Friday, October 2, 2009

Seven Weeks and the Racoons

Not a magical number, but it was a good day so I thought I would blog. We've been home from Russia for seven weeks tonight. In some ways it seems like forever and in other ways it seems like it's barely been a week. Most days are very difficult. There are seven people living in this house and each of us has had to make huge adjustments. Why haven't I blogged? Well I guess mostly because I got stuck in the negative and didn't figure anyone would be interested in hearing about the temper tantrums, selfish outbursts, and fist fights happening in our home. Why blog today? Because the last couple of days have made me think there is hope in this process. Now please don't get me wrong there have been great moments all along the way, but I find myself longing for good days of togetherness.

So David began his workout this morning at 4:30 and heard a loud bang outside. He went out to find a huge raccoon had turned over the trashcan. We had seen their prints on the trash can every morning and knew they were invading but this was the first time they had been spotted.

School lessons went great. Our 9-year old discovered that he is progressing faster on his Rosetta English than his older brother. That gave him a great burst of excitement.

We made a cake from the Amish Friendship Bread starter that our new friend Sara shared with us last week. It was liked by all, which doesn't happen very often. Now the kids are each tending to their own batch so we will have lots to give away in 10 days.

The kids look forward to their PE class on Fridays. They are learning to play tennis right now. The three youngest boys also had guitar class today. And friends came over to 'hang out' this afternoon. It was a great Friday.

Then came dinner. Bar B Que chicken is liked by all so there were no objections to dinner. Baked beans for half the family, sauteed mushrooms for the other half. Mom is in both halves. ha ha Peaches and cucumbers for everyone.

One of the most unusual things to get used to in our house is that there are always two conversations going on -- one in loud Russian because that is still the only volume they know, and one in louder English because they want to hear each other. And occasionally the two conversations intersect like tonight when Dad was retellling the racoon story and it ended at the computer looking up racoon pictures and everyone laughing at the thought of dad chasing the racoon. Wonder if we will all be up in the morning trying to catch a glimpse of our newest critter.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Attitude

About 6 years ago I began praying a particular scripture. I even called it my life scripture because it impacted me so much. It became a constant reminder of who I am in Christ, who God is, and what my role with God is to be. As I prayed this scripture almost constantly I began to change. (I wish I was like several of my dear friends who can look up in their journals and tell their exact thoughts and what God did at any moment in their life. That is not me. I have to rely on 'abouts' and generalities.) Many times this scripture has come up in personal Bible study, at retreats, and in sermons. So often it has been what God used to 'carry' me through hard periods, to push me through selfish times and to draw me closer to Him and His desires.

This morning I was again reminded of Philippians 2:5-8. "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. " (NASB, bolding is mine)

My prayer once again: Lord, Jesus Christ, I desire to have your attitude. Empty me. Humble me. Make me obedient to the desires of God. I lay aside my perceived privileges to have your attitude, the attitude of Christ. Amen.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Interesting Fact

Brownies made with powdered sugar in place of flour are still edible. I think it is time to label those new canisters and teach our children the difference between flour and sugar.

Just a piece of paper

It's an important piece of paper. It will get our new kids on the family insurance. It will get them social security numbers and passports. This important piece of paper makes David & me responsible for them. But the adoption decree is just a piece of paper. It does not make us a family. Our new daughter announced two days before leaving her country of birth that she would not leave. She changed her mind. She did not want to have brothers that teased her, constantly talked about cars, and made disgusting body noises. Brothers were disrupting her life and she was done. Several of our friends, who are now young women, have assured me that they now realize that growing up in a house full of boys was vital in who they have become as women. It challenged them and they grew from it. When our communication is better I will tell our daughter of how important my brother is in my life. I will tell her that, with David and the kids by my side, when we arrived home at the airport it was seeing my brother that meant the most. It was his welcoming arms that I clung to. Yes we spent many days as kids fighting with each other, being annoyed with each other and we don't agree on many things now. But, he is my brother and I cherish him. Some day our daughter too will cherish that special relationship with her new brothers. Some day that piece of paper will be a treasure to her in many ways.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Those special words have never meant so much to me. It is wonderful to be home. Thank you to every person that has been unpacking boxes, decorating in incredible ways, and getting our new home ready for a grand homecoming. The new children have been exploring every nook and cranny, so excited with their new home. We all love their new rooms. The painters and decorators made them so personal and beautiful. Thank you for accomplishing so much.

Last nights homecoming at the airport was overwhelming. We were shocked, wowed, and awed at the wonderful support. As one friend put it, now phase 2 begins. We are so thankful for the many friends, co-workers, and fellow lighthouse families that are surrounding us for this next part. Somehow it makes walking into the unknown a little less intimidating.

So for everyone that isn't calling or dropping by today because you think we are asleep, think again. Everyone was up and going strong by 7:00 am. What does a family of 7 eat for their first breakfast in America? 1 large canteloupe, a small box of cereal, 15 eggs, 1/2 gallon of milk, 1/2 gallon of orange juice, and 1/2 a large pizza.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

This is a test.

The last three blogs that I posted disappeared when I hit publish so this is a test. I'm not pouring out my heart any more to watch the words go away in a flash.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Word of the Day-- Close

Samuel and Jesse just learned a new word in English.  Close.  As in mom's basketball shots get close to the basket.  All 250 shots.  Unfortunately, I had to correct them on the one that nearly went over the fence after missing the backboard.  It was nyet close.  They both just came to tell me that "Dinner is ready."  They are loving asking Luda how to say things in English.  So I better run again.  More later.