"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." -----Martin Luther King, Jr.
"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet,regardless of time, place, or circumstance.The thread may stretch or tangle,but it will never break."
- ancient Chinese belief

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Better late than Never...

Wait, have I said that before?

Oh well, just so I don't forget my summer,

some of our highlights...

a visit from the Drafts

my gorgeous niece's graduation from high school

cub camp

the fountain- and a magic show

4th of July at the lake, Junie's 1st fireworks

a visit from the Straights, honored to have Donna here on her birthday

a birthday celebration for sweet Maddox

a new pet, Pumpkin

a visit to Mayfield Dairy

a trip to Babyland General...

and Helen, Ga for my birthday

our last visit from my niece before she goes off to college (sniff sniff)

our one year (and final) post-placement visit from our social worker.

we passed, and we get to keep her!

trips to the park

Gotcha Day, 1 whole year of Junie-love!

Gotcha Day celebration which included a SURPRISE appearance from the Drafts family! good job David and Beth for keeping this a secret from me! i could NOT have been more surprised!

double date birthday dinner celebration for my sissie and me

a visit from "the boston cousins"

so much other good stuff, too.

swim team (way to go, Ty!)

Braves game for the boys, 3rd row behind dugout!

Anniversary celebration

lots and lots of swimming with neighbors and friends

lots and lots of playing

movie time in basement
Ok, it seems it's been quite some time since last blogging. Don't really think ANYone looks at my blog anymore, so this is more for me. This post has been sitting in my "Edit Posts" since OCTOBER! :) Now that summer is almost here AGAIN, I thought I'd better post it. We did have a great summer. And the school year has been quite exhausting. These pictures are making me all the more excited for the lazy days (well, not so "lazy" in a household of 6, but more relaxed anyway!) of summer!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Video time!

Click here to see Junie-girl in action!

LOVE her response to "Does Mommy love you?"...

"Yes, Ma'am Mommy!"

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

First Day of School- 2011

And in the blink of an eye, another summer is over and another school year begins.

Ty - 2nd grade

Jack- 5th grade. A "senior" this year!

Michael- 7th grade...

and oh-so-cool.

Wait, is he taller than me? Must be standing on a hill...


Our street's middle school gang.

And they're off. This was as far as I was allowed to go... Sniff.

I guess it's back to napping and eating bon-bons all day long. ;)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Gotcha Day Anniversary

One year ago today, a scared and confused baby was placed into our arms. Her skin was pallid. Her body was tiny and limp. She felt like a little rag doll.

Not interested in eating, drinking or playing with toys.

We were unsure if she'd ever even been fed solid foods.

She was so brave.

We promised to love her and care for her. No matter what. And in the following days, as Junie grieved so very hard, we did wonder what the "no matter what" might entail.

She was scared. I was terrified. But as we loved her, day by day, pieces of Junie started to emerge. First it was a brief smile. Then longer, lingering smiles. Giggles. Belly laughs.

As we neared home (notably the flight from Detroit to Atlanta) I was filled with fear again. How would Junie mesh into the family? What if our family dynamics changed drastically and it had a negative impact on the boys forever. What if? What if?

And David, always the rock, said to me,

"I don't believe the longing for this child would have been placed in your heart if it wasn't meant to be".

He was right.

Watching Junie emerge from her shell this year has been amazing. Miraculous.

She has gone from frightened and insecure to feisty, "spicy", funny, goofy, demanding, loving, mischievous, smart, chatty, snugly.

She is a lover of books, baths, The Wiggles, pop music (especially Lady GaGa and Brittany Spears! :)), all fruit and ANYTHING sweet, being rocked and sung to at nap and bedtime, the game of chase, outside, bottles, her family (immediate and extended), shoes - most especially boots, ketchup, the back seat of the car, her bike, "pops" (lollipops and popsicles), animals (especially dogs and our new guinea pig, Pumpkin), her speech therapist, Ms. Laura, playing with her brothers, and American cheese.

She's no longer quite so brave. She doesn't need to be.

Watching Junie's change has been awesome.

And what has been just as awesome, but something I was less prepared for, has been watching the brothers change too. My fears on that airplane were all for naught.

They never missed a beat. They embraced Junie and our new family dynamics. The boys embraced their new roles as big brother, protector, cheerleader, educator. Even when they were getting hit by her. ;)

They have shown more patience than I.

More love and compassion than I ever could have expected.

They, too, have been changed.

And our family is complete.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

14 Years!

The kids were SO excited (Jack was at my sister's for a sleepover),
the driver took them around the cul-de-sac but then they got the boot!

David and I celebrated our 14th anniversary of wedded bliss last night. He surprised me with a beautiful stretch limo! He is so sweet and I don't brag about him nearly enough. He said, "I thought it was time for you to have some old school romance!"

Oh, on our wedding the limo didn't show up, so my brother-in-law drove us to the hotel! So, this is the first time we've taken a limo anywhere together.

It was very fun, felt like we were going to prom.

Then, we went to my all time favorite Atlanta restaurant, Aria. David took me there a few years ago, after I had finished the dossier.
We sat in the wine cellar, most unique and romantic dinner EVER. Well, the food was just as delicious last night and Aria remains the yummiest place to eat in the ATL!

Posted by PicasaI am so lucky to be married to this man. He makes me laugh like no one else can, he is my best friend, he is giving and kindhearted, he is the best father to four crazy kids, and would do anything for his family. I'm so glad we found each other!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Finding her voice

Miss Junie is coming along wonderfully in her speech. We are so proud of her. Two weeks ago, she had a check-up with her doctor at Children's Healthcare. He said she sounded perfect and shouldn't have any problems with her speech! She loves loves loves her Babies Can't Wait speech teacher and I think the feeling is mutual.

She is saying more and more and copies everything she hears. Which is sometimes great and sometimes, in a house full of boys, not so great.

Some of the funniest things she says now:

"Gop, Mommy!" = Stop, Mommy (or anyone else she wants to direct this to)

"nem-mind"= nevermind

"Her-ro, Mommy" = hello, mommy (which has replaced the "hi, mommy")

"oh my goss" = oh my gosh

"ice!" (usually spoken emphatically) = ice cream (she SO takes after me!)

"geep" = sleep

"wake" = awake

"ah moing" = good morning

"bup geeks" = butt cheeks (why would someone with such a limited number of words be saying this? you may ask. 3 brothers, that's why!)

And the best and most hilarious one yet: "Mo-mosh" = JUNIE!

We didn't know what she was saying the first MANY times she said Mo-mosh but as she was watching Baby Mozart in the car the other day, she was saying it over and over. When I looked back at her, she was pointing to herself. I looked at the screen and it was showing a toy that she has. And when I said, "oh, is that Junie's?", she quickly responded, "yesh, Mo-Mosh". Just to confirm, I had her point to and name the brothers and then herself in a photo and sure enough, she is "Mo-mosh". I will be trying to get this on video. Too cute and funny!

She is still WAY behind in her speech, not at a 2.5 year level yet. And at times she will come to me and just babble away- a really long story or sentence and I feel bad that I have NO idea what she is saying. But, I am happy to be experiencing this stage with her.

Her speech is improving on what seems like a daily basis. She is stringing 2 and 3 words together more often. Two weeks ago she would say, "tank you", but now she will say, "tank you, mommy" (or whoever handed her the ice cream! :))

She doesn't really get frustrated because when she really wants something, we can always tell what it is. :)

She is a funny girl and cracks us up all day long. She is loving having the boys home for summer and is really going to miss them when they go back to school. And, even though I am always sad when they go back to school, I am looking forward to being able to have some quiet moments with Mo-mosh all to myself again.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

better late than never

Posted by Picasathese are the best beach pictures out of about 200! we got up early, but not early enough as the sun was shining too bright in everyone's eyes. my sweet stepsister met us at this quiet part of the beach and patiently took many many pictures. but somehow, the children who can play all day on the beach without sunglasses cannot stop squinting for a photographer!

i got several cute ones of them playing on the beach but was hoping for a really good family one...