Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Give Thanks

This year I am thankful for many things. I am thankful for four little hands that tug at my heartstrings every day. I am thankful for the man who helps me raise our family.My best friend. I am thankful for our home in the country, the gorgeous tree out my kitchen window, our big dog who keeps my feet warm, and the teenage girls whom I am honored to work with. I am thankful for our extended families who help us with our girls. It takes a village to raise a child! I am thankful that for the very first time, Boss and I will be spending this season of Thanksgiving with BOTH of our families.

Yesterday was a hard day. I will not go into details, but some horrible things have been happening in our home that I was unaware of, and yesterday we removed the girl who was the source of the problems. I will never forget the look on her mother's face when we told her what had been happening. They will not be having a good Thanksgiving. Another one of our girls has been told that she will not being seeing her family tomorrow, and my heart breaks for her. The girls and I had a good cry last night over all that had taken place, but we have determined to make today beautiful.

We woke up this morning and turned on Christmas carols while we baked. Rain was falling outside, the whole house smelled like pumpkin and spice, and inside there were many smiling faces. Who could ask for more? I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving, and remember to praise the One who is the giver of ALL good things!

Love Ben, Kendra, Emma, and Kate

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Something Magical is Taking Place

It has been a magical morning! The first SNOW of the season is falling in fat, little flakes, and my two little girls are actually playing TOGETHER, all by themselves, in their new pink room! They are so cute. Emma is playing and singing songs on her piano, and Kate is dancing to the music. I keep peeking in on them, and my mama heart is swelling. We have opened a new chapter in this book we call life. I have dreamed about and prayed for my daughters to be close friends through this life, and to witness the start of their friendship touches my heart. With breakfast in our bellies, the heater going strong, snow falling, and no plans on our agenda, I know it is going to be a great day!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What Goes Up, Must Come Down

We are home from our romantic weekend, and it could not have been more wonderful! We had no plans, no demands of our time, no questions being asked, and nobody around except for the two of us. I have never felt more relaxed in my entire life.

We did leave the cabin a few times. We went out for both breakfast and dinner, and we also went hiking at Old Man's Cave. The weather was crisp, fall leaves covered the ground, and it was the ultimate Autumn experience. I even picked up some fall foliage to use in a Thanksgiving sign that Emma and I will be making this week. After we hiked, my wonderful husband took me antiquing before we headed back to the cabin to watch the a little football.

The cabin was made of real wood, and the entire thing was heated by a little fireplace. The bed was upstairs in a loft, and the blankets were cozy homemade quilts. We slept like babies! Not our babies, because they don't sleep through the night, and we most certainly did. We slept like good babies. I love Boss all of the time, but sometimes I forget to show him. So this weekend was perfect for reconnecting and falling in love.

However, before you begin to think my life too perfect, remember that what goes up, must come down. We left our weekend together most definitely up, but we were quickly brought back down to the reality of life. We picked our girls up from Boss' parent's house and they fussed the entire way home. Then we were greeted by our four foster girls who had all managed to get themselves in trouble for smoking during the weekend. It took me two hours to claim all of their lighters and hand out consequences. Monday was a school holiday, so everyone stayed home, and by eight in the morning, I was standing at the sink washing dishes when Boss said, Remember when we went on vacation, just the two of us, a long time ago? And I just laughed, because what goes up must come down. But the good news is that things will go up again. This stage in our lives is teaching me to cherish the special moments, when time stands still, so I can recall them in my mind when life gets hectic around me. And up or down, it doesn't matter. Because we are doing this thing called life, together. Blessings abound.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Time Away

Since we became parents three and a half years ago, we have only left Emma for one or two weekends, and Kate for a night here or there. We have never left both girls simultaneously, and this weekend we are doing just that!

Boss and I have decided to make it a priority to take a romantic weekend each year to rest, rejuvenate, and reconnect. This year we are going to the above cabin in the Hocking Hills, and I am so excited! We have loaded up on snacks, books, play station games, quilting supplies, and movies, and we may or may not leave the cabin for the entire weekend.

We are busy, with a bust life, and the last month has been busier than ever. So this weekend is just what we need. I feel so blessed to be married to a husband who works as hard as mine does, but who also appreciates the beautiful and romantic side of life. Right now, life is very, very good. I am trying to savor every moment!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sweet Kate

Kate is now 16 months old. She is a complete pistol! A very cute pistol, but boy is she ornery Kate is in to ABSOLUTELY everything, and she is in constant motion. She destroys everything in her path! Her charm helps to keep her out of trouble.
Every time she gets in trouble, she now stands on her head to make us laugh and forget about being mad. I should be embarassed to admit that it usually works.What a little stinker!

Kate always wants to be doing whatever her big sister is doing. She enjoys music and dancing, playing with anything she can push or pull, and taking rides in her wagon.

Kate is extremely independent and she wants to do everything for herself. Her current favorite foods are cheese slices, yogurt, and grapes. She is fluent in baby, but she is struggling with the English language. She has a vocabulary of about 10 words, two of which include NO and MINE. I am so proud. Kate can also be very sweet, and my favorite time of day is when she grabs my cheeks with her sticky, chubby hands, and plants a wet one on my lips. Melts my heart every time! Kate still does not sleep through the night, but I tend to forgive her when she offers me kisses and her cheesy grin.

Kate, you keep our family laughing, and my world would not be as bright if you were not in it.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Bunny One

These pictures are dear to my heart. Emma is a bright, funny, sensitive, and tender hearted little girl, and I fall more in love with her every single day. Today is not Emma's birthday. In fact, today holds no signifigance at all. Just an ordinary day. But, I have been thinking about how quickly my oldest daughter is growing, and I wanted to record a few of the things that I love about Emma at this stage in her life. I want to etch her, at age three, into my mind and my heart forever.

Emma is smart. She can recognize and write every letter of the alphabet, as well as write her name She asks one million questions a day, and she won't settle for a basic answer! She wants to know what EVERYTHING is and HOW it works!

Emma's favorite foods are waffles, grapes, spaghetti, and candy. She loves Dora, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and anything Barbie or My Little Pony.

Emma loves playing pretend, and she has an imaginary giant, aptly named Giant, that she pulls out of her pocket whenever she is feeling lonely or insecure. She currently insists on being called Bunny One.

Emma is a wonderful big sister, and she finds joy in showing off her baby sister to all we meet. She is super proud when Kate accomplishes something new!

Emma is currently in ballet, and she says she wants to be a dancer when she grows up. She also plans on marrying her daddy. I tell her that if she finds someone half as amazing as her daddy is, then she will be a lucky woman.

Emma loves God. When I asks her whose girl she is (meaning mama or daddy's), she says neither...I am God's girl! I pray she never forgets that.

Emma is growing up so quickly. Gone is the baby fat, chubby cheeks, and blubbery kisses. And in their place stands a beautiful little girl with so much wonder in her eyes and love in her heart. I am blessed and proud to witness her growing up. Emma, Mommy loves you!