Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Happy 4th Birthday Sweet Pea

To My Dearest Sweetie Pea,

Today we celebrate your fourth birthday.  These past years have been some of the most amazing four years I have ever known.  I have enjoyed getting to know every bit of you.  You are SO much like your Daddy and SO much like your Mommy!

Sweet Girl, God has asked you to do so much!  You don't have an easy task as a sister.  You sit in the car and at appointments for hours.  You take mistreatment from hurts of the past.  You deal with violations of your space and things.  And you handle it all like a champ.  I know it's not an easy road that you walk down, but I pray that one day you understand and accept that it is the path God has for you.

One thing you get from neither you Dad, nor me is your natural ability to love and connect with people!  You have such a gift.  Use it wisely, for God's glory.  He will allow you to do big things with it.

We always pray that you will be a World Changer and a Voice for the Voiceless.  I know you don't understand what that means now, but I pray some day you will. You CAN do big things in this world, for God's glory, by God's power.  He wants to use you in that way.

I thank God for each day I have with you.  I am so blessed to be your Mommy.  You fill my life with absolute joy.

I love you.  Happy Birthday.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Being Thankful

We are doing Awana at Home with our kids this summer and into the school year.  We absolutely love it.  There is no planning involved, very little supplies, and our kids have so much fun.  One night we talk about God is the Creator.  We talked about what we were thankful for that God made.  Then we went outside and drew it on the side walk.  I loved to see what my kids came up with.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pinterest Pin: Perfect or Problematic?

When I found frozen sidewalk chalk on Pinterest I was pretty excited.  My kids love sidewalk chalk, so to have it frozen just sounded fun.  So here's the breakdown...

What's Good?
  • It's simple and cheap to make.
  • It's a great summer time activity
  • It's different and unique.
  • My super sensory seeker loved it.  And when he was done he moved on to basic sidewalk chalk.
  • It's not harmful if eaten (as you can tell later on one of my kiddos did that).
What's Bad?
  • Oh my!  The mess!!!!  Clothing, hair, arms, everything.
  • It takes awhile for the actual chalk lines to show up, so for my littles they weren't happy about not being able to draw pictures.  They just kinda rubbed until it melted away.
  • It picks up all the dirt (I had just mowed, and the grass got ALL OVER the chalk).
Conclusion:  My kids enjoyed it enough that we will do it again, but it is not an all time favorite activity by any means.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Picture Perfect: Movie Night

One of my goals for this summer was to read chapter books to my kids.  It was a good memory form my childhood.  I also think it's so good for them to learn to listen to books without pictures, to learn to sit and listen, and to grow their love for reading.  We chose Charlotte's Web first.  Nana and  Papa had given the kids the new Charlotte's Web for Easter.  So after we had finished the book we watched the movie with pizza, popcorn, and M&M brownies.  It was fun!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Being Honest About Being Honest

The other day our kiddo had a rough time in Sunday School.  I felt like a miserable failure.  We had put some things into place so that the teacher would not have to go through this, but those things didn't work out.  The extreme agitation stemmed from Mommy and Daddy being gone the night before, so he didn't get everything the way her normally does....then Mommy and Daddy turning right back around and plopping him in Sunday School.

When I picked him up he was the worst I had ever seen.  Tony and I worked to get him calmed down, and we partially succeed (he was still pretty edgy, but not terrible).  We had a potluck at church, so lots of people.  I walked through most of that afternoon on the brink of tears.  I asked Tony if he could tell, he said he couldn't.

Really?  I'm not so good at hiding emotions.

Lots of people asked the, "how are you?" question.  And I know some of those people really did care.  But on my face was a smile and a "I'm alright."  I was NOT going to cry at a church potluck.  I was not going to blubber my way through a story that most people wouldn't understand anyway.  I was NOT going to be honest.

I think most of the time, that's the way it is.  I know that this person and this person and this person are struggling with all these things, but when we come face to face we plaster on fake smiles and say we are fine.  It is hard to find people to be honest with.

Why is that?  Fear of judgement? Fear of understanding? Fear of vulnerability?  Feeling like the other person lacks interest? Or time? Or compassion?  I know that this is true for why I don't take the time to listen to others.

I want to be a better listener, a more empathetic friend, a person to take the time.  I want to be that, because I seriously need others to be that for me at times. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

From Surviving to Thriving: Cups

From Thriving to Surviving is my series about how we vowed to thrive this year.  Here are one of the ways in which we do that.

Within the first two days that our kids arrived in our home I KNEW we had to do something different about our kids drinking cups.  Trying to keep track of four kids cups was a nightmare.  I knew within the first day of the water bottles I had boughten that they were a BIG mistake.  Then I spent the next three weeks trying to convince myself that they were just fine.

One day I was walking around Meijer and found these babies:

I love them.  
  • They are small so spills are not a big deal.
  • Each child has their own color and they know it.
  • I grab a set each morning and we are good to go all day.
  • They are very sturdy so my kids can drop them with no problem. 
  • They are fairly cheap.  (Around $5 for a set of four).
The next set of "cups" that helps us thrive is the kids' water bottles.  I snagged these metal water bottles at Old Navy.
Here is what I love about them:
  • They stay clean and "taste" free due to what they are made of.
  • They are adorable AND sturdy!
  • Did I mention they are study.  Our kids drop these ALL THE TIME.
  • We can keep them in the frig and grab them when we need them.
With four little kids it's so awesome to have something that they know is theirs.  There is no worry if one child drank after another.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

One Year Ago

This night, a year ago, we were saying yes to three children.  It has been quit a year.  We are often tired, stressed and overwhelmed, but we are also blessed.  Blessed to hear three more "Mommy" and Daddy"'s.  Blessed to hear three more giggles.  Blessed to get three more hugs.  Blessed to know three more voices among the crowd as our own.  Blessed by being placed into the middle of their mess.  Blessed by a God who chose us to care for and love on these kids.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Picture Perfect: Swim Lessons

Big Brother and Sweet Pea just recently completed swim lessons.  We are SO proud of them.  They did great and improved SO MUCH!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Picture Perfect: Father's Day

For Father's Day, Tony allowed time to go to the pool.  It was fun to watch the kids with their Daddy.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

There is Nothing Else

I don't know what it's like to feel so hurt that I try to hurt others.  

I don't know what it's like to go into a panic attack and lie as a defense mechanism when simple asked, "What are you doing?".  

I don't know what it's like to feel ugly and rejected by those I desire to
see me as beautiful and worth wild.  

I don't know what it's like to do everything in my power to bury my feelings as far as they can go and do everything in my power to forget that they are there.  

I don't know what's like to fake love and affection so that someone will think I am "sweet".
I do know what it's like to stare that sort of pain in the face every day.  

I do know what it's like to realize that I can tell someone that they are precious, but it's not going to make a difference.

I do know what it's like to mutter, "God I don't know how to handle this." continually (as in every moment) through out my day.

I do know what it's like to stand helplessly by as a child's heart breaks into a million pieces over and over and over again.
I pray that God, redeemer of all, works in big ways top change lives.

I pray that God, healer, reaches deep into hearts.

I pray that the God of miracles
would make his presence ever known.

I pray that peace would settle into this home.

I pray that truth would always be spoken, and little ears would be receptive.

I pray.....because I don't know what else to do.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

June/July Goals

*Finish C25K
*Read 75% of the Out-of Sync Child (read some but got through a decent amount 35-45% of Hearts at Home)
*Complete "Save My Sanity" 21 steps (wooomp, wooomp, waaa.....finish this up is just no fun)

*Begin the process of talking about Emergency Kits.

*Life Books
*Right a note to our Case Worker. (We will be getting a new CW in the  next month or two and so we want to write a note and give a gift this next month).

*Spend one night away for our anniversary.
*Write a love note to Tony
*Sit down once a month to re-evaluate schedules and cut what needs to be cut, add what needs to be added.

*Pay off a set amount of debt. (planning on paying what I need today!)
*Keep paying to X-Box and dryer fund. (83% saved)

*Read 75% of the Out-of Sync Child, Finish Hearts at Home
*Complete "Save My Sanity" 21 steps

*Continue talking about Emergency Kits.
*Finish paper work prep for Awana.

*Life Books
*Right a note to our Case Worker.

*Do two in home dates.
*Do one out of home date.
*Write a love note to Tony
*Sit down once a month to re-evaluate schedules and cut what needs to be cut, add what needs to be added.

*Pay off a set amount of debt.
*Finish paying to X-Box and dryer fund.