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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter at the Village

First Date in a Loooong Time!
 Since my last update, John and I did get a break!  After 63 days straight, we were given a sweet respite of 10 days at home in Huntsville with our families.  We even got to go on a few dates while grandparents babysat Jonah!  It was refreshing and needed.

 We started back though and immediately John and Jonah both got very sick and were on a ton of meds.  If I thought this job was tough for two people - it's really tough with one and half parents (husband being sick = half a parent).  Then two of the kids here got sick just as John was beginning to feel better. The baby got sick so suddenly that it was necessary to go to the hospital and we were admitted and spent the night.  It was exhausting, but it made us have a much closer bond than before.  Baby and I started in the ER around 5pm Monday, and left at 10pm Tuesday night.  After being stuck in the hospital for just over 24 hours straight, I was so glad to be home again!  I did finally find a good pediatrician though, and the baby is just about completely well now.  Unfortunately, I think I am catching a cold, but the rest of the house is almost well!

Last Date for a while probably...
 In the world of House Parenting there is good news on the horizon!  They have two couples applying for positions!  Hopefully that means at least one of them will be coming to our campus to partner in this ministry!  If we get more house parents, we will probably get more children, and we think that would be a plus.  Sometimes it is a little awkward with just our little family and this particular sibling group - they don't seem to understand that we're not just regular foster parents, and we don't want the other baby to call us parental names lest it offend their family.  We were thinking that if more kids arrived and another set of house parents, it would help the kids to see the purpose of the organization a little more clearly and give the other baby another set of adults so baby doesn't get too attached to us.  We have had them a full six months now - so from here on out we will have parented these kids longer than any of our other sibling groups.  They have also been with Jonah since he was 4 months old, and it is obvious that he loves them all.  The kids think he's super cute and they play with him very sweetly. I am grateful that I do not fear for his safety at all.  He has been teething it seems like for about a month straight now though, trying to cut 5 teeth at once, and he is crazy fussy and wants to bite us.  Sleep...I miss you.

Teething + Ear Infection + Cold = Grouchy Baby
     A couple of different Assembly of God churches down here got together to buy all of our kids brand new Easter clothes two weeks ago.  This was a very sweet gesture.  Shopping for all four of our kids, with a different couple assigned to each kid (some couples also brought children of their own), made us look kind of like multiracial Duggars. Haha! The boys were easy to shop for, however, the girls took longer to find that perfect dress.  Just trying to leave the house with all the kids by 9am is a tough task (and one we usually only attempt on Sundays), but we managed to make it pretty close.  Shopping took a solid 3 hours and then we ate in the little Laurel mall for lunch with all the people who came along to contribute.  The kids were very happy about their clothes, but worn out from shopping.  Getting to see them all dressed up in them today and how happy they were, was really special.  We are grateful for those people and their outreach to us!  We went to one of their churches yesterday for an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids.  It started when both babies were ready to take a nap though, so we brought bottles and the little red wagon of which they are both so very fond.

In the wagon another day (not the egg hunt)
Both babies stayed happy for about an hour, and then I was able to get Jonah to sleep as I walked around with him for about 30 minutes.  Other baby waited to get home before falling asleep.  All of the kids enjoyed it.  They even had an egg hunt for older kids that had several cash eggs with $1 and $5 bills inside.  Our teenagers were happy to hunt for money!

     Lots of different church groups came by this week to deliver Easter baskets to the kids.  It is so funny how holidays are our busiest time for visitors and donations.  With all of the donation groups and individuals, the kids each got 4 Easter baskets loaded with candy and random stuff.  Two groups called ahead of time to ask about the kids and what we suggest they give them, and those baskets were more meaningful and full of useful items the kids were actually happy to receive.  The other two were kind but generic pre-made baskets.  The two call-ahead groups also brought baskets for Jonah!  This was really sweet and thoughtful.  One church even made a basket for John and I.  We were touched by everyone's thoughtfulness and generosity.  Just like at Christmas, we have a long list of Thank-You cards to write!
Friday night we let the older kids stay up late and watch the movie, "The Passion of the Christ," which they had never seen before.  We had a mixed response, that is difficult to explain without sharing their personal information.  I can't go into detail, but please pray for our kids to receive Christ, to be open to the message of the gospel.  I hadn't seen the movie in a long time, and I was again reminded and heart broken at the extreme pain Jesus endured so willingly.  I had forgotten about the devil lurking around in the movie and the strange demonic baby and children.  I understand the symbolism - Satan gives birth to sin and sin gives birth to death, but the scary baby in the movie is weird.  It really scared one of our kids.  Discussion afterward was like, "So do you mean you are scared of the demons in the movie or scared of going to Hell?" Eh...  I think also, since becoming a mommy of a baby boy, I kind of identify with Mary a little more.  I had never before thought of how much agony she had to go through during his death.  Then we watched "Letters to God" last night, and oh how I cried for that mommy too! Being a parent has changed my perspective in so many ways.

     It is difficult to get out of the house in time for Sunday School, but because every single person in the house had their entire outfit picked out already and mostly bathed the night before, it was actually easier to make it today!  So, hopefully we will continue to make sure everyone picks out their clothes the night before church so we can make it to Sunday School more often.  Church was lovely.  We sat next to some visitors who had a pretty little baby girl they said was 11 months.  I adore dropping our babies off at nursery, and don't even miss them or feel one bit guilty about handing both babies over for the 2 hours we're there.  They both like the regular nursery workers and there is lots of good padded baby equipment for them to play on, so I know they are safe and having a good time.  I sat and admired this other little baby until she began to fuss and they just left.  I was pleasantly surprised that our worship time even included the Casting Crown's song "Glorious Day."  I like singing the hymns that I know, but sometimes this small town church music guy pulls out some hymns I've never heard of before at all, and those I struggle to use as worship.  Today held a bunch of old familiars!  I enjoyed our pastor's sermon, as usual.  My mom was able to come and visit this week during her Spring Break and it was so nice to have her here to help with all the kids and hang out!

She even gave us some money to feed everyone after church today so we wouldn't have to cook/get the kitchen really messy.  We picked up our local favorite - Taco Bell.  The kids like the new Cool Ranch Doritos Tacos and John and I like the Chicken Cantina Bowls.  It may sound lame to eat fast food for lunch, but in our household, it's a HUGE hit!

     After we came home from church and the babies took naps, we all put back on our new clothes and tried to take some nice pictures.  John's camera is kind of old though and it was difficult to get enough light because it was raining outside.  It is against policy to post pictures/personal information about the kids on the internet, so I can only share ours, but we took about an hour and half to take over 200 pictures of the whole group!  Here are some of my favorites:

Our Family!
His pants have room to grow :) 
Happy Easter

 Happy Easter Friends!  I hope you had a blessed day.  I cannot believe April is already here! Thank you as always for keeping us in your prayers.  Pray for everyone to be healthy and if it is the Lord's will, for the new House Parents to be hired quickly!

1 comment:

  1. Haha! Multiracial Duggars-made me laugh. Your little guy may have been grouchy from teething, but you are a beautiful mama! Let me know if there is any other way I can pray/help.