Monday, August 8, 2011

It's Already August????

Aubree is currently sitting in my lap as I blog. I have a feeling this will be a VeRy short post. She seems to approve of the pictures I chose to include, though.

Seems to me it was a short summer but short. I usually have a lot more done in my classroom by now. We are to report to school Wednesday, so I've got to get my room organized before then. Otherwise, I will be quite far behind! Family time has been a priority, so I am OK with being behind right now...

We went to San Antonio last week, and it was a nice getaway for the family. Michael was still in summer session, so we missed him being with us. We shopped for school necessities at the outlet malls...went to Sea World...enjoyed the River Walk and enjoyed each other's company. Drew fed dolphins (Aubree watched). Aubree met Elmo and got her picture made with him (Elmo is her favorite!) We all got to see an impressive Shamu show too. The water park at Sea World was a big hit too. Aub continues to experience a lot of 'firsts' in her little life. I love to watch her expressions as she sees the wonder in so many things I tend to take for granted or overlook.

Aub thinks I've been on this computer long enough. So I'll close by saying God bless all of you that care enough to check in on the Porters. We are blessed indeed.

I've been away from my computer lately. Look forward to catching up with all my blog friends.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Blog Webpage Problems...

I've noticed that several blogs I follow have a small number of page views and others have a very large number. Why is that? I am not up to speed on all the ways to get people to find your site, but I hope some of you are! When I first started this blog, it was so helpful to me and others...a way to connect with people with interest in our family's story or experience in adoption. We even met some folks that were in Vladivostok the SAME time we were...what a blessing. At this point, page hits are very low and perhaps I just need to take the blog down again.
I noticed today that my counter is not showing up either.
Basically, I want to continue to connect with others because I am passionate about getting as many of these precious orphans in loving homes as possible. People need to know the need. For me, it started with a simple donation to Shoes for Orphan Souls....and my life will never be the same. : )

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Study on patience this week

This past week, our ladies bible study worked through patience in our Fruit of the Spirit study. And believe me, I had plenty of opportunities to practice what I studied in my homework!
Jason hurt his back a few weeks back and was in the hospital for 4 days. He had 4 bulging discs and was in a lot of pain. Thankfully, we have been told that surgery will not be required. He will go through pain management and physical therapy. That week, I was bouncing between staying with him in the hospital and spending time with the kids. We have no family that live close enough to help us with our kids, so friends came to the rescue again! I am so grateful for the outpouring of love and prayers.

As a teacher, I have several 'projects' to get completed before school starts each summer, and being the planner that I am, this situation (and several others, actually) have derailed my plans. I have yet to complete ONE of my projects. I've had several pity parties battling my flesh...quite ugly. I'm glad none of you witnessed them! This study is helping me let go of unhealthy habits/reactions/thoughts. God is certainly growing me right now in my life, and I am so glad He loves me this much.

Each day's homework was excellent, but I want to share a little insight I gained from the day we focused on forgiveness.

Why forgive?

*Unforgiveness encumbers so that I cannot keep step with the Holy Spirit. It's like carrying a heavy load.

*God's Word calls me to forgive (examples: Luke 6:37 and Matt. 6:14-15).

*I must forgive for my own sake. Referring to the parable from Matt. 18:15-35, the first servant was tortured until his debt was paid in full. The second was only jailed. The truth is this: both were imprisoned by the first servant's lack of forgiveness and mercy, but only one was tortured. Unforgiveness tortures the person who harbors it.

*Failing to forgive provides Satan with opportunity to take advantage (IICor. 2:10, 11).

*I must forgive because I am not the only ones bound by the unforgiveness (Romans 8:28). Christ has a purpose in the pain I've suffered or He would have never allowed it. God will create ministry from my misery if I let him (IICor. 1:3-7).

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Time is such a gift...give it!

Today I visited a dear family friend in the hospital. Though I intended to stay for only a few minutes (she was in the middle of lunch!), we talked on and on about her health and our families...until her lunch was ice cold, but she didn't complain. It was so good to see her eyes shine. I haven't seen that in a long time. She is determined to make the necessary changes to improve her health. We made plans to get together soon. Her attitude was great, especially considering she has been in the hospital almost two weeks now. As I walked away from our visit, I was reminded of the gift of time. By spending that time with her, she was encouraged and so was I! Why do I, so often, make excuses instead of making time for people/activities that are important to me or to others?

My sister, Cathy, is a perfect example of someone that has become a pro at giving the gift of time, and it has endeared her to countless acquaintances, clients, friends, and family members. Others are drawn to her, I believe, in part because Cathy makes time for them without constantly checking her watch. She goes out of her way to show others that they are important. No matter how busy she is, (and believe me, this girl is always busy!) she always answers her phone when I call. When I need to vent, she doesn't hurry me. During Drew's baseball season this year, she came to several games, high heels and all....and she lives out of town. As an entertainer, she frequently gives her time to sing at retirement homes and various events. These are just a few of the ways she has enriched her own life by enriching others' lives. She looks for opportunities to encourage and compliment without expecting any gain but the joy of giving, and her smile is bright! No wonder every time Aubree swipes my phone, she tells me she is going to call 'Ca-Ca'. See...even my two year old can sense it.

There are several others in my life that give that precious gift of time, too.

This was on my heart tonight. Anyone know a great giver of time in your life? If so, comment please. I downloaded some recent pictures, so I'll add a few to this post too.

Blessed to be a blessing,


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

All Star Tournament...Here We Come

Drew was chosen for his age group's All Star baseball team. We will be traveling in just a bit to watch...his Daddy is the coach. Aub will, obviously, serve as head cheerleader.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

June update...

Aubree has enjoyed swimming lessons tremendously this week. The first day was difficult, but I remember having the same experience when Drew was in swimming lessons at that age. Now she is much more comfortable. Instead of coming up out of the water with buggy eyes of fear (the first day), she is coming up out of the water with buggy eyes and the biggest smile on her face! I have to laugh when I see her so happy with another accomplishment during lessons. There is a lot to learn in only three weeks. Beginning on the second day of lessons, I promised her a piece of gum after swimming lessons every day when she follows Mrs. Susan's directions, and she hasn't let me forget about my promise! It's amazing how smart these little ones are.

Drew's baseball team, the Athletics, finished the season 11-0-1...very impressive. Closing ceremonies are next week, and we will find out who has been chosen for the All-Star team. He also participated in a local basketball camp this week. My little athlete is having quite a summer already.

Jason surprised me with a new washer/dryer set the other day. Our old set had a variety of problems (missing parts in dryer drum, 3 runs to dry 1 load, washer making VeRy loud noises during spin cycle). Those machines were on their last leg. But that is a big investment, so I was OK with waiting until I could get the set I wanted. It was a nice if I can just figure out how to work all the bells and whistles! These machines are not what they used to be, for sure.

The kids wanted to make a playhouse out of the washer box. We cut a window and a door out. I am glad I took a few pictures of our creation because late in the afternoon, it rained!!!! rained!!!!! The playhouse didn't last, but we needed the's been months. Praise God!

We are trying to figure out an inexpensive getaway for the family this summer. We have a time share, but all the destinations we could choose from are far from home. That would end up costing more than we really need to spend this summer. We live in west Texas. Any of you have any suggestions? We want to make memories, not spend too much.

I have included a few photos. Notice Aub's earrings. So cute!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Two Big Events in Lil' Aub's World

Jason had the weekend off so we decided to head to the big city to get a jogging stroller (it's a lifesaver for Aub AND me! more shaking us to pieces on our long walks). Aubree calls her stroller her 'car'...and now she's got a more comfortable ride.
We went to the mall to take care of one thing I've been anxiously awaiting and dreading at the same time...ear piercing. Aubree sat in Daddy's lap and was a very big girl. She didn't cry until the contraptions pierced her ears (good thing they did both at once!). Aubree cried for about a minute, but was OK when Mama kissed both of her ears. She melts my heart when she says, "All better" in her cute little voice. Mama's kiss can cure the owies. She was pleased to see the finished product. We now have matching earrings, and we think that's pretty neat.
Today was the start of swimming lessons. Another big deal in her life. I've only seen Aubree scared in the water one other time...the first bath we gave her in Russia. She absolutely loves her baths now and the small swimming pool we fill up in the front yard every few days so she can take a dip. She splashes, jumps in, puts her head underwater, and belly laughs the entire time.
Today was a bit of a challenge, probably because it was all so new. She is experiencing FIRST after FIRST after FIRST and has done so well that I sometimes take it for granted. Well, she was the best bubble blower in her class. After that, she didn't much care for the rest of the lesson. The floating and swishing (immersing) she could have done without. It was only her first day. I know that as she gets more comfortable with the routine of the class, she will do great.
These two events were kinda difficult for Aubree's Mama too. It is upsetting to see her cry like that.
I'll post pics of the new bling bling soon.