Friday, December 21, 2012

Five Years

We had a very fun weekend last weekend. It was Clara's birthday. She turned five. Although it is absolutely shocking to have a five year old--somehow this makes me a "real" parent--I am thrilled to be Clara's mom and to know that she is the first little person that God chose to entrust to Owen and I. I look back at who I was as a first time mom 5 years ago, to the kind of mom I am today and wonder if I would recognize myself! Parenthood has a way of shaping and changing people...I am SO glad too. Clara's strong will, zest for life, enthusiasm, spirited fierceness has placed me on my knees on so many occasions. I would not trade her or the things learned through being her parent for anything!

This year I did a very small drop off party with 2 cousins and one friend. It was perfect! Clara was the life of the party--she had the girls laughing all night. To watch her soak up the attention (appropriately) and enjoy the night that we had planned together brought such joy to (our) my heart.

 The girls all wore "party dresses" and we took photos together. Our craft was to make a picture frame, & they took it home with photos together at the party. They turned out pretty cute. Above, Clara with cousin Lila.
 Clara with dear friend Lydia.
 Clara and mommy crafting.
 We made homemade pizza's for everyone...of course Clara had to cheese it up for the photo.
 I bought root beer in bottles and that was a big hit...the girls (except one who shall remain nameless) barely made it through 1/3 of their drinks.
 Clara and her cousin Olivia.
 Cake time! A special thank you to Auntie Rachael for making pink cakes with strawberries per the birthday girl's request.
 Snuggled up for watching "Tangled" after the festivities died down. This was a "faux" sleep over--everyone changed into PJ's and pretended like they'd stay for the night--Olivia did stay over, and they slept in a tent in the living room. God bless parents who do that regularly. Staying up until 9:30 and waking at 5:30 am was not quite what I was expecting from these two girls.

Clara shares her birthday with her Great Grandpa, which is just about the most special thing ever. To celebrate we had them over and Grandma Joy bough pizza and Uncle Isaac made chocolate cake. We celebrated the two of them together.

Such a special memory for Clara to have so many of her family members close and to celebrate with her!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pictures as promised

 a rare photo of mom and a child. It's the Christmas season--miracles do happen.
 a rare photo of a child making a silly face. It's the Christmas season--miracles happen.
 A rare photo of papa and the boys--making normal faces. It's the Christmas season--miracles happen
 Ok...this isn't rare in our house. As fore mentioned, the kids did a re-enactment of the firs Thanksgiving, complete with a slaying of a turkey, the cleaning of a turkey and the sharing of the turkey. A special thanks to Grandma for teaching the kids about the thanksgiving history and finding the fantastic costumes.

 The kids watching papa's iphone with a turkey hang over.
Wesley sporting a card that's stating the obvious...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Update

What a week--we had Thanksgiving. It was good. Our kids did a play about the first Thanksgiving. It was cute. I have pictures. I will post them I promise. I can't find the camera.

On adoption...
We had our final home study on the day before Thanksgiving. Our case worker came and toured the house and interviewed Isaac. On previous dates, she had already interviewed Owen and I. She finished her report and submitted it to the AZ courts. We are "Officially Waiting". What does that mean? I really have no idea. We are legal to adopt in AZ and we have submitted our match letter to the agency. We could get a call tonight--or any time from now until 18 months from now. What we do know is that we are ready and praying for God's perfect timing to expand our family. We have also been praying for our birth mom. It's hard to describe loving 2 people we don't yet know. The kids are excited to have a new baby--all except Wesley who totally doesn't get it. Poor kid, he is going to be blindsided.

On families...
Our family is doing good. Owen and I are doing great. We are enjoying this holiday season and LOVE that the kids "get it". The Christmas tree is up and we've had our obligatory picture with Santa. We are enjoying doing fun things with the kids in the nice weather. Believe it or not, Owen is running with me, pushing the boys in the BOB and Clara rides her bike. She has made it 3 miles!
This has been a sobering year for us in the relationship department. We have some very important relationships in our lives that are struggling. Our hearts break for the pain that we have seen lately. Please join us in praying for the people in our lives. Pray that the Lord would protect your marriage--those marriages around you.

On Kids...
I promise I will post pictures soon of the kids. This is mostly about them and not about things I am learning or going through--but sometimes it's about that too. Like I said, I can't find the camera. Clara is doing great in school and has started reading 3 letter words. Talk about satisfaction! I told my sister that teaching Clara to read is enough to make me commit to homeschooling all the way through...I can't believe I said that out loud.


I think that is it for now--I promise pictures to come!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Define Necessity



On this Black Friday, let us keep what's really important in the forefront of our minds. I cringed hard the first time I saw this picture...my stomach so full from yesterday's meal that I didn't even want to eat breakfast. I am praying that my heart would  be full of Christ and out of His love, I would not be caught up in consumerism, spinning my own wheels to get stuff I (and those around me) definitely don't need. May I keep this image in the forefront of my mind as I shop for gifts to tell people how I love them...
If you are interested in purchasing gifts that make an impact for orphans, please visit www.orphanwares.com


Saturday, November 17, 2012

In light of the election

In light of the election, let me direct you to my friend Jen Hatmaker. Well, actually I only wish we were friends. She's a great thinker & writer!  We've never met and probably never will. But that's OK at least I have her books & blog.

To be honest, I've never written on my blog regarding politics because I feel fairly uneducated about what's going on in our country. GASP? Well, I am only being truthful. My life is more about ABC's, potty training, teaching my children to love each other more than the toy that they're fighting over and reaching out to other moms than it is about two parties fighting to gain control of a country and government that seems a little uncontrollable. I don't have hours to devote to reading media that may or may not be accurate and I don't turn on the TV when the kids are up leaving our TV time very minimal AND I'd rather be snuggling up to Owen than listening to two other people yell at each other about two other people. OK. enough said about that. You get it I think.

But let's get back to my friend Jen. (just let me keep pretending OK?) She wrote a fantastic article. The first article that resounded enough with me that I actually understood it and feel strong enough about it to put a link on my blog. So, for your post election reading pleasure click HERE:

And, just in case you need a good hymn to help you remember who's really in control:

A Mighty fortress is Our God


A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

30 in 1

So I've thought about other titles for this post. "How I lost a pre-schooler", (this might be slightly alarming) "The post in which I tell you how much I weigh" (trying to avoid morbid curiosity) "My weight loss journey"...but 30 in 1 just about best describes it. so that's 30 pounds in 1 year. And you may be asking yourself, "Is she really posting a weight loss post?" Yes, yes I am. It's not to brag or to toot my own horn. First and foremost as with all things on this blog, it's more for my own record. Second, it's to remind any other fellow mama's that weight loss is possible in the midst of raising children and it's TOTALLY worth it.

Well if I am doing this for a record, it's 34 pounds (not 30) but who's counting? (Let's be honest, I am totally counting!) I've had 3 kids in 4 years. That in and of itself can be a little hard on a body. After each pregnancy I held on to say 5-10 lbs instead of getting it all the way off before I got preggers again. At the beginning of 2011 I was about to birth my 3rd child and I was enormous. The year prior had been rough in the eating department for all members of my family. Judah was in the throws of his aspiration diagnosis and symptoms. He was not eating hardly anything and was considered failure to thrive. I was in "make my baby grow" mode and then I found out we were expecting...this would be our 3rd pregnancy in 4 months. I got sick--really sick with Wesley. And although I didn't want to eat, I ate everything that Judah didn't eat. Everything--slathered in butter, dipped in olive oil, high fat high calorie. Anything he wasn't eating I ate--didn't finish his dinner (or even touch it) I ate it and mine. I knew I was in trouble with the weight gain when at my 25 week appointment my OB told me that if I didn't slow down the weight gain "we wont recognize you". Although that stung a little it didn't make a big impact. I kept eating. Fast forward a few months, Judah pulls through his aspiration and is eating fantastically but I have created some bad habits that have put a major stretch in my pants! So February 21 I delivered Wesley...and on the delivery table just minutes after he was born I remember saying "This is the part where in my heart I think I must look awesome, but in my mind I know that couldn't be farther from reality!"
Wabam! 

I recovered from delivery quickly and started back running. I lost those first few obligatory pounds of water weight and maybe a little more and then I plateaued for a whole year. Yep. A whole year. Wait, you ask, didn't you train for a half marathon? Yep--I trained and ran some 200 miles over a course of 5 months but I lost maybe 5 pounds. Frustrating? Definitely. Discouraging? Totally. What was going on? In December just before the half marathon I went to my doctor who referred me to another doctor...that doctor did a bunch of tests for scary things like adrenal gland problems, diabetes etc. One came back border line and the others  normal...Here I am not even 30 and having testing done for significant diagnosis because I can't loose weight. Then the truth hit me...It's completely my fault. It's my eating. Those habits that I created to cope with Judah's eating issues were having serious consequences. I had a little pep talk with myself and decided that I would get things under control after the half marathon. The first of January I started reading The Southbeach Diet Book and it made a lot of sense to me and seemed to be very manageable. I decided to wait to start after the race because I didn't want to make such a huge change and make the race even harder to complete! The day after the race I started the diet and within the first 2 weeks I had lost 7 lbs. By the 3 week it was about 12 total and the weight just kept coming off. By June, just 6 months after I had started the diet, I'd lost a total of 30 lbs and was at my pre-baby weight. A few months later I still loose a pound or two depending on the month. My clothes that I was wearing before i ever got pregnant fit and some are even too big. I feel stronger and more comfortable with my figure than I ever have been. It's not always what I look like, but knowing what I can do with my body--running a half marathon, giving life, being strong for my kids, having tons of energy. I still adhere to the 3rd phase of the southbeach during the week, but have fun here and there during the weekend. It's become more of a lifestyle for me than a diet. Most of the times when I am tempted to eat things that I shouldn't I have a small portion instead of eating HUGE portions. I don't eat a ton of bread or pasta's but I have those things occasionally. Nothing is off limits. Our whole family is eating more REAL food and less fake processed food. It's good.

I realized in this process that I am a total emotional eater. I know that sounds silly, but it's true. Now when I am feeling like things are a little hectic and I just want a big chocolate chip cookie (which will remain my weakness until the day I die!) I will wait on the cookie and go on a run. My head is clearer when I come back and I don't feel like that cookie (I may still have a treat though). I also have seen how training for the marathon has made me much more disciplined. It's like something in my mind clicked in relation to the training and translated to a lot of other areas. It's also made me more laid back (laugh if you want, if you knew me 6 years ago you'll get what I mean).

So, in summary, all of this was worth it. As I take a look back at the past year I can see that it was good for me to get a little health scare. It was worth it for me to work so hard and not get the results I wanted. It was worth it for me to take an honest look at the way I was eating and realize I had some major things I needed to change. Most of all I want to remember that my body is a temple and even in the way that I feed & maintain this body should be a reflection of my love for God because he dwells in me.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

McDonald's Moment, Number three--

So if you haven't read Part 1 or Part 2, you can do so by clicking Here & Here

Bada, bop, bup, ba, I'm lovin' it....Ok well at least I am lovin' remembering  that this is part of my story. When it has been a while since I have relived these moments, I just sit back and think how awesome this part is. It is only something that  could be designed by God.

I was going along through the summer just after graduating high school. I was 3 months away from escaping the turmoil that had been my life for the past 3 years. I was ready to go and ready to live in LA chasing my dream of becoming a professional vocalist. I worked here and there, spent a lot of time with friends and also continued to be a leader in my church youth group.

One day my home phone rang. I was home and it was an LA number so I picked up. It was the admissions counselor that I had spent much time with. I felt like we'd been planning my life together for quite some time by that point! Our conversation was short. To the point. Some how there had been a mistake and the money he thought would be available for me to go to APU was no longer there. I was devastated. I was shocked. I was shaking. I felt panic. I called my mom. When she got home we discussed our options. My mom said she'd work a second job, I could work part time and we'd go to the bank tomorrow to figure out what kind of loans we could get on such short notice. This was about 5 weeks before I was scheduled to leave.

I told my mom, "No. This is not how it was supposed to be. This is not what God planned."

I went to my room and prayed. When I came out my mom's heart had changed too. She said three words. "Go e-mail Keith."

I sat down immediately and keyed an e-mail explaining what had happened. I remembered that at some point in our communications Keith had mentioned that his advertising company had an office in LA and they offered internships. I asked Keith to explain in detail what the internship program would look like for a student like me, who the contacts were, how to apply etc.

Minutes later I had an e-mail back from Keith explaining in detail the in's and out's of the internship program. It was overwhelming to say the least. My eyes were welling with tears as I felt my dream of APU and a vocal career slip away with each requirement that I knew I could not meet. The last line of his e-mail though are words I will never forget.

"Emily, I don't want you to have to go through all of that. Please tell me how much you need. I would like to help you through college."

Instantly my tears of fear and disappointment turned into tears of joy and gratefulness. Who but GOD himself could orchestrate such an amazing series of events? Who but God could put a perfect match to our needs? It's like I ordered up a divine appointment at Mickey D's that day and asked God to super size it. He did!

Three days later, my mom & I received a check for the exact amount needed for that year's remaining tuition fees. Not only  for my freshman year, but Keith renewed his commitment to help fund my college education for all four years of my education as needed. Amazingly, even after I discovered that I was no longer purposed to be a famous Christian singer and changed my major, Keith still supported me.

In the final post about this story, I'll talk about the impact this has made in my life, my family's life...what it meant for me to go to APU and a few journeys that this allowed along the way. A piece of encouragement that I'll leave you with though, one that I have to cling to daily is that no matter what God has purposed for you, He's also prepared the way & the means for you to get there.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ok..maybe we do need Halloween

We did a Halloween last night for the first time! I know I know, I am not the greatest mom. I pretended not to know what Halloween was until my kids did. It all comes down to laziness folks.

The pay off was sweet though. We had no children fighting being in their costumes, taking off hats, or crying because they didn't get enough candy--our kids thought they died and went to Heaven. Judah said, "Mom! We should go Trick o Treating every night!". It was fun.

I think Clara may have a future with Disney. She has that doe-eyed princess look down pat. 


Although Wesley can't say "trick or treat", he totally "got" what we were doing. He had no problem walking up to people and putting his chubby little hand out to get some candy. His killer smile didn't hurt either! Below, showing off his loot. 

 Judah kept saying how he needed to add his candy to his "Pirates' booty". Thanks uncle Colin for teaching him that one!
No, the elephant isn't ours. But she's so cute I couldn't resit. We visited 'Auntie' Lindsay and Uncle Colin for dinner and to partake of their "safe" block party trick or treating. It was a great night over all. Thanks for hosting us!

Monday, October 22, 2012

McDonald's Moment--Part 2

If you haven't read part one, do so by clicking HERE

Ok...so I didn't realize that I would have a week of no posting...Wednesday I got the notice on my computer that no one wants--hard drive failing. Yep. It sucked. Thanks to the message though, I lost no data. Back to the story...

Our choir ended up back in school and we finished out the day in typical fashion. I went home, did home work and probably started something for dinner. When my mom got home, she asked about my day. When I told her about the interesting encounter I had at the golden arches, she was less than thrilled. As a parent now, I understand...as a teen? Not so much. I can still see my mom in her ankle length wool coat and scarf saying we needed to go back to her bedroom computer and look up this man on the internet. She had her "I am not happy" look on her face. This was before facebook, myspace or any other social net work. We were looking for who this guy really was. Today, if you type his name in, there are over 3 million hits. Yeah, I met that guy. My mom's fear of who I gave our information to quickly turned into excitement, curiosity and plain amazement. Keith at the time of our meeting was the CEO of the largest advertising franchise in the world--think McDonald's  State Farm, Budweiser, Volkswagen (their client list is AMAZING). And he just video taped me and asked me if I wanted to sing in commercials.

After our "minor" internet discovery, I quickly logged onto our e-mail and sent Keith a message telling him that I was so flattered that he would take the time to talk to me. I also shared with Keith that I was a Christian and although I was thrilled that he'd think of me & my gift to potentially be used in a commercial, I had  strong conviction to sing only for the purpose of furthering God's Kingdom. Keith quickly responded back and shared that he too had a strong faith, he was a father of 7 children and was excited to get to know me better. The next day or two I received a HUGE FedEx package at my house. There were a few trinket gifts, music to the song "Emily" as promised, and TONS of CD's with the recording. Additionally, Keith had included videos of commercials he wanted my opinion on. I was dumbfounded. 

After this point, I think my mom and I realized that this was someone special, who was not around to take advantage of me. He seemed genuinely interested in my life. Through e-mail Keith encouraged me to pursue my dreams. He encouraged me to do my best work in school. He encouraged me to give my dad another chance. In the spring, my mom and I flew to Chicago to visit Moody Bible Institute. While I thought I would be going there simply because I was accepted to both the school & the music conservatory, during our visit, it became increasingly clear that this school would not be a good fit for me. Although Keith has an affinity for Chicago, he was in full support of me going to a school where I was comfortable. So I re-directed my thoughts & went all in towards Azusa Pacific University. I visited late spring and also auditioned for the school of music...

All through this time, it is so clear how God was orchestrating such an amazing story. I had been waiting for my audition with the director of the APU freshman girls choir for about 2 hours...when another director (whom I didn't know at the time) came around the corner and asked if anyone wanted to audition and get it over with. My BFF who was with me raised my hand for me. I walked into this other directors office and had the audition of my life--he gave me the highest available vocal scholarship. My audition-er was none other than Al Clift who became my friend, director and mentor over the next 4 years at APU. I was feeling confirmation from the Holy Spirit about bowing out of MBI. After this instance, although my mom and I did not know how the funding would happen exactly, we both felt that God was laying a path for me to attend APU.

As my senior year drew to a close, I turned 18...Keith sent me a gift card to the GAP. The screaming and shopping that ensued still makes me tingle all over. After my birthday and before graduation, I received several additional scholarships from APU and also various scholarships available to students in our school. The biggest scholarship granted was a CalGrant which made the dream of going to APU a reality. God clearly had this dream formed for me when I visited as a 15 year old. I was excited to go and start this next chapter of my life. 

Before any of my new life could happen though, several parts of my current life were coming to a close. I graduated, moved out of my childhood home into a new home, my sister got married and various other "major" life events took place. To say that I was ready to get out of dodge would have been the understatement of the century...

But that hope collapsed with one disappointing phone call... 



Tuesday, October 16, 2012

McDonald's Moment--Part 1

Do you Remember commercial's like this for McDonalds? 
Can a restaurant evoke emotion, change a life, or a moment...We have definitely been given the impression that one can! I'm not one to think that a restaurant could change my life--I leave that up to the perfect sovereign will of God, but I did have a McDonald's moment that changed my life forever. Some know the story, so sorry for the redundancy. 1 Peter 3:15 says, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have..." Christ had a perfect plan for my life during a very difficult season and I am so grateful that I have the ability to share this story as a part of my hope!  I've realized I have never written this story out. It's been 13 years since it happened, and I don't want the details to become any dimmer!

A little background--at 15 my high school went on a "Spring Tour" up & down the California coast...we stopped at several colleges, Azusa Pacific University being one of them. I just about came unglued when I sat in the rehearsal hall and listened to the choir perform--they sang O Si Funni Mungu and several other stirring songs. It was mind boggling. After the tour, when I was home, we had a family dinner where I proudly and firmly said that I would be going to Azusa Pacific University for my college education. My practical hard working dad asked how much the school cost and gave a little chuckle and said that he didn't think that would be happening. I remember telling him in my own little sassy voice,(I had a little habit of letting my personal convictions known to anyone who had ears), "Don't under estimate what God is going to be doing in my life dad". Conversation over. End of story.

Fast forward 2 years...I am a senior in high school. My parents had separated, I had subsequently kicked my dad out of my life. (this breaks my heart now to think of how I hurt him and me). I was still very involved in the fore mentioned choir. During the holiday season we had many Christmas concerts all over the Sacramento valley. One particular holiday concert was for Aero Jet Machinist Hall. It was a reunion of sorts for those in attendance and they could not have cared less if there was a choir singing their hearts out. They talked through our whole set. My wonderful teacher, Jennifer Leighton felt bad for their rudeness and to "make up" for the experience, she took us to the place that could make it all better,  McDonald's.

Let me set the scene. There are 15-20 high school students dressed in fantastically 90's formal choral wear. Suits & taffeta, and fake velvet oh yes. We walk into Micky-D's and see a bunch of extremely well dressed businessmen. I start to tease with one of my girl friends about them being so dressed up in this restaurant  Hahah--now that's the pot calling the kettle black. One of the said business men approaches me...he seems to be in his late 50's early 60's and has kind eyes. He asked me why we were in such nice attire. I began to tell him that we were part of a choir yada yada yada. He asks me my name. "Emily" I say. "Oh, Emily, have you ever heard the song, Emily?" "No." I reply. He says, "Oh, well I'll have to send you the music!". Of course I think he is speaking in hyperbole. Never imagining that was going to happen. Suddenly, one of the other well dressed men is video taping me.--Now I am still a ham. But can you imagine me at 17 being a MAJOR ham? I saw a video camera and I was going to take my moment!--We introduced ourselves further and Keith asks a few questions about my future. He asked if I was going to college, I was, planning to go to Moody Bible Institute--(it was only 5 grand and way affordable for my now single mom). In my most grown up & charming self, I talked about what music I liked and what my dreams were and what I was planning to study at Moody. Music of course. Vocal Performance, of course.

He asks me about what I want to do for a living and of course, I am going to be the next famous Christian Recording Artist. (can someone say reality check please?). He asked me if I wanted to sing for commercials and I laughed it off. Much to my surprise, Keith asked me for my address and he gave me his business card. I tucked his card into my pea-coat and went away to eat my lunch. The whole exchange maybe took 5-10 minutes. Yep, those 5-10 minutes changed my life...

Stay Tuned for Part 2

Dawning Moments

Owen's Aunt Laura was in a pretty serious "accident" 2 weeks ago. She fell off a horse and broke her tibia in 7 places. We were finally able to go visit her on Sunday and saw her "ouchies" and prayed for her. Owen prayed, and Clara said the sweetest prayer too.

Monday Clara had a very concerned expression on her face...Our conversation went like this:

Me: Clara, what's wrong?
Clara: I'm just so worried about Aunt Laura.
Me: Well, you can just say a prayer to Jesus and ask him to comfort Aunt Laura and heal her leg.
Clara: He can hear us mom? I just keep thinking about her and it makes me feel sad.
Me: Yes! He can hear you Clara. He even knows your thoughts. Everything you think about. You can even say a prayer for Aunt Laura in your head.
Clara: In my head? He knows what I say even when I don't say it? How can he do that?
Me: God is so awesome and so mighty. He is all powerful. He knows EVERYTHING!
Clara: Oh! So that's why he knows how many hairs are on my head.

I think the Lord is developing a theological thinker in my family. I am grateful. There is nothing like a 4 year old pointing me to Christ and reminding me how much HE loves us.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

We don't need Halloween!

No this is not a bash post on Halloween. Dressing up or purposely dressing silly is something that's so built into kids...well at least my kids. 
Exhibit A 
 Judah can often be found in silly clothing choices. This one is the winner from last week. He seriously wore these clothes out--and was comfortable with it. So that's a button down shirt worn backwards whit a striped belt and camouflage rain boots. and don't forget the car's inspired backpack, filled with, CARS!
Exhibit B
 Clara channeling lady GaGa. Well, really it's Ariel, but you can see what I mean! And no, she definitely didn't wear this out.
Exhibit C
 Wesley can't dress himself yet, but he can sure sport the ear protection.
Exhibit D 
 The ear protection was the thing on this day--but if you look close, there is another FABULOUS accessory. Dora the Explorer boots. We (and by we I mean Owen) were sawing wood that was previously home to LARGE ants. Judah, being scared of the ants and wanting to SMASH them, couldn't find his previously worn camo boots, so Dora boots were next in line. I like a man who isn't picky.
 And yes, we let our kids run around without proper clothing too...and play with loud dangerous machines!

Keep an eye out for a post about my McDonalds moment and 30 in 1 year and if I am feeling feisty an update on where we are in our adoption process. Bye for now!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom

Sorry about the creepy eyes for both of us...I guess that's the look of " We're about to have a baby!"
 There is also never a better time to learn about how awesome your own mom is than when you become a mom yourself. When I had Clara, you came for 2 1/2 weeks...for the delivery & whatever post care you could offer. I remember a lot of overwhelming emotions and moments during that time. One thing that was so profound in my mind was my sudden and deep appreciation for all that you had ever done for me. for my whole life...it all became crystal clear. You worked hard every day to give us a safe, caring, nurturing environment in which we (not only lived) but learned how to be productive human beings--I think all three of us kids turned out to be loving, nurturing, mature and productive members of society! You laid down your body (literally) for 18 months to nurse Alex  and I--we did not care for bottles one bit. (If you've nursed even one baby, you know what I mean--two babies at the same time....I don't know how she did it.) Apparently you don't either because when I ask you about how things were when I was ________ months old, you say, "I don't remember, I was nursing". During Clara's first weeks of life, you continued to love me and care for me despite me being less than lovable (hello hormones!). I would have never survived those first 2 weeks of being a mom without you mom! In the first year of parenthood, you have taken countless phone calls to help me "process" or talk out what I was thinking about for parenting, scheduling, and how to best care for Clara. You were my brains when I had none...and no, I am not too prideful to admit that at times I really was just plain dumb!

You came out for Judah's birth and although delivery was fast, our stay in the hospital was not! You stayed one night with me in the after care room and we literally took turns comforting Judah every 20 minutes. Talk about taking one for the team! After having Judah and already having a 17 month old--I had a difficult time with postpartum depression. You came back out a few months later when I was still not doing well. You have often laid down your own schedule, work & life to come to the aid of your three kids in various situations. I know now as a mom the deep desire to see that your kids are "OK" and because of that desire, I know how much you love me. Not only have you come to Phoenix for a number of births, but you have spent countless hours on the phone with me, Rachael and Alex. I know that I am equipped to do that for my three children (hopefully more) because of your example.

 The experience with Wesley's birth was so different than my other two. Although it was a more intense labor & delivery and he wasn't doing well, we laughed through the whole thing.I know that sounds crazy, but that's what the epidural did to me that time! I knew you were there to support me and with your help I could get through anything--even a blind spot in my epidural! I know very few moms  & daughters who have a relationship like ours. I feel like you are my mom, but also one of my closest friends. I know I can come to you with anything and you will first point me to Christ, second help me talk through the issue more and love me no matter what I decide. I pray that my kids will have an adult relationship with me and Owen like I have with you. Thank you so much for all you have done for me as a child--even when I didn't get it. And thank you MORE for all that you have done for me as an adult--now I totally get it (a special thank you for taking care of me during that really UGLY time in college--couldn't have made it through without you). AND I still think you are so pretty.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

That's SO Home School!

 This is a token picture of Wesley--since he's not home schooling yet, this post isn't really about him, but his cuteness was too much not to share!
 First day of school. Don't judge. At our house you can go to school with a belt, no shirt, or in jammies or gasp! spaghetti straps! Whatever suits your fancy. That's so home school.
Now for the real reason for the post...we finished our home school area! We have have been talking about the best plan for this area since we moved in (just over a year ago now). The space used to look like this. It was a large kitchen table with 2 chairs and not a lot of functional wall/work space. 
 It now looks like this! Owen built a custom table for the area. We found some industrial school chairs and re-arranged wall space. See the big yellow box? Well, how could you miss it. It is a hand me down from Joy. She used it the entire time that she home schooled the boys...when it came to me it was full of fun little things that she used as teaching enhancement. A sweet addition to our area. Believe it or not, our whole year of curriculum & papers are stored in there.
 I love how it turned out and how we have more space to work & learn. And yes, the bulletin board color scheme totally matches because I am obsessive like that. It may or may not have been done in primary colors and that just may not have been 'workin' for me. And yes, that's so home school!

 We've already had two weeks of school. So far so good. Just to document the goodness of the first 2 weeks, so I don't forget it in the "badness" of the 26 weeks remaining, Clara has had a fantastic attitude. She said, and I quote, "Mom, I just LOVE spending so much time with you." and also, I quote, "Mom, I am SO glad you are my teacher." Yep, I'll stuff those little gems in my back pocket for later.
Can't wait to break this area in tomorrow! One benefit of really high chairs? Our kids are more likely to stay at the table instead of "wandering" off because they forgot "that it was school time." Bwahahah

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My Favorites

These are some of my favorite shots from the week...Ignore the foggy lens! 


 Waking up in our king size bed and snuggling with the kids--Ignore the fact that is was really like 3 am for us Phoenicians when the kids woke! And yes, I changed this photo to a black and white because it was morning and I didn't have make up on and I am vain like that!
 True to form, Judah playing with a car, on the beach.
 Clara and Judah shared a bed while we were there and one night when I went in and checked on them, they were holding hands...it was so sweet!






This was our last day...all tuckered out. 
 and although there aren't many pictures of me from this vacation, I was there! See?