Sunday, June 30, 2013

Mini Family Reunion {2013}

Last weekend we took a short trip up to the mountains of North Georgia and North Carolina for a mini family reunion. My parents treated everyone to lunch at one of our favorite mountain cafes and then it was off to the Dillard House to roam the grounds.

It as great getting to see everyone - especially my sister and her children and my brother's fiance. Being the oldest of ten children, it is a rare treat to get to meet up with almost all of my siblings. In fact, there were only two missing.


We even got some hiking in around a waterfall up in Highlands, North Carolina. Dry Falls is unique in that you can hike behind it. Trust me it is far from a "dry fall". The beautiful sound behind the falls was deafening but, amazing!

We reminded ourselves that the next family reunion we will be a family of six rather than just five.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Give 1 Save 1 - Europe

We are the featured family this week over at Give 1 Save 1 - Europe.
Click here - and take a look at our video.
We are just 19 days away until we leave for Latvia. Please help us raise our remaining funds by sharing our video. Each $1 donated is matched with another $1 from our Promise 686 Grant {up to $4,000}.
Thank you for helping us bring our daughter home!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Countdown Begins ...

This week has gone by in a blur ... we celebrated Father's Day on Sunday! Such a great weekend with my husband and kids. On Monday afternoon we received our travel dates - that's right friends, in less than 1 month we will be in L@tvi@ with our girl! Just 21 days until wheels up and we begin the first leg of our journey!

So this week amongst, numerous phone calls to travel agents - pricing and repricing plane tickets and trying to find a month long apartment rental, our life went on. Lexi got her braces {she was ready after wearing her appliance for over a month}.

The kids also were at VBS ... love our church and the great programs they put on. Kingdom Rocks, really did rock, and our kids came home every day with lots of wonderful stories to tell!

We are off to Asheville, North Carolina for a family reunion this weekend. When I return it will be time to begin work on the million and one things I need to get done before we leave - not just planning and packing for our trip but, preparing for our school year, which will be upon us by the time we return from our month in Eastern Europe.

And, stay tuned ... next week we will be the featured family on Give 1 Save 1 Europe!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

On Pointe

Yesterday was a big day for Lexi - her first official pointe shoe fitting. She is so excited that she begins pointe class next week. For Lexi, she thought this day would never come - it has been a long year of being in a pointe class but, not being allowed to be on pointe because, she was too young. {Pictured above with her very good friend and "dance twin" - Ashlyn. These girls have danced together since 2 years old.}

Of course, it wouldn't be a ballet outing without younger sisters in tow ... Ava Mae and Ashlyn's sister, Anna, who is Ava Mae's "dance twin", enjoyed hanging out with the ballet school director.

It only took 8 or 9 pairs before the perfect pair were found ... of course, they had to be the most expensive. At least they are great quality and will hopefully, last the year.

And while the older sisters were getting fitted .... the younger sisters tried to convince Miss Lisa that they should be allowed to wear these types of outfits to ballet class. They didn't win that argument.

Can't believe this day is already here ... why do kids have to grow up so fast? It seems like just yesterday Lexi was skipping in to the 2 year old ballet class, hair in a tiny bun and pink tutu on. Hard to believe in another two years we will be in this very spot with Ava Mae.

Happy girls with new pointe shoes!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

When Your LIfe is On Hold ... for the summer

OK ... so our life is really not on hold for the whole summer but, close enough. Our adoption was coming along nicely until an email from our adoption agency saying - "I have some good news and some bad news". The good news was that our referral had come through to go and get our daughter in L@tvi@, the bad news was something in her file had caused a snag. We were so close ... one step away from buying those plane tickets, finding an apartment, packing our bags - it was not meant to be, yet.

See we thought we would have been traveling by the end of June/beginning of July but, now we sit. We are prepared to travel with just two weeks notice but, it means that we cannot schedule anything further than two weeks out. Try explaining that fun news to three children who are used to a jam packed summer of camps, sleepovers, playdates, baseball, ballet and roadtrips. I told them we are going to practice what some would call "living in the moment".

So what's a mom to do who is a planner at heart? I am just now really formulating a makeshift plan. I have to say I absolutely love this blog post by Jen Hatmaker ... you really have to pop over and read it. It is entitled "Surviving Summer". Love her list of boundaries ...

"Therapists say healthy people have boundaries, so I set some. Kids, things I am not in charge of this summer:
  • Breakfast.
  • Lunch is a crapshoot.
  • Figuring our your snacks. You know where the kitchen is.
  • Entertaining you.
  • Solving all your problems.
  • Enduring fighting. You fight, the thing is gone, good times are over.
  • Being your cruise ship director. 
I will stock the kitchen with the goods, so if you ask me what’s for breakfast, I’m going to show you my coffee mug and give you a blank look. I taught you how to make eggs and smoothies and breakfast sandwiches and oatmeal, and I’m sad to admit this, but there is the cereal. Enjoy your chemical concoction, a nutritional hypocrisy I’m comfortable with." ~ Jen Hatmaker

I keep reminding myself this is such a short season and our life on hold and waiting is nothing compared to what the child we are adopting has endured for the last 13 years. We will practice living in the moment! We will enjoy more spontaneity and less planned activities. And, as we mark another day off the calendar, each night before we go to bed, we will do so knowing it brings us one step closer to traveling to get Hope.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

As One School Year Ends ... Planning Begins

I feel like this past school year was a blur ... I am amazed we accomplished as much as we did! Last week I was able to wrap everything up with our standardized testing and, then began the process of packing away our school work. During the summer the kids will continue to work on math, reading, and journaling. I just held their math books out as we have plenty of additional practice pages in the back of their Abeka books they can use. They are super excited about bringing those to Latvia ... NOT.

So, as I wrap up the 2012-2013 school year, planning for 2013-2014 is in full swing. The kids and I attended a 3-day practicum last week, for our new school for next year. We are making a move into Classical Conversations. All three kids will be in the Foundations program and Lexi and Devin will also be in Essentials. The kids will also be enrolled at their enrichment school too - my husband and I will be teaching three classes {Anatomy and Physiology, Loom Knitting, Creative Writing-my husband teaching}. So, at least for the fall, we will be out of the house 2 days a week. We are super excited to begin CC in a great community with many friends.

As I began planning our 2013-2014 school year, I am looking at some different possibilities for Math, including switching to Teaching Textbooks for Devin. We are going to go back to utilizing Story of the World for History. Hoping to score the audio CD's at our homeschool groups upcoming Used Curriculum Sale. For Science we will be going through Apologia's Exploring Creation with Anatomy and Physiology.  We will also be doing several activities tied into our week's memorization work at CC. Miranda will work all these subjects with us along with working through an ESL program.

I am preparing for this to be a big transition year for us ... with adopting another child we will definitely need to have flexibility in both schedule and our schooling. I have to admit though, right now as we sit and wait for travel dates to Latvia, I feel like the fall is an eternity away.