Monday, June 28, 2010

It's Poppy Dip

I ran across Mama Sallee in the world of blogging.  She follows several of the same blogs as me, and I've been drooling over her fabulous creations!

Sallee is sewing each of these beautiful dresses and skirts with love, to fundraise for their third adoption.  They already have 3 children by birth, and 2 children by adoption.  They are waiting for their 6th little blessing to come home from Ethiopia.

All you Mamas of daughters out there, check out these beauties and consider splurging to support them!  And while you're at it, you can learn more about Sallee and how God is growing her family by clicking on the tabs at the top of Sallee's website


ps ~ Don't forget you can still buy a pendant to support Sean & Cate's adoption here.  We really want to see this amazing family grow, and can't wait to see how God provides. :)

froggy love

We have a frog. 

Somehow, we always seem to have something new, or something in the works.  Currently the kids are advocating for chickens (which we've agreed to), and 10 more rabbits (ha!). 

But I digress....  For now, we've discovered we have a frog.  It's not a complete surprise, considering we put tadpoles in our pond last year.  But we haven't seen those tadpoles or any frogs for a very long time, so this was a fun surprise.

May the frog live a long happy life.  And eat lots of mosquitoes.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Funny Friday

"Why are you looking at me like that?" 
"Like what?  Why are YOU looking at ME like that?"

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Guess Who

Guess who... one month old? on the verge of smiling?  (that one was accidental)

...already weighs 9 pounds, 13 ounces? breaking free from the hospital today? contemplating wearing makeup for the first time in days?    (oh, wait...that's Mama)

Yeah, Brooklyn!  I love you, sweetie!  And I can't wait to take you home to your Daddy, big brothers, and big sister.  They sure have missed you. 

Perfect timing, too.  Now I don't have to buy a big bow to hide that awful IV!

Monday, June 21, 2010

A change in perspective...

Oh, how we can be so quick to judge….to assume the worst, or at the very least not be very gracious.

Brooklyn came down with a fever on Saturday evening. She didn’t seem too sick, but fevers are taken very seriously in newborns, so at 4am I ended up at the Children’s Hospital with her for a full work-up and a couple days of observation. It wasn’t easy to see our little one in pain during her procedures (blood draw, IVs, spinal tap, etc.), but it was over quickly and now we wait…and do heavy duty IV antibiotics every 6 hours. It is so hard to see her being pumped full of these powerful drugs, but I must trust God to care for her body.

We were assigned a shared room. This was a given, as there are no private rooms here. But I was still a bit disappointed. I was brought in and immediately faced with a fussy little girl, a movie blaring (peppered with the occasional cuss words), and to top it off, the family barely acknowledged our presence. Disappointed, I finally fell asleep. Not too hard considering I’d only had 2 hours of sleep before coming to the hospital, and had been there since 4am.

Later that night I learned more about their situation, and finally got the little girl to warm up to me a bit more.  Soon after that, her mom relaxed and we enjoyed getting to know each other a little.

The real situation? Little H is six years old and has leukemia. She was diagnosed over 2 years ago. She is in the maintenance stage now, with multiple daily medications and monthly chemo, and she is here because of complications from a simple fever and cold. I can only imagine the long road they have been walking. My heart broke for them, and last night, at midnight, I wept behind my dividing curtain as the nurse tried to find a good vein for a blood draw – almost impossible because of her longs months of chemo and fragile veins. This family has been through more than I can imagine. And how many roommates have they had by now?  Nice ones, noisy ones, roommates whose whole family moves into their tiny room….  Their ability to try and connect with those who will only be here for a few days is probably greatly limited by now.

My focus has completely changed. The mom was worried they would disturb us. Ha! Nothing could bother me much – including the many nighttime disturbances as Little H heads to the bathroom, gets more meds, and her IV beeps. Instead, I feel such compassion, and pray for them often. I am blessed that my baby girl is doing so well, and that I have 3 healthy children at home. I fell asleep thankful for that, and thinking, also, of the many moms in Haiti who have newborns and sick children living in tents during the muddy rainy season. I don’t have to tell you how terrible the conditions are. We have all heard the news, and it’s overwhelming and tempts us to turn away to protect our hearts.

I am so thankful that God kept me from being overly absorbed in our situation this weekend. I feel blessed to have my world rocked in this way.  I am praying He uses me to encourage this family in some small way.  I would appreciate your prayers for Little H.  She needs them.  Please also pray that my interactions with them would be meaningful. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

bunny love

We may have a new baby in the family, but that has not meant that our bunny has been neglected.  (Aside from his name, of course, which is yet to be decided!)  This little guy gets lots of loving attention daily.  In fact, the kids often get up and head outside first thing in the morning so they can play with him. 

Bunny has also become quite an escape artist.  He has a large fenced in area, including a little 'pond', a brick bunny house, and shady vines to hike under.  But he has developed a new skill.  He literally climbs the wire fencing and squeezes through the bigger openings near the top.  His preferred area of the yard is the compost pile. 

Friday, June 11, 2010

3 weeks today

Look who's three weeks old today!

(We are loving that strawberry blonde hair!)

June Kids' Quotes

 "Chez & I found two caterpillars. They look exactly alike, so we marked one of them with a marker so we could tell them apart."

"When my caterpillar won't wake up, I just dunk it in water and then it wakes up!"

"Going to summer camp (Vacation Bible School) makes me feel like a Rockstar!"

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Challenge

It has been rough around here lately with our older three.  We suspect it comes with the territory, because of the journey our family has been on for the last few months. 

Andy was laid off in November '08.  There is not much need for an architect in this market, so it has been an up and down road of learning to trust God deeply to meet our needs.  We have not been terribly stressed about finances -- just cautious.  But when Andy is able to get a contract job, he goes from being an active part of family life, and involving the kiddos in various home projects, to suddenly working long hours to meet a deadline and praying that this new client will lead to another job opportunity.  This wreaks havoc on family routines, for obvious reasons.  And me?  Oooh, that is another journey altogether.  'Take it easy' status, followed by bed rest, then sudden hospitalization & stricter bedrest, then no bedrest - but weak and tired, then 'Baby is here!'.  Ugh.  None of us have known quite how to 'normalize' that experience. 

For weeks now, we have been dealing with crazy amounts of whining, bickering, and sass.  Our best attempts at dealing with it have felt completely futile.  Last night, Andy and I were very discouraged.  It just seems that we have not been able to reach our children and deal with the heart issues that they are struggling with.

And then God brought Christine's blog entry to my mind.  To our knowledge, we are not dealing with attachment issues.  But we are dealing with children who feel a bit neglected, frustrated, and probably a lot of other emotions, too.  When I first read this entry, I thought it was a great idea, and I prayed for the MANY families who commented on her blog and took her up on her challenge.  But other than that, I was basically thankful that the more serious behavior challenges we've dealt with in the past, with the help of a wonderful Christian therapist, are not an issue right now.  But last night I was praying for our sweeties, and for wisdom for Andy and I, and I realized that is the level of intentionality we need in our parenting right now.  We can't expect to wing it on a daily basis and get great results when our family life has been chaotic for months now. 

So this morning we woke up, put smiles on our faces, and gave our kiddos lots of hugs and intentional, caring interaction.  We helped them with tasks they can technically do themselves -- like dressing, putting lotion on, etc.  We are calling them by loving nicknames, using active listening when they want to tell us something, and making sure they know how much we love them and feel blessed to be a family together.  We are changing the focus, and trusting that God will help us set a new tone for our family life in the days to come.  This is our chance for a new beginning as a family of six.  And we are ready!  We'd appreciate your prayers as we walk this path with our children. 

And thank You, Lord, for giving us a fresh start.  Please sustain us when we are tired at the end of a long day.  We are so blessed to be the parents, mentors, and nurturers of these four precious children!  Please help us to be good stewards of our time with them.

Our basic daily goals:
~lots of hugs and verbal reminders of our love for them
~as many positive and purposeful interactions as possible
~active play time with each of them, even if only for a few minutes
~family reading time (used to be a fav family activity)
~continue with consistent discipline and instruction

We won't be checking these off a list, but rather we'll see these as goals, and a focus to get back to when we feel that things are slipping. :)

Key phrases to avoid right now:
~You've got to be kidding....does that ever work?
~How about your try that again with a little more whining....

Oh yeah....sarcasm has crept in.  And now we are cutting it out! ;)

Ready to work together now....

Thursday, June 3, 2010 we could tell them apart

Lucas and Chez are really into catching caterpillars these days.  A few days ago they found two caterpillars that looked the same.  They couldn't wait to show us.  And then Lucas told me, "Mom, they're identical, so we marked one of them with a marker so we could tell them apart."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Grandparent visit

When Brooklyn was a week old, Andy's parents came to visit. It was a quiet weekend on the home front. I was still healing, and sleep deprivation had caught up to me, so I spent much of the weekend resting.  Grandma and the kiddos played, and Andy and his Dad did home projects. I forgot to take a picture of the work in progress, but we sure are blessed by their accomplishments! This time their main project was taking out an old rusty faucet in the kids' bathroom that was constantly leaking. It was stuck in there so well that it took four hours and multiple trips to Ace Hardware and Home Depot to get it out! But putting the new one in was a breeze after that.

bedtime Bible stories with Grandpa

Surprise celebration for Grandma's birthday.

Hanging out together in the backyard.

Grandma enjoying her newest grandbaby.
Brooklyn is her eighth! 
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