Friday, October 31, 2014

Super September Photos

This post is a great mix of wonderful events that happened in our September.  To make things easier I am not going to do much sorting in this post.  The first photos are from Brandon's phone the second half are from the camera.  I realize that Brandon's parents Labor Day visit came before some of the candid shots, but hopefully you will all still enjoy! 

T loves to have things on her head... for a short period of time.  She sported a few different hat styles recently.  She also had a band-aid obsession.  Honestly, if we had not run out of band-aids (don't worry I have a hidden stash for real stuff) I think it would continue.  You will see many pics with a band-aid on the forehead.  It is just for fun.  She did get an scrape there once.  When she actually needed a band-aid on it she was not so interested, but now loves to have the area covered!

T: Take me to a fiesta mom!

T: I still love this hat and leg warmers that I wore back in China... and they still fit... and they are still super cute!
Since I am pretty sure you are all hoping to see the throwbacks from China, here you go!!  She was so tiny!!!

Loving her leg warmers!

Pretty smitten with the baby wearing the hat.

Still loving their (T's) leg warmers! 

T: You know you want a band-aid to match your shirt too, right?
Brandon took the kids down to the Lake to watch some friends fish.  M loved it, T managed to stay out of the water, Brandon survived and said T can't go down to the docks without her monkey ergo again!

M: When am I going to get something.  T: Jesse, can I tell you a story?

T: Come on fish I am ready!

M: Maybe big Wade can help me catch a fish. 

We love all the kids and dogs in our neighborhood.  It is such a fun place for our kids to be kids and laugh and play.  Our kids are obsessed with the dogs next door as the picture below will show. 

T: Ta-uu-yah PLEASE come here.  I want pet you!!

M:  M and L are so much fun.  The kids created a sandbox where the construction crew tore up the sidewalk.  They are smart kids!

Brandon's parents came up for Labor Day weekend.  We ate some tasty food, played, and enjoyed our time together.  M woke up at about 4:00am the first day because Grandpa Tom told him that he would get up early with him.  After day one we clarified that the time still needed to be after 6:00am.

M: Tickle monster!!!

T: I love eating with Grandma Judy!

T: Upside down books are the best!

M: Look at me flying through the air!

M: I am almost to your hand Grandma Judy!

M: Look, I am even higher.

T: Faster M.  M: You need to hold on T! 

We love getting prizes at the grocery store! 

One day I walked in on the photo below.  Check out how she rigged up the step stools.  Sadly, after the bath she carried the soaking wet dog all around while I tried to get it.  Evan after squeezing most of the water out, it was very wet and I convinced her that doggy needed a towel... sigh.

T: Mommy, puppy dirty.  Puppy need bath! 

The photos below should really be a post by themselves.  They are my attempt to keep it real folks.  Life in our home gets crazy.  If I am trying to attempt to cook while children are present and in my care, things get even crazier.  Hopefully these will help you feel better about the state of your kitchens.

This is most likely what my kitchen looks like at some point on most days. 

This would be T's idea of fun, unloading all the pots and of course lining them up.  Also note the brush on the floor, most likely thrown there by someone who didn't want her hair brushed.  They other things, they are my socks.  I am sure I stepped in a spill and decided to just kick them off and deal with them later.

Counter closeup:  Diffuser blasting something calming.  Sensory bins that were in use so I could keep children separated and accomplish the intense task of cutting a watermelon.  All the food on the table, that would be lunch stuff.  You see, T crashes at lunch time and most of the time the table isn't cleaned before her nap.  Since she is the world's lightest sleeper and her bed is directly above the table, everything just sits there until Brandon gets home and I can clear it for dinner.

Let's pretend to be asleep mommy! 

What color is your water bottle T?  T: Purple!

Family bike washing!

M: Mom this is pretty cool, huh?

T: "OK, I ready go shopping.  I need boots."

Another sweet moment captured.
In late September our church holds its annual fundraiser for adoptive family grants and for orphan care ministries around the world.  It was an incredible day.  The weather held out.  The construction crew cleared out in time.  It was a "Super Saturday" indeed.  The countless hours of work that our volunteers put in and the incredible donations from area businesses leave me in tears every single year.  This year T latched on to be friend Bobbi and wouldn't let go.  They were buddies for several hours.  Bobbi is amazing with T and I was able to talk with adoptive families and help when needed.  What a blessing!
T: Aww Bobbi my friend!

M and L starting the 5K strong! 

T: I want to walk too!  (I think you can guess that our pace was slow and all those behind us didn't stay behind us for long)

M rigged this up all on his own.  A farm trailer hooked to a car carrier using a straw and bracelet!  Impressive!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

First Day of School in photos

Much has been written about M's first day of school HERE!  He has been going now for an entire month and he still LOVES it.  The honeymoon isn't over.  He is doing great in school.  He is making friends.  He is learning SO much!  I assumed that the home school mom in me would have a hard time with all he is learning (without me) but that is SO FAR from the truth.  I love hearing all that he is learning and stories of all his school activities.  M is a great story teller so we get to hear the play by play from each day.  I feel so much peace in knowing this was the best choice for our son.   His teacher is incredible.  I feel like she has read every single book on Special Education and put every amazing idea into practice.  She makes the most of each moment.  On top of that she is "famous" as her brilliance led to the amazing playground we now have in our community for children of all abilities.  This playground even found its way to an article in Reader's Digest.  That makes her famous, right?  Thank you for your continued prayers for him and for our family!

M's sign "I want to be a football man"

M: It sure takes a lot of gear to be in preschool.  (Just fulfilling the supplies list buddy.)

M: You can't see my sign, but it was still my first day of school.

Look at that smile.

pretending to be so very sad.

The "Kissing Hand" to the rescue.

M: Oh boy here comes the bus!

M: Yes, I am really going to ride on this bus!

M: I was super duper excited!

Such a big boy!!!

And after school...
Big man walking off the bus by himself!

M: I will tell you all about it mom!!

T: "I say, Kias, how your morning at school?"  (She loves to ask him how things went)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Zoo Visit 2014

We went to the zoo in early September.  M had been asking to go for months and we finally found a Monday (Brandon's day off) that worked.  Both of the kids did better than I expected.  They (especially T) were in awe of all the animals, had squeals of delight seeing animals up close and  were in awe many times.  My heart was so filled.  I was so thankful that we didn't have a Zoo pass that day.  It was very obvious to me which kids spend a lot of time at the zoo and which kids were there for a very very special treat.  Even though it has almost been two months since our visit, T still talks about her time there almost every single day.  The weather was lovely. The park was not crowded at all.  T wanted to wear her "monkey pocket" which actually means her shorts (with pockets) with a monkey print.  She was also thrilled to wear her "monkey ergo" with the tail to keep her safe and close. 

We are so much bigger than a baby gorilla!

T: Look!  Look!!!  M: OK, what is next?

A bear!!!!

T: This was the perfect bar to swing on and the perfect fence to climb on.

T: I could do this all day!!!

T: Ummm my feet don't feel anything special.

M: Cheeeeese!

Super Sweet!!!

A tasty picnic lunch

M: Whoa look at that lion!

M: Ahhh!!!  He is coming right for us!!!!

T: Come here lion.  I will kiss you.  M:  Ahhhh!!!  He is RIGHT THERE!

T: I pet lion at zoo!!

T: Lion my friend!

M: OK, maybe we are safe.  Come here lion!

Shortly after seeing the lion SO close for 20 minutes we came across this status of a lady and her dog.  The kids thought it was amazing and both said it was there favorite part of the zoo.  Oh dear.
T: My favit!  I love  lady.  I love dog.

T: Hi doggy.  I love you.  M: Give my knuckles lady!
M was so excited to see the Mountain Goats.  He loves the 80's movie Wilderness Family and watching the goats run in the movie.  He stared and watched for a long time.  Shortly after the below photo was taken a highly impulsive little girl I know *might* have thrown a piece of a corn chip into the cage.  We knew it was time to head home!
M: Can you believe it?  A real Mt. Goat!!!!
The kids loved the peacocks walking around us as we headed out of the park.  The were the perfect motivator for our crew and caused us to leave the park in smiles!!!

Direct quote: T:  "I love walking with you peacock." (And she really really did)

T: Hi peacock.  Want to keep walking with me peacock?