Smiles, Soup and Singing!

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We were all smiles yesterday during our last day of co-op! We are so thankful for our co-op family, for the way they love and serve others, for the way that everyone comes together to teach and support and encourage, for the truth my kids get to hear each week in devotion time, and for all of the wonderful things that they learned and experienced this semester. Reece totally thrived in all of his classes, and he really got his extracurricular activities in with art, PE, and music. We are looking forward to hearing him play the handbells at the gala in a couple of weeks! Sarah Ann also really loved her classes–learning all about the states, making lots of DIY crafts, and of course, drama! Plus, having them in my science class was so much fun! It was so great to do science together at co-op with our friends and then continue learning about it at home too! We’ve got lots of holiday learning fun planned during our co-op, but I know we’ll be so excited to start back to co-op in January!

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And today my baby boy had his turkey soup and Thanksgiving program at preschool! Everyone did such a wonderful job, but I do think that the cutest little indian belonged to me! He was so happy and proud to be singing all of their Thanksgiving songs on the stage! And the turkey soup that they made was delicious! We had so much fun celebrating all that we are thankful for with our sweet boy! He sure does love preschool, his teachers, and his sweet friends in his class!

It Takes a Village!

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There is always so very much to be thankful for, but as we enter Thanksgiving week, this year we are especially thankful for our friends and family who have been our “village” and helped us in more ways than we can count over this past year! I have learned many things since we began our foster care journey, but probably the one of the biggest things is that I can’t do it all on my own, and that it’s okay to ask for help. And boy, are we so very grateful for it! From friends helping get our kids to preschool or dance, or getting Jordan off the bus, or watching Jordan so that we can have some family time, to my parents keeping all the kids so that Jeffrey and I can enjoy a date night out! And we are also so very grateful for our friends and family loving on us, serving us, checking in on us, feeding us, and praying for us. It really does take a village, and we all need each other to make it all work, and we are eternally grateful for the village that we have been so sweetly blessed with!

Thankful Thursday

Here’s a little Thankful Thursday 34th birthday edition from me….

1. After 12 weeks of training, lots of early mornings, a new pair of running shoes, lots of sore muscles and epsom salt baths, icing my legs often, and running many, many miles… I completed my first half marathon! 13.1 miles! It was a super cold morning, and it was a lot of miles, but I was so very happy to see my crew cheering for me on at the finish line! It was an accomplishment I’ll never forget! Thank you, Jeffrey, Momma and Daddy, for always taking care of the kids when I needed to do long runs. Thank you, Jeffrey, for all of your encouragement and support! Thank you, Kathy, for going along with my crazy idea to run a half! You did awesome, and I’m so proud of you! Now, I’m going to rest and enjoy some shorter runs this winter, before I get crazy enough to sign up for another one…

2. One of my most favorite family traditions is putting together our Operation Christmas Child boxes. The kids love to shop, decorate their boxes, and pray for the kids who will receive the boxes. Jeffrey took a half day off on Monday, so we decided to go shopping for our boxes and celebrate my birthday a day early with dinner at Carrabba’s! It was such a fun family evening, and I’m so very thankful to call this crew mine! They did so great thoughtfully choosing what should go in their boxes and then decorating them. And we can’t wait to find out where the boxes end up this year!

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3. My birthday day was a pretty ordinary day with laundry, preschool, lunch, the library, our school assignments, reading, dance, karate, taco Tuesday, bath time, and awana homework, and watching “This is Us” with Jeffrey. But these are exactly the kind of days I’m so very thankful for. This right is here is my dreams come true in all of it’s messy, real, hard, and beautiful glory, and it’s far more than I could have ever asked for or imagined…

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4. Still to come is my favorite lasagna dinner at Momma and Daddy’s and mine and Jeffrey’s annual birthday date to the Melting Pot! This will be our 11th year! Yum! My people sure do love me and spoil me, and I sure do love them too!

“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love endures forever!”

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Broadwell Academy, October 2017

Well, we are now more than a third of the way done with our school year! I just can’t believe it! But when the months are exciting as October was, it definitely makes the school year fly by!

We started off the month with co-op, our favorite poetry tea time, art class, finishing up a few assignments, and then spending the rest of the week learning all about South Carolina in Charleston! The kids are loving SC History, and it was so fun to be able to bring it all to life! We can’t wait to explore a few places in Charleston a bit more, and we’ve got some fun things planned in the midlands this winter and the upstate in the spring too!

In science at co-op this month, we studied solids, liquids, gases, changes in states of matter, and then also began studying forces and gravity! In Spanish we spent time reviewing the alphabet and then learning the names of places in our neighborhood and towns. Their current favorite word to say is “biblioteca.” For our act of kindness project in October, we jumped ahead to Christmas for a bit so that we could make our Christmas cards to sent to our Compassion children. They have to be in by the end of October for the kids to receive them with their Christmas money, that their family can use to buy whatever they need. Art class ended in October as well, and we also continued along well with our spelling, handwriting, writing and first language lessons. Sarah Ann has been diagramming sentences, and Reece has been learning adjectives and all about verbs. We listened to “The Adventures of Humphrey” as our audiobook of the month in the car, and the kids loved all that hamster’s adventures. The big kids also got to take a zoo class about ocean animals and habitats one Monday morning! Carson has been working very hard on writing all of his letters, reviewing letters and shapes, and doing his math lessons. He’s worked a lot with pattern blocks, teddy bear counters, and making patterns with linking cubes. Reece spent the month adding, carrying, subtracting, working with fractions and whole numbers, and measuring. Sarah Ann completed her Saxon 3 book with lots of multiplication, measuring, division, and time.

We of course also had lots of Halloween fun in October and got to spend two of our field trip Fridays at the pumpkin patch and corn maze with friends! At Clinton Sease we went on the hayride, picked pumpkins, and spent lots of time playing and exploring. At Wingard’s market, the kids went through the corn maze over and over again and then got to paint a pumpkin as well. One Friday we also explored the Cayce Riverwalk and learned about the animals that live in that area and how they used the Congaree to movie materials from one place to another. It was a beautiful day for walking all along the paths! And Daddy took off one Friday and we had lots of fun jumping with him one Friday afternoon!

Now here we are halfway through November, and we are just chugging right along. We are so looking forward to the holidays and all the learning, fun, and excitement that come with them!

Celebrating Our Sweet Sarah Ann

Once October arrives, I feel like it is “game on” until the end of the year with all of the holidays and birthdays that we get to celebrate! As soon is Halloween is over, the jack-o-lanterns and Halloween decor disappear, and we get ready to celebrate a very special birthday! And this year we got to celebrate two very special birthdays on the same day! What a treat!

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Sarah Ann woke up on Thursday morning to balloons, singing, decorations, and a big bag of presents in the living room! She was so happy to be nine and ready to celebrate her big day! After preschool, speech, and O.T. for Jordan and the other three getting all of their school work done, Sarah Ann chose to go to Moe’s for lunch, or course! She was also very thankful that I didn’t make her to math on her birthday! It’s definitely not her favorite! And because one of her most favorite things to do it dance, she certainly did not want to miss jazz and ballet, so after our evening activities we all enjoyed dinner and cupcakes and Mellow Mushroom. And after patiently waiting all day long, Sarah Ann and Jordan finally got to open their presents, and I think they would both say that they were definitely worth the wait!

Jeffrey took the day off on Friday, so we did our school work, ate lunch, spent the afternoon at Hiwire, and then got ready for a very special Descendants birthday party! Sarah Ann planned it all out, including the food, games, activities, and requesting that every wear their pajamas! She invited some of the sweetest friends, and she was so happy to spend the evening with them. We ate pizza, chips, fruit, cupcakes; played games, made friendship bracelets, danced to all of their favorite Descendants songs, and watched some of Descendants 2! It was such a fun night celebrating our sweet, Descendants loving girl! Her friend Natalie also got to stay and spend the night, and they had so much fun playing, giggling, talking, reading, and staying up way too late!

Saturday was a nice day to recover after all of our Halloween and birthday fun in one big week! We got to sleep in a bit, relax some, watch football, and play at the park. Saturday evening we all had our family pictures made, and then we celebrated Sarah Ann (and Jordan and Mommy) one more time at our family party with Nanny, Pops. Uncle Jeremy, Aunt Melanie, and Annalee! Sarah Ann was so excited to get Julie, her new American Girl doll and a new Descendants robe to keep her warm this winter while reading her new Judy Moody books! Family time is always our favorite, and it was so nice to have an evening of football, dinner, playing, kickball, and spending time together! It always goes by way too quickly!

I remember so many details about Sarah Ann’s birth, that it’s crazy to think that it has now been nine years! Oh, that sweet girl has brought us so much joy, and it’s always such a joy to celebrate her! She certainly makes life way more fun!

Happy 4th Birthday, Jordan!

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Jordanius. Jordini. Whoa digga digga.

Now you are four!

And while you’ve only been in our lives for 8 months, we’ve seen you come so very far! You are learning new words and new concepts every day. You love to play outside, and your absolute favorite is Thomas the Train. You like to look at books, and eat chips and sweets. But, you know now that you might as well just eat all your food so that you don’t have to sit at the table forever! You like to dance and sing and count and flip on the trampoline. You talk all the time, even if we have no idea what you are saying. You can turn your tears on in no time flat, and one of your favorite words is “no.” Your siblings love to drive you crazy, but you don’t seem to mind.

Jordan, you’ve changed our lives in ways we could have never imagined. And we hope you had a very special birthday celebrating ¬†with some of your favorite things… Thomas the Train, cupcakes, McDonald’s chicken nuggets, and sweet family and friends! We love you, crazy cutie! Happy fourth birthday!

 

Happy 9th Birthday, Sarah Ann!

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This sweet girl. She is always smiling and laughing. She knows how to slow down and take in the moment. She’s always dancing and singing and acting and creating art and reading. She loves Jesus, her friends, her family, and especially her brothers. She’s definitely a Daddy’s girl, but sometimes quality time with Momma is just what this girl needs. She’s passionate and sincere. She’s helpful and kind. And boy is she messy! She’s everything I’m not, and she’s everything I want to be, because she absolutely lives life to the fullest and makes the most of every single day. I am so thankful that she made me a Momma nine years ago today. Sarah Ann, sweet girl, I love you more than you will ever know, and I’m so very proud of you! The Lord has great plans for you, and I know that he is going to use your gifts in incredible ways. You are such joy! Happy birthday, pretty princess!¬†

Hello, November!

Oh, October, you are certainly a month to remember. From coming back from my trip to Texas to spending a wonderful long weekend in Charleston together, and from the state fair to all of our Halloween and pumpkin fun! The month flew by, and now my most favorite month of the year is here!

Maybe I’m a little biased since it’s my birthday month, and the month that Sarah Ann first made me a Mommy, and because Thanksgiving is my most favorite holiday. There is always, always so very much to be thankful for, and we are looking forward to another sweet month of celebrating, enjoying time with family and friends, and growing and learning and loving, and soaking up all that November brings us. I’m ready for cooler weather, falling leaves, sweatshirts and sweaters, and lots of warm cuddles. Hello, November, it’s so very nice to see you again!

And here’s a few more pictures from our awesome October days….

Happy Halloween!

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Happy Halloween from these cute little pumpkins, who have had a blast being Jack Sparrow, Mal, our ninja boy, and Thomas the Train over the past few days! We have had so much Halloween fun this week! We started off our Halloween activities with Halloween books and snacks in the living room. We’ve watched a few of our favorite Halloween movies, decorate monster cookies and rice krispy treats, and went to J’s trunk or treat at his school and Nanny and Pop’s fall festival at their church! We got to ride lots of rides and do a lot of bouncing. Daddy also rocked our church’s trunk or treat as “Russell” from Up! We’ve had so much fun with family and friends, and I’m so thankful Daddy does all the hard work when it comes to carving our jack-o-lantern. The kids were great helpers too! Carson took a special trip with just Mommy to St. Stephen’s Fall Festival last week, and J also had his first field trip to Fox Farm and got to hunt for a pumpkin. We enjoyed yummy donuts from Krispy Kreme, and today we made pumpkin quesadillas for lunch! Yum! Carson had a special Halloween snack at school today, and the big kids and I got to go visit J’s class while they did pumpkin sensory activities! And just in case we didn’t have enough candy, we trick or treated all around our neighborhood this evening and then sorted and checked out all of our candy! What a delicious ending to super fun Halloween week!