Fun Fact Friday – January 12, 2018

I was thinking about my Fun Fact Fridays recently and thinking I might like to broaden the parameters of them a bit. Instead of them just being about me, I thought I’d also begin to include some fun facts from our family’s day-today experiences. Maybe put out some snippets about the highlights and lowlights of the week or month(s)? Nothing too crazy, but maybe they’ll give a better glimpse into our every day lives as well as capture the essence of the rhythm of our family. Well, that would be the hope, anyway.

So, here we go!

  1. This week our homeschool co-op began our Winter/Spring Semester. We have 21 amazing families in our co-op. We meet once a week and have 3 one-hour classes for all grade levels and ages. This semester, I am teaching two classes, back-to-back, to a group of eleven 5th and 6th graders. I am teaching a writing/literature/poetry class as well as a wonders of the world class. It should be a great semester!
  2. Every week (well, aaaalmost every week), for the last three years, I have talked with my beautiful friend who moved to a new state far, far away. She’s one of my most favorite people in the whole wide world and I treasure our conversations so dearly.
  3. Since September, we have had a plethora of medical/dental/therapy/orthodontic/specialist appointments. Between all 9 of us here in our home, we had 71 appointments. Yup, I went back and counted them. I was shocked. That’s a lot of appointments. This does not include any kind of visits (with birth parents, birth families, caseworkers, or G.A.Ls, just to name a few.), of which there were many of these visits, too. Needless to say, it’s been a hoppin’ 4 months and 12 days! I already know we have 7 more appointments scheduled for the remainder of January, but maybe there’ll be more still to come? Yowza. With all of that said, I must express how grateful I am for the Lord’s grace in sustaining me through this medically challenged season. He is faithful.
  4. A few days ago, my sister told me about a fun app called “Marco Polo.” It’s so great! I highly recommend it. It’s essentially a video text app. You send little video clips back and forth, just like you would with a text. I appreciate how it’s a short commitment of time to send a video (no long commitments like a FaceTime or Skype call), and I get to see the faces of those I love! It’s perfect for this season in my life to stay visually connected with family and friends amidst the craziness of life. (Side note – My 14 yr old daughter wants me to make sure y’all know the app has some fun features, like filters for both the screen and your voice, as well as ways to text or doodle on the screen during a video clip.)
  5. Fall colors are my favorite.
  6. I am back on Instagram and am finding it doesn’t suck up my time like Facebook. So, here’s to a partial return to social media this year, cheers!
  7. Today, the kids and I are going to spend some time with some lovely friends just across the highway. They, too, have 7 children. You can probably imagine, there’s always something crazy happening when we all get together.

Well? Did you enjoy getting a bit bigger picture of our daily lives? haha! ūüôā¬†All-in-all, I must say I am kind of digging it. It helps me step back a bit and see the big picture of our lives. Seeing that we have had 71 medical appointments over the past 4 months helps me to see why I felt like I was always in my car! hahahaha. I simply remember, this is a season in our lives. It won’t last forever.

Do you have anything memorable you’d like to share from your own week?!

Praying you all have a truly delightful weekend.

To God be the Glory … today, tomorrow, and for all eternity! Amen and Amen. So be it.

Fun Fact Friday – January 5, 2018

It’s time to resurrect Fun Fact Friday at the start of this New Year! This is the day of the week when I post random “fun facts” about myself, my family, or anything else I find to be fun to share. ūüôā Enjoy!

  1. Aside from a few days in November to announce Munchkin’s adoption, I was off of Facebook for all of 2017. It was AMAZING. I think I’ll do it again for 2018. I think. Note: I’m sure I’ll write about my social media free year experience soon.
  2. Papa gave me a new laptop for Christmas (woot woot!). In an unexpected way, it has inspired me to write/blog again. It’s amazing how much easier it is to write when the computer is not painfully slow like molasses.
  3. I love a nice glass of sweetened iced tea. There’s usually a pitcher of it in the fridge, ready for me to enjoy.
  4. If I drink iced tea too late in the day, my dreams that night are wacko! It’s as if my mind, even when sleeping, is in hyper active mode from the extra caffeine.
  5. We have 7 children in our home at the moment. Six of our own and one foster daughter (who moved in April 2017).
  6. Our family goes through one 48 oz. jar of peanut butter in 7-10 days. Between toast, sandwiches and spoonfuls throughout the day, we consume a lot of peanut butter. It’s our go-to snack when the kids are getting cranky and are in need of some protein in a jiffy. haha. Jiff-y. See what I did there? ūüôā
  7. I still have the very first library card I ever owned from when I was about 5 or 6 years old. I wonder if I could still use it? I’ll have to give it a go the next time I am in my home state and county.
  8. It feels good to write/type/blog again. I haven’t posted much yet this 2018 year, obviously, but I am already enjoying the process. Why, oh why, did I ever stop last summer?! I’m glad to be back.

Have a lovely day!

As always … to God be all the Glory!

Fun Fact Friday – June 30, 2017

It’s Fun Fact Friday! Here’s a simple chance to know a little more about me …

  1. Tonight, our family is going to run the local roller skating rink. We play “Four Corners,”¬†do the “Hokey-Pokey,” and¬†give out prizes to various¬†winners.¬†Needless to say, it’s a fun (and exhausting)¬†night!
  2. Bro is back from his 2 week missions trip and we are thrilled to have him home! We noticed we didn’t laugh as much without his humor in the house. We love having him with us again!
  3. Four out of our seven kids are fighting sicknesses. We just can’t seem to shake this virus (it’s been almost 2 weeks)! Though it’s often a struggle, I do appreciate the opportunity to stay at home more than usual.
  4. I am teaching 2 classes in our local homeschool co-op this year:
    • Wonders of the World: one semester to 5/6 graders and one semester to 7/8 graders.
    • Writing/Literature/Poetry class to 5/6 graders all school year.
  5. I do not like the smell of lavender. It seems to be a scent that people either truly love or do not like at all. I am in the latter group.
  6. We run our A/C all day long, all year long. We do shut it off at night, though.
  7. I haven’t been on FB for almost 6 solid months. I do not miss it … at all. I should do another update to share the pros and cons (so far) with being “social media free” this¬†year. In short, it’s been amazing!
  8. I have a fear of my (or anyone’s!)¬†joints hyper-extending¬†and snapping. The crazy bendable people you see¬†at the¬†circus or various acrobatic shows make me cringe, due to this fear. I¬†shiver at the thought of them breaking their arms/legs in half. So gross!
  9. Every 3 months, we have to change out the “roach baits” in our house. Gotta keep those nasty critters away!!
  10. I love singing, but usually only sing when I’m with my family or in a group setting. Karaoke is NOT for me. Way too much pressure.

Do you identify with any of these? Or, do you have a fun fact you’d like to share about yourself? Feel free to comment below. ūüôā

To God be the Glory! He makes each one of us unique and different.

Fun Fact Friday – June 23, 2017

Fun Fact Friday … the day of the week when¬†I get to share you some random tidbits about my life:

  1. I do not like Tobasco sauce. At all.
  2. Steamed broccoli is one of my very favorite veggies to eat.
  3. I used to hate the taste of coffee, loved the smell, but hated the flavor. But now … I’m a fan. Those first few sips in the morning are the very best. I actually don’t need coffee to wake me up, I’m not grumpy if I don’t get it, but I do enjoy the taste.
  4. If I wear a t-shirt, I always have a tank top underneath. I’m a layerer (is that even a word?). I’m not a single shirt wearer, despite how hot it is outside.
  5. Bro (16) has been gone for almost 2 weeks on a missions trip. It’s the longest he’s ever been away from us during a single stretch. I miss him. Being a mom of kids who are spreading their wings to fly, can be so freeing, yet so hard. I love my little birds. Can’t they live in the nest forever with me? Nah. Who am I kidding? I am so excited to see them FLY!!
  6. Every day, I look around our house and try to find something I can throw away, donate, or sell. Clutter and excess drives me bonkers and also raises my stress levels (note: this is for in my house, other peoples’ houses are just fine).
  7. I¬†recently purchased and¬†received some more painting supplies (yay Amazon!) with some of my¬†birthday money … so now I can paint some more pictures! I’m so excited!!
  8. When I commit to something, I’m typically all in. This means, I am learning to push the “pause” button before making that commitment. Sometimes, I get in over my head and regret saying “yes” to so many things. I am learning the power of “no!” I just can’t do it ALL, which is a bummer, but it’s also reality.
  9. All clothes, sheets, and towels in our house get tumble dried in our dryer, EXCEPT Papa and my clothes. I hang all of those to dry so they aren’t as likely to shrink, wear down, or fade.
  10. Growing up, I was an observer in a group setting. I often watched and observed others when I was with¬†family, friends, my sports teams, or at youth group. I’m not the life of the party, and I’m OK with that. I simply enjoy watching other people have fun! I am still that way. I do participate in a group setting, but I often prefer to be on the outer skirts, watching, listening, and talking one-on-one with others who also are also more comfortable¬†on the sidelines.

Fun Fact Friday – June 16, 2017

To keep things light and to not worry about posting “something profound,” I give you a few fun facts about my life:

  1. I am naturally a procrastinator. I often (but not always) do my best work when under pressure. Perhaps having a deadline motivates me to focus better and longer?
  2. We are going to be in a homeschool co-op this year with 15 other families. We love this group and have been part of it for about 6 or 7 years now! I can’t imagine homeschooling without these amazing people in our lives.
  3. The kids and I spent many hours this week sorting our Legos by color. Yup, by color. In the past, I never initiated this idea as I knew I’d likely get frustrated if the kids mixed the colors (similar to mixing Play-doh colors, you just don’t do it!). But, since they thought of doing this on their own, it just might work for a long while?! So, we all jumped right in to accomplish the huge task. Can I just say, “wow, we have A LOT of Legos!”
  4. For each of our foster children, I periodically send a very detailed “update” to the Caseworker, Guardian Ad Litem (GAL), and anyone else (like a therapist) who might find an update valuable. I include how the child is doing physically, emotionally, mentally, with visits, in school, at home, with friends, etc. These updates (emailed about once a month) have proven to be quite valuable in keeping everyone on the same page. Open. Honest. Always communicating. Oh, and since I’m not one to be few in words, my updates are always quite extensive. I sometimes even advise them to get comfy and grab a cup of coffee or hot tea before they begin reading my mini novels. haha!
  5. I prefer the second half of the rainbow colors over the first. I prefer greens, blues, and purples over reds, oranges and yellows.
  6. I love doing this crazy life with Papa.
  7. Because we live in a fairly transient location, it’s quite common for me to ask someone how long they plan to live here when I first meet them. Part of the reason for this question is to gage whether or not I have the time and energy¬†to invest in developing a friendship with this new person (time is precious!). It probably sounds cold and snobbish,¬†but it is not meant to be that way. I’ve simply learned to¬†protect my heart from being broken again and again¬†with¬†saying “goodbye” when¬†dear friends move away from me. And, quite frankly, if I do invest in them knowing they will¬†move away soon,¬†I go into the friendship with eyes wide open, prepared and ready.
  8. I have never had a root-canal. Yay!
  9. I cannot stand the cartoons “Arthur” and “Caillou.” I don’t like the attitudes of the characters on Arthur and I detest the whiney voice of Caillou’s character. My kids are forbidden to watch either one (but they don’t really ask or know about them, especially since they’re older and aren’t interested, so it doesn’t really matter).
  10. I had a belly-button ring when I was 20 or 21 … and promptly took it out¬†about year later when¬†I became pregnant with our firstborn,¬†Bro.
  11. I love heavy blankets.

I’ll stop there …

Do you have a fun fact about yourself that you’d like to share with me?!

To God be the Glory!

Fun Fact Friday – June 2, 2017

It’s crazy how quickly these Fridays keep coming! Here are a few more “fun facts” for you about my life:

  1. I prefer listening to singers with lower voices. The low tones¬†are very calming to me. And, quite frankly,¬†I can sing along more easily as I am also a lower toned voice. I’ve been told I am an¬†alto, but I don’t know for sure as I’m not very¬†knowledgeable in the music department.
  2. With my recent birthday, Papa gave me new paints and brushes to encourage me to paint. He knows I enjoy it but don’t typically make time to do it. I put one major thing on my “to do” list for Memorial Day and that was to “paint.” So, I painted¬†a picture of a moon (see image below) by¬†following an instructional video on YouTube. I hadn’t painted for about a year and a half and was reminded¬†how much I absolutely love the process. Thanks Babe, for the encouragement, once again!
  3. We had a very tiny water hose leak from our refrigerator this past weekend. Unfortunately, that tiny leak has made quite the impact. It is likely the landlords will need to replace the kitchen flooring some time in the near future.
  4. I love shopping at garage sales. One of my favorite purchases was a box¬†with¬†three nice¬†cast iron skillets (two of them were “Wagner” brand)¬†for only $10.
  5. I am in the transition stage of our homeschooling planning as we slowly close out 2016-17 and prepare for the upcoming 2017-18 school year.
  6. I carry a pocket-sized “Moleskine Monthly Calendar” in my purse to keep track of our schedule while I am out and about. I just can’t seem to do digital calendars. I am a tangible paper and pen(cil) kind of a gal.
  7. I do not decorate my house for the various seasons or holidays¬†(with the exception of Christmas). I’m just not much of a decorator, and I’m OK with that.
  8. I do not have a single plant (living, dead or fake) in my house. I can’t seem to keep them alive, so¬†I don’t even try anymore.
  9. I can read a book or watch a movie¬†for a 2nd or 3rd time and it will be like I’m enjoying it for the first time. I forget the plots and characters often, so¬†it’s like I’m experiencing a new story every time. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing, haha!
  10. If all goes according to plan, Papa and I will have two weekly in-house date nights, one on Wednesday and one on Saturday. On these nights, the kids are on their own for dinner and then go to their rooms around 7pm to read, play or talk quietly (alone or with siblings). Meanwhile, Papa and I have our own special dinner and enjoy an evening of connecting, talking, vegging, playing games, watching tv, laughing, sleeping, or whatever else catches our fancy. Date night = Best night!


Fun Fact Friday – May 26, 2017

Here are a few Fun Facts about me for this last Friday in May.

  1. I thoroughly enjoy having coffee dates with my friends. I need to do it more often.
  2. I am now 39 years old (I had a birthday recently).
  3. Every day, I look around our house and in our garage to figure out what else I can sell, donate or trash. This is a never-ending process, it seems!
  4. We had a meeting this week at the local public school for Munchkin (4). We went over the¬†full evaluation for her to possibly attend the preschool special education program in the Fall. This meeting was to go over her potential¬†IEP (Individualized Education Program). If we decide to go this route, it¬†will be the first time one of our own children (once she’s officially adopted¬†in November)¬†will attend a public school. This is all new territory! Lord, please show us which way to go that is best for her and her needs.
  5. For my birthday, my parents gave me a beautiful necklace that has¬†“trust the author” on it. So apropos with where we are in our journey.¬†I love that HE is writing our crazy story (and that I get to share it with you as we go)!
  6. Chicken nuggets give me the hiccups.
  7. I try to do at least one load of laundry every day. With 9 people in the house, we have a lot that piles up rather quickly, especially once you add in towels and bedding to the mix. I do love and appreciate that my oldest 4 (ages 12, 13, 14, and 16) all do their own laundry. Wahooo!
  8. Sometimes, when I am not sure what “fun fact” to share with you, I will look around the room to try and find¬†inspiration. Just now, I noticed one of my hats on the kitchen table. Fun fact = I like to wear hats.

Have a wonderful Memorial weekend, friends!

And, as always, to God be the Glory, great things He continues to do …

Fun Fact Friday – May 19, 2017

I was right. This week was a bit too full to fit in a good blog post. Things will eventually settle down a bit (especially once we get into June), but for now, life is full of a lot of good things that keep us hoppin’ and movin’.

That said, there’s always time for Fun Fact Friday, right?! Right.

Without further ado, here are a few “fun facts” about my life for you on this fine Friday:

  1. I have written many blog posts this past week … in my head. haha!
  2. Only 1 more week of school for our public school (foster) kiddo!! She is definitely counting down, and so am I. ūüôā
  3. We found out our kids’ beloved pediatrician unexpectedly passed away this past weekend. Perhaps this isn’t so much of a “fun” fact, but a sobering one. We are once again¬†reminded to keep our accounts short, forgive quickly, love deeply, and laugh often. Time is fleeting.
  4. I am very self-conscious when I dance. I am a pretty coordinated person, but I’m definitely not when I am dancing.
  5. I love having an open adoption with Taz’s family and¬†Munchkin’s family (when her adoption officially goes through later this year).
  6. I treasure when I have a full day at home. Though we “homeschool,” we are rarely¬†home all day long.
  7. Our kiddos are going to continue their math and history throughout the summer. The kids are (less than) thrilled. ha!
  8. I have never read Moby Dick, The Catcher in the Rye, War and Peace, The Odyssey,¬†The Grapes of Wrath, 1984, or Great Expectations. Yes, I fully know these are “classics” and I should’ve read them a long time ago, but I did not. Quite honestly, I do not have any desire to do so now. Maybe I will¬†later when my season of life isn’t quite as demanding, but until then, I’ll just assume they are great pieces of literature.
  9. When I go to a restaurant, I tend to order the same (type of) thing. I’m not one to venture into new territory and try new flavors. I like to stick with the tried and true meals so I know that I’ll like it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll try bites of other peoples’ adventurous¬†foods, but I’ll order what I know I love so that I’m not disappointed. If you’re curious, I often stick with a classic cheeseburger with fries, chicken fettuccini alfredo,¬†sweet ‘n’ sour chicken/pork with rice, or something Mexican (like loaded nachos, fajitas, or a¬†supreme burrito).
  10. Perfectly steamed broccoli (for 6 min) is probably very favorite cooked vegetable. So good!!!
  11. I am so ready to have a licensed driver in the house. Hopefully, this will happen by the end of the summer!!

I hope and pray you all have a wonderful weekend. ūüôā

To God be the Glory!

Fun Fact Friday – May 12, 2017

Whew! It has been quite the week!

As you may or may not have noticed, it’s been a week since my last post (which was my previous week’s “Fun Fact Friday”).¬†A couple of days ago, I¬†was trying to figure out why I haven’t been able to blog this week. After all, I do¬†have things to say, to share, to post, but I just haven’t done so. Why is that?

After doing Munchkin’s catheter at around 2am on Wednesday morning, I decided to do an “audit” (of sorts) of my week. I wanted to get a more complete picture to better understand why I haven’t had any extra time to write. So, I started to list out all of my/our scheduled¬†commitments for just this (busier) week. I only¬†audited the weekdays,¬†Monday-Friday, I did not¬†look at our weekend commitments. The results were quite revealing.

Below are the “fun facts” of our commitments and daily happenings this past week:

  1. 2 hockey nights – 1 for practices, 1 for games.
  2. 4 nights of swim club practices.
  3. 1 swim club meeting.
  4. 2 dentist appointments – both on the same day, but one was in the morning, one was in the afternoon.
  5. 3 orthodontic appointments – this may count as 1, though, as they were all back-t0-back on the same day.
  6. 5 days of dropping off and picking up at school.
  7. 1 hour of homework every night for our newest little (6 yr old) placement.
  8. 5 annual SATs to administer to our 5 oldest children – we spread the tests out over all 5 weekdays.
  9. 2 different “visits” with birth families of our littlest girls.
  10. 4 different youth groups – different times, days and locations.
  11. 1 therapy appointment.
  12. 1 in-home visit with our newest placements CASA (essentially, her personal advocate in court).
  13. 1 dad and son (Papa and Bro) movie night out with other dads and sons.
  14. 15 times for medications to be administered to Munchkin (3x each day).
  15. 1 bed/room to prepare for our guest arriving on Friday night (we’re so excited for his arrival!)

Uh. Yeah. As I said before, quite revealing. No wonder I was OUT once my head hit the pillow at night. I’m tired, haha! I’m not stressed, just¬†had a busier week which simply takes time, energy and attention.¬†I think I subconsciously concluded it was far more important for me to sleep this week than to blog. I typically write most of my posts¬†late at night or early in the morning, but since I was sleeping at those times,¬†the blog was neglected for a bit. Frankly, I’m OK with that. Sometimes, I just need to prioritize for my personal health and well-being in order to better take care of and manage the daily hustle and bustle surrounding our family.

I am so grateful for God’s covering over us in this season.¬†He has lavishly given us grace and strength to press on, persevere, and manage all that comes with our lives: our marriage, our 7 children, our work, our finances, our home, and of course, our crazy schedule. It’s not easy, no, but it is what absolutely love to do!!

I wonder what next week will hold?! OK, I just looked¬†… I already spy on the calendar¬†29 various appointments, commitments, and/or daily¬†routines between Monday and Friday. Dude. If you don’t hear from me before next Fun Fact Friday, you’ll know why, hahahaha!

Regardless of what we face, highs and lows, ups and downs, joys and sorrows, triumphs and challenges, visits, appointments, therapies, exhaustion, and anything else that comes our way¬†… as always …

To God be the Glory!!

Fun Fact Friday – May 5, 2017

Just¬†like most Fridays, I have a few “fun facts” to share with you about my life. I never know what will come out as I am typing, but it’s a fun little¬†glimpse to give you into my crazy world. Enjoy!

  1. I do not like piles of clutter in my house, yet they seem to accumulate daily.¬†I am constantly clearing them out of the way as often as time allows. To clarify, most of them are MY various¬†piles (paperwork being the biggest one!), not Papa’s or the kids’ piles, but mine.¬†/blush/
  2. I need to find a snazzy paper filing system for the amazing amount of paperwork that comes home daily from the local¬†public school. Yikes. It’s SO much to manage and we’ve only been doing it for 3 weeks! I can’t imagine doing this with all 7 kids all year long in public school. I think I’d go nutso.
  3. When I was growing up, I always fancied riding my bike and swimming in a lake, pool, or the ocean. Thought I don’t really do either activity very¬†often these days, I still¬†enjoy¬†them very much.
  4. I am intentionally working on keeping my¬†facial expressions light and welcoming instead of intense and off-putting. It’s easy for me to default to a furrowed scowl, especially when engaging with the kids, and even more so when I am¬†correcting them. I want my kids to always remember my smiling face, not my glaring eye.
  5. I have had multiple bent prongs around my diamond (engagement) ring for years. I really need to get them fixed before they bend so much that I lose my diamond!
  6. One of my dear friends has in-laws who are moving away within the week. In their desire to clear out much of their belongings, they gave our family a wonderful set of soft olive green couches! Such a blessing!
  7. I always thought I would be an amazing and patient¬†passenger/teacher while my teen(s) learned to drive. Alas, I am not. I talk far too much and stress the student driver out in¬†many ways. /sigh/ I was a horrible “backseat driver” when I was a kid and that seems to have carried right on in to adulthood.
  8. If I eat food on the couch or anywhere without a table, I always try to find a pillow I can put on my lap as a substitute table.
  9. The only yard work I truly enjoy is mowing the lawn. Everything else – pruning, planting, weeding, watering – I can do without.
  10. We have amazing friends and family who support our fostering and adoption journey. Not everyone in our life catches the vision of it, but we are so incredibly blessed and backed by many. It would be hard to do this journey alone.

To God be the Glory!