Fave Five Feb 21

FFF feb.

To join in with us as we find the best blessings of our week, head on over to Susanne, who faithfully hosts us each week.

1.  Family Time. On Sunday afternoon many of my cousins and all of my aunts and uncles on my dad’s side gathered together at a park.  It was nice to catch up with family that I hadn’t seen in years.

2. Good Sermon.  There was a good sermon at my parents’ church on Sunday that spoke directly to where I am right now. All about finding your fulfillment and joy in the Lord and not in circumstances. A moving exposition based on Genesis 29, examining Leah’s quest for Jacob’s affections and her eventual contentment in worshiping God. It’s always a blessing when the Lord ministers directly to your heart.

3. Knitting Projects. I’ve finished the body of a plain vest for Zoe (have I mentioned how much I love Pickles patterns??)  and just need to finish up the yoke around the shoulders.  I started a sweet little baby blanket for my nephew (also a Pickles pattern, of course).  I just love this yellow- soft and cheery.  It took a bit to find the right color: one the mom-to-be would like and one I could enjoy staring at for a few weeks as I knit (I don’t do baby pastels…).   I’m loving how it’s turning out.  🙂

sunshine blanket1

4. Fantastic Lawyer.  The kids’ lawyer is back from maternity leave.  While the lawyer filling in was good, their usual lawyer is phenomenal and I know she will take matters well in hand to ensure that our adoption finalizes quickly.

5. Outdoor Adventures. We went on an awesome hike with my mom at Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa.  My kids are great hikers and we’re already planning camping and backpacking expeditions for the summer.


Rancho Sierra Vista Trails


Saturday morning we ventured out into the fog to the Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center.


Observation Deck at the Visitor Center

At the visitor center we worked on  identifying sea life from our day at the beach earlier in the week.


The View from Pacific Coast Highway near Malibu



We found lots and lots of Sea Stars

We had a lovely week and things really did improve with my kids’ behavior.  My mum makes everything better.  You know how some people complain about sounding just like their mom as they grow older and have their own families?? I complain that I don’t sound enough like her.  :o)


Rancho Sierra Vista/ Satwiwa

While visiting my parents, we went hiking at Rancho Sierra Vista.  Wow.  My kids are studs.  We did six mountainous miles, switch-backing up and down canyons and creek beds.


The Camarillo Springs Fire that raged through here last Spring, the blaze that barely missed my parents’ home, completely vacated the trails of life.  No trees, flowers, animals… just charred earth.  



As we hiked here less than a year after the fires, we were able to see new growth, pushing forth from the damage.  Such a moving image for me to see after the week we’d just had.  NEW LIFE coming from DESTRUCTION. 


(That’s not snow, it’s ash!)

 It reminds me of the verse from Isaiah:

To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. (Is. 61:3)

It was a wonderful day.. and have I mentioned how much I love my Mum???  She’s amazing.


We are hoping to do the full 7 mile trek from Rancho Sierra Vista, across the Santa Monica mountains, to the coast on our next visit out here…

Fave Five Feb 14

FFF feb.

I didn’t get around to commenting on everyone’s blogs last week. Mea culpa.  It was one of ‘those weeks’.  The ones where I’m so thankful to Susanne for hosting this each Friday because I have to think about the blessings, not the trials.

1. Safe Travels.  Our trip up to my Mum’s took a little longer than usual due to heavy traffic on the 405 but the kiddos were good and we arrived safely in just over 5 hours.  Hooray for family time!

2. Shout House.  A night out with friends at the Shout House.  If you’ve never been to a piano bar before- definitely take the time.  It’s such fun, especially when they start dueling pianos.  They even did a tribute to military wives- a la Top Gun.

AND they sang the Marine Corps Hymn.  One happy woman.

3. Plane Tickets. We bought plane tickets to see our favorite person people in the whole world.  I’m. So. Excited. The kids can barely contain themselves.  :o)

4. Good Friends.  We had a rough time Sunday morning and were supposed to have a bunch of people over for curry after church (I make the world’s best curry… I might just share the recipe with ya’ll some day).  When I didn’t show up to church due to monumental traumatized-four-year-old behaviors, I got lots of messages asking if we were ok and and everyone quickly  changed plans to go out to a favorite local Mexican place instead.  (And no one judged when I ordered a mojito before noon…)

I love adoption.  I love my children.  I’m SO GRATEFUL for my children.  But sometimes…  the trauma just sucks the life out of me.  I know it’s harder for them to process the trauma than for me to deal with their behaviors from it, so mostly I just feel sad for my babies.  But sometimes… the acronyms  (PTSD, RAD, ADHD and on and on…) add up into a daunting list of letters with overwhelming, tangible effects on my daily life. But sometimes all the time (sometimes I just don’t pay attention)… God’s grace shines through all the junk wrought by sin and I find peace in the midst of the turmoil.

“The Lord gives his people strength.  The Lord blesses them with peace.” Psalm 29:11

5.  New Shows.  I have a lot of time to myself in the evenings as I declutter and pack so I like to put a show on Netflix to watch as I sort. I found two new BBC masterpiece mystery shows that I have enjoyed: Endeavour (How gorgeous is Shaun Evans? Hubby wasn’t too impressed with this show so perhaps it was more that I was enamored with Shaun Evan’s accent..?) and The Bletchley Circle.

Fave Five Feb 7

FFF birds on a wire

Thanks for joining us to focus on finding our favorite blessings of the week.  To see more of the gratefulness fest, visit Susanne at Living to Tell the Story.

I can barely remember what I had for lunch today, much less what I did in the last week!  It was spent mostly at home, doing school and playing, one day blending into another.

1. Wine & Cheese.  We had a wine & dessert night on Saturday for the ladies in my church.  It was fun to spend time getting to know each other and enjoying games and socializing.  I do love our church so much.

2. Rain. I know I said it last week, but I love it!  I get to wear sweaters and there’s always a pot of tea on. You know you live in Southern California when counting how many raindrops are on the window by your carseat is an exciting form of entertainment for your children…  Bonus- we get to multi-task by using the counting game as math for the day.  Homeschool Win.

3. Olympics.  Speaking of homeschooling, we’ve been gearing up all week for the opening ceremonies of the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014!  We covered geography, history, social studies, art, and math. The Princess has completely fallen in love with figure skating and my four year old prayed ever so earnestly to get to be a “speed runner in the summer olympics some day”.

Olympics school

4. Knitting.  It’s so relaxing.  I cast on another pair of socks and I just LOVE this yarn.  My Mum gave it to me and it’s all the right kinds of bright and happy- perfect for these dreary days we’ve had. How have I never knit socks before?? I’m addicted.

cable top sock1

5. Dog Sitting.  We’re watching this cutie patootie while our friends are in Brazil.  I love having a dog around, but it reminds me why we’ve agreed not to get a dog until we have a yard at our next place:  I had to walk him late at night in the rain before heading to bed.  Brrrr.  It’s been a good test run to see how the kiddos do with a dog, though, as we are looking into getting the Princess a service dog as a night time companion.Tucker1


Isn’t he precious?  Such a snuggler.

So that was our weekly recap.  Hope you all have a blessed week and enjoy the international festivities!  :o)