Monday, April 30, 2018

Birthdays Galore!

April and May are pretty intense for birthdays around here.  The four girls in our home all have their birthdays within three weeks of each other!  Lots of pink and cake for days on end!  Lots of excitement, squealing and giggling, as girls are so much more emotional than boys about things, you know.

The first girl to start the birthday parade was Elizabeth.  She turned 15 years old this year.  Her whole miracle life has been amazing to me.  She has been one of the hardest children I have ever had in our home.  Raising her has been a challenge at every turn, almost daily.  Over the last few years, she has slowly been improving.  Giving me hope that she will be able to live on her own one day, have a normal life with normal relationships.  I must say, that over the last six weeks, she has made a very positive and amazing transformation.  The biggest change I have seen in her yet.  We have been talking together, about her adult future and goals.  I shared with her what I was doing at her age and where she is and why there is such a huge difference.  We have talked about, that no one can totally change without God helping them daily.  She is really trying.  She is really putting forth effort now.  All of these years, she has been set on rebellion at all things placed before her, just to defy.  Just to prove that no one can make her do anything in life...from schooling to chores.  She would behave to get what she wanted or to get to go somewhere and then act up as soon as she got what she wanted.  Raw... I know..but the honest truth.  I am amazed at her new found restraint in her temper.  No tantrums in weeks.  Very little slamming things and throwing things...a reminder or talk can defuse things.  Wow...  She is praying and listening to our devotions much more intently and participating in asking questions and taking in the answers.  She is working hard at her schoolwork with out being monitored or asked.  Sometimes six days a week.  She is being much more respectful not just to authority but to her siblings.
Holding her very sick sister at the doctors office.
I am beyond grateful that God is touching her heart.   I am grateful for this season in parenting her.  For this very normal and calm place she is at.  I pray she stays here.  I pray we never look back.   I am so please with her progress and commitment these last many weeks.  I am amazed.  I have always loved her fiercely (as I do all our children)  or would have given up many years ago.  It is worth it to hang in there and wait on God and the miracles he brings about.  Not just in those we are praying for but what it teaches us!  I have learned so much about God and parenting, in having Elizabeth be our daughter.  I would have it no other way!  She is a blessing to me and our home and God has great plans for her life!

Elizabeth and Carolyn used to play with dolls a lot as children.  With the new trend in reborn dolls sweeping the nation, in young children, teens and adults, collecting girls have started to collect life like dolls.  Many grown women have whole nurseries set up with clothing for them and take them out in public!  Anyways, to me, it is good role playing for my young ladies, to help them be  good moms someday and better people.   Elizabeth wanted a doll from Paradise Gallery for her birthday this year.  So we got her that and a Joovy car seat.  She was beyond happy.
She wanted a home made cheese cake from her Aunt for her cake!  YUM!  Thank you Aunt "S"!
 Happy Birthday Elizabeth!  I am so impressed with your determination lately and goals you have set.  I am so excited to see how God uses you for His glory!  May the Lord God in heaven keep you healthy and safe.  May He lead and guide you all the days of your life as you live and grow in Him!

For about 10 days in the year, my middles are all a year numerically apart.  This year it was Elizabeth 15 at her recent birthday, Zeke 16 and Carolyn 17 but...then my dear sweet daughter Carolyn has a birthday and this year she turned 18!!!  I know. I can't believe it either!  I remember the day she was placed in my arms for the first time.  I remember her adoption day.  Time has just flown by.
Carolyn has grown into a wonderful godly woman.  She works beside me all day long, learning life skills and helping me in all I do.  She is a tender loving soul.  Even though on paper she has graduated, she enjoys homeschooling and learning, so does independent work just because she wants to every evening, in her free time.  She got her own room recently and loves the quiet away from siblings.  She still takes ballet, is on point and rides her pony several times a month.
This is Carolyn with one of her very old dolls Daisy.
She wanted a Paradise Gallery doll like her sister as well.  So we ordered that for her. It will be coming very soon!

She asked her aunt to make her a chocolate cake with Joy on it, from one of the kids  movies she has seen.  She loved it!  Thank you again aunt "S" for blessing the children with your talent.     
Carolyn is such a blessing to our home and friend to me.  I love her dearly and don't know what I would do with out her.  Such a sweet and lovely soul.

May the Lord God above hold you in the palm of His mighty hand all the days of your life.  May He help you be all you can be as you live and grow in Him!!

Glory to God!  The miracles I have had the privilege to witness in my life, in these children, has been nothing short of amazing!

1 Chronicles 16:24 Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples

Love, Dad, mom, Stephen, Antonio, William, Zeke, Billy, Timothy, Kinsley and Anna-Kate!