Wednesday, September 29, 2010

She wanted them.

Do you notice anything unusual about this picture? Yes, her pj bottoms and top don't match. But other than that? THERE it is!
Sydney insisted on wearing these princess heels (a birthday gift from Nina!) for a couple hours before bedtime. Then she insisted on putting her pj's OVER them. Then she begged to wear them into her bed. Miss Syd usually goes right to sleep, so I figured it wouldn't be that big of a deal. Surely they would fall right off and I'd sneak in to take them out of the crib before I went to bed.
Well, this pic was taken almost 3 1/2 hours later! She had fallen right asleep, but she'd also kept them on her petite little feet the whole time. I did take them off--after I snapped a picture, of course!

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Sudoku Black Number 1number 1

On Friday we got our quarterly update from Holt, and four children from Holt Sahathai in Thailand were matched with their forever families! They were matched with other families on The List. That means that we have moved up four places on The List and are now at number eleven! (I'm pretty sure--I'm waiting on confirmation.) I think it's a false sense of activity frequency, though, since we just got ON the list within the last month. We won't get another update and no other families will receive referrals until December, then March. I'm anticipating a "match" in June. To be honest, I'll be devastated if we are not matched then, but that is a definite possibility. There's a teeny chance of a March match, but that would have to be if tons of families in front of us in line only requested girls, and I'm kinda thinking that is not the case, so I'm not even letting myself think about it.


But any movement is a step in the right direction! So we continue to celebrate, continue to work on those grant applications (SO. MANY. PAGES!), continue to fill out immigration paperwork, and continue to pray for our child, his birthmother, his foster family and our current family unit as we prepare our new child and sibling. It will all be worth it in the end.


PS: I don't have a fun fundraiser at this time, and we're not set up with a tax-deductable option YET (soon!), but I thought I would mention that we will soon be writing a check for $830 for our immigration papers. This is the first time we'll be digging really deep into our own savings to cover a large payment. If you feel led to donate to our cause, we'd be forever grateful! You can give through paypal by clicking the link on the right side of this blog, "Our Thai Adoption Fund." If it's not an option for you at this time..stay tuned! They'll be plenty of other times and other non-financial ways to show your support. Thank you!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

This one's for the Dads.

This weekend I have the rare joy of going away with my girlfriends--by ourselves! The dads are on duty, so this post is for them. I don't know if there's anyone out there who HASN'T seen this video, but it still cracks me up everytime!
My favorite lines are the ones about the Dockers, the splash pad and the mini-van (with the red-head pigtailed daughter) and a special laugh for my dad when I saw the ornamental turtle. ;)
See, it's funny, 'CUZ IT'S TRUE!
For some reason the alignment is not working well, so the right part of the video is cut off. Click on the link if you want to see the whole thing on You Tube.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

September 22

My dearest Carson,
I don't know why, but FIVE years old seems like a pretty significant milestone. It's a little bittersweet for this mommy! Birthdays are a time to remember births, and I can still remember yours with a clarity that warms me and gives me chills at the same time. Did I have ANY idea what we were beginning?! NO, I did not! But I would relive every second of it in a heartbeat. I had no idea how much work a baby would be. How hard nursing would be. How tired a human can possibly be. How naughty a toddler could be.
But I also had no idea how special those middle of the night feedings would be. I didn't know how strongly I could love another human being. I didn't know how proud I could be of the littlest things you did, like roll over or bring a spoon to your lips, and now an even greater pride when I see you show compassion and respect to others. I didn't know how quickly and vastly my priorities would change--or how little that would bother me.
During these last five years, you have kept me on my toes, kiddo! You can bring out the strongest emotions in me: I swing from feeling ferociously angry at you to blindly and instinctively protective of you--sometimes within a matter of moments! You have taught me. So. Much. You have challenged me and directed me and humbled me.

Your love has bettered me.
I was recently asked to share in front of a group of women, and my first thought was that almost every significant life lesson I could share has been a direct result of becoming a mother. Most people talk of a person who has refined them and challenged them as being older and wiser.
But you, my Precious FirstBorn, have refined me. In your mysterious ways!
My heart is so FULL of pride for you and all you have accomplished and become in your short life. You are such a delight to those around you! You are fun and funny, kind and thoughtful, smart and smart-alecky.
You have a temper that flares and a mind of your own, but it is my earnest prayer and determination that these traits of yours will serve you well. I already know that you are a loyal friend and protective brother, and I can see your strong personality leading you to continue in these traits as you set an example for your siblings. I pray that you will use that iron will to stand up for what is right--even when no one is standing with you.
I love that you enjoy figuring out new things and seek our approval when you have conquered an obstacle in life. There will be so many obstacles, some that we cannot help you with, but I have confidence in your ability to overcome. I love seeing you thrive in school and other social situations where you positively shine! You are destined to become a great leader.
This past year you asked Jesus to live in your heart! You did it all on your own, praying that important prayer in your pj's right before bedtime. Of ALL of the dreams and prayers I have for you--and there are SO MANY!--it is my heart's deepest and greatest prayer that you will continue to seek, to know and to walk closely with our Lord.
We have a bedtime routine now where Dad gets you all ready for bed and I read you some stories and lay down next to you for a couple minutes. Sometimes I'm tired and think I might want to cut that time short. But then we have such wonderful talks, laying there in the dark, and I know realize how much I cherish it! I picture you in 10 years, hiding out in your room doing your own thing, and I think about how much I will LONG to lay next to you and have you tell me about your day. How many more months and years will I be able to snuggle you like this? How soon until you think I am uncool and not want to talk my ear off all day and night? Oh, it makes my heart hurt just thinking of it!Well, I'm warning you now: no matter how old you get, you'll still be my baby. My PFB. And I will remind myself to cherish every SECOND of your year as a five year old and appreciate all the big and little ways you enrich my life. So I hope you didn't mind that I stayed a little longer tonight at bedtime, and held you a little tighter. Because, you see, I can't wait to see the person you are growing into, but I also sometimes want you to stop growing! I love you so fiercely, sweet boy.
You are my heart!

Monday, September 20, 2010

We had a moment.

Last night I had a total moment of euphoria. Like, "get your fake camera out and say 'click' to preserve this memory for all time" kind of moment.

I was sitting on the couch with Carson and Sydney--both freshly bathed and nearing bedtime. Carson was playing the Toy Story Wii game with the volume down, Sydney was in the middle, eating goldfish, and I was reading a magazine. It was pretty quiet for a while there.

I came across something that amused me and I did the backwards-sniff-chuckle. Know which one I'm talking about? Mouth closed and you kind of lightly laugh by blowing air out of your nose a few times? You know you're trying it right now.

Without taking her eyes off of her goldfish, Sydney mimicked that sound perfectly and then looked over and smiled at me.

Which, of course, made me grin and do it again, louder.

Which, of course, made Carson look over and try it too. And then Sydney. And then me again. And pretty soon we were not laughing through our noses anymore, but full on busting a gut and doubled over laughing at each other. Some goldfish may or may not have been spit out on the couch. The magazine absolutely did get dropped. Woody froze in his steps on the screen. While we laughed and laughed. And no one had said a word.

It was hilarious.

It was perfect.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Carson's Day

It was not Carson's actual birthday, so his real birthday post will come on Wednesday. But yesterday we did have a pirate birthday party for Carson. He's been counting down to the party since June--literally! If you follow the blog, you know that I like to have some fun with the cakes, and this year I was googling images of a pirate ship cake and Carson saw one and said "THAT ONE! Can you make that one?!" I truly wasn't sure IF I could make that one, but I studied the picture and read the few tips that the original baker had left and decided I'd give it a try.
It started with 3 9x13 cakes stacked on top of each other and very loosely shaped like a boat. I froze them that way overnight, used the extra pieces to kind of make a deck and covered the whole thing with regular frosting. From a can. Even though the thing was already slanted and sideways, I decided not to stress and imagined that it was just being gently tossed by the waves of the sea from side to side. ;)
The next 5 hours were extremely messy, very focused and had moments of sheer terror. Therefore, I did not have the presence of mind or clean hands to grab a camera. Just use your imagination. Then the next day when we took it to Jojo and Bapaw's house, we assembled the sails and TADA:
It does look a little like the whole thing was shellacked, which was not intentional. I made marshmallow fondant, because it's the cheapest way to get fondant, but I'm not sure I'll do that again for a 3-D cake. When it got warm, it got really slippery. Then I froze it overnight to keep it all in place--which kind of backfired, because there was frost, which, when melted, added to the slippery effect. Anyway, hopefully these are details only the person who stared at it for hours and hours can notice at first glance!
But this was all that mattered:
Carson loved it. Another super fun surprise for his party was that Aunt Michelle dressed up like a pirate to celebrate! He wasn't sure what to think at first, but later he told me he thought it was "so tool!" (cool)
This is Captain Carson and his pirate face. We had bandannas, eye-patches, tattoos and face paints to draw beards for any of the kids who wanted to be in full-pirate mode. When we first came up with the idea, I imagined a gorgeous group shot of all the kids dressed to the max. I was proud of myself for lowering my expectations and just let any kid and parent do whatever they wanted with the supplies and I didn't request a group shot. That's major self-control for me, people.
The first game we played was "Walk the Plank."
Here's all the little matey's waiting their turn.
Then we played "Cannonball Blast" (in the garage because of the rain) where they had a cannonball tied to their ankles and tried to pop each other's.
Then came "Swab the Deck" where they took using brooms to sweep balloons around some obstacles.

Arrrgh! Captain Abby kept her duds on the whole time! This game was boring her a little though, I think.
The last game was a short treasure hunt. I gave them one clue to find the map:

Looking for the map:
Listening to the clue.
Here's where the treasure was hidden!
Hadessa found the treasure, but kindly let the birthday boy open it and share the booty bags with everyone.
Wyatt found things to entertain himself.
And Sydney insisted on holding her cousin, evening thought Kaitlyn is almost as big as her.
Carson was absolutely showered with gifts and is still on a present-high today. This particular gift (Toy Story 3 Wii game) has been on his wish list since before the movie came out last spring. You can see he still has the remnants of his pirate beard on his face...and maybe some mustard as well!
Uh-oh! His OWN set of golf clubs!
Blowing out the canon candles on his cake.
Lots of work, but so much fun to celebrate my little man!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Good stuff

My last post was honest, but a little bit of a Debbie Downer. So I thought I'd be sure to highlight some great things happening over the last couple of weeks. First, Carson started his last year of preschool. We weren't in the classroom or with the teacher we had anticipated, and most of Carson's classmates are in a different room this year. But he has taken it all in stride and his teacher says his first two days were stellar. School seems to be a great place for Carson to thrive by being stimulated socially, academically and physically.

Here's Daddy and Carson checking out the new classroom. At the end of the first day, he said this new room is "The Greatest!"

Here is Carson and his teacher, Mrs. W. I love the way he's looking at her! Over the Labor Day holiday we had an amazing weekend at Camp Winema. We were anticipating moderate to lousy weather, so you can imagine our sheer delight when we had THIS:

Family Camp for four days is almost always fun, but when the weather is sunny, it opens up multiple options for activities and is just the icing on the cake. In fact, I wanted to enjoy the time and the moments, so often I just left the camera in the cabin. But here's a few of the things we did to keep busy: we took our first family canoe trip! (Thanks to the Johnsons for taking and sending me these pics!)

At this camp we have morning and evening sessions, and this year I had the treat of helping to lead worship with my brother and sis-in-law.
And just to show that I have a sense of humor, here's a pic that Bill took from the tech screens. Josh the lead guitarist is standing directly behind me and makes me look like I have a mullet. Yes, yes. Haha.

Here's some rehearsal time with the babies. They were both wondering why Mike stopped playing.

When the weather is like this, our kids can stay on the beach for hours! They get soaked and muddy and sandy and could not be more thrilled about it.

This was the first year Carson did the BIG water slide all by himself!

After a long day, we're all dirty and tired. And some of us are perfecting the Princess Pout.
Have you ever noticed how good food tastes when you are eating it outside? Here's some sleepy heads having chocolate chip pancakes in the morning.
My sis-in-law Michelle has a tradition of making elephant ears out of frozen rolls and oil on a camp stove. They are TO DIE FOR! Well, Uncle Chad decided to take it up a notch. This is his fried S'more/elephant ear:
I think it was good.
This is what it's all about! We were so busy and having so much fun that the kids got along great all weekend. Carson barely made a behavioral misstep all weekend. Grateful for special family times like this that remind me of how blessed I am!