Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Catching Up...Looking Forward

We have once again celebrated another holiday season with little one being home. This past fall was her third Christmas, Halloween and Thanksgiving! 

It feels as if she has been here forever. 

Last Saturday she woke early, crying from a bad dream. As she made her way down the stairs I picked her up and snuggled with her until she fell back asleep in my arms. 

She is still such a tiny girl, her little body able to curl up like a baby in my lap. 

I think of all the time we missed, time she missed getting to snuggle in her mama's arms. 

I am so thankful for the present time, and not taking one moment for granted. 

It goes by so quickly.

This past fall was a blur! I mean, seriously...I am getting old keeping up with these kiddos!!

School, holidays, birthdays, pumpkin carving, cookie making, get togethers with friends roasting marshmallows, the biggest mustache birthday party ever, school projects, dance, gymnastics, girl scouts, hockey season....and on and on!!

Sometimes I just want to go completely off grid.

 I find peace in the knowledge God's grace is shown no matter what pace our lives take. But slowing down and listening..hearing Him - I need to do that often. 

The past months.....

Peyton is making his way through middle school and playing goalie for his school team. They are undefeated and we are so proud of him! He is growing up to be such a compassionate young man. Still so quiet,  navigating his way though the teen years. We can't wait to see what his future holds. He is such a neat kid and the teen years have been challenging but so entertaining watching his personality really come out. 

Paige has balanced gymnastics and dance along with all A's and B's. She is her sister's best friend and the best big sister ever. We have watched her love for those in need grow tremendously over the past year. Diligent and hardworking, passionate about the things God is laying on her heart. She is our joy. 

Sveta is in kindergarten with the best teacher we could ever ask for. She is making progress reading and this is giving her more confidence. Somehow, she still has some sort of Sveta "fan club" according to Paige, evidenced by the older kids, staff and teachers who know her and get Sveta hugs anytime I am at the school.  That child has the most magnetic personality. She is hilarious.

This Christmas we were decorating the tree and she was belting out the 12 days of Christmas - she got to the partridge in a pear tree part and sang out "and a partridge in a baaaaaaaad dream!!!!" 

Love her spirit!

We finally got some wonderful news about Sveta's cleft palate and speech therapy. Two 1/2 years home and making progress. No surgery for now and speech starts soon. The wheels have moved slowly but we are happy for answers and getting the speech she needs...finally! 

Halloween - it was raining but she had a creative way of handling it...until she realized the bucket was for candy.

Paige was an 80's girl - too much fun curling her hair into big 80's hair!

How much chocolate is in dere?

A surprise, blessed visit from Daniel! Sveta's friend from the baby house!!! Love the Krulik family!!

Our dear friends got married on the beach and I managed to get a picture of the elusive 14 year old!

I wish I had a picture of the way Sveta's eyes lit up when she saw our beautiful friend Stephanie walking down the aisle in her big white dress. Sveta looked like she was seeing a princess. I know the memory of watching her first wedding will forever be ingrained in her mind. 

Me and my girls getting to just act silly. They crack me up!

So much more to write but my Christmas pictures won't upload :( We got to see family in Texas at Thanksgiving and spend time with my sweet nieces. Always a joy to spend time with family. So thankful for my family, the love and support they bring. Our kids are growing up knowing the love of their family in Texas and forming forever bonds. If only we could smash Texas and Alabama a bit closer together!

Our hearts have been heavy for the political things happening in Ukraine and we continue to pray for Ukraine, a country so close to our hearts. I often say - you can leave Ukraine but it never leaves you. 

Looking forward to the things God has in store for 2014. Digging deeper and giving ourselves to Him completely. I've been reading Love Does by Bob Goff and am about half way through it. 

Absolutely loving the book.

A passage from the book, "It's about our pride. He asks if we'll give up that thing we're so proud of, that thing we believe causes us to matter in the eyes of the world, and give it up to follow Him. He's asking us, "Will you take what you think defines you, leave it behind, and let Me define who you are instead?" 

For the past three years we have asked ourselves this question. We have examined our beliefs and the focuses which are only important to the eyes of the world. We have realized for quite a while we left most of those beliefs of what matters behind... still pruning that which does not bear fruit...and looking forward to what is to come. 

Hello 2014...we are ready. 

I hit publish then realized some of you may want to see this -
Got to spend some time with a sweet hearted girl this Christmas!
Praying for her journey back across the ocean. 

I know I said I would like to smash Texas and Alabama a bit closer together but how about smashing a certain EE country and Alabama  closer together? 

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