Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Winter update - SPRING is here!!!!

It's finally getting warmer which means more pictures and outdoor adventures are coming soon.  The winter has been particularly interesting since we experienced an amazing snow storm that managed to shut down the Chicagoland for two days.  The season also brought a time of change in our family as we decided to stop the adoption process.  The decision was made around Christmas when Tom and I both felt that God was steering our family in a different direction.  The message was so clear, but it still took me most of four months to fully accept. Our social worker always talked about how peaceful our family was; where she never verbalized her reluctance for the adoption, I could feel it from her. She tried to politely tell me that she didn't want possible disruption to come to a family as close are ours.  We took the rest of the winter to pray and really look at the priorities of our family, even when we already knew God's answer.  Tom finally mailed in the paperwork to surrender our DCFS liscence and life is moving forward.  It was a hard journey to take, but many relationships were healed in the process.  God works in wonderful and mysterious ways!

This first video is of our first snow early in the season followed by the big storm aftermath in February.






This winter also brought a life change for me.  Once I finished my Master's Degree almost 10 years ago, I vowed to never work again!  I wanted to have children and perform; something that definitely puzzled the professors on my Master's defense when they asked what my goals were following graduation.  I thought I had learned to never say "never", and God, once again, had other plans for me.  I wouldn't actually call it work since I REALLY enjoy what I'm doing and it allows Stephen and I (hopefully Rhea in the future) to participate in an activity where we grow together.  God knows I still need growing in so many areas, and Stephen has also blossomed. Soooo...

After Stephen started martial arts about two years ago, I wanted to get involved so I could be effective in teaching him at home.  We stopped lessons with his current school when we found out that our church had a dojo.  We thought it would be a great opportunity to involve the whole family since it was financially possible.  After about eight months, another opportunity came my way.  Stephen was taking an archery class when I heard of a Christian homeschool mom that owned an amazing Taekwondo school.  Divine intervention had me in her school in less than a week; on a road that I never pictured taking with my family.  My first interactions with her opened doors for our family that I didn't see possible anywhere else; so the journey began.  Let's just say I've learned a lot and still have pleanty of room to grow, while LOVING my work with kids and adults alike!  Stephen is making new friends, learning self control, and definitly growing in perseverance. Rhea is also coming back around to the idea of being involved again and will be a true warrior when and if she decides to join us.  I'm still performing musically, but my heart has been more into growing stronger as a martial artist and teacher these days.  In the end, I've taken what I've learned, and feel like I'm a better mom, wife and friend as a result of this new endevor. I look forward to what God has planned for all of us!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Taekwondo Tournament and Testing

Taekwondo has been such a blessing to our family. Stephen's interested has only increased since we have been with our current school and continues to grow. The first video is of him competing with his form during a tournament in Nebraska and the second is at testing back home. He is SOOOO awesome!!! Congratulations big guy!!!

Happy Easter

Happy Easter!! We had an incredibly BIG day today; complete with sugar highs AND lows. Tom and I began our morning performing an 8am Easter service in downtown Naperville with the kids in tow. It's awesome to be able to work and have the whole family together!! It was then time to come home for an early lunch and quiet time so the Easter bunny could come and hide all of those eggs. We weren't to keen on keeping the kids at home after gorging themselves with sugar, so it was off to the rock wall. Stephen was a champ and Rhea, well, I don't have to tell you that she throughly enjoyed herself for the first time on the wall. I was the designated Belayer since I didn't quite have enough energy to make it up the wall after a long weekend/two months of Taekwondo tournaments. I honestly crashed for two hours when we got home and look forward to much rest in the coming weeks!!

Pinewood Derby

We had so much fun at Pinewood Derby this year. I made sure we had a two week window to complete our cars this year and we made it to the finish line!! Tom made the initial cuts and then it was time to carve, sand and paint. I might have gone a little over board on Rhea's since it clearly was done by mom and not a 5 year old. She at least picked out the design, paint color and decals while participating a little in the sanding process. Tom also helped me with the weights in the end and was perfectly at 5 ounces for both cars. Way to go dad and awesome job to the whole family since each car made it down the track!! Stephen also won a speed award and I didn't manage to get a picture of his busy body that day. I at least have video if I can ever manage to get my computer to behave long enough to post

Pinewood Derby

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Journey Through Time

Our homeschool is still going strong with a trip through time.  We started with astronomy this year along side creation.  Next was a study of the ocean, birds, dragons (hey, it's somewhat like a reptile),  and we have finally made it to dinosaurs.  The human body will be next along side the stories of Adam and Eve, and then onto Egypt!  The sad news for me in all of this is that Stephen is venturing onto second grade by next week.  How did that happen??  Rhea is plugging along and will start Kindergarten soon and constantly keeps us on our toes!!  Praise God for our little ones....that aren't so little these days!

The videos were taken at our homeschool group at Calvary called Impressions. The mission of this group is not as much about academics, but rather on relational development through organized activities. I think I can speak for everyone that one of our favorite class is art, taught by Pastor Michael Grove. He can take a simple art concept and turn it into a life lesson like I've never seen! Amazing!! Tom has been teaching the upper level bible class and helping me with our Physical Education activites too!! I've really enjoyed working with these women this year and look forward to what God has planned for us in the future. The kids present book reports twice a month and these videos were taken on our first attempt. Stephen and Rhea both did an incredible job and set everyone at ease by volunteering to go first. Rhea had to be bribed a little with letting her wear a costume; but hey, whatever works...right? I'm so very proud of their vigor and inspired by their fearless confidence!