Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts

Sometimes It Is Not All Smooth And Pretty

I like to write a pretty story of sunshiny afternoons and sweet smelling daughters who dance gracefully through each day.  I like to write of precious family times and post beautiful pictures of our beautiful life.  Because we do have a beautiful life! 

But sometimes it just isn't. 

Sometimes the septic system gets clogged thanks to a pencil being dropped down a pipe and um, you know, um water gets all over the laundry room floor.  Where there are piles of sorted laundry that should have gotten washed that day but didn't. 

Sometimes, maybe even like the very next morning, the youngest daughter stuffs all of the toilet paper left on the roll in to the toilet.  And once more the water flows.  This time it is upstairs.  And you feel like there is nasty water everywhere and you are doomed to never feeling clean again!

Sometimes that was the last roll of toilet paper in the house.

Sometimes people say things that unwittingly make us feel awkward.  And then we have to decide what to do with it.  Which makes us feel more awkward.

Sometimes little girls run around with messy hair all day long.  And have to be reminded not to sniff about 362 times per day.

Sometimes the mother (you know, that pillar of strength in the home) crashes and burns with really terrible back issues.  Sometimes she barely gets up all week.  And the children need to do everything.  And it is not a complete disaster because they have needed to do this before.  Which makes the mother feel guilty and proud of them all at the same time.

Which brings us right back to the beautiful.  Because we are still here.  We are still together. 

God is still good.

Our Weekend

We had very special guests here over the weekend.  My parents came from Texas to visit us and, while the time was short, we did pack a lot of fun and very, very special moments into the two days they were at our house.

Eliana and Grandpa Sams

On Friday evening we went to my sister's for a hot dog roast.  My sister's family raises flowers to sell at their market and one of my nieces loves to dry different kinds of flowers and makes gorgeous bouquets out of them.  She has a little area in their barn loft that she calls her "Wildflower Workshop".

On Saturday we went to the benefit auction for the Clinic for Special Children.  We always love going to this auction.  They sell all kinds of things, but the main attractions, at least for me, are the food and the quilts.  Good food and beautiful quilts for a good cause?  I'm all in!

Chopping pork for the bar-b-que sandwiches

Mariner's Compass quilt, one of my favorites!
And then on Sunday Douglas was baptized.  He decided to become a Christian several weeks ago and it has been such a precious, meaningful time for our family.  It was very special that all of his living grandparents could be present at the service.

I'll Love You For Now

For the past three weeks we have had an "extra" daughter.  We have entered the realm of "respite care providers", a position I never really saw myself in because, you know, it is too hard!  Well, God seems to just smile when I decide something is too hard, because it seems like something generally comes along that fits neatly into that category.

Our new "daughter" is 14.  She was adopted from China almost a year ago.  She is sweet and funny and quite helpful.  She is also {understandably} a little confused about everything that is happening and has happened.

We don't know how long she will be here.  We don't know how everything will turn out for her.  We don't know how she will process everything and move forward from this point.  But we do believe in the healing power of love.  She is ours to love and protect for today.  Each morning I tell myself, "Today I have her here.  Today I will love her as if there is no tomorrow." 

I don't know how many of you remember this post where I said, 

"My desire is to go wherever I need to go.  And do whatever I need to do.  And love every child of any age that I can love, whether for a day or for a lifetime."   I meant it.  I still mean it. 

I don't know if this is for a few weeks or for a lifetime, but I do know I'll love you for now!

Monday- Our New Saturday

We are trying a new schedule here in the Martin house.  Monday is our new "day off."  Who knows, we may not like it, but we are giving it a try.  So our school week runs from Tuesday to Saturday, Sunday is generally busy with church related activities or visiting friends.  Then comes Monday.  We sleep late (just kidding, no such thing around here), relax (Okay, do laundry), get everything in order to begin a new school week on Tuesday (again, not true, it is 4:30 and 'order' is not the word that comes to mind first when I look around) anyway, you get the idea. Maybe it is just this mama's attempt at avoiding the least inspiring day of the week!

In honor of our new freedom on Mondays we went swimming this morning.  We don't take our children to public swimming pools because of the general lack of modesty, so we went to a private pool that we can reserve fairly inexpensively and they spent the morning splashing and enjoying the water slide.  I think everyone enjoyed this Monday pretty much!

Maybe, just maybe, avoiding Mondays will be a success! Happy Monday, everyone!

Brought to You by the Letter 'B'

B-b-b back to school! We started yesterday.   Eliana is starting kindergarten, Annika is in 1st grade, Casper in 4th, Freeland in 6th, and Douglas in 9th.  We also have 2 extra girls living with us for a little while.  They are both 14 and both still learning English having come to the US from China less than a year ago.  Our little classroom is full to overflowing and the teacher/mama is pretty well shot by the end of the day!  But we have had good days and look forward to the year!

B-b-b bumps in the night.  You know how I said this mama has been a little tired by the end of the day?  Well, after a certain 5 year old crawled into bed beside me for the third time last night I gave up on putting her back in her bed and turned over and went back to sleep.  Around 4:30ish there was a loud bump as said 5 year old fell off of our rather high bed.  Thankfully, I am an awesome housekeeper and there was NOT a laundry basket full of unfolded clothes setting beside the bed.  That could have really hurt her, you know, if she had hit a laundry basket! Ahem, anyway... She cried quite a lot but I just hauled her back up and groggily told her to be quiet and go back to sleep, which she did fairly quickly.

Imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning and realized said 5 year old had a B-b-b busted lip!  It is all bloody and swollen and looks terrible.  I just might win the Worst Mom of the Year Award over that one!  I told my baby to be quiet and go back to sleep when she was battered and bleeding!

So... what are your most stellar parenting moments this week?!

Mainly Maine

We spent last week in Maine.  It is a special place to us.  We have been there several times, the most notable of which was our honeymoon!  It seemed fitting to return for our 15th anniversary, this time with five children in tow!  :)

An un-edited photo of a sunset.

 It was a lovely location!  The children had so much fun canoeing and kayaking on the lake.  I also went out in the canoe once.  It rained.  Hard.  And it was chilly.  The next time I decided to go, the words were barely out of my mouth when it started sprinkling then turned to a steady drizzle.  I gave up at that point.  No boating for me.

They also spent a lot of time fishing.  It was like a dream come true for Freeland especially.  How that boy loves to fish and boat!  He was in his element!

We spent lots of time reading and relaxing and trying to balance the comfort of a hot cup of coffee against the discomfort of the outhouse!  We also spent lots of time cooking, or trying to cook, over a fire.  Sometimes we were successful, sometimes not so much, but thankfully this mama had taken plenty of supplies for s'mores, so we always had something to eat!

I don't think I would ever tire of the wild call of the loon on the lake!  I wish you could see the loons better, but you can certainly hear her call of distress as Keith and Douglas got too close to her chick!

MVI 3352 from Erin on Vimeo.

And now we are home again.  I spent my morning trying to finalize curriculum choices for this coming school year.  Because, folks, it is almost August and it would be a good idea to have school materials here before too long, you know?

Happy Birthday, El-l-lia-ana...

Happy birthday to you!



I Want More { A Letter to my Sons }

Today I have the privilege of guest posting over at Don't Let Life Pass You By, a fellow adoptive mom's blog.

Head on over here to read about {some of } my desires for my sons.


Summer Days & Sweet Companions

Hot summer days...

Blue skies...

Country roads...

Golden sunlight filtering through the trees...

And sweet companions on an evening stroll...

How blessed am I that I need go no further than HOME to enjoy all of these things?

Welcome Summertime!

Summertime is finally really coming to Pennsylvania.

Summertime, with it's campfires...

Mountain Pies...

And wading in streams...

Welcome, Summertime!