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a season of change

We’re trying to get back into our normal routine here in our home. The new school year has begun. Oh my goodness, what a huge adjustment for all of us. We technically have not done homeschool since April. Yikes. It has been a crazy time for our family. Six weeks in the Ukraine adopting the baby angels, ten days in Colorado to pack up house and move across the country, arriving back in Virginia, unpacking house, helping new additions to the family adjust, saying goodbye to family who was with us for three months, painting and getting settled in a new home, doctors appointments….on and on and on.

It sure has been a busy time.

Am I ready for a new year in our home school?  No, not really.  But I don’t know if I’ll ever feel like I have all my ducks in a row.  Life seems to take an unexpected twist and turn on a daily basis.  There is always something new happening, something new to deal with.  It’s just life, I guess.  I have learned that I need to keep things as flexible as possible and just roll with things as they arise. The hardest part this week has been forcing myself to drag my lazy behind out of bed at a more reasonable time in the morning. Dang!  Definitely a perk of laid back summer days.

Many of you have written to ask me how I manage to school my seven children, and include our kiddos with special needs in our day.  I’ll save that for a post all of its own.  It really is not as difficult as it may seem. Or, maybe it’s just that God gives each one of us the grace to do the things He calls us to accomplish in this life. I  know that’s the truth. Where would we be without His grace?

Before we started school Anthony was so blessed to be able to sneak away for an overnight getaway with a few of our blessings.  They spent two glorious, fun-filled days at the beach with friends we adore. The kids had the best time. I was unable to go this time, but was so thrilled that at least some of the family could go and have a great time. And that they sure did.

We absolutely love the beach.

I’m wondering if my mansion in the sky could be one of those there in the distance…I think I could definitely live with that.

As we tried very hard to get back to the grindstone and actually get some school done, lovely little breaks here and there have been just what was needed to get through our first week of homeschool.

Like a tie-dye party with dear friends.

It was the first time our kids have ever done tie-dying.  It was so much fun.  They absolutely loved it–and could hardly wait to see the fruit of their labor. I’m thinking it may just become a regular craft around here.  Their t-shirts look awesome.

We’re so thankful for the precious friends the Father has blessed us with.  People who never use the number of children we have as a reason to not have us over at their houses. They accept us just the way we are–craziness and all.  That is such a humongous blessing to Anthony and me.

While bigger kids tie-dyed, little hunnies made themselves quite welcome.

They just don’t come much sweeter than this.

Or this.

Or even this.

Friends forever…no matter how differently or uniquely God created us.

The perfect end to a beautiful time spent with those we love.

Today I finally got Hailee and Harper in to see an opthalmologist.  We have been waiting for weeks for the appointment. I was so curious to hear what he would find. We had a feeling that something was not quite right with Hailee’s vision.  Her eyes twitch and seem to move all over the place, very randomly, if that makes sense.  She cannot focus on anything.  We try to get her to look us in the eyes, but her eyes cannot stay in one place for long enough.  I knew from the day that I met my sweet Hailee that there was a problem with her eyes.

Hailee has a condition called exotropia. It is a form of strabismus in which both of the eyes deviate outward.  Surgery is necessary to correct her problem.  Our opthalmologist has pioneered a far less invasive procedure where he injects botox into the muscle of the eye. If it works, it will work for life (unlike the cosmetic uses for botox where you have to go and have it done every few months).  It will be done as an outpatient surgery. Right now her body is working really hard to have her eyes focus on things. The doctor says that it takes a lot out of her–especially considering her tiny size and profound delays.  Getting her eyes aligned will change Hailee’s life dramatically. We hope to get it done as soon as possible.  Anything to make life easier for our sweetheart.

My day ended on a perfect note.  A mommy and daughter date with my beautiful Hannah-Claire. My birthday girl. What could be sweeter than seeing the look on her face as she experienced her very first pedicure?  Priceless.  I love making memories with my children.

We have so very much to be thankful for in our family.

Above all else we are so thankful that there truly is no one like our God. When all else fails, He is our rock.


I’ll announce the winner of the stunning pendants tomorrow.  Sorry, there have just not been enough hours in my days this week.