Sunday, January 11, 2015

Getting My Feet Under Me

     You know how you have those mornings, where you are wrenched from sleep by someone knocking on the door, or the dog has escaped from yard, or some other manner of untimely catastrophe interrupts the daily routine that your subconscious heavily relies on to function?  Then once you regroup and cover all the basic procedural necessities, it occurs to you, around lunch time, that you never grabbed your phone.    You fantasize about the joyful bliss you will feel when you have no notifications or missed calls, only to have reality slap you in face after you see that the school has called twice, there are a dozen texts from your bestie describing in great detail, the manner of chaotic emergency that happened to her after breakfast; the subsequent emotional turmoil, and the ultimate resolution. Oh, yeah, and you have to be at a doctor's appointment in 45 minutes.

     I sometimes feel like this is how God answers my prayers.  Almost like he left his prayer phone in the other room, and didn't get my prayer texts right away, and then sent an avalanche of answers that had been backlogged for about 10 years!  It never occurred to me when I was planning my wedding, or the rest of my life for that matter, that my earnest prayers would be A) Answered to the fullest or B) answered in a way and with timing that was not only completely off of my radar, but so far from the norm, it would be rejected as the plot of a Lifetime movie of the week because it's too far fetched

     Of course, God's timing is perfect. I can't argue with that, even in this crazy ride I'm on. I prayed whole heartedly for kids; lots of kids, and after having 1 child in 9 years of marriage, God answered!  2 kids in a year (an adopted 6 year old and a newborn) exacerbated by my body's violent protests to being pregnant, almost sent me over the edge; but once our newest little one (#4) was born, things weren't so bad.  It took a little while to figure everything out, but even though she has her moments, she's such an easy baby, and I felt like I had a good grasp on things.  Davis loves attention, so there's still a lot of work with him but the transition from 3 to 4 kids has been the easiest yet, and I had it covered.

      When the need arose for us to take in our niece and nephew, to perfectly honest, I wasn't exactly jumping at the opportunity.  We talked about it, made sure we were on the same page, we prayed about it, made sure we were on God's page. We knew that this is what we were suppose to do.  The idea of family members languishing in foster care was just terrible, and the kids were so close in age to our 2 youngest that we were already set up for them, sounds easy enough.....

       In reality, we're talking 4 bulky car seats, 4 cribs, 4 kids in diapers, 4 kids that can't dress themselves, 1 nursing, 1 on a bottle and baby food, 2 constantly needing their shoes taken off and put back  on (once said shoes are recovered from which ever abyss they were tossed into), 6 kids to wrangle, 6 kids to bathe, and 6 kids to get in bed every night.  I'm grateful that the 6 we have are good kids; they really are.  In fact, having these extra kids has actually cut down on the number of tantrums and meltdowns that we usually have because there's not enough time to think about yourself. There are too many distractions, and when 1 of mine has to have his tantrums in stages before it escalates to full meltdown, he just can't focus long enough with so much going on. When they do happen, we just deal with it like we always have.

     I've realized that when you have children, you just find a way to get things done.  Whether you have 1 or 6, you will always be busy, not to mention that kids are like a huge magnifying glass to your idiosyncrasies.  I've never been a great housekeeper, but now my house is never clean.  I don't have the best sense of time, but now I'm always late. It's always loud, We're always busy, and someone is always poopy. Actually, I feel like my hands always smell like poop, no matter how much I wash.  It's what I imagine running a Sanitarium would be like if I was the only member on staff.  On a positive note; freshly bagged poopy diapers make excellent projectiles when your husband's off-handed insensitive comments require a plethora of ammunition!

     I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining, but these are just the facts of our new life. After all is said and done, I'm actually ok. Everyday, I find some way to make life just a little easier; I have wipy containers everywhere so that a wipy is never out of arm's reach; I taught Alex how to make a bottle, I have an extra, fully stocked diaper bag in the car at all time, and I am enjoying all the children.  The issues we've always had are still there but we are also (essentially) teaching 2 little ones to cuddle, which is wonderful because every time they lay their head on your shoulder it's like you won some awesome award.  Our kids have these new playmates and enjoy getting them to come out of their shell, I keep catching these sweet moments and you just can't be upset about anything when it happens.

    I keep comparing our little 2 1/2 bedroom house to a clown car, things are a bit snug, but we are all having good time. I pray, all the time, but specifically, I've been praying for my kids, that this will give them a real life lesson on Mathew 25:40, what does it look like to care for "the least of these"?  What does it mean to live for something bigger than yourself? What does it look like to step out of your comfort zone and obey God? I also pray for these 2 new additions, I don't know how long they'll be with us, what issues we'll have to deal with in the long run, how it's going to hurt when/if they leave. We can't plan for next month let alone next year, we just have to have faith that God will take care of us and that He will point us in the direction He wants us to go, open the doors that he wants walk through, and light the dark paths that our logical mind would tell us to avoid.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Love ........ and other things

Lately, I've been reading a lot of articles about love.  On love in marriage.  On loving your kids.  They all seem to fall a bit short.  I keep finding myself saying, "Well that's nice, but that can't be all"

In about 10 days it's mine and Teal's 15th anniversary, not our wedding anniversary, but since we've been together and we hold this anniversary very dear, maybe more so than our wedding anniversary.  That first part of our relationship was long, we met when I was just 15, so we didn't have a choice, we had to wait a few years before we could get married.  That was the best thing that could have happened to us.  We made
a decision to wait until marriage before we would have sex.  We knew that the Bible was very clear on this.  We weren't perfect (as much as I wish I could say we were) but we drew that line in the sand and did not cross it.  This told me very clearly that Teal loved me.  He put me above his own desires, and put me above my own desires, but more importantly he put God above all else.  Throughout my life, I see that those who really love, truly love, do this.  They say, "I understand what you want, what you think will make you happy, but it's not the best for you"  God does this.  We had some really rocky points in that first 3 1/2 years, we split up for a brief period, we yelled (well, I yelled, he spoke calmly but angrily) but we made it through to our wedding day without any doubts, without any cold feet. That wedding was special (I know everyone thinks their day is special, and they should) that honeymoon was special, that first couple years were special!  The first year was true bliss, despite physical issues, money issues, and housing issues, we were as happy as could be.  One thing was clear and repeated, I take care of you, you take care of me, God takes care of us.  We were thoughtful of one another, we listened to one another, we put each other's needs above our own.  Even this morning, after 15 years together, he was up half the night with back issues and even though it's his only day off he woke up and got Alex off to school and let me sleep.  That my friends, is love.

One of my biggest pet peeves is what I call whiny mommy blogs, these women constantly talking about how much they dread going to the store with their kids, or the chore to get them to the park,or the fear of any social setting with their children, but insist on living in this bubble where they try to look like the perfect mom. Is that love?  I am NOT the best mother!  I am guilty of whining about things being difficult!  So I really can't judge but it doesn't change the fact that no matter how much they are trying to encourage, it just makes me sad.  Why become a mother?  Why stay at home with them?  They WILL pick up on your misery.  I feared for a period of time that I was not capable of really loving my Gabriel, I had a hard time being affectionate
because I was constantly watching and correcting, every minute of the day seemed like I was reprimanding, and setting timers for time out, and watching for the next meltdown.  Then of course you have cooking, and cleaning, and fixing, and scheduling.  I was (at that time) having a hard time being affectionate with either child (the 3rd was still hanging out in my belly). Then it hit me, this is my job, not just like a go to work and get a paycheck type of job, but a God has entrusted you with this, job!  I was a whiny mommy!  I was ungrateful for the blessing THAT I PRAYED FOR!! I cannot stress that enough!  What I am sure of, is that I DO love my Gabriel!  The things that I readily put myself through to make sure he is getting everything he needs, oy!  The IEP meetings, the fighting to get the right schooling, the activities, the constant training for life.  It's all out of my comfort zone.  I do them without question though, and at the end of the day, after venting to Teal, I thank God for my amazing family, my children who are the very air I breathe (even though they try to strangle me sometimes).  Because everything I do throughout the day is for them, is because I love them.

Love is not a feeling and it's not this mystical force you have no control over. Love is an action, we all know the 1 Corinthians description of love, they are all actions, not feelings.  Also if love were just words, it'd be empty.  It has to be in action or it has no depth.  God commanded that we love, if it were easy or passive, he wouldn't have had to command it. Love is a choice you have to make in every moment of everyday.  God loves us with an everlasting, unconditional love.  We have that example burning through our very soul, but we must choose to live it, we must choose to act it out.  Deuteronomy 6:5, John 3:16, John 13:1, 1 John 4:7-11, 1 John 4:19 (just to name a couple)  But I ask you, can you truly love without Christ?  I think you can come close, but I know that when things are hard, when you're at the end of yourself, when there doesn't seem to be any hope, and when psychologists can't help you, God is desperately trying to reach out to you!  Or, just as importantly when we only commit the big things to God but try to handle the little things ourselves, our world slowly crumbles around us, we aren't loving to our family, we're to busy handling everything.  Since love is an action we can't do everything else, and worry about everything else, and love our family at the same time, you have to share the load with God!  He wants you to give it to Him, He wants to take care of you, because He loves you!  Allow God this act of love for you and it will pour out of you. Then you know true love, the only true there is.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

God's Soveriegnty

Last night as I was joking and laughing with my husband when I got a text from my sister, saying that a friend from high school died.  I was not particularly close to him, haven't seen or talked to him since graduation.  He was a very nice guy, always helpful, was never mean to anyone.  My dad has kept up with him, went to his wedding even. So, for instance, I know that he had 3 little girls and a very nice wife, I know that he raised and sold organic beef.  But I have no current face to put on this, it left me looking through pictures on old high school friends' facebook pages, scouring to find something current. Unfortunately, I found nothing, which has left me feeling a bit empty.

I am, however, immediately aware that 4 peoples' lives have taken a dramatic turn.  There is now a woman who will forever be a widow and 3 three little girls who will forever be without their dad.  God is shaping the rest of their lives, right now.  Instead of being left with the overwhelming feeling of mortality, that everything we know could suddenly be ripped away, I am reminded of God's sovereignty.  I am reminded that God's will, will in fact be done, even if it hurts.  The shaping, the molding, it hurts.  We don't know what His plan is for those girls, or that poor woman who all have a very difficult time ahead of them, but we know that God will be glorified.  We know that He is there for them to turn to.  I honestly don't know if he was a believer, I pray he was.  I pray that his wife is now turning to Jesus for comfort, to cry out his name.  I pray that those little girls find comfort in the arms of Christ, that even when they're mad at Him, they believe in Him.  As Christians, we don't grieve because we have lost someone.  We are created in God's image!  God mourns separation from us, we mourn the separation from those we love, even if, like God, we know it is temporary.  If He mourns separation from us and has a better understanding than we can ever hope to have, we have no hope in escaping the pain.

I'm not trying to make light of the overwhelming feeling of loss that one will feel when they lose someone.  I still mourn the loss of a man who meant more to me than I can even say, even though I KNOW that he has reached, what he called his "greatest goal"  He wanted nothing more than to see Jesus face to face and spend eternity worshiping the Father, but I miss him and I mourn that my kids never met him.  This is what this family is now facing, except this man died young and suddenly, of course that adds to the trauma of it.   There is so much that his family will need him for and wish he could see, but again, I say, God has a plan.  Our tiny minds cannot grasp the enormity of His plan, or yet, the simplicity of it.  We ask very small questions, like "Why do bad things happen to good people?"  If we track all of history, every moment, every blessing, every sin, do you think we'd understand it then?  If we made a chart of good people doing good things would it outweigh the bad things that happen to them?  Or if you're the more vindictive type, we can make a chart of the bad people who do bad things and see if the bad things that happen to them outweigh the good things?  Would we, even then, find justice?  Does it even matter?  Our creator has asked that we worship Him and honor Him. If we believe in Him, we WILL have eternal life.  We will spend eternity in perfection, in a place where there really isn't pain, or jealousy, or sorrow.  So why turn your back on eternity to be able to ask why God would allow such pain?  He is your savior!  He is your path!  He is your reason!

As my husband is at work today, one of my babies is at school, five in an orphanage in another country, and two here with me, I pray that God will protect them.  I pray that I will be able to hold them all in my arms. But if not (and that is a distinct possibility)  I pray that God gives me THE peace that surpasses all understanding.  That I will have the faith to accept His plan and turn to Him.  And I pray that Joel is resting in your arms today

Monday, August 5, 2013

The trial through the blessing

       A year ago today I was sitting in a hospital bed, bored, scared, and confused.  My water had broken 6 1/2 weeks early and I didn't know why or how.  It was a long way from where we started with our plan to have our baby at home.  Nothing with this pregnancy had gone according to plan, this pregnancy wasn't even planned.
      I had started on some fertility meds in July about two years ago, I kept on them until October, when I found out that there was a 6 year old boy who was available for adoption, I immediately stopped taking them. By November we had our little boy home with us and getting pregnant was far from my thoughts but by January I noticed that things didn't seem quite right so I took a pregnancy test.  When I saw the little plus sign, I was shocked!  I showed my husband and in a panic he yelled "Please tell me what it says, I can't read those things!"  I told him and he just started laughing, and laughing, and laughing.  Eventually, he came up for air and said that God obviously had a sense of humor.  We loved our son more than I can explain but bringing a child into your home who has trauma issues and does not know how to be parented is not say the least.
     I wish I could say that the next few months went by with patience and ease, but I can't.  At 8 weeks, I had a "threatened miscarriage" I had been so sick for a few weeks that I hadn't really gotten out of bed much or kept any food down.  I dropped quite a bit of weight, quite quickly.  I didn't even notice the intense cramping over the nausea, I was at the store (trying to just get moving around to see if that helped me feel better) around lots of people when I realized that I was bleeding, and it was no small amount.  I rushed to the bathroom, once I had cleaned up as best I could, I (for some low blood sugar, half panic, completely confused reason) got in the check out line!  After I loaded my groceries in the car, and the bleeding hadn't stopped, I called my husband.  I frantically started trying to figure out where the nearest hospital was because I didn't want to drive too far, I was getting dizzy, and shaking uncontrollably.  He pointed out that there was one across the street.  The next 7 hours were awful but my baby was alive and healthy.  I read an article the other night about a woman who miscarried, I cried the whole way through it.  She pointed out just how bad of an experience it is at the hospital while all this is happening and how you have no idea what's going on or when the nightmare will be over.  After I finished reading the article to Teal, he had an almost grieved expression and said "We really do have a miracle baby" 
     I was placed on bed rest for a few weeks, which was fine with me, I had a hard time standing anyway, without getting sick.  They gave me some nausea meds, which took some time to really work but eventually I was eating 3 meals a day.  This pregnancy was more uncomfortable than my first and the high emotions of parenting a newly adopted child with the raised emotions of being pregnant were so hard to deal with.  As crazy as it sounds, I did love being pregnant, and I did love having our son home. I took videos of my moving belly, waited in anticipation of a little kick, both "big kids" would greet me by rubbing my belly and always wanted to lay their heads on it to talk to him.
     In and amongst all this, my husband and I were leading our youth group, the kids were great, they loved our kids, they were excited about me being pregnant and couldn't wait to meet the little guy.  We took them on a camping trip when I was 34 weeks, which I had cleared with my doctor.  It was a good trip, sleeping (mostly) on an air mattress, kayaking, and cooking for 24 people over the fire pit were all hard but not impossible.  When we got home I was exhausted, my feet were SO swollen, and my back hurt.  So I just laid down, I spent 3 days trying to stay on the couch, feet up, the kids "waiting" on me.
      Other than the aches I felt fine but just after I kissed Teal goodbye on August 3rd, my water broke (as I was trying to get back to sleep) I got up and it just kept coming, cleaned up and went back to sit on my bed (new pajama pants and all)  and more came.  I called my mom.  It was 2 a.m. there but she answered and calmed me down a bit, she started looking for flights.  I took a shower, installed the carseat, packed my bag, woke the kids, got them dressed and fed, then got in the car to drop the kids off at my sister in law's and on to the hospital.  Where I would sit. For 3 days. Just sit.  I was on antibiotics (for the second time in my adult life, needless to say I wasn't very happy about this) and steroids for the baby, hoping to speed up his lung development.  We were "ready" for him to come or to wait it out. In trying to conserve time off, Teal hadn't taken any days off yet.  But I did have 2 friends come up to visit, which was nice, broke up the day a bit.  On the wee hours on the 6th, I started having contractions, I had to wake Teal up (who had, thankfully, decided to stay that night) and Davis was born just after the sun came up.   He was perfect, precious, and unbelievably tiny.
      At 4lbs 8oz, he was the tiniest baby I'd ever seen but he was seemingly too strong for his size, I felt like he should have felt more fragile.  After an hour of my husband and me holding him they found that he really wasn't holding his temperature, they decided to put him in an incubator, I was so scared, I didn't know what to do and all the information I found about about preemies at his age were just about what the hospital would do, not alternatives.  He spend 9 days in there, ended up with a feeding tube because he was taking too long to eat and would be out of the box longer than they were comfortable with.  I protested, but in a room full of people who deal with preemies every day, what do you say, what do you do, who do you ask?  In the end he was healthy, spits up at every meal, sometimes 4 or 5 times but developing and healthy.  Those 9 days seemed endless, it was far from our house, so I stayed there, in an extra room. Besides Teal and my mom with the kids, I had two visitors, I had no car, nothing was within walking distance, and I could only be gone for 2 1/2 hours at a time.  When we were discharged, I was SO intent on leaving that I almost yelled at my mom.
     At about week 3, we had colic. We didn't sleep.  Not until about December.  When he turned that corner, he was a different kid.  He was happy, amazingly happy, almost all of the time.  Now he is hilarious, always willing to give a smile, trying to walk, and saying "Daddy" (no Mommy yet).  He is our miracle baby.   Tomorrow, he turns one.  I am excited, grieved, and relieved all at the same time.  This boy has survived, he has thrived, and he has put his mommy through a lot of stress but every time he sees me, he smiles, every time, he smiles such a genuine "I love you, Mommy!" smile that my heart sings.  God knew that I needed to be softened, I still do, He is using this boy to soften this mommy's heart.  Maybe someday his brothers and sisters will thank him ;)  

Monday, April 15, 2013

Beaches, Chickens, and Birthday Cake

    We had a great weekend and a hard weekend.  We were supposed to get ready and packed for Charleston on Thursday night so that we could leave Friday afternoon, Teal was going to be performing with the Coke praise team on Saturday.  We were both exhausted, me from hauling bricks and Teal from a very stressful day at work.  So I hit the ground running on Friday morning, kids up at 6, then on the bus, then laundry, packing, dishes, store run, then Tara picked me up to go buy baby chicks, then home to pack up the car, while Teal picked up the kids from school on his way home from work.  All by 12:30 then we would have been on the road but had to deal with some Gabriel drama, that took a little while.

   So Teal was running late now for rehearsal, and Gabe was a little stressed, It's hard to tell what he understands, what he is lying about, what he is saying just to make us happy, and what is actually going to sink in.  In this instance it was as simple as asking why he was wearing a different shirt than the one I sent him to school in that resulted in crying, rocking, and lying.  But on the road we were and the rest of the day went pretty well and was drama free.  It was in the morning that I would be tested.  We had several setbacks, and tears, and timeouts as we were packing up to check out.  I ended up setting up the rules for the event before we got out of the car.  As I was terrified to see bounce houses, game booths, and at least a dozen adult volunteers.  This surely would send Gabe into a fury of running off with people he doesn't know and kissing everyone!

The Rules:
-Big hugs and any kisses are for family (with the band we've come to saying that a quick "hello hug" is ok)
-You don't let anyone pick you up
-There will be no whining (this went for both big kids)
-You will use real words and open your mouth to speak
-Above all, always be respectful (also went for both big kids)

I pulled Alex aside and asked her to keep an eye on him, make sure he's safe!  The band did great!  I love watching Teal sing!  These Coke Inspirational meetings are always so well done and the testimonies are inspiring, I didn't realize when Teal started working there that they were such a outspoken Christian company but they've proved it time and time again in the (almost) 7 years Teal's been there.

   I am happy to report that it went well......until the event was over.  All of a sudden, I became the warden again, he kept looking at me like he was in trouble, then would run off to play, or he would cling to anyone he could find, interrupting their conversations to give them a hug or say hi, then look at me like I'm his jailer.  I want to be the fun mommy, I want him to cling to me, or obnoxiously climb on me while I'm talking (like Alex does).  But I'm in battle, If I loosen up, it all blows up.  We had more problems when we stopped at the store before heading to the beach (because I forgot beach towels) I thought, surely this beach trip is going to kill me.  After all the drama, we get to the beach, the first time we've taken either of our boys. Gabe went ahead with Teal while I got Alex ready and I was pleasantly surprised to find a happy, down right, giddy little boy who couldn't stand still enough to get his sunscreen applied.  Teal said he wouldn't shut up!  My Gabriel?  It was hilarious!  He was jabbering on about "Mommy, and Daddy, and Alex, and Davis, in the sand, and the water, look at the sun!"  He ran right to the water and jumped in!  Whereas Alex, cool as a cucumber, walks to the shore, sees a shell and keeps shell hunting with Daddy for almost an hour.  I laid on the sand with Davis, soaking up the sun, watching my boy play in the water.  It was two hours of perfection!  The big kids covered each other in sand, and ran back and forth to the water, not a single argument, no tears, just perfection!  We wandered around Charleston admiring the houses and churches, had some dinner (thank God for then headed home.  Though Alex must have felt left out of all the drama because we had a small explosion from her as we were walking to the car.  They immediately fell asleep and My Favorite and I talked, uninterrupted, for 3 hours, it was great, it was refreshing, and completely necessary. It's always important to fall in love with your spouse again.

   Sunday morning we woke up to what seemed like a calm household (Teal even let me sleep in longer) only to find that the quiet calm was a result of Gabe sneaking a whole (large) Ukrainian chocolate bar that was given to us the other day.  So, more tears and more time, talking about deception, conscience, the Holy Spirit, and encouraging him to realize that he is not an animal, he has forethought, he has self control, and the ability to ask permission.  But at the end of all that, I got to say, "let's be done with all this yuckiness and go get our baby chickens!"  That really turned things around  :)   The kids were excited to see the chickens but Gabriel got distracted by a basketball, so he and Teal played while Alex sat in pure bliss, catching and holding her new babies and naming them, she even named one of Granny's, a little Black Cochin, Byebye Blackbird.

    We went from there to a Michelle's for Yana's birthday, the kids seemed to relish in the normalcy of playing with Nadia and Marni while I made a cake. Teal had to leave for work before any of the real celebration but it was just us so he was ok.  Although we did have a dinner protest, I refused to engage and we just had a nice time.  The boy didn't get any cake but there were no tears, so I'll count that as a win. Got home and put the kids to bed at a reasonable time.  I'm grateful for my little family, not always easy but when I take a step back and look at what the last year has developed, I am so proud of my Gabe and I know that it will be a long road but God has great things for him.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Getting Started.....

Let me start by saying, I'm flawed.  Plain and simply, I am.  It's taken me 3 days just to get this started!  I am in need of some organization to my thoughts, some therapeutic typing, even if no one is reading.....

The one and only reason that I haven't failed completely in life is by God's grace!  GOD has my children, GOD has my marriage, if I don't give it to Him, I'm done for!

There is so much going on right now, I feel paralyzed, once again, I have to hand it over to God.  We are mid-renovation and even though Teal had taken a week off of work to get some stuff done, there is still SO much. I am a terrible house keeper normally, and now with no gas (which means no stove although I have an electric oven and no dryer), no working bathroom sink, floors half torn up, a fridge in my living room, and a pile of tools in the kitchen, I don't even know where to begin!!!  Not to mention, we are tight on funds so I have 3 different pieces of project furniture in my living room all being worked on.

All the while, the two "big kids" have their adjustments and of course the baby is, well, a baby.  I have decided to pull Gabriel out of school for the remainder of the year because of his attachment issues, with the hopes of putting him back in public school in the fall. I have found that there is an ebb and flow with the kids, at times it feels like nothing but discipline all day and at others it's how "normal" life "should" be. Gabe is in currently in the ebb..... or flow?  I know that I am strict, and I know that that causes more stress on me but I can't see us functioning any other way.  Every time I lay back on the rules a bit and we have some fun, we have a big blow up!  With his issues, his teacher is his relief from me, he likes to get hugs and cuddles from her, he constantly calls me her name when he tells me he loves me (which means that he's saying it all day to her).  We need some intense family time without another authority figure to confuse him.  I need the time to be the disciplinarian and the fun mommy. I get that with Alex because she knows the rules, the expectations, we spent all day everyday together for 5 years (minus a weekend trip and a 4 day conference without her)  Gabe is still figuring all that out and it's interrupted by the 9 hours he's gone everyday.

Also we are going to be buying my mother in law's property which is going to be awesome and the work will be fun, but work.  6 1/2 acres of fun work :)  That may sound sarcastic but it's not, I want to be there now.  Building fences, playing by the stream, walking in the woods, gardening.

My mind keeps going back to the 5 kids waiting in an orphanage....... I can't bring them home here, they wouldn't fit!  No amount of bunkbeds would make that possible.  They are my main driving force behind dealing with this renovation and they are considered in every idea and decision around here.  We need more space and more money.  Ahhhhh to win the lottery...

For now, it's back to work on the never ending pile of dishes, laundry, and somewhere in there, my sanity.....