I apologize for my lack of updates. I wish I had more time to tell you all the little details, but I'm usually too busy dealing with all the little details. ; ) Today I am almost home alone, so I'll take a little time to give you a sneak peak into our summer. 5 of the kids are at a pool party today. Unfortunately, Noah made some poor choices at church last night and his consequence was not going to the pool party. I have to say that this was a hard thing to follow through with, for two reasons. One, I was looking forward to a day all to myself. As you can imagine, with six kids, those are few and far between. Actually, they simply don't happen. I love my life, but who wouldn't enjoy a little peace and quiet for at least a few hours, right? The second reason is obvious, my poor little guy had to watch all the other kids get up excited about the party, get their swimming suits and sunscreen on, and sadly watch from the back seat as everyone filed out and began greeting their friends at the party. Thankfully, their was no meltdown, just quiet whimpers as he was reminded of his poor choices and the need to make better ones. I hope it's a lesson he learns quickly.
This brings me to one thing I've noticed with my children. My oldest three have always been better for others. They are good for me, but typically FABULOUS for other people. There have been rare occurrences of course, but mostly when I let them go somewhere I know they will behave. My younger three, however, are not that way. They will test the boundaries and see just how far they can push. This is hard. I think in some ways people tend to let them get away with more, sort of compensating for the life they had before coming home. Unfortunately, this doesn't help. We have found that, more than ever, they need those strict boundaries and they need them enforced. It isn't fun, but needful. It's not always fun being the parent. Just like today, I wish I could make this a fun one on one day with Noah, but what message would that send. Act bad in church and you get special/fun time with Mommy. So, we are home alone, with everything at our disposal, yet there will be no swimming, no trampoline, and no movies. I hope it's an example to all of my children that behavior when Jeremy and I are not around is just as important as when we are. Mia seems to have figured it out pretty quickly. Her obedience with others has come a LONG way!! We are so proud of the choices she is making in our absence! Now if we can just get Noah and Hope to follow suit!
Enough of that, let's talk about fun stuff! Last week Noah celebrated his 6th birthday! For weeks leading up to it I would ask him what he wanted for his birthday. He would respond, "I want cake and for you to sing Happy Birthday to me." Ok, consider it done! It was the sweetest thing! He did finally ask for a bike. Everyone had a bike or a trike but him, so that seemed like a fair thing to ask for. As you can see below, he was pretty happy with it!
It really was wonderful having him home! We had the privilege of spending his third birthday with him at the Orphanage, but all the others had been missed! This one was so special. We had a party at my sisters for him and Father's Day. My sister asked me to bless the food and as I thanked the Lord for our fathers and for the miracle of Noah being home, I barely made it through the prayer. Our Father has been so faithful to us! We are amazed at the miracle of our son!
Camden is loving summer! He loves to swim, ride his bike, jump on the trampoline, you name it he likes it! Two days ago he found a turtle in the yard, so for a couple of days he was allowed to keep it. He has been trying to get me to let him keep it as a pet, but I assured him that the tortoise was created to enjoy life outdoors in the wild! I reminded him that if that's where he was created to be, that is where he would be happiest. We have big plans of releasing him tonight at a pond near our house. Camden has asked it be a special time of riding bikes, rock skipping and tortoise releasing. ; ) I think we can handle that. Seriously, you would think we've had this thing for years. Apparently, they are buddies and will need this time to say their goodbyes.
Camden has grown up so much! He will be in the second grade this year and I have NO idea where the time has gone! He's learning to be a great big brother. Today, he wanted to give Noah a toy since he couldn't go to the party. Jeremy explained that it was a very nice thought, but that Noah needed to understand this punishment and therefore he couldn't be given a "gift." Camden teared up. He has such a tender heart. It doesn't always surface, but I love it when it does.
Hope and Jordyn continue to have a sweet little relationship. They are true sisters from driving each other crazy one minute to have fun together the next. The night before our Haiti trip, Jordyn let Hope sleep with her. As you can see here, they were having tons of fun at their little mini-slumber party. Hope LOVES spending time with Jordyn, and I think it goes both ways.
Hope has changed so much. She was still such a baby in so many ways when she came home, but now she is becoming a little girl and full of personality! She is so excited about starting school in the fall. She will be in Pre-K and cannot wait! I think it will be good for her in many ways, but it reminds me of how fast time will go. It seems once school starts you turn around and they are 12. I hope I can remember to enjoy every moment, because I know it won't last long.
Speaking of 12, Jordyn will be in the 7th grade this year. Wow! That doesn't seem possible! She has turned into an amazing young lady with a heart to please the Lord. I am so proud of who she is. She's really at a great age right now. She's old enough to have some responsibility but is still Mommy and Daddy's little girl. I don't want her to grow up so fast, but I'm excited to see the woman God has created her to be.
Alexis has changed so much lately too. She is outgrowing her princess side. She assures me that she will always, "be my girl and Daddy's princess," but my little girl is growing up. Haiti was such an amazing experience for her and it was hard for her coming home. She still misses the kids! I think it really opened her eyes though to what a great life she has. She has been so helpful and talks about the fact that even though we have a lot of work to do, it's so much easier than the way things are done in Haiti. She really recognized how much harder life is for Haitians than for us. I was so proud of what she learned and brought home from that trip. She handled it so well and showed me how mature she is now. Again, where does the time go?
Ali is such a beautiful girl, inside and out! So many people have said, "I have never met anyone as sweet as Alexis." It's true, she has such a sweet nature. She can bring the drama too, but all in all she is a sweet, sweet girl!
Mia is in summer school right now and is enjoying it WAY more than she thought she would. She just loves to meet people and learn all about them. I think she knows more about her bus driver than she does me. ; ) She loves to talk! She was behind in several things at school but her communication skills were incredible! For many of you, I know this doesn't surprise you. At this point we just need to figure out how to get her to stop talking. ; )
This picture is who she is, full of life, and enjoying every moment. Ok, maybe not every moment, but most of them. She has a little stubborn side and wants to do what SHE wants to do, but she, for the most part, simply enjoys life. She loves to help people! She genuinely loves people! Our social butterfly, indeed!
If you saw my previous post you know that Jeremy and I celebrated our 16th Anniversary last week. Thanks to my Momma, we were able to go out for dinner and a movie. We talked about the next 16 years and how fast it will go! We are so blessed with a wonderful marriage! We simply love being together. Girls night out/guys night out, they can be fun, but we would rather be with each other. He always makes me laugh and I hope I make him, at least, half as happy as he makes me.
Whew! I made it! I don't know if you read it all, but don't worry there won't be another long post like this for a while. ; ) Thanks for checking in with us!