I'm having a hard time posting these days because it is hard to describe what goes on in our home from day to day, and what I am experiencing in all aspects of life.
Michael and I are working on tweaking my schedule and figuring out how to minimize my stress levels right now. We go on relief week next week, where all of the girls stay at another cottage for a full week, and that will be helpful in getting some much-needed rest, I think. Usually we are supposed to receive a full week like this every fifth week, but they had to hire a new set of foster parents before that could happen. There is a great couple here now, and the rotation has begun, praise the Lord.
I feel like a chicken with my head cut off almost all of the time, and it is rare that I actually finish a to-do list, which drives me bonkers, but can't really be helped. Having six kids (seven, starting tomorrow - we're getting another new girl) changes things in so many ways, and having four to five of them being yours only temporarily really throws some interesting elements in the mix.
We are working hard to provide a stable, structured, healthy environment for these girls. We have been here for three months now, and those three months have included a lot of tweaking, praying, changing and re-changing things to figure out what works best, a lot of relationship building, a lot of REALLY fun times, and also a lot of time being sick (I've been sick three times since we've been here - once a month on average, and I think it's mostly because I'm worn down and not getting enough sleep) and some time crying out to God for wisdom, and sometimes just crying.
The first month was a honeymoon period, that's for sure. It's just downright hard now, to be honest. But God has called us here, and we know He wants us to make a difference in these girls' lives while we have them. So we will let Him be our strength and give all we've got while we are here.
Bennett and Jasper are still thriving and love it here, which again, is a tremendous blessing that there are no words of thanks to express. They love everything about being here, and are getting to experience so many more things than we would have been able to provide for them otherwise. That's a wonderful feeling. We're pretty sure Bennett will go to the school where Michael teaches starting next year, and we feel wonderful about this. He and his daddy will get to spend a lot of wonderful quality time together on the drive there and back every day.
Homeschooling is still going great. Bennett is reading basic C-V-C words, and is reading very basic readers with help, although the perfectionist in him still gets frustrated when he can't master everything immediately (welcome to my world, pal :) ). Jasper loves school time and always wants to be involved doing his own activities as well.
Recent events have included Michael turning the big 3-0, Halloween festivities, going to the State Fair with Mimi, getting to meet one of the MVP Rangers along with his family, where we decorated sugar cookies and got free Rangers hats, going to the movies, the girls and I having a fabulous movie marathon, roasting more marshmallows in our fire pit, having other cottages over for Game Night and Hide-n-Seek in the dark, and hosting Thanksgiving for my entire family at our house (25 people).
Coming up is Bennett's birthday on Tuesday (he's turning FIVE...gulp), and the kajillion Christmas parties we will be attending (around 3-4 each weekend until Christmas). I'm taking the girls Christmas shopping for their friends tomorrow after school.
Whoo-wee, it's a crazy, busy life here, but we wouldn't have it any other way and don't wish to be anywhere but here, right where God wants us. I'll try to sneak in a picture post of the outdated events I haven't posted about yet (like Michael's big birthday, the fair, etc.).