Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Summer Happenings...........

It has been a while since I (Tanya) have blogged. I must admit Layne has been the regular blogger on our site, but for some reason tonight I feel the urge to jot some things that have been happening in our home.

1. God blessed us with a wonderful family vacation in July. We traveled to northern Minnesota and shared a cabin on a lake with my sister and her family. Many other extended family members on my mom's side rented cabins also. There were 10 little ones all under the age of 9years. We love this vacation because we truly relax while the kids swim at the beach, canoe ride, ride paddle boats, tube behind my uncle's ski boat and jet ski. Three of my highlight were double skiing with Layne, watching Levi paddle a boat around the swim area non-stop, and Layne and I pulling Kaylee and Isaac around the lake on a tube behind a jet ski. We came away refreshed and reminded of all the grace He has given our family this past year. A year ago we could hardly leave the house because we were adjusting to having 5 kids and poor Levi struggled so much because he spoke no English.

2. I was able to attend a Beth Moore Christian Women's conference with my sister, mom, aunt, cousin and dear friend. What a powerful girl's weekend. God reminded me that HE alone is our rock and refuge and we need to cling to him. Beth used a word picture that makes me smile and I relate to. We need to be like cling wrap stuck to a mountain. This is how close we need to stay to Jesus. On the days I feel the walls crumbling in and am anxious I try to thing of sticking to my Saviour this way.

3. School decisions..............We have prayed and decided to dual enroll Kaylee an Isaac in public school some while primarily homeschooling again. Levi will go 3 afternoons to a preschool in a church nearby.

4. We camped in our driveway with my grandma's pop up camper. We invited friends over to cook a campfire meal of Indian pizza pies and hot apple pies for dessert. The kids played board games in the camper and flash light tag in the dark. When our guests left Layne slept with all the kids in the camper except Jesse. He and momma were comfy in our own beds. Smile..........My grandparents brought over, fruit, donut holes and choc milk for b'fast.

5. We are trying to think of creative ways of promoting attachment and bonding between Isaac and Levi. They have made pancakes, played board games, legos and this is all under mommy's close supervision and coaching with encouragement. God has laid it on my heart that I need to spend more time with the two of them together "teaching and showing them what brotherhood can be like. We seem to be making small but encouraging steps.

Finally, we have been taking Levi to a Christian counselor who specializes in bonding and attachment in adoption. I will update more later at the many ways God is blessing all of our family through this. Levi is sharing memories and pain that he has never expressed before. It has been hard for him, but we see some healing taking place. Levi remembers many things about his life and family in Ethiopia and we feel so very thankful that he feels close enough and loved by us enough to open up his pain so we can grieve with him.