Saturday, December 22, 2012

as of lately

As usual much more time has passed than I had hoped would have between posts. We have been busy preparing for Christmas and enjoying the activities this time of year brings.  I can say that I have not felt burdened with doing too much this year, not overwhelmed by activities and having to be here or there.  My burdens lie in my heart, for those hurting, so much cancer, sudden death (of people we know and don't know), people losing their homes, children who legally belong to their parents but a bad ruling has them separated this Christmas and for an amount of time that no one knows... it is all so hard to take in.  But I can take it in because I have a hope, a joy, my savior who carries these burdens for us.  It doesn't make it easy, at all.  It doesn't mean there isn't tears.  But I know, in the end, all is well.  I have given a promise that this is so.

We are (mostly) heating our house with wood now.  That means extra work, work that is good for all of us.  Andrew loves it!  The others tolerate it or complain about it.  

 Andrew split and stacked firewood for an entire afternoon.  He informed that I did not really need to teach him any more reading, writing or math because he thought he might just cut firewood when he gets older and he did not need to know "all those other things" in order to cut firewood!  HA!

Andrew is a child who has to be told to sit down while eating and doing school work.  He can sit still for a movie but he moves, a lot.  Focusing is hard for him but he is doing better but still has a long way to go.  The one thing that I find funny is his ability to stand completely still to observe birds at the feeder.  I have caught him several mornings out by the feeder standing and watching and seeing how close he can get to the birds that are feeding.  Amazing!

Benjamin has had a pretty good week this week but the few before, not so much.  He is getting into and breaking things that he knows he shouldn't be.   He doesn't like having things taken away or losing privileges but there is an overwhelming draw in the moment to do whatever he wants and that impulse wins... he does not think of the long term affect.  Ex: During nap time at my parents he rummaged through a drawer and found scissors and cut up a bunch of stuff and found matches and lit many of them and threw them into the carpet.  Praise God we did not have a fire, somehow they went out even thought the entire stick burned from one end to the other.  We have had "match issues" before and I can't count how many "scissor issues" we have had.  In the heat of the moment Benjamin has begun telling us that he is not going to like us or love us when there is a consequence coming.  He throws himself on the ground yelling about the injustice done to him.  We have altered our parenting with him, again.  He has been given A LOT of grace, many chances to correct his wrongs and the opportunity to talk through situations this week and the result is positive.  We have seen less lying.  Parenting an adopted child has so many different challenges than parenting biological children.  Parenting in general is hard and now we have to add in the affects of being abandoned, living in the orphanage and having little to no personal care and love.  There are scars (not necessarily physical), there are nightmares and there is much healing to be done.  At the end of the day we would scoop this little boy up a thousand times over and bring him home.  
He is cute.
He is funny.
He is affectionate.
 He loves family.
He brings joy.

Playmobil is the newest favorite toy.  

HOPE is Hope.
 She likes to be seen and heard.

 She sings and dances all of the time.

She loves for Daddy to paint her nails.  

Growing up more everyday.  Each is a day closer to 13!  Yikes!
She is responsible for this...
All of these gifts are handmade OR re-gifted, used or new.  This year we told the kids we were not giving them money to buy each other gifts but that they were free to give something they already had or they could make something.  I can't wait to share what all is in these boxes and bags.  Aubrey has helped each of her siblings with these, Rusty and I even have a couple in the mix too! Creativity and sacrificial are her gifts, God-given.

aka lego man.
Busy at school with help...

Leading up to Christmas, we just strive to get our work done, even if that means sprawled out across the kitchen table.

I will have to share of his latest lego stop motion movies soon!

We had dinner with our friends, here, it is an annual Christmastime tradition.  Christmas tree and gingerbread man cookies were decorated as well as ornaments.  We also sat by the fire and talked while the kids watched a movie.

The kids WERE NOT allowed to eat their entire cookie.  
Disappointed that I took very few pictures.


We were outside, we needed it!
Racing around one of the ponds... it would have been a very cold day to fall in!


and their dirty shoes...

This mushroom lets off yellow smoke (dust) when it is hit... nicknamed "the stink bomb".  

Hope wanted to hold the ice so bad but it was so cold... it was quite the predicament. 

There are always 2 that lag behind of you don't hold their hands.

ICE!  A fun discovery but soon we were whining because it was so cold and his hands were never going to be warm again.

Up she climbs.  "I do it by myself"!

The perfect view.

This ice forms at the base of these plants... the formations are so intriguing! 

This is the hoof of a baby calf, new born that never made it, if I were guessing.  It was in the barn.

Another turtle shell for the collection...

Aubrey and Andrew are getting out of their showers now.  They went mud riding on 4-wheelers and they were NOT allowed in unless they showered!

The little kids are napping.

Rusty is making another Christmas gift.

Here is a sneak peak of his first one...

 I think she is going to love it!

(Didn't even proof read this, it took too long to get it on here today, so I am posting as is)!

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