"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







Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Yahoo for Daddy!


So today is Blake's last day of his 3rd year. We are so proud of him and what a hard worker he is. This job is harder on him than he lets on. But we just pray that coming home to us makes it all worth it! Hang in there babe, only 2 more years left! You are the most incredible husband and father and we could not have dreamed a better life than what we are living right now! Thanks for all that you do for us!
On Saturday we celebrated Father's Day since Blake was on call last Sunday. We had such a wonderful family day. We took the kids to a movie and then spent the afternoon at the pool after we all took naps! Can you see Sadie cuddling with Blake before the movie? They are too cute together! Notice Owen's face in the corner of this picture...he was just a tid bit excited to be at the theatre!Just waiting for the movie to start eating some very nutritious popcorn! HA! I don't know who gave them the Milk Duds either??? Hmmm.Sadie didn't quite make it through the whole movie. This is her waiting for the guys outside of the theatre.

I told the kids this morning that we had to have a party when Blake got home today. I asked them if they had any ideas of what we could do to make him feel special. Owen suggested that we get him a booster seat. I love how kids think.

We just got Owen out of a 5-point harness car seat and put him into a booster. Let me tell you, he LOVED it! I told him that I put it in the car when he woke up. He wanted to see it immediately, then he wanted me to put the seat belt on him. Then he suggested that he could eat and change clothes in the car! He feels so big. I wish I had taken a picture of him in it yesterday. He was trying so hard not to smile the whole ride, but his sweet grin kept peeking out! He feels so grown up in his new chair. All 3 kids are now on the same row in the car and they can't get enough of sitting so close! Owen was feeding Sadie and wiping her mouth, giving her toys and fixing her bow. This means that Cooper got Owen's car seat which he thinks is super cool and super big!

Back to the Blake story. Then I asked Cooper what we should do for daddy. His response was that we should cut up paper?
So it sounds like we are going to have one heck of a party with cut up paper and a booster seat! I am sure Sadie is going to soak her daddy with lots of slobbery kisses! Right now the boys are finger painting some art for decorations while I am typing and Sadie's napping...yes, I know what am I thinking!?!?



All of the residents in Blake's program! Congrats guys! It was so neat to see the 5th years graduate and realize that there actually is an end to this process!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer fun

It's been so stinking hot that all we have really known to do around here is stay in the water.
Here Cooper is showing off his swimming skills.
video
I have yet to get a good video of it, but Owen is now swimming without his jacket and doing great. He can swim really well under water. We are so proud of you Owen! He told me yesterday, "Mom I really, really want to be 4. I am so frustrated that I am not 4 yet." It was so cute. As close as his birthday seems to me (6 weeks), to an almost 4 year old...that's an eternity!


Last week we had some end of the year stuff for Blake and it was nice to get to go out just the two of us, even if we weren't on a date! It was still free food, wine and fun people! Congrats honey for finishing yet another year of residency. Only 2 left!

On Saturday my family all went out for my 30th birthday. It was so much fun to just be with all 10 of the adults and to have some good uninterrupted conversation for once!
It looks as if we ate at some country place with the wood paneling behind us in the above picture. Seems as if they thought we were going to be a loud bunch and they kindly put us in a closed off room! Such a wonderful time guys! Thanks for making me feel so loved!

Last night we had our monthly Kaleidoscope Kids playgroup. This is our transracial playgroup that we have been loving being a part of. What a blessing to live in a place where there are so many families like ours. We met M last night, what a pumpkin she is!
Notice how I taught my daughter to sit like a lady? Real nice, huh? We'll work on it, but it is kind of funny how long those legs look!That's Sadie, M and Holden. We had so much fun at the spray grounds, the kids loved it and all of us parents were SO hot we wanted to lay down in the water with them!
Sadie and Holden loving on each other. So cute that Holden knows how to kiss and that Sadie wanted some lovin' from him!

Sadie on sticks

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Those legs are so teeny that it looks like she's walking on sticks that might snap if they bend. She's still rather cautious when she walks, but it's cute to see how proud of herself she is.

So sweet to see her walk to Blake. Notice her brothers don't seem too thrilled?

Here is another of her walking to me. Listen close and you'll hear someone "suffering" in time-out.

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She is wearing her Camp Noonie-Papa shirt from last year. We can't wait for my parents to have camp with their cousins in Tulsa! Sadie wishes she could go, but you have to be down to one nap before you can apply to be a camper!

Sadie has also started waving and clapping in the last week. She's at such a fun age! She is learning to assert herself with the boys when they get too close and smother her with attention. It's hilarious how the boys love to be with her, but can't seem to figure out how close is too close until she starts yelling at them!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We are the body

But if we are the body
Why aren't His arms reaching?
Why aren't His hands healing?
Why aren't His words teaching?
And if we are the body
Why aren't His feet going?
Why is His love not showing them there is a way?
There is a way

**This is one of my favorite Casting Crowns songs**
__________________________________________



I had to share something that you wouldn't see if I didn't take pictures of it.
I wanted to thank you all for praying for and providing for these children that are without a family.
I had to share how you are being the body of Christ by loving on the littlest of His children.

Each child got at least 10 outfits, a bible, a dvd, toys, backpack, laundry basket, blankets, flip flops, books, and a wrapped present. That's just what I can remember!
The other great news is that 5 families have contacted me in the interest of adopting them. Does that give you chills?
What makes me even more excited is that it means that 5 couples have opened their hearts to adoption and that just thrills me to pieces. Our 10,000 kids in OK foster care might be dwindling as we strive to become more active as the body of Christ.

Thank you for the prayers. Please continue to keep these children in your heart as I am sure they still have a long road in front of them. Thank you to the families who gave so generously to these children!

Monday, June 22, 2009

A day late...



To the best daddy there is...
The boys wrapping Blake's Father's Day present.

Thank you for always choosing us when you have a free minute.


Thank you for making us feel like the most important people in your world.


Thank you for being silly and making us laugh when we want to cry.

Thank you for carrying us on your shoulders.

Thank you for teaching us about being boys and men.



Thank you for learning with me about girly things...


Thank you for dreaming with us, praying with us, loving with us.


Thank you for being more than we could have ever asked for.

Much love and Happy Father's Week,
Molly, Owen, Cooper and Sadie

Friday, June 19, 2009

Just pictures

Sadie's poker face. She's so serious sometimes! She's loving on Aunt Laura by the pool!
Just some new pictures for those of you that love looking at these bundles of love as much as I do.
Sadie rarely gets playdates with friends her own age, so this was fun to have Greyson and Kynlee to play with. Of course she just wanted Kynlee's bow and Grey's food!
She's our first child to ever discover the tupperware drawer, so it was very exciting for us. Another reason I am no longer cooking....just kidding I still have at least a couple more years in me Blake...don't you worry!

This one just make me all mushy inside. It's one of those times I just think about how incredibly blessed I am to have 3 incredible miracles.

Proof of Sadie's new milestone.


You can tell she's just as proud of herself as we are!


Starting the tailgate parties early this year. Sadie started doing this with her nose a couple days ago where she scrunches it up and sniffs in and out. She's being silly when she does it.

She loves her bubs dearly as they do her. You can kind of tell by Cooper's face he's a little grossed out at Sadie's mouth-full-o-food.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hip hop

Anyone know of a place I can take my kids to learn some better dance moves?

Seems as if they have taken after their folks and need a little more guidance. We have no rhythm.

You be the judge...

video

Naptime to dinner

Does anyone else find this to be a time when just about anything can happen?
It seems like if we are going to have meltdowns, it occurs after naps and before dinner.

We had such a fabulous day yesterday, but then it seemed to just become some crazy comedy here.
This picture describes it well.
Cooper piddled all over the floor (luckily he was on the tile) and almost soaked daddy's shoes. *Please note the lack of pants in the picture*

Then when I thought he was cleaning up another mess he made while cutting paper, he actually was continuing to work on his fine scissor skills. He stood up to show me his shirt. Can you see the LARGE hole in the middle. He was seriously going to town on that sucker.

When am I going to stop giving my 2 year old scissors while making dinner? Thank God it wasn't those precious curls that took the cutting!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Baby steps (and lots more)...


I have to document that our sweet Sadie Skielar walked 4 steps on Friday!

After she sat down she turned right around and did another 2.

She's not done much since then but one or two with quite a bit of encouragement, so I don't think this is actually walking...but we are getting close!

She is eating like she has never eaten before and I am sure it's because she's more active...but it's almost funny how much she can eat. She loves Nutri-grain bars, Ritz crackers, bananas, green beans, carrots, graham crackers and grilled cheese. And thanks to Papa Max she had her first Cheetos on Sunday, she loved it of course (who doesn't?). All of this with still not a single tooth! It's quite funny to watch and we get a lot of stares in public giving this toothless bitty baby such big people food!

She has started shaking her head no and when I told her not to eat my flowers (above) on Friday and kept her from pulling them, she let me know she didn't agree with a big grunt as she yanked her hand out from mine.

Speaking of baby steps...Cooper has taken a sudden interest in the potty again. I know I am going to regret saying that because it's only been a matter of hours, but at this point I will take it! It really wouldn't be that big of a deal but he hates his diapers and is so frustrated that he has to wear them! Ah, this is so sad the time I spend thinking about bodily function and who's pooped today!
Owen overjoyed at the fact that he's at "Old McDonald's" as he calls it. On Friday we saw Mandy for the first time in years. As you know, we have an open adoption, but it mostly consists of phonecalls, emails and pictures. I had the joy of taking Mandy to lunch by myself the week of Mother's Day and we planned to get together as a family. We planned it so that we could meet for her birthday. The boys were ecstatic to say the least. They have not quit talking about it and it's been so fun to talk with them about how much she loves them. For kids this age, it's so hard to understand what adoption means besides that they didn't grow in my belly. So, it was so good for opening up more conversation since it's on their mind. I got lots of really great pictures, but am going to keep those private for the boys until they choose to share them. They stared at them all morning long...so precious!
The Shockleys HEART open adoption!
Speaking of open adoption and birthmoms, we still have the pleasure of seeing Momma G at least once a month. We are so blessed that she is close and that we can see her often. She is doing really well and thanks to all of you that have prayed for her faith. She is attending church and we are beyond blessed that she found a church she feels welcome and loved at!
Blake, poor Blake. We have this joke in our house when things get rough with work. I always tell him that he was warned by everyone how hard this would be and that he chose this. I know, I am so nice, huh? Very supportive wife, right? Here's the good news, he's almost finished with his 3rd year and will start year 4 of 5 on July 1st. Three down and 2 to go, I'd say that's something to celebrate! Another bit of good news is that the hospital that he is going to in Aspen is trying to find us a 2 bedroom apartment so that we can all go together! We are super excited. Quite frankly the idea of spending 11 weeks without Blake was more than I could swallow. I was just trying not to think about it. We'll keep you updated because I know you are on the edge of your seat about this! HA!
One last thing. If you could, and if you don't follow our POA blog...we have a huge need there. There is a sibling group of 3 in our community that has lost everything they have. Not only are they orphans, but they have also lost all they once called their own. Please jump over to our other blog if you are willing to pray for these kids and maybe even donate something to our goody bags for these children (ages 5, 7, and 9). If you know of a family that is open to adoption, please send them to our blog. These children need their forever family to show them the love of Christ. Until we have someone step forward we are going to do all we can to show them they are loved, valued and not forgotten.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cooperman


This guy is a hoot. There are so many times in a day that I just look at him and bust out laughing. It happens so much that he often tells me to not laugh at him and to stop smiling (which only makes it worse). That reminds me of me when I was little. I remember telling my sisters the same thing. It's just that he's so darn cute and he thinks he's huge. It just makes me melt!


Just in case you were wondering, we are pretty much never using the potty. He wants to, believe me...but I think its mostly used to stall on something else (bedtime) and to earn jelly beans. He is SO not ready!

Cooper's got quite the arm and loves playing baseball, golf and basketball. He loves swimming and is enjoying sticking his head under water to search for diving toys. It's so cute because he looks like a duck with his buns in the air just floating around. I am so thankful the pool incident last week hasn't scarred him!

Although you wouldn't first think so, Cooper is really sensitive and has started crying when being disciplined. He's a loud little sucker, he screams lots, but if you look close he's on the verge of tears as he yelling. He's such a softy trying to pretend to be a big man. I think it's just part of having a big brother (and being 2)...you learn to talk in yells and that your screams can make just about anyone back off.


Cooper is a great helper with picking up toys, helping set the table, clear his plate and water the yard. He loves having responsibilities (most of the time).

I love this picture! I have one just like it when Laura crawled into my crib one morning before my mom made it in the room! Owen jumped in her crib quicker than I could believe. Cooper was straddling the rail when I came in the room. I let him get in for the picture! They love her so much!

Cooper, I love every inch of you. You know I can't quit kissing you and playing with your hair. I love to tickle you and hear that priceless giggle. I love the way you adore Owen and Sadie and how you hate to be left alone. I love the way you eat Popsicles and they cover your tummy as they melt. I enjoy watching you learn how to be a young man and see what wonderful manners you have. You told your daddy "thank you for mowing the lawn" about 10 times on Saturday. The sound of your voice just makes me smile as you say such big boy things but you can't say your "R's" quite right.
I love every part of your story because it reminds me of what a miracle you are in our life...I praise God for choosing me to be your mommy.


Here is Coop singing one of his favorites...you'll have to turn it up. I didn't realize he had a "quiet" setting, but apparently he does!

video

Monday, June 8, 2009

Happy Anniversary sweets

**You'll have to excuse my picture choices. Our computer is giving us fits and I can't scan the pictures in that I really wanted to use. So, these will have to do!**

Today is Blake and I's 7th wedding anniversary!

What a wonderful day to remember. I cannot believe it's already been 7 years!

We were able to go to dinner with Little Miss on Saturday night and celebrate.


Blake and I are very fortunate to have wonderful examples in our parents of what marriage can look like when you are committed not only to each other, but to God.

I never thought I could love Blake more than the day we got married. But it's amazing to see how just getting married and starting life together brings you that much closer!

Don't get me wrong, there have been ugly moments. I really don't believe any good and strong relationship (marriage or not) can really be CLOSE without some conflict. But those moments have strengthened us and taught us so much and made us into what we are today.
I thank God for my marriage and how incredibly blessed we are to be best friends, even 14 years after we first started dating.
Thank you babe for making my dreams come true and for supporting me in everything I do.
And because I simply can't have a post that doesn't some how touch on adoption I have to share how adoption has changed my marriage in so many ways.
To watch my husband love our birth mothers and truly care for them, is indescribable and incredible. To see that he opened his heart to adoption when we were only 19 and fell in love with my ideas...priceless. This man is incredible.
I have often thought about the impact of a healthy marriage on adoptees. When children start to understand their adoption story and the promise we made to them to become their forever parents, it is only natural to see it as the same commitment we made before God when we married. We made a promise to each other in our hearts first, then we went to God and made a promise to Him to stay married. Then we made it legal and documented it. I changed my name and got my new identification with my new name.
The same is true in adoption.
When you adopt a child and your marriage falls apart, it is only natural for a child to wonder if their parents are going to change their minds about them too. I know I would question that if I were a child.
Not that healthy marriages are not important to every one of us and the foundation for our children, but when that fails in adoption it's that much more traumatic. I often think of when we promised their birth parents that we would become their parents, we also promised them that we'd stay happily married (of course that's not really written in, but they chose us as a couple). It's just another reason for us to focus on our marriage everyday and keep that relationship a priority above the rest!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Owie


This is what we call Owen sometimes. Owie or OT. Usually when we call him a nickname he reminds us that he prefers being called Owen.


This child could not be more like his daddy and that alone makes my heart skip a beat. I love how much he looks up to Blake.
He has said so many things lately that remind me he is no longer a baby. He's no longer really even a toddler. I ask him at least once daily to stop growing to which he giggles and reminds me he's "almost 4, then 5, then 6"!
The other day I was trying to fix dinner and the boys wanted to play on Starfall.com. I love that website and Owen is great at using the computer, but I still hesitate letting him on the computer when I am not watching. So I offered the unthinkable... a movie. He was quick to remind me that "movies and TV aren't good for your brain!" but he added, "like starfall is!" Oh, it stinks when your kids remind you of what you tell them all the time! I laughed and told him he was right!

Owen is wonderful with kids and is the best big brother I have ever seen (yes, I know...I am biased). He takes such good care of Sadie and reminds Cooper of the rules of our family. He is such a tender guy and when there's a tiff between him and Cooper he often cries that his "heart is broken" and quickly forgets what the fight was about.

Right now Owen has a new favorite book called the kissing hand. Let me just say it's a must have! It's about a little raccoon that has a hard time leaving his mommy for school. This couldn't speak more to Owen as he LOVES being with our family and HATES having to be separated for any reason at all (church, school, etc.). The book gives the wonderful idea that you kiss each others palm when you say good-bye. When you feel lonely during the day you put your hand to your cheek and let that kiss rush down your arm to your cheek and then to your heart. It's just incredible to see how much this helps Owen and how much he loves his kissing hand.


My mother-in-law actually gave Sadie the book for her Gotcha Day last month. She wrote the sweetest note to Sadie in the front about how in adoption you have one palm that is kissed by your forever mommy and the other is kissed by your birth mommy. Oh, that brought me to tears thinking about how much our sweet children long to be near their birth parents and to feel their kisses and their love. It reminded me that as much as they miss Blake and I when they are at school, there are many moments that they miss their first family. So, this book became so much more for our family as it can help with the grief and loss that adoption can cause to an adoptee.
Since Owen is our oldest and they tend to be the guinea pig of parenthood, we are learning so much about adoption through him. It's amazing to see how much he does love talking about his adoption, but in the quiet and intimacy of our home. He is very sensitive about talking about it in front of others. I believe it's nothing more than him just wanting to be like everyone else. He also does not like to be the center of attention or the topic of conversation.
So, pray for us as we are learning how to handle and field questions about our family in public. We don't want to walk around "on guard" but we also don't want to just keep answering people with their silly questions just because they are asking. Please pray that as their mother, and the one who is mostly with them when these questions come up, that I will remember I don't owe any answers, but I owe my children privacy and protection about their incredible story. That is my job as their mommy!
Owen is hearing and learning so much about how to handle these things just by listening to how I field them day to day. Sorry for the rambling...but this guy is getting so big and is so smart that this is what comes to mind when I think of him....protecting his heart and his story.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sadie's 9 months


Ugh, my heart has a hard time letting those words slip out of my mouth!



It simply cannot be true that she is already 9 months.
As much as I am enjoying all of the wonderful things that come with babies growing, I still can't believe our baby will soon be one!

So, here are the stats: 16 lbs 14 oz and 27.5 inches long
She is now walking while only holding one hand for support, crawling around (still a silly crawl if you ask me!) and smiling all of the time. She squeals and jumps if she gets a peak at her daddy or brothers...they thrill her to pieces. She still does not have one single tooth! It melts my heart to see that gummy grin!
Cooper has figured out that he can carry her. It's quite hilarious and precious at the same time! Given the last post on caution, you might be surprised we let him do it. But you should see him. He is so careful and when he sets her down he just sits himself so that she sits on him.


Owen is too nervous to carry her so he pulls on her legs to get her to move. We try and catch him doing this so that we can help him understand why this isn't a good idea. Poor thing, had she not been wearing diapers she'd have quite the rug burn on her bum. She certainly is given enough attention to last a lifetime!
We had a play date with Holden this week and it was a blast!