Monday, April 25, 2011

Our New House

It feels like we have moved to a new house, but the truth of the matter is that we have just made our "old" one better. And in better, I mean ready for foster kiddos!

We have put up a wall (well, technically we paid someone to do it for us) and created a 3rd bedroom upstairs. We then moved the office/playroom downstairs to the old guest bedroom. We moved the guest bedroom to the "yellow room" which has a window and can thus be used for a foster kiddo who is at least 10 years old. We moved the bunk beds from the yellow room upstairs to the new bedroom, which will soon have a jungle/zoo theme. Whew! That was a lot of moving!

Oh, and we (well, again we paid to have it done) made our stairs so that a child can't fall off the side. I feel much better about that, especially as Coralyn is quite the climber these days and has no fear whatsoever.

With all this moving, I feel like we are in a new house. The mostly empty living room contributes to the just moved in feeling as well. This weekend we also had the opportunity to give my friend the couch and two reclining chairs that we had so graciously been given. As we wait until Wednesday for Nebraska Furniture Mart to deliver our new sofa and loveseat, we are currently sitting in style on our folding chairs!

These changes have made me realize that we have a great house. It may not be super big, but it is the perfect fit for us. Often I play the comparison game and get jealous of houses with dining rooms, not to mention 2 stories or a walk-out basement or a deck or things like that. But I don't really need all of that. God is showing me that I have all I need, and more! I am so blessed, and yet I complain or grumble over the littlest things. God is reminding me that He is my Home. And I am definitely looking forward to welcoming some kiddos into that Home!

I have absolutely no idea what foster parenting will really look like. I can envision how things will go or want them to go, but I have a feeling that the second we get that first placement call and the kid or kids step foot into our home for the first time, all those thoughts and visions and dreams are going to be thrown aside and reality will hit. And I will just have to go with the flow.

No matter what happens though, I am confident of this: We have followed God's lead as He guides us down this path. He knows every twist and turn, every bump and corner. And every step gets us closer to Him, our true and final Home.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Short and Sweet

I was told last night that my blog posts are long! Granted, a teenager was my informant and obviously must not be mature enough to appreciate my verbosity. :)

I have always be long winded. Why change now? After all, my wordiness has worked pretty well for the past 28 years.

Speaking of years, I feel old. Last night, we used our first actual "babysitter" for Coralyn. Usually we have some of our friends from our small group take care of her while we have foster parenting class or any other occasion when we need to go to an adult only event. I was feeling bad for taking away so many of my friends' evenings that I decided to see if some of my former students were available to "babysit" Coralyn. And the fact that my former students are grown up enough to not only stay home by themselves but also be in charge of a child, my child, makes me feel really old.

The girls did a super job, and since I was their teacher and all, I would like to think that I played at least some part in helping them grow up and become the wonderful young ladies they are! :)

And that's all...I tried to keep it short and sweet, just for my beloved teenager. :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

In the Blink of an Eye

You know the saying, "My life flashed before my eyes." Well, I can truly say that after our experience yesterday afternoon.

One second we are driving home from a great weekend at Ponca (one of our absolute favorite places on the entire planet), listening to the radio and laughing, and the next second we are swerving to miss a car headed straight at us. Not too many seconds after that, we are praising Jesus that we are still alive and in the same breath praying for the people who were in the car next to us and did get hit, hard and fast.

When the news reporters interview the people involved in a crash, the people always seem to say that everything happened so quickly. Now I understand exactly what they mean. All the details of the crash are jumbled in my head and it's hard to make sense of what happened, and how, and when. Lawrence and I have tried to replay the entire ordeal in our heads to get a solid grasp of what took place, but we still can't agree on every detail. It all just happened so fast!

We had just turned on the radio to a new station Lawrence had discovered earlier this week. It's a comedy station that has snidbits of various comedy acts. We were listening to a guy make jokes about a burrito disagreeing with you and all that entails. Then I looked over and saw this car crossing over from 435 South and coming towards us. I pointed and told Lawrence that a car was headed right at us; he was able to change lanes and the car zoomed past us. The SUV we had just passed wasn't able to get out of the way though and the car hit the SUV almost head-on. I heard the impact and saw pieces of the car flying. I saw the car spinning behind us. I didn't see the SUV turn on its side and slide down the interstate, but I know that happened because when all was said and down the SUV was very close to the ditch and laying sideways.

I have no idea how the car was able to get over the metal wiring that is in the median between 435 South and 435 North.

I have no idea how the car missed hitting us. I know it must have just been inches away from doing so though.

I have no idea how no one was killed or critically injured. Both cars must have been going around 50 mph when they collided. Pieces of metal were flying in the air. Other cars were coming from behind us. I guess they were able to stop or get over in time and avoid getting hit by either of the vehicles or any of the car parts flying around.

For the first time in my life I called 911. And I got a voicemail! I have no idea how all the 911 operators could be busy taking calls. There can't seriously be that many emergencies all at once, can there?! And it had only been a few seconds since the crash happened, so not that many people could be calling in about the accident already, could they?! I waited a bit and called again, but they had already received the report and help was on the way. In fact, just a minute later, I heard the sirens and saw the firetruck making its way through the standstill traffic on 435 South. Just minutes later more sirens were flashing as another firetruck and an ambulance came from behind us on 435 North.

By the time the medical teams had arrived, Lawrence and some other people who stopped had been able to get the doors open and the 2 people out of the SUV. It took some pulling and prying, as I saw the car "bouncing" from where I sat waiting with Coralyn in the safety of our frontseat. I'm not sure if they got the people out of the other car, but I did see people trying to move it and "shake" it. I didn't have the best view, but I was okay with that.

Coralyn had been asleep and didn't wake up until we came to a stop on the side of the road. As Lawrence ran to the crash, I pulled her out of the carseat and gave her the biggest hug ever. We sat together and watched as the firetrucks and ambulances came. I explained how they were going to help the people in the accident. She was more interested in the volleyball that was in the backseat, and then the apple she saw in the frontseat. She was doing great in her small little confined area, until she told me she needed to go potty. This is where we had some comic relief in the midst of such a scary experience. I wasn't sure what to do, but ended up helping her "pop a squat" in the safety of the ditch. I'm not sure if people passing by saw me awkwardly holding my child who was naked from the waist down. I didn't really care what they thought about me or my mothering skills at that point. Coralyn successfully went potty on the side of the road, and thankfully I had an extra diaper in my purse (since I wasn't going to get the diaper bag out of the trunk). After I finished getting Coralyn redressed, Lawrence soon came back to the car since the police and medical teams had everything under control. We breathed another prayer of thanks and put Coralyn back in her carseat, then started towards home once again.

As soon as we pulled into the driveway, we thanked God again for safely returning us home (so often we take for granted that we will have a safe trip!). Coralyn got out of the car and immediately went for her bike in the garage. Instead of unloading all our luggage and going to get groceries like we had planned, we went for a bike ride/walk. At that point and time, being together as a family was much more important than getting milk.

It's funny how little things become so much more meaningful after life flashes before your eyes. When I think about all the terrible things that could have happened, I am just overwhelmed with gratitude and filled with awe at God's protection. We could have spent last night in the hospital. Instead we ate Papa Murphy's pizza and watched the Amazing Race in the comfort of our living room. We watched Coralyn climb into her toy chest and empty everything out. We gave her a bath and tickled her, enjoying her cute little giggles all the more. We went in her bedroom and sat in the rocking chair and read bedtime stories. We woke up this morning and ate breakfast. Lawrence taught Coralyn how to spit in the sink after brushing her teeth. Yes, the little things are so much more meaningful today.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Go! Go! Go!

The weather has been so nice, and we have been spending more time outside lately! It has been wonderful to feel the sun on my skin, not to mention watching the kids play in the yard.

I don't think they stop going once we step foot out the door. When they get tired playing with the wagon, they can ride the bike, then they can sit in the stroller, then they can bounce, roll, and throw the balls. Then they can do it all over again. Wagon, bike, stroller, balls...repeat. Well, they may mix up the order, but I think you get the idea.

Getting the kids to come back inside is quite the chore. Coming inside means we have to stop, to be still. Heaven forbid we have to take 5 seconds to sit on the potty or grab a drink or eat lunch. All those things mean that one thing is coming: a nap. A nap means you have to stop going.

Oh, but once they wake up, they are ready to go, go, go!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Half-Way to Three

I am writing about this today because all 4 kiddos are sleeping at the same time, and I just have to capitalize on this amazing opportunity! Tomorrow Coralyn will be 18 months old. That means that she is half-way to being 3 years old!

How did this happen?!

Carson is 3 years old. And Coralyn is half-way there. ALREADY!

My "baby" girl is growing up so fast! Every day she seems to be able to do (and say) something new. I am waiting for the day that she figures out how to climb out of her crib. She sure is good at figuring how to climb into, onto, and out of everything else, or so it seems. Her vocabulary grows every day too. She can now say: eat (the very first thing I hear every morning), please, more, wa-wa (water), book, ball, bat, bath, bike, block (notice all the b's), cat, dog, jacket, glasses, teeth (which she loves to brush), cheese (which she loves to eat, and to say whenever I get the camera out), nana (one of her favorite foods and the name of her stuffed monkey), apple, socks, shoes, ni-ni (for her pacifier and to indicate it's time for bed), light, hello, bye, uh-oh, thank you (one of my favorites to hear), and Bible (another personal favorite). She has said some other words once or twice, but these are the ones that she uses on quite a regular basis.

This morning I had a rare treat. Coralyn woke up fairly early (especially since she didn't go to sleep when she should have), and none of the daycare kiddos were here yet. I got to sit in the rocking chair and hold my little girl. She actually laid her head on my chest, and then the best part of all, she wrapped her arms around me. In seconds, she was back to sleep. I just sat there, kissed her head, and smiled. Oh, and I once again told God thank you for such a wonderful little girl, for blessing me and giving me the opportunity to be her mama. Those moments don't happen very often. Usually she is running all over the place. Last week we went to a track meet. And I do believe that Coralyn ran at least 2 miles in the course of the 3 hours that we were there. We didn't get to watch much of the track meet, but Coralyn put on quite the show herself, so we didn't mind. I kept thinking about how someday (sooner than I probably think) we will be going to her various events and cheering her on while she runs a race, or sprawls on the floor for a volleyball, or dribbles the basketball down the court, or scores a soccer goal, or hits a double at her softball game, or earns a 9.6 on her floor routine, or knocks 13 seconds off her personal best at a cross country meet, or receives a one rating on her piano recital, or hits every note in her solo, or wows everyone with her performance in the school play, or whatever else she may do. I am excited to see what all she will be interested in as she grows up.

But for now, I just want to enjoy my "baby" girl. I have to make the most of every moment because they seem to be flying by way too fast! Like I said, she's already half-way to being 3 years old! If I blink too many more times, I am going to be watching her pull out of the driveway on her way to college. Maybe I will just stop blinking...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Thank You

Coralyn can now say "Thank you." She has been saying it all day today, without me reminding her to do so. Every time I give her something, she replies with her sweet little "Thank you." Granted, you might not know what she is saying, but I do. I am her mama. I understand her accent :)

And every time she says, "Thank you," my heart gets a little fuller.

Not only that, but every time I hear one of Coralyn's "Thank you's," I am reminded of how thankful I am to have this precious girl in my life. She brings us such joy. She shows me how big the "little" things in life really are. She has taught me of God's love and helped bring me closer to Him than I ever thought possible.

So, Thank You, Father God, for blessing me and giving me my daughter. Well, technically, she is Yours and You are just lending her to me for now. I am okay with this arrangement because she still blesses my socks off and rocks my world.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.