Monday, December 31, 2012

Litke String Party 2012

If you are new to my blog you may not know about our annual String Party.
It is a New Year's tradition that began when I was in grade school
and we've continued to celebrate it with our own kids!

This year was no exception!
I can't even imagine the images Alethia was trying to conjure up 
as her siblings tried to explain this strange phenomenon.

Here's what you need to do:
Scavenge all your $1 spot and $1 Stores all year.
Then divide it up among all the participants.


Assign each participant a color of yarn.


Find the perfect place for the party.
It must be spacious and out of sight until the big release.

String the yarn up in a web-like fashion.
The messier the better:)
Close-pin the $1 store delights on each participants designated yarn strand.


Have the kids grab a bag and GET READY!


Tell them what color they are.
(and explain the rules to any new comers)

And let 'em loose!
(you may need to make it more challenging for the older participants)


Watch as their faces look in wonder at all their new-found treasures!


Here's to another successful year of string party scavenging:)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Getting Comfortable In Your Own Skin

I haven't completely arrived yet, but I sure have come a long way.

The comparison trap is brutal and so entangling.

And when we get tangled up in this web,
we feel like everyone else has it all together,
we feel like everyone else is a better mom,
we feel like everyone else has been dealt a better hand.

I think the turning point for me was when we were in Uganda.  I was in a different season than everyone else I knew.  I was pregnant, emotional and feeling "stuck", but interestingly enough, I felt closer to God than ever before.  And more confident in who God had made ME than ever before.

Life continued on all around me as we waited.  Things were being accomplished that I was not accomplishing.  Friends were having fun without me.  People were carrying on, life as normal, and we were living anything BUT "normal" lives.

At some point during our time in Uganda I just stopped caring about what my life appeared like to other people.  I stopped caring about what other people were doing with their lives.  Now, I'm not talking about a kind of depression where I cut myself off from the world, I'm talking about reality setting in.  Everything just seemed so clear to me that appearances held no weight.

The things that defined me before were completely out of my grasp.  I didn't have a home to keep up with.  The choice to be THE wife with the 4-course dinners was non-existent.  Homeschool field trips to the museum were substituted with boda rides to the Jinja market and lessons in Ugandan culture.

Now I certainly had my moments, and lots of them, where I longed for my home and for normalcy, but the feelings of envy or jealousy over what appeared to be bigger and better for everyone else just didn't matter.  I could feel true joy over others accomplishments without feeling as though I were missing out.  It's kind of hard to explain.

But oh how quickly it all comes rushing in when we come back to the land of abundance!  To the land of plenty.  To the land where the biggest worries we have are determining what to wear the next day.  Where petty differences end relationships.  Where we constantly worry about what other's are thinking about how we parent our kids, what kind of food we eat or how many extra-curricular activities we can cram in our week.

You've read how we strive to keep that Ugandan mentality and what a battle it is.
Especially in the Christmas season.

In order to combat feelings of comparison or envy or jealousy or self consciousness I have begun to implement 4 main responses that I'm going to attempt to break down for you.

So here's a typical scenario:
I'm a homeschool mom.  I may have just downsized my class by half, but I still homeschool.  I'm also the mom who chose to put two of her kids in school.  PUBLIC school! *gasp* You would be surprised at the comments I've heard from both sides of the spectrum, so you can only imagine the inside chatter that goes on in my head as I try to mentally process the truth.

Four responses to ask yourself when negative inside chatter begins to rear its ugly head.

1) Who cares?  I mean really?  Who cares, that actually matters anyway?  Josh and I have heavily prayed through this issue.  We feel released from teaching them at home.  We know the Lord will lead us in a different direction if this isn't the right fit.  Who cares if we have chosen to homeschool some of our kids?  I know there are teacher's out there with excellent educations who could do a great job as well.  Besides, who loses sleep over what WE have decided to do about our kids education anyway?

2) Think eternal perspective.  In light of eternity, does it really matter where I send my children for education?  If I am teaching them God's love and truth at home, praying for them the way I should, and feel as though God has released me from teaching them at home.

3) What is the bottom line?  Am I truly worried about my kid's education or about what other people will think about me?  Are they going to view me as a bad parent?  Do they see a failure if I quit teaching my kids personally to send them off for someone else to teach?  Do I feel like a failure?  Do people see me as an opinionated parent who is "too good" for the school system?

4) What is the truth? The truth is that I am a child of God, with the Holy Spirit living in me, and when I seek His plan for my life, He will direct my paths.  And quiet confidence in who Christ has made me will significantly cut down on a multitude of inside chatter, as well as outside chatter, which always helps:)

I'll probably never be that wife/mom who likes to spend hours in the kitchen, or know every natural vitamin to take for my ailments, or dress in style, or have a home that looks like it should be in a magazine, or enjoy crafting with my kids (have I mentioned that I hate sticky messes and flour-covered floors!), and we won't even begin talking about my kids' appearance, ha, but I am learning to be more comfortable in the skin that God has given me.

And "my skin" is the type that loves to be outside, to keep things organized, to take photos of my kids, even if they are crappy, to cook simple, quick and relatively healthy dinners, to be in the controlling environment of my home with the Colony over public play places, who takes comfort over style any day, and allows her kids to wear costumes in public.
Rainy put Jude in her Wonder Woman costume
And I'm okay with that because that's the way God wired me.

And that, my friends, is the freeing truth!

**************************

This post was birthed after beginning to read Todd Wilson's book, Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe.  I think it is an excellent read for any wife, mom and/or single person out there!  I know it is spoken to homeschool moms, but it gets to the heart of this particular issue of how you think you appear to others.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Free-For-All

I'm sitting here at 9:45 this morning with my cup of coffee and computer.

The kids are still sleeping, it was a super late rehearsal night last night, so it's just me and my pandora playlist...and the 50mph gusts of wind blowing yard toys all around the yard.

It has been a really good week.

Since all of our Christmas shopping and running around was done I had one goal for the week.

To enjoy my kids!
Areyna and Zeke aren't going to be tracked out forever and I don't want their only memories of the Christmas season to be of a frazzled mom with way too much going on that she couldn't even sit down and read Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good very bad day or Pinkalicious 12 more times!

So I have held my household duties lightly this week.  Still accomplishing what needed to be done, but not worrying about all the little details.  I mentally had to make myself put my kids at the top of my priority list.  That way if they came to me for help or asked me to read to them I didn't view it as a distraction (as I often do) but simply an invitation to take a break with my favorite little people on the planet.

Some of you are like, "wow, you have to mentally prepare yourself to enjoy your kids?"  And my response would be "yes"!  Being a mom doesn't always come so naturally to me.  I'm a mom-in-progress:)

Back to the planet though...it is the end of the world today and there are a few things I need to get off of my chest before we head out.

1) I lied to my kids at the bank the other day and told them the banker did NOT give us candy at the drive through.  I may have discretely slipped the 3 mint candies into my pocket for later consumption.

2) Saturday is supposed to be bath day around the Colony household.  THE only bath day of the week most of the time.  And last week, well, they didn't even get that one!  Yes, that was my children you smelled in the hallway at church on Sunday morning.

3) I secretly pretend not to hear my 3 and 4 year olds cries for help to "wipe my bootie!!!!" in hopes of Josh hearing it and doing the deed.

4) Josh and I love to play "that's what she said".  We only have to look at each other when we ever hear a good statement that could be followed with that statement now.  I mean you have to with 5 little sets of ears listening to everything you say.  I would encourage you and your spouse to join forces and listen carefully throughout the day for those little opportunities to laugh!

5) I wish I could bottle up Cai's giggles, Jude's snuggles, Alethia's smile, Zeke's compassion and Areyna's enthusiasm to open up on sad days.

I'll leave you with this photo.  It encapsulates the Colony perfectly.
The girls creating, crafting and playing together. Cai bouncing from daddy's wrestling match and bothering the girls.  Zeke on the move.  ALWAYS on the move.  Josh just waiting to make his move.  Jude right in the middle of the chaos.  Sometimes oblivious to the impending doom all around him and other times right on top of the dog pile!  And then there is me.  The mom who just sits back and tries to store it all in her heart.

Happy end of the world ya'll!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Music To My Ears - Christmas Tunes

My husband wrote a blog post today!!!

I LOVE it when he does that:)
If you do too, go on over and tell him so.
Maybe he'll do it more often, ha!

It's a blog by my favorite human, about my favorite human activity.

Music people, MUSIC!
Geez, get your minds out of the gutter;)

Anyway, I'm gonna give you some quick links here on my blog for the Christmas tunes by some of our awesome music-writing friends, because I know you are antsy to go take a listen, then you can head over to Josh's blog and read about the back stories!

Christmas Sounds 
by: Chad Lister

On The Incarnation
by: Daniel Renstrum

Fifty-Two
by: Christopher Kincaid

and last, but certainly not least

The Sleepy Town Christmas Sessions
by: Josh Via

PS-I love what we do!

Merry Christmas!

The View From Here - Caption Please


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The View From Here



Looking Back - December 19, 2011 - The Beginning Of The End


This day, last year, was one of the most memorable days in my life!

Here is part of the entry I wrote that day:


"This morning I made myself get up and make the beds and open the windows and prepare for the day, regardless of the tug on my heart to immediately go check my email in hopes of a message from Nairobi.
Josh was in the kitchen getting breakfast for the kids while Zeke prayed in confidence for safety for his daddy when he goes to get Shabila and bring her home, as if it were a done deal.
I walked into the office and opened up my email to see a letter from the Embassy in Kampala.
The subject title was
'Congratulations' and here is what it said:
'You couldn’t have had a better Christmas present than the approval to take Shabi home.
Merry Christmas' "

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What a day of rejoicing it was!

You can read the entire post HERE.

As we continue to look back at the circumstances God has brought us through, we are constantly reminded of his faithfulness to bring us through whatever lies ahead, because we know it is a road He has clearly marked out for us!

He is faithful!
We need only to trust and obey.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Gardening The Soul


Our neighbors are an elderly couple named Ed and Lois.  They are so sweet and patient with our kids.  In fact, Zeke wanted to invite Ed over for a sleepover for his birthday a couple of years ago:)

Anyway, they are outside people.  In the spring/summer we often find Lois push-mowing around her beautifully kept flower gardens, we've found Ed up on ladders fixing gutters and shutters more than once and they know their stuff about how to keep plants alive, which is a rare thing in this house, ha!

Areyna came to me last week and asked if we could surprise Lois and plant some "pretty flowers" in her yard.  I tried to explain that that was a sweet thought, but Lois enjoyed being in the yard and taking care of her flowers and choosing where to plant them, so if we REALLY wanted to give her a gift, we could take her some flowers or seeds and she could plant them where she would want them.

That sufficed Areyna's giving spirit and we decided that we would do that this coming spring.  Then she said, "'cause Lois is good at keeping her garden alive and pretty.  Hers looks a little better than ours. We don't really do very good at keeping our garden alive.  But I guess Lois doesn't have lots of kids that get in her garden and mess stuff up."

Every bit of that is true!  Lois is a good gardener.  It always thrives and is beautiful.  It does always look better than ours.  We are most certainly NOT the talk of the town when it comes to gardening. And Lois does NOT have kids going in and out of her garden because it makes for a good "prison for the bad guys" or eating the not-quite-ripe produce:)

Sure, it may look good for a few weeks, but I'm pretty sure I just don't have that "green thumb" that everybody always talks about.

I think one of the keys to my gardening downfall is the fact that I know NOTHING about proper soil (or straw, in our case).  There are certain levels you are supposed to maintain to make the ground less hostile and more conducive for producing the desired fruit and vegetables.  You MUST prepare the soil in order for the seed to grow and the roots to take hold.  

If you don't prepare the soil you may begin to see some fruit for a time, but it will quickly die.  It simply won't last.  I can try and try to do the right thing but it will all fail miserably if the foundation hasn't been prepared.

Hosea was really onto something when he wrote this verse:
"Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, 
and break up your unplowed ground; 
for it is time to seek the LORD, 
until he comes and showers his righteousness on you."
Hosea 10:12

Sidenote: have you ever heard A.W. Tozer's sermon where he quotes this passage?  There is something about the conviction in his voice that gives me chills every time I hear it.

If we are truly seeking for life change we MUST prepare the soil of our hearts!  We can try and try to do the right things or think the right thoughts or say the right words, but it will all fall short if we have not handed the soil over to God to plow and break up.

So, yes, desire for change and pray for renewed outlook and healing, but first allow the God who heals and restores to break up the hard soil in our hearts to allow the seed of God to grow deep in our soul!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Holding Us - By Josh Via

Don't Choose Fear

The events of yesterday's shooting in Connecticut has left our nation grieving for children and families and questioning how something like this could even happen.

I'm not going to sit here and act like I have all the answers.

I don't.

I'm simply a parent who knows that we live in a fallen world.
A world full of sinners.
Sinners like you and me.
Who need a savior.
THE Savior.

While I sat in the office watching the news streaming in about the event, I saw those kids being lead out of the school.  Those young kids.  I began thinking about how much those "young kids" looked like my own kids.  MY 7-year old.  MY kindergartener.

That could have been their school.
That could have been Zeke's class.

The internet quickly exploded with opinions from parents, politicians and many others. Some with suggestions on how to fix the broken system of school security, many who began the "no gun" banter, and many others stating that we should all just homeschool our children.

But the fact is that we can't just change our lifestyle to try to prevent evil things from happening.

Sure, there are safety precautions we can and will take, but to automatically decide to pull our kids out of school isn't the answer.

Evil is going to happen.

It does happen.

It happens all around us.
In fact, not only were school-aged children gunned down here in America, but 22 children were injured by a knife attack outside of their school in China yesterday as well.

It happens in movie theaters.
It happens at the mall.
It happens in the safety of a senior center.
It happens in High schools.
It happens at the grocery store.
It happens in Elementary schools.
And unfortunately it happens in our own homes.

That is the consequence of this fallen world.

But we cannot live in fear.

We must choose to live by faith.
Believing that this world is not our home.
Believing that God is holding us, through the good AND the bad.
Believing that those sweet children are being held by Him right now, and that, as painful as it is, they are in the better place!

So, pray for those families.
Pray for our nation.
Pray for our world.
Pray for God to come quickly.

And by all means, hold your children close, not out of fear of the "what if's" but in love and confidence, for the ONE who created them has planned out their days.

"Your eye saw my unformed body,
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be."
Psalm 139:16

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Free-For-All

Flu.

Such a simple word.
Such a small word.
Such an innocent word...
until you are its recipient.

I had the honor of the flu's presence on Wednesday night.
Every 20-30 minutes, ALL NIGHT LONG, to be exact.

Which made for a blur of a Thursday.
I didn't see much daylight as I spent the entire day in bed sleeping it all off.

As a result, I opted out of the bedtime routine with the kids last night.
I sat in the kitchen working on bills (yippee) and listened in to the family devotions.  I got to overhear the sweet exchanges between the innocent questions of the Colony and the wisdom of their daddy.
Zeke was less-than thrilled with the fact that angels do not have skin.  I'm pretty sure we lost him there, ha!
The conversation continued to carry on for quite some time until Areyna suggested that they all just sit quietly and try to listen for God.  After a couple of minutes of sitting in silence Josh began asking them what God had told them.  It was such a sweet thing to listen to:) BTW, God told Cai that they could play cars together someday:)

I'm 99% done getting ready for Christmas.  All we have to do is go to Five Below and let the kids pick out their gifts for their cousins!

I will be sharing a photo journal of our 1st annual Girls vs. Boys Colony-Christmas-Gingerbread-Decorating-Create-A-Wonderland-Kick-Some-Butt-Bottom-Do-Your-Bestathon Extravaganza.  It was quite the event!

This day, 2 years ago, we found out we were pregnant...and then we found out that it was an abnormal pregnancy, that we were already saying goodbye to our baby and that I could have died if I would have waited any longer to go into the doctor.  Sheesh, life sure isn't easy. We were never promised that anyway, but I sure am thankful for a God who heals, protects and comforts.

We had a multitude of pumpkins around the house this fall. As in almost a dozen!  We decided that the pumpkins that surrounded the manger scene in the front yard may be giving mixed signals.  It didn't take long for Rainy to come up with a creative way to put them to good use though:)

Some people have "snowmen".  The Colony has "pumpkinmen".  I get a conglomeration of morbid and fun feelings every time I look at them.

Well, that's enough rambling.
It appears that I may be the one playing Dr. today.  Poor Josh is the one honored today.

Happy Friday Ya'll!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Jude Warren - 10 Months


Jude Warren ~ 10 Months
19.12 lb

Yes, yes he IS 10 months.  It snuck up on me so quickly that I was 2 days late even realizing that he had just turned 1 month older...

Jude's personality has really come out over the past month or so.  He is very persistent. VERY persistent.  But he ALWAYS keeps a smile on his face, no matter how many times we have to drag him out of the bathroom saying, "No, no." He is obsessed with that plunger!

Still a great sleeper.  He is such a "by-the-book" kid.  He wakes up between 8 and 9am every morning.
Eats breakfast.
Plays.
Takes a nap.
Wakes up for lunch around 12:30.
Plays until 2:30 or 3.
Takes another nap until around 4:30.
Wakes up for dinner and wrestles with daddy.
Has a little "room time" in his bed.
Plays some more.
Eats one more time before lights out at 8 or 8:30pm.

Still a great eater.  But I must confess, we have failed as parents...he is just now, sort-of (if you use your imagination) signing "more", but other than that he doesn't know a lick of sign language, ha!  Instead he blows raspberries in sweet protest when he is done with one of his courses:)  It's not out of defiance, and we know exactly what he is communicating, so that counts for something, right?

He is SUPER ticklish.

He laughs easily.

He loves pat-a-cake and peek-a-boo.

He loves wrestling with his brothers and being chased by his daddy.

I found him standing up in his bed yesterday for the first time.

He pulls up on everything and occasionally takes a few steps side-to-side.

He is wearing 9-12 month clothes.

His eczema is atrocious.  We've tried everything short of steroid cream:(  Poor guy rubs them raw until they are blistered and bleeding.

We can't WAIT to see his little personality blossom!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Encourage Your Kids To Tattle


We have begun to encourage our kids to tattle.

Well...kind of.

We've been learning about cooperation as a family this month, but it's a little hard to teach cooperation while sifting through the petty arguments that surface on an hourly daily basis.  Working together means showing grace and love while putting others' needs before your own.

So Josh, in all his creativity, began to make a game out of it.

We are referring to our "Learning to Love" chart and have re-directed its purpose for this game.

The kids have been challenged to "catch" their siblings being kind and working together.  The purpose is to encourage our kids to see the good that others are doing with the added bonus of cutting down on the negative tattling.

They get a "learning to love" photo clipped on their picture for the act of love they see in someone else.

It can be so difficult to brag on someone else and the good things they are doing, but what a gift it could be to instill the gift of bragging on others.

I'm not sure how much my kids will cling to this concept, but I know it's been challenging for me:)

Parenting = Humbling

Monday, December 10, 2012

Thank You

I have been exhausted today.

My body just doesn't want to move.

Tired.

But content.

Contentment has led to thankfulness.

Nothing has seemed very urgent today so I've been in my jammies almost all day.
(I did just get out of the shower so don't judge;)

I've been communicating to God all day.

Praying for friends that I've never met as well as friends very close.
Life is hard.
It can be cut short.
Death.
Hurt.
Sickness.
Difficulty.
Questions.
Doubt.

It seems that when my own life has a break from the waves of chaos, my heart begins to bleed for others and what they are going through.

When I have days like today where I spend the majority of my day on the floor playing with cars or fixing hair (instead of frantically trying to keep up with the laundry or household chores) I have a lot of space to think.

A lot of space to pray.

A lot of space to move my heart to simple thanksgiving.

Just thankful for a window day in December.
The gentle breeze.
Naps for sleepy children.
A yard to play in.
The obvious fruit we have seen in Areyna's life lately.
Slobbery kisses from 5 healthy, beautiful children.
The house God has provided for us.
School.
Track-out.
Difficulties in our past that are a direct link to the blessings in our present and future.

I love days like today.

Days when the ordinary things hold no weight.
Days when the space can be filled with prayer, praise and thanksgiving.

God is good.
All the time.

Make sure you find the time to thank God for even the simplest of things.
For we are not promised another day.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The View From Here ~ Pastor Godfrey

Jacob ~ Jonathan ~ Godfrey ~ Josh ~ Jared
Meeting Jude for the first time
Getting re-aquainted with these four for the first time in a year
Pastor Godfrey was part of the Colony today!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Not My Own

"It's all God's money anyway."

Josh and I say this phrase quite often around here.

We say it when we have a huge medical bill waiting to be paid.
We say it when we are being called to give a huge chunk of our savings away.
We say it when we need to fill up the gas tank...again.
We say it at the grocery store every week:)

We try to say it in the best baritone, southern baptist voice we can conjure up, it helps the depleting bank account not hurt so bad, ha!

We joke about it a lot.
But isn't it the truth?!

It IS all God's money anyway!  He has blessed us with every penny we have in our possession.  We KNOW He could (and has) taken it all away at times, but never leaves us in need.  NEVER!

So, this is how Josh and I have chosen to live and view our money and possessions.
Having the perspective of Christ owning all that we have helps us steward our belongings and finances much better.  It helps us loosen our grip on what is "ours".

The subject of parenting children comes up on a weekly basis in our small group.

I LOVE the dynamics in our group.

We have people with children in college all the way down to us with a baby and others waiting for a baby.  So you can only imagine the prayers lifted up on behalf of our children in every stage of life.

But this got me thinking...

Not only can this previous phrase refer to money or possessions.  The same holds true in reference to our children.

"They are all God's children anyway."

If I try to see "my" children as the true blessings that they are and realize that they are God's gifting to us for a time, to help raise and teach the Truth to, then it helps to loosen my controlling grip on them.

Areyna is almost eight, and boy is it hard to let go of that control, and we are just on the outskirts of the preteen years!  It will only get more difficult to allow her to make her own decisions as she gets older.  But our job, as parents, isn't to control and demand certain behavior and choices, it is to lovingly nurture and pray for them as we see them begin to grow and mature.  It is to guide them, with the knowledge that they are God's children that have been entrusted to our care for this season.

I pray that I can keep this perspective.  God's precious children need our guidance and love, but most of all they need their Heavenly Father and He's got them.  

They are His!

And so we pray that they will see this Truth too.
Because that is something ONLY God can do.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

At The End Of The Day

Homeschool - Charter School - Private School - Public School

Organic - Vegan - Gluten Free - Typical/Regular

Republican - Democratic

Adoption - Biological - Foster Care

Agency - Independent

Cloth Diaper - Organic Diaper - Disposable Diaper

Name Brand - Off Brand

Coupons - Full Price (just getting by shopping;)

Stay-at-home mom - Working mom

Cry-it-out parenting - On-demand parenting

Breastfed - Bottle fed


The choices we have to make in our lifetime are endless.



And everybody seems to think that their way is the best.

And sometimes even thinking their way is the ONLY way.


I may not be an expert  on much, but at the end of the day does it really matter if I homeschool or send my kids off to school somewhere, cloth or disposable diaper my child, organic or regular grocery shop?

Each family is different.
Each child is different.
Each circumstance is different.

Your motivation for what you do and the leading of the Holy Spirit should be all that matters.

At the end of the day I just want the Lord to say "Well done".

Hey, it may not look pretty, and it certainly won't be perfect, but that isn't what He has called me to.

Not perfection.
Not YOUR way of doing things.

Just obedience.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Heart and Logic

During our family devotion discussion at dinner...

...let me just suggest having family devotions during a meal together.  Mouths are stuffed full of food and they are either strapped into one place or sitting in a seat, where sibling pushes and cover sharing is NOT an option:)

Anywho...

We were discussing Christmas and all the kids were correct in their answers about the true meaning, but then Josh took it a step further.

He asked,

Josh:"How can we give a gift to God?"

Zeke:"We can wrap up a present and put it outside and He can come down and get it!"

Oh to have a heart of a child, and logic like Zeke's.

He's got a good point, though.

It's not hard to give God a gift for Christmas.

Your heart.  That is all He wants.

And from that will flow obedience, love for other's and action.

What are you going to gift Christ with this Christmas?


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Looking Back - December 1, 2011 : Saying Goodbye

This day last year we were afraid we might be saying good-bye to Alethia forever.

At the time, we were still trying to process all of our options.  We weren't exactly sure how it was all going to work out or if she would ever even be ours.  The unknowns were countless as we felt like we were walking into uncharted territory.

Looking back, we see God's hand over every step of our journey, and what a testimony it is!

As we look back we can't help but thank God for the path He brought us through and for allowing her to be with us forever.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Free-For-All


I have the privilege of being the guest blogger on "We Are Grafted In" today, a support site for adoptive families.  You can read the post HERE.  I continue to pray that our story will be an encouragement for other families.

Alethia loves dip.  Let me rephrase that.  Alethia LOVES dip.  So much, in fact, that she dips everything in dip.  If it's ketchup for nuggets, she'll even dip her apple dippers in the ketchup.  I caught her dipping her strawberries in her ranch that was meant for her cucumbers.  It's rather hilarious.

Jude is getting his 8th tooth. EIGHTH.  Ouch!  That's all I'm gonna say about that.

Today is Zeke and Rainy's last day of school before track out.  They have off the entire month of December!  We were just getting in the groove of things.  All of us. Preschool was going GREAT! In fact, we only have 9 more days until WE track out:)  I was getting all caught up on life.  All those things in life that I had just been juggling to "get by" before were all beginning to settle into a routine.  Zeke was no longer having to be wrestled out of bed in the mornings to get ready for school and Rainy was no longer begging to Jesus to hear her prayer to be able to be homeschooled.  They were actually beginning to enjoy school.  It'll be good to have them home for a while, but I feel like it's gonna be tough to track back in.  Oh well, it'll be good for them. Right?

CVS"ing" has made a return to the Colony household.  When Josh and I realized that we were about to have to pay FULL PRICE for our first tube of toothpaste in 5 years we decided that it was time.  My CVS sabbatical was over.  I have had two successful trips to the great land of free toiletries, and it is wonderful:)

Part of Zeke's anxiety is being afraid that he isn't going to be able to hug and kiss someone goodbye.  So, he has become obsessed with telling us bye "in case I forget to see you when you leave".  I was headed out the other night and I swear he came and told me bye 8 times before I was even done getting ready to leave.  This morning alone he came to give me goodbye kisses 3 times before heading out the door for school.  In fact, he gets so worried about it that he somehow blocks out when we DO tell him bye and insists that we do it again.  I don't know whether to think it is super sweet or be concerned:)  My sweet boy just loves to love!

Well, it's time to go take advantage of free childcare at the gym!

Happy Friday Ya'll!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Music To My Ears : A little ear candy for a cause

Oh yes, I have some great ear candy for your listening enjoyment!  Our friend, Andy, tweeted about this album and the purpose behind it and man am I glad he did.  I don't personally know this family, but I feel instantly connected to them for a couple of reasons.  They are a family following the call for adoption AND they are musicians AND they have combined the two to help raise awareness (and funding) for their adoption.  Sounds very familiar:)





Here are the details you need to go get your own copy of this beautiful music:
First, I'd encourage you to read about their adoption HERE.

Then, click HERE to download their album.
Help them bring home their sweet child from Ethiopia.

Finally, stick your earbuds in, because this isn't just for those sleepy kids who still reside in your closet:)
...ahem.

Your gonna love it, I promise.