Thursday, June 17, 2010

Speaking Truths


Today went nothing like I expected it to go when I got out of bed this morning.

Don't get me wrong, my expectation was a crazy day. On the agenda today was dentist appointments for our two (yep, you read right--that's five girls ages 6, 4, 3, 2 and 2!) new foster care placements. We got a call late afternoon on Tuesday and had two sisters in our care a few hours later. They needed to see the dentist, so I made appointments yesterday and planned to venture out today for the first time alone with all five.

I had no idea.

About 9 this morning we got a call from DSS. During a court hearing, a family member decided to take the girls. They would be picked up later.

With my mind reeling with thoughts of how and when to tell my girls and the new "sisters", we prepared for the trip to the dentist. I sent the sisters and Katie to the van (something I've done hundreds of times before), heard a horrible cry, ran outside to find my sweet Katie Bug covered in blood. She'd split her forehead open on the "garage ground" (as she'll tell you).

She now has five stitches in her beautiful head. She's pretty proud of them.

As I write, we've also said good-bye to the sisters.

We never made it to the dentist.

And now we're left to wonder.

What is God doing? Why only a day or two? How can this be what's best? What happened to Katie? What is God doing? What is God doing, what is God doing?

I keep telling my girls to hold on to the truth. Preach to themselves what they know to be true. I'm telling myself this as much as I'm telling them . . .

God is in control!

This is for our good and for His glory!

This is His story -- we're priveledged to be a part of it.

We are being sanctified today and everyday often times through circumstances.

I don't understand, but I trust Him.

God didn't fall asleep today.

He protected Katie.

He loves my girls more than I ever could.

He loves the sisters more than I ever could.

He's good. Always.

His goal is my holiness, not my happiness.

He loves me. Rescued me. Loves me . . .

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Trumpet of the Swan

The girls and I are working our way through E.B. White's The Trumpet of the Swan. We usually try to read a chapter or two before naptime. They have fallen in love with the characters and storyline and beg me to read it constantly. I've been surprised at how much they've learned about swans and how their imaginations have taken off. They can often be seen sitting on blankets -- "We're swans sitting on our baby cygnets, mom!"

On our recent trip to a local university, we saw a few swans. The girls were beside themselves with excitement.

Of course, the highlight -- seeing a real momma swan sitting on her eggs. She let us get pretty close and I think the girls would have sat and watched until the eggs hatched!

We're planning on a trip back later this summer, hoping to see some baby cygnets!

Monday, June 14, 2010

My Excuse & Creation

I failed to post yesterday. It was Eric's fault. He is working on his last class (yes, last . . . yes, finally, last!!) before starting to write his dissertation! He had a midterm today and he spent all night on the computer in preparation.

The girls and I have been talking about the Creation Story found in Genesis 1. Today, they artistically portrayed each day of creation using the medium of paint. We took pictures of each day and plan to make a book -- written by God and illustrated by them -- they are very excited about this project! I'll let you know how the final product turns out . . . until then:

by Annabelle

by Ella Grace

Friday, June 11, 2010

Birthday Party '10

Ella Grace and Annabelle celebrated their birthdays with their friends at Iced a few weeks ago! We chose a "candy and cupcake" theme (sorry Dr. Katie!) and a "girls only" guest's list!

Before pictures of the "candy bar," party favor baskets, and frosting bags.

The baskets contained a spoon and a mason jar which the girls filled with candy to take home:

After everyone filled up on candy, each party goer got to decorate 2 cupcakes --

--one to eat and one to take home!

My girls had a blast!

And, I'm pretty sure everyone else did too!

Thanks for celebrating with us, sweet friends!

(click on any image to enlarge)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ella Grace Turns 6!

I can hardly believe the day is here.


Six is so big.

Six is a girl.

Six is one third of the time she'll live in our house (maybe . . . hopefully?!?)!

But, it's here.

My biggest little one is six today!

She started the day with her requested breakfast -- pancakes & smoothies -- it was a yummy choice!

Humor me while I remember a few things about this day six (very) short years ago:

~Ronald Reagan was being buried. I watched the beginning of his funeral on TV at home that morning and the conclusion at the hospital that afternoon.

~I slept late that morning. Very late. It was one of my first days of summer break -- I'd just finished my last days of teaching!

~My water broke as I sneezed. Too much info?

~Eric was in class when I called him. He asked if he needed to come home. Uh, yeah!

~I'd only eaten pretzels that morning. Oh how I wished later I'd eaten more as they wouldn't let me eat in the delivery room until after delivery!

~We didn't find out the sex of our baby; the doctor let Eric tell me, "It's a girl!" I was surprised and thrilled!

~We'd decided on the name "Elizabeth Grace" a long, long time before we saw our sweet girl's face. Elizabeth was my grandmother's name and is my middle name. Her daddy calls her "Gracie" (also decided long before we met her) and she doesn't let anyone else call her that "special name!"

~She held her breath for what seemed like a full minute as they gave her a bath for the first time. The nurse asserted that with a temper like that, we were in trouble. On the contrary, she has a gentle, sensitive spirit -- stubborn in her own right -- but a sweet, sweet heart!

~Her head was very, very cone shaped when she was born. After her bath we asked them to please put a hat on her!

~We could have never guessed six years ago that we'd be as in love that little bundle as we are today. Her personality is girly with just a touch of sass! Her spirit is loving and desires to please the Lord! Her heart is intense and passionate! My guess is that six years from today, we'll say the same -- that our love for her is more than we could've ever imagined!

Wow! Wasn't going that direction with this post; just sorta happened. Sorry for getting so sappy and for going on and on!

After breakfast this morning, we gave my amazing sister a break by picking up her boys for the morning. We headed to a local university and gallivanted through the rose garden, fed the ducks, marveled at the beauty God's created for us! I'm sure more pictures from our adventures will follow in a future post. It was a blast of a morning!

Ella Grace had a date scheduled, so we dropped her off and the rest of us headed to the cheapest lunch in town!

We ended the day with a sweet family dinner (her choice, again: spaghetti! When did birthdays at our house become all about food??), dessert, Pepsi and a movie (The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking)!

Sweet girl, I had a great time celebrating you today! Happy 6th birthday -- Mom & Daddy love you!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pepsi Party Truck

Today I took Ella Grace to a sort of right of passage for six year olds in our area . . . the Pepsi Party Truck! This deal is only good on your sixth birthday, and she, according to the certificate she received: ". . . is now an official authorized, fully-qualified member in good standing of the Pepsi Generation."

What else did she get? 12 cans of Pepsi, 12 ice cream cups, 12 Pepsi pencils, tatoos & balloons, 4 passes to a Greenville Drive game, a coupon for a free meal at Stax Grill (where she and daddy have decided on for their birthday lunch date), and a 30% off coupon for a birthday cake at Stax Bakery. She's thrilled -- really, really doesn't like carbonated drinks, but is determined to try one of her Pepsi's -- kind of thrilled!

The thing that's funny to me is that I remember my momma taking me to the Pepsi Plant on State Park for my 6th birthday twenty-something years ago! The contents of the box are a little different than I remember -- I think I got Little Debbie Cakes instead of ice cream and I think I remember Pepsi cups & plates being included. I also remember feeling pretty thrilled that someone somewhere thought I was special enough to be celebrated for being six years old.

Thanks, Pepsi, for the memories you've given 2 official, authorized, fully-qualified members . . .

Friday, June 4, 2010

end of the year programs: kindergarten & k3

Singing Wad-a-lee-acha; a song I, myself, sang in Miss Wike's first grade class! Comment if you did too--I know you're out there!!

My sweet star!

Getting her certificate from Miss Kennedy, her kindergarten teacher!


"Going on a Bear Hunt" (the funniest, sweetest song of the entire program!)

Her picture in the slide show.

Annabelle with her teacher, Mrs. Bagley!

Who has taught both my girls:

And, we hope, sticks around to teach the third!

We love you, Mrs. Bagley!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

You've Come A Long Way, Baby!

Kindergarten: Day 1

Kindergarten: Day 180
Congrats on a great year, Ella Grace!!
First Grade, here we come!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Daunting Task of Catching Up!!

Have you ever gotten so behind on something that the task of catching up seems bigger than just letting it go?

That's how I feel today . . . picking up this blog that I've fallen so far behind on!

May is flat out crazy! It's taken the place of December for our busiest month of the year!

It's over. June is here. One half day of school left and Summer '10 officially begins!

Yay! I love summer! My favorite childhood memories are summer memories. I like my kids being home (gasp!); I actually enjoy the task that some moms find daunting -- curbing the boredom!

And I can't wait for our family vacation!!

Before I can start posting about all the fun we're destined to have, I must catch up on the past month of our lives!

A few bullet points and then a few post to follow:

**About 4 weeks ago, our Little Buddy was moved from our home. It's a long and amazing story of God (once again), but suffice it to say that he is missed, loved, and thought of daily!!

**We are still landscaping! I know that goal was like three months back, right?!!? I'm hoping to post some pics in a future post.

**The girls' room is finished!! Completely!! They are all three sharing one room (again, long story -- but we're happy with the end result) and love being together. Again, pictures, I promise!

**The big girls both had end of the year programs -- I know, I know, pictures! I'll do it!

**They also shared a birthday party -- can't wait to post pictures of this one!

**We made a long prayed about decision to keep Ella Grace home for the 2010-2011 school year! We are very excited that she'll be attending K12, the South Carolina Virtual Charter School.

**What else? Oh, no, we haven't received another foster care placement at this time. We're waiting, praying, talking about and eagerly anticipating our "new kid!"

**I asked the girls the other day what kinds of things they'd like to learn about this summer. Their list: dinosaurs, bugs, plants, and Liberia. Ha! I thought the last one was funny. However, our church has partnered with the country of Liberia and our girls have donated books and raised money for wells to provide clean drinking water for the children of Liberia. I love that they have interest in what is going on there as well as what our church is committed to!!

And, finally, my June goal. Drum roll, please . . . to blog every day in June. Alright, if you want to get technical, I've already failed since I didn't post yesterday! Sue me -- my blog -- my rules!

Looking forward to catching up and enjoying a month full of summertime posts!!