Wednesday, February 10, 2016


To say life has been challenging lately,
would be a great understatement.

We've had 2 sweet little brothers with us for over a month now.

L to R: 17 months, 5 1/2 years, 6 months, 26 months.
4 littles is exhausting.

However, when 2 of those littles have been abused and neglected, 
you have to take everything you know about parenting 
and throw it out the freaking window.

I'm thankful for my camera so I can look back and say,
"Oh look! I did do SOMETHING with my kids during that hard time!"

Clementine LOVED this busy bag!
Sorting pom poms by color using tongs:

Playing in a bin of snow:

Valentine making:

"Roasting" marshmallows:

Swimming with Daddy:

Calico Critters:

Playing in a TON of snow!

I wish I could share more pictures of the boys.
They are so incredibly cute!

Things I didn't take pictures of:
The day I had to clean puke off of most surfaces on our main level.
The times when 3-5 of us are crying at the same time.
The countless shows my big girls have watched.
The very little homeschooling that has taken place.
The poopslosion in the bathtub.
The hundreds, HUNDREDS, of poopy diapers I've changed. (Not even exaggerating.)
The times I hear a little voice say, "MY mommy". Sharing me has been hard for Clementine.
Waking up 4-5 times a night with the toddler...and having no idea what he needs.
The constant food battles.
The big, sad tears that form when I drop them off for visits...and then again when I pick them up.
The nights when I cry to Ben saying, "I cannot do this any longer. I'm serious this time. I'm dying."
The moment I hear that worship song that sings, "And when I cannot stand, I'll fall on you"...and cry.
The 15 foster care related appointments in 22 days in January.
The 4+ weeks of coughing from the boys.

There you go!
I would hate for anyone to think we're all rainbows and butterflies around here.
We have more than our fair share of storm clouds and mosquitos.
(Is a mosquito the opposite of a butterfly? I kind of think so.)

Foster care.
It is BY FAR the hardest thing I've ever done.
So good. So rewarding. So very needed.
But also so lonely and HARD.

God is good.
His mercies are new each day.
He's making beauty from ashes.
He loves me and my kids...the 2 I birthed,
and the 15 who we have cared for the past (almost) 4 years.
He is carrying us through this.

{kids are still napping, so I'm just going to keep rambling}

There is NO ONE I'd rather do hard things with.
Ben in my rock.
He is quick to serve his family.
He is supportive and understanding.
He prays for us.
He gets up with crying kids in the night.
I married up BIG time.

The First Loose Tooth

It happened!
Her first loose tooth!
She was ecstatic!!

Then, it was loose for 2 weeks.
2 looooong weeks.
She was afraid it was going to hurt, so she kept it still.
(Made me want to lose my mind.)

Finally, we decided it needed to come out.
(Ben and I decided...not Alice.)

She FREAKED out,
and then I pulled it.

Almost instantly, she was giggling and saying it's the best day ever.

We don't do Santa, so it seems weird to do the Tooth Fairy.
But, I asked her if she wanted to play the Tooth Fairy Game,
and she did. :)

Alice received $1, a treat, and a package of colored pencils.

She has another loose tooth, maybe 2.
I'm praying it's less dramatic next time!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Christmasy Things

A blurry picture from Ben's Christmas party:

My sweet hair stylist cut Alice's hair.
Then, she asked for "snowflake hair".
This was the fancy result:

She wanted to give Santa a letter.
It was so sweet. They even sang a duet.
Great Santa!

Kids are weird.

We got to see little Eve!
We smothered her with kisses.

Exactly 5 seconds before this was taken, they were both crying:
I bribed them with candy.

Ready for the festivities!

Matching pajamas for cousins:

It was a sweet, quiet, serene Christmas...
exactly the way I like it!