One Week Home

This very moment one week ago we were walking off an airplane into our hometown with our sweet blessing. We were exhausted and hungry but seeing the flashes going off through the airport windows gave us one last burst of energy. We were greeted with cheers  by our closest friends, family, and neighbors and 1 minute later I wrapped my arms around my two big kids and squeezed them so hard I took their breath away. At that moment we became a family of 5. As I sit her one week later I couldn’t be filled with more joy. The boys are splashing in a bubble bath and my sweet girl is curled up beside me. Life is so good!

At some point late in the week things started to fall into place. Maddox was sleeping through the night. David and I felt like we were alive again. We were seeing so many more laughs and giggles than tears. The big kids fell into a comfortable spot in their roles and everyone was getting along. I know it’s a honeymoon phase and if I had a sponge I would soak it up and bottle it because it is PRICELESS!

Last night Maddox slept in his bed from 8pm to 8:30 am and when I opened his door this morning he gave me the biggest smile. He was finally expecting to see me instead of someone else. It was a big moment.

Every day we see more and more of his sweet personality. Here are a few pictures from our evening in the backyard:

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~Easter Parade~

Our kids go to an AMAZING preschool that we really couldn’t say one negative thing about. They love it. We love it. End of story.

One of the many traditions they have each year is an “Easter Parade”. It’s one of my very favorite events of the school year.

It’s a full day worth of fun though starting out with an Easter Egg hunt, followed by a fun Easter party, and then the infamous parade. The kids parade into the sanctuary waiving their palm branches and singing. The fun part is that each kid creates their own special Easter hat to wear in the parade! The 3 year olds are all bunnies, and the 4k and Kindergarten get to be as creative as they want. It is really fun to see all hats…and all the hard work the mommies put into them! ; ) Once on stage they sing a few songs. It’s super cute!

The kids (and my) very favorite song goes something along the lines of, “There was a shake and a rattle..and the stone was rolled away..on the mighty resurrection day!” I always get chills when I hear them sing it.

Almost like the chills I get when I read this:

 

Jesus Has Risen

 

2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

 

5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

 

8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

—————————————-    He is Risen!

“Let the resurrection joy lift us from loneliness and  weakness and despair to strength and beauty and happiness. ” ~Floyd W.  Tomkins

Blessing to you as we celebrate the joyous resurrection of our Saviour. I hope we can all remember that while bunnies and egg hunts are fun our true joy comes from Christ Jesus. May that joy surround you in the coming days and remind us of the true spirit of Easter.

 

 

Summer Bucket List

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Summer is quickly approaching and I find myself trying to come up with a list of fun ideas to keep us all busy!

Last year we went on our “Tour of Parks” where each week we picked a different park around town and enjoyed playing and a picnic lunch. We did all the usually things like the splash pad, beach, swimming at Grammy’s, playdates with friends and cousins, etc and so on but we had no real plan or schedule. And while no schedule fits right in with my personality with two preschoolers (add in a toddler this summer) after 2 weeks or so they were bored and I was about to lose my mind!

THIS Summer I have big,big plans! I have decided that each day will have a loose theme…and I do mean loose.

I haven’t layed it all out yet but here are some ideas I’m tossing around:

~ A day for water fun (pool, beach, splash pad, water park, sprinklers, backyard water slide,etc)

~ A day for Books/Reading ( Books store, tent reading in the backyard, checking out the book trading store in town, the library ~ as a kid one of my favorite things about summer was the reading program through the library. I’m not even sure if they still do this but if they do I’ll sign the kids up)

~ A “Get out of Town” Day ~ Zoo, EdVenture Museum, Visit to Grammy’s (soo much to do there), aquarium, so much more I could add here

~ PJ day- Movies, popcorn, backyard picnics, painting/crafts, kitchen table tents, homemade lemonade…you get the idea!

~ All about Nature- State parks, nature trails, rail trail with our bikes, neighborhood “hike”, fishing, botanical gardens, outdoor scavenger hunts, McLeod farms (strawberry picking, peaches, hay ride, homemade ice cream!), Sunflower picking ( a favorite as a kid), so much more!

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Other things:

Hapi Kids Yoga classes (local yoga studio)

Local movie theaters free/ $1 summer movies

Several camps I want to let the kids pick from (Science South, gymnastics, Tae Kwon Do, etc)

VBS

Pet Store

FunDayGo (Indoor inflatables)

Chuck E Cheese (dare I say it)

Italian Ice/Sonic Happy Hour/ Bruster’s baby cones/ Sweet cupcakes/CFA

Local Theater ~ In the past has had shows throughout the summer for the younger kids

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Do I for one second think I will get through all of these? No! But, at least we have a starting off point to brainstorm from. I just don’t think going into summer with 3 kids and no game plan is a good idea! 🙂 Any thing I’m missing? What are your favorite things to do in Summer? Favorite places to visit? Help me add to my list!

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~ We are F-A-M-I-L-Y ~


I really don’t do a great job of updating anything but adoption related stuff. We do have other things going on outside of that and I’m failing miserably at documenting our life as a whole. So, I’ve made a commitment to myself to try to at least blog once a week on our family life and my goal is to have those posts up on Mondays. I’m going to call it…well I don’t know yet but I’m sure when I do come up with a name it will be really clever! Any ideas? Help me come up with something fun!

So here is a little of what we have been up to. The next posts will be more picture filled as I really try to do better at taking them!!

Dawson:


Oh my, where to start? Dawson has become our “class clown”! He is so much like his daddy with the witty jokes and silliness. In the past year his personality has exploded and I’m loving every minute of it!
At the beginning of the school year he was having some trouble getting into a routine and learning how to play well with his friends but from all recent reports he is doing GREAT! On Friday progress reports came home and I was so impressed with how much he has learned since the last report. He is crazy, smitten with his teacher and talks about her ALL the time.
     He is all about order. Things must go in their rightful place and his room has to be picked up before nap and bedtime. If one of us puts something in the wrong place he quickly corrects us (and has been known to push Reagan out-of-the-way and tell her she’s not doing it right!)
On Saturday, he started soccer at the Y. This is the first time we’ve signed him up for anything organized (if you can call 3 year old soccer that). I’m glad we waited because he is ALL about it. I was amazed at how well he handled the ball. He could kick it across the field, steal it away from his “opponent”, and he even scored a goal. And quite frankly, I have no idea how even knew what to do because neither David or myself know a THING about soccer! Raw talent! ; ) Hey, it’s my blog I get to brag all I want, right?

Reagan~


I can’t believe how much Reagan has grown up this year! I’m so proud of who she is becoming. Right now, she is all about arts and crafts. Her favorite thing to do is paint and she could spend hours doing it.

At school she is reading and recently really just had that clicking moment when she knew she was getting the skill and is just taking off. I hope she loves to read. It’s one of my favorite past times and I want both of my children to have that outlet. We were really proud of her progress report as well! Her kindergarten year has just been a huge learning year for her and we are proud of all her hard work.
She took a gymnastics class recently and although she loves gymnastics I think she had learned most of those skills when she took a few years back. This was a beginner class at a different gym and I think she was bored by it. She really wants to go back to her old gym so that’s the plan for summer camp as of now.
Reagan had her first away sleepover and I survived. : ) She was literally across the street so it wasn’t so bad. : ) She of course had a blast!

It is really hard to believe she will be 7 this year. Where oh where did the time go? Just yesterday she was toddling around and now she is losing teeth and reading!

The Grownups:

After really having a tough few months of struggling with the adoption wait I’ve recently just had a big burst of energy and have plunged into doing a LOT of cooking. Pinterest just makes you feel all kind of domesticated. That has been really therapeutic for me. I’m also in the beginning stages of a little ministry idea. I’m REALLY excited about it and can’t wait to pull it all together and share more. It’s nothing big but I think I’m really going to enjoy it.

David has been crazy busy with work. This is the job he’s worked since we’ve met so it’s all I know. : ) I wish he didn’t have to travel so much but I’m just thankful he has a job that he loves and excels at. We are super lucky that when he’s home he is 100% here.  I honestly could not do life without him by my side! 

 He recently ran his first few races and rocked them. I’m super proud of his dedication to running! Now if I could only get my behind out there! ; )

And as always we are anxiously anticipating the news of our newest arrival. We have good and bad days but lately more good ones. Today we heard that the ministry has stated that it will be at least two more weeks before they accept any submissions. It looks like we have a while more to wait. : )

A Visit from the Tooth Fairy

A few weeks ago we experienced a family first! Reagan lost a tooth. It had become quite wiggly and after 15 minutes of convincing to let me give it one little tug she complied. I put a finger on each side and was about to try when she jerked her chin down to get away from my grip and said she just couldn’t let me do it. Little did she know that little jerk was enough to free her tooth. 🙂

She was beside herself with excitement and to be honest I was pretty excited too! Here are a few shots of her new smile!


`New smile and a new ‘do thanks to pinterest.


`Pure Joy!

“Ok, Mom! Really…that’s enough!”

I found the cutest little tooth fairy box and book set YEARS ago and had it tucked away in the closet to gift her open her first lost tooth. So, I pulled it  out and we read the story and tucked her tooth inside the plush box. That night when I went to do my late night tuck in I found this:



At 2am she appeared in the doorway with her dollar bill tied with a pink ribbon. The tooth fairy must know her well. I think she was more excited about the ribbon than the dollar. : )

Oh, the joys of parenting.

No use crying over spilled chocolate milk…unless it spills on “Night Night”

I just had a to jot down this sweet story.

We’ve been inside ALL weekend basically. The kids had a stomach virus and I was recovering from a cold/flu/sinusy type thing. By this afternoon everyone was going CRAZY and we needed to get it out.

 As soon as the sun set I called both of the kids in the living room and said, “1,2,3…go get on your PJs and meet me at the door in 5 minutes.”

 Reagan reappeared less than 2 minutes later in Christmas PJ’s and sparkly black ballet flats and dragging in just in time Dawson shows up with a Spiderman shirt and cotton shorts. I don’t blame him it’s been unseasonably warm even for the south!

We loaded up. Rode through the drive thru at Kr*spy Kreme (The hot now sign was on. It was a must). The kids got chocolate milk and a sprinkle donut and then we headed out in search of some really great Christmas lights!

 I told David we needed some type of award to hand out to the house that we all decided had the best lights and he looked at me like I had 5 heads so apparently he thought it was a dumb idea. Sounds fun to me!! Can you tell who the fun stopper is?

 Anyway, we rode all over town “oohing” and “ahhing” over the lights and had a fun time. Just as we were about to come home Dawson spilled his chocolate milk ALL in the floor of the car.

 We didn’t realize at the time but the majority of the milk was soaked up by “night night” his very special baby blue minky dot blanket. Sigh… We do have extras but they are spread out at different grandma’s homes at the moment.

 We got the kids ready for bed and prepared for the nuclear meltdown. Dawson is a chill kid but mess with the “night night” and you’ve got a problem. Seriously, he NEVER gives me trouble about going to sleep as long as he has it. So, he is screaming and crying for the blanket. I held him, and tried to comfort him to no avail but finally I had to say that it was enough and leave the room.

 Of course it continued (more of a whimper by this point) but I’m trying to block it out and then I heard Reagan’s voice and I started to call out to her and fuss that she wasn’t upstairs. She came down the hall towards me and said, “Mama, I gave Dawson my Macy (her equally as special blanket). He was just so sad and it was an accident with the milk. I know how it feels to be without my blanket and I think it would be ok with me if he snuggled with Macy tonight.”

Stop the presses. This is a moment that you just want to savor. 

Thankfully, Dawson seemed to be ok with this scenario (although he turned down every other similar blanket I had offered previously). It must have been something about it being her special one that he could just tell it was a sacrifice and accepted it. Within 2 minutes he was asleep.

I’m so proud of my sweet girl. Isn’t it amazing when you see your children displaying a trait you’ve worked so hard to instill in them?   Compassion is a hard one. She really has the biggest heart. I think I may go sneak Macy away from Dawson and take her upstairs. I would bet Reagan is still up there unable to get to sleep without her. Wow. So much to learn from my kids!

 

Fall Y’all

 Ok, it’s been Fall for a little bit but I’ve got a few pictures I wanted to catch up on from this week. I am so proud of myself for actually taking my camera with me lately.

Here is a little bit about what’s been going on with us:

Tuesday was my birthday and we had a fun family day. David took the day off and the kids took out to lunch at Ol*ve Garden. David asked Reagan where she thought I’d like to go and she said she just knew I’d pick OG…and I did!

And it just so happens OG is HER favorite too..so it worked out in her favor.

 This is how she eats her bread sticks. She bites off the part with the salt…

 Hmm..Is he working or playing Angry Birds? That is the question….

                          

                                        I think the Tiramisu was for me but I only got one bite….

After lunch we came home and took a fabulous nap then headed out for ice cream and to the movie store. We rented E.T. and stopped for snacks then we all came home and put on our PJ’s. The rest of the evening was spent curled on the couch watching movies. I seriously could not have planned a better way to spend my birthday. Relaxing and fun!

 Last night was the annual Fall Festival at our church. The kids look forward to this every year. I had a family theme for our costumes this year (Goldilocks and the 3 bears) but my kids actually had an opinion this year (so not fair).  Reagan picked Ariel and Dawson wanted to be Buzz Lightyear again. He tried to change his mind at the last minute and be Optimus Prime but I was not about to purchase a costume when Buzz was super cute and recycled from last year.

     He was so proud to show everyone that his wings would light up and ran around with his arms in the air shouting, “To the rescue!”

 Prettiest little mermaid I’ve ever seen. I’m hoping someone introduces a Chi’ to her one day soon though.

                                                       Aunt Jenny joined us at the Fall Festival too!

                                                                              My sweet Ariel

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 We had a blast. Ate too much junk. Caught up with friends. Went on a hay ride. Played carnival games.Jumped on bouncy houses. Trunk or Treated. Slept well!

 Yay. I’m all caught up. Now to get some laundry done.

Class Pets!

 So, I do have other children. They’ve been sorely neglected on here lately. I cannot tell you the last time I have picked up my camera. I’ve really got to get better. The last two weekends we’ve hosted class pets in our home so in order to document their adventures for the class scrapbook I had to take a few pictures.  I thought I’d share a few since they are the only ones I’ve taken lately. Must.get.better!

Two weekends ago Dawson got to bring home “Jack” the class bear.

                                  This is Dawson and Jack at bedtime. Dawson insisted he wear PJ’s..of course!

 Jack kept getting into quite his fair share of mischief.  This is where we found him before church on Sunday..

         Reagan and her class pet “Caramel” before heading out for a spin around the neighborhood. It was quite an adventure!

We camped out in the backyard last weekend while Caramel was visiting.  The kids had a blast roasting hot dogs and making s’mores on our little fire pit. I think the highlight for them was experimenting with what things looked like when they melted. They tried paper, leaves, juice boxes, graham crackers…good fun. And then, we ALL squeezed in a tent. Normally I tuck everyone in and sneak inside to my nice cozy bed. But, I took one for the team and joined them. I’m SO not a camper.

  Reagan insisted we make “Caramel” some caramel milk. Yes, that would be milk mixed with Caramel ice cream topping. Reagan pleaded that is was just the same as using chocolate syrup. Hmm.. I think she might be a lawyer when she grows up.

 

Back to School

         A little late on the draw with this one but my big kids started back to school last week. Reagan is officially a kindergartener and Dawson started 3k (3 mornings a week). It’s been quite the adjustment from summer having to be out the door around 7:30!  The kids are really loving their new friends, new teachers, and new routine. Reagan did ask me on a particularly grumpy Monday morning “How much longer was she going to have to get up so early!?!?” I informed her that sadly the answer to that was the rest of her life. : )

The Tuesday before school started the kids got to go to their classrooms and meet their teachers. Here are a few pictures of that morning:

Reagan was excited to not only have some special “old” friends in her class but a few new friends. I think it always takes the anxiety out of the first day getting to see your classmates and room before school really begins.

 Dawson wouldn’t stay still long enough for me to get a picture of him but he made lots of new friends too. Oddly enough, 4 kids that live on our street are in his class so he already had a few familiar faces.

 This is his *new* camera smile face. Sigh.

Wednesday morning was the first day of school and the kids were both VERY excited. I expected some anxiety from Reagan but I was surprised that for the most part she wasn’t nervous a bit. Dawson true to form never skipped a beat. Even with our new early morning schedule we managed to take a few quick pictures before we loaded up the car. 

My little kindergartener

 I can’t believe she is old enough to be in 5K

   Right before this picture my camera died and I was forced to pull out my iPhone to finish up the pictures.

  Seriously the cutest 3ker ever! Our preschool provides bags for all the kids each year. Dawson’s seems to swallow him. I’m sure by the end of school I’ll be reminiscing about how little he seemed.

        He couldn’t stop talking about going to play on the “water slide” aka play ground slide.

               He looks entirely too grown up here. I can’t even handle the cuteness!

            When we got to school Reagan practically tackled us to get inside the school. Dawson walked right into his room and started playing and I had to make him stop long enough to give me a hug.  Then we walked Reagan to her class and once through the threshold she clung to my leg for dear life. Thankfully,her teacher came right over and greeted her and she gave her a big hug and then was ready for us to leave. I was completely fine until I walked out of her classroom and then I welled up with tears just a little bit. I’m really proud of them both.

I took a few pictures of them in their classroom and with their teachers but after a quick google search I decided to be a little more precautious about what I share on here. I think I’ve been pretty naive about who can see what on this blog and I’d rather just be on the safe side..and today that means not sharing my pictures that tell the world where my kids go to school everyday. But trust me they are incredibly cute. 

 Both kids had a great first day. They LOVE their teachers and had lots to tell me when they got home. I’m so proud of both of them and excited for the school year ahead.

 Late that afternoon while we were chatting Reagan got this serious look on her face and said, “Mama, I thought you said I was going to learn how to read in kindergarten!?!?” I laughed and was sure to inform her that she would but it may take just a little bit longer than 1 day. : )

  Time just keeps ticking away and as always we are just trying to soak up every little drop.