Sunday, September 13

Adjusting to the new normal

Our campout night (Selah & I slept in the house). Two days later (after Karl spoke a sermon and I was on worship team) we headed to Chain O Lakes State Park where the Encounter group was camping for the weekend. It had been gorgeous all weekend, but the afternoon we got there, it started raining. It rained off and on (but, it felt like more on than off.) The worst part? We borrowed my family's tent (which probably hadn't been used in 15 years-literally) only to realize when we went to bed that it was leaking....badly. Between that and Selah waking up in the middle of the night and not sleeping well the rest of the night, it was rough. While the kids had fun, and we had fun sitting around the campfire talking late into the night with friends from church, it could possibly go down in history as my worst night ever. Next year will be much better, I'm sure :)
My precious god daughter, KeMiya (3 mos. and a whopping 16 lbs!)
Sassy Selah. Karl is still adjusting to the drama of a girl.
Owen and Grandad have such a special relationship. On a different note: can you tell from this picture how incredibly active our Owen is? His face and arm are totally separate incidents. What a guy!
The first day of school for our elementary school kids. Owen starts preschool 3 days a week in two days (9/15)!
Just in case you thought things were too happy, this is real life with three boys :)
My princess!
Birthday celebration #1 (I absolutely LOVE the expression on the boys' faces!)
Our friend Yemi took this one tonight (the other ones are a smattering of the summer)
Keesha does not usually look this weird, I promise (although we would still love her and be her friend even if she did :) )
Tell me how cute my big kindergartner is!
My beautiful, wonderful parents
Aunts Krissi and Alyssa, Uncle Jeremy, and Braden. It really was a wonderful summer with so much family in the area. We were so spoiled!
We love the park we discovered a couple of minutes from our house!
Owen's best buddies at his birthday party. We have three summer kid birthdays in our house!!!

Selah loves when Grandma Pat comes to visit

I can't tell you how much I cherish our affectionate family!

My beautiful god daughter, KeMauria
Silly Kole

Camping in the backyard

Braden's first day of school

Braden's birthday sleepover in July!

Selah's "make-up"birthday party
(Thanks, Towers & Gangers, for the adorable clothes!)

Enjoying her very own birthday cake

Two oldest children :)
(He's getting way too handsome and grown up)

Baking with the neighbor kids

Well, I have to say I've done much better getting another post out in cyberspace, but it's Sunday and these days of rest are so special and allow me to do what I enjoy and don't usually have the time for! I can see how God just shakes His head at us (I'm not really sure he does this, I'm just guessing!) about the Sabbath. He created it as this amazing blessing for us, and we tend to either blatantly ignore him and go about our business OR be all legalistic about it and use it as a way to look down on others when they don't follow it. I have done/do both. But it really is a gift from heaven. I know there's a whole bunch of theology and possible sermon options wrapped up in the concept of the Sabbath, but right now I'm just thankful--and thankful that I'm following it at this particular moment . I try to let go of some of my guilt with media on this day realizing that it's a day of rest for Daddy and I as well as the kids, so Karl and Braden are playing Wii, Kole and Owen are on the home computer, Selah's getting into stuff on the floor (and desperately needing a diaper change (a much bigger undertaking in a cloth diaper!) and I am catching up online. Beautiful.
Life is full here with nine people, but we are all adjusting, I think, fairly well. It continues to be the hardest on Owen who has to share me (to some extent) with KeMauria, KeMiya, and Brenna who I babysit three days a week. He's a trooper, though, and Karl and I continue to try to spend extra time with him. Keesha works part time, too, so that can be Owie and Mom time as well. Even if it's just a book and cuddle time just the two of us before naptime, we try to make it happen. I think starting preschool this week will also be a good thing. Even though lots of people under one roof has its challenges, there is still no doubt in my mind God was very clear that this was His plan for us right now, so we are trusting and living and loving and sinning and forgiving and loving again day by day by day.

Well, the vision team meeting is over, the kids have been asleep for hours, and I am ready for bed. These early mornings to get kiddos (esp. Braden) on the school bus are kicking my butt! Lately, I've been heading up to bed even before 11. For those who know my night owl habits, this hasn't been the case since who knows when--maybe pre-senior year of high school. Hope you enjoyed the pics! I enjoyed picking them out and reliving our wonderful past several months!

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