Thursday, June 19, 2014

spring to summer

It was spring and then just. like. that. it was summer.

Here's a quick recap for memories' sake.  I'm hardly documenting anything these days!  Ugh.  

First days of May in Chicago at the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit 2014.  Had the pleasure of meeting 'Mama Claire', Christine's orphanage director.  What a gal.  

There's so, so much to say about how encouraged and fired up we were from attending The Summit.  Really too much to write here.  There's so much to be done to help vulnerable children across the world.  Sometimes it's overwhelming.  Other times, I feel peacefully convicted to do the bit that God's asked of me/us.  And that little bit, for those one or two children, is enough.  Because that's what He's asking of me.  

Nonetheless, we would love to do a lot more in regard the ministry of orphan care, but aren't sure exactly how to navigate that.  Baby steps perhaps.  And lots of patience because the reality is that ministry doesn't always move in the direction or at the pace I'd like.  Imagine that.  :)

After a few days in the 'burbs, JD and I headed into the city for a day and night together.  We came upon this character on the streets of Chicago.

And a huge Hershey store.  The kids would've LOVED it.

Check out the size of that Hershey Kiss.  And those Reece's Cups are two in a pack and each one's about the size of a hamburger!  

Then we landed at Garrett's Popcorn.  Oh. my.  If you want to send some folks some uh-maz-ing Christmas goodies this year, you must consider Garrett's.  It was like nothing I'd ever tasted before.

The weather was amazing.  Unfortunately, I wore my camera (phone) out so some of the photos are still on JD's phone.

After several days away, we were so glad to return home to the kids.  Did I mention that my mom single-handedly held down the fort?  This included carpool responsibilities, getting Brooks to his baseball photos, taking the kids to the food trucks at church, seeing the boys off to the Johnson's for a sleepover, taking Payton and Avery to the mall for shopping and fun just in time for Avery's birthday.  Oh, and just keeping five minors alive and well.  It's a lot.  Grandma of the Year.  :)

Avery picked out this sweeeeet dress at the mall for her birthday.

Now I know why some animal species eat their young.  Delicious.  :)

She wanted me to take her photo in her dress with the birthday plate.  After I took it she asked how the photo turned out and I said it was cute, albeit a little posed.  'Posed?' she inquired and then said...

'That's not posed, Mama.  This is posed.'  I see her point.

On the night of her birthday, I made her favorite meal (poppyseed chicken, fried okra, mac-n-cheese, yeast rolls, sweet tea).  Man, she is one southern girl, isn't she?!  Her Mimi would be proud!  :)

Of all the kids, she never forgets about the special plate.

A few days later, she had the much anticipated 'friend party' and invited all her teammates (this is most of them).  In lieu of gifts, she wanted to do a collection or something to help others.  We came up with a shoe drive (after I heard someone mention an adoptive mom fundraising that way) and then it occurred to me that we could actually start fundraising this way for Christine's adoption and kick it off with Avery's party.  More on the shoe drive later...

Then, before this little dude finished up his preschool year, they had a Mother's Tea (along with every other preschool in the country, ha!).  Just look at that sweet little face.  Mm-mm-mm.

It was fun to 'discover' our house this spring (our first spring here) and see what bloomed.  Moving here has been such a blessing.  See below...

These moments are quite frequent with the boys in the 'hood.  Oh my gosh, I've never seen such filth. As gross as it is and as much as it tests my desire to have clean floors, it's fabulous.

Then Brookster started his second season of baseball.  Aside from having to tear himself away from his friends, he really enjoyed it.

Nothing like a boy in his baseball uniform.  Jackson decided to pass on a sport this spring.

We also had some weeks full of 'rescues' of wildlife.  This little honey was affectionately named Ivy after the kids found her on the ground in the ivy in the woods behind our house.    

Box turtles are regular visitors.  

Along with, a-hem, snakes.  We've had two encounters.  And a huge (read: tragic) encounter with something over Memorial Day weekend that took our all of our chickens, but one.  I can't even go into detail here.  It was so, so sad for our family.  We were just devastated.  These are the stories we heard about having chickens, but we'd gotten through more than 9 months without an incident so we thought we were doing well.  Once we're done grieving, we may get more, but we're still so sad -- and leery.  Boo.  

I desperately wanted a 'good' family photo on Mother's Day.  I was not the cheerful-everything's-peaches-and-roses-mom on Mother's Day, but instead went into a snit about how all I wanted for Mother's Day was a photo -- no gifts.  Just one stinkin' photo that's achieved without complaint, whining and crying about how much they want to get out of their 'nice' clothes (that they seriously wear maybe two times a year) and fussing and protesting about how much they loathe family photos.  Yes, that's the true us.  How did this happen?  I remember like it was yesterday when I could dress them in coordinating outfits complete with hair bows.  Nonetheless, they complied (who in their right mind wouldn't have to avoid the wrath of a disgruntled mom -- on Mother's Day, no less?!).  Here's the result:

A Mother's Day for the record books.

Some get into 'crazy shots' more than others.  Ha!

How cute is he with this Sweet Frog?!

James made a friend at Brooks' baseball games.  Evan was so kind and sweet to James.  Love these moments because we have so many more where kids stare and make comments and ask questions of their parents -- right in front of James.  It's the worst.  I had a fairly thick skin for it for a really long time.  Not so much anymore.

Memorial Day weekend was a true gem.  The weather was DIVINE and we had our dear friends come visit us at the lake.  It was a perfect day.

Birthday buddies!  They share a birthday -- 30-something years apart!  :)

James had his 3rd dental visit.  He's a champ. 

We finished with school in May, too.  Praise, Jesus (and I do not say that tongue in cheek).  There were moments this year when I didn't know if we were going to make it.  I still can't believe we just finished our third year.  That's crazy.  I still have moments when I can see the boys going to school here or there.  They want to be homeschooled, they want to go to the public school with some neighbors and they want to go to a private school with some neighbors.  Ha!  But I still feel most at peace with them being home again this coming school year and then starting at Westminster for 3rd grade.  We shall see.  Payton and Avery are becoming more and more rooted in being homeschooled -- especially going to Westminster.  They really like it; especially the hybrid experience they have with school -- in classes some days, home others.   As for Jimmy Jam, he is completely crazy about preschool.  He would go all day, everyday if he could.  He cried again and again when he learned that school was ending for the summer.  My feelings right now are that he'll go to public school for at least a little while.  He will love it and live for it.  But we have another year before we have to make major decisions for him.

My mom got us this great book that I've been reading to the kids.  Everyday, they ask to read more and I'm happy to!  I love historical fiction books.  And although I'm not a huge follower/listener of the author (like my mama is!), it is indeed a well done book and captures the kids' attention and imagination.  And, there's a sequel.  I love a sequel when the prequel's worth a sequel.  :)

JD's 40th birthday's this weekend, but we already celebrated.  That deserves it's own post.  So fun!

I also need to do a post with an update on Christine's adoption.  Hopefully before a month or two passes!  Ha!  

No comments:

Post a Comment


Design By Sour Apple Studio | All Rights Reserved