baby steps

When this little boy first came to our home.. he would react in ways that didn’t make sense. For example, if there was an emotional moment (happy or sad) in a movie or tv show… he often times would do something odd like punch the person closest to him or go in his room and knock something down.

He had feelings.. but didn’t know what to do with them.

As I sit here tonight I think about the progress and growth he has made. We are watching a movie… and there was a sad part. Instead of doing something explosive.. he came over and sat with me gently. He’s relaxed and secure. Next month he turns 5 (I know he looks like he’s 7). That’s means for half of his life he has lived with us. I am super grateful for these glimpses of redemption… because the first half of his life was a rollercoaster.

I’m just so thankful I get to see his story play out. We are still in the beginning in so many ways… and there are still times this is super hard. But God is good. He heals. He restores. I’m already seeing this. God will redeem. Just like the meaning of this guy’s name. ❤️

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give me a break

Give me a break.. Give me a break.. break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar! Actually.. we do utilize chocolate therapy quite often… but this post isn’t about that today.

I am learning after almost 15 years of marriage… we need breaks!

We need to be able to get away together (and honestly we need to work better at this.. it is hard with four kids)… like vacations, date nights, even a night away here and there.

But, we also need to provide protected time for each other to take breathers.

Parenting. Marriage. Work. Friends. Family. Ministry. Neighbors….  Life is well, very full at times. Not bad.. just a lot.

I think of Jesus’ example in scripture. Him and the disciples had been going going going… and Jesus stops and says, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31) Jesus invites His disciples to stop, sit, be still and be renewed.

We need to take breaks on purpose and with purpose. Not just doing something to waste time.. but time to get away from the loud. Be still and listen. Collect thoughts. Be renewed.

We need to be intentional.

And wives, can I just talk to you for a minute? We need to give our husbands the chance to do this.. guilt free.

Think of it as being on a team. Sometimes the other person needs to tag out for a bit. And if we think of this as being a thing we are doing for each other TOGETHER.. it doesn’t become a “me vs him” thing. Are there going to be seasons where he may need more breaks than I do? And vice versa.. Yes.  Absolutely.  Let’s give them freely. Make it a priority.

Get with your hubby.. look at the calendar and pencil in some sanity hours for you both! Some together.. some individually.

Happy resting!

 

 

ellie turns 11

I don’t know what it is about this year.. but Ellie has seem to have grown SO MUCH. She is truly a gift. And while some aspects of the preteens haven’t been easy… I could go on for days about how proud I am of the young woman she is becoming.

Happiest of birthdays to my oldest baby, Elena Joy. You truly are a joy.

pulling weeds, planting seeds

I’m not going to lie… I am really discouraged. It was one of those days I couldn’t quite see the light at the end of the tunnel.. 😭 which for me is pretty bad because I’m usually the “upside” kinda girl.

I committed to doing this “what are you grateful for today” thing every day in November (you can follow that journey on social media if you want to).

But today, I wanted to sulk. Today was hard. I didn’t want to be grateful.

But, as a laid down to go to sleep… I felt convicted.

I do have a lot to be grateful for.. way more then the amount of days in November.

And especially on a night like tonight, I’m thankful for a Heavenly Father who walks with us during those rough times, whose promises never fail. I’m thankful I get to be a mom.. even though it was not fun or easy today… I know it is a gift.

We have seasons like these as parents where we are planting seeds and pulling weeds… in order to produce a fruit later. I know this, I just need to remember it. So I choose to “think on these things” as I sleep tonight. And I’m very thankful tomorrow is a new day. ❤️

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adoption

It is national adoption day tomorrow. I’m so thankful for adoption and also for the journey leading up to it.

Gosh SO. MANY. EMOTIONS. So many times I have felt out of my league. In way over my head. But I’m learning God didn’t invite us into this expecting that we will always have what it takes, but He does promise that when we don’t, He still does.

I love what another foster parent said, “That’s our hope and assurance – that what’s completely out of our capacity and control is absolutely in His.”

You guys have heard me talk about the bittersweet aspects of adoption. It’s beautiful. It’s heartbreaking. It’s a lot. But I’m so thankful we said yes. I am thankful to have an opportunity to love beyond my own means. To feel Gods love in a way I never had before.

adoptionrocksToday, I’m so very thankful for these two silly faces and that I get to be their mommy.

dragon breath

morningsnuggles

So every. single. morning this kid sneaks in my bed. Some days I wish I could get the extra few winks in… so I am not going to lie, I get a little annoyed.

And don’t let this pic deceive you.. he wakes up 100 percent. 😳

Haha. Today, I tried to be thankful for this moment. I don’t know how many more years he will do this. Probably not long. So I’ll take the early morning snuggles, and questions, and dragon breath, and more questions, and the chance to start the day early with a little guy I love a lot.

when i grow up

Jax and Josiah have birthdays this month! So we threw a little party yesterday.

They have been talking alot about what they want to be when the grow up lately. Josiah wants to be a police officer. And Jax an astronaut farmer. He wants “to grow food on the planets and sell it to the countries.” Ha!

Our friends dressed up as what they want to be too! And we had lots of water fun outside.

I did a horrible job taking my camera out for photos.. because I just came off of a long wedding yesterday and wanted to just be in the moment more than capture it. But I did grab a few!

Thanks to everyone who came and participated! Was such a great afternoon for my boys.

 

heavy

May is filled with so many amazing things. My son Jax graduated preschool and turns 5, my other son Josiah turned 4, and we just had Mother’s Day last weekend. And… summer starts!

And while these events bring so many smiles, there is also a sense of sadness.

It is hard to explain, but today I decided to try.

Adoption is beautiful. It truly is. Everyday I am overwhelmed with gratitude that God stepped in and changed the path for them. Jax and Josiah bring so much joy to our lives. I am very blessed to be their mom.

But, the reality is there is no adoption without loss and pain . . . and grief.

We became a foster family to these boys through hard circumstances. We became their forever family because attempts to reunify them with their biological family failed.

I grieve the loss of my boy’s birth parents (all four of them). I am sad they are missing these big moments. I am sad for my boys that something so precious as a bond between a parent and child had to be broken. I know ultimately this is what was best for everyone involved. But, it’s still loss.

So, the past few weeks I kept wondering why I felt so all over the place with my emotions.  I think it is just this journey we are on. And I know they are still so young, but I think there will be a day when it becomes bittersweet for my boys as well.  Luke and I pray all of the time that we will have the wisdom to listen, guide, and love them through it.

It’s easy for any of us to sit in our circumstances in life and judge others who are in a different place. 

This week Luke and I brought a young woman we found on the street to the hospital. I spent hours with her and the more of her story I learned and put together, the more I understood she was in a very desperate, dark place. So young. So beautiful. So Broken.

I couldn’t help but cry my eyes out on the drove home. Her story was so similar to many of the parents that have children removed by child services. Honestly, her story was freakishly similar to my own boy’s moms. 

I couldn’t help but think, what if I had been born into different circumstances? It could have been me. And I know what people say (I agree) that your past and current circumstances don’t have to define you. But, the reality is when its been generation after generation, it is not easy to break the cycle. I am just incredibly grateful that my boys were given the gift of life despite the hardships their parents were facing. 

So I will pray for my children’s birth parents. I will think about them often. I will grieve their loss, even in the moments I am celebrating.  

thanks for nerding out with us

Ellie loves science! So for this year’s big 1-0.. we decided to an entire party full of experiments. It was so fun!

A big thanks to our friends and family who helped make it such a great time.

 

homemade bird feeders

So I can’t take credit for these little creations. This was all my oldest daughter Ellie’s idea.

But, it was super easy and fun! Maybe you can use it for a little afternoon entertainment?

Supplies needed:

Bird Seed

Elmers School Glue (non toxic)

Twine or String

Pinecones (we also had an adventure and searched for our own)

Step 1: Place glue on each of the layers.

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Step 2: Place bird seed on the glue.

Step 3: Let them dry

Step 4: Tie a string and hang them up

Step 5: Enjoy watching all different kinds of birds come to visit!