Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tricky, Wonderful, and Scary

Parenting can be tricky and wonderful and scary all at once.
Being an adoptive parent brings with it some different stuff.
Being the parent of an adopted child and a biological child makes this even more true.

We have been very out front and open with Christian about the fact that he's adopted.  We want him to know this is part of who he is; not something to be ashamed of, but proud of!  We have always let him drive the conversations about what this means for him, and that means never knowing when and how those conversations will come about.  
Last night at bedtime I kissed my boy and told him I'm glad I'm his mama.  He grinned all over himself and told me he was happy that God gave him to us so that we could all be a family together.  I don't remember quite how it transitioned, but he asked about "that lady we don't know that had me in her belly."  I told him her name and that she is his birth mother.  From previous conversations, he knows that she didn't take care of herself and couldn't take care of him but as he gets older this line of questioning gets a little more in depth.  I told him that he was taken from her when he was very small and that the lady he lived with until he came home to us took very good care of him.  We used terms like foster parent, the state, and DFCS.  This is new territory and my legs felt just a little bit shaky.  I want to do this the right way.  I want to be open and honest and share things with him when the time is right.  Last night he asked where she is now, and when I told him we didn't know he just said, "well... I hope she's ok."  {Insert overwhelmed Mama here.}  Not overwhelmed because he wants to know where he came from, but overwhelmed at the heart Jesus gave my little curly-haired boy.  
It's no coincidence that he's ours.  On days when I'm not sure how to do what I was put here to do, when my patience is thin and my voice is too loud, when I forget that sitting down to play pop beads or tea party is more important than the dishes being put away, I try to remember that I was made to be their Mama.  I try to fill myself up with the only thing that makes what spills out of me worth anything.  
Psalm 9:10 says, "And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you."  
That's me.  I'm seeking, and that means I won't be forsaken.  That's truth.  

When our conversation was over and Christian was in bed, Audrey looked up at me to ask, "who is my state mother?"  Oh my.  She took some bits and pieces that she heard and put it together to be a part of the conversation.  We won't exclude her from all this either.  It's part of all of us.
I know these conversations will keep happening for our family.  I know that sometimes they will be quick and easy, and I'm guessing that at some point they may be more difficult than we expect. We will just keep taking it day by day and be so completely thankful for all that we've been given.

Friday, November 1, 2013

First Day- November 2013

It's November!  Happy first day!!
Here's what ours looked like.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

First Day- September 2013

It's First Day!  Since it fell on the weekend, I really thought I'd get lots of pictures...turns out not so much.
Here's what some of what we were doing.
Check out Nicole's page to see some other First Day posts.

Sunday morning rehearsal
Watching the rain


Thursday, August 22, 2013

house rules

When I was a kid we never had a set of house rules, so it wasn't something I really thought about in terms of setting up a home with my own husband and children.  There were plenty of things I knew I didn't want; behaviors that I was certain I wouldn't tolerate from my children.  Some of those things have changed and others have stayed firmly in place.  As our kids get a little older, the way we communicate and discipline them evolves.  There are a lot more conversations happening now at our house about choices.  About how we all- young and old- are responsible for making choices all the time.  And those choices along with their effects say a lot about who we are.   What I've noticed in the last few months is that I keep using the same words when I'm discussing behavior issues with  my kids.  Somehow those same words being used over and over have evolved into their own set of house rules.

Be kind.
Be helpful.
Be obedient.
Be respectful.

The best way I know to get this inside the brains of my little people is to show them.  Lead by example. Our words and our actions define our character.  Just telling them isn't enough.  I want them to see me doing things like being kind to my neighbors or the cashier at the grocery store, being helpful to my sister or my friends, being obedient and respectful to my husband or any figure of authority.  I don't think it had really occurred to them that these were qualities that adults should possess too.  I talked to Christian one night last week about these "rules" and how this is the kind of person I want to be too.  Instead of just barking things like, "don't say that" or "seriously?" I'm trying to remember to ask if they think they're being kind when either of them says something they shouldn't.  Last night Christian was in the shower and should've long since been done.  When I went in to ask him what the hold up was, I asked if he was being obedient.  He said, "no ma' want me to show integrity?"  Yes!   Yes, I do.  Child-rearing is a tough job.  Even if you're those people whose kids don't misbehave (since apparently there are some of those out there), it's still important to be infusing these little people with the kind of character traits you want them to emulate and make their own.
I mess up and they will too, but we are life-long learners.
We're in this together.  We'll figure it out together.  

Dora matching cards with Daddy

Back to the sight word cards

When she saw this picture she couldn't figure out how I had gotten her face in that mirror. :)

Nightly reading for the reading log doesn't always fit well into our schedule, but I know what a difference it makes!

three projects

Since it's been raining about everyday for...I don't know, three years or some such, there have been some projects going on at our house.  Raining doesn't exactly make for great grass-cutting conditions, but it does free up time for home improvement projects.  Let's just do a glass-half-full approach, shall we?

Now while I would really like to do things like get new flooring in the kitchen and dining room or renovate our master bathroom, instead we're doing some more manageable projects.  Sometimes being responsible is not near as much fun as it should be!

The kids' bathroom (also known as the hall bath) needed some help.  

I had Chris repaint the cabinet, put up some beadboard, put in some shoe moulding, and hang a towel bar.
I painted.  
Let's not dwell on the difference in the work loads, mmm 'kay?

Anyway, it really punched it up in there.

There is this really long, drawn out story (that I'll condense here) about how we bought a washing machine less than two years ago.  It broke.  Our home warranty people were supposed to fix it.  That was in April.  It's still not fixed.  So we bought a new one.  If at some point before the end of time it does actually get fixed, then I suppose we'll sell it. 
The moral of the story is: don't buy a fancy washing machine because then no one will know how to repair it.
At any rate, now there are matching appliances in our laundry room. I figured if we were moving things around in there, I may as well do something hang wallpaper.  This was my first go at it and it was not my favorite thing.  I'm glad I only planned to do one wall.  I do like the outcome though!

I really wanted a place to display some Instagram pictures and saw something like what I wanted on Pinterest, I think.  I really wish I had the sticky note that I drew on to show Chris what I wanted, because he left and a couple hours later came back with just what I had drawn.  Again I say, having a handy husband is quite lovely.  Yesterday I sanded down the rough bits and we adhered the mini clothespins.  I love the idea of actually displaying my Instagram shots.  Being able to change them out quickly, easily,  and as often as I like is spectacular. 



Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Here's what's going on around here.
Currenty I'm...

...Longmire- and if you aren't watching this, you should be!  Since there's not a ton of stuff we watch that's new right now we're also enjoying Netflix.  For me, it's Brothers and Sisters, and together Chris and I are loving The West Wing.

Listening to
...The new Civil Wars album, Imagine Dragons, and my new favorite song from church is Furious by Jeremy Riddle.  Good stuff.

...the at&t commercials with the guy and the little kids...every one I've seen is hilarious!

Annoyed by
...the fact that I've gotten papers from both of my children's schools that had grammar and/or spelling mistakes.  This is a problem.  Just get someone to proof it.  Everyone makes mistakes, but it seems like maybe someone should be checking for these things at a school.

Thankful for
...a job that I enjoy and a family that makes coming home something to look forward to.

Happy Wednesday!  


Saturday, June 1, 2013

First Day- June 2013

Happy Summer!!
Here's what our first day of June looked like.
Check out the link to see some others.


Saturday, May 18, 2013


How my boy is already 6 I just don't know!  
This has been a big year for Christian.
He started kindergarten, lost his first tooth (plus three more), got saved and baptized, and has now arrived at 6 sporting his very own mohawk.  
It's been a good year for him!
We are thankful everyday for our babies, but today is one of those where we remember just what this little guy means to us.  He made us parents.  God grew him inside someone else and I believe wholeheartedly that while he was being put together in that womb, he was being shaped and molded to be ours.

June 2012- May 2013

Happy 6th birthday to our handsome boy!