Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Just Thankful Tonight

Tonight as I put each one of my children to bed I was just overcome with thankfulness for our family. For each one of these precious children. Sometimes it is such a heavy responsibility to be a mom and I see things that cause my mother's heart to worry. But then when I step back and look at what God has done and is doing in our family and the lives of each one of us, I am just at peace and so very grateful. Grateful that the Lord gave us Allee so many years ago and used her life to turn our hearts back to Him. Grateful that she is growing more mature and lovely in her character and spirit each day. We have especially seen such growth in her this year and she is just an incredible joy and delight. Grateful that we had a sweet time to talk about friends and ideals and just life as we jogged under the stars tonight.

Grateful that Nastya and Katya are here - our precious daughters forever. Grateful that they are growing and healing and that we can see God's healing hand in their lives. Grateful that they have learned English so well that Katya wrote a page long letter tonight in English and all I helped her with was spelling. Grateful that Nastya prayed that God would heal a sweet friend who was recently diagnosed with a very serious cancer. Not only did she pray for this woman but that God help her children as well. Grateful that Nastya will tomorrow have dental surgery that is very desperately needed. Her severely decayed lower molars are being removed after many consultations. And just in time - they began to abscess with infection just last week. So thankful that God kept them pain free until just before her surgery.

Grateful that my children are friends with one another. That they all interact and play together and truly love and enjoy one another. Not that they don't have their moments but they are close friends and value those relationships. We have prayed and worked to cultivate that kind of relationships as each one has been added to our family and continue to pray that these bonds would be strengths as they face struggles in their lives.

Grateful that Jadon is not too old to ask me to sing him a 'song about God' as we snuggled for bed time tonight. Grateful for the joy this sweet boy is to me.

Grateful that I still have one child who often quietly slips into my bed to snuggle in the middle of the night. Grateful for my precious, funny Benjamin who loves his mommy so much.

Grateful that I am married to my best friend who loves me at my very worst. Who serves me when I least deserve it. Who dreams and plans and prays with me.

Grateful that no matter how daunting the task sometimes seems of raising these precious children, my own perfect Father is right here with me and He more than makes up for all that I lack. I can rest in Him. Lord let there just be more of You in me and may your love continue to knit our hearts together and more and more to You.

Grateful that what seemed impossible and frightening and scary just a year ago (or for that matter just four months ago), now is an amazing reality that I wouldn't trade for the world.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine Sweethearts!

Zach took three little princess to a daddy-daughter dance last Saturday night. It was themed "Daddy's Little Princess" and he made cute little invitations that he put on their pillows a few nights before the big event. They were all three just beside themselves with excitement but I think Katya was especially walking on clouds for days :) She loves all things princess and dreams of being a princess - I think it just made her feel so loved and cherished by her Daddy.

So finally the big day came and I curled hair, let them borrow a little perfume and tried on many dresses before their Zach made his entrance. He escorted his little princesses to a lovely dinner at Johnny Carinos and then off the dance.

After much negotiating and persistence, he was able to secure a ride in the horse drawn carraige, which had acutally sold out weeks in advance. They all had a lovely time and came home very tired from all that dancing :)

This week has been full of other fun Valentines parties for all the kids, making cards and cookies, and talking about what love really means. We had some great discussions about God's love for us and the differences between real love and tv love. When I first asked the girls what love is, Nastya replied, "I think love is God and family." Well that isn't too bad a definition if you ask me!!
Below we are celebrating with our sweet friends by making cookies and exchanging valentines....

Finally, Zach and I got to have a little Valentines fun ourselves. My parents kept all five kiddos last night so that we could go out to dinner and SLEEP IN this morning. I have felt like a new person today!! Thanks guys!! What a happy Valentines!
Here we are this morning (after they came home from my parents') openning valentines surprises...