Monday, June 26, 2017

Finding joy in the little things

Having our little G-Man has opened our eyes to find joy in the little things.  I feel like even though this isn't our first round of having a child his age, it's fun to watch him experience new things!

We got him right around the time of sign ups for baseball.  The best part, he was able to be on the same team as Randy for this year!  He had a bit of baseball knowledge, so it was fun to practice with him in the yard before season began.  He was an absolute HOOT to watch play!  He played catcher quite a few times.  He's on the smaller side, so it was hilarious to see him in the gear.  It swallowed him, but he was a good sport!  My favorite part of the whole season was when he hit the ball, made it home, or did something awesome, when it was time for him to come into the dugout, he would run to me and say, "Mrs. Sadie, did you see me do that?!"  He was always beyond excited and proud!  We were too!  Nothing is as fun as watching a kiddo learn and gain confidence in their skills!

He is also learning how to swim.  When he came to us, he wasn't confident in the water.  He is now!  He has loved to swim at the pool, no matter if it was at my parent's, the aquatic park, church camp, or a friend's house!  You  never know what a foster child has experienced so when it comes to scary situations, you have to be extra careful and patient.  We are taking swimming slowly, but he is catching on super fast and impressing us!  I think by the middle of July, he will be a swimmer!  After the pool, he loves to come home and tell Randall all about learning to swim and how he went off the diving board with his swim vest!

Even though I am excited to sit and watch him experience things, I can't help but feel guilty.  I am not the mom who gave birth to him.  I'm not the one who carried him for 9 months.  This is something she should get to experience and see.  I pray for her every day.  I can't imagine not having my child.  No matter the circumstances, his mom will always be in my prayers.  Jesus can change any situation and He can change anyone.  Please be praying for his family.




Wednesday, June 14, 2017

We Could Never.....

Hi again everyone!  It's been quite some time since I have blogged, but I have some big news!  We FINALLY opened our home for fostering!  Our CALL coordinator asked for bloggers to blog about foster care and I figured now was as good of a time as ever to open this back up and begin blogging!

The title of this post is "We Could Never."  I want to begin with the fact that this was not our view on fostering.  In fact, it was something God called us to do and we answered.  We knew that if God called us, He would equip us.  That's exactly what He has done.  I titled this post because I hear those words often.  So often when people see us with our G-Man, I am told, "I'm so proud of your family.  We could never do it."

People, let me first just tell you this.  You CAN do this.  Will there be difficult times?  Of course.  Will there be tears shed?  Of course.  However, would you rather these sweet, precious children not experience love?  Don't they deserve us being attached and loving them?  Don't they deserve someone crying over them.  Don't they deserve our prayers?  Don't they deserve a home where they will feel safe and protected?  If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you CAN do it.  In the end, it's not about us, it's about them.  I think having my heart broken is worth it for these children to feel showered in God's love!

As we enter the unknown, we have to trust that God is by our side.  He will guide us and give us all we need.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Randy's Kindergarten Graduation {super late post}

This post is so late, it's not even funny, but it is one that needs to be documented!  Randy graduated kindergarten back in May.  This little guy makes me oh so proud!  I love to look back on what Ruthie was like at his age.  When I was looking through the pictures, it sure made me laugh.  Both of them were so nervous, but smiling through the whole thing.  Anytime a teacher acknowledged them, they ducked their head out of shyness.  Randall smiles when he's really nervous and I am thankful it's a little trait that he passed down to the kiddos b/c I happen to think it is adorable!  

Before we went to the ceremony, we stopped at the church to grab a few shots of my handsome boy!



See the cute little nervous smiles???



To top off the graduation ceremony- he won the leadership award!  That's my boy!  



Being a mother to this sweet boy is such a treasure!  

Friday, December 4, 2015

Fishin'

I have to admit, growing up, I was quite the tomboy.  Fishing, shooting my BB gun, playing in the dirt, playing with cars and trucks, and riding my bike was just what I liked to do.  As I got older, things just changed.  Now that I have children, I want them to experience those things.  Fishing wasn't something I thought I would enjoy again, but boy was I wrong.  We've fished here and there a few times, but this summer, we all fell in love with the hobby again.  
Randall decided to take us all fishing.  We loaded up, took our dog Jack with us, and headed to the creek.  We were not really prepared, so it was a mess, but we sure had fun.  We started it off with choosing a really small place for us four, plus a large dog, to fish.  As we are going down the muddy slope, Jack took off and Randy was holding the leash.  Randy fell down the slope and almost landed in the water.  He wasn't hurt so we all sat and had a good laugh while brushing the mud off Randy.  We had a good time, and caught a few fish.  
Randy after his fall:

Ruthie caught a few fish that night!

The next night, we loaded up our kayak & canoe and decided to go down the creek and see what we could catch.  We had such an amazing time that evening.  The sun was shining and it was just such a neat experience!  I can't wait until it warms up and we can go back out and do it again!


Check out that light!

Daddy helping the kids out with a fish!

Even though I hate photos of myself, my kids need to know I am there too!

Just a collage of the rest of the evening.

Winter, hurry up so Spring can come along and let us fish again!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Swingin' Bridge

If you live in Arkansas and you have a chance to slip away to the little town of Oark, do it!  We don't live too far from it, but we rarely make a trip.  Every time we do, we realize we need to do it more often!  There's just something about the simplicity of spending the day at the creek.  Reminds me of so many memories out in Bobby's field hiking to Flat Rock and just playing all day.
On this day, we got up early and headed to eat at the Oark General Store.  We had a fabulous breakfast and the people who were there were so friendly and kind!  After our breakfast, we drove to the Swingin' Bridge, which is just a few short miles down the road.  I made sure to pack the kids bathing suits, towels, snacks, and drinks b/c I figured we would be there for a while.  The kids had a blast playing in the water, wading in the creek, throwing rocks, and jumping off the rock.  It was such a perfect day that even Randall and I ended up in the water.  I didn't bring any clothes, but I dried off before we left.









As you can see from the pictures, we had an amazing day.  Nothing is better than driving through gorgeous scenery, having a fabulous breakfast, and spending the day doing the simplest of things, but enjoying every single moment of the time spent together!  This day reminds me of one of my most favorite quotes-


Thursday, November 19, 2015

2015 Camping Trips

Camping has always been something I LOVE to do.  I remember so many camping trips with my cousin Eli, Maggie, my mom, and my aunt.  Those truly are some of my greatest childhood memories.  I think what made them so special was the time spent with cousins.  I want my kids to remember our camping trips and all the memories they created with their cousins and aunts and uncles.  We had so much fun!

Our first trip was kind of a spur of the moment trip to Cove Lake.  I wasn't too thrilled with the thought of Cove Lake at first.  It didn't have electricity and we were there in the heat of the summer.  Arkansas summers can be straight up muggy and sticky.  I'm not a huge fan of the heat.  Turns out, it was one of the best camping trips I could remember.  We had the best camping spot, with a little cove all to ourselves.  The kids were able to hop in the canoes and kayaks and just paddle around.  What an adventure!  Fishing was a favorite as well!  My absolute favorite part of the whole trip was just about an hour or so before sunset, we would paddle to the swimming area.  During the day, it was quite busy, but in the evening- completely empty.  We would cool off from the hot day and then paddle back to camp during the sunset.  I was always in awe of God's creation.  One night, Randall and I went out on the lake at dark.  It was absolutely gorgeous being in the middle of the lake at night and looking up and seeing all the stars.











Our second camping trip was in the fall at Shoal Bay.  We have camped at Shoal Bay many times.  This time didn't disappoint!  We had a great time!  Again, paddling around was the favorite for the cousins.  Biking and skateboarding came in second.  It is such a blessing to watch these kiddos create these memories together!  One of my favorite things was watching Randall teach the kids how to rappel.  Watching him in his element was such a fun thing for me to see.  It was also neat to watch the kids start off being scared, then move to being confident in themselves and finish down the rock.  We had fabulous weather that weekend.