Saturday, June 30, 2012

why i love summer

i miss writing those grade school essays every september. you know the theme assignment of what you did over summer vacation...


I LOVED THEM!


reliving the still fresh memories through reading it out loud in front of the class. happy sigh. i disliked most other writing assignments. reading/writing was my weakest subject back then.


today i was flipping through my pictures when it dawned on me...last year at this time i was totally immersed in our adoption  paperchase. there were days that i worked on paperwork and forms for 8-10-11 hours at a  time. i didn't have much of a summer. the poor kids spent their dog days reading Star Wars comics in daddy's man cave. everything we did do, i couldn't help but think of how different next summer would look. even though i tried to enjoy my present family, i  felt like nothing could be whole...something was missing...it just wouldn't feel right until our girls were home.


i started the paperwork in mid may and we logged in our dossier on august 30. summer was over. sacrificed for the promise of something better.  i will forever remember that time as the "summer of the paperwork."


flash forward to present day. oh! we are restored! whole! and made NEW! we are living our lives, enjoying our summer, with joyous gusto.


technically it is one week into summer, but we have already played mini golf, tie-dyed shirts, had a few pony rides, eaten our weight in ice cream and popsicles, been swimming in pools, ponds, and lakes, had playdates, seen a movie, thrown big parties, harvested and ate veggies that we helped grow, and enjoyed an amusement park. and the best part is...we're together(well that-and the fact that most of it has been free or cheap).


THANK YOU JEHOVAH JIREH FOR YOUR PERFECT WAYS. FROM OUT OF THE EXILE YOU HAVE RESTORED MY FAMILY. YOU HAVE BLESSED US MORE THAN WE COULD HAVE DREAMED. WE THANK YOU FOR EACH JOY, EACH GROWING EXPERIENCE, EACH SINFUL ACT YOU FORGIVE US OF. ALL HONOR, GLORY AND POWER IS YOURS. SEE HOW YOUR GOOD GIFTS ARE APPRECIATED...

tie dying shirts 
playing at the lake beach 
boating(or maybe hunting something-check out the net) in our backyard 
my favorite 6 year olds fishing in our backyard 
swimming in cow-y water...ew, but kids don't care
first drive in movie... 
can't beat $18 carload night at the drive in... 
or ice cream and a new disney movie!


maybe i will have my children write essays for homeschool writing next fall. i bet  know it won't be as exciting to them as it was to me. but, my hope is that they always remember childhood summer as times of fun and fellowship. too soon do the days slip by and we find ourselves grown up and slaves to responsibility. free advice alert!!! if you are feeling weighed down and jaded by being an adult-try adoption-it will keep you young and full of wonder. just ignore the added greys and pop-up chest pains. it is so worth it.


i am positively giddy with the knowing that we still have 10 more weeks of summer. more memories will be made. more good times to praise God for. and also the season where band-aids and boxed hair color are buy one-get one free.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

the birthday week

it took me almost a full week to recover from all the fun had by all during birthday week, but it was so worth it. if you aren't familiar with birthday week, it is a full week of celebrating the birthday person with fun and special moments and activities. here is the link to A's birthday week this year-

http://www.provided4.blogspot.com/2012/02/happy-birthday.html


saturday: we started with...
video


it was a special Freebie Day at many State Parks and a variety of other attractions. we were blessed to have wandered Dinosaur State Park's museum and hiking trails with two dear families. one family being longtime friends and Godparents to our youngest and the other is a fellow homeschool family we met while farming.


R bought all the children souvenir pennies while D helped the children figure out this oddity.
B thought flattened pennies were "cool"

 A was amazed at seeing real fossils
E liked taking pictures of everything including the resident snake and skink
 S liked making foam craft bookmarks

 then some hiking

 and frog spotting

we celebrated E and B's birthdays with a picnic lunch and cupcakes D made







sunday: after church, we had F-n-T over for lunch and went hiking at another state park...


daddy and his girls
F and S
i'm having a turn carrying tired dog


good thing their dog, Nutmeg, got tired and had to head back to the car... that big lunch we had was not conducive to enjoying a rigorous walk. we were happy to rest and chat while waiting for the sweaty-bug-eaten family to return.


after hiking we enjoyed a monster campfire in our backyard and s'mores. blackened- just the way everyone but me likes them.


monday: our big day. homeschool day at a local amusement park. S had to work, so we picked him up on our way to the park and dropped him back off 6 hours later-let's just call it a "long lunch!" speaking of lunch... the park admission price included all you could eat burgers, hotdogs, fries and drinks. woohoo. i admit i indulged in two big cheeseburgers. it is birthday week after all.

birthday girls
B wasn't loving this one. E and A loved it though.
the carousel is more B's speed
 S and daddy leaving the station smiling...
 after this...S came back to the station sobbing. no more coasters for her!
 E and A rode with their friends Megan and Michael at least a dozen times

S sobbed on at least half the rides. it was agonizing to hear her crying and not be able to help her until the rides were over. she kept saying she wanted to ride that one and then freaking out as soon as the ride was in motion. finally i told her she couldn't go on certain rides thinking she wouldn't like anything that might make the rest of us scream just a little. but she liked the bumper cars, swings, slides, tea cups, train, and carousel. 



tuesday: after having several cavities filled for B and S at the dentist, we headed over to their paternal grandparents for a pizza party and sugar i mean cake.



wednesday: E's actual birthday.

thursday: B's actual birthday.

friday: i took the children to our local beach for the first time. we often wonder if this or that is our adopted children's first time experiencing it. sometimes we just know it is. a beach outing was not, but roller coasters were!




saturday: we were blessed to be invited to my father's company picnic. it was truly one of the most fun days i have ever had. there was so much to do...swimming, ping pong, shuffle board, pie eating contests, egg tossing contests, pony rides, dunk tank, climbing wall, bounce house, mini golf, crafts, dance and hula hoop contests, and even more -all included in the admission price. also there was all-you-can-eat food, drinks, snacks, cotton candy, ice cream, and desserts. it was awesome. it reminded me of the Haley Mills movie Pollyanna, when she is at the town fair and eating everything and trying out everything, with childlike awe. S and B had so many firsts. first pony rides, mini-golf, and cotton candy. S took a bite of my mother's cotton candy and exclaimed, "no! ew!" taking another bite, "no! ew!" and another, "no! ew!" she ate the entire thing looking completely pained. then proceeded to have another stick of candy still saying, "no!" after each bite. i am not sure if she ever figured out if she truly liked it or not. it was really funny.



 Grandma Beany and S

 Grandpa Joe and B
 check out the "kung fu" grip. not that it helped her aim at all. it was more chase the ball than ping pong.
 S's first pony ride
 B's first pony ride
 E's one millionth pony ride...i may be exaggerating a tiny bit.
 A
 first mini golf. E beat us all!
 E and A try the wall. A must have tried to conquer this new challenge a dozen times.
 A finally gets to the top. good job determined girl!
 round two of cotton candy
 E and A enjoy the pool
 Grandma Beany teaching B to swim. S liked playing with mommy in the pool.

the entire week was blessed. we made many memories. i took several moments to do a reality check. what if we didn't say yes to adoption? what would have become of these girls? would i have ever had felt this much love in my life? this much presence of God? would they? would they ever have gotten introduced to the One who gives us all things?  i hope the children look back on this transition as being full of firsts, fun, and faith.

don't get me wrong...we have had equal share of grieving and growing pains. adoption is full of tough stuff for everyone involved, but the tough stuff doesn't have much power when pitted against multitudes of smiles.

THANK YOU FOR ALL THINGS HEAVENLY FATHER. WE ARE TRULY GRATEFUL.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Happy 11th B!

we had another birthday to celebrate today. B turned 11. it is official...we now have daughters that are
10
11
12
13
years old. well, until october when S turns 14. yup it is crazy around here. AND loud!


B's cake turned out better than E's. guess ice cream is not my medium. E sculpted the bamboo from fondant.

we started the day by having fresh baked orange cinnamon rolls for breakfast. then it was off to homeschool group. after, the homeschool families went to a local park for lunch and cake. it was fun and B loved it...positively beamed all day.

B got a remote control car from us...


a homemade necklace and bracelets from our good friends...she kept saying, "i love this one" about her new jewels...

 and she received her first legos and a toy helicopter from her grandparents.
it was B's choice for dinner so we celebrated at a local pizza house with friends and her grandparents. it was a nice day, but boy is this mommy tired after tandem birthdays. at least i can rest for four months before the next one. 

these shirts from grandma beany say it all!!

THANK YOU LORD FOR BRINGING OUR SWEET GIRL INTO OUR FAMILY. WE MISSED HER FIRST TEN BIRTHDAYS, BUT PRAY THAT YOU WILL PROVIDE US WITH TIME TOGETHER TO CELEBRATE DOZENS MORE. WE THANK YOU FOR THE GIFT OF SALVATION, LOVE, AND FAMILY. THIS IS OUR BEST YEAR YET! WE TRULY APPRECIATE ALL YOU HAVE GIVEN US. HELP US TO LIVE LIVES DEDICATED TO YOU...FOR WE OWE YOU EVERYTHING. AMEN.