Monday, August 24, 2009

A Wonderfully Normal Afternoon

Well it is Sunday afternoon and I am doing something I have very rarely ever done on a Sunday - stay home from church and lay on the couch! OK, there is really a good reason! I had the stomach flu Friday night and yesterday. So, I spent all day yesterday in bed, feeling like a queen as I "barked" periodic orders to the kids and staff who carried out the Saturday house cleaning. I decided to take another day off today. I feel much better, thank the Lord, but figured an extra day of rest would do my body good before we head into another week. So, Victor was planning on going to church with all the kids, except Diana who is my nurse, but then a friend called and said that both highways that lead to church (literally the only two roads to get there) were flooded. So, Victor took the kids on a picnic and are headed to an evening service at a church located before the flooding. So, before I settle in for an afternoon nap, thought I would finish a blog that I started last Monday afternoon! Enjoy!

(Written on Monday, August 24, 2009) We just got back from a wonderfully normal afternoon...and a dream come true. I have been wanting to sit down and blog more about Pati's passing, the funeral, etc., but feel somewhat lost as to where to start, how much to say, and so on. That blog will come, with time.
However, today was a wonderfully normal Monday afternoon. The kids are used to swimming lessons with Ashleigh on Monday afternoons. However, swimming lessons haven't happened for quite a long time. We had a summer with several work groups and then Ashleigh was gone for three weeks to her brother's wedding in Ohio. Besides that, we have had to seek out a new normal since Pati's passing and Jocelin joining our family.
We began school again last week and that helped life flow a bit better and feel a bit more "normal". However, today is Monday and back to swimming class! I don't always go along, as the time that the kids are at swimming class gives me a chance to get caught up on emails or work on the next newsletter. But, today was going to be Daniel's first time swimming and I wanted to be a part of that. So, Victor and I went with the kids to swimming lessons with Ashleigh.

We were all in the pool and it was almost surreal! (We get a reduced rate at a hotel pool about 30 minutes from Refuge Ranch.) I was swimming with 12 children (our 11 - Angie, Diana, Martita, Martha, Fidel, Josiah, Jocelin, Caleb, Ruth, Ana and Daniel, plus Erika, the daughter of a woman from our church who is starting to work with us doing the tasks that Pati used to do). It was just our family, but the pool felt quite full and definitely full of life! When God's word says to trust in the Lord and He will bring to pass the desires of your heart - that is so true! How I wish I could shout out to the whole world, especially to the young people, follow Jesus! Love Him! Obey His word! He will plant His desires in your heart and then will bring those desires to pass!
It was incredible to be swimming with all the kids and know that they are mine (albeit, borrowed from the Lord - they are actually truly His!) God planted this dream in my heart and life when I was a little girl and I feel so grateful, honored, ane indebted to Him to be living out my dream! God is sooooo good and soooo faithful! Soooo merciful and soooo full of grace!
Enjoy these pictures of a gloriously normal afternoon!

Daniel's first time swimming! He cried through his first bath at our house, but now loves the water and purposefully gets his face wet! Needless to say, he loved swimming!

Victor and Caleb having fun together!

Diana giving Ana a horsey back ride in the water. It was hilarious because when Diana would go too deep and Ana's mouth would fill with water, Ana would lift up her little mouth and spit out the water, but she looked like a little fountain.

Ruth - our three year old beach babe!

Angie and Jocelin playing together! I am so thankful for Angie and Diana's lives! They are one of the main reasons that our family has become a family with such diverse members. They were our first adopted children and they have accepted every subsequent child as a new member of the family and have set the tone for the other children to do the same when a new member arrives. Here Angie does just that in practical ways - playing with our newest daughter, Jocelin.

Here is Ashleigh giving Erika her first swimming class. Erika and her mother, Magdalena, are now living at Refuge Ranch. Magdalena is a member of the church we attend here in Mexico and she has come on staff to take over Pati's tasks. Erika is 11 years old and is enjoying being a part of our homeschool and daily activities.