Monday, June 30, 2008
I know that sometime, we'll work it out. I'll look back on this post and cry tears of joy instead of tears of sadness. I have hope that things will get better.
Right now, I better go fix my smeared makeup before our church's softball game! :P
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Monday we slept in late and went for brunch. There's this Christian bookstore close to camp that's intended for homeschool families. Basically, it's a huge warehouse with bargain Christian books for kids and adults. So after some board games we headed there and then went for a late lunch. Since it was Noah and Caleb's actual birthday, they got to pick where we went for lunch- surprise, surprise, they picked McDonalds! So we came back with bags of books and headed down to the lake. The camp built these wooden boxes that float in the water and so Dad, the boys and I, and the Semlow girls messed around on those, trying to see how many people we could balance at once- until the box flipped over and we decided it wasn't very safe.... :) The boys and Dad also blobbed that afternoon. We had our first chapel service and a funny evening with our teen group getting to know eachother. We suprised the boys and decorated our cabin for their birthday and they opened a few little surprise gifts that night after service. I can't believe they're 13.
In my journal I wrote, "this place is like a breath of fresh air. I love walking around and seeing couples holding hands, a sweet yet simple thing I rarely see. What a blessing to be in the presence of so many Godly people who have such big servant hearts. I love worshiping with my family and friends as well as socializing. So far, my mouth is aching from smiling too much! What a good problem to have! :) I really believe that the best thing Dad can do for our family is to take us here. It's a wonderful experience."
A video of Caleb blobbing:
This is of Dad blobbing- he was hurting after this one!! :)
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I didn't have to babysit today so I'm hanging out with a friend this morning, babysitting another little boy this afternoon, going to part of my NYC training, and leaving early from that to go to our youth group Bible Study. It will be a busy day! :)
Everyone have a lovely Thursday!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
In one short week, I have fallen in love with the kids I babysit. It has been so much fun watching their personalities come alive and everyone of them has captured my heart in a different way. I'm praising God that He so graciously gave me this job because it's a blast. Many people (including my parents) said that after babysitting 5 kids I would surely rethink my dream of having a big family. Believe it or not, babysitting them has actually strengthened my dream. Sorry Mom and Dad, it was a nice attempt to get me to stop talking about adoption! I've been encouraged and inspired to follow my dream of adopting children one day in the future. I've seen that it's not impossible to adopt and that it is possible for kids to "mold" into a family, even at an older age.
My little adventure for the day was learning to ride their "tandem/runalong" bike. J (I can't use names so I'll do initials) told me today it was time to learn to ride the bike. I readily agreed and hopped onto the bike and pedaled off. I thought to myself, "This is so easy!!! I don't know why they were saying it's difficult to balance!" Well, I spoke too soon. J hopped on the back of the bike so that I could learn to ride it with a kid on back. That was hard!! I still can't drive in a straight line, even after 30 minutes of practicing. Balancing the weight of the bike behind you is alot harder than I thought. As I swerved down the sidewalk I was just praying nobody I knew would drive by and see me! I looked like a preschooler who just learned how to ride without training wheels, wobbly and nervous. What was so cute about it was J's encouragement the entire time. He wouldn't let me give up and every few seconds he'd say, "You're doing it!!/Good job!!/You're doing great!/You're going so straight!/Keep pedaling!/Don't stop!" or the best one was, "This is a so good practice!" I had to laugh to myself at that one. Phrases like that are pretty frequent with two kids who lived in Ethiopia all of their lives!! I've corrected alot of grammar this past week!! Anyway, I think I finally have the bike down. If you see a teenage girl swerving down the sidewalk with a 6-yr old in tow (oh and 4 other kids with their own bikes) it's probably me. Say a prayer and stay out of the way! :)
The Lord is teaching me so much this summer. It's incredible to see what He shows you when you ask!! :) I'm praying for each and every one of you and that you would learn something new about our precious Savior this week. Blessings!!
Monday, June 16, 2008
I had a great morning with "my" kids. Their daddy's home from his fishing trip so that meant an extra hour and a half of sleep for me. What a treat!! They said they just wanted to stay inside but I knew they needed some excercise so I proposed a picnic. I popped frozen pizzas in the oven, made some koolaid, wrapped the pizzas in foil, and we took off down the trail to the "purple park" (that's what they call it!). On the way there, one of the boys reached out for the hand of the other. My heart absolutely melted!!! :) It was so cute to see those brothers holding hands walking to the park. The one boy had some meltdowns this morning because of his brother and he started our little hike to the park in a nasty mood. But, as Sarah Groves says, love covers over a multitude of sins. He chose to forgive and by holding out his hand he was showing great love towards his brother. They're best buds. My only regret was that I didn't have a camara!
Tonight I start my training for NYC. I don't know of anybody going from my church to this particular session so I'll be meeting some new people. On the home front, we're gearing up for Family Camp and figuring out why we have a lake of water in our basement...
Friday, June 13, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Me: Ok........ we can do that. I'm so not a baseball person. This is going to be humiliating!! :)
15 minutes into the game
Kids: No that wasn't out! It's safe. He should've walked! No that was a foul!!
They're looking at ME to judge this game? I think the 6-yr old knows more than me!
Me: Well, I guess it's safe. This game's just for fun so we don't have to get picky about rules.
phew..... that was close. I can't make judgement calls on a baseball game!! Who signed me up for this?!!!
Well, that was a piece of my day. Along with being a cook, peacemaker, meltdown manager, referree, math tutor, hug-giver, and playmate. But it's so much fun. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
The one little boy nearly had me crying right along with him today. He was having a rough morning and, I soon found out, he's one of those kids who bottles all the emotions up inside. Then he lets them all come spilling out at the most random moment. I crept into his room to find him sobbing in the corner. I sat down next to him and talked with him for several minutes, praying all the while for wisdom and discernment and that God would give me the words to speak hope and encouragement to his sensitive heart. The Lord did guide my mouth and I think he was OK afterwards. The most important thing that I learned today is the incredible impact we as caregivers have on our kids. They look to us for direction and help. When that sweet boy told me what was troubling him I didn't know what I could possibly say!! My fearful, timid spirit told me to flee before I say something wrong but I know that matters of the heart are not to be taken lightly. We all have kids in our lives that can use our encouragement. Who knows when God might want to use YOU to lift their spirits?
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The morning will come way too soon so I'm heading to bed!! I was going to blog about the boys b-day but I am just too tired. So stay tuned for pics. from our celebrating last night!!
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Celebrating our Pastor's 15 years of service to our church with a special service and potluck afterwards. They brought in a bagpiper and once the congregation was seated he played Amazing Grace and that one classic bagpipe tune (i would hum it for you but that doesn't work going from my computer to yours lol!). It was that kind of moment that just gives you the goosebumps because it's so amazing. They also had Pastor Bob's best friend travel here for the service this morning. He is an AMAZING musician and he played piano while singing this song called Reign Your Glory (i think). It is a powerful song about revival and one that I have enjoyed listening to from time to time. So it was a great service.
Going to Libi Faith's open house (the little girl from China who I went to the airport to greet). It was just amazing to see this precious baby here in the arms of her Mommy and Daddy!! God is SO GOOD!!! If I counted right, there were 10 little adopted girls from China/Korea and one Chinese boy there this afternoon. Plus 1 little Guatemalan girl. I was in heaven!! Talk about cute kids. I also got sit and talk with friends. A great afternoon for many reasons.
Watching the sunset while sitting at the pool chatting with Corinne tonight. I think I might've gotten a little more tan.... maybe not. Either way, it was good to catch up on our crazy lives as well as just relax.
Well... that's all for my day. I get to sleep in one last time tommorow. My babysitting family decided to go out of town for a long weekend so now I don't start until Tuesday. I've made a list of things that I can do with them to keep them busy but I'm sure we'll exhaust it quickly!!
God bless your week!!
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
The past school year, especially the past few months, have been a time of growth in my friendships. I'm so amazed at how different my life is because of them!!! I journaled today that, "never have I felt a greater sense of both the absence and presence of community in my life!" Now, you probably are wondering what I mean by that. It's been so cool to see God mold together the youth from church. We have grown very close over the past few months- between game nights and 2 hour trips around town to find chalk we've definitely grown from acquaintences to friends!! When we're together as a group, we have a God-honoring community and I love it!! I enjoy hanging out with every one of them. All of them have enriched my life and made me look forward to the weekends! :) That is the presence of community. When I'm home alone I miss that community and I look forward to the next time we get to hang out. So thank you for being my friend, you guys!! I don't think most of them know that I even have a blog so they won't see this but oh well!!! :)
Kristen, I could write a whole paragraph on you but I won't!! :) I think you'd be the only one that would read it anyway! Thanks for IMing with me last night. That made me happy! :) Have I embaressed you enough now?!!
Ethan, the friend from church with Luekemia, had another seizure today. It was worse than the last one and pretty traumatic for the family. He had been doing so well and it was so hard to hear about this major setback. My heart is aching for him and his family. The past months have been incredibly exhausting and scary. I can't even imagine what his parents are going through right now. When I dream of being a mom someday I sometimes forget that it can be the most challenging job in the world. It's impossible for me to put myself in the shoes of Mrs. Loomis. I'm sure it's a daily struggle to watch Ethan suffer and be completely helpless to do anything about it. So today was sort of a reminder that life holds no guarentees. God is sovereign and anything can happen.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
I'm sure I'll post next week wishing that I had as much free time as I do now- but at the moment I'm looking forward to my new babysitting job!!! If nothing else, it'll be good to get some more money into my college bank account.
"How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!"
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Last night I got home from my piano recital and I had a message on my cell phone. It was my friend Corinne and she said that she had something to tell me. I called her right back and she proceeded to tell me that one of our mutual family friends had some very exciting news!! We've known the family she was talking about for quite awhile and last year they brought home a little girl from Korea. They'd talked about adopting again but really hadn't made any steps towards doing it. They got a call from Korea a few days ago asking them if they would be willing to adopt another little girl- the biological sister of the daughter they just adopted!! I wish you could've heard me squealing into the phone!!! I am so excited for them and in awe of how incredibly good our God is!! He shows me again and again His faithfulness. I wish I could post the picture of her- she is the cutest baby (i say that about all babies, though)!! She has big chubby cheeks, brown eyes, and these stubby little pigtails that stick up on her head!! Precious little girl who's going to a very loving family.
Now when will we get a call like that??????? Ha. Maybe I'd better count on a call like that when I'm the one adopting!!!
Monday, June 2, 2008
During- the huge mess of scraps, tools, and stickers!
After- two Arizona layouts with more to come!!!
This morning I got up and Chloe and I went on a walk together. We roamed the neighborhood and she thoroughly enjoyed herself, as did I. It was nice to be out in the sun, listening to Sarah Groves on my mP3, and getting some excercise. If only the whole summer could be this carefree!! Next week I'll be getting up at 6:45 every morning to go babysit. Needless to say, I will savor my 8:30 walks with Chloe every day this week (Kristen, you need to move closer so you and Lucy can join us- Chloe liked her so much!!).
Tonight I have a piano recital. Yippee (that was soaked in sarcasm). I wish I were looking more forward to it. I am definitely ready for a break from piano. I love being able to play, especially when I just sit down and play worship songs for an hour. At times like that, I'm grateful my mom has forced me to take lessons for so long. When I have to do a recital or contest, I do not always appreciate her determination!!
I hope everyone has a wonderful afternoon!!! I'll be cheerfully greeting patients and answering phones all afternoon. How will you spend your summer day?