Thursday, June 27, 2013

7 Quick Takes - Getting to the computer while there is still a path!

I am posting early this week.  Partially because I need a break from all things "yard sale" and partially because I am worried I will not be able to get to the computer soon.  Need proof????

1.  The current state of our living room . . .

2. Now, I know I mentioned in a post a while ago that I do not like to clean, but I also do NOT like clutter, either.  This clutter is for a good cause though.  We are having a yard sale as a fundraiser for our adoption.  And SO MANY people have been SO generous to us that the items are, literally taking over our house.  So much so that we have had to move up our yard sale by two weeks!  We do not have a basement and our storage is limited, so the yard sale items have filled every spare space in our house.  The only two rooms that are somewhat normal are the boys' bedroom and my and my hubby's bedroom.

3. What you would see the second you walked into our front door . . .

4.  To be honest, by mid week, my stress level went up.  I do not belong to a gym anymore and we do not have enough room in our living room for me to do my workouts and my treadmill is blocked by this . . .
I have not worked out for the last couple of days which has not helped my stress levels.
5.  Through all of this, God has shown his goodness.  As I was unloading our van with yet another van-full of donations, I felt like God was saying, "MY generosity cannot be outdone."
Yep, it really cannot!  I am amazed by how much we are being blessed.
6.  And at the very moment I want to get cranky and complain about the state of our house, I am reminded that there is a little child, a world away and my inconvenience is Nothing compared to him, living in an orphanage, him being abandoned, him waiting for someone to call Mom.
And I think too of the women in China who are pregnant or who have given up their children.  And my stress is NOTHING compared to the fear they must feel while pregnant . . . wondering if they will be taken away and forced to abort their children. It is NOTHING compared to the anguish they feel as they leave their babies on streets, just hoping they will be found and taken care of. It is NOTHING compared to the sadness they must feel, wondering if their children will get a chance at life.
Offer it up, Katie. Offer it up.
7.    One request.
If you live within driving distance, come to our yard sale this Saturday!  There is TONS of stuff.  A couch, clothing, a brand new bike trailer, furniture, vacuums, etc, etc.  Plus, my kids will be selling waters and snacks to keep everyone happy while they shop!
If you do not live close, please pray that this yard sale is a success.  Not only because it will help us bring home a little one from China, but because we really need our house back :-)
Happy Friday everyone!

Friday, June 21, 2013

7 Quick Takes - The "I am still alive edition!"

I am going to try to make these 7 quick takes quick and informative.  Just in case anyone in the cyberworld was wondering, yes we are all still alive and doing well.


 I am not sure where the term "Lazy days of summer" came from, but that is not my reality at all.  We are up and out of the house early so the kids can go to swim team practice EVERY MORNING.  Meets are on Saturday mornings and we have to be at the pool by 7:20 for warm-ups.  Next week, I think the meet is like 45 min. away.  No. No lazy days of summer here.

2.  I feel like the adoption paperwork is a little like treading water.  At times, I think I am doing pretty well and keep afloat and other times I feel like I have to just dive down under the water and swim as hard as I can.  We are in the middle of lots of home study paperwork.  We got a bunch done this past week, got it notarized and sent it off.  Right now, we are taking a couple day break and then getting ready to plunge back into the water to complete round # ? . . . . oh, I do not know what round we are on.  It is probably better I do not keep track.

3. Overwhelmed
Partially because of all the paperwork, the business of our days (we are still plugging away at school work here too - schooling all year), I have been feeling overwhelmed and stressed.  I have been sleeping horribly and finally had to make a commitment to myself that I needed to wrench my workouts to high gear and my prayer times to MUST HAPPEN first thing in the morning just to try to regain some peace. 

4. Overwhelmed by generosity too . . .
But, I am so overwhelmed by other's generosity too.  We are in the process of planning a yard sale fundraiser for our adoption.  I sent out an email last week asking for donations.  The response has been incredible.  I have gotten a van full of items from a complete stranger, and load after load from friends and aquaintances.  Our house is FULL of donations and there are still more people that are getting items together for us.  If you ever doubt the kindness of others, just come to my house right now, we are over flowing with it!

5.  Makes me so excited for what God will be doing over the next year . . .
This mom is a mom I met at Created for Care (she actually started the retreat).  Their family just picked up their newst family member from China!  I follow her on Facebook and Instagram too and each post, each photograph, she posted just got me so much more excited for our journey over the next year.  When there are moments I cannot see past the stack of papers or the "to-do" list in front of me, I look at the pictures of her little boy and their trip to China and I can see what lies beyond the now.  So hopeful. So exciting!

6.   Love this . . .
And what I love about is it that I have to look no further than my own living room to find my opportunity to do something beautiful for HIM.

7.  Little Flower Cuteness . . .

Mark your calendars!  The "official" date for the run is October 19, 2013 (you can run/walk or crawl as close to the date as you can.)  Registration will open soon!  Run for these precious little ones and for their care givers who love them endlessly!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, June 7, 2013

7 Quick Takes - 7 years with our K!

Today is my middle son's 7th Birthday!  Happy Birthday K!  We have had such a fun 7 years and I cannot wait to see what God has in store with you!

You arrived early evening, born to my OB's newest CD by KT Tunstall! My best and easiest c-section.  J beamed and lit up when he saw you.  We were all so happy to have you!
And you were such a good baby.  A good sleeper, a good eater.  You have been our only "chunky monkey". 
My little 2 year old.  Your little personality came out. You were friendly and smiled and talked to everyone.  And you always seemed to look like you were modelling in all of your pictures.
Oh, man, those 3 yr old eyes. . . .

And, your 4 yr old goofiness . . .

Each year you have shown us more of your special heart.  You have a kindness that is so deep and special.  You are always looking out for your brothers and others.

You have a genuine and pure heart for Jesus.

Your smile lights up our days.  You are a special young boy, K.  You work so hard and attack all you do with excitement.  We love you so much!
Happy Birthday!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Seeking Sponsors for the Run for the Little Flowers!

This little guy wants your help!
This is just a friendly plea (oh, I will have a bunch more of these soon!), the Second Annual Run for the Little Flowers will be on October 19, 2013!  Registration will open next month and I am in need of sponsors for the run.  Right now I am looking for anyone, individual or business, willing to donate an item for the giveaway (see this post from last year for the items we had) or money to help defray the cost of the shirts, postage and medals.  If you cannot help, that is fine, but consider sharing this info on Facebook, Twitter or your blog to get the word out.
Let's make this fundraiser a success!! 

For more information and to stay up to date on information for the run, like our Facebook page here!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wordless Wednesday, but not really . . .

Mary, at Better than Eden, wrote a great post about homeschooling and it really made me reflect on our homeschooling journey and the lessons learned.  And, this quote from Albert Einstein sums up my motto for homeschooling . . . .


My job, as my sons' teacher, is to find the genius in each of them and let it shine.  Those gifts, that genius, is different and unique in each, so their schooling will look so different.  And different from the homeschooling family across the street.  And that is OK. Better than OK, really.  That is the way it should be.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A not so quick update on life

I realized that it has been a while since I blogged and I am afraid that this space will lack any meaningful posts for a while.  Life is just full right now.  So, in case anyone cares what is going on with our family, here is a run down . . .

We were in a blissful paperwork lull for a while.  That has ended. Last week we had phone calls and multiple emails from our adoption agency and homestudy agency.  We have printed off a 100+ page manual to read and sign multiple papers from our adoption agency and I was greeted this morning with an email from our homestudy with 30+ pages attached to read and sign.  The big checks are due.  We are taking it one day at a time.  And any time I get anxious or stressed about it all, I go straight to prayer.
Praying this awesome novena now!


I made the crazy decision to homeschool all year round.  We did that last year and it was the best decision ever.  The boys are not thrilled right now as most of their friends are finished, but they are good sports.  Right now, things are light. We are doing science and history, reading, and math.  J is done with many of his subjects, so we are doing lots of fun supplements.  Yesterday we made goo and bouncy balls!  I ordered all of their books for "next year" and cannot wait for them to come.  We are switching some things around.  Changing math, again.  I am switching J to a writing curriculum from the Institute for Excellence in Wiritng, which I am excited about.  We still have not gotten J evaluated by an Educational Psychologist and am not sure when we will.  We are in a good streak, so I do not want to disrupt all the good that is going on right now.

Summer Crazies

Swim Team.  The boys have swim practice 4 days a week.  The first day it was so cold, J had to stop because he could not breathe in the water!  It has gotten warmer here, the water has warmed up.  J and K are enjoying it and we are trying to convince A to join the mini-swim team.
My breakfast.  Egg whites with spinach from our garden.

Our Garden. It is growing SO WELL this year.  Our spinach is amazing.  Lettuce, incredible.  The beets are growing well and our sugar snap peas are doing great too. 

Travel. Memorial Day weekend we went to visit my family in NY.  My brother and sister in law were in town from CA.  We had not seen them for 10 years.  It was so great to see them and be with them again.  We also got to visit with a friend of mine from college that is a priest and CFR who lives in Honduras.  Such a full few days, but so wonderful.
Work. I cannot believe that this is becoming a topic for me again.  I have not done any work outside of the home since my hubby got his new job 2 years ago.  But God has seen fit to bring me Personal Training and Life Coaching clients without me doing anything.  I forgot how much I loved doing that work.  I also worked my first expo for Run Pretty Far this weekend.  It was busy, tiring, but so much fun.  What isn't fun about being around other women runners and cute running clothes?

I hope I have not bored you all!!  I do have some posts in the works, I only hope that they will make it to the "hit publish" stage.  Have a happy summer y'all!! Know that I am reading all your blogs, just do not have time for long comments!