"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

Monday, March 28, 2011

Grrr...our computer bit the dust

So I won't be posting anymore until we are back home (11 days). This is coming from Blake's phone so I have no idea what I am doing! The last post was of pictures I had already uploaded before it crashed. Love you all!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How in the world?

Has it been 9 months since our pumpkin was born? Since our family was completed in an instant. Since we fell madly in love with this 5 lb bundle of joy...Not that any one of our children's stories is anymore miraculous than the other, but I'll never forget coming to terms with the fact that we would forever be a family of 5.And then things changing in an instant and here I am sporting my goofy grin. Oh how I love what God does in adoption.These are pictures that I will forever cherish...of my big babies loving on our newest addition.And I love how this one captures the joy in Cooper's heart...something that all of us felt! And none of us will ever forget how Sadie wouldn't share her "bebe" from the get go.

So today we thank the Lord for our beautiful blessing and sweet reminder that His timing is better than we could ever imagine.
I don't normally let her wear necklaces, don't worry...it just takes a lot to get her to sit for a pic. Like how she's naked...you know that's how we hang out most of the time.
This is how she responded when I started singing to her. She is such a happy baby. Oh and she was eating bananas and cereal, so that's pretty exciting too!She is clapping here, she loves peek-a-boo, patty cake, jumping and dancing. She is mimicking the kids and the sounds they make...it's hilarious. Tonight they were pretending to be wolves and no lie, sister did the same noise..we all cracked up. She loves to be sung to, play with my hair, pat your face, and she loves kisses (especially in her neck and armpit where she really gets to laughing). She loves her pacifier and her blankies and for her booty to be patted when she can't get to sleep.

She LOVES to swing, be outside, ride in her stroller (esp when her brothers push her fast) and to ride on her daddy's shoulders. She does not like however to be thrown in the air. She loves to see herself in the mirror and if you're not careful she'll come clear out of your arms with the sheer excitement of seeing herself.

Sweet Emery we love you and we are beyond blessed to call you a Shockley! Thank you for making our dreams come true...we all adore you!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Gah, Proverbs 31 Ministries...

“You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” (NIV) Galatians 5:13

I wanna get to these daily emails I get, but first you gotta see my babes. This is for you Cailey. This is actually the second take, he said, "Wait mom, don't send that one to her. Take another one." Oh my word he melts my heart. Then he asked me how in the world he was taller than the mountain!
On our walk today...can someone pinch me please?

Please note Cooper's super cool pose, he has always had fun poses for the camera hasn't he? I took like 6 pics here and his eyebrows were like this in every one!

Emery gives the BEST kisses. I mean they are fabulous, juicy, open mouthed kisses and she freaks out she gets so excited. She'll squish your cheeks and smoosh into you and shake her head back and forth. Its so great that you can't help but chuckle while she's making out with you. Here she is attacking Cooper; he's the only sibling that will let her do this.

Love, love, love this...look at how Sadie has her hand up Emme's shirt and Emery is playing with her hair. They are so affectionate. Thank you Jesus for giving these two one another.

Mercy...those smiles just make me mush.

Who is bigger??? They can actually wear the same size diaper!
Movie night!
Back to these emails I get...here is the verse again in The Message
"It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don't use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that's how freedom grows. For everything we know about God's Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That's an act of true freedom." Galatians 5:13
This was the verse for yesterday...and what the author shared hit me hard. It's like sitting in church and knowing that surely the pastor is speaking JUST to you that day. So God has used these email to speak to me lately. Read this that she shared...
Freedom is given so I can serve. Okay, Lord, so where do you want to free me so I can serve?
When I am free from ambition, I am free to serve with a joyful heart.

When I am free from selfishness, I am free from irritation.
When I am free from judgment, I am free to pray from a pure heart.

When I am free from expectation, I am free to enjoy whatever comes.
That is what I want to see –the Kingdom of God come in my life. Lord please tear me from anything that is keeping me from truly being free today. I know that this is the only way that I can be the mother and wife you've called me to be, and that my family needs me to be.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Obsessed with our curls...

I love how close the kids are in age. They all love doing the same thing and being together. Even when they fight, they still hate being separated. And look at sweet Emery using a big girl cup!!!

Sadie playing airplane with her baby. This girl ALWAYS has a baby with her. We had just played airplane when I caught her doing this...I love how different girls and boys are!

We took this just before Gigi headed home on Wednesday. Oh how we miss you already Gigi!

This is Emery playing peek-a-boo or as Sadie calls it peek-a-bye.

Look who kicked us outta our bed! Bless her heart, she's had a rough week of sleeping. I am praying this means we are getting a tooth...she is near 9 months and not even a nub! Although, I do adore that gummy smile!

Since we've been in Aspen, I've used most of my free time to learn more about the kids curls, particularly the girls. I have a great routine for the boys and it works. But the girls hair is really a lot different. Not all curls can be maintained the same way!
Some of my adoption buddies recommended some of their favorite hair care blogs and I have LOVED checking them out. Blake and I finally watched Good Hair and holy cow....it is hilarious and at the same time it was heavy. I found myself sad that our girls might think their curls aren't beautiful and perfect. We bought the movie off of Amazon for $4 so let me know if you want to borrow it! It really is a must see! I loved the part where Maya Angelou shared that for black women their hair is their glory.

I have to admit that I was getting nervous about Sadie's hair. Her hair seemed to be getting longer in lots of places, but I could still see her scalp throughout. I didn't have a good detangling routine and didn't know what I was doing either (besides being gentle and keeping her moisturized). I didn't feel like I could/should manipulate it much because I didn't want her to loose any hair.

Then there is Emery with tons o' hair. Their hair is very similar, Emery's is softer, but I think it will become more course as she hits one year. But she can't sit for long (or at all) so I can't really use her as my model ;o)
Braids, cornrows, twists, coils and locs...it all terrified me simply because it is unknown territory. Don't get me wrong, I can't wait until we have enough hair and are old enough to do those. But seeing some of these styles on these blogs completely overwhelmes me when I can't do a single braid! I am so thankful for these other blogger mama's that have taught me so much and I have hope that in time I will be there. While I know that at some point I will be taking the girls to have their hair done professionally, I do think it's a great bonding for me to know how to do their hair and get to spend that sweet time with them. I also think this is a huge part of me understanding African American culture, so learning this is very exciting for me.

Just in the last 6 weeks I can see big changes in Sadie's and Emery's hair. That alone has really helped boost my confidence. So I saw this on Happy Girl Hair and wanted to try it on Sadie. Well, her hair isn't long enough in the back....so I gave it a shot on Emery.

It's really just two puffs. The first puff makes puff bangs and the back one is just a huge puff held by tights tied in a knot. The tights are another idea I stole from Happy Girl Hair, and it's perfect because it doesn't pull on the hair and stress it. How cute is that pic of Sadie with her arm around Emme? She is such a sweet big sister!

I know some of you might have other blogs to share about naturally curly hair. Please comment if you want to share as I'd like to add them to my blog list.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Trusting Him

The fam was solemn today. We had to take Gigi to the airport and we were so sad to say good-bye. We've had so much fun. More than what we did this week, it was the meaningful time we all spent together. It was so good for my heart just having her here.

Little things said that I overheard like Owen telling her, "my mom is mean." And her saying sweetly, "Well, do you think I am mean?" He said, "No" in a gasp like it was an absurd question. She then informed him that when his daddy was 5 he thought she was a mean mommy.

She is beyond clever and I just wish I could soak up her gobs of wisdom. She has loads of patience. I felt like all week I had a sidekick to help with those moments when kids think their parents are awful...she just takes the sting away. She has a way of keeping kids in line where no one thinks they are being disciplined or kept in line. It's amazing. I just wish I could keep her in my pocket for those moments when I need a creative consequence or a surge of patience.
Painting with our bell pepper "stamp". So much fun...then the kids tasted the other half of the pepper. Not sure I got anyone hooked, but was proud of them for tasting it. We got to go to McDonalds for lunch after playing at the park! So fun!Cooper wanted his own pic with Emery. More fun at the park. This day we were there with all the nannies. It was a hoot.I love how he was closing his eyes. Owen now only has one pair of jeans left without holes in the knee. It's a classy look among the Aspen folk. Ha! I've tried to use patches and he only picks them off. Look close, she has a HUGE smile!
Gigi took the kids to the bakery at the citymarket and let them "build a cupcake"! It was so much fun!

Whoops! Did you see that coming? I love this pic of Cooper below.

As we were driving to the airport, Gigi and I were talking about how God prepares our hearts and always has great purpose and plans. Then I came home and read this from Proverbs 31 ministries:

What has God given you that you need to take hold of—even if it doesn't look
like it from where you're standing? A job in an unstable market? A dream
He's whispered to your heart? Can you move forward in worship and trust,
counting on the fact that it has been given to you already? Focusing on what
lies ahead and not what's happening now? It's already happened. Are you living
like it has?

I am realizing how little I have been trusting in God with my life. I've questioned why our house hasn't sold instead of realizing the HUGE blessing that it hasn't: I get to go HOME in 23 sleepies. Sleep in my own bed. My kids routines will return to normal. Owen can go back to school with his friends. Endless blessings, and I was sitting in a puddle of "poor me", I have to prepare my house for showings again blah blah blah. I've questioned why we were stuffed in this teensy apartment instead of living like God planned this: I am so ready to be home and show my house!!!

Blake has a stable job, and one for next year and we are working on one for after fellowship and beyond. How could I not be rejoicing in this blessing!?!? Seriously.

Thank you Gigi for giving us such a wonderful gift of quality time. Thank you for all that you teach all 6 of us and for the deep and intentional ways you love on us. Thank you for reminding me of God's purpose in every aspect of our life, even the uncomfortable ones.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A day with my boys

What a wonderful gift Gigi gave us when she played with the girls all day so we could take the boys skiing. We had so much fun (and only a handful of meltdowns!).
It was the perfect weather to ski. We had some snow last night and early this morning and then it was sunny!

Getting ready to head out for our first run. I adore having 4 kiddos, but one down side is that I don't often get to just hang out with 2 of them for a day. It was a blast having so much down time on the lifts to just talk with my boys!
Look how beautiful our trees looked this morning as we left! Isn't our God amazing?

Cooper took this on the top of the mountain. He was so cute because he took one pic then told me he needed to take another because I was looking the wrong way...that made Blake and I laugh (see pic) then he said, "Did it flash?" As if he should take a third. There is a small chance I take too many pictures ;o)
Look at that view! Both of the handsome dudes I was skiing with and the GORGEOUS sky and mountains!
A little snack on the lift.

How adorable is he in underarmor. My goodness I love this kid!

This is Cooper skiing!!! We are SO proud of him because he has really worked hard to get here. You might be able to hear the excitement in my voice...not sure though.

Owen is skiing like a natural. He says he is ready for poles. He loved this half pipe on the bunny slope and I am pretty sure we set some kind of record for # runs on the same slope.