Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Avery turns 8!!!

Sooooooo.......this post is a tad bit late.

Seems like most of my posts are running behind.


AVERY IS EIGHT YEARS OLD!  (this momentous event occurred on March 27th)


How did that happen???

We started out the day with a quick stop to our local coffee shop on our way to school.
Avery had a hot chocolate. ;)

For dinner, she selected a special menu.
Baked potatoes....with the works.
(might have to do this meal more often...just sayin')

I think she liked it!

This birthday was all things "Frozen"!  (I bet you are surprised, right?  >insert sarcasm<)

*insert into your brain hearing "Do You Want to Build A Snowman" and "Let It Go" about a ba-jillion times!!!  Fun!!!  Not!!!

Avery had a little difficulty blowing out the candles.

Guess that means she has a couple of boyfriends in her near least according to her older sisters.  Thank you very much!
(I think the thought of BOYfriends frazzled her.....and it really took her a few times to blow out her candles.)

Avery my dear, you bring us so much joy!
We love you to the moon and back!!

Happy 8th Birthday, precious daughter!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mom, I've been thinking about {her}.....


Recently, Avery and I have had some very emotional conversations.
These conversations have revolved around her China momma.

Avery is a very happy-go-lucky child.
She is usually singing (lately all things Frozen), dancing, coloring, playing with her dolls.....

She was almost four years old we first brought her home from China in Jan. 2010. At that time, she definitely did NOT want to talk about anything that related to China.  She did NOT like her Chinese name.  She basically tolerated us and her new life.  She DID gravitate toward Shea.  She seemed to crave Shea.  Shea was her "go to" person.  Her comforter, her friend. Thank goodness for Shea! Avery was very guarded and careful with us during her first year home.

Oh my!
She loves us all with a wild abandon.
She is our sunshine girl.
She makes us laugh, belly laugh.
She is sweet, and fun, and rather bossy.  lol
I can NOT imagine life without her.

Over the past four years, she has rarely talked about living in the orphanage.  She has rarely ask me questions about her adoption.  She has rarely mentioned anything about her China mom.

Except for lately.....

Last Wednesday, while were on our way to school she said this:

"Mom, I've been thinking about {her}."

She said it so quietly, whispered it actually.....but I heard it.  Oh yes, I did.  I knew exactly who "her" was.  In fact, I was glad that Avery wanted to talk about her China mom with me.

I asked Avery to share her thoughts......
I told her it was perfectly natural and completely okay to think about her China mom.
Avery just shrugged.
She was very hesitant to share.

Avery did tell me that she was wondering if her China mom ever thought of her.
Wondering if her China mom was alive or dead......wondering what she does every day....
Just wondering.....thinking......

And that was it.
Conversation over.
We were at school.

I knew she had more to say.
I just had to find the right moment.

Friday night.
Avery and I were cuddling in my bed.
Shea was asleep.

I asked her if we could talk a little more about her China mom.
She said she already talked to me about it.

I gently pushed her to tell more....
I asked her if there was anything else on her mind?????

I was not expecting what happened next.

Avery asked me why {she} left her.....alone.
How long was Avery alone before someone found her?
How could she leave me?
Why did she leave me?

Oh my heart!

Avery was sobbing.
I was crying.

Oh my poor baby.

I could not answer her questions.

I held her.
Kissed her.
Rocked her.
Wiped away her tears.

The question.
Did {she} love me?

I don't know if I was right or wrong....
But as her mother,
The only thing I could say....
YES!  Your China mom loved you.
(How could she not?)
You are amazing.
You are wonderful.
You are perfect.

Then this:
"Why Momma, why did {she} leave me?"

I wanted to scream:


Instead, I told her that it was complicated.  I told her I don't have an answer for her.
I told Avery that I was so sorry for all her pain and sorrow.
I held her.
We cried together.

Avery then asked if I thought she was crying and scared and cold after her China mom left her.....alone.

The raw pain was so tangible.

The anxiousness.

The sadness.

The uncertainty.

The WHY.

I told Avery again that I am so sorry.  So very sorry.

I am so sad that Avery is thinking such thoughts.  She is only a child.  Eight years old..... But these thoughts are valid, and deep, and real, and so very hard to process......

I told Avery that she was never alone.  That day.  Or any other day.  EVER.


And so do I!  Oh, how I love this child of mine.
Never ending love.

Next morning she woke up with a smile on her face and a song on her lips.

She greeted me with a kiss and a hug and an "I love you, Mom".  Just like she does every day.


I am changed.
I am humbled.
I am in awe of this little girl.

Thank you Lord for her!
Thank you Lord for giving me the privilege of being her momma.

People always say how "lucky"she is....
Oh, puh-leeze.

 Lucky?  Really? She is so much more than "lucky".

She is strong. Brave. A survivor.
She is pure joy.
A delight.

She has changed me.  Profoundly.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Avery Day {four years HOME}



This little one has captured my heart.....completely!

I mean ~ COMPLETELY!!!!

Four years ago, she was so frightened.
Oh so very frightened.
This was one of the hardest days of her life.
She has had more difficult days then any little girl should ever have.....

He can heal the broken hearted.
He can bring beauty from ashes!

(And, yes.  I was trying to win her over with M&Ms.)


Oh how she makes my life so much better!

Her joy!
Her love for life!
Her smile!

I am one blessed momma!!!

Avery's adoption journal.

*you will have to scroll all the way down to day one.

Monday, January 6, 2014

It was wonderful, truly wonderful......

Christmas Eve 2013

Yes,  I am late in posting about our WONDERFUL Christmas.....
But ya know......Better Late Than Never!

First time in a long time that ALL the kiddos were home!

What a blessing!

Always fun trying to get ready for the Christmas Eve family picture....

Then of course we have the "big kid" pictures:

Drew and Katie

Scott and Stephanie

Faith and Jon and Archie.....yep, I know Archie isn't a 'big kid', but he hangs with his 'big kid' parents.

Pictures with Grandma

Group Pictures

Then a pic of the "Boss"!

Shea and Avery had fun on Christmas morning styling their dolls' hair.

Add caption
Hope y'all had a very blessed and joy-filled Christmas!!

Next year.....this little guy!
Can NOT wait!!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Nine? Really???

I think I say this every year.....


HOW does {this} happen??

HOW do my kids keep getting older?

Shea just turned 9 YEARS OLD!!!


It seems just like yesterday that we celebrated her birthday for the first time as our daughter.
She was only three.

Now she is nine!

Getting all grown up on us!

Having fun with the sibs!

This little guy, my grandson, is wondering what all the fuss is about....

Happy Birthday, Shea-Belle!
Oh how we love you!!!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013 {feeling blessed}

Look we what we received right in time for Thanksgiving.....

A picture of Jude, and a small little update....

He is 19 months old.
And is precious.
He weighs about 24 lbs.
And is adorable.
He is about 31 inches tall.
And is amazing!

I was inspired me to purchase some really cute tops.

And look what arrived!!!

And WOW!

Do we really have a crib?


(Ahem....I gotta get working on his room.....soon!)

As we anticipate and prepare for Jude to join our family......

We remember all of our blessings!

Our Thanksgiving Day started off with the girls making Monkey Bread.

Then on to puzzle making.

*I forgot to take pictures of our fabulous meal.....I guess I was a little will do that to me!

But I did take a picture of the calm after the storm.  lol

Hard to believe that there were five very happy, hungry, and well-satisfied people sitting around this table!!!

We sure did miss our three older children, their spouses, and of course our grandson.  They were blessed to be able to spend Thanksgiving together down in Indy.

We were blessed to spend the day with my mom.

Hubby.....turkey stupor!  lol
And also....."Why are you taking a picture of me, Chris?" expression.

Finally, we watched this movie:

Perfect way to end a wonderful day.....

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cupcakes for Grandma!

The girls wanted to do something special for Grandma's birthday.

I decided to steal borrow an idea from my dear friend Tonya.  (Who by the way always has amazing, creative ideas.....just sayin'.)

No only is this cupcake idea super cute, it is super EASY!!  And that EASY thing is how I roll.

All you need is this:

Some frosting.
Some help from Betty Crocker.
And two really cute and enthusiastic helpers!

We started out with an interesting frosting approach.  It's called "let's take a sample as we frost the cupcakes".

Moved on to unwrapping the Chocolate Kisses.

Added some sprinkles......

Constructed the "acorns".

Had to sampled some cupcakes along the way , of course.
The best part of baking.

And voila!
The perfect acorn cupcake!

Lots of Acorn/Birthday cupcakes for Grandma.

Happy Birthday Grandma!
We love you!

*Hubby took this picture.....kinda hard to get everyone smiling and looking at the camera when all they (ARCHER) wanted to do was eat the cupcakes!

I just had to post this picture.
It's too cute.
Love the upside down acorn!