Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Summer Plans

Summer is RAPIDLY approaching- as in the kids' last day of school is tomorrow. Yikes! Thankfully I've been anticipating this day and have made some summer plans in the HOPES of keeping the kids (especially my older two) somewhat occupied and hopefully to keep me from losing my mind. :) I'd love to spend every day at the pool, especially since it gets SOOOO hot here, but with 4 little ones I'm not sure how I will safely manage all of them on my own. Especially since the older two are not allowed in the kiddie pool area. They are only marginally swimming on their own. I will definitely be keeping the older two in lifejackets when we go....but may have to find someone to accompany me to the pool. Swim lessons are not currently offered where we live but there are signs that they will be offered in the future. I hope. I inherited a kiddie pool that I know I'll be filling up on our porch for the kids to play in. I've already done that one day and it was fun for all, including me! Never too old to get in a kiddie pool right?

Other than swimming- I bought a homeschool science curriculum, Apologia Astronomy, to work on over the summer. I purchased the junior notebooks as well as the lapbook packages. I don't think it is necessary to have BOTH the notebooks and lapbooks, but my kids are LOVING doing both. We have done two days of lessons and they are already begging me to do more. I am really enjoying it as well and learning a ton. I love that Apologia has a curriculum focused on God and His creation. I really think we are going to enjoy working through the curriculum this summer. Thanks Jessica for mentioning it to me!

I also made a letter-writing box for the kids. I put envelopes, stationery, addresses and stamps in it. I am hopeful that when I hear "I'm bored" I can direct them to go write a letter to a cousin, aunt, grandparent, etc. The kids also have summer journals. My daughter's teacher made a journal jar for her full of journal prompts so I think both kids may benefit from those.

One thing I really love about being a mom is being able to read aloud to the kids from chapter books. We are finishing the first book in the Little House on the Prairie series. We may continue on with this series or move onto something else. I'm thinking Charlie and the Chocolate Factory could be fun. We've already read quite a bit aloud together (read alouds from Sonlight Core A) and I have really loved it and so have the kids.

The older two also got accepted into a Korean culture/language class this summer during July. I don't think it is SUPER intensive but I'm looking forward to them learning more Korean vocab- and let's be honest- having something to do. I also plan on putting them in VBS when the time comes. Of course my kids will have lots and lots of play time inside and outside and hopefully lots of playdates with friends.

As for my littles- lots of snuggling and playing. I ordered some do-a-dot markers for my three year old. He loves to sit and color or cut with the big kids while they are doing work. I'm sure for baby girl I'll be chasing her around the house and taking things out of her mouth that shouldn't be in there. :)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Joyfully Exhausted

We are home! And have been for about two months. I can hardly believe that she is here and yet it seems like she always has been. Our girl is an absolute joy to have in our lives. It amazes me how much she has grown- literally and emotionally. She started out our time in the DRC a snuggly "newborn" and now she is a vibrant, happy, energetic pumpkin. We needed her and she needed us. We praise God daily for giving her to us.

Having 4 small kiddos at home is EXHAUSTING if I do say so. Especially since my hubby started a new job the very day I got home from the DRC. A job that often requires 14 hour days and some weekend hours. Yuck! It has been an adjustment to have 4 and to be a "single mom" most of the time to our four! Plus little miss has been waking up at night to eat. She had some catching up to do, and so we've been happy to meet her needs. But mama is TIRED. :) And so this post is entitled Joyfully Exhausted. Because I'm in love with her- in love with all of my kiddos. Blessed beyond measure. Home.
Sunday, February 24, 2013

It Takes a Village

It takes a village to adopt a child. This thought keeps running through my head these days  as we (hopefully?) approach the day when we hold our daughter in our arms. We don't live anywhere even remotely near family, so we have to rely on neighbors and friends to help us with our needs. And they sure have volunteered. We have good friends who will be caring for our three kids along with their three while we are gone. We have other friends and neighbors who have volunteered to make meals for the family and our kids. Still others will be helping with school bus pick up, watching one or two of the kids periodically to give our friends a break, and checking in with our friends and kids. Friends and Bible study members have donated money and items for our daughter's orphanage. Countless friends and family members near and far have been lifting us and our situation up in prayer daily. Others have dropped off a card at just the right time- that day when we hear that we STILL have not received a visa. Others drop off brownies to console. Whatever the gesture is, it is so meaningful to us. It shows us that people care not only for us but for our daughter and our children already at home. We are so blessed to have our village. 
Sunday, January 27, 2013

One step forward, two steps back

I was SOOOO hoping to be traveling to get our little princess this weekend...but no such luck. The embassy interview we THOUGHT we had, we were SUPPOSED to have had two weeks ago didn't happen. Why? I'm not really sure. What we do know is that it will happen this week if it didn't happen at the end of last week. I can't even tell you how disappointing it was, to think we were on the cusp of traveling, awaiting travel news any day, only to find out that we had taken steps backward! UGH! On top of that our sweet girl has an injured leg. Something happened where a nanny was holding her and fell. They were concerned about her leg being broken, and so we have a picture of her teeny body with a giant cast on from the doctor. She was brought a few days later for a checkup and xray and there was no break. Phew! She was supposed to have a follow up appointment this past Friday and we haven't heard anything about that yet. We are so so ready to have her in our arms. To be able to love on her and care for her in the way only a family can. To fatten up her skinny little legs and tiny frame. To see a smile on that face. Please join us in praying that everything will go smoothly from here on out. That her visa will be issued in RECORD time and that we can snuggle her in our arms SOON!!! 

Happy Birthday Rory Grace

Many of you know that before we were matched with our current daughter, we had another Congolese daughter, Rory Grace. We were matched with her in February of 2012, became her parents officially in July of 2012, and were getting close to bringing her home when she passed away from a sudden illness. She was just shy of 18 months old. This Thursday, January 31 would be her second birthday. Though we never got to hold her in our arms we hold her in our hearts every day.

We have been trying to figure out a way to honor her life and to help others. There are two different families who are adopting children through our agency and we would love to be able to help them bring their children home. These children needed a family and these families stepped up in faith and still need assistance with funds. We would be honored if you would make a donation in Rory's name to either or both of these families. If you are unable to donate we would love if you would please spread the word about these precious families and their need. 

The first family is Kati and Lew A. http://nostretchmarksrequired.com/ They JUST returned home with their two kids from the DRC. A few months after arriving home they found out that their children's older sister is now available for adoption. Read more here. Their finances are plumb tuckered right out after two adoptions within the past few months. Please consider helping them bring this sweetie home to be reunited with her siblings. Check out their quilt fundraiser! Click here to donate to their adoption!

The second family is the Hopkins family http://www.howmanyis2many.blogspot.kr/ They have eight kiddos at home already and have felt led to adopt a sibling group of four girls. This group of girls was waiting so long for a home. Our agency was considering having to split the girls up to find them a home, but Praise God, this family stepped out in faith! Financing the adoption of four children at once is an incredible task that they are fundraising their way through. Please consider donating to their adoption fund. They are having a necklace fundraiser that may entice you! There is a donation button on their homepage. Or click here for instructions on how to donate to their necklace fundraiser.

I realize that adoption is not the only way to help children in need. But it is ONE way that we can make a difference in the lives of children. Rory matters to us. Her life matters to us and we want to find a way to continue to make her life memorable to others. Happy happy Birthday to our daughter in heaven! We love you!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

End of Year

The first few days of 2013 have left me feeling a little melancholy. I rang in 2012 in tears over the loss of Rory (well, I fell asleep before midnight...but prior to that). It was hard to end the year so differently than I thought it would end. When we started this process last January I never imagined we'd be ending the year without our daughter. I still miss her and probably always will. I hope that I'll get some more resolution to her death when we go pick up our baby girl in the DRC. My husband and I are hoping to find a place and a time to have a little memorial service for her. Just us and our new sweet one. I feel like I need to have more closure...though I'm sure there will always be sadness. 

I'm also feeling a melancholy that we don't have our baby girl with us yet. Don't get me wrong- the process has been speeding along. But knowing that she is SO little and they change and grow so much when they are infants so young. I know that God's timing is perfect so I'm trying to rest in that. It looks like we have about 1 more month- which really isn't all that long in the big picture. Day to day it feels like forever though! 

An additional weight on my heart has been our other unresolved issue I talk about cryptically in other posts. Still unresolved. Trying to rest in God's plan for this yet pleading with him for a resolution. And not just any resolution, a screaming from the rooftops happy resolution. He is the God of miracles. He can do it. 

As we wait for the time to pass until we can go get our sweet girl I'm trying to bring myself out of this funk (It isn't a big funk, don't worry). Today is day 2 of my no sugar, strict paleo, essentially whole 30 diet. I'm not experiencing the cranky sugar deprived monster that I was last year when I gave up sugar. But it could also be contributing to my general "blah" that I'm in. My new year resolution is to lose this 5-10 extra lbs that I've gained since moving here (don't weigh myself, just guessing based on how my clothes fit). Darn that bibimbap in a hot pot! ;) I think spending lots of time in the kitchen could help keep me busy during this wait. Today I've made almond milk and am about to start almond butter(love my vitamix!). 

I'm also hoping to figure out what in the world to do with all of my pictures. Print them? Blog them? Put them in books? What?! It is a big big project and one I at least need to have a plan for. 

Oh yeah- and it would probably be helpful if we set up sweet baby's crib, etc. :) Little things like that. :) 

So, as 2013 starts, I'm keeping busy and I'm praying. Praying for time to pass, for our baby girl to stay healthy, for healing of my heart, and for miraculous resolution. Praying that 2013 draws us closer to God and that we stand with Him in the trials. Sorry this has been so disjointed. I just needed to get it out! :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


I used to be a crafty person. Truly I did. The reason this blog is named "I really should be cleaning" is because I would often knit, scrapbook, read, or coupon my days away! And while it is true, I still should be cleaning- it is because I'm taking care of these crazy rugrats, or grocery shopping, or chatting with long distance friends on facebook cooking dinner or something like that. The past 3 weeks of waiting on this adoption have sent me back into my crafting mode though- definitely nesting. I've been going crazy trying to get some things done before my baby girl comes home. And I think a part of me is also trying to knit my way to her! :) Here are some of the projects I've been working on:

Scrapbook bunting for my friend's baby shower that I hosted. Ignore the ugly brown wood. We live in base housing remember? Also, ignore the fact that we don't have curtains...we hung the curtain rod only to realize we lost one of our curtains in the move. On my list- order more curtains!

Sewing pillow covers so we finally have pillows on our couch! 

Knitting a winter hat for my new love bug! Colors are much prettier in person. Pattern from Itty-Bitty Hats book.

Christmas cards. Ok, this is not really nesting, but I did decide to write a lengthy letter with ours (unusual for me) and got a cute stone stamp with our name in Hangul to stamp on all of the letters. Plus it makes me feel more productive if I add it to this blog post. :)

Sewed a fabric bunting for the kids playroom. This room is definitely a work in progress. 

About Me

I am a sinner who has been chosen by God and redeemed by the death and resurrection of his son Jesus. I am a full-time wife and mom, though I hope to someday return to my job as an SLP. I love photography, coffee, reading, and adoption. I hate to clean, but sometimes do it anyway!
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