Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Pictures

Well, we took our annual "by the tree" pics yesterday.  I was so proud of the kids.  They did really well.  They were very tolerant and patient. Madeline seemed to be the most troublesome.  She was being good, but she just kept smiling at the wrong time or when she was looking somewhere other than at me.

I must say here, what a beautiful bunch of kiddos!!  I am just so proud of all five of my babies!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Long Time, no blog........

Well, it has been a while, sorry about that.  I normally try and blog more often, but we have been busy and really nothing too new is going on.  Christmas is rapidly approaching and we are very busy pulling everything together.  Not to mention, we are leaving the day after Christmas for a two week jaunt in Florida (yes, I know, life is rough).  Actually, as great as this Florida trip is (and trust me, we love it), is does make things a little harder.  It is always very time consuming to pack for all of us, let alone being busy with holiday stuff.  The good thing is that most are clothes we bring are summery, so I am can start packing now.  Well, not actually now because I have no where near that much for-thought, but you get the idea.

I will post some new pictures soon.  We are going to take our annual pictures around the tree today and while I am loading them up I will load some candid ones I have taken over the last few weeks.

I thought it might be nice to post what a typical day is like.  I do plan to eventually save and print this blog and having a record of a day in the life would be fun.  So, I must say, we are pretty boring.  We are all up by 8:00 and from 8 to 10 I get the little kids breakfast and changed/bathed.  The older kids have chores to do which include their household chores, plus practice piano and getting themselves ready for the day.  After things settle down a bit I let the little three watch cartoons while I find my spot at the kitchen bar.  This is pretty much my throne off and on for the next few hours.  I check homeschooling and get the kids' school work ready for another day.  We start homeschooling at 10:00.  From 10 to noon I check school work, do laundry, do dishes (yes, our dishwasher is still broke after over 9 months--can you tell I am SO bitter?) and just interact with the kids.  Often times one of the little ones sit beside me and "help" me do my work.  Lunch is at 12:00.  Leah and Logan eat at the bar and the 3 little one's either eat at their little table in the kitchen or I feed them.  Nap time is from 12:30/1:00 to about 2:30/3:00.  Also, the older two go back to work at 1:00.  Gee still sleeps in his crib and Anna sleeps in her big girl bed.  Madeline is still in her pack n play in our room because she is so untrustworthy unsupervised.  While the kids naps I usually have some free time (in between homeschool questions).  I will often times catch up on line or cut coupons.  These days I am sewing because I have lots to do before Christmas.  All 5 of the kids have an afternoon snack (if they ate lunch well) around 3:00/3:30.  Most days the older kids are done with homeschooling by that time and the younger ones are running around like hooligans after a nice snooze.  Dinner is around 5:30/6:00 which is about (I use that term pretty loosely) the time Ryan gets home.  Daddy getting home is a pretty big event and the 3 little one's get very excited.  "Daddy's home, daddy's home......"  The rest of the evening is spent eating dinner, cleaning up after dinner and just being together.  The little ones go to bed around 8:00, although they don't always go right to sleep.  We will often times chill around the tv then.  We tivo various shows like "Dirty Jobs," "Survivorman," "Man vs. Wild," "Planet Earth," etc.  We will usually pop one of those on, I will eat me daily bowl of oats and Ryan will catch up online.  The older kids go to bed at 9:30 and Ryan and I hit the pillows around 10:30.  That is pretty much it.  I totally realize that by now you are bored stiff, but this is my life and as boring as it may seem, it is pretty exciting and wonderful in my eyes.  Oh and this is really only how it goes 3 to 4 days a week.  We are gone pretty much every Wednesday from 12:30 to 8:30 (piano, Awanas, etc)  Saturdays are church days and we leave for that around 4:00.  And, we usually have another day or two interrupted by a trip to the store or some sort of get together.

More specifically, Anna and Gee are doing well.  I think Gee was struggling with something for about 3 to 4 days.  He was super moody and just not himself.  He also had pretty bad diarreha.  All 3 of the little ones have had the poo's lately, but Anna and Madeline have been acting fine.  Gideon was better yesterday, so I am hoping he is over whatever was bothering him.

Anna would probably be classified as my most low maintenance child right now.  At least out of the three littlest.  She is still a drama queen, but she is really just a sweet kid.  She's a little sneaky about stuff (getting into things), but Madeline is no help there, as Anna tends to do what Maddie does and Maddie can be just down right ornery.  Anna is extremely perceptive of her surroundings, probably more so than any of the kids.  She notices things like the "lit up moon"and the cat crossing the road.  She also has a great sense of direction.  She knows we are going to drive by the "poopie water" (the local sewage plant we sometimes pass going into town) roads before we do.  She can see daddy's truck coming from a mile  away, just stuff like that.  Anna has the most tender heart ever (very similar to Logan).  She is easy to cry and make the most pathetic face when she is upset.  She is also very sensitive to loud noises, scary images or potentially scary situations.  For the first time on Sunday she got scared by something on tv.  I was watching a show and a scary image came on and the poor girl coward to the corner of the room.  I felt so bad and I comforted her, but there she remained for like 10 minutes, even though the image was gone.  I didn't even know she was watching tv.  I was watching a movie while wrapping presents and apparently she was paying attention.  Anna's speech continues to improve.  Her favorite sayings are "I wuv you" and "I miss you."  She pretty much uses them interchangably which is super cute.

Gideon is chugging right along.  He is very good kiddo also, but he is a little more high maintenance than Anna.  He is more stubborn strong headed.  Both of those are characteristics I know and love, so that is fine, it just makes for a harder upbringing.  Gee is very funny, and pretty easy going most of the time.  In some ways he is pretty sensitive (somewhat emotionally and very much physically), but in other ways he is very rough and tumbly.  He is so wired up at times, it is actually pretty fun to watch him.  He jumps, runs, hangs off things, he is my little monkey.  Gideon is saying "no" to us more often than I'd like, but I know that is just part of being a stubborn toddler.  He is funny though because he doesn't just shout it out, he kind of says it under his breath and then doesn't do what he is told to do.  Don't get me wrong, on an everyday basis, he is pretty obedient and easy to get along with.  But, there are those times, usually when he is upset about something (like telling him "no" or scolding him for some reason) and he will not cooperate.  Example:  Yesterday he was done napping and yelling from his bed.  He knows he is not aloud to yell because it will wake Anna up.  So I go upstairs and go over to his crib and tell him he may not yell.  I wasn't overly forceful when I said it and he didn't get punished, I just stated firmly "Gideon, you may not yell."  Well, he then says "no mommy."  That starts like a 3 minute dialogue trying to get him to say "yes, mommy."  He is so stubborn it took forever to get him to say it.  This is a pretty typical situation with him.  First off, he does not like any attention that he perceives as negative.  Even if he is doing something cute and he thinks people are paying attention for the wrong reasons he gets real reclusive and won't even look at people.  So, I think when he gets scolded he internally panics at the negative attention and then his stubborness spews out "no's."  One last thing I would like to add about Gee is that is is such a daddy's boy.  He would choose Ryan over me any given day.  I am mostly fine with that because I get tons of love from him on a daily basis, but sometimes it is difficult.  I tend to be the disciplinarian with the little ones and Ryan is way more laid back with them.  That is tough when he wants to let things slide and I do not.  Then, I become the mean one.  Ryan doesn't make me look mean and he is supportive of me disciplining the kids, but I still often times look like the bad guy.  Ryan disciplines some (he expertise is the older ones though), but when he gets home and hasn't seen the kids all day, the last thing he wants to do is make them stand in the corner.  For some reason, Ryan tends to let things slide with Gee more than any of the little ones, and for the most part, I do not.

Ok, this post was way longer than I expected.  I guess that's what happens when you don't post for so long.  In summery, life is good and we are continually blessed.  Sometimes things seem very mundane and boring, sometimes things are way more "exciting" than I'd like them to be, but through it all, I feel so blessed and I love my little life.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

A very sad weekend......

This past Thursday Ryan's grandmother passed away.  I almost hate to say "Ryan's" grandma because I certainly claimed her if you will, as my own.  She was the most wonderful, Godly woman I have ever met and she is going to be severely missed.  She loved her grandchildren and great grandchildren dearly.  We were very fortunate to spend some additional time with her and grandpa this past year.  They went on all our camping trips with us and we loved getting to see them both more often.  When we got home with Gideon last fall, within days we went on a camping trip and they were there.  They celebrated all our children with us and Anna and Gideon were no exception.  I remember being at their house in Cincy and both grandma and grandpa prayed over them, specifically asking God to bless their health and to keep any past evilness from touching them.  At that time we were still really struggling with Gideon's health and Anna was still waking often at night screaming out.  I know those prayers were one of many that went out on behalf of my kids.   

Grandma was truly unique and had this way of making every single person she encountered feel special.  I miss her already, but I find great comfort in knowing that she is with her best friend, our Jesus.

So, this weekend was spent with family, remembering her life.  The viewing was on Friday and the funeral was on Saturday.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Just a little election commentary.......

I am SO glad my hope is in the Lord, not in Obama and the steady downfall of our culture.  I am saddened and disappointed (although not surprised) that the US has chosen a leader that morally has no conscious.  I love my US of A, but it is making decisions based on man's selfishness. Nothing good will ever come of that.  Ahhhh, but such is life.  I will rest in the fact that the true King of this life is still in control, nothing happens outside of his will.


Monday, November 3, 2008

The last couple weeks......

So, I cut Annie's hair. I really like it although I was skeptical at first. I usually prefer long hair on the girls, but I was cutting Logan and Gee's hair and Anna wanted hers cut also. I was going to just trim it, but I ended up cutting like 3 inches off. It is adorable on her (although it looks a little wonky in the pics). Ryan said that now she really looks like Dora. Tis true.

We also went trick or treating last Thursday. We went to my Grandma's nursing home and that was lots of fun. The kids got way more candy than they will ever eat. Anna was a pumpkin, Gideon was a monkey and Madeline was a frog. Logan went at George Bush and Leah and my two nephews went as hie secret service.

A cute picture of the girls. They really are best buds.

Making funny faces.

Apparently baby had to go potty also.

Anna's hair, pre-cut.

Gideon loves his Papa.

We keep busy these days. Home schooling takes quite a bit of time and man, my days just seem to fly by. The three little ones are getting more independant and are getting to do more things. Like go up and down the stairs freely, climbing up on the bars stools, stuff like that. They even have their own coat hooks and shoe basket in the laundry. They are learning to hang thier own coats up and to put things away. The don't totally have the hang of it, but they are picking it up quick.

Until later.........


Friday, October 17, 2008

Reflecting on a year ago....

I have been thinking a lot about Gideon these last few days because a year ago this time we were bringing him home.  I was so anxious to get back to Guatemala.  I thought having Anna home would keep me too busy to think too much about Gideon being away, but it didn't.  Don't get me wrong, it was so precious to have Anna home, but Gideon was definitely missing in our family picture.  I seriously felt like I had a hole in my heart.  I kept trying to convince Ryan to let me go over and foster, but it was not happening.  Having him in my arms was a dream come true.  It just seemed to take so long.  I still praise God for his amazing foster family!  At least I know Gideon was clueless as to my agony.  He was living with his beautiful family and loving life.

In the last year I have seen Gideon grow in so many ways.  He is so funny and loving.  Ryan and I call him our monkey.  He climbs and dangles off of anything ha can.  He is a loving brother and son and everyone ADORES him.

I will never be able to comprehend why God allowed our family to be blessed in such a way.  I have seen great Christian woman/families who's hearts ache for a child, even just one.  I have 5 amazing children who uniquely bless us and fulfill our lives.  I feel so honored.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Stunning picture of Anna.

I just think this picture of Anna is so beautiful....

Camping Pictures!

Some of the pics are grainy (not sure why).  Most are self explanatory, except the snake one.  Leah walked right beside it on one of the trails and we were all getting ready to walk beside it also (including the 3 little ones) when Leah noticed it.  I hate snakes and I freaked when I saw this one because it was so big.  We got the other kids back and Ryan leaned my camera over the snake and snapped the pic.  When we got home we looked it up and yes, it is a copperhead.  I guess they are pretty common in the Smokies.  We were literally 2 feet from it. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Who owns this house anyways??

Madeline has been sleeping in a pack n play in our bedroom for months now. This stems from her inability to obey and sleep when told and her ability to climb out and over anything put in her path. Her and Anna share a bedroom and months ago I got it all ready with new toddler beds, I made them quilts, and just got Leah's old room (the biggest one upstairs) ready just for them. Well, it was very clear from the get go that Anna and Madeline were not going to go to sleep in the same room. So we moved Madeline to a pack and play in Leah's room (Leah really loved that). Then Madeline started having her "issues" and the rest is history. Last night I decided to try and let the girls sleep together again. Madleine really wanted to sleep in her big girl bed and she has been doing much better at not climbing out of her packie (thanks to Leah's inventive sticker chart). So, I gave it a go. Within about 10 minutes Madeline was yelling for me telling me that Anna wouldn't quit talking. I know this is true because that is how Anna is (very chatty like her mama) and I had heard her carrying on. So I went upstairs a couple different times and settled things down and then, get this........they fell asleep. I was so proud. Well, that was until I heard some pitter patter at 5:00 am in the morning! Thelma and Loise had obviously be up for a while. They were just walking around the kitchen, maybe looking for a snack? They each had a pair of shoes on, a purse and just acted like this was normal every day activity. They didn't even come to Ryan and I's room. I wonder if I hadn't heard them if we just would have woken up in the morning to them lounging on the couch, watching Dora, chugging their sippy cups and helping themselves to some snack bars. After further investigation, I saw that their light was on (I am amazed it did not wake their 3 siblings up, the rooms up there are close) and their upstair toys had been well played with. Who knows how long they had been up. The good news is that the girls went back to sleep, the bad news is, I did not. Yawn. Off to check those grey hairs.

I just wanted to say thank you to anyone who prayed I would find the kids' baby books. They have been found! I was so thrilled. About 6 weeks ago I reorganized my closet and really sorted through a lot of the pictures/adoption stuff that had been stuffed in there over the last year. Those two books had been sorted and put in a bin under our bed. In my feverish hunt, I had looked there first, but aparently not well enough. Or maybe God did His thing and in response to your prayers made my precious lost items found!


Saturday, September 27, 2008

My first grey hair!

So, it has begun. I was just looking in the mirror at how outgrown my highlights were looking and staring back at me was the greyist hair I have ever seen. I have seriously never yet had one. So, either I accept this new stage in life or I get to my hair lady quick and have her re-highlight me. Anne, here I come!

Hmmm, maybe this is what happens when you have 5 kids, 3 of which are in the terrible, I mean terrific twos......


PS You know I wouldn't trade it for anything!

You stuck what up your nose?!?!

So, I was putting the kids to bed Wednesday night and I told Anna and Gideon to go on upstairs. After a couple seconds I followed. I went to go into Anna's room and she was pointing at the floor and saying "icky." Well, icky indeed, it was 2 dime sized drops of blood. After looking Anna over and laying her down I went into Gideon's room and he was standing by his crib with blood literally pouring out of his nose. It was quite eerie. No crying, just looking at me like "what are you looking at?" As I got closer I noticed a piece of wood clutched in his hand. I kid you not, it was probably 2 inches long and maybe a 1/4 inch wide. Maybe like a huge splinter? It was of course covered in blood, as was everything else. So I bring him downstairs, wipe all the blood off and give him a good looksie. The blood stopped pretty quickly and although it started back up briefly, by the time Ryan came home 20 minutes later, he was good to go. You know I always wonder whether we should go to the ER, but since the bleeding stopped quickly and he seemed fine, we decided to just wait and see how he did. He slept in our room just so we could keep and eye on him. You know, I think he had that piece of wood in their for at least a few hours. When I changed his diaper like 3 or 4 hours earlier, I thought I heard some wheezing, but I got distracted and the wheezing slipped my mind. I have been watching him for any signs of infection also. You know, I just can't believe he had that big of a piece of wood up his nose and I couldn't even see it. I think it was all the way up there and him bouncing up the stairs dislodged it. Never a dull moment!

Besides bloody noses, things are going well. Gideon had his surgery this past Tuesday and he did amazingly. I was pretty happy with our experience at Nationwide Children's hospital (formally Columbus Children's). I admit, the whole process was a little scary, I am sure especially so for Gideon. It took about 45 minutes to an hour for him to really wake up afterwards, but then it was like a light switch coming on. He popped off of Ryan's lap and started dancing and playing. He was even doing his "pretend" fall, to which we were a bit horrified, fearing he would "break" something. He has pretty much been on Tylenol all week just to keep him comfy.

Anna is doing really well with her potty training still. She's only had a few accidents and those are mostly because she was playing outside and preoccupied. She is telling me know when she has to go and she is in undies full time (except at night). So 2 toddlers down, 1 to go.

Speaking of Anna, she has an uncanny sense of direction. She has predicted where we were going on more than one occasion. We probably go into Urbana once or twice a week and maybe half that time I drive the "back" way, by the West Liberty sewage plant. The kids and I refer to it as "poopy water." I was going down the road before the road the plant is on an Annie points toward the sewage plant and says "poopy water." You couldn't even see the plant at that point (maybe she just has a really good sense of smell :)).

Something somewhat small I could use your prayers on, I have misplaced Anna and Gideon's baby books. I can't imagine they are truly lost, but I cannot find them and I am pretty heartbroken about it. I hadn't added a bunch of pictures or anything, so technically I could buy two new books and fill them out, but I journel in my baby's books and I had wrote a lot of personal stuff in them that I cannot replicate. Fortunately this blog has served as some sort of journel for me, but not liked the book did. So, if you could send a little request up for me that would be great!


PS I have tons of pics to load, but we are experiencing some computer issues (what's new, eh?). The only computer right now with internet access is our old laptop and I really do not want to load pics on here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Anna is hitting the potty train (and Dr.'s appt.'s)!

So Anna has been potty training for a few days now.  She is really doing well.  I haven't been brave enough yet to take her out in undies, but that will come.  She has yet to tell me she has to go, I've just been sitting her on the potty frequently.  I am not sure she gets that she needs to catch herself and tell me she has to go before she has an accident.  At any rate, I am so far really proud of her and don't be surprised if you stop by our house and see a half nakie Annie!

I took all three of the little ones to well child visits yesterday.  They all looked good.  Annie is right around the 50th percentile for height and weight (a little above for the weight and a little under for the height).  Gideon weighed 24 lbs 11 oz.  He was in the 3rd percentile for weight and the 25th for height.  We are taking Gee back to the GI specialist in December as a follow up and he had requested that a mid 6 month weight be done.  A three of the little ones really looked great though.  I left that Dr. appt. feeling so blessed for the 5 healthy kids I have!

A couple "funnies." 
-Ryan came home Sunday afternoon after cutting some wood and as usual all the kids ran up to him saying "Daddy home, daddy home."  Well, Ryan just happen to ask Anna to come sit in his lap and as she walked over to him she tripped a little bit and whined.  Ryan held her babied her a bit.  So Gideon, not missing a beat stands up and pretends to fall and than whines.  It was so funny and Ryan was just cackling.  We where both like "we can't believe he just did that."  I guess Gee was needing some lovings also!
-The 3 toddlers new phrase is "No mommy, I talk'in to ______."  Madeline started it and now all three say it.  A typical situation goes like this:    One of the little one is rambling on about something and I will say "Anna what do you need?" or I will answer their question if they asked one, to this I get (in a very frustrated voice), "No mommy, I talk'in to Madeline."  I feel like sarcastically saying "gesh, sorry!"
-Anna is very big into "why" right now.  Ugh, if I never heard that word again it would be fine by me.

Oh yeah, our camping trip last week was tons of funs.  I have lots of pictures and as soon as they are uploaded I will post them.  We hiked quite a bit and the kids did really well.  It was great to get some family time!

Well, until later....


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

"Poopy, wet"

So this is often times Anna's phrase when she has pooped (yes, potty training is right around the corner).  Earlier today this is the conversation I hear:

Anna - "Poopy, wet......poopy, wet"
Madeline - "Ok, Anna, let me see"

So Madeline proceeds to check Anna's diaper like I do, by pulling it out at the back. 

Madeline - "Ohhhhhhh.....Anna, you poopy"

This is funny to me because she said it exactly like I say it, she even had a look of disgust on her face.  Yes, sometimes I get tired of changing literally 6 to 8 poopy diapers a day (Maddie is potty trained and Gee and Anna have poop issues) and I act disgusted that I am changing yet another on.

So I lay Anna down and change her and Madeline and Gideon gather around.  Maddie says "that's disgusting" and Gee chimes in with "dis-gut-ing."

Poor, poor Anna.  Fortunately she was not phased by the whole incident and she seriously cackled the whole time.  


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Finally, some Gideon birthday pics!

Gideon had 4 different birthday celebrations this year.  Hey, we barely missed his first birthday, so I don't feel too badly for going a little overboard. We celebrated with my whole family the day before his birthday and then of course we had to have a little party on his actual birthday.  Then, we had a big pirate pool party for all his cousins and finally we celebrated with Ryan's family while camping.  Gideon and my niece are two days apart, so they partied together this year.  

The pictures are nutty as usual, but there are pics of his pirate pool party and his joined party (while camping) with my niece.  

PS.  I am so frustrated with my picture issues on this blog.  I have tried to remedy the problem in the few ways I know how (I am not computer savvy).  I wonder if it's not just a weird "Apple Computer" thing.  It seems I have a lot of issues with this computer not recognizing typical programs.  But, I have loaded pictures normally on here before.  **Sigh**


Monday, August 18, 2008

Oh dear gussy........

Well, I guess I asked for it.  A blog is indeed very public, meaning anyone can read and obviously post a comment.  Which truly is fine, but now I find it necessary to respond to such comments......

Please do not assume that we are uneducated or unenlightened on the pros and cons of circumcision simple because we do not share your opinion on the subject.  We have done our research, prayed about it and we have come to a conclusion that we feel is best for our son and our family.  I do not feel obligated to share those views on a public blog which is why they will remain our personal convictions.  As Gideon's parents we will always have his best interests at heart.  We don't get overly concerned with strangers opinions.  


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Just Checking in.

I had a minute so I thought I would post and ramble on a bit.

The summer is flying by.  I mean seriously, where did it go?  I love fall and winter (until about early March) so the upcoming season change is just fine, but along with fall comes homeschooling, piano lessons, just more stuff.

We are leaving later today to go camping again.  It should be lots of fun and the weather is suppose to be really nice, not too hot.  A couple weeks after we get back, Ryan and I are taking the kids to Gatlinburg to camp for a week.  That will be tons of fun!  We have never gone on a week long vacation with just our family, so this will be cool/interesting.  I reserved our campsite, but I haven't put too much thought into what our week will hold.  I am sure lots of trails, bike riding and relaxing.  Can you tell we are really enjoying our new camper?

Anna and Gee are really doing great.  Anna is started to get really upset when we leave her (like at the church nursery or with the babysitter).  She often will cry when we leave her, but lately she will literally scream and throw a fit.  Within 5 minutes she is completely calm and fine, but it sure puts on a show.  Besides that Anna is really doing well.  We had/have a problem with her putting her fingers in her mouth.  She never had any fingernails when it was nail clipping time, well I am happy to say that this has gotten better.  I actually clipped her fingernails the other day.  I am proud of her because she got into a bad habit and now she just does so much better.  She still does it occasionally, especially when she needs comfort, but we are making strides.

Gideon is talking more also.  He is just repeating everything now.  I think he is just getting to the point where he can form word properly.  I actually think he speaks more clearly than Anna, but Anna knows more words and it putting words together better.  Gideon's circumcision is scheduled for late September (maybe the 23rd?).  Poor guy.  I do feel bad for him but I am sure he will heal quickly and be better in no time.  Ryan and I did debate a little about circumcision and whether or not we felt it was necessary.  We did some research and came to slightly different conclusions, but in the end I really feel like we are doing the right thing for our family and for Gideon.

Oh, all three of the kids have discovered cartoons.  I guess I realized a couple months ago that the kids never really watched cartoons.  I think that is just fine because I am sure many kids these days over watch the tv, but it has become a good distraction for them if I need to go do other things around the house.  Right now their favorites are "Go Diego, Go," "Dora the Explorer," the "Backyardians" and "Yo Gaba Gaba."  Let me just say that "Yo Gaba Gaba" is probably the most annoying show I have ever watched.  I think it even tops "Barney."  But, the kids love it.  If your kids have yet to see this show, keep them far, far away.  It came on after Dora one day and our kids were hooked!

Well, until next time!


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"Mommy, that my brother and sister!"

For the last week or so Madeline has been learning about siblings and cousins.  It all started when she said one of her cousins was her "sister."  So we have gone over with her a couple times what a sister/brother/cousin was.  So I was cleaning out in the garage today and the 3 little ones were out there playing.  They were actually playing really nicely with very few fights.  Out of the blue Maddie says "mommy, that my brother and sister."  She has finally "got it."  Obviously, this comment was especially sentimental for me.  My heart just swells when I see how close the little three are getting.  I just love that we can bring two strangers into our family and within a very short period of time they can become siblings in every sense of the word.

Maddie is kind of the bossy one out of the three, but I do believe she genuinely tries to keep the smaller two out of trouble.  She may be the first to yank a toy from them, but she is also the first to comfort them and tell them "it's ok" if they are sad.  Gideon loves to stick things in his mouth, you really have to watch him.  Out in the garage Madeline yanked something from his hand and of course he screamed (and said "Madeline, no!").  She had taken a little golf marker (like the thing you put on the green to mark your ball) from him.  I gave it back to him and then realized he probably ought not have it and I threw it away.  Madeline then said "I tell Gideon, don't choke on it."  Maybe she wasn't being as selfish as I originally thought.  I think she was watching out for her little brother.

Also, I wanted to add that Anna is speaking more clearly lately.  I still can't understand 1/2 of what she says, but a lot of things are becoming more clear and she is saying lots of new words.  I was a little concerned about her for a while.  Not overly worried or anything because I think she is doing great for not hearing English for over 1/2 her life, but I guess I have felt she doesn't speak as well as other kids her age.  Now, I don't normally worry about what every other kid does because I know first hand that each kid can be extremely different in how they develop.  But, when it comes to language with our two little Guatlings, I feel I need to be more diligent than I would normally be. 


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Gee!!!!

Well, Gideon isn't officially 2 yet, but in less than 1/2 an hour he will be. I will not have time to blog tomorrow as we are leaving to go camp and I have a lot to do and for some reason I have extra energy right now.

This time last year I was feeling a range of mixed emotions. I had just dropped Gee of with his foster family. I needed to take Anna home, but I missed his first birthday by a day. I remember that we bought him a USA airplane backpack (hoping his foster family would send it home with him when we came back, which they did), filled with toys and stuff and a chocolate bar from Marie's candy. We also bought him a birthday balloon. It was so sad to leave him, although I was grateful to have Anna and to be so close to bringing him home.
I have pictures of his first birthday party and him eating his chocolate bar thanks to his wonderful foster family!
Now that Gee is home, where has the time gone? Gideon is growing into a strong funny little man. Yes, he still can cry at the drop of a hat, but I just know there's a little ham working it's way out. Boys are just fun. I love that God made boys and girls so different. Gee does all the typical boy stuff. He loves wheels and balls and he hangs like a monkey off of our table (he is a strong little guy). His newest trick is taking the girls' things and throwing them over the gate in the kitchen (where they can't reach them). It is seriously a hoot. The girls' get in such an uproar about it and Gee just thinks it is sooo funny.
I love my little boy. From the minute I saw his picture at 3 months I knew he needed to be our son. How wonderful blessed we are the God allowed my dream to come true. As I said earlier with Anna, I cannot share in this blog all that Gideon means to us, but we could not love him more.
Happy Birthday Gee!!
As for the pictures, the first two were taken within a couple days of his first birthday when we were picking up Gideon. That last 3 are recent.
**Could you please pray that the package we sent to his foster family arrives soon. We sent it over a month ago and they have yet to receive it. It had some irreplaceable things in it and it would really be sad if they don't get it. Also, I am sure they (as well as his birhtmom) are thinking of him on his birthday. May they both be blessed with sweet memories!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Gotcha Anna!!

Well, one year ago today Annie and I were sitting at the US Embassy in Guatemala. We waited for about 3 hours to get Anna's visa, so we could come home. We left the next morning. The embassy was full of little Guatlings and parents dying to take their little ones home. Anna was so good and spent most of the time in my baby carrier, right on my chest. I was so excited to finally complete out last hurdle!!

It is hard to believe it has been a year. Anna has changed so very much. She has put on about 10 lbs and has really come out of her shell. She is still the sensitive little sweatheart she was back then, but she definitely has a spunky side now that she isn't afraid to show. I am totally in awe that God has intrusted this precious baby girl to us. There is no way that I can express in this blog all that Anna means to us. We are so incredibly blessed. We love our little Anna and on this 1 yr "Gotcha Day" we are especially thoughtful about all she means to us. We love you baby girl!!

Again, the pictures have issues, but I will do the best I can..........

The first 3 pictures are recent ones of Anna:

These last two pictures were taken a year ago. The one of Anna and I was taken on Embassy day (so exactly one year ago). She had just woken up from the car ride home and I wanted to get a picture before we changed our clothes. This other picture is the first time Leah and Logan met their little sister!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Just a little rondomness....

I have no clue why my pictures are so wonky. Sorry, but I am too lazy to try and figure what the problem is.

Anymore when I go to take a picture, Gideon totally cheeses it up. It is so funny. Half the time I am not even planning on taking his picture, but I do anyways because he is cracking me up so much. In this first little clump of pics, I was trying to get a picture of the girls' kinky hair. I braided both the girls' hair into tiny braids and when I took it out yesterday, well it looked so funny I went to get my camara.

Also in this clump is Madeline sleeping in the high chair (insert major frustrations right here). We have been having major issues with Maddie sleeping where and when she should (please pray for this situation if you think of it). Madeline can, will and does climb out of EVERYTHING. Don't want to nap? No problem, just climb out of the pack -n- play and bother Anna who is being a good girl and is trying to go to sleep. Don't want to stay in the play area? No worries, just hop over the gate and go upstairs and try on all your flip flops. Our normal discipline methods are completely uneffective here. In the last day or so we have discovered "the chair." She hasn't figured out how to get out of this yet. So, we had the typical nap time experience and Maddie ended up in her chair, where she fell alseep (I knew she was tired!).

How funny is this picture of Gee (above obviously, ugh, why do I have to be so technically ignorant?)! He is the man of many faces! He does these kinds of looks all the time, I was just lucky I caught one.

Ok, these 2 pics are so funny to me. A little back story first. About a month ago I saw Annie doing this to her baby. I said "are you feeding your baby?" and she said yes. I thought is was adorable, but I wasn't really sure if she realized what she was doing. Then on vacation she did it a couple more times and now her and Maddie frequently nurse their babies. I am happy to see both my little girls share my passion for nursing, but I am a little confused as to where they picked it up, especially Anna. It has been quite some time Madeline has been nursed and while I have 2 sil's who nurse they don't see that all that often. Oh well, it is what it is and I think it is quite adorable.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Vacation cont......

This will probably be shorter than my original vacation post, but here it is....

Vacation was super!  We had an awesome time.  We went to the 4X4 beach in the Outer Banks (Corolla).  We had a big house and had tons of room for our family and our extended family on Ryan's side.  It was relaxing and exciting all at once.  The beach was wonderful and the 4X4 beaches added a little "excitement."  

The kids did great.  Leah and Logan loved the ocean and the sand.  Logie became quite the boogie boarder.  The 3 little ones loved the sand and liked the water to varying degrees.  Madeline loved the water if I was right there with her.  She would ride the waves all day if I were holding her hand.  Anna did not care for the water.  I was impressed that she had no problem heading into the water at first, so I don't think she was so much scared of it, I just don't think she liked it.  She'd usually go into the water whenever we asked her, but she'd always want right back out.  I think Gee liked the water, but he never voluntarily headed into it. 

I noticed something about Annie this past week.  She is such a lover and really seems to have a big heart.  I noticed her going out of her way more than once this past weekend to help a cousin/sibling, even if it took her out of her comfort zone.  Like running into the waves to get Gee the shovel he dropped.  She just hops right up, like it is second nature.  Another thing Annie does these days is say she's sorry.  "I sorry mommy,"  "I sorry Dami" (to be interpreted as "I sorry Jami (aunt)"), she apologizes for just bumping into you or walking by you, anything really.  Very cute and funny.

So, that's about it when it comes to vacation.  Great fellowship, great beach, great food, great house, what more can you ask for?


I HATE junebugs!

Let me preface by saying I HATE junebugs!!!  You know those noisy little beetle like bugs that fly at your windows and crunch when smushed.  I think my issues here date back to when I lived at home and they always seemed to get into the house and bang up against our windows at night.  I would lay in bed petrified that one would attack me.  So, they just bug me (no pun intended :)).

Well, just a few minutes ago Gideon was putting something in his mouth (can you tell where this is going?).  I said "Gideon, come here and let mommy see what you are putting in your mouth."  So, he proceeded to hand me a half eaten junebug.  He laid it in my hand and I screamed and dropped it.  The two girls looked at me like I was crazy and my dear, dear boy started to hysterically laugh (no kidding).  In hindsight it was very funny, but maybe that is because the junebug is safely in the trash!

FYI - we have our post placement visit tonight with a social worker.  This is a required follow up to check on Anna and Gee.

Also FYI - I weighed Gee last night and he was 25 lbs even.  I was so excited, we cheered.  Now, he is normally higher in the evenings, but regardless of when we weigh him, he has never seen 25 lbs!


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Hello Again

Ok, we are back from vacation and I just wrote a 5 paragraph post and it is gone now.  I will have to repost vacation info later because I don't have time to now.  Here are the pics though:

Madeline, my niece Kayla and and Anna chilling on a beach chair.

Four little princess' and one prince (ummm, that is a Kilt on Gee).

Annie initially enjoying the water with papa.

Gee and his "best buddy."  My poor little niece (her and Gee are 2 days apart), she is always s excited to see Gee and he is usually less than enthusiastic.  Also, this pic is pre hair cut.

Eating dinner at a local spot by the beach.

The wild horses that run freely on the 4X4 beaches of the Outer Banks.

Gee post hair cut, by the pool.

Annie and Katelyn strolling the beach.

Gee and his beach hat.