Monday, March 29, 2010

Ok, I get it!

Do you ever go through a period of time where you feel like God is trying to tell you something? That has been happening to me this week. I chuckle now every time this topic comes up because it's happened about 15 times since last Tuesday.
I go to Bible Study Fellowship at a nearby church each week. During the lecture this week, the leader talked briefly about prayer. She asked, "Are you reverent when you pray?" She talked about kneeling and praying and having that time be a consistent thing in our lives. While I have gotten better at communicating with God throughout my day, I don't have a specific time where I kneel down and pour my heart out to Him. I think He's been trying to tell me that I'm missing out on that. The next day, I read MckDaddy's blog post about prayer. He said almost word for word what my leader said at BSF. I went on a women's retreat this weekend. It seemed as if most verses we looked at and every song we sang talked about praying or kneeling in some way. And then, the icing on the cake, the title for yesterday's sermon, "Prayer." I think God's trying to tell me something.
I don't have any profound thoughts on what it means to pray or what that should look like in our lives. I'm just resting in the knowledge that God loves me enough to make it evident that this is missing in my life. What has he been trying to tell you lately?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What are they doing?

I write this boring post to give our families that don't see us all of the time a glimpse into what is going on with these grandkids, nieces, and nephews. Hopefully it's not boring to you, family!

Well, that smile should tell you everything! He is thriving in doing school at home. He is learning so much and continues to amaze us. He is reading pretty well and we are mourning that we can't spell things anymore to keep him in the dark about things. He always figures it out. His first tball practice was last night. I think he did pretty well for the first practice. There are still some basics he will have to learn, but he and Matt will have lots of fun practicing together in our back yard. We already knew he was a good helper, but he keeps getting better at it. Yesterday he took the diaper bag and my purse from me without me asking. He saw that I was loaded down with Lucy and other things and wanted to help. He's like a mini-daddy to Lucy and loves on her all of the time. He is so careful with her and does a good job of keeping her safe. Kenneth is so pleasant almost every day and a joy to teach and be around!


Let's just say that Michael is marching to his own drum lately. He has had a difficult time adjusting to not having as much attention as he was getting before home schooling began. That's caused a few behavior problems. But don't worry. I have a new behavior strategy that requires me to do everything bad that he does. I'm not brave enough to do it in public, but at home it's on! If he throws himself against the door in a raging fit, so do I. In fact, I got a little too enthusiastic and heard the door crack a bit. I'll have to be less dramatic from now on.
He is in a gymnastics class and is proving to be a great athlete. Not such a great listener, but hey, he's only 4! He loves to play outside with his friends (all of the big kids). He continues to make us laugh all of the time with things that he says. He likes to eat about 800 times a day. Oh, and in the last couple of days, he's started voluntarily helping a lot. He'll grab the broom and start sweeping the floor or help me carry stuff down to the car. I'm praying that we are coming out of the "fit phase" a little bit. Just in time for the next one to enter into it!

Oh, how she lights up our lives every day! This car is her favorite toy and she will play on it for hours. Here are some of the things that she is doing.
Talking: caca (cracker), da (bar), a different sounding da (ball), nyanya (mimi), nana (banana), dudu (bye bye), tatu (thank you). 
Doing: signs "more" and "eat", brings us books to read to her all day long (Her fave is Miss Lucy Had a Baby.), walking forwards and backwards, helps us dress her, gets her shoes and brings them to us when asked, mostly feeds herself, lets her brothers know when they have done something to make her unhappy by pointing her finger and hollering at them. 
Loves: horsey rides, books, baths, playing outside, being tossed in the air by daddy, wrestling, eating, when daddy gets home, shoes, going bye-bye, mimi, riding in wagons, growing hair. 

Car Troubles? That's right Michael. Let the girl get out and push the car while you sit inside and drive. And then let her fill it up with gas. We have some gentleman training we need to do.

Do I look like a self-feeder to you?

That's all I've got folks! Thanks for loving our kids. We love you all! 


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Worth it? Totally

One of the first things I decided to do for homeschooling was to start each day by praying together and memorizing a Bible verse each week. We have a short list of prayer requests, mostly for family members and that our house in Texas would sell. It's so fun to hear the boys pray for these things that are so much bigger than they can understand. For Bible verses I decided to pick a verse for each letter of the alphabet and work on one verse a week. "A" is Romans 3:23 - All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. This is a concept my little sinners can easily grasp! Our "B" verse is Ephesians 4:32 - Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another. Here's that cool story I mentioned the other day:
A couple of Saturday's ago, I woke up really grumpy. Hard to believe, I know. It was a rough morning and I was quite unpleasant to be around, even though I tried to shake the attitude. The boys were their typical hellion selves when cooped up inside all day. However, around lunchtime they disappeared for a little while. I wasn't too worried about where they were because it was quiet and peaceful. After a little while, they came to get me. It turns out they had been in our room making our bed. They know I like the bed to be made and make it first thing most mornings. They said, "Mom, we wanted to be kind and tender-hearted to you, so we made your bed for you." I was officially a puddle of goo. Then I had to go practice what I was preaching. Nothing like some sweet kids to turn a day around.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Adamant...not so much

For several years now I've had a pretty strong opinion about homeschooling. We work with teens and have seen a lot of people home school for what we saw as wrong reasons. Side note: Here's one of my top 3 continual sins: judging others and thinking I know a better way. My dad actually used to make me read Matthew 7 on a regular basis. I thought I knew the best way to educate my children and tended to think that if you weren't doing it my way, you were wrong. Matt and I are passionate about raising our kids to love God and want to share that love with people in their schools. We are never as exposed to non-Christians on a daily basis as we are through our school years. What a huge mission field, right?? It's also really important to us that we are involved in the schools as parents being an encouragement to parents and faculty. So with that mindset before us, we sent our oldest to kindergarten in the fall. We had high hopes of getting plugged into the schools, making friends, and being a light in the darkness. There are about 18 reasons why this didn't happen, but I won't bore you with our excuses. I choose to see it as God working in our hearts towards the unthinkable. Meanwhile, our child of not quite 2 years was struggling big-time at school. His behavior just couldn't catch up to his knowledge level. He was digressing back to the little boy who showed up on our doorstep and we spent a lot of time praying about what to do. I know that God had been working on me for a while to help me see that there are some right reasons to home school. Every month or so I would suggest pulling him out and home schooling for the next couple of years. Matt was very cautious about protecting the relationship between Kenneth and me. We don't always get along so well...too much alike. Then in early January, K had a really bad week at school and it was the push we needed to pull him out. Can I just say that it is the best decision we have made as parents yet? He needs more time being nurtured and loved and taught within the safe haven of our home. He missed out on those formative early years and it shows. And don't you love when God shows up in ways that are so much bigger than you thought he could? I actually love doing the thing that I have been so adamantly against for so many years. It has vastly improved our relationship. I find that I get more done during my day than I did before. I'm more organized in general and have a better attitude from day to day. Shouldn't the result of having an extra kid at home, that I am responsible for educating, be completely the opposite ?

I am so thankful to God for changing my heart towards home schooling. While I do still believe that there are some wrong reasons to home school, I am going to choose to focus on the right reasons for us to live this lifestyle for now. I'll try to leave the heart-changing to God and stop seeing the speck in my brother's eye while ignoring the log in my own.
Soon to come, our first success story from home schooling. It might make you smile!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

An update....2 years later

I've been making comments on other blogs lately under this blog and thought it might be a good idea to update the happenings around here. When I started this blog, I thought we would have tons of foster care placements and lots of stories to tell about that journey. It turns out our first placement was our only one. Our 2 boys came to us Dec. 10, 2007. Sometime in February, I got pregnant with our little girl. Due to the morning sickness and chasing after these 2 sweet boys, the blog got pushed to the side. We adopted the boys in July 08. Lucy was born in December later that year. So, 3 kids in one year and who has time to blog?? Well, some people do. They amaze me! We dream about doing foster care again one day. Maybe I will restart a blog then. We do have lots of stories about the 3 kids God has given us so far, and maybe from time to time I'll post those. Until then, here is a picture of the 3 cutest kids on the planet!
Pretty cute, huh?

The best pose of the three of them together. The stinkers!

Until the urge hits me to blog again,


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Driving in Laundry Baskets

As I sit here trying to put into words a summary of our first month as parents, the boys are sitting in a laundry basket going for a drive. Note to self: We do not need any toys ever. Laundry baskets, boxes, and couch cushions work just fine. This last month has definitely been a time of adjustments and inconceivable joy and excitement over the perfectness of God's plans!
Kenneth and Michael showed up on our doorstep on Dec. 10. We immediately fell in love with their sweet faces, energetic personalities, and every single little thing about them. By the end of the first day they were calling us mommy and daddy. By the 4th day, Kenneth was saying, "I love you." After 2 weeks, they had met every member of our immediate families and then some. After one month, each boy prays at night and they are starting to gain an understanding of who God is. That is by far the greatest milestone!

A Little Bit about the Boys
Kenneth is quite the chatterbox. He loves looking out the window, getting very excited if a motorcycle, dog, or birds happen to go by. He loves to help make beds, load the dishwasher, and pick up toys. I think his favorite part of helping is telling mommy and daddy exactly what they are supposed to do. Both of us also being first borns, we don't always handle being bossed by a 3 year old very well. His favorite game is Hide-n-Seek. He makes sure to always tell us where he is going to be hiding, so the challenge is pretending to look for him. He is always ready to play and have fun!
Michael has the ability to make me melt any time he smiles. Michael is definitely a goof ball. We have laughed until tears are running down our faces multiple times. He throws several temper tantrums a day, which is pretty normanl for a 1 year old. It's just really hard not to laugh at his patterns. He will always lay down on the floor, kick off his shoes, and throw anything in his reach. If he is eating food, it will get spit out and thrown across the table. You don't want to be in his line of fire when he is angry. He is almost always over it in about 10 seconds. He is very busy and it is impossible to get him to sit still unless he is tired. He also loves to play, but I think his favorite thing is to dump out all of the toys and then play inside the baskets.

God's Perfect Plan
We know that this is the beginning of the family that God has for us! It is so awesome to rest in the knowledge that this was His plan all along. There are many things that continue to show us that this is exactly right, but I will share just one thing. Ever since I was a little girl, I have had a nasty habit of drinking out of my mom's water glass. If she left it within reach, I was draining it and never even thinking to refill it. I do this mostly because I am too lazy to fix my own water. I must confess that even at the mature age of almost 27, I still do this everytime I am with my mom. Well, I think she must have been praying for God to help me see the error of my ways. I have two little boys who always find my freshly filled water glass and drink every last drop! It makes me smile every time because I know that I am getting exactly what I deserve, what I need, and what I have wanted and longed for so many years!

Monday, December 10, 2007