Friday, May 29, 2015

Bursting the Bubble and a Challenge

This time of year is always sentimental to me. I guess it is because it so clearly marks the passing of time as each child completes and moves on to the next grade.
I find myself really dissecting emotions and doing some deep thinking.
To magnify this I have just finished reading 2 really good books that have caused me to ponder even more of this life that I and my family are leading.
The first book "Love Does" by Bob Goff is excellent as it simply states that well, love does.
This has had me examining how and what I actually do to show love.
The second book is by Richard Stearns, president World Vision US, "The Hole in our Gospel".
This book has really challenged me to take another look at how well we are helping the less fortunate.
I have struggled for years with the notion that we have so much while others in the world have NOTHING. 
What am I/my family to do about this?
Mr. Stearns has embarrassing statistics in his book that should make each of us cringe.
Our pets live better than most of the world! I know our two furry canines do!!!
We in America, and other more wealthy countries, live in a bubble.
Our children are raised in this bubble.
Safe neighborhoods, comfortable homes, educations, loving families, pantries bursting with food, toys overflowing,  clothes spilling out of closets, electronic gadgets in their hands as soon as they can hold them.
Is this good? 
Well, of course we all want to provide the best for our children!
Who would want to take any of the above mentioned away from them...ok well maybe the electronics.
Who among the adults would want to do with out any of the above mentioned?
 (bursting of the bubble)
Most of the world does not live like this.
I want my kids to know this. Yes, even the 3 that started from this reality! Who by the way, are totally spoiled rotten bubble dwellers!
As I hear their squeals of laughter coming from the aqua blue pool in our backyard, my heart hurts.
As, I watch them lick a cold sweet ice cream cone, my heart hurts.
I think about all their honors and awards received during the school year and my heart hurts.
It hurts for all the children in the world who are NEVER given the opportunities that mine/ours/yours are.
By the grace of God we were born in the bubble. By the grace of God 3 little people that call me Mommy, were NOT born in the bubble, but were plucked from poverty and placed inside the bubble.
I can not in good conscience close my mind and heart off to the billions of people who live life everyday just surviving their hellish reality without food, water, medicine, ravished by disease and war, and deprived of opportunities you and I take for granted.
Sure I would love to forget and stay in my lovely bubble. 
It is nice here.
But years ago I laid in a hospital bed after birthing our second child and was told I couldn't have anymore kids.
I was devastated!
My husband suggested we could always adopt.
I didn't want to hear such nonsense. I just wanted to wallow in my self-pity. I wasn't ready to hear that.
Then God, in His perfect timing, laid the orphan crisis on my heart at a dinner party.
This time I was ready.
From that point on I was introduced to "the other part of the world" and the way they lived.
I am ever so thankful and grateful that God showed me this harsh reality.
It is at times painful and troubling, but it has taken me out of my bubble and helped me to see that this life is not just about my comfortable existence.
I have challenged my family to come up with more ways we can serve, assist, aid those that are in need.
I challenge you to read "The Hole in our Gospel"
And then I challenge you and your family to find a way to make a difference.
Maybe it means for every Starbucks delight you purchase this summer you put a dollar in an envelope. At the end of the summer send the money collected to World Vision to help  a village dig a well for clean drinking water.
Maybe it means collecting loose change at the end of each day and giving to an organization that helps stop child trafficking.
Maybe it means actually going to one of these places on earth where you witness the downtrodden face to face.
Sponsor an orphan or a child.
Give to a mission team.
No act of kindness and love is too small.
Especially, when almost a billion people in the world live on less than $1.25 a day!!!
Have your kids sell lemonade and send the proceeds to the shelter for abused women.
Each act will look different for everybody and every family but I promise you, you won't be sorry. 
Even if it means your bubble bursts and your heart hurts.
It is a good hurt.
And someone somewhere will be the receiver of your love and kindness and that is ALWAYS a good thing!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

May Madness!

I don't know about you but May is 1000 times busier than December!
With 5 kids, 3 different schools, activities, clubs, sports, etc, each having a celebration, awards day, ceremony, program... it is CraZy!
Here is how it all came out.
(remember this is my blog and my way of preserving our memories and what transpired in our lives)
We will start with the littlest family member.
Lulu came a LONG way this year in Pre-K.
From screaming and clinging to me at drop off to LOVING her new friends!
Socially, she is right on track now! WHEW!!!
She actually learned ALL her colors, shapes, numbers and letters...well "G" still trips her up. Sweet girl!
She was so excited to receive her "award", Pre-K Certificate!
She sat through all 4 older kids' Honors Days and now it was her turn!
She had Will, myself, Julia and Sam there cheering her on!
Gotta LOVE those teeny tiny wooden chairs!

 All 3 of my Littles had Mrs. Wright. We LOVE her!

Lulu also did "gymnastics" this spring.
She got a "necklace" and was soooo proud of it!
I was amazed at how well she did.
Her physical issues didn't stop her at all! She can do ANYTHING!

Next up is JAIDA:
Jaida is very smart and a very hard worker. She is also very conscientious.
She did exceptionally well in school.
Jaida was awarded
Distinguished Scholar-all A's all year long
Outstanding Conduct
Sign Language Club participant-love that she actually can communicate to the hearing impaired!
IB Profile Award-this is a character award that was voted on by the class. So VERY proud that my baby girl has outstanding character and that it is recognized.

 Jaida got to "loop" with this FANTASTIC teacher for 1st and 2nd grade! SO blessed by her!
Sweet Ms. Jenn the sign language teacher.

Jaida also participated in tumbling this spring.
She came a long way and I was so proud of how hard she worked to perfect items outside of class.
Way to go Jaida Ruth!

Xin received
Distinguished Scholar-all A's all year long
Outstanding Conduct
Art Club participant-Xin is an AMAZING artist and I love seeing what he creates!

Jaida and Xin will be leaving their current school and attending the same school as Julia and Sam next year. So a little bittersweet as they departed for the last time!

Sam returned to school this year for 7th grade.
He had been homeschooled since 2nd grade.
I was a little "nervous" about how he would transition into middle school.
Silly me!
Sam received
High Honors-a 93 or above average all year long!!
Academic Honors in English-the highest average in the class
Special Honors-PE
50 Mile Club-he ran 50+ miles for the year in PE
Faculty Award 7th Grade-this is a character award given by the faculty. This was also accompanied by a wonderful note written to him. Again, I am so thankful my son  has outstanding character!

Sam also enjoyed playing soccer for the middle school team.
He won the Cavalier Award.

Special Honors-Superior work in Ceramics-I have been the lucky recipient of her work!!!! She is GOOD!!!
Special Honors-Superior work in Physics
Special Honors-Superior work in US History
Bronze Medal winner in the National Spanish Exam
Furman University Scholar- in recognition for outstanding scholastic achievement
Presbyterian College Fellow-in recognition of superior scholastic attainment
She was also elected to the Honor Council for the second year.

The Varsity girls soccer team claimed the state title again!
The team also set a school record of 110 goals in a season!!! WOW!
Julia won
All Region
All State
Offensive MVP with 23 goals and 23 assists in the season, setting a new school record for assists!!!

So it was a pretty good month in our house!
 Will and I are proud of each of our kids and their accomplishments...but mostly their character.
We love you guys!
Keep up the hard work!!!
And now... it is SUMMERTIME!!!


Sunday, May 10, 2015


Last night the Lady Cavaliers captured a back to back GISA-AAA State Championship Title!
Augusta Prep played our biggest rival Westminster and came out victorious with a 4-1 win!
Julia scored 2 of the goals and played her heart out!
So proud of this team!
They truly are amazing to watch!
The coach of the team we played in the semi-finals Friday night and beat 8-0 said in the newspaper
"this team is the best high school team I have seen in 15-25 years"
Way to go Cavs!

 Introducing the teams
 Getting ready to start the game
 Second half begins...Julia #13
 And the final buzzer!! 4-1 win!
 Our girls!

 Jules and Harper
 Bunny, Julia, Chloe and Harper
 Our 5 Seniors...we will miss them so much!
 Did I mention these girls are BEAUTIFUL too?!
 My baby...#13! Love you Jules!!!
 The Three Muskateers
 "the twins" Everybody gets these two confused in soccer and basketball! Even their own Mamas!!! And sometimes they think it is funny to wear the same color headbands to confuse us more! Other teams and refs have even thought they were twins or at least sisters. And they play beautifully together!!!!
 Her BIGGEST fan!
 We love you!
 The grandparents
 Sweet Ada couldn't play this year and we missed her!
 We will miss you next year Scotti!
 Bunny too!
So VERY proud of you Julia!!!!!
And all the girls. What a team!