family picture

family picture
We "want our very serve as HIS signature to all mankind so that all may know His work," Job 37:7

Saturday, December 29, 2012

End of Year

Well, I have been a little MIA these past few months.  We have been really busy.  My feet hit the ground running and the night brings me hope of rest and renewal  for the next day.  This Christmas break I have really tried to stop and review these past couple of months.  I am asking myself how can I simplify? How can I enjoy more and stress less? How can I best serve my family? So that is where I am emotionally.

The other day I was replacing my 2012 calendar with 2013, as I walked it to the trash can I flipped through and noticed that I made a note of every little step we made in the adoption process, and every super big thing the kids accomplished so I turned on my heels and marched that calendar straight to my bedroom and placed it inside Joel's precious memories box. 
Flipping through got me thinking about how much we have done this past year, especially in the past few months that I have not been blogging. So I'm gonna do a slight recap.
October was full of running around.  I burned up the streets, running to appointments, lessons, activities therapies and general errands. It was in this month that while loading the dryer it hit me that we were coming up on one year since we had our referral of Joel.  I stood at the counter reading those referrel entries on my blog of our little one and tears just streamed down my face because as I read those entries that little boy was on my hip saying, "Momma", "Momma".  It was beautiful, it was amazing and it was redemption.

referral picture October 2011 and November 2012

November was long, I was starting to feel run down but the excitement of Thanksgiving was uplifting.  I had so much to be thankful for.  We also celebrated one little lady's birthday.  She is the spit fire of the family, full of spunk and a true firecracker.  She says certain words funny like tomorrow is come-Mario and ponytail is panti-tail, bandaid is ban-dan, caterpillar is calir-peeple 
She turned three and wanted a blue birthday party.  That chick is obsessed with the color blue.  So we had blue candied apples, blue tortilla chips, and blue velveet cake.
We had also promised to give her bitty baby twins if she would give up her paci's.  I made this promise in September thinking it was gonna take months to actually succeed in getting her to get rid of her, "precious".  But, I was wrong, a week later they were gone.  (Note to self: be careful about making deals with your children.  Especially if it involves an expensive purchase.) 

We then celebrated Thanksgiving with our families.  This was the first time many of my mother's side met Joel and he was a little overwhelmed and quiet.  He relaxed a little bit when we went to Ethan's mom's house. 

Then on the 29th me and my man celebrated 15 years together.  In those 15 years we have been in 3 states, had  6 moves, 5 children, numerous heart ache, but an abundance of laughter, and love. I couldn't imagine walking this earth these last 5,479 days without him by my side. He is my calm in the storm, my anchor, and he makes me laugh.

We celebrated this event with an evening out together.  Our first full evening out since brining Joel home. He let me get all fancy and took me out to dinner and a show.  Westside story to be exact.  We met up with some friends and it was memorable, to say the least.

December, was a typical wild and crazy month.  It was filled with parties,  a mission trip to Haiti, recitals, advent, cookies, candy, a trip to Mobile, Jesus, Christmas lights, Happy Birthday to Jesus and Happy Birthday to Ethan.

Mobile, AL

 Elaina's recital

Christmas cookies.

Tonight we plan on celebrating Ethan. He is now on his last year in his 30's.  He has planned his evening a nice dinner with friends and I can't wait.  You know when we started 2012 he had never left the country and as we end 2012 he will have traveled to 3 different countries.
Mexico in January

China in June/July

Haiti in December

So here we are the end of the year and we have been done SO much.  There have been times it has been hectic and I haven't always been patient and kind.  That is something I have learned about myself and that is something that I am bringing to the feet of Jesus this coming year.  But, it has been a joy watching my children grow, a joy watching Joel being grafted into our family, a joy watching my husband's faith grow and a passion for the lost, poverty and the least of these, a joy hearing good news about our sons health, a joy watching Korinna mature and help make decisions on her own healthcare, a joy falling at the feet of Jesus needing Him to feel me with His peace when I am so exhausted and overwhelmed with my job of Mom, a joy being here, serving here, and loving here.  I don't always get it right but I'm learning and I know that God is not finished with me.