Saturday, September 29, 2012

Summer 2012

Today's weather warns of things to come~damp and dreary, with a definite chill in the air.  Guess you can tell I don't like fall too much. But golly, I do indeed love summer! This summer is over and done, but we had some great memories to carry us through the long fall and winter.

We practically lived at the pool again this year. Elijah started the summer less than thrilled with the idea of going into water at all if it was more than 2 ft. deep. By the end of the summer, he was relishing jumping in and going under.

He became able to breathe while swimming, which allowed him to swim across the pool.

My little budding fishy even taught himself how to do a flip under the water.

Abbey has loved the water for as long as I've known her. As a little baby in China, she adored playing in the pool. This summer she worked on her diving abilities. She mastered a forward flip.

Notice the big grin. She's in heaven when shes' in a pool!

After a few owies like this...

She mastered a back dive!

Yep, my kiddos and I loved going to the pool! I hope they don't lose their new found skills over the long break of fall and winter.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Looking for a family...

This little girl needs a family. She is 8 years old and has been diagnosed with Williams Syndrome. She has recently become eligible for adoption. Her foster mother in China is friends with a friend of mine's friend. She contacted me and asked if I would help get the word out. The little girl has been given the name Hylah. The foster mother has a whole lot of information about Hylah, including video. The foster mother speaks wonderfully of little Hylah. It is evident she loves the little girl and has been taking very good care of her.

If God is whispering to your heart, or you know someone interested in adopting, you can e mail me,, and I'll put you in touch with the foster mother. 

In the meantime, please join me in asking the Lord to bring a family to Miss Hylah!

Monday, September 24, 2012

A faithful memory

One of the blogs I follow, A Place Called Simplicity, posts special stories about God's faithfulness called Memorial Box Monday.  Today I wanted to join in because I want to never forget God's faithfulness in meeting our needs.

This story happened about 27 years ago. John and I had only been married a little over a year. Beth had been born and gotten out of the hospital, when a job opportunity within his company opened up for John that could eventually lead to more money. The job was in Raleigh and we were living in Charlotte. (That in itself shows God's love for me. I'd always said one of the two places I really want to live is Raleigh. Here, God was giving me my heart's desire!)

His company gave him a Friday and weekend to find a place to live. We packed Baby Beth up and went to drop her off  to stay with Mom and Dad while we went looking for a place to live. We were quite shocked to find that that wasn't going to be an easy task. Everywhere we looked the apartment rents were way too high. We spent both Friday and Saturday looking to no avail. At the end of the day on Saturday, we decided that we would go back to this one place we had seen that was more than likely out of our price range and was only an one bedroom apartment, on the third floor. This definitely was not our choice, but we didn't think we had any choice. We had to have a place and this was the only one we could remotely afford. We prayed for God's guidance while we were on our way there.

We pulled into the office parking lot, and were distraught to find that they had already closed and would not be back until Monday. We really didn't know what to do, so we started back to Mom and Dad's with no place to live. John was dreading telling his company that we couldn't find a place. I was wondering how long I'd have to live in Charlotte while John worked in Raleigh? We were tired, distraught and afraid!

I began reading the newspaper, which is really weird, since I get carsick at the thought of reading in the car. I had been reading that same paper all day, and hadn't seen anything. I happened to look in the classifieds one more time, just for kicks and giggles!  Just as we were approaching Zebulon, I read about a two bedroom apartment that was comfortably in our price range. We quickly took the exit and stopped at the first payphone we could find. (Neither of us had a cell phone). We were well aware that the office could be closed, and it was. The message gave another number to call, so John tried that one. A lady answered the phone and explained about the apartment. She was on her way to the beach for the weekend, but had stopped at the gas station right across the street from where we were. She offered to show us the apartment right then before she left town.

It ended up becoming our home for a year. While we didn't like being in a small town, the Lord knew what we needed. That first year was very hard financially. We needed the lower rent and lower cost of living that a small town offered. We never would have picked that place to live, unless we had experienced the searching of the previous days. It was amazing that I just happened to read about the apartment as we were coming to the town, and we just happened to pull into a place that the realtor just happened to be momentarily stopped across the street from. Just happened???? Certainly not! God was completely directing our paths to the place he knew we needed to be!

Monday, September 17, 2012

School begins

"Are you going to homeschool these two?"

I've been asked this question about a zillion times since Abbey came home. My answer was always, "That's the plan, Lord willing..." Although my verbal answer was affirmative, on the inside, I wasn't exactly doing somersaults of joy at the prospect. I mean, geeze , I had homeschooled four kids through to high school. While there were many, many cherished memories, I must admit I was a little glad to turn the schooling responsibility over to the public schools when the time came. While admitting those feelings would probably have me ostracized permanently from the Nazi-homeschool community, (with whom I don't care to be apart of), the regular homeschool families, (whom I want to be apart of), would understand where I'm coming from.

So, all summer long folks would ask, "Have you got your curriculum? Have you joined a group?" To each inquiry, I'd respond, "Nope, not yet. I'll think about it later." I could just see their mind's cogwheels turning, and labeling me as crazy or possibly just lazy (both could be true). In my mind I had a check list and was going in my arranged order:

1. Get through Daniel's high school graduation.
2. Get through with swim team coordinating duties.
3. Get through week long beach vacation.
4. Get Daniel to college.


5. Get Abbey's curriculum and start school.

It wasn't like I hadn't done this a few times before, and it's just kindergarten, for pete's sake!!

So I ordered her curriculum. When it came she was so excited. She began badgering, begging me to start school. But, no! I held my ground. No way was I going to start before Labor Day! Let me enjoy every day of my vacation, please! (I wanted to tell her, "One day you'll thank me.")

Imitation is the highest form of flattery. At least, that's what I'm choosing to believe!

You might say I needed an attitude adjustment. Never fear, God had it all under control.

On the day we took Daniel to college, as I've shared here, it was so hard to tell my boy goodbye. I began to rewind my mind and it occurred to me how thankful I was that I had the homeschooling time with Daniel. I had no doubt that I had shared my values, my heart and my wants for his life with him. I didn't worry whether I had imparted to him what I thought he needed to know to be successful. I knew that we'd shared some funny and fun times together. I knew that I had not wasted any of my precious time with him, which had flown by so fast. I knew that I know him very well. I know how he thinks, his likes, his dislikes and his dreams for his future. I knew that academically he has had the opportunity to excel and move at his own pace. I knew that we'd accomplished all of these things because John and I had made the decision to home school. Not that I couldn't have done those things if he'd gone to school, I could have. But, it would have been more difficult to do, and I would have been competing for a voice in his life. I'd have sublet the authority to someone else. For a few years, John and I were the voice to point him to God's voice. Not that we stifled him. He had many opportunities to hear from others at church and social activities. Homeschooling had offered us a unique opportunity to be so much more  apart of his life for an extra 8 hours a day!

This epiphany was just what I needed to meet the homeschool demands full-on and with excitement! That first day of school was met with glad tidings, both for Abbey and me!

We've already made some great memories. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to speak into her life on a daily basis, and watch her grow and learn new things. I know that, Lord willing, when she and Elijah go to college or wherever they go after high school, I'll be sending them knowing that I grabbed all the time with them that I possibly could!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The indoctrination is continuing...

Elijah went to a UNC football game once when he was a baby. But, UNC's first game of the season against Elon, was his first game with Dad, all by himself. He was beyond excited!

Ready to go!

Let's go Tarheels!

He did great. It was quite hot, but he didn't complain a single time, and sat through the whole game. He came back telling me all about his afternoon with Daddy, and what a blast he had.

Another Tarheel bred for sure!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Open note to myself...

Dear Glenda, 'ole girl, (not that you're old, it's just an expression)
Today was a wonderful day. You so enjoyed your kids and relished your time together. Your school day was fun, and yet, very productive. You need to remember the joy you saw on your kids' faces as you danced with them to Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite! Or the snuggles you experienced as you sat and read to them on the coach. Relish the memory of the warm, sunny day as you all walked around the neighborhood. Remember how proud you were when you all went in the library and an older lady commented on how well behaved your children were.  You even had a few minutes to read a "mommy book", while Abbey and Elijah played together for a whole 30 minutes without any fighting or breaking sounds occurring. Yep, today all is right with the world. It was even capped off with a date-night! Definitely doesn't get much better than this.

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I'm writing this so you can come back and remember these things when all isn't right with the world. Days when nothing gets done and you feel like you really don't know why you do what you do. Days when directions get repeated and repeated and still not followed. Days when you hear so many screams and tears that you want to join in with your own. Days when it's two steps forward and one, (or even two) steps backward. Those kind of days do happen, but thankfully not all of the time. When they do, remember the idyllic days like the one you had today and thank the Lord for giving you times like today to remember and keep you going when the life isn't so easy! 

                                          Ecclesiastes 7:14
When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider:  God has made the one as well as the other

Monday, September 10, 2012

What a difference a day makes!

Last Wednesday night, Abbey went to bed as a five year old!

But woke up

A happy six year old!

The day couldn't come fast enough for her. The chorus of " much longer?" was sung for many days previously!
For her special day, she chose to have an ice cream sandwich for breakfast and MacDonalds for dinner. 
Birthday hugs were in order.

 along with phone calls for those too far away to hug
A cake with candles

and presents!

A Backyardigans party was planned for the coming Saturday, with 14 of her friends.

Happy, happy birthday, my dear, sweet Abbey! 
You make my life so full. Your zest, vivaciousness and spunk constantly amaze me. I've seen your heart and compassion grow greatly this year. I'm so proud of you and ever so grateful that God gave you to me and your Dad! We love you more than words can say!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

One more beach post

Beach babies to the core!

 Several nights we would walk to the end of the island.

One night as we returned, Daniel was carrying Elijah on his shoulders and ran ahead of the rest of us, in order to not miss any of the Olympics.

As we got closer, we heard a blood curdling scream! Daniel, who is horrifically afraid of snakes, had stumbled upon one of those slitherly creatures under the house where we were staying. He then made the comment,"I about peed in my pants!"

Elijah, who has been corrected for using, "potty talk", a lot lately, thought it was grand fun to talk about his brother "peeing in his pants", and not get chastised about it! Beth took a video which was hilarious.

At the point of the island there is a mailbox. I looked inside and there was a notebook and pen. People had written everything from confessions of love to weird poetry. I have no idea who put the box there or why? I'm sure there's a story/legend there somewhere...

Ahh, the memories that were made that short, short week will live with us for a long time!