Greatly Blessed

Greatly Blessed

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Garage Sale 1

We've been in this house 11 months.  In April, we woke up one Saturday to find the neighborhood crawling with garage salers.  Come to find out, there's a huge neighborhood sale date every spring.  Cool.  File that away.

When we started talking about raising money for the adoption, I told Paul I'd have a garage sale in the spring, and ask friends to donate stuff to sell, in addition to our own stuff.

Two friends have already donated stuff.  Paul was, erm, less than thrilled? to be storing it for months in his garage.

Last night, Sam got back to the school from his "away" (I call them way way away) game after midnight.  We rolled home around 12:30 and stumbled to bed, only to get up to get him to football practice this morning.

Well, when we stepped out this morning, we discovered that the neighborhood garage sale thing?  Actually happens TWICE a year.  Yup.  Today.  So I dashed Sam to football and came back and dragged all the stored stuff out into the driveway.

This was the ultimate disorganized garage sale.  No pricing.  No neatly set up tables.  No clothing on hangars, organized by type.  We spread park blankets and a sleeping bag out on the "lawn" and dumped boxes/bags of clothing on them.  We had open boxes lining the sides of the driveway.

Shoppers were told, "Everything is FREE.  We are accepting donations towards our adoption, but if you find something you like, you're welcome to take it."

Brave, or lazy, I wasn't going to haggle.  I figured ANYTHING we made today was a bonus, since it was unexpected income.

Some people just nodded.  Some people said, "That's cool."  Some people asked about our adoption.  One woman handed me $3 for a children's book and said, "My grandkids are adopted."  Another woman told me that her nephew was adopted from China.  One guy handed me a couple dollar bills and all the change in his pocket.

Afterwards, we consolidated what was left and hauled it back into the garage.  While I was packing up, I found 2 things that Sassy Girl will be able to wear, yet another blessing!  4 or 5 trash bags worth of clothing/stuffed animals/dress up wear was gone.  And we had 5 empty boxes left over.   A TV, a freezer, a lawn mower, an unfinished dollhouse kit from my childhood, all gone.  This will make Paul happy.

When all was said and done, we earned $64 paper dollars and a fist full of change.  Not an amazing amount, but not bad for 5 hours of work.  Hopefully next time, with more prep time and more stuff to sell, we'll do better. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Weekly Wrap Up - Homeschool Week 8


I love to see my kids helping each other.  
Eli was teaching Hannah how to spell our last name.  


Brianna was explaining a math concept to Jack.
Warms my heart. 


It's funny.  This summer, I kept thinking, "This year is going to be so easy!  Only 3 students at home!"


Wednesday, as I was passing out paintbrushes to 6 kids, I laughed and thought,
"Shows how much I know!"  


Hannah is "off track" from school for 3 weeks.
This is her second week home, and she's stopped asking if she's going to school today every morning.


We didn't quite get to the Maple Cookies, but we did manage to make our Canadian Flag Cake.  White cake, Cool Whip, and strawberries, yum!  

Not as many pictures this week, sorry.  It's been a little busier around here with Sassy Girl and Mr Jingle Pants.  I taught Sassy Girl how to borrow and subtract, and she got a 90% on this week's spelling test!  



Linking up with some other adoptive families for a Blog Hop.  Check them out if you're interested in adoption!

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Happy Birthday, Katie



On the other side of the world, it's tomorrow.  Way, way far away, there's a little bitty girl having her second birthday.



My heart wishes she were here.  I hope her foster family is doing something special for her.  I hope they're feeding her cake and longevity noodles and loving all over her.


Happy birthday baby girl.  God willing, this will be the last one you spend as an orphan.


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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Our Special Guests

Yesterday, I took the extra kids we have here to Hannah's school to register them.  
Of COURSE they don't have room for both of them at the same school!  :eyeroll:  

Mr Jingle Pants is going to be in Hannah's class, which means he will start school 10/8 when she goes back.  Sassy Girl is being "off loaded" but we don't know where yet.  Interestingly enough, the registrar said that the schools they offload TO are all traditional schedule instead of track system.  This means her schedule will probably mesh fairly closely with the teens' school.

Because she's being off loaded, she'll be eligible for bus service from our neighborhood school.  However, she'd have to be there at 7 a.m.
Ouch.
Methinks I'll be driving her to school and having the bus bring her home.

How is everybody doing, you ask?

Well, for the most part, everybody's okay.  It was a grand adventure the first day (Saturday).  It's become a bit less of an adventure for the kids since then.  But we're settling into a routine.  Honestly, I think having a bunch of kids here has been a help to them, in a positive peer pressure sort of way.  They can SEE what's expected of them in the other kids' behavior.  

While they're not in school, they've been doing school with us.  Mr Jingle Pants does roughly what Hannah's doing, and Sassy Girl does most of what Jack is doing.  We do things as a group, as well.

And me?  Well, I've learned things about myself.  

I'd love to have you pray for us.
Pray that I will have just a little bit more sleep, patience, and compassion.  
Maybe even a dash of organization or an extra pair of hands.  ;)
Pray that all the kids will give each other a large amount of grace.
And pray that the situation that has them here will be resolved quickly.  Despite daily phone calls, they miss their mama, of course.

p.s.  It has taken me two hours to get this little blog post written.  During that time, I've washed hair, helped hiders hide and counters count, and said, "Brush your teeth" about 32 times.  They're outside playing hide and seek in pajamas now, and I think my neighbors would be grateful if I'd bring them in and put them to bed.  It's a little noisy.  


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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up - Homeschool Week 7

We're learning about Canada!  


Yes, it's a picture of my children holding steak knives.
There was actually less blood shed during this project than the Orange Globes of Week One, when Eli sliced his hand open.  


Our Inuit soap carvings.


We also listened to the Canadian national anthem on YouTube.


And researched aurora borealis, including writing our own myths to explain it's origins.  Brianna's story was really good!  


A new country means a new flag for our flag holders!


And a new packet from Little Passports.  The kids got an explorer's compass/whistle.  Jack made Paul jump about a foot by going out to the garage to "show" him the whistle feature.  


Have I mentioned how much I'm loving this curriculum?  This is such a fun year for us, with subject matter that I enjoy.  It's so easy to add enrichments to.  I have some fun additions coming up for Brazil next month.


You can't really see the "snow" effect, but we used glue sprinkled with salt to add texture to our igloo pictures.  


Hannah has gone "off track" at school, so she's home for a 3 week break.  This means we're not walking her to school each morning, so our Nature Walk has suffered.  Last week, I counted learning about the tree in our front yard as our "nature walk" and this week we skipped it entirely.  Bad mom.


You may also notice the Perler Beads in this picture.
My kids LOVE Perler Beads, and they're a favorite around here during the cooler months.  In fact, they're telling me all the colors that we're out of and what they want to make next.


We have our children of the world stretching over our school room windows.


And we FINALLY got around to breaking last week's pinata.  


Jack takes a whack at it.


Then Hannah gives it a try.  This is her first pinata ever.  


Eli's got a pinata jump shot.


And Brianna manages to swing with a smile.


They enjoyed their loot.


What was even more touching to me is that they shared their loot.


Both with me, and with the teens who were at school when we did it. 
Love that.  

We have one more week in Canada before we head off to Brazil!  
I'm just as excited as the kids to continue our learning adventure.

Spare a prayer?  We have a couple of young guests here temporarily.
They miss their mama, of course, but overall things are going well.  
Please pray for continued grace for my kids toward them, 
and that their situation will be resolved quickly.  
Thank you!


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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Weekly Wrap up - Homeschool week 6

We finished week 6, our final week of Mexico!


Not nearly as many pictures this week, although I did catch the kids playing "Om Nom" (that's what they call the game Cut The Rope that I have on my ipad.  It was pretty cute.


Jack doing math is not nearly as cute most days.  


Zachary's birthday was this week.  The kids made him cards.
He's back in the Middle East.
I miss him.


Lots of missionary biographies this year.
Bri had a big milestone this week:  Her first paid babysitting gig at the church!  
She loved it.  Looks like she'll get to do it again, too.  


I'm brushing up on my equivalent fractions.
Jack's not a strong reader, so just looking at the explanation on the computer isn't going to work for him.  


Eli was playing with the world puzzle blocks.


Each of the kids pointing to a country they would like to visit.  
Jack doesn't seem very adventurous, lol.


I'm very lucky.  I'll actually get to go to mine next year.


I love this picture.  I caught it at Sam's football game as the 2 older kids were going to help Jack find his football.  I love the way the setting sun outlines them.  


Grammy came for a visit, and we took her to Sam's first home game.


Football found!  This was actually a catch shot.


And there's Grammy.  We took the kids to the zoo Saturday.


Sam (#31) dislocated his finger, yowch!


This week we had our first craft failures.


I've been pretty impressed with the crafts, activities, and experiments in MFW so far.


But as you can see...


The craft flowers were not a hit.


I made a sample flower over the weekend, and it came out huge, so I had the kids make theirs smaller, and, well, 


There were some frustrations.


And some trimming.  Which wasn't in the instructions, but oh well.  


The flowers weren't the only flop.  


Remember last week's pinata that we started?
It popped.


So I went with Plan B, which was a total cheater pinata made from a paper bag.  


Now we're off to learn all about CANADA!
Looking forward to finding out more about our neighbors to the north.


Along with math, spelling, and handwriting, of course.  ;)  


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Linking up with Growing Home  
Growing Home