Monday, July 30, 2012

O Happy Day

Oh my three babies.  I seriously thought when they grow up they would slow down... but NO they still have this much energy ALL the time.  It is hard to keep up but I have the best seat in the house watching these three grow up.  Love them!!

Twinkle Twinkle

Oh can you believe how darn cute she is?  I can't believe she is getting ready to enter Kindergarten already.  Love this little girl


Can you believe, three years ago today three little angels walked into our life.   When I was praying for God to bless Nate and I with children, I had not envisioned the craziness he had in store for us.  But while it has been seriously insane, it has been the BEST three years of my life.  It seems like just yesterday when I was sitting in the car not being able to contain my nervousness and excitement driving up to the city to see these three.  Nate kept telling me to not get my hopes up and to calm down, but he was as nervous as I was.  We drove up to meet some potential kids and from the moment we walked into the adoption agency, we knew.  Our family had just grown.  It was such a different experience from when Lil Miss was born and I heard her first cries.   The first glimpse we got of the three was Gigi.  I fell head over heels in love.  They sat her on my lap and I was smiling from ear to ear.  Nate tried to get her to play with a ball and to play with a stuffed animal.  He was so natural and I had never loved him more than that moment when he became a Dad. 

Three years ago we pulled up to the house where our kids were staying to take them "home".  It was our home but they didn't know it as home.  For all they knew these strange people were driving them away from the only people and place they had ever known.  We told them to call us "Lynn" and "Nate",  not mom and dad.  They had no clue what a mom and dad were.  We had to learn together how to become this family.   Moms and Dads who have done the parenting thing the easy way have no clue how hard the adoption process is.  After you wait and wait which seems like forever you then meet your children who might not want to come home with you, their new parents.  It is heart wrenching and traumatizing.  Bubba was really quiet and reserved the day we came to bring them home.  I remember coaxing him to swing with me and trying to talk to him about what we were going to do that day. 
"Nate and I would like to take you to our house today.   We have two puppies, Dodger and Archie, and they can't wait to play with a little boy like you.  We have a room all for you with teddy bears and John Deere tractors and lots of toys.  I know it is scary.  Do you know I get scared too?  But you know what?  I will hold your hand the whole time and we can be scared together."

We embarked on a journey that day.  The five of us on an adventure.  There were some tears, not all from the kids, some laughter, and some joyous moments.  And there were many many firsts.  We had our first supper -- which was a disaster.  I had bought everything at the grocery store that little kids would like.  Mac and Cheese, hot dogs, peanut butter and jelly, chicken nuggets, pizza, you name it I bought it.  Nate and I didn't eat one bite.  We were going back and forth cutting things up, making another thing Gigi wouldn't eat, blowing on the mac and cheese that was too hot.  It was the most exhausting meal I have ever sat through.  Luckily meals have gotten much easier over the years.

We had our first night together that night.  We started a routine for saying good night, prayers, tucking each other in and giving kisses good night.  Kisses at that time would probley have been frowned upon, but I remember telling the kids that when I was little my mommy gave me a kiss goodnight so I would sleep good. Would it be okay if I gave you a good night kiss on the forehead?  I didn't take anything for granted.  I cherished every moment.  We had prayed for years for God to bless us with our own children and he had answered our prayers.  I cried so many tears everytime my friends or or sister or sister in laws would have their own children.  Why was God not granting us with the one thing we want more than anything in the world?  What had we done wrong?  The answer is that these three angels were destined for us.  God knew we were supposed to be together and if that meant waiting for 5 years, going through 3 miscarriages, and getting down on our knees and praying then it was so worth it.

Three years ago, we layed in bed listening to our children talk through the baby monitor and it was surreal.  It wasn't how I pictured it in my head, but Nate and I both thought we were living in a dream.  It wasn't perfect.  Bubba did not want to sleep in his own room that we had gotten all ready for him, so we lugged the mattress off his bed and brought it into the girls room.  Gigi banged her head in the crib all night which sounded so awful and Rosie woke up about 2 in the morning and threw up everywhere.  Somewhere about 4 in the morning I asked Nate if this will get easier.  If we screwed up and we were cut out for this parenting stuff because it is sooooo hard.  He hugged me tightly and told me it would get easier and that as nervous and scared we felt.  The kids felt even worse. 

It's been pretty amazing.  I have learned alot about parenting.  What to do and what NOT to do.  What works and what doesn't.  I have made lots of mistakes and will probley continue to make them until the day I die.  I know you are amazed that I am not perfect, right? 
 My how much these three have grown!  Gigi (2 years)  Rosie (4 years) and Bubba (3 years)
 Last week the kids and I watched a few of our old family videos we took.  We laughed and giggled until I had tears in my eyes.  We watched and rewatched the video of Bubba running around with his bathing suit almost down past his knees.  We watched Rosie reading The Snowy Day to her brother and sister and we sang with Gigi as she sang Twinkle Twinkle in her little 2 year old voice which makes my heart melt.   We came across a video of the kids answering some questions I asked like "what is your favorite color?"  It gave me an idea of asking the kids some questions now....
Here is Rosie's answers to a few questions as her 7 year old self now.

When you grow up what do you want to be?  a designer

What is your favorite color?  pink and black

What is your favorite thing to do?  crafts and activities

What does your mommy say to you?  "you're the best"

What does your mommy like to do? 

What is the yuckiest thing you've ever eaten?  vegetable lasagna (my butternut squash and brussel sprout lasagna that Nate hated and won't let me forget)

What does your daddy do for work? he goes to work and bosses people around who do designs (to clarify -- Nate had just a discussion the night before of who is the boss in the house and when they go to school the teacher is the boss.... Nate doesn't actually boss people around except me!!)

What is your daddy's favorite food?  ice cream

How do you know your mommy and daddy love you?  they give me hugs and kisses

Bubba's answers:
When you grow up what do you want to be?   a basketball player

What is your favorite color?  pink (yes this is actually his favorite color lately might have to do with being surrounded by pink everyday)

What is your favorite thing to do?  practice basketball

What does your mommy say to you?  No Hitting!

What does your mommy like to do?  be alone -- um, occasionally yes I do like my peace and quiet

What is the yuckiest thing you've ever eaten?  ketchup

What does your daddy do for work?  he goes to work in the morning and makes Humongous tractors

What is your daddy's favorite food?  rice  (that is totally random and nate doesn't know why he said that?)

How do you know your mommy and daddy love you?  they tuck me in bed at night
{seriously look at our chunky monkey}
Gigi's answers
When you grow up what do you want to be? a fireman

What is your favorite color?  pink and purple

What is your favorite thing to do?  puzzles

What does your mommy say to you?  "I love you"

What does your mommy like to do?  sewing

What is the yuckiest thing you've ever eaten?  peanut butter

What does your daddy do for work?  he works on green tractors

What is your daddy's favorite food?  ice cream

How do you know your mommy and daddy love you?  you tell me

I can now look back at these answers 3, 6, 15 years from now and remeber them at this moment.  My babies -- because they will always be my babies. 

 I prayed for this child, and the
LORD has granted me what I

asked of him.---1 Samuel 1:27

For those of you out there who are struggling with infertility and are distraught and giving up hope.  Hope is not lost.  Look at us.  Our family may have not been created the way others have been but it is our family and I wouldn't change it for the world.  Fear not that your prayers may be answered it just may be that you wait a little longer or that those children come in a different way.  It doesn't matter that my children weren't born out of my womb they were born in my heart and I think that makes it mean even more.  So today we celebrate our Gotcha Day.  The day three years ago that our three oldest children walked into our lives.... we got triple blessed!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Growing Girls

Here is my girls.  Oh I love them to pieces. 
True, they do make me want to pull my hair out sometimes
but I wouldn't trade it for the world.  Plus I have plenty of hair! 
Nate is adjusting to having 3 girls.  They are definitely making his hair turn gray
with all the things girls do to their daddies.  
Lil Miss knows how to get her way from her daddy.  She gives
him that look and you can't do anything but smile.
It is hard in this day and age to keep your girls "young".  They want to
grow up so fast.  Rosie at 7 years old seems like she is going on 17. 
All I want to do is keep them in a bubble and protect them from
all the nastiness out there in the world... 
The Peer Pressures
The Bullies
The Unkindness in People's Hearts
The Scariness of it ALL
It is almost to hard to compete against as a parent. 

My kids are pretty sheltered from outside influences of media. 
We limit their TV watching to PBS, Disney Channel (by DVR) or netflix movies. 
So they don't really watch commercials to see the latest and greatest toys.
They have no clue what movies are coming out or what toy is the hottest item 
unless their friends all have them.  But hard as I try, the girls still want
to be just like their friends.  I remember that feeling.  I wasn't a little girl who
was very sure of herself.  I didn't love myself. 
I wanted to be someone different. 
So, when my daughter comes home saying she hates her hair,
or wishes she wasn't so tall, or wants to be anybody but her self, my heart aches.

I want her to love herself and be confident in who SHE is. 
Rosie is a people pleaser thru and thru.  She will do anything to make someone else
like her.  (I know a little bit about how that is)  She would come home from school and tell me she needed to bring ALL her silly bands to school the next day because so and so said she would be her friend if she gave them to her.  Oh, Rosie, you don't have to buy friendship. 
You just have to be you.

I am writing this blog to remind myself that everyday
I need to tell her that God made her perfect just the way she is.
She is unique and made for great things.
And I want you to tell your children that.  Don't let them forget that they are
loved just the way they are.   I am trying to be Rosie's (and all my girls)
biggest cheerleader.  This also comes with the knowledge that you need
to be their biggest supporter in whatever they want to do
and try not to push them into what you "want" them to do.  I catch myself saying
"oh you don't want to really do that do you?" when they pick an activity
I question, like cheerleading.  (I am not a girly girl who was full of spirit and energy like Rosie but she makes a good cheerleader)
I want to mold them in a good way not mold them into what I want
them to be, but what they are meant to be. 

I have alot of work to do on becoming the mom I want to be
to my little girls, but I really am trying to let them be their genuine selves. 
I need to work on this myself.  Someday I hope they see what I see and
aren't afraid to be who they are.  I need to look in the mirror somedays and
remind myself that I am my own person and not the person down the street.
With all my faults and all my flaws (so few!) I am me.

With school coming so soon I am trying to instill this teaching in the girls
everyday so they can go to school confident.  I am sure we will have days where they
come home from school and fling their backpack on the floor wallowing in self pity saying
"I wish __________"
But I will try to remind them over and over that God made them they way they are.

Tell your children today
You are unique.  When God made you he broke the mold.  You won't find two people in the world that have the same footprint, fingerprint or voice. Why did God make you different than everyone else in the world?  Because you are special and he wants you to know how much you are loved. You are one of a kind. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Camp Friends and Marshmallows

I am writing this after having all 6 loads of laundry out of the wash and all but the last load folded.  Woohoo.  And that was my day and how was yours?  No really.  We pulled in last night after camping with some good friends at Lake Red Rock this past weekend.  Oh, how I miss them all already.  It was such a good time catching up and making new memories.  This was the first time camping with the old gang since we have had kids.  It was definitely a different experience. 
Instead of beer and cornhole, we had juice boxes and playdoh.  This was the longest we had driven in the camper to date also.  We had a 2 1/2 hour trip to lake Red Rock and we made it without any problems.  The whole getting gas while we have the camper hooked up is a bit of a scary thing for Nate and I so we avoided that again by keeping it under the 4 hour thresehold.  Wait til next weekend... I will be crossing our fingers til then. 
We passed the time in the truck with singing, cloud watching and traffic safety bingo.  Daddy couldn't stand our singing so he found his own entertainment.
{our fearless leader}
Nate is getting so good at driving and maneuvering the truck with the camper attached that it only took him one try at backing it up into our campsite.  He looked like a pro.  So proud of my honey... the better he gets the less he yells at me for not giving the right hand signals when backing up.  Somehow it is always my fault.
Saturday morning Nate and I enjoyed coffee outside while the kids played indoors.  It was heaven!  That's how everyday should start.  Late that morning we headed out to the Lake on our friend Chaney's boat.  We were out there most of the day and the kids did great!  Lil Miss floated in the water for a couple of hours without too much complaint.  This momma has not one picture of the boat or on the beach the next day.  Unlike me, I forgot my camera BOTH times.  So just imagine the kids splashing in the water and jumping off the boat to see who could make the biggest splash.  There were lots of smiles. It was so great seeing all of our Ottumwa friends.  The kids got along very well at the campsite and there was no fighting among the adults either.. except if you count Nate wanting to slap me because I was shining the flashlight in his face.  But that was just fun!! 
 {smile Chaney}
 {everybody pitched in around the campsite}
 {lots of little feet running around the camp}
 FYI --- if Nate asks you if you want to help cut the potatoes run the other way.  Poor Todd was cutting the potatoes forever! 
 The only thing that kept this one preoccupied for more than 5 minutes was playdoh.  She sat there for the longest time playing.  So sweet.  Then she would turn into Godzilla wrecking havoc on the entire campsite.  What are we going to do?  :-)
 It was a great time and we promise to do it again soon.  We will keep in touch until then though... like these two boys.  Oh, what would we do with out cell phones?   3 more days until the next camping trip.  I need to go to the store and stock up on more sunscreen....

Let your imagination Fly!

My Husband would say I have an overactive imagination.  Growing up I vividly remember creating wild stories in my head and almost believing it was happening.  Like when I would wake up in the middle of the night and shout for "Mom" because there was crocodiles on my floor and if I stuck my foot on the ground they would chomp it off.  Trust me, I could see the crocodiles slithering on the ground just waiting for me.  Or when we would play in the clubhouse in the woods and I would pretend my sister and I were in the jungle and I could hear the hyenas in the woods.  Yep, that's my overactive imagination.  I also dream BIG.  I mean I just started dabbling in blogging and sewing... but in my head I see myself as this ever popular blogger where everyone knows who I am and come up to me and recognize me from my insightful blog posts.  Of course I am dreaming big....because I rarely write insightful blog posts.  But someday I will be able to sit down for more than 5 minutes without interruptions and pour my heart out about the complexitites of raising children and how good of a job I am doing at it.  Yeah, right in my dreams!  LOL  For right now I just get to brag about how cute and funny my kids are! 

It has never been hard for me to create things.  I can see brilliant masterpieces out of a pile of popsicle sticks and a bottle of Elmer's glue.  Give me some glitter, pinecones, some evergreen branches, and one lonely piece of garland and I can create a table centerpiece worthy of a fancy christmas party. I think that is what helps me sew and make crafts because I can see it in my head before I create something.  It isn't always as perfect or pretty as I imagine it, but at least you can see what it is.  Everyone is created differently though.  I see this in my own kids.  Rosie has no imagination.  She struggles when it comes to playing pretend or what to draw without being told. 

Last week we went to the local Family Museum and they had a modeling clay workshop.  The kids were given some modeling clay and told to "create something".  Lil Miss quickly taste tested the stuff and deemed it inedible.  I guess she thought it was candy or something.  Glorianna started squishing all the colors together and making pancakes, Bubba used his hands to make a ball, and Rosie just held the clay in her hands and looked up at me and asked "what do you want me to make?".  I told her to use her imagination and make whatever you want.  She porceeded to get upset and tell me "No, just tell me to make something!".  I told her to make a spaceship, puppy, or a bird -- just a few of things that popped into my mind at that moment.  She was not happy with any of my suggestions because she couldn't make them.  I then thought I would just show her you could mold it into ANYTHING.  I grabbed the yellow clay and rolled it in my fingers and it was like a rolling image ran in my head til the handle was pulled and an image of a king cobra popped in my head.  I got it!  So smushing a little clay in between my fingers and a little manuevering here and there something started to become the finished project....
Not to bad if I do say so for my self.  Gigi in the mean time had blended all the colors together and flattened them into a long oblong pancake that resembled a foot... a few extra pieces and we had ourselves a flip flop!
I was a very proud momma at that moment.  Bubba was still rolling his white and blue clay into balls.  When I looked again he had his own little scene.  A penguin kicking a soccer ball!  Yeah Bubba for letting your imagination go wild. 
Then we have Rosie who is sitting there sulking because she doesn't like any of the ideas I give her for her piece of clay.  A flower, no.  A giraffe (my favorite animal), no.  A tiara, no.  The list goes on and on.  Finally she got so frustrated she pounded her clay on the plate and I exclaimed,  "OH, Rosie you made a Sun!"  The blob had radiating spikes out of it and somewhat resembled a sun.  So after 20 minutes we had made at least something.  Using her imagination just doesn't come easy for her.  When the three oldest came into our lives, none of them really had much imagination.  Playing "house" was inconcievable.  They weren't really good at role playing and had to learn that from scratch.  Over the years, Gigi and Bubba have gotten really good at pretending and playing house and dress up and role playing.  It's amazing how far they have come.  But Rosie has never caught on.  If I suggest something to her, then she can play.  But for her to just suggest "let's play doctor" would be WAY out of character.  My question is.... is your imagination something that can grow over time, or are some people just less imaginative than others.  Is it nature or nurture?  Are you born with a certain amount of imagination or is it something you learn over time?  Can your imagination grow??
Rosie gets so frustrated when someone doesn't tell her what to make and she has to create something on her own.  Will this ever end or will I always have to come up with something for her to create? 
On our way to camping this weekend, the kids and I did some cloud watching.  What else can you do for 2 1/2 hours in the truck, right.  Gigi saw a little birdie sitting in a nest waiting for it's momma.  I saw the Chihuahua from the Taco Bell commercials.  Rosie saw clouds moving in the sky.  What do you see?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Happy Friday!

Hello There Mr. Friday.  We look forward to you every week.  Friday holds promises of fun, giggles, time with daddy, and laziness.  Also Fridays usually include mommy packing up clothes and all of our necessities (like Nate's pillow and Lil Miss's elephant) so we can sleep pleasantly away from home.  Today is not unlike every other Friday this summer, we are headed out for another trip.  This time we are packing up the camper and headed to Lake Red Rock.  Can't wait to see old friends and enjoy a drink and a game of corn hole.  I was so nervous all week because of the 100+ temps and how hot we all will be at the campsite.  Then I wake up today and it is overcast and I needed a jacket to go to the mailbox.  I think we will be just fine and the campfire might actually feel good to cozy up to. 
We made it through the HOT week doing alot of nothing.  Really.  There was alot of inside play.  I think we all fought over the air conditioner and spots on the couch for movie time.  We did get out occasionally.  There was even a late in the day bike ride. 
We didn't go far.  Only to the playground closest to our house and back.  But we were thoroughly soaked with sweat when we walked in the front door.  Gigi had sweat dripping into her eyes and had to stop a dozen times to wipe her forehead as she scootered back home.  It was comical.
What's a better way to cool off than with peach crisp and ice cream?  I couldn't resist the peaches in the produce aisle and just had to surprise Nate with a peach dessert.  He is a sucker for anything peach.  I made peach crisp for dessert and it was delicious! 
The kid's had a birthday party to go to at Incredible Pizza on Wednesday.  They all had a blast.  Lil Miss rode the carousel at least 2 dozen times.  I was getting dizzy.  The carousel played "It's a small world" as it spinned round and round.  Guess what I have stuck in my head now?  Yep, worse than Disney.
Bubba was having fun getting bumped around on the bumper cars and then Daddy just had to get in on the action and play guitar hero.
These two seemed way to happy strumming away on their guitars. 
I see much more of this in their future.  Daddy and Son bonding. 
So now I have to get ready for smores, hot dogs on the fire, and songs around the campfire.  Okay, maybe there won't be Kumbayah around the fire, but I am pretty sure there will be laughter, drinks, and pictures... yes, I am sure I will take pictures.  Let's load the camper.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


We love play dates.
Mommy loves them because the kids have someone to play with other than me.  It gives me a break.  The kids love it because they get to see their friends.  Win Win.  We had friends come to visit from Ottumwa and play. 

{Hayden and Rosie playing water hopscotch}
{Lainey and Gigi}
{Aren't these girls just the prettiest?  Maeryn is a cutie pie.  She put up with Lil Miss stealing all her toys!}
We really miss these guys. 
That's the hardest thing about the move here.
Leaving good friends.
Making new friends doesn't seem to be that easy. 

This Girl is a handful.  Doesn't this look say -- I am going to give you so much trouble just wait and see!  At least that is how I interpret it. 
It is extremely hot out and we are just trying everything to keep cool. 
We have gone through boxes and boxes of Popsicles. 
This weekend should be interesting with the heat and camping.
Let's just say, I am glad there will be a lake to go take a dip when I am
sweating from head to toe. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Simply.... Enjoy it All

{Our House by Bubba}
Our house might not always be clean
We might not always have a vegetable on our plate for supper
But we know how to have fun

EVEN in the rain
On Friday I let the kids play in the rain. 
What is more shocking in that sentence
That they played in the rain
That we had rain?

It was an excuse to get out the umbrellas
to cool off and to play outside when it wasn't 90+ degrees out
 We played in the clubhouse
 We played on the slide 
 We played tag
 And we played with the hula hoops as the rain came down
It was pretty neat.  I always wanted to do that -- play in the rain.  I am just glad I have kids to have the excuse to do things WILD.  Yes, that is about as WILD as I get.  So lame, I know.

We have been feasting on some great food.  We have gotten a few things out of garden.  Poor thing is so water deprived that we are lucky to have cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers.  Pete's Produce down the street had WONDERFUL sweet corn this week.  We feasted on grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches, cherries, and sweet corn for supper.  YUM!
Lil Miss had her first taste of corn on the cob.  Yum Butter!!
On Sunday morning me and the kids ate breakfast on the patio. 
I apologize to any neighbors because at
7 am in the morning my kids were not quiet.
I don't where Bubba got this look, but it is priceless. 
Lil Miss decided she liked momma's coffee. 
She dipped her spoon in once and licked the coffee off
then went back for more.
Caffeine high for church
 Daddy get up and get ready for church!   
 No weekend is complete without a little dancing.
These are the moments to remember.....

Two of my favorite boys

Over vacation I got a chance to take some pictures of two of my favorite little guys.  They are not easy boys to photograph.  My sister hasn't taken them to a photo studio because she doesn't know how they would handle it.  Lincoln let me know when he was done with the pictures and he didn't forget about the cookie he was promised. 
 {seriously aren't they the cutest}

 {I LOVE his eyes}

{look carefully and he is balancing a stone on his toes}

{only family picture shot without Mason's fingers in his mouth}
 {it sure was darn cute though}
Oh and of course I got pictures of my sister and my brother in law.  It seems like every year we are able to get a few pictures in of the boys.  They aren't professional shots, but they were free so I shouldn't hear her complain!  LOL  Hope you enjoy their cute faces as much as I do.