Sunday, November 25, 2012

Random Thoughts to try and Catch Up

Life is truly full of interesting twists and turns! Of all the things I have written about here, longings and dreams and prayers of my heart, one thing I never wrote about was Homeschooling, because I never thought it would be a possibility for me.

Now, here we are, THREE MONTHS into our homeschool journey! And BOY! Have I learned a lot! And I still have SO MUCH to learn!

I look forward to catching up on my blog posts several drafts I jotted down but never fully finished, and well as writing some new ones to fill in the gaps. I can't wait to share with you how this journey began for us, how it is working in our home with my two jobs and 4 kids (LOL!!!) It is crazy to say the least. But it is also. Amazing!! 

I will share with you our curriculum meltdowns and thrills, as well as our favorite resources and our day to day schedule. All this I'm still learning about but eager to share because I have learned so much by reading ideas from others! 

There is so much catching up to do... posts about the kids, photography, our adoption plans, and now homeschool! So please stay tuned! And ask any questions you may have! I'd love to help you along your journey as well :)  

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Little Photobook Update

So, I've gotten behind on my blogging again, but only because we have been super busy!! Lot's of exciting changes to update you on! Can't wait to catch you up on all the details, but for now, hope you enjoy this little photobook update...

Create your own custom photo books at

Just made this book as a thank you for a sweet family friend who helped us so very much when I was pregnant with Baby S and since then as well. All she asked for in return was "a few pictures"! So when I got an offer from Shutterfly for a free 8x8 photobook, I knew I had to make it for her! 

Have fun looking through it, and look for posts to come for details on all we've been up to!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Heaven is Like A 4 Year Old's World

This is life from my 4yo's perspective:

  • Dancing makes everything better. Or perfect. Yea, dancing makes everything perfect.

  • Making friends is easy. Everyone is a best friend in waiting!

  • Love is it. "I love love!" 

When I get so tired I want to quit everything, I look at her and remember it doesn't have to be so difficult. We are already so blessed, why not just enjoy the moment. This one, right here. 

Sometimes I think abut heaven and can't wait to get there. This life is hard. As soon as one problem gets fixed, another crops up. Heaven will be so glorious. Just dancing, worshipping our Father, experiencing His love like never before. Sharing it with friends no longer bogged down by the pressure of comparisons, focused only on Him. 

Then I remember, He has us here now for a purpose. And He gave me a little girl to remind me He's given me a little piece of heaven right now.

Thank you Father!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

That "Feeling"

One thing I always doubt when I don't feel it is how do I hear God? But then, when I get "That Feeling", that Tug regarding an idea (often a CRAZY idea!) that I just can't shake or ignore, I know THAT'S God talking to me!

Lately, it's about children. Orphans and Foster kids specifically. I can't get them out of my head. I can't get them out of my heart. We have been in our new house 2 weeks, and this place feels like the tip of the iceburg, like something HUGE is headed our way. Something HUGE, and possibly SCARY, but also very WONDERFUL.

Just "by chance" (or is it?) I have recently run into several blogs and blog posts about Foster children. One post in particular was titled "What if we'd said no?" It hit me like a ton of bricks, and I felt like she had written it just for me.

We have always felt the tug to adopt. Before we had kids, I think even while we were dating, we knew we'd adopt some day. When the adoption of my cousins in Colombia came up, we thought that was why, but then it fell apart after a year and a half. And we were broken hearted and confused. Then we lost our "Adoption home" and moved into a tiny ranch and were really confused.

But now, we are in another perfect "adoption  home", with plenty of space for as many kids as God is willing to give us. And we felt like, when the time is right, we'll do it. He'll provide everything we need.

But lately, I am getting "that feeling" like That Time is Now, not years from now. And it is scary. So many questions...

  • I already struggle to mother 4 kids with 2 jobs, how could I handle any more? Especially if they are hurting?
  • We can barely make ends meet with what we have, how would we afford it?
  • We just moved in! We aren't even unpacked! Would we even pass a Home Study?
  • I still have soooo much to learn about cooking and organizing. My current kids just go with the flow, but how can I expect new kids to deal with this craziness? No, we'd never pass a Home Study!

But then this question....
What am I missing by saying no, not right now?

Oh goodness, Father, where are you taking us? I'm excited and scared.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A New Season Begins

One of my (many!) favorite verses in the Bible is

"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the sun." 
     Ecc 3:1 

It goes on to explain how in life, we go through all kinds of season... a time to cry & a time to laugh, a time to mourn & a time to dance, a time to be silent & a time to speak, even a time to love & a time to hate. This verse helps me keep life in perspective, I have learned to cherish and savor the wonderful times, and just grin and bear it through the hard time because it is just that... a hard time, a season that will soon pass.

I am so excited to realize our family has just entered a new season in life. In the past 2 years, we have survived really tough season - loss of our family business (Real Estate), a failed adoption (Both stories are sprinkled throughout several posts), miscarriage, passing of my sweet mother-in-paw due to breast cancer, passing of my precious grandmother due to Alzheimer's in November (this hurt so much I haven't even written a post about it. I am still walking through the grieving process, and will write about it soon). But it is clear God brought us through stronger than ever and has now brought us into an exciting, new season.

First, He brought us to an amazing new church... a small church called Mt. Calvary Baptist Church with the most amazing pastor, staff and church family! We still love BHBC and they will always hold a special place in our hearts as church that we grew up in. But Mt. Calvary has some exciting new programs challenging each of us in our little family! The kids are loving the Awana's program! Then the adult Sunday School classes were challenged to each create a community project to begin, fund & implement. Our Pastor's style is so refreshing, so enlightening, and so challenging. We learn something from him EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. (And he teaches us 3x a week! He is our Sunday School teacher, and leads a Bible Study for the adults during the kids' Awana's time on Wed!) And his wife is just as incredible, her passion for children is obvious and they learn so much from her, too!

Then, in 2 weeks we will move into a home of our own. We've been renting for a year and a half after losing our home to due the loss of our Real Estate business. We thought that house was our "forever" house, big enough to house all the children we felt God was going to bless us with through natural and adoptive means. When we lost it and moved into a small 3BR ranch, we were confused, wondering why God would have blessed us with 3 wonderful children, and placed the desire to adopt more when we wouldn't have the room for them.

18 Months later.... we now have the most amazing house! It has 5 bedrooms, 3 bonus rooms and a full basement! (It's weird, though, bc it doesn't look huge from the outside.) It also  has an amazing yard and is located on the cul-de-sac!  It is a perfect home for kids, and since we now have 4 tummy children, it fits us perfectly! Baby Sunshine will have his own room!

Yet, it doesn't feel complete!

That makes us both excited and nervous about the road ahead. We've always know we were going to adopt, and we thought Brayan and Yorely were it! As broken hearted as we are about that not working out, we remain in contact with them and are proud of the new & improved choices they are making. (Update soon!) We have no idea where God will take us, but we know He has had a plan, (always has!) and we feel like we are entering a new, happy season. Some new ideas He is placing in our hearts:

  • Fostering to adopt??  - this is both scary and wonderful! Can't wait to share more about this!
  • Becoming a Stay at Home Mom - you know I deal with so much guilt about having to work. It has been particularly hard since Mr. Sunshine was born. Mothering 4 kids and working 2 jobs has been harder than ever. But lately, we are both feeling it might be time to find a way for me to stay home? We have no idea how, but we know God can work anything out. It's not just about my guilt, it's about the kids' needs, they need more time than we have with both of us working. And adding more through fostering/adoption would only increase this need.
  • Chris changing jobs - teaching has become increasingly more stressful, demanding and much less enjoyable. And the pay does not meet our needs, thus why I have to work full time. They are taking away the teachers' power to discipline in the classroom, creating more and more chaos and cutting their pay. He works more and gets paid less, he can't teach the students the way they need because they are always changing and implementing "new strategies". Something has to change. He is miserable.

It's so hard not knowing what is coming next, but know He is in control is exhilarating!

We can't wait!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Finding a Way to Slow Time Down

Wow. Time goes so fast. Each year it seems to go by faster. My boss tells me quite often that life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer you get to the end, the faster it unrolls. I didn't understand what he meant, but now I do. I think he likes to make fun of me for getting older. His wife was my Sunday School teacher, so I've know them since I was 15. I guess now that I'm 31 I'm not so young anymore. LOL. But he's older too ;)  However, yes, now I get the toilet paper analogy.

This past year has gone by especially fast. (I can't believe I haven't written a post since July! It does NOT seem that long ago!) But a year ago today, my sweet mother-in-law passed away. It's hard to believe we were walking through her last week with us a year ago already. It's hard to believe we have lived through a year's worth of life without her already. And my precious Grandmother, who I'm named after, passed away in November. We know Where they both are, and that we will see them again. But it still hurts. Especially realizing how fast time goes.

So this made me start thinking, there HAS to be a way to slow down life. To enjoy it more purposefully. To savor our short time together. We started brainstorming ideas, ways to ensure more time together. We don't have it figured out yet, but at least we are aware of the problem and on the hunt for a solution. I think this is the first step. Otherwise we go through life missing it, and turn around one day and it's done. No way. No more.

One thing we started doing is birthday-dates. Each month we strive to take each our kids out one-on-one for a Mommy or Daddy date for some quality alone time on the day of the month of their birthday. (Luckily, they each have a different day!) They have truly grown to love this time, and look forward to it every month. In fact, today, R was asking when his date night would be, knowing it is coming up :) LOVE IT!   I about cried when his Awana teacher told me last week that he said his favorite part of Christmas was spending all that time with his family. What a blessing to my mommy-heart! This spoke VOLUMES to me that TIME is really the thing my kids want most from me. I hope and pray to give them more of it in the months and year to come. That said, the blog might suffer because of it, but so be it. At least now you'll know why ;)