Thursday, December 31, 2009

"Happy New Year" from Mical...

Happy New Year!!!

A recap of 2009: (The list that couldn't fit in the Christmas letter =)

Learning the art of colostomy bags...
Poop and the unlimited directions it can splatter...
Children who refuse to sleep past 6am...
6am summer breakfasts on the front porch so the rest of the fam could sleep...
6am conversations that consisted of one word..."truck"...every time a vehicle passed...
More tears...more time-outs...
The food questioning...I could write a chapter on the topic...
Socks. The love of socks...
TV is interesting after all...
My ears bleeding from lack of rest. Dan's might have bled a little too...
Musical beds...
English, the language of confusion...No, we don't eat wood chips, but chips in bags are good...
More tears...
I expect all my kids to eat vegetables. and oatmeal...
Ice cream is not a punishment...
The cat is our friend...
Most dogs are good...
Every time we get in the car does not mean we are going to get a chicken burrito.... (although I also wish that was how it worked.)
Doors...opening, closing, opening, closing, slamming, opening...
Lights...on, off. repeat. repeat.
Computers are for someday, but not yet...
Lyric, Gavin and Cole are at school a LOT...
Gum is not a good idea yet...
Cold hands, cold toilet seats, what the heck?!
Laundry is my new hobby...
I've given up all my other hobbies...
Lyric has possibly inherited our social lives...
Gavin is going to buy a school building to fill with his own adopted children someday...
Cole is very much a six year old boy...this covers so much.
Hair. The time it takes to do African hair. A whole new respect...
Tattling. The love of tattling. The six and four year old have made this into an art....
Laundry. It deserves to be mentioned again...
Sweet Mical kisses.
Sweet Moses cuddles.
It is all so worth it.

Looking forward to all the the Lord has planned for 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Giver of bear hugs,

Back rubs,

and squeeky kisses...

Driver of buggies...

Builder of trains..

Reader of stories....


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas

Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father.
James 1:17

Merry CHRISTmas!!!

Christmas morning

and After!)

We are spoiled.

Uncle Chad and Aunt Jillian with the three new Bronkema additions from 2009!

Gracie was born the day we left for Uganda!

Yes, Lyric has the Christmas spirit =)

One beautiful lady.

We love Christmas with Grandma in McBain. We celebrated with aunts, uncles and cousins and it was beauuuutiful.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

forts and cookies...

Snow days...three in a row, two weeks ago.

We liked it.

This is the same field, across the road, that kept Cole busy for hours this summer picking blackberries. There was a bunch of brush cleared and now that pile of sticks has transformed into the neighborhood "fort."

We made Christamas cookies.

Mical is really good with dough. I think she had practice before our time together. She has some skilled hands rolling it out!

We made a double batch and they are long gone. Boy can this fam down the cookies!

Christmas parties at school today and then break time! Yea!

We had Christmas with my parents on Sunday. Now they are down with Tim, Mindy and John in GA. So...Mical and Moses got to experience GIFTS. It is safe to say they approve.

Friday, December 4, 2009

6 months day!

It just struck me today that we've been home as a family of seven for 6 months today. Thank you Jesus. So, I had to post a picture of our day. The older boys went off to school crazy excited about all the new snow. Lyric headed off to school disappointed everyone in GR got school cancelled! Mical woke up and couldn't believe her eyes. "Mommy! Mommy! It's ON the trees!"
After heading out to play (I'd forgotten how long it takes to get little ones ready!), Moses landed face first in the snow. He didn't even cry. M&M both lasted longer in the cold than I did!
I guess this means I've posted things for three days in a row...another first!
SNOW ANGEL...check!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


First Thanksgiving with the Kaechele side of the family! There were lots of kids to play with. It was great to see so many cousins and relatives who we don't get to see very often.

We ate during what should have been naptime for Moses. He didn't eat much of his "feast." This photo captures his mood perfectly.

My cousin, Kelly, with two of her cuties. Number four due to arrive this spring =)

First snow...just enough to cover the ground, but enough for making snowballs! Dan and Lyric were out braving "black Friday."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tired Moses

I just had to include this video of Moses that I took a couple of weeks ago. I've always seen clips of kids falling asleep in their food, but I've never had one of my own...until now =)

And by another one of my silly boys...

How to Cook a Turkey

By Cole Bronkema (spelling by Mom =)

First, I shoot it in the heart.

Next, I stuff it with my hands.

Third, I put it in the oven for one hour.

Fourth, I want it real bad.

Fifth, I eat it.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Good to be Home!

A few nights in the hospital makes home feel especially wonderful. We came home Friday afternoon. We are amazed at how much being home has perked up Mical. She is walking all over and playing the best she can. I never cease to be amazed!
Thanks to so many of you who I know were praying for her and our family!

Balloon and monkey delivery! Thank you Lowing fam =)

On our way home!

A very nice greeting for Mical...
...and this is what I get! ;-)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hospital thoughts

While in the hospital Mical is a fan of:

purple popsicles

Dora on TV

slipper socks

Dad blowing bubbles

the nurse button (which we need to stop bumping...)

Things she could do without:

having blood drawn...

having blood drawn...

Well, and a few other things. It looks like we might be here past Thurs. They are allowing her small sips of things, but she's not technically on a liquid diet yet. She did get up and walk out to the hallway. She gained confidence as she went.

God made this girl one tough cookie.

Monday, November 9, 2009

orphan day

"Sometimes I would like to ask God why he allows poverty, famine and injustice in the world when He could do something about it...but I'm afraid He might ask me the same question." Anonymous

I took this quote from another blog I just found from a family in the middle of an adoption. I liked it so much I had to borrow it.

I have a quiet moment today and just wanted to get out some thoughts...

We are so blessed to have a great hospital staff and surgeon waiting for us tomorrow. It will be Mical's second surgery to correct her bowel birth defect. We are praying that God guides the hands of her surgeon to do the very best possible for her. Also, that He will protect her heart as this is tough stuff for a little girl to go through. The Lord has taken her through so much this past year. It really blows my mind to try to process it all.

Things God has done for us...that I'm just so Thankful for...

~Last year at this time we thought Dan might lose his job, but God protected, which allowed us to continue to pursue our kids!

~Brought Mical to Welcome Home, while we were waiting and praying that God would bring our children there.

~Allowed us to accept the referral of a child with medical needs. (Surely He would have someone in mind for that who has the finances to back such an undertaking!....Nope!)

~Spend five weeks in Uganda...three without income...

~Taught us surrender by being so stretched beyond our means. We could not have done these things if God hadn't used other people around us to help.

~So much more but so little time today. Another day...

promised some friends I'd get some pictures on here of the kids dressed up. You know who you are =) So, here they are!

Two soldiers and one hippie...

A cute spider and Thomas the Train. Moses liked to say "choo choo."

Thursday, November 5, 2009



Wow, feeling reflective this time of year.

A month that reminds us to stop and give Thanks.

Last year at this time my arms were they are full. So very FULL at times!

Not a lot of words today...just feeling reflective. Here are a few fall pics...
Yes, skateboards of carrots. This is what Cole and Mical came up with when they picked them =)

More to come...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Family photo

As we walked past our neighbor's barn, on our way to take a family photo, we decided to stop and take a picture. Funny how it's usually the unplanned things that end up working.

We are enjoying fall, even with the abundance of rain we have been experiencing! I think Mical is a bit baffled at the amount of it. The other day she said, "Rain, AGAIN?!" Then later she said, "someday, warm?" I told her "someday" but didn't attempt to explain how far away that day could be!

We are looking forward to meeting some new friends this weekend. They are in the process of adopting their daughter from Uganda! They are at the same place we were last year at this time. Amazing to watch the God journey they are on and prayers that they will be traveling the first of next year to bring her home. Oh, and she's Mical's age =)

Mical's next surgery is scheduled for Nov. 10. We covet prayers for her heart, her spirit, and that the surgeon would do the very best possible for her.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

M&M chairs

Some dear family friends gave us these little chairs for Mical and Moses. We wanted to show them getting tried out! They are just the right size! Thank you!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Poor Frog

Gavin came rushing up to me. "Mom, can I feed this frog to the snake?"

Yes, we have a little snake that lives around our house, but I never dreamed he would actually be successful in FINDING it at this exact moment. I assured him it wouldn't be that easy. Two minutes later he came yelling about how the snake was eating it... Never underestimate a boy with a frog.

Dan's reaction, "IT WAS ON OUR DECK?!" He adores snakes the way I adore spiders.

Mical was fascinated with this Praying Mantis. ...and I was happy to have nature not eating other nature... ;-)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cross Country Girl

Just had to share Lyric's happy moment. First Cross Country meet and she managed to finish 4th out of 90 7th grade girls! I think we have a runner on our hands.
Thankfully grandpa and grandma were there for the moment. Dan and I are bummed we couldn't be there, but looking forward to Saturday's meet.
The caption on this photo would be "poor tired feet" ;-)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Home from the Hospital

Some of Mical's very wonderful nurses. The staff at Devos Chilren's Hospital was amazing. This is her getting a ride in the red wagon to go to the play room.

Mical was such a trooper not being allowed to eat for the day before surgery. She was not a fan of her IV. This is her minutes before surgery. She was anxious... but the staff was so kind. Her surgery was successful. After she heals, her stomach should feel so much better than it ever has before!

The view from our 7th floor room. We could also see the helicopter pad which was very fun to watch. Friday night Dan brought the older kids up and we watched Celebration on the Grand Fireworks. Thanks Mom and Dad for bringing Moses home and putting him to bed!

Mical with her happy bear...Thank you Goeller Troops!!! We love you guys!

Watching fireworks. We had the best room for a view. I have to believe it was one of those little gifts God keeps blessing us with.

Going HOOOOME!!!! YEA!

Thank you all for your prayers! Lots of recovery ahead. Mical is very sore today and will be for a while. Next surgery will be in 6-8 weeks.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First Surgery

Mical's first surgery is scheduled for Sept. 10. It is the first week of school for Lyric, Gavin and Cole, so this is gearing up to be a hectic time! This surgery will revise the colostomy that was done for her as an infant. Her two surgeons will also be forming the plan for the next surgery. We covet prayers for Mical, that the procedure would go smoothly and that she would be able to process this emotionally. For the surgeons, that they would have wisdom as they make plans for her next reconstructive surgery.

We've also recently been blessed through a fund raiser done for our family by the Sea 100 Powerboat Club. The money raised will go toward medical bills and also help us complete our adoption for Mical and Moses here in the States. We sit in awe and constant amazement at the way the Lord has continued to provide. This past week Pastor Jeff preached about facing the lions in our lives. How God conquers though our obedience. Last Feb. when we knew the Lord was leading us to Mical, inspite of our economy, uncertain job futures, unclear medical needs/ was a time of our own personal "lion". Would we make a "safer" choice? But, we knew in our hearts that they were ours. And now we get to hold them every day! It's so beautiful to have a quiet moment to reflect on all the Lord has done for us. And, looking forward to other things that I'm sure we cannot imagine...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Garden Elves

While we were in Uganda, some garden elves came and planted for us. This post is to show them the finished product. Now, to Cory Thede this may appear a garden in need of weeding and mulch, but to the Bronkema clan, it is beauty =)

The pumpkin plant was a surprise. It came up in the middle of the bean row so I'm guessing it is the result of a pumpkin we threw in the garden last fall? Oh well, bring on October! As you can see, we are ready!

Somewhere....a tomato worm is mocking me. I look for it daily, thinking eventually it will show itself. So far, it is winning.

The row of carrots has been doing great. Penelope and Snowflake want to say a special Thank You, as they have been benefiting from this row!

Thank you Cory, Kris, Eli and Anna for planting our garden and to Grandma and Grandpa for expanding it!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

19 Month Moses

     So, 18 months would have been more of a mile-marker, but I wasn't on top of it.  I'm usually late these days, so this is fitting.
     Today Moses is 19 months.  In the two months that we have been home he has learned to walk, has a growing vocabulary of important words like "No!", and has become the best sleeper in the house.  I know a lot of people were praying for him while we were in Uganda.  He really didn't like to sleep for us while we were there.  I think all the prayer caught up with him!
Moses has mastered unrolling all the toilet paper at remarkable speed...
has decided toilet water is almost as much fun as the pool...
thinks cat food is yummy...
and that sand isn't half bad either...
believes guinea pigs should be fed magnets and any other toy that can fit between the bars of the cage...
He's doing a good job keeping us busy!

Monday, August 3, 2009

2 months!

Yeah baby! We're off that plane!!!

Feeling reflective today as I think about how two months ago today we were flying home with Mical and Moses. Cory and Kris recently sent us photos taken at the airport, so I had to include a couple in this post.

My parents were so awesome to rent us a 12 passenger van so we could all be together on our drive home from O'Hare. Mom Thede, Cory, Kris, Eli and Anna all made the long drive and welcomed us home.

I wish I could bottle the feeling from that night. There is nothing like it.