Sunday, November 29, 2009


Please celebrate with us in welcoming three new members to the Stearns Family!

Maria Teresa, 11

Maricela, 9

Ana Cristina, 7

Although it's not legal and they are still in Nicaragua (and it won't be official/legal for about 2 years), we asked the girls if they would like to become part of our family...

 and they said yes!

We know the road will be long and bumpy at times, but we are choosing to celebrate the milestones.  This is the most important step of this journey.  If the girls didn't want to be a part of our family, this story would end now. 

But they do want to be Stearns girls.

So, it's with hearts full of joy that we share with you our beautiful daughters.

With love,
The Stearns Clan

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tate Quotes

(In Nicaragua after his nap)

Tate: Mom, can I have some chocolate milk now?

Me: You sure can!

Tate: Mom, thanks for saying yes!  You're so smart!


(In the airport bathroom)

Tate: Dad, is he poopin?

Mark: I'm not sure Tate.  But everyone poops.

Tate: Everyone poops?

Mark: That's right Buddy.  Everyone who eats, poops.

Tate: Everyone eats poop??

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"Home" again

We're home. 

Sort of.  We've only lived in this place a week, so it doesn't really feel like home.  It will soon, I'm sure.

Nicaragua felt like home.

The boys are decompressing.  They are having a hard time adjusting to not having attention ALL the time.

I need to sit, write and decompress.  But I hate that part. I'm really horrible at reflection.  I tried to journal in Nicaragua (I try every time) but I'd rather squeeze out every possible minute with my Nicas than go to bed early and write.  So usually I'd fall asleep with my pen in hand.

I do have some pictures, but not as many as I'd like.  One of the kids accidentally erased all of my pictures on Thursday.  Bummer.

I need to clean, unpack, do laundry and pack again. 

Ok, enough of a mind dump for now.  Thanks for all the love and prayers!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Off we go!

We're off to Nicaragua tonight!  I'm so excited I'm giddy:)

Tate was getting sick (this was Wednesday)...coughing and running a fever.  We were concerned it was H1N1, but we got a miraculous healing!  He went down for a nap with a 101 degree fever, woke up with a 101 degree fever and an hour later was off the couch playing and his fever was gone.  It never returned.  Is God good or what?!

We'll be back in 10 days!  Say prayers for us when you think about it.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tate and Mark Quotes

Me:  Tate, we're going to see Grandma!

Tate: Oh, she's pretty and beautiful and wonderful and nice...and she doesn't hit people!


I had just put up my Nativity Scene (I know, I'm early.  But, I'm unpacking and the odds are I'd lose it until after Christmas, so I just put it up now.) Anyway, I put the wisemen across the room because they really weren't there for the birth of Jesus.  Mark walked in and asked me,

"So, are the wise men over here in Orient-are because they weren't really there for the birth?"

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Boxed In

Ugh.  So TIRED of moving.  And, technically it hasn't even started yet.  I've got the boys room packed up, most of Mark and my clothes packed up, and the closets cleaned out.  The kitchen and bathroom are the two rooms I have yet to start.  They shouldn't take too long, though, because we've only got a few things in each.

Still, it's going to be a long week end, and an even longer week.  At least I've got Nicaragua to look forward to a week from tomorrow!

It's Office Thursday, so make it a great one!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Rest of the Story

Do you remember me telling you about our property manager that ended up with a few months rent?  The whole "we're not buying a house anymore" fiasco?  Well, after over a month, we now have the whole story.  We had to call three branches of the Portsmouth City Court system, and two different numbers of the police to finally get our answers.  But answers we have.

There is little to no hope that we will get our money back.

Our property manager was embezzeing money from her clients.  She embezzled over $400,000 from one client.  That's who the police are working with right now, and they are turning the case over to the feds when they are done with it.  Then they will work on a State case for the rest of us who had smaller accounts.

All of her liquid assets are gone.  The IRS seized them because there is apparently tax evasion/fraud that went on, too.

Bottom line: we have to file a civil suit.  I'm very uncomfortable with this (I really am a generally peaceful and compassionate person!) but we are going to do it.  We have to 'get in line' so to speak, so that if/when she ever does find/earn/steal more money, we'll get some of it. 

Nice, huh?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tate Quote of the Day

Me: Tate, aren't you cold? You don't have pants on.

Tate: No, Jesus is keeping me warm.

(For the record, it's not that I don't give him pants to wear, he just prefers to not wear evidenced by the following quote)


At church, in the 2-3 year old class room:

Me: OK Buddy, I love you. See you after class. Have fun.

Tate: OK Mom. Can I take my pants off now?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Post

We did a pumpkin for each child: Tate is the angry one on the left, Theo is the happy, single toothed on the right. Remarkably, these really do resemble the boys during the pumpkin carving process.

Grandma and Grandpa grew pumpkins for the boys in the garden. They even carved their names on them! How cool is that?

Me and my little dinosaurs/dragons/whatever other reptilian thing you can think of.

Daddy and his monsters.