Friday, September 21, 2012

Almost Grown

Time to brag a little.  I just can't express how proud I am of our oldest child Adam.  It seems like just yesterday that I was looking into his eyes for the very first time thinking how amazing this little bundle of joy is.  Since that day over seventeen years have passed and fast forward to today and he is senior applying for colleges.  Where has the time gone?
Adam has always had above a 4.0 grade point average taking his academics very seriously.  He strives for excellence and feels proud of a job well done.  He has recently been accepted into the National Honors Society and has been accepted to UC Riverside.  I am so very excited to see what his future holds and I am so very thankful that he walks his journey with Christ.
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The boys are still going strong with legos, coming up with all kinds of new things they have built.
Dennis asked me to bring down the tubs of costumes to play dress up with.  He is not the only one who enjoys doing this.
Oliver wasn't too thrilled when Sveta hid him in her pumpkin.
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It has been a hard week of parenting.
We chose home school for our middle schoolers initially as an alternative to some of the negative influences of regular junior high they were in the midst of everyday.  Our girls were just not happy and John and I were thankful that the charter school we are now a part of offered a new path.  We have seen so many good things come from home school and honestly I think it has been a wonderful thing for our kids.  With that said, there is just no way to guarantee that they will always make good choices even at home where the temptation to sin is minimal but still exists.  I'm talking about choosing not to do every assignment, talking back to the teacher, and cheating.  Yes, it has been a hard week.

Though I do get discouraged at times, I am in this for the long haul.  But home school is only successful when I keep my eyes fixed on Him and lean on Him for my strength and patience.  Trust me, on my own, I am always running short. I never have enough time and something is always coming up.  Yet we manage to put in a full day only by the grace of God.  The kids are now doing voice and piano and that adds just one more thing to our busy schedule that I have to stop and evaluate, "Is it worth it?"
The kids are only half-heartedly enjoying it, but if we don't take the lessons then the money goes unused.  It seems so wasteful and I imagine my children singing and playing piano and so it feels like something I need to keep encouraging them to do.
I think we will stick with it till at least the end of this semester, but I will keep our options open after that.  
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When we adopted our children, I really never felt there was honeymoon period.  John and I dove into parenting as real as possible, as hard as it was, as quickly as possible.  It helped us all transition as a family quicker than had we danced around each other on our best behaviors.
And yet now after having adopted 11 children I can see how there was a honeymoon period with a few of them.  It just wasn't super obvious. 
Slowly, just ever so slowly the truth has been revealed.
There is some leftover baggage.  Some past hurts.  Unresolved feelings of not being good enough.
We are definitely not in the honeymoon period anymore with any of our children.
It is real life we are doing with our kids, and it is not always easy.
If I sat down to blog in the midst of a difficult moment, it would not be pretty.
But I have learned over time too, that it would not be an accurate portrayal of our lives.
Our troubled times are but a fleeting moment in the grand scheme of things.
God says so.
If we stay focused on Him through it all, somehow we will make it through.
And when we do, I can sit down like I am now and blog about it.
And it doesn't seem so hard anymore.
It's like a breath of fresh air.
A new day.
A clean slate.
It is crucial to the success of our family.
 It is not easy.  Trust me, it's not.
But the utter and complete joy John and I get when we see a breakthrough with one of our children makes everything worth it.
Please be encouraged today.  Tomorrow is a new day.
 And there is joy to be had.
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Have a great weekend!


9 comments:

  1. Where's the like button for this?

    How does Adam have above a 4.0 average? I always thought a 4.0 was the best that someone can do?

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  2. Hi Rachel, some schools offer extra points for taking Advanced Placement courses. As an example, a "regular" class would give 4 points for an A, but an AP class would give 5 points.

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  3. Have a wonderful weekend Christine.
    Your oldest son looks so much like your husband.
    You continue to amazing, with your honesty and your trust in Jesus. You are a huge inspiration. Not just your parenting and your christian beliefs and you're amazing cooking, wonderful activities you do , home schooling, but because you are so strong in your faith and your family and you are real and grounded.
    xx
    God bless
    Lisa
    aka mommytoalot

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  4. Adam is such a blessing! He is a tribute to God and to yours and John's parenting.
    It wouldn't be realistic to expect hurts and wounds vanish in young hearts. But God knows each heart and has the key to unlock and pour in His healing oil. May you have many, many more breakthroughs with every one of your children. ~ Tharen

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  5. I commented earlier and please allow me to post a second one:
    I was following a blog of someone who has adopted special needs children until I deleted it this evening. I was joining in prayer for one child in particular who was critically injured in an accident, and sometimes commenting in order to encourage. Though I admire this couple's obedience to God in all they have done, and I have empathized strongly with her grief, I found something in the way she expressed herself to persons who were unwise in the way they prayed (unscripturally, at least to her and probably unwise in their manner, too). Tonight, I came to terms with a harshness that bruised my emotions almost every time I read her postings. She sounds arrogant in her knowledge of scripture and in her role as a pastor's wife, though I am sure she is unaware. I feel deeply for her in the stress she is experiencing but I could no longer stay with her blog so I deleted it from my favorites. I know I didn't need to say this but I felt I should commend you on your maturity and sweet Christ-like spirit, even when under a lot of stress. Blessings to you and to this dear lady whose blog I had to delete! I'm sure the Holy Spirit will still remind me to pray for her child and her family!

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  6. Great post!

    Yes . . . we have children who have made poor homeschooling choices, as well. When homeschooling a LOT of kids, it is HARD to keep up with whether or not they have all done every assignment they were supposed to. And . . . the cheating and being sassy to the "teacher"? Been. there. done. that. too.

    You are a GREAT Mama. Keep seeking HIM . . . trusting HIM for strength and wisdom.

    Be BLESSED!

    Laurel :)
    mama of 12

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  7. Hi!Homeschooling is a lot of hard work ,time management,money for supplies and a definite walk with the Lord .God guides my family on this educational journey.Do I feel it is well worth it to homeschool? Yes-would I do it again yes if God wants me to do it. Have a great school year.Many blessings your way, Pat

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  8. Homeschooling?? Um,NO! Where will the kids social skills be when they enter H.S.? How do they make community friends. Its to sheltered. They need to be out and shown some responsibility at this age.Do you homeschool any of your kids with learning disabilities? If so, unfor you will not be good enough. They need more. Stupid choice! You will see this in the long run.

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  9. I totally disagree with anti-homeschooling anonymous. Homeschooling during the middle school/junior high years is an excellent decision. Those are horrible years for so many kids, especially those who struggle emotionally and/or educationally. Your kids are so involved with each other, church, and other activities that I doubt they'll fall behind socially. You and John are doing an excellent job raising your children and you're a blessing and a great witness for the Lord.

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I find your comments so inspiring! Thanks for visiting our family blog, and sharing your thoughts.