Showing posts from August, 2013

kid date nights

Our nest is growing and any moment now we will have five little people who call us Daddy and Mommy.  With the addition of each child, we have had to become more intentional in our parenting.  I have always enjoyed when I get some one on one time with my children.  There is something beautiful that happens when they are away from their siblings and your own heart can focus 100% on that child.

A few weeks ago Kevin and I revamped our budget, renewed the vision for our family, and made some goals for this next year.  One of the things put into place: kid dates.  This isn't a new idea to our family but now it is a nonnegotiable with priority on the calendar.  While Kevin and I would each love to take each one of our children out by themselves every week, the reality is budget and schedules just don't make that possible.  We are starting with a goal that is achievable even as our lives get busier with school starting.  

One date night with each child every other month.  So I wil…

our team anchor

When I was 18, a 19 year old young man walked into the room and I was captivated by his presence.  A friendship blossomed and grew and grew and grew...
I would catch a glimpse of him down a hall, across the room,  on the other side of a parking lot and an uncontrollable smile would break across my face.  
He would walk into a room and whatever was stressing my mind was suddenly gone.  A wave of peace ran throughout my entire being.  

When I was a girl I dreamed of being a mother.  I dreamed of being a mother to many children.  I dreamed of being a mother to many children who did not share the same smile or skin color or birth history.  I dreamed of their Father playing with them, reading to them, loving them.  I dreamed that he would be safe and would cause them to smile.  

I see it in the eyes of my daughters.  That same feeling in my own heart.  Safety. Love. Peace. Belonging.  

Not to say that it is always perfect, because it's not.  Not so say that we always get along, becaus…

the touch of the master's hand

We recently took a trip to Ohio to visit family.  My grandmother doesn't always know your name and gets confused easily about her current circumstances.  But her love for God and for people still is so strong.

My family frequently moved due to the military lifestyle.  And each time we moved, my sister and I would go to live with my grandparents for the summer.  It was my favorite place to be.  My grandmother had a way of making me feel important and loved.  I have learned as an adult that it wasn't special just for me... she had that effect on everyone.

During our visit, she asked Kody to sit on her lap.  He is way past the age of lap sitting but his tender heart understood the importance.  He sat with her for a long time making sure to put all his weight on his leg touching the floor so he wouldn't hurt her frail body.  A time or two he tried to stand up and my grandmother's grip tightened on him as she tried to make sure this "baby" on her lap did not fa…

praying for your public school

So many things to do to get our kids ready to go back to school.  The shopping list is long for school supplies and after a summer growing in the sun everyone needs bigger clothes and shoes.  We make sure they have finished their summer reading lists and still remember how to do math.  We try to squeeze in a few more summer fun memories.  In all the excitement of summer's end make sure to add "praying for our school"  to the list of daily things to do .... and then make it a habit throughout the year.

A friend sent this prayer guide to me last year.  It is awesome and I wish I knew where it originally came from so I could so thank you personally.... but thank you to whoever put this together for mom's like me.  Post it someplace you will see it everyday and be reminded to pray for your school.

Ten Prayers for Public Schools Ten Prayers for Public Schools Love. "Father, may the students and staff of this school experience Your love through the Christians they kn…

ready for kindergarten

Our summer has been packed full of beautiful moments and memories I will cherish for the rest of my life.  Not every day has been wonderful or easy, in fact some have been very difficult and painful, but all of it treasured.  When I look back over the past two months I see God moving and weaving His Story for our family.  Answering prayers.  Stretching our faith.  Teaching our hearts.  

I started the summer very apprehensive about Elie beginning Kindergarten this fall.  We have watched her grow over the summer and I am now confident that she will be just fine starting school in a few weeks.  She participated in a dance camp through her therapy office this summer.  She loved everything about it.  It was her first experience doing an extra activity just for her.. without her brothers and sister.

At the end of the week, the class put on a recital.  This smile on her face says it all....

Her next big adventure was Vacation Bible School.  I had signed Elie and her brothers up months ago…

freedom from the pit

He chooses to take me in.  
Sometimes I run to meet Him.  
Other times I come kicking.  
He is ready to handle it all.  
His love is not dependent on me loving Him back.  
He loves because He is Love.  

I believe He is my Father.  
I accept the invitation.
He gives me a new name, a new inheritance, a new family. 
His gifts are unending.
His plan for me perfect.

And yet I wonder about my life from before.
I hold onto some of the past because it is what I have always known.
It is familiar and in a strange way comfortable.
Something in me pulls me back to the ugly.
Pulls me away from the splendor of His lavish love.
Back to the dark pit.  

He tells me not to go.  
He provides a way out. 
But His love for me will not force me to choose Him. 

It makes no sense to choose the pit. 
I don't start out desiring the pit.
But I catch a glimpse of the glamour at the top of the hole.
I think I can just get close and then walk away again.  
I am drawn to a place I know I should not be. 
Once I take a step over the edge,…

treasures of motherhood

There are some moments in motherhood where the earth seems to stand still and the significance of the moment takes your breath away.  You know in your soul that you will never ever forget this space in time. 

Most of these moments pass without a photograph to remember them.  All that is left is the snapshot stored in your heart.

This day I actually had a camera in my hand.

Our family loves the beach.  It is our happy place.  This summer we spent a week in Duck, North Carolina.  It is a very rare occurrence for our crew to get away together, especially for an entire week.   We were all very excited. 

Like most of our weeks around here, it was filled with highs and lows and all the craziness of being a family with four small children.  But this moment here was one I will cherish in years to come.

My seven year old son spent about an hour running around the beach looking for just the right shells.  When he came upon one worthy of collecting he would run back to me and put it in my han…

a different perspective

Being a parent changes the way you see the world.  You begin to filter everything through the lens of your child's eye.  Every image, every word, every experience.

I grew up reading this book.  It was one in a regular rotation in my reading selection.  I even read the book to my boys when they were younger.  I never thought anything about this silly bird and his quest to find his mama.  All that changed the first time I read it to Faith.  The story line goes something like this.... Mama bird flies off and leaves baby bird all alone.  Baby bird is scared and cannot find his mama.  Baby bird searches and searches until he finds the mama that looks just like him.

The words stuck in my throat as I read her the story.  And then out of the house it went, never to be seen again.  It was not a story line that needed to be read and reread in our home.  There have been others that were sent to the recycling bin for similar reasons... along with movies as well.  Most of the Disney movies …

adopting "special needs" children

The first week we were home from China Elie found a toddler Dora puzzle.  She was fascinated by it.  She had absolutely no idea how to put together a puzzle or how to match pictures.  We spent hours, many of them in tears of frustration, as she tried to learn and as I wouldn't let her give up.  As the months rolled by the puzzle came together with ease.  And now, a year later, she tries to play blokus with her brother. Amazing!  

So many children wait for a forever family because they have been labeled "special needs".  Elie's own list was long.  In fact our social worker said that we see more specialists then any other child she is following.  But the reality for many of the children with a "SN" label is that they have already had their need fixed or could be easily treated with the love and dedication of a family.  International adoption has greatly changed over the past few years.  Most of the children available for adoption now have some type of specia…