Thursday, March 19, 2009

Post placement, boo for doggies, and other random thoughts!

We have made it through our first post-placement visit.  Hooray!  We weren't sure what to expect, and it ended up being pretty painless.  The social worker was very encouraging and we had a good visit.  Abe slept through most of it.  But, I did find a way to motivate the kids to clean hard.  Let me share it with you.  When your 10 year old asks, "Mom, if the social worker thinks our house is too dirty, could she take us away from you?"  Pause thoughtfully and say, " don't think would have to be pretty bad."  Within seconds all of your children will be feverishly working.   Too bad the social worker is only coming 2 more times!

In other news, Isaac had a major asthma episode this weekend.  It was the first time he has needed to use his nebulizer in a couple of years.  It was triggered by a visit to a house that had a dog.  He didn't actually touch the dog, but by the time we left there he had a small wheeze. By the next morning it was worse, and by that night we were considering taking him to the ER.  It was very scary, but we took him to the Dr. first thing Monday morning and he's almost as good as new now.   This is total confirmation that furry animals are NOT in our future!

Several of you have asked what we found out about our Little Miss White Shoes.  It took us a long time to get an answer, but we did find out a little information.  She has actually returned to her biological family.  We are prayerful and hopeful that this is a good place for her to be and we are so glad we were obedient in inquiring.  We can now look at our photos without the constant wondering if she's going to be okay.  

We're gearing up big time for VBS.  Our family does much of our work before the first child ever arrives, so we get to experience VBS for about 3 months. This year we're doing the "Boomerang Express" so everything is down under style.  We're looking forward to spending a week in the Outback!  We heart VBS!

Finally, I'll leave you with a few photos of Abe. This is him with his "toy" of the moment.  It was the diaper basket we keep downstairs.   Anyway, he had dumped the all the diapers out and was dragging it around the house like a puppy on  a leash.  That boy cracks me up!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bad Blogger

Okay, so I've been a really bad blogger.  I know it.  Every time I leave the house, someone reminds me of it.  It just has not made it to the top of the to-do list in a while.  That is basically for 2 reasons.  One would be that my life has been insanely busy- INSANELY.  The second would be that I have been largely uninspired.  The last time I had "blogging cramp,"  I finally just decided to blog about the ordinary, and after that the floodgates opened.  So, I've decided I'll try that cure again this time.  Here goes my attempt to break through, basically an overview of our last month with some photos thrown in.

Since my last post, we've had several events.  First, the kids and I made the first 7 hour trip to KY since Abe's arrival. To spend 5 days with my in-laws.  Without Ryan.  Yes, I am insane.  But, Ryan had to be out of town, so the alternative was that same period at home without Ryan, and I thought the change in zip code might do us all well.  The travel went great- much better than I expected.  Abe got to meet lots of extended family, including Ryan's grandmother.  It was a pleasant visit, and I'm glad we took the time to go.

We've had two snow events- one in KY and one in NC.  This makes 4 snow experiences this winter.  That's one for every year we didn't have any.  Lily, who had no snow memories has decided that she has had enough, she said she's ready for it to be done!  Abe hated the snow.  He wanted nothing to do with it, except for trying to eat the snow off of the floor that everyone else tracked in!

Our snow was followed by a snap of gorgeous weather.  Ryan took the kids out for the afternoon last Sunday to a local "botanical garden."  They enjoyed the sunshine and I enjoyed the quiet house.

Isaac turned 7 and we had a pirate party to celebrate.  It was very fun.  I had a great time planning and preparing for it, it was just the distraction I needed from the crazy pace of life.

The thing that has taken much of our time and emotional energy for the last month has been our church.  Like many non-profits, we have been struggling with finances.  The leadership has been praying for approximately a year about the possibility of having to cut some staff.  Finally, about 2 weeks ago, the decision was made and lots of job shifts, changes, and cuts occured.  Ryan lost two of his children's ministry staff.  It has been very difficult for our family.  Largely because these are people that we love and respect and it's painful to have to lose them- especially during such a scary economic time.  Also, because it effects the way we minister to our beloved church and community.  We're having to figure out what is a priority, what can be done differently or more efficiently, and what most deserves our energy.   We've been questioning ourselves, our calling, our effectiveness, etc.  It's one of those times when we are so thankful for God's word and his promises.  We know that when it all sifts out, there are a few things that we KNOW to be true, and that is what really matters in the end.

Abe is doing well.  We continue to have good days and bad days.  The bad days are fewer and farther between, and for that we are grateful.  He is now napping regularly, which has helped to restore some sanity to me.  

He is a very funny little guy and we enjoy the laughter he's brought to our house.  He is also a very determined and opinionated little fellow, and that provides a true challenge.  My biggest frustration continues to be wondering if I am responding to him appropriately.  I am trying very hard to balance a desire to make him feel secure and loved with setting boundaries about appropriate behaviors.  It's a juggle to be sure.

He continues to love "real" things much better than toys.  Telephones, remote controls, aluminum foil rolls- these are the things he loves.  He especially loves things that are much too big for him.  When preparing for Isaac's party, I actually strolled him all through Party City holding a wrapping paper roll in each hand.  He was content.  We looked like a wide load, but he was content!  I've included pictures of his favorite garage discovery- a very large stick that he loves to drag around (don't worry, we make sure he's supervised).  He looks  a little like a mini-Moses when he takes off with it.  He is nothing if not determined!