2 Corinthians 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."

Monday, August 27, 2012

What a Weekend!

I knew ahead of time it was going to be a crazy weekend... But I didn't plan for this kind of crazy!

My husband was on night shift, working 6pm-6am all weekend.

My son had a soccer tournament over an hour away Friday evening and Saturday morning.

My daughter had to babysit at our house Friday evening.

Our youngest had Open House at his school Friday afternoon.

I thought I had it ALL planned out... Who was going where, when and with whom...

And then it hit!

The stomach virus!

It hit our youngest mid week, but we had no idea that it actually was a virus.  We just thought it had to do with some eating issues we were addressing.

But then around midnight on Friday, we realized it was something more and that he needed to go to the doctor on Saturday.  And that no one would be able to take him without a drastic change in schedule.

When you realize this at midnight and have to wake up at 5am to go to a soccer game, it's not like you can get in touch with the parent of a teammate to arrange transportation.  I was going to have to go to the tournament, which I was fine with since I had missed the games on Friday.

But the youngest HAD to go to the doctor and that left my husband, who would not be able to work until 6am AND take him to the doctor.

So, my husband came home at midnight, picking up a few things at the store on his way home.  I know he was conflicted about it; he had no problem helping out at home, but he knew he'd be leaving the other working supervisor in a bind by himself... But father duty called and won out that night!

After waiting up for my husband to come home while doing a load of laundry at midnight and hand washing my son's uniform, I figure I got about 3 1/2 hours of sleep that night.  

And I think that's what did me in...

I came down with the stomach bug on Sunday morning!

We had already decided we'd stay home from church so that the youngest could be all better for the first day of school, so at least we weren't headed out the door when the pains hit.

Around 11am, I had to kick my husband out of the bed to sleep in the bonus room so that we could both get some sleep.  The older 2 kept up with the youngest and things went decently.

My husband did his very best to take care of everything when he woke up that afternoon... He cooked dinner, hung out with the kids, cleaned up a little, as well as got EVERYTHING ready for the youngest kid's first day of school.  Since we haven't sent a kid to school for 9 years, neither of us really knew what we were doing.... But he has his lunch and supplies and hopefully that was all he needed!  My husband went into work a few hours late to get the youngest in bed and everything else settled for the night...

To top it all off, I didn't know how I'd feel in the morning, so my husband also had to cover that... So instead of coming home at 6am and going to sleep, he worked until 7am and stayed up to make breakfast and take the youngest and our neighbor's child to school.  

In the midst of all this craziness, there was (at least) one good thing...

My biggest concern with starting school during night shift was the lack of time that the youngest would be able to spend with my husband.  The older 2 and I are very used to this crazy schedule and not getting to see him, but the youngest is new to this and needs to see Dad whenever he can.  Because of this crazy weekend, he was able to see Dad more than the rest of us did!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Let's Do It!!

We're approaching August 31st... Does that date hold any significance for you or your children?

Perhaps it means your child will have just started the new school year.  You've finished spending quite a bit of money on school supplies, clothes, maybe even a new computer.

Maybe your child is in a year round school schedule and is approaching the first track out period where you're looking forward to doing some fun things together.

Depending on your area of the country, maybe that date means only a few more days until the new school year starts and you're making preparations and finding out who their teacher is, etc.

But for 16 year old kids in Ukraine, that date has an entirely different meaning.  

That's the day where they are on their own...

August 31st signals the day when orphanages in Ukraine send 16 year olds out the door and into the world on their own...

With a backpack and a bus ticket...

No parents or mentors...

Little to no job skills...

Barely any life skills, beyond fighting for your basic needs...

NO chance at adoption...

Into a country that considers orphans the worst of the worst...

Within a few years, while these kids are still teenagers, 80% of them will end up in poverty...

In a life of crime...

As prostitutes...

With an addiction...

In prison...

Or dead...

So, why should we care about kids halfway around the world, you might ask?

Why should we care when there are kids in our foster care system who need our help?

These are good questions... and I might just offend some people with my answers...

Why is it one versus the other?

Why should Americans help only those in Ukraine (or China, or Africa, etc) and not those in the US?  OR

Why should Americans help only those in the US and no children in other countries?

Here is my question...

Why can't we help BOTH?

There are many people who wonder why families want to adopt from foreign countries when there are many in our foster system who need help... That is a legitimate question IF the person asking it was in fact doing something to help children in our country...  

You do NOT have to adopt from either the US foster care system or a foreign country to show your care and compassion for orphans. 

Sometimes it's as simple as buying something!  

Think of what you might spend money on this week:

Groceries, clothes, gas, electricity...

ALL good things...

But maybe, just maybe, there is room in your budget so that 2 orphans can have a FAMILY?!

Yes, you have probably figured out that I am blogging about my friend April, whose family is adopting TWO orphans from Ukraine who desperately want and need a family.  Who am I to sit in my comfortable house in my easy life and deny those children the chance to have a family?

MANY of my friends have stepped up for April in different ways.  Some have donated items that are being auctioned on her Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.484762421535164.114868.482330258445047&type=1)... Some have bid on those items... Others have asked for donations from friends and family... Others are praying... I'm sure some have even donated money (http://www.eliproject.org/families-in-process/the-mclaughlin-family/)

I'm trying to get the word out so that April and her family can bring their children home quickly.  One more day in an orphanage is TOO long!

So, I'm asking for your help!

Can you give?  Bid?  Share?

Of course, I am asking for your prayers as well, because we know this is GOD's battle and HE desires these children to have a forever family.

Please ask yourself what you are able to do... And then DO IT! 

Monday, August 13, 2012

First Week of School, Take 1!

Last week my older kids started their homeschool year.

It was quite the blur of a week.

Not only did we have something going on every day- soccer practice, soccer game, orthodontist appointment, doctor appointment, team meeting for foster care/adoption, hair appointment.... But my husband also was on night shift for half of the week!

I also did about an hour of school with our youngest, who will start public school later this month.

I am sitting here and typing and literally not remembering much of last week except that I feel like I didn't see my husband more than an hour total Weds-Fri.

Since my older kids are both in high school, they are very good at getting their work done independently.  

My oldest, who is in 11th grade, is finishing up his Algebra 2 as well as studying Chemistry, and is looking forward to Russian History next semester.

My 9th grader is finishing up Algebra 1 and starting Geometry, as well as studying Physical Science.

Both kids are also taking US History, Russian, Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace (for high schoolers) and will be writing research papers.

It should be an interesting year, that's for sure!

And so today we start another week where we have something(s) going on every afternoon- doctor appointments, soccer practice, soccer games, etc... This will be our life for the next 2 months so I better get used to it!

While it's busy, it's nothing new.  In 2 weeks when our youngest starts public school, that's when things will get CRAZY!  I don't know how we'll get homework done AND have any kind of time where he'll be able to see his dad for any length of time.  It won't happen on Saturdays as my husband works practically all of them from now until the end of November.  We'll definitely have to be deliberate and creative.  It's only for a season and we'll get through!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

What Are You Willing To Do?

Another one of my friends is adopting!

April and her family are in the beginning stages of adopting 2 siblings from Ukraine.  They are filling out their paperwork and getting their physicals, fingerprints and homestudy done.

But the hardest part of this journey could just be in the funding of the adoption...  This adoption will cost them at least $30,000!

I'm sure some of you wonder why they would spend that much money to adopt... Let me tell you, if you meet an orphan who so desperately wants and needs a home and you have a home... You will do whatever you need to do to bring those children home!

Not every family can adopt... If you are a family with a heart for orphans, but you are not able to adopt, you have the privilege of helping April and her family adopt 2 from Ukraine!

Here is the link to their donations page:

If you are able to give, that is greatly appreciated.

If you are able to link this to Facebook or send in an email to some friends who might be able to give, that is also needed.

I have seen an outpouring of support from my friends (who have never met April!) as they are donating items to the online auction April is having to raise money for the adoption.

Let's help bring these children home to their forever family!

ANY amount, large or small, is welcome!


Monday, August 6, 2012


We have been fortunate this summer to take three trips, all with free lodging!  That's how I love to travel!  ;)  Actually, it's what allows us to travel!  As a single income family on a government salary, there's simply not enough at the end of the month to save for Disney or a week at the beach. 

So in June, our family of 4 traveled to Charleston, SC to visit with our family friends for about 5 days. 

Then in July, our new family of 5 spent 2 days at a beach a few hours away and were able to stay in a house for free!  That was SO much better than cramming into a small hotel room!  :)

Just last week, we spent 5 days at a friend's house in the mountains.  Ahhh, how I LOVE the mountains!  There was less humidity and the weather was cooler.  We slept late, slept with the windows open (and were even too chilly a few nights!), went on some short hikes and watched the Olympics.  

There were 2 highlights of the trip... The first was tubing down the river!  This river is pretty shallow in most points and all you have to do is sit in your tube and let the current drift you a few miles back to your car.  It was so nice!

The second highlight was getting to visit with friends of ours who were staying with family about 30 minutes away.  So after a 30 minute drive up and down and around, we were able to roast hot dogs and marshmallows with our friends.

There were also 2 lowlights on this trip... The first happened over our first night when a 23 year old deputy in the next county was murdered in the line of duty.  His wife is due any time with their first child.  Thankfully, another deputy on the call was able to shoot and kill the murderer.  It sounds weird to say "thankfully" because that man also has a family left behind, but that can be the price you pay for murdering Law Enforcement.....

The second lowlight was that our oldest came down with a high fever on our last night of vacation.  A few days later it was gone and we're glad it didn't interfere with our trip and that it was nothing more than a virus.

So, yes, we did take several trips this summer, but we needed that last trip as a family of four and we needed that first trip as a family of 5.  Plus, we wanted to take "W" to the beach for the first time.  It was all good bonding time as well as time to kick back and relax and take some time away from appointments, housework and work.  It was needed because we are entering the "busy" season around our house... Where into our "normal" life we add homeschool, soccer games, public school, off duty work for my husband which will take him out of the house an additional 7 Saturdays beyond the 7 he's already working between now and the end of November.  We needed that family time because it will be scarce by the end of August when "W" starts school.

So maybe when things get busy and stressful these coming months, I can remember the beauty of the waterfall we hiked too, as pictured below...