"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do." -Edward Everett Hale

Monday, July 28, 2014

Celebratory Smiles

Today is Lila's 18 month anniversary.

Some days I can't believe it's been so long. Some days I can't believe it's only been that long.

Either way, today called for a smile on the swing set. And that's a celebration no matter what day it is...

Friday, July 25, 2014

God Bless America...(and Summer Camp)

Lila finished up her three week summer camp today with a performance, complete with Uncle Sam.

She's had good days, some bad days, and one ugly day. Think go to the principal's office type of ugly.

But overall, it was a success. She stayed busy and even made a good friend. 

Today's performance, however, was completely over the top. I was blown away. We were invited to watch and of course we all had lots of questions beforehand. Piper drilled Lila over and over about what she was going to do. 

Last night Lila said, "I don't know. I didn't hear what them said."

Okay, so just hope for standing in her spot and no crying.

But she was totally holding out on us. She was a full participant in several songs, the pledge, a dance, a puppet show, and reciting a chapter from the book of Psalms. Not to mention the grand finale of "God Bless America" with sign language. 

This girl can do anything she wants to do...


After it was all over, Levi asked, "Which one's Lila?'

 Boy did he miss out.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Oh Yes We Are...

Here's a little Throwback Thursday and deja vu in one...


Piper made her announcement four years ago and now Easton has one of his own...

There's another January baby on the way...

Upon hearing the news of a pregnancy and a fifth child, especially a fifth child, many people ask the question...

Were you trying?

I prefer the term hoping. And yes, we were hoping. After Levi was born we chose to grow our family by adoption. It was a long-time dream and the timing was perfect. However, we often talked about having another baby if/when things ever settled down.

I would find myself de-cluttering and clearing out closets and getting rid of all that baby stuff I thought I needed the first time around.

Huge mattress-like changing pad? Not a chance.

Cart cover? Hahahaha....

"Baby's gonna have to do without," I'd say. Then I'd meet a glowing first time mom in the Meijer parking lot, exchange the goods and wish her well.

So, have things settled down? Of course not! Things never settle down. Life goes on and brings with it one thing or 10 others. However, the kids have adjusted and we've moved out of toddler city. Not to mention we're not getting any younger. We decided not so long ago that a baby in the near future may not be so far fetched. Then one day back in May I decided I was feeling a little bit pregnant. I made an impulse buy at Meijer with two kids in tow and tried to covertly mix the test in with the broccoli and the bananas. It didn't help when the alarm went off as we were leaving the store.

Anyway, low and behold it was positive. I was shocked. I have to say we've never struggled with infertility but it's always been a few months here and a few months there, pretty average really. This time I was hoping to have a baby next summer or even fall. But now January! So soon? I may have had a few moments of panic but I was quickly reminded that children are a gift. First children, fifth children, adopted children, surprise children, healthy children, children with special needs....ALL CHILDREN. And I'll take them whenever and however the Lord sees fit.

I tried to hold out as long as I could before telling the children. It's just such a long time to wait in their little lives. And it's just so many questions for me to answer in my tired, nauseated state. But at this point I'm bursting at the seams, literally. So we told them first.

Their reaction?

Piper is beside herself. She immediately went into planning mode and told me all the things we need to do to get ready. She wants a girl. Of course she wants a girl. If she's said it once, she's said 100 times, "I just didn't know you were having a baby." I think she's a little disappointed in herself. Piper is all ears and all knowing and not many things get by her. She will be six and she will be the perfect big sister. Actually I'm not sure I can let her go to kindergarten now.

Then there's Levi. He wants a boy. There's a baby that comes and hangs out with us from time to time. He's about nine months old and he's cute and cuddly and fun. And Levi absolutely loves him. So not only will Levi want a boy, but he'll want a boy just like that.

Oh, Lila. Who knows what she's thinking? I've often said her biggest dream is to be an only child or at least the youngest by 12 years. And here we go again. But she'll adjust. She loves to have a job. I foresee the assignment of "entertaining Levi" consuming much of her time. I give her this job occasionally and she's becoming a pro. Spontaneous play with her brother? No way. Taking care of him as a big sister is much more appealing.

Easton, sweet Easton. What can I say?  He's just happy to be here. As always.

And as for me, I want a b   b   b    

Ummm, baby, yes, that's right, a baby!

Then Esau looked up and saw the women and children. "Who are these with you?" he asked. Jacob answered, "They are the children God has graciously given your servant.
Genesis 33:5

Gracious indeed.









Monday, July 21, 2014

Who's Counting?

I may not post monthly updates anymore, but believe me, the date never passes by that I don't remember it.

Today marks the milestone of 18 months with this handsome guy...


These two were doing some counting exercises of their own. Not to perpetuate the stereotype, but Easton just may have a future in math. Numbers are his thing and counting is his game...


Of course Levi is exhibiting his usual take charge attitude. But in this case Easton may be teaching his brother a thing or two. Either way, observing this little lesson just might have been the cutest thing ever...


1 math lesson...

2 brothers...

240 flash cards...

PRICELESS!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Day at the Arboretum

Today's weather forecast called for something, anything outdoors. So after dropping Lila off at her beloved camp, we went straight to the Arboretum. As Levi climbed out of the van he made an astute observation...

"What a nice summer day."

First we spent some time with the stumps...
Climbing...


Creeping...


Exploring...


Next we headed to the Children's Garden to do more of the same.

Levi didn't have any objections to the creek...


I reminded Piper that when she was three years old she asked if this was Jesus' tomb. Levi heard me and got a little excited. I had to clear up the misunderstanding...


Time for some play fishing...


A train sighting...


And Levi's favorite pastime...


Finally, it was time to cool off in the mist...


We spent some more time in the creek and just like that it was time to pick up Lila. 

"What a nice summer day." 

Indeed.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Seven

It may be a little rainy today, but the sun was surely shining on us seven years ago...


As with most events in our life it was a whirlwind trip to Greece. Just hours after getting off the plane on the island of Santorini, we were married on a cliff side overlooking the Agean sea...


It was breathtaking...


And simply perfect...


But the fun was just beginning. After relaxing in Santorini, we set off on a cruise of the Greek Isles.

Mykonos...


Kusadasi, Turkey...


And my personal favorite, the island of Patmos...


We visited the cave believed to mark the spot where John wrote the book of Revelation...


Then on to Rhodes...


Crete...


And back to Santorini...


What an adventurous start to a life together! We couldn't have imagined what the future held for us when we said "I do." And good Lord willing we are just getting started.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sleepover?

Giggly girls...

Late night whispers...

The pitter-patter of little feet in a quiet house...

Some call it a sleepover, but I'm not sure there was much sleep to be had.

Piper declared it the "first time a friend slept over". 

A cousin and a "best-friend" all in one...


Sweet girls...Sweet memories