Thursday, April 02, 2015

April Musings

It's that time of year . . . dirty feet, dirty clothes, dirty arms . . . by ten in the morning.  Long days and longer evenings, with everyone outside playing until 7:45, then a mad dash inside to have everyone in bed by 8.  Kids change clothes multiple times a day, water is filling up buckets to splash in and cool little bodies off.

I'm loving the time outside- the green trees finally, the smell of Jasmine blooming, the amazing sky and water as we enjoy "spring," with temperatures in the mid 80s!  Swimming pool is open, adorable sun dresses are out and new bathing suits are getting lots of use.

Ballet pictures and preparation for the big recital in May . . . mommy learning to do her first "real" ballerina bun . . . with Forest going wild and Heidi "helping" do makeup and hair.  Fun times.

Our boys have been spending hours on this old boat that's in my back yard- sword fighting, fighting off pirates on the high seas and heading to the blackberry patches.  Which are overflowing with huge blackberries already!

Personally, this has been one of the hardest months on record.  We got three new boys this month, one of which most definitely was the hardest kid we've had in 14 years of house parenting.  My heart breaks for him and his family, he needs help.  But like we aren't prepared to teach a deaf child or a blind child; we don't have the one-on-one resources this little one needs.  He was released today and there is a huge peace in the house already. The other seven are doing well . . .and spring break starts tomorrow.  

We are looking forward to ten relaxing days.  We are spending three at a beach house in St. Augustine with friends . . .CANNOT wait!  The rest will be here- trying to find a balance of much-needed physical and emotional rest, house stuff and the usual.  But we've made it to April and the year gets much easier from this point forward!


Thursday, March 05, 2015

Marching into March

Well it would appear I have fallen off the blogging planet . . . I have a hard time finishing a post, because of time . . . and so then I never actually get anything published.  Today, I will,  no matter how unfinished.

All in all, life is GOOD around here.  Good does NOT mean easy but it does mean we are fed, clothed and loved.  We have been . . .

creating with playdoh

Enjoying some warm weather (alternating with cold) and trying out new playgrounds!

Birthday parties for friends and American girl dolls (and copy-cat Heidi who wasn't invivted!).

Legos, legos and more legos . . .

 The first warm day we had, we dashed to the beach!

School is plugging away.  We have our weeks where it is super easy to sit down and do our work.  And other weeks where it seems a challenge and a matter of discipline, for teacher and students!  Forest has decided he is "ready" for Kindy work, so I'm enjoying the flexibility of homeschool and starting him.  We are starting super easy and light.  Keeping Heidi occupied is a daily challenge.

Our boys!  We had quite a drastic change from 8 to 5, between December and the first week of January.  All three losses were VERY unexpected and completely out of our control.  None had good resolution or good-byes, reminds us how short our time with each boy can be.  We got a new guy last week and are getting ready to get two more within the next two weeks, EEK!  I think training new kids is probably the hardest part of the job, after this many years.  Remembering all the new things to teach, learning a new personality (which often includes respect and authority issues), etc.  I'll be glad when they are in, trained and life settles down.

I guess that's about it for today!  As promised, proof that we live . . . Love!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Man oh man I wish I could sit down with each of you over some tea and cookies and catch up . . . Or sit down at the computer and write a long letter.  Instead the moments are so fleeting and the little miss is into so much . . . That I am standing here at the kitchen counter, pecking on the iPad.  Not idea, but in this ever growing process, I'm learning to snatch and savor what I can.

These days are so full, and full of good things.  Things that challenge me to be constantly organized, intentional and keep moving when I'd rather lay down and do nothing.  But that's what so much of this life is about, isn't it?  Pushing beyond ourselves to something greater.  Like this sore bottom of mine.  Squats are NO fun but the results sure are, aren't they?  TMI perhaps, ha!

These past two weeks have literally been filled with events, here at the Ranch.  We've enjoyed most of them and I've learned that sometimes it's impossible to simplify life . . . I can't cut out any activities, because they are part of work. So I've leaned in, taken pictures, tolerated "past 8pm bedtimes," and held my breath.  A loud exhale is coming on Saturday afternoon . . . . as Christmas vacation starts for real!  One final event on Saturday morning- Shannon's ballet is performing at an old folk's home.  Rather than do a recital in the winter, each class performs for children's homes, nursing homes, rescue mission, etc.  I love a chance for them to serve in this way!

We are staying home for Christmas, so I'm looking forward to two weeks of resting, cooking and baking for my family, evaluating the fall semester of school, planning for the spring.  AND catching up on organizing projects around the house.  Much needed to be done around here!

I'll be back with a few more updates once the kids leave tonight (updates on our family and such).  For now, a few pics of our last couple weeks!

Reaching way back to November . . . we created a GIANT leaf pile and made some great memories. First time most of these kids have jumped in leaves, let alone a pile this big!

Then it was time for Christmas tree decorating!!!  Kind of weird to realize my older two could actually do most of it themselves, and do a great job at it!!!

Over Thanksgiving break, I did several "photo shoots," and the kids got in lots of play time with their best friends.  Oh the giggles here!

Little Miss . . . has a new game where she sits on the blanket (so I can take her picture) and then just as fast as she sits down, she jumps up and runs to see what picture I took!

And that's it for now . . . 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

FIVE years with Forest

Five years ago . . . . 

my boy came into this world!  Without a lot of drama or nonsense, he came.  You can never fully have an idea how a little person will change your life.

Forest Timothy

My fall pumpkin.

My little go-go!

chubby cheeked, squishy leg boy!

My train-loving boy . . . before he was even old enough that he should know what trains are!

Yup, loves the trains!

Loves cars . . . anything that moves!

My #1 destructo!

Have I mentioned cars?

My nature boy!

My goofy boy!

My "I don't want to eat meat because I don't want to get a heart attack" boy!

Train loving boy!

Amazing big brother- sweet and caring and gentle.

Goofy . . . have I mentioned goofy?

And messy and muddy and messy!

Careful and methodical, creative and unique.

I sure am thankful for FIVE years with these inquisitive and wondering blue eyes.  Forest keeps me praying and wondering, laughing and shaking my head.  And that's usually just in the first five minutes of being awake each day.  I love you Forest, foo-boo!