Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Misphah and Shen. He named it Ebenezar, saying , "Thus far the Lord has helped us." 1 Samuel 7:12

Thursday, February 28, 2013

My Gallery Wall

For the most part it's done, I'd still like to add a few pieces to this wall, just haven't found the right ones yet. It's a combo of Illana's artwork, Justin's work, Africa art, photos from our travels and a Dollar Store gem.
The gallery wall in dinning room

Valentine decor comes down tomorrow
This is an area of the adjacent gallery wall, I have a few of my original redwork items to add as well as some of the boys artwork; I just need a ladder and to decide on the arrangement of items.
the start of my larger gallery wall project
This last week a friend, who we have nicknamed "NannyKin Skywalker", came over and in all her nannying glory helped hold Aubry down so we could create this jewel.
Micah 6:8 with help from NannyKins

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Creative Blessing

So I love the fact that earlier this month my friend Whitney's home was totally repainted and somewhat remodeled. 
Why do I love this fact you ask?
Well... I love it because 1 week after her "new" home was created we kicked her and her family out of it for a Saturday and we hacked her Pinterest boards and totally got creative and blessed her home by actually doing several items she had pinned.
Of course I have no pictures because #1: I was too gitty with Amanda over all we were doing, like really I painted in RED paint the word "hello" on her front door; what a rush! No pictures reason #2: that day my phones memory, aka my camera, was maxed out and I had no room for pictures.

It was a small effort for about a half dozen of us but the pay-off was huge!
We totally redid her back porch with a monogrammed barrel fire pit, a cute "S'more Fun" sign, a custom half log bench and a small chalkboard to cover a "not-so-pretty-needs-replacing-someday" area out back. Oh yes and then there was the recycled privacy fence.

Inside we purchased her favorite shower curtain, printed off some cool bathroom signs, framed and hung them.

In her boys rooms a super good deal on new bedspreads and canvases I purchased a year ago, because they were a good deal but went with nothing in my house, completed their spaces as if pros had spent hours matching fabrics and colors.

A custom pallet table out front, a large chalkboard by the front door and a "Family, Faith, Friends" sign in the kitchen completed the mini-make over: Pinterest hacked of course.

Now tomorrow my friends will once again descend on my home and fabric and cheerios will fly as we work on our Pinterest hacked items for my daughter-in-laws housewarming party this weekend. The babies will all trash the place while we drink coffee, laugh and talk.

I plan to have pictures this time and want so badly to post them but I'll wait.

I will tell you this has been so much fun.
It's as if we are making peoples dreams come true one Pinterest pin at a time.
Who's next is what I keep asking myself? and i think I know the answer.

What about you:
perhaps this is a good idea for you.
Check out your friends Pinterest boards,
maybe bake them those yummy Nutella cookies they have pinned, or print that printable they like, the possibilities are endless; of course if you really feel generous you could check out my "going somewhere" board and buy me a plane ticket or two :) lol, just kidding, kind of, not really, I am itching to travel... but I will take those Nutella cookies, wink, wink.

Long story short I have really found that not only do I love letting my creative juices flow,
I love blessing others with those juices.

Creative blessing ~ 
it's what the cool kids are doing ~ 
you game?

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Struggle with Tuesday Visitation

Tuesdays are the days when Aubry has her weekly visitation with her birth mom. The week leading up to this last week was hectic. Steve was gone for the majority of it and so when he returned on Monday night I was ready to crash. 
Getting up and going on Tuesday morning was not top on my list.

I texted Aubry's visitation supervisor to see if there was any news on birth mom.
I expressed that I would like to skip visitation if she wasn't going to be there, birth-mom had missed the last 3 visits, although the week prior I called because Aubry was sick and when I spoke to supervisor at visitation time that birth-mom wasn't even there nor had she heard from her-- I made the call and cancelled even though I was almost at the visitation spot and from what I saw upon driving by was no birth mom. Could she have shown up late? yes, but in reality it seems to me that if you get to see your child 1 day a week for 1 hour you'd be sitting on the doorstep before visitations even begins, anyway sorry for the rant. Back to my original point--if she wasn't going to show this week then I'd rather just skip the visit all together.

No such luck.

Apparently mom had been inquiring about the visit and so it was on.

That night was restless. 
Anxiety began to creep in again.
I had come to a peace with the visits months ago
...but then all of a sudden it got under my skin.

Not being sure exactly why, I rolled out of bed around 1am and sat on the sofa Bible in hand.

At first I began to read in the book of John but it was hard, uninteresting 
and my mind kept wandering, 
my thoughts pacing back and forth inside my head.
back and forth.
back and forth.

"Why can birth mom not show, not call, ignore calls and do whatever she wants yet I still have to drive Aubry to see her regardless."
"Why do I have to foot the food bill. diaper bill, lack of sleep bill."
"Why can birth-mom continue to show up late, not work and still inconvenience me"
"But I love this little girl and happily do all those thing"

My mind couldn't sit still.

"Who am I to say no to seeing her child"
"Who am I think I have it together"
"I just won't take her"
"I'll show up late"
"Pick her up early"
"I just won't take her"

Back and forth, 
back and forth 
like Aubry May on a swing.

I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and cried out to God.
He heard.
He hears.

Then, I opened my Bible again, 
this time in preparation for my D-Team class on Sunday, that's Discipleship-Team or Sunday School; this week we are talking about Daniel 6 and 7.
Daniel 6:, some of you may know the story, it's of Daniel in the lion's den.
As I read I couldn't believe the words on the page. 
They jumped at me.
Grabbed a hold of me.
Shook me.

Daniel did what he had always done. He sought God, he obeyed God; even though he faced death in doing so- he still did it. It was a holy habit of prayer, a holy habit of obedience. He did the right thing. The God thing.

Another deep breath on my part.
I had to take Aubry that next morning.
It was what I agreed to do 15 months ago.
It was an obedience thing. Even though I foresee circumstances I don't like, I must walk by faith, I must continue on as I have in the past.
While Daniel's situation was far different than mine I read a similarity there.
An encouragement to seek God in prayer when times are tough and to do the right thing when I don't want to or when it doesn't make sense.

So visitation came and went. 
Aubry did fine. 
I did fine. 
Birth mom was there.

I haven't shared a bunch on here about Aubry and life surrounding her. Mostly because I want to protect her bio-parents but I can't do that. I try to be as respectful as I can but the facts are the facts and writing them down helps me process and I like to share my life on here as I have for the past 7 years. The details and the things I may think are happening or perceive as happening I will leave out.

I love this little girl and want the best for her.
So I lift her up to my Heavenly Father, 
her Heavenly Father: the King of the Universe.
And I will trust that the Ancient of Days sits on His throne watching everything, seeing everything right down to the heart level. And I trust He knows best, with that I rest in peace.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hi There!

It's been a busy month or so, I just sat down last night and began to re-evaluate what I have on my daily and weekly to-do list. Every once in awhile I come to a place where I have to sit down, look at all going on and make some changes, move around or get rid of commitments- you know what I mean, we all have to do it time and again.

I've been pretty good this last year about my time and commitments;
but as Aubry grows and the family dies down in size,
so does life, 
ever growing, 
ever dying,
new opportunities bud into life,
while others die off.
Birth of anything is hard,
death as equally so.

With the older kids gone so is a lot of activity around here. Shrinking from 7 people to 4 can certainly be heard and seen in the house. With two empty rooms I am a little beside myself; we've never been this way, at least not in a long time. One room will remain empty for the most part. I plan to add mirrors and ballet bars to one wall, making it a dance room; originally wanting to add a bed I am opting for an air mattress so it can remain an open space to twirl and stretch, bend and move! 
(now to decide on paint color-- errr...)

The other room currently houses my material and creative supplies, a treadmill and extra fridge.
Unsure of it's final shape I imagine it'll have a large table with a constant floor covering of string and fabric, paper, drool and sand, serving perfectly as a creative room with direct access to the sand box!

A third room, Aubry's old 6x9 mini-room is already transforming into our home office. We've spent the last 4 years running the business from the dining table, living room sofa and our bed -- it's time she have her own space.

With all that said here are some pictures, capturing some moments of this life thus far in 2013.

Aubies discovers her toes!

She loves the puppies on Grampa Chute's 1944 high chair

Baby girl starts coloring, although she prefers pens and pencils over crayons.

Steve has traveled to Detroit twice this year, remodeling the 100 year old Polish Community Center and the NEW Detroit Love Inc fortress!! We FaceTimed while he worked!

My sweet baby girl moved out taking a little piece of my heart with her, oh how I love FaceTime to keep her near.

One of my desires is to blog a little more, so hopefully I'll be around here more in 2013!

Friday, February 01, 2013

And Then There Were Four

There is no way to prepare for this day.
It just happens.
And then, 
right before your eyes, 
he grabs a box, pats his cat and drives away.
To his own place.
Just like that.
I've said a lot of goodbyes, but this one hurt the most.
Our little man.
Gone to his own home.
Just. Like. That.
Vaughan and Scott- from forts and Legos to fire and video games, poker and road trips, graduation and moving. 


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