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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Jumbled Thoughts – An Update

I’m sitting here late at night just enjoying the stillness of the house.  Today has been another very busy day in the Fishbowl.   Some days I blink and the day got away from me.  I have papers piled high on a chair in my homeschool room to be filed.and grades recorded. The task seems daunting and when added to the many adoption things we need to do, it seems almost impossible.  I should probably go to bed, but this blog of mine has been bare for so long.  I just have to stay up and at least write down some of the things happening in our lives, even if it seems to be a series of jumbled thoughts. I’ll try to keep it somewhat organized. 

Adoption Front – We leave in less than 2 weeks to go back for court.  The original documents that we sent to the State Department building have not been located, so we would appreciate your prayers that we would have them all returned to us.  I still have a few more items to get as far as gifts for people in Russia.  But most of my shopping is done.  I frequented a few local consignment sales and found some great items for donating to the orphanage.  I really like this baby home so much and they don’t have a whole lot.  The building itself is older and definitely worn down, but the love and caring inside brightens that dim exterior.  We asked our translator to find out what the baby home needed and were told, shoes, turtlenecks and developmental toys.  Well, three suitcases later and I think we have that about covered.  I was blessed that the owner of one of the consignment sales allowed me to come in and collect whatever we needed to bring to Russia from the donated items at the end of the sale.  Huge Blessing!!  I not only collected for Russia, but for our crisis pregnancy center as well.  I have a huge thank you note to send to this woman for helping us out in such a big way!  I cannot wait to deliver it all to the orphanage!  We are still waiting on final trip dates and that stinks.  The airline prices are going up and I am not happy about it.  I hope the dates stick with the tentative ones they gave, because that’s the only childcare we can line up. 

Baby Prep – Ummm that would be the prep we are doing here at home to get ready for this new arrival.  Hmmm…. are you ever really ready??  I’ll tell you this, we have a name and have been using it all the time.  I think everyone is ready for this little guy to finally get here.  We have a crib which Small Fry slept in when we first brought him home, and we were given a crib mattress from a friend at our church.  That too was a big blessing!  So, he has a place to sleep!  We need to purchase a car seat though, so that will be on the agenda for this weekend.  We have no idea what this little one eats or drinks or how he does both.  No idea on size of clothing and shoe size.  Yes, we were brilliant on our first trip to find out all of this information!  Really, you’d never know that we have been through this before.  I think the baby just mesmerized me with his “hold me in your arms and let me fall asleep to your rocking”, ‘tude he was sporting the entire first trip.  Who cares about what he eats or what size clothes he wears, my babe just wanted me to hold him, and who needs anything else…   ;-)

Homeschool - How’s school going?  Busy.  Tiger Shark has entered middle school and with it comes a lot more responsibility and expectations.  It’s been a bit of an adjustment for all of us.  We are taking our away from home classes and their Creative Writing and Literature teacher is killing me!   Jabber Jaw is in 5th grade, and has to write a 5 paragraph expository paper on how something works.  He is choosing the Life Cycle of a Butterfly.  That is due this week.  Let me tell you how much Jabber Jaw likes to write.  Not at all!  Perhaps if it was more of a creative paper like a comic strip or about a super hero he would be more “into it”, but this one just might kill him, or me since I’ll be the one helping him organize.  Tiger Shark just finished The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.  I had a chance to re-read it after many years and it was so good.  It’s definitely an eye opening book for him on the evil of man, but it also shows with such beauty man’s goodness and Christ-like love in the person of Betsie Ten Boom.  If you have never read this book, you really need to do so.  In other school news I found a great site online called quizlet.com  It has all the boys Wordly Wise vocabulary in there, and all I have to do is find the list that another parent had already entered and print flash cards etc.  The boys can play games to learn their words and do practice drills.  It has definitely helped both of them!  My biggest battle (with myself alone) continues to be history.  I wish so much that I could farm this out to someone who loves history and would pass that along to my kids.  They really enjoy history, but it could be so much better.  The King Fish loves history, but he is not around consistently to teach it on a regular basis.  Trust me if he was, I would SO have him teaching it.

Small Fry “School” – I call it school because he wants to be like his older brothers and “do” school.  So, we have been learning a little bit of stuff.  We did a small All About Me Unit study and we started a Letter of the week study.  Very simple, very informal and loose.  He has some educations toys to play with and he is doing so well.  His speech has gotten SO much better!  I do believe that the doctor will be impressed when we go back for his 4 yr old visit.  He is still Small for his age, and we are still hoping he catches up slowly over the next year.  I have a friend at church who I am getting to know a little more and she has just about the same spread in children that I do.  It was so good to talk to her about the challenges and joys that come from having your children spread out a bit.  She has been a real encouragement to me, as we trades stories of stages etc that our youngest sons are going through.  Her son is 2 weeks older than Small Fry and it is good to see him and recognize that some of my “institutionalized thoughts”, are really nothing more than normal child behavior.  Small Fry is definitely looking forward to his baby brother coming home.  He and I particularly have had some wonderful bonding moments over the last three weeks, and I am grateful for that. 

Extracurricular – Oh boy, do I really want to go there?  The boys have piano, which they haven’t been practicing well.  It seems piano gets pushed to the backburner and I was afraid that would happen.  We almost stopped this year, but the boys promised they would be practicing and would be self motivated.  Hmmm… okay, next subject.  Lego Robotics.  You may remember last year we placed third in the state for our presentation in Lego Robotics.  This year’s challenge is just as difficult, so we’ll see how we do. There has been lots of daily homework and meetings for this activity.  Football and tennis are our two sports  this fall.  Football has been great and Jabber Jaw’s team has remained undefeated.  They have a game tomorrow night against a select team (ie: peewee professionals) and hopefully they will do well and keep that streak going.  I’m nervous for him!  Tiger Shark is entering his first USTA sanctioned Jr. tennis tournament this weekend.  He is so excited!  He has told me over and over that this week has gone by so slow.  Obviously he is looking forward to his first match.  I’m excited for him … and I guess I’ll admit I’m nervous for him too.  What is it with a mom and her boys and being nervous.  I guess I just hope they do well…..  We are debating the basketball sport thing for winter, but Jabber Jaw is dealing with some foot issues because of a growth spurt and he is having to ice his feet down after each football practice and game.  I think he really needs to rest after football, so we’ll see what the doctor says.

Birthday Boy  - We will celebrate Small Fry’s fourth birthday this weekend.  He wants a Thomas the Tank Engine themed party.  If I had my act together I would know where all the old party stuff is.  I KNOW I saved a huge mylar balloon from the big boys party days and we could just have it inflated with helium.  But naturally I am not that organized.  Anyway, in between the football games and the tennis matches we will squeeze in an evening of birthday celebrations.  We have a tradition here that the birthday person gets to choose their favorite dinner.  Small Fry has chosen pasta and French fries and meatballs and applesauce.  He is not a big French fry person, and I’m not sure why he claimed that, but he quickly switched to green beans (Which he DOES love).  So, that’s our birthday dinner and a Thomas Cake, store bought of course.  The King Fish asked me, “Do we still have that Thomas Cake Pan?”  I looked at him incredulous and trust me if I had the pan I might just have brandished it.  Does he really think with as busy as our weekend is that I have time to bake and decorate a Wilton Thomas Cake??  Really is he nuts??  Just decorating that cake can take hours.  So, no homemade cake by me, but we will have a Thomas Cake anyway.  Is it bad that I will be shopping for the rest of Small Fry’s gifts on the day of his birthday???  Maybe we can sneak away tomorrow evening… 

Life - (Have I mentioned that I have no idea what I will do when the baby comes home? )  Some days, like yesterday, I felt so put together and capable and I had visions of holding the baby in a hip carrier with me as I wash the dishes and school my children, while everything ran smoothly in the house.  The feeling I felt yesterday was so satisfying, like “okay, I am ready”.  And then today I feel like I’m way behind the eight ball and want to make my son’s birthday super special, which it will be…. but time seems to be moving faster, and I can’t keep up.  So today is one of those, “Oh my word… what am I going to do in a month or so!?!”  LOL! 

I bet that’s like that for a lot of mom’s…. one moment you feel like you can conquer the world and the next week you feel so inadequate.  Thank goodness I have a God who can give me all the strength I need huh?  I’m thankful for that.  My friend Stephanie posted a Scripture from Isaiah.  I have known this verse from the time I was a young mom when my oldest two were very young.  Isaiah 40:11 “He gently leads those that have young.”  Isn’t it good to know that our God leads us gently.  He knows the struggle that mom’s with young children face and he leads us through this season of life GentlyI love that picture of God… one of gentleness and patience.  I have had many a time where I have messed up along this journey of motherhood.  Life is full of opportunities being presented by my kids. It may be the spilt red juice all over the carpet, or a broken treasure because someone was throwing a ball in the house.  Maybe it is an act of disobedience in my little one hauling off and hitting his brother or a playmate.  Maybe it’s dealing with older children and trying to teach them respect and responsibility and giving everything they do 100% with an attitude of thankfulness.  There are so many teachable moments for me to teach my kids, and so many more for me  to learn as well, from my own mistakes.  I have handled some well and some poorly.  I have modeled a  Christ-like attitude and I have seen my selfishness come through as a model clearly imparted to my children.  I am so glad that God is full of patience and is gentle with me.  I am glad that I have opportunities daily to practice showing grace and mercy and love to my children.  I have a feeling that those lessons will never end for me.  :-)




Susan said...

What a wonderful update! It is so good to read how God is watching over you!!

Craig and Phyllis said...

Wow, you must be so tired! I wish I lived close to you so that I could help you out.

Just as an aside, have you thought about putting piano practice into the workboxes? It might help to get it consistent. I was just at a Sue Patrick workshop last night and learned alot from her! : )

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