My Boys

My Boys

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Village to Raise A Child...

Surely we've all heard that saying, " It takes a Village to Raise a Child.." I can recall times in my young parenting life when I thought that made no sense. Everyone in the Village should be able to handle there own children not depend on everyone else for help. Now, remember I said my young parenting years when Trenten was a baby who just laid there and did nothing but eat, sleep, and poop.

With the first week of school coming to an end I could Blog countless stories about my week at school, about Trenten's first week as a big Pre-Ker, and Jonah's first Time out at Daycare. Yet, it's the family Birthday party Friday night out at my parents farm that fills my heart with so many emotions I have to Blog about it.

To start off we just thought we were Village material when we use to all get together with the 5 little ones. My brothers and I have 5 children between us. Kaleb 4, Trenten 4, Jonah 2, Autumn 2, Emma 2. As you can tell we like doing things together spread out would be boring! Between us, our spouse's, our little one's, and our grandparents that come to the family birthday parties it was already quite the house full. Add in the 7 joyful children my parents are now caring for(who's names will be used as initials in this Blog) and there is no doubt or denying the Village scenario!

We had 3 births to celebrate last night my nephew Kaleb's, "S" one of the 7, and my Grandmother who is now called Grandma Jo by the 7 we've all taken a liking to her new name and are using it some ourselves. I have to say that every time I'm around these kiddos I learn something new, my heart is touched in another way that I didn't know possible, and its all so hard to express in words for me.

My parents had balloons everywhere, 3 cakes (one for each person) all different flavors, and food for everyone. Each and every one of the 7 were so excited you would have thought it was their birthday. For my Nephew Kaleb who is only 4 this was a normal routine for him. Yet, for the others it was like watching a kid for the first time on Christmas. They were all anxious to see what everyone was opening, and getting so excited over every gift as if it was their own.

After all the food, presents, and cake all the kiddos went outside to play together. I sat on the deck and watched from a distance as a little girl who just got a bike for her Birthday was so excited she pushed it around parts of the yard where the grass was too thick for her to ride it over and over and over again. I watch the oldest boy "C" settle disputes over who's turn it was to swing and even line the little one's up to wait their turn as he pushed each of the kids on the tree swing.

I watched as my Nephew Kaleb learned from "Z" how to jump off the swing set while swinging mid air and land. A little scary at 4, but he was so proud when he accomplished it like the older boys. I helped "Se" who had an injury on his foot that needed doctoring. Apparently a scrap on his foot from a couple days ago that got infected. It had been hurting him for a while, but he didn't tell anyone. A common character trait for this child. He never complains about a thing!

I watched my dad's soft side as he let little "C" attempt to dress him up with a flowery lay and play itsy bitsy spider on his face. All of us kids got a good laugh when we got to watch my dad discipline two of the 7, which consisted of sending them to their bed for a time out. My brother joked with little "R" that he almost came to get in the bed with him because he thought my dad was talking to him he use to get sent to bed so much. Which made little "R" laugh and feel better.

In a whole I guess what I'm trying to say is so many people see what is being done for these 7 kids, but I just wanted people to see a glimpse of what the 7 kids are giving to us. They have reminded me every time I am around them what a gift love and family can be. They remind me what a blessing our children are to us and how we shouldn't take that for granted. I have the joy of watching my family work together like I've never witnessed before. Like a Village Raising a Child I guess you could say.

Everyone jumps in and is desperate to find a way to help take some of the load of my parents. Weather it's being a waitress like my Sister-in-law Jessica and taking hot dog orders to keep the kiddos from raiding the kitchen, all of us working together to refill drinks, keep kids from getting injured, or running off to far in to their wide open spaces the farm provides. It's family time like we've never experienced before, very different but good for all of us. I am Thanking God for this opportunity, not just for me personally but for our entire family as a whole.

Until Next Time,

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Love & Family....

I already know that I am so blessed to be able to put those two words together. "Love & Family" that is. There are so many people and children a like who today can not describe their childhood or family lives in general as loving. God is taking our family on a journey teaching us more about Love and Family than I honestly ever believed personally possible.

If anyone would have told me 5-10 years ago that my parents would be Foster Parents. I would have laughed and said, "Sure thing". If they would have told me that they would be the Foster Parents of 7 children, I would have said "You must have the wrong folks." Not because my parents aren't capable or loving enough. Just because I never saw my parents doing this sort of thing. They rejoiced when I moved out of their home ten years ago, and they didn't go around saying "Oh' how about getting some more kids.." anytime after that I assure you. My brother Matthew was fairly easy to raise if a child could be labeled that. Mark and I not so much. So, my parents had already paid their dues.

I have watched my parents over the last several weeks become parents again to 7 youngens. Each child is precious and definitely has a personality all there own. My parents didn't do this for money, fame, or fortune. They did it to follow what they felt God calling them to do. I know it has to be of God because where else would they get the patience, strength, perseverance, wisdom, and love for these 7 children.

I have heard many people question weather you can love a child that is not your own? I have even had people ask me in our ventures to Foster on our own how you can let strangers into your home, and treat them the same as your own children. After this experience with my parents I ask how can you not? You can't help but love them, you can't help but want to help them. You can't help but want to get to know them more and more. They're quite hilarious actually. This experience has been eye opening for not just the adults in our family but the children in the family too. Trenten and Jonah play with the kiddos and have already built relationships with them. They look forward to family time together like they do with any of their cousins. I'm grateful that at a young age my children are seeing a witness as how to love and care for others beside yourself.

I am also so grateful for a church who is so loving and supportive. My brothers and I had our concerns in the beginning about our parents taking on 7 kids. Our concerns were that they would just get worn out quicker than they realized. Kids in your 20's and 30's is a lot different than kids in your 50's no offense intended. Our church has stepped up and loved on them in unbelievable ways. Casserole upon Casserole has been sent to help keep my mother from cooking all the time. Clothes, beds, bedding, etc. has been donated to help out. It makes such a huge difference to have such a wonderful support group behind you in situations like this. So Thank You to all who have helped or prayed for them.

I am grateful to my parents for stepping up and following their heart on this when a lot of people might have thought they were crazy. We are all learning from this situation, and I am so grateful for the reminder of how LOVE bears all things and Believes all things, & the greatest thing we can do is LOVE!

Until Next Time,

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Journey...

My last post was in May. Not from lack of time, although it has been a busy Summer. More so, because I have so much in my mind and heart good and bad that I didn't know how much I should let out. So following my own advice from my last post, I found it best to not say anything at the time. It has been an eventful nearly three months to say the least. I'm not sure really where to even start talking about this Journey I have been on both inward and outward.
It has been a Summer filled with emotion. Some I still have not been able to work all the way through which is okay. God is with me and I am so grateful for that. I have really been hung up for some time now on "THE CALL" in my life. Some of you may have read an early post by me where I discussed the long time desire to stay home with my two little boys and where my "Call" fits into all of that.
I wish that I was writing you today saying ladies I have found all the answers, but I haven't. If anything I feel today that "my calling" is not one specific thing, but an area that is wide and has many needs and ways to serve. Now, I have to sort through this with God and figure out where and how I belong. I know the Journey on this is long from over.
In June, I thought I had it all figured out. I thought God was lining everything up and in order. I could see where and how things were going. I have always had the strong desire to stay home with my children, yet the reality of that has always been unrealistic due to the need for health insurance for our family, and many other factors that I could list on and on. I learned today in a sermon based out of Luke 9 that I'm a lot like the people who say Jesus I want to follow you, BUT first let me tend to this or that. Jesus says, no if you want to follow me take up your cross daily and come on right now. Not do all these other things first.
I bet you think you know where I'm going with this but I bet your wrong. I have listened to sermon after sermon over the summer about following "the call" and how its supposed to be clear to you what that is, doors are supposed to open to make it possible. Then this pastor today says, when you hold the plow and look back and around at everything else that's going on trying to control things in your life you are of no use to God. I'm like you just hit me on the head, thank you so much!
I have the strong desire to be with MY kids, to stay home with MY kids, but over the summer I have been reminded of 2 important lessons. They are not MY kids, they were God's first and he blessed me with them for the time being and its borrowed time. Secondly, there are so many other kids needing a Godly witness, to hear about Jesus, and just be loved by me and what better example to set for my children than its not all about me or them, but about others.
A lot has happened over the Summer so far to open my eyes to this. See, a year and a half ago I was working for my dad making decent money and able to take my kids to work with me. It was great, BUT I felt God dealing with my heart that I had forsaken the Call on my life to work with children. I began to pray for forgiveness first, then for the opportunity for where God wanted me with this. The next Sunday at church they announced they needed help in the Children's Department because one of their workers was due to have a baby any time. I continued to pray, saying God I was thinking more like youth age... but he wouldn't let it go. So, I went to the Children's Minister Allison secretly hoping the spot would have already been filled by another volunteer. Try not to laugh to hard! I've been there ever since, but I have loved every minute of it. Even getting pies thrown in my face!
A few months in to working in the Wednesday night Children's program at church God kept dealing with me that I wasn't where he wanted me. I kept praying for him to reveal to me where it was he wanted me, and God spoke to me in a dream. Don't get freaked out or anything he does it all the time! The dream was Kacey Holt coming up to me during our Wednesday night routine and telling me they were hiring for a position at the school in Malakoff. The next day was Wednesday. So, that night I waited all through our program for Kasey to come up and say something to me and she didn't. So, I called her aside and told her about my dream and asked her if she knew of anything along those lines. Kasey said no, but she would keep it in mind. The next morning she called and said while she was making copies she saw a job posting for a job at the Middle School in the office.
So, I applied, needless to say I didn't get that job.. but I was in the top 3 they told me. I was disappointed, but somehow(Beverly) my application was sent to the Tool Campus when a job came open over there. Long story short they hired me for a very difficult but rewarding job of working one on one with violent students for the past year. Needless to say I learned a lot! I really felt like God used me through out the year also.
Then comes Summer, it had been a crazy school year and all I wanted was my boys. I have thoroughly enjoyed my one on one time with them. Through all my prayers for God to open doors for me to stay home next year, none have been opened. In June I found out that I was pregnant with our third child. I took that as God sealing the deal on me needing to stay home for several reasons. I didn't know how everything was going to pan out exactly but I've had complicated pregnancies in the past and Adam and I both felt it was a bad idea to return to work being as how I had done bed rest in the past and so on. If I hadn't worked for my dad during my pregnancies I probably wouldn't have had a job. Then, the daycare expenses, diaper expenses, it would just be cheaper to stay home at this point! Then on June 29th I had a miscarriage. God has been good, he has given us peace, support, and love beyond measure. Through this Journey I wondered what God was wanting from me, and when I would know. God has already used this experience in my life to help another woman going through the same, the other answers you search for in a situation like this you may never know.
In the middle of all of this my parents became Foster Parents to 7 of the most precious children I have ever known. It has long been a desire of my heart to Foster Parent myself and Adam and I were actually going through the process before finding out about the pregnancy. Then, we weren't sure due to lack of space in our home weather we should continue the process because we weren't sure they would give us any Foster Children now. Now, we are in the process of becoming the Respite Care for my parents and excited about how God is going to use us and what he is going to teach not only us but our entire family through the experience.
Then I took the kids from church to camp for a week in July. A lot came out of that week but the biggest for me was the reminder through those kids how I might be right where I need to be. It might be my selfish desires for what I want to do to do anything differently, but really God needs me to stay right where I am. A year ago this girl was jumping for joy that she landed a job where she might get beat up everyday because it was the opportunity to work with kids and where she felt God wanted her. Maybe I need to find that girl again.
That is where I am at today, and my thoughts today. It's a Journey though, and I am anxious to see what God is doing, but it is on his timing not mine. My prayer is to not be holding the plow paying attention to everything else but what God is doing with me. I want to grab on and ride like the wind bulls eye straight ahead, focused and clear! It's a Journey though...

Until Next Time,