Friday, November 28, 2008

I will always remember

that 3 years ago, in China, another mother made a choice that has changed my entire world.

I will always remember that someone else held on to Sage for a full week, and then left her where she could be found.

I will always remember, that she could have made different choices, and if she had, I would not be holding this beautiful amazing spicy girl that is my daughter.
I will always remember, that somewhere out there is a woman, who is missing out on hearing this AMAZING laugh, kissing these sweet lips, or stroking her silky black hair.
I will always remember that this day will forever be marked on her heart as well as on mine.
I wish I could tell her, how amazing Sage is. I wish I could hear her voice, and see if it is as deep and raspy as Sage. I wish I could spend a day with her and see if she makes me laugh, the way Sage does. I wish I could know if she has trouble sitting still or if she makes the whole room smile when she walks into it the way Sage does.
I wish I could thank her.
November 28, 2005. I will always remember.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Sawyer being chased by all the girls. It is his life story!

My Mavery, Happy First Thanksgiving Beautiful Girl!

Three little almond eyed beauties!

Adley & Sage

This is what happens at my moms house for most every gathering. Sitting around watching Football. Well, typically the men. I could care less about sports.

Sage relaxing while her big sister pushes her around! They are to cute together!

If I had more time I would tell you how my family is related on both sides and it is all legal. Always makes it nice for family gatherings. This is my parents brothers and sisters. Jan, (who is Terry & Judys sister, )Terry & Debbie. (Debbie is my moms sister) my parents in the middle, Ray & Judy. Ray is my dads brother, Judy is Terrys sister, and Joe, my dads brother. See if you can figure all that out!

My cousins and spouses. Kenny, his wife Amy. my brother Shane in the back. (we missed Esther!) Cousin Brett, Cousin John in back, Cousin TJ and his wife Amy, cousin Dawn with hubby Terry (who we miss so much since they moved away this year) Mark and I and my cousin Julie.

Lexie, Dalayna, Jaylyn, Malaine, Makenna holding Adley, Colby, Sawyer, Sage & Mavery. Why is it always my kids not sitting still? ;-)

Colby, Makenna and Sawyer enjoying some quality cousin time. Probably hiding from the little ones!

Uncle Terry entertaining 3 little girls. No soda Mavery!

Colby & Sawyer. Sawyer is thrilled to spend the day with Colby, he misses him alot!

Jaylyn and Lainey!

Spicy Girl! Yep, sitting on the table, double dipping with the chips!

Aunt Debbie & Adley

Thanksgiving was fun and crazy and I think both sides of the family had almost 40 there to celebrate. Mavery does well in a crowd, thankfully, because we ARE a crowd! Both of our parents live in town so we get to eat twice on Thanksgiving. No complaints about that! It was such a beatiful day, the kids loved being able to be outside for most of it. It will seem that we never have pictures of Marks family gatherings and that is because on my side my mom is always "encouraging" posed group photos, which reminds me to get my camera out and use it. We always grumble about these photo shoots, however I am thankful because with out them I would not have pictures! And if I do not take pictures, or tell Mark to take them, they do not get taken. We really do love his family and we do see them to! It was a good day and we were very thankful to have Mavery home this year. Oh and because I keep forgetting to add it, we are also very thankful that we are expecting a new cousin in the family! Amy is expecting a baby in June! We appreciate all your prayers for Amy and some of you have asked me how she is doing, and so this is good news! Sawyer is holding out for a boy, we will see! Hope you all had a Blessed Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Eve

Since all holidays around here seem to get so rushed and crazy and on the actual day we might forget to be thankful as we are rushing everyone out the door from one place to another, we decided to make a new tradition. Tonight we had dinner in the dining room by candlelight. We made REAL mashed potatoes, which is rare around here if I am being honest. We put the food in serving dishes (also rare). Ate on the China, which is rare to use, all had matching glasses, and had sparkling grape juice. Maybe for some of you this is normal. For us it is typically plastic dishes, plastic cups, I serve up the plates from the kitchen, you get the picture. The kids all loved it and begged to do it again very soon! (note to self, buy LOTS of sparkling grape juice next time, 1 bottle, 7 people, not enough!) We spent time praying and being thankful. Sage started us off and her little prayers are to sweet! She sounds so big as she talks to Jesus and it really comes deep from her heart. We had all gone around tonight and we got to Mavery, who is still trying to figure out this whole prayer thing and she yells out THANK YOU! Then Mark led her through a prayer and oh what a sweet sound! Watching a father lead his daughter to the Father... Anytime my children pray it does my heart good. I love seeing them go before the Father with such open spirits. It was a good night. We put aside everything else and were just together. So the laundry is piled around us, the Christmas decoration boxes are everywhere you look, but we did not care. We sat, we listened, we were thankful.

Hear Ye Hear Ye!!

This weekend we will celebrate our 2 littlest princesses. My sweet mom had offered to throw me a welcome home/baby adoption shower before we left, which was so kind of her and I love that she wanted to do that. Not knowing how Mavery would do, we decided that we would put it off and just do a double birthday party/welcome home party. So this weekend we will celebrate the 2 gifts God has brought to our family from a land far away. Sage had an opinion of what she wanted for sure and that was a Princess Party! Of course that is perfect for Mavery with her love of all things girly! We can't wait and will post lots of pictures after the weekend!
**Not sure why the invitation came up like this, but at least you can get an idea of what it looks like. It cut off the part about the Royal Luncheon served at High Noon. ;0)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Harvest Feast

Malaine had her first school party this week and we all went to watch her sing. She is having lots of fun at school and it was good to be back there with all our friends. She is fitting in just fine, as we knew she would and really enjoys going. Of course having such a great teacher is helping her adjust, even though they make her take naps! We are all very thankful for Ms Sherman! I am missing her in the day, and she assures me every night that while she likes school and wants to be there, she misses me "so much!" . ;0)

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Because I hear it is THE thing to do, I joined Facebook. I have been told that it is much easier than blogger. Whatever. You can't sit and write a book on there or anything like that. But since I felt I lost all coolness as of late, I needed something to up my status. Totally kidding. I could care less if I am cool, I think that is pretty obvious! ;0) I actually just joined because I had to find out what the fuss is about. And I am nosey. And I am stuck inside the house to much with all these kids. So hey, if you are on Facebook, come be my friend. I saw my brother in law has over 700 friends and I have about 30. That seems kind of depressing. ;0) Just in case you didn't know, Shannon Laxton. And just so you know, it is NOT easier than blogger and I can't hardly figure out what you are supposed to do there, but I am sure I will figure it out eventually!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sage is THREE!

3 years old

2 years old

ONE is fun!

8 days old

I think I forget how much they change when they are little. As Makenna, Sawyer & Malaine celebrated birthdays this year and I looked back through to last years photos, they don't shock me as much as when I look back at Sage a year ago. She was a baby and now she looks like a little girl! Oh time, just stop for a minute! This is the BABY, MY baby. It is just going by to fast.
Some Spicy Girl stuff for you:

  • She has the best voice ever. It is SO deep and gravely and it makes me laugh listening to it come from this tiny little body.

  • Gets nervous about some things such as riding in the big van but then is not afraid to hang off of the canopy bed or go headfirst down the steps on her belly or dive in 10 feet of water. (or to be honest, to dive in the bathtub off of the sink next to it, oh you can't take your eyes off her for a second!)

  • Loves to sing and sings LOUD.
  • Does not know a stranger and does not have one shy bone in her body. She just expects that everyone likes her. She is very sure of herself for sure!

  • When we get to church she runs in her class and says "I'm Here" as if they were all holding up class waiting for her before they could even think to begin!

  • Her favorite word is butt, though she knows she is not supposed to use that. So what she says is "Mom, I hurt my bootie, NOT my butt, ok Mom, not my butt" What do you do with that?

  • She is also very artsy. Just ask her sunday school teacher what she enjoys making during play-do time. Poop, she made poop. Sigh...

  • She LOVES lipstick. She puts it on thick and often.

  • She is ALMOST potty trained. Funny thing is she did things backwards and NEVER poo's in her pants, but the other is random. I thought Mavery might teach her, but nope, has not helped much.

  • Her favorite show is now Go Diego Go and that is about the only one she will watch. She loves animal books and tells me all of the animals that are on Diego.

  • She eats so much better of of ANYONE elses plate or drinks from their cup better than her own. She just waits till everyone leaves the table and then roams it to finish her dinner.

Sage is just full of JOY and life and makes our lives richer because she is ours. As I sat and rocked her tonight (which is rare, she is not a huggy girl, much to busy for that!) I savored those moments of just snuggling and singing and praising Jesus that she is mine. I can not imagine my life with out her. 3 years ago she was born in China, 9 months later she was in my arms forever. Of course I think of her birth mother today, and those 9 months I missed, but it is not with tears as it sometimes is. It is with a thankful heart and simply a look back at how far she has come since I have held her. My Sage, our 4 thchild, the beginning of a chapter in our lives called adoption. The reason we were once again in China last month, all because we fell in love with Sage. A little girl handpicked by God to be our daughter. I will forever be thankful.

Monday, November 17, 2008

First Post Placement- We Passed!

These pictures crack me up. Ever since we have met Mavery, she insists on pulling her pants up to her armpits. So funny.
So last night as I am debating more cleaning or trying to finally catch up on the 8 episodes of
the Amazing Race that we are behind, my thought was this. Is she REALLY going to come in here and notice that I did not mop INSIDE the closets? And if she does notice, is she really going to tell me I have to get back on the plane and take Mavery BACK to China? I don't think so. So I figured it was good enough and decided to veg on the couch instead of cleaning the closet floors. And thank goodness I stopped worrying about it because you know what she did? Walked in the door and came straight to the couch and was not worried about the house one little bit. At least the house is once again clean for now. Besides inside the closets, no peeking inside there. And I should add, I do not mop, Mark takes that on as his job. Which is probably why he keeps reminding me I am getting a "Scooba" for Christmas when I keep suggesting a sewing machine! ;0) For some reason he does not understand how I am going to find time to sew, much less learn HOW to sew. I am trying to remind him how much money it would save him, we have FOUR girls, their clothes add up! Anyways, back to the visit.

I thought you all would enjoy knowing that her first comment was that "she sure is chunky!" She meant this in a good way, I think. And the funny thing is, we are pretty sure she has slimmed down some with all her climbing and running around here!

The visit went well. She was impressed with Maverys language and believes she is bonding great from what she witnessed. Which makes me feel good. Of course it is what I think, but it is nice to hear a "professional" tell you it is true.

We talked about sleeping, and that was kind of a bummer. We told her how she cries out in the night and how sometimes she actually wakes up with this piercing scream while thrashing around in the bed, it seriously sounds like the bed is going to fall apart. She is pretty sure it is night terrors and said there is no solution but that she will grow out of them about 9 or 10 years old. Yeehaw, that is great! Who can share a room with a kid that sounds like someone is stabbing her a few times a night? Sometimes she does not do this. She did when we first came home, then stopped. But started up again the last few nights. I am praying it is a passing thing being caused by a new stuffy nose because I am not big on being woke up a few times a night with a racing heartbeat!

The other "issue" we are having that she tried to help with is that Mavery does not go to bed for me. I lay her down, she screams. Mark comes in and pats her, she goes to sleep. Same goes for anything. Eating, if I sit next to her she hangs on me and whines. If he is next to her she sits and eats. Mark says I am to soft and basically that is what the Social Worker insinuated to. She told me I have to do things just like Mark does. I did not tell her that she might not want me following all of Mark's parenting tactics because HE is the one letting our children hang from the bedrails, but did promise her I am TRYING to act like him when it comes to putting her to bed. Apparently I might need more work.

So all in all it was a good visit. No one did anything to embarrass me, you know, they did not act like they normally do so that was good! Sage actually slept through part of the visit and thankfully kept her clothes on when she was awake. She did cry to watch tv at one point and I was worried she was not going to give up, but thankfully she got busy being cute so I did not have to show the SW that she knows how to find her favorite show on tivo. Hershey ( the dog) did not bite her or anything like that, but did jump on top of her trying to lick her face. Thankfully our Social Worker is really great and very laid back. You would have to be to take on our family.

Thankfully we did not have to offer up any pictures so no worries that she saw the gymnastic shots. Of course for all I know she found my blog and then we might have some explaining to do. Some of your emails cracked me up and I am glad you emailed instead of commenting, we have to keep it G rated around here ya know! hahaha!

Next visit at 6 months and then again at 12 months. So at least we are guaranteed to have the house cleaned 2 more times in the next year! ;0)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Should I worry...

that my first home study visit with our social worker is Monday morning. (In Illinois they come and visit 3 times after adoption, first visit with in a month after being home) And our paperwork that needs filled out is buried here?

Or that our living room looks like this?

And do you think I should hide all evidence that we visited this place, well I am not admitting how many times we went this week.

Maybe I should not admit to being ok with this (video games), but it means that 2 little girls sit quietly for a minute!

Driving Sage around kept them happy for awhile. Mavery is a pretty good driver, even if she had experience watching China drivers! ;0) Do social workers mind kids being on TOP of the car?
Is it a problem that the little girls use our bathROOM as their swimming pool? I gave them a bath one day and was waiting for Mark to come up from the basement saying it was coming through the floor they had the room so wet.

Now I know this one is a no no. But, since we can't afford gymnastics for the girls right now, we figure we need to get in their exercise. And yes, they both prefer to be with out clothes as much as possible!

Monkey See, Monkey Do! Mavery wants to do EVERYTHING that Spicy Girl does! Though she is a little nervous about some things, but getting crazier and more brave every day!

And yes, even the dog gets in on the action to!

**Disclaimer--No children OR animals were harmed in the taking of these pictures. I (the mom) was wondering why every time Mavery was in my bedroom she would reach up towards the top of my bed, till I walked in and saw the dad doing these things with them!
**You are right, my bed is not made. Sometimes it is, but 5 little monkeys & a dog love to wrestle in it so it typically just looks like this.
**Mark said he did not think I should post the pictures of the messy house. (though he is fine with the naked babies and gymnastics) He said it is embarrassing. ;0)
**So we are not cooking or cleaning, but boy are we having fun! That counts for something right?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Swimming, I mean Bathtime fun!

**Scroll down to bottom of the blog and pause my music so you can hear the bathtime fun!

The girls don't typically take a bath in their suits, but I wanted you all to see how much fun we have around here. Sage is just so crazy in the tub, I have one video of showing how long she stays under the water, it is wild! In China Mavery did not like to be in the tub at all, but now she runs and jumps right in! But as you can tell, she is not quite as crazy about the water as Sage, though I am not sure many 3 years olds act as Sage does in the water!

Sage Sings, Mavery yells!

** Scroll down and pause my music at the bottom of the blog so you can hear the video!

I posted Mavery singing on her blog, not sure what she is saying here, but their 2 voices together are so different and so funny! They are singing a choir song from the kids CD, and they both have it memorized. They make me laugh every day!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Malaine leaves the Nest!

Homeschooling with 5 children is proving to be as challenging as we knew it would be this year. Even over the summer we debated, should we go ahead and send Malaine to kindergarten? How in the world will we teach her to READ with 2 2 year olds? But we decided to keep her home, she is so easy and we figured she is so laid back I could handle it. Then we got home, and realized what life with twins really is all about. Especially one who can't speak English and needs ALOT of attention. So, we decided it would be best for Malaine AND for me if she went to school this year. We really prayed about WHERE. And though we can't afford it, we have decided to send her to the christian school our children previously attended. We know with out a doubt that their program is amazing, and we know that she will be getting a firm foundation this year. Sawyer was so easy to homeschool because of how well he was reading going into first grade. Plus the fact that the teacher is one of our very favorite people helped a little to! Oh and add that to the fact that our amazing friends and soon to be next door neighbors go there and are willing to take Malaine in the mornings, while my awesome dad is going to bring her home! Driving was not an option with the other 4 as you can imagine. Makenna & Sawyer are just a little (ALOT) sad that they are not able to go back, so I knew if they had to go over there every day it would be to hard on them. (Victory is not in the town we live, it is about 20ish minutes from our house)

Let me tell you, Ms Malaine was SO excited! She NEVER complained about homeschool and told me over and over how happy she was to have me for her teacher. But if you know Malaine, you know that she is generally just a happy kid. So tell her that she is now going to school and she is happy about that to!

So today was the first day. Good grief school starts SO early! Our favorite thing about homeschool are the hours we keep! I forgot how much fun it is getting up and getting us all ready. And I realized why I hardly leave the house with 5 children. Going in the office, trying to do paperwork with the little girls, fun times.

While I am sad that Malaine is not here with me, I was SO excited for her today. Both of the older 2 just loved kindergarten and I am glad for her to now "get" their stories from school. Plus it really just lifted a huge weight off my shoulders today. While I think it is a great privilege to teach your children to read, it is not one I am sad to not have at this time in my life! I will have her next year when she reads well and life is a little less crazy with the 2 little ones. Right now we are just trying to find a balance for everyone as Mavery adapts. I want to make sure that everyone is getting what they need, which is hard, but hopefully this will help.

I have already told Ms Sherman aka Amber that we are pretty certain the little girls will be coming over there for kindergarten even if we have to sell our house. I think Sage is going to NEED her! Hopefully that thought won't be enough to make Amber retire early! ;0)
**Adding some comments about the van, in the van post comments.