Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Since Christy came home to us in March, you cannot imagine how many times I have heard the words, "how many days until it snows?".    So, today we finally made our little girl's dreams come true!  We headed up towards Clingmans Dome and found some snow!   Christy started yelling, "Snows are on the road!".   She and all the kids had a blast! They played hard and never complained of being cold.  

This year Luke has changed a lot.  He's gained a "twin sister" and he's loved (almost) every minute of it.  He has such a good imagination and she does too.  He's also become a big brother!  He's had a lot of adjusting to do this year.  He's a deep thinker and very detail oriented.  He's developing a new sense of humor that has us cracking up.   I also happen to think he's so cute!

Moses is our little baby!  In the 9 1/2 months he's been home he has changed so much!  He's gone through the stages a normal kid goes through only in half the time.  He went from going to sleep at every nap and nighttime on my chest to now going to sleep on his own in his bed with Ethan.  He's also very funny.  Sometimes we just look at each other because the stuff that comes out of his mouth...well, we just don't know where it comes from .  He is extremely stubborn so he's keeping us busy!  He loves to give me kisses and hugs and he pretty much makes my heart melt. 

Chad helped the kids pick some icicles.

This little girl has literally brought so much laughter to our home.  She loves to laugh, and her laugh makes others laugh!  It's the best sound ever.  Although her brothers don't love it during movies when it's so loud they can't hear. :)  She thought it was hilarious to pelt me right in the face today.  She is so full of joy! 

Ethan....I keep looking at him and thinking, "who is this person and what did you do with my little boy?".   He has grown up right before my eyes! I just want to grab him and hold him and not let go.  He's been through a lot over the last year.   He got to go to Ghana to pick up his sister and brother.   Since then, he's had a whole lot of things to adjust to.  He really struggled with Christy for awhile.  He had to figure out how to make room for her and grieve the fact that things were different than they used to be.  It was no longer just him and Luke.  Sometimes he was on the outside of whatever world they were in together.   Over the past couple of months though, he has come so far.   I see him reaching out to her, they laugh and play together, he helps her when she's struggling with something, and she absolutely adores him.   He is such a big helper around the house.  He is so sweet with Moses.   Sometimes Ethan and Christy wake up before the rest of us and I find that he has sat on the couch and read her some books!  That may not seem huge...but, to me it is.   I'm so thankful for how God has used(and will continue to use) adoption to change all of us.


Yuck!  But, she had to do what Ethan was doing :)

So sweet!

Happy New Year!!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Our Day...

We had a very full day!  It was great....especially since all of our kids are with us this year!   We started off bright and early and headed downtown with some hot coffee and breakfast casserole.   We drove around and ended up setting up on a side street and handed out our goodies.  The kids were great helpers.  This guy broke my heart.  His name is Arthur.   He seemed so destitute.  I watched him drop the piece of casserole we gave him on the ground littered with garbage and pick it right back up and eat it.   We got to pray with him and then the kids gathered around him and he just lit up!  Kids are such a blessing to us and to others!  It's amazing how everyone's countenance changed when the kids served them or shook their hand.  One man held Ethan's hand and said, "Well, you've just made my Christmas.".   We were so excited to run into some friends from Water Angels! It was SO fun!

Then we ran home and my side of the family came over for a good game of "dirty santa" and Papa and Nana handed out some gifts.   Then we headed over to have dinner with the other side of the family.  

We came home and got in our pj's and grabbed our stockings.   Everyone had written a letter or drawn a picture for each person and put it in their stockings.  It moves me to tears when I watch the kids read or listen to their letters.   You can tell it means so much to them.  Most of the time they are speechless or just say, "wow...thanks".   It makes me want to sit down and write letters like this to my kids more often.   It was a perfect end to the day.   

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tea Parties, Christmas Ornaments and Everything in Between!

Things have been a little crazy around here lately.   Over the last 9 months there have been so many ups and downs.   The weight of worrying and waiting for your kids to be in your home is over.  Now we're dealing with daily struggles that keep me busy and praying for forgiveness for my constant failures.    Our kids have been amazing, but, they are kids.  They've all had a lot to deal with and they've handled it in their own ways.   Just this week I feel like I'm finally seeing all the kids bonding in a way that brings tears to my eyes.   Ethan has struggled with Christy since she came home.  For so long it was him and Luke.   He now has a "twin sister" and they have their own little imaginary world that they would gladly welcome anyone into, but, Ethan's a little old for that. :)  So, he's been left out, which he's not used to.  He resorted to bullying, torture and trying to make her life miserable. :)   It wasn't actually that bad.   But, lately they have a new bond.  You can tell they sincerely love each other.   They rough house and he still loves to aggravate her, but, she is his sister and he loves her.   You can tell by the look in her eyes that she adores her big brother.   

I'm trying to learn how to juggle school with a toddler, a 3 year old in a 7 year old's body, and a 6 year old with about a 15 second attention span.   I'm learning I can't do it on my own.  Jesus is the only thing that gets us through.  Unfortunately I'm hard headed and still try to do it on my own too many days.    So, we have our moments.   But, then we have those moments where I just stand back and look at what God has done and what He is doing...what He is going to do.   

From our marriage, to our bio kids, to healing the wounded hearts of our adopted kids....he's faithful and so, so good.  

We have had a great couple of months.  They've been busy but full of things that have been good for our hearts! 

Christy is loving being a part of American Heritage Girls.  My mom got to join us for the AHG Tea. 

The kids love making applesauce and cinnamon ornaments so we made a huge batch!

Then we made some gluten free cookies and hot chocolate and watched the Polar Express.   I put them on these fancy little plates and the kids oooed and awwwwed about it.  :)

Today we talked about forests.  We discussed the different types and layers of forests.   Then we walked our woods and found the different layers.   I feel so blessed to homeschool my kids.   Our little nature walk was such a great ending to our "school day" and we accomplished so much more than just learning a few facts about forests.   

We found this black witch's butter or black jelly roll fungi.   

I was excited to see our chickens loving our new compost pile.  With all of the trees around our house we have tons of leaves so I'm trying to put them to good use this year.  

If you look closely, you can see that one of them is enjoying this while the other is not.   

Moses wants to be a big kid so he made his own bow and arrow :)