Saturday, December 20, 2014

My Fourth. My Last.

It's hard to describe how you can know something, but then be constantly surprised by it too.  For over 4 years, I've had a baby in the house.  So even though I know he's our last, I often think about "Well, the next baby, I'll do this or that. Then I am slapped in the face with reality (or my husband...haha) that this is it.  How can something you've dreamed and waited for, go by so quickly. I'm just not ready.  I guess you never are really ready.  Or so I've heard.  But it happens just like that and you feel like you are trying to hold off the inevitable sand coming down from an hour glass. 

The feeling worse than that is the one where because life is naturally busy and sometimes it's overwhelming, I'm not sure I've soaked it up enough. The plees from women with children long grown, keep me wondering if I'm treasuring this season like I should.  I shrink with guilt every time I hide in the bathroom for a few minutes, stay a little too long under my covers or find my self loosing my cool.  I'm so blessed and I know it.  But there are moments where I'm too overwhelmed, too caught up in the things that I'm not doing good enough. Tired from wiping things...counter tops, bottoms, spills and little noses. I don't want to just make it through the day. I want to soak up each moment, but it's impossible.  I have stop beating myself up and take note that, I do try to live each moment with them giving them all of me that I can.  

I do sit and hold him every spare second I get.  Though he hasn't gotten as many "arranged photo shoots", I still capture his cuteness, just on my iphone.  He does get books read to him, but usually it's shared with a sibling.  I dance with him and love to tickle his little legs until the trill of giggles undo me.  He's definitely the fourth.  Not as much of me to go around.  He's the last. What a great babe to end on. There couldn't be a sweeter, blue eyed boy I'd rather call my baby. 

 Can this really be him? 

I'm not sure I ever shared his birth announcement, so here it is. 

My one year old babe!

 He is such a handsome little guy. 

 I just had to add this one because I have to show the blue peepers. 
Man, they make this Mama swoon. 

 I'm glad the wagon still actually looks big here!  Maybe this is a picture I'll try to get each year.  

 I just love him in his little bow tie!

I used this for his birthday invitation. 
This was the 15 seconds that I was able to have him keep the party hat on! 

Now I'm going to go cry in a corner!!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

I need you...

I was laying in bed this morning and I heard out of the stillness a wonderful transaction take place.  I'd already been up to get my son and husband off to school.  I was trying to soak up the silence as it's precious in this space.  I heard Evy get up to use the restroom.  Then I heard this small voice...."Evy?"she searched her room.  Evy answered, "Yes, I'm in here."  Livingston replied, "I need you."

Those three little words stole my heart. Those and the little voice pleading them.  You see I'm used to hearing those words and though they are sweet I can often feel overwhelmed from the many times I hear them each day.  So when she said them to her sister, I felt myself exhale.  Whew....I hadn't been needed at this moment.  I could still lay under my warm covers and pretend to be asleep.  That was nice.  But more than that, it was reminder that theirs is another love story written by the creator of love Himself.

Adoption is beautiful for so many reasons, but the sibling part of it has been one of my favorites that has unfolded. These girls were not born of the same womb, they do not share DNA and they look nothing a like.  But they are sisters. They share a family.  They share a special bond.  It's been a wonderful thing to watch.

I love to watch them pretend and create worlds together.  It's sweet to see them making memories that they'll laugh over many years from now.  They are actually practicing being adults, mothers and homekeepers.   I often have wondered what they would have been like without each other.  Their personalities are so grown and changed by the other. Evy definitely makes Liv braver and in return Evy has become a little more tender because of her sister.

Sisterhood is so sweet.  I should know, I have one of the best.  It's a best friend that never goes away.  I'm so glad these two will get to walk through life together and be apart of each other's adventures.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Loving big takes courage.

I was reading a book today and came across this line.... loving big takes courage.  It impacted me greatly because I know it's true.

Yesterday, I had to run an early errand with the kids with me.  We had an hour or so to kill after it until we had to be at a speech appointment.  I promised them McDonalds if they behaved themselves at the first errand.  They did great and cheered as we pulled in under the golden arches. I'm usually motivated to happiness by their cheerful moods.  I was smiling as I unbuckled car seats and lined up kids on the sidewalk. Then I got this deju vu feeling.  As we filed into the building and they ran off towards the play place, I knew exactly where it was coming from. We rarely go to this McD's because it's on the other side of town, but was close to our earlier errand.  This is the same location where our oldest two children had their parent visitations during our first few months of fostering them.

It's the very first place I laid my eyes on my babies. It's also the place where I experienced some of my most vulnerable moments of my life.  Watching them with their birth family.  Seeing the pain they felt when no one showed up or when they had to say goodbye.  Trying to make sense of the fears of  the future and budding love for these little souls that I was feeling.  I was scared of this unfamiliar world of fostering, inexperienced at this parenting gig and felt unsure if I was the right person for this gig.

It was hard.  Everything about this was making my brain scream, "This is too hard.  Run for comfort." I knew that was my just the scared part of me.  Deep down I had already made this decision.  We were in this. No matter what came. We were parents to whoever and however long God gave us with them.

Nothing about the first few months was easy.  Four years later, there are moments that still aren't easy.  Not with just our adopted children, but our biological children as well.  Parenting. It's the hardest thing I've ever done. It took all the courage I could muster.  I'm not sure I've ever relied on the Lord's strength so much. Hard things bring out the courage that you thought was impossible.

The other side of "loving big takes courage"  is that it breeds more love.  I've never been given so much of myself and then gain soo much in return.  So what is God calling you to love big? I dare you to do it!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Things I Can't Get of My Mind...

I wish my house would sell.
 We've been trying to sell our home for some time now. It's not a need. We have no timeline. It would just make our lives easier to move closer to where Scott works, the kids go to school and an added bonus...closer to my family.  We had an open house this weekend and had a fairly good turn out.  We also have another showing this week.  I'm just praying for an offer and anxious to have it sold before school starts. Sadly, it's only three more weeks.  I'm trying to believe it could happen if God sees fit.'s Study Packs
I love  It's easy, keeps me accountable and has plenty of beautiful images to inspire me.  But I've been dying to get one of their study packs.  They are gorgeous and I know they'd be helpful to go along with their study online. But I haven't felt like I could justify it right now.  Maybe my honey will surprise me with one before the Hebrews study starts up.  hint! hint!  You should check them out and if anything follow along online.  Take a look at the does save you some.  

Summer is almost over.
I can't help it.  I'm trying to stop thinking this way, but I just can't.  I've told a few people July just feels like a long Sunday evening.  You know that sinking feeling in your gut that the fun is over and the week is starting over?  That's the way I feel. I'm going to miss moments like this.  The late afternoon glow, sweaty/happy kids and lots of nothing to do. I HEART summer!

This to eat.
I'm pretty obsessed with this combo lately.  I've eaten too many times to count as my lunch or sometimes even a late night snack.  It's pretty simple and not too unhealthy. : )  Just the bread, cheese and oil maybe? haha! It's spinach, kale and tomatoes chopped up. Oil and vinaigrette poured over. Italian spices, garlic, shaved Parmesan and sprinkled with pepper.  Just dip bread or crackers in it.  SOOO good! Someone stop me!!!

This little girl turning FIVE.
What are my children trying to do to me? UGH!!!! It's the most fun thing to watch them grow and the most heartbreaking too.  It's not that I really want them to stop, but I guess I'd just like them to slow down a little.  I've spent the last month researching/ordering gifts, looking through the past years pictures of Evy and planning her birthday bash for this weekend.  I think sometimes I'm just as excited as them! It's Little Mermaid themed.....soo fun!

That's what's been on my brain lately. 
How about yours?

Friday, July 11, 2014

i love you every little bit

i love your tiny wiggly toes
i love your soft and squishy nose

i love your little dimpled chin
i love your silly, happy grin

i love your itty bitty feet
i love your cheeks, so round and sweet

i love your hands that hold me tight.
i love your eyes so twinkly bright.

our hearts are such a perfect fit.
i love you, every little bit.

* from children's book Every Little Bit (target dollar aisle...a favorite...the aisle and the book)
* pictures from March...he's much bigger now!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Summer Livin'

I can't believe summer is half way over.
I really can't slow time down and have decided to stop fighting it.
Therefore, I have only one choice, to soak it all up.

There are days I get distracted and can't wait for bedtime.
But normally, I'm trying hard to keep a good perspective and search out the blessings!

This summer, we are trying our best to get outside and enjoy this amazing weather. 
For KY, it's been a great summer.  Not boiling, yet.

Here are a few picture of the fun!

 JE hanging in the pod in our backyard.
 We've had several cousin backyard swim dates!
 Liv is such a good mama taking care of her baby!

 We went to the zoo and got to visit with this guy. :)
I love how it looks like they are having a conversation!

I think Evy was deciding to jump the fence to live with the elephants here.

 Lots of swimming at Granny and Grandaddy's pool.

 This time our backyard with the cousins.

 Hysterical how many cousins can fit in one pool!

 Santa or Liv?

Sack races at one of our life group get togethers. 

What a full, exhausting and blessed summer it has been so far.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Thriving in Summer

Summer is a big, beautiful mess.

That is the way I at least feel about it.  
My husband is a teacher so we get soo antsy those last few weeks of school.
Not only will my older ones not have to go to school/preschool, but Daddy is home too!!!
It's the best thing, but it's utter chaos if we don't get a handle on it. 
Imagine being on vacation for 2 months.  It can be overwhelming having no routine, frustrating with soo many personalities home all day and it can get expensive if you aren't planning. 

Every year since we've had the pleasure of this arrangement, we've gotten better at it.  We plan ahead and start talking about what we do the weeks before summer starts. 

Don't get me wrong, we are still major flex these days.  We just created a loose schedule for the weekdays and tried to look over the whole summer for special appointment/events.

So instead of just surviving this summer, we are trying to THRIVE!
Here are a few things we are doing to accomplish this:


To keep the kids on top of all they learned this past year, we've tried to keep on with summer learning.  Just reviewing and working on things they already did.  They honestly enjoy it.  

 We got these workbooks at Sam's for pretty cheap. 
They've been a great way for them to work if we need to be doing other things.

I also wanted to do fun and creative things with the kids this summer. 
We made sure to pencil in time for this during our days home.  


Crafting. Experiments. Baking. Group Playing.

To help with the arts, I got this book. 
I can't help it....I love Martha's stuff.
It's really just a pretty book to look through. 

This was the first one we tried.
Easy and they loved it!

I let them help pour food coloring in.

It does look like Water Fireworks! 


I'm not going to lie. I'm a weeny when it comes to hot weather. 
I would just rather be cool and not sweating.

Thankfully, this summer hasn't been horribly hot.
Either way, we make sure to let them run off some steam everyday.

 So we climb trees.

We play ball.

I'm the worst at this. No joke.
Even when I plan, I get off from the schedule I planned.

This is one area, we struggle.  
Because summer seems like one long vacation, it's easy to eat out too much.
We'll be out doing something as a family and think that it would be convenient to just grab something while we are out.

I've decided to try to cook more for lunch. 
Sometimes, it's easier because we have been going lots of places in the afternoons/evenings.

If  we get home later, it's easier to make sandwiches/ heat up left overs for supper.

I've tried a few dips and fun summer recipes.
I'm always looking for new, healthy and different send them my way if you have any.


We have tried to make sure we get out of the house and go somewhere at least 2 times a week.
This hasn't been hard at all.
We have had lots of cousin play dates, parties to attend and of course VBS with our church.

If anything, I feel we are rarely home during the week.
It's been our Saturday and Sundays that have been slower. 
Which is a nice change too.

Adventures can be close to home, a local hike or a day trip to a near by attraction.

We love free or cheap things for our kids to do.
Obviously, there is parks, the library and Granny's pool!

We've been swimming lots!

There are also some cheaper things that are great too...

Summer Kids movies at Malco
Having a membership to O'boro Science Museum
Reid's Orchard
Laser Tag
Play Places
County Fairs
Drive In Movies

Anyways, we have lots more we want to do and summer is slipping by.

Any ideas you have to share for thriving during the summer instead of just surviving?

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