Monday, May 23, 2011

To Recap

- Calvin (as we anticipated) will have tubes again. We are just waiting for the call to schedule. I anticipate that he will have the surgery before the end of June. It's outpatient though I am always a nervous momma. :)

- Andrew has struggled with health since April 29 and was finally diagnosed with mono. We are glad to know what is going on but dreading the long recovery.
- My youngest brother graduated from highschool last week - thus ending my mom's 27 years of homeschooling. We had a celebration for her, too. :)

- I had the privilege of attending the 7th Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit. God did some serious work on my heart. I'm not sure exactly what that means practically speaking but I have not doubt in God's continued call for me and for us to advocate for parentless children. I'm continually challenged by the parallel of my adoption in Christ. And the number of orphans (here and abroad) is still staggering. Such a need for orpan care, such a need for churches and people to get involved!

- Early this year, I was asked to join the Board of Directors for Two Hearts for Hope. After prayerful consideration, Andrew and I decided that I should accept. It's a privilege working with them and seeing God grow the ministry. Two Hearts is expanding into Russia which is very exciting. Please check out their website to see how you can partner with us as we minister to orphans in Kazakhstan and Russia. We have some great fundraising items like re-usable grocery bags, necklaces, shirts, and cookbooks. We are currently raising money to replace the windows in an orphanage - they are in very bad disrepair and contributing to health issues in the children. It's a big project!

- We are busily begininng work on our 2nd annual 5K! It has been renamed An Orphan's Hope 5K (formerly Walk for Kaz). This year it will be held in Tennessee! We are so excited to see how God will  work as we raise funds, raise awareness, and enjoy a wonderful day. If you are interested in participating, early registration is now open! We are also looking for sponsors and people to spread the word! Check out our website.

- As if we don't have enough going on, I'm working a few extra days this summer. We are so thankful for the provision of a good job. Andrew and I are both at our new jobs for about a year now and both know we are in the right places!

- We are also planning our first big family vacation! We've done church camp, 3-4 day trips but never a week. We are all very excited to enjoy a week away this summer. We are thinking it will be a beach's been entirely too long since Andrew and I have been to the beach. We loved our year in Southern Florida and while we won't go that far, we look forward to introducing the kids to the ocean, eating delicious seafood, and relaxing.

Whew. And now you are mostly caught up. Here are a couple of pictures because really, posts are more interesting with photos. :)

 The boys at the Children's Museum - seriously, getting all three to look at the camera and smile is nearly impossible. :)

Meeting Max for the first time! So sweet!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cleft Team Appointment

Tomorrow Calvin has a full team appointment in Chicago - it's a long (exhausting) day with lots of specialists. We leave super early in the morning and get back late. I think we will be told that he needs more speech therapy (which I am trying to figure out) and that he is having significant hearing issues. We've noticed a rapid decline in hearing and therefore enunciation and speech progress since March. It's tough - tough to see him struggle, tough that he realizes and is frustrated, and tough that I can't just make it better. Oh how I wish I could take it away for him. But he is a strong kiddo, a fighter.

So we will trek north, enjoy the time together, eat some fun snacks, and find out what the next steps will be on this journey. I'm thankful to be on this journey with him - cheering him on, helping him understand, loving him through, and reminding him that he is a great and handsome little boy. I can't help but be proud of him - the grace, the strength, and the determination.

God knew we belonged together and God created a way for him to be a part of our family through his clefts - what a blessing!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Spinning Tires

Do you ever find yourself struggling with the same things over and over again? I wonder why I keep coming back to the same things. I wish I could just learn how to manage everything and move on! :) Seriously!

I'm already working on planning school for next year - for the whole year. I have to, I need the organization, I need the plan... It won't go perfectly as planned and I'm sure I will re-evaluate and plan throughout the year but knowing that there is an organized plan makes me so happy and relieved!

So you probably guessed that I'm still working on organization. I have had to embrace (or at least accept) that life with three active (and absolutely wonderful!) boys needs flexibility and that things are definitely NOT going to go exactly as planned at least some, okay, most of the time. It's okay, I'm getting there - on the accepting and the flexing that is. And I'm constantly seeking to train them in responsibility balanced with lots some fun. :)

Being a mom is the hardest and most rewarding job. Many days I feel like I fail more than succeed. But the sweet smiling faces, the contrite apologies, the hugs and kisses, and the love make everything worth it. I think I've grown more as a person since becoming a mom than ever before and it's super humbling to have to apologize to my kids when I have failed. Together we learn and strive and grow. We love each other more. They tolerate my crazy (and sometimes irrational) need for organization and I love them for it!

Everyone in different directions - lots of fun, lots of crazy! :)
 So I continue to work towards some of my goals, let go of others, and spend more time with my beautiful family. 

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Half Fail

This was the weekend I was supposed to be in Tennessee running/walking my first half marathon. I was nervous and excited and looking forward to spending time with friends. However, it was not to be. For many reasons, it became clear to Andrew and me that I needed to stay home. It was a hard decision and I definitely felt disappointed by it. I still intend to complete a half marathon at some point - hopefully in the not too distant future.

But what this post is really about is the positive life changes that have come about since I signed up for that TN half. It got me back to exercising. While I made an effort to be faithful to it last summer, it didn't stick. For the past 3-4 months, I have exercised and average of 4-5 times per week - a variety of pilates, strength, toning, and cardio. And I feel better - more energy, healthier, and stronger. More than that, my kids exercise with me (at least some of the time) and I know it's a good example for them. I'm thankful for the motivation to a healthier, more consistent (and disciplined!) lifestyle.

So despite my disappointment in not being able to meet one of my bucket list goals, I'm choosing to focus on the positive changes that it has brought about in my life! Not going was the right decision - we have no doubt. I'm planning to keep it up and hopefully next time, I'll be able to actually attend and complete a half!

Congrats to my friends who met their goals this weekend - so proud of you!