Yesterday, Scott graduated from UNC with a PhD! We are so very proud of him for sticking with it! What a huge accomplishment! Here are several pictures of our graduate and his proud family. Woo hoo!
Brayden Kenneth Morrison turns 7 years old today! This fun-loving little guy brings such light and life to our family. With his constant little giggle and pep, he keeps us smiling. We are very thankful for this little young man. May he continue to grow in strength and uniqueness! We love you, Brady!
Scott has recently accepted a job at Elon University! (Imagine the Hallelujah chorus playing now) We are so excited! He will be teaching future teachers in the education department there. This week, Scott will defend his dissertation and then the plan is for him to graduate from UNC in mid-May. It has been quite a journey for Scott. He has worn so many different hats (husband, dad, foster dad, soccer coach, editor, soccer player, … I could go on..) while working towards this goal. We are so very proud of his perseverance! Yay!
We are celebrating Julian today. He is a teenager! Oh my!
These days you may find him …. practicing with his Ultimate Frisbee group at Duke School, reading a book, doing homework, hanging out with one of his good friend and neighbor Izzy, reading a book, munching on frozen mangoes, playing Scrabble with Maddie, reading a book, playing his DS, or playing Spades at night with Mom, Dad and Maddie.
We are so thankful for him and we have had a fun day celebrating!
Last year this time, I was still getting them ready each day for their little school.
I could still hug them.
I was still fixing her hair.
We were still singing in the truck together.
We were still reading books together.
We were all still juggling life with the 8 of us.
We were still potty training him.
We still heard the pitter patter of much smaller feet.
It has been 8 months since our two foster children left us. I know I can speak for every person here in our home, we still miss them.
I am reading a book by Jaiya John entitled Black Baby White Hands: A View From the Crib. It is a memoir that I have just begun about John, a black man, that was adopted by a white couple in the late 60′s. Thus far, the reading is rich with American history and John’s poetic telling of his beginnings. I thought of our two little precious foster kids that were here for a year and a half as John wrote about his foster-mother:
I do not know her name, or her essence, but I do know that the nine months I spent in her presence shaped me. I believe that she has passed away, but how I wish I could find her, wrap my arms tightly around her, and thank her for carrying me through my first nine months following birth, the second nine months of my existence. It was in her care that I became more than a pronoun.
Tears came to my eyes when I read those words. It seemed like his words hugged me.
I do wonder if they will remember us.
We helped them through a very difficult time in their little lives.
They were so young.
They may never find their way back to us, but a piece of us is with them and will forever be part of them and their story.
(M & S are currently in the process of being adopted by extended family.)
There was a day I didn’t feel much like going to church. Scott, being heavy laden with his dissertation, was needing to work. Madelyn was at another friend’s home after a sleepover. I was home with three boys recovering from a hectic week.
These three boys were experiencing a morning full of bickering.
I took it upon myself to call the boys together at our kitchen table. I gathered some supplies and put on my old homeschooling mom hat. I wanted to speak to the boys about building each other up, instead of tearing each other down. Whether with our words or actions, it is often easy to forget the feelings of others.
I drew from this scripture from The Message Bible and Our 24 Family Ways by Clay Clarkson ….
I asked the boys, prompted by our devotional, about words that made them feel good. This was their response:
I demonstrated with blocks, focusing on the building up with kind words. Then, I pretended mean and unkind words were tearing the structure down. Our boys, even at 6, 8 and 12, latched on to this imagery. Their words could build up or tear down.
I asked each guy to take paper and a marker and reflect on what we talked about. This is Kalen’s response. It reads, “Instead of knocking kindness down, build them up forever.”
There’s nothing like a good ol’ case of Pneumonia to make life come to a screeching halt.
Let me back up, I have been working, more than ever, outside of our home. It has been absolutely delightful. I have been entrusted with more hours at Central Park School with the kindergarten students and teachers. I totally feel great about being a teaching assistant right now. I am learning so much. With a new appreciation for working mothers, I have been juggling the many demands that come my way with a positive spirit, diligence and thankfulness. Making this shift to be out of the home more has been a very big change for this stay-at-home mom.
Last week, after a full day with Kinders and after attending a birthday party, I started feeling badly. The next day I couldn’t hardly lift my head. I thought I had the flu. Scott and I were alarmed in the afternoon by my overall pitifulness and symptoms. He took me to the ER. After a scary five hours consisting of blood work, an abnormal chest x-ray, and a CT scan…. I was told I had Pneumonia.
I have been resting, resting and resting some more. I don’t feel 100% yet, but I am getting stronger everyday.
I have noticed that when I am down with an illness and as I get better I have a renewed sense of thankfulness for when things are good. Minus this sickness, our lives are full of good and I am reminded to be grateful and seize the day.