Happy New Year! I’m back!

I’m shocked that it has been one full month since I last blogged!  It wasn’t really intentional, but it kinda was.  I took a little break to enjoy the Christmas holidays with all of my girls, and never did ANY stamping once my December classes wrapped up.  As you may remember, we adopted our little 4 year old on Nov. 26th, and had a season of extreme gratitude this year during Thanksgiving.  Right before Thanksgiving, I was approached about a job opportunity.  A very amazing job opportunity.  I wasn’t looking, and wasn’t really even interested in leaving my company.  But they pursued me, and talked to me alot, and interviewed me alot, and everything fell in to place very quickly!  They ultimately offered the job the first week of December.  It was an emotional decision for me, but I accepted their offer, and turned in my 2 weeks notice.  My final day at The Dwyer Group was Dec. 19th, and I enjoyed the rest of December staying at home and enjoying some time off work!  I started my new job today as an Executive Assistant at Extraco Banks.  I feel blessed, and once again, my heart is full of gratitude!   I hope that 2015 is off to a great start for each of you and I’m eager to get busy creating when time allows.   As you can imagine, I have a great deal of unknowns in my life,  but I plan to continue everything with Stampin’ Up! and have as many classes as I can squeeze in.  In some ways, the new job may make my classes even easier to schedule.  Only time will tell.

One more thing I forgot to tell you…….we got a new foster baby during the holidays.  We got her on Dec. 12th, at only 4 weeks of age, and she was such a good little baby!  However, the judge decided on a different plan for her, and she was moved on Dec. 31st.  So now we are waiting on our next placement.  I know that many think we are “crazy” for fostering yet another baby when I’m already doing so many things, and our lives are so very crazy.  BUT, we are very committed to making a difference in this world.  We are very committed to fostering, and truly feel that this is our calling in life.  God has given us such a strong desire in our heart, and there is SUCH a great need for us, so we want to continue fostering, despite having adopted our last little blessing.

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2015 is going to be an amazing year for my family……..our youngest biological child, Sarah (below), will graduate from High School, and our oldest will graduate from college!  Before we know it, we will be moving Sarah to college in August, and there will be even more changes to our family.  I know that I’ll continue with Stampin’ Up! as much as I can, but I also know that I can’t replace ANY of this time with my girls.  I want to take it slowly and make sure that I spend quality time with my family, as well as taking time to enjoy things that I love, such as crafting!

 

_82A1268So from ALL of the Derrick family…….we hope your 2015 is extra special and full of excitement! We know our year will be fast and furious…….full of many mountain top experiences.  We plan to live life to the fullest and see God’s blessings in all circumstances.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

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Gotcha Day!

This week is all about family!  You won’t find me stamping and you probably won’t see many posts about stamping!  But today is “Gotcha Day” for my little Lila…….and she is officially a Derrick girl!  We had about 50 friends and family join us this morning for her Adoption Consummation.  We are so blessed and it is a wonderful Thanksgiving!  All of my college girls are safely at home, and we are soaking in four days of family fun!  We had a professional photographer present, and we took a ton of photos, but these are two that were captured on a cell phone by a friend.  Low quality, but it’s all we have for now 🙂

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The courthouse Christmas tree might be the focus of our Christmas cards this year!

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Merry Christmas!

The Derricks wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  I’m behind on getting my cards in the mail — but this is one of the family photos on the card. 

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And may you enjoy this little poem….the owner of my company sent it to us.

CHRISTMAS IS FOREVER,

Not for just one day

For loving, sharing, giving,

Are not to put away

Like bells and lights and tinsel,

In some box upon a shelf.

THE GOOD YOU DO FOR OTHERS

IS GOOD YOU DO YOURSELF.

~Norman Wesley Brooks

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Visting Kimi…

We were blessed to have a sweet visit with Kimi’s adoptive family……and meet their newly adopted son, Levi, today!  We received Kimi as a foster child about 4 years ago, and had her in our home for about 18 months.  Many of you will remember her beautiful curls and the special needs she had.  She is a testimony of God’s goodness and faithfulness to all of His children.  She has been adopted into the most wonderful family who truly meets her every need, and provides the perfect environment for her special needs.  May you be blessed to see these photos!  We were told that she might not roll over, sit up, or do anything “normal” — and she didn’t do anything on a “normal” time schedule.  But her love is infectious, and she is a very smart little girl!  She continues to defy all odds and amaze everyone who meets her.  She is basically a “non-verbal” child — but speaks 4 words and several phonetic “sounds”.  However, she began learning sign language when she left our home, and can sign about 100 signs.  She attends public school and is enrolled in a deaf education program so that she can continue to learn even more sign language at school.  Her parents add to that, and constantly reinforce what the school teaches her, as well.  Her teachers are also required to SPEAK while they sign, so she is constantly getting the verbal language, too.  They have high hopes that she will speak someday soon, but for now, she uses signs to communicate and it eases the frustation level for everyone.

We asked someone from inside Burger King to come and take our picture so that all of us could be in it.  I’m sad that she cut us off a little too close, but look at all the smiles!  She took 3 photos of us, and someone is cut completely off in the other two!  This is the best of the bunch.  I’m not sure where she was looking, ha!

I’m still here…

I just realized it has been 8 days since my last post!  Bear with me, folks, I promise I’ll get back in the groove one of these days.  Hopefully very soon!  I have been busy working on various projects that got put off when my brother died.  I have made some curtains for one friend, finished a baby quilt for a shower gift, sewn a fabric cover for an electrical cord (28 feet long!), pieced a quilt block for a swap I’m in, and made lots of thank you notes!

Lindsey is graduating from High School on May 31st.  She has to do a Senior Scrapbook for English class.  We have been working very hard to finish it, and we are making good progress.  But we still have about 10 events to scrapbook and very little time to finish.  It is due on Tuesday, and this weekend is full of many other senior events.  So…….lots to do tonight!

I’ve also been getting 3 projects ready for my Stamp Club next week.  I can’t wait to see my faithful ladies that come over every month!  They bring so much joy to my life and I could certainly use some of that right now!

Mother’s Day was challenging for my mom.  Allyson and I went to Dallas for the weekend to try and cheer her up and spend Mother’s Day worshipping with her at FBC, McKinney.  We had a wonderful time meeting her Sunday School friends and it was great to be together.  We came back to Waco after lunch and spent some time that evening with the family.  I was thankful for special moments with everyone! Here are a few photos.

My mom and my sister-in-love, Jodi

 Me and my girls……..love this picture despite how tired and exhausted I feel.

And just for a dose of humor……..my silly husband and my oldest, Allyson.  She’s home for the summer!  YIPPEE!!!

I’m home…….and David’s home.

I’m back in Lorena — my Earthly home.  David is in Heaven — his Eternal home.  I guarantee you that his home is doing way better than my home!  And it is much more glorious, beautiful and pain free.  I’m so blessed to know that my brother is in Heaven.  Mom and I talked about whether we believe that our loved ones in Heaven can really SEE what we are doing here on Earth.  Or is it so incredibly gorgeous there that they really have no need to SEE us, or think of us?  The presence of the Lord and the reuniting with loved ones is such a comforting feeling.  David is back together with Papa, Uncle Keith, and other loved ones.  I’d like to think that he “saw” his funeral and all the people who were there to show their love to us.  It was a very large graveside service and we were so incredibly blessed by the ones who took the time to join us.  I am questioning God’s timing in all of this, and struggling wtih where do we go from here.  And there are some other stressers in my home right now, so I’m having to really slow down and ponder.  I’m rambling on……..and I know it.

Bottom line is this:  Show love.  Give love.  Ask for forgiveness.  Turn to God.  Read God’s word.  Move forward.  Make changes if they are needed.  Be kind.  Do things you love with those you love.

I will write more and get back to my creative outlets soon.  But probably not this week.  I am sure that I will find some of my projects as therapy to me in the days and weeks to come.  But I am just going through the motions right now and taking care of the immediate needs.

I have a daughter graduating in exactly one month.  We have to make a college decision by tomorrow.  We are not THERE yet.  We are conflicted about this decision, especially since her #1 choice is 12 hours away.  This is one of the hardest decisions, but even moreso in light of last week’s tragic events.  I’m really not wanting to send her off.  But it is time.  It is part of life.  And once again, I must trust in God’s timing.

I feel like a “doubting Thomas” — if you know the Biblical stories about Thomas.  I don’t get to see the big picture ahead of time, and I’m not understanding God’s timing right now.  AT ALL.  Please pray for me to have peace about family decisions and to stay focused on God’s promises.

I wanted to share a photo of the flowers I had made for my brother.  I took them the Dallas Cowboy teddy bear, the stars, and the ribbon.  They created such a beautiful spray for him.  I was so blessed. It’s kind of hard to tell, but the white flowers were in a heart shape and several silver stars dangling from the bottom.  It was nice!

It’s been a week!

So sorry that the blog got neglected this week!  But I was a busy momma, a tired momma, and a praying momma.  We’ve had some amazing moments this week, and some struggles, too.  I have been praying for God’s guidance in some areas of our lives and we are waiting on directions.  We are praying we hear HIS voice loud and clear.  There are two main things that we are praying about and I’d like to share (briefly) so that if you feel led to pray, you will do so.  First, pray that we would know exactly where Lindsey is to attend college and that she will be content about the decision.  There are several reasons that this is not 100% clear at this point, but it is mainly financial reasons.  However, God provided a partial answer on Friday and she was awarded a considable amount of scholarship money to her first choice school, Samford (Birmingham, Alabama).  There are alot of other things pertaining to this decision — which I won’t go in to.  The second choice school, Dallas Baptist University, is also a fantastic school and a more affordable option.  They have awarded her 35% of tuition, and we are thankful for that decision that came this past week, also.  We have until May 1 to decide.  Please pray that God will give us direction.  We want to follow God’s plan and not our plan.

Secondly, we are praying about my future employment and asking God to open doors if there is something else out there for me.  My job at Image Photography will be ending pretty soon, and we don’t start back up until August.  At the very least, I need a place of temporary employment.  However, I am open to something different for the fall if I can find something that will help us pay for two college educations.  I am very thankful and appreciative for my job, but I’m praying for God to open doors and shut doors as needed.  Once again, I want to follow God’s plan and try to provide for my family in every way possible.  Please join me in prayer if you feel led.

Now for a few fun photos!  We had 2 soccer playoff games this week.  I did not go to the one in Palestine because of work and other conflicts.  Thankfully we won, and advanced.  However, last night’s game was in Temple and we won again!   We called Kimi’s family (foster baby 3 years ago) and they met us there for part of the game.  What a blessing!  Here are the photos of our special little angel, Kimi.

Here is Sarah’s team after their Sectional Victory!  She is on the second row, third from the right.  Number 8.  She is a freshman, and very inexperienced, so she does not get to play alot.  But she is strong and fierce when she DOES get out there!   And the paper this morning incorrectly identified one of our best players and put HER name in the article as a leading defender……quite a joke!  It indicated that her “size and athleticism” helped her in the box.  Those who know how tiny she is, will get an even bigger laugh at that comment!

HAIL STORM!

This week also brought a scare from nature, and many of you know that Dallas (2 hours away) had many tornados.  It was a scary system that passed through with unbelievable hail.  Ours was not as big in SIZE as other towns, but the amount of hail was unlike anything I have ever seen.  I snapped photos from the porch.  It was like giant popcorn balls popping everywhere in my yard.  I just couldn’t believe how much and how long it lasted — about 20 minutes or so — continuous!

The photo below is of my flower bed that is near the porch, somewhat obstructed by the house and trees……and it still got full of hail!

This little area by the house, also somewhat shielded, and I was amazed at all the hail!

And this last photo reminded me that I needed a pedicure something fierce!  Ha! I was trying to photo some of the bigger hailstones so that we could show them to insurance in the event that our roof sustained too much damage.  Charles likes to do this….

So……I’m going to stop for now.  I’ll post more as I can.  The next 3 weeks will be very busy and I don’t promise alot of stamping will be done.  However, as mentioned before, my job will be ending soon and my creativity will begin to explode!!!!

We have club classes this Thursday and next Tuesday, so I will have at least 3 new projects to show you that I am preparing for my club class.   And I have some sewing orders to work on, too.  So I’ll be back as time allows with updates on my life and my projects.  I hope you have a blessed week and that you will pray for my family as you think of me during the week.  God is good, all the time!  I will praise Him in all circumstances and try to listen intently.  May God bless YOU, too!