Friday, June 15, 2012

Gut Kicks & Bedtime Lemonade

(From Jay)

I find myself today having an interesting mixture of feelings. I read Camille’s heading below of ‘Bloom Where You Are Planted’…and it makes me smile.

Yesterday, I got some tough news. The kind of news that you don’t like getting in your life. The kind of news that makes you feel ill and sick to your stomach. But life goes on. It wasn’t anything life threatening or health related. It was just some bad news about something very important and very personal to me. I felt like I had approached everything carefully…I was prayerful…and cautious…and in the end, I was left with egg on my face going, ‘what just happened?’. From my perspective, it involved some deceit and misinformation, but in the end, it doesn’t change the fact that I spent half the night watching the clock going, ‘what just happened?’.

The only thing you can do is look up and say, “God, you are in control.” You give…and you take away….blessed be the name of the Lord!

So, while intentionally keeping this general…I remain where I am and must resolve to continue to bloom where I am planted…

Friday, June 8, 2012

Bloom Where You are Planted

That little phrase inspired millions of cross-stiched plaques back in the early 80's - but it still rings so true today.  As Jay and I have sought the Lord's direction lately for ways to reach out - He seems to be leading us right into our own backyard.  Although I have to confess that our idea of missions looks like selling your house, packing up all your stuff, and trekking across the Great Divide on camelback to reach the little Indian village that's never heard the name of Jesus - I am coming to the conclusion that our mission field may look more like our own neighborhood during this season of life.  While that seems so less heroic and daring - it may be just as adventurous as we learn to bloom right where we are. 

Over the last few months - I've been placed in a postion of leadership within our local MOPS group.  I'm a little scared and excited at the thought of navigating this awesome band of Moms through the perils of toddlerhood - but, Wow!, they are teaching me so much.  Even though I still have a toddler in my midst - my season of being defined by children whose birthday cake candles could still be counted on one hand - has passed me by.  And I'm not the least bit sad.  I love every age of my children - but I adore teenagers.  They are horrible and quirky and weird and awkward - but so fascinating.  I have longed to be the mother of teenagers and I love this season of life.  Not only do I have 2 teens camped out in my basement right now - but for the next 16 years!!! - someone in their teens will be calling me

Last night - we had one of our many Summer MOPS Meet & Greets to help the moms in our group get to know each other better.  We met at 8:30 at Ruby Tuesdays for late night coffee and dessert.

It was a great time to just sit and chat and we learned some interesting things about each other - hopefully leading to deeper, more meaningful friendships as time goes by.  In case you weren't there - I presented the group with 3 questions to keep the conversation flowing (I am the Queen of Converstation, you know! - that's an inside joke that some of you may catch ;-)  Ask yourself these questions and feel free to share your answers so we can learn more about you!

1. What is latest book you've read?
2. What is one thing about yourself that most people don't know?
3. What is your number one biggest issue with parenting at this point in time?

Hope you are having a great summer!

Monday, June 4, 2012


I have tried other direct sales companies before.  I'm such a sucker for their sales pitches.  But, I attended a Thrity-One party and fell head over heels for their products.  So, I am now officially a.......

I have wanted to work with Thirty-One for years because I seriously adore Thirty-One products! I was able to get the startup kit for only $99 with the chance to get a $99 rebate.  You can't beat that!

You may already have a Thirty-One consultant you love, but if you don't, I would LOVE to be yours! You can shop online at any time and I will soon be doing online parties. The Summer catalog has some super cute patterns and ideas for organization. I would love to work with you and let you gain rewards for being a hostess. And if you would like to get the awesome startup kit (a lot of products for a hugely discounted price) and earn some extra income, you can sign up under me and I will be your Sponsor. :)

I do think these are wonderful, useful, and super cute products that everyone can use. I really think it sells itself. Again, I would love to work with anyone who is interested and it would be great for some of you to help build my team!

If nothing else, Thirty-One is a fun hobby that offers great merchandise. Most importantly, it's a faith-based company and that makes a huge difference to me (the name itself is taken from Proverbs 31). I truly wouldn't be a part of something that I didn't fully support. I'm looking forward to being with Thirty-One!
(parts of this post were copied from my great sponsor - Ashley Lancaster from

We're Still Here

To anyone who follows our crazy family - we apologize for such a lengthy absence from blogging.  To be honest - I've had plenty to share - but I find that some things are just too darn personal.  This last year has been difficult to say the least - from our adoption, subsequent transitions, and family "stuff", etc. etc. etc.....You know how it goes.

But, all that being said, We are still here.  Alive and well (most days, anyway).  I sat down for a brief moment to catch you up.

School is out (Yay!)  We are still trying to decide where everyone will be next year.  We kinda like our "hybrid" homeschooling.  Some kids go to school now and then - while some stay home.  It all depends on everyone's needs at the time.  Chloe keeps asking to go back to school - she thrives on being out and about.  The boys are asking to come home.  Madison probably needs to go to HS - but she wants to stay home and finish up early so she can get on with her life (can you blame her!).  Annie is happy to do whatever.  So - we shall see......

Lori is doing great.  She is supposed to have her second implant on July 5.  She is learning Sign Language like a pro and still has not responded to her implant like we had hoped.  We are learning to let go of expectations and just take all this one day at a time.  I could write a book about all this - but I'll save that for another day.  I just want to reassure any of our adoptive friends who are reading this - that Adoption is HARD - anyway you slice it.  I would do it all over again - but my advice is to get rid of any and all phantoms you may have about how this new kiddo is going to respond to all that you may throw at them.  They are unique individuals with a history you know very little or nothing about.  Be patient and pray alot!

Jay is ok - lots of back pain these last few months.  Not sure where it's coming from.  Thank the Good Lord this house came with a hottub - he sure does use it.  His job at MoDot remains stable - but we don't know what the future will hold.  More layoffs could be eminent.  We are learning to focus on today and let tomorrow worry about itself.  That seems so cliche - but there's a lot of comfort in that.  Really.

Me - I would still LOVE to write that book I've mentioned before.  The topics I want to write about are really raw and personal - I'm having a hard time putting all these thoughts into words that I'm comfortable with.  We'll see......

The boys are playing ball and loving it.  Sam is a great hitter (2 homeruns so far!) and Jax is a great infielder.  Funny how different they are.

Jay took the boys Turkey hunting at our farm and they got a big one!  They were so excited.  This picture doesn't do it justice because after they shot it - it fell in the ditch and is soaking wet and muddy.  It had an 11+ inch beard and 1 3/8 inch spurs - I don't know much about turkeys - but let's just say you wouldn't want to be caught in a dark alley with a bird this size.  Jay cooked it up and it was so yummy.  I'm so proud of these little men growing up under our roof.

Madison is busy getting her Student Driver's hours and we are so excited to welcome another driver into the brood come October. 

Annie started Acting Camp today at the local university.  She has decided that she wants to be an actress so we are giving her an outlet to try our her "passion".  If God opens these doors for her - I know she'll be amazing on the stage.

Chloe is as fun as ever.  She swims like a fish and we are so blessed to have some beautiful friends who welcome us into their backyard pool almost everyday.  She has a summer full of VBS with friends all planned out. She is a true joy to have around.

Jay and I just celebrated 20 years of marriage.  We are so old.  And we were so blessed to be able to spend a few days in Cancun.  We never took a honeymoon and have always talked about going somewhere tropical - so it was truly a dream come true.  We had a fantastic time and look forward to going back again someday.  It was perfect!

So - there you have it.  The Reader's Digest version of the Lancaster Family adventures over the last 2 months.  We'd love to hear from you.  Send us a note - and Happy Summer!