Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My Korean Dollbaby....

So I said months and months ago I would begin updating on how each child is growing and becoming the beautiful people God created them to be. I've decided to go oldest to youngest so up first it Miss Kyalynn. :) 
My precious much like her momma! Very independent and capable (Sean says stubborn!) and doesn't let grass grow under her feet. LOL! 
When Kyalynn came home at 15 1/2 months she stole everyone's heart! Such a tiny, irresistible bundle of joy.  Although she's finally growing and is wearing size 8's she is still my irresistible bundle of joy! You will notice immediately that Kyalynn sings all the time. This girl can belt out Mandisa like nobody's business and not miss one word. I call her our resident DJ because she knows every song and who the singer is. She LOVES music. I believe it flows in her veins! She loves any instrument but prefers her little keyboard most of the time. She is also our reader. She LOVES books! Any book, any size, any content she will inhale. :) She usually has a stack of about 10 books with her at all times. She is a good multitasker, reading her books, listening to the radio and keeping a close eye on the going-ons of her siblings. LOL!  Just recently she's really taken an interest in writing stories. She writes pages and then brings them to me so I can read them. Usually I tell her to read them to me because although she is finally able to write legibly her writing isn't fluid. Hmm, let's see if I can explain it.....her communication and her writing are the same. She doesn't use full, flowing sentences. So if she wanted to tell me about finding the lost treasure she'd say "mommy, find it, lost treasure." Or "mommy, can I tea party?" or one more, "mommy, ouch, knee, hurts." So that's how her stories read. Of course, I think they and most importantly, she, is practically perfect in every way! :) Now, sometimes she will surprise us with a very good, fluid sentence but I've learned to understand and read between the missing words. :) She is my animal lover and whenever I can't find her I just look at the chicken coop and there she will be feeding those blasted chickens bugs and worms. LOL! Spoiled chickens!! Kyalynn is quite content playing on her own mostly but when she does play with the others she is the one in charge. She comes up with the scenario and what each person is going to do and say and they'd better follow it to a T or she will let them know. LOL! She LOVES to swim. She could spend hours and hours in the pool happily swimming around . Today she was pretending she was Turtlegirl rescuing us from the crocodiles and octopus. :) My baby is growing up so fast. It's hard to believe she will be 12 this year! I am SO PROUD of how far she has come. To think back to her not even being able to talk (except echo) until she was almost 5 and the screaming fits we endured.....although we still have alot to work on and through she has come so very far, thank you Lord! I love my girl. She says to me tonight, "I love you", "You beautiful". Awww....I've told her that and used sign language to speak it so many, many times all these years it's wonderful to hear her say it back to me. My precious, precious honored to be her momma!!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Another "Gotcha Day" under our belt...

Today marks Connor's 8th "Gotcha Day". 
 (The day we met him for the first time and he became one of us).  
As I went back through my pictures my heart bounced between joy and sorrow.  I always try to be as real and open as I can be so I won't sugarcoat things today.  As I look through my pictures Connor looks happy, content, joyful even. 
He has always been photogenic and my older son, Ryan, a budding photographer, loved dressing Connor up and taking his picture to practice and hone his skills with photography. :) 
Those two were best buds until Ryan left for the Army. :( 

Ryan and Zack are such great big brothers and when they lived here at home were HUGE helps to me in dealing with Connor and his behaviors. 
Unfortunately, what most people do not see behind that charming smile are behaviors that rock our world....daily. 
It's been a LONG 8 years. LOL! 
In fact, I had to double check how long he'd been home because it feels alot longer than 8 years!

BUT.....I do have to share the positives of Connor and why we are still fighting hard to win this battle for him even when it feels like we can' 

Connor is eager to learn academics and he really does well with math and science. He loves to read and will read anything he gets his hands on. He, out of all the littles, will seek out Kyalynn and ask her to play a game or will willingly join into her make-believe world and play Jake and the Neverland Pirates with her. :)
 He always says "good morning Kyalynn" to her first thing and if he is a tad bit late in saying it she will remind him to say it. LOL!  
On one hand he could care less about his family but then on the other hand he seems to care deeply for his family. It's hard to understand and explain! 

In todays world people say "I love you" too easily. I have been to the other side (many times!) and love is NOT a feeling, it's not warm and fuzzy, it's not easily given or taken away. Love, true love, is deep. It's persistent. It's committed. It's tough. It's hopeful. It's a warrior. It's willing to go into battle over and over and over again for someone. 

Parenting Connor has taught me what desperation feels like.
 I desperately need Christ to show up each day in a big way! 
It's also taught me how to cling, really cling to His promises 'cuz sometimes that's all I have to go on.
 I am learning, albeit slowly, how to truly, deeply love in spite of the behaviors. 
After all, in hindsight, I'm not much different than Connor. 
Sadly, I continue to repeat the same sins of anger, doubt, fear, lashing out with my words, and wanting to give up daily.
 Just as Connor continues to repeat behaviors and sins that consume our days and cause me to feel validated in my anger am I not doing the same thing with my Father, God?!

 But yet, He doesn't get angry with me or feel like giving up on me....EVER! 
This then is what I am striving for not only for Connor's sake but my own. To be a better mom to my boy with larger than life issues/behaviors so that he can see Jesus in me and want to know HIM more!! 

Please Lord, help.....

Friday, June 6, 2014

A few of my favorite things....:)

A constant flow of flowers from my children. 

I LOVE Friday nights! That's Gabriella's night to help with supper and we always have pizza. She has it down and can do every step all by herself! Which means I can just sit back and relax for a bit. :)

I just LOVE this face! Skyping with our boy in Korea. Love him!!

Flowers from my boy in Korea. Left me in happy tears.....

Kyalynn and Samuel cooking up some tasty spaghetti and meatballs for supper. 

My crew celebrating the finishing of this deck. They were very helpful carrying lumber, cleaning up cut-off pieces and stacking campfire wood. This is a cabin my parents are caretakers of for the Appalachian Trail. It's very rustic with no water or electricity and an outhouse. Plus you have to hike back 2 miles on foot carrying all of your supplies. BUT it is rented near every weekend! So we had one week to rip off the old deck and build the new one. We did it (well, my dad did most of the work but we did help. LOL!) 

I just thought this was a cute picture! :)

A view of our backyard. I sent this to Ryan in Korea and made him a bit homesick....:(

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ah God....You AMAZE me!!

I'm telling you when you are living life with a Big God crazy things happen! So ya gotta hear this....
For the last little while I've been asking Sean if he could take the two beds in the little boys' room and make them into a bunkbed. The room is very small and the beds left little room for anything else. I've had their dressers in the closet otherwise they wouldn't fit. Now I'm kind of an odd duck. LOL! I don't just like normal (obviously! Ha!) I had envisioned a bunkbed in an T shape. Our roof is a gambrel style roof (think barn roof) so the beams take up significant space as well. Sean said he'd think about it and just a day or so before God's intervention I had asked again but he said he'd have to do alot of reworking of the beds to make sure they were safe, etc. Ok, now fast forward to that Monday. We had to take our sweet Kyalynn for testing in Wyomissing, PA which is quite a haul from our house. Sean took the day off and we all headed at for a very L-O-N-G and painful day for Kyalynn. :( As we were on the way home we decided we'd stop for chinese food and eat it at home but the kids asked for Chik-Fil-A which is a real treat for us when we get it! So we saw one and stopped. As we were in the line ordering Sean was approached by a lady and she asked him if he would like a bunkbed!!!
So he leans down to me and says "Lisa, this lady wants to know if we want a bunkbed." Long story short we spoke with her and she said she'd send us a picture. As we drove home I received the pictures and you are NOT going to believe was the exact type I was wanting!! A  T-shape bunkbed! 
Why, oh why am I still surprised by how God works??
The other amazing thing about this story, besides being incredibly blessed by this precious family, is that this set came with a desk and dresser.  So we were able to use that dresser and drawers for the little boys and then we took their two dressers and passed them on to Gabriella and Connor who haven't had their own dressers. Not only do the boys have this amazing bunkbed set but they also have room in their bedroom to play! I think you can tell from the pictures that Samuel T. and Nolan were beyond EXCITED! :)

Thank you, thank you, thank you Kathy, David and family for being the hands and feet of Jesus to us and blessing us INCREDIBLY!! 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Me and my girl....selfie....:)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Redneck sledding...


Monday, May 12, 2014

Let's go fly a kite....

Ah, nothing as delightful as flying a new kite. All got a kite in their Easter baskets, as is tradition around here. I'm so pleased that the kites are still in one piece! We buy them from the Dollar Store and usually they are broken after the first flight. LOL! These have gotten 4 good flights so far. .... I love the look of pure joy on Kyalynn's face. Precious memories made. :)