Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is American Thanksgiving. As has become our Thanksgiving tradition we celebrated with our friends who are like family, the McClains. Once again they opened their home to family and friends to celebrate and be thankful together. Here is part of our family's contribution to the massive feast we enjoyed for the entire afternoon. Veggie turkey with thanks to Pinterest.

We have some very amazing things to be thankful for this year. First and foremost we are all thankful for the fact that our family is healthy and safe. There are many things in the routine of our lives that we do not take time to be thankful for. That comfy, warm bed I woke up in this morning, the warm, clean water that cascaded in my shower this morning and the fluffy white towel I used to dry off with. Those are such mundane, taken for granted luxuries. The fact that I can flip a switch and have light and can adjust the temperature of my home with the push of a button. We have a choice of two vehicles to go where we need to be so my husband can travel to his job that provides not only for all our needs and many of our wants as well.

I addition to these things we often take for granted there is the miracle of being able to expand our family this year. We are now just weeks away from finalizing S's adoption. I took his suit pants to the tailor earlier this week. As described in his words, "That was awkward." :-)

In preparation for adoption placement after Dec 5th S requires a current (within the last 6 months) physical. We looked after that this week. From that appointment we determined that he needs his eyes tested. I already had my suspicions about this, a benefit of homeschooling. I had even already talked to the receptionist at our optometrist about wait time to get him in post adoption when he will be on our insurance. Now that it is a documented medical need I have to try to have him seen by an optometrist prior to adoptive placement. Not a big deal just another appointment that we have tomorrow.

Tomorrow will be annother fun filled day decorating for Christmas. This will involve baking cookies, hot cocoa and hot almond milk for K. As much as I'm looking forward to the day of decorating being S's first Christmas with us. I have a few concerns about the girls getting out all of their sentimental ornaments and memory filled crafts. S won't have anything in our boxes this year. He will never catch up to his sisters collections and we know that he is a sentimental boy. I'm sure there will be times throughout the holidays that will remind him of holidays in his past spent in foster homes or with his birth mom. He doesn't share these thoughts but I want to remind myself that even if he doesn't voice his feelings his emotions can come out in behaviors and I want to try not to be so involved in the joy and excitement of the season to overlook all that his little heart is missing. I'm thankful today that he will hear the reason for the season this year and understand the "Christ" in Christmas. Thanksgiving is not about Black Friday tomorrow and Christmas certainly isn't about the presents we receive. There are many holiday seasons ahead of us where new memories and new traditions will be established.


Monday, November 12, 2012

So close..... the countdown is on.

So I'm sure this is just my life and no one reading this could possibly be as busy as me. Just kidding of course, I know you are all very busy. It is our lot in life choosing to be all things to all people. Wanting to be the best mom in the world, the doting wife, a great friend and then collapsing into bed each night only to repeat the cycle of fulfilling needs the next day. So this is my excuse for not making the time to update the blog. But I'm here so prepare yourselves to be updated.

September and October were ruled by cheerleading practices, football games and cheerleading competitions for R and baseball practices and games for S. I honestly don't know how families who aren't homeschooling do it. At least I have control of testing days and allowing them to sleep in until they are rested enough to get up and start their school day. Listening to the other cheer moms talk about homework and tests their daughters needed to stay up until midnight preparing for just made me feel so bad. How do middle schoolers get enough rest to do well on a test they have studied for until midnight? The general consensus among the other moms was that they are really looking for grades to go up in the second 9 weeks of school now that cheer is over. That said I have enjoyed watching both our youngest children grow and flourish in their chosen sports. I admit I had no understanding of how tough cheerleading is. My biggest reward for S playing baseball for the first time on a team is watching how his team has rallied around him. When he hits a double or makes a great snag in right field - he did both of these things in his last game - hearing his teammates and the parents in the stands cheer for him does my heart good. They all know he is new to the sport while the other boys have been playing for many years. Considering his lack of experience he has had an awesome season and his last game is tomorrow night. Michael has been able to help out assisting the coaches on S's team and this has been a good time of bonding for them. I love this picture of them in the dugout.

Here's a before and after shot of my fresh faced twelve year old cheerleader and then the same sweet girl complete with competition make up - have mercy!

During these months the big girls have kept pretty low key. T went to homecoming - and has been applying to colleges. ** Insert proud but teary eyed mom face here. ** K decided she didn't want to go to homecoming this year and she is still debating whether or no she will attend her senior prom. These are hard moments. I want her to have success and friendships but it is a different road for her. She is however really enjoying her career class at school where she is working in medical records at a local hospital four days each week. Her favorite part of this is that they have free lunch in the hospital cafeteria each Tuesday. Oh and she has a special magnetic pass that allows her into restricted areas at  the hospital. 

So now you are all caught up on life in general. How about a good ol' adoption update? We went back to court - yes we did. It is getting to be a very familiar routine. This last time was a Super Duper Hooray we've (almost) done it day in court. We were in court on November 5th. The next to final step before S is legally free for adoption is complete. Now we wait until December 5th for him to be free and clear and OURS!!!! After December 5th we will go to court one LAST time - oh and rest assured I will be telling all of my children this had better be their last time in court, unless of course they too adopt someday. :-) This final court date when we appear in front of the judge for official finalization and adoption we will be decked out in our Sunday best. Honestly, we usually wear jeans to church so this will be better than our Sunday best. Michael and S both got new suits and the girls and I are working on getting our outfits court ready. There WILL be photos taken. And you can bet this blog will be overflowing with months worth of photos I haven't been able to share - I mean seriously how annoying is it to keep seeing the back, the hand, a foot of my son? He does have an adorable face and I should be posting his sweet little mug right here in about 1 month - that feels crazy good to say.

Just for kicks how about one of my famous (infamous?) timelines?

December 5th, 2012 - S declared legally free for adoption
Sometime before Christmas - adoption becomes finalized - YAHOO!!!

There should be no reason that this is not achievable. Prayers are still appreciated to ensure no bumps in the road delay anything further. Michael, K (now that she is 18) and I all went for fingerprinting background screens last week. That's done! S needs a current physical prior to adoptive placement so that's the only thing left to be done on our end. I hope to look after that in the next week or so.

One other little update. Report cards came out last week. Being that R and S have never been homeschooled before this year, they really wanted report cards too. So they got them. I noticed S looking his over with rather an unusal look on his face and I immediately felt inadequate in the very simple report I had crafted on a speadsheet. I apologized that it didn't look exactly look like his usual report cards. He looked at me and said, "No mom, I've just never had one without F's and D's before." Well alright then. A's and B's - I'm just saying!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

How you doin?

Yesterday we went to Michael's work picnic of sorts. It was a beautiful sunny day with blue skies and temps nearing 80 degrees. Perfect for a company picnic at Busch Gardens. We went on a few rides then met with Michael's co-workers for a lunch where the kids had caricatures sketched. I have always wanted to do this and having the opportunity to get them as freebies was a no brainer. We finished off the day with more rides and finished with a very wet ride on the Congo River Rapids, Michael and K got the worst of it. We all got very wet but they were soaked without a spot of dry on them from head to toe.

I know I've said I can't post pics of S yet - but I'm thinking these likenesses wouldn't identify any of my children. :-) I love them and can't wait to get them framed and displayed.

There are so many updates I need to do - but time has not been on my side lately. I just wanted to do this quick little fun post and I'll get back into the serious matters at hand in a future post. Maybe even later today. 

Just for fun, how ironic is this "Joey" kangaroo we spotted lounging about at BG yesterday?

"How you doin?"