Friday, February 26, 2016

Every stinkin time

Every stinkin time my kiddos make me feel like I am going to loose my ever loving mind God shows me another character of himself.

Imagine that you get up super early, run 3 miles then head to CrossFit where you lift heavy (ok, well heavy for a girl) weights, race home to make a healthy breakfast and get everyone out the door, teach 5 classes-2 bible, 3 art, mostly dealing with fantastic young minds but every now and then have a snot nose come your way, then head to a meeting that you really don't mind being at but wish you could be home tackling that load of laundry....and then the first thing you hear when you finally get home and sit down for the first time since lunch (and maybe not even then) is that your 5th grader took his friends shoe and microwaved it when the teacher stepped out in the hallway.
Awesome right.
The kind of day I want to happen over and over.
There are other aspects like lying about the details, bragging about it to older kids, sassing his daddy in the process etc, etc. but I mean dang. This is also after a week of 3 other marks for things like disobedience, not following instructions, not having the right uniform on, etc, etc.

But then when you begin to think through this long day you have had of teaching, organizing a 500 entry art competition, repeating yourself over and over and reminding students that the pencils don't grow legs, they are still in the pencil remind yourself of how long and awful your day has been and now this little stinker makes it even worse with his awful horrible sin nature...............God whispers quietly (as you yell)......but I died for that sin, so bring it to me......... I feel that way when you constantly sin and constantly disobey are not any better than that little 5th grade boy, in fact you are far worse and YET..I still love you both, a whole lot and I wouldn't change a thing when I sent my son to die for your stinkin, rotten sin...or his stinkin, rotten, melty school shoe sin.

Its funny how our children lead us to the throne of grace, seeking forgiveness and wisdom, discernment between punishment and discipline, how to speak love yet firmly let them know that their obedience matters. Its funny how after 2 days that 5th grade boy cried out for his birthmom saying things like " i bet she has changed, I want her to so I can see her heaven". "I know what adults who disobey do, I know the decisions they make, I know what happened".....When in fact he has no clue that we pray for her salvation constantly, we want nothing more. When in fact he doesn't have a clue what happened and until he wants to know we will never disclose the awful CRAP he went through before CPS stepped in. Its so hard to let him miss her, we have too, but to let him miss her and think that he would better off with her when he has no clue what he was saved from. And not saved by us, saved by a God who knew that this little boy would need a family who could just offer him a chance and offer him a God who forgives everything, repeatedly. Its hard when he only misses her when we discipline him and tends to suggest that she wouldn't be so hard on him or that he is acting this way because of her decisions. Its such a fine line to walk, its so hard to keep quiet and not slip out a "SHE HURT YOU, SHE MADE AWFUL DECISIONS, YOU SHOULD KNOW HOW BLESSED YOU ARE, DON"T YOU SEE". Instead God allows us to remind him that God has given him a chance to share his story and talk about adoption from an earthly and kingdom perspective. Instead we tell him that she she didn't know what she was doing and that she did the best she could. Instead we tell him that he has to pray for her salvation and that we love her (and we do) for allowing us the chance to be parents. It just so he gets older I am sure he will demand more answers..he already did last weekend...and I guess when he is ready we will need to be to. Until then we will keep letting him cry into our shoulders, encouraging him to miss her but to remember how blessed he is and that our discipline equals love.

Today is Adam's birthday. He was content to get a healthy version of his favorite dessert Blueberry Fluff made into a Paleo Blueberry Chocolate Protein breakfast bread..that I must say was fantastic. We gave him a new Columbia Auburn shirt, he got lots of cards at school and lots of phone calls. He chose dinner tonight which was our favorite Mediterrean place. I LOVED that not one of us wanted to finish our fact we brought home two bags of food and Adam said he just wasn't used to that much food anymore....Veggies/Fruits and good protein fill you up too but you don't feel sluggish afterward and we all hit that wall very quick....even ordering lamb/salad/babganoush!

So Happy Birthday to my love....thank you for parenting with me. I wouldn't trade our children or their stories for anything. I love the home you have helped me build and the leadership you give to our home. I love you for teaching Goober to be a man but letting him cry into you. Thank you for making me look fantastic in their eyes and complimenting me to the point of annoyance :). Thank you for spending time with our kiddos, not money on them. Thank you for loving my family and being a best friend to my brother...I am eternally grateful to have you both in my life as strong men who lead. Thank you for loving me and seeking me out over 10 years ago. Thank you for not letting me break up with you and showing up at my door step to end the long-distance relationship :). Thank you for the integrity you show in every single compartment of your life...honestly, you are one in a million.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Another Gotcha Day

February and March are full of celebrations for us....gotcha days, homecoming days, birthdays, sometimes Easter and always Spring Break.

Today is Baby Boy's gotcha day and every year I am taken back to how exhausting it really was...Its never lost on me how HARD we worked to get his adoption finalized before he turned one year old....even at the courthouse that day we had to stand firm and do some begging and lots of praying. It was also one of the most emotional days and embarrassing days as our children really showed themselves after being cooped up in a courthouse for hours. I remember it as the one time that I have ever felt like a young stupid parent....I have had others treat me that way...but I felt we played the part well that day.

We had some close friends of ours go through the loss of a birth mom this past week......, our daughters are in the same kindergarten class and the dad and I have taught together for 6 years. The birth mom of their daughter died unexpectantly and now they are traveling to Memphis for the funeral. Our heart breaks for them because they had an open adoption and things seemed to be going well. It also allowed us to talk through some thing with our kiddos. There is no doubt in my mind that if our birthmom died and we could we would take them to the funeral....I would hate to think about them not having closure or not being able to tell her goodbye. I still have trouble remembering sometimes if my grandma Coleman is alive or not because I didn't make it to her funeral..its like an open ended conversation that I wish I could have closed out. I don't want that for my kids and I want them to know that we value life and we value the gifts she gave us....we love her for those three gifts.

This weekend we celebrated Baby Boy's upcoming 4th birthday as well. We had about 80 guests...GEE WHIZ...join us at the school gym for bounce houses, light saber wars, cake and ice cream. We even had a special guest join us for 24 hours..UNCLE CHRIS...drove all the way from Arkansas for a literal 24 hours just so he could be at Baby boy's birthday....what a gift, what a blessing, what a special thing to do for your my little brother and his heart for my kiddos. We sure did miss our Aunt Micah who was helping with a baby shower!!!!

The kiddos are all kind of in their groove right now...we have Ribbit in gymnastics, Baby Boy in karate and Goober back in baseball. They are pretty good at going to each others events and I love that they teach one another about it later. I also love that they are interested in mommas love of running, after my first race with Goober I was hooked...therefore Ribbit and I are running the 1 mile Easter Fun Run in Fort Worth the day before Easter...we even have matching runnings capris and headbands...(a gift from a sweet mom at CCA who is always encouraging me!!!).

Oh favorite topping to spinach or kale!

We make energy bites every week...almond or cashew butter, ground almonds and dates, paleo choc chips, shredded coconut!

One of their favorite snacks!

Adam and I really like these protein muffins made with carrots, sweet potatoes, protein powder, nut butter and cranberries!!!

Loving me some Crossfit..somedays I have the best times, other days I don't...but anyday that deadlifts are invovled and I finish is a good day...I AM SHAKY SHAKY...but I want to lift those big weights :).

tofu noodles, peppers and spinach...topped with a fried egg with a runny yolk...OH YEAH!

Turkey/zucchini meatballs, fried kale, roasted cauliflower with tumeric and melon!!! Kids tore this up!

Daniel sticker for not "fighting" while they were playing superheros at school!

Another favorite of ours is mixing tuna with avocado..I have never liked mayonaise and what is better than a creamy avocado? Plus, roasted broccoli and carrots and paleo dinner rolls...SOOOO GOOD!!! 

One of my favorite soups to make....butternut squash, carrots and red peppers....HEAVENLY!!

Beautiful color!!

We have found that we love roasted rainbow radishes and sweet potatoes with salsa!

Daniel sticker for kindness

More Monster bread...about to be St. Pattys bread!!!

Stretching before the big race!!!

We were both a little nervous...his first race and me trying to get the last two miles of my half marathon in under 19 minutes to finish the whole thing in under 2 hours. Which I 4 whole minutes!

Stinker told me he didn't feel like sprinting at the end and then he tore off.

I was so happy to have this memory with my boy!

We both won our age group..I also won 1st for all females in the race.

Later that night at the rodeo!

Our dearest friends the Eberts and doing life with them!!!

Don't forget to always cook paleo bread in a parchment liner..the flours are stickier and cling to all pans regardless of butter or coconut oil!

Blonde monster bread...this one with lots of cashew butter!!!

Spaghetti squash with an avocado/spinach sauce!!

Homemade coconut milk ice cream with grilled nectarines and blueberries....I heard the kids tell their babysitter that this was the best dessert they ever had...YUMMY!

Cauliflower fried "rice" with peppers and onions and lots of fried eggs. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Love is...

I totally stole that title from another blog I read..but it seemed to fit.  Happy Valentines Day...Adam and I got away for the night and ate at Cheesecake Factory. Then we headed over to watch the movie 13 hours about Benghazi....ahh, super frustrating and super inspiring at the same time!

Love is finding friends who will run 10 miles with you in 32 degree weather starting at 5 am on a Saturday. We rocked it!

Love is spending the whole day with your girl, getting pedicures, attending a Frozen themed tea, having fun at a birthday party and then ending the night with SUSHI!!!

Love is Elsa's magic frozen hot chocolate!

Love is mommy and daughter sharing the "tickle" gene when anyone comes near our feet :)

Love is having a daughter who wants to try new food and can't wait to  "be like mommy" and eat sushi!!

Love is a creator who constantly shows his love for us in the most amazing ways!
Love is men who invest in my men. Mr. Delph is the epitome of what a disciple maker should be. I am so thankful for his investment in my kiddos and husbands life!

Big Man was not so sure about the mascot.

Love is realizing that it takes a village as your youngest receives the Daniel Award for the month of January. GREAT JOB BIG MAN!

Love is having your little boy show obedience and reverence at school!
Love is having family who live really far away celebrate your Daniel Award with you!!!!

Love is girlfriends who will drive 1.5 hours with you to shop and spend the day nurturing each others souls..and LOVE IS ABSOLUTELY THE DADDIES WHO WATCH THE KIDDOS ALL DAY!!
Love is having your not so little brother be a man that you are super proud of and inspired by!

Love is being able to laugh at life's greatest triumphs and deepest struggles with your best friend. So glad to have him by my side.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Thinking Out Loud

That's what most of my post are anyways, just me thinking out loud..or rambling is more like it.

Goober may have broken his wrist, he caught himself as he fell at recess. The doctor who x-rayed it thinks one bone may be broken so we are waiting for the second opinion to let us know on Monday..probably more like Tuesday since Monday is a holiday (THANK YOU JESUS). Goober was already scheduled to go to his first church lock-in this weekend, which was already giving me eye twitches and then add in this potential broken wrist and I was a wreck...I threatened everyone within an inch of their life that if they rough housed with Goober they would hear it from me..I was nice about it but they all knew I was dead serious...and I meant it when I said " Goober, I will come up here at 2:15 in the morning and spank you in front of God and everybody if I hear you are playing dodgeball or basketball"...his two favorite things to do at church.
I got real Southern real quick.

I just picked him up, he is fine.

We had a yard sale today. It was #1 of probably 3 we will have this year...I can't stand clutter. Since I was sick last week I went through closets like a crazy women. Miracles still happen because we SOLD everything...a guy walked up and bought what was left for $5...which for us is $5 worth of gas saved from taking it all to Goodwill. This also means that the yard sale closet is CLEAN, the kids closets have only the clothes that fit them or will fit them AND we even sold extra pieces of furniture in preparation to redo the boys rooms this summer. Promptly after that we took our  money and went to The Container Store....Elfa is 30% off until tomorrow and we had a gift card. We completely redesigned Ribbit's walk in closet and it will all be ready to pick up tomorrow.....Now she has NO EXCUSE for the disaster area that is currently her room. I get goosebumps just thinking about Elfa!!!!!

I have gained so much respect for my treadmill over the past few weeks. Between being sick and it being FRIGID COLD I have been able to keep up my mileage on my own terms...I kinda hated it this summer but only because I would rather run outside in the heat...but I can't do the freezing cold..anything below 40 and I am out..its like my lungs freeze and I become a walker real quick. Also, CrossFit is not for wimps, I repeat not for weenies...I have never been more aware of my two individual butt cheeks than after this past week's Friday WOD. We did Turkish get-ups with kettle bells and Curtis P's (torture) with bars...and that my friend was the WARM UP. Then we did hang cleans for 300 meters and back...and in between 102 lunges holding a 65 lb bar in the hang clean position. By #50 I was shaking and breathing harder than I have ever done while sprinting....I never do this but I told Leianne "do not talk to me!!" I knew I was hurting this morning when I woke up but my students confirmed it. I met 5 of them at the school to paint sets for the musical and one of them said "No offense, Mrs. Harvell but you are walking like a cowboy"...yeah, it hurts to do all things involving living.


It almost got ugly at Ribbit's Mothers Valentine Tea this year. Her teacher whipped out the book" Love you Forever" and as Ribbit cuddled closer and pulled my hands tighter around her I immediately started crying. Her teacher did too, as she was reading it, like big can't talk cry and the room full of moms was GONE. I can't read that book to my kids, and every time I even hear the title I think of the poem Goober wrote me 2 years ago that is still on the fridge.
"Ill love you forever, Ill like you for always, As long as I'm living, My mommy you'll be......Thank you for cooking for me"...Stinker!

My kids have declared that our Paleo Ice Cream is better than Braums....Maybe?....I'm not 100% convinced but I do know we all don't wake up racing to the bathroom in the morning!!!! I make it with Coconut Milk, Cinnamon and some Almond or Cashew Butter...add some warmed up blueberries or nectarines on top and its darn tootin good!!!!

Adam has A LOT of gray hair...and I think they all grew in overnight. I didn't notice them until we were sitting at Trinity and Tyler's wedding last week in the bright sunlight and I really had a freak out. He seemed to already know about them but I was shocked. I am not ready for gray hair..some wrinkles are very attractive around the eyes, the one or two chest hairs he grows a year are just fine, our ability to be wore out by 6:15 pm is understandable but GRAY HAIR....NO SIR!!!!!!  I know he will be a hottie with gray hair but shouldn't they come one at a time and not all at once?

Our children are not consistent. They have been getting Daniel stickers one day, then notes home the very next day. Ribbit is now known as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air as she showed up on picture day, changed her socks and shoes and had to be strategically placed in the back row of her class picture when she is the shortest kid by two feet. Apparently she does everything she can to violate or add to the uniform policy, thus the nickname.  (I may be at fault as I let her put on lipstick, paint her nails in rainbow patterns and let her wear 5 different bows if she wants all at once).When I read the text from her teacher dubbing her the Fresh Prince of Bel Air though I had to ask Adam to take over the discipline while I laughed into the microwave.

Paleo Blueberry Lemon Almond Bread!! YUMMY

Carrots, Almond crusted salmon and zucchini...YUMMY!!!

You know you have a true best friend we she pushes the 4 youngest in one cart while you shop together :). This ended with her daughter asleep in her arms, me pulling and pushing and Sprouts knowing all of our kiddos names :)

I love partner workout day at and Leianne (blonde from picture above) kick butt..we beat times and didn't take the "modified" version he offered to the ladies :).

Do you see Mark Cuban standing up in the crowd?

We got great seats to a Mavs Game from one of Adam's contractors!

It took a couple of batches but I have mastered Paleo tortillas!

Goobers favorite Paleo breakfast..Blueberry Honey pancakes and a banana!

I love to use my crockpot! Slow cooked carrots, onions and shredded chicken over spinach..I probably topped this with salsa or hot sauce...we also like the same version of this with pork...everyone gobbles it up!!!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Sick Days

I'm at home again today. I stayed home yesterday after finally listening to my body ...and my husband ...oh and Urgent Care. I have a double ear infection, sinus infection and bronchitis ...I'm on 4 meds ..but I honestly don't have time to be sick. I actually knew I was sick for at least a week but couldn't find time to deal with it...until I threw up all over myself Saturday night while having a coughing fit. I did rest most of Sunday after getting back from Urgent Care and picking up meds. Wednesday morning I hit a wall and decided to stay at home and rest.

Today, my youngest decided to give me another 1/2 day at home to rest. He woke up complaining of his ear hurting. We took his temperature, nothing and sent him back to bed. He honestly seemed fine this morning but around 10:30 we got the phone call from the nurse that he was still complaining of an earache and now had spiked a fever. So we are at home, waiting to check sister out of school and head to Fort Worth for a doctor visit at 4. I am somewhat grateful for another day of rest..but my days of rest really look like cooking meals for the week, cleaning out closets and catching up reading for professional development.

It always works out that we can't ever all be sick at the same time...1 or 2 days apart and just enough to throw off our whole week. It always happens to be a very busy week at school and socially...meh, we will get through it.

Hanging out with Adam's best buddies from high school.

I'm so thankful for Adam and Matt's relationship.

One of my favorite snacks. Banana with shredded dates and almonds on top.

We let her pick out her clothes for church on Sunday...she gives Punky Brewster a run for her money!

We love acorn squash bowls...bacon, spinach and creamy squash!

Pea puree, pork, dates and apples.

This cute little thing started gymnastics and LOVES it!

Spinach, pork, homemade guacamole, pineapple and salsa...YUM

Running with my group...until I got sick, I have been running indoors to recover.

Nerd Day at school....I think we got it covered!

Someone got a Daniel Sticker for obedience. 

Team Day!

Eating lunch with my kiddos, Ribbit loves energy bites!

Movie Character Day!

Another sweet Daniel award for showing kindness!

School Spirit Day!


Our sweet friends!

A little too cool for his momma somedays :)