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I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother.  Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing.  Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.

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Surviving the Valley Series
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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Good stuff

Life is plenty full of activity right now, but writing on Sundays after having time to rest is a good time to reflect over all the good stuff we've been blessed with.  I'm trying to find a balance between rejoicing over another day survived and getting teary-eyed over another day gone by.  I don't want to miss any aspect of my boys' lives.

We're gone pretty much every night of the week for either soccer practice, soccer games, mandatory school events, or church.  Both soccer teams are doing very well, though.  David's team has only had one loss so far, with four games left to go.  Juan David's team is undefeated with only three games left to go.  Both boys have scored several goals for their teams, too.  They sure do love the game, and I sure do love watching them play (even in the rain, as long as I've got enough to bundle up and take cover). When they don't have games during the week, we have three nights of practice between the two of them.

We got a new youth pastor at our church campus this week, and both boys really seem to like him.  David was sad about the other one leaving, but we're eager to see how God plans to use him in their lives in the future.  Juan David said this one talks really fast, but the guy must have inspired him last night because he came out of class very eager to speak some English with anyone who would listen.  He will be going on a high school retreat next month (he doesn't know yet, but he expressed a desire to go).  I think the experience will be really good for him and will give him some of that independence that we're not always eager to give him yet.

My Bible study has two sessions left, and I will be sad to see it come to an end.  (Yet relieved to have a night each week to rest or to spend with Mike).  Since it's about missing pieces in our lives and seeing how God has filled them, I cut a bunch of holes into a blanket on the first night and talked about specific holes that I've encountered in my own life and faith.  (Jennifer Rothschild did the same in the video, I just made it more personal).  I've shared quite a bit of my own testimony and how God has brought me through several trials and filled those missing pieces with more of Him each time.  I didn't realize how much I've talked about praying through the Power of a Praying Wife, but this last week I found out that two ladies felt led to start their own journey of prayer through that book because of discussions we've had in Bible study.  I love it.  I love seeing how God not only uses the study in each woman's life, but He also uses our conversations and discussions to help us learn from each other and encourage each other. 

October is the month to hold a parent conference with the parents of each child in our class.  For me, that meant 46 parent conferences.  It's felt like a marathon of conferences, but they have all gone very well.  The parents are really pleased with how much their children are learning and how enthusiastic they are about school.  I've enjoyed meeting with all of them, too.  My instructional aide has been an immense help in sending little reminder notes with the kids each day to remind their parents of their conference.  Because of her help, every single parent has shown up right on time.  So far I've met with 32 sets of parents and have 14 left to go this week!  I look forward to actually having a lunch time and prep. time after this week is over. 

David is in choir at school this year and is loving it to pieces.  He got to go on a choir field trip to a Ranger's game, he had his first performance on Tuesday evening of this week, and they're going on a field trip to a local football game on Tuesday night this week.  I never would have imagined my little athlete enjoying choir, but I guess it's the serious side of him coming through.  All the little field trips and extra activities help, I'm sure.

Juan David's English is coming along, slowly but surely.  He understands a lot, but he's still very reluctant to speak.  Dinner time is designated as only English time, so that has forced him to try a little bit more.  He admits that the hardest part right now is using verbs, so he often will stop mid-sentence and say he needs to review his list of verbs more. :) 

That's all the good stuff going on in our lives right now.  Our current parenting challenge is getting him to ask permission for things rather than just tell us what he wants or thinks he's going to do.  Sometimes he remembers, other times I have to get on him and remind him of the proper way.  Little by little, day by day, we're all adjusting to the changes in our lives.  Thanks for your prayers.

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