"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

Friday, March 30, 2012

Filling My Bucket

Not sure how many have read the book the Five Love Languages, but one thing they talk about is filling others love bucket. I often think about how well I do this for Blake and the kids...as well as others in my life.

This past Wednesday my parents drove from Oklahoma to see us. They asked us months ago to arrange for a sitter to watch the kids so that we could have dinner together. I can't tell you how much fun it was to hang out with the two of them. We were at dinner for over 2 hours just sitting outside in the beautiful spring weather eating drinking and catching up. Man, I can't wait live next to these two!

Then Thursday morning they got up at 5 to get Dunkin Donuts for the kids and be at their bedside BEFORE they woke up!! Thursday was Owen's Gotcha Day and donuts is our tradition! To say they were all on cloud 9 would be an understatement. It took quite sometime for them to stop screaming.

We have just hung out and played and eaten yummy food and enjoyed being together. Today we brought them to Stone Mountain Park and hiked and at putt putt and ride the train. It's been an incredible dose of love for my bucket.

Gosh. I pray I can make my kids feel loved the way I feel it from my parents. And I hope my parents feel as loved as I do. Enjoy the pics...oh, and as an update to the last post, the girls and I baked some goodies for the receptionists at the doctors office and wrote out the same note for them. They loved the surprise and I hope they understood my heart in the note.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Dear Receptionists,

I want to thank you for your smiles as I checked into your office this morning. You have no idea how I anticipated your reaction to me and my children. Thank you for telling me how beautiful my daughters are. What you don't know is that this week has been full of unsolicited disrespectful parenting advice from black women in random stores. Oh how we needed your warm reception of us. Thank you for telling me you love their hair and that I do a good job taking care of their curls. What you don't know is that this does just as much for my girls to be accepted by other African Americans as it does for their white mama. You could've just as easily just stared at us and talked about us when we left...but you didn't. You had the heart to talk to me about this rather taboo topic... white parents raising black children. I need you to know how you fed my soul today.

In this sinful world where young black boys are being murdered and their killers claim self defense and walk, and where black people are rude to me because they disapprove...I cannot help but constantly plead that Jesus carry us through. I live for Jesus alone. I don't have to worry about others approval...but I sure do want it for my kids. Sweet receptionists, I need you to know that your smiles, gentle hearts and encouraging words gave me great hope that we in fact are moving forward.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hair we go loopty loo!

If you cannot tell I am OBSESSED with these curls. Well the boys' curls too, but they don't let me take pictures of them ;) This was my first attempt at yarn extensions. They are holding great in Sadie's hair. They improved Emery's hold too, but she just doesn't hold a style as well as Sadie. I think it's that she doesn't keep her sleep cap on plus spends more time on her head! She also seems to be more sensitive to the pull of a style. I don't twist tightly, in fact its kinda hard to get a twist as tight as a cornrow, but she still got bumps at her hairline after 2 days.

Please excuse Emery's messy face. Evidently she ate the playdough I thought she was playing with! Doesn't it look cute though? Her first single ponytail! She looks so much older too. And as if I needed one more reminder that my baby is not a baby anymore...she slept in a big girl bed two nights ago. We decided to move her back to the crib because there is just no way she is big enough for a bed....right? I mean yes, all 3 of her older sibs moved by now. But she just looks so tiny! Ugh...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

We did it!

I am so proud of us for accomplishing this goal we've had for a long time!

It was much harder than we anticipated. The total elevation change on the coarse was 1407 ft. That's way more hills than this Oklahoma girl cares for!

Love you Laura and so thankful you made such huge effort to be here with me! And my sweet husband packed up all 4 babes to come cheer us on at the finish line.

So here are some pics from our first half marathon...we had fun people watching :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Foster Care Support

Tomorrow we have our home study. Even though we should be old pros at this, I am still finding myself a little nutso on cleaning high and lo.

Our foster family got a placement about two weeks ago. We got to meet the kids the next day at the park, and celebrate a birthday with them the following week.

Wanna know how cool God is? When asking the foster mama if I could bring them some food she informed me that the little fella had type 1 diabetes. Shut.the.front.door!

We both got a little teary as I told her that I too had type 1, since I was 9. Oh it was so cool to get to talk about and answer questions and encourage both her and him. And how wonderful for her to know that she can leave him with us without having to worry about his diabetes care. We both giggled that we've never been so glad I had diabetes!!!

Back home in Oklahoma the shelters in both of the major cities remain crowded. Kids are having to sleep in the DHS offices. But I have so much hope that change is coming for these kiddos. Churches are beginning to understand the pivotal role they could have here, in caring for children.

So as Blake and I read the discipline guidelines for foster care and see that biting is not appropriate (what the?) we realize how desperate help is needed. Help with anything.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Packing it in!

Well, ends up we have wonderful little travelers! Especially when they can watch movies the whole drive. Look at sweet Emery! Is she not breath taking? As soon as we got there...seems as if everyone did not want to be in the pic. You gotta just laugh!

Blake and I got quite the arm workout this trip from juggling the girls. I seriously have the sweetest husband and he's the best daddy! I love these pics of Emery...it's like she knew what was about to happen.The first ride! Owen wanted to do race cars so bad, and we thought surely the girls were too little. Nope...you only have to be 32" to ride along! I LOVE this one. We caught a parade and the guy asked who was at Disney for the first time. Look at my sweet boys sheepishly raising their hands. Awwww.

Sadie taking in the parade. It was like being front row at the circus!

The carousel...with the castle thingy in the background.

She is posing for me. When did she get so big?!?! Did I mention she is 3 1/2 now? Ugh. No baby no. Please don't grow.

My little cuddle bug....

She wanted to hug this lady...pretty sure she thought she looked like a princess ;)

Desperate to get a pic of all of us! Owen loved the roller coasters.

Their Gigi sent money for them to get a toy! There is a small chance we kept them out too late this night. This totally is not like us, our kids are in bed by 7 every night. They did really well considering its not their norm. Now, they might have cried the entire walk from hotel parking lot to their bed, but...

We told the boys to try and pull the sword out...and they were a bit heart broken they couldn't pull it out like the kid on the movie. This pumpkin was a complete daddy's girl the whole trip. One time she told me, "No. Not you mama. DADDY!!!" Mkay then. Day two our Papa Max gave the wonderful suggestion that we eat lots of ice cream. It's vacation! Why not!?!?

Swiss Family tree house! Cooper's favorite movie!


A little jungle safari ride...

Yahoo! We got to see Princess Tiana!

Best.dad.ever. It was SO hot and we were sweaty!

Owen did not want to be in the photo, so he got to take it!

My favorite part...the African Safari in Animal Kingdom! It was unreal!

We had to stop on our safari because the giraffes were walking on the road!Sadie thought it was stinky! A favorite ride for the kids, it was great there were rides we could all go on!

This one just breaks out dancing anywhere...with no music!

Their favorite part of Animal Kingdom? Touching the poop. Yep. That's real poop. It's been cooked and covered in lacquer, but they still thought it was awesome to hold it!

My lil guys went on that roller coaster!!! It scared the living daylights out of them, but they did it. They wanted to. And it was not the ride itself that got them scared...there was a monster in a cave. We hate monsters you all.

Waiting to get our tickets for the coaster!

They are SO sweet!

Dancing again!

How cute are they?

Not sure he'll ever understand how much this makes me love him more!!! Gosh I adore this guy. Winning his baby girl a carnival toy.

Look at her face! Priceless!

Your daddy loves you princess.

Princess Tiana again...same day another shot.

The water play was a HUGE hit. How great is this picture?

You would've thought they won the lottery! They were so hot that this was perfect play and cool down!

Hope you loved these as much as we do! We feel like the luckiest people alive to have had such precious time together. And hopefully loads of wonderful memories that none of us will quickly forget.