Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What Can You Do?

With Thanksgiving just around the corner I want to express how very thankful I am for all of my wonderful family and friends.  You guys make me want to be a better a person. 

I read a story a couple of months ago that has had such an impact on me.  An impact that is hard to describe.  I cried myself to sleep after reading it.  (Ugly, uncontrollable crying.) I sporadically cried throughout the next few days as my heart broke with his; I could hear his heartbreak ringing in my ears.  You see, it was about a boy he grew up in the foster system.  He would go to events to meet families looking for a child to adopt.  He would carry his report card proudly hoping that he could prove his worth to a family.  He would go back to his foster family’s house and wait, hoping that he would get a call that someone wanted him.  That child was never adopted and never got to experience the love of parents.  That child took the wrong the path and his life ended too early at 18.  As a nation we failed him.  As Christians we failed him. 

 I typically try not to read these stories, as if not reading them means they’re not real.  I buried my head in the sand and convinced myself that these children are someone else’s responsibility.  I’m too busy, too tired, too this and that.  I made up excuses.  But recently I feel God moving me in this direction.  I started reading the articles, I started donating to group homes, and most recently, I have started volunteering to help foster parents.  I know what I’m supposed to do.  I think that’s why this story hit me so hard.  Why am I waiting?  I know what I’m called to do.  I have such guilt for putting it on hold.  I know that when I do finally foster and adopt an older child that I will wish that I had done it sooner.  It will be agony to know that I could have spared that child some pain and given him/her love and security even one day sooner.  However, I feel like my heart is careening down this path and my mind needs some time to catch up.  My practical side needs a minute. So I wait.  But I now know that there is something I can do while I’m waiting.  It is ABSOLUTELY my responsibility to help these children and I won’t hide from that anymore.  I’m following the below hierarchy and will hopefully make it to the top! 




What can you do?

Also, please pray for John and Christian as they follow me on this journey.  Hopefully it will be a rewarding and blessed experience for everyone!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Disney World!

 Where does the time go?  I can't believe it has been a month since I last posted.  A LOT has happened so I'll do a picture post.

We had professional pictures taken.  They turned out so well!
My little slice of heaven

Such a beautiful girl

My sweet boy
John and I took a weekend trip Sea Island.  It was our first time away from C for more than 24 hours but there was no need to worry.  He had a great time with Granna and Pop.
Our gorgeous view from the Club House
 The next weekend we went to Disney World!! It was just a short trip but we packed a lot in during our 4 days there.

He met Lilo
The teacups
Bunny Ears

He's now 40" tall so he got to ride Soarin.' Loved it!
Our last day there(Monday) I started feeling sick.  It came on quickly and by the time we got on the plane to come home I was really not doing well.  I made an appointment to see the doctor the next morning but by that time I was really, really sick.  Temp was 104.5 and I could barely get out of bed.  John had to come home and take me to the doctor and I had strep which turned it to scarlet fever. I got some meds and was feeling a good bit better by Thursday. 

BUT - Thursday, C had an accident at school right before I picked him up.  He fell and bit through his lip.  It was terrible!  I do not do well under extreme circumstances.  He was crying, there was blood everywhere, there were 5 or 6 teachers all staring at me and waiting for me to tell them what to do.  To them I'm sure I appeared frozen.  However, all of this was going on in my brain:  Where is Children's Hospital, what street, do I know how to get there, is part of his lip missing, do we need to find it, is he going to bleed to death sitting in the back seat by himself, Mom guilt! - why didn't I get here 5 minutes earlier, this wouldn't have happened... NO, we can't go spiraling down that rabbit hole right now... they're all staring at me waiting for me to say something, how long have I been standing here?  Finally, his lead teacher asked if I needed some help.  Well obviously I need some help!!  Thankfully we worked out that she would drive my car there, I would sit in the back with C and the director would follow us.  John wasn't answering his phone and I was barely keeping it together.  I finally got him after we were called back to a room but then I knew I had to keep it together another 30 min until he got there.  Meanwhile, C was such a trooper.  He barely cried on the way to the ER.  The only time he cried was when someone wanted to touch him.  Right before he got the stitches he was actually even chuckling.  Such a brave boy. 

Right before they put him out to do the stitches
I sure do hope that sweet mouth doesn't scar.  Part of his lip was not missing so it was a pretty clean wound.  They said he should be back to normal in a few days.  His lip will probably heal before my heart though!  That was tough on this ole mama!


Friday, October 10, 2014

Guess What?!

C is officially fully potty trained!  Yay!!  He's been pretty much trained for a while now but he would still have an accident once/day or every other day.  But now it's more like once/week!  Yay Christian!  He's such a big boy. 

He moved up to an older class at his school in August.  I've been having a tough time with the adjustment.  I feel like they moved him too early but I'm not sure what to do about it now.  This type of school only changes classes once every three years.  The class he advanced to is ages 3-6.  At 2 1/2 he's the youngest.  I think he loves being in there with the older kids but I think the teachers forget that he's so young.  They expect A LOT out of him.  For the most part he has risen to the occasion but there is one thing that he's just not ready to do.  They expect him to wipe his own behind after pooping.  He's not quite capable of that yet so he has dirty underwear and a rash on his bottom.  I have had SEVERAL conversations with the teachers and they have finally agreed to help him.  Their stance is that he needs to be independent and learn to do it himself.  I get that.  This school is dedicated to growing independent problem solvers.  However, this is something that is causing him physical discomfort and it needs to be addressed.  Hopefully we won't have any more issues like this.

A few updates about our little man that I don't want to forget:

1. He loves spiderman, ninja turtles and transformers!  John is absolutely thrilled that he has progressed from Elmo & Mickey Mouse to something that they can watch together!
2. I still lie down with him at night until he falls asleep.  He says some of the funniest things during these nightly chats.  He likes to talk about people as dinosaurs, penguins and robots. I can't get him to talk about school unless I ask him if the Big Boy Dinosaur had fun at school that day.
3. As mentioned above, he is very independent.  If he wants something to eat or drink he gets it himself.  If he wants cereal he will get out the bowl, spoon and cereal and then I help him pour the milk.  He should be able to do that himself soon.  If he makes a mess he gets a towel and cleans it up.  He likes to help cook and clean too.  He's mommy's little helper. 
4. He still has some pretty terrible tantrums but most of the time he's a sweet little man.
5. He loves to play outside with his "friends."  When he sees the neighborhood kids playing he'll walk out there and scream, "Hey friends!  I'm coming to play!" 
6. To my delight, he loves to sing and dance.  BUT most of the time he won't let me sing with him.  He'll say, "No mom.  You don't sing.  This is MY favorite song."  As if I'm ruining his favorite song by singing it.  poor mom.  He's also picky about the songs on the radio. He's constantly telling me to change the station until he finds something he likes.

One of C's school pictures.
Holding up his Transformers movie.
We also have another major update:  Tristan has decided to take a break from softball.  I can't blame her.  She's been hardcore into softball since she was 8.  John was devastated.  She probably won't get a scholarship to an SEC school now b/c this semester was THE semester for scholarship offers.  However, she still could get a scholarship to a smaller school.  She's also using this time to study because she wants academic scholarships. She's a smart young lady so I know she'll do whatever she sets her mind to do.

We are taking family photos Sunday so stay tuned for those!


Monday, September 29, 2014

The Smoky Mountains

We just got back from a wonderful trip with my family.  My parents planned another trip to the Smoky Mountains that included my sister and her family, my brother and his wife.  They're a mess and you never know what's going to happen with them.

Thursday night we went to the Lumberjack Feud. Christian was clapping and dancing in his seat so this lady brought him up on stage to dance.  So cute

 Then my brother was asked to climb a tree.  He didn't realize that it would be THIS high.  He did great and ended up winning.

Then John and C were asked to come on stage and shoot a big sling shot.  I had to remind John that C was supposed to be shooting it.
Goofing off at the cabin.  Could they fit another person on this couch?
He loved the penguin exhibit at the aquarium.

His first putt putt experience.
He loved this dragon.  He said it was silly because it was going to eat the scarecrows.

We even got to sit around a camp fire and make s'mores.
This is one super sweet boy!


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sick and Sick Again

Well it has been a while since my last post.  Poor C has been sick a good bit of the last few weeks.  He had strep two weeks ago and then two days after finishing his antibiotics got sick again.  We are assuming the second sickness was a relapse of the strep since it he had the same symptoms.  He finished up his second round of antibiotics today.  Hopefully he'll be healthy for a while.

We have been busy planning vacations which has taken up a lot of my time.  We're going to the mountains at the end of the month with my family.  Then we're going to DISNEY WORLD!!  This will be the first time that John, Christian and I are going.  I am so, so, so excited!  I made the mistake of telling C and now he talks about it constantly.  I can't make him understand that we're not going for another month and a half.  I think I'm going to make a bunch of paper links and we'll remove a link every day until the day we leave! :)

Daddy time when he was sick.

He met Elsa at fundraiser

All tuckered out after an afternoon at Granna and Pops.
Playing at his friend's house

Such a monkey


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Christian Funnies

Christian is developing his own little personality.  He's so cute and funny.  Here are some of the things I want to remember:

While I'm putting him to bed we talk about dinosaurs.  There's a big boy dino that's red, a mommy dino that's purple and a daddy dino that's black.  Haha.  They're always those colors.

When I get frustrated with him he'll look up at me with those big eyes and say, "Mommy? You love me?"  I say yes.  If I still seem agitated with him he'll ask if Daddy loves him.  He'll go through all family members until he thinks I'm over my frustration.

He sings a lot.  He loves "Jesus is my best friend," "Tree house" and "Twinkle Twinkle."  Two of those are church songs which makes me happy that he's paying attention.

When he goes potty I usually say "YAY!" and John says "Whoooo Whoooo" like a train whistle.  If I try to say Whoooo Whoooo he'll say, "No.  You don't say whoooo whooo; you say Yay!"

He's moving out of the toddler class and up to preschool next week.  How can he not be a toddler any more???  How is he getting so big???  Sniff.  Sniff. 8/6/14 was his half birthday so I took his stats.

Height = 39 inches
Weight = 33 lbs

He's in the 95th percentile for height but now only the 75th for weight.  He's thinning out.  His baby fat has been replaced by muscle.

No weights.... no problem

Loving the park

He really loved the dinosaur

Train ride at the zoo

Practicing balance.  He's standing on John's hand.


Friday, August 1, 2014


I don't know if I have adequately described the sweetness that is Christian.  He is so, so, so sweet.  That's what most people comment about when he meets them the first time.  When he started his new school the teachers said he is the sweetest little boy in the class.  When we go to Publix he knows he gets a free cookie.  We walk to the counter and he says, "May I have a cookie please?" He always smiles and looks at them when he asks.  Every. single. time. the attendant will comment about his sweetness.  Then when she hands him the cookie he'll say, "Oh! Thank you!" and as we're walking away he'll say, "Mommy, she gave me a cookie!"  He's so cute!  (This is not just a brag fest... I'm going somewhere with this so hang in there.)  Every day when I pick him up from school he'll say, "Mommy, did you go to work today to make some money?" I'll say yes and he'll say, "So you can buy me some pretzels?"  I'll say yes and he'll respond with the most genuine and sincere, "Oh! Thank you Mommy!"  Like I'm the best mom in the world because I go to work to make money and buy him pretzels.  So sweet!  He shares, he follows commands, he minds us most of the time.  When he wants the pretzels that made me mom of the year he'll walk to the cabinet, get a bowl, walk to the pantry, get the pretzels down, put a handful in the bowl, put the pretzels back up and sit down on the couch.  He's pretty amazing!

BUT (I'm getting to my point) - he does have his moments.  He is two and the tantrums have not skipped our house.  I don't know if it's because he is so sweet normally but his tantrums seem TERRIBLE!  I'm talking flinging himself on the floor, screaming, hitting, stomping, flailing, world is coming to an end... terrible.  And they last an absurd amount time.  He had one this week and it lasted for an hour and fifteen minutes.  There's nothing you can say or do to calm him down.  He usually spazzes until he pukes.  Then that snaps him out of it.  The one he had this week was the first time that he hasn't puked.  He coughed and choked a few times but he didn't actually throw up.  That must be why it lasted longer than usual.  I would love any advice from the mommas out there.  So far I usually just ignore it.  I'll walk over to him every 10-15 minutes, get on his level, and try to calmly talk to him.  When he starts hitting I try to put him in a time out but he is so irrational that I don't think he knows what it means.  John wants to spank but I am not ok with that.  I have spanked him a time or two but I feel like all he got out of it was that he can hit when he's frustrated.  From what I have read, tantrums seem to be the result of a lack of control.  (I hope he doesn't get my control issues.)  So I have been giving him ways to make his own decisions.  For example, "Do you want to floss or brush your teeth first?"  "Would you like grapes or a banana with dinner?" "Would you like to play ball or go to the pool?"  It does seem to be helping.  I know this is just a phase and he'll grow out of soon.  And, thankfully, his tantrums are few and far between.  I just need an extra dose of patience when they do happen!
He posed like this himself.  He must have seen a picture of someone posing like this.  Too cute!

Swimming with Emma Catherine

No fear!

Final update: Mark your calendars Canadian friends and family!!  We're coming your way on Christmas Day!! :)


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Potty Training

C has been potty training since he wanted us to put him on the potty at 16 months.  But he would only go sporadically and definitely still needed to wear a diaper.  Well... that all changed about two weeks ago.  We decided to start really potty training and he is doing great!  He wears his big boy undies to school but I usually put a pull up on him when I pick him up.  I don't want him to have an accident in the car seat or at the grocery store.  He typically has 1-2 accidents per day which isn't too bad! He can pull down his pants, climb up on the potty, do his business, attempt to wipe, climb off the potty, pull his pants up, flush and wash his hands all by himself.  He's so independent!  He's also smart... a little too smart.  Since he knows how to do all of this he will sometimes tell us he has gone so he can get a gummy bear.  He is so adamant that he did go but I'm not so sure.

He also knows how to make me putty in his hands.  Tonight, he was fighting going to bed so I told him if he didn't lay down and go to sleep that I was going to leave him to go night-night by himself.  He didn't lay down so I left him in his room and you would have thought that he was never going to see me again.  He cried and cried.  So I told him to go lay down and I would come back into his room.  We laid there in silence and I thought he was almost asleep.  Then I heard a quiet, little voice say, "Don't leave me Mommy, ok?  Deal?"  Putty.  So I kissed him and said I would never leave, leave.  I might be gone for a little while but I always come back.  He was quiet for a little while and then he said, "Mommy?  Hold me." Putty.  He knows what he's doing. 

How can you deny this face??

Showing off his baklava.  He loves it!

Licking the last little bit of hummus off his plate.

Yesterday I surprised John with a stay-cation.  I asked my parents to pick C up from school and then he stayed the night with them.  John and I went for a hike, went out to lunch, did some shopping, and then had a lovely dinner.  Then I slept until 7:30!  Ahhhh!  We had a great time but I missed C.  It was the longest I had ever been away from him... 30 hours.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fast Forward

Life seems to be in fast forward these days.  I can't believe it is already July!  C is more of a big boy every day. He's back to his sugary sweet self now that those top 2 molars have popped out.  Every night at bedtime I kiss him goodnight and tell him I love him.  The he asks, "Does Daddy love me? Does Sissy love me? Does Granna love me? Does Pop love me? Does Yia Yia love me? Does Papou love me?..." and the list goes on and on.  Then he always finishes with, "Does Sissy love me?" even though he's already asked. He sure does love her.
He loves to take a shower

Mommy Emma putting her boys down for a nap

C showing Granna how to properly be a catcher

John and I had an impromptu date when my parents picked C up from school.  I got to meet him at Iron City to watch the USA vs Belguim game.

Another funny: When I picked him up from school yesterday he asked, "Mommy, did you go to work and make some money?"  I said Yes and then he said, "OH!! Thank you!!" in such an enthusiastic tone.  So cute.

He started a new school on June 30th. He seems to really like it! He only went Mon - Wed and then we went to the beach for July 4th weekend.

C loved swimming in the ocean

He got pretty brave and wanted John to let go of him a few times.

It was an absolutely gorgeous weekend

About to go for a ride on the boat.  
He is doing great with his swimming!  He loves to "swim under water." He'll get in the kiddie pool and walk on his hands from one side to the other with his face under water.  He's not REALLY swimming but he thinks he is.

Tristan was recruited by a high profile travel softball team.  She finally decided to switch this past week and it has turned out great!  She played really well with the new team.  She got to throw a couple of girls out, she hit a home run and she got along well with the other girls.  It was a large tournament that they played in Colorado and they won!  So proud of her!


Saturday, June 21, 2014


We have been having a GREAT summer so far.  C finished his swim lessons last week.  He can't really swim but he will go under and loves to play in the pool.  He is a bundle of energy and swimming is a great way to get it out!

Emma and James came over to go swimming.  They love putting the chairs in the kiddie pool.
C loves to play guitar.  I guess I need to look up a few chords.
 We went to Chattanooga last weekend for one of Tristan's tournaments.  C loves to watch his Sissy play ball.  We also squeezed in a trip to the aquarium.  It was a fun weekend.

Doesn't he look like such a big boy at the ball field?

Spotting some fish

The card I got C and T to make for John.  So cute.
 It's pretty hard to take pictures at home these days because C wants to be naked.  But I do at least get a diaper on him when we have company.
Pop and Granna came over to play

So sweet
We gave Tristan the Jeep this week.  Watch out everybody.... she's mobile!  She hasn't gotten her license yet because she definitely needs some more practice.  I'm sure she'll be ready by the end of the summer though.  Kids these days don't seem as excited to start driving.  I couldn't wait!!!

Pool fun

His first ice cream cone.  I usually get it in a cup for him but I let him have a cone today. 

He also loves the ice cream man!  As soon as he hears the music he screams, "Get some honey for the ice cream man!"  (haha he can't say "money")

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