Monday, May 22, 2017

Project 365, Week 21

I definitely have exceeded my picture count limit, but we've had a lot going on. Some good, some not, some pictured, most not. It is hard and it is sweet and only by God's grace my heart is fuller with a fuller house. It also gets more is brutiful.

May 15
Avery's class had a class trip to an adventure park. I pulled out my winter coat to be outside with her, but despite the cold and rain, the kids had a great time.

May 16
Avery laid a blanket in the yard and we chatted for a few minutes...she's aging rapidly!

Silly boy, passing the time.

There was a new-to-us instructor at horseback riding and we really liked her, so much so that we've switched our lesson slot.

May 17
My first morning of the season out on the was lovely!!

Even though it was 90 degrees, Shaun and I spread mulch at three properties. It was nice to hang out together during the day, kidless!

May 18
Field trip #2 of the week. We went to a local farm and I thought it was pretty lame, but Aiden seemed to really enjoy it, especially hearing about planting and harvesting, which he already considers himself an expert in. :)

He wanted me to sit next to him on the bus and when we walked he would grab my hand. At lunch we sat together under the shade tree and he steered the conversation around legos and Hardy Boys and gardening and...cancer. Wow...blows me away to hear his heart and I'm glad he's still processing it. So am I!

J was selected to participate with other high school girls in a hat show fundraiser. I had low expectations, but it turned out to be a 300-person, well-run, classy event.

As the girls took turns modeling their hat, the MC read a bit of their story, their interests and about a woman in their life who inspires them.

I was amazed by the brokenness and heartache, the strength and courage.

May 19
Each year the RI National Guard puts on an airshow. This year my dad took some cousins and met up with my brother and his gang for a pre-show/practice, no crowds and front row seats. It pays to know people in high places. ;) (Thanks Elizabeth for the photos and Pop for thinking of Aiden!)

One of the kids was clearly struggling after school so I said, Come on...we're going for a walk! She did not stop talking for the 3/4 mile walk, words spilling out about her rough day. And then we arrived at the river and played with Ginger and the world was a better place.

I'm learning to slow down more, listen more, infer 'just suck it up' less. I'm horribly imperfect at it, but its important enough that I keep trying.

May 20
There was talk of prom happening and I had an inner freak out, thinking of all the not good things that could happen because we haven't had enough time to train/coach/teach/advise. So I didn't say no to prom but counteroffered with an all-expense paid day at the amusement park. They happily accepting, not at all anxious to pay a ton of money knowing that "there's always next year".

So I spent the day at the amusement park with five teens and Shaun was at the soccer field with the other three from 9:30 am to 7:30pm with baseball, soccer and comp tryouts. They laid down the seats in the Suburban and played games and hung out.

May 21
Same river, different kid needing some time.

Somehow it worked out that I got to take Avery to her morning soccer game, all alone! I set up my chair off to the side of the parent row, put in my headphones and had a very special time with God while I watched in amazement at Avery's progress and heart on a beautiful morning. It was wonderful!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Project 365, Week 20

"Be obsessively grateful."  :)

May 8
Aiden makes me laugh sometimes when he comes down stairs in the morning. He's got his too-short pants hiked up, belt cinched tight, tie askew, hair straight-out-of-bed, lookin' like he's not quite sure where he is. I love seven year-old boys! :)

May 9
Evening soccer game.

May 10
Our morning walk to school (on a day with all smiles! :)

May 11

May 12
The work continues at the other house.

 I taught J how to plant and she took it from there.

May 13
Three soccer games and a baseball game. It was our usual divide and conquer.

May 14
Mother's Day! We went out to dinner the night before and then the kids made breakfast in the morning. We went to the late service at church and then had a quiet afternoon. Ray and Quinn stopped by and Z even texted me: Happy Mother's Day! Thank you for all you've done and for all the love you have shared. Love you!

Mothering this bunch is bruitful....both brutal and beautiful. On a daily basis there is great loss and great love in our hearts and lives. Its truly baffling that God would call me to this sacred role of mother and what's clear to me is that God uses the least likely people. I'm grateful for the refining process that began twelve years ago when I became a mom.

I'm confident of this very thing...that He who has begun a good work in me will continue it until the day of Jesus Christ.

My heart is full when my table is full.

Friday, May 12, 2017

May's 10 on 10

10 pictures on the 10th day of the month (Wednesday).
{Document a snapshot of your life & find beauty among the ordinary things in your day! }

Mornings start early here. I don't need caffeine to "kick start" me, but I do need the ritual.

Meds for some, vitamins for all and breakfasts bars for those who wouldn't eat otherwise.

Lovable, witty, knowledgeable...never a way to predict what the conversation will be about. :)

Grocery shopping is a labor of love for me. Shaun doesn't care about it too much, but it speaks great love to all the kids to have food available and meals prepared.

We've often talked of having a house on the lake...renting it out during the college school year and playing at it for the summer months. We do lots of dreaming and research and talking. This day we looked at a gorgeously restored house that would not work for us but gave us a glimpse of what our lives could have looked like if I'd stuck to my "no kids, ever!" guns. :)

More dreaming, planning, research, trusting in God's faithfulness.

The eclectic work that is done on this computer is comical. This day was a lot of foster care admin work. Also, before I took this picture, I gave the keyboard a much needed washing.

A favorite time of day. The grammar school kids are the first wave home in the afternoons. I am usually the privileged one who gets to hear the excited stories from the day on our walk home...all at one time, each jockeying for center stage.

Amanda and I went to the old homestead to do some work. It needs some "sprucing up" so we can get it rented. She was telling me about her concert that night and before we knew it, we were waltzing together on the sidewalk. :)

I dropped Avery off at soccer practice and was compelled to stop and admire creation.  Spring is showing off around here.

What could be more fun than a 3, 4 & 5 grade band and chorus concert??

H spends a considerable amount of time playing chess, Shaun does not, so they are pretty evenly matched now.