Wednesday, August 31, 2011

a day with Aunt Tara

Earlier this summer, Aunt Tara offered to spend a fun day with just Ava before she had to head back to school. She sweetly agreed to work it out to take her while I was potty training. Ava was thrilled to go spend the day with one of her favorite people and I was thrilled to not deal with sisters fighting while trying to potty train. : )

They started their day off at the zoo
Ava with the wallaby (it is there)
Ava's favorite - the sea lions. She loved watching them get fed.
Still LOVES the carousel
snack time!

Having fun with one of her favorite people - she always points out proudly that "I have curly hair like Aunt Tara!" (although she'll often then say, "I wish had REALLY curly hair like Aunt Tara.") : )
Being silly at the gift shop

After the zoo, they headed back to Aunt Tara's for lunch and more fun

Making Marshmallow treats

Eating lunch!

Chalk fun
The finished art work
She was quite excited to take her journal and show Aunt Tara how she's working on her letters - she thinks it's SO cool her aunt is a teacher.
Thanks for making it such a special day for Ava, Tara!
It's a little obvious why didn't she didn't want the day to end. : )

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

One of the reasons it's so fun to visit Grandpa Jack?

Morning Donuts!!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Giveaway winner . . ..

Giveaways make me happy.

So does my husband walking in the door with my favorite decaf coffee, creamer (Bailey's flavored : ),) and getting to drink them together in my favorite mug (who says family christmas gift exchanges don't give good gifts?!)
You know what also makes me happy?

The news that referrals went out today and that our august numbers are even more out of date (not to mention it brings a special friend that much closer to having her baby girl home soon!).

But on to the give away.

I put all your names in one of our trusty Lifesong mugs (which my girls love).
Ryan humored me and was my random "digit" selector.

So the winner of the white burn out hoodie from Ordinary Hero?

That's Sara with no h (Sorry Sarah : ) ).

But did I mention I'm happy (and feeling generous) tonight?

So Ryan drew again. The winner who gets to pick out a favorite t-shirt from Ordinary Hero?

Tricia! : )

I tried to get a picture of my very enthusiastic helper and this was all I got. He's really VERY happy for all of you.
But then I decided I was having too much fun. So I told Ryan he had to pick his favorite name from those suggested for THAT person to win a $5 starbucks gift card.

Now I will confess that I have mentioned to him my favorites from the list already. But his decision wasn't to worry about my opinion.

But he's a smart man . . .and agreed with me. : )


Mindy . . won a $5 gift card to Starbucks!

Sara and Tricia? Email me your address and shirt size (and the t-shirt you want, Tricia) and I'll get those shirts in the mail to you.

It was so fun reading all the suggestions . . .and the meanings. Thanks for joining in the fun!

In case you were wondering what we're up to today . . .

results of the name giveaway will be posted at the end of today . . .
if mommy is still sane. : )

Saturday, August 20, 2011

August Numbers : )

August numbers came friday!

Boy Number?
Still bringing up the rear of the list at 91!

Girl Number?
(although a girl referral went out friday afternoon so we are "unofficially" 121.)

I was pleasantly surprised as I expected little to no movement with so little time between us getting on the wait list and the august updates. But we'll take every little step with thanks. : )

Don't forget about the giveaway that ends tomorrow at midnight!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

WAIT LISTED!!!! (and a giveaway!!)

On aug. 10th, we received news we've waited almost exactly 9 months (4 days off!) to hear: We were officially placed on our agency's waitlist. Paperwork was finished (hooray!) and we were one huge step closer. We were pretty thankful.

Our agency isn't able to give us a "real" time frame. However, they are giving an estimate of 18 months at this point - although that's a very loose estimate. With getting on the wait list? Came our first official set of numbers.

You know those moments you picture happening perfectly in your mind? This wasn't quite how I pictured it. : )

Our girl's wait list number (Ava really is excited about this)

Our boy wait list number
In case it was hard to read:

Girl Number: 126
Boy Number: 95

At this point in our journey, we should see at least some movement every month. At this place on the list, there are "phantom" spots essentially. So one family may be approved for up to 2 children between the ages of 0 and 4. They would be on the girl list, boy list, and sibling list. However, say they receive a referral for a 2 yr old boy. They then come off the girl list, boy list and sibling list all at once and everyone is affected. You see the "phantom spots." The closer we get, the smaller the movement will be as those in front of us will more and more resemble our own family's parameters.

But all that detailed stuff aside, we had to find something to celebrate with and what better thing to do than a give away!

When we did a giveaway a while back for Ordinary Hero, a number of you mentioned really liking this long-sleeved hoodie. So the winner of our giveaway will receive the hoodie in their desired size in their mailbox.

But there's a catch. : )

Ryan and I think we have a girl name we really like if we would be referred a girl. But so far, we haven't found a boy name we like. This is a long ways away, but I thought, why not combine the two?! : )

SO, to be entered into the giveaway for your own long sleeved hoodie, all you have to do is give us a boy's name suggestion.

Want a bigger catch? I'd love there to be some African history or meaning to the name. Our girl's name has that and it's partly why I love it. Although, I'm open to hearing other suggestions as well.

You have until Sunday night, Aug. 21st. : )

4 years old!

FINALLY, Ava turned 4. For the past month, she's known her birthday was
coming but would adamently argue with anyone that she was still "3 1/2!!" She'd always ask me "how long until I"m 4?" It was pretty cute when on her birthday she came running downstairs and asked, "Mom, NOW am I 4?!" and then lit up when I could finally respond, "YES!"

Thrilled to be practicing her letters in her very own new journal (just like mom's!)!
Ryan took the afternoon off and we had an afternoon of swimming planned. It was a little rocky of an hour when we got some news from our agency regarding our dossier. Long story short? Our girls very patiently hung in there with us while we spent an hour running all around town trying to get one last document taken care of that we were having problems with.
Kate has developed a scowl that lingers a little too often for her mommy sometimes lately. However, it makes me laugh sometimes too. Is her life really that hard?
But, we forgot the camera in the car at the pool. : )

After a fun afternoon of swimming, we headed out for a birthday dinner.

Olivia excited to head out

A happier Kate - mommy likes this face better
Quick shot with Daddy
Mommy and the birthday girl
Reading her musical Rapunzel card : )
Showing off her new clothes
Kate and Olivia enjoying the kiosk with games a little too much : )
And then like any good child's birthday, Ava got to come home and help Daddy shuck corn. : )
Ava Cherise, you have grown up so much lately! I love to watch your creativity: whether coloring, playing or imagining. I love how much you still love to snuggle by your mommy and just BE with the people you love. It's been so fun to watch your fascination with learning your letters and how to write words and your excitement as each new accomplishment. You're one special little girl and I'm so thankful you're in our lives. We love you!

A quick visit

My parents stopped in for a quick visit the day before Ava's birthday. I may have mentioned Ava LOVES horses? Well my mom found a play stable with lots of horses at the resale shop and brought them as an extra birthday surprise. My little girl was THRILLED.
Reading horse books with Grandpa
My mom also sweetly agreed to help me freeze my 4 bushels of peaches. : ) We LOVE the end results each year . . .and my girls loved "helping."

Olivia serving as quality control.
The first 1/2 done.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ava's Birthday Party

The sunday before Ava's birthday, we had Ryan's family over for a birthday party. It was a Rapunzel themed extravaganza . . .it's so fun watching Ava anticipate everything so much. She was giggly with excitement as every one came in - showing off her cake and running around.

Seems crazy that I now set up our own "kid's table"
Rest of decorations
A happy almost birthday girl with her beloved Rapunzel cake
Janet's did an awesome job (and yum)
Then because my girls loved it so much last time, we had to come up with another game. So "pin cinderella in the window" began . . .

Olivia took the first turn - we let her go blindfold free
Uncle David gets blindfolded AND spun
Grandma's turn
Apparently I was going for the same spot
Grandpa was a little off . . .
Or maybe I should say, "Like father, like son." I love Ava giggling at her daddy in this one.
Birthday girl gets ready to go
I may have purposely tied it so she could see a little . . . ; )
Kate's turn!
Grandpa Mel was even a good sport
Ready for presents!
Hmmm . . .
New clothes are always a hit with this little girl
Cake time!
blowing out the candles
Playing with her new Rapunzel horse in her room with Aunt Tara
Kate just monkeying around
Which means that Olivia must join in too!