Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Goodbyes and School

We said goodbye to sweet Yelizaveta yesterday and left her at the airport with nine other Belarussian children and one interpreter to make their way across the world and back home.

Her parting was bittersweet. She was excited to be going home, but saying goodbye to Emma Grace was more dramatic than Terms of Endearment (which I've actually never seen, but I hear it's heartbreaking.) And oh my word they did some sobbing. These sweet friends that don't need to speak the same language sure know how to show each other love.

And thanks to my dad, we were able to do the only thing Liza asked to do last summer. Roller coasters! And she was one happy girl!

Liza, you will be missed.

And now summer is winding down.

This goofy boy starts pre-k next week. He will be in Track 4 in a fully special ed classroom setting. And my emotions are mixed about that. Mainly I'm excited for him, but occasionally a sad feeling creeps in and I try not to worry about him being in a big public elementary school that's huge and crowded and overwhelming and new. Yeah, we don't need to unpack that right now. God's got this, right? 

And speaking of back to school......I have also gone back to school.

I know. Scary, right?
And crazy?
And how the heck am I going to do all this?

I have no idea, but I figure I spend so much time in hospitals with Owen, I may as well get paid to be there, right? ;)

No for reals, after everything our family has been through and much prayer, I have decided to pursue an RN associate's degree through Wake Tech.

Why Wake Tech? Because it's cheap and close by and supposedly a great program.

Why not go for the 4 year BSN program? Because I'm scared about that time commitment and rumor has it, if you get your associate's degree, many of the area hospitals will then pay for you to continue on to get your BSN while working for them. I like that. Free schooling is never a bad thing.

Why nursing? Because I love blood and poop. Or because I know the system. I know you see doctors for like 2.5 seconds of your visits. I know the nurses are the ones in there hugging and loving and supporting and helping you get through what you need to get through. And I want to do that. And yes, I know it is more than that too. I know it's hard hard work, and patients are difficult, and there's a lot of cleaning involved, but I'm excited about it. So don't bust my bubble if you think this is the dumbest idea you've ever heard. Unless you really want to.

So that's about it. I've started one class and start two more in two weeks.
And balancing it all is going to be hilarious.

And yes, we have a scary looking mannequin in our classroom as well. And I've heard we will eventually be talking to him/her while we practice skills.

Oh this should be good. I've got a lot of pent up talking for someone who can't run away from me at will........

I think I shall name him Bob.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

To El Paso and Back......

Hi friends.

I'm back from El Paso. Everybody survived the trip and separation and Owen did even better than grandparents were expecting. Hallelujah for that!

 Our trip? It was awesomesauce. It was exhausting and exciting and emotional and hilarious and God used those teenagers in a big way. And they stepped up to the challenge. And I love them in a big way! And I'm so proud of them!! Seriously. If you're one of those people who has little hope for the next generation, come spend some time with these hooligans because they will knock your socks off with their smarts and wit and dedication to doing God's will in their lives.

(And they have epic photobombing skillz.....)

I spent most of my mornings doing this. I was the resident hair stylist and I loved it. 

The rest of my time was spent in this bathroom. Most of the time I was by myself but occasionally Chelsea would come in and liven things up with her quick wit and mad painting skills.

We affectionately titled this photo "Mother Hen." Seriously. I was chilling on my bed braiding Jen's hair when a homeless man stopped by and was trying to get into the church. While Todd and Gene were outside taking care of the situation, this is what my bed looked like. Scared much, teens? As soon as he wandered off to try to find somewhere else to stay, the baby birds left the nest and it was just myself and Jen again. Hilarious I tell ya. Hilarious.

Best advice I can give you when hanging out with teenagers? Do not, under any circumstances, leave your phone unattended. I deleted 1200 pictures like these off my phone last night. Yes. 1200.

Thank you Chelsea. Just you wait. Payback's a you-know-what.....

Saturday morning part of the group got to do some hiking. And by hiking I mean rock climbing. And by rock climbing, I mean I was seriously wondering where our waiver forms were and if we were going to make it out alive. It was awesome and a little bit scary and we even saw a rattle snake. Amazing views though!!

And this is just one of the millions of reasons I love these teens. They gave of their time, their energy, and showed anyone and everyone the love of a big God! 

Thank you to everyone who encouraged me to go. Thank you to everyone who kept our kids so we could both go. Thank you to the teens for making it a memorable trip. Thank you to our God who kept us safe and changed our lives.

To my teens?
 I miss you!

To the flying cockroaches of El Paso?
I do not so much miss you!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Thirteen Years and Counting.....

Thirteen years ago today was my wedding day.

Yup. 13 years of wedded bliss.....or something like that.

And what better way to celebrate than leaving together on a mission trip to one of the hottest places on earth with 30 teenagers?

Awwwww yeah.

We live it up big at the Fischer household.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Love this guy. Even when he's difficult to love. And you married people know what I mean.
(Luckily for him, I'm never difficult to love.)

Ha ha. That was funny.


Good luck to the team of people that are taking care of our kids and sweet Liza while we're gone.

May the Force be with you.

And thank you! 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Just the Five of Us....ish

We got back yesterday from a week long beach vacation with just the five of us.....ish. (We did have some friends come down and share our beach house with us for one night) but the rest of the time, it was the Fischer Five and we haven't done that in about five years. 
It was time.

And it was awesome.

As I've said before, the kids are at that great age where they would bake all day in the hot sun and sand if we let them. They had such a blast together and we had a blast watching them.

I'll let the pics speak for themselves.
There's a plethora. 

What can I say? I like the camera and the beach and salty, happy kids.

And there were mucho surf lessons this week. And I have to say, I was impressed with my kids mad surfin' skills. Lord knows, they did not get that from me. I tried once.....a long time ago.....and we almost got divorced..... So I relish my role as photographer now that he has new subjects to teach. :)

 And this is what they looked like most nights.

And dang.
These three people?
These little souls that God entrusted me with?
They're pretty cool kids.

And I know I'm biased, but really, I like them. A lot.

Our transition back to being home has not been a smooth one. It has been full of screaming and four of us needing a lot of extra patience to help one of us understand that we're home and we're staying put for awhile and that it's okay if his toothpaste is a little bit crooked or his brother wants to play something different or his chair is not perfectly aligned at the dinner table.

And during the screaming and the crying and the needing more than I sometimes feel I have the energy to give, I come back and look at these pics and I know. 

It was worth it.