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kids

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Home for the Holidays

Hubby is gone, the kids are in bed early tonight and I sit in my living room as my three children are sleeping in the only bed, in the only home, with the only parents they have ever known. When I sat down to fold laundry, I scrolled through the guide channel to find something to make my monotonous task a little more fun. I happened upon a title that caught my attention, "The 11th Annual Home for the Holidays." As I read the words describing the program "Now in its 11th year, the special will feature Faith Hill and include performances by Shakira, Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood. Nia Vardolos and Jenna Elfman are among the celebrities who will present inspirational stories of extraordinary families formed through foster care adoption," my heart was compelled to watch.

Three minutes into the show tears were streaming down my face. Adoption is something that has become close to our hearts, as we stood along side our best friends Ben and Rebekah, as they adopted their sweet baby boy, Ty. The show was depicting just as the description says, inspirational stories of families brought together through foster care adoption. People who opened their home to children young and old, to raise them as their own. Children who do/did not have the same privilege as ours...sleeping in the same bed every night, attending the same school for a whole year, having parents to call their own.

My eyes and heart were glued to the TV watching lives that have been changed. Being a teacher, I have had foster children in and out of my classroom throughout the years. Even before having children of my own, my hearts desire, as their little faces crossed my path was to scoop them up and bring them home. This is all it was, a thought that was never acted upon. Watching our friends go through the adoption process, although it was not through foster care, has had an incredible impact on me. My heart was stirred again tonight. I believe that a day will come when this will not be a thought that is not acted upon, but a reality for our family. Chris and I had a conversation with Ben and Rebekah last month about this very thing. Although it is not something that I believe we will do today, tomorrow, or even a year from now, I believe in my heart it is for our family. It is something I will continue to seek the Lord about.

The presentation tonight was put on by the Dave Thomas (the founder of Wendy's) Foundation. He himself was adopted as a young boy. During the presentation a phone number and website was flashed across the bottom of the screen... davethomasfoundation.org. During a commercial, I went to the site and began reading facts and statistics of foster care adoption. The following statement pierced my heart...

"Nearly 40 percent of American adults, or 81.5 million people, have considered adopting a child, according to the National Adoption Attitudes Survey. If just one in 500 of these adults adopted, every waiting child in foster care would have a permanent family."

Am I one of the 40 percent? Are you?

I don't pretend to think it is an easy path, but I am ready to sacrifice. I am sure Chris will read this and think I have gone off the deep end (he did approve this before I posted), but together we will decide and seek the Lord on what He has for our family. Again, I am not saying it is something we are going to run out and do tomorrow. I am saying that it was a seed, that years ago, was planted in my heart as a faint idea, and through the years has grown into one that will one day, I believe, become a reality for our family.

My children are blessed to have a home for the holidays...there are thousands that don't. Adoption may not be for you, but can I challenge you in something? Go to the website, make yourself aware, and if nothing else pray for the children that are waiting for homes.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a JOY filled new year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

4 generations and toes

This weekend we celebrated Christmas with Chris's moms family in Sturgis, MI. While there we were able to get a four generation picture. It was the end of a no nap day, so getting them all to look with smiles was near impossible, but this is a precious picture anyway.
Last month before my dads parents left for Florida, we took this shot of my grandma and her nine great grand kids.
And in other news...Parker LOVES his toes...
they can keep him occupied for hours during the day.
taking a break to look at mommy and wondering why the flash keep going off interrupting his toe time...could he be more precious...


back at it...with the feet


and yes he is wearing a disposable diaper today...we had extra from the trip :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

10 Years

Ten years ago today, Chris and I were married in a large, beautiful church. The church that we attend was in a small building, so we had to find a church the could accommodate our guests. I remember it like it was yesterday. Chris, 23 and I, 22 stood in front of just under 200 people to exchange our vows. It was a beautiful ceremony, with so many special memories. My great-grandmother passed away just months before. She is my namesake (middle name) and her wedding band was passed from her to my mom and then to me. Engraved, on the inside of the band are her initials and year of marriage (1920), as well as my mom's and mine. Melia who carries on the middle name, will receive the ring on her wedding day. During the ceremony our parents joined us at the alter, and we gave them back our purity rings, a vow we made to them as well as each other when we were dating. We spent a few moments in worship to the Lord, shared of vows, and then took part in communion together. Our youth pastor and Chris's Uncle both officiated our special day. We have been together for sixteen years, as we dated for 6 years through high school and college years.

Two weekends ago, Chris and I were able to get away for the weekend to celebrate. I planned a trip to a mystery location that was revealed to Chris once we got to security at the airport. We had an incredible time. Just as with our wedding day, so many little details made the getaway so special. We spent so much time talking, reminiscing, and just enjoying each other. We spent time reflecting on the last ten years and all the accomplishments, a few disappointments, and highlights from each year. The first night we went to dinner, I wore the pearls that I wore on our wedding day, and that night I wore the same lingerie that I wore on your wedding night (I was shocked it still fit).

We went to Hilton Head Island. Neither of us had been there before and we both enjoy golf, so it seemed like a great spot. I wanted to be able to fly there quickly since it would be a quick trip. It was chilly and overcast when we arrived, but we made the best of our time. We rented a tandem bike and rode on the beach. We collected sand dollars....I've never seen so many. That night we had an incredible dinner. As I was getting ready for dinner Chris asked me if I wanted to where these...

WOW!!! These were a complete surprise, something I was secretly hoping to get one day, as they match the diamond in my ring. I was beaming with glee. Who needs other earrings when you have those. We walk in from dinner and as I am changing, Chris set up, his MP3 player and a small set of speakers (that I was unaware got packed) with the song that we danced to at our wedding and another one of our favorites from our dating years, and we stood in the middle of our hotel room and danced cheek to cheek (I had my tall shoes on :). What an incredible man I have. I love you Chris...you are the best...could not ask for a better, husband, father to our children, or friend. We have been together (dating and married time) half of my life. I look froward to many more incredible years with you. I love you more today than I did the day I walked down the aisle into your arms (did not know that was possible). Our love runs deep. When I think about marriage today, 10 years is a long time. I had someone say to me at 7 years, "Wow, that is a long time". I remember thinking, "really it does not seem that long". But, thinking about marriage in the eyes of the world, 7 years is a long time. It is relatively easy to become "unmarried" these days. A covenant that is incredibly sacred in our eyes, is not taken lightly, and is one that is entered into for a lifetime. I would not want to spend my life with anyone else. Two houses, three kids, 10 years...life could not get any better.

Look at how handsome my guy is...

Madly in love...


The view from our room...
Our room...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

6 Months

Parker turned 6 months old last week. I can't believe it. I feel like I write that every month, but I really can't get over the fact that he has been with us that long. He is a growing boy...that's for sure. He is weighing in at 18.5 pounds and 27 inches long. WOW. He is in 6-9 month clothes, but does fit in some 9-12 month already. He is laughing and smiling all the time. He is not rolling over yet, but he is sitting up all by himself. Can't figure that one out. We put the boppy behind him, as he still falls over when he gets to excited. He puts everything in his mouth these days, and as you can see from the last picture is drooling ALOT. He is sleeping 12 hours at night and takes two naps a day 11/2-2 hours each (unless it is at Ms. Teri's, then it's 20 min :). He is eating cereal with fruits and veggies 2 times a day. He is nursing four times a day. He has had carrots, avacado, apples, and pears. He will have green beans and mango this week. I also bought an eggplant, but not sure what to do with it yet...He loves his excersaucer and Chris got the Jhonny Jumper out this month and he loves it. He had a few fruit puffs the other night. He was not so sure about them, but did manage to eat them. His sisters love, love, love him...too much sometimes. Melia wants to hold and pick him up all the time. Looking forward to his first Christmas in a few weeks. Could not have asked for a better gift this year.

He is easy going and hardly ever cries. He loves to play, look around, and be sung too. He makes our life so much better. We love you baby boy...

oh and I almost forgot his newest trick is blowing raspberries with his lips...he thinks he is so funny when he does it...i am trying to get it on video, but he seems to stop every time I pull it out.
















Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One Year Ago...

One year ago (Nov 16,2008) I took these pics...



Aren't you glad we do not have snow yet!!! I am soaking up the sun filled days that we have had. Can you believe it was in the 60's this past weekend and one year ago, we were shoveling snow?????


Just 10 days after this first snow, on Nov 26th, 2008, we had enough snow to make this...
Weather in MI always keeps us guessing.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

5 months

video

Parker turned five months old last week. He is getting so big. He is weighing in at 17 lbs now. He experienced a lot of firsts this month. First weekend away from mom and dad. He stayed with his Nana and Poppy and his best bud Ty. He ended the weekend with a fever that got worse before it got better, resulting in his first anti-biotics on Tuesday. After the first dose, he was like a different kid...fever gone and happy as can be. He started cereal yesterday, as you can see in the video. He did great with it. He took his first shower with daddy, adn has had a few more since then. He went in the big boy swing at the park for the first time this month too. He is so close to rolling over, but just can't seem to get there yet. He is still sleeping great, two naps during the day and 10 hours at night. He is quickly growing out of 3-6 month clothes and pretty much wearing all 6-9 month.

This month we began preparing for the coming months of eating fruits and veggies, and began steaming, pureeing, and freezing them. We have about 1000 1oz. cubes of fruits and veggies, just waiting to be eaten.



I took advantage of the beautiful day and had a photo shoot outside (probably the last one until spring). Enjoy the cuteness...

Enjoying some tummy time with his buddy Ty











Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Met My Goal- UPDATED WITH VIDEO

video


This weekend we participated in the ICEMAN bike race, and although it was called the NICEman all weekend, because we had temps in the 60's, it was one of the most grueling things I have ever done...short of giving birth. Last year Rebekah and I watched as our men participated...this year we decided to join in on the fun. I started training in mid-July, just 6 weeks after giving birth to Parker, with the goal to just finish the race without dying. As it got closer my goal was to finish in an hour. The times for our age category last year ranged from 48min - 1hr 25 min. I DID IT!!! I finished in 1 hr 1 min. I am more comfortable on my bike today than I was just four short months ago, but flying down hills and maneuvering sand, gravel, and trees still makes me nervous at times. I did come out of it with a few battle wounds when I hit a deep pile of sand and flew over my handlebars (I was not hurt). After a minute to re-gain composure, I was up and at it again to finish the race. I wish my fall could have been captured on film. It was a sight to see, I am sure. The girl behind me, after making sure I was okay, said, "it looked pretty". I'll take her word for it.

I love biking for many reasons, but most of all it is something that Chris and I can do together.


Many of the guys in our circle of friends enjoy this sport, but Rebekah and I are the only two girls brave enough to join them. Juggling being new moms (getting little sleep), going back to work, being the best wives ever :), Rebekah taking master's classes, and me having three kids under four AND training for this race was difficult at times, but we made it work. I am so glad we could push each other to new levels.

Chris and Ben were able to see us off at the starting line,
but then had to go to prepare for their own race.
Do you see us? We have our hands raised.

A few last words of encouragement as we wait for the count down.


We kept our eye on the prize...and crossed the finish line...Thanks to all of you who watched our kids, prayed for and encouraged us, and made it possible to accomplish this goal.


We watched as our men crossed the 19 mile marker...what an incredible task. The boys race was 28 miles. I am SO proud of Chris. He trained hard, juggling work, home, and fatherhood, and shaved 20 min off his time from last year. I was beaming watching him cross the finish line. I love you Chris!!!!


The victory pose.


We celebrated with a relaxing morning on the beach with B and B, before heading
back home to our families.








We also HUNG around



Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Only four more days!!!

Did you see the ticker at the top of my blog...only FOUR more days until the Iceman bike race. I am getting more and more nervous as the race gets closer. Training has been on the decline in the last few weeks, due to it getting dark earlier and earlier. We have had to depend on the weekends for riding. All in all, I feel pretty ready, but nerves are on edge. The weather is supposed to be great...a slight chance of rain, but high of 52. I'll take fifties and rain over 30 and snowy hands down. With only a few more days, I am planning to get a ride in today and Thursday. I have to say that I was filled with doubt when I signed up for the race back in March (6 months pregnant), knowing that it would be mid-july before I could start training after giving birth to our third baby, and being really out of shape. I have to say that all these months later, I am very proud of where I am today. I am not in perfect shape, but confident that I will do well in the race. Managing, three kids, wife responsibilties, work, and training proved difficult some days...but here I am ready to embark on this challenge. Come back this weekend for race results :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Bear Went Over the Mountain

Hope you enjoy this video as much as I do...this is one of M's favorite past times in the last couple weeks. She loves to sit by her CD player and sing her little heart out. This is one of her favorite songs these days!!!


video

Monday, October 5, 2009

Our baby boy is 4 months old

Can you believe it...Parker is four months old today. I remember sitting in the hospital, pitocin running through my veins, waiting for labor to start, like it was yesterday. And now this precious boy is FOUR months old. He has changed so much in four months. Here are some highlights of the month.

He loves his excersaucer and bumbo seat
He laughs and responds to us all the time
He is sleeping 10-11 hours every night
He is napping three times a day, two long naps (1 1/2 - 2 hours) and one short nap (45 min) a day.
He still loves sitting in his swing and bouncy seat
He weighs 16 pounds now (I need to measure how long he is)
He goes for shots next week :(
He is wearing 3-6 month clothes, but quickly growing out of them
He is happy almost all the time
He is nursing 5 times a day (every 4 hours)
His head is much more stable now when being carried
He went on many bike rides this month strapped into his carseat which was strapped into one of our bike trailers. We would ride for about two hours and he never made a peep.
He has adjusted to taking a bottle while I am at work (he was not too fond of it the first few times)
He loves sucking on his hands
He loves when him mommy sings to him and watching football with daddy
I love him more than words can say.

BEWARE: MUCH CUTENESS AHEAD!!!!!
(this was one of my favorite photo shoots yet....love fall time)



LOVE those eyes!!!




What a sweet little face!!!

and for your viewing pleasure...three SHORT videos

Daddy making P laugh

video


Melia making P laugh

video

Peek-a-boo

video
Running after the heart of the Father. Seeking His face in All things. Walking His will out in my life. These are the desires of my heart. Along the way I am a wife and mom who wants to capture memories that will last a life time.