Thursday, May 21, 2015

Reaching Out

We're now nearing the 4 month mark of being a family of 5.  It feels like a milestone worth pondering.  I've been trying to take time to remember how far we've come, especially in those hard moments that can sprinkle the days.

I'm also trying to pause and count the gifts of laughter bubbling from an upstairs bedroom, less meltdowns, a brother offering to share, kiddos running happily in the backyard together, smoother bedtimes, or hearing "serious planning" of a battle or adventure as two brothers go off together (with a little sister tagging close behind).

We are getting to a place where its easier to be out and about as a family.  Attempting a restaurant or errands as a whole family no longer fills me with nearly as much worry.  Its a good feeling.

After a discussion with my wonderful hubby, this month I set the goal to be more intentional about reaching out and slowly increasing the circle of people our new kiddos know.  New people are still a bit nerve wracking to them but its getting easier.  There are a few friends of ours that they met several times (playdates, open gym, church family activities) and its been great to see them more comfortably interacting with those families.  So we've been trying to plan a few more playdates, invite others in, plan short day trips as a family (cousin birthday party, trip to the zoo, etc).  We even managed a very wet and rainy camping weekend.

From a paper chasing perspective for those detail oriented readers... This month we finished all the paperwork and visits to renew our homestudy again to keep our foster care license active to get us through finalization.  (The mountain of paperwork was a bit more complicated to get done with 3 kiddos but totally worth it). We are still hoping that we'll be able to finalize the adoption of our two precious kiddos by late summer or early fall, completely dependent on the schedule of courts and lawyers at this point.

Please continue to pray for us.  Summer is just around the corner and with it a new routine to adapt to, with a bit less structure than the school year naturally provides -- and all 3 kids do better with structure.  My husband's travel schedule also increases and our weekends get busier.  I hope we can create great memories together, enjoy the outdoors, strengthen relationships and really enjoy each other.  And on those days that tempers flare or kids are melting or someone is just feeling "off", pray we can approach the situations with grace and do the best we can with God's help.

Monday, May 4, 2015

April Projects

We are finding a good rhythm now with all three kids and I was able to do a few projects with them this last month or so.  It is much harder to take pics while helping them finish their projects though as I just don't seem to have enough hands.

Here's a two of my favorites:

Watercolor Eggs
Before Easter I cut a bunch of egg shapes from regular printer paper (each about the size of half a sheet) and had the kids paint them with watercolor.  It was super simple with almost no prep (I cut more sheets while they painted) but I loved how unique they all turned out and how fun it was to decorate with them.  We also gave a few as Easter cards :)

Toilet Paper Roll Flowers
With 5 people in the house, we seem to always have an over abundance of empty toilet paper rolls so I decided to come up with a spring project to use them.  I made this one up as we went, which actually turned out better than I expected.

First I took the empty rolls and made 4-6 cuts in them 3/4 of the way down the roll, leaving about an inch uncut at the bottom (my 6 yr old helped with this step).  I folded each section down like you see in the top left.  I then cut petals out of colored paper.  The kids glued them on and had fun discussing patterns etc.  I'd originally planned to just have petals on the top but the kiddos wanted to glue them on both sides which actually added some nice extra color.  I hung them on a piece of string using clothes pins so that they point a variety of directions.  Bright spring colors to enjoy inside when is rainy outside.

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