Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Gotcha Day is here again!!

Today is a very special day.  It is our 4 year anniversary of Gotcha Day!  The day we took home 3 wonderful little children to call our own.  Two days earlier we had just met them and fell in love with each one of them instantly.  I remember the sights and sounds of that first meeting like it was yesterday. The moment they placed Gigi in my lap and she looked up at me with those big beautiful brown eyes.  She looked so frightened but sat right there in my lap and started to smile when Nate gave her a small toy to play with.  The legal talk coming from the lawyers played in the background but I wasn't listening.  All I could hear was the sweet laughter of Bubba as he bounced a ball, or Rosie's questions about what's that (she was in the why phase) and Gigi's giggles as Nate checked if she was ticklish.  From that moment, we were a family. 

Gotcha day is like Christmas around here with all the excitement.  No, there aren't any presents, but there are past memories shared, looking through old photo albums and the best part old home movies.  The kids laugh and giggle as they watch their baby selves sing and dance.  It is amazing to see how much they have grown!!  

4 years has gone bye like a blink of an eye.  I still turn around to their voices and expect their little selves, except I see kids who are so grown up.  Astonishing!  Where did the time go?

As we tell our story to people, I often get the reply "look what you have done for those kids." 
No, we didn't do anything for them.  We didn't save these kids from anything.  They saved us.  They filled such a longing in our hearts for a family.  Their smiles and laughter give us everything we need and only one person could have known we needed each other... God. 
He put us together in such a splendid way!
Another one of the many miracles he has performed.  
Our family came together much like the fairy tales we read about in story books and Gotcha Day is the day we get to relive "our story" over again.  

So as they wake up this morning and see the camper all decorated in balloons for the occasion and lots of family fun planned for the day my heart is full.
There is no better reason to celebrate.... love. 

"God destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ according to the good pleasure of His will." - Ephesians 1:5

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A little John Deere and visiting with friends

This past Sunday we packed up the kid's and headed down to the John Deere Pavilion in Moline.   The older kids haven't been to the pavilion since we moved to the Quad Cities and since they have renovated and enlarged the children's area.
 Lil Miss was shouting "Deer, Deer" before we even got to the front doors after seeing the John Deere tractors displayed outside.  The best thing about the pavilion for kids is the ability to climb up into the equipment and act like they are driving. 
{Bubba can't wait to mow the yard with this BIG guy. }
{This looks like trouble}
{My Boys}
All week we have been trying to find fun ways to have fun and stay cool.
After watching the American Girl movie this weekend the kids have been performing songs from the movie complete with choreography.  Lil Miss likes to be in control of the microphone.
On Tuesday we made the familiar drive down to Ottumwa to see old friends.
Oh how we miss them!! 
Maeryn and Lil Miss were best buds (until Lil Miss wanted to take home Maeryn's toys). 
Those two girls are princesses and you can tell they are the youngest. 
The kid's were having so much fun, I even got time to talk to my girl friends.  Crazy!!!
We swung by the Shultz house to see my two favorite twins and their momma. 
We got there just as they were waking up from naps and in the best moods. 
I don't think these two girls ever fuss.  They are angels!!
Lil Miss couldn't get enough
Gigi has her favorite.... miss Ella. 
She waited for Ella to wake up and then monopolized all the Ella time.   
It was so sad to say good bye but I was so glad to spend the day with some great friends. 
Thanks Jess, Angie, Amber and Jody for hanging out with us and letting
us invade your houses!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summers at the Lake

You didn't think I forgot pictures of my adorable babes did ya?
Oh yes, we had a mini photo session to take some pictures because you don't get this
scenery everyday.  It was really the only time all week that I did the girl's hair. 
Between swimming and showers, their hair was not much to worry about.

{Lil Miss}

These smiles melt my heart.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


We are home from our trip to the lake. 
Daddy is back to work and our refrigerator is empty from being gone for a week., so that must mean our vacation is over.  It is always bitter sweet reliving a vacation. 
Beautiful to see all the time we spent with family catching up and getting to know each other again, and sad because it will be many weeks, even months, before we see some of them again.
It was a fulfilling time with lots of laughter and giggles.
We left last Wednesday just when the sun was setting after Bubba's baseball game.  It was very late to start a 10 drive, but with two of us to drive it was manageable. 
{Bubba at his game}
Around 6 o'clock in the morning we entered Tennessee. 
We had stopped at a rest stop to rest for about an hour and 20 minutes, but other than that we had driven through the night.  Getting to Mom's house just as people were waking up for the day, vacation officially started.
{This girl knows how to relax}
I have never seen the weather so crummy.  Each day was filled with rain and gray clouds and speckled with only a few moments of dry weather.  Occasionally we saw the sun.
It didn't stop us diehard water bugs though. 
The kids and I were in the water everyday.
When the rain was coming down to hard to swim, we found things to do in the house. 
{and lots of card playing}

{Brad, Brooke and Lil Miss} 
{Mason, Lincoln, and Nick} 
{Brad, Brooke, Faith, Dennis, and Denise}
{Uncle Scott and Lil Miss}  
By Sunday afternoon, most of the family had gone back to their homes, but not us. 
We got to enjoy a little more time with mom.... and wouldn't you know the sun finally came out!
My mother celebrated her birthday on Monday and we got a game of tennis in and played in the sun to our heart's content.   
The girl's helped me make a cake for grandma Judy's birthday. 
Their favorite part.... licking the beaters.  
Grandma Judy had already blown out candles for her birthday on Saturday night with the whole family, so we decorated her Jello cake with pinwheels I had forgotten in my bag.
  Oh and we, for the first time, all week were able to eat outside for every meal that day!
Grandma even went with us to the playground and helped us make sandcastles and played basketball with Bubba.  I think we wore her out!  LOL  

It was a fun vacation. 
We didn't want to leave yesterday, but reluctantly we did.
All the fun, water, and playing with cousins wore us out, and we slept good in our own beds last night. 
We had dreams of our time at the lake. 
Good memories...
Nothing is more memorable than a smell.  One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains. 
diane ackerman