"So promise me you'll never forget...that you aren't an accident or an incident...you are a gift to the world, a divine work of art, signed by God. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on this earth...Flooded by emotion, overcome by pride, the Starmaker turns to us, one by one, and says, 'You are my child. I love you dearly.'" Max Lucado, God Thinks You're Wonderful







Saturday, August 30, 2008

Zoo Fun



I just love to watch what happens to kids when you take them to the zoo.


All of the sudden they chill out and quiet down to watch the animals.




Several of our pictures are of Cooper because he is enamored with Rhino's. He would stay there for hours if we let him. He's our live wire, but when we enter the gates to the zoo, he becomes some other little guy that I love to watch.


At one point he commented that the rhino burped and he wanted him to excuse himself!



Then later he told me he wanted to kiss the rhino! I love you Cooper and your weird fascination with rhinos and hippos.


This picture of Owen made Blake and I die laughing. This is soooo Blake! There are so many times that we giggle because Owen is so much like Blake in his mannerisms. If you can see this picture close enough you can tell Owen was not enjoying the slide. Well, it was wet. Owen, like his daddy, does not like to be dirty or wet when he's not supposed to be. I mean he loves dirt when he knows he can go clean up and change clothes, but not otherwise!


I just had to post this picture. It's one of the funniest things I have seen at the zoo in a long time. I am not sure what this bear was thinking, but I love her anyway. She's probably wondering why all these kooks are out in the heat watching her. I forgot that Blake and Owen were ahead of us and they got her full frontal!




We had a great relaxing family day. This afternoon after naps Blake took Owen to the OU game and Cooper and I got to have a date! I am sure there will be a post tomorrow about the game!

Cooper is such a fun kid and at this age he is so easy to please. While we were playing in the front the ice cream truck came and some of the kids on the street got ice cream.

Cooper watched them in wonder while I sat quietly next to him. I know you think I should have just purchased something, but you don't know the treats he's already had today! (See I learned from our 4th of July-read that post if you're lost).

The driver turned on his music after he left the house up the street and drove our direction. In Cooper's normal manner, he started dancing. He was moving and shaking and grooving without a care in the world.

I was laughing hysterically because Cooper still had no clue why this guy was driving around jamming to this music...but he wanted to dance anyway!

The neighbors were laughing, the ice cream guy was cracking up too!

In Cooper's mind, the ice cream man really just wanted to see him dance! And I might just let him believe it a while longer!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Potty time and potty talk too!



Owen started showing interest in using the potty at about 18 months. He wasn't serious about it. But he would go back and forth and just couldn't decide what he wanted until he hit two.


Cooper has not shown the same interest. Every time he would watch Owen go potty, he was amazed. He liked to talk about the poop, inspect it and tell you what animal it looked like. He wanted to tell you if it was stinky or not. But, if you ever asked him if he wanted to try, he'd tell you pretty quickly with much drama, "NOOOO".


We are pretty big into letting our kids potty train themselves. Granted, we only have one in underoos, but still it worked like a charm with him. So, when Cooper says no, we don't push it.


The last couple of days, he's wanted to try.


I just love the look of those chubby baby legs wrapped so tightly around the pot as to assure their bum won't slide in. You can see in their eyes how proud they are to be sitting on it and watching their "parts" so intently!

Both of the guys love to have conversations while doing their duty. You can tell in Cooper's pic that he's got us going with a good story!


Just had to share. I am sure this will take us about 6 months until he's sure he wants to do this. But, he's not even 2 yet, so I could care less!


Diapers don't bug me...potty training does! I refuse to do it!

Monday, August 25, 2008

First trip to the Dentist


I know you are shocked that we are just now visiting the dentist.

Not with Cooper, that's right...Owen has never been to the dentist until today.


You know what? We didn't make an appointment for Cooper either.


Does anyone else think it's weird that they expect you to take your kids in when they first get teeth?


I mean, come on! My kids were 6 and 7 months old when they got their first!


Anyhow, I was a bit embarrassed walking in with my newly 3 year old for our first cleaning.


The dentist made me feel much better and said they really don't need to go until 2 1/2 or 3 unless you think there are problems. I was relieved to not be as country as I thought!


So, Owen did great. He walked in and introduced himself, his brother and myself to the assistant and then opened up really wide. It was funny because we were just sitting in a normal office.


The dentist said Owen did great until he walked in the room! Then evidently he lost it. So, lucky for our wallet, there were no x-rays today. Thank you Owen! (I'm sorry, but come on!)


On the way to the car when I asked Owen about his visit he told me that Dr. Moody let a stinky tootie and didn't excuse himself. I tried to hide it, but I totally cracked up. I know this is probably not true, but still it was funny that that's what he thought of when I asked him!


I told Owen that if he did well at the dentist we could go to the store and pick out a new toy. Now if you know me at all, you know that means I drove a couple blocks to the local grocery store and let them pick out a toy for under $2.


While we were there, we had one man actually ask me if he could have my kids. I giggled and kept walking. When I looked back up at him, he said, "No, really?" Seriously people, they are cute, but don't be weird about it!


While we were waiting in line, a man behind us gave me a friendly warning of the trouble I was going to have with girls in a couple of years. Owen must have picked up on the stares at their cute little selves because he started picking his nose. I was so embarrassed because there were at least a half dozen people staring at them.


Any ideas on how to get a 3 year old to stop picking their nose when they have an audience???


I pushed their cart away and threatened he couldn't have his new Hot Wheels car if he didn't get his finger out of his nose! Worked like magic, still embarrassed me though!
I told you Cooper didn't get his teeth cleaned, but Owen was sweet enough to give all of his stickers to Cooper when he got home. He's such a good big brother!
Does life get any better than this? He's working a puzzle, which is very difficult for this age. I mean to sit still and try and concentrate. It didn't last long, but it sure was cute!

This is what we did after naps. We love our new swing set. It's so nice to not have to fight over who gets to swing! There's room for everyone!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Getting big!



These are some pictures from our car ride to Tulsa on Friday.

Our sweet boys are just constantly surprising me with how big they are. The first thing out of Owen's mouth this morning was, "Can you take me to Tulsa?"

The boys love getting to hang out with their 5 cousins there. So we loaded the guys up Friday and headed north for an overnight stay at my parents house. My sister Laura asked months ago if she could cut Owen's hair the next time he needed a cut. We got bored by the pool on Saturday and decided it was time. So here's his new 3 year old hair cut.
I must say it makes him look older, though I miss his big hair!
Another reason why I chose "getting big" is because my parents will welcome their 10th grandchild sometime in the next year. My sister, Becki, is due early November (#8). My sister, Laura, announced last week that she is due in April with their 3rd (#9). We are of course "expecting" as well. It's just a little crazy trying to guess when ours might get here, so I am being hopeful but cautious and say we'll bring in #10!
It's been a great week with Blake at home on vacation. We've enjoyed having him here for breakfast, lunch and dinner! We'll be sad when he has to leave for work early in the morning tomorrow!
August has been a good growing month for me. My faith has been strengthened and tested with the adoption. All month long we have received emails, phone calls and incredible surprises and notes in the mail. We are so blessed to have each of you in our lives walking through this with us. We cannot wait to see what God has in store for us with our next child. And at the same time, we are reminded what we already have with Owen and Cooper.
We were reminded just yesterday that sometimes our children are taken from us before we are ready. We learned of a family that lost their 2 year old suddenly in an accident at home. Each time I get to feeling down about our situation and why things didn't work out, I remind myself (or maybe that's God speaking to me) that I could be mourning the loss of a child. I could be mourning the loss of a spouse, parent, sibling.
God has given our family, each of us, so many blessings and sometimes I get sidetracked wanting more instead of focusing on what I have!
Lord, I don't want to be that way. I want to live everyday giving thanks to you.
Today in Sunday school we explored the idea that God gave us our spouse as a physical, tangible, concrete reminder of how much He loved us. We are supposed to be that for our spouse.
I know that's a "duh" for many of you that are wiser than me, but it hit me hard.
I looked at Blake and wondered if I reminded him daily of Christ's love for him?
That's my prayer this week, that I am not only that to Blake, but our children as well. That I can remind them in everything I do, of Christ's love for them.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Swing set!

We finally got around to taking down the old swing set that desperately needed to be replaced. The plan was to get Owen a new one for his birthday!





You can see that the boys were great help!

So, our parents got Owen this cool new swing set for his birthday. It finally stopped raining long enough to get it put together.


It took about 3 hours for us to get it together.

The boys were so patient playing outside while we fussed around with the parts. We are both hilarious to watch when it comes to stuff like this. We like to look at the pictures and not really read instructions...so we had to take some things apart and stop and read the directions.


I told Blake I hoped he was better about knowing his "parts" in surgery.


He didn't think I was funny!


You can see that Cooper didn't really like the see-saw, but Owen sure did!

Thank you Noonie, Papa Max, Gigi and Papa Joe. The boys love it and Blake and I thank you for hours of entertainment OUTSIDE!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Owen!

Owen got this jersey from his Gigi and Papa Joe for his birthday. Can you tell if he liked it?
Saturday we went to the aquarium in Jenks with my parents and Ragon (and her parents too!)
Some of Owen's cousins enjoying a little snack at the pool party. Aren't they just too cute?
My homemade "Cars" cake. I am so old fashioned about making cakes for birthdays!

Today is Owen's 3rd birthday.

We spent the day telling him what we did 3 years ago today.

He loved hearing about our time with his birthmom at the hospital.

It is so good to think back to the first time we saw him.
We loved telling him about how we fell in love with him the moment we saw him.

We were blessed enough to have gotten to see him come into this world.

Thank you God for this sweet blessing that never stops blessing us!
Cooper never quite figured out that the party and today were not about him!
I love that about Cooper, he loves attention, and Owen loves to share it with him!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cousins!

If you don't know Cooper or you don't get to hang around him that much, this just gives you a little picture of how fun he is. This guy will do just about anything to make you laugh! This was at the dinner table last night!
We had a great surprise visit yesterday from my sister Laura, her boys and two of my nieces, Lauren and Ann Marie. What a fun day just hanging out with them!
These two are best buds. Obviously, Max has figured out how to pose and Owen couldn't stop shooting baskets for this picture! It's cute anyway!
Are they not adorable? These cousins have so much fun together. I love Max's face in this. The omniplex was a bit packed yesterday, but the kids didn't seem to notice at all.
The kids piled up on our bed to watch a movie after lunch. Look at sweet Sutton ready to take a nap! Thanks for coming to see us guys! We had a blast!

Sorry I haven't posted in several days, but I was getting such good comments on the last post that I wanted to leave it up longer. So many people pointed out that these things happen regardless of adoption, and I agree completely. I don't want to walk around with this chip on my shoulder ready to jump on someone who might make a quick comment. I really am not that way.

But, what I have seen is that more comments have come up since we started the "process" again. More people have asked questions and at the same time asked if their questions were appropriate. What I have found is that it's not complete strangers making comments out in public. We really don't get a lot of questions or comments from random people. Most of these etiquette issues are from acquaintances we know in other social settings, church or work or such.

Since this happens to every one of us, not just in adoption, I think we can all pull from this. We all need to really try and be slow to speak, slow to judge and to think about if we were receiving the question how we might feel. Can you believe that I just said slow to speak, Blake is dying right now because, hello...I am always needing to shut my pie hole!

Many of you have asked, so here it goes...we have not heard anything from the adoption agency besides them checking on us to make sure we are okay. They are so good in praying over our family and for us. So, we are waiting to be picked again. With our agency this means we will not hear ANYTHING until we are picked again. They do not tell us if someone is looking at our profile. As much as the silence is hard at times, I do not want to have to feel rejection each time that we are looked at and not being picked. Make sense???

Of course, if we are picked again I will tell you all because we will need prayers. This might be a long wait, so please be patient with us.

On a lighter note, Monday is Owen's 3rd birthday! I cannot believe he is turning 3! Although he acts like he's 6, it's still hard to believe. So we are leaving to go to see my family this weekend and have his party at my parents house and use their pool! We'll post pictures when we get back!

So we were at the pool and as I was gathering our stuff I heard some people in the pool laughing and cheering on the boys. This is where the video starts.


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I just love when kids dance. Nothing holds them back, I sure wish I were that way!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Adoption Etiquette


I have been wanting to write something about adoption and what is and is not appropriate to ask or say. Things got busy and I just let it slip.

Blake's on call tonight and I have the computer to myself! So I am going to take a moment to share some thoughts, but this very well may be an on-going process.

First, let me say that when you are talking to me about our adoption I can totally tell where your heart is when you are asking questions, just by your demeanor. I don't want people to be so scared they might offend me that they don't ask questions...we want to share how God has blessed us through adoption. Please know that walking through this myself has taught me so much, so I am not pointing fingers. I just know so many of you have wanted to ask questions and have not known what's appropriate! We think this is a miracle and we want you to be able to experience in it.

So, in saying all of this...I hope this is helpful and answers questions for you.

1. Always remember how incredibly important our children's birthparents are to us. We will respect them in every way possible. We ask you to do the same. These birthparents are FOREVER a part of us and our children. In general it's probably more safe to just not ask questions related to their birthparents. We will give you the info we want you to know about them. As with anyone, as Christians we are to be gracious and show love to everyone, especially someone as heroic as a birthparent. Nuff said, tho I could go on and on here!

2. Before you ask a question, ask yourself, "Why do I want to know this?" If you are wanting this information so that you can judge the situation, then you probably should not ask it. We need no judgement, our children need none either. If you are judging the birthparent, then you are judging our child and therefore us as well.

3. Please do not refer to our children as "real" brothers. This makes it difficult to explain the next child that we will adopt, are they going to be a "fake" sibling. Come on guys! They are siblings because we adopted them and they are both now Shockleys, as will be the rest of our crew. The appropriate term is biological siblings.

4. On the same note, but even more painful...please do not refer to our children as "not your own". This happens more than you would ever imagine. These are our children, just as much as God gave you your little miracles, He did the same with us.
5. Please do not identify/label our children as "adopted". It's obvious that they are adopted, we are very open about this. They know they are adopted, we talk about it almost daily. But just as I never wanted to be identified as a diabetic (and still don't), please do not introduce our children as "adopted". Their adoption is not who they are, but just a part of their story.

6. Owen is almost 3. He understands much more than most adults think he does (Cooper does as well). Please do not ask me questions about their adoption or adoption in general when they are in the room. You might as well look down at those sweet brown eyes and ask them. In fact, I did that the other day when someone just asked right in front of Owen why he was placed for adoption. He clearly stated that he did not want to talk about it and we ended the conversation. Please remember how confusing it is for a child to understand why they were placed for adoption. Help us respect our children and their hearts.

I love you all! Thank you for walking through this with us. Thank you for loving our children and our road to calling them Shockleys. Thank you for loving adoption with us, even in the midst of it's trials. I hope this all came out right and was not offensive. I want it to be informative and helpful.

I know there will be more that comes up from time to time and I promise to post about it again.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Thankful



There's nothing like the warmth of a summer afternoon

Walking to the sunlight, and being cradled my the moon

Catching fireflies at night

Building castles in the sand

Kissing Mam's face goodnight

And holding Daddy's hand


Thank you Lord, how could I ask for more?

Running barefoot in the grass

A little hide and go seek

Being so in love, that you can hardly eat

Dancing in the dark, when there's no one else around

Being bundled 'neath the covers, watching snow

Fall to the ground

Thank you Lord, how could I ask for more?



So many things I thought would bring me happiness

Some dreams that are realities today

Such an irony the things that mean the most to me

Are the memories that I've made along the way

So if there's anything I've learned

From this journey I am on

Simple truths will keep you going

Simple love will keep you strong

Cause there are questions without answers

Flames that never die

Heartaches we go through are often blessings in disguise

So thank you Lord, oh thank you Lord

How could I ask for more?



This is a Cindy Morgan song. Apparently it's so old that I can't even find it to play for you all.

Every time I hear it, I get that warm fuzzy feeling inside followed by a little taste of guilt.

Why do I ask for more?

Just trying to be thankful today!

Here's one thing that made me cry today that I am thankful for.

"A Modern Girls Guide to Bible Study" by Jen Hatmaker.

If you haven't read it and you are a woman, you should snatch this book up.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Potty talk



My guys! The boys have so much fun with their daddy.




Cooper and Keely at the Omniplex yesterday.




This is a great picture! Owen loves the tree swing under the tree house!



Priceless! I love this one of Blake and Cooper cuddling on the ground!

So I started out this blog because our kids had started to say some really funny things and I wanted to be able to remember them and share a little laugh with our family and friends. So, here are some more recent funny things.

Owen again followed me into the restroom. He looked at me and said, "Mom, don't worry. Next week, when you get big, you'll grow a penis." I about died. He felt so sorry for me that I wasn't cool like him and the rest in our house that have one! This happened later in the day when he had already said, "Hey mom, do you want to see my penis, it is really awesome."

The other night when we were getting ready for naps the boys were playing basketball in the playroom. I told them we needed to head to our room and pick out some books. Cooper replied, "Two minutes, two minutes!" He got this from me. When we are about to head out I try to give them some prep time. I guess it works.

We were watching, "The Little Mermaid" yesterday (Yes, I realize it's a little girly, but I have figured out why Owen likes it.). Owen looked at me and said, "Mom, does she got boobies?"

Now, here is one that I am sure I am going to have to deal with for quite some time. Our boys are very fascinated with bodily functions. They are boys, they love poop, toots and any sort of potty talk. You might want to turn up your volume and listen close.



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So this is our sweet Cooper tooting and then chuckling. When I ask him what that was, he replies, "A stinky tootie" and then refuses to excuse himself. I am so proud of my little gentleman!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Expectations

In Sunday school we started a new series about marriage. It has been so neat for our class to look at our own marriages and what desires we brought into our marriages that might have become expectations.

We've talked about how when you put expectations on your spouse, you become very hard to please. It takes the joy out of serving one another because you were expecting something. It's been eye opening.

When we were discussing I couldn't help but think of how I do this as a mom. I need to be careful of what I expect of our children. They are toddlers for goodness sake! I get so caught up in wanting them to be good boys, that I need to make sure I am not always raising the "bar" to where they feel like they can never be good enough.

Then I got to thinking about my expectations of my God. Yikes!

I have so much to be thankful for. Why would I need to expect something more from Him?

But yet, I have been.

I've been expecting this sweet baby girl. I fell in love with her and the idea of her being ours.

Then when we heard it wasn't going to happen, I was let down.

But I knew I would be okay. We'll have another baby.

Won't we?

But will I be okay if we don't?

Will I be okay if another adoption falls through?

I need to just be happy in HIM! I have been struggling with this for the last few days.

Was I okay because I was putting my hope in another baby or in HIM?

I find peace in knowing that we are seeking God in this.

I find peace in knowing that God has that sweet baby girl.

Every time I think of her, I picture her in God's arms.

I heard that song the other day that I always get choked up about, " In My Arms".

Here are some of the words:
Your baby blues
So full of wonder
Your curly cues
Your contagious smile
And as I watch
You start to grow up
All I can do Is hold you tight
Knowing…
Clouds will rage and
Storms will race in
But you will be safe
In my arms
Rains will pour down
Waves will crash around
But you will be safe
In my arms

I got sad thinking that "she" wasn't in my arms. I reminded myself she was in HIS arms.

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This is the song that Owen knows makes me melt. We couldn't really get a great video, but it's sweet anyways!

Here is the rest of it, or really just another try!




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Fun times

The boys love this book and I have been dying to catch them reading it on camera. If you are a mom of young boys, you gotta get this one! It's called Tip Tip, Dig Dig. You might want to turn up your volume and listen close because Cooper really gets into this! Sorry it's a little dark, we were putting them down for naps.


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Notice my hand as I am trying to shoo Owen away from the camera. He always wants to see the video and I was desperate to not interrupt this moment! I love my sweet husband and that he enjoys reading to our kids and putting them to bed.


Here's the end of the story...

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This next one was from yesterday. I just showed it to Blake, I guess he didn't realize that I was getting it on camera. Blake's on the floor tickling Cooper when Owen decides to play dodge ball with, rather at, Blake. We laughed so hard we thought we had to share.


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