Thursday, December 31, 2015

Year in Review - 2015


                          2015, What can I say?
You have brought so much to our family!

Aside from all the birthdays and holidays, there are a couple of high points I would like to point out.

In April, all 3 of the girls were in the play Alice@Wonderland. Avery had the lead role of Alice. Morgan was the Dormouse and Humpty Dumpty and Sydney was the Caterpillar and Tweedle Dee. I was the director and it was so much work but so much fun! I loved seeing what they all accomplished and how talented everyone is! I had to step down as the Drama director this year due to starting school. It was a necessary thing to give up but I really do miss seeing the kids doing such cool plays and stretching themselves in new ways.
Sydney, Annalise and Avery
Tweedles and Alice
Morgan and Avery
Humpty Dumpty and Alice

In June, my 4 big kids and I went to Haiti for a missions trip. This was a life changing experience for all of us and something we will never forget. These children continue to be on our hearts and mind and we look forward to the time we can go back. 

In August, my kids all started school and Morgan started her first semester of college classes as she dual enrolled at a local college. She rocked it and ended the semester with 3 A's and 1 B! So proud of her! I started Midwifery school in the middle of September as well and, yes, I passed my first term too!

At the end of September, we added a new member to our family. On the 29th of the month, we finalized the adoption of Christian Troy. It was a joyous day for our family but also a sobering one. We were starkly reminded that this not only brings finality to our family but also to his biological parents. 

We have 2 new licensed driver's in our home (well, they both have their permits, 2016 will bring the official drivers). Morgan got her permit in March and Avery got hers in October. They are doing great and Morgan even drove the whole trip home from her grandparent's house in Georgia.

So, to sum up our family this year...
Cory has been working at S.I. Goldman for a little over a year now. He is enjoying his work and the people he is working with. He continues to teach Sunday School every week to the 3rd-5th grade kids. He has started taking on so much more at home to help me with my crazy schedule.
I am going to school to become a midwife. I often miss family events and birthdays due to the birth of a baby but everyone has been so understanding. I am still doing doula work some but much less than before. I am homeschooling the 4 older kids (they are mostly independent) and doing the best I can at rearing a little 2 year old (with tremendous help from my kids and hubby). I would say I am still a homemaker but it sure seems like I am barely doing any of the homemaking anymore :) Again, so thankful for my awesome family!
Morgan is a Junior in high school and dual enrolling in college. She felt a little overwhelmed at first but I never doubted her. She did amazing and ended the semester with a 3.75 GPA. That's my girl! She also has her first official boyfriend which has thrown the entire family for a loop. He is a nice boy and we all approve but it's hard to think that she is old enough to be walking this journey. Unfortunately for Morgan, she is the oldest of all the kids/grandkids and it's not just her parents having a panic attack but the whole extended family :) She also continues to sing on the worship team at church and has started playing the ukulele.
Avery is a Sophomore in high school and is doing so well in school. Every year, she adds a new skill to her creative repertoire. This year, she has started drawing tattoo designs and is obsessed with makeup perfection. She has declared that she is NOT going to college but wants to go to cosmetology school and pursue her artistic career. It's either that or a tattoo artist. So, I'm supporting the cosmetologist :) She loves to paint nails which includes some pretty amazing designs. And, for Christmas she received a henna kit and is already doing breathtaking designs with that.
Sydney is in 8th grade but taking 3 high school classes. She has become an accomplished guitar player and is a regular member of the Sunday morning worship team. She loves to play the guitar and spends hours every day practicing and learning new songs. She learned basic techniques from her grandpa and uncle Jarrett but has been mainly self-taught. It's so cool to see her find something that she thrives at and loves to do. She is such a character and can manage to do 5 things at once without any trouble.
Jordan is in 6th grade and officially part of the youth group. He could hardly wait to move up at church and fits right in. I don't think he would say he likes school yet, but I have been so impressed how independent he has become this year. He needs help occasionally but mostly can finish his schoolwork all on his own. He started fine tuning his skateboarding skills and is so excited to learn his new rip stick and long board. His favorite thing is to spend the day outside climbing trees and exploring. Jordan also had daddy move his weight lifting equipment (you know, since it wasn't being used much :)) to his room and is enjoying following in his dad's footsteps.
Troy turned 2 this month. He is a bundle of energy and the strongest little 2 year old I have met. He often moves the furniture around in my living room or whatever house he happens to be at. If you haven't seen it, it would make you laugh. He is a rough and tough boy and some of his favorites words are "stop" (when he doesn't like what you are doing), "go" (when he wants you to go somewhere with him or go away from him), "dada" (anytime I pick up my phone he says this hoping that we are calling daddy), "mom" (when he wants something), "bubba" (Jordan loves that this was one of his first words). He also says "Mo" for Morgan and the other 2 are feverishly trying to get him to say their names :). There are a couple other words but those are his favorite. He sleeps well because he never stops moving when he is awake. So, needless to say, he keeps us all on our toes. We are so incredibly thankful for the blessing of this little ball of energy!

What a year! I love to look back and see how God has worked in our home and our family. We look forward to what the coming year will bring. I know there will be challenges that will remind us of our need for a Savior. There will be joys that will remind us of God's grace. There will be times of laughter and times of tears that will bind our family together. Whatever this year brings, we know that God is in control and we put our trust in him.

The Largaespada Family

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas 2015

It's a hot Christmas this year! We even went north to Cory's parent's house in Georgia but it was raining for 2 days straight and then a high of 78 on Christmas Day (when the above picture was taken). But, we headed out to the park determined to get one day outside while we were here :)

It's been so nice to relax and spend time with my people without worrying about school for me or them or being called to the birth of a baby. I mean, I love what I do, but it's so nice to be with my family without thinking about anything else! One more week without school and then it's back to craziness. I'll enjoy these moments of peace and relaxation while I can.

Merry Christmas!!

Midwifery School - Trimester 1

Celebration lunch with my classmates after our Finals

This last Friday was my last class of my first semester of midwifery school. I can't even begin to tell all the things I've learned in these first few months. As comfortable as I am in the "birth world", I have never participated in any of the medical side other than observation. So, this has been a huge learning curve for me. Everything from learning how to take a blood pressure and pulse to drawing blood and learning how to operate an oxygen machine have been brand new for me. And, I have learned so much so quickly. It's weird to think how comfortable I am now sticking a needle in someone's arm when only 2 months ago I would have broken out in a sweat at the thought.
I also underestimated how busy I would be going to school. No matter how much Jennie tried to warn us, I still didn't have a clue of what to expect. I am interning at the birth center 2 full days a week and school is all day on Friday. Plus, I am attending 1-2 births a week almost every week. This averages out to almost 40 hours a week. I really expected it to be closer to a 20 hour week. But, there are some of my classmates that are having a hard time getting any hours so I guess I should be thankful for that part :) But, trying to get all this done at the same time as homeschooling my kids and going to our co-op 1 day a week has been challenging to say the least. And, not just challenging for me. This has brought a new level of independence and initiative to my kids that I didn't know was in them.
I do miss being at home and I do miss spending time with my family. Family time has become very precious and something I look forward to. Keeping the house clean and in some type of order is now almost impossible. My kids and husband are such great help and I couldn't do what I am doing without them, but there just isn't the time to get all the things done that I usually would do.  There is the constant battle I struggle through of requiring my kids to be part of the team of our family and helping each other out and feeling like I am asking too much of them in order to follow my own dream. It's a constant conversation as a family and a balancing act that will continue to mold and change as the needs of everyone does the same.
I love learning from my midwife and I love my classmates! If there are a couple things I know for sure, the next 8 terms will challenge me to do things I didn't even know I could do, will stretch my family to new limits and will allow me to pursue a dream that I have wanted for so long. So, it's 1 term down and 8 more to go. I am so excited to see what I will learn in this next term and I am so thankful for the support of such an amazing family!