Monday, October 15, 2018

~Hank's Great Pumpkin Patch~

Hank's pumpkin patch was a great success again this year! I honestly have no idea how much time he puts into his crop...but it is many hours I am certain.

As always family and friends came over to pick pumpkins and roast hot dogs and s'mores. It began to rain about 45 minutes after we began but all the pumpkins were picked:)...but the party moved on to the porch instead, all was good in the world:)

Carly and John David's pics have become a yearly deal now:)

They are the cutest and have such a great friendship. I am so thankful for both of these precious kiddos!

Well the Pumkin Harvest is a wrap and was a blast as always! Thank you Hanky for doing this for all of us! I did not take ONE picture! Next year I am going to try to get one big pic of the entire group:)

Friday, October 12, 2018

~Three Weeks Til Kitty~

John David and I are going to Atlanta in three weeks to pick up our new kitten. He has remained real...I did not buy a beanie baby scam kitten!

His ten week pictures:)

We think he is the cutest and can't wait to meet him. Our name choices have changed over the past month or so haha! Here is our new list which will most likely change again...


John David and I have already claimed to choose his name when we get him so who knows?:)

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Sin-The Struggle is Real

I don't know about you, but I can get somewhat proud of myself when life is clipping along and I feel "not so sinful". Circumstances have not pushed my buttons to bring my true nature out in the open and I can become overconfident in myself instead of God.

Each and every time I have a come apart I'm somewhat surprised by the enormous ugly deep inside me...yet I know it is always there just waiting to be coaxed out by the day or moment.

I can easily say adoption has been the vehicle in which God has most acutely revealed my sin nature to me.  It is also where He has given me more mercy and grace than I deserve.

I was that naive mother prior to adoption,
 you know the one, "been there done that...all the mothering experience I've got under my belt" confidence.

I knew on some level that adoption would require more of me than my four biological children required...

I studied all the books, memorized the traits I needed to be hyper focused on for strong attachment, readied my heart to be open and available.

And I was. Open and available...
because God prepared my heart for these girls. He gave me an intense love for them. And yes He is all too aware of my gift of mercy. That gift of mercy has served me well until it does not anymore.

God held me in a beautiful place the first year following each adoption. My heart was ready for the hard, I was merciful to my girls and their needs. God settled my expectaions and gave me strength.

That is until it got too hard.
My expectations increased, that desire for a cohesive "normal" family daily overrides my ability to enter into the rest of our Lord. Thus enters my sin nature.

One morning, not so long ago, I was driving Janie to school after a tumultuous morning of disobedience; ignoring my calls to find socks, shoes, to whining about her water bottle and then on to blaming me for her behavior...
 In complete frustration I yelled at her to "just hurry up PLEASE", I guess I was thinking the added please helped negate the yell.

We jump in the car and I immediately began to apologize to her. I said,  "Mom should not have yelled at you like I did. I am so so sorry, will you forgive me?"

Her response was to turn and look out the window and ignore me the entire way to school. I apologized many times to no avail. I was even proud of myself that I did not point out that she was not obeying me as we were leaving. I was owning my own sin of losing my patience with her (yeah I'm awesome huh?, until I'm not)

  I'm ready to lose it again with her...she is a hardcore stubborn one and can frustrate the fool out of me. The same stubborn trait I understood just a few years ago when we brought her home. Of course she is stubborn. Stubborn is her go to coping mechanism, a trait learned as a means of survival as a young sick orphan in China. Only on this particular morning I chose not to remember why she can be so stubborn.

I began coaching myself "you are the adult here, she is the child, let it go" as I was fuming over her stubborness. Gently the thought settled on me, "you are just as sinful and childish as she is, you are no better than your nine year old."

I'd love to say she sweetly smiled and kissed me, as she does every single day, when she got out of the car. She did not. She never looked at me, refused to speak and walked into school.
My lovely thought..."good riddance my child".

As I pulled out of the parking lot, relieved to be ALONE... I prayed...for her and for me.
And all the yuk that we carry around in us ready to jump out when least expected.
I thought about my sin and feelings of frustration and thought what I always do "you sure would be proud of your lack of sin if it were not for these girls" ha!

I can blame my behavior on raising young children in my mid fifties or I can own my sin. I'm quite sure I would find my way to sin if in any other life circumstance as well...
that is what we do when we place our hopes and our expectations in this world and not on Christ.

We get caught up in justifying our sin instead of turning to Christ.
He is the only one who truly understands our sin nature...while we are at times surprised by the ugly that quickly spews forth in us.
Hebrews 2:18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
He understands more than our minds can fathom.

As usual these rambling thoughts of mine are a pep talk to myself and possibly can speak to you as well. I know myself well enough to realize my expectations can be set on what will happen in my day instead of putting my expectation in Christ. You know that daily struggle with life and sin nature...

Psalms 39:7 And now, Lord, what do I wait for and expect? My hope and expectation are in you.

Thankfully He knows me better than I know myself. In His infinite wisdom He gave me two precious needy girls. My eyes well with tears as I type this. He KNEW I needed them more than they need me. Each and every day He pulls me closer to him out of my need for direction and HIM. I shudder to think how I may have fallen away left to my own plans.

Because I am ALWAYS looking for a great laugh, I chose these pictures for this post because I made the girls take these pictures for me after they had been arguing. Notice how Madeline's arm is limply thrown over Janie's shoulder? 

Also notice how Janie's little hand is gently resting on her sister's shoulder...she had already forgiven her sister.

She also forgave me for yelling at her that day. She hopped in the car after school smiling as she told me about her awesome day. I asked, "are you still mad at me?"
She smiled sweetly, as she always does, saying "yes, and I'm sorry too"...then continued her non stop chatter about her day๐Ÿ˜Š

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

~Gardner and Kendyl Visit~

You would think a King and Queen were visiting us over the weekend based on Madeline and Janie's excitement...and me too ha!

It has been a while since they were able to come home for a weekend so we were REALLY looking forward to it. One of Gardner's friends was getting married on Saturday and I was helping host a wedding shower for Kendyl's sister Kristin. 

Gardner's best high school friends came in town for the wedding
These three and been best buds since early elementary school. I felt like I had all my children home:)
Of course I sent pics to the moms!

Before the shower on Sunday we decided to get on with our Christmas card theatrics since Gardner and Kendyl won't be back until Thanksgiving. I start getting a wee bit nervous and drive Allie crazy if we dont have an idea yet much less pictures by Thanksgiving. Thankfully Julianne thinks a bit like her Mom and suggested we get going on our favorite Christmas pastime...our CRAZY card:)

Last years card was hard to beat it!

Hank and Kendyl are SO AWESOME hahaha

A few behind the scenes pics from this years photo shoot:)

Allie and Gardner looking at pics deciding on our theme for the year....

and so it begins...

Allie looking at the picture telling Janie exactly how to stand, direct her eyes, position her head...It makes me laugh every year that Madeline and Janie think this is quite normal๐Ÿ˜‚
I love Matt and Matt in the background watching how this goes down each year. They came by to visit again on their way to the airport. They both live in Los Angeles now!

all the peeps waiting for their turn

I don't know how Eric and Hank do it but they never crack up!

Gardner entertained the girls during the shower since they decided they wanted nothing to do with picking up firewood with Daddy. Who knew they would not enjoy that???๐Ÿ˜‚
See the clothes pin on Gardner's pocket? He and Janie created a game like the video game she was playing in which the first one to steal the clothes pin wins. They were so funny!

Even Evie wants in on the fun. 
We had such a great visit with all the kids. It has been far too long since we were all together. 
A blessed weekend for sure!

I am going to visit them in a few weeks for a concert, they will be back here for Kristin's wedding in November, then home for Thanksgiving and Christmas whoop whoop!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

~ Janie's First Triathalon Relay ~

Janie competed in her first triathalon on Sunday.  She was the swimmer of the relay while her teammate Connor biked and ran....they each believed the other had the hardest part ha! I'm hoping Janie may build some confidence over the next year to bike and run while Connor becomes more confident as a swimmer...if not, they will relay again!

To say they loved it is an understatement! 
I LOVE how kids relate. They met for the first time an hour before the event and were cheering each other on and fast friends immediately! A treasure to watch for sure.

Janie checking out the pool before warm ups, she is not afraid of anything...
except the dark and bugs ha!

Ready to go!

She swam a 100 free and was the second out of the pool. She ran past the boy who finished ahead of her to beat him to the transition area! I was DYING๐Ÿ˜‚

Post race...I'm with Janie, I think Connor had the hardest part!

Goodness she was so happy...and she had Mom and Dad to herself all afternoon
perfection in Janie world:)

She and Connor placed first in their division...they were pumped!!

Until next year Kids Tri!๐ŸŠ๐Ÿšด ๐Ÿƒ

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

~Honey Harvest # 2~

Hank chose Saturday as the Wright honey harvest, the girls talked about it all week long. 

At 7 a.m. Janie asked if she could put her bee suit on while she waited for Daddy to get back from the gym...when told he would not be home for a few hours she relented ha!

Hank has three hives this year. He added two to our previous two but we lost one during the winter at some point due to "blah blah blah". That is all I understood anyway๐Ÿ˜‚

 I'm sure it was due to something that included big veterianian terms so I did not try to understand....
 we have bee hives and I'm allergic to bees so I think I get a bit of a pass on that one๐Ÿ˜‡

I missed taking pictures of the three of them looking like astronauts in their bee suits!
I love that the girls enjoy doing this with their Dad...Madeline was flat out giddy and Janie was a non stop talking machine:)

They took turns doing what bee keepers do...I just laughed out loud at myself as I typed that since I don't have a clue what that big thingy is called or what they are doing. Next year I will record the girls explaining it to me...that will be entertaining for sure!

You can't tell from this picture but the bees are swarming around the hives....Hank assures me they won't sting me. My thoughts are always the same "whatever, not pushing my luck"
Goldbug was a brave one though and she did not get stung. 

Hank however, was not as lucky. One stung him under his watch to which he said, "It wasn't his fault, he was scared by the watch touching him" ๐Ÿ˜‚

Every time I looked at M, she had her hands in her mouth! Don't you love that she still has bedhead hair in the afternoon? I love Saturdays.

Sweet Janie will always pose for me๐Ÿ˜Š

After helping Daddy bottle the honey they continued on the job adding the stickers. They are much faster at this job than I am. In my older age I can't see the edges of the stickers well, let alone make my fingers pull apart tiny pieces of paper๐Ÿ˜Ž
This allowed them to work on their own haha!

Little fingers...good eyesight๐Ÿ™Œ

That's a bunch of honey! Hank thought he would not get as much as last year even though he has an extra hive, but those bees worked hard!

Sweet Janie wanted me to walk with her as she rode her scooter in the neighborhood. This girl's love language is one on one time. She thrives with a little bit of extra attention...I love her sweet heart!

That's it for our honey harvest day....until next year!๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿ