Thursday, December 31, 2009

I'm Back!!!!!!

Okay, it has been crazy busy around here and I haven't written a new post in a whole week!!!! Yikes! We were able to have two Christmas' one here in Illinois and one in Michigan. I have so much to write about but I just wanted to share to of my favorite gifts this year. If you haven't already noticed my picture quality has improved! My parent's got Ryan and I a new Nikon! We are very excited about it and just love the beautiful pictures!!!!!!


Ryan's parent's gave us many presents, but they gave us a night away! Here we are going on our date night without the kids! It was so nice to have a good night sleep and just spend time together! We went to McDonald's for dinner, I know yummy? We only went there so we could make the movie, Sherlock Holmes. It was good, I give it a B+.
We have been blessed with such supporting and loving parents. Thank you!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tired from Shopping

I think the kids are all shopped out! Here is Ellie who fell asleep in the cart while we were in Target! Again, this has never happened before. I guess this girl can sleep anywhere! Now I'm off to go shopping by myself! Thank goodness for babysitters! They make it so much easier to shop without the three kids!


Monday, December 21, 2009

Find My Family

On Monday nights there is a new series called "Find My Family." I have mixed feelings about this show. So here is a little about the show if you haven't already seen it.

ABC.com - Find My Family - About the Show: "We all know people who feel incomplete, searching for something to make them feel whole. The heartache of separation is difficult on all of us, but it’s hard to imagine the struggle for those wondering about family they haven’t seen since birth, or who don’t know if a loved one is even alive after decades of silence.
The producer of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition created this show with one simple mission—to bring families back together. With the help of a dedicated team of researchers, hosts Tim Green and Lisa Joyner guide people searching for lost loved ones through the emotional journeys that will change their lives forever.
Each episode is full of moving moments and tears of joy, when mothers, fathers, daughters and sons who lost touch for decades are reunited. First we learn the emotional back stories of each family in search of lost relatives. Then with minimal information, the Find My Family team begins the difficult and often frustrating process of sifting through archives and tracking down records until they uncover the missing links. Host Lisa Joyner reaches out to the newly-found family members to let them know that someone from their biological family has been looking for them. Tim Green narrates each story as it unfolds and meets with the people who originated the search. When a family is reunited, they all meet at the Find My Family “Family Tree.”"


As I watched this show tonight I just cried and cried. I just love shows like Extreme Home Makeover, but this show struck a different chord for me. My daughter who is 3 years old is adopted. Her birth mother lives in another state and Avielle has birth siblings. As I watched the show I thought about Avielle and how she will grow up and I thought about the challenges that we might encounter with her being adopted. I must admit that does overwhelm me. I am definitely a feeler in many ways and I can worry about the future.

When I was watching I kept hearing that there was a whole in their lives. I guess I thought that for Avielle that her daddy and I will fill that whole and she won't feel anything missing. Then reality came into the picture and I thought there will be a loss for her and that will be difficult for her, but my husband, me and God will be right there for her.

I am thankful everyday that I have Avielle in my life and that I'm her mother. I am extremely thankful to her birth mother who gave her to us to love and to raise. I truly know that God has an amazing plan for Avielle and I do have a peace in knowing that God is the one writing her story and that He is ultimately in control. He as asked her daddy and me to love her, protect her, and to bring her up in the ways of the Lord. I have complete peace that we are providing that for her. Time will tell the difficulties that we will face with Avielle and our other two, Anderson and Ellie.

I do like the idea of an open adoption, though I don't think that it is good for every situation, especially if the birth parents are not in a good situation. Avielle's birth parent's do receive pictures of her all the time and have access to her baby website and this blog. We are planning a trip in May to go meet her birth family. I'm both excited and nervous at the same time. I think that Avielle's age will be the perfect time for the two families to come together. I don't want there to be an acquired experience and being that she is 3 she won't really know if there is one. I want her to know that her birth family is not a secret, but that she will know them and know the love they have for her.

I think the reason that I was crying during the show is that each of the adopted kids felt like there was something missing in their lives. They were saddened that they had birth parent's out there that they didn't know. So, for Avielle I don't want her to feel like she is missing something, but I do want her to know her birth parents. I am her mother, but I want her to know her birth mother who carried her for 9 months and brought her into this world. Though I must be honest it is hard to share Avielle with her birth mother, but I know that I will overcome this with time.

So that is my thoughts. If you have adopted I would love to hear your thoughts!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Party!


The last three Christmas' we have had our good friends over for dinner to celebrate Christmas with them. Like I said in my last post these friends are our second family and it is just a fun evening, especially for the kids.
That night we had the kids dress up in their Christmas dresses and kept them in them for about an hour before they were in their pajamas. We just had to take pictures of them! In the picture below Ellie is missing, because she didn't want to be in the picture! Her dress does match her sister's.
I made pot roast for our main dish. Doesn't look very appetizing raw, but it tasted so good. Pot roast is a really easy meal to prepare, but it just takes a while to cook. Also in the pot roast pan is potatoes, carrots, onions. The house smells heavenly while it cooks!


Then we made a craft. Since the kids are learning their letters we focused on the letter "J." The kids colored a picture of Mary and Jesus and then we made a candy cane with red and white beads on pipe cleaners. It was totally age appropriate for kids 18-4 years old.
Candy Cane Poem
"Look at a CANDY CANE, what do you see?
Stripes that are RED like the BLOOD shed for me!
White for my Savior, Who's sinless and pure!
"J" is for JESUS, My Lord that's for sure!
Turn it around And a staff you will see---
Jesus, my SHEPHERD, is coming for me!"








Later the kids opened presents. In the picture below Josh is helping his daughters, Mackenzie and Stephanie open their present.


My two favorite boys! My husband, Chevy and my son Anderson!



For dessert the kids made cupcakes of rein deers, though they made their own concoctions!




Our two adoptive miracles! Here is Avi meeting Katie for the first time. Katie is two months old and I'm so happy that Katie and Avi get to grow up together and that Shari and I will have each other for support. The two of them are almost exactly 3 years apart! They were both born in October! Aren't they both so beautiful?!?!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Special Gifts!

Yesterday we had our dear friends over and we celebrated Christmas together. Our friends are so special to us and we support each other and call each other family. I will share more about our little party with you later, but I wanted to share these adorable gifts that we received from our friends! In the above picture we got this adorable ornament from the Lyman's! I just love family ornaments. Wow, are family is so big!

Below the kids are wearing T-shirts with their first initial on them. Auntie Barclay made each of the kids these shirts and they are so precious! Now Barclay doesn't sew, but with the help of her mother she made these for the kids! I'm impressed Barclay!

Then our dear friends the McMahon's got the girlie's these cute hats! I just love how cute they look on the kids. Avi just loves wearing it! She looks so hip.

Thank you friends for your well thought out gifts we will cherish them, but most of all we cherish your friendship!








Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Santa?

On Saturday night, we went out with our neighbors to Fox Lake for a spaghetti dinner. I heard Santa was going to be there and thought what a great opportunity it would be for the kids to get to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what they wanted for Christmas and not have to wait in a long line, like most public arenas for Santa. I would never go to the mall and wait in a huge line and have my kids have melt downs and try to contain them in a line! That would be a headache!


As you can see in the picture the whole family was able to sit on Santa's lap! That is because both Ellie and Anderson wanted nothing to do with Santa. As we were walking up to greet Santa Anderson started to cry and cling to me. Santa saw Anderson's anguish and told me that I could sit on his lap. I said that is quite alright, Anderson and I will stand here for the picture. Santa insisted that the picture would look better if I sat on his lap. I broke down and sat down on his lap. I know strange!!!!!!! If you look closely at the picture it looks like Santa's eyes are going to pop out from the weight of both Anderson and I.


After the whole dramatic experience of forcing our family to sit with Santa I thought why do we do this to our kids? Of coarse it is the obvious, to get a great festive picture, but why do we make our kids talk to a complete stranger and make them sit on his lap? When our children meet new people and we introduce them to our fellow friends we never have our children sit on this new acquaintances lap. That would be ridiculous if we had them do that! We just ask our children to politely say, "Hello."


In conclusion, if your child screams at the sight of Santa, I think your child is perfectly healthy and their cognitive skills are wonderful. In their mind they are making the connection that this is a stranger and I don't sit on strangers laps! Isn't that healthy? I guess I'm trying to make myself feel better about my kids screaming at the sight of Santa! HA! Merry Christmas!

Worldless Wednesday Merry Christmas!








Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Lets Play!

We are finally done with sickness in our household! Yippee! The kids had colds that lasted for almost two weeks and we were not able to see our friends during that time! Now, we are able to see everyone! So we planned some play dates!
On Monday we had the mommy's and their kiddos over from our couples small group. The above picture is of Abby and Ben, it was their first play date since they are only 2 months old! Man let me tell you they had a blast!!!!!
During the playgroup we made sugar cookies and decorated them! I was not sure how it would all turn out, but the kids and mommy's made some beautiful cookies and they were good to eat!




On Tuesday, we had some more close friends over. It is always fun to catch up and for myself to have socialization. Sometimes I go crazy being home!!!! Though I wouldn't change it for the world, but I have found that I need people and they energize me. I always thought I was an introvert, but after becoming a mommy I found that without being around others I can become depressed and moody. So, I do always love play dates and play outings. Though it can be difficult with three kids, but worth it for my spirits!
We had some good old Mac and Cheese and some hot dogs. I know fancy!!!!!




Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hot Cocoa?


My mom gave me this really cute idea to make cocoa mix as a gift. They are fun to make and my little helper, Avielle just loves helping me make them! When Anderson was in Michigan with his grandparent's, Avi and I stayed up late and put these together. It was so fun to be able to give her my undivided attention and for us to work together on something. She had such a big smile the whole time and acted grown up as she poured the ingredients.
At first I was thinking, "What have I gotten myself into letting her stay up!" I soon found spending time together is one of her love languages. It was great to be able to feed her love and to grow closer together with her through this bonding time. She truly is a lot of fun and it is fun to see her grownup personality come out.
We decided to give this cute holiday treats to our friends, neighbors, and Chevy's co-workers. Avielle just loves handing them out!





Another side note, Avielle is wearing an Elmo shirt, which I was never a fan of characters on clothing, but isn't it a cute outfit? I'm changing my ways on characters on clothing. I used to think it looked silly and babyish, but now with my own kids if they like that character than I am all for it! I love hearing Ellie point out Elmo all day on Avielle's shirt. Funny how your perspective change. I must say my perspective has changed in so many ways after becoming a mommy. That is another post!

Sleeping Beauty!

video

I have a funny story to share about our youngest child Ellie, or our "Sleeping Beauty." Yes, that is Ellie sleeping on the floor in our basement. Yesterday, the kids went outside to play in the snow and Ellie wanted to stay inside. I got out her coloring things and she colored for a while. Then she wanted to get down and went to the basement to play. Avi and Anderson came in from the snow and I took off all of their layers and then Avi wanted to paint and Anderson went to the basement. I decided to go check on Ellie and then I found her on the floor with her blanket and in her high healed shoes sleeping. I want to let you know this has never happened! I thought this was quite wild, but I would agree she is my child that will sleep anywhere and has now proven it!

A side note Anderson was playing downstairs and didn't even notice her! I guess she just blended in with all the toys! HA! He isn't much for detail!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Shirts!

When we were out for Thanksgiving Ryan's family who live in Michigan offered to keep one of the kids for the week. We thought Avielle was going to stay for the week, but at the last minute she said she wanted to come home and Anderson wanted to stay. It was actually Anderson's turn to stay in Michigan for the week, so it worked out perfectly.
The kids always have such a fun time with Nana and Grandpa. Of coarse they are spoiled a ton, but isn't that what grandparent's are for? Anderson even had a play date with his friend Addison while he was out there! Addison was staying with her grandma for the week and the kids met at the park to play. I think both Pamela and I thought that was really funny as we were at home in Illinois setting up the play date!
My mother-in-law is crafty and she actually used to own a craft store when my husband was little. Isn't that funny my husband grew up in a craft store? I showed her some Christmas shirts that I just love from the etsy shop and she decided with all the free time she had, just kidding, she would make them. Remember Anderson is full of energy, so I'm not sure when she had time to put them together?
Thank you mom so much for the cute shirts and the adorable red bows. I love dressing the kids in them and they are extra special, because you made them!