Pathways Training…

Pathways Training

Definition of Pathway…
1. a route to or way of access to; way of reaching or achieving something
2.a way especially designed for a particular use
3. A course usually followed by a body part or process.
For our Gladney families this is a mandatory training if you are adopting an older child.  Tonight Tyler went to serve on a panel of parents, where perspective adopting parents can ask questions openly & honestly.
It’s a little funny to us that he is on the ‘knowledgeable panel’ because it was around this time last year that we were headed to our Pathways training.  You should know we left Pathways emotional train-wrecks!  For 2 days we heard stories, did activities, studied, & listened to experts: all about adopting older kids.  It was information that we were not fully prepared to hear.
We had not had our homestudy done yet.  We had in our minds that there would be a 2-4yr wait before we would be matched with our kids.  We came to the training with expectations.  We came to the training of dreams of a house full of children, behaving perfectly, adapting perfectly, loving perfectly, & well basically everything was perfect.  Then a big dose of reality hit us in the face.  The Tuesday before our training we got a call from our agency about 5 kids available for adoption ages 2-6 & got stars in our eyes.
Adopting is hard.  You don’t know everything.  You have to be open to trying new things.  You have to lower your expectations, & then lower them even more.  You do not know where your child has been, what they have been through, who has influenced them, their expectations, or their personality.
A few weeks after the training we would say yes to our family.  And the very next thing we did was sign up to go to the Pathways training AGAIN!  Why?  Because this time we were headed in with the right mindset.  We were headed in to gain knowledge, build our toolbox, learn from the experts, start thinking & conversing with each other about every situation we could think about & how we planned to react.
If you are going to or have completed the training I pray that you don’t let the hard outweigh the child.  Parenting is so hard (hardest thing we have ever done), but it is also the most worthwhile thing we have ever done.  We left that training after the first time with our hearts broken & doubting if we could even handle 1 child let alone 5.  Again know this was not the training’s fault, it was ours, we had not done our homework.  We had not read the books, talked to other adoptive families, searched for blogs, openly asked questions to our agency, emailed with other families adopting from Colombia; we had a heart but no plan.
The heart is important, it is what called you to this journey.  But remember…He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered (Proverbs 28:16). 

If God has called you to adopt, do not be afraid!  Don’t let worry set up in your heart, don’t let other people’s doubts or concerns guide you, don’t let the media dictate your decisions, don’t even let family tell you what’s right & wrong.  You turn to the truth, to the Bible, to the One who first laid this calling on your heart.  Then you need to start walking wisely & do your homework.  If we would have only acted out of our own understanding we would not have 5 kids calling us “Papi & Mami” everyday.

The verse really is true…I can do all things through Him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).

We must look so silly to God when we try to do things on our own, just like our 2yr old taking 6 minutes to dress herself when Mami is sitting inches away ready to help…

… ask for help families!  That’s one of the blessings of working with Gladney!

At the dinnermesa.



Ramblings of a sinner…

So it started when I was in junior high.  It got a little worse in high school. And then in college I couldn’t control myself.  I had a mouth like a sailor.  I couldn’t speak a phrase without a curse word coming out.  I didn’t have a thought that didn’t have an expletive in it.  I wish I could tell you that I have made great strides in getting away from this behavior.  According to society I have.  They barely cross my mouth, I don’t use them in tense situations, my kids have never heard me say one, but they are still there.

They are my ‘secret sin’, the thing that I can hide, they are only between me & God.  For years I’ve been okay with that.  I used the “I’m a pretty good person, so what if I can’t control my mouth”.  I’m a pretty good person, ha, I’m a sinner saved by grace.

Sometimes they make me feel like an addict: if someone uses one, I hear one on a movie, I read them in a book, I see them on a bumper sticker; they begin running through my mind & are nearly impossible for me to control. They are everywhere.   And once again I feel like I am in control of the problem but they are in so many responses during my day, again not said out-loud, but in my mind…

So why tell now?  Now that I’ve been able to hide it for so long, now that I have it “under control”.  Partly for the accountability but mostly because of the answer I was given to my problem.

It’s nice when you ask God & He immediately answers.  It’s not fun when you ignore Him & He answers louder.  You know those Sundays when your preacher is talking & you sit a little lower in your seat because you’re pretty sure the neon letters over your head are flashing “listen!!!”

The sermon was about being forgiven.  Our pastor said, “Forgiveness of sin removes guilt & facilitates worship.”  That’s what I have been missing.  I ask forgiveness, daily, hourly, ALL OF THE TIME!  As the Pastor said, “you take away your guilt of forgiveness, you apply the blood of Jesus over & over again but you do not facilitate worship, that’s not right!”  So I knew what to do.  I felt the conviction from the Holy Spirit of what to do.  I have to take my words, the filth I have in my head and replace it with His word.  Scripture memorization…ugh!  That’s work, that’s time, that’s a sacrifice, how can I tell people the ‘real reason’ for my PLUNGE (shout-out to the MOPS group), and how can I study His word.  I do a sweet little daily devotional, I am in a bible study but I do not meditate on the words.  I find answers, check things off my to do list but do not take the time to commit anything to memory.

But then Monday morning hit, the convictions were pushed aside as I got 5 kids up & ready for their school day.  Then I went to Wednesday night church.  Wednesday night church is a pretty great time, we go through different books of the bible, & I thought I would be in the clear.  Well Pastor changed it up, we will be doing character studies this year..Enoch, didn’t die, pleased God, he walked with God.

 Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2

We learned that the phrase “pleasing to God” is an imperfect verb, it is not completed.  It is a daily act of worship, because sin is persistent it does not go away.

so My word that comes from My mouth
will not return to Me empty,
but it will accomplish what I please
and will prosper in what I send it to do.”

You will indeed go out with joy
and be peacefully guided;
the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Instead of the thornbush, a cypress will come up,
and instead of the brier, a myrtle will come up;
it will make a name for Yahweh
as an everlasting sign that will not be destroyed. Isaiah 55:11-13

To go out with joy & be peacefully guided in 2013, through scripture.  But even with all of these wonderful answers I thought I still had an out, I don’t know where to start, how to use a concordance, I only have one translation of the bible.  But then Pastor went ahead and took care of that too…

Read an entire chapter.  Over the next few days paraphrase God’s words in your own words.  Next look at the verbs-how can I apply that verb to my life.  The Holy Spirit will be accomplishing His purpose to send you out with His purpose & peace.

Iaiah 55:11 (listed above): if I am not reading I am missing what the God of the universe wants to do with my life.

Hope this wasn’t too much, hope this doesn’t change too many people’s opinions about me, but really I hope that if you are suffering from sin that you confess it & fill yourself with worship.  Because if there is room in your life for sin to creep in it will.  Again this post was for me, this is what has been on my heart for the past month, I asked God for a way out & was told an answer.  Asking will get you answers, might not be the answer that you wanted but it will be the one you needed.

A ridiculous amount of this post was taken from my pastor’s words (hoping nothing was misquoted, looking over my sermon notes).  Thankful for the truth that is spoken & that while in the conviction I am also given a road map home.  See you in the morning FBC Mansfield 🙂

At the dinnermesa,


Homework Time…

Just know it’s a little like the blind leading the blind.  I am trying to teach Spanish to kids who speak Spanish more than I do & a lot better than I do.  But here is a small part of our homework time.  Our oldest has to read 3 books, 3 times every night.  This is us reading one of his books, sorry for the camera angle!

During the reading I gave two kids scissors, sent one kid to time-out & my 2yr old read a book to me; gotta love multi-tasking!

His reading is getting so much better, it’s always a little amazing watching kids learn to read :).  Thankful I am going to get to see it 4 more times!

At the dinnermesa,


School starts back tomorrow (SHOUTS OF DELIGHT & DANCING)…

Whoo you homeschooling Mama’s I applaud you!  I cannot wait for the kiddos to be back in school tomorrow! (go ahead & judge, just speaking the truth over here).  The routine, the busyness, even the homework (no, not really the homework).  But it has been a great break.  I had a few mommy failures but for the most part it was a great Christmas time.  Here are a few not so proud moments…

1: I exploded on my husband one night.  It was his one day off (besides Christmas) the whole break & I could not wait, finally a break from the kids & not even a break but a day I didn’t feel like I was doing it all myself.  He is such a great dad & so extremely helpful when he is home, the house is just so much more peaceful when we are both home.  But then it happened, he got sick, running a high fever not feeling well, can hardly hold his head up sick.  And was I a sweet, caring, thoughtful wife…nope.  I yelled at him for getting sick on the one day he was supposed to help me.   Failure.

2: Movie day, for an entire day we did nothing productive or to better mankind.  We watched How to Train Your Dragon, Toy Story 3, The Magic School Bus Cartoons, A Scooby Doo Cartoon, The Santa Claus, Barbie Mariposa…and then we ordered pizza for dinner because Mami was too lazy tired to fix anything…

Sittin on Saydie

Yep our Basset hound has become a prime movie watching seat in the our household

3:I never wanted to be a household that played with guns.  I was wrong, with boys they have become a necessity (again judge away, it’s cool).  Nerf guns for Christmas were a great present.  We have had several bank robberies at the house.  Barbie & littlest pet shop have been held for a ransom of tootsie rolls.  Wars have been declared of Colombia vs. Barcelona, TX vs. United States, & my favorite TX & Colombia vs. the world.  Darth’s new favorite activity is to reload her brother’s nerf gun.  But before she gets to reload the gun she runs back & forth in front of the fireplace with her hands up while Mami shoots at her.  Please know that she is laughing hysterically the whole time.

4:My children forgot how to wear non-pajama-clothing.  Sunday morning, “Mami what do you mean I can’t wear my Captain America pjs to church? I put my boots on.”

Again have I mentioned that I cannot wait for the kids to go back to school!  Whoo hoo to schedules!  Here are some delightful memories of our holidays…


Riding our bikes for the first time. What amazing parents you can handle all 5 of your kids on bikes by yourselves!!!


Yeah right! We needed an entire pack of people to help out, chasing our kids all over the park! Thankful for family!!!

Mommy's shoes

We played in Mami’s shoes

Grilling with dad

We cooked on our new grill, our first grill in 4yrs! Thanks granddad & grandma!!!


We started our very own basketball team! Thanks again Brooks for the goal (I was told to say a thanks to the Dickerson family too)!

New bball

We are still learning all the rules to the game…

Choices choices

We went to our first store where the kids got to buy something all by themselves

Half price 1

Half Price books

Headed home with our treasures! Great job 1/2 Price books, your cashier was super patient with our kids & bagged all of their things individually so they could each have their own sack.


The dining room has been turned into a tattoo parlor.

Olive Garden

We discovered the greatness in Olive Garden breadsticks.

Thankful for the small moments: Christmas, New Year’s, the holiday season was more magical than we ever could have imagined!   So full of life, so busy, so blessed.  Sometimes I still can’t believe that this is our life; here we come 2013 do your very best to beat 2012 it’s been AMAZING!

At the dinnermesa,



Cookies w/kids =’s Disgusting…

So sorry for the lack of blogging, the computer & I had a fallout.  He has decided that anytime I click the mouse it is a double click.  Needless to say I am technology-not-advanced & just walked away.  But here I am back again, double clicking & all, trying not to get frustrated because a blog is needed…

So who thought decorating cookies was a delightful & fun experience to have with children?

My mom called & said I want to pull the “grandma card” & decorate some Christmas sugar cookies with your kids (yes this happened before Christmas, sorry for the out of sequence), I thought great idea!  Every movie, tv show, painting I have ever seen of children decorating cookies has been beautiful, magical, full of holiday cheer, & all of the cookies look beautiful afterwards.  I had grand ideas of delivering them to the fire station down the street or to the neighbors.

So we want to the folks house & their table was laden with cookie decorating accouterments: sprinkles, icings of the rainbow, plastic knives for the icing, wax paper down for the mess, a pile of sugar cookies in the middle of the table.  It was all so wonderfully organized, rules were in place, adult supervision was inches away at all times and then it happened…

5 kids sat at the table & the grossness started. Double dipping, icing in the mouths, cookies in the mouths, tops of full sprinkles in the mouths, icing up the nose, icing in the hair, icing on the floor, sprinkles on the dog, cookies on the floor, cookies oin the ear and the licking, they could not be controlled…how did this happen?!?!  You should know that about half way through cookie decorating my dad finally said, “This is gross, I need to go to the living room & not be around this for a while.”

Pretty sure in the car I told my kids they could have 3 cookies when all was said & done, they ended up with at least 6-10 each.

After the “magical” time was over.  We did the only thing we could think of, everybody stripped down & went to watch a movie in the living room while the adults cleaned up.

So gross.  The kids had friends over one day & tried to offer them a “slobber cookie”, luckily I was in the wings & able to thoroughly hurt their friends feelings while I shouted, “those are our family-only cookies only! We do not share those cookies ever!”  So there you go a little holiday memory from our family to yours.


Best made plans…

Cookies 1

Still doing pretty good…

Cookies 2

So why is your tongue so red chica? No se Mami

Manos arriba correcto

Manos arriba, do not touch anything!


So gross…

Cookies 3

Our no-shirt-redneck picture for the season…


Stay classy San Diego

At the dinnermesa,