Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Garage Sale for Adoption

It's finally here! We've been collecting stuff from friends/family for the past month or so. This weekend is the garage sale fundraiser for our adoption!!! Our garage is packed FULL of stuff! It's a little overwhelming to me to think about trying to get this mess organized...but we should have lots of help. Some family and friends are coming over tomorrow evening to help get it all ready. We may be up all night long...but by Friday morning we'll be ready for a massive garage sale!

Please stop by this Friday & Saturday (April 2nd & 3rd) for some great deals for a good cause! Leave your email address in the comment section if you need me to email you our address.

Here's the "before" picture. I'm hoping that after tomorrow night we'll actually be able to tell what everything is that's in our garage! lol

Can you see the door to our house over the pile of stuff???

This is the beginning of organizing all the clothes. I haven't even gotten to the baby clothes yet and there are still at least 4 more giant trash bags full of adult/teen clothes!

Hope to see you this weekend (and please bring some friends! We want to be able to see our garage floor after this sale is over!!)

You can go...

Brody goes through spurts where he experiences what we think are growing pains. It's usually his legs that will hurt, but he points to his shins rather than I don't think it's muscle cramps. What typically happens is that he'll wake up crying in the middle of the night. I'll stumble into his room and sit there rubbing his legs for 30 minutes or more. Usually until he's almost back asleep again. Thankfully this doesn't happen very often, however, the past 2 nights in a row he's woken up in the middle of the night with leg pains.

Last night I went into his room at midnight after I heard him crying. He wanted me to rub his legs, so I sat down beside his bed and started the massage. He asked if I was ok because I kept putting my head down on his mattress. I told him, "I'm just really tired." After rubbing his legs for a few more minutes he suddenly pulled his leg away from me and put it back under the covers. He looked up at me and said, "It's ok. You can go now. You can go back to bed. I can rub my leg now." His actions were showing such compassion and love for me in the midst of his pain. I asked if he was sure he'd be ok and after his reassurance, I headed back to bed.

How many times over the next 15 years will I hear those same words? "It's ok, Mom. You can go. I can do this now."

Monday, March 29, 2010


It was a beautiful day Saturday. The sun was shining and (when you could escape the wind) you were a almost hot! Brody became determined to convince us to let him swim. We tried telling him that it's still too cold. He didn't believe us (What do we know? We've only been alive 27 years longer than him!)

Finally we decided to let him learn this lesson through personal experience. He jumped up and down in excitement when we told him he could go put on his swimsuit. He ran to the pool and stepped onto the first step. He climbed back out pretty quick and said, "I'm gonna sit in the sun and let my legs warm up before I get in." I just laughed and said, "See! It's cold! You don't really want to get in." I guess he took that as a challenge. He said, "I'm going to jump in!" I said, "You don't want to do that. It's cold!"

Brody stood up, walked to the edge of the pool, and jumped in. He came up gasping for air (you when someone pours a glass of cold water on you and you can't breathe). He immediately put his face back in the water and swam to the steps. By the time he climbed out he and I were laughing so hard! He said, "You were right! It was COLD!!! I think I'll wait for summertime to swim again!"

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Adoption Profile Book

***EDIT: ARG I thought I'd figured out how to post the pics side by side. It looked correct on my preview! Any tips?! You can still click on the images that are cut off and the entire image will appear. How can I widen my blog screen?!?***

Original Post:
Alright. Here it is. The Adoption Profile Book! Some of you have already looked at it and given us some ideas of things that you liked and things we needed to change. I think (unless you, my blog readers, come up with things I need to change) this is the book that will go to print! We'll going to have it printed on 12x12 pages and then we'll put it in a scrapbook. Any scrappers out there that know where I should have them printed (good quality...but not $$$$), I'd love the input!

I read several different blogs and guidelines online about creating an adoption profile book. The only parameters we were give by Covenant Kids was "your book can be about 20 pages". Yep. That's it. I found tips here and there online, but mainly I just started looking through our pictures. Most of you know that I take way more pictures than is this was a difficult task. There's no way we could've included as many pictures as we did if I had tried to scrap them (in the traditional scrapbooking method)...not to mention it would've taken me 5 years to finish 20 scrapbook pages! I used Picasa to make the photo collages and well...I guess I'll let you decided if it's worthy to be shown to a birthparent.

{Be sure to click on the images to see them full screen...and to be able to read the text. Let me know if you see any typos!}

Monday, March 22, 2010

Are you ready for some softball?!?

Caleb created the above picture for the PR Black 2010 Spring season. Pretty sweet, huh?!

Tonight's game was at 6:30 so the boys and I got to go. Besides Barrett and his friend, Lucas, almost being beemed by a foul ball, it was a gorgeous night and another W for Black!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday Afternoon

How did you nap on this chilly Sunday afternoon?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Bella!

Today we celebrated Bella's first birthday! The past year has gone by so fast. It seems like she was just born a few weeks ago! Cindy & Jon were happy to smile for the camera, but Bella was distracted by two 3.5 year old boys who were goofing off in the seat next to her.

She was excited to eat a cupcake after we finished singing to her.

Can't you see the joy in her face after tasting the delicious sweetness of icing and cake mixed together in one glorious bite!

Collin and Brody waited patiently until they were served some cake & ice cream. If you had seen them earlier you would've known that they were wearing different shirts when we arrived at Matt & Julie's house. For some reason they decided to go upstairs and pick out new shirts from Collin's closet. I guess it's not only girls that change clothes 10 times a day.

I just had to take a picture of Audria trying to eat a piece of cake with Katelyn in her lap and Barrett sitting next to her shooting a dart gun. I would've ended up with cake on my lap if I had attempted this!

I asked Dad to take a picture of Ann, Audria, and me. In true Daddy Steve fashion, he took something like 20 pictures. We got a good one....

But I think Audria was ready for the picture taking to be over!!!

(Side note: Ok. Maybe Audria wasn't really complaining about having her picture taken. I think she was describing how she felt when I grabbed their heads to bring them closer to mine per Dad's instructions.)

Lauren was the photographer at Bella's birthday. She filled up her memory card over an hour before we left! We grabbed her and Julie to get in a picture with us too.

We had so much fun at Bella's birthday! The boys crashed in the car within the first 10 minutes of our trip home.

(Another aside...I"m sorry if I always end posts with "We had so much fun...", but it's true! I guess life is just fun!)

Breakfast by the Door

This is how the boys ate breakfast this morning...


Because Bobby & Miss Stephanie were back!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Lunch with Friends

Today we met a couple girls from our small group at the park so the kids could play together. It was WINDY (made me think we might have accidentally picked a park in KS rather than TX), but the kids didn't seem to notice. I tried to get a group picture of Beverly, Anna, me, and Robyn...but just as the timer went off the wind blew my camera sideways. I was shocked that we were still in the picture! It's a little blurry...but it's proof that we were really there (not just our kids)!
There was a playground next to where we were eating...but there was also a pond. You better believe that the kids were WAY more interested in the pond than the playground. We gave them leftover fries to feed to the ducks. They ended up throwing the fries into the pond before the ducks even noticed they were "feeding the ducks" lost their interest real quick (but not before they got their shoes wet and muddy).
Next it was time to play with sticks. Most of the time they were "fishing", but as soon I as showed up with the camera Brody's fishing pole turned into a gun.
I thought this picture of Beverly and Sarah watching the ducks was cute. It looks better in black & white (you you don't notice that the pond is a murky brown color).
It was a wonderful time with friends. The boys were not happy to leave, but when I bribed them with the promise of a snack from Wal-Mart (our next stop) they were happy to get in the car and buckle up!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Have I really not blogged since Monday? So what's been going on this week? Hmmm. Did you know that it's tax season? I really enjoy tax season. I think doing tax returns is so much fun! Mom often reminds me that I only have to work as much as I want to...but when I look at how many tax returns are in the "to do" makes me want to meet some made up goal in my head. On Tuesday night I brought home a box full of returns so that I could work from home on Wednesday. I ended up putting in twice as many hours yesterday as I normally do. The boys were playing pretty good together (except for a few fights) and since I can see both their room and the garage (where they can ride their bikes without me sitting outside with them) from my desk, I had it made!

Since I'm sure you're all interested in how many tax returns I've done (*obvious insertion of sarcasm*), you'll be glad to know that we're meeting some friends at the park tomorrow for lunch and then Saturday is Bella's (my cousin, Jon's, daughter's) 1st birthday. I'm sure I'll have some pictures/stories after the events of this weekend.

Barrett has started talking so much more in the past 2 weeks (we're attributing it to the fact that he spent a week with Daddy Steve AND Brody...both love to converse and I'm sure the only silence was when people were sleeping). He's suddenly stringing words together in a sentence rather than just saying one word at a time. He's also answering questions appropriately. Like today when I was talking to Mike on the phone on the way to work. From the backseat Barrett persistently hollered, "Hi Daddy!" over and over until I put the phone on speaker and held it back so Daddy could hear. When Mike asked what he was doing Barrett responded, "Riding in car." One of his absolute favorite phrases right now is "I lub du!' (I love you). I'm sure he loves the reaction it gets when he randomly says, "MOMMY! Mommy! " I answer "yes" and he says, "I lub du!" and then he smiles big and shows me that stinkin' cute dimple...and it totally brightens my day!

I'm reading a book right now called A Perfect Persecution by James R. Lucas. I read it several years ago but picked it up again because of the current abortion debates within our government. Wow. That's all I've got to say about this book. If you haven't read it before...I'd highly recommend it!

Mike's chainsaw part came in the mail today, so he and the boys are in the backyard cutting up a giant limb that fell (and thankfully didn't destroy our fence or newly built shed!) The dishes are done and I guess I should probably start on some laundry.

Since I feel like I need to end this post before it becomes a virtual vomit of all the random thoughts in my brain...I'll end it in a way that might drive elementary school teachers nuts (especially you, Wendi!)

The End.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Answering His Call - Part X

I talked with the new adoption director, Kristin, on Friday. She said that our file is still with Lorie who is processing and double checking all our application stuff. She said once that process is complete then Lorie will pass our file off to Kristin and she can schedule the home study.

Today we got an email from Lorie saying that she had everything she needs from us and she's just waiting on our references to come back. Once those come back she'll pass the file off to Kristin! Yay! One step closer!


All I have to do is pull out my camera and this boy says, "Cheese!!!"
So cute!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Glassy Eyes

On Wednesday I took the boys to the park during lunch time. Ann is always talking about how she needs a more current picture of the boys for her desk at work, so since they were having so much fun on the slide I decided to try to get a picture of them together before they went down. To my surprise, they both sat still waiting for me to take a picture. As soon as I brought the camera up Barrett started saying, "Cheese!" Brody put on his fake smile, but for some reason he also glazed over and had a glassy eyed, blank stare on his face! Barrett is workin' the camera in these pictures, but Brody (even when smiling) looks like he'd rather be somewhere else!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Am I really a grown up?

When we went to the park the other day Brody spent most of his time on the swings. He wanted me to push him higher and higher and higher! One time Barrett walked up and said, "Push?" so I let him have a turn pushing Brody. He couldn't push Brody very high, but I was just happy that he had enough coordination to keep from being knocked over every time Brody swung back in his direction!
Then Brody said that he wanted to push me. I sat down on the swing and thought of the many many times that I've swung thru the air over the past 30 years. Something about swinging makes you feel like you're 8 years old again. Then it hit me. My child is pushing me on the swing. I have a child big enough to push me on a swing! Does this mean I'm really a grown up?

Workin' Outside

We've had beautiful weather the past few days. Brody has been picking out shorts and t-shirts to wear and there has been lots of playing outside. The other night Barrett wanted to go outside to work. We had a tree limb fall (you can see it in the background of this first picture) and he took his circular saw (Brody was already using the chain saw) to cut it up...and then he was going to use his rake for the small limbs.
He was getting a little frustrated (I don't remember why) and I had to take a picture. His face is so irresistible when he cries or gets frustrated because he has a small dimple just below his right eye that appears at these times. It's so cute!
An ideas of work (or picture taking) were forgotten as soon as he heard an airplane flying overhead. I wonder if he'll be a pilot some day....

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Answering His Call - Part IX

Has it really been over a month since I've posted about our adoption journey? Sorry! Things have been progressing VERY slowly. The adoption director quit in January and they have been in the process of transitioning a new director over from the foster care side of the agency. This meant that our home study has been delayed, and delayed, and delayed! We were originally told that we'd be verified in 3's been 5 months! I expected to wait months (or years) for placement, but it's been a little frustrating to sit here waiting on the agency when there are still things we could be doing.

We've been very busy while waiting. Mike built a fence around our pool pump (one of the home study requirements) and has moved all stuff from the garage to the new shed out back (we can actually park a car in the garage now!)

I've been busy working on our profile book. This is the book that the agency will show prospective birthparents. As soon as Mike and I figure out the wording for the last page of the book it'll be ready to print! I'm hoping to do a couple of posts soon that will talk about writing a "dear birthmom" letter and putting together a profile book. I'll also post pictures of our book on here for y'all to see (just have to get that last page done).

Brody is still asking about the baby almost daily. I guess I've talked about the profile book a lot (and showed him pictures that we're putting in there) because he's now starting to say things like, "Will you take a picture of this to show the birth mommy?" lol

Another project we have up our sleeve is a garage sale to raise money for the adoption. The weather is finally getting warm enough for garage sale weather! (Mike is very excited about the garage sale because after the sale we might actually be able to park both cars in the garage!) If anyone has stuff you want to donate to help us raise money for the adoption, just let us know.

I guess that's all the updates I have for now. I'll be sure and let you know about the home study (whenever it finally happens).

Oh...I also put links to our adoption journey on the left side of our blog. This way I don't have to link all the parts of the story to every post that I make about our adoption journey.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

"I don't make friends!"

Mike and I were talking with Brody the other day after his trip to Great Wolf Lodge with Daddy Steve and Barrett. He was telling us about the slides and Barrett taking a nap and how there were a lot of other people there, etc.

I asked him, "Did you make any new friends?" (side note: Whenever we pull up to a park and I see lots of kids on the playground Brody doesn't say, "There are lots of kids here!" instead he says, "There are lots of friends here!" Everyone is his "friend".)

Brody looked at me like I was absolutely crazy and he couldn't believe I was asking him that! He responded emphatically, "No! I can't make friends! Only God can make friends!"

Monday, March 08, 2010

Behind the Scenes

Caleb may have been the stud behind the camera during our family photo shoot...but Audria was the beauty behind the stud! She was awesome! She got the kids to look at (or at least in the direction of) the camera and then she went exploring with them while Caleb took a few shots of just me and Mike.

The most difficult picture we wanted captured didn't even include our faces. We wanted to get a picture of our outstretched arms for the last page of our adoption profile book. Brody was happy to cooperate (and so were Mike and I), but Barrett was a different story. He had already reached the end of his picture taking patience and had no desire to lay still on the ground with his arms outstretched! So while Brody, Mike, and I lay on the floor to let Caleb figure out lighting and camera angle, Audria invented a game to play with Barrett. It was called "Catch the Candle". She had Barrett stretch his arms out and then she held a votive candle up high and dropped it into his hands while saying, "Catch the candle!" He loved the game. When the time came to take the actual picture, she laid him on the floor in front of her and then leaned over him to keep playing "catch the candle". In between drops, Caleb was able to capture a few shots. Here's the behind the scenes view...

and here's the finished product

I LOVE it! It turned out even better than I had pictured in my imagination!
Thank you so much Caleb and Audria! Y'all are amazing!!!