Thursday, October 6, 2011

Has it really been over a month?

How in the world did this last month just fly by? Time is just going faster and faster. Once school started, we have been in the whirlwind of life. Every night is busy with some kind of practice or small group or activity and each week just disappears before I can get a blog post written and posted.

So...random update...the boys are doing soccer this fall. It is a huge highlight for our family and it is kind of sad to see the season almost over. Tyson has done really well playing on the next level up (playing with the 6-7yo). It has been a learning experience to say the least. Learning to play against stronger teams and kids that don't always "play nice". He is learning to find confidence even when his team doesn't win. He loves to play and we find so much joy in watching him on the field.

Tate...well...each week is hit or miss. Some weeks he wants to play and others he doesn't. I think it is just part of being 3. It is just about the cutest thing to watch him run and get a goal. He isn't as crazy about all the cheering and recognition.

Both girls are preparing for a karate tournament. They will participate in katas and sparring. They have now earned their blue belts and keep pressing ahead and still love this sport. It has now been over 18 months of karate and they love it more and more.

The girls are also both attending school 2 days a week. It was a little change from our original plan but Tristen decided she too wanted to give it a try. They are doing great and loving it. Wish we were just a little closer as the 45+ min drive isn't our favorite part.

The fall proves to be a hard season for Tyson and we are learning how to help him the best way that we can. I believe it is an anniversary of the relinquishment and there is still much to process in his feelings. He has come so far and is doing really well, but healing hurts for all those involved.

I was able to attend the Empowered to Connect Conference here this fall and it was fantastic. An event that ALL parents should be required to attend. I learned so much and I am praying that God will help me remember it when we are in the thick of the difficult times. Education is one of the MOST important things you can do as the adoptive parent. And this conference is well worth the time and energy it takes.

I sooooo wish I had the time and energy to keep the blog updated more. But for some reason, I am one busy mom. =) Until next time.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Ebbs and Flows

I've been reminded lately that there are ebbs and flows of life. Sometimes are good and others, well...not so good. And why is it that when life is all peaches and cream, we just aren't as quick to be on our knees before the Father seeking all of our strength from Him each day? Maybe that is why God brings us those difficult times, to remind us to be ever so close to Him and cling to the truths in His word.

I have desired to not paint an unrealistic picture of adoption but at the same time, not let this blog be a place to unload all my discouraged feelings. Ah...BALANCE. Where we should be. Somewhere in the middle, not swinging from extreme to extreme.

We have been focusing on one verse each week and writing it on our chalk board and memorizing it as a family. Hiding God's word in our hearts. Being purposeful in what we talk about at the table and encouraging our kids to live in a way that is against the grain.

I have also been praying a LOT about what to share when I lead a breakout session at Created for Care retreat in Jan. Spending a lot of time really seeking God's heart and pouring over the scriptures to know what He longs for us to know.

I kind of think these few steps toward a deeper walk with God has put our family back in the line of battle. Satan and his workers are working hard at discouragement and finding our weaknesses and bringing some hard times to our family (ah...hem...the Ebbs and Flows).

And in the struggles...I have had to live what I share with others. I have had to cling to the truths of God's word when all else seems loss. I have had to pray back through the names of God and remind myself all that I know about who God is and how He works. I have had to choose joy and count my blessings. I have had to be patient when the flesh inside of me wanted to lash out in frustration. I have had to rely on God for every ounce of strength when I felt entirely too weak.

As I have said many times's hard, but not impossible. Because with God...ALL things are possible.

Friday, August 12, 2011

So far, so good

We officially started school on Monday. And when I mean we started, I mean we stopped going to the pool and library every day and instead ventured up to the school room to do some book learning.

Tally had here orientation for NS yesterday and I think it will be a good place for her. Now how I will juggle the rest for the whole week, well...let's just wait and see.

One of the differences of last year and this year for school = TATE TALKS ALL THE TIME. Last year he was able to sit quietly and play while I read a history lesson, and well now...not so much. Seriously, this kid talks a LOT. He has much to say and is still processing all of his thoughts and observations orally.

One of the battles we will have for school this year is attitude. Tyce does not really enjoy working on phonics and he doesn't enjoy doing anything that doesn't come easy to him. So, phonics and reading will prove to be a flesh killer for him. He has struggled with having a "happy heart" each time we sit to do reading. =(

We have some of our books on back order so we are making due with what we have. I hope to get into full swing as soon as the rest of the books arrive. But something I have learned with 6+ years of HS under my belt...there is really no point in pushing your kids. They will learn what they learn in due time. God is in control and I need to make sure our day is full of exploring and adventure rather than workbooks.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Schoolin' the kids

Another school year is upon us and I have been praying and praying for God's wisdom and discernment of what to do for school this year. I have always approached our children's
education with the theory: EVALUATE EACH CHILD EVERY YEAR of what will work the best for them. We have spent months praying, talking, checking out different options, visiting schools...more praying.

Tyson is officially kindergarten age (although I did a lot of kindergarten with him last year). We have decided to keep him with me at home. It seems to be the best decision for bonding and connection. It will also give us the freedom to straddle 2 grades at once. We will finish up a few kindergarten things and also try to begin some 1st grade work too.

Tristen will also stay home with me for this school year. We had enrolled her in a 2 day a week tutorial, but decided (at the last moment) that for her health and spirit, it will be best to stay close to the nest for her 6th grade year. She will also get a chance to continue on in her art classes.

Tally is officially starting 7th grade and will attend a 2 day a week tutorial which will also dictate her course work for the 3 days at home. After much investigating, we felt that this was the best option for Tally. She is ready to spread her wings a bit and needs some academic challenges from someone else.

Tate...well...although he is old enough to attend a preschool, he is the mama's boy and does best by my side. He doesn't even attend his SS class on Sunday morning any longer, because mama doesn't stay with him and he likes to be with me. =) Maybe next year when he is 4.

As the big girls inch closer to the high school level, I have had to begin my research of what is needed for graduating. I just attended a seminar today about this very subject and came away both challenged and a bit frightened. Who knows...I just might be schooling at least one kiddo all the way. We will wait to see how God directs our family.

And the BIG tree is finally gone

Our beautiful big elm tree fell over in May. We woke up one day after a nasty night time storm and saw this amazing sight. I would have never guessed that tree would come down. Almost 100 feet tall and about 100 years old. Gone.

Shockingly, it did not hit any one's home. It did a bit of damage to the neighbor's fence and took over their back yard. All I could imagine was how much this was going to cost us. $$$$ I felt totally overwhelmed and couldn't imagine how to start to take care of it. But...I was reminded of God's faithful word and that He bares my burdens and His yoke is easy.

We put out word to a few friends and neighbors and we were once again, blessed with help (you see, this happened 2 years ago too). We worked all morning long from the smallest to the tallest, and got about half the tree completed.

It was so sweet to see the kids work together as teams to get all the little stuff picked up.

Our life group came and helped us out. We meet with some friends from church who are all adoptive families. Love these people.

Look at that crew. So many people to help. Amazingly blessed by their hard work.

We had several tractors and a 4 wheeler running the branches out to the curb. And several chain saws running. And this was only ONE Saturday, we also had another crew come and volunteer the next Saturday. Another neighbor and her crew from church came and helped. They brought the BIG guns though...big chain saws and a bobcat.

Today, we hired a tree guy to cut the stump off to the ground and level it. So far, that's all we had to pay for. The rest was from some fantastic volunteers. And, now with the big tree gone, the yard just doesn't look the same. Kind of naked feeling. So, we have planted a bunch more trees to take its place.

Friday, July 29, 2011

What a little soccer star

Last fall we signed Tyson up for soccer and got our first experience as a family cheering on one of our own in a team sport. It turned out to be pretty fun. could it not be fun once you discover your kid rocks it on the field. Man !!! This one has some talent.

He also played in the spring season and we found a great coach who can really lead him. What a great outlet for ALL that energy (yes...he
has a ton of energy).

In November when the seaso
n was over, we had a pretty big let down as a result. But we saw some improvements in the spring season and it didn't effect Tyson as much when it was over.We turned into THAT family that cheers wildly for each and every goal. For the season of 8 games, Tyson got 56 goals (yes you read that right). ***insert proud mom smile*** And when I say we cheer, I really mean we ring cow bells and whoop and holler.

Tate is signed up for the 3 year ol
d league that starts in the fall. And since it is getting embarrassing for Adu to be in the 4/5 yo group, we are moving him up to the next group. It should be another fun season.To be honest, we are really proud of how well Tyson does on the field, but honestly, its more than just the goals. He is fun to watch, he loves the sport, he is enthusiastic, outgoing, includes others, cheers on his teammates, is a leader, has learned to listen and follow instruction from the coach, has a great heart and care if someone gets hurt, and always says "good game".
Here is Tyson waiting for his coach to give him the "go ahead". He is held back behind the line when he is playing to let the other kids have a chance with the ball. Then once he gets the freedom, he shoots out onto the field and dominates. See that determination in his eyes?

Side note story: My neighbor was signing up her kids for the fall soccer season and she overheard some parents talking about a kid that was REALLY good and they wanted to be on the same team. Somehow she found out that they were talking about our boy. Now...that just makes me grin.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summer is flying by

Wow...for our official down time for summer, it is just flying by. I feel like we are trying to cram a years worth of work into 2 months. Since we school the kids here at home, I feel like summer is my only "days off" and I try to take advantage of it. I have spent many hours working on sorting and cleaning and organizing...not to mention, painting, building, reading, catching up with extra school work...and of course swimming, VBSing, camp for the big kids, nursing a sick dog back to health. We haven't even been able to get away on a vacation yet, but hope to squeeze in a few days before September.

I have been really challenged to purge the un-needed away from my life and get rid of things that are cluttering up my home and my brain. I have hauled van load after van load to the Goodwill and the trash. I spent about 2 days shredding old bills and paper documents that were not needed anymore and fill 8 hefty trash bags full of paper.

In between the work around here, I have been reading a few books that have had an impact on my life. You might be familiar with these 2 books.

Both have been very challenging and cause a lot of soul searching for me. Not to mention, I am finishing up reading through the Bible since about the middle of January (if you haven't read it through in one year, it is worth it). I am keeping a journal of things I am grateful for (all those gifts and blessings God gives every day) and I am also keeping a journal of truths about God. Things from the scriptures that I can cling to when my emotions might not be leading me to the truth. God is pruning. And I am grateful.

We have also been praying for months for God to really lead our family toward what He desires us to do. Making sure we are right in the midst of His will. There have been a lot of private discussions with Chuck and I about following God's lead and walking where He wants us to go. It has been hard, but good for us. God often allows us to grow the most when He brings us through difficult times.

Gotta run...more update to follow.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tate is 3 !!!

He is full of smiles. And turning into a happy little boy. Not much more of a baby, but growing up so quickly. Tate is one who brings joy to our family.

We had a nice little party with 3 of his friends and our family. He did so well and had NO shut down moments or difficulties, he even ate some food with his friends. Our sweet boy has come SO far. Love him to pieces.

Monday, June 20, 2011

easter (I know it was like 3 months ago)

A lot has happened here in our home in the last few months and as I said before, we are just getting around to catching our breath. So...with out further hesitation...EASTER 2011.

So...with that had been going on around here...I just hadn't gotten around to making sure we had Easter baskets and outfit to wear to church. So the night before Easter at about 9:30pm, I found myself at the local Target with all of the other desperate moms trying to pull it all together. I ended up finding something new for everyone to wear on Sunday morning (Tristen had reminded me that the girls wore the same outfits 2 years in a row).

New clothes around here are a big treat. We get a lot of hand me downs and something new with the tag from the store (not goodwill) is special. We are thankful for all those families that pass on their clothes to us.

Easter is the first holiday that the boys remember celebrating here in America. I remember trying to explain that we put plastic eggs in the yard and they have to hunt for them. Actually, once you explain most of the holidays, they sound really odd. I have a feeling Easter will always be a very special holiday for our family.

Easter was the ending of LENT. We spent the season of Lent sacrificing something very small as a reminder of all the Christ gave for us. We gave up meat as a family (harder than I thought it would be) and I also gave up facebook (actually pretty easy to give up).

trying to get back to blogging

I am trying to get back into the swing of blogging. I have been a very bad blogger lately and with all the kook that has happened to our family blog (peterspeapod), I have been discouraged and not very motivated. But as my kids are growing and this is one of the only ways I have of documenting mile stones and activities and such...I feel like I need to try it again.

So...I will most likely transition my family blog over here since this blog has less problems. I will also be blogging about more than just adoption on this blog since our life is not so ALL adoption consuming. So if I blog about homeschooling or organizing or gardening on this "adoption blog", don't be shocked. =)

We have had a BUSY BUSY BUSY few months around here and even with summer it just hasn't slowed down. We only have about 2 months of summer vacation here so I need to pack as much as I can into our down time.

To keep you up to date...we got a dog a few months ago and our Cooper has been a lot of fun for our family. He is a sweet thing and has recently gotten quite sick. He can hardly eat or drink and seems to be on his last little legs. Poor thing. After a hefty vet bill we brought him home on Saturday and were hopeful that he could bounce each day passes he seems to be worse. We are dreading the decisions that will come in the near future. Praying for our furry friend.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Finding Support

I have share many times how important it is to find a group of people to do life with, to support each other, to strengthen one another. A cord of three strands in not easily broken.

We have reached out to other adoptive families to offer and receive support and encouragement. These are families that understand the highs and lows. The struggles and the joys. I try gather this group together every month or so to fellowship and foster connections.

Our group is full of families that have children from all over the world. Ethiopia, Nepal, Korea, Haiti, Domestic, Russia...all precious in His sight.
We had a great time at a friend's family farm for a hay ride and egg hunt for Easter. The kids LOVED coloring the eggs. A highlight for them.

Precious families...all who have grown their family through adoption.

Friday, June 17, 2011

We are blessed with some amazing kids

God's mercy and grace has been showered upon us and we are blessed with amazing children. When I step back and view from a distance, it is evident of what sweet kiddos God has asked us to parent. Our lives are filled with lots of activities and school work and studying God's word together...and we just don't have lots of time to update the blog. But I did want to touch in and say we are still here and doing really well.

The girls are finishing up a great week at summer camp. Tally has done a mission week serving at a local ministry. Tristen and Tyson had a great week at VBS. Tate...well...he is by my side most of the day, but he has gone to his SS class by himself a few times. Tyson lost a tooth just yesterday and he is working on learning to read. We are working on finishing the basement and I am trying to clean and organize this week while I just have 2 kids at home with me. Our beautiful old Elm tree recently fell in a storm and we spent a few weeks cleaning it up. I stained the deck and have painted a few more rooms in the house. Chuck has been busy with a video shoot and seeking God's will for our family. All that to say...I am One Blessed Mama.

Monday, May 9, 2011

It MUST be going WELL...

...if I've stopped counting the months. That's each month passed, I was tuned into when we would come upon the 21st which is the date we got the boys. I felt like as each month passed, we were one month farther away from the "newness" of our family. And some how, I've stopped counting what month we are in. How long we have been home with the boys.

It truly...honestly...has gotten better...easier...has become more natural. It does just take some time to work out the dynamics, learn the personalities, adjust and blend. We have approached everything with such intention and God has rained down upon our family grace and mercy that has been needed to survive.

We are rounding the bend on 15 months home. It almost doesn't seem possible. There are days that have flown by and others that, well, to put it nicely have been slow and difficult. In the blink of an eye, we have watched our kids change and grow and mature. Both boys have grown so much. They look so much older and are losing the "little" boy look. The boys are growing so tall. Each one has grown about 6 inches in height and we have outgrown clothes that they barely wore.

I am amazed at who God is allowing our kids to become. Not just the boys, but the girls too have are such neat kids and it is a JOY to be with them each and every day. I see God drawing the kids to His own heart and placing a tenderness on each of them. Something we pray for each and every day. I praise God for His faithfulness. For His goodness. For His loving kindness. We are blessed. And He is GOOD.

Monday, April 4, 2011

photo shoot

Here is a sneak peak of our family photo shoot we had the other day. Our dear friend Stacee blessed us with taking some pictures of our family. We have been trying to get this set up for months now...and finally we were able to carve out time to find some coordinating clothes spend an afternoon together.

I am kind of glad it didn't happen any earlier, not sure Tate would have been as easy to work with. He even smiled for some pictures.

Check out her blog to see a few pictures.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I have always prayed that I would have a world view that follows God. And honestly, that was just ONE of the many reasons we pursued an international adoption. God loves His people...His children...His nations. We have been burdened and praying for JAPAN after the events of last weeks earthquake.

Please continue to pray for the people of JAPAN that their hearts will turn toward God during this season of stress and turmoil. My sister and her family are missionaries in JAPAN, and as difficult as it's been there recently, they are blessed knowing that so many people are praying for the people there. The people NEED Jesus.

Please watch and share.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Prayers needed

As most of the Ethiopian adoption community already knows, there are some major changes taking place for the future Ethiopian adoptions. I'm sure many of you have already signed this ePetition, but this is a plea for those who are not part of the adoptive community, we need your prayers and signature too.

Today is the first day of Lent, and we as a family take our season of preparation seriously. We spend focused time on God and His word and seek Him to prepare our hearts for both Christmas and Resurrection Sunday. I will be spending time praying for the Ethiopian children, adoptive families in the pipe lines, orphanage workers, and government officials. A common part of Lent is to think about those "less fortunate". And all I can think about are those families and children who are so poverty stricken in Ethiopia.

Our boys knew that deep poverty well. They knew a hunger that no one should know. They knew a loneliness and hurt and rejection that ONLY CHRIST can heal. As grateful as I am that our boys are home, my heart is grieving the situation in the Ethiopian adoption process. Heavy hearted today, I ask you to join me in prayer. Please click on the link and sign the petition. Please seek God on behalf of the children this new policy will effect.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

meeting up with friends

Last summer we had the chance to meet a LOT of AGCI families at the family picnic. It was such a blessing to meet these blessed families face to face. My Tissy found a friend that day and it has blossomed into a pen pal/long distance friend. And from that I have had the chance to meet up with Andrea B a few times and let me just say, what a precious heart she has for God and His children. I am inspired by her love for the Lord and every time we chat or see each other, I am amazed by her deep relationship with God.

Last Friday, we met at our local airport for another WELCOME home party for another adoptive family. These parties NEVER get old. We were welcoming home Sara and her sweet tiny baby boy. After we ohhed and ahhed over the tiny new born cry, we headed off to have dinner, just us girls. It was such a fun time and we really don't get the chance to visit with friends like this OR go out to eat.

An unexpected blessing of our adoption has been the wonderful friendships we have made with SO many AMAZING families. I absolutely love emailing, or texting or calling back and forth with these precious friends. I just wish they all lived close by so we could visit more often.

We have also had the chance to become good friends with another adoptive family that lives here in our town. Our kids have a great time together and this dear family is waiting on a little girl from Ethiopia.Sad to say, these are all pics from my cell phone. I just am so lazy with down loading my photos. I need to work on that. Sounds like another goal for myself. =)

Blessed...blessed to know these families.