Memorial Day

I have always had the utmost respect and love for soldiers and their families.  I have been, personally, touched by family members and friends who have sacrificed to provide my family with the freedom that we have come to enjoy and frankly, take for granted.

This past week….it has been an honor and a privilege to walk along Arlington Cemetary to see all the people who gave their lives for our freedom.  Humbling.

We saw the changing of the guards.  Humbling.

We also were able to see the ceremony that takes place when the wreath is placed.  Humbling.

There was a funeral, taking place….the gun salute.  Humbling.

There were soldiers on black horses with their black carriage, carrying a soldier’s body.  Humbling.

It.  Was.  All.  Humbling.

When you see a veteran or someone who is active in the military.  Shake their hands.  Thank them.  When they are with their families.  Shake their hands too, and thank them as well.  The families sacrifice so very much.

Here are a few pictures from this trip.

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Movies For Sale

If local, will meet, you can pick up or I can drop off.  If mailing, there will be shipping charges.

Thanks.  I will mark them off as I sell them!

$5 each

Because I Said So (PG-13)

The Bodyguard (R)

Dances with Wolves (PG-13)

Days of Thunder (PG-13)

Dejavu (PG-13)

Dirty Dancing 20th Anniversary (PG-13)

Forrest Gump (PG-13)

Friday Night Lights (the movie) (PG-13)

Great Balls of Fire (PG-13)

Happy Gilmore (PG-13)

Hollywood Homicide (PG-13)

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (PG-13)

In Her Shoes (PG-13)

The Island (PG-13)

Jersey Girl (PG-13)

Keeping the Faith (PG-13)

Laws of Attraction (PG-13)

Mystic Pizza (R)

Necessary Roughness (PG-13)

The Notebook (PG-13)

Salt (PG-13)

Shallow Hal (PG-13)

Six Days Seven Nights (PG-13)

Under the Tuscan Sun (PG-13)

Unknown (PG-13)

The Waterboy (PG-13)

What Women Want (PG-13)

Wimbledon (PG-13)

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$8 each

Austin Powers 3-Film Collection (PG-13)

Lethal Weapon 1-4 (R)

Mr. Destiny (PG-13)/Hello Again (PG)/Taking Care of Business (R)

PlayMakers Series (3 Disc Set)

National Lampoon’s Vacation (R)/European Vacation (PG-13)/Vegas Vacation (PG-13)

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$15

Band of Brothers – In tin case, 6 disks

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$60

Justified – Seasons 1-5

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$10 per season or $30 for complete series

Friday Night Lights (tv series) 4 seasons

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Fast and Furious

1, 2, and 3 – $10

4 and 5 – $5 each

6 (Blu-Ray) – $10

Its a PLUMB Giveaway!

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It is another CD giveaway!

My family was really excited to have the opportunity to listen to Plumb’s newest CD.  My daughter took this out of my hand and jammed to it will working on her schooling.  We have all enjoyed this and I am thrilled to be able to give a copy away.  I just asked Peach what she thought of it and her only words were “I loved it.”

Joy.

Remember:  You have to like this post, my facebook post (thebarefoothomeschooler), twitter (barefootHSer), instagram, pinterest, or google+ (thebarefoothomeschooler) to be entered!  The winner’s name will be drawn randomly on May 12, 2015, and the winner will receive a copy of this great CD.

You MUST provide me with your email address so I can contact you.  You can do this by leaving a comment on either of the above places or by emailing me at thebarefoothomeschooler@gmail.com  If you win and I can’t get in touch with you, I will have to draw another name for this fabulous CD!

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About PLUMB:

Tiffany Arbuckle Lee, better-known by her stage name Plumb, is a songwriter, recording artist, performer and author. Plumb has sold more than 500,000 albums and over two million singles worldwide, co-penned songs for numerous other artists, including Michelle Branch, Mandisa, Mandy Moore, Jaci Velasquez, and Natalie Grant, and had music placed in many films and television shows.Originally signed as a Christian Contemporary Music (CCM) recording artist in 1997, Plumb is now known as well as or better in alternative rock, electronic dance music, and for the use of her music in film and television than she is in the CCM market.

About the album:
EXHALE, the seventh studio album from acclaimed multi-genre singer, songwriter and author PLUMB, expresses a new focus and vision. After the runaway success of NEED YOU NOW (the album, title track and book), which coincided with her own moving story of brokenness and ultimately healing, Exhale brims with worshipful songs of gratitude and hope.

The defining concept of EXHALE was born from a sermon at Plumb’s home church, wherein her pastor Pete Wilson expressed the notion that the Church doesn’t exist for itself. Rather, believers come to church to breathe in grace and truth, be changed, and then go out and “exhale” that hope into their surrounding community.

“That idea of exhaling hope hit me right away and I couldn’t get to the Notes section on my phone fast enough. I started writing the chorus of Exhale right then and there,” explains Plumb. “I have been made new by the ultimate hope, and I want to share and exhale that hope in every way I can.”

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S O C I A L • C O R N E R

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Here are the new winner guidelines we for you to use in 2015:

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Adoption: Closed, Semi-Open, Open

These terms can be daunting.  I’m not sure about the other adoptive mamas out there, but when we first embarked on the adoption journey…these terms were never tossed around.

After 8 years being in the adoption world, I am very familiar with each of these things and I stop and look at what they each mean to my family.

In an ideal world, my kids would’ve have been parented by their biological parents (again, my thought process has changed drastically over the years).  My two children’s biological mother would have had a great support system, who would teach her how to properly parent.  My Ethiopian son’s biological mother would’ve been taught basic hygiene, basic first aid, how to garden, how to manage money, and how to live, successfully, in the country that she loves.

The fact is, is that we live in a fallen world.  We all have a choice…whether good or bad.  The reality is, when bad choices are made, there are natural consequences that will occur.  For my two kids…their lives were riddled with all sorts of negative things.  It has changed their lives and shaped who they are and their thought processes.  My ET son…there were medical issues that could not have been avoided.  Death occurred and unforeseen issues came to the surface.

The Lord saw fit for us to bring these three children into our home and into our family.  It has not always been easy.  In my earlier (more stupid) years, I was OVERLY protective and the thought of biological family issues flooding my life or my children’s lives…it simply was not welcome.  I wanted nothing to do with their biological mother or extended family.  I was angry and my mama bear instincts were to protect these kids whom had been hurt so bad.  I wanted CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED adoption.  I wanted no contact, no pictures, no discussions.  Nothing.

With my son, from ET, I yearned for an open adoption.  I knew things, I have a heart for his sweet mama and his brothers and sisters.  An open adoption is not possible due to laws (ET and American) and the fact that an ocean separates us.  This sweet family lives deep in the jungle.  I have no way of getting them anything.  So we hang pictures, we talk about them, we watch videos.  I want my son to know that she loved him so deeply that she gave him life twice.

As I have matured…time has passed….Jesus has worked on my heart.  I have found my son’s siblings.  I have met his sister and spoken with one of his brother’s on the phone.  I have yet to speak with his younger brother, but I really don’t expect to do that until he is much older (his brother, not my son).  I counsel with, encourage, pray over and with these young adults and their younger brother.  I have pictures.  I’ve written down stories they have shared.  I have medical history and birth history.  I am paving the path for a relationship between my son and his biological siblings.

For my daughter, I have found her only biological sister.  I’ve been speaking to her for a few months.  I have learned a few things, but not much.  I do have pictures, so that is good.  I have little medical.  She is not as open to talking to me as my son’s biological siblings.  That is okay, it will happen, in time.  If it doesn’t…I’ve still had the blessing of finding her, counseling some, and praying over her.  Again, the path is being paved.

As for my son’ father….we will never ever have any contact with him. I do have a few pictures, but it is a safety issue and my children’s safety is not worth trying to contact this man.  I know where he is….I really do not want to know anymore.

Their mother, I have never not been in contact with.  I have a heart for her, though it is a guarded heart.  I give her pictures, she calls, I have been to her apartment, I’ve met her new fiance’.  I’ve counseled with, yelled at, been yelled at, hugged, loved, cried with this woman.  I am also in contact with their grandmother and aunt.

I would say that I have a semi open adoption with two of my kids birth family (with the exception of the unsafe father and the father that wants nothing to do with any of us).  People question me, a lot, on why I make the effort.  Why do I search?  Why do I contact?  What is wrong with me?

My answer is simple.  I can never change who my children’s biological family is.  I can’t take that biology away from them.  When the turn 18, they will want to meet them and possibly have a relationship with them.  I won’t be able to stop.  So instead of fighting, dreading, or letting fear control me…I embrace it.  I prepare.  I smooth over the uglies.  I tell my kids that they were loved in the only way they knew to love.  Do they know the bad stuff?  Yes.  I am a firm believer that every child deserves to know his or her story by the time they are 12.  That was one sucky conversation.  I also tell them the good stuff…it may be small…but it is still there.

Why fight something that is inevitable?  It isn’t worth it.  I’d rather Jesus guide my path in the search so I can present all information to my children when the time comes.

With any future adoptions….I will still choose semi adoption or an open adoption.  I would love to be chosen by a birthmom and be able to allow her to be in their child’s life, in a controlled, safe environment.  I would love for grandparents to still be grandparents.  Aunts and uncles to still be aunts and uncles.  I will say, when red flags occur…changes could be made.  Safety is a number one priority.

I may be done with adopting kids…if so….then thankful for the ones I have. If not….I’m in a different place in my life and I’m looking forward to the possibilities of the future :)

Fat Girls and Field Mice

thebarefoothomeschooler:

Just reading this made me chuckle. I am currently hiding under the covers because I cant sleep and Big Daddy is snoring

Originally posted on Bloom Where You Are Planted:

Let’s just pretend you are a fly on the wall……

Here I am, heading to bed when I think to myself….I say “self, you need to get one of those little loves notes from your love note book and put it in Big Daddy’s lunchbox to give him a thrill.”  So, after I had already been upstairs and snuggled in bed….about midnight…I decide that I should do this.

I grab a note and head downstairs being very quiet because….ya know…I think Big Daddy can hear me from across the house, up the stairs, with three fans on and the bedroom door shut.  I’m trying to be very very sneaky.

Once in the kitchen, I realized that his lunchbox was in the pantry.  I open the pantry door and what should run over my feet but a mouse.  The mouse and I had a conversation, but she had already set up…

View original 812 more words

You CAN Help Change a Child’s Life

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My person, Megan, and her family are IN LOVE with this face.  In.  Love.  He has the opportunity to be sponsored, this summer.  In doing that, they need your help IMMEDIATELY.  I, personally, know these sweet people.

We are not all called to adopt BUT we are all called to do something.

Can you do that something?

How much money can be raised.  100% of the funds raised goes towards his sponsorship!

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Message from Megan:

News!!! While I am still trying to raise the funds needed to travel to Ethiopia (hoping to have it all covered before the start of the new year) I have found out some exciting news on our boy (13) Matiwos! He currently is living in an orphanage, with about 200 other children. 

The good news is…he is not only MOWA ready (which if you don’t know what this means it is a huge deal if he is going to be adopted!!) but he is available to host this summer!!! That’s right, he has the chance to come to America for one month this summer!!! It’s an amazing opportunity that not every child gets. We are even more excited to try and raise the funds needed to get him here!

The bad news….we only have one week to raise them!

However, after a generous grant of $500, he only needs $2500 to get to the states. While that may seem like a lot of money for one trip, think about what this would mean to Matiwos…It would mean one month that he didn’t have to worry about going hungry. It would be one month where he took a hot shower every day. One month where he was tucked into bed every night. One month of security, love, and affection. One month where he gets to be a kid. I’d say that one month is worth far more than whats being asked for.

So we ask that you spread the word, pray, and donate! He needs your help and he needs it now!!

We are hoping to, not only, raise the money to get him to the US for sponsorship, this summer…we are hoping to raise and additional $3000 so I can get to Ethiopia and be with him, for a time.

The paypal information is as follows (know this is all tax deductible):

mmiles4@uthsc.edu

Or you can give directly to their agency

VIA CHECK:
Donors MUST attach a note to their check or identify your family’s name in the memo box on the check. Project 143
cannot issue a tax receipt if checks are made out to anyone besides our organization. Checks must contain an email
address to receive donation receipts. Please send checks to:
PROJECT ONE FORTY THREE, INC.
180 Sink Farm Rd., Mooresville, NC 28115
Office: 704-997-6023
Fax: 800-228-7143
Attn: Lisa Kroemer

VIA PAY PAL:
(Note: PayPal receipts also serve as donation receipts for tax purposes.) You can access our Pay Pal donation page
through our website www.p143.org  Click the DONATE button on our front page and proceed through the process of paying
through PayPal. Please allow for fees of up to 3% being taken out of your donation using PayPal. Therefore, the full
amount of your donation will not directly transfer into your hosting account, but rather the donation less the PayPal fees.

Host (HOPE) Families MUST note your family’s name in the comment box so your donation can be easily identified.

Time is Slipping Away

I find that the end of the day has rolled around and I have nothing to show for it :(

That is the thought that swirls and twirls through my mind.  In reality, I know that that isn’t true, but I look around my house and think “how can it *still* smell like pee?

Yes…I said that.

I’m looking at my brand spanking new carpet cleaner, right now.  It is perched in the corner of my living room.  It is so sparkly and shiny that I don’t want to dull that shine with the muck of filthy carpets and dog hair.

Plus…I am sort of famous for catching 8 vacuum cleaners on fire…within 6 months of each other.  Don’t ask cause I just don’t know.  I think they all get together and decide they can’t handle the 6 kids, Big Daddy and all these dogs….so they just sacrifice their little lives and self combust in a last ditch effort to being used too much.

I feel like that, somedays….that I just need to self combust and call it a day.

Sorry, squirrel moment.

Reality is is that child one is rarely home.  She flits in and out of this house like a bandit, in the night.  When she is home, she talks so fast (to catch me up on life) that I only catch every third word.  I find myself, more times than not, just nodding and smiling.  I have no idea what I’m nodding and smiling too..but it is my effort to try and listen.

Child two is 17 and is finding her way.  She is busy right now with finishing schoolwork, babysitting 4 days a week, volunteering one day a week and she just got hired, part-time and that training will be starting this week, as well.

Child three does well to just manage her behaviors and her choices.  I’m proud to say that she is caught up and doing well in her schoolwork and she has been on an upswing, lately..which for a child that struggles with RAD, this is a good good GOOD thing.  There are still moments and those moments suck the life right out of all of us…but we are learning (after 8 years) to manage, admit poor choices, don’t blame others, apologize, and move on.

Child four has baseball two to three times a night.  In one town, while child six has baseball two to three times a week in a separate town. I can’t even begin to describe the logic behind that decision because it is too complicated.

Child five has just completed his Special Olympics track event (he won first in the 100m dash and 2nd in the softball throw). That practice was weekly and the Regionals was an all day event.  He has qualified for state, but probably won’t be attending because it is a three day event in June and I don’t want him to go unattended.  He will be starting karate, soon…so there is another couple of nights out of the week.

So, between therapy, doctors appointments, hearing aid appointments, cooking, schooling, cleaning…I know that I have not been idle.  It is just this house.  This morning, I was looking at the MOUNDS of paperwork yet to be filed because…well…I just haven’t had time (or the desire), so I’ve been piling it up for far too long.  I was determined, today, to tackle that project.

As you can see, because I’m blogging, I didn’t get too far.  I do have it sorted and maybe sort of (completely) strung from one side of my bedroom to the next.  It is organized chaos.  I will get it done.  I know I will.  Eventually, I will get it done.

For now, I sit here…blogging…looking at my sparkly carpet cleaner smiling at me.  I have about 4 unfinished projects because I can’t focus long enough to get one completed.  I have our vacation looming over us and I’m no where near prepared for that undertaking (first massive vacation taken as a family of 8…for 10 days…God help me).  Speech wraps up for kid five, this week…we have a couple of weeks off and then it will a two week trek to therapy where I will sit for 2 hours while he works.  Go ahead, covet…I know you want too.

My dog smells like fish.  My carpet smells like urine.  My toenails need to be painted.  My bedroom has been overtaken by paperwork.  Lola ate my recipes (literally), and I have snot.  Lots and lots of snot.

I’ll get something finished today.  I will.  I will.  I know I will.

Christy Nockels “Let It Be Jesus” CD Giveaway

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Super excited for a CD giveaway!

My family LOVES music.  My son wants to be a Christian rapper when he grows up (Lord, help me).  This has been a joy to listen too and it has been enjoyed by the old people in this house (aka me and Big Daddy), as well as, kids ranging in age from 19 to 8.

Remember:  You have to like this post, my facebook post (thebarefoothomeschooler), twitter (barefootHSer), instagram, pinterest, or google+ (thebarefoothomeschooler) to be entered!  The winner’s name will be drawn randomly and will receive a DIGITAL copy of this great CD.

You MUST provide me with your email address so I can contact you.  You can do this by leaving a comment on either of the above places or by emailing me at thebarefoothomeschooler@gmail.com  If you win and I can’t get in touch with you, I will have to draw another name for this fabulous CD!

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About Christy:
As a worship leader for many years, she has been an integral part of Passion Conferences from its inception in 1997.  She’s seen first hand music sweep people into the presence of God in a powerful way. A pastor’s kid, who was born in Fort Worth and raised in Oklahoma, she grew up singing in church. She met her husband, Nathan, in 1993 at the Christian Artists Seminar in Estes Park, Co. They recorded an independent record with fellow worship leader Charlie Hall under the name Sons & Daughters that led to an invitation from Louie Giglio to participate in the first Passion conference in Austin. Christy’s voice gained a national platform when she and Nathan formed the duo Watermark, recording four acclaimed albums before that musical season ended, paving the way for Christy’s solo career. In 2008, the couple moved to Atlanta to become part of Passion City Church where she serves on the worship team with sixstepsrecords labelmates Chris Tomlin and Kristian Stanfill. The following year, Nockels released her acclaimed solo debut, Life Light Up and spent much of the next two years touring with Tomlin and Passion.
SOCIAL CORNER:
#LetItBeJesus
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Here are the new winner guidelines we shared with you for use in 2015:

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

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