Thursday, October 28, 2010

Daily Grind

One of my fears (stupid fear again) is that in having a blog I will portray myself in a light that isn't completely accurate. Like that I never raise my voice, I wake up with a smile on my face and spring in my step, am always happy to give my children what they ask of me........blah, blah, blah. Far from the truth! So to keep things real I will show you some of the "fun" from the past few days. What is this you ask? This is glorious crayola paint that is water based! Eden had been asking to paint for a day or two so I assured her when Heidi was taking her nap we would set her loose to create a masterpiece. I just didn't anticipate the masterpiece would be all over the floor and walls!!
In fact, part of the finished product ended up on the beautiful artist herself. Notice the tears streaking down her cheeks? I had left the kitchen to help Shane with something and came back to her crying and looking like this. She told me she was shaking the paint before taking off the lid. Apparently the lid was already loose and this is the final product.

Do you think there may be a chance the doctor asks about her inner ear being green the next time we have a check-up?
She also has taken to swinging on various curtains throughout the house. I noticed the curtain rod in Tristan's room was a little crooked last week and upon asking what had happened I was told Eden was swinging on the curtain. So we had a nice little chat about curtains being for windows and not for acrobatics! I guess it really sunk into her little brain since she tried again today in her room. Except this time the curtain rod was the cheap kind that doesn't stand up to childish antics.
Yes.....this innocent little girl can put a hurting on both people and property. Heidi is wearing the teeth marks today of Eden's wrath.
A friend of mine stopped by for a visit last week and my little ones acted as though they haven't seen a baby in next to forever. Poor child was nearly mulled by these seemingly innocent children.
And here is my sweet Shane who loves the little ones so much. Except for right now as he is elbowing Eden on the couch. She doesn't seem to understand personal space yet or simply doesn't care about other people's personal space. My hunch is the latter.
Heidi discovered the sand box last week. She loved the feel of the sand in her finger.
I overheard Tristan yesterday crying with much gusto and saying, "Eden almost killed me!" Upon further investigation I learned Eden stuck her tongue out at him. Who knew that the simple act of sticking your tongue out could nearly cause the death of someone?
Yes.....I need to devote a post to Miss E again sometime. But for now I need to get packing for the cabin. We are once again headed to the mountains for the weekend which means lots of preparation.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New Additions

I know I have mentioned my friend Charity on here before. I met her through the whole blog sphere. It is weird how you can have a connection with someone you have yet to meet. She lives in Turkey with her husband and children but she is a Pennsylvania girl!! There are a lot of fun details to our story but that isn't what this post is about.

I am over the moon excited for their family today! You see.....a few weeks back they traveled to Ethiopia to meet their newest addition to the family but they were waiting for some final paperwork to actually pass court. She shared pictures of their meeting with me and shared sweet details of his response to them. She shared how hard it was to leave him as he sobbed. Ugh! This adoption journey can just tear your heart out sometimes.

Long story short.....they passed court today!! He is now legally their son! Head over to my blog links on the sidebar and take 4 minutes to watch their introduction video. I dare you not to cry as you watch him meet his momma. But what really gets me is a little over 3 minutes in hearing him say dadda!!

Charity....we are thrilled tonight at our house for you! We are celebrating with you! And now you will be that much closer to coming back to PA to finalize his adoption and that much closer to us getting to meet and hang out in person! Woohoo!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mid-Atlantic Orphan Summit

Just wanted to put a plug in for people who may live relatively close to Hershey PA to consider taking some time on November 5th & 6th to attend the orphan summit. Mark and I are really hoping to attend but I am still working on a child-care plan that feels comfortable to me. Mark and I haven't been away for a very long time so this would be good for us on so many levels. Our main issue is that our youngsters do not sleep well. It isn't good for anyone to have their sleep disturbed multiple times a night but I feel like my body is somewhat used to it. Anyway.....I hope to see some people I know if I make it there.

Moving on to from the continuing saga of my sleep woes and back to the summit! It looks amazing!! Really amazing!! Worth the time for anyone to go. I started reading a book today by one of the keynote speakers (thanks Christine) and cried through the first chapter! Oh my! My heart has so far to go yet in being completely broken for the least of these!

Anyway...check out and see if you can manage a short jaunt to Hershey! And pick up some spectacular chocolate while you are there!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Bit On Adoption

I know I haven't posted a whole lot lately and have kept it light with antics of sweet, innocent children. Part of the reason is it has taken me far longer to get into a new groove with school this year (due to my poor attitude) and partially because I have had a hard time getting things out of my head without them sounding jumbled.

I have been having many conversations in regards to adoption these days. Conversations that have left me feeling challenged in the most uncomfortable way. Uncomfortable but good. I always get worried when life starts feeling mundane and comfortable. For some reason I feel like the life of Jesus didn't compute as comfortable or mundane to those around him. We label ourselves as Jesus followers yet are so hesitant to step into anything that may label us anything other than the typical, normal American family. Because lets face it - my life looks pretty comfortable to 90% of the world. Seriously....I am ashamed to admit that so often my hesitancy in stepping out into something that looks "crazy" is simply because I do not want to draw attention to myself. I think when someone does something that doesn't fit in with the majority we are much quicker to judge when something doesn't turn out perfectly. Am I right? It is tricky - this balance of walking in obedience to the Father and learning to walk through the pain if things do not turn out the way we envision. Adoption isn't all fun and games. It is tricky. It is life-changing. It is challenging. It is amazing. It is so, so worth it!

Three weeks ago a friend of ours called to say they had found out about a 13 year old girl who had been adopted internationally in July. For different reasons that seem altogether strange to me the adoptive parents were wanting to abrupt the adoption. Such a bizarre situation. I am not at liberty to divulge simply because it is not my story to tell. So our sweet friends who just adopted a beautiful daughter in January spent the weekend travelling to meet this 13 year old girl in hopes that she will be joining their family. They will have gone from 3 to 5 children within 10 months! Her comment to me was, "People are going to think we are crazy!" And I thought to myself, "Why?" Why are we so quick to pass judgement on people who are literally living out the gospel? Is it because it makes us uncomfortable? Suddenly our safe lives feel restrictive. The plan is she will be coming this weekend and more than likely all the paperwork will be signed. Just like that. A little over three weeks ago they didn't know she existed and now she will be joining their family! It inspires me!

I talked with someone else today who is near and dear to me who is embarking on domestic adoption. A whole different ball game! So much need right in our backyard! And I do not say that lightly! I am praying daily for them to hear to the voice of God as they have profiles handed to them to sift through.

And I am waiting to hear from a couple who had a court date today to find out if parental rights would be terminated so the sweet brothers who have invaded their home and lives for nearly a year now can be their sons forever!

There are children everywhere and as a wise young boy said, "It doesn't matter where they are. A kid is a kid!" I watched my children running through the house tonight - back the hall, around the kitchen table, through the living room, deafening shrieks (and I mean deafening), contagious laughter and my heart felt full! our children keep reminding us we have one more open seat at our kitchen table! Who could God possibly have to fill that seat? And that isn't to say we can't get a bigger table. :)

Life often feels overwhelming. But I wonder. What would happen if I really could grasp that this life is fleeting and that everything I do now has eternal impact? Would my life look differently than it does right now? Something I like to think about!

Friday, October 15, 2010

18 Months Old

How is it that my little sweet pea is 18 months old already? She really is sweet in every way! Except for the killer screaming fits she has begun! Other than the fits she is pure sweetness. With a dash of mischief for good measure! She is an accomplished and expert climber! I find her in many precarious positions but so far she has escaped relatively unscathed. Except for her fall off of the toilet in which her face met up with the sink in a very personal way which resulted in beautiful bruises and lots of blood. But it didn't deter her for too long. She is back to standing on the toilet to turn the light on and off.

She was definitely not an "easy" baby. And still doesn't sleep all that well. *gasp* Go ahead and critique my parental abilities. I am okay with it. For now I enjoy snuggling with her in our bed at various times of the night. I could do without her need to have her feet propped up on my body while she sleeps but it goes far too quickly. I remember when I was pregnant with Tristan that every morning Judah and Shane would come snuggle in bed with me after Mark left for work. And there comes a day when they no longer need that snuggle to feel as connected and it becomes rather inappropriate as well. So, for now I will muddle through the last fleeting months of lousy sleep to soak in, breathe in and feel my little girl nestled against my body. Because after all....she is our beautiful, surprise blessing for which we thank God everyday for being so generous to us!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

More Random Sleep Pictures

Last night I found Eden sitting in her basket of babies and stuffed animals asleep. She was supposed to be in her bed, tucked nicely under her covers with her head resting sweetly on her pillow. But no......awkward angle with the edge of the bed digging into her back. But she was sleeping great!!

I scooped her up, kissed her soft cheeks and tucked her in again. Which didn't last too long! When I went in the girls room a short time later to put Heidi in her bed Eden was sideways in her bed. For the life of me I cannot figure out how a person can move so much when they sleep!! If I had myself upside down and sideways in the bed I think I wouldn't feel very rested. That and Mark would probably kick me out of the bed.
One of these days I am hoping my brain doesn't feel like mush at the end of the day so I can return to a fairly normal routine at posting. I do have lots to say (big surprise) but can't seem to form coherent thoughts by the time the kids are all in bed. Speaking of bedtime......Judah and Shane are waiting for me to sing their songs. I wonder how much longer they will want me to sing to them? Time is passing all too quickly!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Muddy Fun

For once I had no words! I was rendered speechless upon being summoned out of the house to this sight! I did explain to Judah though that I was 100% sure he did not have a gnat in his eye since his face was plastered with mud! He continued to argue that it was a gnat! I wanted to roll my eyes and say, "Whatever!" but I refrained! What did your kids do on Saturday??

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wrong On So Many Levels

My husband has to rank up there as one of the best fathers! Especially after this past Saturday. Mark loaded the 4 older kids up to head to the insect fair while I stayed at home with Heidi. I spent some time cleaning with little interruption, sat on the couch and snuggled with Heidi and just soaked in the brief moments of having an only child again. What a strange concept, you know?

Anyway.....I got a phone call that the insect fair was a hit and that they were on their way home. Maybe I should have taken that as my clue to prepare for something but Mark is really good at calling to give me updates when he is out and about with the kids. I heard the car doors slamming, kids running, excited voices and in barged my kids with strange little plastic containers in their hands! Hmmmmm??? I was on the verge of asking what they were carrying but before I had a chance Judah informed me they had acquired Madagascar hissing cockroaches!!! Oh my!! Seriously? They are so incredibly gross!! Not only do they look creepy they also stink!! I looked at Mark with the 'how could you' look to which he kind of shrugged! Twice now Judah has come to me apologizing for accidentally dumping the containers "contents" in the kitchen sink. He really meant to dump it in the trash but somehow forgot. Ugh!! There is a valid reason you call an exterminator to eradicate them! But not us!! We welcome them into our home!

On another note altogether: Mark and I had a date night last week for the first time in 5-6 weeks. We went to a new restaurant in town that moved into the old Hooters restaurant space. The conversation went something like this:

Mark's mom: So....where did you guys go to eat?
Mark: To Kildare's. It is where Hooters used to be.
Judah: How far is this place?
Me: Not far. It is just in town.
Judah: Oh....I would love to go to Hooters!! (said with much dramatic flair)
Shane: Not Hooters- Tooters. You when you toot?

Dear Lord in heaven we laughed!!! And laughed!! And the boys had no idea what was so funny.

And another funny boy story: I heard the boys laughing in their room and upon investigating what was so funny I was shown an animal library book Judah had gotten from the library. They were looking at the red footed boobies, the blue footed boobies and black footed boobies. Judah said, "Look!! Their names are red footed booties, blue footed boobies"....(you get the idea). I asked them what was so funny about booties and they pointed to their butts! I said, " doesn't say bootie. What does it say?" I braced myself for even more laughter upon the discovery that these birds in fact were not named after a backside but.....the dreaded front side. They read the names correctly and didn't laugh at all. And that is when I left there room in shocked silence. My 7 and 9 year old boys do not know what a booby is!!! I vacillated between telling them and letting them remain innocent for a bit longer. Innocence won out simply because things like desperately wanting to go to hooter's offers us so many laughs!!