Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? -Matthew 6:26

As we walk through this adventure called life, we remind ourselves that we are all precious children of our Father-- those of us who have walked a little further down the road striving to guide those who have been entrusted to our care for a time. Here is our journey down this path.



Friday, May 24, 2013

Winding Down

It's been a great school year for all 4.  It's been a BUSY week for all 6....

Middle School honors night on Monday.  This guy had a great year.  He made a great transition to the new responsibilities and freedoms of middle school.  So proud to be his mom.
And a little post-event game of 21.  "Don't worry, we're only betting M&M's!"  Seriously....they told me that!


At the same time we were there, this Banana Leopard was playing in a semi-final U9 Soccer game.  Didn't make it to the finals, but had a great season, learned a lot, and had a great attitude.  Great team.  Great coach.  Great girl!!!


On to Tuesday...Beethoven's musical.  With the bookworms that ate through the music.  Cute.


 He did a GREAT job with his part.  And had a great attitude.  Even with the ruffles. :)

Wednesday morning...Cynthia's End of the Year Celebration.  Songs, poems, Bible verses.  She has really come out of her shell at school this year.



And her biggest fan joined me to watch the program.


Sweet class of new friends.  The girls are so cute and giggly together.  Of course there must be treats!


It's been a great year.  Our school has been such a blessing to our family.  More on that soon....
Now, on to the next event!!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Keepin' it Real....

Lest you think all is perfect here.....I don't want to have a blog that paints a pretty picture all of the time.    I tend to document the fun events, the accomplishments, the pictures of smiling kids.

But....

Life is still life.  I am still a sinner.  I get short tempered with my kids, the house is often a mess, someone can't find a clean shirt for school, we don't get to bed on time.  We may have even stayed up until 11:00 one night this week finishing 2 homework assignments.

And sent kids to their rooms today for arguing with each other.

And again for arguing with me.

And as I type there's a pile of dirty laundry on the floor.

In that spirit, here are a few "keepin' it real" events recently....

We were at church a while back.  Cynthia wants to draw on her bulletin every Sunday, and, as that keeps her quiet and not disturbing us or those around us, it is fine with us.  Well, this particular Sunday, we were greeting our neighbors and I looked down and saw this very nice stick figure....


On HERE!!!!

I was truly shocked.  She doesn't usually do things like this, really.  I didn't know what to say, I was so confused.  She obviously had done it on purpose, not just accidentally run off of the page a bit.  Well, I didn't handle it very well...let's just say we had to walk out during the next song as she was crying.  We talked for a while, she was able to get herself together and go to her class and after church we returned to try to clean it off...and I apologized for losing my cool.  She seemed to learn her lesson.  And I thought I did, too, about how to handle something like this.

I thought.....

Until....

Just the other day, we borrowed 2 tables for the cupcake sale.  We squeezed them in our van, just fitting from the back diagonally toward the drivers seat, which meant they were next to Cynthia's car seat.  It took a little longer than I thought it would to get them from church, so I had to go to school to pick up the other 3 kids with them in the car....you should have seen their eyes when the door opened in car line.  A little gymnastics and puzzle arranging was required to get everyone in and home.
We got home and the boys were helping me unload them and Thomas said, "Mommy, look what's on this table...."

Right next to her seat........not a very smart criminal, I might add.  Or brutally honest...wanting to get caught???  So, we had the same discussion AGAIN, and I didn't handle so well...again.  Maybe I don't learn my lessons well, either.  After another cleaning and apology, we have moved on.

I think.

And last (for now--I'm sure tomorrow will bring another example!).  We decided that we were going to join our local swim team this summer.  All 4 kids can participate, they all love to swim and lots of friends participate as well, so it sounded fun.

The first practice was Monday.

May 13.

It has been a beautifully cool spring.

That water is FREEZING.

The older 3 managed to get past the breath-taking shock and get moving enough not to have icicles on their body, but little C was having nothing of it.  Now, before we actually went to the pool, you must understand, she was talking about it all the time.  So excited.  "I'm going to be on the swim team!"  I know how to do the 'back strip'.  "When is swim?"  "Can we go today?"  Seriously.  She was excited.

And she's a fish.  She LOVES the pool, loves to swim, and can swim.  Jumped off the diving board 2 summers ago...no floaties.  This is not a new, scary experience for her.

That water is FREEZING.

And someone--the coach--who she doesn't know wants to help her.

Which means they have to touch her.

Well, as you can probably gather, the first practice did. not. go. well.

Tearful before getting in because of a stranger, screaming when she hit the water....and all the way down the lane.  Then, they had her rest OUT of the pool, which meant it was even colder feeling when she got back in.  Or should I say when I forced her back in.  She screamed her way down the lane and we called it a night.

I was in a fix.  We committed to doing this, so we are going to be at the pool every day for practice and for LONG meets in June.  If she doesn't participate, she will be sitting for HOURS in the heat, which she does NOT like at all.  "Mama, I'm hot."  "I'm sweaty."  And I knew if she could get past the initial fear and freeze, it would get better.

Well, we've had a busy end of the year kind of week, so haven't been every night, but Wed was NO better despite me talking it up.

So, yesterday, I came up with a bribe deal for her.  This girl  loves ice cream.  We were headed to the grocery store and I suddenly had an idea.  "Hey Cynthia, I know what"  "How about you pick out some ice cream and if you swim WITHOUT CRYING tonight at practice, you can have some ice cream?"  She liked the idea, chose some strawberry ice cream and was talking it up when we picked up the others from school.

Then we got to practice.  Hesitancy started.  "I don't want to..."  "Mommy, can you go with me?" Did I mention the water is FREEZING?!?!?  "No, they don't let mommies, just coaches." (Thank goodness!!)  (Yes, I know that is completely hypocritical!!)  Sweet Molly offered and C accepted for her to help.  Then, a loophole.  She said, "I'm only going 1 lap."

Foiled!  Now what?

A new bribe deal had to be struck.  "How about a scoop per lap?"  She looked at me a little stunned, then a slow smile crossed her face and "REALLY?"  "Can I do 10 laps?"  This may be trouble.

We told the coach about our deal, C had a smile on her face as we were talking and she DID IT!!  Smiling all the way.  With ever faithful big sis by her side.


This girl did 3 laps.  And the sweet coach said she did such a good job learning to push off of the wall that she deserved an extra scoop.

So, 4 scoops it was.  2 before dinner.  And 2 in a milkshake with everyone else afterward.

Summer just got a bit easier.  But I think I may be buying a lot of ice cream.

The Cupcake Kids

Last weekend was a beautiful weekend here and we were privileged to participate with our church's Minus 1 Orphan Ministry in a local art festival.  Every May, The Cupcake Kids have cupcake sales to benefit a ministry called 60 Feet that is working with orphans in Uganda.  We were able to raise some money for our own ministry and theirs by selling these yummy treats...and the idea is that kids sell them  here to help the kids there.  We had some great helpers!  








As it was an art festival, there were lots of other booths with activities, dancing and singing on stage and a sidewalk chalk contest....I loved the creation our girls made with some friends!
It was a great day to be outside, a great festival to participate in and a great cause to support.

Sculpture

Loving my new piece of art that came home from school this last week.  Especially because it came home with my child who doesn't love art...guesses who that could be?


Hint--it was a middle school project. :)  Love when they stretch themselves.  Now, this guy needs a name....

Ballerina Buds

Cynthia took ballet with a friend this year.  We had a fun time talking this sweet girl with us each week.  It was fun to watch their transformation from (very) hesitant to go into the class to running in with smiles like this.  They were beautiful fireflies and the amazing Roar of Love production and here is their last day--princess party.  

Ready to go....
Plie', releve'.....
How's that to doing?
Pretty little point.




Jump!  This picture looks like she is flying!
Sweets for the sweet.
And her sweet teachers.....

We love the program at the girls' ballet company.  A God honoring, encouraging environment where girls are taught to use their talents and develop healthy self image, all in a loving environment.  Here's to many more plie's in their future!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Smooch

Riding in the car today, taking Cynthia to a sweet princess birthday party.
C:  Mommy, were you a baby when Daddy got you?
Me: No, we met when I was 18.
C: You weren't in the same family?
Me: No, I was in Papa and Grandma Carol's family.
Discussion then ensued about weddings, getting married and becoming a family and that I changed my name to Drake.
C: I don't understand...maybe when I'm older I will understand.
C: (still confused) So you kissed when you weren't in the same family?
Me:  Well, at the wedding, the preacher said, 'I now pronounce you husband and wife.  You may kiss the bride!'
C: And you did?
Me: Yes
C: On the lips?
Me: Yes
C: (with sympathy in her voice) Was it really gross?
:)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Fly on the Wall

Things are moving along here in our paper chase.  Items are starting to be returned and we had our last home study visit the other night.  Which included our GREAT social worker having discussions with the kids....without the parents. :)  
Wondering what was discussed in these meetings!?! 



Still haven't gotten the 'trouble' paper taken care of, but.....it will come.  First things first!