Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Color Is...

Baby # 6 will be Baby GIRL #5!

We are all tremendously excited. Yes, even Pepper is excited. He secretly admitted to me later that he wasn't really excited about giving up his spot as the only boy in the family. He's thrilled to welcome another sister, and has vowed to protect her with his life. So precious!

So now, off I go to start stocking up on cute little pink and lavender clothes for my coming daughter!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Today's THE DAY!

At 2:30 we have an ultrasound to find out the gender of our baby.
I am so excited!!!

Hubby and Snapper are wearing blue because they think Baby is a boy.
The rest of us are wearing pink.

We could sure use some more blue in this house, though!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

That Friend

I just have to take a moment to shout to the whole world (yeah, the 50 or so people who read this blog) about how blessed I am to have a very best friend. Her name is Noel and we've been best friends from the first time we met, 14 years ago now. We were both in college. Matt and her brand new boyfriend, Stan, were roommates. It was instant connection. I knew I'd found a kindred spirit. I ended up marrying Matt, and Noel ended up marrying Stan. Over the last 14 years we have been through a lot together. For the last eight years we've lived in different states. But the distance hasn't changed our friendship. We continue to be as close and as strong as ever. We spent almost two hours on the phone with each other tonight, sharing laughter and some tears. There are very few people in my life that I love as much as Noel, and I just needed to overflow a bit. I am so tremendously blessed.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Crisis of Motherhood

A second post in one day? I know, right? I'm having a major crisis right now. Tonight is Homecoming at Snapper's school. Because it's a private school, the entire school--from Pre-K on up--gets involved in Spirit Week and Homecoming. Most of the school will turn out for the Homecoming game tonight. She has wanted to go so badly, but Daddy has karate belt testing tonight and no way am I tackling Homecoming alone with all five kids, especially when I can't trust two of them to mind me. Snapper was dreadfully disappointed, but handled her disappointment with such grace and understanding. She's such a blessing, so mature and thoughtful for her age. I don't know what I'd do without her. Then today, when her BFF found out that Snapper wasn't going, she called her mom and they invited Snapper to go with them. Of course, I didn't hesitate! I'm so delighted that she has the opportunity to go, especially since she was so gracious in how she handled herself when she thought she couldn't go. I'm about to go help her get herself all glamorous for the game. Curled hair, cute outfit in school colors, big hairbow, she's going to look adorable. And she's going to have so much fun!

Here's the crisis of motherhood:

How did my baby girl get so doggone old??? 

It seems like yesterday she was toddling around singing "inkle inkle itta tar."

And now she's going to Homecoming.


I'll update this post with photos shortly.

Overheard in My House This Morning

If you had been in my house this morning you might have heard...

  • If you can't speak kindly, go back to bed.
  • It's time to get up now.
  • Please put on your clothes and come to breakfast.
  • No whining allowed outside of your room. Go back in your room and finish whining there.
  • It's time to get up now.
  • Please wash your hands before breakfast.
  • Mommy's throwing up...stop pounding on the door and yelling at me!
  • Don't eat that! It belongs in a tissue, not your mouth!
  • If you're going to shout at Mommy, you may go back to bed.
  • It's time to get up now.
  • No pajamas at the breakfast table...go put on your clothes!
  • Don't eat that! It belongs in a tissue, not your mouth! If you eat that again, I will clean your mouth with soap!
  • There's no room for name calling in our family. Go back to bed and stay there until you're ready to be a kind family member.
  • Eat what's on your plate with a thankful heart. Biscuits are usually your favorite.
  • No school until you eat your breakfast.
  • If you don't finish before the bus comes, you will be walking to school.
  • Your teacher has been told not to give you snacks unless it is snack time.
  • Go to the bathroom so I can wash your mouth. BOOGERS ARE NOT FOOD!
  • It's time to get up now!!!
  • Screaming is not allowed anywhere but your room. If you want to scream, go scream in your room.
  • At prayer time, we are quiet and respectful to God.
  • This means stop goofing off and giggling.
  • If you can't control your mouth, we'll put tape on your lips to remind you.
  • Close your lips so I can put tape on them.
  • You may not answer questions with tape on your mouth...time to practice quiet listening and respectful taking turns.
  • Just getting your toothbrush wet doesn't count as brushing your teeth.
  • Go brush again.
  • Do you need a short haircut, or will you stop hitting me while I'm brushing your hair?
  • Go brush again and use toothpaste this time!
  • Please turn out your bedroom lights.
  • Don't leave your pajamas on the hallway floor, please!
  • Tennis shoes to school, not flip flops! Two months into school, you know this!
  • Have a great day at school today!
  • See you this afternoon.
  • I love you!
Laundry is cycling. Homeschool child is doing an art project. Dishwasher is running. Anti-nausea meds are digesting and making me so sleepy. 8:56 a.m. and I'm going back to bed. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Our Ever Changing Family

It's another Saturday morning. It is silent in my house, except for the ticking of the cuckoo clock and the gentle whirrrr of the fans that are sucking the glorious fall morning air into the house. Matt has all the kids at their karate class, and I get a few hours to myself. I've been doing a lot of thinking recently. 15 months ago I had two children. My life was neat, orderly, and relatively simple. Then we took the huge step of adopting three children. Three children with some pretty significant special needs. We didn't know at the time how complex their needs were. Just like that, the rug was pulled out from under me. Here are some of the ways life changed.

We went

  • One insurance company to three
  • One kid in one sport, to five kids in two sports
  • One school to three schools
  • No therapy to 6 hours of therapy per week
  • One kid with ADHD to three kids with ADHD, one with OCD, five kids with SPD, three kids with learning disabilities, one kids with developmental delays, two kids with PTSD...yikes!
  • Two gifted, low maintenance with school work kids to two gifted kids and three kids with learning disabilities who are obviously high maintenance in school
  • Six loads of laundry per week to fifteen loads per week
  • Many hours of quiet during the day to one hour of quiet in the evening
  • Monthly dates with Matt to "what's dating?"
  • Regular cooking to doubling every recipe
  • $300/month on groceries to $750/month
  • Our water bill has almost doubled
  • Low conflict to almost continual conflict
  • Lots of room in the car to every seat full
I'm sure there are a ton of others, too. The changes have challenged me tremendously. Not all of the changes have been difficult, though. Much good has come out of this. Snapper and Pepper have become much stronger, more flexible, more patient, and less focused on themselves. Matt and I have learned how to be intentional with our time, and we've fine-tuned our communication. Matt has become a more affectionate, more involved dad. I've learned how to manage my time and resources so much better. We have all developed empathy for others, and a greater understanding of families who have special needs kids. We've become advocates for foster kids. Our faith has been challenged and deepened, and I feel like we're more authentic about living it out. We've had to learn to trust God, sometimes in the moment, or even in the second, because without Him, we just can't take another breath. Yes, sometimes it has been that hard. 

Would I go back to our easier lifestyle? Not for anything! We've seen the lives of three little girls be completely transformed. All three have come to know Jesus. He has given them peace and security that not even the love of our family could provide. They've gained physical health, emotional health, and mental health. All three are making huge gains academically. They are all participating in sports and church activities. They're no longer shy or skittish or afraid. They're learning more every day how to be a contributing member of a healthy family. Our pediatrician saw all three of them on Thursday, and he said he is blown away and continually amazed at the transformation in our girls. We've come as far in 15 months as he expected we'd come in four years!!! God is so, so good! 

My heart has changed. Mothering has become a different kind of thing for me. If there's one thing I've learned from all of this that I feel the need to share with you, it's this: it's okay to parent each child differently. You hear that? You don't have to treat everybody equally! The consequences don't have to be the same for every child. It's okay if two children get to watch a movie that the others aren't ready for. It's just fine if Daddy only buys ice cream for the two kids he took to the store with him. It's okay to allow one child to sleep on your bedroom floor after a nightmare, even if the others aren't allowed to do so. It's okay to spank three of the children, but not to spank the other two. What is comes down to is this: a mother has to be a student of her child. A mother has to fine-tune her parenting to meet the unique needs of each child. Without even meaning to, I realize I've gotten very good at this, because the new girls demanded it of me. Just as no two snowflakes are the same, no two children are the same. I regularly emphasize to my kids that fair does not mean equal. They're learning that, and I believe they're beginning to appreciate it. Snapper appreciates having free access to my bedroom anytime she needs to be by herself. She knows that I see her and am committed to meeting her needs. Bubbles appreciates being my only homeschooled child this year. She's aware that she needed a year of extra support. She knows that I see her and am committed to meeting her needs. Pepper appreciates that I regularly set up times for him to play video games alone with Daddy, times when the girls aren't allowed to go out into the garage/game room. He knows that I see him and am committed to meeting his needs. Piper appreciates that I let her sleep on my bedroom floor after she has a nightmare. She needs the security of having us near her. She knows that I see her and am committed to meeting her needs. Sunny appreciates that I do the green/yellow/red system with her at home to help her monitor her behavior. She needs more structure and help with regulating herself than the others. She knows that I see her and am committed to meeting her needs. 

Now life is about to change again. Our surprise baby is growing healthy and beautiful inside me right now. When he/she arrives on the scene in April, everything is going to change again. Doctors, laundry load, schedule, etc. Even our house and car are going to have to change to make room for another family member. I'm curious to see how God is going to change me yet again.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Yesterday when Matt and I were driving home from work, we spotted the location of the new Hobby Lobby that is going in close to us. I am so excited because 1. Hobby Lobby is my favorite store in the whole, entire world and 2. Now I'll only have to drive 10 minutes as opposed to the 40 minutes I had to drive before. Just seeing that orange sign perked me up and got me excited!

Today my sewing machine is whispering to me from my craft table. I haven't done any sewing in months. There are several pairs of cut off old jeans waiting to be sewn into purses for my daughters and nieces for Christmas. My box of yarn and crochet hooks is calling my name. Oh, to know the gender of this baby growing in me!!! Because neutral colors just aren't as fun.

As I've been so dreadfully sick this pregnancy, I've had plenty of time to browse and dream on Pinterest. My boards are bursting with fun new ideas. So much to do!

One of my dear friends from church is a gifted jewelry maker. She's going to help me make special gifts for the dear families that support our ministry. I am so excited to get working on that project!

The crafting bug that usually bites me in the fall has infected me yet again. Get ready, Hobby Lobby! Be prepared, sewing machine, Mod Podge, crochet hooks, and other craft supplies! Craft Woman is on the rise, and she's more powerful than ever before!