Five Under Five…take 1

Some quick notes about today before I hit the pillow…

Rob picked up Monday on his way home from Falls Creek. I met Tuesday-Friday at McDonald’s and brought them home.  Thankfully my sister was planning on coming to Tulsa today.  She and her family met me at McDonald’s and she rode with me to entertain little ones for the hour long car ride.  Fun purse, Aunt Marianne!

Marianne and family stayed around a little while and the kids played together.  I managed to change 4 diapers and go to the potty by myself before they had to leave.  Thanks to a lovely crockpot, lunch on my own was pretty easy.  Shortly after lunch, Aunt Cheryl brought Calvin and Duncan home from camp.  Soon after, Rob arrived with precious cargo.

I couldn’t help but to be filled with emotion at the moment that all five kids were under our roof.  Happy tears filled my eyes more than once today.

I fed Monday lunch and he did great!  Rob and Aunt Cheryl began getting the bedroom and the other four kids ready for naps.  Without too much trouble, we had all 5 asleep at the same time and I finally had a chance to hug my husband.

After naps, we did a quick diaper change and put shoes, socks on and I packed my first diaper bag.  It included 8 diapers, 2 pull ups, a package of wipes, 5 sippy cups, a package of rice cakes an a container of applesauce.  Next we headed to my youngest sister’s house for a late arrival to Mary’s Mended Heart Party. (I’m too tired/lazy to link this.  I’ve written about my sweet niece Mary earlier this spring.  She had open heart surgery last month to repair congenital heart defects.  She is doing fantastic so her parent’s threw a party to celebrate!) It was such a different experience to walk into my sister’s house with 5 little ones.  I hardly visited with anyone there as I was busy being a momma. 

We didn’t stay long because we wanted to get the kids home for dinner.  Their planned afternoon snack (cottage cheese and peaches) got replaced with heart shaped sugar cookies, heart shaped jello jigglers, cupcakes and veggie straws.  It was time to get home for something a containing a little less sugar!  I did diaper changes and supervised play time while Rob cooked dinner. This morning I browned 4 pounds of ground turkey meat, so dinner prep didn’t take too long.  The kids ate gluten-free spaghetti (light on the sauce) and peaches.

Rob took the girls to the bathtub while I helped the boys finish eating. I gave them each a new car to play with at the table while I cleaned up.  Rob sent girls out in towels and started the boy rotation.  I did diapers and pjs and we got ready for bed.

It took longer to get them settled in for the night.  Thankfully, my husband is a patient sleepmaster.  He did most of the work and eventually all 5 kids fell asleep.  As I type, 4 are in their room and one is in our room.  I’m not exactly sure what the allnight plan is, but I don’t mind sharing.

Additional notes: 

I traded a few more minutes of sleep and a little more cleaning time this morning for drying and straightening my hair.  I can wear my short hair curly, however, if it’s a hot, humid day; or a sweaty day…my hair just gets bigger and bigger.  I should totally do a before and after picture some day so you can see what I mean.  Beautiful, I tell ya, beautiful.

I snapped only one picture today.

My dishwasher is running. My washing machine is running.  I cleaned the table, chairs and the stove.  All of the dishes are cleaned and put away.  I swept the floor.  I don’t say all of this to brag. Wait a minute, I probably am saying it for that very reason! I have no idea how I’ll be able to establish and keep good routines for my housekeeping.  But when I do, I’ll be sure to let you know!  In the meantime, I think I shall head to bed and be lulled to sleep by the hum of the dishwasher.

We did brush teeth after lunch today, but I forgot to do it before bedtime.  Should I wake them now?! ; )

Thanks for your prayers today!


my kids

I would love to share details and I would love to share pictures of my kids on this blog.  I am unable to share specifics at this time, and it will likely be several months before I am able to do so.  I know for certain I cannot post pictures online.  I am also choosing to keep personal information private, and may continue to be protective of them into the far off future.  But, I still want you to know details of our journey and how things are going.  I’ll likely try a few different ways of talking about the kids.  Some bloggers make up blog names for their kids.  Some refer to them as Four Year Old Boy or DS4, etc.  For this post…and maybe for the ones to come, I’m going to refer to my kids in their birth order (disregarding which twin was actually born first, I’m putting the boys first because I’m sexist that way) by days of the week, respectively.  Allow me to introduce…

Monday–Our four year old son who lives in a foster home in Mustang. He has lived with this foster family for about 1.5 years.  Early on he had some significant medical concerns and needed to be in a placement where he would be cared for appropriately.  Through God’s protection and healing hand, there are no longer significant medical concerns.  Praise God!  Monday has a good idea what it is like to be in a family because of his current placement.  He may have some difficulty transitioning out of this home, but we are so excited to reunite him with his siblings.  He has had visitations with his younger brothers and sisters over the past few years, but has not lived in the same house as them in a very long time.  Rob and I met him at his foster home this week. We played with cars and giggled a lot.  He took some interesting pictures with my camera. He wanted Rob to hold him on his lap.  He also wanted to make sure we were sitting near him when we played together.  When his foster mom asked him how old he was, he would say One! and giggle.  He finally admitted he is four.  Monday is very talkative and I can’t wait for him to teach his little brothers and sisters all the fun things a big brother should.  I also look forward to him reuniting and bonding with his twin sister.  What a special thing to be a twin!

Tuesday–Our four year old daughter who lives in a foster home in Payne County with her two younger brothers and her younger sister.  She likes to be a leader and I can tell she really loves her little brothers and sisters.  She’s lived in a few different foster homes and has been with her youngest brother at the last two placements.  They have been in their current home since mid-March.  We first met Tuesday at the adoption party in May.  I helped her string fruit loops and we laughed and laughed when two loops were stuck together.  We also hung out with her at an event in June.  Last Saturday was the first time for her to visit our house.  She did a fantastic job sitting on her new pink potty and even stayed dry all afternoon because she told me when she needed to go!  I can’t wait to see her playing with her twin brother!

Wednesday–Our three year old son who lives in Payne County with his older sister, his twin sister and his younger brother.  He has been in his current placement since November and his foster parents are so proud of all the progress he has made.  Wednesday is playful and talkative.  He is independent and brave.  He likes to play with his siblings and I’m looking forward to him getting to know his big brother.  We have seen him at all of the same visits as Tuesday.  He really wanted to flush the potty at our house last Saturday, but I told him he had to pee pee first.  So the next time, he sat on his new green frog potty chair until he went…so then he got to flush.  What a proud moment for us all! ; )

Thursday–Our three year old daughter who lives in a foster home in Payne County with her older sister, her twin brother and her younger brother.  She has soft baby curls and big bright eyes.  Rob sat in the very back seat so she wouldn’t have to be by herself on the ride to our house last weekend.  She can feed herself, but she really likes it when a grown up helps her.  I think she likes her daddy to help her the most.  She got a little sassy with him on Saturday (as only a 3 year old girl can do) and she really listened attentively when he told her she needed to say she was sorry and always act nice to her daddy.  She splashed and played in the swimming pool at our house.  She tought the bubbles were lots of fun..especially when she dumped the bottle into the pool!  I’m glad the girls have each other.  Having a sister is such a blessing and I pray they will be close always.

Friday–Our two year old son who lives in Payne County with his two older sisters and one older brother.  He’s our baby. : )  He nearly fell asleep in my arms the day we met.  He was all tuckered out after a petting zoo and a horse ride.  He was only brave enough for the horse ride after he saw Wednesday do it.  He’s lived in his current foster home since mid-March.  Before that, he was placed with his older sister, Tuesday.  Friday has some food allergies.  Nothing life threatening, thank goodness.  However, if he eats food that he is allergic to, his skin will break out in a rash.  We need to avoid wheat, eggs, soy, peanuts and oats.  Feel free to send me your toddler friendly recipes, people! : )  He’s got the cutest little smile and chubby little baby cheeks.  He loves to play and his foster mom says he likes to wake up really early.  I have a feeling we’ll have some good quality early morning times together.

So, there are my kids.  Boys are Monday, Wednesday, Friday and girls are Tuesday, Thursday.  Easy enough, right?  I have been thinking of ways to make sure that all of our children get enough individual attention.  Rob tries to have breakfast with Calvin a couple of Saturday mornings each month.  This gives them a chance to chat about life and plans for the future, college, finances, jobs, ect.  In the fall, we’ve discussed Rob spending time with Riley and Duncan on Wednesday nights before/after youth group.  Our little ones will likely go to bed in the early evening, allowing time for a late night movie for Dad and the big boys every once in a while.  When I was a kid, I remember it was a treat to get to go to the grocery store with my mom.  Just me and her.  It was a simple thing, and perhaps a small sacrifice for my mom, but it gave us some time alone together.  I was thinking that maybe I’d try to focus on special alone times with kids on particular days of the week.  So, if Rob or I need to run an errand on a Monday evening, then our oldest (4 year old boy) would be the kid to have the alone time.  Even simple things like helping unload the dishwasher could be an opportunity for one-on-one time with a child.  I’m not sure if the Monday-Friday idea will stick as far as spending time with the kids…or for their blog names, but I thought I’d give it a try.

Our next step…
We’ll have all 5 kids at our house on Saturday.  Yippie!  We are planning on for sure keeping Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday overnight.  We’re playing it by ear a little bit with Monday as far as the overnight goes.  We are hopeful that he’ll be able to stay overnight.  However, this will be his first visit with us, away from his foster family, and it might be a little hard on him.  If he’s having a real rough time, we’ll consider meeting his foster parents in the evening, rather than having an over night visit this weekend.  My sister Maggie is throwing a  party for her daughter, Mary this weekend.  She has recovered beautifully from her heart surgery and we’re celebrating!  If our day is going well, we’ll drop by the party for a little while to meet some more aunts, uncles and cousins.  However, as will probably be the case for a while..we’re not making definite plans and won’t hesitate to change plans as needed.

After this overnight visit…I’m not exactly sure what will come next.  Rob and I are feeling real good about transitioning the kids into our home.  It is a real good time for us to be home with them.  Rob has the month of July off.  A new teacher is starting in my classroom next week, so it will be easier for me to take some time off in the near future.  I hope to talk with our caseworker tomorrow and discuss the schedule and plan for a move-in date for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  We are okay with transitioning Monday a little slower, yet anxious to have everyone together as soon as possible, as smoothly as possible.

Prayer requests: Pray for the transition.  I know it is confusing to the kids as to why they may move from place to place, from caregiver to caregiver.  Please pray that their transition will be smooth and that they will feel secure and loved.  Pray for peace in their hearts.  Please also pray for the foster parents.  I cannot imagine the maturity and strength it would take to parent a child temporarily, knowing that they may move on to another family at any time. Pray for them as they close out this season of their lives.  Pray also for wisdom for Rob and me, as well as the caseworkers as we are making decisions about when the children should move in to our home.

Praises: Praise God that we got committed to paying off our debts a few years ago, and when a paid for car dies on you, it hurts way less than when a car with a loan needs a new engine.  Praise also that we have no more credit card debt!  This has given us a cushion in our budget at a time that is certainly convenient to have money to purchase needed items.  And praise for the countless people who love and support these children.  People in my life have been praying for kids they’ve never even met.  People in the kids’ lives have been praying for the perfect family for them. Thank you, Lord, that you know what is best in all things!

4T (too tired to type)

I started this last night (Wednesday), but there was no way I could finish it. If you saw my facebook post with the many ddddddddddddddddkkkkkkkkkkkkssssssss writing…you should probably know that those letters were not staged.  I actually fell asleep at the keyboard.  Here’s the post…finished up on Thursday night.  I had a nap after work. : )

I’m only doing this because I pinky promised.  And I’m reneging on the picture promise.

Here’s the quick rundown before I drop my head to the pillow…
all times are approximate
11:00–Kate leaves Tulsa to head to Mustang to meet our boy.
sometime after 11:00–Rob leaves Falls Creek church camp to head to Mustang to meet our boy.
11:40–Kate closes the gap between her car and the ponytailed rider of a Harley aka the caseworker.
12:45–Rob calls Kate.  He is on the side of the road near Purcell.  His car has overheated.
1:00–Kate does a drive-by of the house, to be sure she knows how find it
1:20–Rob has made it to an auto parts place in Moore and they are hooking him up with a repair shop. (This conversation was held via telephone in the Wendy’s bathroom…FYI)
1:30–Kate meets caseworker in the driveway of the foster home.  They walk in and are greeted by the cutest blond four year old boy you can imagine.
1:31–Playtime begins.  Conversations happen.
3:00–The car is at the repair shop, they’ll have it running by this evening.
3:05–Kate leaves to get Rob from the repair shop.
4:00–Kate and Rob arrive back at the foster home.
4:02–We are invited to “sit right here by me” to play cars. Conversation continues.
5:10–Begin to say goodbye and ask if little boy wants to come to our house on Saturday.  He says yes to every question. : )
5:45–Arrive back at repair shop.  Car is not finished, but they’ll work past closing to get it running.
6:00–Date night at Chick fil A
6:30–Car will be finished in 10 minutes. Good bye kiss and Kate is headed back to Tulsa.
7:00–Kate gets on the Turner Turnpike and calls Rob to make sure he is on the road, too.
6:58–Repair man apologetically informs Rob that the engine is cracked, or broken, or something too expensive to fix.
7:15–Kate exits at the Luther/Jones exit and turns around to head back to the repair shop.  Calls her mom and her sister.  Wonders if she’ll cry.  She doesn’t.  Calls Amanda who’s been waiting in Tulsa to help Kate a) buy mattresses b) hang out because mattress store is closed.  Kate laughs as she tells the complicated story of how she scored a hotel room date night.
7:30–Rob calls Kate. Tells her he’ll walk over to the hotel near the repair shop to get a room for the night. Will sell the car for junk parts in the morning.
7:45–No room at the inn.
8:00–Kate picks Rob up from the inn that is full.  Drive a mile and find a new hotel.
8:05–Rob walks in to the hotel, says he needs a room and a “sob story discount” we get both.
8:15–Carry our overnight bags  cell phones and Chick fil A cups up to our room.
8:30–Make phone calls and send texts to church camp, LLH folks and Kate’s mom.  Make a plan.
—-spend the night in a hotel room that is much larger than our current bedroom.  Use a bathroom with a see through door. Watch cable television that does not exist at our home.  Wonder how many years it will be before we spend the night alone in a hotel room again.  Enjoy a date night and unexpected time together.
6:45am–send more texts to LLH folks regarding Water Day, pizza money, placement meeting, China team pizza party and a birthday party
7:00–Consider getting out of bed.
7:30–Got out of bed.  Brushed my hair, brushed my teeth, put on clean clothes.  Went downstairs for breakfast.
8:00–Rob goes to repair shop to talk to the guy who knows the guy who will buy a junker car.
8:45–Kate’s mom arrives!
9:00–The guy who knows the guy isn’t working today.  Rob returns to hotel.
9:10–Kate locates guy on Craigslist that will buy a junker car.  Rob arranges to meet him between 11:00 and 12:00.  He’ll pay $200 for our non-working vehicle.  (That’s about $100 more than the hotel room cost us, but about $270 less than we spent repairing the AC in the non-working vehicle last week.)
9:30–Junk from one vehicle is moved to the other vehicle.  Goodbye kisses and little boy instructions are given to Rob.  Buy some toys for the car and a sippy cup.  Make sure you have water with  you.  Sing songs to him if he’s sad.  (Rob will pick him up on the way home from Falls Creek on Saturday.)
9:32–Kate and Mom head to Tulsa via Jenks.  Rob waits for Mr. Craisglist.
11:00–Kate and Mom arrive at big brother’s house.  Kate keeps Mom’s car, Mom takes big brother’s old car.  Kate goes home.
12:15–Following a nice, hot shower baby-wipe sponge bath, tooth brushing and clean clothes, Kate heads to work.
12:45–Kate arrives at work, a mere 5 hours late.  Rob is on the road back to Falls Creek.

And that, my friends, was our Tuesday adventure. : )

Next up…a post about our kids!

I think I’d better work on this Mommy-blogger thing…

Life’s been busy.  Life’s been good.  I haven’t stopped to write about it.  I could likely write pages and pages to tell you about the last 8 days of my life.  But that might be boring.  And I might fall asleep before I finish. 

Allow me to present to you, the last 8 days in list format, sans pictures.

-I had a wonderful time and was really blessed at my shower last Saturday.  Many fun things for my kiddos and many fun times with my coworkers, my mom, two sisters and one sister-in-law.
-Rob and I spent a little over two hot, dusty, sticky hours with 4/5 of our kids that afternoon.  We were at an event on a farm.  I got to take pictures and have hardly let the album out of my reach in the last week.
-Kids came back to school on Tuesday, and I remembered how exhausting teaching is!  I had the cushy life of working in the office for the three week break.  It was fun to have kid time again.  Those days are few, and I do still owe you a post about that.  This week.  Perhaps.
-Amanda and I shopped at Whole Foods and Barnes and Noble on Wednesday.  I was Dave Ramsey bold and asked for a discount on a well read older issue magazine. The manager said no.  So I let her keep it.
-We rounded off Wednesday evening with Chinese buffet and meeting Julie for late night coffee. Yay for girl time!
-I ate ramen noodles with chopsticks on Thursday.   That’s all.
-We thought we would meet the other 1/5 of our kids on Friday night, but it was postponed until Tuesday afternoon.  Instead of working hard all evening, I sat around a lot and then worked late into the night.
-Saturday! We met the 4/5 at McDonald’s on the turnpike.  My parents came to swap cars with us and see the kids.
-Rob climbed over the back seat to keep a little one company on the drive home.
-The kids played with toys and I changed diapers.
-Most of us had chicken and noodles for lunch.  One little guy has some food allergies.  So he ate chicken, cheese and broccoli. It was nice to have 9/10 of the family sitting at the table together for a meal.
-Rob got kids dressed in swimsuits while I changed diapers. It was around this time that I said, “Are you coming to help me?  I’ve got pee!  I’ve got poop! And I’ve got all four kids.  Bring the wipes please!”
-Children dumped water on “Mommy’s” head and on “Daddy’s” head, too.  They thought it was hilarious.  I thought it was cold, but worth it to hear them call us Mommy and Daddy.
-We had four bottles of bubbles outside.  Three bottles were dumped into the pool.
-Rob removed swimsuits and sent wet kids to me for diaper changes. I sent dry kids to him for clothes.
-We ate strawberries, cheese, cubed chicken and rice cakes for snack.
-Rob and the boys made pallets on the floor for nap time.
-At one point during our fake nap time, I was laughing as hard as the kids.
-The kids played with cars and little people and trains and books.
-Rob grilled burgers and dogs.
-His mom came over for dinner and to spend a little time with the kids.
-One more diaper change and then we hit the road.
-The little one in the back slept most of the way.
-The three in the middle seat played with QT napkins and I sang to them.
-When we got home I ran the dishwasher, hand washed the kids’ bowls and booster trays, I also swept the floor and wiped down the table and chairs.  Maybe remind me of this later when we have the kids 100% of the time…but I like being a mommy and taking care of my house.
-I looked at the picture of them I keep in my bible during church this morning.  It made me miss them.
-Rob whispered that it may be years before we sit next to each other in church again.
-Our Sunday School class overwhelmingly blessed us by taking up a collection for us.
-Rob spent most of his Father’s Day putting together bunk beds.
-I spent most of mass at St. Benedict’s thinking about what things need to be in my fun church bag for the kids.  I am certain I will need 5 of whatever items I put in the bag.  It’s not nice to tempt children to covet when you’re sitting in church.
-I cleaned the kids’ room today, I cleaned my living room today, I disinfected the potty chairs today, I took out bags of diapers, and I did our laundry.  Productive and refreshing.

We have had a wonderful time.  I must tell you, that it was noticeable (to me) that one swimsuit remained on the hanger, one nap time blanket didn’t get unrolled and one kitchen chair remained empty at lunch.  I’m really looking forward to having 5/5 little ones here and a family dinner with 10/10 present.

Thank you all for your prayers and support.  Thank you for reading listy blog posts with no pictures. 

Stay tuned for more.

disclosure meeting, check! next up: adoption shower and hanging out with my kids!

I had to make myself listen to the song that inspired the name of my blog.  I had to remember to trust in the Lord for His timing and His perfect plan.  I had to practice patience.

We met (most of) our kids 5 weeks ago.  The paperwork was supposed to take about 2 weeks to gather up and then we’d have a meeting and move forward. I’d say we waiting pretty patiently for those first 2-3 weeks, but honestly weeks 4-5 were getting to be a bit rough.

We spent the time cleaning, painting, purging and preparing our master bedroom for the 5 little ones who will soon be masters of our home, schedules and hearts.  We finished out a school year with the boys and managed to throw a snazzy graduation reception for Calvin.  We had quality time with my siblings and their families.  And at the moment our house was getting to be such a disorgnized wreck it was driving me crazy, I left town for the day to get a haircut and visit my family one more time.

Naturally, that’s when our caseworker called to schedule our meeting!  Due to some quick texting and phone call making, I caught a ride back into town with my sister’s brother-in-law (or my brother-in-law’s brother) with plenty of time to de-clutter the house for our visit.

We received the disclosure paperwork for all 5 children…totalling about 2000 pages.  No joke.  This is the paperwork we are supposed to review before making our official decision on whether or not we want to accept the offer of this sibling group.  Good thing we had already made up our minds!  I’m sure there is some kind of helpful information in all that mess, but for the most part it is about 1800 pages of uselessness.  When I get some time/motivation next week I will condense it down and make sure I know the important stuff.

Speaking of important stuff…Rob did make the call last night to officially tell our caseworker that we want these kids! 🙂  We are unsure of the exact timeline of visitation and move-in, but have been told it will likely happen quickly.

Tomorrow my LLH family is hosting a shower for us.  I’m so excited!  The kids’ room is painted and emptied (except for the closet).  We have already received a few gifts and will likely buy beds next week.  My kids are so blessed to be loved by so many…and they don’t even know it yet!

In other exciting news, as soon as the shower is finished tomorrow, Rob and I are hitting the road.  We get to see the kids!  We know that 4 will be there and are praying that circumstances allow our 5th child to come, too.

And that, my friends is the non-picture update of my life.  Perhaps tomorrow I can add some shower pics and kid room pics. Perhaps.

Quick update

Rob spoke with the kids’ caseworker today. She is nearly finished with the paper chase and our caseworker will have it by Friday at the latest. Rob said she was real nice and encouraging. We’re glad to receive this positive news!

In the meantime, Oklahoma is experiencing terrible weather this evening. Our future family is spread across the state in Canadian and Payne Counties. We also have family in Oklahoma, Garfield, Tulsa and Rogers Counties. (edited to add Grady County) Please pray for safety!

I’m putting Rob on stormwatching duty while I work in the kids’ bedroom and listen to Praise & Worship music. This future mama can’t hardly stand to watch storms pass through the towns my babies live in!

Jesus calmed the storm for the disciples, and He’ll take care of us, too!

the one about adoption

Every night it is a little tricky for me to fall asleep.  Every morning I wake up before my alarm goes off.  My mind is filled with wonderful thoughts of children, to-do lists, ideas, etc.  Sometimes I’m thinking over a potential problem challenge and how we will best face it as a family of 10, with 5 under 5.

As a preschool teacher, I count my kids several times each day.  It’s not likely that I have lost one, but I like to count them so I know where each child is and what he or she is doing at that moment.  If someone is not engaged in an activity or needs to be redirected to something a bit  more educational, I can find out easily when I scan the room and count them.  This past week, I’ve implemented a new way of counting.  When I’m working with a group of children, I count them and realize that soon I will have 5 of my own.  I happened to be reading a story to a group of 5 in my classroom the other day, and I just couldn’t help but think that I’ll have that many children.  Is it too possessive to say that I am excited that they will be mine? I think that sentiment comes from the fact that I spend a lot the majority of my life with children that are not my own.  And soon, I’ll get to have some of my own, a fact that makes me very happy.

I’ve been thinking about things I could put on a registry, if I decide to do one.  People at work are already planning a shower for us, our friends at church want to throw a shower and my sisters have been talking about it, too.  We are so blessed to have so much support.  My kids are loved by hundreds of people and they don’t even know it yet.  I don’t know specifics about some of the things we will need–carseats, clothes, diapers, etc–but I do know some things.  I know that every plate in my house is breakable.  I also know that we’ll likely need 5 booster seats for our kitchen table.  I’ve looked at some bedding options and know that Target has a cuter selection than WalMart (although they have plenty of character choices, if that’s what floats your boat).  I wonder what kinds of cups the kids drink out of–sippy, straw, open.  I wonder if they have favorite colors or characters they love.

I scanned the picture of the kids that was in our adoption book.  Partly because I wanted to email it to my immediate family (did I even remember to do that?) but mostly because I wanted a copy for my desk at work, one to keep inside my bible and one that is propped up next to my bed.  I also have their picture as my wallpaper on my computer at work and my iPod.

I’m thinking about a deep freezer and possibly a pantry for my kitchen.  I’m thinking about packing 5 lunches each night and cooking breakfast for 5-7 children and 2 adults each morning.  I’m thinking about paper plates and wondering if all the little kids can wear the same size of socks.  Are white sheets a good idea because I can bleach the stains out of them?  Or do I go with dark sheets so the stains will blend?  Little ones should take a bath at night, but what if they wet the bed in the night and we have to do baths again in the morning?  What time will we get up?  Should I cut my hair or grow it long?  Which is easier to fix?  Should I take time each day to fix my hair or settle for a ponytail for the next 3-5 years.

Rob and I are discussing the best vehicle for our family and whether or not it makes sense for he and I to carpool to work when we have kids.  Who should keep the car and who should do the drop-off?  Can one adult get 2 kids to one daycare and 3 kids to the other?  Will I end up unloading 5 in order to drop off 2?  Load up the other 3 to unload again at the final destination?  Can Duncan’s part-time job be helping me get kids in and out of carseats all day?

What progress is being made with their paperwork? How close are we to our disclosure meeting?  When my out-of-state brothers and their families are visiting in June, will they be able to meet the kids?  Will my kids be a part of the fishing trip and campout that is being planned?  When will I take time off of work?  What day will be my last day to teach class?  *Will I ever teach again?

Are my babies happy?  Do they know how much they are loved?  Does Jesus whisper in their ear to let them know they will soon be together forever with a family?  Are their foster parents anxious about the transition?  Is it bittersweet news to know they will be placed in an adoptive home soon?

I think about my three stepsons and what great big brothers they will be.  I’m thankful that Calvin will be staying nearby after graduating from high school so that his youngest brothers and sisters will have a chance to bond with him.  I’m thankful that Riley loves to play outside and will have three more brothers to throw a football.  I’m thankful that Duncan has spent a year with some of the best preschool teachers in the world and that has given him invaluable experience in relating to little ones.  I’m also thankful they will have some time at their mom’s house, so that they have some space without little ones around.  I’m glad that Rob and I are already thinking of ways that he can spend time with the boys, doing things without the little ones on a regular basis so that the big boys still have plenty of attention from their dad.

And…I miss the kids a little.  We met them (4 of 5) last weekend, so it’s been a week of thinking of them and not seeing them.  It’s a very busy time at work and I have plenty of other things to occupy my mind.  It just doesn’t take too much for them to pop back into my head. I have such a peaceful feeling about everything.  I am so thankful for a God who not only blesses me in abundant ways that I never expect, but a God that also secures every little detail according to His will.  In high school, I memorized the verse “Cast all your anxiety on Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7  This week, I’ve been reminded of that verse.  But not only to cast anxiety or worries or burdens on Him…but that even before situations become stressful or worrisome, He has taken care of them.

How great is our God, indeed!

*I don’t think I’ve ever really written about my job change. I’ll dedicate an entire post to that subject in the near future, because God really did some good things in that situation as well. The short version: I am changing positions at The Little Light House, from a classroom teacher to an office job.  The move was decided in November, but will take place in June.  It’s the best thing in order for me to serve my family as well as LLH in the best way possible.