Since 2012 began we have been so completely overwhelmed with great news and wonderful new opportunities. Clearly, the kids and I (and Steve) have been so enjoying life, that taking time to write about it really hasn't happened much. I know I'll look back and wish I had blogged through these moments but ... it just hasn't been possible. In order to avoid fully "skipping" these incredible last few weeks, let me just make a quick list of the "love"ly things we have to praise God for. 1. Steve and I have had a surprisingly large amount of dates these past few weeks. We aren't the type to take time for ourselves THAT often, but between Gracious Grandparents (both sets) and wonderful sitters, we have had quite a few "date night treats." Among the highlights: A day trip to Ikea for new furniture, a night at the symphony with teachers/friends from school (where we got to have "drinks and appetizers" with the performers afterwards), AND a fantastic Valentines dinner with some of the closest friends we have here in Kalamazoo. Tomorrow we look forward to a long anticipated "Siblings Birthday Dinner" with Sarah, Dan and Maria.
2. Our kids are getting to this stage in life where they are company enough for each other. It's not always perfect; we have to referee, pick up messes, and occasionally teach them how to share/take turns. BUT they no longer REQUIRE attention from us at all hours of the day. They don't need us to make up games. Their favorite past times include: playing "dinner time" at the basement kitchen/Mickey table (where they cook and eat together, with baby Olivia), making ice cream with the Play-doh machine while sitting ON the dining room table, coloring at their new IKEA double desk, and, my personal favorite "helping" Mom with dishes in matching chairs at the kitchen sink. They like tag in the backyard, sliding down slides and playing in the fort. They often shut themselves in their newly created SHARED bedroom and play for 45 minutes at a time doing who knows what (but there's lots of laughter). I have walked in on them, several times, pretending to sleep, snuggled up together in the same bed. The fact that they want to hug each other (and that Benjamin sits STILL that long) is just a blessing to me. Nevertheless, this Mommy CAN NOT wait for the Summer weather to take hold so they can chase each other around in sprinklers, play in the sand/water table, and drive their cars all around the yard (while I park my large, pregnant self in lawn chair and cheer them on ... Come on, picture it ...then laugh)
3. This third one I have been BURSTING with joy since I found out it was happening (back in December) ... We have these "for life" kind of friends ... you know, the ones who have seen you through all of the crazy stages in your life ... and the ones who, despite the geographic distance, will be there for you no matter the situation ... Well, anyway, between the lot of us, we currently have 7 children 3 years old and under (Kayleigh is the ELDEST in the bunch!!!). Its such a blast when we get them all together. At any rate, we found out that two of the couples are due to add to their families in late June. And, recently, one additional couple shared they are due in October ... So, between all of us (our newest addition included) we will have 11 children. Its been such a blessing raising my two children with these amazing, godly women as friends/advice givers. I just can't imagine the joy we will soon experience by adding MORE babies to this beautiful brood. (Adults will be outnumbered soon enough!!)
4. I'm relatively confident that the frequent recurring butterflies I'm experiencing is NOT nervousness, but rather, the evidence of the life living inside my belly. I don't remember Kayleigh's first kicks (I was getting wailed on during her ultrasound and I swore to the technician I couldn't feel a thing); Benjamin's were VERY distinct, somewhere around 16 weeks. I'm 15 weeks now, and I'm confident I've felt this baby on any number of occasions, making his/her presence known. I just LOVE the evidence of growth/life. God is so GOOD.
5. I've been contacted lately about doing two separate work-from-home VERY part time jobs. This would be on top of the seasonal job of coaching, the monthly job of publishing the KCHS TORCH, and well, the full time job of keeping this house in some state slightly more sightly than, "move along at the risk of broken limbs or death by toy." These opportunities are so exciting to me because it lets me provide a little income to the family, but it also allows me to practice using my intellect ... something that Kayleigh challenges often, but not often enough :).
6. At the risk of being a tease, Steve and I are also experiencing God's Almighty, powerful hand of guidance in some other areas as well. We aren't just exactly sure how He's going to orchestrate all of these coordinating events together, but we sure sense something AMAZING. Its incredible to be witnessing, firsthand, God's powerful sense of direction and leading. We are BLESSED to be a part of the unfolding of His will.
Thanks for letting me share the beautiful things we're seeing in our life. I know that life isn't always rosy, and it's not always easy (can I get an amen?). But when it is GOOD, I'm one who firmly believes in giving praise where praise is due! So, thanks God for the blessings.