Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!


From this ninja on the Gravelly Road

Monday, October 27, 2014

More Fall Leaves and Carving Pumpkins

My parents came to visit this past weekend.  They arrived just as Dad and kiddo finished creating a leaf pile "as tall as he was" as he requested.  Of course Grandpa immediately scooped him up and dropped him into the pile.  I grabbed my camera as a leaf fight ensued.

large leaf pile

Grandpa, Dad and kiddo were tasked with buying some pumpkins on Saturday (while my mom and I shopped) but we didn't get a chance to carve them until after Grandpa and Grandma left.  We only carved two of the three, as one got a bit complex.  We did manage to roast the seeds which our kiddo enjoyed trying.  Monday morning before school he wanted to eat breakfast by Jack-o-lantern Light.

I'll try to post again after Halloween with costume pics.  Last we discussed it, he said he was going to wear his ninja costume.  His class is having a fall party but with no costumes which disappointed him.  Hopefully we'll have good weather on Friday!

Fall is cruising by and we are getting ready for Halloween here on the Gravelly Road.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Books While We Wait -- October 2014 Edition

As you know, we are buying a new children's book each month while we wait. Since the original post has gotten rather long to keep reposting.  I will still update the original list and have added a link near the header, but each month I will only post about the new book.  If you want to see the entire list, please feel free to click on the link at the bottom and review the other ones.  (I didn't create a September post but our September book is in the main list too so go check it out).

"How I Was Adopted" by Joanna Cole

This is another adoption book -- this time with the child as a narrator, telling her adoption story and what is special about her family.  The book does a good job including lots of different parts of adoption in an upbeat way, reminding readers that everyone's story is different.  It seems like it would be another book great for starting conversations.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Taking Family Photos

A couple weeks ago I convinced my crew that we needed to take another family picture...  partially because we haven't taken a photo of us in front of the house since the one from originally moved in 3 years ago.

It always seems to be such a big feat to take one that turns out ok (especially with Christmas card season just around the corner) even though its just the three of us!  So armed with my camera, tripod and handy-dandy camera remote, we set up in our front yard and ended up with a few good ones, with some goofy thrown in.

family waiting to adopt

Most of the time, I let our son hold the camera remote (thus the hidden hands) which he thinks is great fun.  If that's what it takes to get him to look at the camera...
family pictures outdoors

loving family pictures

I took one other set of family pictures recently (that I'm not going to share here).  I took extended family pictures for a friend whose family was throwing a surprise birthday party for her mother.  A group of twelve people (4 kiddos) who I didn't all know was a whole different type of challenge.  It was fun, we ended up with some good shots, and it certainly was a learning experience for me.

So much to learn but still loving photography here on the gravelly road.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Same Tree, Same Boy, Another Year

fall colors

As is our tradition, I wanted to take another fall picture of the kiddo in front of the tree that is one of my favorites when the leaves start to turn.

And since its "Throwback Thursday" take a moment to look at previous years' posts:
2012 & 2011

Looking back it was colder this time than other years as we had warm coats out yet the tree isn't as orange as it sometimes gets.

Because we can't be serious all the time time, there was a fair amount of this:
silly face

Before we ended up with this:

We measured him the other day and he has grown so much since his last birthday... no wonder I've had to change out his pants drawer several times.  Of course just as many pairs get moved because of large holes in the knees.  Just one month into kindergarten and he already seems so much older.  He loves to tell us the new Spanish words he's learned and who he saw at recess.  I'm enjoying helping in his classroom once a week and getting to know the friends he talks about :)

What an amazing blessing to watch how God is growing him into the boy He's planned.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Apple Time

Last weekend we declared it apple picking time here on the Gravelly Road. Our apples were ready and needed to be picked. Several windy days had already knocked quite a few to the ground. Since our main tree only has a heavy crop every other year and this was an off year, it was only an afternoon job to pick and sort the apples.  It was a bit chilly but we had fun in the sunshine.

fall apple fun
Between our apples and two boxes from my wonderful in-laws, we have plenty to enjoy.  The dehydrator has been running almost daily making apple chips, plus several batches of apple sauce and apple butter in the crockpot.  Of course there's been some apple crisp and ice cream a few times too.

Apple smells filling our home reminds me its definitely fall.  Treasuring each day of life here on the gravelly road.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Five Minute Fridays: New

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

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:18-19
The verse above is the theme verse for MOPS this year.  While I love the theme phrase this year "Be You Bravely", I've been pondering the sentence above that tells us God is doing a new thing.  Our God is eternal and He is still always doing/making something new.
It reminds me to stop and consider what new thing God is doing in my life, the new thing He might be calling me to, the new thing He might be asking me to pray about, the new discipline He desires for me to develop.
Today this is what first comes to mind:  He is doing a new thing in my prayer life.
I've mentioned before how our adoption wait was impacting my prayer life.  Hearing the short summaries of the women and couples working with our agency, considering whether adoption was a path they were going to choose for their unborn (or sometimes just born) child.  My prayers for them take may forms, mostly that they would have a person to lend them support as they walk through this journey, a source of unbiased wise counsel, and God-given peace in the midst of conflicting emotions and opinions.  Its been humbling to me to get a glimpse of the challenges and life situations that these individuals have often been facing -- so many things creating swirling clouds that obstruct a clear path.
As we embarked on this new journey of foster-to-adopt this summer, again I see God doing a new thing in my prayer life.  I can't help but be impacted after reading the short bios on some of these young kiddos, facing so many transitions, loss, and pain in their short lives, with many challenges ahead.  I have seen their faces and large eyes, waiting for the family that they call theirs forever.  I continue to pray for them even after we find out we are not their forever family -- prayers for their transitions, for healing, for their new families, for them to be surrounded by those that would help them succeed and move forward.  But most of all that they would find new hope and love.
What new thing might God be calling you to?  Asking you to pray for? What new is He doing in your life?  Can you perceive it?
If you'd like to take a few minutes to pray for some of the waiting kids, most states have online places where some of those waiting are listed.  Here's MN's site

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Yarn Spider Web

Banister + Yarn + Plastic Spider Rings + a Creative 5 Year Old = a colorful spiderweb :)

Simple fall decorating here on the Gravelly Road :)
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