Shine Like Stars

Shine like stars in the universe as we hold out the Word of life (Phil. 2:15)
We're not trying to be rock stars but just shed some light on a sad and lonely world. Stay tuned for how God works through weak and tired, sometimes really cranky vessels.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Candid camera type days..

Cute kid pictures first...

Nathan's our little theologian.  
He was reading this children's lift the flap Bible this morning and noticed 
that there were Bible references on the pages. 
So he went through each story and read from his Bible and the kiddie Bible 
and pointed out the differences between the stories.  
All of this was on his own.  I would never had come up with this idea especially the 
way the last couple of days have gone.

Cute cheese!

Addie is hard at work with a card for Ms. Austia.

They wanted me to take a picture to send into the Lego magazine people.

Now on to my candid camera kind of days....

After coming home from the amazing conference, I was hoping to have a normal fun 
week with the kids.  But I felt sick, Addie was sick and Melia was getting over being sick 
so she was very cranky.  For some reason I decided Monday was the day to clean out
the kids trashed room and I had the boys help me get rid of a lot of unnecessary toys and simplify.
(This may not seem like an important part of the story but it is)
Doesn't the room look cute?  It's been covered with junk for the last few months....

So the kids have these round rugs from Ikea that were on the floor 
and I decided it would be a good idea to wash them.
After all I just washed my couch cushions for the first time ever and I was amazed at the results.
I had no idea I could wash them.  I was too excited about that for days.
So I threw them in the washer.

Fast forward to Tuesday...
Candid camera moment #1
Still feeling sick, still wishing my girls were feeling better.
During a diaper wrestling match  mishap,  I wind up with Melia poop
all over my favorite pj pants (the amazing zebra print pants), my sweatshirt,
the floor.... you get the point. 
SO after bathing the baby I run downstairs to take care of the crap.
Only to find that my washing machine has some kind of crazy code blinking on it.
I looked in the wash tub there was a ridiculous amount of a substance that looked like sand in it.
After way too long of trying to just get the stupid door open I gave up and collapsed on the couch. 
Then I had another go at it and ended up having to take it apart in order to get the water to drain. 
While the water was draining all over the floor, the floor drain pipe became clogged and water
was everywhere, my poor girls were a little traumatized by there momma pretending to be a plumber. 
I finally ended up going to bed.
This is what the situation looked like this morning....

So somehow when washed an insane amount of sandy stuff came out of these rugs.
Am I missing something?  Are Ikea rugs secretly made out of sand? Do I actually live by
the seashore like I've always imagined in my head?  WHERE the heck did this come from. 
Oh, and the rugs are a soaking, stinking mess.... nice.

Picture of the poop clothes minus the zebra pants.

Picture of the wound incured while trying to repair the washing machine (don't ask).
Melia has been very distraught about this cut all day.  "Mommy owwiee?"

I was doing fairly well with all of this, especially while feeling sick.  Thanks to "The Song" 
I'll tell you about later.

While I was rocking Melia to sleep Addie ran upstairs and said
I made a big mess.  I thought, no surprise just one of the 10 spills we have a day.
I told I'd help her in a few minutes.
Addie had extremely underestimated the mess and misunderstood that she was the cause.
My awesome husband, who did an amazing time taking care of the kids while I was gone,
in order to remove perler beads from immediate use threw them on top of this cupboard,
on top of a puzzle, which is on top of some wires 
(don't be too jealous of my stellar housekeeping skills) 

When Addie opened the door to get a puzzle out 
BAM!  Perler bead explosion.

I didn't get a picture of the ridiculous mess, but it was bad.
The kids spent a long time cleaning it up and there's still so many 
more on the ground. 
Caleb was my main cleaner today.  He was so intrigued by the sand
in the laundry room.  He cleaned it all up while creating wild ideas about
where it came from.  He was a champ with the beads too. 

I can be obsessive and since I heard this song at my retreat, I've been obsessed.
My poor kids.  I've listened to it way too many times.  


So as I was cleaning the poop off the floor 
or wrestling with the washing machine 
I was thinking for today the poop and plumbing was
the "wild" part of my day and even though it's not how I planned
 it can still be full of Him 
and it was and so I'm blessed. 

I should have titled this "way too long blog post" huh? 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ahh, a breath of fresh air

I'm having an awesome time at the Created for Care retreat.  I didn't spend much time preparing to come and didn't have many expectations of the weekend but I have to say it's been amazing so far.

Last night we were challenged by the speaker to live life at well and not wail.  She talked about Genesis 16 and 21 and how God saw Hagar in her distress and being in His presence allowed her to do what he called her to do.  Good stuff.

There's been a recurring theme in the things that I've been learning in my life lately and I've been hearing it  here too... that I need to be seeking the Lord and not looking for an exact formula on how to deal with issues in my life.  Each of my children are different and I need to parent them the way that the Lord leads.  So, pretty much I need to spend more time in the Word and less time concocting plans.

This morning we heard about parenting children like Samuel, who hear from the Lord themselves, not just from us.  1 Samuel 2:18 and 1 Samuel 3, really the whole book is good so you should read the whole thing.  But she highlighted a few key things...
~Eli encouraged Samuel to lay down quietly and listen for the Lord.
~Our children don't receive a baby Holy Spirit, the spiritual things they say aren't just cute, it's from the Lord.
~Isaiah 45:3-4.... God's going to help me know who my children are and can show me how to parent them.

Then I went to a breakout session about adopting siblings and older children.  Cris did an awesome job of sharing so many amazing things that she's learned along the way.  She had really good insights here's her blog if you want to learn about her family.... Adopting our Little Sweet Peas.
Here were a couple of things that struck me...
~You view adopted children by their "family age" (how long they've been home) not by their actual age.  This helps with having accurate expectations of our children.  If they've been home a year then they'll deal with things emotionally the way that one year olds do.  For those of you awesome people out there who haven't been called to adopt but you are really supportive to us adoptive mommas (I have some of you in my life who I don't know what I'd do without you!)  This might be helpful to remind me of on hard days :)
~I need to initiate connecting with my adoptive child  (but really should do with all my kiddos)
~Our children from the outside my look all put together but they are broken inside and need healing.
~As hard as it is for us, it's way harder on them--- treat them with grace!!

Oh, and it's also been great to meet blog and AGCI mommas face to face that I've been connecting with for awhile :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

I'm outta here and a recap of house church tonight

I signed up for the Created for Care retreat months ago.  I think it's going to be an amazing time of rest and fellowship with other mommas.  I'm a excited about getting away but I'm also a bit nervous about leaving these little people.  I know, they have a really great Dad who's going to take good care of them, but since it's my job to do this all the time I feel the need to act like life at home can't go on without me.  :)

It's super strange to be packing just for myself.  I actually haven't started packing, instead I made some goodie bags for the kids so they will remember just how cool I am even though I'm not home.  And I figured the novelty of a couple toys will help Michael this weekend.

Here are a few random, cute pix of my girls...

On another note, tonight we had house church and it was so great.  In our internship we do a lot of reading about house churches and how they work.  After doing house church for a month, I'm realizing that the authors of those books aren't just making things up, real community, fellowship, growth, accountability and most of all love happens in houses!  I love how simply reading the Word and praying with a group of people can feel like such a profound thing has happened.

It's also amazing how real we are with each other and how genuinely excited we are when people share the good things that are happening in their lives.  I'm looking forward to continuing to have times of sharing when hard things are happening in our lives too.  Really, it just feel like a family getting together to learn more about Jesus, there's laughing and talking, some drinking (maybe of the malt kind) and eating, and lots of prayer, which unfortunately I didn't experience that much in traditional church.  Not because people in normal churches don't love to pray.  I know that is not true, it's just the the structure of church, no matter how informal it is,  does not put me at ease like hanging out in someone's house and sharing life with them. Maybe it's just me.  But regardless of what it is, I'm just happy to have meet with the Lord and some really cool people tonight.

Oh, one more thing.... my heart almost burst tonight when I heard Caleb, my almost 7 year old, join in our prayer time by praying Ephesians 6:16-17.  A sweet heart felt prayer about being ready to share Christ with others.  It was precious.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snowapalooza or snow apocalypse and a really cool brush

Everyone was all hyped up about how much snow we were going to get today.
It didn't turn out to be that much snow but it seemed like a lot!
Michael spent most of his day shoveling snow-- ours and some of the neighbors.

Some friends came over to play in the snow....

Elena and Kimmie building a snow couch for Addie. 

Pretty impressive couch

Cool Igloo

Now on to hair stuff...

This brush is amazing.  Hair time with Melia has never been better.  Seriously, I don't understand why it works but for some reason it does and for that reason I love it.  Hair time isn't Melia's favorite.  It has gotten better since she started enjoying watching shows.  "I want Wittle Einstiens."  So she gets to watch her show and and I work on her hair.  But this brush makes the work so much easier!  I love it.

Here are some pictures of her new do.
Isn't she ridiculously cute? 

Hair time went so well she got a sucker for a reward.

Addie also got a sucker for being affiliated with Melia.
I obviously slacked on her hair, but she's still cute. 
Speaking of cute today this little girl started saying 
"Oh, this is widiculous!" (ridiculous)
She has said it numerous times today.  So cute. 

Awesome Freebie

Last Summer I started reading this amazing book, Adopted for Life.  It's a great read.

Great news.... You can download it for free on this month.

If you'd rather read it here's a link to it...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Good ole' snaggle tooth finally comes out

snaggle tooth

Caleb, who will be 7 in a few weeks, lost his first tooth tonight. He was beyond excited. Many of his peers have lost numerous teeth and I think he was starting to wonder if his teeth would ever come out.

I on the other hand was quite happy in my world without creepy, wiggly, jiggly teeth. The first good wiggle I felt made my stomach churn. The days of watching him mess with it threw me off too. I know, I know this should not be about me but he hasn't asked to write on our family blog so I get to tell it from my point of view.

Oh, and Michael was also kinda freaked out about it too. So after about a week of the wiggliness, it was time to make it happen tonight. I tried my sister's floss trick cause there was no way I was going to pull it out with my fingers, but the floss was a fail. Then Michael decided to call in the troops and have his mom talk him through it. She did and with a big yank the tooth came out. A little traumatizing for the parents but the kid was a trooper.

and couldn't stop grinning. Now we start the awkward picture phase of our family....

The creepiness of the jiggly teeth isn't my only aversion to the situation. It's just another sign that my baby boy is no longer a baby. He's getting old. That's the funny part about having little kids. So many days I long for the times when I don't hear "mommy" said a gazillion times a day and when I can sit and read a book quietly or have an uninterrupted conversation with an adult. But at the same time I treasure these times when they are young and we are their world. Lord, give me the grace to treat them as the treasures that they are, and as I'm giving requests make them limit the number of times they say mommy a day.