our adventure…life, adoption, and a little bit of everything else
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Posts from — May 2008

Not much of anything….

Not much news here. Our school year is winding down, had to recoup from vacation, back to swimming/swimming/swimming, and that is about the extent of it. Seriously, how boring of a post can I possibly make it you ask?

Ali had her first swim meet today with the summer swim team, Dickinson Gators. She came in first in everything she swam in. It pays to swim year around when most of the other kids only swim on the summer team! Hahaha…it was a boost to her self esteem, that is for sure. Because she isn’t the fastest (or even close to it) at the year around meets…which are USA meets. So this is nice for her…more relaxed and can have some fun with it. I will attach a clip of her freestyle…she is the one in a white cap on the far left.

We have some of my family coming in this week from Shreveport. We are so excited. It will be their first time to get to come since we have lived here. Ali is just glad her cousin, Christopher, is one of them!! They get along really well and have a great time playing. We have some fun things planned for while they are here.

It is officially HOT around here…summer is definitely in full swing. We had to go and buy a huge umbrella for our patio to get some reprieve from the sun. The kids love to play outside…but that sun is scorching.

We are thinking of looking for a soccer team for Clark to play on. How cute will that be? He has a pretty good kick…but will he pay attention long enough to learn the rules? Humm…we don’t know.

Enjoy the beginning of your summer……

swim meet

May 31, 2008   No Comments

Back to the grind…..

Our vacation is officially over, and we are back to the grind. We had a fabulous time in Destin, FL. The weather was glorious with no rain and a breeze everyday. It was so wonderful to relax and be refreshed. We felt like we were seeing a little piece of paradise from morning until night while we were there. It was absolutely gorgeous. We would eat breakfast on our patio, and hit the beach shortly afterwards. The kids had a great time. Clark loved the ocean, and wasn’t even afraid of the waves. We began our vacation with a night in Pensacola. On the way we stopped off in Gulf Shores to have dinner with a friend from high school and her husband. It was great to see an old friend! The following morning we took the children to the Naval Aviation Museum on NAS Pensacola. They loved seeing all the airplanes. We used to take Ali there when she was a toddler, since we lived an hour away. Speaking of that…after we left the museum, we went to Ft. Walton to take a tour of the town. We had not been there since we moved from there almost 9 years ago. Ali wanted to see our first little house and the hospital where she was born. It was a lot of fun driving around our old stomping grounds! After being all nostalgic, we finished our drive to Destin. We could NOT believe how much the area had grown up since we had moved. Destin is one high rise after the other now. We were sad to see all the changes. However, we pulled up to our little apartment and we were in awe at the beauty of the ocean right out in front of our window! The view was amazing. When not out on the beach, we lived out on the patio! During our stay, we took a sunset dolphin cruise. We were fortunate to see quite a few dolphins. They would come out of the water so quickly that Clark kept telling me “Mama, I can’t see their eyes!” Haha..it was so cute. One evening we also went to a park called “The Track” where we played putt-putt and rode go-carts. Clark also rode a few kiddie rides like a train and some airplanes. We had a fun time that night. We were able to see some old friends from our Ft. Walton days, Becky and Hannah. Becky and I met at church and were pregnant at the same time. Ali and Hannah were little playmates back then. They hit it off instantly and had a fun time running on the beach. We were so sad to see our time at the beach come to an end. I guess that is how you tell a good vacation though, when you are sad to leave! On our way home we stopped off in Gulf Shores for a picnic at Gulf State Park. We went there many times growing up and I wanted to see it again. It had changed quite a bit due to having damage from Hurricane Ivan, which was sad to see. After our lunch, we stopped off in Mobile to tour the USS Alabama. We then spent the night in Biloxi, MS and then spent Friday night with my parents.

Now we have bags to unpack and laundry to wash. YUCK! That is always the downside to taking a vacation…but it is worth it.

Ali and I have 2 weeks left of school. We will both be glad when we are finished up. Hope everyone has a great week!

vacation

May 25, 2008   No Comments

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you fabulous mothers out there. Enjoy your special day. Here is a quote from Humor for a Mom’s Heart “Who am I? I am a cooker of oatmeal and cleaner of soap scum. A taxi driver, spider killer, purchaser of folders with pockets and prongs, pencil finder, and dental appointment maker. Loudest cheerleader and most fervent pray-er, encourager of dreams, and holder of hands. I am a tear wiper and boo-boo kisser, the tooth brushing gestapo and an example of faith. You know who I am. I AM MOTHER.” I thought that was pretty cute. You know what they say “Motherhood is the toughest job you will ever enjoy.” Right? I am blessed to be a mother as a result of giving birth, and also through adoption. No matter how I became my children’s mother…I am their mother. It doesn’t matter that my blood doesn’t run through one of their bodies, I am HIS mother just the same. I have loved Ali from the moment I found out we were expecting her…and I have loved Clark from the moment God called us to adopt. Each so unique…they are so loved. I hope one day they will each know just HOW MUCH.

I also want to say a special HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to my incredible mother. She was a wonderful example of a Godly mother and woman of God….and also to my mother in law who raised her son up to be an incredible father and husband!

We decided to celebrate Mother’s Day and my upcoming birthday yesterday. Ali and I began our morning by heading off to get pedicures! It was such fun to just sit there and watch her. She looked all grown up in that massage chair. She had a ton of fun getting her toes all pretty. She wanted our toes to match…so she chose the color. We also decided to have a little fun and get flowers painted on our big toes. Hers turned out just adorable…mine…well, my gal went a little crazy. (I am not sure what is supposed to be on my big toes!!) Oh well…it goes a little like this: The cost of 2 pedicures with “decorations” $59 (yikes, a little steep!!) The cost of my precious daughter telling me “Mom, thanks for taking me to do that…I had such a good time with you.” PRICELESS!!! It was definitely a special Mommy morning. I loved it. We just thought that all gals need pretty toes at the beach, right? heehee…any excuse for a pedi!

After our fun morning, we attended Clark’s end of the semester gymnastics showcase. It was so cute. He started out strong…then lost a little interest. He would take his turn, then turn his attention to any ledge he could catapult off of, etc. All the children received medals and a t-shirt. He was pretty proud of wearing that medal around his neck! After gym we had a late lunch at a new Mediterranean restaurant we had been wanting to try. That is one of our favorites! It was wonderful and we had a good time just being together. This morning I also got pancakes and eggs cooked by T.C. and Ali! What a treat.

If I don’t get a chance to post again before we leave on Thursday, I will be posting lots of pictures from our trip when we return. We have some fun things planned for the kids. Take care…..

Mother's Day

May 11, 2008   No Comments

Life zoomed in…….

It occurred to me yesterday as I was attempting to take pictures of some precious little ducks we see on our nightly walks….that I often look at our lives “zoomed in.” What I mean is, I was trying to zoom in the lens on a little duck’s face and realized it was zoomed in too much. I couldn’t make out what the picture should be…it was blurry. All too often I do that with our daily lives. I ZOOM in on the little things…this tantrum or that whiny fit or this preteen attitude or that. But the big picture needs to be zoomed out and allowed to come into focus…where I focus on what incredible gifts God has bestowed on us. He chose us to be Ali and Clark’s parents. What a gift! At the end of the day, do I choose to focus on the little things that drove me crazy…or relish in the fact that I am home with our children and got to hug them and kiss them and watch them blossom into incredible little (and not so little) people. I got to walk into Ali’s room and see her Star Wars city come together…and see her floor covered in Build a Bear clothes because she decided the drawers where she kept them needed to be cleaned out (right as we needed to start school…see, I had to zoom out again!!)…and I got to see Clark fit inside a storage cubby, because he is just that little 🙂 …and help him tie a teddy bear around his waist with a ribbon because he wanted to carry it on his back. Those are my precious moments. No, I may not be saving a life or keeping an astronaut safe (heehee)…but what sweet moments I get to treasure! They are my two amazing treasures. How unworthy I am of this calling, but so thankful he entrusted me with these blessings.

The pictures speak for themselves. Ali dressed she and Clark up the other day as Luke Skywalker (and someone else…sorry, I don’t know anything about Star Wars). They played and played on the trampoline and it was so funny. She has quite a few Star Wars Lego’s sets, and the other day she covered her floor with all the sets. She takes pictures of everything…so she took those. The ducks we have been watching for weeks now. When we first spotted them they were so tiny…16 of them actually. Now, they are growing and there are 14 left. We love to stop and watch them when we walk…and of course Clark loves to feed them. We try and remember to bring bread once a week or so. He thinks the baby ducks are so cute.

Well, the vacation bug has hit us hard…………..can we make it another week? We have to, right? We will leave next Thursday afternoon when T.C. gets home from work and spend the night in Lake Charles. That will put us 2 1/2 hours closer to Florida. I am also going to get to see a couple of old friends from high school…oh that was many moons ago. Anyway, since I graduated from high school in Pensacola…I still know a couple of people in the area. That will be fun. We will see how shocked they are by how much I have aged. Ha!

Star Wars and ducks

May 8, 2008   No Comments

Nothing exciting…….

Well, I don’t seem to post much lately…same old same old just isn’t real exciting. The summer should bring a little more fun into our lives. We are READY for school to be out. Ali and I have the summer bug already. We will finish up the first week of June. Ali is excited about what her summer has in store. Her first week long camp, swimming on not one but two swim teams, music camp in Louisiana, hopefully a sewing day camp, etc. It will be full and hopefully very memorable for her. Clark will continue taking his little gymnastics class, and will have to tag along for everything on big sisters list! I am going to help out a friend since she works full time, and watch her children a couple of times a week during the summer. It just happens to be Ali’s best friend and her brother…so they are SO excited about seeing so much of each other come June!

We met my parents half way between here and Lake Charles today for lunch. It is just over an a hour each way. We enjoyed seeing them. They are leaving on their vacation this coming Friday…so we wanted to give Mom her Mother’s Day gift before they left. Speaking of Mother’s Day…it will be my first one with Clark home…and his first to have someone to call Mama! I LOVE that. (and let me just add…he says it a lot…like a million times a day…haha)

Ali had a photo shoot with our cat, Happy the other day. We had the windows raised in front of her school desk and the cats just love the windows up. He jumped right in the window and spread out. She got some great shots of him being his typical lazy self.

I have been working on Clark’s life book. What that is is a book that you make for adopted children that tells their life story…or at least everything that you know. It keeps the children from guessing about what happened to their birth parents, etc. and nothing is ever a secret. You write it in storybook form, so that you can read it to them. I am putting pictures in his. Well, I had a copy of the earliest picture we have of him…it is a terrible quality picture of a group of kids at a Christmas celebration. He is a small toddler. I pointed him out and he loved seeing it. He held the picture and looked at everyone else and looked up at me and said “Mama all gone?” He noticed I wasn’t in the picture. It was so cute. I explained that he didn’t live with us yet. We try to always be very open about everything. A few weeks ago T.C. was talking to him at bedtime about what it was like in the orphanage. He asked him if he got to sleep with a stuffed animal at bedtime. Clark said “oh no Papa, one toy behind door.” He remembers that he had a little cubby/closet where he would put his shoes, jacket, and ONE red truck. Though he didn’t get to leave the orphanage with it….he does still remember that detail.

I am reading “Bring up Boys” by Dr. James Dobson. It is so fantastic in explaining the differences in raising boys verses girls. It is great to actually read in print that we are not alone in this venture. Ha! A couple of months ago I begin to panic as these traits were coming more and more into light. But, I can breathe a little easier now knowing that boys are just different!! I mean…I knew it all along…duh, right…I just don’t think I knew just how different it would be. But, with that said…….we wouldn’t change a thing! He brings so much joy and laughter into our lives.

Clark will soon have a little wooden play structure to play on in our yard. I am so excited. Our neighbors are giving us an older one out of their yard. It was in the yard when they moved in…and they have no need for it. Clark will really love it. We may need to purchase new swings for it, but we sure can’t complain about FREE! Woohoo! Their teenage boys are going to help get it into our yard in the next couple of weeks.

Here are a few random pictures.

being sillly, lazy cat, and early Mother's Day

May 3, 2008   No Comments