Friday, June 05, 2009

Summer, Full Steam Ahead!

Now that the excitement has died down from our Washington, DC trip, life is getting back to normal...whatever that actually means around the LaJoy house. Laundry is caught up, suitcases are back in the garage, and we are trying to settle into some sort of summer routine. I have to ask this...does any other family who reads this blog and has adopted internationally more than once seem to have an inordinate amount of luggage in a variety of sizes? I am floored at how many suitcases and duffel's we have, from carry ons to large rolling suitcases. Easily we have 9 or 10 and probably more than that if I went and counted. And STILL it seems we never quite have exactly the right size for any particular trip we are taking. I honestly don't want to collect luggage, but we seem to do everything from overnight camping to weeks long trips and have amassed a Walmart aisle full of bags!

I am already feeling "ripped off" this summer as we still do not have summer weather here. As I look out my front window it is cloudy and blustery with rain and high winds due later this afternoon...and we have had rain almost every single day! Summer with the kids always seems far too short to me anyway, and with the weather being what it is it feels more as if we are in early spring.

During a brief interlude Wednesday morning Matthew was outside playing in the water with a friend who was over, and I managed to get a couple of pictures:

The body may be getting bigger, but the photo on the right looks exactly like one I took when he was about 3 years old. Same broad smile, same delight in his eyes. How I wish they all weren't growing up so fast, and yet how I enjoy the people they are all becoming.

I received my new assignments for my next semester of classes for the lay ministry program, and just as with the first ones I am feeling the panic rise. These are not lightweight classes, and as I read through the syllabus for each one I find myself growing more and more intimidated. This semester will be very difficult, and will include homiletics (preaching) and Christian Worship. Just as with my first semester, I found my initial reaction being "I can't do this.", and I am hoping that as the semester goes on I find that I actually CAN do it.

My own personal faith journey has been transformed through these classes, even if I eventually find I never use them in ministry it will have been well worth the time put into study. Yet for every new discovery it seems only to lead to a vast cavern which contains even more questions. While I still have great uncertainty about where all of this is leading, I find I am more drawn than ever to finding my place and learning what God has in store. It seems that somehow this course of study will come in handy and will be used someday, and my curiosity grows as I continue my search for whatever path is meant for me. I have so many wonderful mentors in my life who are gently nudging and steering me, who express great confidence in the direction I am taking. Without these people in my life, I highly doubt I would take myself very seriously in this arena, and that serves to teach me how valuable our own encouragement of others actually is.

Someone else is working hard at their studies, as we try and incorporate a few things over the summer to keep the kids up to speed. We checked out 40 books or so from the library last week and have read a good portion of them already. All 3 boys will be doing some writing projects in composition books I got each of them. Josh started yesterday without being asked and wrote a full page story about Iron Man :-) He is our major Super Hero kid and never seems to tire of creating stories in his mind and acting them out by himself as he saves some poor innocent person or challenges a "bad guy". He can play by the hours acting out scenes, and of course it is accompanied by appropriate sound effects which are surprisingly accurate

For all our efforts to create more down time this summer, it seems we have a rapidly filling schedule of fun activities ahead. This weekend we are going to spend Saturday up in the mountains with Kenny's best buddy's family, and Sunday night we are going to hear Dave Roever who is visiting our local high school. Dave has a very touching and powerful Christian testimony to share and I think our entire family will enjoy it. You can learn more about Dave at: . We are then going to visit Salt Lake City next weekend with our close friends. This is a special treat for Matthew for his birthday as we are going to see an aerospace museum at Hill Air Force Base. The following weekend we are going camping with several families from our church which we always look forward to. The next week I will be driving to Wichita with the boys to visit our friends in a long overdue get together with our 3 kiddos from Aktobe (Matthew and their two daughters). After our aborted attempt last summer in Denver, this will be a very special time for all of us. Mercifully, July looks relatively empty other than a week at La Foret church camp for Matt and Kenny. I will look forward to spending the week alone with Joshie, and maybe we will do something special together.

On the adoption front, we are redoing our FBI fingerprints and medicals which expired, and then hopefully...finally...our dossier will be submitted to the Embassy. At this stage I have given up even trying to plan when we might travel, which makes it difficult considering the length of time we need to be gone. However, giving up thinking about it also seems to help keep my heart intact. I hope that eventually I will be kicking myself for not being more prepared, I'd love nothing more than to find myself scrambling to pull a bedroom together while at the same time crossing items off my packing lists.

For the rest of summer I vow to:

1) Read a gazillion books
2) Take my camera out far more often, shoot photos of more than just the kids!
3) Swim more
4) Stay up late, tell more stories in the dark, play more with flashlights
5) Tickle more, giggle more, wiggle more
6) Nurture friendships
7) Be Happy
I wonder if I will revisit this list in 3 months and feel I accomplished much of what is on it.
What is on YOUR summer list??


wilisons said...

Ahh, the luggage. yes, I am with you. My family is moving and among our boxes are already 3 suitcases packed with another 3 ready to go after a summer vacation. Still, I went to purchase a rolling, backpack, suitcase item that could fit in an overhead, be used as carry-on, but one that wasn't too big for me to wear as a backpack while pushing a stroller. Sound like a familiar dilema?

Happy summer,

Bob; Carrie DeLille said...

I love that you listen to those whispers from the Holy Spirit. It can be scarey to take those first steps, but know He's leading you somewhere. Who knows, it could be just for your own personal use, it could be you won't know for years, but what's important is you're stepping out in faith and hey, selfishly, I know those of us who read your blog might just end up being the beneficiaries and maybe that's the purpose of it all!!
Hey, have you evern considered moving to VA??

Maria said...

Beautiful post!

Julie and John Wright said...

Lovely family, I seldom comment but read your blog as much as possible,Love to you all, and I can't wait to meet you, my heros, in person one day,
Love Julie

Heather said...

Cindy, finally started a blog after all these years. It is Yup! That's right, we are headed to China instead of Taiwan. We have tried our hardest to get 2 referrals already, but other families got them. That's okay, I'm happy they have their families. I listed your blog on my blog roll, I hope you don't mind. Thanks! Heather