Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Big Love

She's done it again, amazed me beyond belief.  She gave up something huge to her for the good of others.  In this particular instance this was something she has worked hard for and looked forward to for months.  I had saved for it and put the money aside a long time ago for it, long before we knew for sure we would be hosting this year.

We don't keep all of our financial business away from our children, I look at it as another learning opportunity. Though they don't know things like our income and the really important information, they are aware of what some things cost and how it is paid for. (like food, gas, and the electric bill) Kathryn is very interested in money and likes to watch me pay bills.  She loves to add large sums of money.  She's also a bargain hunter and likes to help me meal plan and shop. She knew about the money I had set aside for her.

She also knows what hosting costs.  She gave every cent she had for whole sale candy to help raise money to get those children from Latvia here.  She walked 3 different neighborhoods and did raise a lot.  But being wise beyond her years, she knows it's not enough.

We had a huge bill come in, it was expected, but the sum of it was a shock.  Enough to call a family meeting to order with the bid kids.  It was enough to rock my faith.  Should we not host?  How would it be possible now?  Without even being asked, without even bringing it up, Kathryn chimes in saying we can use the money we saved for her to do this special thing without even batting an eye.  She said it was way more important to her that those kids get here.  They are her brothers and sister, (even if it's only meant to be as host only) and getting them here, showing them real love, is 1000% more important than using the money for this other thing.  I tried to convince her I couldn't do that to her, seriously, she's worked over 100 hours for this.  She is insisting.  It will break her heart if those kids can't come here.  I can not take any credit for this amazing child.  I am nothing but a greedy needy human. She is the most giving, most loving, most compassionate, most unselfish person I have ever met.  I have much to learn from her!

It was enough to give me HOPE that yes, this IS possible!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Finger Painting with Shaving Cream

Today we finger painted with shaving cream and food coloring.  Another pinterest idea I saw months ago!  It being Friday, a fun project was in order!

All that is needed is shaving cream and food coloring!

It's much more fun to use your fingers, but it will slightly stain hands.  If the stain bothers you, you might want to get paint brushes.  I figured with my young ones it was going to be messy anyway.  That's what baths are for, right!? :-D

I just put a huge glob of shaving cream on a foam plate and then added a small drop of Walton cake icing gel.  Mixed it in well, and walla!

It was an instant hit!  

Liam kept saying "Thanks so much mom! This was so so fun!!!"
Little does he know, these sensory projects are mainly for him. ;)

Jonah loved it!  He knows the drill, if you put it in your mouth, you can't do this anymore.  So... He decided to get extra creative!

First he pats his head!

Then gives me the "why are you laughing at me???" Look!!!

Then he touches his face!!! We were all rolling.  Then he got some on his lips by mistake and started getting upset because of the bad taste in his mouth and I had to spray him off.

As always, Jemima was the last one to finish up!  She stayed at that table making pictures till all the shaving cream was used up.

Don't you just LOVE her tattoo?!? She got it at the movies the other day when she went with a friend.  She thinks she is big stuff!

Clean up was super easy!  After everyone was done, I just sprayed the table and plates off and left them out to dry. Then let the kids play in the water to wash off.  Very fun!

We will be doing this again in the near future! The "paint" dried amazingly well.  I would love to try this on canvas one day!  I think it would look really cool.  I would love to hang something like that up in my sewing/school room!

Happy Weekend!!!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Love at first sight.

I couldn't wait to write this blog post, but now that I finally can blog about this, I am at a loss as to where to start.

Have you ever planned to do something that just felt right?  So right that you didn't even have a fear in the world at how it would all unfold?  Just KNOWING it was meant to be and trusting it would all work out??  Well we feel that way right now!

All my life I have wanted to do something about this orphan crisis, my heart nearly broke at the many children that needed a family to love them.   We looked into adoption before Liam was born, but after his birth we were in no shape to take in more at that time.  I was really sad MY plans were put on hold, but at the same time, Liam needed me more.  Just because that wasn't the right time, the desire to adopt or at least help children in need didn't go away.  Money was tight, but we sent things to orphanages as often as we could, but I always had a feeling one day there would be more for me to do.  We could feel the desire grow, even our oldest children started to express to us that they thought we should take in child that didn't have parents, and love them as our own.

We then started to pray about this.  It wasn't much longer after this that a great friend of mine hosted children from Ukraine over the summer through New Horizons for Children .  We actually tried to host a boy too, but we didn't find out about this program till the last minute and the boy had already found a home before we could gather funds/get our safety visit done.  As much as we would have loved to have him, we knew it wasn't a good fit. We could have given him an amazing summer, but that would have been all.  I was too young to adopt him. :)  It was one of those last minute deals, either someone host this poor boy, or he doesn't get to come to America.  We prayed for him all summer that the family that got him could offer him a home that we could not. This was one of the few times in my life I did wish I was older!  Knowing God's will is ALWAYS best though was enough, had this had been meant to be, I'd have been born a couple years sooner. :)

All summer we prayed, talked about this as a family, and got ourselves ready.  So when the time came to sign up to host children in the winter program this winter, we were ready!  Starting last month the big kids asked daily "are there pictures up yet?!"  We filled out the application, paid for the background check, are sending in pictures of our family and other things they need, getting things ready for our safety visit, and so on.

I met with a wonderful women, through email that was very helpful!  She read our application and took it upon herself to help match us.  She wanted to know how many children we wanted and what ages.  At first, we said two, under the age of 8.  We were open to change this though, this was just a starting point.  In the mean time, we were given a link to a photo listing to look over and read bio's of children that were listed.  The first day there was a group of 3 little ones that I remembered from the summer listing and we asked if their host family from the summer was going to take them again.  I had a deep down feeling they weren't right for us, but they were adorable, so I just had to ask anyway.  Indeed they are being hosted (and in the processes of being adopted by the host family!!!) again by the same family.  We weren't at all sad by that news, in fact, I was so happy they were going the same place.

The very next day Kathryn asks me if we could look at the pictures.  The site had been updated.  Kathryn saw them first!  "Oh mama!! Look at them! Those are the ones!"  I looked and right away I knew Kathryn was right.  It was love at first sight.  She calls Jesse over to come see (Liam and Jemima had to look too!!) and I get Ryan on the phone at work and he decides to take his lunch break right away so he could see too.  At that VERY same time, the lady with New Horizons emails me and gives their listing number that says "what about this group?!"  3 beautiful children from Latvia.  Two boys and a little girl.  They LOOK like us! They could have just as easily been born to someone in my family as my other children!  Even my Mom was stunned at the resemblance.

We prayed about it for 3 days before I emailed the lady back.  We had to pray about this first..  We also had to be sure Jesse was okay that one of the children is a year older than him.  He promised he was 100% fine and that he just felt like they needed to come here.  I then email her back, YES, this group is PERFECT!  It wasn't an hour later that under their listing read "ON HOLD! Dawson, KY!"  I am betting the shouts of joy from my children here were probably heard by my Latvian children there!

Justine-8, Kristaps-9, and Deivids-5
Aren't they precious!!!

Here's the thing.  We have to cover the full cost to get them here.  Not only is airline tickets needed, but passports, visas, insurance, our safety visit, etc.  It nearly $3000 PER CHILD to come here.  They also will have nothing but the clothes on their backs when they arrive and nothing else.  We are allowed to send them home with a backpack and a small suitcase full.

So many have asked how they can help.  Our main need right now is money.  Yes, these children need things once they get here, but without money we are going to have a hard time getting them here in the first place. We are saving every dime and I am sewing like crazy, but it's still going to be tight. This is the hard part for me, I highly dislike asking anyone for anything.  I have to swallow my pride this time though, for the kids! :)  We need your help!  I know times are rough, but every little bit helps.  Even if you are only able to pray and share this with anyone you know, that's perfect and we would be so grateful!  

They already feel like mine in a way.  I look at their picture and wonder how is it I am able to love them so much and all I know about them is that Kristaps wants to learn how to fish and really enjoys being outside.. and that Justine is a very good dancer and likes the colors red and pink... and that Deivid's favorite color is yellow and he loves to play outside?!?  In my heart I feel as if I already KNOW them.  My children are already talking about them as if they were already here.

This winter is going to be the best one yet! I am so excited to see what is in store for us!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Today we picked apples!

Finally! Autumn is on it's way.  You can hardly tell though because it is still so hot out.  The nights are cooler, but in the day time it's so hot and humid.  This crazy insane heat nearly killed all those apples!  Not to mention the freak frost we had back in April. We were so worried there wouldn't even be apples this year, but there were!  Hundreds of them!

We had two apple trees when I was a child.  They were always so full of apples the limbs of the trees would almost touch the ground from their weight.  Years later, our milk goats got out and ate the bark all around both trees and just like that, they were gone!

  I loved picking apples, I loved the fresh taste you just can't get in the stores, even when they are grown locally.  This is something we have done every year since moving to Lexington, and it's one of my favorite activities now. The children really love it.  We go through about 10 lbs of apples in a week, I'm sure we will go through our 50 lbs very quickly.  No, picking your own are not cheaper, in fact, I think they cost more.  Where is the fun in buying them though??

We went with other homeschoolers and we were given a tour and even taught the whole processes of the life of an apple.  It fits right in with our history lesson.  We are studying about how America was started and had just started to talk about Johnny Appleseed! (Yes, this was planned in advance on my part)  The little guys were super excited to go today.

Jemima was tall enough to pick them without any help from me.  She likes to sing while she works and today was no exception. She would find an apple, make sure it was clear of spots and worm holes, pluck it off, and put it in her bag.  She then stopped singing and let out an adorable little sequel "I got another one!" and then go for another until no time at all her bag was heaping full.

I wonder if she would love it so much if she had to do this every single day?! :-D    She probably would, she loves being outside and helping out.

Jonah was not very interested in picking.  The first one we helped him pick went straight to his mouth and after that he was happy to stomp around through the trees munching on his apple.

He's a city boy through and through!!!! LOL  Poor thing doesn't even know the proper way to sit on a tractor!!!  In his defense, he DID try! His little feet couldn't reach the ground.  He found out if he would just flip around he could put his feet on the ground and scoot the tractor along.  It just really tickled me though.  I'll probably laugh every time I see this photo.  Seriously thinking it needs to be blown up and framed!

                                   Another perk to visiting the orchard, is the huge homemade slide!

Jemima said it was as fast as a roller coaster!

Liam even loved it and went down at least a dozen times.

So that was school for today.  The children still have to do some reading, but it was field trip day, so everything else has been put on hold for tomorrow.