Saturday, April 17, 2010

Speaking words of encouragement

"When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger." Ephesians 4:29 (NCV)

I couldn't let the night go without posting about this ... one of the areas I feel like I really struggle is speaking words of love and encouragement to my children. Mothers have the incredible responsibility of speaking words that will build our children. And this is a very insightful reminder from one of my favorite bloggers.

"Just for today:
Couldn’t all the words out of my mouth only be the strengthening words? Words that nourish their bones and muscle their hearts.
What if I tried to change nothing in children but I focused on only this: Let the tongue speak only the words that make souls stronger. "

Please go to her post to read.

Welcome to St. George Island

Definitely one of my favorite things about Florida is the beautiful beaches. Last weekend we headed to St. George Island with some friends and had such a wonderful time. It was very overcast and a little chilly, but it was still really great. I think I would prefer it a little cool, rather than too hot. I only wish it was closer. It takes about 2 hours to get to this beach from our house.

It was the very first time the children enjoyed the beach. At first, Jasper didn't like the sand at all. He kept trying to lift his feet up, then realizing it wouldn't work because he would then fall it, he gave up. But it was mere minutes before they were both off playing and happy. Most likely due to the fact that they had their favorite playmate of all time - Kacy. They looove her and ask for her all the time.

So it was a little cool, and it is April. But that didn't stop us from have a great time. Petra and Jasper both loved the water. Petra wanted to stay in it continously, and we had to make her get out because she was shivering and turning blue. We laughed so hard when she would scream at the water in excitement. It was also very funny to hear her screaming in glee "I'm swimming, I'm swimming" as she sat on her hands and knees and the waves crashed around her. Jasper was his normal self, completely unfrightened by anything and would head out head deep in the water if we let him. After a swim, I had to wrap them up tight in a towel until they warmed up.

Kacy helped the children dig for sand fleas; thomas showed them a crab; and we even saw a few dolphins. All of us are looking forward to our next beach trip. I think Petra asked to go back every day this week, many, many times each day. And before it was all over, Thomas hit the water deep with a fishing pole in hand. And was a little disappointed as he watched spanish feed about 30 yards away from the end of his line. He just couldn't get out far enough. Every time I turned to look at him, he had inched out further and further. By the end he was chest high in the water.

Today, its a week later. Work has been busy. Life has been busy. But all in all I'm very blessed. Our family continously has a wonderful time together. My children love each other and we all cherish our time together. Today, was another great and busy day. We spent about the day in Marianna, FL, a little over an hour's drive away, promoting foster care and adoption at festival. When I do these things, I often don't have my children with me. But today, I realized how great it is when they are there. Many people can't imagine what its like to have a foster child or to adopt a child. There always seems to be a general thought that your own biological children are somehow better. I've seen it over and over again in people I meet. But seeing our family gives many a better understanding that it is love that makes a family, and not blood.
In fact, I had a perfect example of this today. I've been around one woman weekly who told me just 4 months ago that her and her husband would never adopt ... this was in shocked response to my acknowledgement to her that Petra was adopted. Between then and now, I've met her husband, and they've met and spent time with our children. Today, she told me they were considering fostering and adopting. And I know that seeing the smiles on my children faces, and even the crying, helped provide a clearer understanding that adopted children are themselves amazing.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Easter 2010

We had a fabulous Easter day with friends. We dyed Easter eggs this year for the first time. And they even had their first easter egg hunt ... although there was not much enthusiasm for the hunt. Thomas said it was because I didn't put good candy in the eggs. Instead, I stuffed sugar cereal in them that I bummed off a friend. I had meant to do organic cookies and had left them at home. But regardless, Petra would shake each one to see if there was anything in it and stop to eat it.

And my absolute favorite part of Easter was watching Petra in her first church performance. She "sang" with the other children. We have a video, we hope to share it with each of you at some point.