Sunday, November 2, 2014

Adoption Awareness Month

November is National Adoption Awareness Month and the hope is to bring awareness to all people that there are 147 million orphans in the world who need a mom, dad, and family to love them! Adoption is not perfect, beautiful, or simple. It is messy, expensive, and often times heart wrenching.
Adoption was not my lifelong dream as a child. I grew up, like many other girls I knew and wanted marriage, pregnancies, and the perfect life I dreamed of. I sat in my church pew many times planning what my wedding would be like....what flowers I would use, where the bridesmaids would stand, every detail has been etched on the back of church bulletins through the years! But, for whatever reason it never came for me. Therefore pregnancies and babies never came. And that was a hard pill to swallow for this girl who loves children!
And so, as I matured into adulthood and life happened, I gradually began thinking about another dream. A dream that only God could have prepared and planned for for my life. A journey that was all his...because I never thought in a million years I would be a single mom to a Chinese daughter!
Honestly adoption for me was a selfish answer for motherhood. At the time I wasn't thinking about "saving a child" or "rescuing her from a life of _____"; I was simply looking for a way to be a mom. But, as I was in the process I became educated in orphan care, abandonment, and all the issues that rip your heart out! So at that point I truly understood what God had done in my life...he took some of my dreams away so hers could happen. That's becoming a mom!
So as I look at pictures of her at her orphanage, like the one below, irony isn't lost in the fact that her only toy on this day was an empty basket and now she has a room full of toys. Or that she was wearing clothes from a shared closet and now she has too many to count. Her life is changed forever and ironically so is mine!
So, throughout the month I may share some about my adoption experience in hopes that in may encourage someone to learn more about helping those 147 million orphans. Whether it's through prayer, financial donations, or actual adoption. I hope that you'll think about it!


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Happy Halloween...and the end of October

i'll start with Halloween and work my way back 2 weeks...
we had a wonderful halloween night!  
next to christmas eve, it is seriously my favorite night of the year!

 we live in the greatest neighborhood...on a culdesac which is perfect for trick or treating in!

i always plan lots of yummy good food and invite friends, neighbors, and family to party with us!

everyone had a great time and the kids went in and out trick or treating and coming inside to warm up!
 as we shopped for costumes this year i kinda forgot she was a dog last year
but, we saw this adorable outfit on gymboree and snagged it early in the season on sale and with gymbucks...
it was in the toddler size section...not the big girls yet 
so i thought this would be the last year she'd fit into that size clothing
 she preferred to be a growling dog! ha!
and would have actually loved to be a dinosaur even more, but i convinced her to wait a year...trying to keep it as girly & frilly as i can for as long as possible!
 i tried my hand at face painting and did ok...not an expert in this area!
 here we are with friends and neighbors on our first trick or treat outing!  everyone had to bundle up b/c it was cold!


 madison and eddie came a bit later and eddie was not into getting a picture this year :( 
and here is the loot as we counted and sorted it before bedtime!  
(she kept 6 pieces {all chocolate!} and we are leaving the rest out for the switch witch tonight)
now onto other news from this month!
molly had her first piano recital!!! 
 i'm seriously so proud of her!
she's a fast learner and is determined in all she does!
she played   " old macdonald had a farm" and did great!
this recital was a costume recital and everyone dressed up!
it was adorable!




 her kindergarten teacher came to see her performance!!! 
 i'm not sure if she'll continue playing her whole life or not
but i just wanted to expose her to learning music and playing piano
 i want her to be exposed to as much as possible (without overkill) just to give her confidence and bravery to try everything in life and not to be worried or concerned that she can't do something b/c of her hand/foot difference!
i spoke with her piano teacher before lessons started and asked if she'd be willing to adjust instruction as needed to fit molly's need (with only 2 fingers on one hand)
she said she'd love to and it's been perfect!
never once has molly said i can't or asked to quit or anything!



 here molly is spending the day with mama maze and the 2 babies (that mom keeps)
it was a teacher work day...it looks like she's making a train through the house with toys!

 and here are the 2 cutest baby boys...jackson and jude!  
they are adorable and we all love them, although molly and i only see them for a second in the morning and after school b/c their moms are both teachers and have the same hours as i do.

 jackson better look out!  jude is out to get him!
 a few fall decorations outside!

 here we are at the new library in our area!
it is so nice and we are so lucky it is about 5 minutes from our house!
it has a library, community center, gymnasium, and ice skating rink.

 i love the new book shelves in the children's section!
some of them are organized on the top where you see the book faces in stead of just the spine!
love it!


 this is an ipad and laptop checkout center!
awesome!
 our favorite section...dinos!

 this was opening day and they had the nashville ballet come and speak with the kids!

and here is molly heading into her first ice skating lessons today!
she did great! 

it was the first time she'd been on the ice ever and that big rink was really intimidating to a little 6 year old!
she was in the beginner class, but there were about 10 kids to 1 teacher, so much of the time she was trying to just keep standing on her own!
we went to disney on ice a few weeks ago and i think she was expecting to get on the ice and be able to skate like elsa and anna! ha! 
i looked at her a few times and could tell she was on the verge of tears, but she held it together and by the end of class she could get back up after she fell down, skate and balance on her own!  
when she came out she said, "did you see me mom? i kept trying and didn't give up!"
we'll do this for 6 weeks and see what she thinks.  

Monday, October 13, 2014

random fall things...

molly has not been 100% since starting kindergarten really
she's had a couple bouts with fevers and no other real symptoms besides being tired
right before fall break, we  were at the dr. office again
i thought i may have to cancel the fall break trip, but she recovered and we went ahead

 i really just think she caught random bugs and can't get used to the demanding schedule of it all
she's so tired after school each day
but she's ready to start back tomorrow after over a week off for fall break!
 anytime she falls asleep on the couch i know she's sick!
 a few halloween yard decorations

 she got a haircut & elsa braid to start fall break off right!
we were on our way to disney frozen on ice!

 we love disney!




 here we were at dinner when we arrived in atlanta!
we ate at buckhead diner and had deviled eggs, homemade chips and dip, and a chocolate shake!
isn't that a random selection!

 here is proof that i made all the kids do a little work while they were off too! ha!

 i had time to get in the kitchen and cook some while i was off
that is one of my favorite things to do...to de-stress!
i made pioneer woman's cinnamon rolls and they were amazing!
no, i didn't eat them all.  we froze 4 pans for later!
we also made brownies
 we took one day to all go to cheekwood
it was so pretty and we got some good pictures of the kiddos together!
 i want my yard to look like this! ha!










 they have scarecrows out among  mums and pumpkins everywhere
they were so cute!

 there were several olaf scarecrows!



 beautiful!










 it was a great afternoon!



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