Camp LeBreck

So, the plan was to set up all our new camp stuff in the yard
to be sure it all works and will be ready for us to go camping with.

What we discovered is that we have the best possible campgrounds
we could ever ask for, right here on our property.

Woods, wildlife, beautiful views, peace and privacy.

Our own wood to burn, indoor bathrooms and kitchen, 
basketball hoop, 4 wheeler, bikes, scooters, and R & E's 
fishing/boating/swimming resort just up the street.  

Our pets, who didn't have to go to the Center while we were "out".

It was all just too convenient, costed us nothing, 
and requires no tear down and set up in-between weekends.

So, basically, we'll be camping as much as our hearts desire this summer.

All right here, at home.


Moving Right Along

We didn't quite realize it, but our foster-to-adopt training and requirements are nearly fulfilled! I think we saw what seemed an endless, insurmountable "start" ahead of us, and we just put our heads down and put one foot in front of the other... and with all God has been doing within our heads and hearts we  kept our attention on the corrections, leading, learnings, and changes. Now here we are, one day from our final home study!

Tomorrow, T will have her interview with Zeek, she will receive his wellness check papers, a few odds and ends from us, and complete the "home" portion of the home study.

We have installed all the smoke detectors required, as well as a fire extinguisher and a Carbon Monoxide detector on all three levels, drawn and laminated our fire escape plans for each floor and posted them on the walls, posted emergency numbers and info by the phones, and installed locks to keep sharp objects, poisons, medicines and power tools safe. 
We have been reading our book for training hours, and this weekend we will complete the online course requirement. 

I'm sure there are other things here and there that we will need to tie up, last minute. But it's amazing that we are just now looking up and we're so close to being on the waiting list! 

We have learned and our hearts have grown so much on this journey, and yet we feel like we haven't even begun. We're grateful to be right here. We're taking it all in. We feel that we still don't know quite what is happening - that no one in this foster-to-adopt business knows what is happening - but trusting in God with the unknowns is more than enough for us.

We're very happy excited to take the next big step!!!


House Blessings

This morning I came out of my room to the most beautiful sun 
shining through the windows throughout our house. 

Somedays, it's still hard to believe we live in this amazing place. So beautiful. 

A couple days ago a girlfriend came with her kids to visit. 
I hadn't showered yet when she got here, and she told me to 
go ahead because he loves to just sit and enjoy the house. 

I feel the same way. I love to sit in one place and look around at out home. 
I love the house itself, with the walls of windows showing out to the woods 
and the clean line architecture… 

This morning, I decided to take my phone and get some snapshots of my favorite things - 
a list of our house blessings, I guess: 

This is a chair we had custom made for this house. 
I love this chair.
I love that Apple has claimed it for herself (proving she has exquisite taste)
I love the story Greg made up (while we waited months for this chair to arrive) 
about a little old man with arthritis from distant lands across the sea,
who worked so hard on making this chair, carefully hand stitching each thread...
I think of these things when I see this chair, and I smile. 

We have had this metal box planter forever. Probably 12+ years.
I love it. And I love the plant in it, which we have also had for 
longer than any other plant we own. 
It makes the kitchen sink feel like a visit, not just a dishwashing station. 

My best friend in high school had huge cacti growing 
in their bay window seat. They had been growing them for over a decade.
When I bought these 7 years ago, the tallest one was 4". 
I am always so proud how tall they are now, and all the growing they continue to do. 
They remind me of her and her family, and that I can.

I never knew a specific Bible book would mean more to me than another.
This is the Bible that Greg and I have made our "God place" together of. 
It lays on the dining room table or next to our bed.
We read from it and enjoy the interpretations below the passages.
I'm amazed how far we've come in our marriage, 
and I'm grateful that we both know it's all because of God.

I love our screen room, even though there are still things from 
our winter decor out there as Spring is springing.
I look forward to completing a summer theme and using it in the warmth.

My mom had a thing for bowls, and I have a similar kind of things for pillows.
I love our newest four that are not only beautiful
but fall perfectly together in the coming color scheme of our screen room.

Our red wire basket is so me. 
And I love the white blankie inside of it.
There's something about a sweet place to keep the things we use and love.

Our family plays a lot of board, card, and dice games.
This is the stack of our current faves.
I love that we don't have them hidden away someplace. 
They are just out in the open with a school bin and a lego bucket.
A house well lived in…  

Zeek likes to have his schedule laid out visually for him.
Right now we have May hanging, 
and two of my favorite days are coming up soon!

I enjoy reading this Amish book series. 
It's not about personal growth or homeschooling, parenting, being a wife...
It's just for peace, quiet and pleasure.
Something just for me.

I love that Zeek is old enough to really help me. 
He easily cut this project time in half.

I wanted this in this space for years. 
I remember when I found the barn doors for sale - 
when Sarita, Zeek and I went out to the shop to cut our first piece - 
when I brought home the hooks and put them on - 
when Robert helped me hang it just so.
And I love our bench, the wood floor and rugs,
the yellow door, old bi-fold closet doors, 
and all the light that streams into this wide open entrance way. 

I love being a homeschooling family. 
I love the charts and goals and lists we keep. 
I'm reminded of the dreams we put to rest 
and how much greater it's been to awaken to them in our reality
these past nine years.

I love our Xbox One. 
I love being able to tell my TV what to do with my voice.
I also love the Golf, 
and Greg's favorite blanket, "pink". 

After 4 years, with the exception of a few winters, 
we finally have our mantel "decorated" with things that are so very us. 

I love when I have friends over the night before
and wake up to the remnants of our fun the next day.

I love this rug.
Every time I walk into it I am surprised, as if it's new. 
It's so beautiful and fits my heart just right.

I love that when my husband is down I don't ignore him anymore - 
I'm not annoyed with him - 
I don't try to talk him out of it like he's being lame, the way I used to.
I love that I love him so much I can really hear him -
I find a way to understand his perspective - 
I make it my mission to do everything I can to see him smile again.

I love being in love with this man. 

On Mother's Day Zeek picked his own gift and card out for me. 
He also came in with this flower and these red stones he found in the yard, 
he got out a small vase, filled it with water and presented it to me.
I love it.

I love that we have our own art on display.

I love scentsys. 
The relaxing, the fun of a little something special added, 
the new smells in each room… 

I love that this worked,
and that we have window ledges wide enough to support it.

Ralph warms my heart -
when he almost died, I wondered why God ever let him come
 so close to death in the first place, if He was going to save him anyway.
Now, when I walk by him and I not only love him, 
but I know how blessed I am because I almost lost him,
I know exactly why God let it happen like it did.

The same with Zeek.
The same with this house.
The same with Greg and I.
The same with who is coming to be a part of us.

I love these things in our life that have and only could have come straight from His Hands.


To My Nibs,

We've been watching you even more closely than usual throughout this past week. You had your expander put in at the orthodontist last Tuesday. 

It's been harder than we expected or were prepared for. 

There has been crying. Yours followed by mine as we try to comfort you. 
It's hard to see you, who usually goes unfazed by even the toughest stuff, get pushed around and literally fall to the ground, frustrated and exhausted from the challenges of having this appliance in your mouth. 

First the fitting (which took an hour to perfect), then to swallow, then eating (which you still haven't conquered) then the salt water rinses, and don't even get me started on the talking. They might have thought to tell us that you would spend the next six months not being able to close your teeth ergo make a "s" or "sh" sound! 

I'm glad that things are getting easier for you everyday. 
It's hard to see you struggle through anything. But it's good to know that this will help you a lot in the long run, and we are able to provide it for you. 

In six weeks we will stop widening it, daily. You will wear it for stability during the remainder of the six months, and have it removed. Then, you will have braces when they say you're ready for them. 

The good news is, I had braces, and they were't as dramatic of difficult as your expander.
Thank God. 


Mothers' Day

This year we decided to do something extra special 
for Mothers' day/Gra's birthday.

We put together a kind of care package. 
Things we selected special just for her, or made ourselves.

A burlap pillow of the state her family lives in...

tea towels with custom art work…

Zeek calls his the "bird series".

He kept all the original art on paper so she can
feel free to use these right up. :)

We all wrote thank you slips sharing our gratitude 
for all that she is and has been to us over the years.

Zeek spread them all around and we folded them up and 
put them in a ceramic canister that read "LOVE" on the side.

We even made it to the post office with the finished box in plenty of time
for it to arrive before Mothers' Day and her Birthday.

My Mothers' Day was also very special.
With rose petals spread all over the bedroom and breakfast in bed,
cards, flowers, gifts and a day with my two favorite guys.


A Day in The Life

Last night, Zeek slept in the living room on the couch. 
We call it "slumbering" and he likes when we let him once in a while on a weekend.
So, when Greg and I woke up, 
we didn't want to be out and about, disturbing Zeek's sleep.  
We turned on our favorite new series on Netflix, The Fosters, and watched the next episode.
Then we read some of the book we're reading 
for more training hours toward our Adoption Certification.

When Zeek woke up for the day, the three of us went to TL for breakfast. 
I had an omelet. Greg had the buffet. 
Zeek had his usual -eggs benedict, no ham, extra egg, medium poached. 
It was, as always, the best breakfast of the weekend.

When we got home we played a board game together.
Zeek was winning the entire game, and Greg was barely hanging in there. 
I noticed that every time Greg left his seat for anything, or even looked away,
Zeek would slip him some of his money to help him along.
I also noticed that he would not advance his "monopolizing" by purchasing anymore homes or hotels.
I'm pretty sure he was avoiding the downfall of his Dad's small empire.

After the game, which Zeek did win, I revealed Zeek's kind deeds
and pouted out to him that even if he had lost the game, he was quite a winner in our eyes and God's. 
We presented him with a furry creatures lego creation set he's been wanting and we've been
holding onto for just this kind of occasion. :)

Zeek built his Legos while Greg played his game on his computer, 
and I played some Golf one Xbox one for the first time in months. 
It was nice and fun, but the weather was far to beautiful for us to 
spend any more time indoors!

So, I took Zeek for a ride. I on my rollerblades and he on his scooter. 
Greg wanted to come, and even tried, but his back/leg is really acting up,
so we regretfully had to leave him behind.
It was a good ride, and although it was windier than I knew (or I would have passed)
we still made excellent time and enjoyed the sun and excersize. 

Back home, I blew leaves and gathered "sticks" for a couple of hours.

 Then we had a fire, and Greg grilled brats.

I read some of my book while Zeek played in the sand hill and woods...

Then, we had giant marshmallow smores, which hit the spot! :)

Finally, Zeek convinced me to follow him to the tire swing
to get a load o his new tricks.

When we got back inside it was nearly his bedtime. 
We each showered, and then it was my turn to read, pray
and tuck him in for the night.

Greg and I watched TWO more Foster episodes over a "mid-night snack" 
and laughed that we could have finished the whole series
if we didn't have to sleep, ever.

I love being married to my best friend.

And I loved this productive, warm, family day at home.