Friday, January 25, 2013

Back to Blogging???

Yep, believe it or not, we are still alive here in the Tiger Den!

There is no way to get caught up on our lives since the last time I posted...so I'll just say, life is crazier than ever and we have just added to our family through adoption.

Please welcome our little Ugandan Princess!


This was her first experience with a "wishing well" or fountain.  She had a great time playing in the water throwing in pennies.

Life over the past few months has been...full, unexplainable, wonderful, difficult...

Maybe, eventually, I will have extended time to get on here and write more, catch up a little.  Right now, homeschooling five children grades 10 through pre k and adjusting to another little one around is taking up the vast majority of my time.  Most days, I can't even remember which child I am speaking to and go through the "roll call" until I hit the right one!  Besides homeschooling, we  have church, two boys playing church ball, dance, tutorial, etc.  I had fallen out of the habit of Home Sanctuary, but after being home for a couple of weeks before Christmas, I realized I needed HELP!  I am trying like crazy to not miss a day...ANY order in our home is a God send right now.  However, I did find this week that in my quest to not miss a day of making my Sanctuary task, I became quite grumpy with all the "interruptions" so, I am trying to cut myself and my family a little slack and realize that some days, the best way to make my  home a sanctuary is by NOT completing the task and giving myself to my family instead.

Anyway, I am looking forward to visiting and reacquainting myself to my fellow Company girls this weekend and hope to get back into the habit of at least blogging once a week...it is the only hope for my children to ever have a "book of memories" cause scrapbooks or baby books are just out of the question right now!

Blessings to all and don't forget to check out Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Coffee Talk 4.6.12


Good Morning!  Just dropping by for a quick visit.  I haven't been around in awhile and look forward to checking in on everyone today.

I clearly have had trouble getting my ducks in a row lately and just cannot seem to find the time or motivation for blogging.  No reason, really, just life.

Nothing too exciting going on around here.  School is just about 8 weeks from being complete (at Tutorial anyway...we will have to do some finishing up of subjects at home), we have our biometerics appointment scheduled for the adoption of April 23 AND we will soon have a student driver at our house (yikes).

FB was hoping to go today to get his permit.  He has been studying the book and taking practice tests like crazy.  We gathered the MOUNTAIN of paperwork to take with us and I even planned to take a low school day in celebration.  Then, in a moment of sanity, I told him to check the DOT website to make sure they did testing on Fridays.  They do...just not on GOOD FRIDAY!  Shoot, he took it like a champ, although I know he was super disappointed.  To be honest, so was I.  I have been dreading this moment for a year, but now that I have finally embraced it, I was really excited for him.  Now, we will have to wait until sometime next week, bummer!

In other news, I must confess that we have been very blessed and largely unaffected by the recession that this country has been in for awhile.  Of course, we have felt the squeeze of higher gas and grocery prices, but haven't had to make a lot of adjustments.  Until now.  Suddenly, we are REALLY feeling it.  We aren't really sure why.  A lot of unexpected expenses with our air conditioner (again) and things but mostly, it is just the continually rising prices.  We are now faced with some tough decisions.  Things like dropping music lessons for the kids, perhaps getting rid of satellite, stopping our weekly Sonic "treat" on Fridays.  I know in the big scheme of things, those are not major...but I confess, I am struggling with it...because it affects mostly my children.  Really, they have handled what they know so far well.  They are okay with discontinuing music lessons and will probably continue learning on their own.  They realize they won't be getting their weekly Sonic trip and accept it...but I think when they really don't go, it will be a bit tougher.  They don't know about the TV yet...I really think they will be okay, they can find the few things they watch online, but it still will be a change.  

All of this has been very eye opening to me.  I am surprised at how frightened I feel at the thought of the changes we will make.  And I am very humbled to think that these luxuries that most of the world has no concept of are so much a part of me that I really mourn them.  It is actually quite sobering because I have never really considered myself as a materialistic person, I don't consider us to be big "splurgers" and yet, my attitude is quite telling.  To be completely honest, the real realization hit me last night.  For those that have been around here long, you know that Thursday night is a sacred night in our house.  EVERY Thursday, the kids are all tucked away by 9:00 and Tigerfan and I have "date night".  It is always the same, House Hunters, popcorn and peanut M&M's.  We have been doing it so long, I cannot even remember when it started.  It is one of my favorite times of the week.  Last night, we had date night with no M&M's.  You see, the money for M&M's just wasn't there, so we did without.  We still enjoyed our time together, but I would be lying if I said it was no big deal...not because we missed a treat one night, but because I realize that this small sacrifice will become the norm and I am spoiled...I don't like sacrifice...I don't like change...and I don't like that I am seeing just how spoiled I really am.

My faith seems to be so small and my God is so big.  You would think after 30 years of following Him, I could just trust His heart and move along...but I still have a lot of growing to do.  Hopefully this weekend, I will reflect on Him and His HUGE sacrifice and I will go into next week with a better attitude, a purer heart, and more compassion for those who REALLY live lives of sacrifice.

Anyway, my kids seem to think I should give up this computer so they can do school (they are really SO demanding) so I need to stop whining and sign off.  Praying everyone has a blessed Easter weekend and looking forward to visiting you all.  Be sure to go to Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk.

Leaving you with one of my favorite songs...I need this perspective right now!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Yep, Still Ticking

I'm not sure anyone has noticed, but I seem to have lost my blogging mojo. I just cannot seem to get things together enough anymore to post or even read many blogs. It makes me sad, because I used to love it so much and it was a great way to connect with distant family and friends. I have considered just shutting it down but I can't get to that point yet. I really WANT to continue here. I like the idea of journaling for future years and I used to just like sharing stories, etc. I might forget. I enjoyed the friendships I made with other bloggers and I loved the occasional ego boosts when someone would complement a post. Unfortunately, when I do sit here to type a post...I am empty. No more of those witty posts that left all of you in bloggy land wanting more (okay THAT was funny), no more funny stories about the kids, although I'm sure they still do them...I just don't remember. So, I am in somewhat of a funk. Not ready to give up entirely, but having no inspiration either. I have the time today...no excuses. We are on Spring Break but have been stuck at home waiting on a repair man. We have now been stuck here for two days. We are also pretty well stuck in the house even though the weather is BEAUTIFUL!!! because Tigercub is suffering from horrible seasonal allergies and despite daily Zyrtec and eyedrops, every time he goes outside, he comes in with his eyes swollen almost completely shut! Yes, I am whining, bear with me. I feel the freedom today because the likelihood of anyone actually reading this is almost nothing so I'm venting. At the moment, the 3 little ones are playing with play-doh at the kitchen table...which, incidentally, totally puts me in the running for mother of the year because I HATE PLAY-DOH. Yes, I just said that. I know how good it is, blah, blah, blah. The reality is it is messy, takes forever to clean up and, while I actually have pretty much no OCD in me whatsoever, I HATE it when the colors get mixed up. When we moved into this house from our last one...all of the play-doh may or may not have disappeared mysteriously never to be seen again. However, a few years and a few holidays and birthdays later...we have a large stash and it is a good sanity reviver...except that after the first five minutes the fighting begins...but if you can just block out the screams and ignore the thumps, scrapes, and tattling..it provides at least 30 minutes of entertainment value which is precious right now. It is also telling of our television habits, which may need some revamping because in the past 15 minutes, they have used play-doh to do "Cupcake Wars", "Project Runway" and are now trying to find a form so they can do "Face-off"! Clearly, we watch WAY too much reality TV around here! Tonight will consist of trimming bushes and scrounging for supper. Supper will consist of a blood bath as the family will be given the choice between two teriyaki chicken breasts, a plain chicken breast or a piece of grilled tilapia. These are the ONLY meats in the entire house and since I have not been able to escape for the grocery store, it should be our own little version of the Hunger Games as they fight for their chosen entree. Hopefully, it will not be to the death! Well, I'm off to judge some Face off. Unfortunately, no forms were found, so they are just doing each other's faces. Play-doh is non toxic...right?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Coffee Talk 1.20.12

Good morning!

Another day of in and out!  We are in the midst of schooling so I'm just dropping in for a moment.  At the moment, FB is reading and listening to Great Expectations, the other two school kiddos are doing their math assignments and I got Tigercub playing with Playdoh so I could sneak in here for a moment!

Nothing too exciting to say about the week.  We  had a normal week of activities and the normal running around.  We seem to be finally getting back into our normal routine after the Christmas holidays!

Tigerfan and I stayed up each night and worked on our adoption education courses and I can now proudly say, WE ARE THROUGH!  Yay, one step closer!

Today I hope to finish up another jewelry board that we are making to donate to our Orphan Care silent auction...hoping it will be really cute, of course I will post pictures next week.

I have also been reading a book that I TOTALLY recommend if you have children, or are planning on having children one day!  It is called Parenting by the Book by John Rosemond.  It is so common sense and yet common sense seems to have left our world these days.  I am telling you...I have been freed up so much in the past couple of weeks!  Now, if you love all the (in the words of the author) "psycho-babble" that has come out in the past 60 years, you may not appreciate the help this book offers, but he has basically thrown out all the advice given by "experts" over the last few decades and gone back to the REAL instruction manual...the Bible.  It makes SO MUCH SENSE, and yet I have really gotten sucked into so much of the modern ideas.  I am one of those guilt ridden, stressed out, hovering mamas...and I don't have to be!  As I have read this book, my eyes have been so opened...what do I want for my children?  I want them to be God fearing, Christ centered, service oriented men and women.  So why do I spend so much time teaching them to excel in academics, why do I stress myself out over getting an A, why do I hover when they do their work?  I want them to be self governing, but I am teaching them that they can't be successful unless I am inching them along each step of the way.

SO...this week, I have stepped back.  I have given them instruction, and then let them go.  If they fail, it is their fault and they learn they have to work harder.  If they succeed, they are proud because they did it ON THEIR OWN!  I have had less stress this week than I have had in fourteen years and it feels great!  AND...I am not even done yet.  More changes will be coming, I just need time to finish reading, praying and figuring it all out!  I just wish that I would have started this several years ago because I have a lot of bad habits to break now...we will all be grateful for it in the end, however...I really believe that.

Anyway, this weekend we will be doing some "honey do's" around the house.  We have our in home Home Study visit this week so we want to be prepared.  We also will celebrate Dancer's ninth birthday and Tigerfan's ? birthday, so we will be enjoying LOTS of celebrating.  I will TRY to add some pics next week...if I can get my act together.

Hope everyone enjoys their weekend and I look forward to visiting with you!  Be sure to head over to Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Coffee Talk 1.13.12

I know, nobody actually believes this, but I have to be short and sweet today because we have a CRAZY day ahead of us!

I am in desperate need of a haircut, so I have an appt. at one, followed by F.B.'s guitar lessons at two, followed by dancer's dance class at 3:15, and if the Lord is smiling upon us, we might be able to slip in a Sonic Happy Hour trip!  It would also be divine if we could make it to the library and the boys have ballgames tonight probably starting at 5:00.  I also promised the kids that I would make baked potatoes for lunch and we also must fit some actual school into the day!

I totally planned, also, on making a totally unhealthy but very delicious looking Pinterest recipe tonight...and haven't totally given up on the idea, although I am not totally sure how to work that into the schedule.

Yum, right!  Pizza casserole!  Trying to figure out how to make it in advance, then cook and eat it before the games.  Or...how to cook it before the games and then bring it with us so we can eat it at the games, therefore omitting SOME of the begging for junk food that is in the concession stand.

Anyway, as for the rest of our week...we have done quite a bit toward the adoption so if you want to check out that update, you can find it here.   If you want the short version...we have met our social worker, none of us have a criminal record, our water has too much chloroform ***Tigerfan amended his original report, he misread and we do NOT have chloroform (whew!) we have coliform which is much less harmful but not nearly as funny! and I may or may not be issued a passport!

Now, I have a puddle of Kool aid on the kitchen floor, a screaming four year old on the fit rug and two older children who are totally not buying the fact that if they don't finish school today...they WILL be doing it tomorrow!  Which also reminds me that F.B. will be attending his first high school formal tomorrow!  I use the term formal loosely and we hope that he actually goes with, you know, pants on because finding a 28w 32l dress pant for a reasonable price is IMPOSSIBLE!  So yes, the formal is tomorrow, and no, he does not yet have anything to wear to said formal!  Good times!

Anyway, hope to visit around some this weekend, hope you all have an amazing, blessed weekend and be sure to visit Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Coffee Talk 1.6.12

 Good morning, ladies!  Hope everyone had an amazing Holiday season!  We had such a great time celebrating with family and enjoying TONS of family time that it has been a little hard to get back into the swing of things this week.

Now, you know brevity is not my strong point but I am being yelled at to hurry up...I have a newly four year old that is getting a little put out with me because I promised to play with him and I am not there yet.  There are pirates, little people, Batman men and Scooby Doo characters all over the floor that are SCREAMING for me to come!

So,  in a nutshell...we had a great Christmas.  We didn't quite get Christmas cards sent out as we have been somewhat consumed with adoption paperwork.  Therefore, here is a nice kid Christmas picture that WOULD have looked amazing on a Christmas card:

So sweet!
This week, we are trying to get back into the swing of things.  Tigerfan had Monday off (his holiday day for New Years) and we used the day to put the finishing touches on a jewelry display for our Ugandan necklaces.  If you know me, you know that I do not have a crafty bone in my body so I was quite impressed with our finished product!

I told Tigerfan he needs to make some more to sell for fundraisers...it is quite adorable!  I think we are even going to make one to donate to our church's Orphan Care silent auction, since our contributions are kind of slim.

I also started back with running this week.  I have not gone in several months for several reasons but I got back into the habit this week...Had to back track quite a bit and I still can't say I love running, but I feel so good for doing it so I am going to really make an effort to stick with it!

In other news, we decided to start another blog to journal our adoption journey and to use to promote our fundraisers, etc.  I'm not sure why I think I can keep another blog updated when I can barely find time to keep up with this one, but I am giving it the old college try so if you haven't already been by there, feel free to check it out here.

Otherwise, we are just getting back to basketball, dance, tutorial, etc.  Nothing too exciting.  Tigercub had a birthday and Dancer has one coming up in just a couple of weeks.  We also are thrilled that after a year and a half, we have someone coming to our church this weekend in view of a call.  He was our former Youth Pastor and we love him to death so we are really excited for our church and for what is in store for the year ahead!

That is about it today...sorry, nothing too profound or even too interesting...but a four year old boy needs a batman partner!

Have a great weekend and don't forget to stop by Home Sanctuary for Coffee Talk.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Coffee Talk 12.23.11


Good Morning!
I hope today finds everyone full of holiday spirit and doing well!  I just put a pan of Cinnamon Roll muffins in the oven (a Pinterest find) and expect to have the house full of cinnamon goodness very soon!
We also have some fudge, Oreo truffles and some unbaked sugar cookies tucked away for any of you sweet tooths!
This year, I have tried to pair down our holiday activities.  I haven’t made as many treats (we don’t need them), we haven’t done as many “Christmas” activities, we have mostly been home or visiting with friends...and I have liked it!
For those that have been around here long, you may remember a couple of years ago when I said I longed to have a 3 am friend.  I have plenty of friends, but I haven’t had that really close girlfriend in a long time and I have longed for it.  Well, this week, a friend invited my children and I over for breakfast so we could talk, she ended up keeping my little ones for an hour while Tigerfan and I went to get our adoption physical.  When I got back to her house, we ate...four hours later we ate again...and an hour after that, we finally went home.  It was such beautiful, sweet fellowship and such a gift from God!  Something my heart has yearned for and yet so unexpected!
Another Christmas blessing has been the completion (almost) of our home study application.  All we lack are pictures of each room in our house (the camera batteries died mid photo-shoot) which I hope to finish up today and a letter from the director of our home school tutorial saying I really do teach there.  This is a HUGE accomplishment!  I had no idea what that entailed until we were in the midst of it!  20 something pages, an autobiography from my husband and from me, physicals for the whole family, gathering birth certificates and marriage certificate, finding references...it has been a huge undertaking and we are HOPING to mail it off Monday!!!  Tigerfan has been absolutely amazing...what was completely overwhelming to me, he just grabbed onto and plowed forward and here we are!  Our next step is to get our fingerprinting and local background checks and start on passport applications!  Things are moving along.
To that end, I, who have NEVER had trouble sleeping...cannot sleep anymore.  I go to bed thinking about orphans and I wake up at night thinking of them.  My new routine is to pray for those children, pray for their caregivers, pray for those who might choose them until I fall asleep each night.  And as I wake up during the night, my prayers continue.  I never saw the needs of the fatherless around us until my husband began to mention adoption...and now, I cannot ignore it.  147 million orphans.  147 million children who will go to bed fatherless.  Many who will age out of the orphange with no family and no hope.  Many who will be “sold” into prostitution or forced into military service.  147 million children who long for a family.  My heart is broken for them and for their plight.
So, this year...if you need a cause, if you need a place for your end of the year giving and your heart is tender towards these little ones, consider seeking out an organization that gives hope to the hopeless.  There are so many:  Sixty Feet (who you can help right now by voting for a grant), Amazima, My Father’s House, PeopleWeaver...there are SO many more!  Our eyes have been opened to the needs of those that cannot help themselves and we can no longer ignore them or pretend they don’t exist.  James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”  This Christmas, while we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the savior of the World, a little piece of our hearts will be in an orphanage on the other side of the world.  Hopefully, next Christmas, there will be one less orphan, one less who is fatherless, a little girl who will hug the neck of Tigerfan and call him daddy.  But there are so many more.  Please, this holiday season...pray for those who have never even heard of the Light of the World and consider what you can do.

On that note, our other exciting news is that our fundraising "stuff" has come in this week!  We got our paper bead necklaces from PeopleWeaver and they are completely beautiful!!!  We also got some beauty products from Ladybug Blessings that we will be using to do a brochure sell!  I'm excited to try them out...I just wish that we would have started earlier cause this stuff would have made great Christmas presents...maybe Valentine's???  Anyway, a friend of mine has also found a good price on Ugandan vanilla beans, so I am also hoping to make some Ugandan vanilla extract!  It is exciting to see these things coming together...I'll keep you posted, and if you happen to be in the market for some rockin' Ugandan Paper beads or some oatmeal soap...I can hook you up!!!
Don’t forget to visit Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk.