Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wishing you a Happy New Year

2011 has been an eventful, joy filled, tear filled, busy, crazy year of growth, love and grace!

We are so grateful to each of you, for keeping us grounded, sane and focused on the tasks at hand.  Without each of you and your individual roles as family members, church members, friends, neighbors, acquaintances and yes even some strangers along the way, for sure our lives would be less fulfilled, less colorful, and very very ordinary! 

We have had many highs during the past year, and in my estimation, the greatest would be getting away for a whole week with my husband, the Prince, as we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary.  We spent a wonderful, relaxing week in Florida... basking in the sun, each other's company, and peace and quiet!

But other things that ranked high on the list include in no particular order...
  • the graduation of our eldest dwarf from high school
  • a fantastic visit from our dear friends from Florida
  • finding a wonderful facility for Grumpy to attend to work out some struggles
  • continuing my business, growing it and finding many new friends on the way
  • the growth of the Prince's ministry in our church and to our community
  • a visit from our favorite Spanish daughter
  • the return of our favorite Korean dwarf
  • Doc having the opportunity to travel to Spain
  • the addition of Lola and Lucy - our black and yellow (Steeler's puppies)
  • the time we had with a special 10 year old Korean dwarf
  • camping with the family and with friends
  • spending time at the pool relaxing in the summer
  • the joy of giving
  • the joy of sharing Christ's love with others
  • the start of Kids Hope USA at our church
  • the love and support of our friends and family
  • Bashful's first basketball season 
  • God's provisions - for just what we need
I find that the best times are when the house is filled with activity, the children are laughing... but in my older age, I am starting to seek out ways to slow down the craziness of life, stay closer to home and to bask in the contentment of experiencing God's great love and grace for me each day. 

May you and your family be blessed as we enter into this new year, relax in the knowledge that trials are to grow, us not break us, that opportunities to serve others before ourselves are available at every turn in the road.  If you are reading this, know that you and your families are loved and cherished by us. 

Happy New Year !!

The Dwarf and the Axe !

This entry will go back a few weeks...but I believe that it is a story that I will remember for a long time, along with all Happy's bus mates, his teacher and his classmates!

Happy's morning routine is typically carried out in SLOW motion.  On this particular school day though he was up and out of bed, before his alarm went off, he was dressed and moved quickly through his breakfast and chores... certainly atypical of this young dwarf. 

As several of the other dwarfs and I are sitting at the breakfast table, we realize that suddenly our tongues and our mouths are tasting odd, and that there is an odd, strong, almost sickening odor coming from somewhere in the house.  This scent is flavoring what we are eating and drinking as we are inhaling it through out noses...

I hop up from the table and go to the stairs, I call up to Happy, the only dwarf up there, " Hey Happy, you okay??"  "Yea mom, I am okay."  But his voice is not coming from his room, or his bathroom...  so I begin to head up the stairs.  As my foot hits the third stair, my nostrils are assaulted by another blast of the smell. Immediately my head starts to hurt, my tongue is thicker and my nose is burning.  By the time I reach the landing and call out to Happy again, I feel as if I may pass out.

I figure by following the sounds of humming, that Happy is camped out in my bathroom, and as I round the corner to the master bedroom to the master bath, I run into a fog screen from an aerosol can. 

" Happy, have you been spraying your father's Axe body spray?", I ask as I have my face buried into the crook of my arm.  "No mom he says."  "Really???" , I reply, I can taste it, I am struggling to breathe in this space...I am going to ask you once more and I would like you to tell me the truth." 

So, yes indeed I repeat the question.  Now perhaps he is not hearing me correctly since now my eyes are watering and my nose and mouth are still buried in the crook of my arm, but would you believe, standing there in the fog of Axe, he continues to deny that he used the Prince's cologne. 

Now let me just say right now, I FIRMLY believe that teenage boys should take responsibility for their hygiene.  Pit music is a must! and Cologne would be fine, in appropriate doses and with the permission and consent of a parent.  Furthermore, I have a big problem with my son's smelling like my husband, that in my mind is just weird... 

But I digress, I ask him for the third time to tell me the truth please, as I point out the obvious ways that I KNOW he has illegally used the Prince's body spray,  and yes three times is the charm because he says that he did use it.  Did I mention that all the while his is nonchalantly combing his hair????

Now here is the quandary - I glance at the clock... it is now time for him to leave for the bus, if he stays to shower this all off, he will miss the bus and be late for school because I will not be able to take him in until the last dwarf gets on the bus at 8:30 .... so ... I have no choice but to send him off in a hurry, now to catch the bus. 

Little did I realize that this was the day of the return of his favorite teacher who had been out for a few weeks on leave.  Was Happy trying to impress her being a well dressed, groomed and fine smelling young man?  We will never know - but I guarantee that day everyone smelled him before they saw him, had to clear their throats in his presence without clearly understanding why, and maybe suffered from a mild headache that cleared once they got out into the fresh air....

This all happened before 7 am ...  you just can't make this stuff up!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

This is why I don't foster, I adopt!!

As many fans our our family know, in October in a crazy whirlwind of activity, we added to our dwarfs, a little one, age 10 from Korea.  How it happened, I do not know, but somewhere between adjusting to 9 dwarfs in the house, and the news of his impending departure from our home... the little bugger stole my heart.  That is right - just wormed his way in there... was it his smile, or his crazy hats?  Maybe the way he said that I am the best cooker ever...or the way that he would wait at dinner to start eating until I got my plate of food and sat down... Either way... today reminds me why we do not foster children.

Sticking him in the car today was the HARDEST thing I have done in years...  I rest in the knowledge that God is in the details...but I am struggling with understanding what I can not see.  What I do see is a boy, who is 10, being moved to a new host home, who is sad and confused. But what I feel is the tug of a mothers heart, having invested hours into his care and comfort.  Halloween costumes, Christmas gifts, lost teeth, monkey bread making, tree cutting, bike riding, hours of homework, drilling spelling words, leaf project, flooding of the office from his bath, tucking him in at night, praying with him, shopping for shoes that were not too heavy so he could run faster, his crazy giggle, his love of wrestling with the Prince and the other dwarfs, his concern when I get weepy at church, his love of video games, his persistence in what he wants...  our lives were intertwined in such a short time. 

As the mom substitute of this little 10 year old, I tried to provide encouragement, settle disputes, comfort him in his sadness, reign him in during times of exuberance... and today, with great pain I said goodbye to him, potentially to not ever hear or see him again.  As I walked back to the house today, with tears in my eyes, greeted at the door by many of my dwarfs, my tears became sobs and I clearly now know why we do not foster children, why we adopt...

My little dwarfs unsure of what to do for a sobbing mother, offered me comfort,  held my hand and offered me Kleenex and encouragement.  As I sit and write this entry, I am binge eating Laughy Taffy (grape of course) and washing it down with a strong diet Pepsi.  (extra caffeine and carbonation)

It is my hope that we touched him, the way that he touched us.  Are we perfect -NOPE - was he perfect -NOPE - but he was a good fit for our family and he will be missed greatly! you just can't make this stuff up!