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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mega Post-a whole month of "ketchup"

So what's Up???
Well, let's just say, we are all adjusting, finding our routine, setting a new standard for what normal will look like in our household, and calling out to Him who has led us down this path to strengthen and sustain us thru the twists and turns.
In looking back over the last month's activities and all, I have to say,
Lif e is really pretty good!!!
Yes, there have been issues-we have some sadness, we can have poutiness, we can have outright "I don't want to do that" attitudes-(from both girls)
the unbelievable thing is, we have actually had a very smooth transition.
I have found that my worst days are the days that start with me getting up too late for Bible time and prayer-those are the days I am short of patience, energy, compassion, and long on sighs, fretting, stewing, and wrong words.
We have 7 children-life is not all roses
We have a fairly small house-we are short on space
We have 2 new older children who have their own ideas of what they like, what they want to do, wear, eat, and play
We also have 2 children who do not have a great command of the English language-one does not have much english at all
We also have 2 little boys with special needs-developmental, speech, and cognitive
There are days when I want to pull my hair out.
There are days when I want to dive back in bed, cry my eyes out, and hide from them all.
(Maybe I should do that instead of using the wrong words and getting angry?)
YET, thru it all, I see His hand on all of this.
He is stretching me, and Chuck, and growing us to be more like Him. (it's slow work, we are kind of stubborn and we don't see what He wants sometimes)

I see how our girls fit into our family perfectly.
I see how our family is adjusting, complimenting one another in areas where some are weak, others are strong.
I see how we are finding our rhythm and keeping things under control in the house, doing school on a regular basis (huge praise), preparing and eating good, healthy meals, getting outside to play and work together, and we are LOVING one another!!
(ok-sometimes we are loving one another-I just had to referee a dispute between a 13 yr old boy and his 7 yr old brother-they are like oil and water-YET, I THINK they love each other :)  )

I mean, it looks like they love each other, doesn't it???

The days are not slow, they fly by pretty quickly, there is ALWAYS something to be done-meals to fix,dishes to do, laundry to do, and very little computer time for this blogging mama-

yet they are full days, full to overflowing with all the things a mama should be doing.
Managing her nest, schooling her littles, feeding them, bathing them, clothing them, loving them, training them, and sometimes, even playing with them :)So, while I appreciate all my followers, and enjoy reading all the comments, know that this won't happen on a regular basis-we are in the trenches of homeschooling and discipling our children-there just isn't enough time in a day for too much more-and I do like my sleep, so staying up too late is not a good option, or I get up too late, and then the day goes south FAST!!!
OH NO-oh, no, it's not what it looks like
there is not real blood-just 3 littles playing together-loving it when they use their imaginations
and play make-believe together.

Things we have enjoyed
There are many nights where we have some playing ball, some playing trucks, and some doing word searches.
Usually, all at the same time.
WE have lots of outside time, with swings, walks, riding scooters and trikes, playing in the wet sand (so much fun to wash clothes like that)
Lili is very fond of playing with trucks with Isaiah and Isaac, and sometimes, Tyler gets in on it too. They can get a whole pile of them out, and make a whole bunch of noise, but it is great to see them all on the floor having so much fun-and our hallway-it is either a runway, ball field, or skating rink, depending on the day.
We have several old metal Tonka trucks that are at least 40 years old.
I commented on their antique value-simply because one of them is all broken up now due to a certain 3 yr old who THROWS them-Chuck said he would rather have them all played with by children who used to NOT have toys, home, or family!!
Love that guy's perspective on things :)
We love sitting around at night in front of our parlor stove

 and listening to a good message that can help our family grow to be more godly. We are currently listening to a set from Vision Forum on Family Strategies-very good-and usually about 30 minutes, so even our non-sitters can about handle it :)
We sing together some nights, and in the morning read our Bible after breakfast, clean together, and then disperse to our own areas for school time.
For the most part, I would say we love school at home.
Nick and Kendell love heading up stairs to do their own thing-
Rose hits the dining room table
Tyler gets a table in our bedroom (he is learning to read and some peace and quiet are way more conducive to that than 3 littles racing around)
Lili really wants to do school, but becomes easily bored
Zaya and Zaccy LOVE school, but there is only so much of me to go around, so I usually get them something fun that they haven't had for awhile and leave them to their own destruction for a bit while I work with Rose and Tyler.
We finished up our science co-op a week ago, and it is good to have one subject finished for the year. It did get a bit difficult once home from China-we were doing Anatomy, and it is pretty intense, and for some reason, once 4 sit down to do science together, the other 3 thought they needed to be in on it too-so we usually did science ALL together-that was a bit crazy, but we survived, and probably even learned something too.
Dishes and clean up can be the lengthiest part of the day-3 bigs in the kitchen, and its not that big-and there is LOTS of giggling, laughing, joking, and occasionally, we need to reign them in and remind them there is actually work to be done-ok, usually most nights-but they do get it done, and in good spirits too!!
I would say we are really loving life as a family of 9-they love that our Yukon XL is maxed out-and they argue over who doesn't have to sit in the front next to mom and dad-funny a couple years ago they all wanted to sit by us:)

The Bluff
I love having a camera junky in the family. Kendell takes the BEST pictures, and has a great eye for a good shot. Her favorite shots are of her siblings-I love that-BUT I wish they would remember to get her in the picture sometimes too-
Nick, Ken, Tyler and Rose have taken a few walks up to the bluff-you can see for a LONG ways, and they love going up there-
here are a few of my favorite shots

The Spring

We also have a spring on our property-and one Sunday afternoon, we went for a walk-and enjoyed some crisp, clean water-this is another favorite spot to visit-

The Creek
This has to be the most requested spot to walk to though
They LOVE going down here, and even tho it is too cold to play in it, they manage to get wet and enjoy themselves anyway-
Rose loves asking to go to the Water-when it warms up, I am sure I won't see them much!

Isaac turns 3
We had another special birthday 4 days after Rose's 14th.
Our little man, our baby, our peanut, turned 3.
He is still our little guy-he still "looks" like a wee one-only wearing 18 moth, maybe stretching into 24 month now, BUT, we have to remember, he is a 3 yr old in a wee body-he has the energy and desires of a 3 yr old, and we are being challenged daily to help him to grow to be a young boy, and not try to keep him a baby.
It is SOOo hard if you look at his extreme cuteness, his little ways that still seem baby-toddlerish, his littleness, yet, inside, there are big boy dreams trying to get out.
Once we took him out of the one-piece suits that he still fits in, but don't fit his age, once we put him in jeans and shirts, instead of snapup onesies, even putting him in a stocking hat instead of one that ties under his chin-all of a sudden, we see a little 3 yr old.
A little boy who is trying very hard to manipulate his tongue right so he can learn to talk.
He can hum Amazing Grace and Jesus Love me, and it is ADORABLE.
His vocabulary consists of Of Wuou), (love you) of wu (thank you-used appropriately)
aww do (all done), eoo (hello)
we know there are words he is trying to say, he signs please, more and help me all appropriately
we are thrilled with how he is wanting to communicate, how he wants to be by us, how he comes to us for consoling, or help, and how he plays so nicely.
His little walk is way less toddler and more little boy now. except it's a RUN, from the time he gets up until he goes to bed at night :)
He is getting along fabulously with his new sisters, and he is loving all the freedom that comes with warmer weather, less clothes, and more outside time.
He is a precious little boy, and we are so blessed to have him
 as a part of our family.

we also made a trip north to visit with Grandma and Grandpa Waughtal, and they
spoiled Rosalyn and Isaac with a few treats, and another cake too.

Grandma scored a big hit with Rose when she gave her a watch.
Kendell told me later that Rose had been saying "Rosie watch?" quite a bit, so now we just have to teach her to tell time. :)
But she is thrilled with her present, and wears it all day long (and all night too, since it has a light)

Celebrating Tyler
On March 8, we had the honor to celebrate FOUR years with our precious son Tyler.
It seems incomprehensible that we have had 3 complete years with Tyler, and are beginning our 4th family year with him.
He has passed the threshold of living in a family longer than he was without his forever family.
We are thrilled with that-we are thrilled with his energy, his attitude, his smile, his love.
Tyler loves life. and he lives life feriously.
He is a go-getter, full of life, full of ideas, full of spunk, sometimes full of naughtiness, but we love him, and we are loving life with Tyler.
Besides Isaac, Tyler is probably Kendell's 2nd favorite photo model. Probably because he is around more than Nick ( who is always helping Daddy) and because he has a fabulous smile, and is a giant ham in front of the camera!
So, without further adieu, I present....

I am sure there are more things I would like to say about our the last month, but blogger is giving me fits with loading pictures, and its time to just try to stay caught up, so I will close.
We thank you for stopping by, and may God bless your day, wherever you are, whatever time zone, whatever continent, whatever area of ministry He has you in at this moment, may He be your all in all, your sustainer, your strength, your Savior, your King of Kings, and your precious Lamb of God.
In Him
Chris and family