Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween! 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Mom-Van

I overheard a conversation of someone talking about how they don't want to drive a van.

ANYTHING but a van.

That has always made me laugh because I could not WAIT to drive a van! Even when I was pregnant with Makenna, we bought a van! We lived out of town and we wanted to be able to ride with our guests when they visited.

We also traveled home often and so it just made sense.

And seriously, I have not done much in life that really MAKES SENSE.

So the fact that I was EXCITED about a van, kind of strange.

Thinking about how so many people are against vans, just makes me ponder.  What is it that for some make them so UN -COOL?  And why for me, is it not a big deal?

I am not going to try to figure out everyone else. I honestly don't get it simply because they are comfortable, much more comfortable than an SUV. I have had both. I do know. They are great on gas. They hold a ton.

But for me...

I am PROUD to drive a van. Because it is a symbol of being a mom.

And I love being a mom. I really do.

Yes, some days I complain. Ok, ALOT of days I complain.

And I get tired. Stressed. Crabby. MEAN!

But I still love my job. Mommy to 5.

I love that we not only drive a mini van but that we HAD to get a larger van.

To seat more. 15 to be exact. 

Because God blessed us for a season with a baby boy, and his even his mama at times.

I love that my husband urged me to fill out an application to invite even MORE into that van.

So you can have your SUV's and your fancy cars. But give me a van any day.

Though if it were possible to add a glass partition between the front row and children, I would have no complaints!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Gotcha Mavery THREE YEARS!!

So much to say about Ms Mavery since that day we got her 3 years ago.  Mavery Monday, remember?  It has been quite the ride these last 3 years.  Up and down emotionally, physically and mentally.  As I read back on some of the posts through these past years such as this one  or back in the beginning this... I can read those now and smile.

We made it.

In one of the posts I talked about how sometimes I am told it takes as long as a child lived in an orphanage to adjust.

For Mavery that was almost 3 years.

And here we are.


God is good. We are blessed.

There are times I look back on the hard days, and I feel much guilt. Things I could have done better. Some of the selfishness on my part. And there still is. I get tired. Worn down.

Yet the Lord is good to remind me, that I did the best I could at the time. It was not always perfect, but it was all I had.

I remember at times wishing AHEAD to when things settled down. It seemed SO FAR away to think of being home 3 years, but it was like this magic number I held in my heart.

And while I hate that time is going SO fast, life really is good.

Mavery is a miracle. She is MY miracle.  And I am so, so thankful that I am her mommy.

She is a different child than the one we met in China. The one home a year, or even 2.

No doubt, she still does better in a routine. She still prefers to hang out at time with adults. She still can spin out of control when she is tired.  Like alot of other children who are 5.

But when I look at her now, MY heart is softer. There is a tenderness there that is new. The wall that came up before at times when she would begin to scream, is gone.

I see SO much of the good now.

She is my little artist. She LOVES to color and draw pictures.

Her favorite is to write WOW Mom, love Mavery.

Wow!  My Mavery has AMAZING handwriting and drawing skills!

Wow! She can ride a 2 wheeler like a pro. Down "green grass hill" (our yard) and over the skate ramp.

Wow! She has yet to meet a stranger. She LOVES everyone and makes you feel like your her best friend.

Wow! She is the most polite and thoughtful child. Will share ANYTHING she has.

Wow! If you have not had a Mavery hug, you are missing out! And her kisses? She still has the best kissy lips ever!

Wow! She ALWAYS picks up, puts her shoes away, follows directions. (especially if it is ROUTINE!)

Wow! She has such a tender heart.

Don't get me wrong, if you know her you know she is full of SPUNK. ESPECIALLY if we are out of routine. She is brutally honest, so you NEVER doubt what she is thinking.  She will tell you if you are old, have funny hair, done something she is not happy with,  or doing something wrong. She can't always control her curiosity so if she wants to see what you are wearing under your dress, she will look!  She has one volume so in a quiet place is not a good thing.  She has a mouth on her at times and I was told this week that I was a mean mom because I do not let her say bad words like the neighbors mom does.  We have to keep an eye on her because we never know whose lap she will be in, whose food she will be eating, or whose purse she might be going through! Thankfully we are surrounded by family and friends who love our girl and enjoy her!  Well, maybe not the pulling up the dress part! ;-)

3 years. She has now lived with us officially longer than she lived in the orphanage.  I love that we have reached that point. Big stuff really when you think about it.

Last week I was telling her how beautiful her hair is. She is PROUD of her hair and gets REALLY angry with me when I even trim her bangs.  And she has GREAT hair. It is THICK and wavy and perfect. I asked her if she was sad in China when they would cut her hair. She said "Yes, they used this cutter thing like this and I would cry because they would cut it ALL off and I wanted long hair"! I was shocked, I did not think she could remember, but obviously she does, because what she described was a razor. And of course she had a shaved head in most photos and on gotcha day.

Her past is a part of her, and of course we don't want her to forget. BUT, we want her to be able to look back KNOWING that she is here now. Forever. Loved. Wanted. Chosen. 

So thankful for a God who carries us, directs us and loves us BIG. Thankful that He opened our eyes to adoption. So thankful that the little girl we met 3 years ago who we worried would never smile, now smiles from head to toes. So thankful for 3 years with Ms Mavery!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Malaine is NINE!

What can I say about my Lainey bug?  My little love bug. My middle child. Easy, sweet, lovely. As I worked on this blog and went through my photos of Malaine, I decided to take a trip down memory lane. So here are some past pictures and 9 great things about our little Lainey.

 She smiles. ALWAYS. She is a pleaser, and I have to make sure that no one takes advantage of that. I was going through her closet choosing a Sunday outfit and I lay out a dress for her. She came in and told me it did not fit quite right, which I knew it did. I asked her if she does not like the dress, and she refused to tell me she did not like it, because I had picked it out!

She wants a baby in our family in the worst way. She LOVES babies. ADORES babies. When she grows up she wants to.. be a mom! With lots of adopted babies.  I can't wait to take her to China. Someday.

Is my child that actually plays with toys.  So many times I buy toys feeling as if they will not get played with. Malaine PLAYS. She has lots of imagination and loves EACH of her toys.  American Girl DOLLS, barbie DOLLS. BABY dolls, all rank high.

She is still homeschooled and an easy student. Because even when I have a bad day, Lainey smiles! She does tell me that if I would adopt again she would happily go to school.  ;-)

Loves the Lord and has such a tender heart. She was baptized this year and loves being a "princess of the King!"

Makes friends no matter where we go. I am proud of her for always trying to make sure everyone has a friend. 
Still has part monkey to her. She loves to climb, hang, you name it. Is in gymnastics this year and today was the first day she said, It is HARD.

 Was able to have a part in our production at church this year, Judgement House. She LOVED being a part of Gods story for 2 weeks.

Is a prayer warrior. If you ask this girl to pray, she is ON it. She LOVES to pray and is quick to remind us who we forgot to pray for.  I always trust that when you ask her to pray, it comes from her heart. 

Happy Birthday sweet girl, we are so thankful for you!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Wedding Weekend!

The first weekend of September we were able to celebrate my "baby" cousin Brett, getting married.  Obviously, he is all grown up now and we are so proud of the Godly man he has grown into.  And we are thrilled to welcome our new cousin Rachel into this crazy family!  I did not get any ceremony photos, I was to busy controlling the 3 ring circus in my row.  Rachel was a beautiful bride and we all had such a great time! Sage is already asking when they are going to have babies and if those babies are going to come from China! ;-)

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I have no idea why some people are not able to see all my posts. I am trying to figure out what the issue is, sorry!!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Makenna is 14!!!

Yep, it is true.  My firstborn has now moved on from that first year of turning a teenager to being just one year away from being able to have a driving permit. GULP.  She enjoys the fact that she often gets asked if she is 16. We do not enjoy that.  BUT we are enjoying her as she grows, so here are 14 things about Makenna. 

She is as tall as me now. 
Grammy took her for a makeup makeover. Beautiful girl. Those eyes.
She wears the same size shoe as me. (I wish it were the same size clothes!)
She desperately wants to return to China. 
So she is trying to "bake" her way there. 

She loves to bake and has decided instead of being a vet maybe she wants to own her own cofee shop/bakery. 
She loves being a part of the youth worship band, and spent the evening of her birthday doing praise & worship with the band.
Nothing makes my mama heart prouder than watching my children worship the Lord. 
In our co-op this year she is learning to knit! She is a lefty so that has made it a bit more difficult when the teacher does not know how to teach lefty's but Makenna was able to learn it right handed. 
She was in a production of the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe this summer and LOVED it.
She ran her first 5K recently and ran the entire way! She ran for LIFE. 
She is a night owl like her mama. We don't do mornings. 
She is still homeschooling but is taking math and science through a co-op this year.
She is competitive so give her a challenge and she works REALLY hard at it. 
She is dependable. I worry about nothing when I ask her to do it. 
She is opinionated. I have NO IDEA where she gets that from. ;-)

I think that is 14. I am so proud of Makenna. Though at times we want to strangle each other (I have a feeling we are just a bit to much alike in many ways!) I truly think she is amazing.  There is nothing she enjoys more than serving others and serving the Lord. I know that the Lord has big plans for this girl of mine.