Friday, February 26, 2016

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real - February


My valentine flowers...which I TOTALLY didn't except this year!  I have a super wonderful husband!


Peanut's Easter Basket.  It's tiny.  Adorable.  Purple.  Perfect!

Peanut's Paddy's Day bow!  EEK!

 Alan bought Peanut this frog for Valentine's Day.  It makes a kissing noise and says I Love You.  It's super silly...but she loves it and I love that he bought her her very first Valentine's Day gift!


The dogs were not in the mood for photographs! (Top: Dex, Kelly's dog, was put out I was bothering him at all.  Bottom: Mercy doesn't do mornings...)


This is from Show Hope's facebook page, but it speaks so beautifully about the road we are on.  This month has truly been the roller coaster they talk about.  Wonderful one minute and difficult the next. But is it worth it?  You bet! I simply cannot imagine a life without this roller coaster anymore..

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real - January


On the left is a pic I took one morning on the way to work.  The sky was just lovely...the picture doesn't do it justice!  On the right is my Origami Owl necklace.  It has the charms 'Mom', 'Forever Family', and a colored stone for me, Alan, and Peanut.  I LOVE it!


 In January we FINALLY celebrated Christmas.  (We were in the hospital with Peanut over Christmas so we waited until she was well healed, which just happened to coincide with Amy and Paul's visit and therefore our Christmas and 'family Christmas' all happened at once!).  LEFT: Before opening presents at mom and dads, the usual paparazzi showed up and we have a ton of pics of each family set.  RIGHT: We went to ICE! at the Gaylord for the first time since we got engaged.  I don't know if we were younger, dressed warmer, or all into it...but this year seemed SOOOOO much colder!  We basically ran through (the much smaller display).  We even tried to re-enact the engagement, but it was just too cold.  After the the little boys were able to do a sledding thing, but we mostly sat to the side lamenting how cold it was...


Any time I am home from work this little girl believes her place is in my lap.  I love her to bits and pieces!


After our hospital stay we decided that we would get a crib so we could get a wedge and have her sleeping propped up without needing to be in the rock and play or the swing. We decided to get Allison's crib from storage, but due to a series of events, we ended up with a new crib, mattress, sheets, bumpers, etc, etc, etc.  This was the finished project. (Thanks to Kelly and Alan for helping move stuff and getting the bed together!)

**As a side note, the changing table has been changed to one that matches and she doesn't sleep on the all!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real - December


I took these last night of the Peanut looking at mom's tree...I love the wonder she has for all the lights and sights.  May we have the same wonder in our hearts for THE LIGHT.



We get this pic from mom every year...and it's possibly my fav!  I love seeing all the stockings hung at her house. I especially love the little one on the far's Peanut's!

And these are at our house! Mercy, Leanne, Peanut, Alan, and Lily.
I love a decorated  house! :)

All my funny pics I can't really show you.  This particular post has gotten quite difficult to make because all my pictures are of the Peanut and I can't show you....Just know -- there are some good ones....and if we get together for lunch or dinner or to shop or for any reason I will show you more pics of her than you EVER wanted to see!!! :)


Last Saturday we went to see The Littelest Wiseman.  I have been going to this show since 2001 (I think).  The first year I went with Dana and Ryan Yates and we went to eat afterwards at a Steakhouse.  After that I introduced Michael and Kathryn to the show. In 2004 I began helping out with the show (I became the assistant director of the children's choir) and continued to do so until 2009 when I moved to Waco.  I then began attending every year.  I get there and go say Hi to all I know and then sit down to enjoy the best show of the season.

The Littlest Wiseman is the story of a shepherd boy.  He notices and follows the star as it crosses the sky but doesn't know what it is about until he meets the Wisemen, who dub him a little wiseman, due to his interest.  Later, the angels appear to the shepherds he is with and he is so excited about the news that he convinces the shepherds to go see the sights spoken of...but he is asked to stay with the sheep as he is the youngest. He debates what to do and decides that on a night like this no evil could happen and he must go see his little king.  He realizes the Wisemen had great gifts and he has nothing but his heart to give (and some stones).  He decides this is enough and off he goes.  The show ends with him worshiping the baby with the shepherds, wisemen, and angels.  Seriously...can you get any better?!  One of my long standing favorite moments in the show is when one of the kings (the one in gold) places his gift before the baby and turns to worship from a distance, but then decides to give the baby king his crown.  The music crescendos and he kneels and removes his crown for THE king.  AHHHH!!! Tears every year!

Anyway - this year Kathryn was sick and couldn't come, but Michael and Kayden did.  I sure love that K!

This is the stage before the show begins.  Isn't it lovely?! 

Then, Sunday was our churches Christmas concert.  It was a great concert.  I was asked to sign Silent Night and How Many Kings.  I love using what I am able to do to bless others. I also love being a part of anything that tells about the REAL meaning of Christmas.  Silent Night, Holy Night. All is calm, all is bright 'round yon virgin, Mother and Child...

This is a shot of me signing "All is bright". I

I also signed How Many Kings by Downhere.  The words are FABULOUS!
How many kings stepped down from their throne
How many lords have abandoned their homes
How many greats have become the least
How many gods have poured out their hearts to romance a world that's been torn all apart
How many fathers gave up their sons for me

As we get closer to Christmas - let's remember that...Only ONE did that for all mankind....
Merry Chirstmas!

Pretty, Happy, Funnny, Real - November Edition


My sweet girls sharing the same space without trying to totally harass each other...beautiful!



My dad holding my sweet Peanut for the first time. (it looks like he's not paying attention to her -- but he is...this is just the only shot w/o her face)

Me and my this kid!


What are sisters for?  To look like a fool with! :)  After Thanksgiving dinner we realized that we had no pics to show for the I quickly sat down next to Allison and this is what ya get...

We ate so much we forgot pics...

See....REAAALLLLLYYYY full....

But extremely blessed and quite happy!

 These two pics are of my grandfathers who both served in the military.  The top is my dad's dad and the bottom is mom's dad.  I am thankful that they served our country and more importantly their family and our Lord.  They left an amazing legacy for me and my sisters and our children.  And as an added bonus...aren't they super handsome?! :)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real - The rest of October

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real has gotten much harder to do because I can not post pics of the Peanut due to Foster Care rules.....and I mostly take pictures of the Peanut these days...however, I did find a few pictures from October that do not include her (or at least her face).  However, if I could post one -- let me tell you -- my Bumblebee on Halloween was the CUTEST thing you have EVER just had to be there to see it....So without further ado...

Pretty: I got to see my sweet friend Susan on Saturday in October.  Their adoption ministry (Mosaic) was showing The Drop Box. While Alan and I did see it in theaters, that was before we were licensed foster parents and the movie counts as training hours. So we went and showed off the Peanut.  But the highlight of the day was spending a few hours Susan and seeing her family.

Happy: Lots of things make me happy...but this little Monkey Butt is probably at the tip-top of the list...(dontcha wish you could see her pretty face too!?)

Funny: On the same Saturday as the Drop Box (it was a busy day!), we also had Westie Walk. I have been going to Westie Walk with Donna since I got Mercy.  This was the first year I have tried to take both...I was exhausted!  This picture makes me laugh because Lily is so happy to be a bumble bee and Mercy is so put out to be a ladybug.  We didn't win the costume contest (we aren't Westies) but we (well, Lily and I) love to participate! :) (Lily did win the bowling contest...Bull.In.China.Closet. The end) 

Real: (This isn't October -- but it's so important!) November is National Adoption Month.  I have been an advocate of adoption since I watched several friends adopt their children.  I am even more so an advocate as I am now a foster parent and understand it even more.  Everyone can do something for adoption (and as Christians we are CALLED to!).  You can be the aopter, you can support an adopter, you can pray for adopters and adoptees, you can simply smile and tell an adoptive mom "Good Job"....there are so many ways you can help.  As a foster mom, I am so blessed to know there are others praying for us and for Peanut.  Sometimes I am just so tired and so out of words that I am truly blessed to know there are others all around picking up the torch and carrying for me.  I am blessed to be surround by many who are willing to say, "Here, let me help".  But at the same time, I do the same for my adoptive friends.  What can you do?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Foster Care

If you don't already know, Alan and I became a licensed foster home in July.  The decision to foster did not come over night.  The first time we thought about it was about 3 years ago.  We went with some friends to an information meeting for foster/adoption at a church in McKinney.  We were interested, but the timing wasn't right.  About a year later we went to another interest meeting with the same couple because they were looking at getting involved with a child who was involved with CPS.  I filled out my part of the application but we never got further than that...the timing still wasn't right.  Then last November we moved and in January we started attending a new church.  The first week we were there I noticed THEY were having a foster/adopt interest meeting for a new ministry the church was starting.  I showed Alan, but said nothing further.  After seeing the info in the bulletin for a few weeks Alan said to me, "I think we should go."  Honestly, I was floored because I didn't think it was a good time. We had just moved and were getting used to owning a house, etc.  But since he was interested I said sure, and we made plans to go.  The week of the meeting we ended up at lunch with some friends and talked straight through the interest meeting and missed it entirely.  My first thought was, "Oh well...must not be the right time..." and then Alan said, "Maybe you can get the info from someone on Wednesday..." and I thought again.  That Wednesday I asked around and got some info...there would be training classes coming up and a CPR class in the near future if we were interested.  Alan told me to sign us I did.  And we became CPR certified and then in March we had 2 Saturday's of all day training.

After that there is a MOUNTAIN of paperwork (and yes -- I mean a mountain!).  A good blogger would have pictures of each thing and then also pics of mailing it off....but I am by no means a good you will just have to believe me.  Alan and I set 'early summer' as when we would like to have all our paperwork in.  We got all of our paperwork in by the beginning of June and then waited for it to go through licensing.  While at a sign language workshop the first week of July we got the news that we were officially certified. We knew that we would have to wait until after our trip to Ireland the second week of July to be officially open to taking kids, but we were licensed!

During the time that we worked on paperwork we began to collect the things we might need.  See, foster care is a very different thing all in it's own.  You never know what will be coming through your door.  You give them a 5 year age range for your license and then you tell your placing agency more specifically what you would like -- but you just never know.  You could get a 5 day old, 5 month old, or 5 year old....or all of the above...and need to have SOMETHING for them!  We collected car seats and beds and toys and clothes and bottles and this and that and the other.  We got things off of garage sale sites, at resale stores and from dear friends. The garage began to look like a consignment store of it's own.  And then we waited.

Off we went to Ireland.  It was truly a fantastic trip and we enjoyed every minute of it, knowing that upon return our lives could change very quickly.  And then we came back and anxiously awaited 'the call'.  That week I worked at the children's theater's summer workshops.  The first afternoon we got a call, but Alan and I agreed that with our schedules that week it wasn't a good match, so we had to say no.  It was hard -- but God showed up in the situation!  That evening we got call number 2.  But another family was picked.  So we waited.  Tuesday afternoon I was at a student's home when we got call #3.  I immediately said YES! and quickly learned that after the YES is another waiting game.  I now liken it to childbirth...labor starts but it's a bit of a waiting game to see how it will progress.  After several hours I got a call that said they didn't think the child would be placed with us.  Then I got a call that all they needed was our approval through the agency and the placement would be finalized. (These two calls happened about 45 minutes apart.)  So I call the agency and say please call and approve this and then go back to waiting.  I was a bit stressed that afternoon! Finally, the call came saying the child had been placed with us and was on the way.  An hour later, we were parents...and our lives changed forever!  Visits, visits, and more visits....little sleep...lots of paperwork...some more paperwork...
....and more love than you could ever imagine!  You guys -- I fall in love with my husband over and over again as I watch him with this child.  I have never seen him so smitten - and I love it.  As with any foster care case we really don't know how it will end.  The goal of foster care is always reunification...and I've got a whole blog post cooking on we just have no idea.  We just know the child is here for now and so for now our lives center on the child.  

Some 'just-so-you-know's:
-I cannot post any information about the child on the blog...not their name, their age, etc...please don't ask
-I cannot post pics.  Unfortunately this means my blog could become very devoid of pics...except the occasional pic of a puppy....
-I cannot post about the specifics of the child's case
-I can post about what I'm learning through this experience...and expect me to...and I can answer any questions you may have about foster care.
-upcoming posts:
--Why Foster Care
--What Foster Care Has Taught Me
--Foster Care and Spiritual Parallels

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real --- all caught up!

Pretty: Kelly, Philip, Shobit, Alan, and myself went to the fair the first weekend in October.  Philip snapped this pic after the light show.  It was a great day and ended with a pretty picture!

Happy: Last week I got to go to FBC Rockwall to watch The Drop Box with their foster/adopt ministry Mosaic.  My lifelong friend, Susan is a part of the ministry so I got to see her, her family, her sister Shannon, and I got to meet Aiden, Shannon's son. Mom was jealous!  
(In all seriousness...if you haven't seen Drop should!)

Funny: When your dog thinks the baby's towel is for her.

Real: The struggle to take a picture with my husband is real you guys....

Finally...a good one!  I sure do love this guy!