my care that is what I desire more than anything else, but if He has another plan for them I will trust Him with it.
I am also very mindful of the painful place that R's family is in as Mike and I are rejoicing to have her back in our lives. They are having to give her up, and are going through medical trials and business decisions as well. I had a talk with R's aunt, who was going to adopt her, and I told her that I didn't understand why she was going through one of the worst times in her life while I was going through one of my best, but I had been in a similar spot as her and that I knew that her mountain top would come and that I would be praying. It's hard to rejoice when someone you know hurts, but it's also nice to be able to be extra sensitive where you might not have been before. Please pray for them in their transition.

We are all adjusting. It is harder than I thought. I mean some parts. I knew it would be a lot of work and that is no surprise, but my husband is a rockstar with high amounts of help and low expectations and a huge supply of encouragement. He's amazing. So we're getting through that part. But I'm having failure feelings. I have NO TIME for the boys and I fear they will hate me, or forget my name. I also had this dream that I would see baby R and she would run into my arms and grab me and remember me and our mother-daughter bond would just pick up where it ended three months ago. That's not so. She doesn't remember me and she is having some difficulty adjusting, as would any baby going through everything she has gone through in her little life, but that's causing me to feel like I'm doing something wrong and I've failed her. And then I'm not dividing my time between her and G properly, so G just sits quietly in her swing wondering who in "h" is hogging her mommy up. (SIGH) It will all work out, but this is the immediate struggle. Please pray. And come over and take my boys to the park. That would help too. =-)

Here's a good idea of what life is like with us now: Coming home from church the other night, we packed the kids in the car. IMMEDIATELY, R starts screaming. She's been fed, she's been changed, but she likes to scream. And let me tell you, her volume is unlike anything I have ever heard. It makes Mike's music sounds practically on mute. Then, to couple that, Tyler starts screaming from the back row. His lips hurt. Naturally. But we don't usually pay much attention to that. Well, since R is so loud, he must trump her. "HUSBAND, DID YOU SEE THAT GIRL JESSICA TONIGHT?"
"OKAY!~" And the whole way home, we YELLED, and laughed, as our kids screamed their hearts out. And sometimes, that's just the way it goes. That's our life, and that's how it's going to be. Sometimes it's overwhelming, sometimes I cry (in the bad way) and want to pull my hair out, but you know what? I'd rather be frustrated and overwhelmed for a season, knowing I'm doing something good for God and for these kids rather than sitting around bored and comfortable wondering what I should do with my life. So that's the good, the bad and the Johnsons...for now.