Thursday, February 28, 2013

Salt Spray

Today was community helpers day at Barrett's school. He came home telling me about how the police officers carry "salt spray" with them to help protect them against dogs that bite. Hmmm...I'm thinking he really means pepper spray! Lol

Now anytime I say "Thank you for being a helper!" he responds, "You mean community helper? Remember I'm a policeman now!" (He got a police badge sticker from the police officer today).

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

AHC - Post-Placement Visit

Today was our post-placement visit with Kristin from Covenant Kids.  They require a follow up visit within the first 2 weeks of placement.  I had class tonight and had to leave by she arrived a little early in order to talk with us and see how life is going with Brianna in our home. 

We talked with her for a while about how Bri's doing with her schedule and how she's fitting into our family and then Kristin asked to talk with the boys alone. We headed back to Brianna's room to change her diaper and they stayed in the living room. I couldn't help myself though...I crept back into the office to eavesdrop on their conversation.

Kristin: What do y'all think about having a little sister?
Brody: I love it!
barrett: It's fun.
K:  What do you like most about having Brianna in your family.
B: Holding her and just looking at her. She's so sweet.
K: What's different now that you have a little sister?
B:  We can't do some of the things we used to do.
K: Like what?
B: Like we used to throw a squishy ball against the wall in the living room and play catch, but now we can't do that.
K:  Why?
b: Because we might hit Brianna.
B: But we really only used to do that while we were watching Rangers' games...and they haven't started yet.
K: Anything else different?
B: Yes...we also can't shoot our nerf guns because we might hit her.
K: You have nerf guns?  You only use then while your parents are watching...right?
B:  No.  We can use them whenever we want!
K:  Where do you keep them?
B: In our room.
K:  Do you keep the darts in there too?
B:  Yes.
K:  So you keep nerf guns and darts in your room and can play with them whenever you want?
B & b:  Yes.

Oh my.  I walked back to the nursery and told Mike we were about to get a lecture about nerf guns!  He looked at me like I was crazy and I said, "Just watch!"  A side note here: We haven't given them any of the rules that they talked about with Kristin (ie. no squishy balls or nerf guns)....I guess Brody just decided they shouldn't use them and told Kristin so!  So....Kristin and the boys came back to Brianna's room and (as expected) Kristin asked to speak with me in the hall (Mike was changing Brianna's diaper).  She asked about the nerf guns and then told me that we had to put them up in the top of our closet for the next 6 months and only allow them to be used under "direct adult supervision" because "they shoot projectiles" and that even though a nerf dart may not hurt someone, "they may put a marble in the gun and shoot it at someone."  Now if you have a boys...or just nerf guns for that matter, you know that the gun won't even shoot the wrong I'm not sure how in the world she thinks it'd shoot something like a marble!!! lol!  But....we teach our kids to respect authority and we have to do the same.  It's only 6 months (this is a mantra I repeat in my head quite often these days!)

Kristin also made sure to verify at this visit that I had not been posting about Brianna on our blog and she even read our Facebook announcement to make sure it was appropriate!  Seriously?!?  I showed her how I've been making blog posts and dating them...but that they are saved as drafts and I won't hit "publish" until we have finalization.  I promised her that none of the info saved in my drafts is viewable by the public.

Thankfully Richelle (from life group) brought dinner to us tonight! I was able to scarf down a bowl of soup after Kristin left and then rush out the door to class.

Post-placement visit: CHECK!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Field Trip

Tody was Field Trip day for Brody and I got to go along as a sponsor.  After getting instructions from Mrs. Giese at school, the parents who were supervising met the buses at the Fort Worth Children's Museum.  We each had 3-4 kids that we were responsible to guide around the museum.  Mrs. Giese assigned herself to my group along with Brody and 2 other little boys from his class.  We had so much fun looking at all of the different exhibits at the museum.  At 1:00 we got to go into the planeterium to watch a movie.  I have to admit that my fatigue from sleepless nights got to me at this point and I don't exactly remember the whole movie. 

It was so fun getting to go on the field trip with Brody!  I'm so thankful that God has given me a job with where I get to participate in all these fun events in the lives of our children!

All in a day's work


Spending the day with GG

Today I went on Brody's Kindergarten field trip to the Ft. Worth Children's Museum. Barrett had school, but Brianna got to spend the day at Daddy Steve and Namaw's house! Namaw went and picked up GG after taking Barrett to GG spent all day watching Bri sleep and eat! When I took GG home after the field trip, she was gushing over how precious Brianna is...I think she's in love!

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Look how curly Bri's hair gets when we wash it!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

I love you Daddy!

Proud Big Brother

Barrett was soooo excited to show Brianna off at school today! I had to drop him off early at school this morning so I could get Bri to her doctors appointment. Jill (Bear's mom) was going to hang out with Barrett until the teachers finished their morning devotional, however, she first interrupted their devo to show them Brianna! We opened the door and there was a collective "Awwwww!" They had actually just been praying for us!

Barrett was most excited to show his sister to Mrs. Danielle. She was adopted as a baby and also has a daughter that is adopted. She loves Barrett so much and made him feel so special by sitting down and spending time talking about Bri. I'm so glad that Brianna will also get to experience the love of Mrs. Danielle.

When we got home, Barrett wanted to sit on the couch and spend some time holding his sister. He's such a good big brother!

Can you guess which one is the baby doll?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tyler and Ann meet Brianna


AHC - Facebook Announcement

February 20th post to Facebook:
"After 1,243 days of trusting the Lord that we were following his call for adoption...we got the call! On Valentine's Day we were told we have a BABY GIRL! She was born 2/10/13 at 35 weeks and when she came home from the hospital yesterday she weighed 4 lbs 14 oz. We are so in love with our precious Brianna Faith!

I have to admit, we are still in a little bit of SHOCK! This time last week we w...ere just going through life like normal. In fact, we had talked about telling the agency we were done waiting...but neither one of us ever made the call. We didn't have 9 months to get ready...or even a few weeks! We got the call last Thursday and that night we were up at the NICU holding and caring for our little girl! (we're still trying to get used to saying "daughter"! lol)

Unfortunately we have to wait until the adoption is finalized in 6 months to post pictures of her face....but we'll try to at least post a picture of her cute feet and hands soon! Thank you for all of the prayers you have lifted up on our behalf over the past 3 1/2 years. We now know why God had us wait soooooo long! Bri is the perfect addition to our family. We are so blessed!!"  

There were over 180 likes and 75+ comments!  Here are the FB Comments:  

Nikki Hemby Jerkins- How beautiful!!! I can't wait to meet sweet, little Brianna!

Jennifer Jennings - I am so incredibly exited for your family!! Prayers and love go out to the birth mother who gave this child a wonderful family to love her!

Shelly Kacsmaryk - So happy for y'all!!! Gods timing is perfect!!!

Amy O'Neil Kuntz - What a blessing, Staci and Mike! So happy for your family :) Can't wait to see her!

Marcia Justl Stokes - Congratulations!!!! God had the perfect little girl for you in His timing. So very happy for you guys! :)

Laura Glasscock Washer - I am so excited for y'all! She has no idea how lucky she is to have you as family! I know the boys are over the moon! Can't wait to hear more!

Cheryl Hatley Wilson - Awesome!

Lisa Gallagher Gerhard - Congratulations. That is so exciting.

Sarah Brightly (Stork) - Wow!!! So great!

Melissa Collins Perry - That is so exciting!! Congratulations! I bet the boys are in love!

Amanda Thornell Ashworth - Yay!!!! Can't wait to see pics... Congrats!!!!!

Renee Statum Chappell - Wonderful news!! Congrats!!

Katrina Leighton - I am so so excited for you and your family!! She is going to be so loved. Congrats!!!

Brad Masters - From an adopted kid... I tear up when I see posts like this. Thing is... You bring them into your life for the joy they bring you. But you cannot conceive the joy you bring them. You give them a life and opportunities they could not have dreamed about without you. You WILL be their parents; and they WILL be your child. I am SOO happy for you! Thanks for sharing.

Kandi Gregg - Congraulations!! The boys have a Baby SISTER!!

Vickie Smithson Dudley - Congratulations! She will be so blessed by you as you will by her!

Julie Walker Webb - Congratulations Knowlton Family! What great news!

Jenny O'Neil Moreland - So happy for you guys!!!

Vanessa Courtney Bingham - So, SO excited for you!

Teri McCormick Anderson - Waaaa-hoooooo! Welcome li'l Brianna Faith. I am reminded of Hebrews 11: 6 without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek Him. I need to go get a tissue now!

Jessica Kantola - Beyond thrilled for you, Knowlton family!

Anne Nunn - Crying right now. I am so, so, so happy for you. Adoption is incredibly beautiful and such a perfect representation of the love Jesus has for us. Praying for a smooth transition for everyone. :)

Jennifer Jensen - Congrats. Can't wait to see her.

Sarah Dyer - So happy for you guys! It was a sweet conversation with Barrett on Tuesday!!!

Lareta Bridges Jeter - So unbelievably happy for your family!!! God is amazing and so gracious in His plan!!!! Let us know what your needs are! We will be happy to help!!!!! Big hugs!

Marna Holveck Wewe - Yahoo!! Congratulations.

Shannon Theobalt Dietrich - How exciting! Congratulations!

Eva Methvin Troha - I'm SO excited for y'all!!! Can you tell us her name?? I can't wait to see her!!!!

Jessica Schmidt - So excited for you! Congratulations to you and your family. What a beautiful blessing.

Wendy Santizo de Arriola - Glory to God. For the precious Baby Girl! I'm very happy for you and your family! Everything always is in the right perfect time of God!

Amber 'Miller' Monroe - Alright!!!! :) How awesome!!!! <3 this="">
Natalie Harden Gary - Wow! That's awesome! Did you do domestic adoption or international? We have talked about it as well.

Sarah Engelland - Rejoicing with you all!!

Linda Reid Stubbs - God is so into detail!!!!!! So thankful you all didn't make the call.....precious gift! Enjoy your little girl......they are so much fun! Hugs from the Stubbs family

RaeAnn Clark Hayes - Congratulations! So happy for you!

Emily 'Kennedy' Gillespie - Many congratulations!

Jessica Woods Rivers - Love you all and so happy for you!!!!

Melissa Jackson - Congratulations! I know you're glad the wait is over!

Ronni Hebert - I'm so very happy for all of you guys...Congratulations & Love you all xoxo

Cindy Ketcham Mersberger - Madison came to us on Feb 13 so we always celebrate Valentines as her day! She loves it! Awesome that your family will be celebrating too!

Amiee Nix - SO HAPPY FOR Y'ALL!!!

Jason Roach - Congrats! Daughters are ssssoooo different from sons! It's awesome!

Muriel Holt - So happy for your family!

Joline & Rudy Arriaga - Congrats!!! God's timing is ALWAYS PERFECT!!

Alise Thatcher Levens - Love love love!!! Congratulations!

Ketti Robertson - Still so ecstatic for y'all!

Jill Graves - love yall and your amazing story!! it gives me goose bumps everytime i think of it!!

Andrea Riggen Hilton - So happy for your family!! Congrats to you all! I know the boys are just loving her!

Treasure Sejour - oh so happy for ya'll!!! Congratulations!!!

Ginny & Jeremy Krenzin - What a blessing!

Heather Garrett - YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Laci Nicole Weatherly - Y'all are such a wonderful family! And you have done such a great job with your boys! So happy for you!!!!

Debbie Wolfe - Wha-hoooo!

Danielle Bianca Ruderman - Congratulations!

Sue Lee Jones - I'm so excited for you! What a special blessing you have received and will also give to her.

Audria Hastings - So excited to have a girl in the family!

Ann Hastings - She is precious and I LOVED getting to hold her tonight, welcome to the family Bri:)

Wendi 'Watterson' Holmes - This makes me want to cry! Congrats guys... She will be so loved.

Staci Knowlton to Natalie Harden Gary - We adopted domestically. For us it's not just about showing Christ's love to our little girl, but also to her birth family. We wouldn't have the chance for an ongoing relationship with an international adoption.  Staci to Sarah Dyer - Jill Graves told me about Barrett's conversation with you! (You asked him ,"What's new Barrett?" and he said, "Well...I hav a baby sister!"  She said you just thought it was one of those stories preschool kids tell! Lol!!)

Susie Rhodes - Congrats, & praise God for answered prayer in His perfect timing!

Natalie Harden - Gary Staci I totally agree!! I love this!

Cindi Taylor Koceich - I have chills!!! I HAVE to meet her!!! Soooo excited for you guys!!!

Kelly Bolding Justice - Congratulations!! Can' twait to meet her!!

Suzanne Winn - STACI!!!!!! I'm so so so so so happy !!!!!

Danielle Frank Ellis - God absolutely LOVES to surprise His children! Rejoicing with you all!

Tina Schlotterback - Congratulations! So very happy for you and Bri!

Sharon Meacham - She is a blessing to our family. I cannot wait to hold her. I am so happy and I thank God for this blessing. She will have a wonderful Christian family to grow up with.

Robyn Nelson Glover - This is such exciting news!! Did you get to name her? Just asking because her name is a perfect fit in your family.

Jenny Swofford-Fenwick - Congratulations! I forgot you guys were going to adopt. You 2 are wonderful parents and will be great for that little girl.

Janet Lewis Chowning - Wow! I'm so happy for you guys. Can't wait to hear more of her story (your story, God's story). Congratulations to you all!!

Lisa Starr - LOVED seeing that beautiful face this morning - what a treat for us! So happy for your family - Bri is the most blessed little girl to have you as her mom. God bless!

Karan Bridgwater - In HIS time:-)

Bekah Wedel - This makes me want to cry! :)

Jana Johnston - Congratulations! We are so happy for you guys! Praise God!

Kacey Coker Pierson - Just saw this!!!!! Congratulations!!!!!!! Best news ever!!!!! :)))))

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bedtime Stories


Cousin Bodyguard

Archer will be 2 months old tomorrow and Brianna is 9 days old. It is shocking to look at them together and realize how close in age they are! They are at opposite ends of the growth spectrum right now. Brianna is TINY and Archer is off the charts HUGE!!! What's fun is that we live in the same school district so they will get to go to Kindergarten together!! I'm totally gonna have a shirt made for Archer that says "I'm a bodyguard for my cousin"

Meeting the Fam

Posted by Picasa

AHC - Placement

We had about 30 minutes at home with the boys and Daddy Steve & Namaw before Kristin (with Covenant Kids) arrived.  She had a huge stack of papers for us to go over and sign to make the placement official. We were able to receive background information on Bri's biological family and signed more papers than I can count.  Today starts the 6 month waiting period for finalization in court.  We are already 9 days into the 31 day legal risk period (the biological father has 31 days to come forward and register on the national paternal registry if he intends to parent).  Hopefully by the end of March we'll have the termination hearing and will no longer be in a legal risk placement.  We don't anticipate any issues...but we still have to wait out the time.

Mike has been working sooooo hard to get our home ready for Brianna.  When Kristin came to do the official placement, she also did a walk through of our home to update our home study. Thankfully we had gotten the house back in order (well...except for the boys room! lol) just in time!  She asked about our evacuation plan in case of fire and asked if the boys knew what to do if there was a fire.  We showed her the evacuation plan (that has to be posted in our home) and then she asked if we could do a mock fire drill.  The boys were playing in the other room so I walked down the hall towards them saying, "Come on boys!  We have to hurry!  There's a fire!  We're having a fire drill!  Show me what to do if there's a fire!"  Then I rushed out the front door with the boys and headed towards our designated meeting spot...the mailbox.  A few steps before I reached the mailbox...I panicked!  OH MY GOODNESS!!!  I FORGOT ABOUT THE BABY!!!  I turned around, hoping to be discrete and let out a huge sigh of relief when I saw Mike carrying Brianna out of the house!  Whew!  I couldn't believe that I had forgotten to get her!  So glad Mike's head was still on straight! lol

After we signed all the paperwork, Kristin scheduled an appointment to come back next week and then left us alone as a family of five!

Family of FIVE!


On Our Way Home!!!

We got the "all clear" from the NICU this afternoon!! We met Kristin from Covenant Kids at the hospital at 1:30 and then Jimmie went over the discharge papers with us.  It was kinda strange to walk out of the hospital carrying a carseat (rather than being pushed to the car in a wheelchair like with the boys).  We loaded Brianna in the Jeep, signed a paper for Kristin, hugged Jimmie goodbye...and now we're on our way home!  We should arrive just before Brody gets home from school.  I can't wait to see the boys holding their little sister! 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Spontaneous Shower

Today's been a little bit of a crazy day!  When we woke up this morning, we got the boys ready and then headed to the hospital to see Brianna.  We wanted to make sure we got there in time to give her a bath (it was her first real bath since her umbilical cord fell off).  Mike went in to see her first while I held the boys up to the window to look.  After he held her for a while, he came out and I went in to bathe her and and feed her.  Then Mike went back in to see her while the boys and I went down to the waiting room and they watched a video on my iPad. 

We ran a few errands after the hospital and then it was back to the house for Mike to finish up Bri's room and the guest room.  I dropped the boys off at Taylor McDougald's birthday party and then went to get a carset and a few other essentials before going back to the hospital.  While I was at the hospital, our Life Group stopped by for a visit!  Lee & Carmen, David & Richelle, and Becca came to "meet" Brianna through the window...and then they met me in the waiting room with arms full of gifts!  They were so happy for our family and showered us with a bunch of stuff to get us ready for a little girl in our house.  It's wonderful to be a part of such a loving group of friends and believers.

After I fed and changed Brianna, I headed to Darren & Tonya's house to pick up the boys.  Yet again I was overwhelmed with gifts!  Tonya had gone through her attic and found lots of baby things that we could use that she didn't need anymore.  We loaded up the car and headed for home.  When we got home Mike was just about finished with the flooring in both rooms.  I am shocked at how much he as accomplished in such a short amount of time!! 

Now I'm ready to crash into bed...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Crib Decor


Kelly's Softball Tourney

Today I picked Brody up from school a little early and we bundled up and headed to Ft. Worth to watch Kelli (Mike's cousin) play softball in a college tournament!  We haven't had the opportunity to watch her play before, so it was a treat!  It was a little chilly outside, so after the game the boys wrestled around in the grass to warm up (hence the grass all over their clothes in this picture). 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Barrett has a good friend at school who is also named Barrett (but who goes by Bear).  Not only does Bear go to school with Barrett, he is also playing on Barrett's t-ball team this year!  He is such a sweet little boy and Barrett was sad when he heard that Bear was sick and wouldn't be at school today.  Since Bear was going to be gone, Barrett took "Real Bear" (the name he gave his stuffed animal that he sleeps with every night) to school with him to sit in Bear's seat.  Ms. Pam put Bear's nameplate in front of Real Bear so he'd know where to sit.  So cute!!! 

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Harlem Globetrotters

I remember going to see the Harlem Globetrotters when I was in elementary school.  GG entered me in a contest through the Star Telegram and I won tickets for my family.  It was super cool watching them!  A month or so ago Mike said that he and Wade wanted to take the boys...and I knew they would LOVE it!  They couldn't go when they were in Dallas, so today they drove up to Oklahoma City for the "game" (or do you call it a show?)  The boys had no idea where they were going and what they were going to do.  Their guesses ranged from golfing, to turkey hunting, to going to the batting cages.  It was so cute when they got home (after 9 pm) and ran into the living room saying, "We went to OKLAHOMA today!!!"  Then they started telling me (and trying to reenact) all the stunts they saw the Globetrotters perform.  What a fun day and lasting memory!

Thursday, February 07, 2013

The Art of Self Portraits

Do you notice something similar in all of the pictures in this collage?
Did you notice that I am in every picture?  That's because these are all self portraits. maybe I have a problem.  I guess I'm not the typical "I don't want to be in front of the camera so I'll hide behind the camera" kind of photographer.  I started putting a copy of self portraits that I take in a folder on my computer because my friend, Paula, asked me to write a "How to Take Self Portraits" post....but then life got busy and I kept forgetting.  Not that it's not busy now (It's tax season and I work for a CPA, I'm in grad school, baseball season is starting, oh...and I'm also a full time mom and wife! might be a little crazy at the moment.)
It's just that I finished taking my online test for this week, the boys are out in the creek playing, Mike fell asleep on the couch (he just got back from a 3 day business trip to Houston), and I sat down to start working on my research paper.  It sounded way more fun to write on my blog than research accounting management here ya go!
Some of y'all might find it odd that I have 82 pictures in the "Self Portraits" folder on my computer.  I take so many pictures of our life...and I don't want to forget that I was there too!  I actually told Mike that if something ever happens to me, he can use this folder for an automatic sideshow for my funeral.  I'm not sure he found that as funny as I did.
So now to the "how to" portion of my post.  How do you take a self portrait that actually makes you feel flattered rather than disgusted?  It's actually very simple.  
  1. Zoom out as wide as your lens will allow.
  2. Hold the camera higher than your head and aim it down towards your face.  
  3. Use the lens like a mirror and look for your reflection in the center of the glass.
  4. Squeeze the trigger!  

See!  I told you it was simple!  I think the main thing to remember when you're taking a self portrait is to shoot looking up at the camera.  When you shoot where you're looking straight at the camera or looking down at the camera, you are much more likely to get a double chin effect or see up your nostrils!  See the example below. 
Also, remember to check your surroundings before you take the picture.  When you're looking through the camera to take a picture you notice what's going on in the background.  Not so when you're taking a self portrait (as evidenced in the picture above!! lol)

100th day of school!

Today was the 100th day of school for Brody! His teacher sent home a cape for the kids to decorate with 100 things. He decided to make it a baseball themed cape using 100 notebook paper reinforcement thingy's (not sure what they technical name is for them! lol). I can't believe how fast this school year is flying by!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Your love never fails!

Getting Barrett ready for school this morning ended up being a rushed event...but the reason why is totally worth it. We drove Brody to school since it was raining and when we pulled back into the garage, Barrett wanted to sit in the car and sing along with the CD Mark & Angela gave me for my birthday. He sat in my lap singing to God in the dark garage for 30 minutes! Precious moments.

Here are the lyrics to the song we had on repeat...

"One Thing Remains"

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant through the trial and the change
One thing… Remains

Your love never fails, never gives up
Never runs out on me [3x]

On and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I never, ever, have to be afraid
One thing remains

Your love never fails, never gives up
Never runs out on me [3x]

In death, In life, I’m confident and
covered by the power of Your great love
My debt is paid, there’s nothing that can
separate my heart from Your great love...

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Lost Picture

I just found this picture on my phone. It was from our Temple trip. We gave Brody, Barrett, and Axton a bath together. In a few years they won't believe us that they all fit in Grandmommy's bathtub together. Here's proof! (They were having a blowing bubbles competition.)  This is a phone picture.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Pick up your stuff!

Yesterday I told Barrett he needed to go pick up Brody's room (Brody was at school).  I went back to check on him and found him playing.  Again I told him to pick up and he said, "But this is Brody's room!  Why do I have to pick up Brody's room?!?"  I looked around and pointed out all the things I saw, "I see jammies, undies, a car, a bear, 2 pairs of shoes.....who's stuff is this?!?"  (FYI:  It was all Barrett's.)  Barrett was quiet for a second and then with a grin replied, "God's"

LOL!!!  I replied, "Yes...everything belongs to God...but he asks us to take care of it and that means you need to pick up and obey your Momma...something God asks you to do.  Good try!"


Today I stood at the end of the sidewalk watching Brody run up to the door at school. Just before he reached the door he turned around and yelled back to me "I LOVE YOU!!!!!!" I just want to burn this moment in my memory forever!