B O Y S

B O Y S

Sometimes being a mom to 4 sons is a challenge. They are constantly loud, wrestling, smelly, pushing, and competing. Being a woman who grew up with only sisters probably makes it even more interesting. It’s not just the volume level or the anti mess vision they have but that we sometimes just don’t get each other. I’ve been recently beginning to understand (in a deeper way) the gift that we can be to each other. I get to watch this whole boy life unfold and walk with them through it. Then since there are all boys, I get to be the female that intentionally teaches them how to relate to women. Not to say I don’t have save me moments…

Letter board

One of my boys did this for my birthday. ❤️

But seeing them all grow up into strong, loving, smart, God loving young men like their dad helps me push through the tough days. They constantly amaze me with random acts of understanding, love, and insight. It amazes me because in the same hour they can make each other cry and cause a ruckus. It’s all normal but to be real, it’s hard! All of this is part of my story and theirs and I’m a different person because I’m their mom.

Thank you Susan for capturing this moment!

W O R D S

My boy is shooting the camera with a “gun” and if you like my Life Adventurously, Raise Boys shirt buy it from Brave Mama, Co W A V E Y 🌊

Been rocking my God given waves these days. I grew up with a mom with gorgeous, long straight hair and a younger sister with bone straight hair. I never liked my waves (except when I got one perm🤣) and frizz. I’d try to blow dry it but that didn’t really match my athletic, low maintenance life style. When I met the hair straightener I fell in love.

When I got to college one of my (still) bff’s told me that she liked my hair in its natural state. Thank you, you know who you are. That began a new journey of me looking at myself in a different way. Just one 19 year old to another.

I was actually super surprised. Nobody ever said that before without me fishing for a complement from my mom or something trying to feel ok. Isn’t it amazing what power words have?! Here I am years later and I’m still a work in progress. I like the way that my hair looks really in person but don’t care for it in pictures. Interesting. I’m trying to psychoanalyze myself but it’s not working. I give myself a break now- I’m ok with variety.

All this randomness is in a blog form to say: Hey awesome, your words have power!

Use your words for good.

Use them often to encourage and build up the people around you.

Be honest and complement often.

Those kind words that play in your head… say them.

You’ll be surprised at how good it feels and you know it feels amazing to be around someone is is building others up. We have an amazing ability to love as humans- own that and make your world better.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭18:21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

And the there were 6…

Party of 8 for 2 weeks. Wow, it’s been a crazy ride. Feels like a lot longer than it actually was. Not sure if 6 kids is a good long term plan for us but if there ever was two kids that could convince us otherwise it was these two sweeties we passed off today. The transition went well to their relatives and they are totally going to the right place. They came sick and sad and left healthy and happy. They have sweet new clothes, diapers, formula, and bottles. We feel sad to see them go but it’s the right thing.

Bye happy girls. It was an honor to serve you.

Question Marks

I thought we’d update ya’ll about where we are at. Our two super smiley gals may be leaving us tomorrow, this week, or not… court is tomorrow and then we’ll know more. This is much quicker than we thought but although it’s been super crazy having 6 kids, it’s been a blessing. The girls are so sweet and have really adjusted well.

That has made this journey much easier. We love them and feel blessed to care for them during this transition for them. Thanks for the outpouring of support, love, food, clothes prayers, etc. It has been so huge in being able to do this. P.S. 6 is a lot of kids.

Marry A Rockstar

If you decide to get married, be choosy and marry a rockstar like I did. You may find yourself in a situation where you are helpless and if that person is amazing it will be easier.

Someday you may get the flu a day after you decide to welcome two sweet babies into your house, making 6 under 13. You might be laid out with 102 fever and be quarantined for days while he handles it all with the heart of Christ, the strength of The Hulk, and the ease of a rockstar. He will do breakfast, lunch and dinner. He will do nap times, bedtimes, and sleep on the couch. He will sing and dance. Read bible stories, wipe noses, antibiotics, and fly them to bed. Brush teeth and change diapers. Tuck ins, rocking, and then serving you like a trained nurse! The patience of a saint and the perseverance of a champion. I’m not kidding ya’ll! The boys & girls are doing well and he is the reason why. Thank you hubs. You are the best.

Thank you, thank you for the clothes & Baby stuff donations, lunch, diapers, coffee, get well groceries, dinner feasts, help with bath time, soup deliveries, babysitting, and dishwasher running dear friends/family. This has supported him and us more than you know.

Barf Badge

You get a badge if you are in Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Campfire Girls, Awana, or if you were brave in a real war. I feel like my motherhood has just reach a new place where I should get one of those badges of honor. Needless to say, our evening and day definitely didn’t go as planned. There was throwing up from 9:30pm- 11am. 5/6 family members barfing but I wasn’t one of them. It seems like a total miracle. I’m still on eggshells waiting to be the next victim. I was out of bed about 25 times. The hubs and the littlest got it the worst. The older 3 came at 5:00am, 6:00, and 6:45. The 5:00am barf was in his bed. He later told me that he purposely barfed in one spot so I “it would be easier for me to clean up.” Oh my gosh, so hilariously thoughtful from that 6 year old. The 6am was all over the floor between his room and the toilet. It went so far that I was cleaning up under a door to a closet. Wow. At that point I gave my 10 year old a bowl and I’m glad I did. Epic night with less sleep than any newborn disaster night I’ve experienced. It truthfully could have been worst.

On Tuesdays I get special time before I head off to the church staff meeting. The hubs takes all the kids to school and I get to have alone time to get ready as long as I want, spend time with the Lord, and even pluck my eyebrows. Some may read this and either think I’m being dramatic or be totally jealous. Haha. Anyhow, at 1:30am on the bathroom floor with my youngest and I was trying to not to think about how that special time was ruined. I was momentarily bummed, I look forward to the time all week, but then really grasped the honor of what I was doing. Sitting there on the cold floor holding my precious boy, I realized I was in the perfect spot. Sure my bed sounded much more cozy but the honor to hold him, comfort him, and clean him up took on a spiritual dimension. I got a glimpse of what I got to be for him in that moment. I got to be what I’ve always wanted to be and sometimes forget. Although he may not remember me being a human chair or carrying him and his barf bowl back to bed, he will remember what I carry as a mom. I have given him a love that nobody can take. I have given him comfort that he can carry with him and a deep sense of importance that I know he’ll give to others around him. I took him back to bed and as I tucked him and the Tupperware salad spinner into bed he looked at me and gave me everything back, “I love you mama.” I love you too, baby. That’s the badge I needed and nobody can take that away from me.

Shout out to my girl Auntie J, who brought these sickie staples to add to our sprite, graham crackers and bone broth. Love you!

Laundry

So, we have been back on the foster placement list since after Thanksgiving. It took a lot to work up to the moment when we said yes again but now surprisingly we haven’t had one call since then and here we are in 2018. The extra room became Santas workshop during the holidays, and as a result got a little trashed. The other day I went to work in there cleaning up and preparing for the ever present reality of a seventh entering our home at any time. Put all the Christmas wrapping paper away, swept it, tidied up, and then I noticed it. I noticed that in the laundry basket there was one last load of laundry from Little Miss Mercy. Then I looked on the dresser where I’ve kept all of her things that we found, all of her our projects that got handed to me, and her photo book that I made all in the hopes that I would see her again. That we would get to stay in her life. I took a big breath in, a breath of I’ve got you girl, my ways are higher than your ways. I scooped up all of her special stuff that I’ve been saving for the past four months and put it into the top shelf of the closet. I grab the laundry basket and washed her clothes as quick as I could, but not before I sniffed her sheets to see if I could smell one last lingering memory of her. My younger kids will say all the time that they can smell her. I wanted to see if I could too. But I sniffed and sniffed, like a weirdo, and it was gone. I pulled it out of the dryer yesterday. Maybe it was the fact that her mom let me talk to her last Friday for the first time in 4 months, maybe it’s the fact that it’s a new year, or maybe because I was encouraging myself with my letter board message (haha), but in these moments I felt strong. I felt ready for Love. Yes, a sting of pain but the hope that comes from trusting in the one that loves me.

I folded those sweet memories and put them in that empty room ready to make more. As ready as I can to face the next adventure knowing that all of our past placements are in His hands just as much as we are. And that’s the best place we can be!

“Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.” Psalms‬ ‭63:7‬

Disappointment

Once I heard that disappointment takes you off of what your appointed to do. And when I heard that really impacted my thought process. We have a goal or a dream, that is our appointment. Once we experience something that is contrary to the way that we thought was going to go disappointment sets in. We can either keep going forward where we feel that we are called or we can get stuck looking back at how it didn’t work. What I’ve been coming to realize is it’s what we do with that that matters. We have not seen or heard from her a little foster daughter since the first week that she left. Although, not what we hoped for or expected, extremely disappointing, and difficult we are healing, moving forward, and even talking about when we will open our home up again to love the next placement. We will go into it feeling stronger more prepared and love replenished. Thank you for your love, concern, tears, prayers, and support. We are doing well and we love you all.