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Showing posts from May, 2013

My Sweet Maggie

I was having a bad day the other day and I decided to sleep it off (napping with Gabby).  When I woke up these beautiful wild flowers were on a vase on my nightstand along with a note that said:

Dear Mom,
I know that you have a lot of stress during the summer.  These are to make you happy because they are just as beautiful as you!  I love you to death.  I wish I was around you more.
Love, Maggie

She's great!

Annual Andrew's Lake Family Pic

Well, it is that time of year again. . .our annual family picture and Andrew's Lake. . .13th annual!  Yesterday was a beautiful day and I'm glad we got the summer family picture done because as of next weekend our entire family won't be together again until August 17th.  Boo hoo!

To Medicate Or Not To Medicate

That has been my question for several years. . . about Tiki.  It's actually been my question since before Tiki.  I work in summer camping and I see thousands of teens who are medicated for one reason or another, so I've been thinking about over-medication for a long time.  Then God gave me Tiki and brought the question into my home.

I think that ADD and ADHD is misdiagnosed and over-diagnosed and so on and so forth in this country.  I have many thoughts about this, but they'll remain inside my head for now.

But I find myself with my wonderfully spirited Tiki.  And there is nothing wrong with his wonderfully spiritedness!  Nothing.  But I know for a fact that he is struggling with PTSD and through research and research, I am finding that his PTSD is presenting itself as ADD/ADHD.  He doesn't necessarily have those, but that is how the PTSD is presenting itself in Tiki.  So what do I do with that?

I've tried several things and I've been way too impatient with hi…

I Wonder . . . ?

I wonder. . . how many moms out there ever feel just completely overwhelmed?  How many moms feel ever like they are at their Witt's end?  How many moms walk from the dish washer to the laundry room and just think, "I need a vacation"?  How many moms just want to pull the covers up over their heads and go back to sleep?

Did my mom ever?  For some reason, I doubt it.  She is so all-together and calm and put together and on top of things.  That's my perception of her.  Did she ever crumple up in a ball on her bed and cry because she couldn't get her bra snapped?  (Yes, that happened to me today. . .the bra wasn't really what the tears were about, but it was the straw that broke this camel's back.)  I know she's a human and I would think that a human would have a moment or two like that, but I just can't imagine my mom ever doing that.  She's almost perfect.  (Do my kids think that about me?  NO!!)

I can't imagine many people doing that and y…

Braces Off

Hays got his braces off yesterday and I think (know) that I was more excited than he was.  He asked my why that was so and I told him that I think that since he is my first that everything is also a first for me.  Hays was my first kid to get his braces off.  I was giddy!  (I'm sure I embarrassed him several times throughout the day.)

We got to the orthodontist office and they were clearly as excited as I was. . .the whole office was Luau themed for the "braces off" day.  Hays got a lay and was escorted to his chair.  After the braces came off he got a bottle of sparkling cider and a bag of all the candy he wasn't supposed to eat with braces.  He also got a Rocky Mountain Chocolate gift certificate and we headed straight there for a chocolate covered caramel apple!

Hays looks adorable!  He's so grown up and so handsome!  His gums are still pretty irritated, but the swelling should go down in another week or so.

After that we went out for a big lunch (sushi).…

If You Want Something Done Right...

If you want something done right. . .then it isn't going to happen.  That's the kind of week I'll be having this week!

Kivu opened its gates last Monday.  We had a few guy counselors roll in to help clean up.  Last night our entire staff (nearly 100 college kids) showed up for our Staff Training Week.  This morning we had a group of 65 high school Seniors show up from Phoenix for their Senior Trip.  And meanwhile, back in Durango, my kids are still in school for two more weeks.  So, I'm trying to live in two worlds and spinning plates are getting dropped all over the place! 

I feel like I'm moving in four time speed fast forward (think DirectTV) and slow motion all at the same time.  I'm trying to be a good mom who doesn't drop the ball too much these last two weeks of school (trying to remember who has field trips when and which class I am supposed to bring snacks to when and so on and so forth) and I'm trying to make the retreat run smoothly as I sch…

Happy Anniversary

Sixteen years is a long time to be married to the same person (and it has been nearly twenty years since I fell in love with him).  I'm not going to lie, it hasn't been easy or beautiful for the entire 5844 days, but even in the bad times, I know that I am with the man of my dreams!  He has learned to be patient with me and he still laughs with (and at) me.  We have fun together and we still dream together.  I love my husband!

For me, it was practically love at first sight!  I knew I was going to marry that guy in my Old Testament class from the first or second week of Baylor.  I was so patiently persistent (is that possible) and finally he realized that I was the one for him!  We've been through tons of highs and lows together and I know that ultimately we have come out stronger!  I hope that our kids see us having fun together and not taking one another too seriously all the time.  I hope they see a mom and dad who are in love!

Andy, I love you.  Thanks for loving me.  …

Wedding Rehearsal 1997

Sixteen years ago today Andy and I graduated from college AND we had our Rehearsal Dinner!  What a day!  (And yes, it means that I graduated from high school TWENTY years ago this month.  What in the world?!?)


MA International Development

As some of you know, this week began the first week of my Master's program through Eastern University.  I'm getting my Master's in International Development so that the Kivu Gap Year can hopefully give students up to 31 hours of college credit in the future instead of just 12.

This year I'm taking six classes:  Intro, Community Development, Economic Development in Developing Countries, Leadership and Empowerment, Program Planning Marketing and Management and Theology of Poverty.  It is a two year course and for part of the two years I get to spend nearly a month in Uganda (this June & July) and nearly a month in Rwanda (summer 2014).  I am so excited and overwhelmed by all of this!!!

Today I started the Intro portion.  I had to write a paper on community based on a video I watched of my professors.  I thought I'd share that with you here.  (You'll be reading tons of my thoughts and writings about my classes over the next two years.)  The assignment was to …

Our Songs. . .

First of all:  this seems like a long post because there are song lyrics all throughout.  You can do it!

I love when I'm driving down the road and one of "our" songs come on!  Who is "our"?  "Our" is me and ________.  I have a song for each of my kids.  It's a song that is special to my relationship with that one particular kid for a certain reason.  I love our songs!

For Hays, our song is "I Wish" by Heather Headly.  I've written about my song with Hays several times.  Click HERE and HERE to see those posts.  You can see the lyrics to "I Wish" on these previous posts and you can see some of the reasons why this song is important to me for Hays.  This song (as the rest of them) could easily be for any of my children, but Hays is my first and he will always hold that special place in my heart.  I want the very best for Hays but I don't want him to get the very best without being able to appreciate the little things or t…

Andy Got A New Camera

Andy got a new camera on Friday (really Kivu got a new camera, but Andy was the first to open it).  He has been having a blast with it!  He's practicing all kinds of effects and settings and it has been really fun watching him get interested in photography!!!  I love to see him love something!

Weekend For The Memory Books

This past weekend was one highlight after another!  My parents came to town and that was long overdue!  That would have been highlight enough, but the fun and memories did stop there!

Friday and Saturday night Dax and Gabby had their dance recitals.  We all went to the Saturday night performance and it was priceless!  Watching my kids on stage was the best!  My smile was so big and I was so excited and so proud of them!



We didn't do anything else necessarily "special" this weekend, but I just needed that time with my parents.  It was such great family time!  My kids were so happy to be with GoGo and Pops and everyone was just happy!

Mother's Day

Mother's Day brings up so many things from deep inside of me.

First of all, to my mom.  She is amazing!  Today was the first mother's day since Y2K that I have gotten to be with my mother and I am so thankful that I got to wake up with her in my house!  She is wonderful!  She is the most selfless person I have ever met.  She is steady and diligent and caring and compassionate.  She gets it all done. . .I am always amazed by the things she gets done.  The best part is that she has become one of my best friends.  I love being with her.  I miss her so much each day and when we finally get to be together I feel complete.  I love my mom.  She is one of a kind.

Secondly, I think of my Gran'ma.  She's my dad's mom, but I think of her on Mother's day.  I love her more than I can say.

Thirdly, I think of my mother-in-law.  I really did gain a second mom when I married Andy and she is a wonderful mom!  She is happy and positive and funny and loving!  I have a fantastic …

Spring Recital: Dress Rehearsal

Tonight was dress rehearsal for Gabby and Dax's Spring dance recital.  I was a little skeptical going in because after watching them in class earlier this week, I was disappointed by how bad they were (all of them) for how many months they've been working on the dances.  But tonight at the rehearsals with the lights and the costumes and everything. . .it was wonderful!  I was all smiles and giggles as I watched.  It was the best dress rehearsal ever!!!

Gabby tap dances as a bumble bee in her first number.  Then she does a quick change into an angel and does ballet to the Victoria's Secret commercial song (sweet).  Dax does a break dance "number" later on in the recital and I put "number" in quotes because I'm not sure that his teacher did one ounce of choreography! 

The shows are Friday and Saturday nights.  My parents are flying in tomorrow and we are all going to the Saturday show. . .I think my two will have the biggest fan club (bonus of having…

Saddest Day. . . Maybe Ever

Wow.  Who knew that my heart could break so many times over the same thing. . . over a baby girl that I never even met.

As I wrote 3 months ago, (click HERE for post) we decided to withdraw our file from China.  I have a hard time saying "we" because I 100% do not agree with the decision, but I chose to trust Andy and follow his wisdom.

Today I received our official file from China with a letter saying they are sorry that we have had to withdraw from the list.

This really may be the saddest day of my life (top two for sure).  I thought my heart was already broken, but come to find out it was just chipped until now.  Now it is broken.  I have waited so long for this baby.  I want her so badly and the fact that I still don't understand the decision makes it that much harder.  I curled up in a ball on the floor and held our file (as if it were my child) and sobbed.  I'm still sobbing.  I want to hold her.  I want her to be part of our family.  I just want my baby girl!

SOLD!

Wow!  After one thousand five hundred and fifteen days on the market, our home in Branson is no longer ours.  What an answer to many prayers!

That house. . .if those walls could speak.  I built my dream home and I loved every ounce of energy I put into making every single part of it perfect!  I loved my gigantic kitchen where everyone could sit around the counter or in the comfy chairs and talk or watch TV or chat with me while I cooked.  I love all of the people who sat in that kitchen with me.  I love the full glass front door that open and closed so very often as people came in and out of that home.  I love the zebra carpet in Maggie and Gabby's room.  I love that the couch in the playroom was such a comfy place for so many past Kivu staff.  I love that our home was never just ours. . .Jarod Sickler lived with us for five years, Pete Majors lived with us for one year, Adam Martin lived with us for two years, LaVetta & JayJay & KiKi lived with us for nearly two months.…