Monday, April 14, 2014

thanks for hitting me in the face and other stories

i buy bananas by the boat load. no matter how many i buy, they never go bad. 
the boys eat them as fast as i can get them.

when i sent the hubs a text with this picture saying, 
he said, "not at all."

we had a going-away party for my brother-in-law. he's a soldier and he's leaving for awhile and we will miss him. he hasn't even left yet and we're ready for him to come back home safe and sound.
 during his party weekend, we had 15 people come stay at our house. 
our AC broke right before.
now of course this was the weekend in texas where it was getting hotter and hotter. 
hopefully we didn't roast our guests too much.  
we bought extra fans. 
we're a breezy people.

another fun moment was when i came back from getting ice and my little elijah was bleeding with a hole where his tooth used to be.
 apparently it went down like this:
judah hit elijah in the face (i'm still not clear on whether judah was mad or not) 
then elijah's tooth fell out
then judah apologized
then elijah said, "it's ok!!! thank you, judah!"

--yep, he thanked his brother for hitting him in the face. 

in other news, we think we might have some angry nuns who live behind us.
i've met them, and in truth they're super nice. 
but we can't help wondering...

...the boys often lose toys over our fences and the neighbors end up throwing things back over.
tonight during dinner, something big and black flew at our back window at an alarming speed and smashed into it. 
it scared the poo out of me.
when the hubs went out to find what it was, it turned out to be a baseball glove.
from their yard to our back window is a pretty large distance. we think the nuns got angry and chunked it as hard as they could at our window as if to say, in an irish brogue, 
"you naughty kids! keep your game paraphernalia out of our yard!"

when i told the hubs i was a little afraid we might have angry neighbors, he said,
"i know, right! they're nuns. be Jesus, ladies."

i've been laughing so much this weekend my sides ache.  

Monday, March 31, 2014

worry and weakness

last night i went to bed early.
i needed to get some rest and spend some time alone with Jesus.
it had been a rough day.
and i felt like satan had won.

you know those days, when you've got the blues... or the mean reds (what my sister calls it when you're just mad for no reason at all). things that shouldn't discourage you, do. things that shouldn't bother you, do. things that you would normally shake off are a bit more...challenging.
and the whole time i was talking to the Lord, saying "i know this isn't a big deal. i know You're bigger, so this is something You can totally handle and i can trust You with it." but i still kept coming back to anxiety, over-thinking, and discouragement.

i don't have the answers i want right this minute. --i'm a bit impatient.
things aren't going the way i hoped they would go. --i'm a bit entitled.
i'm having to wait on others to determine things about our future. --i'm a bit impatient and i really like the illusion of control.
change has happened without warning and it shocked me and i ended up feeling left out. --i'm a mess.

such is life, huh.
but i did notice a change.
whereas i used to sit and stew about my expectations not being met or my feelings being hurt or my life feeling out of control, this time i kept going to Jesus about my weaknesses. now, i will be the first to admit, it didn't make the issues go away. i had to keep praying. --to keep asking for help, for a loving heart, for a flexible spirit as i know He has everything under control and i need not worry. --we all know that's easier said than done.

and while i still went to bed struggling (because i have a hard time letting things go) i also went to bed knowing that He is with me and He is sufficient. He is right here. i'd love to say i prayed about it once, totally trusted in the Lord, and moved on with my day in a joyful and compassionate manner, but alas, i did not. i struggled and wrestled all day long. it was exhausting.
i'm a sinful gal. and i had to continually go to Jesus with my confessions, repentance, and weakness.
i'm so thankful He loves me so. i'm so thankful for His endless patience with me as i learn to trust Him more. and i'm thankful that my weakness can be used for His glory. --which is outstanding and quite poetic since some of my sinful thoughts yesterday surrounded attaining glory for myself.

it's funny, with things that seem huge, i usually have an easier time trusting the Lord because i know the situation is so dad-gum big there's nothing i can do but rest in Him. but in the things that seem stupid and silly and small, things that i know i should just "get a grip" about, i have a harder time. i think it's because i'm relying more on my own adjustment of my attitude than on letting Jesus change me and mold me into His image.
it's important in times like this not to try to "do better" or "suck it up and try harder."  instead we must take it all to Him, lay it at His feet, speak truthfully about what's going on, and rely fully on Jesus.

2 corinthians 12:9
but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." therefore i will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

even in heartbreak

a while back, we were notified that there was a biological sibling of one of our boys in foster care. they were with a family who wanted to adopt them, but there were concerns that the current family was not safe and not a good placement for the child.
would we be interested in the child joining our family?

after prayer, we said yes.

we waited.

the judge decided that the child should stay with their current family.

now there's a lot more to this story. --reasons the judge may have decided this, is the decision the right one (according to the different people involved), concerns regarding the current family, how the state does things, or what kind of supervision exists to protect kids in situations like this.
it's kinda a hot mess. and we don't know much but we know enough to be frustrated, tired, and grieved by the whole thing. it's complex and hard to explain it all here, not that i could even if i had the words, since it all has to be quite anonymous.

i always wonder how much to share on this blog. i probably only have a handful of readers, so the impact is pretty minimal. and i enjoy being encouraging, so i try not to blog too much about the discouragements of life since the internet is full of places you could find things like that and i truly do believe we have hope in Jesus and can find great comfort when we look to Him instead of focusing on our circumstances.

but i wanted to share this because i want you to know (in case you might wonder or have forgotten) that the Lord absolutely IS sovereign. it's not a platitude i say to myself and others to appease the fears and frustrations and failures we all deal with. it's the truth. He is sovereign. He is so very faithful. we can trust in Him in the seemingly easy things and the really hard things too. He is constant.

i keep humming this tune that aaron shust sings:
"my hope is in You, Lord, all the day long. i won't be shaken by drought or storm. the peace that passes understanding is my song and i sing 'my hope is in You alone...' i will wait on You, You are my refuge."
--the song has more to it, but that's the part i've been clinging to.

He is our comfort when the world does not make sense. it can be easy to get mad at God when outcomes seem awful or dangerous or hard, but in times like that, He's able to care for us and teach us and comfort us. He loves us. when life is broken and we feel futile, He is the only thing that makes sense.

our God is able to care for the child that did not become ours.
our God is able to heal our hearts and give us peace, even in the things we cannot know and might not ever know, like how the child is doing and if they're really safe with their current family.
our God is faithful, tender, true. we can take all our fears and frustrations and failures to Him and fall down at His feet.
and He will lift us up.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

part dos: the fun continues

so i mentioned in the last post  about aunt sissy and the fun that never stops. 
this is part 2.
today was judah and asher's gotcha day. 
three years ago today we became a forever family of 6. 
it seems like forever ago. 
and we've been rockin' and rollin' ever since.
if you'd like to read more about how God made our family, you can read our story here

so to celebrate the momentous occasion and the birthdays of 3 out of 4 boys, we went to a park where you can run like banshees, drive cars, ride on a carousel, and play with water. 
--basically everybody's dream.

elijah loved the carousel. 
look at those dimples. 

 gabe is quite the engineer. he loves to build things. he's a critical thinker. 
look at that focus!

we've decided that calling asher "tiny tornado" might be giving him a complex.
i jest.
but since he IS so small and we'd like him to bulk up and hit the 35 pound mark BEFORE his 5th birthday (it ain't gonna happen, folks. he just doesn't get heavier. no matter how many french fries he eats) he shall forever more be nicknamed rhino boy instead.
--this is mainly because we were talking about what animal each boy reminded us of (gabe: sea otter, judah: chimpanzee, elijah: koala bear) and when i asked asher's opinion, he said he was like a rhino.
um...he's nothing like a rhino, but i can't dash a young boy's dreams, so we went along with it.
he's fierce, he's got thick skin, and he doesn't sweat. i guess he has some similarities to the beast. 
here's rhino boy. using muscles. hard core.

i always tell judah his eyes are gorgeous. i decided to document it. 
look at those lashes!

to keep the fun going, we roasted marshmallows and ate s'mores and it was awesome.
the boys did great and aunt sissy was there so that's always an added bonus. 
nobody poked anyone in the eye and no one got burned.
HUGE success.
-yep, you read that right. nobody being injured is what defines success around here. 

part of our tradition of aunt sissy's visits are cascarones. 
-they're confetti eggs and they're pretty popular down in south texas.
so we had a confetti egg fight.
and i lost badly.
 this is me, with shards of a cascarone shell being shoved into my back by one of my loving, caring, sweet, and thoughtful children that i care for and cherish. can you feel the love?

and this right here folks should go in a magazine it's so stinkin' cute. 
aunt sissy and rhino boy.
friends for life. 
--with their side-kick, jake the dog who's mute. 
the weekend was wonderful.
hope yours was too!
and if you're looking to add some adventure and fun to your life, aunt sissy makes house calls!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

aunt sissy part 1: lobsters, cream soda, and a mute dog

awesome weekend.
so fun!
and this post is only part one!
we love aunt sissy and her dog jake, who happens to be mute (see above beautiful chalk art)

we saw lobsters singing (gabe in his pta show)
we ate yummy food. 
played outside.
ran around like banshees.

looked at a marketplace for a fiesta wreath. 
found a huge hat bigger than asher.

and drank cream soda to our heart's content. 
it was awesome. 

my sissy and i got to paint pottery and talk and spend time together. 
and again, with the cream soda. 
so yummy. 

we use aunt sissy as an excuse to squeeze as much fun into a weekend as possible. 
--because with aunt sissy, you can't help but have fun!

Monday, March 17, 2014

giving children a complex and moms who run like banshees

well, looks like we may have made it through the latest illness.
gabe threw up on judah's birthday.
that's two bdays in a row where someone threw up.
i mean, my family truly knows how to celebrate.
yay! you have something exciting going on in your life? i'm gonna puke.

i jest.

happy birthday to the jude-meister. he is such a sweetie pie. i tell yah, i'm one blessed mama.

my sister is coming in this weekend for some awesome fun.
there will be laughing.
there will be jokes about tooting.
there will be cascarones (confetti eggs).
there will be picnics and celebrations of adoptions.
yep, friends. gotcha day is approaching.
3 years ago we became a forever family of 6.
it feels like AGES ago.

so life is moving along quite nicely. in this moment.
i think the Lord is teaching me flexibility and i'm such a slow learner.
every plan and preparation we've made to do anything remotely fun has absolutely and totally fallen apart except judah's bday celebration. we did that. and i'm sure he's happy it's the one thing that worked out.

besides that, we've been sick for two solid weeks. my hands are raw and sore from washing and sanitizing so much. my washing machine and dryer have been on overload. my kids might be developing a complex because they're getting used to hearing me say, "don't touch anything! you're sick" or "he's sick" or "you look sick" or "who threw up last?"
yesterday i went out to help the hubs unload things from his car and started running around the car repeatedly waving my hands in the air. --i realized i hadn't been outside enough and decided to make up for my recent inactivity.
hopefully the neighbors will still be friends with the strange woman who runs like a banshee.
i know i would be friends with anyone who even remotely resembles a banshee. but not everyone is so open-minded, i know.

so hopefully we can stay healthy because i am ready to do this spring thing, people. i am so excited for blooming things and open windows and sitting with the sun shining on my face. ah, that sounds amazing.

go pick a flower, it's almost spring friends!

Monday, March 10, 2014

disinfectant spray

disinfectant spray.
it says it all.

we've had a stomach bug. 
it's been BAAAAAD.
now only time will tell if another person gets it.

we're trying to make the best of it, even though it spoiled some of our spring break plans.
today, we're getting things done and washing and folding millions of blankets. 
tomorrow? who knows.

this afternoon my husband and several of our friends are going to a children's shelter for a tour. 
i was supposed to go, but the got us.
so i'll be sharing more about the children's shelter later.

stay healthy!