Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A New Look

For her birthday, Annabelle wanted her ears pierced, so, after school today her Nana took her to have it done!  

She did it!

They even had to do them one at a time instead of all at once.

She was super-brave & never shed a tear!

She looks pretty grown up, huh?

Proud Momma!

It was awards day for the 2-3 Multi-age Class today!  

Ella Grace got the A Honor Roll for the entire year,
the "Writing Award" (oh, this former-English-teaching Momma is so proud!),
for the most AR points in 2nd grade . . . 
with 224 points!!
A medal for reading!

Proud of all your hard work, girl!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day

Yesterday was fun.

I love how my man and my kiddos work so hard to make my day special.

I love being able to honor our mothers.

Momma, thanks for all you are.  All you were when we were growing up.  All you mean to my kids.  I love you.

Mom, thanks for nurturing a little boy's heart and giving me a gracious man!  Thanks for loving our kids!  I love you.

To the birth mom of my kids:  I don't know what went through your mind on Mother's Day, but you were heavy on mine.  You are being prayed for.  I love your kids.

To the friends I get to mother alongside of:  I couldn't do this without you all!  I love you.

To the man who made me a mother:  Thanks for making each day special and for loving our kids like Christ loves us!  You are every dream I never dared to dream come true!  I love you.

To my five little ones:  You guys make each day a new adventure!  Being your mom is second only to being a wife to your daddy in my list of favorites!

I love you, Ella Grace!

I love you, Annabelle!

I love you, Katie!

I love you, K-man!

I love you, Peanut!

Monday, May 7, 2012

some things i'm learning

lest this post led you to believe that things were just floating along hunky-dory at our house, i wanted to post a few things that we have been learning over the past few weeks!

to catch you up to speed:  on february 9th, little peanut's brother joined our brood.  here, he'll be known as k-man.  adjusting to a "new kid" is always a process.  adjusting to a boy -- a three year old boy -- a three year old boy with some issues no  baggage  not really sure of the right word here -- adds a whole new dimension to the process of adjustment.

first, a few things we realized early on:

  • he'd always only been an only child.  when he was with his birth mother, it was just the two of them.  once he was removed, he was in a foster home with no siblings.  coming into a home with 4 sisters (three older, meaning, they sometimes think they're mommas) was a big change for him.
  • he'd never been a part of a "functional" family.  when we said things like: "we work together in this family." or "we love our sisters because they are part of our family." he really had no idea what we were talking about.
  • he's a he.  some behaviors stem from just "being a boy."  and, while they may not always be appropriate for the time and place, they weren't always "rebellious" behaviors.
second, a few things that took us longer to realize:
  • he's a different kid.  while we have disciplined our girls in much the same way (and seen fairly positive results), this is a different kid.  a kid who doesn't respond to the same type of discipline we've used effectively in the past.  we had to figure out a different way of doing things.
  • the way he makes me look doesn't matter.  in the past several months, i've become "that mom!"  you know the one -- the one with the tantrum throwing kid -- i've walked away from him lying in the aisle at stores; i've dragged him out of stores kicking and screaming; i've pushed him around in a cart yelling and spitting.  it's humiliating.  i'll never, ever look at another mom in that situation the same way again.  ever.
  • abandonment is a legitimate fear.  our girls don't fear being left alone.  they are secure enough in our love that they understand that we are always coming back, no matter what.  he has to learn that kind of trust.
a few ways he's helping to reveal the condition of my heart:
  • alluded to my pride above.  eric and i are both guilty of feeling pride in the way our girls behave.  what we are realizing is that we've raised a couple of pharisees who also take pride in their good works.  by God's grace, He is helping us see our prideful hearts and helping us guide the girls into seeing their's.
  • He doesn't need a Rescuer any more than i do or any more than any of the girls do.  our girls have yet to make a "profession of faith" (side note -- this is something eric and i are very okay with -- we are praying for the Holy Spirit's conviction in their lives -- not our conviction in their lives).  he needs Christ just as much as they do.  no more, no less.
  • what he does to me on a daily basis, i do to Christ on a moment to moment basis.  i resist what God knows is good for me.  i spit at him.  i kick, scream, scratch, and hit.  i see my heart toward Christ in his behavior toward eric and i.
  • i am growing thankful for this "failure."  i'm beginning to see how this is revealing my sin.  that's grace.  God is revealing sin in my life through this little boy and that is His grace toward me.  i'm seeing my need for dependence as i fail over and over on my own.
  • my kids need to understand that i am the biggest sinner in the house.  i'm learning to apologize, ask forgiveness, and join them in begging the God who loves sinners to change our hearts.
a few truths i am constantly repeating to myself:
  • God loves me.  no matter my failure.  no matter my "good deeds."  I am loved.
  • God loves K-man.  no matter his failure.  no matter his "good deeds."  He is loved.
  • God has prepared and equipped us for this specific boy during this specific time.
  • we have an amazing support system.  friends and family who are supporting us, daily praying for us and living the day to day with us.  i can ask them for help.
  • i am adopted.  not because of who i am.  not because of what i look like.  not because i deserve to be adopted.  i am adopted because of who Christ is, because of how the Father sees Him (and in turn sees me).
so, here we are again.  

learning so much about ourselves. 
our marriage.
each other. 
our kids. 
our God . . . 
. . .  and this little guy that He's trusting us with.  

Grace, such grace!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Soccer Sisters

Ella Grace, age 7

Annabelle, age 5

Katie, age 4

Our "don't mess with us" look!

Our "sweet" look!

Our "we really do love each other" look!

Friday, May 4, 2012

It's a Hard Life . . .

It's hard being the only boy in a house full of sisters!

A few things I've been known to shout say in the past few weeks:

"Don't forget you're a boy!"

(This is in reference to using the bathroom.  I'm telling you, it's hard when NO one else has to take the extra second to put the seat up -- and back down -- SOFTLY!  Hard!)

"He's not hitting you!  He's touching you!  He's a boy.  Boys touch differently than girls touch!"

(This is in reference to the hundreds of times a day I'm told by one of the girls that they've been hit by their brother.)

Things are certainly different with a boy around.



More chaotic.

But, we are all learning to live and love in spite of (and often because of) our differences!

I also must say, I'm enjoying that mysterious connection between a momma and her boy.  Not saying that I was missing something before . . . just saying that I'm enjoying it now!