Thursday, August 26, 2010

Another First Day Back To Preschool

Shane started preschool today and was very excited to get the backpack out and head to school like the girls. I can't believe that next year he will be in Kindergarten. He literally has grown up right before my eyes. I signed Shane up for afternoon preschool which is a first at our house. I was thinking when we got our little guy it would be nice for them to have time to bond in the morning in case he napped in the afternoon. I wasn't sure I was going to like it since we have only done mornings before. I think I am really going to like it. I actually feel like I have more time with him in the mornings. It seemed like when he did morning preschool we would get home and have lunch, rest a bit, play a game or read books and it was time to run out and get the girls. We are usually up and ready when we bring the girls so it feels like we have a nice big morning to spend together. The girl's first day back to school we stopped for some breakfast at Starbucks. He has tried to convince me to do that every day since but has quickly realized that was a special outing and won't be an every morning occurrence.

Doesn't that smile with that dimple just scream trouble!

Since Shane had afternoon preschool him and Eric went for lunch on his first day instead of breakfast. Shane requested Panera Bread for mac-n-cheese. He was super excited to have lunch with his dad and then have him bring him to his first day.

Once again I didn't want to miss out so I met them at school for some pictures of Shane's 1st day. Shane asked his teacher Miss Molly to pose by the kitchen with some fruit. Shane is so excited to have Miss Molly as a teacher. She is wonderful, loving, nurturing, creative and most of all passionate about what she does. She is also the director of the preschool and has developed an amazing program that has been recognized by the state and received the "Excellence in Early Childhood Award" this year. We couldn't be more excited to have her investing in Shane's life this year.

Shane is also very excited to have Miss Tracy as his teacher again this year. She was his teacher last year as well and we absolutely loved her. She has such a gentle spirit and a genuine love for the kids. Shane was so excited when he found out Miss Tracy was his teacher again. He said, "Isn't she just so nice!"

Shane is super excited about having his new friend Max in his class. Max's mom and I work together and they just met but have become fast friends.

They wanted to do a funny face picture so we obliged these two little clowns. I am pretty sure I don't have any back to school pictures of the girls like this. Boys with be boys!!! I am pretty sure with these two Miss Molly and Miss Tracy just may have their hands full.

Shane had a great 1st day! He read the book the Kissing Hand so now wants to kiss my hand all the time just in case I miss him. So cute!! He made sure to tell me right away that he did not have to sit in the thinking chair today!

I gave Shane this book in the morning before he went to preschool. It is a sweet book that encourages little ones to pray knowing God will always hear and is forever near. It was a great way to start our day!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Back To School

Ready or not school is back in session. We had such a fun summer but the girls were more than excited to get back to school. I am so glad that they love school, they are excited to learn, they love their new teachers and can't wait to see their friends.

I just can't believe Alexa is in 2nd grade. She continues to grow and mature into such a beautiful girl on the inside and out. She was excited to get back to school to learn but especially to see her friends. She was a little nervous that she might not know everything in 2nd grade. That would be her perfectionist side coming out. I reassured her that is why she goes to school, to learn. She is not expected to know everything or do perfect on every paper but to try her best. Her best friends are in other classes but it didn't see to phase her. She said, "I can meet them on the playground at recess and besides I can make some new friends too!" What a great outlook! I pray that she continues to grow in every way this year. I can't wait to see what this year brings.

Emma couldn't wait for today to come. She had her clothes and shoes laid out a day in advance. There is this feeling that 1st grade is so much bigger than Kindergarten. Maybe it is because she isn't the littlest class on the playground now or maybe because she gets to go to school all day everyday to start the year. She continues to find joy in everything she does and as she approached the first day of school she followed suit. She was up bright and early with a sparkle in her eye and a grin a mile long. I love her passion and excitement for life. She also found out last week her friends were in other classes but when she found out her teacher was Alexa's teacher from last year it trumped everything else and she was very excited.

I think every year I say I wish I could freeze time but I really, really wish I could. They are looking so grown up. I think it is time to slow down!

Their backpacks are packed and they are ready for their first day.

It is their first day of school tradition to go for breakfast with dad and then he brings them to their first day of school. They started the tradition in preschool. Eric was on a trip at the beginning of the week and was supposed to get home late Tuesday night. He has had some bad airport experiences with delays and sleeping in the airport lately so he promised them double breakfast if his flight didn't make it home. They girls were pretty excited the next morning when they saw their daddy waiting for them. They headed off to The House Of Pancakes for their 1st day of school breakfast.

I of course can't miss the 1st day of school so Shane and I met them at school. Here is Emma with Mrs. Odens. Emma can't wait for 1st grade with her new teacher. We loved Mrs. Odens last year so I am excited that Emma gets to have her this year as well.

Emma is in line and ready to head in to start the day!

Have a great day my sweet girl!

Alexa and her teacher Miss Christie. Alexa thought her teacher was super nice at meet the teacher night. She is excited for another great year at school.

Alexa in line and ready to head in for the day!

Her last wave!

They started the morning with Chapel. What a great start to a new year. I can't wait to see how they are challenged and grow in their faith this year.

I love summer and I love having my 3 in toe. There is something about having them all together and enjoying our days together with no real agenda. As Shane and I drove away reality of the new schedule set in. I will miss my girls but there is comfort in knowing they love school. I wish I could freeze time and keep them little forever but I can't so I will choose to embrace these new seasons of life even if it seems to be flying by. I do love seeing the ways they continue to grow and blossom as they grow.

It has been fun to see the support that staff and the girls' friends and their families have given them already as they embrace our adoption journey. Last year the girls shared with teachers and friends the start of this new journey. We had a lot of people praying for us. How perfect the week before school started started we found out who our little guy was. What perfect timing. The girls are so proud and made sure they had his picture to show everyone their first day. Many teachers made copies of his picture so they could pray for him and our family. Thank you Lord for teachers, other families and friends that are excited for the girls as they journey to their new brother. What a blessing!

Last year I gave the girls a butterfly to put on their backpack symbolizing the beautiful butterflies that they were becoming. It symbolized them spreading their wings last year as they went to school. This year I added a heart to their butterfly. It symbolized the love I have for them, the love Jesus has for them and the love Jesus gives them to share with others. My prayer for them is that they may share His love this year.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Does Summer Have To End?

We had a picture perfect weekend at the lake. We soaked up every ounce of it knowing it just might be our last time to enjoy the water, sun and sand for the summer. The kids lived in the water from sun up until sun down. They had tons of fun with their cousins. Does summer really have to end?

A highlight was playing King of the Raft with uncle Jay. Jay joined in since Shane was a little out numbered!

Who wants to take a break from the fun for lunch? So lunch was brought to them. What a life! The girls thought lunch on the raft was pretty great!

Shane and Emma enjoyed their lunch on the dock!

Emma decided she wanted to try to ski. She tried to get up twice and got a little nervous and water logged so called it quits. We were proud of her for trying. Maybe next year!

Three little blonde's in the boat!

I love Alexa's lake look here!

The kids had fun on the tube. Everyone wants to ride on the tube with Aunt Ang because she is so much fun!

Emma and Tyra were pretty brave on the tub with no
hands until the bumps came. Then they grabbed on tight and help their breath.

What great weekend!
More wonderful lake memories were made this summer!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Our New Additon

August 17 at 2:10 we got a call that would forever change our life. It was our social worker telling me there was a little boy in Shandong China who was waiting to be adopted and we had 24 hours to review his file and consult with doctors and decide if this was the little boy that God had called us to love and make part of our family.

I called Eric who happened to be 5 minutes from the house. Tears streamed down my face as I watched the file of our little boy come into my inbox. I called Eric again just to make sure he was coming. Yes, he was 2 minutes away!

We sat together and opened the file and saw the face of our son for the first time. I knew this was the little boy that God had for us when I saw his face. We spent the next hours pouring over his file and pictures. We consulted with doctors but most importantly we prayed that God would block this if it wasn't the little boy he had for our family.

On Wednesday morning we accept his referral. We couldn't be more excited. We are in love already!!

With joy and thanksgiving we introduce you to our son.

His Chinese name is Fu Zhida

He is from the Shandong providence in China.

His birthday is August 6, 2009 so he is one year old.

Please pray with us for health, safety and that his loved until we see him face to face and he is in our arms.

You can follow your journey to our son on his blog

Monday, August 16, 2010

Family Fun At Wild Water West

We had a great summer! The weather was hot so we were able to use our Wild Water West season passes a lot. The kids and I spend quite a bit of time there during the week but we also were able to get a few weekend trips in with dad.

Shane's favorite part of the park is the big Pirate Ship. It has a couple slides, water is spraying everywhere, it dumps a large bucket of water on you every couple minutes, it is just plain fun. He could spend hours going down the blue slides and that is often what he did!

The girls were pretty excited because they were both 48 inches tall so it was the first year they could go on the lazy river and the big slides with out an adult. The loved floating on the river together. These pictures crack me up. I have no idea what wild ride they think they are on with their goggles. It is the lazy river!

This was another part of the Pirate Ship that Shane liked ... all the gadgets and wheels!

Alexa coming down the big slide by herself.

Emma with the big splash at the end.

Every day we were there Shane would check to see if he was tall enough to go down the slides by himself yet. Maybe next year Shane! He always enjoyed the slides with dad though!

Another favorite was the Wave Pool !

Emma anticipating the wave coming at her!

Shane with outstretched arms waiting for the big wave!

We had many hours of fun as a family at Wild Water West this summer. I wish it didn't have to end!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summer Lovin'

Water and more water has been the highlight of the kids summer. Between time at the lake, the sprinkler, the slip-n-slide, Wild Water West the kids got a lot of water in. But of course a summer isn't complete without a trip to the spray park.

We joined some friends for a picnic and an afternoon of fun running through the sprinklers. Sara and I enjoyed sitting on the sidelines and catching up on life. James and Joe are like siblings to mine and have so much fun together.

Shane is all wet but ready for some more!

Alexa and James hanging out in the water!

James and Shane being boys and trying to stop the water from spraying up!

Alexa with a big jump!

Emma helping Jo with the sprayer!

Two buddies who just can't get enough of each other.

True Emma style .... loving life!

Alexa taking a little break to cool off!

What a great summer day with friends!
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