So warning, if you aren't me, and are reading this you WILL be bored.
Don't say I didn't warn you. So, grab yourself a cup of coffee!
We swam. Which reminds me of how far we've come. My Noah H.A.T.E.D water when he came home to us. No pools, bathtubs, sinks, puddles, you name it, he nearly had a grand mal seizure when even brought close to water, and now... the kid is a fish! Huge blessing Nana and Papa live around the corner, and have a pool... that is the best kind of pool!
We planted the most beautiful garden ever! We had help with weed pulling (thanks to our friends the Taylor's) and it has been awesome! Potatoes, TONS of tomatoes, cucumbers, every possible pepper, green beans, purple beans, wax beans, all kinds of carrots, every possible herb, eggplant, asparagus, rhubarb, onions, zucchini, snow peas, kale, and new for this year - cut flowers! The garden has never looked so wonderful! I went into this year knowing I'd not have time to keep up with the weeds, but having friends help take care of it, well, what an answer to prayers!
We had family friends come in from Florida and were able to sneak away to the beach! Thank God for parents who live around the corner and can watch the kids so we get to sneak out for just a bit!
What a good week we had! We didn't clean a thing, or do laundry, or even do the dishes (amen for paper plates!) We stayed up way past our bed times like we were 20 again (hey wait, they are!!) after the kids went to bed we chatted about all kinds of fun things, kids, adoption, Jesus, kids, the garden, Indiana, jobs, Christianity, adoption, parenting, marriage, cigars, craft beers, creation, cooking, vacations, you name it! What a blessing and breath of fresh air it was to have people who share so many of the same loves we do.
We made it to the zoo with everyone!
Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for the zoo membership. It would for sure NOT be affordable to take the family.
Last minute we had an awesome friend of ours have an opening for pictures and on the busiest week in the history of our lives (so far) we ran out, mismatched and crazy looking to have our first official family pictures
Thanks Jenn, for the bestest, most wonderful, most true to life pictures we could ever have had taken by anyone!
Then there was our super fun trip to US Cellular Field (aka Comisky Park) in which we had the complete private tour, and the kids played in the bullpens and dugouts and pretended to be announcers and all that fun stuff!
Thanks Taylor family, for including us in your fun times! Also, had to say thanks to Blue Cross (hence the picture) for a great job for my hubby.
I finally was able to complete the redo of our most messy hodge-podge room in the house. OURS! Since we moved in, it has been the overflow room, and since its the room with the mostest love in it, I felt it should at least look like it!
Thanks mom for helping paint. Thanks Rachel for taking a trip down the street on the gator, through the woods, to an old abandoned barn, to sneeze like crazy and get eaten alive by mosquitos, all so I could get some free barnwood for my headboard project. Thanks Brent and Kenney for loading the beast of a dresser (got off of Craig's List from an old hotel for 20 bucks) into our house, then because I decided I no longer liked it, into our barn, then because I am a woman and quite fickle, back into our house because I found a purpose for it, and helping me paint it, and then of course back into our bedroom.
Then there are the days we spent outside, when it was 100 degrees, and this mommy just didn't feel like lugging the five kiddos down the street (literally) to cool off in Nana and Papa's pool (because supervising the 5 of them in a real pool is just a bit too much effort on some days) so we filled a good ole-fashioned plastic pool with water and splashed in our underwear (because again, this mama found it to be too much effort to go down the street (literally) and get the swimsuits we had left at Nana and Papa's pool.) Don't forget, this IS Indiana.
Then there was the fun party we had. A bunch of families all together talking and sharing all about the good the bad and the ugly in the adoption world. We had snowcones and a jump house and a pinata and I think over 30 kids together from all over the world! Too bad we didn't take a group picture with everyone in it!
All the families that made that day possible. The set up, the clean up, the food, the fun, the families that let us borrow coolers and tents and tables and chairs - it was a GOOD day to say the least.
Did I mention the garden? Oh I just love the garden. Did you know, life began in a garden? I think every single time I am in the garden about how that is exactly where God put Adam, in a garden
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
Of course a garden without weeds, and thorns, and bugs that destroy and disease and fungus... but hey... one day there will be a new earth, so until then, I am enjoying my garden. I love it!
And this guy.... love him too!
So I like the picture, perfect hair, and the butterfly band-aids do make him look tougher. I had to marry him for some reason. Besides, the fact he is "trying" to look tough, makes it all the better.
and all the things that a garden produces, like salsa, LOTS of salsa, pizza sauce, barbecue sauce, jams, jellies, more sauces, relishes, pickles, beets I love that too.
my beautiful basement ready for WWIII, just in case, has been made possible by my Nanny, aunts, sisters, parents and parents - in- laws who have shared their tips, their jars, and their time to teach me and and help me do all my crazy canning projects.
Invitations. If ever one day, when my children are grown and Kenney is retired and we are sitting staring at each other with nothing to do (HA HA HA HA HA, keep laughing it really is funny) We can make invitations.
Of course, we might be up till 2 am on a couple of occasions, and might have to hope my sisters (oh my poor sisters, who get drug on many an adventure that I decide they need to be on) are around to come help me, well, anyway, it just might be a sustainable business idea. Nonetheless, they turned out beautiful and it was quality time spent making them.
A quality Saturday at The Ark.
My parents and 5 siblings all working together to celebrate my parents business of 33 years! So much fun, and so many memories.
Two day vacations. We left at our usual 4am time. When 5 of your children are under the age of 5, leaving while they are still sleeping, so as to allow them to continue sleeping has proven to currently be one of the wisest decisions we have ever made. Then of course we had breakfast at the Cracker Barrel (which in Kenney's eyes is one of the wisest decisions he's ever made) Hit the Creation Museum in Kentucky for the day, and then spent the night in a hotel. We swam and watched movies and made dinner in our suite. The kids had a blast and have been begging to go back ever since.
Then we left Sunday morning to pick peaches and blackberries and sample wine and ice cream at a great Orchard
Of course being the oh so responsible parents we are (can't you tell that by the underwear picture??) we left in hopes of making it home before bedtime, only to be stopped 30 minutes from home in a complete expressway shutdown. The kids got to walk around on I-65 for TWO HOURS since there isn't much else to do on an expressway that isn't moving in the middle of cornfields.
But quite possibly the best part of the trip...
Which again, is such a testament to how far we've come. Tommy until the age of two hated car rides, never slept, never content, always cried, then by about the time he decided he liked car rides, Audrey was born, and pretty much followed in the footsteps of her brother. But now, five beautiful children, asleep in a car, quite, while we drive. It is a parent's dream come true... if only for one hour, it was one blissfully, peaceful, glorious hour!
A summer filled with these kids:
While each day is full of smiles and tears, arguments and hugs, laughing and yelling, happiness and frustration... each day is full... full of good things!
I need to be reminded of how special and precious our children are to Kenney and I.
A gift from God.... I think about that often. I many times look at my wedding ring and think of how much I cherish it and how special it is to me, because Kenney gave it to me, because of what it represents. I imagine Christmas day, or my birthday and I imagine opening a gift from my Saviour Himself. How special that present would be to me, how important, how valuable, how much I would keep it safe and treasure it, I'd protect it.
May I look back and remember these children are a gift from Christ himself. May they always be a priority in my life. More important than my house, my car, a job, cooking and cleaning, friends, hobbies and mostly myself. May I make sacrifices for them.. because HE sacrificed himself for me. May I love them unconditionally because HE loved me first, even in my sin. May I be reminded to treasure them...
Psalm 127: 3-5
Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him.
Children born to a young man
are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!
He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.