"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, August 30, 2011

In This House...

Lately, I've been begging God more than usual to break me, use me, hold my tongue, fill me with patience and energy, understanding and compassion.

We've had more than enough transitions to drive anyone to the brink of insanity. It's taken a toll on our sweet children. Mercy, that's hard to swallow as a parent. My heart breaks as they cry for things to return to normal.

Sadie literally screamed and cried to go see her Papa Max when she was looking through a picture book and saw Camp Noonie-Papa pics. She just kept saying, "I'na see my PAPA!!!" And "Go right dare mommy, turn dare" while pointing to their driveway in the picture. It killed me, and she simply can't understand.

I know they will be fine. I know they are young and resilient. But it's still hard to watch your child go through this. And this time is a journey that I know can draw me closer to Jesus, and I pray that our children see that in us.

People ask me daily how I keep up with all 4 (as if it hasn't been done before?) and I usually laugh and say, "Jesus and coffee make me a good mommy!" I need a sign that says that, huh? And then I saw this...

Monday, August 29, 2011


My goodness. It's unreal how busy things are when you have kids in school. I know. I know. You all warned me. I can hear my sisters snickering in love. Yep. You told me so.

I wanna blog about so many things. But I just can't. I gotta love on my babies and keep this place picked up. I would say clean, but I am just being honest here ;o)

Blake and I celebrated our date-aversary on Friday! We have officially been in love more than half our lives! How blessed are we that we started dating when we were hardly 16!
These pictures are from our play date with the Gerdes family last weekend. We had SO much fun and I can say this relationship was totally a God thing...Lindsey and I met first on the world wide web. Crazy, huh? I know. We are bloggy friends. It's an amazing story about how a mom from south Texas and one from Oklahoma both ended up in Atlanta sharing a passion for adoption! See, God uses the Internet, blogs and facebook to show us His love! We had SUCH a blast together and it was just what my heart needed as I've been missing my girlies back home!
My guys are totally obsessed with her son Jackson! The kids had so much fun playing at chik-fil-a...aren't these pictures funny? I am sure Chik-fil-a was glad to see us leave!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


There are so many snapshots in my mind that I think, "I wish Danny could see her." I truly believe that our children's birth parents will forever be a huge part of our lives, regardless of how often we see them...they are always on our mind and in our hearts. And we are missing them so much while we are away.

Last night I was putting this punkin to bed and just had to take a pic for her birth parents. She LOVES her blankies and paci. And don't you worry, she'll ditch that sleep cap as soon as I walk out of her room!

Emery's twists. I think this is day 2, but I can't remember. I love how Sadie and Emme interact nowadays. They are so fun to watch. (side note: Emme's twists lasted 5 days and Sadie's 8! They were fuzzilicious, but I was so excited how long they stayed in! We are embracing the fuzz, but also want to make sure our hair looks "fancy" as Owen calls it! The boys loved the twists)

Do you see right between those two sections where her hair is growing back? Hee hee
Another lil glimpse of everyday life I want to share with our first families. This is our daily stop...the park. This park happens to be smack dab in the middle of Owen's and Cooper's schools. There are tennis courts, covered picnic tables, big shade trees, and CLEAN potties! And evidently everyone in this small community brings their yard toys here instead of tossing them. It's awesome because we couldn't bring any of this stuff with us from Oklahoma!There are scooters, push toys, kitchens, ride on toys, play lawn mowers, bikes and new stuff appears every week. What a fun idea!

We have almost an hour every morning to play here before Coop's school starts. Aren't we blessed??? Today we had 2 play dates here, so the girls and I were at this park for about 4.5 hours playing here today. I smell like a 4th grader!

They love the sandbox the most!

Awww. Makes me so proud. Sisterly love! Poor baby girl!

Monday, August 22, 2011


At least once a day, but typically several times a day I hear, "Boy do you have your hands full."

The only reason I get annoyed is because of the tone in which MOST people say it. It sounds as if my children are some kind of burden to me. I realize that might not be one's intention when saying it...but I just think we need to be careful the things we say repeatedly in front of our kids...

Anywho, my usual response is a smile and, "I am really blessed, huh?" or "We prayed forever for these guys!" or "Aren't I the luckiest mom on earth?" But what I heard this afternoon made me giggle at all those times I've heard that statement.
I was helping Owen with homework after school today and heard this from Sadie who unbeknownst to me was in the bathroom, "MOM!!! Baby's playin my poop!" OH glory. Please say it's not so.
I ran into the bathroom and there she was, sure enough...hands in the potty splashin away.

I am so bummed this last pic came out fuzzy. Emery is a hoot with her expressions. This is her silly face and she knows it totally cracks us up!

So in case anyone is wondering today...4 is perfect for us! Our quiver is full. Our cup runneth over. Happy as clams.

"Don't you see that children are God's best gift? The fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior's fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children! Your enemies don't stand a chance against you; you'll sweep them right off your doorstep." Psalm 127:5

I pray that our children always feel that they bless us daily, even when they are covered in poop!

Friday, August 19, 2011

More hair fun!

By Thursday of this week our hair was in desperate need of some change. I am realizing now (I know, I should've caught on earlier) why protective styles are necessary. So I've been giving myself pep talks and gearing up for some different styles.

Now. I am not posting these pics to brag on what I've done. Because you will see that I'm not too talented here, BUT if I don't post these I won't remember where I came from. I also have to say that this was not easy for me. One row into Sadie's hair and I was sweating and talking myself out of cornrows, wanting to take it down.

Part of my job as their mommy is to learn, be patient with myself and enjoy taking care of their hair. So, here I am in the beginning. Most white people will think these are fabulous, but anyone with chocolate curls can see from a block away that I don't quite have this down. That's OK...we gotta start somewhere...and I just pray that they are young enough that I am not scarring them from embarrassment. I want them to love their hair and feel good about how we fix it.

I did two sections attempting cornrows and just couldn't swing it. Sadie's hair is just not long enough and her curl pattern is tighter than Emery's. So I moved to double rope flat twists...I felt safer there! It made me feel better when a brown mama from Owen's school whom we've come to know told me this day to keep doing twists on her for now until her hair grew out. Phew. It's not just me.

From start to finish this took me an hour. She did really well, but about 30 minutes in needed a stretch break. I think we'll start saving TV and movies for hair time. She was totally loving Sesame Street while I did this.

A couple days ago I shared that I finally did my first cornrow. I've been trying and practicing a while on Sadie, but could never do it. I finally decided to try a small section on Emme. Again, not great...but I did it!!! It's holding up OK after a couple of days, but more than anything it's going to be amazing how much of a difference it makes to not manipulate her hair so much. I also put some satin scarves in the girls car seats finally since we're in the car more lately! Every little thing should make a difference.

Awww!!! My sweet Emery with her flirty gappy toothed smile.

She is so much fun!

After a couple of days, they are getting fuzzy but I think we can go another day before fixing them for church Sunday!

Sadie afterwards! I also have to brag, she has been wearing undies for 10 days. Lots of accidents, but huge progress! She'll be 3 in 2 weeks so its about time!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Happy 6th Birthday Owen!

Oh my word...I miss these days when he used to snuggle me so! Not that I don't enjoy the toots and belly laughs of my now 6 year old though! Oh my gosh...look at him. Such a heart breaker already, huh?

This is one of my all time favorite pictures. I love how real those smiles are. These two could not be more alike. I know I have said it before, but it's almost weird how much they are like each other.

And now he is 6! How did that happen?
Our precious families had sent packages with his wrapped gifts last week. So when he woke up (at 6 am!) he had a table full of gifts and balloons. He gave some to Cooper and Sadie to open...he is sooo sweet.

I love my "job"! I got to take cupcakes to school today for Owen's class. It was so much fun to get to see the kids that he talks about all the time "his very best friend ever". His friends were so sweet. Several of them told me they wanted to come to our party too! Ha...whoops. We already had the party kids.

At 7:15 this morning on our walk to school. Poor Emery always gets plucked straight out of bed to walk with us. She is always so chipper about it though.

Owen, buddy. You're heart is gold. You live life with a sensitive old soul yet the energy of a spider monkey. When you get excited, you can hardly contain yourself...and you don't. You bounce off the furniture and let our your voice box rattle. That reminds me of myself. I often joke we need to build a house with foam floors and mattress covered walls and you'd be in heaven. YOU ARE ALL BOY. Until you dawn your sisters' dress up clothes and that's just about the funniest thing ever. You'll kill me one day for sharing that. But at least I don't have pictures!

It's so fun to watch you grow up into a young man and experience life with you. What an honor to be your mom. I pray that you see and feel the love of Jesus through your daddy and I. In this last month I have so felt a huge gap between the mom I want to be for you, and that which I am. I have so many moments when I feel I am letting you down. Then I remember that the best mommy I can be for you, is only when I let God stretch his arms across that gap of my deficiencies. Thank you Jesus for using me just as I am. Happy birthday pumpkin!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011


Oh, my dream come true!

Blake unexpectedly got the day off on Sunday. And like any good church-going-Jesus-lovin' girl, I immediately start scheming how we can sneak off early and head to the beach. E-hem.

Bless my Lovey's heart. He had a big weekend. He worked the Falcons game on Friday night, got home at 12:30 am. Got up and worked the Georgia Tech practice Saturday morning, came home and picked up the boys and took them to the PGA championship. Then I start bugging him about the beach. Dadgum.

Like any smart man, he obliged knowing that this might be our only chance til next spring that we could do this. So we headed out at 7:30 and got to Savannah right at 11:30, and to the beach at noon!

This town was just as I always heard it was and I was the goofy Oklahoman taking pictures out the window.
Seriously...we were SO excited to get in the water!!! The kids did great on the drive.

We were there for 3 hours and they loved every minute. It was non-stop running, jumping, squealing, splashing, digging, hunting, building and swimming. The only tear shed the whole time was when we would have to pull Emme out of the water. She thinks she's a fish. ;o) That's a miracle for our crew. It.was.magical.

Cooper hunting for shells.

Our little fishy. She was seriously the hardest one to watch because she wanted to jump into the waves just like the big kids.

I took 150+ pictures in 3 hours! 99% of them have Sadie sporting a huge grin.

Building together...

Stopping for a little snack.

I told him I needed more pictures of him. He said, "this will work" and just stayed like this.

Showing me another shell

Sadie wanted to go in to jump into the waves. I was surprised how much she loved the waves.

We went to Tybee Island, which is actually the closest beach to get to from Atlanta. It was totally a shot in the dark because we just googled it. For all we knew, we could've shown up to a beach full of rocks. Thank you Jesus that it was just what we were looking for!

Can you imagine how much sand we brought home?

Pretty sure she's trying it out.

We were there for about 5 minutes and saw 5 dolphins. The boys saw them, but Sadie was totally unimpressed. Do you see them?

I love this picture because it has all 4 kids, and look at one of the boys as they get into the ocean. Too cool! Priceless.

Owen first time in the ocean!

Sadie first checking things outAnd in perfect timing, a storm came in and cleared the beach. We had wanted to head home around 3:30 and had no clue how to break it to the kids. The thunder and lightening did the trick! And it was beautiful to watch, hear, smell and feel it coming in!

It started pouring when we were about 50 feet from the car! Nice way to get some sand off!