Thursday, January 30, 2014

40: Down hill or Up hill?

I feel like 40 is big. 

Or, rather, I hear it is. It seems as if I should have more feelings towards the big FOUR-OH. But I don't. The ones I do have are few.

No life changing decisions. No tattoos. No expectations. No regrets. No depression over it.

But, I am thankful. Very thankful. 

With the expectation of turning 40 I did tear up a bit. But I teared up thinking of a life redeemed. Beauty from ashes. In a short 40 years, there has been so much pain, so much abuse, so many lies, so many broken promises, lost dreams. So much to overcome. But...

~We are MORE than overcomers in Christ. ~
He redeems broken lives and gives us hope.
 ~ A hope greater than one can imagine. ~
~ Beauty more beautiful than eyes can behold. ~

I could list several people, things, moments, memories that have made my life so beautiful this past 12 years of walking with the Lord. 

I could go on about my material comforts and I could list the trials, fires and refinements of the last 12 years. But...

...they are mine. They are not yours.
and to you they would be boring. 

To me...
they are too special to list. ~ I will ponder them in my heart. They are my love affair. A love affair with the one true God of the universe who romances me more than I ever imagined. Who took my broken heart and restored my life to fullness. How I loved him deeply this past 12 years. Twelve years out of forty, I have walked with him closely. That's not enough. My next 40 years will ALL be with Him. Every moment. Every breath. They belong to Him. And that is...exciting! 


Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy Holidays

From Fall Festivals, to Thanksgiving in Georgia, preparing for Christmas and the expectation of the New Year....it's been an exciting season.

Things are going well in our family. Joy has adjusted beyond beautifully. The kids have adjusted to her. We, parents, have learned more about her and now "feel" like we are her parents and bonding is going very well.

My parents visited from Florida. We met up again with them in Georgia, along with my brother and his family. We are spending Christmas at home. Joy has declared Christmas her most favorite season ever. She was the first to wrap presents and get them under the tree.

Aaron and Lily are in Kindergarten. Kya, Joy & Autumn are all in 3rd grade. Somehow, someway, we are getting our academic studies done. The days are long and I am exhausted by 7pm. But the days, are generally good ones. We have many more great days than rough days and for that I am beyond grateful to our Lord for seeing me through the motherhood to these five great kids.

We have a new dog, Moon. We rescued him from the shelter this month, December, at the age of 12 weeks old. He is very precious and is a healing balm for little Autumn who has and does face so many challenges. This has also freed up Daisy to become "Joy's" dog which she begged for. Joy loves dogs but claimed before she never liked any animals and was afraid of all of them. That is a transformation. 


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How do I do IT?

What is the IT? 'IT' is raising 5 kids. (Although, as a side note, I know people with way more kids than I have.)

I get that question a lot. "How do you do it?

People look at me with my five kids and say something like "Wow..."and then it's always followed by "How do you do it?

I have never put much thought into this question nor the answer. To be honest, I ponder more on the fact I wish people would just stop asking. It's the uncomfortable question. One that has no concrete answer. And, inevitably I give an insufficient answer that varies each time I'm asked.

I was asked again this week. "How do you do it?" I smiled and replied "I guess organization. You get more organized with each child." The lady just looked back at me as if not really knowing what to say. In that moment, I realized I was essentially telling her she was not yet organized enough. Scratch that response from the list. That one is offensive, weak and silly. And, clearly it is not my organization skills because if you've seen my laundry, my closet or my pantry, you'd know that skill doesn't even apply to me. 

So as I drove home, I pondered finally. How do I do it? Hmmmmmm.....

Once I looked at families like mine and made similar comments. 

But here I am...'doin' it'. And so how is it that once it looked so difficult to me and now seems so second nature? Hmmmmm.....

Ponder. Ponder.

Then it hit me. One word. Grace.

God's Grace! His grace is sufficient and his mercies are new every morning and without his Grace and his Mercy I could never "do it". 

He who has called you to a good work will bring it to completion. There is nothing you or I need to do when the job looks difficult but obey. He will equip us. He will give us grace and he will show us mercy. 

So when asked "How do you do it?" My answer is now "God's grace is sufficient."


Thursday, October 11, 2012

7 birthdays a year, but each one is special

Our Sweetie Pie, Autumn, turned 9 years old this week. 

The birthday girl awakes to surprise decorations. 

Her sisters help her to make dirt pie (since she doesn't like cake).

Ms. Sassy herself.

Even with just our kids, it's always a party.

And the big 9 candle is blown out. 
May all your wishes come true baby girl. 

She is so proud to be 9. 
Today she said that she would walk into Girl Scouts and loudly exclaim 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

This is only week 2?

It was not what we expected.  Week One must have took more out of some of us than expected! If you are on Facebook, you know we had a child in the ER for 12 hours. Dehydration. Hallucinations from the dehydration and eventually passing out.

She was a little better and had 'come to' by the time they transported to a pediatric ER for further evaluation. She thought her ambulance ride was "epic". She's doing much better but we're still watching her closely as she's not 100% just yet.

Our second week of gymnastics was much better for Lily this week. No tears. All smiles.

The kids floated foil boats around the Nile River and we eventually turned the buckets of water into the Red Sea, Black Sea, Caspian Sea, Persian Gulf and found a paper plate to represent Babylon.

Our tutor academy, CC, is going extremely well. This week I captured a picture of some of their geography work. The Hebrew Empire.
Our week ended much better than it began. The girls had another set of sisters over for some play time, cupcake decorating and an American Girl movie. 
Such a busy week, sure leads to a very tired weekend though. 
Today I am learning to shop online at Sam's with their new Click N Pull, so we can simply pick up our items at the store Monday night without actually walking the isles, sort of like reserving a library book. 
Kya and I made breakfast for the family this morning while Dale and Aaron were at soccer. I sure hated to miss his game but what a week!

~ Be Blessed ~ 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Week 1 of the 2012_13 School Year

Week ONE....rocked! 

We were tired. Exhausted. 

Had headaches. Never finished all our work each day. The house was a mess. At 7pm were still doing schoolwork. At 9pm, still grading papers.

Does NOT sound great, does it? But when Thursday night rolled in and we prepped to go to CC for Friday morning, we all realized how much we learned, how excited we were to be going back to CC and how we couldn't wait to learn again next week...then suddenly....all the pain of the hard work, was so very worth it.

~ Here's a few snapshots of our week. ~

The girls began Gymnastics
(And Aaron began soccer)

 Some of our memory work for the week. 
We use our sliders as our white-board.

 Dale ditched us for the Blues Brothers in Vegas.
(He was really there for work.)

Daily break time. This day they built box city.

These are a few of our favorite things. 

The Dead Fish Science Exp at CC.
The All-Girls (not on purpose) class at CC.

Here I was sneaking a peek through the window 
at Aaron giving a presentation on dogs.

(and, still tired)

Friday, September 7, 2012

A new school year has begun! 2012-13

I have FIVE, yes 5, school aged children now. I am yet to see how a full blown day goes with all my little ones because we are easing back into our studies. But the year, none the less, has begun.

We had to say goodbye to our former Co-Op of three years because we needed something a bit different for right now. We joined a Tutor Academy that is nationwide called Classical Conversations. They provide a tutor that tutors our children once a week in all subjects and then we come home and work on what was introduced and we add on-level extra math and language arts for each child.

Here are my sweeties, all of them, starting their first day
 at their new Classical Conversations Tutor Academy. 

~ My (three!) 3rd Graders and (two) Kindergartners ~

Waiting for School to Open
(because we were actually early)

Kindergarten class checking out their beans in science

Lunch with friends is always fun. 

And, finally, Joy is a Girl Scout! And All American Girl Scout. 
She's very happy about it....
(but very confused in this pic as to what mom is asking her to do for her "pose")