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.