Friday, August 26, 2011

Kindergarten Rocks

When your babies are babies, kindergarten seems so far away. When you are dealing with two 3 year olds and ready to pull your hair out, kindergarten seems TO far away. 
Breakfast Celebration before School! Decor by Makenna & Sawyer. Omelet by Daddy!
And then, suddenly, it comes.
K is for Kindergarten!
No matter how ready they are, and on some days how ready I am, how can one EVER really be ready? 
So excited!
It is one thing when it is child #2 or even #3.  But the BABIES of the family? 
As many of you know, we sent our older 3 to Victory Christian for kindergarten. (some beyond) And now we homeschool them.   I am a huge fan of school kindergarten for many reasons. 
We knew that we would probably not be able to afford Victory for the girls. We also realized that Mavery was going to need a bit more than they could offer, even if we could afford it.  Along with the fact their preschool teacher strongly suggested the girls being in their own classes. Things we could only get at our local public school.
A school we pay a whole bunch in taxes for that we have not used.
So with much prayer we signed them up. 
I worried. They tested Mavery and questioned if she was ready. At almost 6 years old I felt I could not really hold her back.
I worried because, well, there are things I prefer about homeschool.  No matter what others say.
I have to throw this in.  I find it humorous how many opinions there are on schooling.  How many have applauded me for sending them to public school INSTEAD of homeschool.  As if I finally did something right.  ;-)  Though my homeschool mommy friends?  Have all been very supportive of my decision. Well to my face anways.  ;-)
I have always tried to maintain my stand on school.  I am not a homeschool snob who snubs their nose at those who do public school swearing you would die before you send your innocent children to school.  (you people are annoying!) And I am not a public school snob who snubs their nose at those who homeschool with the always ALWAYS quick comment of “I could NEVER homeschool”.  (you people are REALLY annoying) Because yes you COULD, if God called you to it!
I am simply a mom of many children with a whole variety of needs.  Yes, God has called our family to homeschool our 3  older children.  And for now, He has also opened up a door for our girls to go to a school that can meet their needs.  What will we do next year?? I have NO CLUE! We just take it day by day, prayer by prayer around here.
Ok, where was I?  Oh yeah, sending off my babies.  Being worried.
First day came, and I actually did ok.  It was only 3 hours the first day and they both went in so easily.  Everyone was so sweet and friendly.  No big deal, I walked them to their desk, helped them unpack their backpacks. Mark was there.
Then day 2. A full day. I could only walk them to their door per the school. They looked so little walking in that room, I walked away and burst into tears.
Some say sending your kids to school is natural.  It is just part of their growing up.  Really?? Because there is NOTHING that feels natural to me about sending my 5 years olds off for someone else to raise ALL DAY EVERY DAY. 
Don’t get me wrong.  There are some REALLY great things about them going.  We have not started homeschooling, so I have been able to do things like deep clean my house, organize, have fun with the big kids doing big kid things.  It is QUIET. It is EASIER. 
And, they love school so far. They are learning, they are happy. Mavery is doing SO well.  A routine agrees with her.   They are thrilled to see each other at the end of the day.
But I do miss them.  And I am jealous that I miss the best parts of their day.  I envy their teachers for what they are experiencing that I am not a part of.   They are MINE and yet I get less time with them than the government, I mean school.
We asked Sage what her favorite thing about school is. She chimed in with the bus, which they ride home.  I asked, the bus, that is the best part?  Her reply? I like the bus, it brings me home to you.
And that is my favorite part too.


 You might have read my posts about a precious little blossom I fell in love with while at Chenzhou this summer. If not, feel free to hear my heart here and here.
I knew that to adopt her would take a miracle.
I also KNOW the God of miracles and believe in His plans.
So, I felt pretty secure in trusting that if she was meant to be mine, she would be.
Through some conversations with Chenzhou, it led to some conversations with my husband. Who is convinced we are done.
Funny guy he is. I should remind you he was done 3 kids ago.
BUT, because he loves God more than his own agenda, he agreed to tell Chenzhou we would bring her home if we could.
I love him.
We passed this on to Chenzhou.  And in return found out that Rosebud is going to be adopted domestically.  
Mixed emotions.
One on hand, I am thrilled! She did not even have paperwork started.  So to know she will have a family, it is what each child deserves!
BUT… She will remain in China.  Forever.  Does  her family to be know God? Do they have a relationship with him?  Will SHE know Him?
It confirmed to me WHY I am going. Why God has planted deep in my heart a love for this country. What my job is.  And why I will return.
Chenzhou was so sweet when they told me the news. They felt bad! I assured them that I was thrilled for Rosebud to have a family, that is my prayer for each child.
What about us? Are we looking?  Mark said he feels like this part of our marriage is ground-hog day. Every so many months we have the same exact same discussion.   I am still not sure what the answer is. Honestly. I am open to another, BUT I also know I am being called to care for the orphans in more ways than adoption. So, for now, we just wait.
And for those of you who think we have enough? I am glad you have an opinion. That is great! However, I do not care. 
Because until there are no more orphans, I will continue to be open to Gods plan.Whatever that might be.



If you know me even a little bit, you know that I have a bit of a problem with my brain.


It is full of ideas. I think about things, wonder, plan, dream. ALL the time.

I came across this sight called pinterest on a blog one day and knew I had to join. Especially when it said by invitation only. It MUST be good if you have to get invited!

Took me awhile to find someone to invite me. Once you join you only get a handful of invites to send out. 

In no time at all I was hooked. Let me try to explain it. You have pinboards, as many as you would like. Think of it as a virtual bulletin board. Or even a bookmark on your computer. You see an idea you like, instead of book marking it, you pin it on your board.  You can categorize things as much as you want. Which is my favorite part. I have tons of boards for holidays, kids, organization, school, recipes, favorite quotes, you name it.

It is a nice mindless activity.  Nothing stressful about browsing other people’s boards and seeing their creative ideas then pinning it onto your own board for future use. 

So while it does not help my never quiet brain, it DOES help me categorize all the ideas I have, or helps me come up with ways to implement them.

Sometimes I need to stop thinking of orphans and think of nothing.  ;-)

If YOU would like an invitation, just email me. I am happy to get you addicted too!

Vacation 2011

I will admit, I was not excited about vacation this year.  I like vacation.  I enjoy getting away with my family.  In the last few years we have enjoyed the beach, Disney World, Amish Country & Hershey World.  
One lane bridge we crossed on our way to the mine. We had an adventure!

Part of going to China this year meant we would have to forfeit an expensive vacation.  We are very blessed that my parents own a condo down on a lake a few hours away, which means we always have a free get away when needed.  That was our vacation plan.
Fitz Restaurant in KC

Kids love the train bringing our food.

But after China as the time drew near to leave, and I heard everyone else talking about their vacation plans, going to the lake did not sound so exciting.  We ALWAYS go to the lake. What fun is there in that?

Mark won out though and to the lake we went.  And you know what? It was FUN! It was relaxing. It was just what we needed this year. We did take a few days in Kansas City, just a short drive from the lake.

And it convinced me, it does not take tons of money to make memories with my children. Sometimes just getting away, together, is exactly what we need.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Time flies...

Time flies when you are having fun! Actually it flies even when you are not having fun doesn't it? Posts to come...

  1. Vacation Bible School, Rockin it Old School, 80s style!
  2. Our Family Vacation
  3. Goodbye Summer!
  4. Hello Kindergarten, and our adjustment as our baby birds fly the nest. 
  5. My newest addiction. 
  6. Homeschool coming soon.
  7. Updates on Chenzhou Air
  8. Updates on my Sweet Rosebud
  9. Organizing and Cleaning out
  10. Welcoming a sweet friend from China to stay!
And more, hopefully soon. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Cooling off Chenzhou- Part 2

I posted about Chenzhou needing an air conditoner and in less than 24 hours, the money was there.

In Awe.



More than half the money came from a 13 year old girl who had been fundraising and was trying to decide what to do with her money. Honestly, how many 13 year old's DO THAT??


Here is the thing. When I prayed about raising the funds, I asked God to send it by Monday. So we could get the money there as quickly as possible. 

Not only did He bring it by Monday He brought it RIGHT THEN!


A family is in China now. Adopting one of the sweet 4 year old girls. She was able to visit rooms I did not see and saw the need for air in 3 different rooms.  She confirmed THEY.NEED.THIS.

So after some prayer I felt why just ONE unit when they need 3? 

I already had families wanting to help, so here we go. 

My goal is to send THREE air conditioners.

I need to raise $1000 more to cover the extra 2. 

Same concept as before, send in $25, your photo goes on a heart to be placed around the unit!
(my brother returns to China in just a few weeks and will be mailing these when he is back)

Let's bless these babies!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cooling off Chenzhou!

This week I received a new photo from Chenzhou of the babies in bumbos.  As I quickly scanned the photo, drinking in each precious face, my eyes stopped on one of our little boys. Hiding in the back.  His head covered in a bandage.

I quickly emailed back asking what was wrong. Funny, these children, it is like they are MINE. Each of us from Team Chenzhou feel the same. These are not just babies in photos, they are our babies.  We have nicknames for them, we laugh over memories, or cry.  So a photo of Big Al with his head bandaged had us all on alert.

They answered quickly saying that he has a boil on his head and the heat aggravates it. They then asked if we could help them get an air conditioner for the hospital room, which I am assuming, is where the babies go when they have things such as a boil on their head.

At first I was a bit nervous. It is one thing to raise money for bumbos, knowing there is not necessarily a set amount. I raise what I can, I send what I can. . But an air conditioner, it has a price tag. If I say I will give it, but then can’t raise it, well, I will be letting down not only the staff, but all of my babies who are sitting there HOT. Especially the sick ones.

After some time in prayer I know that this can be done and NEEDS to be done.  Quickly. Here is the plan.

I am asking for donations.

For each $25 donation you give, I would like to have a photo of your family or child/children emailed to me.

I will print the photos and attach them to a heart with your family name.

The hearts will be delivered to Chenzhou where I am going to ask them to "decorate"  around the air conditioner.

You CAN give more than $25!  You will get a heart for each $25 donation.

The goal?  25 hearts.  $600. 

Deadline is August 25th. 

I have been in awe of how amazing everyone has been to help out with giving to Chenzhou! I don't even have the words to thank you. I pray that each person who has given will know what a difference YOU are making in the lives of not only a child, but in those who work daily with the kids.  They are noticing, WE CARE!

And we really, really do.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Sawyer is ELEVEN

No matter how much I wish it were not true, my kids continue to age.  I asked Sawyer if he would mind turning 9 instead of 11 and he said he felt it might look a little silly with how tall he is.  ;-) 11 things about Sawyers year and who he is...

He was baptized this year! I love how much he loves the Lord!

 He is VERY bible smart. He has read through his Action Bible a few times since getting it this year and knows WAY more about the stories than I do.

He is silly. He has a great sense of humor and even if he is crabby you can make him laugh easy. OR he can make YOU laugh easy!

His favorite place to eat is Fazolis. Which is funny because he does not like pasta. Only kid I know that does not like carbs. Always picks apples over fries. But he LOVES their pizza.

He is a strong reader. Enjoys reading.

Loves his video games. And legos. i have given up on ever thinking the room will be cleaned up with lego creations to be built in it.

Still into Harry Potter. Has even convinced me to read them all. I must admit, I have enjoyed them and enjoy being able to discuss the twists with him.

After YEARS of hair issues, we have given in and let it grow. He hates haircuts, who has the time for those? He has the THICKEST hair in the house.

Attended his first ever week of camp. I was nervous, but he did GREAT and is so excited for next year!

 Is quite the creative writer. He loves to write books and stories.
Saved up his money and bought himself an ipod touch.  He is learning the value of saving! 

Happy Birthday Sawyer! I am so thankful I get to be your mom. You will always be my boy.