We are celebrating another adoption day. Two Years and one day after we brought home Leanne, Cameron and Justin we got another call. This time it was for little Miss. Katie. The way Katie came into our lives is a true testament to God. She was an answer to my prayers and it is unbelievable (and a little funny) how this precious little girl came home.
I must start by saying that in Ohio when you are first licensed to Foster or adopt you can not have anymore than 3 children in your home for 2 years, unless they are siblings. After having the kids for about a year I was really starting to feel like or family was not complete and I really needed a baby. I knew we had to wait 2 years, but I did begin praying for our baby. I didn't know if she was already born or not, but I prayed anyway. I asked the Lord to protect her and to bring her to us at just the right time. I was also praying for Chad since he thought our family was complete. He also didn't think a baby "was a good idea". He thought I would get attached and be very hurt if the baby was reunited with her birth family. Which I am sure would have been true.
Because we had not finalized our adoption of our older children we were still having weekly visits from our caseworkers. Since Chad worked during the day it was just the kids and I home when the caseworkers visited. Early in February I casually mentioned to them that we really wanted a baby. We wanted a healthy baby girl, with no addictions, no medical issues, no siblings, straight from the hospital and going straight for adoption. They laughed and said good luck and that we may have to wait forever. I told them that was OK, I was prepared to wait and had plenty of time. Since my husband was still on the fence about adopting again I thought I had time to sway him to my side. Exactly 17 days later, the day after our second Gottcha day, I received "the call".
This is exactly how the conversation went:
Caseworker: "Lacy, I have a 2 day old baby girl..."
Me: "I will take her!"
Caseworker: "Calm down, I have to read you the entire referral first. Two day old baby girl born... blah, blah, blah, blah........
Me: only hearing newborn baby girl I again blurted out "I'll take her!!!"
The caseworker said she would put our name in and to expect a call from the county agency sometime that day. I was on pins and needles the entire 5 minutes it took for the county worker to call. She asked me a series of questions including how I felt about helping to reunify the baby with her biological mother. I am not sure exactly what I told her, but I was thinking I will do anything to get that baby into my home. She told me they were considering 4 other families and that they would call my agency soon and let them know if we were chosen. About 45 minutes went by before they called again and I was FREAKING out waiting for them to call. I prayed and cried and prayers some more. Finally the phone rang and it was the county worker again, she said she had a few more questions for me. Finally she said "we have chosen you and your husband to foster the baby. Can you be here in an hour?" Of course I could be there in an hour. I just needed to find someone to watch the kids, get a car seat and call Chad and tell him we were getting a baby. Now, please don't think I bambozzled my husband into taking this baby. It was not that he didn't want a baby, he just didn't want his wife hurting if they reunited her with her birth family. I lined up a sitter, borrowed a car seat and called Chad. We had the following conversation:
Me: "Chad, I need you to come home and pick the kids up from Malissa's."
Chad: "Where are you going?"
Me: "To pick up a baby" laughing
Chad: "Sure you are. Where are you really going?"
Me: "To get a baby!" still laughing
He thought I was joking. He said he would get the kids, but he honestly thought I was kidding.
Chad called me while I was on my way to get her. He asked me where I was really going. I again said, I am going to get a baby. He said "Lacy, I told you it is not a good idea. You will get attached and it could end badly." I assured him that I was in fact not going to get attached. I was only going to like this baby a lot and take the best care of her I possible could. He said OK and I continued on my way to the hospital.
I was so excited walking into that hospital carrying that empty baby seat. I walked up to the information desk and said "I am here to pick up a baby!" The old man behind the desk looked at me like I was crazy and said "excuse me?". I repeated, "I am here to pick up a baby". looking like he should really be calling security he he directed me to the maternity floor. When I walked off the elevator a nurse at the desk said "are you the foster mom?". It must have been the cheesy grin on my face along with the empty car seat that gave me away. I quickly told her "yes" and she escorted me into the nursery. I walked in and looked into the little bassinet and asked "is this her?" when they told me yes, I burst into tears and exclaimed "she is the most beautiful baby I have even seen in my life!" They handed her to me and asked if I wanted to dress her in the outfit I brought. I asked the nurses a few questions, signed some papers and we were on our way to the car. The nurses strapped her in while I talked a little more with the caseworkers. I felt so euphoric, yet at the same time I felt like I was stealing her. It was so emotional for me. Once I had her in the car I pulled around to the back of the hospital, parked my car and got out to look at her again. I just wanted to touch her and look at her. I called Chad from my cell phone and said "She is the most beautiful baby ever. Chad, I love her already!". Chad being the optimist said "I knew it wasn't going to be a good idea." I assured him it would be fine because she is OUR baby I could just feel it.
On the way home I had to meet our caseworker. It was a rule of the agency that they see each child the first day they were placed in your home. I met him at Babies R Us since I also had to get bottles and a few other baby essentials. My youngest was 4 years old, I didn't have anything for a baby. The caseworker held the baby and talked to me as I shopped. I was only there a few minutes and we were on our way home to meet the family. When I arrived home I took Katie out of her car seat and carried her wrapped in a blanket into the house. When Chad came over I pulled back the blanket for him to see her and he said "I love her too!" It was at that moment I knew for sure this baby was meant to be ours. I knew that children's services wanted to reunify her with her bio mother, but they were wrong. This baby belonged here in our family.
For the next 18 months children's services tried everything they could to reunite Katie with someone, anyone, in her biological family. We, along with our family, our friends and our church prayed for God's will. We prayed that Katie would be placed where the Lord wanted her. I will admit though I was guilty of praying that she was supposed to be with me. During those 18 months she visited with her biological mother weekly. Katie never bonded with her and spent most of the visit screaming and crying. She wanted me and I wanted her. During the last few months of her visits, there was a court case going on. The paternal rights were terminated and we were able to apply to adopt her. The adoption worker wanted us to finalize Katie's adoption on National Adoption Day. However, that was less than 3 months away so we had to work fast. We completed our paper work in record time, as did our adoption caseworker. Our court time was set for 3:00pm on November 15, 2006 National Adoption Day. When we arrived at the court house there were so many families finalizing at the same time. The court house was decorated with balloons and they had refreshments and gifts for all of the families. There was media there interviewing families for newspaper articles and taking pictures. It was such a blessing to see all of these children being excitedly adopted into families that day. We were joined by family and friends. There was not a dry eye in the court room as the judge announced Kathryn Dawn was now a part of our family.
Four years later I can still feel the emotion of that day. We are so blessed to be Katie's family. We love this little girl so much. Even when I thought I would never have a baby to love, the Lord was preparing Katie for me. When I thought he was ignoring my prayers he was orchestrating each step in the adoption process and opening every door at exactly the right time. I thank the Lord for bringing this precious little girl into our life.
Today is our 6th Gotcha Day with Leanne, Cameron and Justin. I remember the day so well....
It was cold and rainy much like today. I was getting ready for work when the phone rang and I thought to myself "I wish they were calling with a placement, I would never have to work again". When I answered the phone I heard "Lacy, we have your kids. When can you pick them up?" I was in shock to say the least. I guess I should share how our caseworker knew they were "our" kids. Chad and I had struggled with infertility for years. We (well I) went through many treatments including pills, shots, surgeries and a lot of tests. Nothing was working and I was getting depressed. I decided while we were "trying" I would volunteer with our local Children's Services agency and become a big sister. I took all of the classes had my back ground check and was able to be matched with a little girl about a month later. The volunteer coordinator called me with several little girls profiles to choose from. I do not know how or why I choose the child I did, without hesitation I choose a 4 year old girl named Leanne. Leanne was so sweet and quiet. In fact the coordinator told me on the first visit to see Leanne that I should not even expect her to talk to me. When we pulled up and she found out who I was she leaped into my arms and gave me the biggest hug she could. We were both in shock, but thrilled at the same time. I met all of Leanne's family including her two younger brothers. After Leanne and I had been matched for a month or so the kids were all moved to foster care. They were moved to a really nice home in our town and I was still able to see Leanne as much as I wanted. I continued to visit with Leanne often and after talking with the foster mother, Chad and I decided to become licensed to adopt just in case Leanne needed a home. We started the classes in November just after Leanne and her siblings were reunited with their birth family. Chad and I continued our classes during the holidays and were licensed foster to adopt in February 2003. While we were taking the classes we told the agency we would only take temporary placements so we would not be full, just in case Leanne needed a placement. The agency had not called us for anything and we were beginning to think they never would. Seventeen days after we were licensed we got "the call". The lady from the agency called and asked us to take Leanne as well as her 3 siblings. Oh, and they wanted us to pick them up in 3 hours! I called Chad at work and had him come home. We scrambled to get a crib, more beds, dressers and mattresses. We had to get diapers, clothes and food all the things people have months to prepare for and we had 3 hours. Walking in to pick the kids up was the most surreal feeling ever. We were so excited to be getting them, yet they were so sad to be leaving their family. They were so sad, yet looking into those dirty tear stained faces I knew they were meant to be ours. We piled our new family into the car and headed to tar*get to finish getting the things we needed. We were on our way home at almost 10:00 when I looked at Chad in horror and said "we need to feed them dinner!". I promised them that would be the last time I fed them at 10 o'clock ever again. We took them home and got everyone settled. We dropped into bed around midnight exhausted from the emotions of the day.
My life has not been the same sense. I went from being a lonely and depressed young women who was longing for a baby to hold. To a mother of 4 getting hugs and kisses, volunteering at school and snuggling on the bed reading bedtime stories. I can not imagine building my family any other way. The Lord created these children to be our children. For us to love and cherish like no one else could. I thank him for his gift each and everyday. I love these kids more than life itself. They are my REAL children, they are REAL siblings and we are a REAL family.
Not flesh of my flesh Nor bone of my bone, But still miraculously my own. Never forget for a single minute, You didn't grow under my heart, But in it. ~Author Unknown
Today my sweet little Katie turned 4. Her birthday has been a very difficult thing for her momma. All of my friends and family know I do not want this baby to grow up! I hate the thought of her not being little anymore, it makes me so sad. I am handling the actual day very well. However, I have had a few moments when I hear her say something or do something that makes me realize she is really not a baby anymore and I catch myself tearing up. Katie brings a smile to our faces and joy to our hearts each and every day. I can not imagine life without her. She is a precious gift from the Lord and I thank him each and everyday for hand picking her for our family. I think of Katie's birth mother today and know how sad she must feel. I know she longs to hear her sweet giggles and see her dance. I know she loves her and misses her terribly. I pray that God would allow her to feel how much Katie is loved and cherished. There is no way for me to tell her this, but I know the Lord can comfort her broken heart. Katie was still awake last night at midnight so Chad and I sang Happy Birthday to her before she fell asleep. She has asked me to sing it several times today. She is so cute:) We celebrated her birthday as a family this evening. We had a nice dinner and Katie requested a strawberry shortcake for her her special cake. It was sooo good! We also took her to Tar*get and let he pick out a gift. She choose a Fancy Nancy dress up outfit, a pair of sunglasses and a pack of sidewalk chalk. She was so cute walking through the store with her sunglasses on carrying her basket of birthday goodies. She is so adorable that everyone we walk passed couldn't help but look at her and smile. We will continue the celebration tomorrow with dinner out with family. She will love having the waiters and waitresses sing to her. After tomorrow the celebrations end until next year when she is 5. Oh my that is scary!!!
My mom has been after me to put Katie in dance classes for a while now. I have been dragging my feet because...well, she is only 3 and it is just one other place for me to go during the week. Finally grandma said, "please put her in a class and I will pay for it". Katie started ballet class this evening. I was not sure how it was going to go. This is the child who would not cheer because I could not go into practice with her. She is also the same child who has been going to our home school group for almost 2 years and has been to her pre-school class a total of 3 times. She does not leave my side by choice.
Today started out totally different than most Mondays. Katie got up and let me pick out her clothes and fix her hair with out crying. Usually she is crying because it hurts when her hair gets brushed and her mean mommy will not let her wear a swim suit everywhere she goes. When we got to our home school group she willingly went to her class ALONE! She walked in and said "you will pick me up in 40 minutes right mommy?" I assured her I would be back and she was fine. I was sure dance class would be terrible because she had went to her class and she didn't take a nap. I could see her starting to doze off in the back seat on the way to her class so she and I started singing songs. We sang, the ABC's, 10 little monkeys, every nursery rhyme and bible song I could think of and then I resorted to the hand games we played as little girls like Miss Mary Mac and Miss. Lucy had baby. I was desperate to keep her awake. All of my hard work payed off and she stayed awake for the 20 minute drive. When we walked in she would not talk to anyone and hid behind me. Her teacher asked me a few questions about Katie and then she said "how does she do with separation?" When I told her not well she turned to Katie and said "Katie, we are going to go into this room and have our class. Mommy's have to sit here on the couch and watch you on that television. Can you go into the room please?" Without any hesitation Katie took off her coat, handed it to me and ran into the room for her class. On the television I could see her dancing and having a wonderful time.
While I was watching Katie in her dance class is when I realized I was one of "those" moms. You know the mom who thinks her kids are the cutest, smartest, funniest and better at everything than every other child. Okay maybe I am not quite that bad. As I was watching Katie I was thinking to myself things like.... She is so talented! I wonder if her teacher can see what natural dance talent she has? She is THE BEST dancer in the whole room. I could not stop myself from thinking these things. I had a grin on my face and a tear in my eye watching my baby dance across that wood floor. That is when I knew I was one of them. Honestly though she was really good!
(I will add some pictures of my little ballerina tomorrow. My camera battery needs charged.)
Cameron is my "middle" child. He really is the sweetest little boy. He is so laid back and just goes with the flow. All of those reasons are why Cameron as horrible as it sounds often gets lost in the shuffle of having 4 kids. Now, he gets plenty of attention and I spend just as much time shuttling him to and from activities as everyone else. It just seems like he doesn't get as much one on one time. Maybe it is because he is a boy and talking to his mom is not high on his to do list? I am not sure, but Chad and I are both trying to take a little extra time each day and talk to him privately, take him places alone and give him a few extra hugs. Last night Cameron asked if he could have a sleep over at the neighbors house. At first I said no. He as never stayed anywhere except family (or friends who may as well be family), so saying no seemed like the right thing. I quickly decided to let him. He would be just across the street and he is almost 10 years old. So I told him he could. Cameron was so excited! That changed as soon as he got there and the other mother remembered they had plans early in the morning and said they would have to reschedule. Leanne was already going to a sleep over at the gym and when Cameron had a place to go Justin immediately called his grandma and asked to stay with her. Katie joined in on Justin's sleep over and they where on their way to grandmas for the night. Now Cameron has no where to go and he was so sad. Chad decided that they would have father/son night. He took Cameron to get a new pair of tennis shoes since he really needed a pair. They then went to a movie where he let Cam have popcorn, candy, a hot dog and pop. I NEVER let me kids eat food at the movie theater. I do buy one popcorn for them to share, but I am just to cheap to buy all of the other stuff. They also played pinball at the theater. I stayed at Leanne's sleep over until 11:30 and when I got home the guys were just pulling in. I woke Cameron up early this morning and took him out to breakfast. We talked about his new baseball team and his upcoming football camp. When we got home this morning Cameron gave me a hug and said thanks for the great night. I am so glad we were able to take a little bit of time with our sweet boy. He had great time and so did we.
I know I am late again! I had planned to post this last night. Then I realized I had DVR'ed all of my weekly shows and I needed to catch up. There are only 4 shows I really love to watch, so it was not a huge undertaking, but I did want to watch at least one. The kids where exhausted and all fell asleep by 8:30, so it was a perfect night for vegging out. Now onto Thankful Thursday.....
I am thankful for restaurants. Chad and I have made a plan to only eat out once per month. This is not the first time we have made this plan. We frequently break it, but we do try. It is just so easy to run through and grab something to eat on the way to cheer, football, baseball, dance, tumbling, scouts.... You get the picture. Anyway, we have decided a few weeks ago to try it again. We have done really well. I have cooked homemade nutritional meals for the last two weeks. I have made almost all of our bread, pizza dough, cinnamon rolls, homemade chicken noodles and so much more. We have actually not drank any pop or ate anything processed. It is so hard and I am ready for some takeout. Chad is taking us out for Chinese food for lunch this afternoon. We are all excited. I am thankful for Cameron. Each and every time I make something for him to eat (4-5 times a day) Cameron thanks me for it. He always says "thank you for the good food mom" and then he hugs me and gives me a kiss. It is so sweet. I am thankful that our rental property is rented. I listed it last Sunday and it was rented by Monday. We rented it to a very nice young couple who are trying to get thier kids in good schools and into a nice neighborhood. I am so thankful we do not have to make that house payment for at least the next year.
I am thankful for my steam mop. My kids love that crazy thing. My floors have never been so clean.
We are off to the rental house to meet the carpet installers. My tenants will have nicer carpet than I do as well as a nicer stove. There are some plans for new appliances here too. I desperately need a new oven. After we meet the carpet people we are picking up Leanne's brand new to her cell phone. She has no idea she is getting it today and it going to be SO excited.
Justin woke me up this morning with terrible news. Buddy the Beta has passed away. If you remember Justin received Buddy as a birthday gift from a little girl from our home school group. Justin is broken hearted about the loss of his new pet. When he is ready we will be replacing Buddy with a new fish.
I love taking Leanne to cheer practice and tumbling. We get a lot of one on one time and have some really interesting conversations. This is the time when we talk about life, things that may be bothering her, her hopes and dreams etc... Today was no exception. We have been looking for a new (used) cell phone for her. She cracked the screen on hers and can not see anything. On the way to cheer I mentioned to her that someone had emailed and let me know they had one for sale in her price range. She can not go over $75 dollars since her terrible and mean parents are making her pay to replace it:) Anyway- I told her about the email as we were pulling up and she had to run into practice. On the way home we had the following conversation:
Leanne: Did you email the person today?
Leanne: No... I mean today?
Me: Yes, I did.
Leanne: No... I mean like today today.
Me: Yes, Leanne, I emailed the person today, like today:) I said yes when you asked me. Twice!
Leanne: Ohh.. okay I thought you meant like a few days ago.
Sometimes this girl worries me! She is definitely a cheerleader. You just have to love her!
She really wants to have her new phone by Friday. Her team is having a sleep over at the gym for some team bonding. The girls invented a new game tonight and a working cell phone makes it so much more fun. They are calling it Text and seek. I am serious! They were playing tonight and having a blast. The girls take turns hiding in the gym and then they will text each other with clues as to where they are hiding. I remember the good old days when we just played regular old hide and seek. When the only clue someone had to where we were hiding is when they heard you yell ready. Those where the good old days.
On Friday I had to make an early morning T*rget run. Chad had offered to work my Bingo cheerleading fundraiser, so I could stay home. Before he left I ran to T*rget because some things I have been watching were being marked down to 75% off. I only had about an hour, so I had to shop fast! I bought a really nice chair for Leanne's bedroom (she is getting a more grown up room) and headed to the check out. The chair rang up at $7 and both the cashier and I knew that was not correct. As someone looked for the correct numbers for the chair the cashier and I had a nice conversation. She told me she had a cold and was not feeling well. I replied "we have been so lucky, besides one weekend with the stomach flu, we have not even had so much as a sniffle". This is where I went wrong. I called Chad on the way home and asked him to have the kids get ready, we were going "T*rget hopping" to look for some deals. When we got to the first store Cameron looks at me and says "Mom, I don't feel good. My head hurts". We went home and he took some Tylenol and a nap. He is feeling much better. On Saturday morning I felt terrible. I have a terrible sinus thing going on. That will teach me to brag about not being sick all winter!
My friend Lisa shared her Valentines tradition with me a few years ago (I shared my Christmas in July tradition with her). She decorates in all pink and red and has a party all day with her family. I started doing the same thing last year with my family. Despite being sick, I tried to follow through and make the day special for my family. Katie and I got up and made homemade donuts with icing and Valentine sprinkles. For lunch they had heart shaped sandwiches. I made yummy organic fruit smoothies last night for the kids and their friends from across the street. We skipped Valentines dinner and will be having it tonight with Chad (he was working last night). We will have heart shaped pizza and strawberry ice cream for desert. We will also give each of the kids a small gift. The boys are getting air hog battling helicopters, Leanne is getting a case for her new cell phone and Katie is getting new wooden food for her kitchen. I gave Chad a nice card and he gave me roses.
We will continue to celebrate Valentines Day with our home school group on Monday. After our classes we will have a party. We will pass out Valentines cards and eat homemade goodies. I will be taking chocolate chip cookies and Leanne wants to make brownies. The kids are working on the 200 Valentines right now. Each of the kids needs to make 50 cards! Katie is cutting construction paper for her cards and she keeps saying "scissors are for paper, not hair! Right mommy?". She is so cute!!! We will also decorating shoe boxes with stickers and hearts. I remember doing these things in school. I am so glad I can give my kids the same good memories I had as a child.
We are off to t*rget to pick up some clearance Valentines stuff. In a few years I will have as much Valentines stuff as I do Christmas! I think I need an intervention!
Today is the Bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth. To celebrate his 200Th birthday our State House was having a "birthday party" complete with speakers such as the Governor, senators from around Ohio, a Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court and let's not forget there was cake. My friend Lisa and I decided to take the kids. We are always looking for a way to get them out of the house where they are still learning something. We were also entertained by a fourth grade class dressed in period clothing who recited the Gettysburg Address, they were pretty cute. After the program concluded there was a Lincoln historian we wanted to wait and see. We had some time so we looked at the displays and Lincoln artifacts and headed down to take a tour of the State House. The kids loved the tour. We were able to step inside the Senate Chamber where we were able to see a mini session of Legislation in action. After the session was over the President Pro Tempore came over and asked the kids a if they had any questions for him. Of course they didn't have many, but they asked a few and he took his time to talk to us and was actually funny. He shared a little saying that Lisa and I thought was quite funny. He said "There are 2 things you never want to see being made. The first is sausage and the second is legislation!" We all had a good laugh. I thought it was very nice of him to take time out of his schedule to talk to 4 homeschoolers and a few adults. We finished our field trip with the kids favorite place....The gift shop!
After our trip downtown, Lisa took the kids home, so I could get to a doctors appointment. I was actually going in for a third opinion and I am so glad I did. He said what I have is called: focal complex hyperplasia with atypia (in my uterus). Sounds scary doesn't it? He said "your body is basically growing it's own cancer cells". There is a pretty good chance it is actually cancer already (based on a scale, one doctor said he would consider it cancer, 2 said not yet), but it is not a fast growing or aggressive cancer. I can avoid a major surgery by taking a high dose of progesterone daily. I will have to be monitored and have a biopsy done every 4- 6 months. If anything changes while they are monitoring it, I will have to have "the surgery". On a good note, there is a chance that after several more D&C's the cells could be totally gone. So I will just think positive and hope that the latter happens.
Onto more happy thoughts. It is Thankful Thursday again. I am on a roll for the last two weeks! There are so many terrible things going on in our country right now. I do however have faith that GOD is in control and these things will eventually turn back around. During these tough times it is nice to be able to concentrate on the good things even if it is only once a week.
I am thankful for:
1.) A heath care system that though flawed in many ways can and does save lives and cure diseases everyday.
2.) Being able to take my kids out of a classroom and teach them myself. Being able to watch them learn about things like our judicial system by sitting in a Senate Chamber instead just reading it out of a book.
3.) Rainbows! Yesterday after a terrible rain storm there was the most beautiful double rainbow outside. I took the kids outside and showed them and they were in awe. The beauty of our earth is amazing.
4.) My kids. I can not imagine where my life would be without them. I imagine it would be quiet:) But not nearly as entertaining or exciting.
5.) My mini van. I never thought I would drive a "grocery getter" but I am so thankful for it. I can sit each child in a seat where they can not touch each other. Genius!
I will end with a cute conversation Justin and I had about the field trip today.
Me: "We are going to a 200th birthday party for Abraham Lincoln."
Justin: "Awesome!!! He is really old!"
Me: "Jus, he died a long time ago. This is to talk about him and celebrate his life."
Justin: "How long will they be talking? Do you think it will be more than 45 minutes"
Me: "Probably, there will be several people there"
Justin: "Can I just stay home? If it is longer than 45 minutes I get very bored!"
He is so funny. He ended up staying home with Katie and Chad. He was upset when we got home because he missed.... The gift shop!
We had the big birthday bash today. I think all of the kids had a great time. Actually, I think the parents did too!!!
Justin and Katie have wanted to have their birthday party at The World of Bounce since before it was open. They painstakingly watched all of the construction through a glass window while at Leanne's cheer practices last summer. I promised them if it was finished in time we would celebrate their birthdays there. This was an awesome place for a party. They were so organized and everything ran so efficiently. It started as soon as we pulled up! We were given a huge bin on wheels to load all of the things from our car into. It made carrying the food, gifts and all the party extras so easy. There was no need for running back and forth 50 times to the car. We were then assigned our party "helpers". We had 3-4 young girls and one young man who helped with every need we had. The kids played in the bounce room filled with huge inflatables and Chad and I socialized as the girls set up everything. It was so much easier than cleaning and decorating right up to the minute the guests arrive at my house and spending hours cleaning up after they all leave. The kids had 1 hour and 15 minutes in the bounce room and were then moved to the party room. Once in the party room they were served pizza and juice. We sang happy birthday, blew out the candles and had cake. The kids then took turns sitting in the inflatable throne to open their presents. Since this was Justin's second birthday party we let Katie go first. Katie received so many great gifts from our friends and family. Daddy and Mommy got her S'mores the pony, a new pair of cowgirl boots and a nice tea set. She also received, princess dolls, baby doll clothes and accessories, the rest of the furniture for her rose petal cottage, art stuff, beautiful sparkly shoes, wooden kitchen food, games, a pink doctor kit and dress up clothes. I am sure I am forgetting something, there was a lot of stuff. She loved everything and is having a blast opening it all and playing with it.
Justin also received many wonderful gifts. Daddy and Mommy got him a new remote controlled car, a baseball pitching machine and a camping set with a compass and flash light. He also received, money and gift cards to his favorite store T*rget. He also got a fish from a sweet little girl in our home school group. It had been previously approved by mom:) Our newest pet is a blue betta fish. Justin LOVES this fish. He had a hard time naming him. He was going to call him Fredrick, but "he just doesn't look like a Fredrick", so he settled on Buddy The Betta aka. Buddy. Another huge hit was a homemade bow and arrow set made by one of Justin's best bud's Seth. It is really neat and actually works. I know this because as I was sitting on the couch this morning the arrow went flying over my head. Don't worry it will not put an eye out. LOL! He also received art stuff, games, a nerf gun, bionicals, lego's and a science kit. Justin also truly loves all of his gift and is making bouncy balls right now. We really did have a great time. Everyone we invited was able to make it. Most of the parents stayed so Chad and I were able to enjoy ourselves as well. Katie looked adorable in her custom birthday petti skirt and top. I also had a set made for her Bitty Twin, but we forget to take her to the party. The cakes turned out great. Justin choose a volcano cake and Katie had a fancy cake. We all arrived home from the party exhausted. That is the sign of a good party! I must tell the story of Justin's cake. Justin could not decided what kind of cake he wanted. He wanted baseball, soccer, outer space.... anything he could think of really. So he and I started searching the internet for the perfect cake. We found a great cake decorating site that has every party theme you can imagine and the cakes are made at home. He quickly decided on the volcano cake once he saw it smoking. Being the over achieving mom I am, I decided to go for it. Now, I am by no means a professional cake decorator, but I am also not a novice either. I ordered the dry ice and made a list for the cake store. I ran into a huge problem when I went to look for my airbrush. I had loaned it out to a girl from cheer. When I emailed her to see if I could pick it she conveniently didn't have it. She also had no recollection of borrowing it. Even though I dropped it off at her house.
Anyway- I then spent two days trying to find a airbrush and air compressor to make Justin's volcano cake. Four stores, 50 phone calls and $300 dollars later, I had a working air brush. I made his cake and it turned out really cool. I am so glad I was determined to get a new airbrush. Justin loved his cake and it was huge hit at the party. I told Justin not to ever think I don't love him. Only a mothers love would make spending $350 to make an 8th birthday cake not seem ridiculous. I'll need it for something else right? Ohh... and if anyone needs a volcano cake for an upcoming party, I know someone with an airbrush!
I have missed two Thankful Thursday since I started my blog. I am really going to try to get better. Thursdays just seem to be a busy day of the week for me. Maybe I should do Thankful Wednesdays? It just doesn't have the same ring to it!
Today was not a great day. Everyone seemed to be in a funky kind of mood. We did a lot of running around in the car, so that could have had something to do with it. We had waffles for dinner and that seemed to lighten the mood a bit:) Well since it is after midnight I think I will keep it short and sweet.
I am thankful for...
Choices: The freedom to live in a nation where we can choose as we see fit. We can choose who to vote for, what to believe in, how to educate our children and so on.
Snow: I will admit I do not like snow. It is pretty and nice a few times a year. We like snow on Christmas, but rarely get it. What makes me thankful for snow is how much my kids love it. As soon as the first flake falls they are ready to get outside and play. I watch from inside my warm house and make the hot cocoa when they all come in.
My mom: As crazy as she made me while I was a teenager, I am so thankful for her. She has taught me so much about life and being a good mother. Her love is invaluable to me. She is a great mother and extraordinary grandmother.
Coupons: I know it sounds weird, but I am truly thankful for coupons. They allow me to save money for my family. I can feed my family an save money for the fun stuff.
Chloe: Our little dog Chloe. She is my dog. She follows me everywhere she can. She loves me unconditionally. She snuggles with us when we are sick and makes us smile when we are sad.
Just wanted to point out that I added pictures to some of my older posts. Scroll down to take a peek!
I have a confession to make... Katie has had a bed full of clean laundry for several weeks. Please don't think her beauty sleep has been interrupted by this. She is not sleeping among the piles of gym*boree and baby g*p. She is nestled between mommy and daddy in our bed. I know, I know, it is a BAD habit! Back to the laundry story...
It is not that I do not put her clothes away. There was literally no place to put them. Her closet was crammed full and her drawers were so full you could barely open and close them. The girl has way to many clothes! I think I have a serious illness when it comes to dressing this child. Here is where it gets difficult. I decided I finally had a few hours to devote to going through her closet, the dresser and the boxes of clothes in her closet I have been saving. I started with the drawers and it was not hard at all. I moved to the hanging clothes in her closet which was still pretty easy. When I started the boxes everything changed. I opened the first box and almost cried. This was not even the box clearly marked clothes to keep forever, DO NOT GIVE AWAY! so I knew it was going to be bad. Chad and I then had the following conversation:
Me: So, you are positive you do not want to adopt another baby, right?
Chad: I'm positive
Me: You're sure? Because once this stuff is gone, I can not get it back.
Chad: I'm sure
Me: I just don't think I can do this.
Chad: There is not reason to hold onto that stuff she will never wear it again.
Me: I can not give away all of the gym*boree. I just can't do it!
Chad: Sell it!
Me: Are you sure you do not want to adopt another baby?
Chad then left the room smiling. He came back a little while later to see how I was doing and asked me if I needed a tissue. Such compassion:)
After our conversation I brought out the big guns. I sent Katie to ask her daddy for a baby sister. Katie truly believe she has a baby sister in China. Her name is Lilly and we will be "picking her up on a big hair plane", she is "very tiny and very cute". She came back a few minutes later and said "daddy said no baby sister".
So, it is was back to the task at hand. I was able to finally thin her closet out and put all of her laundry away. I have 2 trash bags of clothing to bless a family we know with a sweet little girl younger than Katie. I also have another bag to donate to the the local thrift store. I had about 20 pairs of shoes, winter coats, snow pants, more jackets than any child needs and enough bathing suits to start a large swim team.
Now her room is clean. Her bed is cleaned off and her closet and dresser have room for me to fill. Katie could even sleep in her bed tonight, but I won't push it!
I will admit it.... I am a bad blogger! I want to blog everyday. In fact there are many times a day when the kids do or say something and I think "ohh...I should blog about that". I just do not get to blog as much as I would like. I have also missed two Thankful Thursdays. I am still thankful for many things and while I am not sharing it on my blog I am sharing it in prayer and that is where it really counts.
I wish I could find a few more hours in each day. I just have to many things I like to do and many more things that I HAVE to do. Unfortunately blogging has to take the last spot in my crazy life. So, what has been keeping me so busy the last week or two?
First is school. We are so behind. Luckily, I have heard that from about every other homeschool mom I know as well. I think it is the winter blues. We are so done with being in the house all the time. Come on spring!
The second thing that is keeping me from blogging it my house. It has taken on a life of it's own. I can not get on top of it. It really seems like as soon as I clean something there is someone right behind me making a bigger mess.
Third would have to be cheer. We have had 2 day competitions for the last few weekends. We have also had extra practices and Leanne started a private tumbling/stunting lesson on Monday evenings.
The forth would be T*rget. Each year after Christmas they discount most of the toys down to 75% off. This is when I like to stock up for the little kids birthdays, friends birthdays, the "gift closet" and things to donate at Christmas time. They usually have the toys discounted befor Justin's birthday. This year however I think they decided to drive us (Lisa and I) CRAZY! They dragged it out for weeks. We had to make many trips each week until the finally made the big mark down. After all of the trips would you believe we missed it? It was a sad day in around here. Luckily my mom saved the day. Her store marked down the day after all 7 we checked and she got us all the things we wanted. Thanks Mom!
The last thing that keeps me from blogging is my favorite. Every time I sit down to blog, Miss. Katie crawls on my lap and asks me to hold her. How can I say no? She is so sweet. A few nights ago i rocked her to sleep in my office chair. I am sure I do not have many more nights left to rock her to sleep. So I will cherish each one I can get.
I will end with a few things that are coming up. They will hopefully be blog worthy.
We have the BIG birthday bash for Justin and Katie on Sunday. They can not wait to spend the afternoon at World of Bounce with 25 friends. I will spend most of Saturday baking a decorating birthday cakes. The boys will be getting their Boy Scout Pinewood Derby Cars this week. Leanne is gearing up for Cheer Nationals in Florida, so mom is looking for gift idea's for 37 girls who have everything. We have a Valentines Day Party at our home school group next week, so we will make boxes and decorate Valentines. I will also bake cookies for the cookie exchange. We are picking our 4-H projects this month. We were going to do a duck and rabbit until I learned the fate of the animals after the fair. Let's just say you do not bring them home to be the family pet! We also have science fair projects for our home school groups first Science Showcase (which I volunteered to organize). I love this stuff. I think that about does it until Spring when we will start getting ready for cheer try-outs, camping and planning our summer day camps and field trips. No wonder I can not find the time to blog!
I am Lacy. I'm a single mom who is blessed to still be able to stay home full time. I am proud momma of 4 beautiful children who joined our family through the miracle of adoption. I love reading books and adoption blogs, cooking, decorating, DIY'ing and sewing. I spend my days homeschooling and my evenings running the kids to all of their activities.
The Gift of Life
I didn't give you the gift of life.
But in my heart I know.
The love I feel is deep and real.
As if it had been so.
For us to have each other
Is like a dream come true!
No, I didn't give you the gift of life,
Life gave me the gift of you.
Ministering to, praying for and loving the orphans in Uganda...