Sunday, July 18, 2010

This is a super LONG post... just giving ya'll a heads up :)

It's been a while since I've written a blog entry, honestly for a while I thought I was done with blogging, but lately it seems I have so many things going through my head and my heart... I just need somewhere to put it all...

Lately I feel as if I'm barely staying afloat. I feel like I'm just bobbing along in the middle of God's vast ocean, knowing which direction I need to swim in to reach land but struggling to follow that path because I can't actually see the land. I find myself second guessing everything a lot these days.
We have decided to adopt, we are thinking from Ethiopia, and we are so excited! This has been in my heart since I was a little girl. When I was around 7 or 8 years old I would stay with my Madrina (God-mother) in the summer, she had a sister who volunteered at a children's shelter and would go to Mexico and take gifts to the children. I think that's when I knew that's what I wanted to do with my life; I wanted to help people in need. As I grew older I had decided I didn’t want children of my own because I preferred to adopt.. Obviously that plan didn’t go through as I had hoped it would. Seeing as how I have 3 beautiful balls of never-ending energy! Lol So I figured adoption would just always be out of the question. I mean we have 3 energetic kids so it was hard to imagine adding a few more into the mix! Anyways long story short, I really felt God tugging at my heart and I started to notice the people God was placing in my life either had the same desire as I or had already been through adoptions themselves. So my husband and I talked about it (with each other and our oldest son) and we prayed about it and prayed about it. I mean that's a big decision to make and we didn’t want to make it on a whim.. We didn’t want to just make the decision without consulting God then later realize we made the wrong decision. I mean adoption is a serious thing, it’s a forever thing. It’s bringing someone else’s child into your home and loving them as your own, no discrimination, to prejudice, no bias…. Just pure parental love that, in our opinion can only come from God! It is important to be mentally, emotionally and financially prepared.. But, for us, being spiritually prepared is most important. We have come to realize our life isn't about us at all.. Our lives have to be about glorifying God and his Kingdom.. Not satisfying the desires of our flesh.. But satisfying the desires of our spirit! So after allowing the hand of God to tweak our hearts and mold us into a truly new creation.. Here we stand.. Embarking on a new life, uncharted territory (as far as our family is concerned) We preparing to adopt (hopefully 2 older children-around 5 or 6).. Right now we are getting our finances in order.. We aren't financially wealthy.. But I know God will show us a way to make this adoption happen, not for us, but for the advancement of his Kingdom! I know this is His will for our life!

We have also decided to homeschool our oldest son. This is a decision we've been praying about and preparing for, for a while now. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to teach him, after all I'm not a “certified teacher”.. So we did a "test run", so to speak.. I set out to teach him during the summer to see if he could learn at home with me as his teacher. Let’s just say I was more than skeptical! I had planned to start the week after school let out. But the last 2 weeks of school he didn’t get any homework assignments and he was pretty upset about it. (He enjoys doing schoolwork, that’s just him) So he asked me if I could give him homework.. lol.. So I did! We haven’t worked every day.. we put summer school on hold the week before my husband left, then for 2 weeks after he left my oldest and I were in a funk and didn’t feel up to it cause he missed his Daddy and I missed my husband. But we snapped out of it and got to work! Well here we are in July, we’ve figured out a system that works for us, I give him work to reinforce what he learned in kindergarten and he likes to tell me what he wants to learn about and I set out to gather information and teach him those topics. When he was in school his reading comprehension, phonics and handwriting skills were lacking because his teacher didn’t have a whole lot of time to work with him and by the time he got home he was completely exhausted and wanted to just “zone out”. I have seen an improvement in his handwriting, reading comprehension and phonics skills. He thoroughly enjoys reading now and it’s awesome! Plus, he has learned all the continents, oceans, hemispheres (including the meaning of the prefix hemi-), directions, place value, regrouping math and the names of the different cloud groups. Next week we will be learning the names and how to identify the different clouds in each group then at the end of the lesson we will be conducting a science experiment where we make clouds. We are both pretty excited! We have also been studying the bible and he’s learned the importance of “loving others the way God loves us”, what that means and what that looks like. It’s amazing the thing’s he has learned in such a short amount of time! But he’s not the only one who has learned something new… I’ve learned to keep a lesson plan, to have patience, to be organized, and to rely on God more than ever. He is a bright boy and he learns so quickly! We are all excited about this coming (home)school year! I’m going to join the local home school support group because they meet every Friday to have the kids get together and learn together, they organize group field trips, and are just a great base of information and support! As for our middle son, we are still planning to send him to K-3 with the school district, we feel he will benefit more from a classroom setting.. at least right now at his age.

Needless to say I’ve been praying harder than I ever have before. I know where God wants to take us and I know how He wants to use us.. These days I just have to keep my head above water and remember I'm not alone in this vast ocean, but that God is here guiding me!

     Hebrews 13:20-21

     20 Now may the God of peace—
           who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus,
       the great Shepherd of the sheep,
           and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—
     21 may he equip you with all you need 
           for doing his will.
       May he produce in you, 
           through the power of Jesus Christ,
       every good thing that is pleasing to him.
           All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.

*sigh* Sorry this is such a long post.. Normally my husband is my listening ear but he’s overseas right now and we only have a limited time to talk and sometimes the connection just isn’t good so we just sit there and stare at each other on Skype. Haha

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Changes

Life as we know it is changing and it's definitely for the better! My husband and I have decided to adopt children from a developing country. This is something God has placed in my heart and we are so excited to see what's to come. We are just beginning the process so prayers are much needed and much appreciated! :)


2 John 1:5-6

5And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. 6And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Living for something greater than myself!!!

We are in a wonderful season of life right now and God has placed so many people in our lives that have taught us so much! Showing God's love is the most AMAZING gift anyone could give and we are blessed that we have so many people in our lives who display his love on a regular basis. Their actions serve as a reminder to us that the world is bigger than ourselves and our community and there are so many people in this world who are in desperate need of God's love!

Tonight we are going to see Leeland in concert and we're pretty excited! We love all their songs but there is one inparticular that, lately, I can't seem to stop listening to.....

THE DOOR - LEELAND
As the rain falls from heaven
I’m lost in Your love
You’re overwhelming, Jesus
And we’re walking together holding hands
Oh, it’s just You and me, Jesus
 Life is good here, fruit is growing on the beautiful branches
There is rest and there is peace inside the shade of Your garden


Jesus, You’re the only one for me there's no way I'm leaving you
You're the love, the way, the life, the truth
You’re the door I’m walking through
 Angels are lifting songs of praise oh, they’re just singing Your story
And nothing can take me away from this place Lord, I’m just lost in Your glory
Your love is the reason that I am free And I’m running to You cause You’re all I need


Jesus, You’re the only one for me there’s no way I’m leaving You
You’re the love, the way, the life, the truth You’re the door I’m walking through


You’re the only one for me there’s no way I’m leaving You
You're the love, the way, the life, the truth You're the door I'm walking through
Jesus, You're the only one for me there's no way I'm leaving You


As the rain falls from heaven I’m lost in Your love
You’re overwhelming, Jesus


You're the only one for me there's no way I'm leaving You
You're the love, the way, the life, the truth You're the door I'm walking through
Jesus, You're the only one for me there's no way I'm leaving You

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter 2010!

Every Easter we say we are going to do something special as a family but we usually don't do much. Well, I'm excited to say Easter 2010 was different! The night before Danny and I stayed up late putting together their Easter baskets complete with chocolate bunny, animal crackers and Veggietales dvd's! We also made them bunny ears like the pair Gavin made at school, and we cut out a cross using colored foam sheets and decorated it with the holy spirit, Hearts that said "He is Risen", the word Love, and a big heart that said victorious! We were planning on using to compliment the Easter story Danny planned on telling the kids and we were hoping to start a kid-sized discussion about what it all meant.

On Easter morning the kids found their treats and were super excited! We started the day by going to church, then we came home and we boiled eggs for the kids to dye. Danny sat around the table with the kids and told them the Easter story about the resurection of Christ, then Danny and Gavin sat there discussing the awesomeness of Jesus, it was so cute! While they talked I baked an Easter egg cake from scratch (both the frosting and cake)!! Then they dyed their eggs, ate the cake and of course we took plenty of pictures of them in the process. After the eggs were all dry and decorated, Danny hid their eggs in the front yard and we had a little Easter egg hunt for them. Then we ended the festivities with cascarones, hanging out with eachother and eating chili dogs!

Here are just a few pictures!


Their Easter spread the night before..

Easter morning..


Daddy discussing the AWESOMENESS of Jesus Christ with the boys!


Our three little Easter bunnies

Dying the Easter eggs, we put Timmy's egg in a whisk so he wouldn't drop it.


Our "from scratch" Easter egg cake

Easter egg hunt!

Cascarones!

Hanging out in the front yard :)

and finally, digging through their baskets to see what they found.

It's been a few weeks...

Well, our vacation went great! We got to see family and friends we haven't seen in months. i got some much needed childless one-on-one girl time with my favorite cousin,who is definitely more like a sister to me! During the week we visited a couple of beaches in Corpus and the surrounding area and we had a great time playing in the sand and walking in the water. My husband and I grew up around the Corpus Christi beaches so it wasn't too big of a deal to us but our kids are growing up on an Afb in a small not-much-to-do town and haven't ever seen the beach. They had so much fun they didn't want to leave!


This is the Rockport, Tx beach



This is Malaquite Beach in Corpus Christi, Tx










We also rode the ferry, it was their first time ever riding on the ferry. When I was little my Dad would take me on the ferry and I was excited to share that experience with my family! (even though it's only a short 5 minute ride)









While we were in Corpus we had a birthday party for our daughter because she turned the BIG 1 on March 16th!

A few days later we drove to San Antonio to visit more family! While we were there we had a second birthday party so the other half of our family would be able to join in the celebration too!

 

The next day we had all of our kids baptized. My parent's-in-law are both United Methodist pastors and they performed the ceremony oh and my brother-in-law delivered an awesome sermon! However, I only took a few pictures of the baby after the baptism and my father took the rest.. I'm still waiting for him to email them to me..

All in all, we had a wonderful (and much needed) vacation and we are already looking forward to the next one!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy!

This past week has been so busy for us, we've had an unusual amount of appointments and I've been doing laundry and cleaning like a madwoman trying to get the house cleaned before our spring break trip.  We are going back home to visit friends and family so it should be a great week! While we are there we will be celebrating our daughters 1st birthday and we will be baptizing all of our kids.. We are so excited.. Unfortunately, I don't think I will be blogging much while we are gone, but I'll catch up with everyone in a week! :) I hope everyone has a great week!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Weekend Adventurers

We finally made it out to the Abilene State Park and it turned out to be a great family outing. We aren't the outdoor/camping type of family so my husband looked at me like I was crazy when I announced "Everyone get dressed, we are going to spend the day on an adventure.. we're going to explore the wilderness!" When the kids left the kitchen my husband turned to me and said, "What?!? You don't even know what to do in the wilderness, you're going to get us lost." I assured him that they had maps and if I did get us lost we could call the Park Ranger to come and rescue us or someting. (Ley me just say, I do have a bad habit of getting us lost and it usually starts when I call our trip and "adventure" or use the word "explore") We thought it would be cute to dress the part so we had the boys wear the hunter-like vests their grandparents gave them for Christmas... hehe

We loaded up the kids and the dog and we headed out for our weekend adventure. I was pumped and ready to go! My husband on the other hand looked worried. We got to the park, paid the entrance fee, studied the map and started driving around looking for a place to park. After circling around the yurts twice in one direction and three times in the other, my pumpedness soon disappeared.. There were a bunch of signs that said "No Parking" but there weren't any "Parking" signs... and it didn't help that the whole time we were driving around my husband kept saying "Great! We paid eight dollars to get lost. You know we could've done this back home." In my defense, how was I supossed to know there wouldn't be any street signs??


After about 30 minutes of driving in circles, the baby woke up from her nap. I reached in the back to make her a bottle and I realized we forgot the diaper bag at home.. so I thought "it's okay, I'll just giver her the pacifier"... that's when I realized.... we forgot that too! (Our daughter is a screamer so you always have to have a pacifier on hand! ALWAYS!) Well, what it was at home and there was nothing I could do to change that. Not too long after, we found the parking area we couldn't help but laugh at ourselves when we realized we had driven by it at least six times.. LOL By the time we unloaded everyone from the car, I think Gavin (our oldest), my husband, and I were the only ones who were ready to have fun even the dog lost his perkiness.

Once we started walking the foot trails everyone seemed to get over their grumpiness and we all had a fun family time. We had to keep telling the boys to keep it down because they were screaming and chasing eachother and talking so loud, I'm sure they scared off whatever wildlife we would have been able to see.

            

Gavin and Timothy leash-walked Andy for the first time EVER! Usually they are afraid of him.. Timothy us ually starts yelling "Ow,ow, ow!" as soon as he sees Andy looking in his direction. LOL
We even got some decent family photos. we didn't have anyone to take pictures of us so I had to photoshop some of the pictures.. all in all.... I think they came out pretty good! :) I think the vest turned out to be a great idea!



This was our first real outdoor experience and it turned out better than we had expected! We can't wait to go back! Next time we are going to walk a different trail.... maybe we'll get to see some wildlife animals! Well, if my kids don't scare them off first!