Monday, October 22, 2012

Last week . . .and september numbers?!

When you neglect your blog for months on end and you try to catch up . . .you get "caught."  : )  So in order to post our September numbers, I have to share a little fun back story of our life last week.

Anyone who knows us well, know we have had an interesting history with the twins and scissors.  Thankfully, most of them have been fairly boring encounters.  One of them wasn't

Well this past week, the twins were in quiet time and so mommy thought she would take advantage of a gorgeous afternoon and go rake the millions of leaves that were hanging out in our front yard (only a slight exaggeration).  I spent a glorious 40 minutes enjoying the beautiful weather and getting to enjoy fall in a new way this year owning a home with huge trees.

Well, when mommy went upstairs to tell Kate and Olivia it was time to go get Ava from school, I had a little surprise waiting for me.  The girls had destroyed their room. By destroyed I mean any article of clothing they owned was strewn across the room - nothing remained in their closet, dresser or tub of summer clothes I hadn't taken down to the basement yet.  

In my frustration, I mean calm handling, of this matter, I just hurried them out the door, put them in the wagon and pulled them to get Ava and back.  Before we knew it, we were back home, I was working to get dinner ready and they went off to play.

TWO HOURS from the time I went in their room, we sat down to eat dinner when Ryan points to Olivia and says, "Hello?!"  Yes, I earned mother of the year award when it took me two hours to realize THIS had happened. 

But it got better.  Further prompting and discussion led us to the realization that KATE had cut OLIVIA's hair.  I wish you could have seen the pile in our bathroom to realize just how much she had cut.

Sigh.  Some days I don't know what to do with these monkeys.

The stylist and her happy? client.  Can you imagine if Kate had kept cutting?  Makes me thankful for what we ended up with and that at least it was in her bangs!

So I had planned to take Olivia in and just have them try and cut straight bangs across instead of the long angled ones they had before.  But yesterday afternoon, I couldn't handle it anymore.  . .and this time Mommy took hold of the scissors and cut the rest of Olivia's bangs and tried to pull some hair over the super short ones Kate had cut.

Olivia was super excited about them . . .and Kate was super intrigued (to which Mom put STERN instructions she was not to do the same to herself).  For a non-stylist, I thought they were fairly decent (albeit slightly crooked) and SUCH an improvement.

And thus brings us to our September Numbers (almost a month late : ) ). I started looking at the photos I  took on our computer and thought the sequence of our attempts was more fun than one good photo. : )

Boy Number: 48
Girl Number : 65

And the close up - a little uneven but I'd say still pretty cute!

And you all can thank me that for now, there is a very clear way to tell my two munchkins apart. : )

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Birthday Cookout

We headed up to Ryan's parents the other weekend to celebrate the September Birthdays:  Grandpa and Aunt Tara.

Oliva helping Grandpa open his present

Aunt Tara and the cards Ava made for her

Kate proudly showing off the card she picked out for Grandpa because it looked just like one of their cats.  I kept trying to get it on camera but she was hilarious all night.  She stalked Cheeto, the cat, all night. She would sit in front of the poor cat's face just holding the card up for him to see, so proud of herself. : )

Ava's picture of the bonfire

Aunt Callie and . .  .?  Cheeto? Sparky?  Ava would be so disappointed in her mother

My little girl is always happiest with an animal in her lap or by her side.


Another big milestone happened when Kate and Olivia FINALLY got to start preschool

Geared up and excited to go

You have to love a preschooler with a back pack as big as them

These are my babies?!

Nothing like heading to school with some of your best buds!

Somehow I have a feeling before I blink this could be a pre-highschool picture

Ready to head in with their buddies

Kate showing off her cubby

Only a daddy

Would think to try fitting 3 girls in one bike trailor for a trip to the gym.

Not sure he'll be able to swing this one next summer.

First week of sunday school!

Kate and Olivia were SOOO excited to finally be able to join Ava in going to "REAL" sunday school this year.

All dressed up and ready to go

My happy 3 yr old's

Seriously, I'm convinced she grew up years just in these first couple months of kindergarten.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Labor Day in Galena

Over Labor Day weekend, we headed to Galena with Ryan's family.  We stayed in a house together that worked out so well and the girls loved the chance to spend 3 whole days with some of their favorite people.

Saturday we headed out to hike for a bit and the girls had a ball

 Sunday morning we had "sunday school"

Singing songs

Olivia and Grandpa

Daniel and the Lion's Den was the lesson of the day

The lion's sitting back from eating David, I mean, Daniel

Then we headed out to spend a gorgeous afternoon playing some tennis and even the girls joined in for a while

Daddy and Kate

Ryan working with Ava - I couldn't believe how well she was doing after a little bit of practice

Monday before we headed back home, we took a little ride in some paddle boats on the lake

Ava and Grandma

The other crew

Ava taking a turn with the paddles

And what better way to end a vacation than slushies! : )

painting pumpkins with friends

One saturday last month, we let Ava invite a few friends over for school for pizza and to paint pumpkins. It was so fun to watch the girls interact and just get to know them a little better.

Kate and Olivia, to their dismay, had to leave for a while that night to go somewhere with daddy : ), so they happily enjoyed painting their pumpkins on a sunday afternoon.


Before Ryan and I headed out of town for Nashville, we spent the day making applesauce with my mom.  Our extra little member of our family, Charis, was along for the morning and the girls had so much fun being helpers.

My mom had brought along aprons for the girls to decorate.

Kate and Charis happily showing off their artwork

Kate taking a turn

Grandma and Olivia

Charis taking a turn

Mommy and Kate

After school with Grandma

My mom came into town for a few days last month to help us make applesauce and then to watch the girls while Ryan and I got away and were able to attend the  Empowered to Connect conference in Nashville (SOOOO good).

But I digress. : )

The weather was so beautiful in september and Mom got to share in what had become a typical after school afternoon with us.  We'd pull out our big, cozy camping blanket, the girls would haul out books and coloring supplies and we'd lounge and relax and be together after a full day of school.

By far, these afternoons have been some of my favorite memories we've made this fall.

Snoopy's Corner

Ava's classroom is centered around Snoopy this year.  As a way to get to know everyone, each student gets to take a week in Snoopy's corner where they bring in pictures about their favorite things, get to bring their favorite book in and can share about their life and family.

Ava was the first one and was super excited.

Favorite food: spaghetti
Place she most likes to go:  Grandma's - "both of them"
Favorite book: Sleeping Beauty (wasn't sure since I don't know if we've ever read it ; ) )
Favorite sport: horseback riding
Favorite color: purple
What she wants to be when she grows up? A teacher

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The part of adoption you can't explain.

Adoption is a funny thing.

I'm not quite sure how else to explain it.

It's the biggest, beautiful mess of God callings, prayers, bureaucratic red tape, busy work, side trips, normal life (what is that?!), dreams and hope .  . . and irrational emotions.

It brings about a little bit of crazy, friends across the country and connections with a country that make no sense when one considers they've never actually been.

And yet.

You get up and get kids dressed for school, make lunches, run errands, do swim lessons and read bed time stories . . .with your mind on the other side of the world.

You talk to friends, help with school work, kiss an ouchie and make food for teacher appreciation lunches while wishing you could hop a plane and hold your little one. . . or simply see the lines of their face in pictures.

You rake up leaves, make appointments,  head to bible study, fold laundry (sometimes), and try to figure out why it seems tears threaten to spill at any random moment.  And then you try to explain or laugh them away without looking like a (total) emotional mess.

My girls in my Bible Study group right now are going, "Ohhhh, now I see." ; )

There isn't really any other way to explain it than to say "Adoption is a funny thing."

Well, "funny" until you consider the heart of my Father.

It falls into place when you consider the mere forming and creating of this world; how it showed a God, our Abba Father, creating and doing, all while moving towards a culmination of His designs and dreams through the creation of man.

He was doing so with His created in mind, those He longed to be in relation with, and for those that once created, He stepped back and said "It is very good," and rested.

'Cause we all know REST is just what it's like when you add another person to your family. ; )

And yet "rest" it truly is.

For a yearning, a prayer, a longing comes to fruition and life finds pause with a comma before the story continues to unfold.

When I sit there and consider all the ways with how my God penned this world's very formation, I can let go of the irrational and allow the tears to flow freely, with reason, and with grace.

I like to think my Father understands.

I like to think He looks at my "irrational tears" (over anything and everything of late), my lack of interest in the day to day and sees my dreams for my child and whispers, "I understand.  I know. I see."

Looking back over our adoption journey thus far, I truly have to say how thankful I am for the unexpected twists and turns that have come, and each day that has past, even amidst this much longer timeline we never expected.

God knew.

And just as it took those 5 days to create the backdrop for man, I can look back and see so clearly why God has taken and used every day of our journey thus far for His glory and our growth and His own authorship of our adoption journey thus far.

I like to think of it as glorious backdrop that I pray can bless our child someday (although this whole emotional loose cannon of late doesn't always feel so "glorious" or a blessing for others - notice I didn't ask Ryan to comment on this post) : ) .

Yet if we're being honest?

More and more of late I feel the heart of our Father when He looked at Adam and said, "It is not good for the man to be alone."

I feel that for our child.  I feel that for our family.  The void just feels larger and the day to day rings a little emptier.

Yet I love the words of Jeremiah 29:11 . . .and even as I read that familiar verse, I find so much hope in those verses that follow.

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord.  "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.  In those days when you pray, I will listen.  If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.  I will be found by you," says the Lord.  "I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes.  I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land."

I can't read those and not dream of our child.

Far more?

I can't read those and not dream of my Abba.

And for now, God be praised,  He is enough.

He is always enough.

Tears and all.

So we will wait. . .

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

August Numbers

Boy Number: 48

Girl Number: 66