Thursday, January 29, 2015

Ready.

Oh.my.goodness. This past week has been more than a little nutty. And by that, I really should say, just plain old crazy. I should also say, that we have felt so much love and support over this past week, that the craziness, has managed to be so much fun at times.

A week and a half ago, after four and a half months of waiting, we learned that we were matched with a birth mother (hooray!). We also learned that she was due in less than a month, and has been around three weeks early with her past pregnancies. They were able to treat her PTL/PTC (pre-term labor/pre-term contractions) with a medication during this pregnancy, so we are hoping that our sweet baby stays in there until he is good and ready to join us. As I write this, she is past the 37 week mark, so that is fantastic.

I have learned a lot over this past week, both about myself and about others. In the past, I have been one to say "if you need anything, please let me know". And I have been completely sincere in that statement, and truly would be happy to make myself available if needed. This week however, I have learned a new way to say the same thing, and decided that I want to change that statement.

If you've ever read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, you might remember that there are five basic methods that people give and receive love, to and from others. There is Gift Giving, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Physical Touch and Quality Time. Usually people have one or two of these that mean the most to them. The two that speak the loudest to me, are Acts of Service and Quality Time.

While I completely appreciate the folks that, like I have, very sincerely said "if you need anything, please call me", I am just not one to call and ask for help, unless it is dire. This week I have been so grateful, and so ministered to, by the people that have said "Could I watch your kids for a few hours so you can run errands?" or "I have tomorrow available, let's work on whatever it is that is making you the most crazy", or "What can I do to help out, and what can we get done after that?", and then they actually did all of those things. I had a three page list of things that I wanted to do before the baby comes, and my list is almost complete. I really can not say "thank you!!" enough to those of you who filled my love tank with your actions and your time.

Additionally, while Receiving Gifts is not one of my primary love languages, our family has been loved on immensely over the past few months, with clothing and equipment to borrow, and I am talking, we have been blessed! I had given all of Grady's clothing away up to age five, and had given away ALL of our baby toys, bouncy seats, playpen, high chair, stroller, etc... so we are so very thankful for the generosity we have been shown. "Thank you, thank you!!" to our friends that have passed their own children's baby things on to us.

Right now I don't have any updates on the progress of our birth mom, but we are all so extremely excited (and now officially ready!) to be bringing our little guy home!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Adoption Update!! Woot Woot!

Well, if you haven't heard, we have some exciting news to share!

Last night, we received a phone call that we had been chosen by a birth mother. (Hooray!!) We spent probably close to an hour on the phone with our adoption coordinator, while she told us as much as she could about this baby's birth parents and their history, and answered any questions we had. At the end of the conversation, both Bryan and I felt completely at ease with accepting the match.

So we are officially matched! Yay!

I think the process is going to move a lot faster than we expected, as she is due is just a few weeks, and has delivered early with her previous pregnancies.

We are kind of hurrying around, making sure we have diapers and formula and clean newborn baby clothes, and moving Lilly out of "the nursery" and into Grady's room, and switching closets around, and putting the crib back together, and washing and hanging lots of little boy clothes, and it all seems so surreal! Eeeek!

If you are praying folk, please pray for:

~Our baby's birth mother: that she would have an uncomplicated remainder of her pregnancy, an easy delivery, and a peace (and no desire to change her mind) about signing the papers after he is born.

~Our baby: that he would be healthy and safe, and be able to come home quickly.

~Our family: that we would experience more joy than stress during the next few weeks as we rush to get everything ready, that our children would transition well, and that we would quickly find our new groove as a family with a wee babe.

And while you're at it, please thank God for being who He is, and for his love.

Thanks for walking this road with us!
Goodnight!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Blame it on the Rain

Oh come on, you know you want to sing a little Milli Vanilli with me! Girl you know it's true, ooo ooo ooo...

It has been a rainy past few days around here, and sometimes that makes me want to sing terrible 80's songs... No, that's always. Anyway, it's been grey, and cloudy, and dreary, and cool at times too. I don't mind it though, in fact I kind of enjoy it. I think it's the homebody in me that loves hanging out at home, having friends over, playing games and reading books.

Far outweighing the rain, we've had many beautiful, sunshiny days. We have days that make me wonder how it can really be January, and then I remember that January in Florida doesn't make any sense. Some days it's 80 degrees, some days it's 60, and some days it's grey and rainy and 70. Does the rest of the country check the weather every morning, to figure out how they should dress? And when you go to bed at night, do you debate between turning on the heat or the A/C?!



My last post was about our newest pet, Sir Francis Drake. He's a gem. But somewhere in the distraction of the Christmas Countdown, I neglected to post the departure of some other very loved little pets.

Alllll aboard the pet taxi! Beep beep!


One mildly sad day a few weeks ago, we finally had enough of the hens squawking at 5am, the poop on the porch, and the eating of every little plant that we wanted to grow. So we loaded the ladies up... Tally ho! (Please note Lilly's outfit. It was a sweater dress, with a red velvet and sequined skirt underneath, and sandals...Oh, I say...)



Bryan's cousin and his wife and three children live on a few acres nearby, where chickens can run wild with reckless abandon, squawking loudly for the whole world to hear with a smile on their little chicken faces, happily eating delicious bugs all the live-long day.






I was a little worried with how my kiddos would feel about the loss of their little ladies, but they did really well. I think Grady missed them the most, but truly, was over it in a day or two. We still check up on them, and love seeing their pictures posted on FB.



This weekend, Bryan and the kids got started on our new garden. They planted (organic, non-GMO, woot woot!) peppers, cherry tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, lettuces, onion, and spinach and I can't wait! Hurry up little seeds and grow!


Oh how I love these dirty hands!






Tortuga has been enjoying some new freedom lately. Grady has been taking him out to swim in the pond. I can't imagine how fun it must be to go from swimming in a 5 gallon tank to a 400 gallon pond, with fish that look so big next to him.









Bella and I were talking the other day about how one day we would like to move to a house on a farm, that Bryan will build for us. We talked about the things we would like to have, like goats, and a great big open downstairs so that we could have lots of people over, and some land under big oak trees for birthday parties and bonfires. And then she thought for a minute and said "yeah, but I would really miss my friends." And I totally get that. I know what it's like to move away from your childhood friends, and to be sad that you don't get to see them anymore. And it made me happy that my girl has friendships and relationships that she treasures, because really, what is life without relationships?!








Family bike rides have become a really special time for us. I mentioned a few posts back about stopping to enjoy the days we have right now as a family of five, and this is one of those times. I know that once we have a new baby in the family, times like this will be different. Things like family bike rides and camping trips and days at the beach might go on hold for a few months, and of course at some point we'll work out a way to include our baby in the activities and continue on with how we roll. But right now, with the kids at the ages they are, it's all just gotten easy, and sometimes I need to stop and really enjoy that.

My littlest love started out on her own...

...but before too long, her little legs were tired, and she was on the tow rope. 
She has such a good daddy!






Molly needed to wear a helmet as well. Safety first!




Rainy day mornings around here call for a little goofin' off, and having a little fun before we start school. Bella bought Lilly a pack of Noah's Ark/Old Maid cards for Christmas, and we have been enjoying some healthy competition.







One of the (many) beauties of homeschooling for us, is the freedom to play. I firmly believe that having time to play is so good for young kids. I am NOT referring to watching movies or TV, playing video or computer games, etc... while they might have their place. I am talking about creative play time, when they use their imaginations to create and enjoy, and build with their hands, and play with their siblings. I think it's good for them to learn how to entertain themselves creatively, and not feel the need to be entertained. That that includes playing with pillows and blankets, or toys, or dirt and sticks, or playing cards. Of course there is also time to play with mom and dad, and playing outside with neighborhood friends, and playing with pets, etc...




And as much as I enjoy letting the kids play, I also like to make sure that they are able to entertain themselves with quiet activities like reading. Yesterday afternoon we went to the library to stock up on some rainy day reading for all of us. Lilly chose this book to help her train Molly...






Well the rain is drying up and the sun is poking out. Today we're looking at a high of 76 and a 25% chance of rain. All the kids have finished school, so I am thinking this calls for a family outing! Adios my friends!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

"Mark my words, this is it!"

I have failed, my friends. I am embarrassed. I have no will power against these things. I wonder to myself, "how does this keep happening?!", but yet, it does. And it has. Again. I sigh.

A few weeks ago I stated this "Mark my words, this is it!" in this post.

First things first, a little history lesson (because that's how we roll around here)...

Sir Francis Drake (1544-1596) was a British explorer, slave-trader, privateer (a pirate working for a government) in the service of England, mayor of Plymouth, England, and naval officer (he was an Admiral). Drake led the second expedition to sail around the world in a voyage lasting from 1577 to 1580 (Magellan led the first voyage around the world).  The Spanish called him El Draque, meaning "The Dragon."  (http://www.enchantedlearning.com/explorers/page/d/drake.shtml)

Although pirates seem cool when played by Johnny Depp, this guy was not a nice guy. None-the-less, we think Sir Francis Drake is a cool name... for our new... wait for it... pet. Yes, it's true. Sigh...



Meet Sir Francis Drake.

He is Lilly's new pet, and he is a bearded dragon. (That is a sentence I never planned to utter. And why, oh why, is there a dragon living in my house?!?)





One of the guys that Bryan works with said his kids weren't keeping up with it, and asked if we wanted it. How thoughtful of him! So needless to say, The Buckman Zoo has grown.


We went to the pet store today and picked up some information about bearded dragons. Bella read it aloud to us, and to Sir Francis Drake. He listened intently, although he looks fearful.



After we let him get a little comfortable in his new home, Brave Bella and I held him.


He has sharp finger nails. I may need to clip them or something... we didn't read about that in the pamphlet though... And also, he is a little spiky. I keep having flashbacks of another spiky pet...

ree ree ree


and I shutter...

We introduced him to Princess Cupcake. I think she said to him "Oh your poor unfortunate lizard! This is a crazy house!"

And then we watched him eat. So far today, he has eaten his mealworm/bug pellet mix, kale, strawberries, apple and broccoli. I think he was smiling while he ate, and is thankful he came to our house (which is flowing with fruits and vegetables).






And after he ate, he rested his big lizard belly in his hammock. Now that is my kind of lizard. I think I am beginning to like him.


The rest of our evening was filled with staring at the lizard and holding him.




Ok, now I'm really serious! NO MORE PETS!