Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Read and Play

Some of our favorite things to do is play and read books!
"L" loves to stay up " a long time" at night and hang out in the living room with us. He wants to play trucks, read books, or write letters.
These are some of our favorites: Dr. Seuss ABC, Cat in the Hat, 1 Fish 2 Fish, Give a Mouse a Cookie, Froggy book, I am Four book (Thanks, Mer!) and anything that is counting or letters!
These were our nighttime staples in the beginning. Now we still try to read our Bible, but don't always ready Goodnight Moon. He could still recite it all by memory though. and so can we : )

I love these pictures that my sweet friend and fellow photographer, Jess took for us!
I wish I could show them all to you with no heart faces. Oh well, maybe one day.

Monday, December 13, 2010

i {HEART} faces: Dental Model!!!

When I saw I{HEART}faces contest was pets this week, I just couldn't resist putting this beauty up here. It was I think my favorite animal picture I've taken this year! Don't you think he could be a dental model? : )
Check out the other cute animals here!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Glass Half Full

So The Man and I were on a date the other night and he teased me about only sharing the good about transitioning into parenthood on my blog. It made me question whether I was being real on here or not. I don't think I've purposely not been honest. You see I've for the most part always been a "half glass full" kind of gal. I believe that when I get on here to type out a post, I just think of the good moments. Don't get me wrong I get down here and there, but it usually passes quickly. I can't stay in a bad mood long. But because of this I might not be as vulnerable and share our experiences that could benefit others along the way.

So here goes the dirt of going from NO children to 2 all at once through the foster system. First I must admit (like I have to my close friends/family) that the first two weeks, I was sure we'd never survive. There was the normal (from what I hear) parenting issues: sleeping problems, being tired from chasing a one year old, potty accidents from our three year old and our home being turned upside down from our little tornadoes.

But then there were the things we were told about, trained for, but still was surprised/overwhelmed when they happened. We had major issues for our three year old getting used to us and our home. He missed his family and he missed his previous foster mom. He called us all mommy (g-ma, real mom, 1st foster mom, me) so it was very hard to communicate about how he was feeling. That was another thing, he could barely speak when he came to us. He wouldn't give you his binky (pacifier) and you could only understand every fifth word if you listened very carefully. Since he couldn't communicate he would just break down and have MAJOR fits. Oh the fits, they were horrible. He would curse (yes, out of the few words we could understand this one came out pretty clear) at us, kick and flail until we could only hold him tight to keep him from tearing up stuff or hurting himself. This is what we were told to do and it was really the only thing that worked. The "fight" eventually left him and we'd talk about what happened. But we faced these at least several times a day. I HATED them and HATED bear hugging him because I could tell he started to not want me to hold him just normally. And we were already having attachment issues so we needed to have times where we held and snuggled with him for fun.

Things started to calm down and get a little more normal after those first weeks. Slowly but surely we bonded with him and his fits slowed to a few a week. And now even farther between sometimes. Sadly, he has gotten used to not being with his family and the weekly visits. We are in love with him and he brings us such joy with every improvement. He now speaks in full sentences that you can mostly understand. He sings his ABC's and will spot letters on signs while we are driving in the car.

I would say the hardest things we face these days are normal behavioral stuff, a 16 mo. 's sassy attitude : ), visits with the family (or family not showing up for visits) and dealing with the what ifs in our future.

So there is the real ugly of it all. I didn't really get into how all this has been stressful on The Man and my relationship. Another post for another day. I guess the point is that we are surviving and really enjoying being parents! I can't imagine going through this or being a parent at all without the love/devotion from Christ. My sentence prayers of distress during stressful moments, quick peeks of scripture during nap times and years of walking with God have proven to be the only thing that helps me. I know He'll see us through these days and ones ahead, but He knows how hard sometimes it is being a foster/adoptive parent.

Since I'm a "glass half full" type of gal, I've got to end this post on things that have been amazing as being a mom:

* Seeing your children thrive and be able to do things for the first time.
* Feeling needed as they wait on you to finish dinner so their tummies can be full.
* Watching her run to me after she falls or gets her feelings hurt with her arms held high.
* Having him come to me after he's disobeyed to say sorry, hug me and make it right. (even if I have to remind him sometimes)
* Watching them enjoy the simplest things and getting soo excited over it!
* Hearing them play, giggle and chatter on while I'm busy in the other room.
* Reading books and singing songs together while I watch their eyes light up.
* Hearing good reports from his preschool teacher and how he's doing better every week!
* Feeling their little arms around me as they sit on my lap and ask to cuddle on the couch to watch football : )
* Being called Mamma after all the years of praying I'd be a mommy to someone one day.

God be the GLORY for me being a parent at all. I'm trusting Him for the rest of our story.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fall was here?

I'm pretty sure it's the kids fault that my life is now flying by! Ever since they've been in our home, the days are gone soo quickly. I CANNOT believe that it is December and that it is sooo cold. I kind of feel like we got cheated. Maybe it's because it was such a warm autumn. Not that I would mind some of that warmth right now (I always get so cold at night). But there was no transitional period...thanks to my good Old Kentucky Home.

I MISS the leaves and oh how I miss the color. Everything is already brown and dry.
It's so cold when I take dear Scruffs outside to potty. And he doesn't like being out there very long either. He looked soo cute in the leaves!
The photo-op moments (fall is blissfully perfect for photo shoots). Isn't N's outfit too cute? It's brought to you by a dress lent down to us by a friend and hat/sweater from cousin Emerson.
L turned FOUR (a post for another time). I can't BELIEVE how much he has grown.
I will miss the fall days of playing football and watching The Man have running races with L. They are just too cute together!
Oh, and I just had to add this pic of the one who still holds my heart after just three years of being together. November 3rd was our 3 yr. anniversary of our first date. It was such a grand night and I'm so thankful for God's providence. I can't imagine my life any different!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

2010.... a LOT to be thankful for!

I'm extremely GRATEFUL to God for the wonderful blessings He gave us this year and how many prayers He answered. Of course Blogger doesn't always like me and it decided NOT to load all my pictures. So here is some lists and some pictures!

January - SNOW SNOW SNOW!!! I love the first few major snowfalls. After those few, then I'm soo DONE with snow. But the first several are gorgeous! We had fun, played a lot and well, my husband almost sled his butt of. Really, he did. 2nd...I threw the Man a suprise birthday party. It was a lot of fun and we actually surprised him!

February - We announced that we were in the process to become Foster/Adopt parents! : ) This was an exciting and extremely anxious time for us. It's crazy all God has done since then.
The cold evenings drove me to much crafting and baking!

March - Our family/friends threw us a Suprise Baby Shower to get us prepared for what we thought would be a quick process and placement. The process was MUCH slower than we thought, but we were definitely prepared after everyone's kindness.

April - My sweet friends took us to their family lake house down at Land Between the Lakes. We ate at Patti's, played games and relaxed. I'm so thankful for Jess and so many of my other friends!

May - I had my FIRST Mother's Day with a sweet little guy who stayed with us all weekend! It was to say the least memorable and treasured!
June - FAMILY vacation!!! We all (my entire family = 8 adults and 4 children) drove to Ocean Isle Beach, NC. It was such a blast!!! I cannot tell you how much I love this group of people. We definitely have our differences every now and then like other families, but we STICK TOGETHER through thick and thin!!! They are such a gift to me!
a few of the MANY pictures we all took together!
JULY - Went to Gatlinburg for a GIRLS ONLY weekend for Glo's Bachelorette weekend. It was a lot of fun and super nice to get away with just girls. We also got our FIRST OFFICIAL placement = Our KIDDOS!!!!

Everyone who reads this blog can tell how much I longed and prayed for children for most of my life. It has been challenging, tough and downright exhausting. But I'd NEVER change a thing. These are our blessings, our babies for right now and MAYBE forever!

Here are a few more pictures my friend and fellow photographer, Jess took of our family of FOUR! Oh, yeah that is another huge thing that to be thankful for this year. Jess and I started our photography business: www.thousandhillsphoto.com

We are so thankful for all of the families, bride/grooms and seniors who let us capture the big moments and everyday joys!

Hope you all can look back on this year to see God's hand and the blessings He has given you!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Round 5....Toys to Cherish and RE USE

You know I'm a big lover of old things, sentimental items, and reusing whatever I can.
So it seemed only PERFECT when my Moma lent me our family playskool barn and house. My brother was the first to enjoy the barn, then Johnah & I were given the house, and finally Pat's kids have been enjoying the set for the past 10 yrs. or so. My sis-in-law said their youngest had stopped playing with it as much and Moma said it could be our turn.
It's fun to watch L and N enjoy the toys just as we did when we were children.
This has seriously become the go to toys and most popular items in our home. It's even started a few fights, but all in all we are so thankful for passed down toys.
Thanks Nana!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pumpkin Day Re Cap

The weekend before Halloween, our friends had their Annual Halloween Party. It is always so much fun. This year it was a little harder to take pictures while trying to keep up with two toddlers. : ) She decorates her whole house just adorable, makes yummy, festive food, and has games for the kids.
Her honey cuts fire wood for a smores and warmth : )
He also carves something like 20 pumpkins. They look so cool all lined up!
I couldn't get enough of the full moon this night. It was just gorgeous.
Our God is AMAZING to create such beauty!

A few nights later was our turn to go Trick-or-treating. We had all been under the weather with the stomach bug so we only went to like 5 or 6 houses. But it was still fun!
such memories. I remember going trick or treating when I was little and then landing at my Nanny's to help pass out candy. I should find all the old picture of us dressed up! Johnah, I'm sure you'd love me doing this! : )
My little Lady Bug...so sweet.
And our BIG dinosaur. They looked so cute and it was a fun first Pumpkin Day for our recently extended family.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

baby FYNN is ONE!!!

My gorgeous sister and one of the BEST mommies I know!
3 of the most important and influential men in Fynn's life. I think he's going to have a lot to look up to. Praise God!
My sister did a great job with the cowboy theme. Doesn't he just look adorable. Donna (Johnah's neice by marriage and our friend) makes amazing things like this bib!
Nina our sister (i need to write a post about how God brought us this sister) made these adorable cupcakes and center cake.
Super cute decorations.
soo fun!!!
He was really excited to eat his cake. That cute hat cake and the ones below are more of Nina's creations!

yum yum!
Gitty up partners, Fynn is one!
(photo credit: this last one was taken by Aunt Nina)

Happy Birthday, Baby Boy. We are so excited you are ONE and growing up to be such a fun boy. Our family is also praising God for creating you to be in our family!!! Love you.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I {HEART} Sundays!

THANK YOU for your sweet comments and welcoming me back so sweetly.
I have a whole other post about how motherhood has completely changed my life. But long story short, it's taken me a while to really feel out who I was and balancing that with who I am needed to be now. Believe me when I say I haven't found that perfect balance yet. But I'm at least trying and loving where I'm at right now.

I'm going to try to resist the urge to skip blogging because I don't have any fun new craft to show, or my pictures of our clean/put together home (because it's not) or something else I used to blog about that I no longer have the time or energy to blog about.

I'm a photographer, so I've obviously not stopped taking pictures. I have some CUTE subjects now too! However, I wish I could show you all their cuteness. Because we've got dimples and grins for miles, gorgeous eyes and the sweetest little noses. I decided to just blog our normal pics with the hearts over their faces because we are not allowed to publish their faces on the internet. I learned this trick from a dear sister over at Immeasurably More blog. Thanks Mandy! Anyways, here is my first new, real life post.

Why I love Sundays:
* I don't have a picture of how my husband let's me sleep in on Sundays and wake up to already changed children with breakfast waiting on me. I also didn't take a picture of us going to worship. That's a whole other story, but we are in the process of finding a new church home. I'm not sure I've ever longed so much for a church family that fits my husband and I and now our children. Anyways, I don't have pictures, but they are two of the many reasons I love Sundays.
#3 reason:I get to dress these cuties in the most wonderful clothes...Thanks to wonderful family and friends. Also it is extremely interesting and a blessing to hear/see what they think of church.
#4 reason: the LONGEST nap of the week. The only time that we all get to rest together at the same time. I sometimes sleep, and sometimes just enjoy some much needed alone time.
BTW, I'm loving how the kids have found their own afghans from Scott's sweet grandma. We have 5. "L" is using the one Scott used when he was younger. They are the best things (next to quilts) to wrap up on these chilly fall Sunday afternoons.
#5 reason: We always eat good on Sundays. Scott cooks breakfast, we sometimes go out to eat (Mexican this day, but forgot to take pic), and yummy snacks after long naps. This is pumpkin cinnamon chip bread from none other than Great Harvest. LOVE THIS BREAD!

#6 reason...Playing and enjoying the afternoons. I figured we should try and soak up the last of the warmth we can outdoors so we headed to the park this afternoon.
I worked on a hat for "L" and finishing up one for "N" while they ran and played.
For proof I and Scruffs were there (Scott was working on school stuff), "L" took this picture. Pretty good for a 3 yr. old. Maybe he has photography in his future.
I love this picture...so many of my favorite things: homemade blankets, books, crocheting and in the background our two blessings!
They LOVE to read books. We were given a lot thank goodness because we'd get tired of reading the same twenty books (even though we have our favorites).

We also "played in the woods" as "L" said to Scott when we got home. It makes me sad that we didn't use the park more while it was warm. I guess we'll just have to bundle up and enjoy them now! Well, there is our Sunday and why it's my favorite day of the week!

Especially, now that I know on Sunday nights when I go to bed, I get to wake up to stay home with these wonderful children!

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