Thursday, August 28, 2008

The little things that make Homeschooling fun

Earlier this week the boys and I were engaged in our Unit Study on Lighthouses. I was reading a story to them from the book: Lighthouses for Kids. The story was an example of how lighthouse families had to become resourceful with their medical care. It told of a family who lived at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse station and the fun that the siblings would regularly have running up and down the iron spiral staircase of the lighthouse. Now, we walked up those stairs during our trip to OBX, and Wyatt was NOT impressed. He is not fond of heights in the first place and just the sight of those winding, open stairs which looked as though they were floating in space was enough to send him running the other way. He overcame his fear and eventually climbed to the top, but it was not without its drama. Isaac, on the other hand, looked as though some secret "Isaac language" had just been spoken and he lit up, exclaiming, "WOW! That would be fun!" Wyatt looked at him with clear disdain and just shook his head.
On with the story... One day, while the children were running up and down the stairs, one of the younger brothers FELL down the stairs and bit his tongue so hard that only a small piece of the tongue was barely hanging on. "Daddy took the scissors that he used to trim the wick and cut it off" recalled Vernon Gaskill-- the older brother. "It didn't affect his speech any but he had a little less tongue than he had before."

Isaac immediately clapped both hands over his mouth and all you could see where those big brown eyes of his, wide open with shock and horror. Wyatt sat grinning in his chair with a look of total triumph over his rightness to be concerned about even being on such dangerous stairs. When the story was over, I looked at Isaac, waiting for his reaction. Finally, after several seconds, he barely uttered, "I like my tongue just how it is, in my mouth." He slunk down in his chair, a bit dejected and that was the end of that.

Grace and Peace,

Monday, August 25, 2008

All the several things

I know I said in my last post that there were several things I wanted to post about. Honestly, I don't really want to post about them, because it is hard to think about sad things happening and feeling so out of control and unable to help or cause a change. But, I want to keep those of you who read this blog for adoption updates and information to be... well... informed.

Last week, one of the families who had their referral for an infant girl received news that their daughter was sick with pneumonia and in the hospital. Sadly, the next morning, they learned that their baby didn't make it through the night. She was only 3 1/2 months old and the family had their referral for her for a little over 20 days prior to her getting sick. I know that I already hold my children deep in my heart and long for their arrival-- though I have never seen them, or know anything about them, they are already a part of our family. Please pray for this sweet family as they grieve this loss of a child never seen (other than pictures), but dearly treasured.

The second "several things" involves one of my bloggy friends whose daughter is undergoing treatment for Pott's disease-- tuberculosis of the spine. Right now, her daughter is in a body cast from her hips to the top of her neck. In October, she will undergo a surgery and then it is just one step at a time to see how to proceed. You can read about them here Please keep this family in your prayers as well. Apryl has such a positive outlook and I know God is sovereign in all things. This is good. That is why He is God and I am not :).

The final of "several things" is more about me learning how to exhale. It seems that as each week passes, I inhale more and exhale less. Like I am holding my breath for the big crash that could happen at any moment. What crash, you say? Good question, I am trying to define that as I write. But really, I think what it boils down to is living too much in the future and the past-- and not really living at all in the moment. I won't give you all the boring details of the "past" or the "future", but I will say that if you mix those two things together with this annoying personality trait I have of craving "perfect"... there you have it. CRASH!!!! And if I had a quarter for every time someone said to me, "Shari, you are too hard on yourself," I would have so much money that we could wipe out hunger, sickness and disease in ALL of Africa, let alone Ethiopia!!! :)... Hmmm... maybe I should start charging...

Well, I wasn't really going anywhere with that last "several things", except to maybe say-- pray for me, too. I could use some "faithful prayers" from some "righteous saints" (James 5:16). For some reason, I seem to be more like the seed sown in the thorns, than the one sown in the fertile soil (Matthew 13:22) . But, I know that my God is faithful and mighty to save, and if He can clothe the lilies so perfectly-- and I am worth more to Him than all the lilies in the field (this is the Shari Dragovich translation-- you should look into it)-- then I know He is already taking care of EVERYTHING in my life and the lives of my loved ones... perfectly (Matthew 6:25-34).

So, those are all the several things. All rolled up into one theme only. Pray.

Grace and Peace,

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pretty neat video

There are several things I want to post about--most all of them adoption related. However, this video was sent to me this morning and I thought it was a really neat way to start my day, so I wanted to share it with you.

It seems that I have no idea how to post a video correctly from You Tube. The video is there, in the blank space above (I am assuming you see the blank space above, because that is what I see). Just run your clicker over it and the Play button will show up, then you can play it. Sorry. I just don't know how to do these things!

Grace and Peace,

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lemonade for Baby

Over the weekend my oldest son came to me and said, "Mom, is it okay if we (brothers and friend) set up a lemonade stand?" Hmmm.... how much effort will this require from me? Do I really want to invite this extra work? Can I legitimately say no???? Hey, I never said I was a perfect mother!

"Sure, Wyatt. Sounds Great!" Lie. He leaves happy and all is well. I am hoping he forgets about it. No such luck. Sunday afternoon, he came to me again asking if he and the boys could start their lemonade stand now. Go for it, I say, just knowing that the flood of "Help, Me!" was getting ready to start. I was trying to clean the house for a meeting we were having at our home that night and just catch up with life after starting school last week. I really didn't think I had time for this. But, to my delight, they required very little help and off they went to make some profits-- after they paid me back for the lemonade, of course-- yes, people, I confess. That was my feeble attempt at trying to detour their efforts for the day. Did I mention I'm not always at the top of my game???

They ended up doing very well for themselves. I guess Wyatt dispersed the troops to knock on doors and let people know they were selling lemonade for .25 a cup. Most people gave them a dollar or two for a glass and they ended up with over $9 after a couple hours of setting up the stand. It was very cute. I was proud of them-- and yes, a little ashamed of my earlier thoughts.

When they were all done, Wyatt came to me and said, "Here, Mom. We are giving you all the money." "No, Wyatt. Mommy wasn't serious about making you pay me for your start up costs. I was just being silly. I'm very proud of you. Just make sure you divide it evenly between the boys." He persisted. I persisted back. Tony walked in the room and persisted with him even more.

Finally, he looked at me and said; "No Mom. We all decided. We want to help you and Dad pay for our adoption. It's to bring our babies home. You have to take it. We all agreed. It is what we decided."

Tears. Foolish me. Thank you, Father for the heart of children.

Grace and Peace,

PS. We now have an envelope tucked in a safe place, filled with Lemonade money... waiting for the day we can use it to buy a first baby blanket, special stuffed animal or outfit for our newest member/s-- not so well known, but so well loved.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Gatlinburg, TN

How do I even begin to describe our time in Gatlinburg, TN??? I won't say too much, because I think that all of the memories are hidden very deep in my heart and no words can describe richly enough all the wonderful sights, experiences and-- most importantly-- family moments we were able to have. From the time we walked into our cabin, till the final day we stepped out to come back home, there was peace and joy and laughter and life together with my people :)... ALL my people!

Below are some pictures that just highlight some of what we did. No pictures of the Dollywood Water Park day-- we were having too much fun "ridin' the waves". And, fortunately my sister has the pictures of the "sibs' night out" in which I was coerced into karaoke. If she ever sends them my way I MIGHT post a few just so you can have a chance to laugh in your day-- good thing a picture doesn't actually offer sound!!!

Believe it or not (ha! Too much Ripley's stuff from last week!), we had our own resident bear who came to our cabin 3 times looking for food. Sadly, we think that some one before us had fed that bear-- as well as the raccoons who I'm pretty sure lived under the porch!-- and so now he has a place he tries to go. This is so bad for the bears and of course, dangerous for humans. My mom took the boys to the black bear talk at the National Park on Friday and they came home with story after story of people who make poor choices concerning these mighty creatures. Something that I knew, but was wonderful to have my boys learn this from an "official park ranger" was that any time a bear makes human contact, the bear must be put down-- even if no harm came of the interaction (of course, this is assuming that the right people find out about it and the bear can be tracked). At the point of human interaction, the bear will now continually seek human contact for food and becomes more aggressive over time. In fact, my husband just shared with me tonight that a father and his nine year old son were mauled by a bear yesterday in the National Park. I don't know the details. I will try to find the story and post a link. Very tragic.

Let's see... I said I would keep this short. HA!!! I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking :D!!

Aaahhh.... it's good to be in the Smokies!
Tony and I at the top of Mt. LeConte-- our 11 mile hike day

Kevin and Emi Jo (my younger sibs) too close to the edge!

At the top of Ober Gatlinburg-- we just conquered the alpine slide

Our destination on Friday-- Mt. LeConte-- 2800 ft. up in 5 miles

My dad and Kev one mile into hike

Are we going THROUGH a rock?? No, just under Arch Rock

My boys-- goin' to the waterfall you can walk behind

Nana and Papa are SO COOL!!

at Ripley's Aquarium-- they Love the military!! SUPER discounts!!

DAD!! GET out of our PICTURE!

Sam turned 5 in Gatlinburg, TN

One of our cabin raccoons. They think they are cats.

See what I mean?

Mom, take the picture already! We have some hiking to do!

I dunno... Lewis and Clark maybe?

Do you really wonder how I got pulled into karaoke??

Oh, and if you ever get a chance to go to Gatlinburg, you HAVE to spend some time at the Arts and Crafts Community. I found much artwork to admire-- Jim Gray and Nancie Bush in particular, beautiful pottery, blown glass, copper art, hand-sewn moccasins and a teddy bear made from a vintage chenille beadspread and buttons which made me think of babies in Ethiopia... which made me cry :). I can't wait... but I will :)

In other Team Dragovich news... we started school on Monday. Nothin' like coming home from vacation and diving right in!! We are in our "new" homeschool room and I am loving it!! I am just missing my desk (on order), curtains (on thought) and some bird paintings from Gatlinburg (on savings!). And the funnest thing that happened to us since we got home is getting to see the Coens!!!!! Amazingly, one of the families who went through the same adoption agency we are using and have had their little boy, Silas, home for 3 months now, just moved to Ft. Bragg last month!!!! It was such fun meeting Jill and being able to laugh and say, "Now we don't have to just be cyber friends! :D" That is too cool. They live 10 minutes from our house.

God is GOOD and His mercies endureth FOREVER!!!!
Grace and Peace,