Monday, June 26, 2017

New Family Members

We've recently added to our family!! We've wanted a dog that could be a family dog and fit right into our family.  We made a lot of mistakes with Bentley and didn't want to go down that road again.  This time, we did our research and got a 5 month old black lab rescue.  We hadn't intended on going that young but she had the right temperament and was the perfect fit.
To make sure we were getting the right dog, we had my sister help us and she was impressed with how good she was for being so young.  Her name was Emilie Marie and we were going to change her name, but the kids were stuck on it.  So we changed the spelling and middle name to make it Emilee Elizabeth Mitchell.  She's such a sweetheart and we are all in love with her!

Macie was the only family member that wasn't thrilled about getting a dog.  I knew this and had been praying and thinking about it for a long time.  We spoke with her psychologist and she thought it was a great idea.  She wants us to push Macie out of her comfort zone a little bit.  She also said that a lot  of things have had to revolve around Macie and we wouldn't let her decide if we were going to have another child or other life decisions, we would just help her cope.  So that is just what we did!

We set up boundaries and safe places for Macie to be when we brought Emilee home, we assured Macie she would have no responsibilities or be forced to interact with the dog until she was ready, I stuck close by Macie for a day or two, and we planned special time with her during this time.  Well, it wasn't anytime at all and Macie was petting her, giving her treats, filling her food and water bowl, walking her on the leash and even taking the leash on and off!  She sits on the couch next to her and corrects her when she does something she doesn't like.  Because we'd made all of the accommodations we did, she felt safe and secure.  She is on cloud nine and so proud of herself.  Her mneme therapist noticed she was different and asked Macie what had changed in the last week and she said I got a dog and I'm not scared of her!!  I was so happy and proud!

One of the special things we had planned was to get Macie a pet (or 4) that were closer to her speed.  Fish were the perfect fit!  So we now also have Emma, Sandy, Callie, and Fiona.  They are so calming for Macie and she loves to watch them and feed them.

 Lilah is the most obsessed with Emilee but we are all truly in love with her!

I'm so thankful we found Emilee and she has gotten us moving!  Brian and the kids have been taking her on walks and I went this morning.  Right now we are tapped out with animals and our family is full!

Dear Lilah

Dear Lilah Jean,

How are you already 5 (and a half)? You are my baby and you are growing up so very fast.  You are an old soul five year old and are wiser than your years.  You are very intuitive and take care of others.  You are very into fashion and will only wear clothes that are "your style".  You want to be a doctor, nurse, vet, mommy, and cheerleader when you grow up.  You want to live close to me so that I can take care of all of your kids.  You love Shopkins, YouTube kids, playing outside and our new dog, Emilee.  You are obsessed with all of your little cousins and always want to take care of them.  I can't believe you are going to Kindergarten next year.  I am going to miss you so much.  I know that you will have lots of fun and meet new friends and have new adventures.  You love to share your thoughts and fears with me and I hope that continues.  Just remember, you are smart, important, kind, and beautiful.  I love you to the moon and back,

Church Mission Talk

Back in February, we attend the Parish Mission.  It was a wonderful experience for my family.  Following the mission, Father asked me to talk at some of the weekend masses to share our experience.  Gavin and I did the talk together.  I did most of the talking but his parts were in red.  The first Mass we spoke, he was super nervous but by the third time he was asking if we could do it every weekend!  Here is our talk:

Good Evening/Morning!  My name is Abbie Mitchell and this is my 7 year old son, Gavin.  We are disciples of Jesus Christ.  We attended the parish mission as a family and it profoundly impacted us. If I'm being completely honest, my husband and I were nervous about taking our kids for four nights, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours each night, around bedtime.  We wondered how they would they behave? I can't tell you how glad I am that we didn't let that stop us.

I've noticed such amazing changes in myself and in members of my family.  I've been praying the rosary daily and spending time being quiet and listening to God.  I've made it a priority and that is no easy task for a busy homeschooling mom of three.  I've come to cherish that peaceful time and my children know not to interrupt me unless it's a true emergency.  

After the mission, my husband, Brian, felt called to make it to the next Knights of Columbus meeting after missing months in a row and is setting up a prayer area in our bedroom.  We are planning to hang crucifixes above the doors of each bedroom to remind us of the ultimate sacrifice and truest example of love.  Each of our children now have a special place to pray in their own rooms.  I often catch my girls in quiet time alone with God or singing church songs.  This makes my mama heart proud.

Gavin is standing up here because I think the mission had the biggest impact on him. On the 3rd day of the mission, Gavin and I got up at 2:00 am to head to Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis for surgery.  This is part of our norm as we do it often. That was actually Gavin's 35th time under anesthesia for various surgeries, procedures, and tests.  It would have been very easy for us to use that as an excuse not to go to the mission talk that night, but Gavin insisted that we go.  

After the mission, he started expressing his desire to go to confession.  He is only in the First Grade, so I wasn't sure if this could happen.  I reached out to Father Alex and we are setting it up this Lenten Season.  He will also be doing his First Holy Communion in May.  He is beyond excited about this and spends time with God every day using his new reading skills to read his Bible.  He is even expressing an interest in becoming a Deacon or Priest ~ Father take note!  
Deacon Ralph used a metaphor of a wheelbarrow. He talked about how we need to fully get in the wheelbarrow and allow God to push and guide it.  We tend to have one foot in and the other out with the weight in the "world" instead of with HIM.  I know that I need to put all of my weight into that wheelbarrow.  Kids seem to have an easier time doing this and I need to follow their example.  I also know that I can tell my kids how to be a good child of God, but showing them is much more effective.  Taking them to the mission for the first time is something we will never forget or regret.  Thank you.