Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008!

We had a great Christmas. We scaled back a bit and only got 4 things for each child, but with grandma gifts and gifts from siblings, they had more than enough. In fact, I think next year we'll go with 3 gifts per child to represent the gifts from the 3 wise men. I try to do whatever I can to remind them of the true meaning of Christmas.

The kids were so excited that they got up at 2:00 a.m.! When they came in to our bedroom, we ignored then in hopes they'd just go back to bed. Nope. They ran around making all kinds of noise until 6:00 when they settled down for an hour or so, then were up and running again. Tim and I finally gave up and got up.

The rest of the day was so fun, with gifts, stockings, and our traditional Christmas foods. We have Jimmy Dean Sausage, Egg and Cheese Croissants for breakfast, stocking goodies for lunch, and lasagna for dinner. May sound strange , but it's tradition for us - mostly because it requires very little cooking from me. I'm not a cook!

We finished off the day with a movie and some eggnog, and then fell into bed exhausted. Merry Christmas everyone!

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow.........

This picture is of something that's rare for this area - show that sticks. Enough to actually make a small snowman. In fact, this was just the beginning. It continued snowing off and on for a couple of weeks and by the end we had about 14 inches at our hill top home. The kids were thrilled, and Lexie was happy to have an extra week of Christmas vacation because the schools were closed. It was pretty, but I don't like being snowed in!

Church Christmas Party

We had a very nice Christmas party at our church. There was a yummy dinner, and then the children sang and the little ones acted out the nativity. Then there was a visit from Santa. I absolutely love to watch kids put on programs. They're soooo cute! Emily and Ashlyn were supposed to be sheep in the manger, but they both wanted to play with baby Jesus. So instead of standing and looking on adoringly, they took turns holding baby Jesus and patting his back. It was the cutest thing ever and they stole the show!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cute Lexie

Lexie had to have some photos of herself for a Young Women's project at church. This one was too cute not to post! I love her hair short like this. She looks so grown up!

Marq and Annie's Baptism

We had to wait until September to baptize Marq and Annie because our schedule was so crazy this summer. They were so excited to finally get baptized! It was a beautiful day and ceremony. Ellie played the piano for the service and our good friend LauraMaery gave a great talk. All in all, it was a wonderful day!

Brantley's 9th! Aug. 24 2008

He's getting so big! I couldn't believe he was turning 9. It seems like just yesterday that we were taking him to all the medical specialists who helped him get through his first year after being born 4 months early. He was such a tiny thing then, but not any longer. He's a big healthy boy now!

His picks were:

Fruit Loops cereal

Orange soda

Pizza. Can you guess what's the favorite food around here?

For dinner we went to Chucky Cheese for our annual "All Kids Birthday Party". Several children ago we realized that we just couldn't have huge birthday parties for everyone every birthday. So now, they get to have a party with friends every 3 years or so, and the rest of the time they have family parties. Then once a year we all go out to a place like Chucky Cheese and celebrate everyone's birthday. I of course forgot my camera, but believe me, everyone had a blast!

Marq Turns 8! July 25th 2008

Handsome Marq with his cake. He was so excited to finally be old enough to get baptized and go to Cub Scouts!

His birthday picks were:

Frosted Miniwheats cereal

Root beer for his soda

Pizza for dinner. He'd eat it every night if he had the chance!

Ashlyn's 4th Birthday, June 29 2008

I couldn't believe it when our youngest turned 4! I no longer have to buy diapers or or pull-ups or carry a diaper bag - for the first time in almost 18 years! But I digress...........

Ashlyn was so cute on her birthday. She kept saying "I'm a really big girl now, right? Can I have a car?" Can you tell she has teen siblings?

For her birthday choices she had:

Disney Princess cereal

Orange soda

Hot dogs and chips for dinner

And of course another cake!

Annie is 8!

Here's Annie with her birthday cake. I never bake them, I just take the easy way out and buy them. We actually have 4 family birthdays in June, so by the end of the month we're all cake-ed out. For her birthday choices Annie choose:

Lucky Charms for her breakfast

Sprite for her soda

Pizza for dinner

I can't even remember what she or any of the other kids got for gifts this year, but I know she was thrilled. What can I say? I have mommy mush brain. I'll have to do a better job of keeping track in 2009!

Summer Soccer

The 3 3rd graders did soccer this summer and had a great time. I kept forgetting to bring my camera to their games to get pictures. You'd think with as long as I've been a mom that I'd remember these things, but apparently I'm a slow learner!

Karate Anyone?

Here are the little kids last June in their karate uniforms. Aren't they cute? Ellie and Lexie take karate too and are both brown belts. Two more testings and Ellie will earn her black belt! She's been working for it for years and can't wait.

2008 Catch-Up

This year, and probably for the next few years, I'm blogging instead of scrapbooking. I have oodles of lovely scrapbook supplies and I love to do it, but I just don't have the time. And since I didn't start this blog until October, I need to include the rest of 2008 so when I print it out, it contains the whole year. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, I have very few pictures because of a flash card malfunction earlier in the year. So here's the rest of our year, out of chronological order and missing several months, but such is life!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Belated Happy National Adoption Month!

Last month was National Adoption Month, and I was going to do a post about, surprisingly enough, adoption! However, my friend Wendy blogged about it so much better than I could, that I'm just going to repeat much of what she said. Thanks Wendy!

It's no secret that our family was formed through adoption - with pale parents and children who are all some beautiful shade of brown it's pretty obvious and often garners unwanted attention. Ok, so we're all used to it by now. I'm getting better at not wanting to kick strangers who stare in the grocery store. Although from time to time someone makes a sympathetic comment about how sad it is that I don't "have any of my own".

I have a range of replies to this, and I've gotten good at not rolling my eyes as I reply that they're all "my own". I have the court papers to prove it.

So, in honor of National Adoption Month, I'm going to turn the tables. You see, I've always felt a little sorry to those whose lives AREN'T touched by adoption. Here, in no particular order, is my (and Wendy's) list of reasons that I love adoption and wouldn't in a million years trade the way my family was created:

1.) I can brag all I want about my kids and it's not an ego thing - it wasn't my genes that created these incredible kids.

2.) Knowing firsthand, in the most personal down-to-the-bone kind of way that love is thicker than blood, blind to color/ethnicity/disability or any of the other conditions society puts on it.

3.) An excuse to immerse myself in new worlds. I've discovered that I love African American literature and have a thing for black history. Who knew?

4.) Validation of my ability to parent! Yes, the endless round of social workers, attorneys and judges is beyond annoying. But unlike most parents, I have at least 8 homestudies that pronounce me a fit parent - heck, most of them say all kinds of nice things about my mothering. And 8 times a judge has concurred. This is great to remember on those "What ever made me think I could do this?!" days.

5.) Having each precious one sealed in the temple. It doesn't get any better than that.

6.)Connections. Through adoption groups I've been a part of, I've found some of my dearest friends, friendships that transcend our common experiences in adoptions and carry over to the rest of life. And because adoption is such a visible, public thing for our family, I often get sweet experiences of proud grandparents showing me pictures of their adopted grandbabies, or quiet conversations with relative strangers who placed a baby for adoption months or years ago and felt the rightness of that choice confirmed when they saw our family together.

7.) I've learned things I didn't know about myself. I've learned that if I just step forward in faith, the Lord really will make up the difference between what I thought I was capable of, and what I'm actually am. There WILL be enough time, money, energy, emotional strength, and patience for another little one. I've learned that I can give up control - yes even a control freak like me. I've learned to let go of my plan and let God accomplish His purposes. His plan is always better than mine anyhow.

So there you have it. Happy National Adoption Month from a happy adoptive Mommy!

House Part 5

Yea! We have a roof! Now hopefully the inside can dry out from the recent rain. We also have stairs so the kids were able to go upstairs and see where their bedrooms well be. It's so fun to see it taking shape!


Well I'm finally getting around to posting about our Thanksgiving. We had a great one! We did something we've never done before - went out to dinner instead of eating at home. I decided that I just wasn't up for cooking a big dinner in our rental house's smallish kitchen using the little pots and pans that came as part of the house's furniture, so out we went. We didn't want to do anything fancy, just casual and fun, so we ate at Old Country Buffet. They has all the traditional Thanksgiving food, plus lots of other things too. Several of the kids had pizza as well as turkey, and everyone got to have several desserts. It was easy and yummy!

That night, we continued our yearly tradition of stating something we were thankful for. Here's the list:

Ashlyn: Barbies

Emily: Princess Barbies

Marq: Eating at a restaurant

Annie: Holidays

Brantley: Sponge Bob

Lexie: She was too busy texting to answer!

Ellie: Music (she's really missing our piano while it's in storage)

Me: The miracle of adoption

Tim: The gospel

We also were all thankful that our house is being built faster than we thought it would be. By the way, the picture was taken out on our front porch on our way to dinner. Doesn't everyone look hungry?