"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

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Summer fun

Well, we are just having ourselves some marvelous time at the pool.

I know some people might be annoyed by lots of kids at the pool, but for my kids it's pure bliss. And that makes mama happy!

Owen and Cooper pretty much are inseparable. Thankfully they have not questioned the need to wear life jackets because I am not sure it would be safe for me to take all 3 of them if the guys weren't wearing those beautiful yellow things!

Sadie has enjoyed the water as long as her hiney is not sitting in it. She will put her feet in and her hands in and splash. She looks hilarious doing this, kind of like an ape with her tiny buns in the air.

And this...I had to share. This might just show you a glimpse of the relationship between these three. This is pretty much what Sadie wakes up to every morning. I actually asked Owen to wait until I could grab the camera!
Sadie has changed so much in the last 2 weeks. She is talking more, moving all of the time, she's eating finger foods and is no longer taking a bottle. She is desperately wanting to walk, but is a little nervous. When you let go of her hands, she slowly inches her bottom to the ground to sit. She's like an old lady trying to sit on a couch...she cracks me up! And as these pictures show...she's become quite the little ham! She's a silly girl!
Look at that tongue and those eyes! She was just dancing and jumping and squealing! Such a happy girl!

She is finally saying "mama" some. It's only happened twice, and only in times of desperate need for me, but I will take it! She says "ga" for dog-she only does it when she sees Bella...she really seems to like her. I mean Sadie liking Bella. I am not too sure Bella is enjoying the fact that we keep bringing home babies!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Reality hits

We so enjoyed Blake's week of vacation and wish it could last just a bit longer.

We seemed to have packed just enough fun to leave us tired, but still had lots of down time to watch a couple movies just the two of us. So here's what we've been up to and why I have not been blogging as much!

1. We went to the Touch a Truck show last Saturday. I don't know how to describe it besides that there were 50 trucks all of which the kids could get in and honk the horns. It was a boy's dream. They met firefighters, police men, truck drivers, EMT's, and on and on. I think perhaps the boys' favorite was that right after we got there a helicopter landed right in front of us! I about peed my pants because I was so excited for them. You know that feeling as a parent when your child's wildest dream comes true. Yep, we were there.

Owen climbing the rock wall at the truck show!
2. Blake took the boys golfing again, and they got to ride in a cart this time. Man how that changes the game up completely! They are still talking about it.
3. The boys went to a Redhawks game (our local baseball team) with Blake and Papa Joe. Cooper refers to them as the Redhops and I just can't correct him. It's too cute!

4. We made a trip to the zoo. The boys are still talking about the cat that we saw eating poop. Oh the mind of a boy! The cat was NOT eating poop, it was meat but it did resemble waste and they thought it was AWESOME!
5. We went to Great Wolf Lodge for 3 days (see post below).
6. We spent the day in Norman on Saturday with Blake's parents. It was such a nice treat and of course our kids didn't want to come home with us...they love being at Gigi and Papa's house! And big bonus here...Blake and I got away for lunch BY OURSELVES! Oh the many joys of having family close!

7. On Sunday after church Blake and I had the privilege of sharing with a lifelong friend about starting the adoption process. If you want to hear more about this follow the Promote OK Adoption blog on the right (shameless plug). You know this just thrills me to pieces to know more families feeling God lead them to adoption. {{insert big cheesy grin}}

And with all of this Blake still found time to paint the trim on the house, do the yard work and get in a round of golf!
But today reality hit and Blake had to show up for work today. BUMMER! The boys woke up wondering where their daddy was. We've all been spoiled this week and we've just soaked it up. Owen kept telling me today that he wanted his daddy because he was nice. I am assuming that means that I am the mean one? I just responded that I wanted his daddy too and tried to shrug off what he said reminding myself he's three and that I am pretty stinking cool to hang out with.

Thank goodness today the pool was open and I could distract the kids from the fact that Blake was gone. I think we spent 5 hours there today! Of course, they all got chocolaty dark and I burned to a crisp! I used sunscreen, but a SAHM should not attempt to put her own sunscreen on or have a 3 year old help! I have a nice red design on my back now!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Family Vacation

We had a wonderful time at Great Wolf Lodge.
We are so thankful for places closer to home that we can take our kids to for a short family vacation.

Several of our friends and family have asked us about this place, so I tried to make a video to show you the inside of the waterpark.

We have a blast watching the kids play in the water. And the whole place has a lodge theme, even each room!

They loved that we all shared a room and got to wake up together, and Blake and I were reminded how noisey our kids are when they sleep!!!
So here is our trip in pictures and some videos!

Sadie showing off her cover up and crocs!
The boys enjoying the smaller slides in the kids play area.
Seriously, can you tell he's loving this???

Riding the banana! I couldn't get the boys to pose with her....SHOCKER!
The boys have been saving up for a trip to Disney World. Since we are not going to be doing that anytime soon (they were up to $65), we asked them if they wanted to use some of their money to play in the arcade at the Lodge. I am not sure who had more fun, them or their daddy!

Blake trying to get Sadie in the water. She liked it as long as her body wasn't too wet!

Sadie even found a little fountain just her size! She was so cute, she didn't like to get splashed by the water. She never cried when she did get wet, she just clung to you like a tree frog!

Owen thought this was hilarious to sit on the fountain and have it spray up his shorts! BOYS!

There were several moments that we hope to never forget, like when Cooper saw some older boys on a playground fighting and he yelled at them, "You are bweaking Jesus's heart!" Talk about making me melt. I was so proud of him for calling out these older boys.
Every night when it was time for bed Owen begged for us to go home and sleep in his own bed. He was a little nervous about this "wolf" that we kept talking about and he wanted to know where he slept. We had to explain it was all pretend...too cute!
We thought we brought our super quiet daughter Sadie along with us, but on Tuesday we realized we had Chatty Cathy...it was a riot watching this girl come out of her shell! You'll see her at the end of this video. She's clearly making up for 8 months of relative silence and we are enjoying every minute of it!

This clip is of the boys enjoying the wave pool. I think this was close to their favorite this year.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Happenings (and other random stuff)

We had a miracle happen in our house this morning. Well, not really miracle status worthy, but still! Cooper tinkled in the potty! If you know me, you know well that I am not a potty training girl. I just wait until they are ready and then go with it. No training involved (yes, I am a wus).

Even though Owen has been dying for Cooper to use the potty, Cooper's had no interest, until today. So, we've spent half the day with our pants down (really just his-I've been fully dressed all day thank you). The boys had too much fun comparing themselves. I will let you decide what they were comparing, but it was pretty hilarious especially since it was taking place in the back yard as Owen was teaching Cooper the technique of peeing on the fence. I LOVE BOYS, they are so gross, but so much fun!

So glad we had nothing going on today! Yea Cooper! I am sure this is not the end of size 6 diapers (did you know they made them that big?), but I am thinking it is a good start!
THANKFUL (and sappy)
Little Miss...I have cried several times since her Gotcha Day just thinking about this time last year. It was such a hard time because my heart was so heavy and ready to have another baby. I had dreamed of a brown baby girl for a long time. And now, she's in my arms and she's ours forever! I look at her and the boys and I think of how much my God loves me. I truly cannot believe that he has chosen me to be their mommy. I think back to this time last year and now know that God was dancing over me and I just totally missed Him. They are my ever present reminder of his love for me, and that is simply amazing to me!

A precious moment when Owen told me he wanted to read Sadie the Bible. It was adorable and Cooper followed suit. I love my job! Owen is such a wonderful big brother. I look at him and wonder how he is only 3 1/2 with the things that he says and remembers. He still loves "family days" where we do nothing but just be together. He adores his baby sister and knows just how to push his brother's buttons (sounds right on track for 3, right?). He got a train to the noggin for just that this morning! He's as tender as he is tough. I love watching him grow into a little boy.

I talked about Life Boxes in the last post and several of you asked where I found this one. It was from Things Remembered in the baby section. I have looked several places and couldn't find anything I liked near as much. I love that you can engrave it because I like to put their Gotcha Day there with their new name! I am sure you could find something that would work just as well. I just love the idea of a Life Box and as small as the boys are, they seem to like having it already. In the picture above Cooper is showing you how it opens.

Trying on our bathing suit! Thanks Savannah for letting us borrow yours! Doesn't she look like she's posing? I am hoping that her cuteness will distract from the fact that I am also wearing a swimsuit! I mean, come on, with these 3 cuties, what do I have to worry about anyone noticing me and my pasty skin! We are headed to Great Wolfe Lodge for our first family vacation of 5! Yahoo!

Aspen Anyone?

Well, we've had an exciting week on many fronts.

I will have to update the rest later because my sweet husband has the camera and I can't show any pictures of some of the exciting stuff.

But this one has no pictures quite yet.

We found out on Wednesday that Blake will be going to Aspen for 11 weeks this year for work. He will be doing a Sports Medicine/Trauma service there from Nov-January. It really is a rocking deal and we are all very excited about this! Blake is wanting to do a fellowship in Sports Medicine, so we feel like this will be an excellent opportunity.

And, it's in Aspen! Who could turn that down?

Notice I said, "Blake will be going to Aspen" not "we" will be going to Aspen?

That's right. The program provides a one bedroom condo for the resident. I am not sure all 5 of us can squeeze in there. And given the cost of housing in Aspen, we are just not going to be able to swing it! So, we are not sure of all of the details, but just wanted you all to know that he'll be gone for a while and we are most likely going to be in Tulsa with my family and occassionally visiting him in Aspen. I am not ready to be a single mother over the holidays no-less!

Poor guy, he's going to be so lonely. WHATEVER! They're going to have a hard time pulling him off the slopes just to work! He'll be fine!

Congrats babe, we are so excited for you and that we'll be going to Aspen at least to visit!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sadie's First Gotcha Day!

Can you see what her shirt says? "It's official... I am a Shockley!"

Well, this day has been incredible! It started with Sadie waking up to all 4 of us singing "Happy Gotcha Day to you!" and lots of kisses and cuddling.
I have said this to many of you, but I have learned how to enjoy this day more with each adoption instead of fear something might go wrong.
Not that I wasn't a bit nervous this morning, but it was related to thoughts like...
Will my three year old toot during the hearing and bust out laughing?
Is someone going to jump in a huge puddle in the rain and be soaked for court?
Will my boys have a hard time keeping still and quiet during the hearing and make a scene?
I mean, it is a tough age to expect kids to not move and not talk.
But, they both were perfect gentlemen. It was little miss that started squealing, and while I thought it was completely adorable, it made me sweat thinking it might be annoying the judge.

Our judge was beyond incredible. In fact, he was the best we've had. I started crying like a baby when he made us raise our hands and vow to be Sadie's mother and father forever. It was SO COOL!

Cooper went up there with us and even raised his hand too. He told me when we were signing our final decree of adoption that he wanted to sign it too. Oh, it makes me melt just thinking of it. I had to tell him that there wasn't a "bubba" line for him to sign on. Owen was a bit nervous and stayed back with his auntie Laura.
At the end the judge told my sister (our attorney) that he had never had the pleasure of making a prosecutor cry. We all cracked up laughing and she fessed up that she was Sadie's aunt and that she normally doesn't cry in court.
Just outside of the court room. Notice Owen's shirt tail didn't stay in long!

Sadie giving her daddy a high five after court! We're pretty psyched about today baby girl!

Filing our papers in the clerks office! We're almost done sweet thing!

After court we went to lunch with the family to celebrate.

Waiting for our table at Ted's...it's a tradition that after every finalization we eat at this local mexican place. Yummy!

Owen enjoying some chips and queso with Noonie!

Little Miss got some gifts. My parents got her a Life Box.
For those adoption buddies out there, I love these! They are cool keepsake boxes that I put personal stuff about their adoption in. I have loved having these for the boys when they are asking about their adoption. We pull them out and go through pictures and gifts from their birth parents.
Cooper showing off Sadie's silver cup engraved with her new legal name and her Gotcha Day date!

After lunch our family had the pleasure of meeting Mama G for the first time. It was incredible for them to be able to love on her and thank her for her love for Sadie and her sacrifice. What a blessing!
She's totally pooped from such an exciting day! I am too! I need a nap!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

I have to be the most blessed mom on earth! Don't even try to argue with me...it's a waste of your time!

We've had some fun this weekend with my family celebrating Mother's Day and just being together.

We also were able to see Blake's side of the family earlier in the week and caught these precious pictures. I act as if the matching outfits weren't planned out! Aren't they adorable?

This is Gigi (below) and she is hardly ever captured on film because she's always chasing the kiddos and entertaining them. But I had to include this today because it's Mother's Day and WHOA has this Mama changed my life. I never thought I could love another mother and learn as much from her as I have. And I know I am blessed. I have heard plenty of MIL horror stories, so I don't take her for granted... I could write a book on Gigi, and should at least dedicate a post to her. I pray that I will one day be just like her when the boys get married.
And if you've ever met my mom, you'll wonder why I was blessed twice over. I truly have two incredible Christ-like women leading me in this journey of motherhood. So today, I thank the moms that have made me a better mom by example, prayer and encouragement.

Here are some cute pictures from Mothers Day!
Miss Priss showing off her cruising and her sassy outfit!

Mr. Smiles himself. This is Cooper's real smile!

Cooper trying oh-so hard to smile and be cool at the same time! He cracks me up!

The grand kids on my side of the family. There are 10 now, you have to look close or you'll miss little Luke! Notice that my boys are thrilled to be taking another picture! Get this, 8 of these kiddos are 5 and under! We had to set them up in front of the TV just to get them all looking in the same direction! Ha!
And a precious video from my little guy...he sure knows how to melt my heart!