"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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

When Blake gets home he's got 3 little munchkins jumping on him! What a wonderful life! The boys got to watch the end of the OU football game together!

Not sure why she's putting her baby in the trash can? She sure does love her baby dolls!

Do you see those mini-puffs?!?! Are they not to die for?

Oh man, my heart is so full tonight. We have so many things to be thankful for that I am in awe.

We've almost been in Aspen for 3 weeks, and I can't believe I ever questioned if we could do this. It's been amazing to see how God worked all of this out. I've told Blake repeatedly how glad I am that we are here, it's so much more than I ever thought. Everything I worried about simply has not been an issue. God is so good!
I can't quit thinking about all that's happened this last year, and all that we anticipate in 2010!

Last year, we attended our first trans-racial workshop at Deaconess. It was life changing to say the least and sparked incredible conversation in my world. From that, came conversation and connections that led to the beginning of Chosen, our adoption ministry at our church! The workshop also led to Kaleidoscope Kids, our trans-racial adoption playgroup!

In February/March, Becki and I started talking about Cooper's Law...whoa...it's amazing to think about how God paved that path. Even though we don't know how it's all going to end, we do know that great change is coming in Oklahoma adoption law and it's so exciting for our family to be a part of this! Again, God is so good! From this we started the Promote Oklahoma Adoption blog!

What a packed year it's been! I could go on and on, but I will spare you! It was full of so many challenges and blessings at the same time! I can't wait to see what this next year holds!

In January and February, Blake will interview for fellowship positions and in April we will find out where we match and move for a year (August of 2011). It is such an exciting time for us to have a year long adventure for our family! So at the end of the year we should be getting our house ready to sell!

We are also praying that we will be blessed with another child this year! That's right...we are going for #4! While we know this process very well and we are so excited to see what God has in store for us; there are so many unknowns that if I let myself think about it, I'd go nuts! While we've been here I have been putting together our life book/profile book...it's so fun to get started again! Please pray for us in this that God will lead our family and our precious birth family.

Happy New Year to all of you! I pray that 2009 has blessed your family and strengthened your faith as it has mine! May 2010 stretch us all more!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Our Christmas celebration!

Well in our last post I talked about how Blake had been working lots, and I had shared about how we didn't really get to have a family Christmas celebration.
I didn't want to get my hopes up, but Blake told me that he saw something in the paper that he thought we might like. God is so good because even though Blake was on call yesterday, he got home around 4 0'clock! We loaded up and drove into town to ride the gondola up the mountain for dinner and dancing! The view of the mountain and city at night was simply breath taking. The boys were so excited they could hardly contain themselves. They had been dying to take the lift up the mountain and they couldn't believe the sights on the mountain. It's so cool to see life through the eyes of your children!
The boys look out the gondola.
Blake and the kids at the top of the mountain! Sadie wasn't really sure of the gondola, but part of it could have been that she couldn't see a darn thing!
Just watching the boys was enough to make Blake and I burst with joy! So we rode up, the guys let Sadie and I pick seats by the fire while they got our dinner. My sweet husband got me my favorite dinner and wine (what a treat!) and he got a steak and pizza for the kids. I know it's silly that I am telling you what we ate, but when you've been living with a stove and microwave we were gettin' hungry for our favorites!!!! Oh the simple things in life!

Of course, we got lots of people talking about our family and adorable kiddos. When Sadie was finished eating she got up and started shaking her booty. It's like she knows that people think she's a princess and even though she's quiet...she's very social and loves the stares!

We were desperate to get a picture of all of us ON the mountain so we asked the guy working the gondola. Oops, he got his finger in it! Oh well!
After we got to the bottom of the mountain, we walked to the shops in the snow. It was a nice beautiful sparkly snow! The boys found this Santa and since we really don't do Santa I made them stand here so that we could count this as our pic! It was a night I won't forget and I thank God for providing us the time to get away. Needless to say, someone decided to drink and go sledding at midnight last night so Blake had to go in to repair a femur fracture (ouch dude) at 1am. Isn't it selfish that I was just glad this didn't interupt our family time? I was...sorry hun!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Random updates

So, things are going well here. Blake has been working like mad these last 5 days so that's been a bit hard to adjust to. We'd been so spoiled for a while now! He still doesn't have to leave until around 7, so that means we get to see him every morning and have breakfast together which NEVER happens at home! He's usually up and gone between 5 and 6 at home, so again...we are loving this!

The kids and I don't have a lot going on because I still don't know how to get around town. Parking is nuts here and you have to pay to park most everywhere. I got lost heading to church on Christmas Eve and had to call Blake for help. This was after I had been to church before, and had directions from Blake and it was only 5 minutes from our apartment. UGH! Let's just say Aspen folk aren't the friendliest people in traffic! So needless to say, I have struggled to get the kids out into town! No wonder we aren't seeing any celebrities!

The kids seem to be adjusting incredibly well. The boys are constantly playing with trains and are loving all of the new Christmas toys to play with! They can't get enough of the snow and climbing. They keep asking if we can ski again, but we haven't figured out how to make it happen since Blake works this next weekend and then starts his interviews the following weekend. Bugger!

My sweet, Owen that still hates being in front of the camera! Owen has had a cool week. Since he was about 2 we found that he was having allergic reactions to nuts and dogs. We've never had him tested because we're just country like that and our ped. said it wasn't necessary. But he encouraged us to avoid and then re-expose him after age 3 or 4. Owen is very good at asking about everything new he is offered and if it has nuts. He even asks me! So, this week we asked him if he wanted to taste a peanut and see if he was still allergic (yes, we had benedryl on hand!). He had no response to a tiny taste, so 30 or so minutes later we gave him more. NOTHING! A couple of days later we offered him pecans. Again, nothing! We know this seems silly and simple, but we are so excited as Cooper, Sadie and I LOVE peanut butter and always feel like he's left out! Praise the Lord! The kid can eat PB&J!!!

Cooper has been using the potty so well! He's been doing it a while now, but I felt like I might jinx it if I blogged about it! He still wears diapers at night, but is wearing undies all day everyday now! Woo-hoo! He is IN LOVE with Polar Express and knows about all of the lines. Luckily we got the book for Christmas (thank you Gigi and Papa) so I feel a little better about reading the story than watching the movie! He sings and dances to all of the songs and my dad made us a kids Christmas CD before we left for Aspen that he LOVES! Again, would rather us sing songs than watch the movie!

Sadie has picked up a new love for sweeping. It's hilarious. The boys never really did this, so it's so cute to me! She hates it when she gets it stuck in a corner and can't move though! She is still a bean pole! She can't wear jeans because she's so long and lanky. We own one pair of jeans for her that hang on her diaper and are too short! Must be a rough life! Just to give you an idea of how skinny she is, she is almost 16 months old and wears a size 2 diaper. Even the off brand size 2 (Luvs, Comfort), not the really good ones (Pampers, Huggies)!!! She still doesn't talk! She babbles a ton and speaks in grunts and big toothy smiles! Oh yeah, and she still only has 6 teeth!
Sweet girl showing her painted nails! Not really she was playing peek-a-boo!
This is what we do when the boys are climbing the mountain in the cold snow Keely Beth! We paint nails, do hair and snuggle on the couch! Love you sweet Keely!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Fun with daddy

About every other day Blake has taken the boys up our little mountain here for some adventure.

They are usually out for 1-2 hours and at some point I wonder if they've all frozen into Popsicles!

The first few times, we forgot to put the camera in Blake's pocket...but not this last time!

It's amazing what this does for boys...exploring. They talk my ear off when they return as they relive the tales. They talk as if they've been hunting and camping for years.

What precious time this is for us!!!

As luck would have it, they hadn't seen any actual animals before, just tracks, poop and pee (of course that was just as exhilarating for the boys as the real animals!).

But this time, they saw around 8 deer! How cool!
They slid down rocks...

And watched the planes coming in and taking off...

They typically build and then destroy a snowman, but didn't this time!

At one point Blake said the snow was up to Cooper's chest!

Aren't these mountains breath-taking?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Christmas We'll Never Forget

I've learned so many things this Christmas.

This time in Aspen, even though it's only been two weeks, has grown me in so many ways.

I've learned that the simple life I thought I lived, really wasn't that simple.

I've learned that it's not really cramped to have 5 people in 500 square feet...we're quite comfy here.

I've learned how much my kids really are best friends. I keep telling them this, but they are actually living it out here!

Kids really do adjust well to change when they've been prayed over.

Our kids have not argued anymore than usual.

I've learned how to trust God in new ways with our family.

Yesterday, Blake was called in around 11 and didn't come home until 6:15, which meant we spent most of Christmas without our daddy.

Our plans for dinner didn't pan out as planned, so I ended up making chicken noodle soup on the stove. It made me sad that we didn't get to do anything big on Christmas. But then the fact that I got sad about the traditions of Christmas made me embarrassed. I had to constantly remind myself that Christmas was not about traditions...

The GREAT news is that we got to spend Christmas eve with Blake and we captured some cute pics of the kids Christmas day before Blake went in.
We let the boys stay up and watch Polar Express (we wanted to emphasize Jesus on Christmas eve!) and have popcorn and Hot Chocolate! Below is first thing Christmas morning before we let the kids open their stockings!

I very well might be the only mom who put whoopee cushions in her boys' stockings! They were a hit! Sadie LOVES cell phones and was tickled to get her own in her stocking! I love how easy it is to make kids smile!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve!

Good morning family! We had a surprise visit yesterday afternoon from Laura, the woman over the program at Aspen Orthopedic Associates that brought Blake here.
I had been hoping to get to meet her and thank her for all that she did for our whole family to come to Aspen with Blake.
As simple as our lives are now, and our living situation is...this woman did SO much more than she was required to do so that all 5 of us could be here.
And then yesterday, she came all the way out to our apartment to deliver us homemade fudge, a card of thanks, and a Christmas CD that she made for us!
Can you believe that? What a doll!

Of course, our boys were only wearing underoos...so that was a bit embarrassing! But I was dressed and Sadie still had her clothes on, and at least I had picked up the apartment during naps! This place gets trashed in the blink of an eye!

So I thought you might like these pictures of our sweet, dainty, teensy girl downing fudge. She LOVED it (um, so did her mama!). She even screamed at me when I took the box away from her. She had her mouth full as well as a piece in each hand....and she still screamed!

She's going in for more! Look at how happy Cooper is! Its amazing what a little chocolate will do for ya!

Look at those lips trying so hard to keep the fudge in! Hilarious!

Blake is working all day today, but we are praying he can meet us at church tonight for Christmas eve service @ 5!
I am not going to let it get to me that I might be alone tonight, so please pray that I can keep focused on Christ and that today and tomorrow are about Him drawing near to our family and our children.

The kids watching the snow fall yesterday. The flakes were huge and you could see them sparkle in the air. It was incredible!

These are the words I will focus on today:

Tears are falling, hearts are breaking

How we need to hear from God

You’ve been promised, we’ve been waiting

Welcome Holy Child Welcome Holy Child

Hope that you don’t mind our manger

How I wish we would have known

But long-awaited Holy Stranger

Make yourself at home

Please make yourself at home

Bring your peace into our violence

Bid our hungry souls be filled

Word now breaking Heaven’s silence

Welcome to our world

Welcome to our world

Fragile finger sent to heal us

Tender brow prepared for thorn

Tiny heart whose blood will save us

Unto us is born Unto us is born

So wrap our injured flesh around you

Breathe our air and walk our sod

Rob our sin and make us holy

Perfect Son of God Perfect Son of God

Welcome to our world!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How we play (lots of pics!!)

I thought these might provide a little giggle.

The boys have already watched this video 5 times and they think they are hilarious. Seriously...they were dying laughing at themselves.

Hope it tickles you too!

***Listen closely to the end of this one. I have a way of commanding my children's attention***
We enjoyed playing outside today for about an hour and I got some cute pics.

I love how in this one Cooper is protecting and leading Sadie.

She fell down and Owen is trying to help her up. Seriously, how blessed is this girl to have such wonderful big brothers to walk through life with her?
Several times a day I have to tell Cooper to give Sadie some space. He is OBSESSED with her!

And yes, I bribed them for these...but it was too cute!

We warmed up with hot cocoa. Yummers!

Cooper was upset that I wouldn't let him pour it into his water bottle. (He's so cute when he is pouting!)
We made ornaments today, and Sadie even colored. I love these of her!

Look at that sweet little head tilt. She was so into it. She's colored before, but done more eating of the crayons than really coloring!See ya! (That's the tree behind her head BTW...Blake thought I put beads in her hair when he saw it!)