Tuesday, October 29, 2013

No Way!

There is just no way, that it has already been 16 years...

Sixteen years since I was first introduced to this bundle of cuteness and to this incredible journey of motherhood!

Whenever my sweet Christian complains about the sheer number of kids in this family and the level of noise they can produce, I just have to remind him that he couldn't be so stinkin' cute and remain an only child, so he only has himself to blame!

Funny... that doesn't seem to help.


 He has gone from playing with trucks to driving them, well at least driving my big green machine...

 and my heart is overcome when I stop and think about how fast the years have gone by.

Christian wants to be a Marine...

something I think the Lord has been preparing my heart for ever since he was 2 years old.

He put a knowing in this Momma's heart about this boy.

He also knew how hard it would be for me...

hence the 14 year preparation!


Christian is growing into an amazing young man and we are just so very proud of his character and sense of honor.

He is strong and independent, confident and driven and a pretty amazing athlete.

He is also kind and caring and is muddling through these tough teen years with a fair amount of grace.

We have had our rough spots but have come through it stronger.

He is a comfort to have around!

I have thoroughly enjoyed (just about) every phase of his growing up and I just cannot wait to watch as this incredible young man turns into an incredible man!

So, for your 16th birthday, I have decided that we need a family motto.

How about...

We are large and in charge!

or what about...

Larger than life!

or maybe...

Bigger is better!

Oh I know!

Supersize it!!!


Just remember, it is all your fault!

Love you sweet boy!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Lesson in Love

I have always heard that children who are labeled as "special" many times bring with them such joy.

I know that children who come from situations like Lucy's, however, often bring with them such sadness.

I got a lesson in both this morning.

My sweet Lizzie has been dreading this morning.

She did not want to go...

She did not want to hear what she ultimately ended up hearing and she was not happy.

For a while now, Hubby and I have felt like Lizzie's clubfoot might just be relapsing.

That sweet little foot of hers was a tough case...

It took 18 clubfoot casts and a night brace to get that precious foot turned around and right side up...

and she was a trooper!
So, this morning, she knew what was coming, the words that she would hear...

Surgery, a cast and possible night bracing as well.

My sweet Lizzie was able to keep it together long enough for the doctor to leave the room and then she fell apart.


As I was comforting my precious child, I happen to look over at Lucy.

The look on her face was one of fear y'all...

fear and heartache

The minute I asked her if she was ok, she began to sob!

I asked her if she was worried about Lizzie and she was able to nod her head yes.

Oh my...

Now, I know that Lizzie's sadness was mostly a trigger but the fact that this beautiful child felt such a strong bond with her new sister and was so concerned about Lizzie just melted my heart!

I know that Lucy has memories and loss and images from her past that we will have to help her deal with and I can only imagine what images and feelings Lizzie reaction brought up for Lucy but in that moment, I was praising the Lord for pouring His love into this child!

Now, I mentioned the joy!

Y'all know that Lucy loves to laugh but Maggie has her own sense of mischief and fun and it was much needed this morning!

So, backing up a bit, as the doctor was trying to tell me about the surgery, Maggie was bouncing around the room, interrupting us, showing me her coloring page over and over and playing with the trash can...
and I was beginning to get irritated.

That irritation was quickly replaced by "awww", however, as Maggie ran over to Lizzie the moment she began to cry and just hugged and hugged on her sister!
Amazing y'all!

However, this did not help Lizzie or Lucy as they both continued to sob - loudly - in the doctor's office!

As I stood there with the 2 girls sobbing and Maggie playing with the trash can, you know the ones that you step on to make the lid pop up, I thought how crazy this must look and how crazy my life seemed right then...
and then it hit me...
Maggie was having a grand old time...
with the trash can y'all...
As I stood there bemoaning my circumstances, Miss Maggie was showing me how to just laugh!
So I did!
I just stood there and laughed and said out loud, to no one in particular, "Well, look at us.  I have you two crying and Maggie playing with the trash can!"
 And that was just what we needed.

Lucy and Lizzie looked at me and looked at Maggie, laughing as she stepped and popped that lid over and over and they could not help but laugh too!

Maggie was so pleased with herself that she had to find every single trash can on the way out of the hospital! 

Joy and sadness...

Yep, got a lesson in both today!

Thank you Lord!

I have a feeling there will be many more lessons like this to come!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Soccer With a Twist!

So, if you have been around long enough, you know that we are a soccer family.

We used to have 5 playing but this year, we are down to 2...


and fierce little Lizzie

I just love to watch my kiddos play soccer and these two are just all in y'all!

They give it all, out on that field and that, is awesome to watch!

Now I am pretty certain Maggie and Lucy had never been to a soccer game before but they embraced their sister support roles like real pro's!

They have such fun cheering their siblings on that I sometimes have to ask them to tone down their enthusiasm a bit!


What a blessing to watch these two cheering Christian and Lizzie on with such love!

Now, yesterday, little Lucy decided that she had had enough of the sidelines and wanted to play too.

Her siblings were more than happy to oblige!

Have I said how much I love my kiddos!!!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Snapshot - Finally!

I have not participated in Stefanie's awesome Sunday Snapshot posts in a long time.

We have been a bit, um, busy...
well, more like insanely crazy but wonderfully busy and consistent blogging had to take a back seat for a while but this Sunday...
I just had to post!
This Sunday, I have the snapshot that I have waited for, for a very long time!
Just look at how blessed I am!
This pic was a long time coming but we don't question His timing or
His plan...

even on the hard days.
The blessings come through those hard days and slowly but surely knit us together as a family.

Maggie and Lucy are home and sitting on our front porch y'all...
orphans no longer but beloved daughters and that is oh so worthy of a Sunday Snapshot!

To read more awesome Sunday Snapshots, go here

Ni Hao Yall

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A "First"

So I may not have been there when they rolled over for the first time or took their first steps or uttered their first words but I was able to be there for a "first" yesterday!

With older child adoption comes the realization that you have missed many "firsts" and I don't think the reality truly sinks in until you are home and actually have the chance to be there for a "first."

Like yesterday!

Christian and Charlie had a cross country race yesterday and while cheering their siblings on is definitely a first for the girls and one, I might add, that they LOVE...

 yesterday was a big "first".

You see the boys' race was on the beach... 

which was just so cool...


it was also the first time Maggie and Lucy had seen the ocean!!

Y'all it was awesome!

They were SO excited

and so was I...

 cause I got to share a "first" with them...

 and what a "first" it was!

They were covered in sand from head to toe but I didn't care and neither did they!

They got to cheer their brothers on and play in the waves and dig in the sand!

What a great day!
I am looking forward to more "firsts" and even though we missed many of those important milestones...
 I am so incredibly thankful for the ones we will be able to share with them.

Friday, October 4, 2013

So, I Made Brownies Yesterday...

Yep, I made brownies...

cause I turned 50 yesterday...

and ya just gotta have brownies if you are turning 50, with 7 kids, 5 dogs, one crazy cat!

Heck, just turning 50 alone warrents brownies!


It was a day just like any other day, except...

I turned 50 y'all!

My sweet kiddos made cards and my awesome 15 year old waited until I went to bed to make a birthday banner and hang it up for me as a surprise.  


He also made me the sweetest card that told me how much he appreciated all that I do and how I had  "kept it together" through all of our financial struggles.  I think his exact words were, "Thank you for keeping it together when we had like no money and I acted like a fool!" 

Fool - no
Teenager - yes


I am in awe of the young man that Christian is becoming and he knows just how to get to his Momma's heart!

Sweet Charlie wished me a Happy 50th and said, "you don't look it"

Um, yeah, he knows how to get whatever he wants!


Caleb wished me a Happy Halloween!

Yep, that's my Caleb!


Em and Lizzie always draw such sweet pics of us together and say things like, "you are the best" and "Mom is #1"!

Gosh these two are easy on my heart!!! 
Lucy and Maggie didn't quite get it but I did gets loads of kisses and giggles from those two silly ones!

Don't know why those chose to wear helmets when we walked the dogs around the block but now that I think about it...  it was probably a very good idea!
They sure did think it was fun!

Hubby was not here (sigh) but brought gifts tonight (more on that later) ...  and his sweet Momma to help celebrate!

I truly love my sweet Momma in Law and love being with her!!!

Believe me, I know how blessed I am!  


We also get to celebrate with my sweet Momma on Sunday who just happen to turn 80 this year!

Now, she really does not look her age!

So, all in all 50 isn't so bad...

So far!

I will try my best to work on some pics this weekend.  

Might just have to find a photo editing program that fades wrinkles away first though!!!


I am so hoping "they" are right and 50 is the new 40!

I think I am going to need that 10 years just to keep up with all these youngins around here...

that and a lot of brownies!