Thursday, April 23, 2015

Joanna turns 5 & her special day out

 Joanna Faith Wright was our surprise package!  We were reeling from pain of a international adoption that was halted because of technicalities.  The pain was REAL!  It was more than we could handle.  BUT GOD! 

God brought us to Christian Adoption Consultants and within a week she was in our arms!  It was a miracle, one that we are grateful for daily!  (Not to mention now we get to work for CAC which we love!!)
 (I know this is a post about Joanna, but Joanna loves her "twin" brother) Michael being adorable! 
 Not only did Joanna come to us through a "stork drop", which is what we call those cases where an expectant mother already has a baby or is going to very soon, but she just has such a joy about her. 
 I mean that face!  It kind of tells who she is in so many ways!  We will forever miss our daughter we lost, but are thrilled God brought us to Joanna!!!  She rocked our thoughts about domestic adoption.  About if large families can adopt, and how the process works. 
 She also has broken all kinds of molds for what we thought was typical for children!  ;) 
She loves meat, skipped baby food, loved being a baby burrito (wrapped tightly as a baby and now), loves to laugh, and as always loved her snuggle time!! 
 I am still no good at switching the picture...sorry.  But isn't she cute with her Aerial outfit and wig? 
 She is our first to have an "obsession" over one certain character for more than a year.  She chose strawberry ice cream cake (with Oreos on the base and side). 
 I have to admit I cried!  I mean she is our baby and she is now 5!  Both Michael and Joanna are now 5, and my mommy heart just wishes at times I could keep them all small.  Of course I love watching them grow up as well.  I just love all the stages really. 
 Posing as she has daddy help her with her Aerial Lego set. 
 Big breath! 
 I so love her enthusiasm, her spunk, and her crazy faces! 
 We LOVE YOU JOANNA FAITH WRIGHT!!!!  (By the way her birthday was March 23rd, but hey I am only a month late). 
 So at least once a year we take a day and spend it with both of us and one child our kiddos have coined the term "special day out".  This year Joanna wanted to go to Aquatica and since we have tickets we headed there with just her, mommy, & daddy. 
 Then because it is low season and they closed early we headed for Pizza at Mellow Mushroom and on to Sea World. 
 Yummy food!  We had never been to a Mellow Mushroom.  It was great food and we all loved it. 
 Hey mommy.....take a picture she says. 
 Sea World has an all new Antarctica area with a new penguin ride and viewing which is fantastic.
 Play time with our angel! 
It was a great day!  I love getting some one on one time with our beautiful children.  It is a true blessing!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Noise

 So today's pictures brought to you by Mission's Week with jr/sr high EMERGE from The Crossing Church :).  I have been working with Emerge Missions for about 3+ years now.  It pretty much allows me to still enjoy youth since I miss that part of the time when we worked at camp and when I was a teacher. 

This week we did a "home makeover" for a widow who is taking care of her grandkiddos.  We also did some food sorting for a local food bank, visiting the nursing home, did some repairs at a home for battered women and at a home that helps people who are homeless get back on their feet, helped a homeless man one on one, and putting on a fun day for families that are migrant workers nearby.  We got the chance not only to "do stuff" for others, but to pray with them, to witness to many, and to build relationships with each other! 
 So THE NOISE!  It sometimes feels deafening.  It feels as though it surrounds your brain and you can't hear the things you love anymore.  It can drown out your sanity and worse yet it can overcome you. 
 This past week has been hard for me.  I am not sure why really except tonight I realized I needed quiet.  Now don't pass out.  If you know me well you know that I crave and thrive when I am with people and going a 100mph - henceforth the 9 kids, and a very extroverted personality! 
 It wasn't my kiddos- they are fine and beyond our normal crazy it hasn't been anything ultra nuts.  I mean the AC went out in our van.... again... for the 3 time since last summer.  The dog chewed Micheal's 2nd set of glasses.  We did home school and I did work and Jason has done work.  There were appointments to keep.  It's pretty typical week you may say. 
 We have gotten back into a routine!  And all the people who are type A like me said Ahhhhh........
 So why then do I feel like there is NOISE? 
 It happens quite easily.  It starts with not getting your quiet time- due to sickness, or bad scheduling, or plain ol' skipping.  Then in creeps bad habits and then you forget.... 
 Forget who you are in Christ.  When this happens the noise creeps in.  Just a little pitter pat type noise at first. 
 Then before you know it, it gets out of control!!!
 You start second guessing everything- your mommy skills, your home schooling skills, your ability to parent much less 9 children!  You second guess your ability to be the wife you know your husband needs.  You second guess that you are even of value to anyone.  You second guess yourself in every aspect. 
 Then that critical judgement of yourself! 
 The one that points out every mistake that you made that day!  EVERY SINGLE ONE! 

Believe me people there are a lot of mistakes to be made in just one hour let alone one day! 
 You realize how horrible you have acted, you replay what you should have said and done, and you make yourself feel like a total loser. 
 You are plugging away, but the JOY is missing.  Where did it go?  Can I ever get it back?  I can't even hear or feel the good things anymore it is like they have disappeared. 
 The noise is now deafening!  It hurts your ears.  You feel ashamed and unworthy of love. 
 Then GOD!  Then God whispers and you finally hear it.  You finally hear that loving still small voice that you have been longing for.  You rejoice at the voice of that old friend who hasn't left your side. 
 The tears flow.........
 And you ask questions like- Am I even in your will?  Help me to remember who I am!  What should I be doing about ..........?  God guide me in what you want me to be.  Lord I can't keep carrying all of these burdens they are just too heavy.  I need rest.  I need quiet time with you.  I need to put away all of those "super important" things and remember you are my most important relationship! 
 My first love.  My King and Savior. 
When that noise kicks in- be sure to kick it to the curb!  Don't let it eat you alive and spit you out. 

Step back into God's presence..... and let HIM remind you of WHOSE you are. 

As for me- I am the Daughter of the Most High!  I am complete in Him.  I am worthy.  I was chosen to be my children's mother.  I was chosen to be my husband's bride and help mate.  I was chosen by God to play a role in Emerge.  I was chosen for so many great things!  I just can't do it on my own.  I have to listen for that sweet voice of my Savior for direction. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Happy Adoption Day Joshua, Sarah, & Elizabeth (from March 19th)

 WOW!  Memory lane.......  This was the "original adoption day" for Joshua, Sarah, & Elizabeth from 2008!  A day that is etched in our minds and hearts forever! 
 This young lady loves to doing nails, scarves, lip gloss, and reading!  I threw in some fun things like a dart gun, fun watch, etc. as well. 
 She has an amazing heart for Michael and loves to help with him, she sings on the worship team for the 1-6 graders, and loves to play sports. 
 This young many loves basketball, reading, and having fun! 
 He wants to be a firefighter and will be GREAT at it!  He has a sense of protecting others and wants to serve!  He also volunteers at church with the little kiddos at church and has served the last 2 years on our Emerge Missions Week.
 This little songbird sings on the Breakaway worship team with her sister as well. 
 She loves her Friends lego sets, reading about princesses, and has an infectious laugh! 
 These three are amazing!  I can't even explain how blessed we are because of them. 
 I couldn't imagine missing out on those smiles. 
 Their creativeness.
 Their personalities. 
 Yes, they each get to chose their desert for their day.  It works because we have 9 children and we eat it all pretty quickly anyway ;)  Joshua chose a chocolate chip cookie cake. 
 Reeses Ice Cream Cake. 
 Blueberry cobbler for Sarah! 
 Yumminess all around!!!
Oh, and Crumpet loved the balloons, but found out quickly that it is loud when they pop!