I guess the next logical step in starting this blog is to introduce you to my family. I am Dusty, and I am a (upper) 30-something mom of three very young children. While many of my peers are raising teenagers, we are in the throes of preschool and potty training (well, at the moment we are on a potty training reprieve, but you get the idea). I love it! I think having to wait on becoming parents makes us appreciate things even more.
I am married to an amazing man, Chet, and we recently celebrated our anniversary...ten wonderful years! The years themselves may have had their ups and downs, but our marriage has been consistently great. God has blessed us! (This paragraph edited for extreme overuse of the word "wonderful.")
Let’s see...what else...I have a B.A. and M. Ed., both in Elementary Education, but I am currently a stay-home mom. Although I will likely one day return to the classroom, my husband and I both feel very strongly that at this point in our lives, I need to be home with our children. I value these years...they are very special ones.
That wonderful husband I mentioned earlier? Well, he also happens to be a pastor. That means that we live our lives in something of a “fishbowl.” If you are a ministry family, you will know exactly what I mean. Thankfully, our church here is very supportive, and they love our children. (Lots of honorary grandparents!)
At the age of 10, I made the decision to ask Jesus into my life as Lord and Savior. Being 10, there isn’t a dramatic story or anything...I had godly parents, grandparents, and Sunday School teachers who guided me, and for them and their influence I am grateful. Seem like a big decision for a 10 year old? Every time I have that thought, I go back to this verse:
Jesus said, “Let the little children come unto me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”--Matthew 19:14
I just pray that my husband and I will be able to provide the same kind of godly counsel for our own children.
(Strangely, the best picture I could find with both my husband and me in it is our Christmas card picture from last year. We need to do better getting pictures with us actually in them!)
And now for the ones that you all want to read about...our three kids!
MJ is 4 1/2, almost 5. She has a birthday coming up in December and will tell anyone about it who wants to listen. She is strong-willed, energetic, vivacious, and full of life. She loooves to talk, and will talk the ear off of anyone who will listen. (Hmmm...I’ve mentioned that twice in 3 sentences. Does that tell you anything?) Unless she is asleep or watching cartoons, she is constantly on the move. (As a little aside, an example: One day I was fixing her hair, and said, “MJ, you need to be still!” She tried for a second and then asked me, “Is it okay if I just move my foot?”) Our oldest joined our family at almost 9 months of age when we adopted her in the Jiangxi province of China. She is now starting to comprehend adoption and is talking more about it...grasping the concept that she grew in her birth mother’s tummy and then lived with her foster mother when she was in China, for example. She is in pre-K this year, and is thriving. She loves school, and even though she has a week to complete her homework assignments, she often asks if she can do them the afternoon she brings them home. (It would be nice if that attitude would last for years, but...) She is also the child who knows how to push all of my “mama buttons.” Her vivacious personality often leads to speaking rashly, before she thinks things through. We’re working on that one. And one other thing...she is hilarious. We laugh a lot with her around. MJ certainly keeps us on our toes, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
K is 3, as of August. After years of unexplained infertility prior to adopting, K was our surprise baby, and a very pleasant surprise she was. She and MJ are the best of friends, but they are as different as night and day. K is our quiet, reserved child. She will gladly talk to you once she warms up to you and her surroundings, but it takes her awhile to get there. She is a dainty little thing...tiny for her age, and tends to be much more “girly” than her older sister. That said, she is my child who usually has a dirty face; she also loves playing with cars as much as she does dolls, which is a fun thing. K is a child who has to have some personal space at some point during the day, and if she is quiet, she is usually sitting somewhere in the house with a stack of books. She is in her first year of preschool, in the 3 year old class at the same school where MJ attends pre-K, and she loves it. Very often, I hear her singing through their entire morning circle time...adorable. Of course, when I try to get it on video, she gets self-conscious and sings very quietly. We got a note from her teacher the other day that said she is doing great, but what she needs to work on is “using her words.” Needless to say, we weren’t too surprised. K is also our cuddle bug and loves to snuggle up next to us in the chair or on the couch. She is such a sweet spirit!
M is our baby boy, our little man, our third child. He is 17 months old...so hard to believe that we are only a little over 6 months away from having a 2 year old again. He is an observer, taking in the world around him. He finally decided that he would let go of the furniture and actually try walking a little over a month ago. Now, he has his confidence and is walking everywhere. We jokingly refer to him as “Franken-Baby” because of his baby stagger. It is too cute. He has a personality that falls somewhere between his two sisters, but he is very definitely a boy...into everything. M is starting to talk, and has a pretty good number of words for his age. He won’t really sign like the girls did...he’ll do “all done” sometimes, and he occasionally will sign “more.” (As in, he randomly started signing “more” as we were going down the snack aisle in the grocery store, telling me he was ready for a snack. Before then, he never did it unprompted.) He also is in that stage of those babbling baby conversations that make you think he knows exactly what he is saying, even though we have no idea. Love that phase! Currently one of his favorite things is to climb into our laps and have us read him books. Good times!
And that’s our family. Thanks for sticking around and reading this!