Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Veritable Love Fest, Y'all

There are days, and then there are DAYS.  I was told this by a dear internet bud recently as I began our homeschool journey.  And she was right...we are a month into it and there have been days and DAYS.   But today was one of those days.

Oh the pure sweetness, where do I start?

With the long hugs I got from my late risers this morning?
Or with the contented smile on their faces as they did their school work?
How about the enthusiasm with which they built their replica of the Nile River and flooded it to make the farmlands grow?
Or the moment when I looked up and saw my big kids giggling with their arms draped across each other's shoulders?
Maybe I should start with the fact that all four of them were utterly content to play requests for TV, laughter in abundance, and secrets shared between brothers and sisters.
I don't know...I just know that it was, indeed, a veritable love fest between all of my sweet babes today and this mama's heart is overflowing with joy.
These long days together, these hours at the kitchen table and in our back yard, are knitting hearts so closely, so sweetly together.  My children are becoming best friends once again.

AND they can actually tell Daddy what we learned today because they did not zone out or check out in the middle of History.

They got it, they liked it, and they learned it...all while giggling sweetly with their arms draped across each other's shoulders.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Close Encounters of the GOD Kind

Last week I had a sudden urgent desire to take the kids to Build-a-Bear to sink a hundred bucks into stuffed animals make a voice-recording bear for Little Sister.  I had thought about doing it soon so that we could take it with us to Ethiopia and leave it with her when we say our temporary good-bye at the end of the week.  But suddenly I needed to do it and pronto.

So I loaded up all four kids who were mucho excited to sink a hundred bucks into stuffed animals make a new bear and all the fun that goes along with it and we headed out to a nearby mall.  (I promise I will try to refrain from any more bad Spanish inserts!)

Now DJ, at age ten, was understandably NOT into the whole stuffed-animal thing.  sigh.  I guess he has left that era behind.  So he talked me into letting him blow spend his equal portion at The Game Stop.  Go figure. But the other three could not get to that stuffing machine fast enough!  Katie chose a Jack Russell Terrier, Gracie chose a black and white Panda, and Drew chose a camouflage green teddy.  Oh, did I mention that they had a special?

29 bucks and you got the animal, an outfit AND a pair of shoes.  Yes, that is 29 times Little Sister's sparkly purple bear with the heart-shaped nose and voice recorder.  Daddy is a generous man.

So they stuffed their new friends and excitedly ran to the kid displays to choose outfits.  Suddenly a beautiful little boy caught my eye.  Those eyes...that skin.
If that kid isn't from Ethiopia then I am hallucinating.
I watched him as he gravitated toward my children and just watched them.  I thought of how comforting it will be for Little Sister to come home to four siblings who look like her.  His mother, who was Caucasian, encouraged him to come help her and his big brother stuff his new bunny.  A quick shake of his head spoke volumes.  He wanted NO part of that giant stuffing-blower and all the loud noise that it produced.  A moment later she walked near me and I had to ask...

"Is he from Ethiopia?"

"Yes!" she said excitedly.  I then told her about Little Sister and she said that my kids had already filled her in.  Friendly little things, aren't they?
So we talked about her little darling and she said that he had only been home for 2 weeks so he doesn't understand very much English yet.  I asked her how he is adjusting and she said that being in a place like the Mall is completely overwhelming (which was obvious by the wide-eyed expression on his face) but that at home he was doing great.  I also found out that she was a fellow AWAA parent and we "knew" each other from AWAA's chat group!

Now that was such a short, seemingly no-big-deal conversation.  But if I could find words to relate to you how meeting her and her beautiful son settled my heart and brought peace to my overactive imagination I would be writing a book.  I have NO DOUBT that that was the reason I needed to go to the mall that day.  I was supposed to meet her.  The Lord had encouragement waiting for me to help prepare for Little Sister's arrival, and it was in the form of a "chance" meeting over teddy bears!  It was worth every dime that I sunk into stuffed animals (and video games) that day.

Oh, and Little Sister's bear?  It is SO cute.  On the recording, I said her name (in the most African way I could get out of my Southern mouth) and all four kids said in unision, "WE LOVE YOU!"

And, oh, how true that is.  How amazing to miss someone that we have not even met.  What love awaits that precious, smiling little girl with the big sparkling eyes!

Only 53 days 'til I hold her in my arms!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Care Package #3

Curious George at the Park touch and feel book
Disney Princess puzzle in a cute tin
My Little Pony activity book
Plain notebook for drawing...with a love note from Mommy in the front
2 sparkly beaded necklaces
a Giraffe Print dress with green trim
Green leggings
a green headband with a bow
3 packs of M&M's
And a pink princess tote to hold it all

57 days until I kiss your sweet face!