Friday, January 21, 2011

New Year...New Beginnings

This post is long overdue seeing it's pert near the end of January.  I make no apologies though because you all have been warned of my procrastinating tendancies!

I love the magic of New Year's Eve.  The thing that at the stroke of midnight there is a New Year.  2011.  Can you believe it?  I distinctly remember 2000.  Y2K.  Whatever you want to call it.  Oh my word, we all thought the world was going to end.  My parents didn't stock up on food, emergency supplies etc, and I wasn't really big into computers yet.  But it was still that tiny little thought..."What is going to happen at midnight"?  But it came and went just like thousands before.  No great computer glitch, no lightning bolt, nothing.  Just a silent night broken by cheers and gunshots.  Maybe it was a little quieter than other years because everyone was on edge.  All I remember was that I was with my youth group and we were having a blast!

So fast forward 11 years.  New Years Eve.  I had to work Friday morning and then decided to work at the auction as well.  On holidays we have special antique auctions and I often don't work because they are usually on a day that I have to work at my other job.  Normally these auctions start at 8:00 a.m. and are usually over 3ish or 4.  Well, not this one.  It went till after 6.  After working all day I really didn't feel like dashing home, getting a finger food ready, getting myself ready and zipping out the door.  There were a few New Years parties we were invited to but we still hadn't really made up our mind which one we were going to go to.  So I called up my hubby and asked him if he would care if we just stayed home.  He was totally for it, and said he'll stop for Chinese and a movie.  Sounds good to me!

We feasted on Chinese and watched a movie.  Can't remember what it was though!   Around 10:00 I started to feel very, very old.  This just isn't right thought I.  No party New Years Eve?  So I came up with a plan.  My hubby went right along with it.  We got dressed in grungy, mismatched clothing and headed out.

The first house we came to was dark.  Not a party in sight.  After a call to my mom we found out the host of the party was very sick and the party was canceled.  So we headed to my sisters house.  YAY!  A party!  There were lots of my "old" friends there, although I don't think they knew what to think of us!  We stayed a little and headed on...

The next house (Brad's cousins) was full of men and children.  The ladies had excused themselves and headed out to do some mischief, but I didn't tell you that!

From there we went to Brad's aunts house.  We were hoping to be there by midnight.  Brad knew that there would be guns.  He likes guns.  Me...not so much!  We got there around 11:30, shot the New Year in and headed back home.  So that was the beginning of 2011.  We started off the New Year with funny memories and a not so old feeling!!!


I'm not much for New Years resolutions.  It's the kind of thing where you think of some things that would be great but after a while it wears off!  This year was no different.  Brad and I talked about the past year and what we thought would be different about the next.  2010 was rather uneventful for us.  Lots of things happened, but after the pregnancies and miscarriages in 2009, 2010 seemed uneventful.   The thought that this year, Lord willing, we will become parents (through foster care) is so SO exciting for us!  We have been praying even now about the children that God will place in our home.  Maybe they will be here for a day, week, month, year or forever but either way, we're open to whatever/whomever God sends our way.  Sure we still would love to have our own biological children someday but realize that this may be God's way of starting our family.

Another exciting thing is my health.  I debated and debated about writing about this on here but realize it's a way for me to be accountable.  For years I have been wanting to lose weight but always felt healthy so I never really stuck with anything.  This past year though, I have started to feel unhealthy.   I weigh more than I ever have.   I gained about 20-30 pounds after my 2nd miscarriage and didn't really care.   Sad, I know.  I finally sat my hubby down and got on the scale in front of him and begged for his help!  He loves me just as I am, but he also wants me to be healthy too.  He promised me that he would help me and encourage me in my journey.  After talking about stuff I decided to join a gym.  Planet Fitness was offering a great deal for January.  I thought I would probably be sick of it after a few days but it's kinda opposite for me!  It's getting addictive!  I stop on my way home from work.  Started out about 20 minutes on the elliptical and thought I was going to die!  Now I'm at 35 minutes on the treadmill.  Walking/running.  I've been going for over 2 weeks now and so far I love it.  Today I had to "force" myself to go, but after I was there and started, I kept going and going longer than I ever had.  Next week I want to push myself to 45 minutes and then an hour.  It took me a while to get over feeling self concious about sweating and puffing in a roomful of people, but Brad kept encouraging me and told me that people should be proud of me for getting moving!  Everyone's in their own little world anyway! 

The eating thing is a little bit of a challenge because I love to "snack".  But I've been getting healthy snacks.  Almonds, granola, yogurt etc.  Diets have never really worked for me because after they were over, I went right back to old habits.  This time, I want to make more of a lifestyle change.  Yes, still eat chocolate every now and then, but not like before.  If I deprive myself totally, I'll just want it more.  Wow....all of a sudden I'm starting to feel vulnerable!  Kinda laying it all out there.  One of my fears of writing about this is that the next time "you" see me,
"you" will say..."Oh much did you lose" etc.....I don't want "you" to feel obligated to see changes in me.  Hopefully that will happen soon enough.  For the record, I lost 4 pounds.  YAY!  Was hoping to have lost more in 2 weeks, but I'll take it.  So the point is, "you" will not notice things change right away!  I will take any tips and pointers you may have about what has worked for you!

So here's to new beginnings and a healthier me!

Friday, January 7, 2011

New Journey

Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of one day starting an orphanage.  I think there are probably lots of little girls that dream that.  When I was a little older I begged my parents to take in foster children but they didn't seem to have the same idea I had that a houseful of kids would be so much fun!!!  Looking back, they were so right.  I do remember though bringing it up a few times.  Ask my's true!  I even thought of getting into foster care before I was married, but it looked too overwhelming to do it alone. 

So fast forward quite a few years.  I met the love of my life, Brad.  We talked about it when we were dating.  The thing of foster care and adoption.  He wasn't too sure about adoption and neither was I really.  But it was something we talked about.  Then after our 2nd miscarriage in November of '09 we talked about it again.  Brad still wasn't feeling the same way I was.  I decided to pray about it and leave it in God's hands.  If this is what we were supposed to do, I prayed God would reveal that to Brad too.

A few months ago, we were watching TV and a commercial came on about foster care/adoption.  It talked about how the need is so huge and there are SO many children waiting for homes.  Brad and I looked at each other.  I remember asking him if he still feels the same way that he did a year ago.  He didn't.  He told me that he's been thinking about it lately too and feels like even if we could make a difference in one child's life, it would be worth it.  We talked some more about it off and on the next few weeks/months.  Brad's main concern is/was that I would get so attached to these kids and it would break my heart when/if they have to go back to their parents.   While I know it would be disappointing, I also know that I would move on.  After a day or 2 of crying and "letting go", I would move on. That's kinda how I deal with things. 

So we both decided to pray about it and ask around about different programs.  Meanwhile I heard a commercial on the radio about an open house that COBY's was having.  We decided we would go and at least get some information and see if this is really for us.  COBY's main office is literaly 5 minutes from our house.  On Tuesday night we went and both felt so called that this is where God wants us.  The lady in charge of the evening said that they have 3 training sessions/year.  She informed us that their winter session starts on Thursday and there's still room in the class!!  With a few minutes to talk about it we both decided to go for it.  This time of the year is definitely better for us.  We have classes every Thursday night for 9 weeks. 

Last night there was ALOT of information given and all kinds of stuff to think about.  They asked why we are there.  My answer was "Because the need is SO great and we have the room and the heart for these kids".  Basically we have no excuse.  Our arms are aching for kids to love on and help.  Sure I know we very well may get a child that is "unlovable", but I am convinced that God will give us the strength and love that we need.

Last night after we crawled into bed at 10:15 we talked about this journey we are starting.  I told my husband that I really am not sure what we are doing.  It all looked so overwhelming.  The MOUNDS of paperwork, housevisits, etc.  Is it really worth it?   Are we ready for sleepless nights, sick kids, doctor visits, parent visits, maybe school kids etc.  I was seriously feeling ready to back out of it all.  Brad told me the more we get into it and the more info we get, the more excited he gets.  That's what I needed to hear.  While I know that most of the work will fall on me, I still needed to know that he's with me.

It seems like everything is happening so fast.  We haven't really talked about it with alot of people other than some family and friends.  We know that it will be a while before we have children assigned to us so it does give us time to prepare.  Time to get outlet covers put on, guns locked up, rooms ready etc!!  There is all kinds of stuff we have to do!  We so know though that this is what we are supposed to do...walk through this open door.  If at the end of these 9 weeks, if we're not ready to take in children, we at least have our training and have that part of the process finished. 

Pray for us as we start this journey.  I know there are many of you in blogland who have done foster care/ adoption so any advice you can give us is great!!

***Brad just called me at lunch time to tell me of the plans he's making to build a great big tree house and swing set in the back yard!!  LOL  Don't know what the regulations would say about all that but it's fun to dream! : )  I love to see him so excited about this too!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas Celebrations

Our Christmas festivities this year started Christmas Eve. with Brad's family.  I know there are many families who spend Christmas day dashing from one family gathering to another.  I can't imagine that it wouldn't get stressful getting your kids in and out and moving from place to place.  What a long day.  But hey..if that's the way you roll...fine by me!  Thankfully Brad and I don't have to do that.  We "take turns" with our families.  This year Thanksgiving Day was spent with the Rollmans and Christmas Day with the Petersheims.  Makes for, in my opinion, a more relaxing holiday. 

Although, is there such a thing as a "relaxing" time with family!!!  I barely remember the days before the inlaws and the nieces and nephews and can't imagine how quiet those days must have been!  Now, there's noise everywhere and the kids all want you to play with them and check out their new stuff, games get started then there are always the intense discussions.  Oh but I wouldn't trade it though.  Each family has it's own dynamics and yes, things change and inlaws come along and kids get added, but that's what makes it fun and makes it family.

I learned something new this year.  Long ago my hubby told me he had taken piano lessons as a child and used to be able to play all kinds of stuff, but I had never really gotten the chance to hear him play.  Our party was at Jim & Stacy's place and they have a lovely piano.  Stac got out some music and persuaded Brad to play a duet with her.  Before we knew it he was playing all kinds of stuff.  AMAZING!  He played "The Drummer Boy" in all 4 parts and barely missed a note.  Pretty good I'd say after probably 20ish years of no more lessons.  Now I'm on the lookout for a piano to have here although I have no idea where we would put it.  I just like to think of how romantic it would be to have him serenade me every night!

This year, with Brad's family, instead of individually exchanging names we did it as couples.  It was fun to get gifts that we both wanted.  Keith and Heather had our name and got us 2 mountain pie makers.  Can't wait to use them when we go camping this spring!  Brad's parents gave me a griddle and a 2 year subscription to Taste of Home.  Brad got a tarp he wanted and another mountain pie maker!  Looks like we are set now.

Jeremiah loved the tool set we got for him.  Uncle Brad had just as much fun getting it all out of the packaging!

On to the Petersheims on Christmas Day.  Mom made her traditional roasht, and all the fixings!  Roasht is like bread filling and turkey mixed together.  It's a traditional meal for Amish weddings.  Thankfully my parents were Amish at one time and so now we make sure that she never forgets how to make it!  It's a favorite with all of us.

Dad read the Christmas story before we opened gifts.

Brad got a nice water cooler that we have been wanting.

Mom gave each of us gals a beverage dispenser thing.  You can light a tea light under it to use for hot drinks.

Hunting was the theme for Christmas this year.  2 of the boys got this hunting set from Ma-Ma and Pa-Pa.  the deer actually ran and then you tried to shoot them with the bow.  What a hit!  It provided hours of fun for them upstairs (away from us : ) ) until one of the deer broke! 

My brother brought this thing along.  It plugs into the TV and you shoot at the deer that come along.  We all had our turn to play.  What fun!

This Christmas did seem different than other years.  Something came up between Brad and I the day before Christmas and then Christmas morning the prenancy test I took was negative.  I was soooo hoping God would give us the gift of a baby for Christmas.   I tried not to let it put a damper on my day, but it did.  All I wanted to do was go home and cry.  It was there in the back of my mind and I regret it now.  Regret that I took it and regret that I let it get to me.  But the truth is, it "gets to me" sometimes. 

A few days later and a few good cries later, everything was "ok" again.  Brad and I spent a few late nights talking stuff out and now, are more in love than ever.  Isn't it funny how marriage is?  Tough stuff comes along but you work it out and then it makes your marriage stronger than ever.  Good try devil!

Ok wasn't planning on that all coming out in this post but so goes....