Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Monday, September 27, 2010

Forever and Ever

There is an important date in our family that went by unnoticed, or rather, unacknowledged...until now!  September 4, 2008 was the day that our family was reunited after a long and difficult separation- the final stage of Isabelle Kate's adoption.  That day (night, technically) will remain one of the most cherished, perfect times in my whole life!  Hugging my boys again after SOOO long was simply indescribable!  I can only imagine how sweet reunions are where more months, and even years, have passed. 

So last night we celebrated our special day, the day our Forever and Ever Family was together again!

Poor Ethan had a stomach ache and wasn't feeling well enough for pictures  :(

Our family will forever be changed because God put the desire to adopt in our hearts,
and no, it wasn't easy, but it was His plan.  Thank you, God, for our precious gift!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Show Us Your Life - Master Bedrooms

I hope you had as much fun as I had last week peeking into everyone's Living Rooms!  I just love getting the chance to see how people decorate their homes, what kinds of colors and styles they have, and to read their stories about special items or memories.  Thanks again for hosting, Kelly!

This week is all about Master Bedrooms, so here is mine!
Thanks for stopping by!

Our bedroom got a new look last fall when we purchased this furniture (LOVE the look of the dark wood, not so in love with the dusting of the dark wood, sigh) here to see what it looked like last year for the first round of home tours.

Bill and I ripped up the nasty carpet in this room last year, and I still love this new plush, soft carpet in its place.  I shed many a tear over this shade of sage green on the wall, too, because it just wasn't what I had envisioned, and NOTHING looked good with it.  I recently discovered this shade of blue and like how the colors look together.  Now that I'm used to it, it's very soothing and calm, so that's nice.  In the winter I put a puffy white down comforter on the bed.
I've been on the lookout for a small table for the wall in between the closet and wash room, and maybe an antique wooden chair for the corner by the windows (maybe a reading nook with a tall lamp?).  And of course Every.Single.Plant I have ever tried to keep in here gets devoured by our cats, so I've given up.  Maybe it's time to bring in a fake, though I doubt that would deter them much!

The last thing on our wish list is to add a beautiful ceiling fan!
We've been saving up for pieces to avoid putting things on the credit card, and to be honest, it's kind of a pain in the neck!  But, we're determined to retrain our thinking about credit and adopt a more old fashioned (and godly!) way of doing things.  I'm finding it's really hard to wait- I want to finish it right now!  Can anyone else relate?

The closet is to the right...I think you can tell what's to the left

I like to fill our home with pictures of these beautiful faces-
the boys at Elm Brook, and Isabelle Kate at the Westin in Guatemala when she met her Daddy for the first time!

Some of my favorite things- a honeymoon photo; one of me seaside, pregnant with Ethan; a special rock from Jonah; a Mother's Day candle; and of course, what night stand is complete without a little Dr. Dobson and Edward and Bella?
Now I just need a tall lamp- I'm thinking glass or crystal.

After Bill and I got engaged, we decided we'd like to purchase a local work of art from each place we visited together.  We found this sketch up in Maine on our first trip up there as Mr. and Mrs.

These are my pictures- please be kind, I'm just a beginner!
(And it's actually quite challenging to get a good photo of a framed picture!)

I love the darks and lights together!
I made the small pillow in front, but I still need to make shams.  I'm thinking stripes with coordinating colors- what do you think?

I sort of tripped over Isabelle while attempting to take this photo, and I must've pushed the button in the midst of the commotion.  Not to worry, she is fine...and I kind of like the different angle here, ha!  So, thank you sweetie pie, for being underfoot!  :)

I hope you enjoyed the tour!  Click here to visit more homes... Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Soccer Stars, Apple Pickers, Special Friends & Equinox Magic

I love the fall!
There are so many wonderful things to get outside and enjoy as a family...and it's nice not to be sweating for a change!
Of course we're currently having unseasonably warm temps again, but we're still having a great time!

Here's Jonah, #47, and he was ON FIRE!  We are so proud of him for persevering and trying his very best, and he is really, really good!  Last year, Jonah burst into tears at the exact moment I went to the athletic office to sign him up for soccer- he wasn't ready, poor thing, and he couldn't handle the pressure.  So, so proud of this boy!

Waiting for some action...

I had Isabelle Kate with me (Bill was with Ethan on the other side of town for his game- hate it when I have to miss a game!), and we'd gotten there early for warm-up, so we enjoyed the park.  But she really wanted to be on the field playing with the boys, ha!  We'll sign her up for soccer next year for sure.  

My super speedy girl

We met up at home after the games and had lunch.  I was surprised to find one of Ethan's teammates and friends at our house- they gave me a play by play of what I'd missed (they had a great game too!).  We ended up with 5 kiddos around the table at lunchtime.  It was fun!  I like getting to know my children's friends.  They played for a long time afterwards, and then it was off to the orchard.

All ready for the tractor ride

How cute is this???

I think I'm a bit obsessed with photos like these- I can't believe those are my boys!  Those guys look so big- how can they be my little boys?
I love how they usually end up wandering ahead together like that, and in Ranks- E, J, then C

We'd just finished eating cider doughnuts- so, so good!- and I looked over at this
There was a quartet playing some jamboree-type songs.  It was great!

And of course we've been enjoying little Luke.  He's never far from one of the kiddos.  Such a sweet kitty!

Sneaks and Luke have already forged a friendship

Now it's Caleb's turn!  Last night was his first official game (scrimmage), and he and his team were sooooo excited!  They are hysterically funny to watch!  I just love it!

Caleb scored 2 goals!
I'm glad I got to see one; I had to bring Ethan to youth group- have I written about my involvement with the high schoolers?  Maybe not, but I don't have time....later!


I brought all three kitties to the vets yesterday- oh my word, was that an adventure and a half!!  I'll share that later, too, but for now I wanted to show off my cool magic....
Look at that!

I got 4 to stand upright last night around 11:15.  SO COOL!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Another {Happy} Whirlwind of a Day

I just can't seem to catch up!  Or at least, stay caught up!  I began this post last week, so some of the details are a  That's okay, the sentiment is the same.

This was a very big week for us- a new Bible study for me, which means a fun play group for Isabelle Katie; and....the very first day of preschool!  Wow!  And I'm feeling a bit more "settled in" with our routines, so that right there puts a big ol' smile on my face.  I think this is going to be a great year for our family!

I'm going to want to remember these days, so I'm going to post chronologically, as if I were keeping track in my appointment book.  Here goes! (rather, went- this was Monday...well, LAST Monday, ha!)
  • 4:38 am- I know the alarm is ready to sound in just a few minutes, so I turn it off and linger with my thoughts and prayers for a few moments before starting the day.
  • See Bill off to work and check email and/or work on the novel for a while
  • 5:30ish- Already fretting in my head about Isabelle's first day of school outfit, again, while assembling lunch boxes; then sweep and mop the kitchen, hallway, and half bath floors 
  • 6:00- Shower, think about shaving but don't really feel like it (it was cold enough for pants, whew!); make bed, gather more laundry to be done (7 loads in total that day)
  • 6:25- First round of wake-ups (J), but he looks so cute sleeping on Teddy, who is supposed to be beside the bed now because I fear he has reached Level 4 Bio-hazard status and I cringe when I think of Jonah inhaling that stuff for hours on end...but my heart melts and I give him another few minutes to rest with his reliable old pal.
  •  6:40- Jonah has been lured to the kitchen with the announcement of homemade egg McMuffins and Dinosaur Teeth (carved triangles in melons, to get the boys to eat them when they were small); Caleb is rising, making his bed, getting dressed, and will be down to take his seat for breakfast in about 3 1/2 minutes.
I love that they still love (and request) Dinosaur Teeth cantaloupes!
    •  Morning progresses...teeth brushed, lunches handed out, hugs given...J leaves, twenty minutes later it's raining again, and Caleb wants me to walk him down, so off we go; I hear Isabelle upstairs but know she will be fine for a couple minutes.
    • I return home and hear Isabelle giggling with Ethan, who is now just getting up; more breakfast, dishes cleared and cleaned, cats fed, a few more minutes of blog-stalking -checking, then Ethan is off with lunch and hugs; now it's just Isabelle and Mama for the next several hours.

      I told Isabelle she is such a big girl now, she can try to sit at the counter like the boys do~
      I don't know why she made that face, silly girl!
      • We sort laundry and get started with one load, two loads, three then four, all the while, removing summer shirts and things from drawers and putting them in the storage bins, still contemplating preschool outfits (why all the fuss, I wonder, but fuss I do!), grabbing the Disney compilation CD so we can dance while we work; major hissy fit ensues when I'm commanded to get down "dance class pretties" - we don't command Mama to do anything, thank you very much...but Mama does give multiple chances to ask the right way, and after only four tries (sigh), Isabelle is now flitting around in her tutus and tights.  Happiness.
      • Laundry takes a while (the last load was finishing up when the first two came home from school!), the cold rain kept us inside, so we played and worked all morning long- someone fixing things in her kitchen while I tackled the Big One; then off to clean the bathrooms and dust and vacuum- FUN!
       We were trying out the first day of school ensemble- or half of it anyway!  So glad I went with the argyle socks!
      • Many days we enjoy a picnic lunch and a long walk through the neighborhood, but not today with the rain.  Isabelle isn't as thrilled about these walks anymore because she'd rather be walking too, and I make her sit in the jogger- no fun!  (If she's cooperating, she gets to eat an apple or something and walk for a while before being sent to confinement!)  Even if she isn't happy at first, she comes around and enjoys looking out for squirrels and birds.
      Sometimes this happens on our walks, ha!
      • More play time, tidying up, sorting and folding...and naptime!  This is when I try to remember to spend a few minutes being quiet, spending time with God, but I have to be honest and admit that this is so hard for me!  I am not disciplined in this area like I used to be, and I've noticed what an (negative) impact it has on my life.  There are so many other things I feel like I should be doing, and even more, that I want to be doing.  Even typing that out hurts my heart and fills me with grief- why wouldn't I want to spend my time with the One who has given me life, given me everything?  I'm trying, but it's still a struggle.  This new Bible study is going to help a lot!  Though now that Isabelle doesn't nap every day, and school is 2 afternoons each week, I may have to rethink when I do my Bible Study work.
      • Before I know it, I'm back in the kitchen making snacks- graham crackers with peanut butter and chocolate chips- for Jonah and Caleb, who will be returning him in a few minutes; then Isabelle will be up; Ethan isn't home until 4 this year (though he's loving the later mornings)!
      • There is much "refereeing" after school, homework duty, dinner prep, and all that.  By now most of the laundry is neatly stacked in distinct piles- if I weren't so...I'll call myself orderly rather than anal, though you can decide for yourself, ha!...then I'd make it easier on myself and have the kids put away their own things, but this actually stresses me more than simply doing it myself.  I don't mind; one day I won't have this "job," and I'll miss it.
      • Big snack for Ethan, who is on his way to soccer by 4:20 (it's a good thing he is so wonderful about time management and completes most of his homework at school during homeroom time!); Jonah starts dinner early and leaves for soccer at 5:20; whichever parent is here eats with Isabelle and Caleb, and with Ethan later.  Whew!  Are you tired yet?  :)
      • Showers, stories, snuggles, prayers and goodnight kisses begin around 7 pm.  Most nights the younger three are in bed around 7:45; Ethan gets to linger a while and often heads up around 8:15 to read for a few minutes.  I know this might seem early to lots of people, but it works for us and keeps us {relatively}sane.  Plus, it's the only time I get to talk to Bill without interruption!
       And then on Tuesday we had the completely unexpected surprise of bringing home the sweetest little kitty!  I brought him to school to meet up with Caleb and Jonah, then off to preschool to show Isabelle.  I think that day might go down as one of the best coming-home-from-school days EVER!  He makes our days so much more fun!

      Caleb sees something...

      He's running onto Jonah's bus (from the other school) to call him off for the surprise!

      Isabelle was SO excited!!!

      Love his expression here!

      And now he (finally) has a name...Luke
      Isn't he sweet!?!

      I hope one day I'll look back on this post and be able to remember all the details of our life so clearly.  And I'll be so glad I captured as much of it as I could!

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