Friday, February 12, 2016

Our Full Little Life

They say the days are long and the years are short. I'm here to tell you that's the truth. We're on year nine of small town living and these long years have added up so fast. It seems as though every minute of our day has an agenda and boy, it is hard to keep up at times!

My little family has grown up right before my eyes (and yours!). I've gotten word that an update is long overdue here. I'm happy to take a few minutes to update you today. I have big (maybe unrealistic) hopes of doing a better job of updating this little space. I truly do miss seeing the words in my head pour out here. 

So, what have we been up to?

God has been so kind and gracious to allow my main squeeze to change jobs this year. He's still teaching and coaching, but he's in a new setting. Overall, he loves it. It's offering him some new challenges that he has been happy to take on, and also brought back some opportunities that he had been missing. The move has been good for him and a benefit to our family as well. 

My tall boy is completing his senior year of high school. He'll be off to college in the mountains in the Fall. We're so excited for him we can hardly stand ourselves. My husband also attended college here, so we have strong ties there already. We can't wait to see what God has planned for this boy.

Riley (also now known as my tall boy) joined Boy Scouts last year. He's in his sophomore year this year. He enjoyed wrestling in the Fall and is now running alongside his brother on their school's track team. Riley's eyes are currently "stable." He has recently been given a new neurological diagnosis. We're awaiting his appointment with the specialists for that now. Until we have more concrete information, I won't share the diagnosis here. He will be going out of state for treatment and are expecting a few months wait before he is seen. We are hopeful that the outcome for this will be positive. Riley has kept a wonderful attitude in all of this. He truly is a trooper. 

Our little sister continues to grow and amaze us with every word. Back in the Summer we were able to locate little sister's older biological sister. We have enjoyed meeting and spending time with her on several occasions and appreciate the bond these girls have despite their 12 year age difference and the 10 hour drive between them. God has been so sweet to us. Little Sister starts soccer in just a few weeks. She is beside herself excited.

I have been busy with life in general. My work has increased to almost full time now. The kids and their activities keep me so busy. I am so thankful to be in this season. It feels good to be busy with a normal life. I've set aside the next two months to be away from Facebook and Instagram. Since Jordan graduates in a few months we have decided to make the next two months memorable by filling our calendar with family time. We're so excited to say "no" to some regular things so that we can say "yes" to some time set aside just for us. Included in that time is our Sunday dinners with our big kids. Our girls continue to come home for dinner each month. It has been one of the biggest blessings of my life. 

This indeed is our full little life.

God is good, all the time!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Refining Joy

It's a new season in my life. I hope you'll come along with me and hear of the things that God has done.

Join me here:

God is STILL good, all the time!

Monday, July 20, 2015


Last month, when I wasn't looking, this kid turned 15.

I don't want to talk about it.

He left this morning on a grand adventure to camp in the mountains with the staff from our Baptist boys camp. He was so excited.

I don"t want to talk about it.

His eye remains in a stable position (so far as we can tell.) He saw his retina specialist at Emory in May and he had rave reviews in the stable department. On a whim last month I tagged him onto a vision check-up I had for myself just to make sure the prescription for his glasses was still on target. Much to our surprise, his vision in his right eye had taken another pretty big loss in that month's time between appointments. It's difficult for Riley to detect these changes because his left eye does such a good job of compensating when his right eye takes a hit. His new lenses were special ordered and we picked them up to find the right lens is much thicker than it was before. When he put the new glasses on he could not believe the difference in how well he could see. You could tell by the look on his face that his vision was much improved. He won't go back to Emory until September unless there are some significant issues. I am suspecting that the vision loss is just typical disease progression.

In the meantime, he is all set to try for his driver's permit when he returns from his camping trip. While he is legally blind without his glasses, he can actually see as well as I can with his glasses on.

I'll be increasing my prayer life, once again.

Soaking up these last few weeks of Summer!

God is good, all the time!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Amelia Island

A few months back I clicked cancel on our already booked and completely paid for vacation plans after our oldest son was hit head on by a drunk driver. Replacing a vehicle trumps magical vacations. The very same day a friend sent me an e-mail saying that she had put us down for a week in her beautiful ocean front condo on Amelia Island. No strings attached. She had no idea I had just cancelled our vacation. God is amazing like that.

Our first set of vacation plans only allowed four of us to go due to the timing. Our summer missionary boy had things to do. When we checked the calendar dates for this trip, everyone was free and even the grandparents could come along! Win, win.

We could see straight to the ocean from our balcony. We spent most of our free not-on-the-beach time sitting here and enjoying the beautiful view. 

My Dad brought all of his kites along. He has close to 30. He spent all day everyday tending to the business of flying his kites. He was happier than a pig in mud. A crowd collected along the beach benches each day to watch him. By the end of the week everyone was old friends with my Dad and his kites.

At one point he had 15 in the air at once. Kendraloo watched them like a hawk. 

He even ventured into town one evening and found a mermaid kite for little sister. Her day was made. She flew her first kite on this trip. She's an official kite lover now.

Why does he look like he's in college? 

I can't even.

He eats everything in sight. I promise.

Poolside tomato sandwich snacking.

Post Office. I die.

Carousel house for sale. Amelia Island, FL. My 10 year old self is looking for investment partners, because, seriously.

One lucky Mama.

Amelia Island is also home to Fort Clinch. It was a military base set to serve as a barrier of protection during the Civil War. It was built, but was never actually used in battle. The landscape was amazing and we saw a rabbit and a huge turtle on the side of the road and a sea turtle, horseshoe crab and jellyfish in the ocean. 

Little Sister has taken to My Little Ponies, especially the tiny ones that you can find in the surprise packs. She and Nana had a Pony Pageant. It was legit.

On our last day, we visited our cousins, in their hometown of St. Mary's GA.

A few of the historical buildings there were used by Harriet Tubman for the Underground Railroad. My history brain nearly exploded.

This made my entire trip. This is a true working "pirate" ship. Several families live on and operate this ship. (They aren't pirates, but come on, look at that ship). They come to shore to sell the wares they have made and when they have enough money they sail again. The ship was beautiful with so many hand carved details. I tried to contain myself. It was most difficult.

For information on how you can stay where we stayed, click here.

We enjoyed this beautiful place and a laid back pace so much. We at at a local Mexican restaurant one night. Our cousins hosted a delicious dinner for us in St. Mary's. We ordered pizza one night. All of our other meals we cooked in house, and boy, was it a scrumptious week! We hope to go back for another visit one day. We took our vacation envelopes along for this trip. We didn't spend much at all on this trip because we mostly ate in, stayed free and did lots of free activities. It's one of our favorite vacations ever and probably the least expensive in the books. I did forget to mention that I completely forgot to pack my camera for this trip. It was almost a blessing. I snapped pictures with my phone as I wanted and wasn't bust juggling a camera all day everyday. The picture quality isn't the best in every picture, but I'm loving them just the same.

God is good, all the time!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Our Little Princess

We had no idea how much this girl would bless our lives when God sent her our way. She came after much grief, during much chaos, in a season of just plain hard. She has been pure sunshine.

Our girl loves big and fierce and with no regard to status or stature. She's four and she doesn't meet a stranger. She's the leader or the follower. The master of pretend. The princess of drama.

We've seen God weave plans together for this girl that we could never have imagined. She does cartwheels on legs we were told would never walk correctly. She's mastered school work they said it would take years for her to grasp. She's worked herself right out of her grade level. She'll be homeschooling next year.

A few months ago our girl began to grieve an absence in her life that we could not produce for her. We had many late nights with tears and questions that couldn't be answered. Where is she? 

It became clear that this wasn't just a phase for little sister. Her hurt was real and not a new version of bedtime drama to stay awake. Her adoption was a closed adoption. We didn't have much to go on. We decided we'd try anyway. For her. 

A few phone calls were made and some weeks passed by, and then on a Monday morning and e-mail landed in my inbox. Big Sister had been found. Oh happy day.

Big Sister is several states away living with her very own adoptive family, They look a lot like us. A few hours after that first e-mail our girls were able to FaceTime each other face to face and talk for the very first time. Big Sister is quiet and reserved. An over-comer. Oh so smart. She's a beauty. She had been missing little sister just as much.

A few weeks from now we'll meet in the middle and real life hugs will be given. We'll snap a million pictures and share all the giggles. We'll join our journeys together.

God has given us such a gift in sharing in the lives of not just one girl, but TWO, Our little princess has a big sister. What a blessing!

God is good, all the time!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Long Weekend

I bet every working Mama out there can agree that long weekends are the cat's meow. It was so good this past weekend to slow down, catch up on some chores, sleep in and do some fun things. Here's a peek at what our weekend looked like:

On Saturday night Daddy took Little Sister and I out on the town in the big city. We had a ton of fun eating fancy pizza and posing in front of art. 

After our meal, we headed over to the minor league baseball stadium because our Jordan and his gal "K" were the honorary captains for the game. They were treated to all sorts of fun and we were managed to sit pretty close to them as well. A certain small person even scored some cotton candy, which is a rare treat. We had a fun time!

On Sunday, we made our way up the mountain to pray over old friends and spend the day at our most favorite camp in the world. This boys camp has shaped my three boys and there's no where else I'd rather go on a day trip.

We took this picture at the tree house in the camp. Little Sister was less than thrilled that we interrupted her time playing with friends for a photo shoot. Life at four is so hard.

On Monday we invited a few guests over for lunch, so the double K's played Pez. Little Sister has 295 of those crazy things now. Her face shows her delight in having some company by her side. 

The weekend was so good and made us even more eager for Summer. We have some fun things planned!

Hope your weekend was as fun as ours!

God is good, all the time!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Scouts and Good News

Last week we skipped over the state line for another check-up on Riley's eyes. He's been doing so great that we all expected (even his doctor) to find something notably significant in the disease progression. His last injection was in July 2013, which "expired" in December of last year. It would make sense to see some damage begin to take place now. New pictures of his eye were taken last week and to everyone's delight his eye had made no change at all since February, not even the slightest change in disease progression. The doctor has been seeing Riley on a three month rotation. He was so pleased with the stability of his eye over the last few visits that he has bumped him to coming every four months. We are so grateful. God has given us a new season with these eyes. 

In this new season, my Riley boy has joined Scouts. So many activities were pushed aside along the way in his childhood due to the activities or cost. Having him seeking these things out now on his own is so much fun. He's already friends with all of the guys anyway. He knows them from school, church wrestling and the local youth center. They finally convinced him to come with them for scouts too. He is all about camping and hiking right now. If he isn't outside, he's inside researching whatever new gadget he might need to make his camping even better. 

Thanks for continuing to pray for this boy and his wonky eyes. 

God is good, all the time!