Thursday, December 31, 2015

Best of Facebook: December 2015

12/1/2015: Click here to see post on FB:

Did you know Kid president was adopted? Shared an article: Kid President's Path to Awesome!

12/4/2015: Click here to see photo on FB:

I am DONE! 40+ hours of a novice sewing with no pattern, just winging it with some flannel fabric, thread and a machine and I do believe they turned out pretty good! Now just to sew big yellow elf shoe correction, I guess I am super close to done....

About a week ago my old boss asked if me and the kids could be on their float in the City's Winter Festival Parade held downtown tomorrow. Of course! Dressed as elves and reindeers? Absolutely! Could you make the costumes if we covered material? Sure, I said quickly sentencing myself to a week chained to my sewing machine, eating far too much chocolate icecream and beating my head against the wall.

Well, it wasn't that bad....and they are pretty cute! ;)

We have been selling at a craft fair all day. The kids worked hard for weeks on making things to sell. Ty made one necklace out of big plastic multi-colored beads and asked if he could sell it for $5. "Sure, buddy, you can try!" I said secretly skeptical. After he got his nerve up to ask a passerby, "I made this myself, would you buy it for $5?" he endured his first rejection. His very tender heart was broken almost to the point of tears. I was getting up to suggest he lower his asking price to $1 or 50 cents. But as I was getting up he calmed down and asked the next stranger who passed by. She kneeled down, "just because you made it all by yourself I would love to buy it from you for $5." Tyman was beaming, "Thank you! I am going to buy a Christmas gift for my mom!" Melt. My. Mama. Heart!

Our kids were asked if they could attend our city's annual winter festival parade dressed as elves and reindeers on the parks and rec parade float. Of course! For a week (like 50+ hours) I sewed elf and reindeer costumes! These memories will last forever!!!

During this busy shopping season don't forget to stop and hug someone!!! My tiny man with a huge heart asked if he could hug people. He wrote the sign himself and let me tell you the ladies are loving it! 

Brittney is enjoying herself while the parade is going!

This is my favorite photo from the parade on Saturday night! I was almost in tears walking behind the float, hearing the cheers from the crowd, and watching this little girl light up and rock to the music.

This little girl who was once cooped up in a hospital room but now she gets to experience life and live it to its fullest! This little girl who was once kept away from fun events due to her illnesses but now she is rocking out, not watching a parade but IN one! This little girl who was once hidden away in a medical foster home but now she is celebrated for her uniqueness and tremendous JOY she brings to everyone! Love you, my Britt Britt girl!

My hubby really, really, really LOVES me! Merry early Christmas to me!!!
Now my 2 teens are fighting over who gets my old Sony Cybershot camera....hmmm..

We get a lot of hate. Yep, us, I know! ;) Called "fundie" and "crazy" and some things worse. That is okay. One of the biggest thing we read on the sites that bad-mouth us is that they can't get over our creepy age gap to see any good in us. Because my hubby is just plain awesome and the greatly unsung hero of our family I am going to tell you the story of our age gap here.

My hubby did meet me when I was 14 but for three years I dated other young boys. The older college guys at work called me "jail bait" and often joked that I was only good for one thing. I had a pretty face but I was shy (I did go to public school, but my friends nicknamed me "mom" because I was always trying to keep people out of trouble). It was Brian that would bring me a lemon pie when I was crying in a booth after being made fun of again and encourage me that they don't know what they are saying. I don't believe it was to win any affections of mine, he was also dating 20-something year olds closer to his age. It wasn't creepy because he would do the same for a 80 year old woman or a 15 year old boy if he say them hurting. His goal in life is to see you smile. He has never been anything to anyone but the goofy, nice guy that purposes to make your day great. He was everyone's best friend. It wasn't just me. Brian eventually moved away and life went on. My new manager cared about only one person, himself, work wasn't fun anymore and the guys were still being guys. After getting out of a terrible relationship it was me who instigated a renewed friendship with Brian. I told him, "I need to find someone like you. Someone who is just plain kind." In my mind, though, I wanted Brian in the younger, hotter form. We both knew with me being 17 and him 28 that we were not compatible. Being long distance we purposed to ask each other 3 questions every day on AIM. Like where did your father work? or what is your favorite ice cream flavor? After a month we were running out of questions, we had asked almost 200 by that time. The more we found out about each other the more we looked forward to the next chat time. I remember distinctly standing in my kitchen doing the dishes when a thought the size of a brick hit me, "I don't need to find a guy like Brian. I need to allow myself to love Brian."

We chose to overlook the age gap then and I am so thankful now. This man is still the same. He is a people-pleaser (yet I have made him say "no" more often) and he has made me friendlier. He is my laugh at the end of a hard day and teddy bear arms always waiting for any moment I need an embrace. And I wouldn't trade his big, comfy warmth for rock hard abs anyday! I haven't ever heard a co-worker say anything but he is an awesome guy to work with, he can make anything fun. And if you are a customer at his store Brian is the guy that you love yet you don't know his name, but he knows yours. Oh, and Brian doesn't get frustrated, like ever. Which is a breath of fresh air for me who has a pretty short fuse (God is slowly making it longer). He is the man that EVERYDAY, yes EVERYDAY, calls from work just to say, "I love you," see how I am doing, and tell me he misses me. He is the man who every day 7 kids rush to the door with ear-blistering squeals, "DADDY IS HOME!"

God has helped us overcome so many other things, bigger than our age gap, in our life that are outside the boundaries of "societal norm" like adopting 5 kids at once, adopting kids that were outside our comfort zone, living with infertility, giving up our luxuries in life so we could flee from debt, live within our means and spend more time with our kids and now learning how to farm and raise our own produce and meat. One thing is for sure, I couldn't have been on this crazy ride, called life, without my bestie and partner in crime, even if he is ancient! ;)lol

My Brian, babe, you will always be young and spry to me!

Memory from 4 years ago today:

"I put some of the kid's gifts under the tree today and Yukehily (Mirabel age 8), wide-eyed, said "how do you wrap a gift?" I didn't have a quick response and paused, then little LulI put some of the kid's gifts under the tree today and Yukehily, wide-eyed, said "how do you wrap a gift?" I didn't have a quick response and paused, then little Lulu (Risa age 5) said "this is the first time we had wrapped presents!" There is so much I take for granted like giving or receiving a wrapped gift."

"As I reflect on the past month it was a blur, I rushed through it, the prep, the work, the sickness, to get past the trials it held. I missed all the great moments sprinkled in the trials. I RESOLVE that I will be content in my trials so that the joy intertwined can shine through! I looked at our children's gleaming faces as they decorated our tree. This wasn't just a Christmas tree this was their 1st Christmas tree."

Ah, I love FB memories! We had been parenting 4 hurting children for about 6 months. Another infant, Titus who is number 5, will arrive in a few days. The trials continued and still continue but I am so thankful God gave me the resolve to hold close to my heart the joy in the trials!

Christmas is a heard season for kids from hard places. It is not you, mama. Keep loving, keep being firm, keep your heart open to the joy intertwined in the hard and snatch it out, hold it close and tuck it away!!! As the joy increases the hard has to shrink to make room for it so purpose to be joyful this season since in Christ your joy is complete!

On our way to a dress-up birthday party!!! Happy 5th birthday to our friend Jubileeah Joy!

That time that you don't have enough gas to get home but you are also in a princess costume....LOL

Life is short, keep your tank full and feel pretty! :D

Yesterday we had such a sweet surprise. Brittney's Covenant Care team worked with another agency to adopt our family for Christmas and yesterday a van load of Christmas presents were lavished on our children. I have a ton of pictures of happy children going through their unexpected treasures but one moment topped it all. Risa's one request for Christmas was a saddle for her pony, Cherrio. I walked everyone into the room with their eyes closed and put them in front of the chair that held their unwrapped presents. Risa was so sweet and thankful for her new shoes and clothes and a teddy bear but as everyone settled they announced they had one more present, as Risa walked over we lifted a sheet covering a large stuffed horse with the most perfect saddle seated on it. "Oh! I might cry!" Risa gasped.

Today she got to ride her pony for the first time like a real cowgirl with a saddle and reins! Then she gave pony rides to her siblings and some friends. Too sweet!

This girl brings us so much joy! At church today she was prancing around giddy laughing hugging everybody. You may get a little drool on your shirt but no one can turn down a Brittney hug when she flashes this smile!!! :)

Thank the Lord we said YES to this little girl! (PS, her dress is #LulaRoe dress we got her for Christmas! Isn't it just gorgeous on her!?!)

We love making pens and animal houses from old recycled materials! Here are some of our creations.

Happy repurposing!!!

Posted by Shannon