Wednesday, February 29, 2012

lots going on around here. as usual.
let's see-

we got the rest of our front yard, so that's pretty exciting.

dave is still plugging away at our shower. lots of progress and lots of mess. boy am i ever glad that we didn't put any carpet in this house!!

and our hood fan is finally getting finished. also lots of mess, but worth it!
this is what my kitchen looked like for a few days. dave had to empty and take down two cabinets in order for the painter to start on the hood fan.

still not the final color- don't worry!

also- we were just starting to wonder what in the world was taking our adoption licence so long to go through when our caseworker called to let us know we needed to be re-fingerprinted. something about not needing to be licenced the first time around made our fingerprints inaccessible to DCFS.

so we got all that taken care of on thursday. our caseworker told us that she heard we were pretty much approved already. which is great!!! now we are waiting for our court date to be set.


which is a good thing because we are only 6 weeks away from our 1 year mark!
crazy, huh?

neiko has made leaps and bounds in every area over the last 3 or 4 weeks. it is amazing!
remember when i was going to have him screened for developmental delays?
well i'm not really feeling the need anymore.
his vocabulary has gone from 5 words to about 30!
-one of which (of course) is "mine!"
and i'm sorry, it is adorable. i'm sure it won't be for long, but for now it is- :)
and he is becoming way more aware of things. with less of the disorganized, wild behavior.
he's starting to stay with an activity for longer amounts of time, and also starting to listen better to the different tones in my voice.
and learning to have a little bit of impulse control.
which is a process- especially for little boys!!

he is doing SO WELL.

this may sound strange to some of you, but the improvements all came right after birth mom signed away rights.
maybe coincidental, or maybe strongholds of some kind being broken......?

and in other news- miss tekoa turns 5 next week!

she is beyond excited because it means she's getting older.
she has been cracking me up lately. i have a story for dave everyday lately of something funny she has said.

today's was-
"mom, don't tell me you don't know. you are the mom, you have to know."

and yesterday's-
"mom, it would be better if i was beautiful and i had a cat."
i said, "tekoa, you ARE beautiful, ya silly."
"no, mom, REALLY beautiful and a cat."
and i said, "you ARE really beautiful!"
"no, much more beautifuller and a cat!"

which prompted a speech about how becoming more beautiful on the inside makes you more beautiful on the outside.....not sure how much of that sank in....

and lastly-
all of shaeya's hard work will hopefully pay off this weekend when she performs with her vaulting team at a horse show in springfield!
she is excited- and a little nervous.
but she has worked really hard and their routine looks amazing!

they will have 2 performances- one on saturday and the other on sunday- so we are staying in a hotel saturday night.

and we are leaving neiko overnight for the first time.......
something about him and sitting on bleachers for hours watching all the different breeds of horses just didn't mix well in my mind.
and i kinda wanted to be able to focus on shaeya this weekend.....

i'm SURE he will be fine.
i'm SURE he won't feel abandoned and scared.....
he'll totally know we're coming back.....

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

out of the HUNDREDS of repetitive and embarrassing pictures that the kids take with my ipad-
i find 1 really cute one.

i'm sorry but i love love love that kid. she says the FUNNIEST things.
she is like a little adult- her sentences are full of actuallys and probablys- and she works really hard at getting her past tenses and present tenses right.
and -ness. she has started using 'ness' at the end of her words- it is hilarious. "mom i need warmness cause i don't like coldness.....:)

and if you ask her if she's big enough for any given activity she will be sure to tell you, "i'm two and a half and i'm big!"
she cannot for the life of her understand why she has to take naps and go to bed earlier than the big kids. because she is a big kid. she's twoandahalfandshesbig!!
and she talks and sings really loud.......i cant imagine why, can you?

i was happy to discover that i have a sunny corner on our new porch just like i did at our old house. where i sit in a tank top when it is sunny no matter what the temperature is outside. it is my therapy.
but for some reason when i'm out there everyone else wants to be out there too. even if it is boring. they will just pass the time by telling me repeatedly how bored they are, or by climbing on me, or seeing how far off the porch they can get away with going, or throwing toys off of it.....

but every now and then (mostly on the days when i'm out there while neiko is napping) they will bring some toys out and just play. and i sit in the sun with my eyes closed and listen to them.
and it is heavenly.

when we invited our friends over for dinner last saturday they had no idea they would get roped into helping dave put up our mantle :)
but it already makes the room look a little cozier- and dave ordered the stone yesterday!

and this was this morning-
tekoa begged for a bag of peanuts when she saw them at sams. cause they were "just like the ones that grandpa has."
we weren't using a cart so i told her i would buy one for her if she could carry it herself.
she said, "no problem" and hoisted it over her shoulder.
she carried it all through the store and the parking lot without any complaining.
so cute. :)
i didn't know she liked peanuts that much......

and speaking of tekoa- we have gymnastics tonight. and i'm a little apprehensive about going after last week.

there was an older mom there whom i had never seen before. she was sitting on the bleachers next to me and quietly watching my little zoo. and glaring.

yes, we are loud and chaotic. and i bring 6 kids with me because of lexi, the baby i watch.
i seem to remember wren falling off the bleachers and screaming, neiko tripping over lexi's baby car seat, tyden asking for help with his homework every 30 seconds, and me telling him that i just don't remember everything about long division....all with the baby in my arms....

....and the glares of the mom beside me.
she didn't say a word until lexi's mom came to pick her up.
then she leaned over and asked, "okay, how many of these kids are yours??"
and i said, "oh, all of them except the baby."
and she said, "that's a lot of kids."
and i smiled and said, "yeah i guess it is."
she looked at neiko then and so i said, "number 5 was kind of a surprise. he needed a home."
she looked at me then and i said, "well, we have more than enough, you know? why not share?"
then she looked away.
and a few minutes later she turned toward me again and said, "but just because you have enough to give him doesn't mean you have enough patience. it takes a lot of patience to raise that many kids."
(i must note here that i hadn't lost my patience with any of them during our time there!)
and so i looked back at her and said, "well.......i do have enough patience. it is something God asked us to do, and so i do it gladly, and He gives me the grace everyday."

that was the end of our conversation.
and that's why i'm a little nervous to go tonight.
i want to be able to say the right thing if she has any more criticism.
.......and okay.......i really want the kids to be good!!

but even if they aren't it's okay.

not everything God asks us to do will always make sense, right?
and sometimes it might even look crazy to others.
difficult, risky, heart-wrenching, convicting, chaotic, and messy would describe our last 10 months pretty accurately.

but i hold on to God's PROMISES!!!

7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us to
a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. 13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 1

Thursday, February 16, 2012

way overdue, huh?
life has kinda swallowed me up since we've gotten back from our vacation. that, and our computer was having a little work done.
just got it back and nothing is the same- which is really fun for someone like me who knows nothing about computers.

so back to the vacation....
we had a lot of fun and i have about a million pictures for you. here goes-

we spent 3 days in New Orleans before the cruise.
it was so strange to be back there! being in the same part of town as the law office where i met neiko for the first time.
as we walked through the city visiting the aquarium, the zoo, and the mall- and riding on ferries and trolleys- i kept wondering if he had been to these places before. with his other mom. so strange.
i kept picturing him as a tiny baby being cared for by someone else and walking the same streets and i just couldn't hardly wrap my mind around it!

especially the mall! i figured he HAD to have been there before!

turns out he gets a lot more attention in the south :)
about every other person would greet him and rub his head. lots of, "hey little man!" or "you're awfully cute!"
and one lady mistook him for her nephew and almost walked off with my stroller! i wasn't sure what to say to her as she stood there talking to her friend with her hands on the handles of my stroller. seemed like an eternity before she realized he wasn't hers!!

here's neiko standing by a car in the mall. or a "ca ca" as he calls them.
which made our spanish-speaking taxi driver in mexico chuckle a few times.....

while us women were shopping with all the kids, the guys were deep-sea fishing!
they had a blast! something about lots of fish, 6ft waves, fog, rain, getting grounded on a river.....

then sunday started with a ferry ride to the aquarium-

shaeya can't get enough of pushing neiko in the stroller. its wonderful!

the whole group!

neiko yelled, "fishy!" about 600 times that day....

the kids' favorite part of the aquarium was the birds! :)

except for tekoa. i think she was reliving her trauma of being bitten by a bird when she was a baby....

we had a good laugh over the love-birds on dave's head. every time he shooed them off they flew right back....:)

after the aquarium we took a trolley to the zoo!

my brother justin- during the long walk from the trolley to the ferry.....
with little wren all tucked in his jacket and sound asleep :)
....i remember looking like that with her not all that long ago!

boarding the cruise ship- i mean "the big boat"

the kids had to learn from the first night how to stay up waaaaaaaay later than normal. or to just fall asleep when they got tired

relaxing with our hot chocolate on a cloudy day.....

formal night! :)
i bought a dress in new orleans with the help of my sister-in-law katie and a few native new orleanians from the dressing room across from mine :)
a little shorter than what im used too.....

our first day in mexico. we weren't very impressed with the "private beach" we paid to go to :)

second day in mexico-
cozumel was awesome!

we started the day with swimming with dolphins!
the kids had sooooo much fun!
and so did dave and i :)
unfortunately they didn't allow us to take our own pictures, and the disc of pictures they took would've cost $265.
so we are pictureless :(

neiko's make-shift bed :)

the beach in cozumel was MUCH nicer :)
i really could've used about 5 or 6 days there!

then back on the boat- big, funny story is that i auditioned for a part in the big finale show on the last night of the cruise.
for the part of shania twain.
i auditioned for fun and didn't really think about actually getting the part- but then i did.
i got the part. sooooooo funny.
it was a pretty big deal- with a song to memorize, costume fittings, and dress rehearsals......
poor dave had to take over with the kids for all of that.
but you only live once, right????
but the funniest part of it all was the costume. i was kinda nervous about what they were gonna put me in, being shania twain and all. and during the other shows we saw some pretty scantily- clad cowgirls.

but when they pulled out my outfit i had a really good laugh.
hideous. and way too big.
a big, long flowing white shirt tucked into a big, brown leather indian skirt with tassels.
and a wig and a cowboy hat.

i looked so funny! and they didn't have anything smaller for shania!

i received a complimentary DVD of the show which will only be seen by a VERY SMALL group of people, but i will let you all see a picture of me with the whole cast- :)
can you find me??

so the morning after the big show it was time to get off the boat.
lots of waiting!

and then our 12 hour drive back home.
during which, out of boredom, i thought we would see what neiko would've looked like if he was a girl....:)

pretty cute little girl, huh?

and finally, a few pictures that i edited on the way home-

great trip!
thanks again, mom and dad!!