Thursday, April 30, 2015

Best of Facebook: April 2015

4/7/15: Click here to see post on FB: 

We have Brittany for our first unsupervised visit! Yay!

4/13/15: Click here to see photos on FB:

Our week of packing begins today! We will be packing our entire RV for 8 people and cooking and freezing a weeks worth of meals so it can be a true vacation for mom too ;) By Saturday we hope to be on our way to Big Sandy, TX for our yearly family camp and conference! The kids are beyond giddy with excitement and super motivated to be helpful so we can leave as soon as possible!

Busy has been the theme of our life lately. I'll use just last week as an example. Sunday we cooked a big Easter lunch and had an amazing Easter Sunday with several friends, which longer than the planned lunch and included a nerf gun war, Super Smash Bros tournament, dinner, long conversation and a movie. Monday we packed quickly, dropped off our puppies and kids at two faraway friend's houses and drove to Orlando to see Brittany, Tuesday it was just Brian and I but a full day of doctor appt, medical trainings and visiting with our daughter-to-be, Wednesday I prepped a powerpoint during the car ride home and rolled into town just in time to pick up kids and puppies and host our 4-H group for a class about fostering orphaned animals and bottle feeding puppies. Thursday after our weekly bible study we caught up on some farm chores and I took my biggest girl to the "life-saver dinner" where she was honored by raising over $2500 for our local Women's Pregnancy Center. Friday we finished some fencing, built some garden trellises, and built two whelping pens for our two very pregnant piggies to give birth in peace. Saturday finished it off by having old friends over so we could teach them how to butcher their own chickens (at their request) and we attended FSU's Kids Brain Fair where we had a great time learning all about how God designed our amazing brains to work! Add to this week meals, daily chores, school, farming, gardening and bottle feeding puppies every 4 hours!

I like the term "full" instead of "busy." We haven't intentionally filled up our schedule but we often find ourselves in a spot where important, memorable events pile themselves up all in the same week or even day! We try to prioritize our lives with people first. If someone calls and says, "Hey, we would love to come by today and visit" or "Can you guys come to help us build a fence this week?" or "Are you available to watch my kids for a couple hours?" then we will always postpone our farm projects, cleaning or even homeschooling to make time for the most important things in life, people!

There are no interruptions to our plans, just God ordained plans that we are made aware of, so we put our own plans on hold for His. Now if I can remember to not hold my plans for this week so tightly-fisted and view every interruption as an invitation to participate in God's perfect plan and put my own on hold!

4/16/15: Click here to see photo on FB:

The kiddos had their last day of our weekly homeschool co-op on Tuesday. The end of the year presentation was very cute showing off much of what they learned throughout the year in Latin, Literature, Bible, History, Science, and Music/Art.

With our homeschool co-op, 4-H, Awana and bible study all taking breaks for the summer we are looking forward to a slower season (Lord willing!).

The past two days have been filled with tremendous amounts of list making, directing, cooking, packing, and cleaning. We take off tomorrow night for Big Sandy, TX for our annual family camp and conference. All our meals are cooked and frozen and most all of our stuff is packed away in the RV. Just some last minute preparations and shopping trip left. If I can get through tomorrow without coming unglued that would be a miracle!

4/17/15: Click here to see photo on FB:

We are finally on the road headed to Big Sandy, TX for a week of camping and fellowship! Our goal was to be on the road by 6pm tonight, well we took this picture as we loaded up at 5pm, an hour ahead of schedule. That is pretty good. Especially since we were out for 6 hours this morning finishing up last minute errands, at a total of 12 different stops, then 3 more hours of last minute prep and packing and we were still out ahead of schedule. And best part!?! I didn't come unglued once today, no yelling, no anxiety, no freak-out mode. Preparing for large trips with a large family typically sends me over the edge pretty easily, God is definitely at work, thank you for your prayers! :)

That isn't the end of the story. We took this cute pic, pulled out of our driveway and were happily cruising along. Brian turned to me and said, "Hon, we forgot to pray just before we left for our traveling." I wish we would have pulled over that moment, "We are about to stop at this gas station to fill up on gas and fill our propane tank, we will pray then." The excited chatter from the kids was bubbling over and the little ones ansy-ness from sitting in a car all day was beginning to become a distraction. Just 30 miles down the interstate we stopped for gas, then filled our propane tank then made sure our grey water tanks were emptied. That is when we noticed we had some major problems. Problem 1, our fridge wasn't turning back on. We had 4-6 hours before we would lose a week's worth of meals and preparation. Problem 2, both our batteries died and our RV wouldn't start. We called our roadside service, It would be $190 to send someone out to diagnose the problem.

"Babe, what did we not do?" We all unloaded and surrounded the front of the RV, laying our hands on the battery, "God we are so sorry we didn't come to You first. Please forgive us. Lord, we are taking this trip to deepen our love and faith in You, please help us."
We opened our eyes and saw a young college student at the next gas pump, "You need a jump?" Oh, yes!!! The moment those jumper cables were on our RV started right up and the fridge turned on. After a two hour delay we are back in business and this time we will keep prayer closer to our hearts. :)

4/29/15: Click here to see article on FB:

We were recently tagged in a friend's post on supporting adoptive parents and we wanted to continue the conversation here.

"I was speaking to an adoptive family recently and they said, "EVERYONE is called to support adoption. You may not personally be able to adopt right now, but you are still called to support adoption. And you do that by supporting the families that have (or are working to) adopted now." Yes, YOU!

Christian or not, you are responsible to support those in our community who have gathered the courage to bring new children into their home. But how? Well, this article is a starting point.

And maybe some of my adoptive/foster family friends could chime in on how we can best support you."-Jen Brown

This article has some great and practical ideas. Our church was kind enough to think of throwing a shower for Brittany this time around. While our other children have never had a shower thrown on their behalf our church and community always brought us meals and material needs within those first weeks home.

Posted by Shannon

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