Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Baby is Coming!

leah'swater broke! I leave in a few hours to fly down to Texas. I can't wait to meet my niece. I'm a first time Aunt. Wahooooo.
This is their first baby, please pray for them, and for Annerson. Pray for a smooth and beautiful delivery and beginning together as a family.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Swallowed Whole

How I feel this this week.

Lightning Strikes.

We were hit by lightning last night which made all kinds of electrical stuff go haywire. Long story short I am once again without a computer:(

On a positive note, our intercom system/ stereo now works again. It stopped working three years ago after a major storm. We even had an electrician come and look at a few years ago. He didn't know how to fix it. So there it sat broken for years until last night when the lightning struck our house.

Bizarre!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

False Panic

Pictures were backed up after all.

I learned a lesson.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Gone

I just got my computer back and ALL my pictures are completely wiped. Gone. All of them. Everything from Africa, the twins, Emmanuel, Marion all those memories gone. Two years worth of our life in pictures. Gone. I'm attached to so very little of this earth, but to lose my pictures feels like I lost a whole heck of a lot.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Accountability,Submission and Deception

My computer has been down for awhile. I finally managed to borrow a laptop from my hubby.

Have you ever noticed when you make a commitment, adversity strikes hard. Sometimes by outside distraction, family emergency, finances and sometimes by your own doing. I have been experiencing all of them. By far the most brutal one is when you, yourself get in the way.

But man does it feel great when you stand up and fight whether it be yourself, your circumstances, criticism or well meaning family. Fighting for me is usually in the form of submission. Submission to God and what he has asked of me. Or not submitting, to things like my feelings. My feelings come and go, they are never constant, they can get me in trouble, they can deceive me. Half the time I don't feel like getting up, what good would it do me to listen to them. You know? Submission is strength. Too bad people have it backwards.

A couple of weeks ago, I was stressed about going to talk to hospitals about Gadese. I even wrote a post that claimed today is the day. Well it wasn't and neither was the next. It wasn't until the third day that I understood. For those two days that I was unaccountable to what I said I was going to do, I was a crabby lady. I was in a foul mood, easy to anger. I would try to blame it on this or that, but the truth is I was going by my feelings and used fear as an excuse to not be accountable and not listen to God. In turn I paid for it. So, on that third day I went and talked to a hospital and a few days later another one. It was amazing how good I felt. A week later I listened to God and wrote a letter explaining Gadese and her history, and I drove it that moment to the hospital. I walked in and was told I was lucky I was bringing it in at that time. They were actually reviewing applications for financial assistance that day and if I wouldn't have brought it in, they wouldn't have reviewed it for a month. Hello! Praise God! A week later I got a call from the hospital and guess what? The man said this is the first time in the history of the hospital this has ever happened and they were wanting to cover all her hospital costs for the rest of the year!!!!!!!!!! Wow! what a huge blessing. Now the only thing that I still need to pay for is her physician. I have the 4 thousand from selling my car, so I'm hoping that it will cover it.

Another commitment I made was a year ago. I committed to myself and Brandi that I was going to run the half marathon in January. Can I just say, I hate to run and am in terrible shape. Even with that said, I have always wanted to know what it was like to cross a finish line. I'm going to be 36 next month and I'm not getting any younger. I made that commitment before I travelled to Africa and brought home 2 very sick toddlers and added them to my other 4 kiddos. It was also before I was sick for months with Thyphoid fever, Hep A, Tissue parasites and Reiter's syndrome from my trip to Africa. It was before the doctor told me I could plan a full recovery in 9 months. Do you see where I'm going? For months I've used my health, my family, myself to reason me out of my commitments. It would be easy to bow out, everyone would understand, right? No! I only have 4 months to take me from not being able to walk a mile to running 13 in under 13 min per mile. Can it be done? I don't know, but I'm going to find out. Monday was my first day of training. I told myself I would go to the gym at 8:00am. Don't you know that was the night the kids were up all night crying. I was tired, but I dragged my butt there. I ran 2 miles and worked out, then later in the day I went on a 4 mile walk. The next day I couldn't move. Tues. I did nothing. Wednesday I again went at 8:00am in spite of not sleeping and a puking kid. How do I feel now? Great. I can't wait for tomorrow. They say it takes 30 days until you form a habit. Bring it!

Today was also my first day of home schooling McKayley and Faith. Jace started 7th grade today. The toddlers are now on their 6th day of going to the bathroom on the floor or potty training.



So, I'm trying to stay out of my own way, submit to God's plan, and not submit to how I feel at the moment. Because no matter what you are trying to accomplish you will be met with adversity. Embrace it. Everyday, choices come our way. What are we going to do? The easy thing or the right thing. Everytime I have chosen to not choose what's easy, I am blessed.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

1, 2, and 3

All three of my toddlers are now wearing underwear. And man I'm exhausted. Every 15 minutes someone was either using the potty, needing to be wiped, cleaning the potty or having our ritual flushing of the pee or poo while saying, "goodbye".

Over all though it was a huge success. No accidents and only one kid is terrified of putting their poo in the potty. Can you guess which one?

Also, where on earth can I buy panties that will fit Xia? Her panties are ridiculously huge:)






Monday, August 11, 2008

Zoo, Ice Cream, Kisses and Family

On Saturday we went to the the St. Louis Zoo and spent the day with my dad, step momma, bother Bobbie(17), sister Maggie(15) and her friend. Even though they only live two hours away, we don't get to see them very often. So, it was such a treat to spend that time with them. The St. Louis zoo is by far one of my favorite Zoo's. It is FREE.


How Many kids can I fit in the Stroller?


I Love this Kid!


Nothing like sticky sweet kisses from Xia.




The family.

Getting Ready.

I finally did it! I bought my homeschool stuff. It was surprisingly stressful and yet fun at the same time. The excitement around here is growing. The girls got their learning space ready. They had so much fun. They planned out the school day and even library day. It was so rewarding to see them actively engaged in the process. I appreciate everyone's advice on curriculum. I ended up getting a lot of different things. I'm looking forward in the next few months to identify what will or won't work for the girls. I can see how easy it would be to get bogged down in particular styles, methods and curriculum. There are so many resources out there.

Here's what I got:

English/Social Studies-I have heard great things about unit studies. I like the idea of branching out to other areas from a main topic. So I'm going to do the Little House on a Prairie. I'm excited to learn how to make butter,and read some great books.
For Science- We are going to do Apologia. I ordered the Zoology-flying creatures. How fun. We have some amazing caves here. How awesome to be able to have hands on bat exploration.
Handwriting- I went with A Reason. I think my girls will really enjoy having a finished product that they can display.
Math was tough. I didn't want to commit to anything in particular until I could identify where my girls are and how they understand it. So I got a pretty generic learning guide.
Spelling- I went with Spectrum.
So there you have it.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Toddler Adoption

I haven't posted much about our adoption, how it's going, how the kids are, how we are, the details of our trip and the journey God has us on. I could say, "I'm too busy". But the truth is... There is so much inside of me and I've been trying to sort it all out. Is it (adopting) everything I thought it would be? Yes and no. So much of it is what I thought it would be and I was prepared, other parts I knew were a possibility but I chose to ignore it, and so much more is completely different than what I thought. Bottom line adoption is hard, toddler adoption is crazy hard, and toddler twin adoption is insane hard. Adoption in general is not for those who have a whim, a thought or even a desire. It is for those who God has called and it is their purpose to care for the orphans and vulnerable. It is something that is as forever as your marriage should be, as deep as your love for God, for spouse, for child. It has been amazing to experience the unfolding, the growing, the pain and the reward that comes with adoption. All of it the emotion especially comes in stages. From the plantation of the idea to adopt all the way to today. Sometimes I can still sit in complete amazement at all that has transpired. There is so much I want to share on this topic and there's no way I could do it all now. It will come in bits and pieces but it will come.

An amazing testimony I have wanted share is about Luke and his premonition of Xia. Some of you might remember a post I did last year about Lukas and the brown baby. Here's a recap-Lukas woke up really freaked out (he was 2) He kept talking about the brown baby. "mommy we have to rescue her. The brown baby is screaming, she has no food, she has a broken mouth, mommy please we have to help her." I would ask him where is the baby, and each time he pointed east. He talked about the baby with the broken mouth for days, the urgency in his voice was intense. After that I felt prompted to change countries. 3 weeks later we find out about twins in Ethiopia, the same day our dossier arrived, Diezel and Xia were brought to the orphanage. It wasn't until we were there two months later to pick them up did we understand. Xia's mouth was, "broken". Because of the severe protein malnutrition her skin started eating away at itself. Around her mouth the skin had broken down. Scabs and pus covered her mouth and chin, her mouth was broken. Lukas dream stirred urgency inside of me which caused me to switch everything, country, agency. To think when he had his dream, the twins parents were praying and fasting about God's direction for the twins lives.



This picture was taken about a week before I went to Africa, a week before the infection set in.

Whirlwind

Last week Adam and I flew to Los Angeles for a film festival our movie was in. I gotta admit, I wasn't too excited to go at first. I know that sounds awful, but the whole trip was 44 hours with 20 of it devoted to travel. Also I don't do well at social functions. We had to go to the awards dinner, black tie and all. That means getting dressed up and the whole shebang. I have an awful habit of building things up in my mind sometimes, over thinking everything. Time and time again though, I finally realize to let go.

It was so much fun in a whirlwind sort of way. We got there at 2:00pm after waking at 3:30am to fly. As soon as we got to the hotel we went swimming. Then got ready in 30 minutes, hopped in a limo and went to the film festival awards. Our film was nominated for 8 categories. We ended up winning 5. Best picture, best soundtrack, best actor, best supporting actor and best martial arts fight scene. It was so cool watching my husband accept the best picture and best soundtrack.



Adam and I at the pool. It was such a weird experience not worrying about all the little kids around the water.



In the hotel room. Isn't he handsome.



Okay this shows what a dork I really am. I shoved my way through people to get up close to take a picture of Adam getting the best soundtrack and all I got were his feet?!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Calling All Homeschool Families!

This is the year. (gulp)
For three years now, I have felt God calling me to homeschool and each year I tell God, "Not this year, there is no way I can do it. I'm not capable. We have so much going on." And every year May-Aug I have that same feeling and I give the same response. I finally got scared enough that God would quit asking. That I would feel His prompting no more, and if I ignored Him in this area of my life, what other areas do I tell Him,"no" in.
So this is the year. Even with the chaos of our new bigger family, I'm jumping in.



Jace is starting his second year at Heritage Academy. He goes to school 3 days a week and is home schooled the other two days. This is a great fit for him. I would eventually like the girls to go as well. They have classes for k-12. It is a heavy academic program that requires a lot of self motivation. I know the girls aren't ready for it yet. I also think school should be fun and creative, at least until 6th grade. It should set a foundation for a desire to learn and that learning not only comes from text books, but the world around you. Filled with things to explore, take apart and discover.

Here is where I need help. What curriculum do you recommend? What has or hasn't worked for you? I need suggestions for Faith(2nd grade) and McKayley(4th grade). They are both incredibly creative girls. Faith is still figuring out reading and McKayley struggles in math. Faith excels in math and logical reasoning. McKayley is an excellent writer and artist. Also, what curriculum works with a lazy mother? A mother who does well enough to figure out what's for dinner. A mother who waits till the last moment to wake up and go to sleep. A mother who flies by the seat of her pants most days. Do you have advise in how to keep 3 toddlers occupied while working with the older kids. What's worked for you?

Please Help.

Monday, August 4, 2008

I Am Thankful For...

Air conditioning. Praise God for nice cool air.