Sunday, March 8, 2009

It's "Got Me" Day

March 9, 2006

Tomorrow is Ella's "Gotcha Day" as they say in the adoption world. But in our house it is now known as "Got Me Day" thanks to Ella! It seems like just yesterday that Gary and I were in Guatemala picking up our sweet baby girl from her foster mother.
It has been three years now since she has been with us and we wouldn't trade her for the world. I wanted to share some of my favorite pictures from the final days of our adoption journey.

This is us getting off of the plane. I don't know how well this one will show up on the computer, but it is my absolute FAVORITE! You can see the excitement on my face to have my WHOLE family together for the first time. And Chance in the foreground running to us with the anticipation of meeting his sister. No other picture sums up the excitement, joy, and love, that was waiting for Ella!

This one just reminds me how much of baby Jackson still was when Ella came home! My babies...sigh! Time flies soooo fast.

And the Happy Parents! Do think we could smile any bigger?

This "Got Me" day is special. For those of you who have been with us from the beginning, this is just as much for you as it is for us. We had to complete 4 post placement visits with a Social Worker after Ella came home, and the last one was this past week!!!! YEA!!!! We are done! She is OURS! No more red tape! I don't know who we would be without Ella to brighten our days. She is what every parent could want in a little girl. She loves to shop, wear make-up, dance, and talk non-stop! She is my partner in crime. I love her girly-girl side. However, she has tomboy streak in her that comes out every so often. It must come from having two brothers. Her daddy LOVES the fact that she likes to get dirty, wants to learn to hit a baseball, and has asked for a pink gun! In the words of HER FAVORITE song, she is the "Best Of Both Worlds!"
I think we all get caught up in our day to day lives and forget what little miracles our children are. And their birthdays seem to be all about parties and toys and friends. I think every kid needs a "GOT ME" Day! It's not about presents or cake or any other superficial tradition. It simply for us to celebrate, as a family, the day that we all came together! I guess in our house it is like a family anniversary. I don't know how other women feel, but I knew when my family was complete (and when it wasn't). To have a sense of completion is an amazing feeling. And now it is DONE!
We are a FOREVER family!

We love you Ella Bella, Chikamunk, Sugar Honey, Ella Rosie, Princess Chatterbox!
Welcome to the Family! FOREVER!

Friday, March 6, 2009

All about the J Man!

For those of you who don't know...tomorrow is Jackson's 5th birthday! WOO HOO! We are not having a party! Last year we started just trying to do something special as a family. This is not as inspirational as it might seem. With 3 kids...I am tired of planning parties. And twice as tired of presents we don't need or have the room for.
So this year, for the boys' birthdays we are going to Sea World in San Antonio. Jackson's birthday is in March and Chance's in is August, so we are hoping to make the trip in between somewhere. They are really excited.
We are going to spend the day together tomorrow, probably bowling or a movie! And of course there will be cake...Pokemon if you must know details!
Anyway, I thought since it is his special day I would share some little known facts about Action Jackson!
1. I went into labor during Alias...MY FAVE! and he has not stopped interrupting since!
2. He will jump off of anything and everything if it stands still long enough!
3. He wears his cowboy boots EVERYDAY!
4. He is going to be just like his Uncle Jake when it comes to love: It takes him a while to take the leap, but once he's in...he's ALL in!
5. He is built just like SuperDaddy and Uncle Josh, short and stocky! The doctors guess he will reach a full height of 5'10.
6. We call him our little carnivore. He would be content to meat and nothing else!
7. He his the most competitive of all my children. He plays to win or he doesn't play!
8. He absolutely idolizes his BIG brother, to the point that we have learned to just ask Chance what is going to order to eat, because Jackson wants the same thing!
9. He still sleeps with a "silky" every night!
10. He has the most infectious laugh and I LOVE finding things to crack him up!

I could go on, but I don't want to bore you or embarrass him. Just wanted to let all of you in on the joy that is Jackson!
Happy Birthday Bug!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

An Encouraging Word

So, since we started this homeschooling adventure...we have received a huge range of responses. We have support, we have understanding, we have encouragement, we have confusion, and we have criticism. No matter what each of you thinks, I want to thank you for at least being honest with me. And I want you to know that we are LOVING life right now.
1.I love my kids...and having them with me.
2.Our house is MUCH more relaxed than it was before.
3.The kids ARE learning...tons!
4.and they behave BETTER!!!
Anyway, I could go on and on about how right this decision was for our family. But the real reason I wanted to post tonight was to share something I read today. For those of you that are in this homeschooling boat with us, you will be uplifted. For those of you that are lifting us up in prayer and in support, you will be encouraged. And for those of you that are skeptical, I hope this will help you understand why we do what we do.

"We can sum up very quickly what people need to teach their own children. First of all, they have to like them, enjoy their company, their physical presence, their energy, foolishness, and passion. They have to enjoy all their questions, and enjoy equally trying to answer those questions. They love to think of their children as friends, indeed very close friends, have to feel happier when near and miss them when they are away. They have to trust them as people, respect their fragile dignity, treat them with courtesy, take them seriously. They have to feel in their own hearts some of their children's wonder, curiosity, and excitement about the world. And they have to have enough confidence in themselves, skepticism about experts, and willingness to be different from most people, to take on themselves the responsibility for their children's learning. But that is about all the parents need. Perhaps only a minority of parents has these qualities. Certainly some have more than others. Many will gain more as they know their children better; most of the people who have been teaching their children at home say that it has made them like them more, not less. In any case, these are not qualities that can be taught or learned in school, or measured with a test, or certified with a piece of paper."
-John Holt in Teach Your Own