Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Life Lately

I looked at my calendar yesterday morning only to realize it is already the last week of January.  Crazy!  Where did the month go?

Last week Andrew had to travel to Oklahoma City for work.  Thankfully he only had to be gone one night.  I took advantage of it and had dinner with my Momma and Mommom.  Fun girls night out in the middle of the week.

I also got a little crazy while he was gone preparing for the 100th day of school which was last Thursday.  I made a little treat for each of my students.

It took a little bit of time to put EIGHTY of these things together.

Even with the extra help.

We spent this past weekend in PRIDE (foster/adoption) training.  I wasn't exactly excited about spending 14 hours of my weekend in training, but I really enjoyed it.  The time flew by.  There are three other couples in our class.  Two of us are pursuing adoption and the other two couples plan to foster.  The couples are all so sweet and friendly.  We spent two days getting to know each other.  We laughed together and cried together.  

We had a different teacher each day.  They were both volunteers for The Call and did a fabulous job.  
Throughout the two days we talked quite a bit about permanence and how kids need to feel some permanence in their lives.  Sometimes when a child enters foster care it is very sudden.  They lose all sense of permanence.  Their plans have been torn apart whether those plans are about what they were going to wear on next week's field trip or something more long term.

The teacher asked us to answer a few questions about our plans.  One of the question asked what you hoped to be doing one year for now.  I glanced over at Andrew's paper (not that I was cheating or anything) and he had answered that question "watching football with my sons"

Cue tears!

I love my husband and I absolutely cannot wait to watch him be a daddy.  Pretty sure I fell more in love with him during our training classes as I listened to him answer questions and explain how he would handle certain situations.  I think he is going to be pretty good at this daddy thing.

Our last day of training includes a panel of people who are or have been involved with fostering and adopting.  It will be a Q&A session.  I'm really looking forward to that.  The real life stories are my favorite part of training.  To know that people have walked this same journey and are blessed because of it.

Speaking of Q&A...I thought I would do a blog post answering your quesitons...if you have any that is.  Questions about adoption, braces, teaching, me, our family,...   Ask away in the comments and I will do a post answering the questions I can answer on Feburary 1.  :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Clean Slate

Each year my classroom is filled with a new group of students.  Sometimes these students are brand new to my classroom or even our school.  Sometimes they are students that were in my class last year. Regardless of their "newness" their reputation always seems to precede them.

I hear from their previous teachers how sweet or how rowdy the students are.  I'm told I will love this group or this group is going to be a challenge.

It sometimes make it more challenging to allow each student to start the new year with a clean slate.  But they need that clean slate.  They need to be able to start fresh.  They need the opportunity to grow and mature.

I need that same opportunity.  I am so thankful that God gives me room to grow and mature.  He gives me a clean slate each and every day.  If I mess up today, I can try again tomorrow.

As Andrew and I move closer to bringing our children home through adoption, I think about this verse more and more.  Our children have not had an easy life up to this point.  The fact that they are no longer with their biological parents is proof of that.  They have experienced things that will no doubt stay with them for the rest of their lives.  They are coming into our family with a past, with a mound of paper work telling us how sweet they are or how much they will challenge us.

While Andrew and I do not believe for one second that our parenting journey is going to be easy, we do not want to place issues on our children just because of their past.  We want to welcome them into our family with a clean slate.  We want to be a living example in their lives of new mercies.

Children are not perfect.  Children misbehave.  

Children sin.

But children also shine.  Children bring joy. 

Children are gifts from God.

The word before - whether it be biological or adopted - doesn't matter.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

SSMT Verse 2

It's time for our second verse for SSMT.  I am absolutely loving this.  And I must say I'm a little proud of myself for memorizing my first verse so easily.  I shouldn't be.  I know the memorization came easily because God helped me.  I didn't do it on my own.

There is something about knowing that thousands of other women are memorizing and meditating on God's word together.  It doesn't even matter that we aren't all memorizing the same verse.  I think that actually makes it more powerful.  God is at work in each of our lives and I praise him for that.

I wondered if God would give me my second verse as clearly as he gave me first.

He did.

Lately I've been allowing myself to be very honest with God about my desires.  I've been allowing myself to be honest with myself.

My heart desires a baby.  And I believe that God will give me the desires of my heart in his time.  I don't know if that baby will be biological or through adoption, but God knows.

I'm allowing myself to have this desire without feeling guilty.  It doesn't lessen my desire to adopt older children.  I believe that is the path we are to pursue and I'm joyful about that path.

My desire is to grow our family.  But I'm believing God to do even more than that.  I'm believing him to do more than I could ever think or want.  

I'm letting my imagination run wild with what God can do.  It's fun to dream.  And to think He can do something far greater than my biggest, wildest dream!

It's not to late for you to join SSMT.  Please join us.  Afraid your memory isn't good enough?  That's okay.  You can meditate on His word.  It will sink into your heart.  His word does not return void.  I will be your cheerleader every step of the way.  Let's allow God's word to fill our hearts and minds.  It's something we will never regret.

Love you sweet friends.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Oh What A Day!

Around 4:30 Saturday morning Liberty Belle woke us up hacking like she was going to throw up.  She continued to do this all day Saturday and Sunday so Andrew took her to the vet today. 

Sweet girl has a cold.  Apparently her hacking is a dog cough.

We left the vet with two meds for her to take and lighter wallets.  

Dog colds aren't cheap.

I got in my car today at lunch to go grab something to eat only to find that my car wouldn't start.  One of our maintenance men came out during my planning period to try and jump start it.  No luck!  My batter was dead!

Andrew had to leave work early to come pick me up.  We went and picked Lib up from the vet, grabbed dinner, bought a new battery, and headed back to school to get my car.

It was way too cold tonight to be changing a battery.  I'm thankful Andrew got it done quickly.

On a happier note...

My brother called me this afternoon to tell me I was right.  He and Melissa are having a little girl.  

But then he told me he was right too.  They are also having a little boy.


A baby for each of Aunt E's arms!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Books and Birthdays

I didn't really make any resolutions this year, but I do have a few goals.  One of them is to read more.  My list of books read in 2014 was just sad and pathetic.  I miss reading and I want to start putting down my phone and picking up a book instead.  And not just in the year 2015.  

I just finished The Confession by Robert Whitlow.  I really enjoyed it.  If you like Christian suspense novels, you should read it.  

I have a couple of new books on the way that I ordered from ebay.  I am excited to read them and share them with my two best friends from high school.  It's been a long time since the three of us shared books.  

It has been so cold here this week.  I don't care anything about cold weather if it isn't going to bring snow and allow me to stay home in my PJs all day.  The LBs and I have been enjoying our little fire lately.  You can pretty much bet this is where we will be if we are home.

Sunday is my daddy's birthday so we celebrated last night with pizza and salad and lots of fun.

After we ate and opened presents, we played Hollywood Game Night.  We laughed so hard!  At one point I thought I might pee my pants from laughing.

I love my family!

Then we decided to recreate some old photos.

More laughter!

Seth & Melissa find out on Monday if they are having a girl or boy.  I can't wait!  I would love a niece or a nephew, but I might be hoping for a niece.  :)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Our Calendar: January

I have been so excited to get my new calendar that I created with Shutterfly.

I went back through all of my pictures from 2014 to create it.

Each month has pictures from that month in 2014.

So January has pictures from last January.

I think it will be fun to remember what we were doing this time last year as we go throughout this year.  I'm hoping this is something I will do every year.

Last January we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary.  We took my daddy out to eat for his birthday.  It was our first time to see the trumpet swans.  (I'm ready to do that again this year.)  And we had friends over to bring in the New Year.

As soon as I got it open today I wrote our family's birthdays and anniversaries in the calendar.  I want to try to send each person a card this year - snail mail style.  I think there is something sweet and special about receiving a card in the mail.  I am thankful for each person in our family and I want 2015 to be a year where I tell them how I thankful I am for them.

Shutterfly allows you to add your important dates while creating your calendar, but I didn't have time to do that this year.  And I kind of like writing them in the calendar myself.  

It's on our fridge so that we will see it every day.

I absolutely LOVE it!  

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Eleven Years

Eleven Years.

Today we celebrate 11 years of marriage.

Each year seems to be better than the last.

I still wake up every day in awe that I get to do life with my best friend.

He loves me well.

I am blessed.

Happy Anniversary babe!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Christmas: New Year's Eve Style

Andrew and I celebrated Christmas one more time last night.  We got together with some of his family at Uncle Kevin and Aunt Sandi's house.


Andrew and I picked up Amelia and Sydney so they could celebrate with us.  Sickness kept Jill and Alex at home. :(

It was fun to practice our parenting skills for the night.  Those two make it easy.

There was lots of yummy food!

Uncle Kevin found a beautiful Christmas song for us to sing.

We opened a few presents.

We ended the name with a very active game of Headbands.  I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.  I laughed until I cried.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Siesta Sister Memory Team

Last week I stumbled across a post on Beth Moore's blog talking about the Siesta Sister Memory Team (SSMT).  I thought it sounded fun and like a good thing to do.  Earlier this week God brought that blog post back around.  I knew it wasn't only something that sounded good but it was something I needed to do.  

Basically, you choose a verse relevant to you on the 1st and 15th of each month to memorize and meditate on.  You post your verse on Beth's blog.  If you aren't sure which verse to memorize then she shares one that you can choose.  At the end of 2015 you will have memorized 24 scriptures.  

How awesome is that!?!

She holds a celebration in Houston, TX in January 2016 for all the participants.

God gave me my first verse immediately.  Though it wasn't verbal, our conversation went something like this.

God: "Daughter, I want you to commit Habakkuk 3:17-18 to memory.  I want you to study it and meditate on it day and night.

Me (after reading Habakkuk 3:17-18): "That is a great verse and a beautiful promise, God, but I was really hoping for something a little shorter for my first verse."

God: "Daughter, I love you.  This is the verse I have for you.  Trust me."

Me: "I do trust you, but I don't want to get discouraged when I can't memorize my first verse.  Can I please have something a little shorter?"

I searched for something shorter.  I really did.  But no matter what verse I read, God brought me back to Habakkuk.  So I'm trusting him.  I'm committing Habakkuk 3:17-18 to memory.

I am so excited to be a member of the 2015 SSMT.  The ladies in Andrew's family are join me.  As we were all sharing our first verses today I got teary eye.  I just think this is an amazing thing.  Memorizing scripture together.  And I love that we don't all have the same scripture. 

It's not too late for you to join us.

Won't you please consider it.

Here's to a great year!