It's well documented here that we love a good theme party! When we learned that my grandparents would be making a visit this summer, Evy immediately suggested that we have a party. OF COURSE! I thought it would be fun to do a fifties theme, especially since that was a fun era for my grandparents. Evy didn't know about the pop culture (obviously, given her age), so it was really neat to be able to teach her a little about that.
Here are some pictures from our FABULOUS evening!
It was so fun to hear fifties music playing through the house, enjoying milkshakes and being in great company!
You can read more about our family theme parties HERE!
On October 18, 2011, our world completely changed and infinitely more JOY entered! We exited the subway station in Seoul, South Korea and walked down a sidewalk towards our adoption agency. I remember feeling like I was up in the sky looking down on the situation because it was so surreal and out-of-body. My dad walked with me and Kurt and our photographer, Romin, started snapping. It felt too simple; too easy. We were to walk into this building, walk into a room, and meet our son, Jae-ho.
We had decided to give him an American name, Liam, and we had a complete peace about that. His foster family had been calling him both Jae-ho and Liam, and we planned to do the same as we transitioned. I remember seeing that little face for the first time, as the email attachment slowly loaded in front of me. That was March 2011, and by some miracle we only had to wait 7 months until we traveled.
Now the day had arrived, and we walked in to see our most precious, beautiful, bright-eyed baby boy. I include this picture in almost every post I write about this day, because Romin captured exactly how my heart felt. Thrilled, grieved (to be taking Liam away from his foster family), joyful, terrified.
After going through some paperwork, talking, and taking notes on what Liam's preferences and routines were - nothing could have prepared me for what I heard. Liam's foster family (father, mother, sister, brother, and aunt) circled around him and started praying over him in the beautiful Korean language. I didn't realize what was happening at first, but I glanced over and saw tears streaming down my dad's face as he held the video camera. I was beside myself, overcome with gratefulness to this incredible family of God. How do you thank the people who kissed, loved, taught, nurtured, and spiritually influenced my little boy for a year? How do you express everything that's in your heart towards people who have laid down their lives to love your son when you aren't there yet? It's too much to even put into words. Every day of my life I thank God for Liam's birth mother and that she chose life, but I equally thank Him for putting Liam into a strong Christian foster home. I can't praise Him enough for that gift.
In these 4 years, we have seen the seeds that this precious family planted grow and blossom into a beautiful, smart, funny and tenderhearted little 5-year-old boy! Liam is a true and absolute joy. I'm always so proud to be his mommy. His teachers at church always comment on how smart and helpful he is, and that he's so kind to others. He loves to play with Evy and Lynley and his laugh still lights up any room. He loves Spiderman, Caillou and Octonauts. His favorite thing is having "guy time" with Kurt or either one of his grandfathers. He's a boy through and through, and I'm so thankful for the strong godly influences he has in his life as he grows into a little man.
Liam, we can't thank God enough for giving us YOU! You are an incredible, precious son and we are so proud of the man you're becoming! Your story is going to influence many and your life is a gift to all of us. Mommy and Daddy love you with our whole hearts!
Happy 4 years home to the sweetest little guy in the world!
So this is the standard the-blog-has-taken-a-back-seat catch-up post where I just say a whole bunch of things - ha! I really do miss being in the routine of blogging, but at the same time I'm trying to give myself grace and not become legalistic about posting and keeping it up. I do look back at old posts and I'm always thankful I wrote them, so I definitely want to keep it going; I'm just in a season where I'm not in the groove. Hopefully I can get it going again!
Our fall has been so, so busy! Not necessarily with activities, but with responsibilities and planning things, etc. I've worked hard to keep a lot of openness with our calendar during the days because our school routine goes so much better when we don't have to rush and get from here to there. But mentally, I have a lot on me right now. It's mostly planning events for church, which I definitely enjoy and thrive on, but it just takes up mental energy and space. I do most of that planning at night once the kids go to bed (I work best at night/when I'm alone and when it's quiet), so that's why I've tried to keep our days pretty clear. I don't want to "wish away" the fall season (and I find myself doing that when I feel overwhelmed) - I really want to stay present and trust that everything will come together. :)
Homeschooling has been going great! I'm going to start working on my back-to-school post soon, so I'll share more details there, but overall we have had a wonderful 24 days of school so far! It's definitely a different dynamic teaching two instead of just one, but we are getting into a good routine. And I am absolutely confident that this is the right choice for our family (for so many reasons). Just today, I posted the picture below with this caption: "I really love the lifestyle we've chosen. Playing outside with acres to run on and no crazy amount of running around town; schooling at home. It's not for everyone, but it's definitely for us."
I've loved sharing my London videos on YouTube (it's been fun going back over the footage and learning more about editing)! However, once I updated my Mac OS X, iMovie decided to stop working. I'm hoping to get that fixed soon so I can finish up the videos!
I'm in the process of doing two Bible studies right now on my own. Last April was the starting point of a really deep, healing process for me in so many areas of my life and I have never felt closer to the Lord than at this point! My goal was to spend my 30th year examining myself and my life and do work where work was needed. That process will NEVER stop, but these past 6 months have been such a journey for me. Almost 2 months ago my sweet Lyndsie went to be with the Lord and I miss her every day. However, I have really, really felt the hand of the Lord holding me and walking me through that sadness. I can't even begin to imagine how her husband Daniel and her family must feel. Please continue to pray for them. I'm thankful that I had really started to walk deeply with the Lord months before this happened; I'm convinced it was Him preparing me.
So in the last month I started two Bible studies: Breaking Free by Beth Moore and Seamless by Angie Smith. They are incredible!! It's been perfect, because Breaking Free is about breaking out of strongholds and bondage that cripple us in every way. Seamless is about looking at the Bible as a whole and complete story, and learning to really love God's Word. At first you might not think that those two studies would go hand in hand, but they DO! The only way to truly break free is to immerse yourself in God's Word and let Him heal you. So by going through "Seamless," you're starting to get a commanding knowledge of God's Word. Since I'm doing the studies on my own, I just bought member books for each study, and then I downloaded the individual video sessions from Lifeway.com. It's been absolutely wonderful, and I'm learning so much! I highly, HIGHLY recommend both of those studies!!
This is around the time of year that I begin plans for Christmas! I don't host anything for Thanksgiving - I just get to show up and enjoy - so my thoughts usually turn to Christmas pretty early so I have plenty of time to enjoy the process of planning. I've already bought a good number of gifts and so hopefully that should be done soon. I've picked my Christmas theme and I can't wait for all of the festivities!
It feels good to catch up a little and share what's going on! Hope to be back regularly sooner rather than later!