Monday, March 30, 2009

Garrett's first day of Preschool/Olivia's new class

Today couldn't have gone better. I was a little worried about Garrett after last night's conversation. He looked up at me and said, "Mom, is tomorrow school?" "Yes!" I said as enthusiastically as possible. He looks down and says, "Oh...well...I don't think I want to go. I'm not going to like it." "Oh, buddy, I really think you're going to LOVE school, you need to give it a try before you decide you're not going to like it. Ok?" "Uh-hu."

I can tell, I haven't convinced him.

I sleep terribly, thinking about Olivia being the 'new kid.' About Garrett not adjusting to change. I pray for peace, for all of us. For a spirit of power, not a spirit of fear.

I wake up, ready the kids for school - pray, pray, pray.

Olivia has her coat on for 10 minutes before we have to go. She's ready! Garrett doesn't go to preschool until the afternoon, but I thought it would be a good idea for him to see Olivia go to her class for his confidence.

Walk into the office, wait for the teacher. The staff was welcoming and wonderful. Mrs. S. comes in, shakes hands, explains drop off, lunch, class, much information!! I explain that Olivia has not experienced all day school yet, but that I'm not worried about her AT ALL. O and G are taking it all in. The colorful hallways, the busy adults, safety patrol at the doors, and all the kids. We walk into the all purpose room where O will line up for her day. A nice woman greets G, "HI HANDSOME!" G plays shy, but smiles as we walk by.

O is taking in the more than 100 kindergartners in the APR - she seems a little taken back, but not afraid. The teacher invites G and I to go up to her room and see it. I'm glad, for G. As we walk in line through the school, I can feel G's excitement rising - just by his energy.

O is dropped off, she doesn't even turn to hug or kiss me, I had to go over to her (tear)! As we walked out of the building G says, "Mom, is it lunchtime yet?" I think, "Oh man, this is going to be a LONG morning!"

G was so excited the whole morning, asked if it was lunch time more than 20 times! Prayers were answered! He was excited when I dropped him off and when I picked him up. His teacher said he did great, lets pray he keeps it up.

I wasn't crazy with the camera at the school b/c I felt a little foolish taking pictures of my kids in the middle of the school year. I hope these are good enough.
G and O outside the van, ready to take O in the morning.

O waiting in her class for instructions on what to do. The tongue is sticking out b/c of her loose tooth. Her bottom tooth is REALLY lose, but she doesn't work it a whole lot. Her adult tooth is coming in, so I'm hoping it will push the other out.

The hallway outside her door. Her classroom is the door on the right.

G, confidently going into the school.

Waiting to meet his teacher. And yes, he LOVES his Ironman back pack.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What's up...

We are moved into my mom and dad's house. Officially, stop number 2. Who knows how long we'll be here but we're ok with not knowing everything, God has a plan.

Here's what we've been up to:

We've been visiting churches, trying to find our fit. This is harder then we thought it was going to be. There are so many things to consider when finding a church home, one of the most important things, we are finding out, is where the kids are happy and thriving.

Josh was busy trying to get a job - tons of applications online and lots a resumes sent out. But he got a job, the way we knew he would, through people we knew. My sister-in-law, Cheryl, just started at a company called Lawn Connection and was able to get him started there in less than a week. It's been quite and adjustment for him, working LONG hours and doing hard labor. He likes it a lot, just has to get used to the schedule. I wish I had a picture of the sun-tan he's getting!!

My sister and I moved us to my parents on Tuesday. I'd like to thank the Leeds family again for letting us crash in their family room for the last month +. I know it was a great time for us. We are so thankful for the love that was shown to us - for everything we can never re-pay, only thank, thank, and thank some more! Back at my parents house, the last thing I have to do is get my hard working husband to move the dressers into the house so we can stop living out of bins and suitcases. I'm patiently waiting...

We've also been fighting a serious fever virus that is wreaking havoc on my children's immune systems. This thing WILL NOT go away! Olivia and Gideon had it at the same time and Garrett and Esther have both had days on and off with the fever. All I can do is hydrate and keep them as comfortable as possible. Today was Esther's turn to have the fever again. She ran the highest fever of all the kids today, and I have to say, is handling it really well.

As many of you knew, we were not going to have Olivia finish school, but start 1st grade in the fall. After some consideration, we have decided to have her finish Kindergarten at Riverside Elementary. She will be going all day, everyday, which will be adjustment from MI, where she was half day, everyday. Garrett will also be starting preschool, which he's never experienced before. He will go in the afternoon from 12:10-2:33. I'm really excited about this and hope that he will love school. Be looking for "first day of school" pictures on Monday, their first day!

That's the update for now. Thanks for all your prayers as we walk down this path of uncertainty and adventure.

Esther, passed out on the couch this morning while she "burned" the virus out of her.

Garrett, snacking, a lot. The goldfish came after an orange. After the goldfish was an apple and more goldfish - I think he's growing!

Olivia's been really into doing her own hair. Today's ponytail is the best she's done so far.

Here's Esther, healthy. I couldn't have the only picture on this post be of her sick, she's too cute for that!

Here's Gideon showing me how upset he is that I won't put him the the bath when he wanted to go in. What this picture doesn't show is how he tried to take off his own pants to get ready for the tub. This resulted in "bustin' a sag" or "plumbers crack." Funny pictures, just not blog friendly!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

5 year old Greatness

Creating a masterpiece on the driveway. I think it was titled, "Rainbow".

A fun time a Chuckie Cheese to help celebrate the day. Garrett and Daddy on the "rollercoaster." (it's the only way Garrett will be able to ride one with Daddy, since Josh won't get on a realy one!)

Is it possible that my little boy is now 5? Extreme doesn't begin to describe Garrett. He loves hard, plays hard, and rages hard. He's beginning to verbalize his feelings a little more, I'm hoping this will help him deal with the many feelings he has going on inside of him. He seems to always be out numbered when it comes to girls. Some days this bothers him, some days, he could care less. Ten years from now he's going to love being out numbered by all the girls! ;)

He's learning how to be gentle with Gideon, realizing that he's not quite big enough to wrestle hard with yet. He's turned Esther into his little servant, sending her for all his snacks and drinks, I think we'll call that resourceful. When it comes to his relationship with Olivia, they are growing apart, in a healthy way. They were so close in age, it was almost like they were twins, experiencing everything at the same time. However, with Olivia at school this year, the roles have changed and Garrett is falling into being the oldest child at home.

Garrett's keen sense of energy and feelings has really developed this year. We are working on how to harness his ability to discern other's feelings for good. He loves asking, "How was your day?" and really listening to the answer. He loves to tell us what he's thankful for. His prayers are heartfelt and he's beginning to understand what following Jesus really looks like. On the way home from church recently, we had this conversation:

G: "Christians don't die."

M: "Really, where did you hear that?" I was a little taken back by this comment. I was afraid that if this wasn't explained correctly, it could skew his view of God. So, we continued carefully.

G: "Daniel." (the youngest son of our pastor from MI)

D: "Hmmm. Garrett, pinch yourself." He does. "Do you feel that, the pinch? That is your physical body, and it will die. All of our physical bodies die. But when we believe in Jesus and follow him, our souls, our spiritual bodies, go to heaven."
G: "Yeah, I believe in Jesus. I'm a Christian."
I am excited to see what the next year hold for our Garrett. I pray in earnest that we will be able to mold his BIG personality into a vessel for God's kingdom.
Happy 5th Birthday buddy, you're great!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Million Dollar Question

How are we doing? That's the million dollar question, isn't it?

We are blessed. We are in transition. Some days we are relaxed, some days we are worried. We are discouraged. We are confident. Most days I'm amazed at how well our living situation is going. The rhythm is working. The kids love each other. The conversation is full, encouraging and challenging. Built-in child care. Chore sharing, cooking, cleaning, picking up. Morning coffee is made by many hands and lovingly served to it's rightful owner. We could not be more thankful for the Leeds family for opening up their home so willingly and sacrificially. We are warm at night, full in the day. Our daily bread is being provided, both physically and spiritually.

Psalm 43:1-5

O God, take up my cause!
Defend me against these ungodly people.
Rescue me from these unjust liars.

For you are God, my only safe haven.
Why have you tossed me aside?

Why must I wander around in darkness,
oppressed by my enemies?

Send out your light and your truth;
let them guide me.

Let them lead me to your holy mountain,
to the place where you live.

There I will go to the altar of God,
to God—the source of all my joy.

I will praise you with my harp,
O God, my God!

Why am I discouraged?
Why so sad?

I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God!

Josh is still looking for employment. He has been diligent in applying and sending out resumes. Nothing has come of it. Today he got an e-mail from a potential opportunity, that said the economy has hurt their business and wasn't sure if they'd be hiring at all. In two weeks of trying to get a job, we hadn't heard anything from anyone. With today's email, I was more discouraged than getting no reply. So, he continues to search, send, and do his part and wait for God to do the rest.

One of the more promising avenues is working for the US Postal Service. The process includes a pretty intense test that requires hours of studying and preparation. Here he is studying. At least he's got time to prepare!

Laura and Esther have become really good friends. They are really cute together and look forward to playing all day. All the kids are going to have withdraw when we move out.