Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Friday, April 20, 2018

Friday Favorites...Packing Edition!!

It's Friday morning and I can see the sun for the first time in a looong time! Hooray! I could hardly sleep last night- this whole week, really- because my stomach aches when I start to think about our trip. I'm so excited, I am. BUT. Just lots of details and unknowns and this and that and I think my nerves are shot, ha ha. I should also add that my poor husband is probably going to cancel our Prime membership because of this trip...I think he was annoyed by the first "emergency" extra order the other day, and then another one came yesterday, sooo I'm assuming he's going to be pretty irritated with me when he sees the next two, currently on their way. #oops #helpme

Okay, so now it's two hours later, my mind is a jumbled mess and Levi is having a colossal fit over I don't even know what. So I'm calling it a day for this post and leaving you with just this one picture. Have a fabulous weekend! 

This is typical us, ha ha, and they're all my favorites. Just makes me smile.

Linking up with Erika, Narci and Andrea for Friday Favorites today..



Thursday, April 19, 2018

A Week in the Life of Us


Sometimes I like to post a Day in the Life, but then I got thinking that one day I would love to be able to look back and have some more specific details about our family life as a whole at this stage of life. You know, before BIG changes happen later this year. #idontwannatalkaboutit

Our mornings are fairly routine. When Caleb was around four months old, and still not sleeping, Bill started leaving for work around 4:20 AM. It allows him to avoid most traffic delays for the commute, and he is always available to watch a game after school. And help out with dinner! That's huge. I admit, this schedule is wearing on us both now, but it still works. Especially since this little guy still wakes up between 4 and 5 most mornings before I put him back to sleep.

So anyway, I'm used to tackling the morning routine solo. Lots of times, monkey boy is hollering (in the funny "come get me!" way) by 6:30, and one of the boys runs upstairs to get him. I think they really like that, too.

Three out of four boys are usually in a good mood early in the morning. Any guesses? ha ha ha

One or two school mornings each week, I make pancakes. Other mornings are toast and eggs or something quick, but it's usually hot. We love our big carb-fest breakfasts over the weekend, too. Which, when coupled with the cruddy weather, that makes me want to eat comfort food and NOT go for a run in the freezing cold, has proven detrimental to my swimsuit shopping endeavors for our big trip. Yikes!!!

Wednesday mornings are busy- everyone except Ethan piles in the van for the various drop-offs. Isabelle goes in early to help out in the elementary school on Wednesdays. I bring the younger boys in on Fridays, too.

Then it's play time. Or destroy the house time. I throw in another load of laundry, clean up (yeah, that doesn't usually go far with the tornado running loose), and get ready for the day. Honestly, once or twice a week, we aren't dressed before ten. I'm okay with it. :) If Levi is still playing happily at this point, then I get some sewing done.


Most Tuesdays, we're getting groceries. I just noticed that he's in pajamas, so this must have been coming home from drop-offs because I have never brought him out in jammies. I know some Mamas do, and that's fine, but it isn't for me.

Thursday mornings are for Story Time at the library. Love our Thursday mornings!

Handsome boy finally figured out the rocking chair hoist, ha ha
It's so fun up here, Mom!!

Our life consists of lots of appointments, too. Levi's well check was early last week, and Caleb's was this week. Everyone says Caleb looks like me, my Dad especially. This was a no make-up, pull my hair back, rush out the door morning for me, and it was pouring...I think it shows, ha

We try to get outside every morning, but the weather lately has been so bad. Sometimes we just play chase around the house to get wiggles out. Then it's lunch time around noon, a quick change into pajama pants, two stories, and hopefully a good long nap. Levi generally always chooses the same few stories, and they're mostly the same ones from this post. :)

Nap time = work time for me

Bill usually gets the boys from school. Ethan comes home early, works on his last homeschool class, and heads to work on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Jonah usually rushes upstairs as soon as he hears Levi waking up. :)

Tuesday afternoon is our only true nightmarish day in terms of schedule conflicts and such. Usually it looks a little different each week in terms of who's picking up who, waiting around, bringing this one there, etc... We need to get the boys at the high school, then drive over to Isabelle's school- just two minutes up the road- and wait for her, then drop her off at piano lessons, drive Jonah over to his work, and then pick Isabelle up at four. This past week, Bill brought the boys home and then Jonah and I picked up Isabelle, I did the drop-offs, and headed to JoAnn's to get buttons for the vest I'm making for Ethan. And since I was close to the grocery store, I grabbed a couple things I couldn't find at WalMart from earlier in the day (getting stuff for the trip). Momlife, right?? Lots of times, Ethan is able to bring Jonah home from work because their schedules align. Hooray!!! But not this past week. It was me. HA

We try to get outside again after nap, or at least in the sun room because it almost feels like being outside. The problem with that is, when there's no sun, that room stays quite cold. So again, the weather lately... :(

These pics are from last year. This boy is still obsessed with rocks. And water! ha ha ha

The day that teased us into thinking spring had finally sprung. It snowed for the next two days after. Levi, still obsessed with rocks and water :)


I start dinner around four- or Bill does! He is a great cook!- and usually there is quite a show going on outside my kitchen window. I never get tired of watching them!

We eat dinner around 5:15. I cannot wait until we can go outside and play after dinner, too, but not yet. Soon I hope!! Once or twice, we need to go pick up Jonah from driver's ed around this time. His class times are different, so we get four more drop offs and pick ups each week. We are SO lucky. :)

I'm a planner. We were going through a trial run of what to pack after dinner and someone really wanted to help. He spotted these sandals and was OBSESSED. I couldn't get over how cute those little feet looked!! He also noticed that clothes were new to him- he didn't recognize them and wanted to try them on. Exhibit A: this romper. I was pretty impressed that he even noticed!

Then it's bath time. Every single night. I cannot remember the last time he didn't take a bath, it's such an integral part of our routine.


Telling stories :)
 He looks so little in that big tub, but I know he's changing so much every day!

Isabelle asks to read a story to him often. It doesn't always happen, but many times it does. Look at them, all snuggly and draped over each other. All the heart eyes! (This was from that one really nice afternoon we had, ha ha! Levi wears fleece jammies every night, though Isabelle has been obsessed with this set I got her for the trip, haha.)


Levi does a great job at night now. He likes to say goodnight to the kitties when they're around, on our way to his room, and he insists on giving Isabelle a kiss on one cheek, then saying "uh side" and kissing her other cheek. I do not know where he gets this stuff from!! Then he waves like crazy, saying "bye bye bye bye bye" fifty times. I lay him down and he acts all crazy like he's too wired to calm down, but as soon as I blow him a kiss and say "Goodnight, llama llama," he gets quiet. So funny.

There was a 5th and 6th grade school dance for this one on Friday night, and she really wanted to go with some of her best friends, and it was only an hour and a half, so we let her go. Isn't her hair gorgeous?! I admit, I was a little worried about it when she was younger- so lightweight and uncontrollable, but now it's just beautiful. She asked me to curl it.
See? She was happy.
I thought she was going to wear a different dress, but she wanted to wear her Easter one, the one I made for her. So sweet. I have some cute pictures of her and her friends, but you know me, I don't share those ones.


After Isabelle was picked up, I had to drop off the last packages for Rose and Ruffle before putting the shop in vacation mode afterwards, and I brought Jonah and Caleb with me. We checked out some stuff at TJMaxx and then I realized the van needed gas, so I took advantage of having someone else to pump for me. I told them I'd get them a cold drink or something for tagging along- apparently boys can't handle shopping in more than five minute sprints, and then they act ALL kinds of bored while waiting to be done in the store. Why did I even reward them, ha ha

Saturday mornings are nice. Jonah and Ethan leave for work pretty early, but it's a slow start to the weekend.

Of course there's lots of fun with all these siblings around!

An ice storm and feeling yucky kept us at home on Sunday. Daddy made homemade play dough and Levi was happy for a full hour!


These are older pics, but this it what you'll find Isabelle doing at any given time of day: reading




 Or drawing :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

When Someone Hurts Your Adopted Child

Hi friends! This post has been brewing in my mind since someone really hurt our Isabelle with some awful comments about being adopted a few weeks ago. Most of us adoptive Mamas, at least those with children who look different from us, have gotten the awkward stares or twice-overs, the puzzled looks, and even the occasional rude comment or question from a stranger. I've talked about it before, but this feels very different from that.

This came from a so-called friend at school, and it was so mean and hurtful, it made me simultaneously want to spit and cry. And maybe wash said friend's mouth out with soap. My heart was broken for my daughter. In a nutshell, she told my daughter that her opinion on something didn't matter because she's ONLY ADOPTED and doesn't have REAL PARENTS, therefore she isn't loved (or really, lovable). She went on to add that she should go back to Guatemala because no one wants her here.

This is fifth grade. And I did not see it coming.

To be honest, I'm still working my mind and heart around this incident, so I will write more about it in the near future, but I do wonder how other Moms would respond to a situation like this. This is what we did: first and foremost, we reminded Isabelle that she is not here by accident or by fate. She is here with us, in our family, because this is exactly where she belongs. We know this to be true because God knit our paths together, and He placed us together as a family, so we do not ever, ever have to question that she isn't right where she belongs.

Second, I talked to Isabelle about the importance of discerning who is a trust-worthy friend, and maybe someone who cannot be trusted. I reminded her that she does not have to share any details of her life with someone she does not trust, that those details are hers alone, and it is up to her whether she wants to share her story or not. Obviously, this sparked quite a discussion about choosing our words wisely when speaking to- and about- others as well. A lesson worth revisiting with all of my children, because to be honest, I would have a HARD time finding out that my kid said or did something like this. And I know it could happen. We all make mistakes.

Lastly, we prayed for her friend.

I'd LOVE to hear from other Moms about this topic. I admit, this isn't my strong suit. I "deal" with conflict by avoiding it (doesn't usually work) and don't like to talk about feelings very much- I think they scare me. What might you have done differently? Have you been faced with a similar situation, and how did you handle it? Thanks!

This is from my very first solo trip to Guate to meet her! Leaving her was one of THE hardest things I have ever done. Ever. I had no way of knowing at the time, but it would be another whole year before our adoption was completed.

One of my favorite pics of her biggest brother greeting her after school

 Joining in with Tuesday Talk today!

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