Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Smartypants Dance

Today is the last day of 4th grade for my beautiful daughter. I can hardly believe that my first baby is heading into her last year of elementary school. If time had a tail, I would grab it tight and hold on. Yesterday was the awards ceremony at school. I am SO proud of my sweet girl! Not only did she earn a Sunshine State Reader medal and the leadership award, but she was the only kid in her class to make straight A's all year!  This little girl gets a solo performance of the smartypants dance, which has become tradition in our house after a big academic achievement!

 Here we are with our {almost} 5th grader. Proud mommy and daddy!

One last photo with our beautiful, wonderful, amazing teacher, Mrs. N. I hope and pray that our other kids will get to be in her class in the future. She could not have been any better.

Happy end of the school year!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Poor, Neglected Blog

Poor blog. I've been neglecting you. There has been so much going on the last few weeks. Swim lessons for Pepper, swim meets for Snapper. Getting the bedroom ready for our new girls. Finishing end-of-the-year projects for school, school plays and concerts, and a host of other details. Oh, and did I mention being in charge of the kids' programming for the Florida homeschool convention? And hosting 30 college and high school students for dinner at our house?

Yes, it has been a busy season. But tomorrow is the last day of school for the kids, and life should return to a more normal pace. I hope. I'm wiped out!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Taking The Plunge

For almost three years now I've been a loyal swim mom. I've spent hundreds of hours at the pool. But not in the pool. I've cheered at meets, wiped away tears, rejoiced over big victories, and pointed out that even a tiny time drop is still a time drop. I've watched my uncoordinated, awkward little girl develop into a strong, muscular tween who took home the push-up champion title for the whole 4th grade at her school, and beat a whole pack of Cub Scouts at both push-ups and sit-ups! I've seen the health benefits for my child, and our whole family has enjoyed the friendships that have developed with other swim families.

That's why I decided to take the plunge and join the team myself.

I went to my first Masters swim practice today. Masters is swim team for adults. Our masters program is a mix of amazing triathletes, and swim parents who want to get in better shape. My body spent the hour-long practice slowly remembering that I was once a very good swimmer...but now I'm overweight and bad out of shape. Coach Joe is awesome, though. He has a slower-paced workout for the dozen or so of us mommy swimmers who would be hopelessly beaten if we raced our 9-year-olds in the pool. We focused on breaststroke and freestyle today, and swam a combination of laps and drills, with a little bit of dryland conditioning as well. I was good and tired at the end of the hour, and I'm pretty sure I'll be sore tomorrow. But it is good sore. Worked over muscle sore. Not creaky knee joint sore and back achy sore like I get when I walk more than a half mile or attempt to run. I'm just not a runner. I do think, however, that I can stick with swimming. And I like it!

Three cheers for me!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I Miss You

Nine years ago today, I said goodbye to my mother, as she lost a 3 1/2 year battle with ovarian cancer. I miss her so much. A better mother could not ever exist.






Monday, May 14, 2012

Mommy Love

I love being a mom. It is such a fulfilling thing! It is so much fun to watch these two little ones grow.









There's only one problem...they're getting too big and old! I think it will be really nice to have a littler person in the house again!

My Mother's Day was awesome! I was awakened by two kids pouncing on me in my bed. The came bearing gifts...beautiful, handmade gifts they had made at school. I received a coaster stenciled with a red rose from Pepper, as well a very funny paper about me as a mom. He got my age right, but his favorite thing to do with me is play games on my phone. He got that one wrong. I never play phone games with him, and I never let him play on my phone because the battery life is crap. I did get a laugh out of that, though. Snapper made a cute bookmark and a hand print heart card for me. I also got an intricate Angry Birds drawing from Pepper, which makes me laugh every time I look at it. He's a great little artist!

I was served breakfast in bed: gluten free waffles made by Daddy with help from Pepper, and a strawberry banana smoothie made by Snapper. After breakfast we went to church. Then we came home, changed clothes, and headed over to the mall. Matt and I enjoyed Greek food for lunch and the kids had chicken teriyaki. Then we went and saw The Avengers. Excellent movie! I thoroughly enjoyed it!

After we got home from the movie, I spent an hour on the phone with my birthmom. I also got to talk to my step-mom for a bit. I'm so blessed in the mother department! I didn't talk to my MIL because I was already on the phone when Matt called her. I will give her a call later today. 

We spent a fun, relaxing evening together. I wasn't that hungry and no one felt like cooking. The kids ate cereal and Matt and I had an egg and sausage bake that took 5 minutes to throw together. We spent an hour playing Lego Rock Band with the kids. Sorry guys, you're terrible! It was really funny listening to Pepper trying to sing We Are the Champions! Ha ha! We wrapped up the day with Daddy reading Redwall for almost an hour. We're getting close to the end of the book. It sure has been a good one!

It was a very fun, family-focused Mother's Day. I'm looking forward to next year when there will be 5 kids in my photo instead of 2!

Friday, May 11, 2012


One year ago this sweet little guy tossed his cap and kissed preschool goodbye.

I naively wept, thinking I had experienced the last of my children's Pre-K graduations. 
Today I went preschool shopping for my 4-year-old daughter who will be joining our family before (Lord-willing) school starts in the fall. I didn't think I'd ever have another child that young again! I'm so glad I thought wrong! We found an awesome preschool today, and Little J is in for a great year! I can't wait to get the little girl--and her big sisters--home!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Singing Babies

The school year is drawing to a close. The teachers and students are happy that there are only 12 days of school left. This mommy is looking forward to having the kids home for the summer. But I am also very sad. I am sad that we can't bundle up this year's teachers and take them to 1st and 5th grade with us. Mrs. I, Mrs. N, and Mrs. H have been PHENOMENAL. Our kids have learned and grown so much this year, and they have done so under the loving care of three amazing women. We couldn't be happier with our amazing teachers. They've set the bar very high for next year.

Last week, the whole kindergarten put on an end-of-the-year program. The theme was "One Big, Happy Family." The songs were all really cute and had to do with families and how children grow. My heart constricted at how hard a few of the songs would be for our new daughters to sing. But for the kids who live with loving parents, the songs were awesome. Pepper was super cute when he sang, and this song brought tears to my eyes.

Snapper has been in the 4th & 5th Grade Chorus at school this year. She had 5 performances spread out over the last few days. She earned the privilege of being a soloist this time around! She sang a duet with her buddy M. Here's the video of their song. They did fabulous! The theme of the concert was Choices. This was the grand finale song to a wonderful variety of music. Mrs. M, the music teacher at our school, is a gem!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Swimming Domination!

Snapper had a swim meet today. It was a smaller meet than usual, and definitely lower key. Let's just say our team dominated! We took home at least half of the high point awards.

In every event, points are awarded for 1st-8th place. At the end of the meet, the points are tallied and the top three boys and top three girls in each age group win high point awards. Snapper got the 3rd place high point award for her age group! Her friends C&A took 1st and 2nd, resulting in a sweep of the age group for our team! It was very fun for the girls, and a proud moment for parents and coaches! Way to go Snapper & crew! We're very proud of you.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Telling the Kids!

Here's the video of when we told Pepper and Snapper that they are getting three new sisters. Our family has prayed together very fervently about these girls for the last month. All tears in the video are joy tears!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My Cup Runneth Over!

In just a few months Matt and I will be traveling to Arkansas to meet our three, new daughters! Shortly after that, we'll travel back with Snapper and Pepper to pick up our little sweet peas and bring them their forever family! We got the call today letting us know our family was selected as their adoptive family! I can't post any more information here now for security reasons. But I can tell you that they are precious and beautiful and I can't wait to get them home!

Thank you, Jesus! 

I have not been this happy in a very, very, very long time!