Friday, June 26, 2015

One Lonely Butterfly

A few weeks ago we dismantled the room we had set up for the cutest little girl across the ocean.
  Our two littlest were shouting with glee as we cleaned it out and made it into a fun toy room for them. 
 It's a tiny room and making it into a toy room made the most sense since they are sharing the other small bedroom. 
In the midst of their joy at having their own space, I had to wipe away some tears.  As Rob removed the bunk beds, we discovered one stray butterfly.  I missed it when I pulled the butterflies off the wall in April.  I didn't take it down.  I couldn't bear to remove it. So our boys now have one lonely butterfly on the wall above their massive piles of Legos. 
Don't get me wrong. I love our newest and wouldn't trade him for anything in the world.  Even though he is testing and pressing and pushing the boundaries, my love for him is growing ever deeper as the days go by.
 Each morning he comes down with the happiest grin on his face and will often climb into my lap so Mama can 'eat John.'  He sits in my lap and I hug him and kiss him and he giggles and feigns horror at my kissing claiming that I will eat him up. I wouldn't trade those moments.  Not for a million.  A trillion.  Ever.
But I still grieve. I can't help it. I still miss the little girl we left behind.  So does Rob.  Grief hits us when we least expect it.  I pray for her daily.  I long for a family to find her and for her to say yes. Yes!


So I'm keeping the lonely butterfly.  It is a reminder to pray for the one we left behind.  A little girl who needs a family. A Mama, a Papa and a room to call her own.

Her listing is back on Reece's Rainbow. 


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sweet Times

Ben and I arrived home late early early Sunday morning.
Note to self.  Next time you park in the economy parking lot at Dulles Airport... don't just remember the LOT you are in but please remember the ROW.  Otherwise you will find yourself at 1:00 am in the morning dragging your luggage through a massively huge parking lot trying to figure out where in the world you parked your car. If a security officer happens to drive by and offer to help - SAY YES.  Then tip her nicely when she helps you finally find your lost vehicle!
We spent Father's day resting and resting some more. After dinner we headed down to our favorite river to swim.

The water was a LOT higher than normal so the little boys, Rob and I sat and watched Ben and Elijah wade up the river and ride the current.

We then walked/drove to another part of the river where the little boys could enjoy the water too.


I love these guys.
They make my heart sing.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Note to Self


I'm having to console myself here in Texas with pictures and telephone calls.

It's not the same.

Note to self.  Don't fly to the Dallas Forth Worth Airport during a hurricane.  You will board your one and a half hour late for departure plane... put on your seatbelt...listen to the 'in case of emergency talk'... then be informed that you might as well take a walk around the airport because your flight has just been delayed.  An hour later you will re-board that same plane and fasten your seat belt... only to be informed that you might as well take ANOTHER walk around the airport because you have just been delayed again.  An hour later you re-board and get to listen to that 'in case of emergency talk' again and hold your breath until the plane takes off for fear that a third walk around the airport would be required.  You will then get to circle the Dallas Forth Worth Airport for an hour or more waiting for an entry into the airport.  You will clap when the plane lands because getting blown off the runaway definitely will feel like a very real possibility during the landing.

I was grateful I had my sweet son Ben by my side.  He kept me laughing and provided a nice shoulder for me to prop my pillow on!  We parted ways in Texas.  He went on to Ontario, California, I hopped on a shuttle for a quick ride to the hotel.  Um.... I take that back. I hopped on a shuttle and sat on that shuttle for close to an hour while the driver drove around and around the airport trying to find more paying riders besides myself.  After 2-3 stops at EACH terminal to no avail... he finally took me to my hotel - all the while giving me a long-winded lecture on his religion, giving me no opportunity to provide any response.  My human, tired and sick of riding in that shuttle self wanted to penalize him for the extra time I spent riding, but I chose grace and doubled my tip.  It's what Jesus would have done.

I'm here in Texas.

Last night I met the sweetest family and a very precious boy.  

They made my trip out here worth it!
I will share more later...

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Don't Open the Red-Handled Door

We had an amazing convention last weekend in Richmond.  Our little booth was swamped!
These two did an outstanding job. 

This was their third large convention this year plus they set up our material at our local co-op in May and shared about BiblioPlan there.  I'm so proud of both of them.  Ben has grown up with BiblioPlan ringing in his ears and I was blessed to teach Jaden at our co-op and then have her 'graduate' and help me in my classes during her high school years.  So both of them KNOW the curriculum. 

Elijah showed up on Friday with Rob and the little boys and spent a good part of Saturday working on the tedious job of recording the orders on the spreadsheets. 
Both our sons are heavily involved in the day to day of BiblioPlan.  This year they learned how to package orders which has been a huge load off our shoulders.  They also created their own Hands-On Notebooking Series for BiblioPlan.  It does this Mama proud each time one of their products sells!
The little boys got into the BiblioPlan action when it was time to pack up.  Aaron knows the routine and takes the tear down part very seriously.  John pitched in once he figured out what we were doing.
The convention for John was fun but a bit overwhelming.  At one point the two of them went exploring the convention hall with an older, former RR girl who could converse with John in his language.  He enjoyed seeing everything and he definitely enjoyed talking in his own language, but he became uncomfortable when so many kind people kept coming up to him and greeting him by name.  Aaron has gotten used to people knowing him wherever he goes, but John didn't understand how they knew him and it definitely unnerved him.  After that he either stayed in the booth where he felt safe or went out with Rob or with me. Sweet boy likes attention but not quite that much! 
He definitely got a LOT of attention later that night when he decided to open the Red-handled Emergency Exit door at the restaurant. Every single person in that restaurant had their eyes on our son while those alarms screamed in our ears. I think he learned the DON'T OPEN THE RED-HANDLED DOOR lesson very well!
Sadly, I am leaving again on Wednesday for another weekend away. Ben and I are flying across the country.  Ben is heading for California to do the Great Homeschool Convention in Ontario.  If you are there please go say hi to him!  I'm parting ways with him in Texas and doing the Association of Classical Christian School Convention in Dallas. We fly back home late late Saturday night.  I was grateful to get flights that allowed us to fly together except for the Texas-California flight.  It makes leaving a tad better when I get to fly with my oldest by my side.




Thursday, June 11, 2015

First Wedding

There are so so many firsts happening in his life right now!

A few weekends ago he went to his first wedding. 

Included in that was his first night in a hotel!

It was a bit overwhelming but overall he did quite well.

And I got to see all five of my men dressed up!

Don't they look like they are just loving being dressed up??

John's happy place.  Papa's lap.


Cooperating during picture taking time was NOT on his agenda that night!

Oh Well!

It was still a special day because along with watching my nephew get married, Rob and 
I 'celebrated' our 23rd wedding anniversary. 

23 years.

I am so blessed!

This weekend John gets to experience another first.  His first homeschooling convention. I'm heading to Richmond this afternoon for the HEAV convention with Ben.  Rob will be bringing Elijah and the little boys tomorrow evening so they can enjoy the convention hall and Elijah and Rob can help work the booth on Saturday.  We'll see how that goes!!  Two little boys in a convention hall filled with a zillion things to buy and bowls of candy at every other booth.  This is definitely going to be interesting!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

265 left

This message came in my e-mail a few days ago:

Camp LELA 2015 is going to start in one week!

485 orphans have already been sponsored!

Partner with us to sponsor the remaining 265 children who want to come this summer.

$60 sponsors one child! Donate here: YOU CARING

We have tents!

We have showers!

We have toilets!

We have a dining room!

All we need is 750 kids!

Thank you for those that have already sponsored children! We are so excited to have the kids start coming in a week. We pray that God will provide the resources for the rest of the children. Be part of our team and sponsor a child today! Visit our YouCaring site to donate now!

God Bless, Nasledie Heritage Foundation

From Rob and Julia: Camp Lela is one of our very favorite ministries in all the world. If you've never heard of it, then consider checking out their website, or reading our last blog post about it. Please, oh please sponsor a child or two... or even a half a child!! Please!!! These children wait all year for this wonderful camp. 265 orphans still need someone who will care enough to send them. Will you care?

Monday, June 8, 2015

Fire Engine For Sale

In January Aaron painted a ship and a fire engine to raise money for our adoption.
We sold both the paintings in our on-line auction.  The ship was won by Aaron's grandmother and is hanging at her house a few miles away.  The fire engine is here.  It was won by Aaron's aunt who gifted it back to us as a wonderful surprise. 
Many of you bid on both of them and many others asked us if we would put the painting in prints for purchase. 
I have another option.
A few years ago Aaron drew a tanker truck that was selected by Paper Clouds to go on their shirts, hats and bags as a fundraiser for Reece's Rainbow. Paper Clouds is an amazing organization as it not only raises money for different charities but employs people with special needs to do all their packaging for them.  Aaron's tanker helped raise money for Reece's Rainbow two different times which was a huge honor for him.
A few months ago Paper Clouds decided to again raise money for Reece's Rainbow.  They were asking for donations of pictures to use for the fundraiser. I did NOT submit anything of Aaron's since he had already won once.  But Paper Clouds specifically asked that Aaron submit a drawing for them to use since they liked his art so much. I balked.  I wanted to make sure other children had the same opportunity he had been given.  We were asked again. I dragged my feet.  When we were asked a third time I agreed to submit the ship and fire engine and let them choose what they wanted.  They picked the fire engine.

It is only on sale until June 14th.

John is excited about it because Aaron has a cool zip up jacket with the tanker on it and John's been jealous that he doesn't have a cool zip up jacket like Aaron's. So now I can get John a cool zip up jacket with the fire engine on it!!
If you want an Aaron original then CLICK HERE and get his fire engine.  There are three other really really sweet options besides his fire engine you could also choose from drawn by some really special artists!

This ends June 14th.