Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas pics and getting it off my chest

Our family this Christmas. Yep, my birthday is on Christmas and yep, I am 40 plus 5! I've included De in our family picture this year since in 6 months he will be our son-in-law.

Mihiretu, me and Katie enjoying our huge snowstorm a couple weeks ago. Katie was digging out a snow cave, I was shoveling the front sidewalk and Mihiretu just looks like he's in pain, doesn't he?? Haha:)

Aliya opening her box of ornaments. I bought them for her to catch up with the rest of the kids who have received one for every Christmas, so they have quite a collection. Now she does, too!

This years ornaments for the boys, Woody and an alien.

Making Christmas cookies during the blizzard.

The boys having fun in the snow. Just look at Blake's car behind them covered in snow. Awesome!

Christmas morning. This is Damien (De's nephew visiting from New York) and Blake.

De went deer hunting with Blaine this past fall and actually shot his first buck. De LOVED hunting!!! Blaine decided to get him his own gun for the years to come of hunting. Could this smile get ANY bigger???

Why, YES IT CAN! I like to call this picture, "De's GUNS." Kapow!!

I know...finally I post some pictures! It's about time. We had a wonderful Christmas and I'll share about that in a minute.

Some of you have been wondering why my posts have been so few and so far between in the last few months. I alluded to it some time ago but today feel like giving you a little of the nitty gritty.

They best way for me to explain the last year to you is to quote Dickens. Maybe it has been the last few years, in all honesty.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness;it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of dispair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way."

It has been up. It has been down.

We have been through a lot of different things in our lives. If you've read this blog for very long, you already know that. Lots of hard stuff. Among the hardest is adoption. I know that might surprise many of you but the year after we got the boys was personally my hardest year, closely followed by this past year. The year of the fire was a doozy, too.

All things considered, Aliya's adoption and subsequent transition has gone well. But we have had our way ups and our way downs, and the downs are just unbearable for me. I don't want to go into detail but the things we are dealing with are pretty typical older kid adoption issues. They all make sense to me and I understand them, but it seems that we need some professional help to learn how to deal with them and give us tools to help. I'm hopeful that they will be able to help us, as they deal with attachment in adoption exclusively. So with me hanging on by my teeth quite a bit of the time, it has been hard for me to find the time and energy it takes for me to blog.
I know that if we had never adopted our lives would be much less busy and stressful. We knew that going into it. Let's face it, both Blake and Katie are moving out this summer and we'd be 6 months from becoming empty nesters. Instead, we were obedient to the Lord's leading and brought 3 more children into our family and now it looks like 14 more years before we will be empty nesters! Would we change it if we could? No, NOT ONE THING!

Our lives would be simpler for sure but much emptier. We are thrilled to be used by God in this way and humbled that He would choose us to raise 3 more kids, whom He gave us for a purpose. Every day, we get to look into the faces of our children who would have certainly have had a very different outcome if God hadn't placed them in our family. I could give you details of where I think they'd be but I won't...because they are NOT there. They are here. With us. Safe. Warm. Fed. Loved. In a family, where ALL children should be.

So all that to say, I've been struggling and trying to keep it together. I really don't know how you moms of more than 5 kids do it! God has given you something He hasn't given me:) But I am blessed and thankful to have the 5 I have and will continue to learn to be the best mom I can be.

I am also wondering if Blaine and I have an adrenaline problem. Seriously! Here is what we have on our plates for the next 6 months.

-Planning our daughters wedding:)
-Katie and De are looking to buy a house
-Blake is looking to buy a house
-Blaine and I are going on our 25th anniversary trip to Korah, in Ethiopia!!

Oh, did I just throw that one in at the end??

Anyway, ALL big, huge stuff. I wonder if we just will not allow ourselves some down time because our bodies have a need for an adrenaline rush after all the stuff we've been through in the past few years.

Blaine surprised me on my birthday the other day with a handmade card. On the front, he put a picture of me and it said, "My beautiful wife and I are..." turn the page and there is an airplane and it says, "going on an airplane to..." turn the page and it is a picture of giant hands holding the world and it says, "GUESS WHERE?" turn the page and it is a pic of Ethiopia and it says, "KORAH." Oh, boy I bawled like a baby in front of our 20 Christmas guests. I couldn't even talk or see Blaine through my tears.

I never begged him or even mentioned it after he told me that going to a Korah would not be on his itinerary for our 25th anniversary. I accepted it. But he knows me and how much it would mean to me to go there. He also knows God wants him to go there and see it for himself.

You see, we know that God has a bigger plan for our lives. We just have to be willing and maybe go out of our comfort zones to see what that is. And that my middle school sweetheart (yes, I did say middle school!) gets that and wants to go to a leper colony for our 25th anniversary why the next 25 years are going to be a roller coaster ride!

Congratulations if you made it through this ridiculously LONG and way overdue post!

Happy New Year,

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wants or needs?

The other day, Mihiretu brought home an assignment they had done in class. They are learning about goods vs. services and wants vs. needs.

It starts out with someone buying a CD. This is a 'good' and a CD is a 'want.' So far, so good!

Next, they paid for a car wash. A car wash is a 'service' and is a 'need.' WHAT?????

Then they buy a new outfit. This is a 'good' and a 'need.' Alright, clothes are a need.

Then they got a hair cut. This is a 'service' and a 'need.' Really?

Then they bought a pizza. This is a 'good' and a 'need.' Ok, food is a need.

I asked Mihiretu if he really thought a car wash and a hair cut were really needs. He told me they had a substitute that day and this is what she said! He hadn't really thought about it, just filled in the blanks. Ugh...seriously?

I brought him back to Ethiopia. He remembers some things still. I asked him if people in Ethiopia would think a car wash or a hair cut was a need. He looked down at the floor and replied, "No."

This led to a good discussion where we talked about thinking for himself and not believing everything the teacher says all the time. If he KNOWS something to be true, no one should be able to change his mind.

I don't know this substitute but maybe she has never been to a developing country to see the difference. We live in suburbia USA where we run our cars through the car wash whenever we want to. If our hair needs color or a cut, we make the appointment and take care of it. No problem.

These things are luxuries.

But 'needs' they are NOT!!!!!

So off base in America sometimes.

Let's teach our children the difference.

Count your blessings,