Our house has not been left short with things to do! I'm glad I got a head start on some of our "summery" November days and set up our outdoor Christmas decorations since these past two weeks I've been blessed with what is now a sinus infection which has pretty much knocked me on my hiney! I say blessed because just before I got sick, I met with my mom's group at church and we committed to choosing a bible verse to memorize. I chose, "Quick to Listen, Slow to Speak, Slow to Anger James 1:19". God works in mysterious ways. He took my voice with my sickness--so I couldn't speak. He took my energy so I was certainly unable to even get angry at anything. All I could do was listen--and that I did. All those simple things we take for granted. My kids have been amazing through all of this. It's like they know they need to be helpful, and nice, and good--most of the time. I can't expect them to be that ALL of the time! :0)
I also chose a second verse, "Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. Psalms 30:5" It has always been a verse that has helped me through our adoption process--for both me and our childrens' birth families. I know that adoption can bring much sadness, but I pray that we can all rejoice as our families come together to celebrate God's gifts! But, the reason I wanted to remember this verse again, is through my grief of losing two highschool classmates this past month. It is still unknown to me how one has died, but the other lost her battle to breast cancer after a 2 year battle. I took for granted that her strong and spunky personality would get her through this. It is difficult to grieve, knowing that they have gone to be with Jesus, but so hard to let go of them at such a young age. Both were only 39 and will be greatly missed by many until we all meet again.
I just don't have enough time to write about everything I would love to tell you! If you know me personally. . . you know I love to talk and definitely love to babble in emails. I hope you all can find something fortunate in your life this holiday season. This time of year has always brought me great joy and I am so excited to celebrate with friends and family! (I just need to ditch my cough!) haha! Here's some more pictures of my blessings!
Jakob and Jada are "cooking something". If you look closely, though, Jada is taking bites out of the raw potatoes--which, Jakob thinks are kiwi. At least they aren't fighting! :0)
Another loving moment! I just can't get enough of these!
Celebrating Thanksgiving with Jakob's birthmom (and her family whom are not pictured--haha). I was not feeling well, so Craig pretty much did everything. The food was great along with the company and we are doing it all over again for Christmas! Yeah! We have found that it is much easier to have people to our home--since we know about 99% of homes just aren't Jada proofed! :0)
I can't believe that Halloween is almost here! The kids are growing at an alarming rate. . . They are becoming the daring duo--giving me plenty of lip biting terrifying moments. After a bed jumping party, Jada split her lip wide open (I was at work for this one--which is probably good). After it finally healed. . . she decided to face plant into the floor totally bruising her front tooth. Only time will tell if it turns grey and falls out. Jakob has a grey tooth too. If I didn't know any better. . . I would think they are trying to be as much like each other as possible. I watch the kids like a hawk and this stuff still happens. Jada even started to roll away in a shopping cart at our Halloween trick or treat party only to be saved by the dude dressed up as a milk carton (or something like that). He stepped out of the store to cool off right in time to stop Jada's cart from rolling into the parking lot, possibly tipping over, or even worse, getting hit by a car. I do know that God was watching over us right at that very moment! Parenthood equals lots of deep breaths and often a lot of panicking! :0) Who would have ever known?
Ha ha! This one makes me laugh out loud every time I see it!
Today was Jakob's first day of pre-school embarking yet another milestone of my babies growing up. It was a really difficult day for me--I guess I'm of the rare breed--tears spilling before he woke up, tears on the way to school, tears when he said, "Oh, there's my pre-school!", using all my might to hold back the tears when he started to get a little teary eyed. . . wanting me to go in with him, tears on the way out (I was the only one that I saw crying. . . . sheesh!), tears on the ride home, tears a couple of times while at home and then I think I was done--for awhile. I could not wait to pick him up. Jada screamed with delight when she saw him. We just sat and hugged each other for a little bit--everyone else was gone when we were done. I was in no hurry to rush him out the door!! I asked him if he cried at all and he said, "no."
He had red and green grapes for snack and pee peed in a "loud toilet", sat on a yellow circle, and went on three slides at the "park" (playground). I was teary eyed again when Craig called to check in and again when people at work asked about how the day went. I'm sure it's not the last time I will cry. . . I'm just an emotional person and I certainly don't try to hide how I'm feeling. I got some great shots of the first day and do look foward to taking many more in the future of every 1st day of school! I'm sure I will cry every year!
Wow! Has time flown! Life has definitely been keeping me busy (mostly Craig, Jakob and Jada--all equally pining for my love and attention.) Poor Craig. . . the kids almost always win my attention first. We've been working on "enriching" our relationship as "husband and wife"--or at least giving it some more time rather than always being "mom and dad." It's definitely not as easy as it sounds with our busy schedules, lack of family in MN, lack of funds to pay for resources, and just that feeling of not wanting to take advantage of others. (Not to mention that I miss being with my babies almost instantly after leaving!) I'm not sure I will ever get over that!
I'm going to have to learn how to deal with it since Jakob will be starting preschool in a couple of weeks. I just look at him and wonder when the heck he got so "big" (as in age--he is still a petite child!). At least I will be in parent education one day of his preschool--so he won't be so far away! haha! He comes up with the funniest things. Like, Jada, mama and dada will be in school with me. He has really developed into a loving big brother. We were worried for awhile--if he would ever get over the jealousy, but as Jada keeps getting bigger and bigger and able to play better with him--it only seems that they are getting closer and closer. He is sensitive, shy, loving, obstinate at times, but happy happy happy! (as long as he gets his way!)
It will be amazing to watch his personality grow even more at school. I worry that it may be too overwhelming at times but it will be good. Big crowds are a bit over stimulating for him so hopefully his class isn't too large--and hopefully--he doesn't bite anyone! He has been "jamming" out to his radio lately, turning it up as loud as it goes. I picture a teen rebel dancing in his room to KTIS! :0) He is just so adorable and will run to turn it up if he hears one of his favorite songs! The Newsboys, He Reigns is his number one!
Jada baby will be in daycare for the two hours that I am in parent education. She will be in the room right next to me and it will be interesting. I thought that nothing would phase her, but we tried out church daycare and she only lasted 10 minutes and was wailing for her mommy. I would have thought that Jakob would have been the one--I was surprised--totally! She has been teething--molars--and they are really causing all of us some grief. I can't wait until they come through. Hopefully soon, so we can start the next round of teeth--the worst ones--the I-teeth. Jada keeps us on our toes--literally. In two seconds flat (or less) you will be able to find her somewhere that she really shouldn't be. She can climb faster than I ever thought a child could climb, is virtually not afraid of falling, and likes to run away really fast when you see her. (So, you really must be careful when you come upon her standing on a chair or sitting on the play stove!
I think she is a born Diva. . . . she loves shoes, and clothes, and princess stuff, and definitely knows how to get her way. I can only imagine just how loud our house is going to be in the later teen years--with all of the kids' friends. Loud music, lots of laughter, lots of whispering and plenty of all nighters! :0)
We tried a new church--Evergreen Community Church. We've only been there twice and it feels like we've been there forever. The people are great! We went to a free BBQ one weekend and thought we would give it a try. There is nothing wrong with the church we are members at. We were just looking for a church with more diversity and more young families. We are Lutheran and Evergreen is non-denominational. It is contemporary and seems to have a lot of really great programs that fit our needs right now. I cannot begin to explain how important it is for us to be intertwined with families of many cultures--as a multi-cultural family ourselves. I feel sad, in a way, that the church our children were baptized in just isn't meeting our needs--but I want my children to be a part of God and a church community and I think this one will be perfect for us!
I hope that summer has been good to everyone! I am looking forward to our changes coming and hope to have some time to share it with you! ;0)
One year ago tonight. . .my baby girl was born and I didn't even know about it. We didn't find out until the next afternoon that we were chosen to be her parents and that she would be coming home the very next day. It's a good thing they called us when they did--as we were on our way out of town for my 20 year class reunion. Nope--we didn't make it and I certainly have no regrets. There are sacrifices you make just to be a parent and that had to be one of them.
Jada's birthmom is amazing. I cannot even imagine how this whole first year has been for her. We went from the concept of her adoption being closed, to emailing, to visits, to building a very wonderful, beautiful and trusting relationship (at least I hope she feels that way.) We were even blessed with an unexpected meeting with Jada's birth grandmother when they stopped by on the way to the airport to drop off some gifts for Jada. It is amazing how things evolve and turn out the way they do. I cannot imagine our life without Jada. I cannot imagine our life without Carmen.
Jada giving the thumbs up on her fancy pants robe. I think she has expensive taste already! :0)
This is a very very special plaque that hung on Carmen's wall when she was growing up. I cannot think of a more endearing gift from the heart. Jada loves to carry it around, but she is not very gentle with it--so it sitting on her dresser waiting to be hung on her wall.
This year has gone by far too fast and yet I am so excited for the things to come. We have a tradition to take a photo at the time of baby's birth. Jakob was born at 10:08pm so he has been easy so far since he is sleeping (I'm sure that will change in the coming years!). Jada, however, seriously, would not hold still for a second--so all the actual 7:29pm pictures are blurry. If that is any indication of Carmen's labor and birth with Jada, I know she is even more amazing than I thought! haha! If that is any indication of what she is going to be like in the future. . . we may be in trouble! :0) Here's my sweet sweet baby girl one year later after arriving in the outside world! Love you Jada!! Love you Carmen!!
Happy happy birthday! May we help all of your wishes and dreams come true!!
Yesterday was Jakob's adoption day! 3 years ago we finalized his adoption in court and he became a "legal" forever part of our family. He was already a forever part of our family in our hearts the day we met Kaiti! Life has a funny way of reminding me that things don't always go as planned. I planned to have this blissfully peaceful happy day just hanging out with my kids -- but spent a better part of it trying to rid my house of some of the best tantrums a 3 1/2 year old could throw. We would definitely win if there was a tantrum throwing contest--I'm sure of it! Jakob did actually take a much needed nap and woke up in a much better mood--so off to the Mall of America we went!
We had 5 free ride tickets that we got at the Eagan parade on the 4th of July! Each ticket was worth 6 points and most of Jakob's rides only cost 3-4 points and as his "chaperone" we don't have to pay when we ride with him on most rides. So--we got in a lot of rides! The tickets were "mystery" tickets--meaning they could be worth more than 6 points--and with our amazing luck--the last ticket was worth a whoppin' 100 points! That's a lot of points! AND--it needed to be used up by 10:00pm that evening (it was already 7:30pm). That is totally impossible for us with two small children!
Probably the best part of the evening was walking around looking for a family to give the ticket too! And there they were--standing by the ticket kiosk--a mom, dad, and three young boys. How awesome is that? We knew they would be able to burn 97 points in a few hours! The mom was so elated that she started to cry and gave both Craig and me a big hug! I know--if they are ordinary like us, a night at Nickelodeon Universe can really break your budget. Especially with three boys! :0) So off we went for a family dinner at Burger King and home to eat cupcakes! It ended up being a wonderful evening!
I've always wanted to do the KTIS drive-thru difference. I have never been out on the days that they have them. We are also not always in a financial position to help others out as we would like to or to donate to every charity that desperately needs our help. So, I guess giving away our ride ticket was kind of our way to be able to do that. We would never be able to just hand out $100--it was so AWESOME! I am so thankful for the things we do have and for my "forever" babies who are not so much babies anymore. God is so good!
Jakob's new summer NUNU blanket that I made for him.
A moment of sibling love--it does really exist! :0)
Going on the Wonder Pets ride all by himself for the very first time!
WEEEEEEE!! I did go on this with him first and it is kind of scary! :0)
Having cupcake cones!
Jada started from the bottom! haha!
Checking out all the cars that I had when I was a kid. He is still playing with them today! Yeah!
It has been a busy busy time over in our little chaotic home! In two weeks time both Craig and I have managed to get really really ill. . . I was sick while hubby was out of town and had to manage the little ones by myself while feeling like death was just around the corner--but I made it through. Craig got sick the next weekend, while my parents were here visiting to celebrate Jada's birthday. So, he spent the whole weekend in bed.
And did you just catch that? Yes, Jada is almost one! I cannot believe that a whole year has already passed us by! A whole year of complete chaos in an upside down world. Every day is so amazing and completely challenging! I still haven't mastered the "keep the house clean" talent, nor the "dinner is ready" when daddy gets home. In fact, daddy usually makes the dinner. We are still working on our organization skills and learning to let go of things that are really adding to our clutter in between the temper tantrums and sibling fights over just one toy when we have zillions of others laying around.
Then, there are those moments. . .
The moments when I catch Jakob giving Jada a hug and a kiss. Where Jada takes Jakob's shoes to him and tries to put them on his feet. When Jada stops crying because Jakob sings to her. When Jada walks to her birthmom, Carmen, and gives her a big snuggle hug. How Jakob's face lights up when he sees Kaiti (his birthmom) walking to our door. Jada fast asleep on my husband's chest in the middle of the night. Ahhh. . . they make me melt. I could not ask for more!
Waiting for fireworks! We go to the Bloomington Fete fireworks on July 3rd every year!
Jada pointing at the fireworks. She did not seem to mind the boom booms in the sky and stayed awake for the whole show! :0)
We went to the city of Eagan on the 4th for their parade. Jakob wasn't too sure about the dragon!
Jada and me waiting to dance. The bands kind of scared her and so did the loud horns!
Jakob was not too sure about the clowns. . . .
Candy boy was more interested in eating all the candy being thrown at the parade. He is trying to chew a tootsie roll in this picture. I have never seen a kid eat so much candy! We finally had to cut him off--he was obsessed!
Jada waving to all the beautiful girls on the floats! Born to be a princess! :0)
Our photos are done! Now we have to choose--and it is going to be difficult! They are really awesome! If you want to view them. . . you can get the code in my "notes" on facebook. I think pretty much everyone that reads my blog is a friend of mine on facebook (if not, you will have to send me your email or find me on facebook!). They will only be up for 10 days so view fast!
The sneak peek is up from our photo shoot--just a glimpse until the rest of the pictures are done. You can have a peek yourself at 3 Peas Photography. Our photographer Amy also has a fan page on facebook--find it here.
There are a couple of different pictures posted on there! I'm so excited to see the rest of them!! It is definitely going to be difficult to choose! :0)
Weird things are happening over here at our blissfully chaotic household. My little Jada, whom just turned 10 months on June 30th, seems to have picked up walking in a couple of days. Now it seems like that is all she wants to do. Between that and her teeth--she is constantly wanting to nap, for about 10 minutes, eat and play play play. What is happening to my not so little baby girl?!?
And Mr. Jakob--was in potty training boot camp today. Every 20 minutes we took a trip to the potty. If he didn't go within a couple of minutes, I had him get off and try again in 20 minutes. Then later in the afternoon, I was folding laundry on the floor while Jada was eating her lunch in her highchair (which she will try to climb out of if you don't watch her) and Jakob was running with his vacuum back and forth making a ton of racket. Then in a moment's notice it got quiet--and before I realized it I panicked. When you stay home with your kids--you pretty much know them inside and out and when it suddenly gets quiet and Jakob disappears--I know he is most likely pooping--today it would be IN HIS UNDERWEAR! I went back to find him and opened the bathroom door--and there sat Mr. Jakob on his potty chair--with his underwear off. He told me he was pooping on the potty, so I told him to call me when he was done. I left and did a cartwheel (inside my head) and in a couple of minutes heard this tiny little voice calling--"mamaaaa." He did it! ALL BY HIMSELF! He also got up from nap to pee on the potty while I was in the shower. Oh can you imagine the excitement in our household?!?!?!
Then, our package from cottonbabies dot com showed up. We had some minor issues with the velcro straps on our diaper liners and I called the company to inquire how to go about fixing them and they told me the diapers were still under warranty and to send them in to be replaced. Now, that is AWESOME! Not only because we get to have brand new liners--but because they will last even longer now if Mr. Jakob continues to not have to wear them! Yippppeeeeeee!! Maybe they will be around for baby number three. . . .
Tomorrow night we have our photo shoot for the Celebrating Adoption program (weather permitting). We get a free session with a photographer who participates in the program and some free photos. She will also offer us 15% off anything more that we would like to order. We are very excited since we have only done professional photos for Jakob on his 1st birthday. Most people who participate in this program will often get the curly sweet newborn pictures, but Jada was never a curly sleepy baby and we wanted a chance to get some awesome family photos. We are using Amy with 3 Peas Photography and are very excited! I hope the weather holds out for us! If it doesn't, we can reschedule--but we are just so excited to do this we don't want to wait any longer!
If you need some good Karma--we have it here! Rub your fingers on my blog or something and I'm sure it will come your way! For now, I have a walking video for you to see. All my other pictures are on the other computer in the bedroom where hubby is fast asleep (and starts work at 5 am--total ISH!) so I just can't go wake him to use the computer--it will light up the whole room--AND the sound of typing will for sure wake him up! :0) Enjoy!!
Yeah, summer is here! I have no complaints about our chilly nights! I love them!! No need for the air conditioner--or heat. This is my heaven for sure! All of our construction is finally done--new driveway, sidewalk and windows. I think we are done for awhile. We've been waiting for all of our lilies to bloom and hoping our garden takes off. These chilly nights are not exactly the perfect growing weather--but, at least we are not in a frost advisory zone. We have finally made a strawberry patch. I've wanted one forever! However, some kind of varmint has been digging up our plants so we just fenced it in tonight. We may not get a crop this year--but I'm hoping they will take off for next year!
Jada has turned 10 months already. I cannot believe it! My parents will be coming up to celebrate her 1st birthday--probably in June--but that's okay. We are going home in August for a visit so we are trying to spread the visits out. I already know what I am getting her. We really don't need anything--really. . . so I have decided to get her an itty bitty twin set from American Girl. I asked if I could get a black girl and white boy (to represent Jada and Jakob) and they were all over that at the store. They thought it was super cool and know that people come in there to get dolls that look like their kids. It will be more for when she gets older, but it will add to our multicultural toys in the house!
Jada is unbelievable! She climbs, crawls, opens cupboards, gets her own snacks, cruises, and is almost walking. . . she takes a few steps here and there. She says Hi, Dada, Mama, waves goodbye, and she says baba--which we are not sure if it is for her bottle or Jakob (we call Jakob Baba or Bubba sometimes). She is non-stop and has been keeping us on our toes! Jakob is being the perfect big brother and is teaching her words, sings to her, feeds her (usually things he doesn't want to eat), and loves to tell her what is his and what is hers. The fights are fewer and he is getting better about being nice to her on a consistent basis so I can leave the room for more than 10 seconds to use the bathroom, get laundry, answer the phone--all the usual stuff. She loves to eat dirt. . . . and they both love to be outside! My own little heaven on Earth--interrupted here and there with some major temper tantrums! Did you know that my kisses have magical powers and can heal skinned knees? Well almost. . . Jakob is still limping around and seems to have a lot of pain when he is being put on a time out. haha! Sneaky bugger!
We had a scare with our cat Squeakers. . . he escaped and was gone for 36 hours. We thought he was gone forever and then he showed back up on our deck this morning. I wish we had a helmet cam on him to see just exactly what he did that whole time. When he came in, he ate, then went right to sleep in the sun, and slept all day, and ate some more and then tried to escape again this evening. He is truly a naughty kitty!
Well, I hope everyone else is experiencing their own slice of heaven! May God's blessings be all around us!
Playing outside! I love her smile and her scrunchy nose! :0)
Two peas in a pod!
He is so darn cute! :0)
Jakob loves to water the plants--and he loves to pick the flowers too! haha!
Jada is eating Teddy Grahams!
Eating dirt and playing with sticks! That's my baby! :0)