Thursday, December 15, 2011


thankfully things have finally slowed down around here. i am now able to refocus and put emphasis on the things that really matter this time of year.
like my birthday. which is tuesday.
just kidding. i kind of forgot it was coming til some of my friends forced me into acknowledging it. the big turning 30 party feels like yesterday, and there is just no fun in turning 31. none at all.
it just means that i'm in my 30's.

i spent my entire 20's changing diapers, changing sizes, puking, nursing, toilet training, sleep training, and cleaning.
and now that i'm in my 30's i've still got a few of those things going on but moving on to things like homework, driving to and from school, kids' life questions, problem solving, their friend issues, etc........
i don't know....maybe 30's will be slightly better. less physically draining. maybe.
i don't really know what i'm talking about. trying to give myself a pep-talk but i still have 3 kids under 5 so.....

moving on.

i wonder how many nights wren spends like this-

shaeya, tekoa, and i had our first mother/daughter singing performance last weekend :)
it was for my dad's company Christmas party. i've been singing at it every year since i was young, and i'm hoping they will eventually end up taking over for me.
they worked really hard to learn all their parts- and they did a really good job.
we were really proud of them :)
growing up waaay too fast!!

neiko had a dr. appointment this week. he is 98% for height and 78% for weight. big boy. i texted his birth mom to fill her in and she said, "oh, yeah- his dad is huge. really big guy with big muscles." :)
should be interesting to see if he ends up way taller than all of us!

and in other news-

we are getting new neighbors!
my brother and his wife and 3 kids are building a house at the beginning of our street!
they just dug this week.

shaeya and i were discussing them building a house the other day-
i said, "it sure takes a long time to build a house, doesn't it?"
and she said, "yes. i know it. i know the life."
so cute. she remembers all too well being at the lot with no toys, bathroom, food, or heat. being dragged from one home to the other. with no daddy around....
hopefully we can ease the pain somehow for my brother.

camera day at gymnastics-

this kid looks adorable in his hat. too bad he won't keep it on for anything!!

and he LOVES this toy. it is the only toy that he plays with- i think because he can't throw it :)

and while we are on this subject-
neiko totally snapped out of his hard phase and is back to his normal sweet self. with a more normal amount of acting out and getting into things.
now i can breathe again- and i have time for all of the kids, cleaning, AND Christmas :)

switching gears here-
i have been thinking the last few days about LOVE. and how hard and complicated it is.
and how much i truly desire to spend myself on behalf of others, but how much i constantly fail at doing it.

things like going the extra mile, giving even when it doesn't seem fair, and loving the unlovable are so foreign to my generation. and i'm afraid it will be even more so for my children's generation.
i want to do what i can to live these out for my Savior and as a legacy for my children, but i can only do it through the help of the Spirit. it is not in me to be able to love without keeping score in some way or another.

but i think about my GOD being born as a human baby, and i think of Him giving His life for me with nothing but my feeble attempts at love in return and it isn't in any way fair. He was and is WHOLLY COMMITTED to this plan and i am struggling to commit on the most basic of levels. and it was and is done for ME. the struggling one.
i hold back love to preserve MY life, but it leaves me empty anyway. i want to give love freely with no record of wrongs so that i can give away my life and live more joyfully.
and i want to be able to do this without "venting" to my husband or friends all of my sinful thoughts and attitudes that are present with me while i give love.

it is not too hard or too much to ask it is part of being sanctified.

my sister-in-law gave me the book "loving the little years."
awesome book- i highly recommend it.
the part that stuck with me the most was about apples.
if i am an apple tree, and my job is to bear fruit, then i bear the fruit without keeping track of where each piece of fruit goes.
an apple tree produces many apples- some of which end up on the ground. but the job is only to produce the fruit and leave the sorting of it to Someone Else.
that means that i use up my time giving- even if i don't see quite how it matters- just for the sake of bearing fruit.

i wipe the table and sweep the floor 3 times a day just to have a clean place for children to gather. i clean and organize the toys even though my kids and neighbors and nieces and nephews will unorganize them tomorrow. i babysit for someone who won't necessarily babysit for me in return. i open my home and my heart to others even if it isn't practical, i "waste" my time sitting on the floor and playing with my kids even when my "to-do" list is 5 miles long.
i give my 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70' my husband and kids- loving them and serving them however they need me to.
and i trust that God will organize my chaos and use my fruit in His way and in His time and for His greatest glory.

looking forward to a fun, crazy, exciting, chaotic week next week full of family, friends, birthday celebrations, Christmas programs, Christmas parties, presents, laughter, tears (the good kind), and LOVE. :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

trying to keep my head above water over here :)
i'm about 3 steps behind on christmas. not too bad. trying really hard to take things slow and set small goals for myself everyday.

it's just really hard to add christmas chaos to an already overloaded mom's workload.

my house is disgusting, my van smells like a dirty diaper, i have a pile of christmas cards waiting to be addressed, i have a tree up with no ornaments (probably gonna stay that way), 13 gifts left to buy, about 25 gifts yet to wrap, 3 christmas songs that need practicing before 2 christmas events, and nowhere to hang stockings (oh stockings- add 'buy stocking for neiko' to the ever growing to do list.)
and also a little boy who has turned from 'good neiko' to 'be as bad as i can possibly be neiko.'

not quite sure what brought this on-
maybe an extra christmas busy mom
maybe the new babysitting job (same baby, 2 hours every afternoon)
maybe the after school gymnastics/vaulting change in our routine
maybe dad working more on the house lately
maybe all of the above....

i love him so much, but when he gets in these days long funks he is a FULL TIME JOB. every minute. and unfortunately i have 2 other full time jobs.....

better to just dwell on the progress, right?
and there is progress!
dave and i should have our own shower sometime in the next 2 weeks! YES!!!
my bathtub is officially functional!!
not counting today, no one peed their pants or in their bed for about 4 days!
tekoa and i have a 'cry in the morning, take a nap in the afternoon' system that is working beautifully!!!
ty and shaeya are busy working hard for me and behaving perfectly to earn "christmas points" that actually have no bearing on the quantity or quality of their gifts. they think it does and that's all that matters....(do not make me feel guilty about this, ok?)
and finally.... ADOPTION PROGRESS!!!!!
over the weekend dave and i signed on with a lawyer in phoenix who is now working with neiko's birth mom to get her caught up with arizona laws and ready for termination of rights.
the next step for us is to travel with neiko to phoenix for a court hearing. this will be to terminate mom's rights and to grant us full custody. we have to stay there until paperwork goes through (maybe a week or so??) and then we come back and adopt from illinois. we are told we should be able to adopt him maybe 6-8 weeks after we get back.
so here we go......
please keep us in your prayers!!