Wednesday, March 31, 2010

my job security

Nine years ago today I accepted the hardest, yet most rewarding job I have ever done.

brendan snow I frequently remind The Hunter that he is the boy who made me a mom.  In our rare quiet moments alone together, he likes to hear the story about how I wanted to be a mother my entire life and he was the baby who made my dreams come true.

Last night I took some time to remember the details of his birth and was grateful that my man was home to fill in the gaps in my memory.

My labor started 12 days earlier than expected while we were at a game night with some friends.  I remember telling everyone around me to stop making me laugh because I was having a contraction.

They were consistently about 15 minutes apart throughout the evening, and the novice I was, I didn't even think about the consequences of eating pizza and Doritos all evening and the unpleasant experience of them coming back up.

As soon as we got in the car around 11 p.m., the contractions immediately kicked in strong and hard and were consistently five minutes apart.  We went home, I laid down for a bit and we called my doula to tell her about my labor.

lkbaby4 I remember, despite my comprehensive book knowledge about labor, I was shocked and scared when my water broke at around 3 a.m.  I started to cry and shake, but my brave and supportive husband assured me that the fluid was clear, so we had nothing to worry about.

Our doula encouraged us to start for the hospital and she followed us in her own car.  She told us later that she feared a "side of the road" birth because things were progressing so quickly.

100_0836 Nevertheless, I made it to the hospital, where I was clearly in transition and my pizza and Dorito binge came back to bite me.  My friend Tracy came to video the birth for us, because my philosophy is that if I have to go through it, I want to be able to see what I went through.

That darn doctor was delayed by about 30-45 minutes and I had to hold off pushing for that entire time.  Have you ever tried NOT to push?  It's like trying not to blink or breathe.  Your body just does it!

After 20 minutes of pushing, at 6:02 a.m. our son was laying in my arms.  We didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl, so it was the best present ever opened.

The Hunter was such a good baby.  He slept when he was supposed to sleep, ate when he was supposed to eat, and was an all around, happy boy.

4_03___playdough_bird_and_fi His first word was "truck," and by two years old, he could recite the technical name for every construction vehicle in the industry, i.e., "articulated dump truck," or "telehandler."

In line with being first born, he is fiercely independent.  He also gives his dad a run for his money because he is a first rate salesman when he wants someone everyone to follow his plans and ideas.

Copy of 000_0003 He was particularly easy to teach to read, and he loves social studies.  Star Wars is his favorite topic of conversation and play right now.

He is also quite forgiving.  I had a horrible mothering day yesterday and when I put him to bed, we were talking about his birthday and he reminded me that he made me a mom.  I replied that I wasn't a very good mom that day and I felt badly about it.

"Yes you were Mom.  You're always a good mom.  You just did some of this (insert grumpy face)."

How could I argue with that?

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Happy Birthday buddy.  You make us proud and we love you dearly.

Thanks for making me a mom.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

the podium

Although our mountain town keeps winter alive and well until late May, our ski season is coming to a close.

Our little men finished up their ski programs this weekend and our voices are a little hoarse from our cheers.

Rufus finished his program with the Cookie Race.  Notice the foil-wrapped cookie medal around his neck.  Coach Julia was awesome and really helped lay the foundation for his future in skiing.

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Today The Hunter and Sauce had the final race with real times and medals within each age category.

P1050207 The Hunter spent the day battling the barf and diarrhea bug, but mustered up the energy to get to his race and take third place in the eight year old category.

Coach Martin named his team of boys "Princesses" and worked these boys to the bone this season.

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Sauce was visibly shocked to beat out every other boy in his age group to take first place.  Coach Justin sure sharpened his skills and their team had such a blast this year.

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I did get to ski with my boys a few times this year.  Here we are on top of the world last weekend.

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And, my world of men - my life and pure joy...

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Just so you know, this is how it all starts.  Here's our little Squirt, giggling through his first experience on skis. 

I'm sure he's picturing the turns he will carve with his brothers someday.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

gilbert

I sent out about 120 Christmas cards this past holiday.

I have no idea how many greetings my college friend Julie sent out, but I can only imagine that she sent just as many or more than I did.

What was interesting about Julie's letter this year was that it wasn't just about her adorable family.  It was so much more.

Julie and her husband volunteer with Compassion International by working to find sponsors for children in need.  A large portion of her letter was about a boy named Gilbert who lives in Kenya and needed a sponsor.  Her family had been praying for Gilbert - her young children had been looking at his picture every day and praying that he would get a sponsor.

Her letter didn't end with a simple "Happy New Year, " but it asked us to consider changing the life of this little African boy.

Rewind nearly nine years.

When my Beloved and I first became parents, my compassionate man decided that for every child we add to our family, we would sponsor a child in need.

Dickson, a little boy from Zambia, was our first sponsored child through World Vision.  We have written to and received letters from him over the years.  We still sponsor him each month and he is 21 years old.  I'm waiting for the day when we are contacted to say that his sponsorship has ended.  Usually, that happens when he has a wife and family of his own.

When Sauce was born, we started sponsoring Salile.  She lives in Malawi and has been our most communicative sponsored child.  Her letters usually come with a good story and lots of love.  My favorite was when she told us that while she was washing the family dishes in the river, she dropped one and was unable to retrieve it.  She thought she would get in trouble, but her mother simply laughed.

That letter made me lighten up with my own boys.  Salile turns 15 this year.

Rufus arrived two years later and together, my man and I couldn't pass up a little girl in Haiti named Mylove.  Mylove was born on our anniversary and will be nine this year.  She looks just as cute as her name.

Before Squirt was even conceived, we knew we were planning on a fourth child in our family, and we came upon the opportunity to sponsor my boy Vitya in Russia through a wonderful organization called Children's Hopechest.

I had the opportunity to actually go to Russia and spend a week with Vitya and it gave me new perspective on sponsorship.  He is a real boy with a real life and a real lonely heart.

Although I still have contact with Vitya through a Russian friend I made while visiting, the Russian government discontinued Hopechest's program in his area and our formal sponsorship ended.

So, back to Christmas.  We had four kids in our Christmas picture this year, but sponsoring only three children in need.

I waited several weeks before I emailed Julie.  I thought I could get Gilbert off my heart if I heard that someone snagged him soon after her letters went out.

What do you think she said?

Sadly for Gilbert, he was still waiting for a sponsor. 

Luckily for us, he was still waiting for a sponsor.

I didn't even say yes right away.  I told Julie I would get back to her and she told me that she and her family would be praying for our family.

Hmmm.  Didn't take long.  Pretty clear answer when God puts it in your mailbox at Christmas time and reminds you of a small promise you made when you started your family.

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I have to tell you, our experience with Compassion has been awesome.  Gilbert's birthday was coming up (he looks like he's five, not TEN!) and we were able to go online and donate a gift specifically for his birthday.

Then we got our first letter from him.

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For less than the price of one dinner out per month, we were able to add some love into Gilbert's life and hopefully make a significant impact on his family's future.

But it isn't about us or the money.  It is about the relationship we're forming.

Some things I immediately love about Compassion are:
- They typically only sign up one child in each family for sponsorship, but it helps the family as a whole.
- They don't support people within poverty, they enable them to work their way out of it by helping them start their own business and support themselves.
- Sponsors are able to attend a Compassion trip and actually meet their sponsored children.

Guess where I envision taking my men someday? :-)

Compassion has an awesome practice of sending bloggers to visit
their projects.

They are in Kenya now and I'm addicted to the updates and scanning their photos for a glimpse of my Gilbert.  They are showing me what I learned in Russia - that these children are real and while we are helping to rescue them from poverty, they can rescue us from wealth.

When wealth means giving $1.25 a day, I don't know anyone who couldn't be a part of the rescue.

Go check out what Kristen, MckMama, and the other bloggers have
to say.

And would you consider sponsoring a Compassion Child?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

brain power

Today was the first day in as long as I can remember with the two brain cells I have left, that my eldest and I did not have a giant conflict over school.

Without creating a long-winded, drawn out, boring post about why I started home schooling, I'll just say that all I have thought about this year is when I'm going to stop home schooling.

I have tried every way I could think of, and some ways that others have thought of, to smooth out our day and make third grade more enjoyable for The Hunter.

With no success.  It has been a really tough school year for me.

Have you ever had the thought, "I'm trapped in the situation I created."?

There have been hissy-fits (mostly him, but sometimes me) e.v.e.r.y.d.a.y. and I have realized that the only time I'm not in conflict with my boy is on the weekends.

It has made me very sad.  I have felt like a failure and questioned my decision making as a parent.

But today was a breath of fresh air.  It was still time consuming, and a lot of work, but it was peaceful and productive.

I made a small adjustment in our schedule, and it made a difference for today.  It felt so good to see some initiative out of this boy who I know is so smart and has so much promise.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring....

but I'm grateful for today, and I'm celebrating it.

About Me

My photo
Messy and wonderful perfectly describes my life as a wife and mom of five. I'm passionate about advocating for orphans by telling their stories and encouraging adoption and orphan care. My schedule is messy and wonderful as I am charged with four sons and one daughter. We love living in our little mountain ski town. We do a little camping, a little skiing, a little hunting, and a lot of laughing and loving. Life is dirty and loud around here but we wouldn't want it any other way. Okay, maybe a little less dirty!

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