Our kiddos this Halloween. We had a (good) witch, pirate, ninja, princess (of course) and FiFi the pink poodle. I struggled this year (again) with the concept of Halloween. Our older children questioned me on where Halloween came from and who 'made it up.' I tried to give a short but honest answer and they were quite confused even with that. They asked why people celebrate Halloween. I tried to answer by explaining about culture and traditions and that we'd dress up and enjoy the party put on by our local school instead of going door-to-door...but I think even that left all of us confused and a little uneasy. Our local grade school did an amazing job putting on a party for the kids and spared us all the gross and gory stuff that Halloween tends to bring. I was thankful for that but have also realized we need to think about this a little more for next year and years to come. We teach our kids the motto of practice-what-you-preach so it's only right and 'just' that we address this issue to stay on the right side of our family motto...
I've been reflecting on especially the last year. What a whirlwind! The last few years has really been insanely crazy but I think my memory has a hard time going back more than a handful of months and recalling things accurately! Tomorrow marks the 3 year anniversary since we brought our African kiddos home. It also marks 5 years since we began the adoption process, wow, how time flies. Every year, we celebrate our Gotcha Day by talking about what we remember and how we felt on that day. A special friend of mine (and photographer) took pics for us as my Hubby stepped off the plane with our 4 oldest children, she also made it into DVD form with music. We watch that DVD every year on our Gotcha Day.
So much has happened since then- our bio kids have grown by leaps and bounds (physically, emotionally and spiritually) as have our African children! We've welcomed a new baby in that time and said 'goodbye' to the 2 oldest children as they've gone out on their own in pursuit of their futures. We've moved 1000 miles back to the place we call home. We've said goodbye (for now) to friends, those we consider family, our church as well as a home and business. We've taken the next step in homeschooling as I went from teaching 2 children to 5 (then back down to 4 this year as we helped our 17 yr old African daughter transition into Job Corps this fall).
We've grown spiritually through all these hills and valleys and still have a long way to go. We're trying to 'clean up' any areas in our marriage/parenting/every day living that has gone by the wayside and needs attention or has been neglected. Yea, it gets tiring at times but we're committed to God, our marriage and our family. That alone keeps us trudging along especially during those times it feels like we're wading through mud.
We've returned to extended family, our church home/family as well as the heritage/culture we were raised in. Those things alone bring comfort and a feeling of 'belonging' that is hard to describe unless you've lived a portion of your life without it. We had an amazing summer with grandparents and I enjoyed getting my hands in this nutrient-rich, glacier soil and we had a bountiful harvest of veges and lots of herbs (not to mention lots of pretty flowers!). The fall has kept us running with winterizing (we'd forgotten how much work this is!) and I've been crazy canning yummy foods with our garden bounty (as well as an entire tree's worth of apples!).
We're moving into the holiday season now and are starting our homemade gifts for friends and family (in all our spare time)! :) Last year the holiday season was rushed and chaotic. We're looking forward to enjoying the season more this year...I even think I may decorate early, just because!
I think I'm looking forward to the winter months-I'd like to tackle some projects and crafts that seem impossible in the summer months. Let's see how I feel in February when we're neck deep in snow! We hope you're enjoying the fall season and that you're looking forward to the holiday season as much as we are! Until next time...