Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Terrific Tuesday!

Yesterday we took our first out-of-state field trip!

A friend and I took all four kiddos to Shipshewana, Indiana, for the day.  

We went to a great little bead shop that a lady runs in the shops area.  Kaleigh and I both found some great treasures in there!  Kaleigh spent about half of her spending money on beads! :-)  Most of what I bought will be for gifts :-)

We also went to an awesome Amish grocery store, where they sell a ton of stuff in bulk at extremely reasonable prices.  I wished I had a trailer to bring stuff home in!  I did get a few things to bring home though.  Then we went to the Amish department store, where the kids shopped with their spending money.  On the way out of town, we stopped at the Amish bakery; the kids had been talking about ice cream earlier in the day, so I thought for sure they would all be thrilled to have some.  BUT, only two of them went for ice cream; the other really wanted a doughnut.  Can you guess which kiddo that was?  After the bakery, we stopped at a farm where a lady keeps greenhouses and sells plants.  Lots of fun!  Then we hit the road and drove a little ways before stopping for dinner.  After eating, we were on the road for good - at about 7:00!  

The roads weren't too bad on the return trip.  We hit a little construction in South Chicago, but it was nothing compared to the construction traffic on the other side of the road!  We got to the park and ride a little after 10:00, dropped my friend off at her car, made a bottle for Ty, who had been screaming for several miles, and finished the last 15 minutes of our trek home.  

Everyone slept soundly once they were in their beds, although no one slept any later than usual today.  Two kiddos have visits today, so nap times will be missed and bed times will be a little late again tonight.  I'm hoping that tomorrow we can get back into a routine.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Well, I am happy to say our first weekend with our newest little member went very well.  It was nice to go to bed last night knowing all my Littles were tucked into their beds and I didn't have to "return" any of them.  As of this morning, this is officially the longest K3 has spent with us, and God-willing, it is just going to keep getting longer.

In some ways, this weekend served as a bridge.  As difficult as it was to have her here and then gone repeatedly for two weeks, I know the visits were a good thing.  I don't think she quite comprehends that she is going to be staying; she mentioned taking things back to "her house" and bringing things here from "her house" - meaning her previous foster home - several times.  It's certainly a normal and expected phase, and I'm not worried about it.  But I do think that having had the visits will help with this part of the process.  If she had been moved here without meeting us or having visits or any of that, I believe the adjustment would be much more difficult.  

Also, the visits gave us all a chance to experience the "honeymoon" a little at a time.  Don't get me wrong - I think we are still in that phase.  But, Kaleigh and K3 have gotten used to each other during the visits, and now the true "sister" phase is really starting to begin.  K2 is really going to have to learn a few things about being a big sister, not the least of which is that being the big sister does NOT make you the mom.  K3 is learning what it means to have a sister in general, as she had only foster brothers previously.  And both girls are learning that as much fun as it is to have a sister, it is still okay to have some alone time once in awhile - especially since they both have become accustomed to playing alone.  The testing of the household guidelines has already begun.  And the prayers for wisdom and grace and consistency have already increased!

A weekend was a good time to do the move.  It gave us all a chance to settle in a relaxed atmosphere, and was nice not to feel like we had to stick to a routine - as much as I miss the routine on weekends.  I am looking forward to starting a new week and getting back into the routine in all aspects - Hunter is back to school work after his spring break week - and helping K3 really begin to realize that this is her home now, a place she can belong and feel safe.  

I have a couple of activities in mind for the next couple of weeks, and look forward to sharing them here as the Shan Clan experiences them.  Until then, Happy Monday, and enjoy the start to your week! 

Thursday, April 12, 2012


This is potentially my last night ever to be a mother of three.  If you haven't read my recent Facebook posts, I am a little over 12 hours away from becoming a mother of four.

God has seen fit to bring me, at the age of 31, to motherhood and four beautiful children.

I am so thrilled. 

And I am so scared.

Okay, not SO scared.  Just a *little* scared.  I mean, anyone in their right mind would be, right?  Four years ago, I had been happily married for two years, and the most parenting I did was three nights a week.  Three years ago, I had just handed off three sweet but troubled babies after parenting them for 8 months, and had just met two equally but differently troubled kiddos who would eventually become my own.  Two years ago, we had just finalized adoption, and after 28 years and 10 months of waiting, I was a mommy of two.  One year ago, we were focused on finding and moving into a new, bigger house to accommodate our growing family, and hoping our family would be growing more SOON.

Time has gone so quickly, even when it seemed like it was passing slowly.  I learned a long time ago, for that very reason, not to wish my life away.

Yet here I am, feeling like time has just flown by.

I digress.

We did much work around the house today, getting ready for the newest addition to the Shan Clan.  Most of what we worked on was in the girls' room, but some of that work overflowed into the boys' rooms too.  I took the desk out of Kaleigh's room, and decided to put it in Hunter's room.  It took the place of a bookshelf, which I decided to put in Ryan's room.  Then I decided Ryan needed a desk too, so I brought a desk down from the loft (a desk I have been planning to put in Ryan's room for a long time anyway).  To make room for the desk, I moved Ryan's other furniture around.  Back in the girls' room, I brought up a cube shelf set so that they would each have their own space for their toys and books.  We also rearranged a bunch of other things in their room, during which time I made a list of  some things I needed to get to further the organizational goals.  

After quiet time, we made a quick library run to take back the books that were due tomorrow and get a few more books to get us through... a few days at least.  Then we swung by Target to get the items on my organization list.  One of the things I planned to get was the cloth storage cubes for the girls' toys.  They had the purple ones, for Kaleigh, but were all out of the pink ones, for K3.  So I MIGHT get brave and take the kids to the other Target tomorrow to see if they have the pink ones.  

Kaleigh has been very excited all day.  She had fun helping organize the bedroom, and kept reminding me that K3 is coming to live with us tomorrow.  She has been looking forward to having a little sister for a long time.  I know there is going to be a period of adjustment for her, but I think it is overall going to be a good thing.

I, on the other hand, have no idea how I am going to deal with having TWO little girls growing up in the house.  One made me nervous.  Two... terrifies me.

And don't get me started on the boys.  

Nope, that's not even true.  I am more worried about raising girls than boys.  Although I know God is giving me His guidance and strength in both cases.

I sit here on the eve of becoming a mommy of four.

And I couldn't be happier that God has brought me here.

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Whole Weekend!

A very lovely- and busy! - weekend has come to a close.  We had K3 from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening - and loved every minute of it!

We started with our usual Shan Clan Friday Family Movie and Pizza night - we picked up pizzas from Papa Murphy's, which we haven't had for a LONG time, and watched "Happy Feet 2," which the kids have been dying to see.  Then we put three Littles to bed, and watched "Hugo."  Well, Hunter and I watched Hugo while Randy slept on the couch!  It was a very good movie - had a bit of a slow start, but ended up being quite interesting.  Hunter very much enjoyed it.

Saturday morning, I got the four kiddos up and ready and hauled them to choir rehearsal with me, because Randy had a hair appointment.  We had arranged for a sitter to be there, so the kids had a blast.  After practice, we went home and had lunch and quiet time.  Randy took advantage of the beautiful weather and golfed at Petrifying Springs!  After QT, the kids and I met a friend and her grandchildren, who were visiting from out of state, at a park.  It got quite chilly while we were there, but the kids didn't care!  Saturday night we cooked out for dinner, I put curlers in the girls' hair, and once the Littles were down, the boys watched movies while I worked on the zillion and one things I had to have done before Sunday morning!  I got everything done and was in bed by 1:30, but the Little Man woke me about four times between then and 5:30, when I had to get up.  Thankfully, my wonderful husband got up to feed him at 4:45 so that I could have just a few more minutes of rest before beginning my early day!

The girls got up early and went to my early rehearsal with me, so that Randy would only need to worry about getting the boys ready.  We had two amazing services at RBC - the second service really blew me away.  I know I've said it before, but I have to say it again: I just love our music ministry, and feel so blessed to be a part of it.

After church, we had Easter dinner at my mom's, then came home so the kids could hunt around the house for their Easter baskets.  We had to have K3 back to her foster family by 6:30; while I was taking her into the house, they told me they can tell she is really happy with us.  That made me feel really good.

We won't have her for any visits this week, but she is moving in on Saturday.  I have much to do this week, getting Kaleigh's room ready to be a two-girl room.  I need to put some shelves on the walls for Kaleigh's more valuable things, like dolls and her jewelry box.  I am also going to put in a new toy/book system, so that Kaleigh's things will be up high and K3's things will be down low.  Then they will have a toy box to keep things that belong to both of them.  I HOPE I will be able to keep them organized!  I also have a few other organizational tasks around the house that I am going to TRY to get done before Saturday.  We shall see!

I am thinking about some things I want to do with the yard this year.  I know I want flower gardens in both the front and back yards, and I would like to plant a few veggies and herbs, but that's all I've decided on so far.  I don't know exactly what I want to plant, or where I want to plant it.  We also need to do some more brush-clearing, particularly in the back yard, and that will probably affect the "where."

Well, the Shan Clan is on spring break this week.  Randy is home for three days, so we have a few different kinds of fun planned.

Monday, April 2, 2012


Well, we had a very nice - if very busy! - weekend.  Kaleigh and I got up early Saturday morning and headed to church for choir practice.  We were there for a couple of hours, then I met up with a friend for a little while before dashing up to K3's foster home to pick her up for the afternoon.  We hung out at home for a couple of hours, and the girls enjoyed playing together; then we went to my mom's for dinner.  My mom and dad, Kevin, and his girlfriend Hallie, all got to meet K3 for the first time.  Of course, they loved her.

Sunday morning, Kaleigh and I were up and out early again, as we were both singing in both church services.  K2 had a little trio part in one of their songs, and she did a GREAT job!  It was so fun to watch her enjoy singing up there, since I was painfully shy at her age (still am), and you couldn't have convinced me to sing a part like that to save my life!  After church, Randy and I swapped cars (he needed mine in order to bring the baby to church, and I needed it back in order to pick up K3!), and Ty and I went to pick up K3 while Randy took Hunter and Kaleigh to meet the rest of the fam for brunch.

At brunch, Clint, Brittany, and Ava were able to meet K3 for the first time.  I think approval is unanimous.  She is a little shy when first meeting the big people, but seems to warm up pretty quickly.  She is very sweet and I think will be such a joy and blessing as part of our family!

A few days ago, when the forecast was 65 for Sunday, we were planning to find a park after brunch.  But by Sunday morning, the forecast had changed to 40; so we went home and chilled for awhile.  Then Randy took the big boys to the golf store, and I took the Littles to my mom's house to meet up with my cousin for a little visit and so that SHE could meet K3.  Then we had just enough time to dash home, grab the boys, and rush K3 back to her foster home.  Then we stopped at a friend's house so Randy could try to unclog a pipe that had been clogged since Friday morning - which he did quite successfully.  I am married to an awesome man :-).

Both nights, we had to have her back by 6:30 so she had some wind-down time before bed; so it made for two rather short days.  However, we will have her for a longer day tomorrow, another relatively short day Thursday (she gets picked up at 2:30 for a visit), and then Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon Easter weekend.  Then, Lord-willing - and it looks like everything is headed that way - she will be moving in the weekend of the 14th!