Friday, May 28, 2010

I did it!!

I have just completed my first school year teaching since I stopped working when the girlies were born.

Yesterday was the last day of school. We had a wonderful field trip, complete with parent escorts and a picnic. Then last night was the Pre K graduation. It was so sweet. Pretty emotional too. The parents gave us a standing ovation at the end and I was hugged by more parents and grandparents (and kids!!) than I can count. I also think I had my picture taken about 50 times (good thing I wore a pretty blouse!). It was so special to have so many parents take me aside to tell me what an impact I have had on their child this year. It was a special night. My amazing assistant and I went out to a cute cafe after for a glass of wine. It's owned by the family of one of our kids, and the father was there. He thanked us again for all we did for his son and had some gourmet cookies delivered to our table.

This morning we had an end of year staff meeting, completed packing up our rooms, and then several teachers went out to lunch. I have one week off and then I'm back for teaching a week of summer camp. The following week is my girlies last week of school. The year has flown by!


Monday, May 24, 2010

Memorial Box Monday- The Time is Now

This post is my first official contribution to Memorial Box Monday.

I have been following Linny's blog for almost 18 months, and have set aside a few items for our own family memorial box, but have never posted an official Memorial Box Monday post before. I have also been on the hunt for a 'box' and haven't found anything yet. Today Linny posted that she had a starter box to giveaway- you just had to post a Memorial Box Monday story telling of God's faithfulness.

Seems like the time is perfect for me to jump in.

The short background is that almost exactly two years ago I felt the Lord tell me at a church service where a family was sharing about their recent adoption of two beautiful children that our family was to adopt a child from China. Took me many months to get up the courage to even share that with Paul. I felt sure he'd be closed to the idea. In the meantime I researched adoption, became aware of special needs children and began sponsoring a child. About seven months later I finally felt it was time to share my heart. He agreed that we were being called to adopt- just not anytime soon. We, in fact, didn't even qualify at the time.

Fast forward a full year later, to January 2010. As we discussed the new year at hand Paul said that this seemed like it would be the year we'd get started, just a lot later into the year. But still, what progress!! I had been praying without ceasing that his heart would soften. A huge concern- we don't have any savings to pay for an adoption. We'd have to rely completely on God's provision. I'd seen so many blog testimonies of families who had trusted in Him and seen miraculous provision. I knew I could count on God if we were willing to step out in faith. Still, easier said than done.

Several weeks ago I had continual overwhelming feelings that we needed to! The sermons at church were about stepping out in faith. Blogs I regularly follow were talking about the responsibility we have as Christians to take care of orphans and there were so many links to families who had depended fully on God to provide. So I prayed, God- if this is your timing please provide the money we need to apply to the agency we had selected and get the ball rolling.

We were scheduled to participate in a neighborhood wide yard sale. We worked hard cleaning out closets and gathering items to sell. The girlies were on board, agreeing to sell some of their outgrown 'treasures' to help go get their sister in China. The weatherman was calling for rain, but it held off. Turnout was steady, and at the end of the day we had exactly what we needed to cover the agency application!

God provided just what we needed and He confirmed to us that this is indeed His perfect timing to start the journey to adopt.

I'm not sure exactly what item I'll put in our Memorial Box. I'll have to think about that (any suggestions??).

It has been difficult to wait two full years to start the process, but it's so exciting to know that THIS is the exact time that HE has planned.

Let the fundraising begin!!


Saturday, May 22, 2010

HE did it!

We worked until late in the evening gathering stuff from around the house and pricing and sorting and staging it in the garage.

Paul and I went to bed right before midnight and woke up a little before 6 AM to drag it all outside for the big yard sale. Folks started arriving just before 7!! We had many customers from 45 minutes to an hour away. Three neighborhood all do their sale on the same morning, making it a bargain shoppers playground.

It was steady throughout the morning. We were bargained down on most of our offerings, but the goal was to SELL!! The girlies sold a little bit of lemonade, but probably drank just as much and handed it out to their friends who came by. They also went two houses over and shopped, bring home 'new' build-@-bear animals and outfits bargain priced at $1.

Our goal was $500- the initial fee at our selected agency. We attempted to keep a running tally, but a few things here and there didn't get accounted for when it was busy. With an hour left it looked like we were $100 short. We had a few last minute sales and our tally had the total at $440. When we counted all the cash (and one check from a friend) and the seed money we put in for change we had $635 in bills and another $15 in quarters!

Quarters going in our China piggy bank. It's getting heavy!

To say that we are excited about His provision is an understatement!

Our neighborhood yard sale coordinator had arranged for a charity van to be at the pool to collect donations, so we packed up several boxes of odds and ends that we didn't want to try to sell again. If felt great to clear out. We still have quite a bit of really good stuff left too. The sale is advertised tomorrow afternoon as well, but we are expecting rain. If it's clear after church, we'll see if we can move anything else. I took pictures of everything while it was spread out so I can list it on cr@igsl!st and try to sell it that way.

We are exhausted. Tomorrow afternoon we'll fill out the family info form. We need some family and passport pictures, and we are going to open a separate checking account next week. Looks like the ball is officially rolling!

Praise God!


Friday, May 21, 2010

Seven years ago tonight

I became a mommy.

Today we celebrate Piper's seventh birthday.

How did that happen? Boy, they grow too fast.

My brother called this morning to wish her a happy birthday and she was quick to tell him that she isn't exactly seven until just after 9 tonight. She was born during the final reveal of Americ@n Id0l between Clay and Reuben. My water broke while I was watching the finals. We got to the hospital a little before midnight, and after five long months of bed rest and a cerclage to keep her in, my little girl didn't want to come out! I ended up having to have an emergency c-section the next evening after 22 hours of labour.

Piper is a beautiful little girl, inside and out! She is a fabulous dancer and artist and student. She loves cats, Barbies, reading, and anything art/craft related. We are having her party in a few weeks. Daddy took in treats and had lunch with her at school today. Tonight we'll eat cake, have the take home pizza she requested and play the new board game we gave her for part of her gift.

Love you, Piper-girl!!!!!








Happy 7th Birthday!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Goodness me...

I've been home for just over 30 minutes and it's been crazy!

I laid out a fleece last week involving money to be raised at our yard sale this Saturday. We have a neighborhood wide, very well publicised and usually very well attended yard sale twice a year. We have sold a few odds and ends, but never put forth much effort. We are trying this year. The "fleece" is regarding the timing of starting our adoption process. I've been having a very strong feeling for the past several weeks that we need to But there is this pesky thing called money. I have one week left of work before summer vacation and 2 solid months of no income. Not really the best time to get the ball rolling when we'll be fundraising the whole shebang anyway. So I have prayed that if this is His prompting and not my heart saying now, that He would provide the funds we need to get started. We have prayed that if this is His will, that we would raise the initial agency fee and hopefully the initial home study fee this weekend.

I put a few 'bigger ticket' items on cr@igslist last weekend. We sold an old love seat in a day. $60 down. Had a lot of bites on the other items, but nothing came to fruition. I had really hoped that all the stuff would go over the week and we'd be well on our way. As I was driving home today I was a bit down. In my mind we would have sold a lot more by now. Maybe this really was just my mind wishfully thinking. I got home, and opened my email. There was a post on our neighborhood yahoo group asking if anybody was selling a treadmill before the yard sale. Why, yes! I have emailed her the specifics of our excellent condition treadmill and anxiously await a reply. My asking price would cover the home study application fee. The next message in my inbox... a receipt for a headband purchase from my website for $50- and it's for items I have already created sitting in my inventory tubs in the garage. OK, God. I'm not doubting. If this is your time frame, you'll provide. If your time frame is later, you'll provide. I'm just going to keep my focus on You.

So I'm feeling a bit of a high as I head to the bus stop. My girly runs off the bus and asks me to get her to the car immediately. She has been physically hurt by another child on the bus. A girl who has an assigned seat next to her on the bus pinched her chest. She has two red marks and is on the verge of tears. We drive home and I ask for the story a second and third time to make sure she and I both understand exactly what transpired. Then I call the school. The principal is out and the assistant is in a meeting that the secretary interrupts. We have had a run in with this child a few months back- it was verbal abuse and the principal handled it. The assistant asked the secretary to get all sorts of information from me, and assures me that she will deal swiftly with this in the morning. Please let Piper know that she will be called to the office, but she is not in trouble. Tomorrow just happens to be her 7th birthday. And daddy is already planning on going in to deliver treats and have lunch with her. Now he'll have a conversation with the principal too.

What a wild 30 minutes.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Working on her info sheet

The packed box

The girlies with their gift boxes

Back in November we sent in our Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes and filled out the tracking labels so we could know what country they ended up in. The girlies were really hoping for China, but were excited to learn that they had gone to Africa, to Gabon. We included a self addressed envelope in each box (it's suggested, as some recipient's may write back) and hoped that we might hear something. Teagan selected a girl age 2-4 and Piper a girl age 5-7 to receive their gifts.

Today Teagan received her envelope. Inside was a picture of a beautiful little four year old girl smiling in front of some flowers and two post cards from Gabon and a small map with her city highlighted in purple. The cards have a letter written in French, the girl's name, her address (just numbers and the city?) and phone number and a email that says it's for papa. She lives in the capital city of Libreville. I used an online translator and we got the main idea of the letter. It's written in cursive, so I'm not sure of some of the letters and I don't know any French to aid in guessing. I'm hopeful we can find a French speaker to translate for us and help us craft a letter back. Teagan is so darn excited to hear back from "her girl"!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

That time of year

It's dance recital time!!!

We have dress rehearsal tonight for cast A, rehearsal Thursday for cast B, shows Friday night and Saturday afternoon for cast A and Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon for cast B.

Can you say busy week???

And yes, by "we" I mean all three Girly Girls.

Teagan has two numbers, tap and ballet in cast A.

I have a tap number in cast A.

Piper has three numbers, ballet, jazz and Irish in cast B.

This is my third year as an adult dancer. When we switched dance schools three years ago they asked me at registration if I had considered adult classes. Hmmmm? I danced for 13 years as a child. I signed up for tap (my favorite) and was quickly moved up to the advanced class. It's gotten more complicated and faster and the class size has gotten smaller each year. There are only 5 of us this year. (No where to hide!!)

I'm looking forward to it.

Not so much the costume part, though this year's costume is the most flattering yet.

Better run.... I have hair and make-up to do and need to be out the door in 30 minutes. Wish us luck!