Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Baby Chick Time

Its become a sign of spring here on the Gravelly Road -- the annual trip to get a few more chickens to add to our small backyard flock.  Its been fun to share the cuteness of baby chicks with our new kiddos as well.

backyard chicks

We added four this year.  If you've read our previous spring posts, you'd know we started with four chicks (with one ending up being a rooster) and added three more last spring.  Well, the rooster developed a mean streak and was evicted from the Gravelly Road last fall.  Sadly we lost two hens over the winter to predators that managed to get into the coop at dusk before we'd made it outside to lock up the gate.  So four is just about right, giving us a little flock of eight hens (hopefully).

chicks new feathers

Already the chicks are quickly getting their real feathers and loosing their soft fluff.  Hopefully spring will be here to stay soon so they can get a bit more fresh air than their temporary home in the shed under the heat lamp.

Names are still under discussion... right now we have Anna, R2-D2 and Chicken Little.

And while having preschoolers around baby chicks means a never-ending chorus of "gently, gently", we are enjoying our new chicken residents on the Gravelly Road.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Five Minute Friday: Plan

This week I'm again participating in Five Minute Fridays at Kate Motaung's blog, (after a long hiatus) encouraging bloggers to write on a prompt unedited for five minutes.  This week's prompt: PLAN

I longed, prayed, and pleaded to know the plan.

I dreamed of my own version of the plan, but over and over I was reminded we didn't know the plan.  It wasn't for us to know yet.

We couldn't have guessed His plan.

Its too amazing, audacious and a bit crazy.

Going from a family of three to a family of five.

Our paperwork ending up on the same social worker's desk multiple times, each time making her think of two particular siblings that needed a forever family.

Meeting our new son and daughter right before Christmas and having them move into our family 5 weeks later.

Each child in the family now only thirteen months apart in age.  Six.  Five.  Four.

A family put together by God.

A plan that only God would have come up with.

He has confirmed it over and over.

For that I'm am thankful.  This journey is laid out by Him not dreamed up by us.

I know He holds the plan.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Finishing our "Books While We Wait" List

As you know, we've buying a new children's book each month while we waited to adopt.  Since our family has now grown to a family of 5 (our two new little ones moved in the end of January), this tradition is ending, but I realized I hadn't posted about the last 3 that I purchased.  If you want to see the entire list, please feel free to click on the link at the bottom and review the other we picked in the past.

January 2015 -- Emma's Yucky Brother by Jean Little

I bought this book because it specifically talks specifically about adopting through foster care by following Emma and her new brother, multiple visits before staying for good, some unexpected behavior, and the extra time/attention the new sibling will need from Mom and Dad, even though they are not a baby.  I wish "yucky" wasn't used as an adjective to describe people in the book as its easy for kids to latch onto without understanding that by the end of the story it was just meant in jest.  Otherwise it was helpful as we talked about the transition we were in the middle of in January.

December 2014 -- God Made Light by Matthew Paul Turner

This book, while not a Christmas title, is what I picked for our December book.  I love how it celebrates God's act of creation and then reminds the reader that God placed his light in each one of us.  The text and illustration draw you in and its one I don't mind reading multiple times.

Novemeber 2014 -- It Will be Okay: Trusting God Through Fear and Change (Little Seed & Little Fox) by Lysa TerKeurst

This book follows two unlikely friends, Little Fox and Little Seed, as they face some seemingly scary changes to learn that God is always with them.  Our kindergartner liked it right away (he thought it was silly that the seed was scared to be planted) but the deeper meaning of the story took a while for him to start to understand.  Definitely a great book for any family bookshelf.

Monday, February 23, 2015

"How is it going?"

We've been on the roller coaster ride of big family changes with our two new littles moving into our home the end of January (almost exactly a month ago) but having moved into our heart weeks before that. Ever since the transition began, I've heard the question "How's it going?" (or its sister question "How is EVERYTHING going?") so many times.  The questions don't bother me in the least.  I know so many who care about us just want to know how the transition going - family, friends, neighbors, etc - but I struggle to know how to answer.

Pretty Good.
This is my default answer because it is both true and easy.  In reality there are so many parts of the transition that have been so smooth.  The three kiddos get along well considering they only met a few weeks before Christmas and now are sharing toys/house/PARENTS.  A lot of other logistics fell into place as well (both of our new littles have great preschool classes and teachers that they love).  We have also been incredibly blessed by family and friends.  For example, I open my freezer and see LOVE in the form of frozen meals to feed my family.

Good but... 
To family and fellow parents, sometimes its easier if I answer with the immediate hard that others can relate to.  Which child has a cold or is having trouble sleeping or struggles getting everyone out the door for school in the morning or whatever...  Know that while my concern may seem so very normal, there are worries underneath that run much deeper.

(On a related note: I had not considered the impact on our immune systems adding two new family members that each interact with a different preschool class.  Prayers for some time of good health would be greatly appreciated).

HARD but Good
A bit more honest but when someone asks for an example of the hard, I'm unsure what and how much to share.  There is so much of the day-to-day hard that may seem like normal kid stuff - not sleeping great, tantrums, siblings not getting along, or just frustration - yet this adoption transition adds a whole layer on top of it all.  Is each child feeling secure in our love for them and their place in the family?  Are we providing enough structure yet being flexible enough to nurture and build family connections?  Is this tantrum just hunger/tired related or a deeper worry that we need to be sensitive to?  So often I feel like we need to be 110% on this parenting gig all the time right now (which is hard to do if we are short on sleep -- see above).  Even just a night out of town can throw everything off for days.

We really and truly are so incredibly blessed.  Our home is filled with more laughter, happy noise, busy kiddos, and smiling faces around the table.  There are more hugs, silly songs, pretend picnics, and crazy super hero fun.  Our entryway is always full of coats, shoes and boots that remind us of going places now as a family of five.  We've prayed years for this hard and wonderful journey we are walking right now.  God in His infinite wisdom brought these kids to our family and our family to these kids for a purpose.  We are so glad we are not on this journey alone!

Thank you to everyone has been praying for us, reaching out via text and email, sending encouraging notes and those local friends that have supported us from your kitchens as well.  (Seriously the frozen meals have been amazing and somehow they've continued to show up.  For the first week, I had tears in my eyes each time I opened my freezer - because LOVE).  Thank you for being patient with us as we've stepped back from commitments, completely forgot to respond to emails, missed a few family events or had to say no to things as we focus on home for now.  We are blessed but change, even good change is hard.  Here is one of the fun changes on the back of our bathroom door:

Now there are 3 kids' towels: Ninja Turtle, Purple Owl and Batman

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