Monday, November 11, 2013

When did they get so big?

Do you ever have those days when your kiddos seem especially big?  It is most likely what they are wearing or a new skill they are completing, but for whatever reason they seem so very grown up.  The day these photos were taken T was looking and acting like a big girl.  Daddy and M were having great fun with his bike as well.  What a fun evening!

Big girl swing and big girl clothes.... in my mind T was saying "I am ready for college mom."
A very helpful big brother!

M: I bet you wonder how I got up here. 

M: Do you need a little help down the slide T?  T: No thanks M, I've got it. 

M:  This is going to be quite an adventure taking this bad boy down the slide! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

1 Dinosaur and 1 Bee!!

Nothing like already cute kids in super cute costumes to make your day :)  A couple of years ago I wrote THIS POST about Trick or Treating and our family.  The same is still true.  Crazy to see how much M has grown in the last two years.  Our community still holds trick or treating before Halloween so these photos were actually taken on October 26th.

We all had a great time in the neighborhood.  It was so much fun to see the kids glee as we went from house to house.  M wanted to keep going and keep getting more candy.  T was getting tired out in the end, but she had a great time.  She tried to give her candy from the previous house to the people at the next house.  While we were out we saw a couple without children on a walk.  I immediately thought back to our many years of handing out candy waiting to be parents.  Oh how our lives have changed.  In that moment my heart was filled with such deep joy and thankfulness. 

My happy little dinosaur!

My busy little bee (who spotted the suckers for the trick or treaters and NEEDED one!
The back of the bee costume.

Ready to collect candy.

M's awesome tail!

Beeing super cute :)

waiting for the door bell to ring!

Come on guys, I see a light on at that house!

T: I am coming M! 

M:  I was so excited about my candy you can't even see my face!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Up HIGH and Up LATE!!!

One of the incredible ways that God has provided for us in our adoptions is through the grant organization Gift of Adoption.  Because they have been a blessing to us, when they ask us to help our their organization and we are able to do so, we say yes!  This is the 4th time we have been able to speak at a GOA event.  This was our "tallest" order yet!  We were able to attend and speak at and event on the 95th floor of a big building in the City... the photos will give away the location.  Just to let you know how high we were, the observatory that people (including us before kids) visit is on the 94th floor.  We were up HIGH! 

We made the whole trip in one day.  We drove down to the City during nap time.  T logged in one hour and M less than 20 minutes.  Sigh.  We arrived right on time and changed clothes and attended the event.  Our kids were the only kids around and while they were well loved on, it was still a big task to keep them under control in this special place.

Brandon's talk went well.  M joined him at first and gave a speech as well. First he said, "Adoption is about love and care."  Then he said, "That's my mom and my sister T (pointing to us)." Finally he said, "I love my mommy."  At that point he joined me so Brandon could continue.  Brandon did great and hopefully the combination of our kids powerful stories and their beautiful faces helped the organization bring in some big donors!  Yes, M did come up with the love an care quote the day before the event when he informed me he would be giving a speech there as well.

We decided when we committed to the event to just drive home the night of.  We knew it could be brutal, but we also knew staying in a hotel room would be as well.  Hotel rooms in the city are not build from families with young kiddos.  We are all about fridges in the room, free breakfasts, pools, and cribs.  These are just not available downtown. 

So that meant we had a LONG and LATE and HARD ride home.  Wow!  We pulled into our town with four awake people at 11:00ish pm.  T then fell asleep just blocks from our home.  She was awake and screaming during most of the entire drive.  She was screaming hard.  We tired to ignore it, but she started hitting herself.  At this point I held on hand the entire way home.  She clawed me and broke the skin all over the place trying to get free.  Much of the time Brandon had to hold the other hand.  M actually did amazingly well.  We were so thankful to finally be home, but aside from the van ride, the event was great.  Check out these cool photos and awesome views!
Wow!  We are up pretty high!

Big City Big Lake! 


This doesn't even look real!

The other "short" buildings are actually really tall! 

Skyline at night.

Blurry without the flash, but the skyline just pops!

M wanted to do one making a scary face!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Pumpkins and Grandparents!

Brandon's parents came up a few weeks ago over Grandma Judy's fall break.  It was so much fun to spend a few days with them.  They arrived late on Friday night.  On Saturday we enjoyed a trip to the pumpkin farm and dinner at our favorite local spot.  Sunday was church day and hanging out inside most of the afternoon.  It was cold and wet.  We did manage a short walk in the neighborhood.  On Monday Brandon and Grandpa Tom went biking with the kids in the morning and hung the white board in the evening.  They left on Tuesday morning.  M says his highlight was hanging the whiteboard, though I am pretty sure we all loved the pumpkin farm!  All but one of the photos are from our time at the farm.  It was a chilly day, but by far the nicest of the weekend. 
M: Grandpa Tom's beard tickles me... and I love it!
T: Feeding goats is awesome.  When I run out of feed, I will try to hand out some gravel. 
M: Hurry mom, we have to get to the tractor ride quickly!

M: Yahoo a real tractor ride (wagon ride).  T: Why do I look like this, I was having a great time!


M found a keeper!

So did T!

M: I can't wait to ride on the wagon again.  T: I love pumpkins!

Super sweet photo op with kids that were not into it!

T: Next year we should bring home a bad boy like this one!

M: I wonder if I could work here.  Pulling wagons is a blast!

so sweet!

T: Hey, I want that tag thing, how come it is stuck on there?

M: My favorite part is putting in the money and turning the dial!  Another quarter please!?

and after much much much encouragement he did it!  M: I fed a real goat from my hand! 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

My Godmother and part of her crew

While I was growing up one of the biggest things I looked forward to was getting to see my super fun Godmother Brenda and her kids.  After many (OK, honestly over 10) years I finally got to see Brenda, two of her daughters and her two grand daughters a couple of weeks ago.  It was such a special time to see them.  It was my first time meeting the two little girls and her ten year old daughter as well.  We enjoyed snacks, a walk to the lake and playtime during their short visit.  I sure hope we will see each other again in the near future.  The kids were just starting to really hit it off when it was time to say good bye.  Kristin's kiddos are tall and you all know mine are on the shorter end of the chart, but I wanted to note that our big two are very close in age and our younger two are as well... like seriously days apart! These photos are a bit out of order! 

T and A enjoying peeking through the fence to watch a fisherman catch a BIG fish. 
G, K, and M down by the Lake! 

Checking out a big anchor!
My wonderful Godmother Brenda. 

Three beauties after a brisk walk!  Brenda and Kristin and I.  Kristin and I are also very close in age.  So fun to reconnect with these lovely ladies! 

The best group photo I managed!
The best Kristin managed!  Hers is much better lol!  One day they will wonder why they were not looking at the camera!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Simple Joys

With so many big events and visitors in town, it is hard to know where to put the every day lovely photos of our family.  He is a mix of some fairly recent photos. 

T: Like my new hat?  It makes me feel safe and cozy. 
T: I am a dancing princess.  (Check out her chin battle wound.  Poor girl had a run in with a playground step.)

M started to draw people recently.  He has done as much detail as head, arms, legs, eyes and nose.  A big step from no interest in drawing at all. 

After baby J's dedication M decided to seek the opportunity to belt out a tune on the mic.  It was on and he sang beautifully. 

Everyone once in a while these two play REALLY well together!  

T: Bounce higher M.  M: T, you weigh too much.