Sunday, February 19, 2017

Christmas 2016...Finally! :)

I had plans to post about our Christmas at the beginning of January.  But! 

Then this morning (Saturday) one of my littles looked at me and asked, "Mama, how come you're so happy today?"

I hung my head in shame!  It really is that obvious that I've been stressed.  Yesterday I got to take a few of my kids skiing and we finally had a day of laughing, fun, and treats! No yelling, no snarking, no drama, no trauma, no hours of working with a child to achieve success.  And what a balm it was to my weary heart! I know self care is extremely important, but most of the time self care is not even an option.  Self care involves having people in our life that really know our kids at a deep level and are committed to being in our life for the long haul.  We have some amazing people in our life, but most of them are as maxed out as we are.  That's called life and I wish it was different, but it's we do the best we can!
It's been awful around here lately.  Stress and emotions have been at an all time high.  I'm convinced we had at least 10 full moons in the month of January! It's been a time of going to bed weary, beaten and defeated...and waking up knowing it will still be the same.  Many days I'm just super glad that I don't have to redo the day.  I used to wish I could redo some days.  Lately I've been glad that's impossible!  I don't even want a redo!  I know I did my best and yet still feel like I failed.  Adios January 2017!

This place of hard has a way of making my faith grow, and a way of making me realize how much I need my God for every step I take!  This hard has a way of opening my eyes and giving me a glimpse of the hard that those around me are going through.  It's made me realize the concept of "stress", of "tired", of "hard" is all relative.  I used to think my life was so stressful and hard!  Hah!  And now I sometimes think I get what that means...but I'm pretty sure I don't!  To all you mamas and papas out there dealing with the really hard...hang in there!  Lean on Him!  Every moment of every day! I'm praying for you as I pray for myself.  May you find this song by Matt Maher as encouraging and comforting as I do!
We're still in a hard place, but we're beginning to figure out what was/is going least in part.  Thankfully, it's something we can work at.  And it's quite simple! Vitamins and other supplements! 
If you've read The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis, you know there's a chapter that talks about the importance of nutrition and supplements, and how it can affect a child's ability to cope.  We've figured out a combination of vitamins and supplements that work well for our kids. (Side note:  be sure to talk to a professional before you begin pumping all kinds of good things into your kids' systems.  Each kid is different and needs a professional to guide you through figuring that out.  I have yet to meet a physician that understands what Dr. Purvis is talking about.  So far I've only ever had blank looks when I mention all that Karyn Purvis mentions.  We work with a very talented naturopath in BC.  She's a godly woman, has adopted, and understands!  And best of all...she's not a quack job!  lol!)  With the hustle and bustle of being gone over Christmas and settling into a new routine in January, we forgot about our daily supplements. Needless to say, we are back on track and are beginning to see calmer kids able to better handle the trauma of their lives.
Anyhow... Due to a very generous offer, we were finally able to have the much dreamt of and often talked about vacation with my sweet sis and her family in the USA.  It's something we've talked about for at least 5 years.  I was beginning to think it would never happen.  It seems that every year one of our families was adopting, fostering, or adjusting/bonding with a new arrival, and that simply doesn't provide the opportunity to visit each other. 
With this generous offer we were able to fly to NC and meet at a spectacular vacation rental near Corolla.  It was just what we needed!  There's something especially sweet in spending Christmas with family that gets us.  They understand why we parent the way we do.  They understand our hearts.  They understand trauma.  They understand the toll it takes on a family.

And at this very moment, we interrupt this post to deal with life!  Morgun fell on his wrist yesterday, and as I've been writing he's been applying ice, and we've been trying to decide whether we should have it x-rayed.  I don't really think it's broken.  Most likely it's badly sprained.  The ice isn't offering much pain I guess it's off to minor emergency! Adios to a "work free" Saturday!  Hahaha! I'm actually sitting her laughing because our life is hilarious!!  So grateful I can laugh about it all!! 

Anyhow...I'm off to the city...

It's Sunday night and I'm finally back!  Morgun's wrist appears to be badly sprained.  However, he is still in a lot of pain and the Advil, Tylenol, and ice are doing very little for the pain.  There is a chance it could be cracked, so if the pain continues for a week we were told to go back to the doctor.  Here's to hoping it's not broken! 

And back to our Christmas....I want to remember the good, the sweet moments, the beautiful moments.  If I don't take the time to record them, to remember them...I'm afraid I'll get swallowed up by the awful and the hard....and I'm not about to let that happen!!

We had a wonderful Christmas!  The oldest 4 played pool, video games...and slept!!

And ate!  A lot!

This home had 7 bedrooms and bathrooms, and an elevator!!  The little kids loved it!!  This is their excitement on Christmas morning!
Kathy and I snuck out one evening to find a tree. We found this Charlie Brown tree that was literally missing half it's needles!  And being the good, thrifty Mennonite girls that we are...we got it for free!!!  :)  It may have involved some negotiating, some walking away...and some cart surfing!  Well sort of!! Bahaha! 
 A string of lights and some homemade ornaments and a paper chain made it just perfect!

We toured the Wright Brothers museum.  It was pretty amazing and informative! 
The ocean was a favourite for us!  So, so very beautiful!  There aren't  too many things that calm the spirit like a walk along the beach!



I love this picture!  It's so depicts our life!  The waves were so stormy and big, and the clouds so dark and full.  But oh so beautiful!!

And then this at the end of the day!  A reminder of how life may be stressful and crazy and overwhelming now...but in the end we will enjoy such peace and joy...even if that peace and joy is sometimes hard to grasp on this side of heaven!


Our kids!  All 11 of them! How cool is that?!?!  Two families that originally had planned to have small families.  I think God must smile about that every day!  I know it sure makes me smile! 

I can't share too many pics cause so many of them include 2 littles that will hopefully soon officially be family!  If you happen to think of these two, please pray for them as they adjust to having a stable and loving family.  Pray their adoption happens soon!  And pray for their parents and siblings as they go through the hard of adjusting.  Thanks!

How do you get 11 kids to all look at the camera?  Like this!!  Haha!  Thanks Mark!!

I'm so incredibly proud of my men.  Here they worked together to carry Wren and her chair up and down the stairs to the beach! 

And how cool is this?!?  Gotta love having a big strong cousin to carry you!


We spent some time at the park.  We all loved this "horse"!  Wish we had one of our own!  Perhaps an Industrial Arts class for the boys?


One day we took a tour to see the wild horses.  We loved, loved it!  How cool to search for the horses and see them in and among the brush and houses in 4x4 only country!
This is one of the "roads" we took while searching for the horses. 

Our driver got super close to this horse!  I could have almost reached out and touched him! 

And that about wraps up our Christmas! 
I hope you all had a great Christmas too and that even though you may be in the middle of the really hard stuff  that you can take some time to search for and find the beauty in your life.  It's there...sometimes we just have to look a little harder to find it! I'd highly recommend buying a journal and recording all the good, all the wonderful, and all the little things!  Writing it down helps us remember!  And really, that's what we remember the wonderful and beautiful things in life no matter how small!
I'd have totally forgotten about this cute incident if I hadn't written it down as one of the things I'm grateful for.
A while ago, the kids were all tucked into bed and finally sleeping.  It had been another REALLY hard day! And then we heard the pitter patter of little feet making their way downstairs. Jackson, with heavy, sleepy eyes...the eyes of sleepwalking...mumbled, "I'm thinking I want to go play outside."  We couldn't help but smile!  How cute is that?!?
And to think #wecouldhavemissedthis!







Chantel said...

#wecouldhavemissedthis that just sums it up - it brings tears to my eyes.
As an outsider I definitely miss seeing a lot of the pain and hard times you guys go through but I feel blessed to see special moments of your kids caring and looking out for one another: everything from pushing Wren in her wheelchair, to speaking up for a quieter sibling in Sunday school when they need to go to the bathroom, to making sure the other siblings have the pens and papers they want. The days may be long but the years are short and you guys are doing a great job in showing each of your beautiful children how special they are to you and to God. <3 Keep running the race, Marie.

Marie said...

K I so needed to hear that! I know that about my kids cause I see it every day...but sometimes I miss actually getting it!