Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Snapshot: {Budding Cheerleader?}

Older Sister/Cheer Coach + Little Girls' Cheer Clinic = Fun for Kaya!!!

While Kaya was not really old enough to participate, when you get a special invite by a coach, well, the rules are bent a little! ;o)

Kaya was a little cautious at first, but by the time we got there for the end when parents are invited to see what's been happenin', she was all about it!

Mind you, she didn't get too far away from big sis, Kaelee, though.
Can't say that I blame her...there were screaming little girls everywhere!!!

Mmmm, these are the moments that make a Momma's heart happy!

Check out more Sunday Snapshots or do one of your the button!

Ni Hao Y'all

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Our Little Hike

This past Saturday, Kaya had the opportunity to accompany big sis, Kaelee, to a cheer clinic for little girls. Though she does not meet the age requirement, she had an "in" & got to have a special day being a cheerleader (I'll post pics of that another day!).

It was a gorgeous day, so I asked K'Tyo if he wanted to take a walk with Mommy. Of course, he was half way out the door before I was done asking, so we headed out on a walk around the neighborhood. It was a nice time to talk...he's starting to share some different things about Ethiopia, but mostly he likes to talk about why he likes it here. We were having a great time, but as we walked past the woodsy area, we both became curious. Before you knew it, we were hiking along the creek.

We had a blast exploring, but it was also pretty challenging as we zig-zagged along the creek trying to find rocks close enough together to keep from getting our feet wet (mind you, I am not at all opposed to getting tootsies wet, but this was impromptu, so neither of us had on proper "creek" shoes). In the end, Mom ended up with one wet foot, but it was an easy trade-off for a sweet afternoon with my son.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Snapshot: {My Rugby Girl}

Ahhh, Kearsten. Kiki. Do-Rah-Do. My second-born daughter that I love so very much.

She's a nut.

If it weren't for her, I would not have experienced half of the insane things that I have.

Summit Plummet (aka Biggest Wedgie of Your Life Water Slide).

The Hulk.

Tower of Terror.


Just to name a few.

And her latest thing: Rugby. She's in her 2nd year playing for her university's club team. Of course, this "thing" I do not partake in, but it's plenty insane just to be watching.

So, here's my girl getting ready to do battle after scoring for her team.
(She's the one adjusting her headband)

I mean, seriously, look at this madness. She's in the middle of that mess somewhere.

She may be focused on the game, but Momma is focused on whether or not all of her teeth are intact & if there's blood anywhere.

Part of the Fan Club

This is not her, but this is what they do.
They tackle. Hard. No pads.

Kiki is #7...on her way in to level somebody. I would not want to be that girl.

This is much better! In the midst of her family, safe & sound, & a mouthful of teeth.

We love you, Kearsten Lindy, even though you're a nut! :o)

To see more Sunday Snapshot posts or do one of your own, click the button!

Ni Hao Y'all

Friday, September 17, 2010

What's Your Story?

I had a very sweet moment the other day. I had to take Kaya to a doctor that we've never seen before to get a mole looked at. As this young, female doctor was gathering medical history stuff, the inevitable questions about our family came up. And, of course, the "Now, how many children do you have?" came as she started putting the pieces together.

I confess. I had myself prepared for the eyes bugging out, the "are you crazy?!", or "you must be a saint", etc. Instead, she got a big smile on her face, crossed her arms, leaned over in her chair, & said, "I would love to have coffee with you someday to hear your story".

Is that not the coolest response ever?? I mean, really. Think about what the world might look like if we all had that attitude about others' lives.

Yes, my passion is adoption. My passion is for my large family. My passion is being a stay-at-home mommy & supporting my husband as he works hard to do his job well & provide for our family. But the reason these are my passions is b/c these are the things God has set in my heart.

Just like we live in a beautiful world where people do not look the same, we also live in a beautiful world where many people step into a calling that becomes their passion.

I am blessed by many friends who share similar passions with me. However, I also know people who are called to ministry, to teach children, to home school, to work with those that have special needs. You get the idea...the list is long.

But have you ever caught yourself shaking your head at something someone is doing? I know I have. However, I do not want to get so caught up in what God's called me to that I forget that others have a different calling, & the stories behind those callings & passions are fascinating!!! They all point back to the One that has knit us together as unique individuals.

I pray that just as I seek & offer encouragement to like-minded friends that I would also look to encourage others who are trying each day to step into whatever they may be called to. I pray that I would be able to listen, b/c in the midst of each person's story is God's hand at work.

Wanna have coffee?

"May the God who gives endurance & encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart & mouth you may glorify the God & Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God."
~Romans 15:5-7

Friday, September 10, 2010

An Update of Sorts

I'm not gonna lie. I've had a rough time with this post, but I finally decided just to start.

The young man that has been living with us for the last six weeks left over the weekend. Out of respect for privacy, I am not using his name, & I have removed the post that contained pictures. So, if you happen to be visiting for the first time, I apologize that this post may not make any sense to you.

Yes, I am sad. Yes, I am frustrated. Yes, I have lots of different emotions going on. One thing I've learned in my 20+ years of parenting is that you can guide, encourage, lay groundwork, etc., but ultimately, you cannot control other people, and you certainly cannot make their choices for them.

Currently, I am trying to come to terms with the fact that there are times you are called for short seasons, & you have to hope that seeds that have been planted will one day take root & grow. Not easy for a girl that is all about long-term planning.

Resting & trusting in the One that knows "the plan". . .

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fun Run, Football, & Starting Preschool

Our days have been busy with many firsts, many memories.

Kade wanted to participate in a "fun run" put on by our high school's cross country team before their big invitational this past Saturday. Of course, K'Tyo wanted in on the action, too.

I didn't think Kade would really get up so early on a Saturday morning (a chilly one, at that) to participate, but these two were up and at 'em, ready to go! Note how they match--that was all them!

Kade's Age Group Ran One Mile

K'Tyo Ran with K-3rd Graders (even though he's in preschool)
He Ran the Whole 1/2 Mile!!
Look at that smile! That's at the end of the race!! He was totally digging the clapping & cheering! He informed me he wanted to do it

That afternoon, he got to go to his first university football game with Daddy & brothers.

And today brought the official start to preschool. He got to go one day last week with a couple of other classmates for a trial run & was soooo excited for the real thing today. I explained last night that we would sleep, wake up, have breakfast, play, have lunch, & then go to school.

At 9:30 this morning, he wanted to know if it was lunch time yet!
He had a great day today & loves to share all the details. I love to hear his excitement when he tells us about everything (he still recounts running & getting a ribbon & that Mommy, Daddy, Kaya, & Kade were cheering for him). It is hard to believe that only a few months back, he was living in an orphanage on the other side of the world. And now, he is a brother & our son.

Still just too crazy good to wrap my mind around!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday Snapshot: {Meet the Boxer Baby}

A couple of weeks ago, my husband was stuck at home sick. This doesn't happen very often, & Joe doesn't do very well with too much "down" time. I've decided it's not good for me, either, when he's got too much time to entertain himself with nonsense think.

The result of his thoughts? A conspiracy with the kids to overthrow Mom.

Meet Ella. Ella-Bella. La-La. The boxer puppy.

Funny thing about timing. She came two weeks ago Friday, & they all headed back to school the next Tuesday. Do they think I get lonely with "just" two kids at home? Was that the logic? Oh, & the deals that have been made...offering to relinquish cell phones in the event poop is not scooped. Yep, they were pulling out the big guns. Something tells me it won't be long before I have a technology-based collection to be matched by no other.

In the meantime, Ella & I are working on the house training thing, manners, but mostly I try to grab my camera b/c she's already growing & I want to be able to remember her in all her cuteness someday when she weighs 60 lbs. & I catch her surfing my counters. Problem is, she doesn't sit still very well, so I try to catch things when I can.

She's very sweet with Kaya.

She likes to play a little rougher with K'Tyo.

And she is not beyond naughtiness. Note the rag in her mouth. Joe was washing the car with that.
But not anymore.
Yep, that wash rag became the object of some serious shaking & sprinting around the yard. Seems I have seen a few flip-flops in that same predicament.

And one of her favorite pastimes is diving in the day lilies in search of water-logged baseballs. I have no idea how she finds them, but she thinks it is her mission to flush those things out & then give them what-for as if they are alive.

She's all about "helping" Dad do dishes. Yes, he does dishes, & no, it's not b/c he's being punished. ;o)

And at the end of the day, you can find Ella cuddled up with someone. Evidently she has not gotten the memo that she is not a lap dog.

Darn it, she is kinda cute.

Check out other Sunday Snapshot posts or throw in one of your own...Click the button!

Ni Hao Y'all

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Day I Lost My "Cool"

There was a point in my life that I thought I was pretty cool. Hip. With it. But I distinctly remember the day I found out I wasn't.

Back when Kaelee was in the 1st grade (& yes, that's been awhile ago since she just turned 21), I got to go along on a field trip at the end of the school year to the park. This is where the dreaded moment happened in the midst of a conversation with a boy a bit too big for his britches.

Me, just standing there minding my own business...BFBB (Big for Britches Boy) approaches seemingly cool mom.

Me: What's up?

BFBB: Kaelee's hot.

Me: Well, tell her she can take her jacket off.

BFBB: *roll eyes* No, she's hot, like really pretty.

And there you have it. Coolness gone. Over. Just like that.

But, guess what? After the initial shock to my ego, I realized there was something so freeing in that moment. The burden was gone to live up to any expectations & I could enjoy the moments of dancing in front of my kids friends knowing full well that I may be the object of a few snickers & rolling of the eyes.

If you've read this far, hang with me for a minute. *Bribe* There are sweet pics at the end!

This story came to mind b/c over the last few days, out of nowhere, I have received messages from internet friends that are ever so sweet & even told me I was "cool"! I tell ya, never underestimate the power of a thoughtful, encouraging word!! But even more than making me feel good, these words came at a time that I believe God has been working on my heart, & these words were just hitting it home!

In this world, people have come up with all sorts of rules, guidelines, etc., that seem to make for a perfect, cool life. You know, fancy stuff, lots of money, 2.3 kids...As I've been reading some things for a bible study, all I can see is Jesus bucking man's system, man's idea of normal, man's idea of acceptable, man's idea of EVERYTHING. And He totally got eyes rolling, snickers behind His back, & plenty of ridicule. But He didn't care what people thought. He did what he knew God had asked of him.

You know what? My life is cool. Is it perfect? NO!! But it's cool because of Him. It's cool because He invites me to live outside the box the world has created for itself. It's cool because of His grace & mercy. It's cool because sweet friends send me messages encouraging & challenging me to live & love more like the coolest person I know...Jesus.

A couple of perfect examples of "coolness" that have entered my life all because I let go of being "cool" in this world:

With Much Peace & Love ~ Dardi