Sunday, November 25, 2012

He's back...and the adventure begins

How I love to hear them giggle and Elfie surely makes them do just that. They love this little elf. He comes every year when we put the Christmas tree up.

We read the story on the first day and they get to play with him all day...

Our version of the story is a bit different because Jesus is in the midst of it and it all gets a little out there. This year Izzy explained to Mari that Santa is friends with Jesus and Jesus loves us so he has Santa bring us Elfie knows Jesus too and that made me giggle. I'm always a little torn about the traditions of Christmas. Not wanting to lose sight of what's important but still wanting my children to experience the Santa aspect of it. So we do our best to keep Jesus at the center even when it comes to Elfie. I know it's reaching a bit, but it's what we do.

Then after the first day they can't play with Elfie anymore because he'll lose his magical ability to fly back and forth to the North Pole at night. So the fun becomes...where in the house will he show up in the morning.

like on the back of our Peruvian Alpaca...
hanging on the home school chalkboard having drawn a self portrait during the night....
where will he be tomorrow?
praying that Mommy and Daddy don't forget : )

What this is really all about

Our Christmas tree is up....Chris Tomlin is on the Ipod singing Glory in the Highest....our stockings are hung with the latest stocking addition "Josiah". So sweet to see that. Last year at Christmas he was heavy on my mind.  I knew that the following year we'd celebrate Christmas together. His first one with his family. Seems hard to believe that we are here already. These are the moments that I want frozen in time...too soon they will be over.

Of course we have a little bit of China on our tree every year...they have become my favorites

My sweet boy taking it all in...not quite sure what to make of this Christmas tree and all of the decorations. 

The best part of this holiday season is celebrating the birth of our Savior and teaching our sweet boy what this is really all about....

always puts a smile on my face....

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving.... my new normal

So I know that it takes about six months for a "new" normal. Having adopted three times I know all about not expecting things to feel normal right away. I know it takes awhile. I know this and it makes sense to me.  Something that you do every single day takes a good six months for it to feel like it's normal. Ok, so what about a holiday? Thanksgiving for instance. You only do that once a year. How long does that take to feel normal?  I'm guessing a really long time : (

In so many ways Thanksgiving "felt" right. I mean better than felt overwhelmingly like what we were supposed to be doing on Thanksgiving.

We got up early and went to serve at the Dream Center....what a great blessing for us.  The Dream Center served over 3000 meals that day and we were able to help with a very small portion of that. Our kids went door to door, handed a meals to families and told them "God bless you"...that was way cool. It really impacted the girls.  They've both served in the soup kitchen at home, but never did they go door to door on Thanksgiving day. I loved seeing them serve the Lord....that did this Momma's heart good! Josiah had no idea what we were doing, but he had a good ole time saying "Happy Thanksgiving" to everyone. He invited himself in to a few homes and pitched a little fit when we made him leave, but other than he had a blast.

By 11:30 the smell of Thanksgiving dinner had gotten to all of us so instead of a picnic on the beach as planned we ended up at Cracker Barrel for dinner. Great idea !  It was delicious. The kids loved it. They even had Thanksgiving dinner..yum.

Then we were off to the house to get ready for the this time I've started thinking about home. Thinking about my family. Thinking about the foods that I would normally cook. The people that I would be spending the day with had I been family. Oh, I missed them and I'm really bummed by this point. Funny how you can go from awesome to blah in no time. I've never lived away from home. In forty-two years. I knew holidays would be hard. I've loved living in Charleston so far, but it's Thanksgiving and I felt like I should be at my Momma's table right now, not at Cracker Barrel. I know I'll be there at Christmas, but I wanted to be there now! Then God does what He always does...He gives me a little perspective which nudges my attitude and sooner or later my mood changes.  He reminded me that no amount of miles separate me from my family. So I called them which made me feel so much better. He also reminded me that this wasn't a bad Thanksgiving at all. It had been a great Thanksgiving so far. It was just different. I needed to trust Him in this and know that we were exactly where we were supposed to be on this day...this Thanksgiving Day. Well, by the time I had the ocean in my sight He reminded me yet again of all that I am thankful for....the beach being one of them.

And we relaxed and enjoyed His creation once again. The kids played and ate the desserts we made the day before. We collected shells and walked on the beach. It was a perfect fall beach day. I laughed out loud when it dawned on me that here I was with my toes in the sand at the end of November. Are you kidding me? It's almost winter and I'm at the beach : ) All I could say is thank You.  What a beautiful place to relax, watch my children play with my hand in my husband's hand and think about all that I'm thankful for.... God is good. He knows I miss my family, but I trust His perfect plan for my life. 

Psalm 18:30 As for God, His way is perfect.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Josiah and Lucy

Lucy is a pig that Rein & Shine rescued. They thought she wouldn't make it, but low and behold Lucy is a big ole girl and very healthy...and she smells like Maple syrup..strangely enough. Josiah is not quite sure what to make of Lucy. She's very friendly and the girls and I pet her, but he told his Daddy this week " Josiah no pet Lucy!".  He's keeping an eye on her though... : )

Maybe it's Lucy's pet Xiong Mao that he's interested in...hmmm

" A True Rider"

That's what one of the trainers said about Mari.  I was telling her that Mari had been sore from riding but she didn't know it was from riding and she was crying because she thought something was wrong with her.  So upon explaining to Mari that she was sore from horseback riding but that it will get less and less and that soon she wouldn't be sore at all...she looked at me and said "I'm sore from horseback riding?" and I said "Yes". She then got a big smile on her face and said "Yay! I'm sore from riding...but Mommy I always want to be sore from riding. I don't want it to get less and less". Her trainer started laughing and said " oh, yeah...she's a true rider alright...only a true rider is happy about being sore from riding" : )

She had a great time even though it was freezing out there....We are such wimps. We just can't handle the cold. I think we should live near the Equator!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Orphan Sunday was yesterday

To say my heart was heavy is an understatement. There are so many left that it can overwhelm me sometimes. There are so many waiting for families to call their own. We have so many friends in the process. We know so many that would love to adopt, but haven't yet taken that step of faith. Some of our friends are knee deep in that leap...bringing home two at a time. God has us all on different journeys. I know His plan is perfect but my heart aches for those still waiting and for the families waiting for them. He puts the lonely in families. He gives them hope. I know that He does. But goodness my heart hurts. Today all I can do is love my babies and know that God is almighty.  He is sovereign and He will see to it that all of them will know the love of the father one way or another. I have no idea what our future holds as far as more children goes. I just know that we will continue to serve Him by serving them.  I will love these babies that He has given me. It's an honor to be their Momma. And together as a family we will love the orphan.

Until there are no more.....