Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's Tuesday

(Creative Title huh?)

It's also 6:05 am as I am starting to write this blog entry. I've not been to sleep yet and my husband's alarm clock is going off, letting him know that now is the time for all of us to wake up.

I have an OB appt at 8:00AM. Most people that know me, know I NEVER pick first thing in the morning appointments. I'm NOT a morning person and have never been one. I'm not sure I'll ever be one.

But I have to fast for this appointment and well.. I can't very well fast until 2pm or later (my usual appt time of choice) while pregnant... or rather, I can't fast safely while pregnant.

So.. I'm up, about to start my day, get the kids ready, make them breakfast ,while I abstain and then take them to a friend who has so graciously offered to watch my three at a crazy time in the morning, the day after she got married. Seriously folks.. that is friend LOVE!

Then we'll go to the doctor's appointment, I'll drink nasty overly sweetened syrup with no carbonation, have my ultrasound and then about an hour after the last drop of overly sweetened syrup is gone, I'll have bloodwork done.

And I'll do this all on no sleep. I've almost passed out TWICE doing this test for both of the girls and that was with a full nights rest. So pray for me.

Afterwards, my wonderful husband has promised me breakfast or lunch at the restaurant of my choice and we have a few errands to run but we'll have to make it quick because I have a breastfeeding support group meeting at 1pm.

After that, all bets are off for the rest of my day. I'm tired and cranky... and Solomon is using my bladder as a trampoline. But I hope to sneak a nap in at some point.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

WOW! It's been a wee bit crazy around here!

Early last week Brandon got word from the place we were renting our moving truck from telling him that we could pick it up on Friday afternoon. So we added a days prorated rent on Wednesday when we went to our new rental office to sign our lease and planned to start our move Friday evening.

Friday afternoon, we picked up our cat, Paulie from the animal hospital. I had a dopey cat in a carrier box, meowing during our move and I've added Dr. Doolittle to my many titles and job descriptions since I am now a pro at giving the cat his meds and don't even have to hunt him down... he comes to me!

We were blessed with two coworkers/friends from the office to come help us when they got off at 7:45pm. The move went pretty fast and we got everything in on Friday night. Everything except my beloved IKEA pantry that was very torn up by the time they got all 220 lbs out of the apartment. Oh well.. people before things right?

Just in case you are getting the impression that everything runs smoothly for the Bee Family, let me fill you in with some details. LOL

1. The pantry fell apart in about 3 pieces AFTER they got it into the truck. It didn't fall apart before they squeezed it out of the tiny doorway... nope. It made it across the apartment, through 2 doorways, down the steps and up the ramp into the truck when it disintegrated.

2. Once they started unloading at the new place, we realized the bunk beds would have to be taken apart more in order to fit around the corner and down the hallway into the girls room. Of course the tools were packed. So the bunk beds were in the living room until Brandon could find his tools. I put sheets and blankets on the mattresses and the girls didn't have furniture in their room until sometime late the next afternoon.

3. Dish could not install our service here the next day. Since they contract out their installations, the Dish installation manager wanted to come make SURE that they couldn't get it in, and so they came by too. No go. We still have Comcast, SIGH!

4. The washing machine in our new place has a broken part. For a family of 5, soon to be 6, this is disastrous.

Okay.. so you get the picture. NOT a smooth move, despite our best attempts to plan ahead. But we were in.

The next morning, I went to Williamsburg (an hour or so away) with the children to meet up with a friend that was visiting from Texas. I had a lovely day with Angie and Cliff and her 12 children and our kids played together beautifully. The moms even got time to talk!

Brandon stayed home to supervise the dopey cat, wait for the Dish installer to try to install and then went to the old place to do a final sweep and mop.

Colonial Williamsburg is beautiful and very neat and I can't wait for Brandon and I to return with the children. A MOM's group that Angie and I belong to has a retreat in Williamsburg each year so we'll be praying over that for next year. We walked alot and the kids slept the whole way home. I was BEAT!

The kids and I returned around 7pm that evening and then Brandon and I tackled some boxes and rearranging some things.

Sunday, I spent the day vegging out. I was afraid I'd overdone it between Friday and Saturday and my body was definitely letting me know to slow down. So I did.

Monday, Brandon had taken a vacation day, so we ran a long list of errands with the children. ALOT got done including:

Sams- Bought a freezer, renewed our membership, and bought some odds and ends.

Food Lion- Bought somewhere around 70lbs of beef that was custom cut for free. A total steal at $1.78 a lb. Saved more than I spent and didn't use a single coupon. Yes, please! We have 10 more sirloin tips that are being ordered for us. We are set for a while.

Came home to unload.

Lowes- 2 extension cords and a nut to fix our table leg.

Walmart- A return

Target- A return, buy a shower curtain, shower organizer, a birthday card, a giftcard, and have an encounter with a Leprechaun... *Tee hee*

Moes- Dinner. Burrito, drinks and chips $5.55. Baby Solomon is in love with cilantro and Mexican. YUM!

Library- return 2 books. I support the library through my taxes and don't need to support them through late fees. LOL It's been a hard concept to implement but I've gotten MUCH better!

We came home and unloaded.

Put the kids to bed and then crashed ourselves.

Tuesday was another slow day. Brandon worked and I completed some paperwork/admin stuff that needed done.

Whooooooooooo! I'm beat but things are coming together!


PS: I have a long list of things to write about. Can't wait to get the blog caught up!

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Sermon that Blessed Me

Voddie Baucham is kind of "new" to me. I've only known of him for a little over a year. I missed hearing him at the homeschool convention in 2009 but did manage to catch a sermon when he was a guest speaker at one of our local churches. He even prayed with Brandon and I, when we shared briefly our calling to adopt another child and that I was expecting in June. Ya know what he said? "Ahhh.. just getting started I see." We loved his positive comments and loved that he took the time to pray with us as a long line formed behind us.

Voddie is very "cut to the chase." A friend and I have a joke that when you listen to Voddie, you either AMEN or OUCH. I've done both listening to his sermons. He's a pastor at Grace Family Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. He's a homeschooling father and an outspoken adoption advocate. The Bauchams are blessed with 6 children so far (wink), including four adopted children.

I'm currently reading his book titled "Family Driven Faith," but was sent this link by a friend. I've heard this particular recording a few times, but today it really hit home.

Hopefully, it will bless and challenge you too.

The Centrality of the Home in the Evangelism and Discipleship of the Next Generation

NOTE: This was actually spoken at a Evangelism Conference just for a frame of reference.

(There was a problem with my link before, but it should work now.)


Thursday, March 11, 2010

I've been bitten....

....by the Spring Fever bug. The weather has been beautiful lately and it makes it hard to focus for more than about three seconds consecutively.

I was in so much pain (hips, legs, back, neck) that Brandon called around and spoke with several chiropractor offices and finally found one he felt comfortable sending his pregnant wife to. I had my first appointment yesterday.

Oh me, oh my.

I felt amazingly better by the time I left the office. I've neglected my chiropractic care since we moved here November 30, 2008! My hip and leg pain had gotten so bad that I couldn't roll over in bed without crying out in pain and it's been that bad for the entire pregnancy. Falling down the stairs with Xander in my arms had only irritated my back more. Last night was the first night I've been able to roll over in relative ease. There is still some pain, but it is a ton better. I have another appointment on Friday, so hopefully I'll be in tip top shape soon!

When I got home, though.. the fever had hit. I rarely leave the house on days that Brandon works since we are a one car (ahem van) family. But after driving to the chiropractor and back, I had a joy riding bug and an intense craving for Mexican food being eaten while sitting on a patio. We rushed to get out the door and load the kids up, but with Richmond traffic, by the time we got to the restaurant, the sun had gone down too much for a comfortable dinner on the patio.

After dinner, we drove around looking at some new to us neighborhoods. One thing is for sure, wherever and whenever we buy, Brandon will have a longer commute. I don't want a cookie cutter house on a tiny, steeply sloped yard with my neighbors right on top of us. So we'll have to leave the West End. It doesn't really bother me since we are now attending church and shopping south of the river. (Quick side note, when you are from Augusta, GA going "across the river" doesn't really bother you, you just do it without thought. Here people *gasp* because we attend church in another county and travel down the interstate and across the river to get there. You'd think it was *so far* away! In reality it's about a 20ish minute drive and we find better customer service out there.)

While we were out joyriding, Julianne loudly told her Daddy "We have to go home to watch American Yidol (Idol), it's boy night and Andrew Garcia is on!" Um... anyone else concerned that my 3 year old is OBSESSED with AI and Andrew Garcia? She can't name ONE of the female contestants "Mommy they really aren't *that* good this year!" but can name several of the male contestants. I have a feeling teenage years may be interesting with this one. ;)

Another funny story: Julianne was totally cracking us up after dinner and Brandon looks at me and says "Where did we get this kid?" Without missing a beat, Julianne announces "You got me from BJ's! I was FOUR DOLLARS, remember?" Dear child, we did NOT get you from BJ's (a warehouse store like Sam's or Costco.) God blessed my womb after several years of trying for you, baby girl. And since I was high risk, I saw several specialists weekly during my pregnancy and just ONE copay was more than $4. You are my most expensive child to date. ;) But you are SO loved and well worth all of the blood, sweat and tears we put into getting you safely here.

Dear Father, thank you for my children. They've each joined my life under different circumstances but in Your perfect timing. Thank you for the change in seasons, and the new green life I'm seeing outside. It makes my heart sing after a very long, rough winter. Thank you for the entertainment that each of my children provide.. and the awesome opportunity that you've given me to share the blessings you've given us. I love that you aren't a God of statistics. Statistically, the world says Brandon and I shouldn't be married still but we are. We are happy and pray for many more years together! Our diagnoses were supposed to make having ONE child difficult. And I'm now the blessed, thrilled mama of (almost) four here on Earth and two that are with you. Thank you for their personalities, Lord. They are all so very different and I'm sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what you have planned for their lives. In the meantime, I'm thankful for arms that squeeze my neck for bear hugs, chubby hands that rest in mine, and sweet lips that give me kisses (even if they leave some slobbers behind) and all the funny stories...


Monday, March 8, 2010

I'm still here!

Things are just super busy!

I'm just starting to be buried in boxes! We've been busy packing a little each day so that we can get it all done in time. Of course before you can pack, you sort (trash/donate/keep) and then you usually make a bigger mess than what you started with. We obviously can't live in the mess, so every few boxes, we are cleaning as we go. There are lots of breaks for bottles, new diapers, naptimes, meals etc.

This weekend was beautiful and made it very hard for us to stay indoors. We did make it to a park on Saturday and really enjoyed ourselves.

I've gotten information from 3 agencies so far. We are still praying fervently for guidance. Of course, they don't call their fees the same things, so it's kind of hard to compare apples to apples. I've started a few spreadsheets so I can try to keep up!

Brandon's mom is having surgery on Thursday. They are taking out (?) two discs in her neck and putting hardware in. Prayers for that procedure are greatly appreciated!

I'm headed to bed!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday!

A Gift in the Mail...

Imagine my amazement, when Brandon walked in from work today and when I walked in the room to greet him, he was reading a letter. I asked who the letter was from and he said her name.

I thought I misheard him. It was a letter from Xander's birthmother! We regularly send updates and do ask our adoption coordinator about her every time we talk but we've NEVER gotten a letter. The agency had forwarded the letter to us on her behalf since Xander's adoption is semi-open. .

I was moved to tears as I read the words on the page and I'm positive it wasn't just hormones. It was such a precious thing for me to experience today. She's opened the door and given me permission to ask anything. The updates I've been sending are about us and Xander and not too many questions. I didn't want to pry. I'm not even sure what to ask... but I'll be praying for the right words. I'm not really sure what Xander will want to know later, ya know?

She's also opened the door to send updates MORE often... This makes my spirit dance! I often think about writing her more but wasn't sure what she would feel. Her original request was twice a year now after the first bit of his life.. and I sure didn't want to hurt her. Usually I write his updates a little at a time, and save them all up until the time to send them. I do the same thing with pictures. Now I can send them as they come. We'll be buying a box specifically for her letters. I'll also be letting her know that we welcome her letters and even pictures if she'd like to send us some.

It's amazing how we are so bonded... and we've never even met. We just share a place in the life story of this beautiful baby boy.. my Xander.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Yes.. the time stamp is right

It is really 2:37 am. I've been unable to sleep even with the aid of two Benadryl capsules.

My heart is heavy. Brandon and I are feeling the urge to start another homestudy. I've kind of hinted around about it on my Facebook and with some friends and the general consensus seems to be that we are nuts.


How do you unring a bell? How do you unhear a calling? How do you unsee a need?

I've prayed ALOT that if this isn't God's will for our family to please remove the desire from my heart. And each time the calling gets louder. I've tried to ignore God... I've tried to tell Him that right now is not a really good time for this. And each time I do, He puts someone in my path to remind me of the plight of the orphan. Or He gives me a dream at night... or someone asks about our adoption story. It's almost comical how He has reminded us. And remember when I shared that I found our homestudy after we decided to move to a bigger apartment?

Two nights ago, I asked another adoptive mom for a referral for a homeschool friendly, large family friendly social worker. We need to update our homestudy for another adoption. Well.. first we need to move but that is coming.. March 20th! I'll be making phone calls to get a feel for the social worker's thoughts on homeschooling and large families. Pray for those phone calls.

So tonight, I looked around some adoption sites I belong to. Two girlies jumped out at me. Both have special needs. Both of them are 4. Yes, I know... drop your jaw like I'm nuts. That would give us a 7 (Lainey), 4 (Annalise), almost 4 (Julianne), 10 months (Xander) and a new baby in June (Solomon). Brandon and I sent an inquiry on both of them.

And now I'm up... unable to sleep. Like a mama waiting on her child to come home from a late night.

God give me the strength to do this. Remind me of your awesome provision for Xander's adoption. Remind me how You smoothed each wrinkle and I didn't see any of them. Show me the child You've chosen for our family. Put the right people in front of me to make this happen in Your timing. And give me peace to know that this is what You desire for our family.
In Your Son's most precious name, Amen!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Plentiful Provision

As I've shared before I love stories of provision. They just make me giddy inside.

So I've decided to regularly share the provision in our lives here on my blog. Lately it's been a lot of little things...

I went to the children's consignment store to take a bin of things that I'd set aside out of the girls closet. I try to do this often to declutter. There was a time in my life that we had WAY.TOO.MUCH.STUFF and I've vowed not to ever let myself get there again. (Don't go reporting me to Hoarders.. it wasn't THAT bad!)

Anywho.. When I go in, I generally look around and see if I can find any super deals. Usually the money I earn from selling, let's me buy the next size up or an item we've been looking for. I should also add here that I often pray to be able to really stretch my money before I go into a store.

I noticed a sign that said they had a season clearance. So after looking through the girls dresses and finding a few things for Lainey, I walked over to the season clearance. Nothing for Solomon or Julianne, but when I got to Xander's size for next winter, WOWZA! I was in disbelief. Everything was marked to $1 and there was a huge variety! I pulled some out and hung them on the stroller handle while I looked. As I kept looking the pile grew bigger and bigger. Suddenly I looked down at the stroller handle and there was quite a bit hanging there. Surely my "turn ins" wouldn't cover what I had picked and I'd need to weed some out. They called our last name and we walked over to see what the credit total was and to check out. I had my cash envelope for clothing but wasn't sure if it was going to be enough for the dresses, the diaper bag I picked up and Xander's clothing. Brandon remembered we had a filled punch card for 20% off and handed it to the lady. Our credit was enough to cover our purchases and I got $10 cash back! I put the cash into my clothing envelope and walked out with a bulging bag of items. When we got in the car, Brandon and I looked at each other in disbelief and thanked God for the provision!
Here is a picture of the clothing for Xander for next season. Lots of good stuff.. name brands, great condition, and incredibly priced at $1 an item! The velour sweat suit was $1 TOTAL and the shirt and pair of jeans were sold as another set for $1. We paid $15 for Xander's items and when I added up the consignment prices on the tags, the total was $77.50!

Another time, I bought leggings to go under the girl's dresses. Some colors were marked down to $3 and some were $5. I bought up the colors and sizes we needed. Leggings tend to be hard for me to find and the girls prefer them to tights. Again I used my clothing envelope when I checked out.

The girls wore the pink pairs and the brown pairs with no problem. A few days later, I set the black ones out for them to wear under a dress. I was shocked when they only went to Lainey's knee! I checked the label and had accidentally gotten capris! I put them back in the bag and found my receipt so I could return them.

When I returned them I got $10 and some change back. When I went back to the section, the black leggings were $3 each. I walked through the boys section to get to the front of the store and saw a clearance rack. I passed it and felt the need to go back and look. I found 2 outfits to put up for Xander. $1 per each pair of pants and $1 for a shirt. $2 outfits! So I once again spent the $10 and change. But this time it stretched further.

Here is a picture of the outfits.

Yesterday, we walked into the grocery store after church to pick up milk and bananas. Julianne insisted she had to go to the bathroom right then. As I walked by the meat case I noticed stickers but didn't have time to stop. When we got to the bathroom she said "Oh I guess I didn't have to go." In my head I said "Errrrr." We washed our hands and headed back out. I walked by the meat case again but this time I stopped to see what the stickers said. It was hamburger meat for a little over $1 a lb. I bought 15 lbs worth. Sure it's 73/27 but we often rinse our meat and it was WAYYYYYYYYYYYY cheaper than even the 80/20. 80/20 is on an "unbelievable" sale here for a little under $2 a pound. For burgers we actually prefer the 73/27 combination because the burgers don't dry out as they cook. We are set meat-wise for a while!

Have you stopped to think about God's provision in your life? I try to keep up with those moments, big and small, that make me giddy. They sure seem to help me weather the storm when things get tough.