Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Labor of Love

When we got our referral we were all so excited to hear that we had a five year old little sister and a three year old little brother. I had been preparing for at least one child under two. I borrowed a crib and a high chair. Now these things were no longer needed. For some reason, I had it in my head that the boy would be I bought fabric for two quilts for the new boy bunk beds prior to the referral.

After the thrill of the referral slowed a bit I realized that we needed another set of bunk beds and more bedding. I asked Sweet Pea if we could buy her bedding instead of making it. She put her arm around me and looked up into my face and said, "Mom, I think home made is better than store bought."

There you have it, two more quilts to make. She chose a pattern that my Mom had among her stash and we were off to buy fabric. Sweet Pea enjoyed every part of the process. She would just sit and watch me sew for hours. I treasure every hug I received as she thanked me profusely for taking the time to make these precious quilts for her and her new sister.

Today we put them on the beds! What a happy day! Little sister has no idea how we have prepared for her arrival. This must be how God feels as he works on preparing our homes in heaven. We can't wait for her to see it.

Now I need to make pillow shams, curtains, boy quilts...the list goes on. This getting ready time is a lot of fun!
Sweet Momma

Monday, August 24, 2009

First Day of School

Today we started school. It is always so bittersweet. Sad that the freedom of summer is over and so excited over what we will all learn this year.

The first day of school holds a lot of tradition at our house. There are definitely expectations. The kids have an expectation of a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts. My expectations are surrounded by the yearly pictures that we take outside that mark the day and show such a progression of growth.

This year Elsie is in 8th grade, M&M is a 6th grader, Sweet Pea is a 3rd grader and Pumpkin is trying out First grade. This all makes for a busy schedule of school. Fortunately, my kiddos are accustomed to following a schedule and easily work their way through the day without too much confusion.

I love teaching my children. I always say that it feels like breathing to me. When everything around me seems chaotic and confusing, home schooling is the only thing that always makes sense.

I know that home schooling is not for everyone. That is OK. It works for me and our family. I feel very blessed to have the privilege of investing in their future in this way. I better stop blogging and get back to it.
Have a blessed day!
Sweet Momma

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Calling all kids...

It's official, we have two certified babysitters at our house. We have waited for this day! Prayed for it in fact, and I can't believe that it has arrived.

Our local fire department puts on a "Safe Sitter" baby sitting course. Elsie and M&M went today and learned a whole lot about caring for children. They learned infant and child CPR. They learned all about safety with kids. I am so glad that this is available for kids.

Stand-Up Dad and I celebrated their success with a night out. Just He and I. They needed to put all of that knowledge to use. Elsie has actually been watching her siblings for a while now. I know the course will give her more confidence and also let her know when she needs to call for help.

So, to those of you out there who wonder if your oldest will ever be old enough or responsible enough to watch your younger brood, it will happen. But while you wait, give us a call! Elsie and M&M are ready for business!:)
Sweet Momma

We're still here!

Sweet Pea and a new friend.

It has been a while since I posted. I have been so busy working through my to-do list. Honestly, I think I'm nesting. You know that crazy time prior to having a baby where you must complete every last undone project and clean everything in sight. Well, I haven't hit the cleaning phase yet, but I am in major project mode. Hopefully the cleaning will come prior to travel.

We have two new sets of bunk beds. We have sold off a few things that we didn't need on Craig's List. The proceeds of that bought three new twin mattresses for the new bunk beds. I am almost done with two, adorable, little girl quilts for Sweet Pea and her new little sister.(This project has taken the most time by far) And as I have been working at these projects I have also been cleaning out the garage and trying to prepare for a new home school year.

During the busyness I have been so blessed by my friends. I am so thankful for the help they offer. One friend met me at my house at 7am on a Saturday morning to drive with me to a warehouse store to buy mattresses. She was a member at this warehouse and I was not. That trip saved us $150. Wow!

Another friend who loves to sew came to my house with her machine and helped with the work on the quilts. She was faster than I was. So wonderful!

God just continues to bless and I am so grateful. We start school on Monday. That means our "summer" is over. That also means that it won't be long before our little ones are home. Doing school will keep us busy while we wait.
Sweet Momma

Friday, August 7, 2009

God's Many Blessings

Two years ago our family went to the beach for our vacation. We had never been to the beach for a week before and we were all very excited.

As we walked on the shore the first couple of days we saw many sand dollars that had been tossed by the waves and broken into pieces. In my heart I hoped to find just one perfect sand dollar to bring home to remember my time at the beach. As the days went by, we were unable to find one. I actually asked God if He would help me find one.

The next morning I got up early and took the kids out onto the beach. It was low tide that morning and I wanted to enjoy the tide pools and the like. As we walked, we couldn't believe our eyes as God showed us hundreds of perfect sand dollars placed gently on the sand.

The kids squealed with excitement as they hurried to fill up their buckets. That same morning we found hundreds of tiny mole crabs that we watched for hours as they floated in the water and dug into the sand just like the moles in our back yard. It was a great morning with my kids.

Later that day as the sun was setting on the water I took some time enjoying the beautiful scene, talking to God. I shared many things with Him including my desire to adopt. I also thanked Him for the gift of so many sand dollars that morning.

He spoke to my heart. He said,"Katie, you only asked for one sand dollar. I gave you hundreds. That is how my blessings are. I love you. I desire to give you more and bless you more than you can even imagine. Just trust me."

I walked away from the beach so blessed by God, knowing that He had big plans for me. I bought a jar for the sand dollars. I wanted to remember God's promise of blessing. So if you come to my house and look in my kitchen you will see my blessing reminder.

God has been so good over the last two years. He has worked through our adoption and our little ones are almost home. I can't wait for more of His blessings.

I have told my children this story. This year at the beach they were curious as to why we couldn't find all the sand dollars like we had the last time we were here. I told them that I didn't think that God needed to prove anything this year. He had already made a promise to bless us and He is already doing it.
Sweet Momma

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Four Week Update

I cannot believe it has already been four weeks since our referral. Time seems to be flying. So much to do.

What have we been up to? We went on vacation and survived a huge heat wave. We have put up our first set of bunk beds in Pumpkin's room and purchased a second set for Sweet Pea's room. We have shared our wonderful news with everyone we meet. We checked out all the books on Ethiopia from the library, again. We have purchased a Tigrinya language program, which is what our children currently speak. We have created a book about our family, including pictures to send to our little ones. My mom has begun work on matching quilts for the boys bunk beds and I am working on new quilts for the girls.

In addition to all of that, I wrote a letter to our kiddos, their orphanage director, and a family member to our kids. These letters were hard for me. Stand-Up Dad told me I was over thinking it a bit. I'm not so sure. The letter to the family member was the most difficult. How do I let her know how grateful I am to her for caring for these little ones? How do I honor her while asking questions about their early years? How can I let her know how much we will love these precious ones that she also loves? It's a lot to think about. It is my only chance to get information that I will have to share with our little ones as they grow older. What questions do I ask?

As I completed the letters I prayed that God would allow us to receive the information He wants us to have. Please continue to pray for our two little ones. Pray for their family members as they go through the transition of these two being adopted and pray for our current family as we prepare to embrace these two new members of our family.

Adoption is such a wonderful and very complex way to grow a family. I can't wait to meet these two little ones. We do not know of our court date yet. We may not find out when it is until the courts reopen in October. So I suppose we need prayer for patience as well.
Have a blessed day!
Sweet Momma