Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wonderful Find

found something really cool at Lowes.  They have these awesome child size tools and crafts.  You can find out more about them from this site called Red Toolbox, which is the product that was at Lowes. 

The children and I are headed to the mountains today to enjoy some warm Autumn days.  First stop, Safeway for our lunch, then the German bakery for those special cookies that makes the children yell out in glee that I am the best mom in the world.  Then the drive west.  I will probably let Kalyn drive so that she can get more practice on the highways.  Which means I get to read a book (happy face for me).  
Supper tonight, leftover red beans, salad, and cornbread.  
O.K. - looks like we are ready to go,
but 1st, I must get out of bed - ha!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Adults Were VERY Uncooperative!!

You know how you work and plan to take family pictures?  And then it is so hard to get all the children to look at the camera and smile nicely?  Well, I thought it would be fun to show you the OTHER story...

When the adults misbehave...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Walking For The Children

Dear Family and Friends,
Over 2 million children are currently enslaved around the world, including every one of the 50 United States.

In an effort to play our part in ending this injustice, we have joined the Stop Child Trafficking Now (SCTNow) Campaign. SCTNow has chosen to fund a bold, new approach, one that addresses the demand side of child sex trafficking by targeting buyers/predators for prosecution and conviction.

On the weekend of October 2-3, 2010 (this coming Saturday), thousands of individuals in communities across the United States and Canada will participate in SCTNow Walks to raise funds and bring awareness to the issue of child trafficking.

Would you join us as we commit to raise funds to end child slavery? By simply clicking on  “Support Us" at the end of this email or writing a check to SCTNow you can make a contribution that will make a difference in the life of a child.

Please make checks payable to SCTNow, write our name in the memo line, and mail to SCTNow, 414 West 51st Street, Lower Level, New York, NY 10019.

If you have any questions about SCTNow please contact us directly or visit

Thank you so much for your support.
Steve, Shonni and 12 Cuties!

Support Us

I Can’t Get My Mind Off Him

I sat outside in the dark holding Keshawn last night.  The moon was just rising in front of me; large, round and glowing with that beautiful yellow/orange of the harvest moon.  I would point and say “moon” and he would lift his little finger and point in the general direction of the moon, with an occasion course adjustment from me.  
I told him that while we were watching the moon rise, a little boy in China was beginning a new day.  And then I began to pray for that little boy, my new son.  
I wait, and pray; look at his picture and wonder.  I feel scared...we’ve never adopted an older child before.   
The paper work seems to be snail pacing along.  We may have to ask for an extension because getting the medicals for a family of 12 is no small feat.  We need a family picture too...for the dossier.  I’m not sure how to get it.  All the children need to look nice and do we use a timer and hope it works?
More time waiting; praying. 
And the money...
really does anything need to be said.  I know we have done this a few times before, and the LORD does provide!!!  Still, well, I just don’t know how it is going to work.
So I wait, and pray.  
The children and I are restudying China.  We made paper cut designs, and paper lanterns.  I’m thinking I really ought to start learning some of those “Chinese For Adoptive Parents” language phrases soon.  And the mound of adoptive books and home work that we need to do to meet the adoptive requirements for this adoption...well, it feels like a mountain.  But he is work it!!  
As I pray and wait.  I can’t get my mind off him.  I guess this is love. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

An Unexpected Chase Scene!!

It’s true, we saw this beaver chasing this duck one early morning last week at our rent house outside of Durango.   I had to take the pictures through the kitchen window, so the quality isn’t great..still, pretty crazy, huh?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Family Culture and Home Education

I was thinking about the next Pillar in my Home Education, Pillar VI.  And the word culture kept coming to my mind.  I began to think about the word, it’s definition and how it applies to us.  I have read often that “education is an atmosphere”  from many of Charlotte Mason’s works.  (6. When we say that "education is an atmosphere," we do not mean that a child should be isolated in what may be called a 'child-environment' especially adapted and prepared, but that we should take into account the educational value of his natural home atmosphere, both as regards persons and things, and should let him live freely among his proper conditions. It stultifies a child to bring down his world to the child's' level.)
(Random bird picture)

And, being a mother to children who are home through adoption, I have heard and read about exposing my children to their past cultures (China, S. Korea, etc.).  When most of us think of “culture”, we usually think of other countries than our own; Asia, Mexica, for example.  We think of what “makes” China “China" or Mexico “Mexico”.  So for China we may think of their way of living, customs, traditions, art, music, religion, beliefs, practices, language and the geography of the country.  We might think of the differences in appearance like eye shape or skin color.  
I have come to believe that I must be intentional and thoughtful about my “Family Culture”.  What do I mean by this and why is it a pillar for my children’s education?
It’s funny how you grow into some thoughts without realizing it....
Family Culture, to me, would be defined as what makes the Hassoldt’s the “Hassoldt’s”....our way of living, our customs and traditions, art or music that we enjoy, our religion and the beliefs that define us, even our language and where we live.  The thing that is really cool is that each person in a “family culture” adds something. 
Here’s an examples from our oldest son, Jace.  Home educating that brilliant child was a challenge, but it was also an amazing time of growth and learning for me.  His desire to learn and know pushed me every day to learn and know, and because of him, I fell in love with learning.  I had NEVER loved school...if you have read past posts, you know I was a “failure” in school, but teaching Jace taught me that I could learn and I loved it!!!  As Jace got older, he fell in love with Jazz music.  So like everything else he loved, we immersed our family in Jazz.  Many nights were spent as a family dancing, singing and just enjoying each other to some of the best of Jazz music.  We studied some of greatest best music voices and players of Jazz, the time period when it was born, where it’s influence came from, the art that resulted, and all things good related to Jazz.  Jace painted an awesome Jazz picture above his bed and we even named our little dog “Bluez”.  
See, his love for Jazz became part of our family culture.  Kalyn’s love for poetry followed, and Caresse’s passion for herbs and medicine’s.  Kiana is quite the artist and it brings such beauty to our home.  I love photography and Steve, honestly!!! - I even asked him - likes to fix things!!!  Each of these become part of our family culture.
Also, I really do love other cultures, and so that is an important part of our daily lives.  Of course, having children who were born in so many different places gives us an excellent opportunity to celebrate and learn about their birth countries.  We are re-studying China, since Asher is waiting for us there.  However, we talk and learn about all countries, because we believe that all people are made in the LORD’s image and are valued and precious.  This is also part of our family culture. 

Now, not to throw you, but here is an interesting definition of “culture” from the Webster 1828 dictionary (which is my favorite dictionary):
1.  The act of tilling and preparing the earth for crops; cultivation; the application of labor or other means of improvement. 
2.  The application of labor or other means to improve good qualities in, or growth; as the culture of the mind; the culture of virtue.
3.  The application of labor or other means in producing.”

Isn’t that interesting...some words stand out to me...growing, improving, producing....
As I consider my "Family Culture”, I must also reflect on this questions:  “What acts of preparing, what works or labor do I need to do to cultivate a “Family Culture” where each one of us can grow, improve and produce for THE LORD’S GLORY.  Because the most important part of our family culture is that we follow Jesus and believe the whole Truth of the Bible.  Ultimately, this guides me every day.  And as my farmer grandfather use to prepare his field to receive the cotton crop, so I must thoughtfully prepare my family to receive the Seeds of Truth...from the Bible.  
My Home Education is part of “who” we are and I have the privilege to use it as a tool to cultivate our family culture. 
I encourage you to think about your family culture and ask the LORD to help you cultivate a home that nourishes the growth of every one in your family, and don’t forget to nourish mother!!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

I Goofed...(Home Education-Pillar IV)

I posted Pillar V for my Home Education before I posted Pillar IV...sorry...
My Pillar IV is Great Books!!!
Steve and I have always done what we could to save our money so that each year we could add to our  library of wonderful and “living” books.  After 18 years now, we have gathered some of the best books for our children and I have always been so very grateful.  I so often find my new readers looking on the selves to see what might interest them.  

Charlotte Mason said,
Thought breeds thought; children familiar with great thoughts take as naturally to thinking for themselves as the well-nourished body takes to growing; and we must bear in mind that growth, physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual, is the sole end of education.

This quote, for me, sums up why I feel real literature is worth the money and time.  

In other Home Education posts I have mentioned some of my favorite places to get ideas for books....
Sonlight, My Father’s World, Greenleaf Press, Simply Charlotte Mason, Beautiful Feet Books Inc., Lifetime Books and Gifts, Lamplighter Publishers (We love Lamplighter!!!). 

I have said this before, and I will say it again...just as I want to feed my children nutritious, healthy food I also want to serve their minds with nutritious mind food.  I want to inspire their precious minds and to stimulate their imaginations with the best literary food that is available.  And there is much available!!
So look around, rent from the library if you have to and ask for great books for birthdays and other holidays and start building your home library and teach those precious little minds to love a good book. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010




Occasionally, we ate and slept!  
Steve, Keshawn and I had such an awesome time with my parents, and brother and sister (in-law), Kim and Karla.  What a memory.  We were talking about how very precious it is to spend time playing and “living” with each other.  It takes a lot of work, and my parents do so much so that we can be together, but we talked about how important it is for family relationships!!
We camped between Durango and Silverton.  Goodness, it was BEAUTIFUL.  The colors changed before our very eyes!
Mom is doing really good post surgery 2 months.  It will still take time, but she is getting around better right now than she has since the accident 3 years ago.  She loved riding the ATV’s.  She said she felt “free” for the first time in 3 years.  And pain didn’t stop her... she just picked up those crutches, or grabbed an arm and told us all “Let’s go play”.  Daddy was always right there by Mom keeping her safe and taking care her.  
Karla is feeling better, but is still sick some times...please continue to pray for her! And thank you for those prayers.  
Kim and I always tend to explore and play to the limits and as always I loved getting to chase after my “little” brother.  
It is good to be back home and we are looking forward to getting our family settled into our school schedule next week.
I missed ya’ll...
how are ya doin’?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

This Makes Me Smile

(Picture by Kalyn)
Sara wrote a cute post about the smile of her little guy and asked us to share what makes us smile.
This picture of Aiden actually makes me laugh.  It so captures his silliness, and honestly, no one can be around this child for long without realizing that he LIVES BIG and loves even bigger.  
So, share with us what makes you smile!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Goin’ On A Date (And Chris...Wait For It - LOL)

Kalyn helped me clean out my “baby” for a date.  This date is even better because I get to spend it with my real Love, Steve and baby Keshawn.  We are meeting my parents and my bother and sister-in-law (Kim and Karla) at Durango.  My parents celebrated 50 years of marriage 2 years ago, however, because of the surgeries that mom has had on her leg we have put off our (Kim, Karla, Steve and me (or I?  what is the correct grammar here? Sorry!)) gift to them.  Our gift was a rented house in the beautiful mountains of Colorado for a week of play with us.  Ha-I especially like the “us” part.  My parents are awesome; they have always said that their favorite people to go on vacations and play with is their children.  
So, of course, I wanted my baby nice and clean for the “date”.  Thanks Kalyn for helping me!

Speaking of Kalyn - she picked on poor innocent Kiana, and it ended in a water fight  - would have to know Kiana to know that she was no where near innocent!  She mercilessly teased Kalyn, and well, Kalyn got her!

AnnnnyWhoooo (I have wanted to say that, because, well, it sound funny to me)...would ya’ll please be praying for Corbin.  He had a sonogram on his kidney’s today.  He has had problems with “holding it” and we are trying to find out what is going on.  
Also, please pray for Kalyn and the children next week while we are gone.  We have a lot of friends near by to watch and help out, however, we are praying that the children have a great and restful week together!!!

Oh, and Chris, the name of the game is Brainstonz by McWiz.  It is simple and fun.  

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pillar V - Home Education

This pillar of my Home Education is easy!  Make it FUN.  
I can’t always make every subject fun, but there are so many ways to enjoy our school time.  So here goes with some of our favorites!

My children absolutely are addicted to these trivia games.  You can find the Professor Noggin’s card games here and BrainBox games here.  By the way the above links take you to 2 of my favorite places to find fun things for the children.  I make wish list and then pass them out to our families for birthdays and Christmas.  I would rather the children have one good toy that they will really enjoy than a dozen that are cheap and thrown away within a few weeks. 

GAMES, GAMES AND MORE GAMES.  The children love fun games, so I keep my eyes open for anything fun that also has teaching or strategy value.
Here are five favorites:
2.  Set - One of Kalyn’s favorites
3.  Blokus
5.  Mexican Train Dominoes or just dominoes or cards
Enjoy nature walks as often as you can!  We will take a favorite book, or nature journals and pencils along.  The children always enjoy these times!!

Take advantage of the unexpected.  When we were camping this last month, we found an unexpected mine that the owner (above) loved to talk about.  He made his presentation so interested and then afterwards we bought rocks.  I wasn’t expecting this learning opportunity, however, it came, I seized it and the children loved it.  

Now, I want to hear how you make teaching fun?  What are some of your favorite family games? Share, share!!! And have fun!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Praying for children to come home;
resting and recovering from a root canal;
Alia scrapped her foot really bad outside and needed to go to the emergency room - she is resting;
going to find a warm spot to do some reading this afternoon.
Ahhhh- rest.

Monday, September 6, 2010

“I Never Made A Sacrifice"

"For my own part, I have never ceased to rejoice that God has appointed me to such an office. People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. . . . Is that a sacrifice which brings its own blest reward in healthful activity, the consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny hereafter? Away with the word in such a view, and with such a thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger, now and then, with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us pause, and cause the spirit to waver, and the soul to sink; but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall be revealed in and for us. I never made a sacrifice.
 (What David Livingstone said to the Cambridge students about his “leaving” the benefits of England.)
I use to hate to read when I was in school, probably because the books where boring, and it was hard because of learning issues that we weren’t really aware of.
Now, I LOVE to read, and my favorite literary loves are biographies!  I was reminded of one of my best-loved - A CHANCE TO DIE, The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael, by Elisabeth Elliot.  
These last few months have again shown me that the only Rock that I want to build on is Jesus.
Here is a quote taken from A Chance To Die;
“God had promised to supply all needs.  On that word, not on the sands of self-confidence, she built her house.  Given the forces that battered her frailty she would have scorned any attempt to find an explanation for her strength apart from the foundation on which it rested - a Rock that never budged.”  
As I awaken to this new day, new week, new month, I realize that I must confess to the LORD any attempts to stand on my own strength, to boast in my abilities, or to feel in any way that I have suffered.  If I have suffered, it is because I have had my eyes on “me” instead of on Him.  I am seeing that I was building on the sands of Pride and I am grateful for the storms that have come along to tear it down.  In my heart, I repent, and I want to “Seek the LORD and His strength; seeking His presence continually.” (Ps. 104:4). 
I want to be able to say that I never made a sacrifice, but I DID LIVE for Him!

(Thank you ALL for your encouragement and loving words over the last week....they mean so much to me!!!)

Friday, September 3, 2010

I Thought I Was Stronger

The sun is setting on our little piece of Colorado, leaving behind a week of memories, accomplishments, stresses, sick ones...
The weather has really turned cooler here and Autumn is knocking on our door, for sure!
Thank goodness, daddy just walked in and took some fussing children outside to help him unload the car.
This summer has been very difficult for me.  I was telling my mom, it is funny when things are going good and I am feeling good, I “feel” strong;
and then circumstances designed by His Loving Hand come along and I see how very weak I am; and how quickly my “little” world becomes all about me.  I really do hate that. 
I was thinking to myself a few days ago “Gee, I thought I was stronger than this.”  And again, I am reminded of how weak I am.

How much I need Him each day!  How aware I am again of my need for His vision and direction; His protection and provision; HIS STRENGTH.   And like a little lamb, I am sticking really close to my Shepherd and trusting Him!
My constant reminder the last few weeks has been what I call “A Call To Bold Endurance In Ministry”...

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” II Tim 1:7
Lookin’ forward to resting this weekend and prayin’ that you are refreshed as well.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Eyes To See

What will I see today?  
It is my choice...
“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!  Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him?” Psalm 34:8
I’m in need of some “refuge” right now.  Funny thing, when I feel like this I start lookin’ at things that bring me down more, instead of lookin’ at things that bring me up.  
So today, I’m praying that I have Eyes To See the many ways that the LORD is good!
Want to come?
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