Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Scenes from the backyard.


Life has just been motoring along as usual around here. The weather has actually been tolerable, and almost enjoyable, for the past few days. It's as if I'm seeing little tiny glimmers of Fall. Today was breezy and actually really pleasant, so we spent a lot of time outside soaking it all in.

School is off and running, and the kids have been doing really well with this new groove. Classical Conversations starts this week, which we are all really excited about. CC is a Christian classical education, mixed with a great community of friends, that is an adjunct to our home school curriculum. I'll be tutoring this year for the first time, which I am looking forward to. We also started the girls in gymnastics almost a month ago, and they are loving it. Like completely loving it.

Unfortunately, there is nothing exciting to report on the adoption front. We are still waiting on our home study and for official word that we are in the pool of waiting families. Soon enough, I hope...



Here is some fun from our back yard... Grady is a lizard catching machine. The kids have a huge blue 50 gallon drum set up on the back porch that serves as a "rescue habitat" for lizards and frogs. It contains a rock for sun bathing, a big water bowl, some moss, grass, leaves and sticks for a home making, and a regular meal delivery supplied by what they have caught in their "ant trap" (which is really just honey on tin foil laying out in the back yard)...





 Bella is the Guinea Pig whisperer. They have actual conversations. 


And the girls continue to roam about as if they own the place.


The kids have been saving up their spending money to put towards a plastic pool for over two months now. They wanted the one that has a slide, which sells for a whopping $38 at Walmart. (Which I think is ridiculously expensive for a plastic pool!) Anyway, this is what they had their eyes set on, and they worked and saved and finally were able to put their money together to buy this pool.  We are proud of them, because saving money is hard for kiddos and making the choice to save and wait for something better instead of spending their money right away on something dumb, is a great lesson to learn. It's that whole instant gratification vs. delayed gratification thing. Anyway, here it is. The highlight of Summer 2014...

Yep, that's what I said... "Thirty eight dollars for that?!?"



But they are enjoying it.



They did start out with more water than this. I think half of the pool ended up on the porch.




And after a long day of swimming around in 6 inches of water, these kids were famished!


And finally, to end this post about nothing, I will close with a sad little story. It's about a sweet little chicken named Zebra. All Zebra wanted out of her life was a good home, with a loving family. She longed to peacefully roam free eating bugs out of fresh green grass, and pooping wherever she may please.


Sadly, very sadly, she came to live with us...

Where little boy mayhem will follow her, all the days of her life...









Poor, poor, poor Zebra. Keep running sister.

The end...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Before and After

So to answer one of my questions regarding room arrangements from my last post, we decided to:
-sell Grady's queen sized bed to friends looking for a black queen sized bed
-buy Grady bunk beds/two twin beds from different friends looking to sell them
(That was a win-win!)

When we are close to actually bring a baby home, we will:
-convert Lilly's double bed back into a crib, and return her room to nursery status
-move Lilly into Grady's room until little brother is old enough to sleep in a twin (with side rails, of course!), and then she'll go back to her own room

So here we go with that...

Grady's room before... (except this was like a year ago)

During...







And After...


That night, of course all of the kids wanted to sleep in the new room. So we brought in an air mattress for one, and drew straws (or something else official and fair, I can't remember) to decide who got to sleep where.



So Grady's room is done. Yay!

Here is something strangely exciting for me: I have quite a list of "things to purchase or acquire" for this baby. We gave away everything baby-ish we had, and were literally starting with nothing. We've been praying for God's provision, and it has been so cool to watch Him provide. So far we have gotten a few really great Craigslist deals, and friends have been amazingly generous offering things like a swing, a bouncy seat, a bumbo, and some clothing, etc... I am used to really being on top of things, and having a plan for everything (I still am to some extent),  but it has been really fun just waiting and watching things fall into place.

Have a great week friends!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Nesting Instinct.

There is a boy that I find myself thinking about and praying for every single day. I've never met him. I've never seen him. I don't even know if he's been conceived yet. But I pray for his safety. I pray for his health. I pray that he will grow up to love Christ and to follow Him with his whole heart. 

And I pray hard for his birth mother. Wherever she is, whatever she is going through, must be no easy situation. I pray that her decision to let him live is an easy choice for her to make, and I pray that she is blessed for that choice. I pray that she would know God's grace and love for her. I pray that she might know how much we appreciate her. 

As you may know, our family is adopting. We were super busy getting things done a few weeks ago, and now, for the last two weeks, we've just been waiting. We still need to receive our printed home study (hopefully this week!) to submit to the adoption agency. After that, we join the pool of families waiting to be chosen by the birth mom. (She chooses us, so at this point, there really is nothing else we can do to hurry the process along.)

Waiting can be difficult, and this is just the beginning, but we are trusting in God's perfect timing and we are walking in faith in His truth. And we are doing a lot of praying. As much I want things to progress quickly, I LOVE this time. I love being right where we are, right now. I love the fact that no matter how hard I push, I can't change anything, and I am completely out of control in this situation. I love that I know the One who knows it all. He knows the when, the who, and the how. And it feels good to rest in Him. It feels good to know that we have done what we can, and we truly have to just trust God to finish the work.

A strange feeling came over me while we were preparing for our home study visit. I was cleaning and organizing like a crazy woman. Baseboards, medicine cabinets, junk drawers, closets, under the sinks- no space was safe. It was a feeling of impending baby-ness. I found myself walking from room to room, thinking and planning. "Are we going to move Lilly out of what was the nursery, and re-set up the nursery? Where will she go? Or should we just get a crib and put it in Grady's room? But there's not enough space in Grady's room. Should we get bunk beds for Bella's room and move Lilly in there? Or maybe bunk beds for Grady's room? We're going to need a diaper bag, a stroller, a car seat, a crib mattress, a changing pad... Oh goodness, we don't have any clothing, or diapers, or formula, or bottles... Did we really even use that baby bath tub? I want to make sure all of the carpets are cleaned, because I don't want a baby crawling around on dirty carpets..." 

I found myself daydreaming about what our family life will look like with a newborn in it. I sat in the corner of Lilly's room, which has always been our nursery, and I thought about rocking that sweet little life. I thought about how much he is wanted and already loved. I thought about three siblings that are so eager to shower love and affection, and I smiled at the thought of the three of them all doting on him.

And then I realized that the nesting instinct that I've experienced three times in the past, had come, even without all of the hormones. Just like any expecting mother, I want our house to be ready, and just right for him. I want a blankie and a diaper bag with his name embroidered on it. I want a space to decorate, just for him. I want to celebrate new life and new beginnings and super special changes in our family. And I can't wait to meet him, and hold him, and kiss him. 

For now I trust, and I rest.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Firsts.

First things first, these sweet little loves have my heart. 
My whole stinkin heart.


This morning we started school for the 2014/2015 year. Bella is now in 3rd grade, Grady is in 1st and little Lilly is in Pre-K. And this morning, just like every year, I paraded my sweet children outside for a "first day of school" picture.


And then we walked back into the house and got started.


Don't they all look so serious? And so studious?!




We are starting our fifth year of homeschooling, which just seems crazy to me. Time is a flying!

This year is a first for me as well. It's my first year homeschooling three sweet babes all at the same time... it really wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. The first week or so is always a little easy as far as school work for the kids, it's a lot of review. In contrast, it's always the most difficult week for me, just figuring out the teachers guides, and the curriculum, and getting used to the flow. They all did really well and finished their work quickly, and then we got to celebrate with some other first day of home school friends.

It was a good first day for sure.

One last highlight from our day was this little completely un-posed gem below. Ohhh, how I love how they love.


Happy Monday friends, have a great week!