Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Big Kids Still Need Their Mom and Dad!

Over this Christmas break we have discovered more than ever how much our big kids need us. I remember thinking back and perceiving myself as incredibly independent but I do believe my memory is distorted. In the midst of my independence I was calling my mom at least 2 times a day! Sometimes it was a question, sometime it was a lull in the day and we just chatted and other times it was to process and think through the latest incident. Of course, in the midst of this I was certain I was completely independent, made my own decisions, didn't need any help from others and no one was gonna tell me what to do- ya right!

Hubby and I have settled into this little routine with the three kids at home- it is oh, so manageable and even though we don't get out a lot we spend lots of time together. Since the Christmas season/vacation has started things have changed. We have noticed that our older kids really want us, they want our time, our listening ears and heaven forbid even our opinion (as long as it doesn't veer to far off of theirs!)!

At first it was slightly bothersome - after all, we had our routine- but quickly it turned into a joy. Their response to us is immediate and appreciative. They love the time and attention they are getting from us. We are enjoying it too! It is great conversation and we get the opportunity to guide them. For me it is an opportunity for us to pray through their situations and let them/us see God at work.

I think it is so healthy to have the ebb and flow of relationships. For them to know their are time they get and times the need to give. When a family member needs someone there are sibs galore for them to choose from and eager parents to help. As we adopt in our family their are also times that they are needed to support their new siblings and even the parents! Whether it is an evening of babysitting or a few hours off during the day. Often times we have the big kids model appropriate behavior- I love this because they aren't always appropriate but when all eyes are on them they have to be ;-) !! Example- Johnny please make your bed! Thank you! snicker, snicker!

Hubby and I are used to readjusting. We change things around a bit until we arrive at a new normal! What a joy these kids are and what a blessing it is to have each of them in our lives!
Thank you Jesus!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

More Winter Fun at Christmas Time!

Johnny was the last of our bio kids to be on board to adopt. Now he is so happy our house is not quiet and boring! He loves his little sisters!

I believe Penny's mom is teasing her! The snow is quite deep!

Rescued at last!

Mark's winter clothes are at college. He layered up with what he could find in our closet!

Team One seems to be enjoying themselves!


They just lost their secret weapon "Anna" but hopefully they will be able to stand their ground and protect the fort!

Team two is looking pretty strong!

Team two just brought in more troops! It's not looking good for team one.

The secret weapon is up to no good!

Oh no- Billy has been taken prisoner now Sarah is alone defending the fort!

Monday, December 28, 2009

If one more person says to me...

Your really gonna be busy with 4 little girls, I think I will have to scream! Excuse me I have already raised 5 very active children. I have handled the holidays for 28 years. I have worked outside the home for 9 of those years. I have been with my parents as they died and my husband has been with his parents as they died. Although we were not the number one caretaker as they were ill we grieved their loss heavily. I have moved with my husband 6 times and some of them were out of necessity not out of desire. In my 51 years I have experience a lot.

I can do this- and if I didn't have this attitude- I would have given up on everything long ago.

Yes, I am sure I can handle this and with the Lord's help- actually, I am positive I can!

Will a few things change? Yes, they will. Maybe some people will get a few less presents at Christmas time, maybe I won't be able to have an extended family Christmas, maybe I won't be able to send out Christmas cards, maybe I won't be able to attend some gatherings with friends, maybe we will have to take 2 cars to church or to an event, maybe some of our current family members may have to cut back on their activities, maybe I won't be able to return some phone calls, maybe I won't get to travel as much as I had hoped.

Guess what else might change- 2 little girls will now have a family. They will have a Mommy and a Daddy for the first time in their lives. They will have love, food, a home, many opportunities, an education, and a future to look forward too. Excuse me but I happen to think that it is well worth the price I/we will have to pay... for their life.

Guess what - I'm planning to adopt again after this! Why? Why else? BECAUSE THERE ARE CHILDREN OUT THERE THAT NEED A HOME! Why aren't you adopting?

Will I be busy? Yes, I will be busy. We will make the necessary changes, adjust our life and move on!

Are you busy now? I am sure you are. We all perceive ourselves as busy. Are you too busy to save a life? Are you too busy to love a child? Are you too busy to give a child a home? How can your heart say no to all the above. Mine can't, I don't want it too. I hear the calling, do you?

Matthew 21:21
I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don't doubt, you can do things like this and much more.

If someone is genuinely concerned about me please-
Ask me how you can help, if you'd like!
Uplift us in prayer!
Say encouraging words to us!
Share your Christian faith with us!

Do not project your own personal concerns onto us.

Yes, families that adopt are doing something out of the ordinary. Yes, families that adopt multiple times or sibling groups are doing something out or the ordinary. Uplift them, encourage them, support them, don't drag them down. We/they are not amazing, they are not special, they are not doing something that you cannot do. We/ they have bad days and good days. All they are doing is simply trying to serve the Lord, love the Lord and listen to the LORD - who is by the way our adoptive Father.

A Very Special Christmas- Part 1- The Snowman!!

Even I went outside! This is the only pic you will see of me- I was behind the camera the rest of the time!

The doggies were thrilled to have all of outside playing! They couldn't believe their good fortune!

In all of our years of parenting we have failed snowman making! We could resist this opportunity- the snow was perfect! It was heavy and wet plus we had many strong and creative helpers!

The snowman making turned into a snowball fight which then turned into make a fort to hide in from the attackers! And for the opposing team to plan their strategy for a counter attack!

Yes, he started it along with his brothers!

Thanks guys for making memories!

Sarah loved the snowman making process with Katie!

The snow drift was very big! Sarah is standing on top of it now with the doggy!

Working on the fort!

I think we can make this fit!

The finished product!! Katie and Frosty!

For some reason my camera did not download all the pics so there will be a part 2 to this post!

Hubby and I have not been enjoying the cold weather lately. We know with little children we are going to have to embrace it and have fun! With all the kids at home we had an absolute blast outside! It was about 30 degrees out - so comfortable. In fact too comfortable for Frosty! He quickly started leaning over and then took a spill- sorry no pic of that!

As a Mom I especially enjoyed having all the kids home. It is becoming more and more obvious that this will not continue for long. I am excited to add new family members in the future (not talking about adoption this time) but along with that comes sharing our children. I am committed to being "cool" about it. I don't want to hog the kids, be overly demanding or cause them unnecessary stress on the young couples. Just so you know there is nothing in the works- I am figuring that it is probably around the corner and it will probably affect us by next Christmas.

Thank you Jesus for this time with our big kids and little kids! Next year two more special girls will experience their first Christmas with their new family - now that is something to look forward too!

Part 2 coming soon- the snowball fight!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Our main family celebration is on Christmas Eve. We went to the 4:00 church service- it was fantastic! I just love the Christmas eve service it is so beautiful. I love seeing so many families together, singing the Christmas carols and the feeling that our heavenly father is right there beside me! The solos brought me to tears when I realize what He has done for us!

Ever since I was a little girl sitting in church I dreamed of having a family that filled the whole pew! This year we almost filled it, except for two seats! Next year Emma and Ellie will be sitting with us and the pew will be filled! Another dream come true- thank you Jesus!Of course this means now I will have to dream of filling two pews!! Another adoption and a couple weddings and we will be there in no time!

We had a snowstorm over the last couple days. It was not as bad as expected. It would snow then stop then snow again. There was enough time to plow and shovel in between the snowfalls. Since we have a big 4 wheel truck there is not much we can't get through! The snow was beautiful and just added to the ambiance of the holiday! The extended family made it over without a problem! We all had a wonderful evening!

The girl were very excited and eager to help big sis Katie wrap some of her gifts!

Matt and Katie are roommates! It is going very well EXCEPT and few new roommates have moved in! Mice! Katie is completely freaked out! MAtt not so much!

It is really a challenge to get this crew together for a picture. We corralled these six in the living room while we waited for Katie!

Mark used to play piano. It was so cute seeing him sitting there again (attempting to) playing!

Definitely room for two more in this pic!!

I am always trying to multitask! I wanted to get a pic of the brothers for when we send a photo album to each of our girls. Plus we are never all together... and looking decent at the same time, so I snapped away!

When they all found out that Billy was looking like the tallest they decide to do something about it! I think someone may have a hold of his underwear in this pic!

Anna was thrilled with her new tiger! She can ride it!!

This is the pic we will send to the girls of "the family that lives at home".

The big ge ge's that don't live at home! Johnny really misses the big kids. He is so happy they are all home!

Yes, I did this... I bought a sweater that matches the girls skirts! Katie can't believe it. No, she doesn't want to match, too. All she could say was mom that is so 80's...

The girls had so much fun with extended family over. It was so wonderful to see all the joy they felt! They seemed to chat with everyone!

Some of the big kids played cranium. They had a blast!

The whole fam for now!

The girls loved their presents!

Sarah loves arts and crafts!

Anna was all wound up! She was exhausted but running on sugar! She was like the energizer battery and kept going and going until her head hit the pillow!

I hope you had a blessed Christmas filled with joy and family!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Well, Christmas day is just about here. For some reason this has been one of the more stressful Christmas seasons. I'm not sure why? Last year believe it or not, was not stressful even though Sarah had just come home. I think our expectations we so low and we were running on adrenaline. I am actually pretty ready for the celebration but now I feel like I am waiting for it to happen. It has been difficult keeping the kids busy and productive and at the same time trying to avoid overly crowded places. We have spent more time than usual at home.

I have bought a ton of groceries but the big kids keep eating the food- imagine that! Thank goodness the grocery store is close by! We will be running back there today and probably tomorrow! It looks like a snow storm is heading our way! We may be snowed in for a few days!

Over the last 2 months Sarah has been challenging me with homeschooling. She is a smart girl but when introduced to a new topic she shuts down and refuses to try. She does not like to be challenged with her school work- which is to bad because she is capable of so much. The other day she just refused to read her spelling words (that was one of many refusals that morning). She just sits and stares at it. I sit there with her, I pray to myself and then I excuse myself now and then so at least I can stay productive. I have thought about sending her to school- and I am currently praying about it. I don't want to I love HS and love the benefits- time together, bonding, being part of her learning process. I also feel like if she does this in school- they will give up on her- she can be very time consuming.

I finally called Hubby home and he spoke with Sarah. After much nudging she apologized and did her school work. We were both amazed at how well she did. I think she is really holding back with me and I need to find away to get beyond this. Has anyone else run into a similar situation- where their child refuses to do what you asked them to do. How do you handle it? This is probably a bad time to post this because after all it is Christmas but I sure could use a little help!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Whew! Finally!

Beware everyone in the upper midwest! This boy now has his license! Oh ya, I'm praying a lot more lately!

Mark ripped his sweatshirt and I didn't get a chance to sew it so he decided to give it a try himself! He ended up sewing it onto the table cloth! I wish he would have told me earlier so I could have gotten a pic of it! I am pretty certain it would have been an award winning pic!!

This is Anna's friend! They had lunch together! I don't know him very well, but he looks nice enough! ;-)

My one and only talent is whistling. When the older children were playing in the neighborhood... 2 blocks away, I would whistle for them and I would hear children calling Biiiiillllyyyy, Maaaaaarrrrkkkkk, Joooohhhnnn yyoooouuurrrr Mooooommmmm is cccaaaaallllinnnnngggg you. I thought it was so funny how everyone new it was me calling for my children. A child 3 houses away would call out then I'd hear another child 4 houses from that one and soon I would hear cooooommmminnnnnggggg! The good old days!! In this picture Anna is whistling for Penny (Katie's dog is somewhere in the house). Her imitation is adorable!

Anna loves horses... only if they look like Billy that is, otherwise she is scared to death of them. She kept saying to him good girl, good girl!

JIm took the girls sledding today. It was in the 20's- a beautiful winter day! They had a blast!

He was so surprised how well they did! When he left he said I'll be back in a half hour. Then he called an hour later and said I don't know how I'm going to get them away from this hill, they love it! After a while the promise of returning and hot cocoa and a sugar cookie helped then to leave their beloved sledding hill!
I just had to share this- it is a Melissa and Doug hangman game. Very, very simple, great for trips and at home... even works for homeschooling! Sarah loves it and she has fooled me a couple times! I think it is about $12. I highly recommend it!

We are finally to a point that we can take a deep breath and enjoy the holidays. Yes, there is more to do but much of it is done and checked off the list. Whew! It has been fun but it always brings me stress I will wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to go back to sleep because I need to put one more thing on my list. Praise the Lord we are at the point that we can enjoy and put the focus where it belongs- thank you Jesus! My hope is that you are there too and can finally sit down, take a deep breath and enjoy- God Bless you!