The Bell Family

Random ponderings on God, life, and the humor all around us


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Bell Family Update–May 2017

Summer break summer break summer break!!!!!!! I love teaching my kids, and I love the break from it, too. May started that break while still finishing up other priorities that correspond with the “normal” school year. Loving my time with my family.

Bill was attempting to get a pic of me in an awkward position, but I lost it right before he caught it. The boys did much better than I did. I won’t mention how terribly they follow the rules and freely move their limbs as they please to make it easier. I, however, was awesome.20170505_155517632_ios.jpg

We joined Conner Prairie again this year. If you ever visit Indy, you must go here. It’s my favorite museum!20170506_155244711_iOS

We found out we’re getting a new son and daughter!!!!! Bill and I have had three visits with them, and they are amazing. All our kids meet each other next week! We can’t wait for them to live with us in a few weeks. A friend and neighbor came over to take some pics of us that we put in a book for M and C, including a pic of us making room for them. We love them so much already!!!!20170507_172334584_iOS20170507_172430258_iOS20170507_172529050_iOS20170507_172538123_iOS20170507_172606393_iOS20170507_172624207_iOS20170507_172645760_iOS20170507_172658002_iOS20170507_172712079_iOS20170507_172743803_iOSThe real us.20170507_172750187_iOS20170507_172803036_iOSThe posed us.20170507_172808974_iOS20170507_172818848_iOS

Spring doesn’t just bring animal babies. It usually brings plenty of human babes, too! This is one of our sweet neighbors at only a week old. I’m always a really awesome servant for my friends, holding their babies to give their arms a break for a while. I’m holy like that.20170510_222600635_iOS

Michelangelo in the making. 20170512_153338018_iOS

This is the city, folks. Rail trail on the near east side. Seriously, we see horses all the time, even on downtown sidewalks.20170512_185026317_iOS

May block party. Serving junk food in style!20170512_222829159_iOS

I just love this picture. Bill took it without me knowing. It’s just a morning moment with my smallest girl, simply chatting. No makeup, no hair fixed, just us not posing.20170514_134020882_iOS

My oldest is now 12. My eyes get blurry typing that, so no more caption.20170514_232608436_iOS

First splash pad and playground of the season. It won’t be the last.20170517_163343128_iOS20170517_170545629_iOS

The Children’s Museum currently has a circus exhibit. As part of it, they do a show in the main part where they “shoot a kid out of the canon.” Miriam was picked to be the kid!!!!! It was such a fun experience for her getting to act on the fly. She was spectacular!20170520_150347110_iOSHere she is being shot. 😉 20170520_151133061_iOSAnd she’s OK!20170520_151144836_iOS20170520_151219161_iOS

I started teaching voice again last fall, and my students had their first recital. They were all amazing! Bell kids even performed “So Long, Farewell” with only two weeks to practice. Love my students and family.20170521_175939491_iOS20170521_182835815_iOS

Cleaning champ!20170523_150948484_iOS

When you can’t get along, you wear Daddy’s shirt together and cooperate to clean up toys. I laughed the whole time. They didn’t. I’m a nice mommy…20170523_191719429_iOS

Our 3rd-5th grade kids participate in an amazing after school program at the Children’s Museum. This was a picture of the group this year (Ariana and Esther are hidden in there) along with the teachers we love so much. We are truly blessed to live so close to this place!20170523_230927294_iOS

I bought this for Bill on his birthday and then basically twisted his arm to wear it to work. He was super happy about it. But he did it cause he lurves me!20170524_154625225_iOS

Bill and I took our annual trip away. We went to Saugatuck, MI, and it was maybe the sweetest trip we’ve ever taken. So thankful we have an amazing friend who tackles the kids (sometimes literally!) for a long weekend so we get this time each year. 20170528_162749743_iOS20170528_184506664_iOS

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Bell Family Update – June 2016

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Well, here we are, a year later from our last update and incidentally just at the year mark since the adoption of Heaven and Aiden was decreed. In many ways, the last year has been unremarkable in that there haven’t been any drastic changes. That alone is remarkable for us!

Currently we’re in summer break from school. The five oldest kids are in the middle of a four-week day camp at the Children’s Museum. Courtney is using the time with just the three little ones to get some special time with them as well as prepare for the next school year. At work, I’ve recently been promoted as a team lead, still doing similar work but with increased responsibilities. I’m pretty excited about it.

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Also, Courtney recently got to attend the Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference, which was in Indy this year. Not only was the conference a blessing, but she got to go with her mom and two of the ladies in our church, as well as connect with some old friends.

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Below I’m going to give some brief updates about each of the kids. I’ve included a picture of each, taken last year by our dear friend Lawana of Unforgettable Photography. They’re beautiful and we didn’t want to pass up sharing them with you, our friends and family.

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Liam is 11 and about to start sixth grade. He’s figuring out humor and sarcasm/irony, which is super fun. Though he’s still part kid and part growing up, which is really weird to watch. He actually just took a Safe Sitter class, so he’s taking his first steps toward being able to watch his younger siblings–though we’re not quite ready for that yet!

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Ariana is 9 and almost as tall as Liam. She’s still the mother hen and super sweet, always wanting to learn more and help out with stuff around the house. As she’s growing and changing, we’re seeing an increasing desire to connect with Courtney and learn to do the harder, more complicated tasks she does. For instance, this year she wants to learn cake making and decorating.

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Heaven is 8 and still integrating into the family. We still have many times of hardness and withdrawal but there are more and more times in between where things feel pretty normal. She’s still trying to figure out how to just be authentic, where she can really rest and be who God made her to be. Change may be slow, but we’re seeing it.

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Esther is also 8 and our most recent believer. She probably suffers the most from the middle child syndrome, not really knowing where she fits or what her strengths are. But since believing, we’ve seen the Spirit working in her heart to bring about kindness and love for others that’s far beyond anything we’d seen before.

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Miriam is 7 and our perpetual life lover. She’s unusual in our family in that she’s so unpretentious and unconcerned about anything other than soaking in God’s world and loving others. She’s got a big heart and big smile. Recently, we were creek stomping and Miriam got pulled into the current. Two ladies nearby saw her plight and jumped in to rescue her. Miriam told us later that when she got pulled along, she prayed that God would save her and knew he would.

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Victoria is 5 and still a bit of a stinker. She’s got those golden curls and puts them to use with her sparkly blue eyes far more frequently than any child should’ve learned how to. She’s recently started to get her own daily chores to help out with (till now she’s been part of the “littles” and not the “bigs”).

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Aiden is 4 and, as our friends say, a Bell through and through. He certainly still has his moments of disobedience and the such, but they’re mainly because he’s four, not because he has different biological parents. He’s certainly our risk taker, the one willing to make big leaps and try crazy things. He’s got a big grin and is finally learning to relax into his place in the family. He still struggles a lot with language development, so we have a long way to go there.

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Josiah just turned 4 and is definitely the baby of the family. He’s pretty used to everybody else doing everything for him and tossing in his little charm-grin to see what he can get his momma to give him. He’s also full of life and hardly ever sad about much of anything.

And a little outtake for your viewing pleasure:

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Bell Family Update – June 2015

I really don’t know where to start in trying to give an update on the Bell Fam up in Indy. Our last update was about eighteen months ago and to say a lot has happened since is as insufficient as saying that Indiana’s RFRA bill caused a bit of a stir.

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The biggest news that isn’t really new anymore is that we now have two new kids that are nearing the end of the adoption process. H_____ is a seven-year-old girl and A____ is a three-year-old boy. Since the adoption isn’t final, we’re still not allowed to part their names or pictures (hence the fuzzed-out faces and Les Miserables-like names). There’s really far too much to say than I can fit into this update, though I’ve already written about it for a separate post. The two kids have been with us for almost a year and we are in the last stretch for finalizing their adoption—right now the adoption hearing is set for June 30th. Transitioning from a family of eight to a family of ten has been incredibly beautiful and tremendously difficult, so much so that there is still much struggle. So please pray for God to knit our family together through his Spirit more and more each day.

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In so many other ways, God’s goodness to us is certainly on display. I’ve since taken a new job with a Medicare contractor doing work very similar to what I used to do in Louisville. This job has been a huge blessing to our whole family, because it’s been less stress for me (less stress = happier hubby and daddy) and the role fits my skill set much better than the job I first had when we moved to Indy. The biggest change has been that I’m able to work from home three days a week, which has been a huge blessing for Courtney and the kids. We’re very grateful to God for the job and my boss and the work environment.

Our church has also gone through some changes. The Coveneys, who came with us to start this whole church thing, moved away for a new ministry opportunity in Tennessee and are now currently walking the Appalachian Trail as a family! We’ve also found ourselves settling into a pattern of life and community with five other families. We’ve settled on the name Indy Ekklesia for our church, because it simply means “Indy Church”. Not that we’re claiming to be the only church in Indy, but because it was getting long-winded for our folks to say “we’re part of a church that usually meets at Bill and Courtney’s house, though we move around sometimes to Dan and Neka’s or Myron and Sohn’a’s, too”. Brevity can be a good thing.

Otherwise, we recently got to visit Destin, Florida, with my parents right after finishing up the school year for the kids. Now we’re hitting warm weather, noisy neighborhoods, summer camps, and more. God’s grace abounds.

Thank you for your ongoing prayer and love, even if from afar.

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