Tuesday, September 30, 2014

happy places

There is just something about being outdoors.  Being outdoors with children is even more wonderful.  We have a nice trail nearby that goes through the woods & then empties out onto a grassy field with a paved trail around the perimeter.  We have been intentional about getting outside to enjoy this beautiful fall weather.  It's good for the soul.
On another afternoon, I took the two littlest girls back while the others were in school.  They each had a baggie for collecting treasures.  Being in the woods ranks right up there with being near the ocean.  It just feels good.
Thankful for the peaceful moments spent with family.

Monday, September 15, 2014

we can still wing it

Joe reminded me yesterday that sometimes the spontaneous plans can be the most fun, so we took advantage of a beautiful day & headed to the zoo.  It seemed a bit crazy b/c we didn't have much time, but we did it anyway.  I'm ever so glad we did!  The big boys even came along, and we were able to visit the new "Africa" section of the zoo along with a few other favorite things along the walk back to that area.
We just happened to arrive just in time to feed the giraffes & see them up close & personal.  So fun!
You'll note Kaya is M.I.A. in the next picture & looking like an angry photo-bomber in the one after.  You'll have days like that!  It's funny b/c we've learned to embrace those moments (& find the humor when you happen to capture them in a picture).  Add one to the classics!
Sweet girl has a special love for her brother.  Fun day, & now we're on to Monday. :o)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I heard you

Raising children is hard sometimes.  Raising children that come from a rough start that didn't include you for the first 4.5 years of their life is hard a lot of the time.  I've mentioned before that I always want to be real on my blog while also protecting my children.  But I want to be honest about the realities for those considering adoption.  Or just parenting in general!! Most things worthwhile take huge emotional investment, most especially when raising kiddos.
K'Tyo settled into life in our family with relative ease.  Over the last couple of years, though, we have begun to have to address and work through some academic and behavioral things.  Some days I struggle because I feel like every interaction with my son is corrective in nature.
Enter soccer.  K'Tyo asked to try soccer this year instead of playing flag football like he has chosen the last couple of years.  Before the first practice, I had a chat with him about really focusing on what his coach was saying so that he could learn this game that a lot of the other kids have already played a couple of seasons.  I was thrilled to see him during the first practice (& every practice after) tuned in and putting forth a great effort to do the things as they were being taught.  Even better, I could praise him for that!!  Praise can be such an amazing connector.  I try to notice every positive thing aside from scoring because I don't want him to ever feel like praise is strictly athletic performance-based. That may sound funny, but one thing I've learned is that when a child has lived in survival mode, they learn quickly how to get the attention & approval of others by putting on a "show". I want him to know his life isn't a show...it's a series of opportunities to learn, grow, try, fail, try again, & ultimately be motivated by the desire to do the right thing in every opportunity.  We all get moments to shine, but let that be the by-product and not the goal.
This past Saturday was K'Tyo's first soccer game.  Turns out he has some potential in this sport.  His coach made him the captain for this contest, he scored 2 goals at forward, & had 3 saves (allowed no scores) as goalie.  It was very exciting, & K'Tyo had one of those days where all the hard work gave him that opportunity to shine!  When it was over & we were walking to the car, K'Tyo looked at me & said, "I heard you.  You were cheering for me."  He heard me.  Not all the other parents (and believe me, I was not the loudest one!!).  MeHis mom.
I am thankful for the moments that take my breath away and remind me that traveling the tough road is worth it.  I get to be his mom.