The Lord's Prayer


Nothing like a little voice learning the Lord's Prayer

video

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New Kicks



Allyson purchased these lovely kicks the other day. We were out and about today when she asked, "Mom, do these make my feet look big?".
Ummmm, well, I don't think I'll lose you!

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This and That Thursday

 Monday of this week was 80 degrees and sunny so we took advantage of the unseasonable weather to do some new trails. We came across a little bridge and a rushing creek to play in. Well worth the walk, but not the migraine I ended up with. I react to the sun so poorly anymore! 



We also headed out for some Thai food. Eric and I got our normal, but it was soooo much spicier than it had been in the past. The waitress said the chef even cut the amount of spice since the peppers he got were so hot. Whew! Eric played a soccer game after that dinner and said he tasted that food all over again and again.....and again.... bleh! 

Jake enjoyed his meal though. Now you see it....


Now you don't! Where does he put it? 


First and foremost, I don't sew.  But I purchased new chairs for an otherwise empty living room and wanted to brighten it up a bit so I attempted my version of making a pillow. 


Now I just have to find time to make the other one. 


Hope everyone is having a wonderful week. I am enjoying reading and hearing of expecting bloggy friends!!!! 

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Book Review: An Invisible Thread


I don't remember who first tipped me off that An Invisible Thread  by Laura Schroff was a good book. I'd give credit to whomever if I could remember. In fact, I've been waiting for it on hold at the library for a couple of months now. It has nothing to do with Chinese adoption or any adoption for that matter. However,  it is a must read and is a true story of an unlikely Caucasian business woman meeting an eleven year old African American pan-handler. The relationship grew out of weekly dinner dates and became a source of learning and joy for both of them. She became a surrogate mother without ever adopting him and influenced his life greatly. I could go on and on, but that wouldn't encourage you all to read it,  right? 

But one sweet story in it was when Laura realized Maurice would frequently go without any food during the day so she asked him if he would rather have money given to him at the beginning of the week for lunch or have a sandwich made for him each morning. He chose the sandwich and asked if she could place it in a paper bag. She asked why the paper bag. He responded that the kids with lunches in a paper bag meant they had someone that cared about them. So every day, she would pack a lunch in a brown paper bag and leave it with her doorman for Maurice to pick up. And everyone knew that Maurice had someone who loved him. 

Check it out at your library or purchase the book! You won't regret it!

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The Lady of the House


It started with the dress. The girls went shopping while on vacation and she bought her first Ann Taylor Loft dress. A double zero petite which means you don't exist as a person. 

She wore it this Sunday to church. Yes, indeed! A dress, people! The angels were singing I tell ya!


Of course I zipped out the camera and started taking some proof. She looked so pretty, so grown up! 


Actually, she came downstairs with this lovely dress on and black converse sneakers. I pleaded for change! A unique style, that one! 


She's always been a pretty independent kid. But she is proving herself more and more capable of independence. It is a very good thing, but also means she is well on her way to growing up and moving on. 


Ms. Independent! 


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The 9 Year Old

 Daddy came home just in time for Sunday dinner. Which meant, it was time for cake!


He was happy.




Because when Daddy sings Happy Birthday, it gets pretty ridiculous. 


And when one laughs, the others do too! 


Birthday Boy enjoyed his cake. I tried not to think about the amount of  little boy slobber on my piece!


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Is This Day Over Yet? Please!!!!

 Opening day started bright and early with opening ceremonies. And now, it's done. Thank goodness. Today was not my finest moment. We started with Grant's game which they lost. But hey, he looks darn good in that uniform, doesn't he? He always plays with a lot of heart. 







And then, there's Jake's game. A lot of this goes on:

Along with several good hits (please notice cheerleader in the background)


A couple of cute smiles along the way.


And some cheers! He also stopped on third to do his "give me 5, up high, down low, you're too slow" joke. 


Then he was back to this:



Ally's game is where things turned sour. She did awesome and played so hard! 






But long story short, there was a goalie injured on the other team when Ally was playing defense. The other teams coach went on an absolute tirade and pulled his girls off the field after screaming profanities at our coach who, by the way, calmly took the heat. It should have ended at, "We won. They forfeited". But, as I was trying to walk out, Mr. Horrible Coach was continuing his tirade in the office and then proceeded to walk out and while yelling pointed to me saying it was my kid who made the offense. Looking back, I see he was really probably just so angry that he pointed at anyone. But Mama Bear was tired by then and didn't use self control. I went after him and spewed out my thoughts sticking up for my kiddo instead of showing restraint and walking away. Can't believe I did that and stooped to his level. How utterly embarrassing.  (If he is ever allowed back to coach, I think he will think twice before messing with me again and will point the finger the other way).  I think I'll take a warm bath and go to bed early. Ugh!

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Mom's Taxi is BUSY!!!

updated: realized tonight that the coach accidentally said pics were this Saturday. Actually they are next Saturday. Whew!! He had originally told me to go straight from Jake's pics to his game even. Either way, that's going to make for a less stressful day. 

I've got one insane schedule this Saturday for opening day. My head is hurting just thinking about it! 

7:30  Pancake Breakfast fundraiser
8:30 Opening ceremonies. Two boys, two different places in a gym packed with people
9:15 Jake's pictures
11:00 Jake's ball game
12:15 Grant's pictures
1:00 Grant's game
2:30 Ally's game

4:00 pm Mom's hot bath (thinking I'll need to just schedule that in too!) 
Events in different places.  I need to multiply myself and quick! Eric always seems to miss out on opening day chaos. That darn "work thingy" keeps getting in the way every year! 

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Grant's Birthday Fun

 Grant certainly had a fun day yesterday. Although the weather didn't cooperate for his birthday as it had for Jake's, we had good times at the Big Al's Arcade.  I made a poor decision in just using my iphone for pics. Evidently I take horrible iPics while holding multiple coats, winning arcade tickets, and a purse. But you'll get the idea anyway. 

I don't really want to think about the amount of dollars he spent playing his favorite game Deal or No Deal. Let's just say he should never be allowed to go to Vegas. 




The jump rope game is a big hit too. I guess paying a buck to jump an imaginary rope is so much more fun than the one we have at home. Go figure!



Grant is a dancing machine. He loves to dance! I thought it was funny as he was dancing to a Japanese pop group with a techno sound. 



Then we headed downstairs to the big screens for lunch. Grant picked his seat so he could watch the Orioles play. Daddy will be proud!


After laughing through the movie Mirror Mirror, we headed to a cupcake shop and picked out our delights to sing Happy Birthday with. 

Mine was a cinnamon cake with maple buttercream frosting and bacon on top. Ahhhhh!!!! YUM!


Grant chose a grasshopper cupcake, and Ally and Jake chose a southern biscuit cake with cream cheese buttercream and a raspberry filling. I had a bite of Jake's as he's not big on sweets (what's a matter with that kid anyway!) and oh, so delicious! 


Grant has this timing with his birthday. He always manages to get two parties or two celebrations. Maybe it's his middle kid ways. We get to celebrate as a family again on Sunday when Eric comes home. My full cake decorating "abilities" will be on display again! 



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Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!

To Grant, my first son, 
I love your heart. No other child could have made a better first son to me. You bonded so well and were such an amazing toddler. I loved discovering and watching your personality unfold those first several months you came home from Kazakhstan. Oh, what a beautiful baby! 




You've grown into a boy now nine years old and have such heart. You may be the smaller boy on the ball teams, but you are never the weakest. Rather, you are the one that plays the hardest. In fact, you're pretty darn talented athletically. I enjoy watching you play. You're a solid guy, a true Kazakh. I love that about you. Tough is a good word to describe you. We know you must be really hurting if you cry because it doesn't happen often. 






And oh, you are smart! I've had the pleasure of spending more time with you and watching you learn during your third grade year. When you finish one science, history, or math book, you ask for the next. 

More importantly, your heart is good. It's kind, sweet, and generous. I've always said that you have the patience of a saint. After all, dealing with a little brother that's super busy and has a big personality can be a challenge. God certainly knew you'd be the perfect big brother to Jake. You've made him breakfast, helped him find his cleats and hat for ball practice, help him with a puzzle when he cries in frustration, and so many other "small" acts of kindness. 



Before you came into our family, I prayed and asked for a little boy. Not an infant or baby, not a pregnancy, but a little boy.  God has been so generous to bless me with you. I wanted you so badly. Before we traveled to Kazakhstan to find our son, I prayed and prayed for a brown-eyed, brown-skinned boy. And once again, God gave me you. It brings tears to my eyes to think God would grant me such a gift. You are so very, very precious. I love you so very, very much. 


Happy Birthday, Sweet Boy. 
We love you, Grant Avery!
Love, Mom




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The Swagger Wagon

 One of our favorite parts of the vacation was renting the swagger wagon of boats. In fact, I now want a pontoon boat which would mean I need a lake house. But that's a different story. 

We trusted these two shifty guys as Captain and Skipper. (Insert Gilligan's Island theme song here)



Bathing Beauties!





Oh look! There I am! Thanks, Rachel, for making sure I was in vacation pics! 


 We stopped at several different places. This little cove area makes them look like they're on the moon or something! 


The sting rays were out visiting that day too.


The swagger wagon had a lot of little captains! 




This guy looks like he's done this before.



 We could have had a large hermit crab community by the time the kids had gathered all their new friends. 


This isn't pool water! It's the bay.  He was calmly asking me if he could get back on the boat since he was cold and the jellyfish were stinging him. Being the good mother I am, I took a picture first. 


Side effects of boating: (We should boat more often!)


The dreaded frisbee.  Grant hit everyone one of us with that thing. I thought it just may be the death of all of us! 



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