Baby "L" is now 4 1/2 months old. We had our first court date two weeks ago. His birth mom has made no progress. The panel told us that it would take a miracle for her to get her act together and for us to be patient. Patience..... so hard when you are falling more and more in love with a tiny human. Some days I do fine and others I let fear creep in. I am so thankful that God has brought this tiny boy into our lives and I look forward to seeing what His plans are for his life.
Next court date is September 19th. We are thankful for all the prayers we can get!
So for now we wait..... and trust that God has it all under control.
It has been a long week. Levi ran a temperature last night so I stayed home from church today with the two littlest. I enjoyed the slower pace.
Mariah picked up a piece of furniture from a dump about a year ago and sold it for $50. It sort of inspired her to keep trying to make money from others' junk. We recently had a house (can you say hoarders?) foreclose near us. It was in such bad shape that they literally left the house wide open. So.... she had her brother (he's such a good sport!) go with her to pick up some pieces of furniture. She spray painted a wooden chair and cleaned up this chest and a couple of nightstands. She sold ever bit of it within two days! Nothing but a little cleaning and a $3 can of spray paint!
Madeline came home from church today and started juicing scuppernongs. Our vines are always very productive!
She makes big messes..... but she sure does do a lot of "extras' that I don't have time to do! She canned fig preserves, scuppernong jelly and made a pecan pie! She even made a from scratch pie crust out of einkorn.
Kind of cool.... the scuppernongs, figs and pecans were all grown on our property!
I love my "big kids". I try to cherish the time with them knowing it won't last forever. <3 p="">
Some of her work.....
My little sales girl......
Madeline grew a patch of zinnias this year. We have enjoyed beautiful vases of flowers all summer!
We officially started our new school year this past week. We have been doing some light schooling all summer (when we weren't out of town!), but we have hit it hard now!
Mariah,,,, it feels like she should be about 5! :( Why do they have to grow up so fast!? She is a sophomore this year. She has grown up so much in the past couple of years. She is completely independent and self-driven with her school work. That is such a blessing to this mama that is stretched pretty thin!
Malachi ~ 6th grade and it seems just yesterday that he was that very wild toddler that got into everything! He too has matured so much in the past year. His schooling is pretty rigorous this year but he is handling it like a champ! He was my "late reader". I honestly thought he had some issues or I was a terrible teacher! I had to keep reminding myself that this was a big reason why we homeschool. They can learn at their own pace and.... without labels being attached to them! What is so cool is that he didn't really start reading well until third grade but when we tested him this year he tested above grade level in every area! But guess which area was his highest? Reading comprehension! He tested over a 10th grade level! So yeah.... home school mamas that may be reading this post. Keep at it! When that "light bulb" turns on it is so worth it!
Myles~ 3rd grade. Bless his little heart. This fellow has stretched me as a mama in so many ways! He is smart as a whip but SO hard sometimes! Once we get him settled into his work he focuses and does fine. However, it is an emotional battle every morning! He would rather be outside than doing anything else. We will keep on keeping on.... teaching him, training him, and praying hard all along the way! :)
And then there is Macheus~ Kindergarten! How is my baby already in kindergarten!? We are not doing a whole lot with him. Some handwriting, a little Explode the Code, and mostly just reading, reading, reading! McKenzie was my only kid that had to endure a full Kindergarten curriculum. Poor girl..... I was fresh out of college with a degree in Early Childhood Education. I had to deprogram a bit. When Matthew came along he just couldn't handle Kindergarten. I had a wise older mom tell me to just let him play for kindergarten and by the next fall he would be fine to start 1st grade. It was true! They mature so much from 5-6 and he did great the next year. We called him a "kindergarten dropout". Pretty much a joke now as he is a very smart man! He has a college degree and finishing up his last degree next spring!
Malachi working hard at his desk. This is where he always does his work. Mariah mostly works in her bedroom where it is quiet.
Myles works wherever I end up wanting to do it! If the baby isn't napping I prefer my bedroom floor!
I should've taken a picture of Madeline! She is my right arm! I honestly couldn't do it all without her! Having the new baby, keeping up with household stuff, being the caretaker of my dad...…….AND home schooling is a lot! She is a huge blessing to me! (She's also an English whiz so that is what I get her to do with Malachi! :) She does his English, Spelling, and she also teaches Science unit studies to all of the boys!
And last but not least... Marc's system started back up last week too! He was a new superintendent with a building project going on at the same time! It has been a lot but he has done a fabulous job! The building is done and the students have moved in. Doesn't he look good standing in that new school!? :)
Popcorn ceilings..... Why on earth did anyone ever think those were a good idea!?! :)
We decided to do the dining room and kitchen ceilings with paneling. The guys all worked together to hang it and then while we were out of town Daniel did all of the trim.
I was very happy with the way it turned out!
This wall just makes me happy. My dad went to New Orleans Baptist Seminary. This is an old New Orleans plate that belonged to my parents. I framed his Alma Mater Hymn and hung them together.
The popcorn ceilings were the ugliest in the kitchen. I guess the heat from cooking made every bit of dust stick. They were impossible to keep clean. This will be SO much easier to scrub down and put fresh paint on when needed.
We went ahead and replace ceiling fans and light fixtures while we were at it!
The biggest mess of all was the sheetrock ceilings. Again, the guys got it all hung and then while we were at Jekyll Daniel did the mudding and sanding. I was so glad we didn't have to be home during all of that mess!
Matthew was scraping ceilings and we laughed at his "gray hair". :) There was a sea of white powder everywhere! I didn't think we would ever get it all cleaned up!
He did a great job with all of the trim. When we got back I painted the entire downstairs. I decided not to hang everything back up. I just donated a box full of Hobby Lobby decorations this weekend. It wasn't that I didn't like them.... I just wanted it to be a little simpler. The wall above the couch brings me joy! :)
So... we start school tomorrow. Projects will wind down for now. Well.... I do have an entertainment cabinet that I am getting ready to chalk paint. That won't be too bad though!
I think a while back I posted pictures of the boys' room after Matthew moved out. Marc ripped old carpet up and put wood flooring down. He then did the girls' room, and I am so glad there is no more carpet in our house (except my bedroom,,, and I like it in my room!)
We have spent the last year and a half cleaning out. It is definitely a process but it is amazing how freeing it is to get rid of stuff!
I know I've mentioned it on here before but when my mom died we ended up bringing so much of her stuff into our house. My sisters and I divided up everything that my dad wasn't using in his apartment. The "stuff" was so consuming. I recently passed a ton of crafting stuff that we had to a friend that will actually use it. That was the best feeling to get it out of my house! When someone dies it is difficult to get rid of their stuff. However, I have learned that keeping a few special things and parting with things that aren't special or you aren't going to use is so much better!
The girls have a large walk-in closet and it was pretty full. We recently finished getting it cleaned out and I love that they have EMPTY space in there now!
We still have more that we could get rid of but we are getting there! It really is true that you feel more peaceful with less stuff!
One of our most favorite trips that we take each year is our family beach trip to Jekyll Island! It is such a beautiful island!
We were loaded down and headed out bright and early!
I love traditions.... We always stop in the same little south Georgia town to picnic!
And I was So glad that Matthew got to go with us this year! I know when they get to this age there may not be many more vacations with us! :( Although, McKenzie and I have schemed of family beach trips with all of the married kids! It would be great fun!!!
These two monkeys.... they have always loved each other so much. The play hard... and sometimes fight hard!
The fist day we were there the guys played in a tennis tournament and won the doubles! The next morning Marc won the singles. He played in college so I guess he's still got it! :)
The first night when we go on a trip Marc and I always leave the kids and head to the grocery store. Marc is pretty out of touch with the shopping at home, so he was a bit shocked at how many groceries it takes to feed our crew even with us eating out every night. :)
Night one was Chinese take-out! I loved the suite we had this year. It was huge!
Lots of beach time....
Watermelon by the pool.
They found lots of sea creatures this year!
I'm not sure which one was more worn out!
The annual sibling line-up picture. I love that "Baby L" joined us this year.... just missing McKenzie!
"Mama, I'm gonna pretend I'm falling in."
Boys and climbing.....
I love this girl. She is our writer... our deep thinker.... I wonder what she was thinking as she was perched in this tree. :)
Love this boy... who isn't much of a boy anymore...…
And this boy...….
Waiting on dinner at our favorite restaurant on St. Simons... Iguanas! Macheus and I love it because they have free soft serve ice cream!
Our walkway to the beach was lined with these beautiful flowers.
All of my boys....
He said he wasn't tired and he didn't need a nap.
The four of us ran in the annual Jekyll beach run! Matthew was third overall! Malachi was ahead of me until towards the end. Kids raised in the country!
Matthew and I both won our age group. I love running but I'm not the least bit competitive, but the guys are always proud when I win. :)
biking is our favorite on Jekyll….
The guys kept the baby while we biked part of the day and then we switched.
The sound of the waves crashing on these rocks was earie sounding but so peaceful.....
The only picture the guys took of their biking. :)
The Sea Turtle Center was pretty interesting. The kids got a little "schooling" done while on vacation!
Well, that was a few of the many pictures we took. It was such a wonderful trip and I was a bit blue when we headed home. I love spending time with these people!
"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;" Psalms 127:3-5
"And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.” Nehemiah 4:14
Marc and Marcy
McKenzie Elizabeth & Daniel
Matthew Edward Fletcher
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9