Monday, August 30, 2010

Our Little Rah

Those who know me, know I would never have been caught carrying pompoms, shouting chants or cheering on the sideline. I was the one in the stands wearing the school colors, starting the "wave" with the crowds and spraying cans of silly string throughout the bleachers. However, Megan has definitely turned out to be the cheerleader of the family thus far!

With the lack of anything better to do this summer, Megan decided to try out for the junior tackle football league cheer squad in May. It was either that, or mom and dad were going to make her join swim team. We had made it a family rule that everyone find something productive to do this summer. To our surprise, as she has never had any past cheer experience, Meg made the squad and spent the warm months of vacation learning cheers, stunts and poise. And, she absolutely loves it!

We are all enjoying spending Saturday afternoons watching Megan and her friends cheer on the Rochelle Hubs 6th grade football team. It's been a great way to spend sunny afternoons. More than anything, it's been great to watch our little girl enjoying something as much as she does.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Blogging Through the Whirlwind

I'm back to blogging. Why? 'Cuz I need to. 'Cuz I want to. 'Cuz I should. I need to be celebrating all the blessings in our lives. I want to have a record of all the milestones our family achieves and all the fun that happens. I should be doing this so my kids have something to look back on and for others to see what's happening in our lives now.

The past 7 months have been a whirlwind in slow motion. When the boys arrived home unexpectedly while Mike and I tried to help manage relief efforts for Three Angels, life was crazy. In so many ways it seems as if days before me were wild and out of my control. There were so many kids in our house and I was just trying to hold it all together. Yet, on the other hand, time seemed to stand still as we tried to help our dear loved ones down in Haiti live an unimaginable nightmare through the effects of the earthquake.

Seven months later, I can say life has drastically slowed down. The boys are settled into routines, and we all have adjusted to our roles in our new family. We had an incredibly fun summer swimming, playing and getting to know one another better. Now that school is back in session, we are in the swing of busy schedules, but schedules nonetheless. It has been pure joy having our family together as we run through this whirlwind of a life.

It was so wonderful seeing the kids together on the first day of school. It was surreal watching ALL FIVE preparing for such an exciting day. Even more exciting was the fact that I could watch this all happen today; not two years down the road. Our Haitian sons were here with us getting ready for school with their brother and sisters. God has truly blessed us! I am so grateful He brought our boys home to live this wild and crazy whirlwind of a life I am gonna blog about!
First Day of School ~ August 17, 2010
Tim (7th grade), Megan (6th grade), Kate (3rd grade), Daniel (kindergarten) and Jonathan (preschool)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

"Ditto..." To the Title Below...

by Bill Whitaker

The cameras are gone; Haiti is off the front pages. Now two months later, it's possible for those who experienced the magnitude 7.0 earthquake through the media to think of the devastation and the humanitarian crisis that followed in the past tense. Chile and health care and
unemployment demand our attention. For the people of Haiti, however, the crisis continues — a constant, inescapable, overwhelming reality.

I was in Haiti for a month, arriving one week after the quake. The first week I spent in shock. I had lived through the Northridge quake that rocked Los Angeles in 1984. That was horrible. But nothing prepared me for the horror I encountered in Port-au-Prince.

Block after block after block was leveled. So many people in that impoverished Caribbean country had little to begin with. The earthquake left hundreds of thousands with nothing but their faith and their spirit.

I saw that faith and spirit in abundance. My CBS News crew and I met a middle-class woman, Madame Yolene Bartroni, whose house was the only one in her poor neighborhood still standing — cracked and unlivable, but standing. She opened the gates of her property to neighbors. More than 100 children, women and men joined Madame Bartroni and her family sleeping under makeshift tents in the yard.

Two weeks after the quake, no aid agencies had made it to her part of Port-au-Prince. So, with her salary as a hotel receptionist (she was one of the lucky Haitians still to have a job), she bought water and food and medicine and diapers. When she ran out of money, she tapped her family in the U.S., which used social networks to gather donations. Grateful neighbors say were it not for Madame Bartroni they'd be homeless and hungry in the streets. Holding back tears, Madame Bartroni told us they struggle to live day to day.

We saw that kind of giving every single day. People who had little sharing with those who had nothing.

It would have been understandable if Haitians had cursed their fate, but we witnessed just the opposite. Haitians are people of deep faith.

They marked the one month anniversary of the quake with prayer services all over the city. You could barely drive a block without seeing worshipers spilling out of the churches that were still standing or a congregation gathered where churches once stood.

Hymns filled the air. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the boulevards that surrounded the collapsed presidential palace, an ornate white structure that now resembles a melted wedding cake — hundreds of thousands solemnly praying for those who had died and joyously thankful for having survived.

When the minister called for five minutes of silence, the only sounds heard were quiet, heart-wrenching sobs here and there in the crowd. It was a powerful moment.

With the rainy season approaching and one million homeless people living in squalid tent cities, Haitians need all the faith and spirit they can muster. Proud and resilient as they are, they cannot get back up on their feet by themselves. They desperately need the helping hand the world extended immediately after the quake. Haitians wish they had the luxury of referring to this tragedy in the past tense. They need the world to remember it is their present and their future.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why We Serve and Will Continue to Serve...

I am so saddened by the story in the post linked below. Although I am not a bit surprised, I really hoped for something better to come out of Haiti's government after the earthquake.

The Haitian people need help. They need our help. Their own government does not care. So we must care. We will care. And, we will continue to serve there. We will continue to serve the people of Haiti. We will continue to serve and pray others will serve, too.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Are You Listening?

This brought tears to everyone in our house. There are no words to express the feelings we have for our dear loved ones in Haiti. They are all in our prayers each and every day!

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Our peeps have decided to do a fundraiser for earthquake relief work in Haiti. If you are interested in purchasing one of these t-shirts, please let me know. The entire cost of each shirt will go directly to Three Angels' rebuilding during this devastating time in Haiti.
All shirts are $20 and checks can be made out to Three Angels Children's Relief. Once I have your order via email at, I will let you know how to proceed with payment and shipping.

Thank you for supporting earthquake relief efforts in Haiti through the mission/orphaange where our boys lived for over two years. As we continue to volunteer on the board of directors at Three Angels, please know every donation and supply given will go directly to the people of Haiti.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Update #1

Most recently, I have had requests to update our family blog. It has been very busy here and finding the time has been near impossible. However, I am going to do my best to find the time. So many of of faithful readers, friends and family members deserve the updates. So much is happening around here and so many of you have supported us through it all. It is only right to keep you in the loop of the wild and exciting stuff going on in our lives right now.

So, here I go - update #1 for you...

...Our Haitian sons are home! Yes, that is right! Daniel and Jonathan arrived in the United States on Monday, January 18th. They, along with the other 24 orphans of Three Angels Children's Relief, were granted refugee parole visas following the devastating earthquake in Haiti. After picking the boys up in Ft. Pierce, Florida, we flew home to begin our life together as a forever family. It was a whirlwind of a few days full of excitement and craziness. We are settling into routines and getting to know one another. Life is so good and we are so, so blessed!

So much has happened in the last three weeks. There is so much to share. I am going to begin to work my way backwards sharing with you the events which took place to bring our boys into our home. I am going to do share with you what is going on in our lives today. There is a lot to share. For now, check out the Monfils peeps, united forever!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Our Defensive Tackle

A year ago, I was not so thrilled Tim wanted to play tackle football. Bones can be broken, ankles sprained and heads crushed in a sport like that. However, I knew I had to let him "try it out." I knew I had to let him see if he liked the sport.

Tim needed to learn for himself how demanding this commitment would be. He needed to see for himself how much personal time of his would be taken up by playing on the team. Every night practice, Saturday or Sunday afternoon games and no time for friends meant something completely new to Tim. Our son loved time with his friends. He loved doing whatever he wanted when he wanted. Being a part of a rigid athletic schedule which demanded 100% attendance was not something Tim was familiar with - not at all.

So, we let our boy try it out. We signed him up for junior tackle football here in town. Even though Tim was the least beat mean, aggressive or tough, we let him give it a go...
The season ended with Tim getting awarded the "most improved player" of the season. He had a blast! From the moment football camp began in July until the end of the season mid-October, he loved every second of it! The drive, the will, the determination beamed through our boy as he learned the sport of football and became a starting lineman for the team.
We could not have been more proud of Tim's commitment to the football season, the team and the coaches. He stepped up and did what he needed to do to and enjoyed every second of it.
As fans of the sport, we had a great time, as well. The games were fun and we enjoyed cheering all the boys on throughout the season. Although I still cringe when Tim takes a hit, charges a tackle or twists a knee, it was so much fun to see our #80 play! We so look forward to next July and Hubs Football!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Leaf Jumpin'

Living on a 3 acre wooded lot means LOTS OF LEAVES this time of year! The kids get so excited when they see the change of colors. They know it means there will be an abundance of fallen leaves to rake into piles. Nothing is more fun than jumpin' into one of those piles!

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Lil' Bit of Fall

Tim and Meg seemed to be over visiting the apple orchard and pumpkin patch - for now anyway. So, Mike and I ventured out with Kate to grab some apple cider donuts and caramel apples last Sunday. It was a beautiful day with sunshine and a cool breeze.

At least our Katie is still "into" some of the fun fall traditions.