Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Check-ups and the SWEETEST play date EVER!!

So today we headed to the doctor for Hudson and Addy-Kate's check-ups. This was Hudson's four year old visit and Addy-Kate's three year old visit. I'm thrilled to report that they both are healthy and strong--which is such a blessing from the Lord. Addy-Kate is growing like a little weed! She's put on SIX whole pounds and has grown 2 1/2 inches since her last visit! Just Incredible!!!
After our check-ups we headed to the mall to meet up with several other adoptive friends for a fun play date!
Some of these sweet ladies I had already met, but several I had not! Those that I had not officially met yet, I had followed their journey to China and back via facebook or their blog.  What a blessing it was to finally hug each of their necks and love on their sweet babies.
  Looking at this picture makes me tear up.
 I just cannot get over the fact that each one of these precious little girls was born on the other side of the world. And then according to the Lord's perfect plan, and in His perfect timing, each of them ended up at a play date in a mall in North Carolina!!!
Each one of them hand picked by Him to be a special part of our families, and each one an amazing miracle!
Adoption ROCKS, y'all!!!!
It totally ROCKS!!!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Let me hold you longer

Long ago you came to me,
a miracle of firsts,
First smiles and teeth and baby steps,
a sunbeam on the burst.
But one day you will move away
and leave to me your past
And I will be left thinking of
a lifetime of your lasts…

The last time that I held a bottle
to your baby lips
The last time that I lifted you
and held you on my hip.

The last night when you woke up crying,
needing to be walked,
When last you crawled up with your blanket,
wanting to be rocked.

The last time when you ran to me,
still small enough to hold.
The last time that you said you’d marry
me when you grew old.

Precious, simple moments and
bright flashes from your past-
Would I have held on longer if
I’d known they were your last?
Our last adventure to the park,
your final midday nap,
The last time when you wore your favorite
faded baseball cap.

Your last few hours of kindergarten,
those last few days of first grade,
Your last at bat in Little League,
last colored picture made.

I never said good-bye to all
your yesterdays long passed.
So what about tomorrow-
will I recognize your lasts?

The last time that you catch a frog
in that old backyard pond.
The last time that you run barefoot
across our fresh-cut lawn.

Silly, scattered images
will represent your past.
I keep on taking pictures,
never quite sure of your lasts…

The last time that I comb your hair
or stop a pillow fight.
The last time that I pray with you
and tuck you in at night.

The last time when we cuddle
with a book, just me and you
The last time you jump in our bed
and sleep between us two.

The last piano lesson,
last vacation to the lake.
Your last few weeks of middle school,
last soccer goal you make.

I look ahead and dream of days
that haven’t come to pass.
But as I do, I sometimes miss
today’s sweet, precious lasts…

The last time that I help you with
a math or spelling test.
The last time when I shout that yes,
your room is still a mess.

The last time that you need me for
a ride from here to there.
The last time that you spend the night
with your old tattered bear.

My life keeps moving faster,
stealing precious days that pass,
I want to hold on longer-
want to recognize your lasts…

The last time that you need my help
with details of a dance.
The last time that you ask me for
advice about romance.

The last time that you talk to me
about your hopes and dreams.
The last time that you wear a jersey
for your high school team.

I’ve watched you grow and barely noticed
seasons as they pass.
If I could freeze the hands of time,
I’d hold on to your lasts.

For come some bright fall morning,
you’ll be going far away.
College life will beckon
in a brilliant sort of way.

One last hug, one last good-bye,
one quick and hurried kiss.
One last time to understand
just how much you’ll be missed.

I’ll watch you leave and think how fast
our time together passed.
Let me hold on longer, God,
to every precious last.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Hitting the books again!

Today, I hugged and kissed my precious boys goodbye and scooted them out the door to begin a new and wonderful year at school. 
 This day is always bitter sweet for me. I am so excited for them and the fun and new opportunities that await them, but I am also so sad to see them leave home each and every day.

 I know that the Lord has amazing things in store for them this year and can't wait to see those plans unfold. He has already blessed them both with AWESOME teachers and sweet friends to spend their days with. I see the Lord's hand at work, and am so humbled at His faithfulness to our family.
Monkey bread was unanimously voted as our back to school breakfast of choice.
 After eating and reading our devotional for the day, we headed out the door and joined the parade of other families already walking down our street on their way to school. It's sea of kids sporting new bright shoes and carrying new backpacks;) Shane went into work a little later than usual so he was able to walk the boys to school with us on the first day too.
Once we got to school, the boys were super excited to show Shane their classrooms and introduce him to their teachers.
Both boys seemed to settle nicely into their new rooms, and the only tears shed as we hugged goodbye were...MINE;) 
 When the boys arrived home this afternoon, they were all smiles. It seems they both had a SUPER-DUPER first day.

The verses we read this morning and are claiming for this new school year are:
Colosians 1:9-10
"We have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

"Showers" of blessing...

 Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” 
Hosea 6:3
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater..."
Isaiah 55:10

Last week of S-U-M-M-E-R!

 We are beyond sad, but it's the harsh reality. Summer is almost over!! It's so hard to believe! Monday morning, alarms will ring, backpacks will be packed, and schedules will be followed.
But until then, we are doing our best to savor every last drop of what's left of our wonderful summer!
This week, we've tried to fill every minute with FUN, FUN, and more FUN;)
It's our one last hurrah!

Monday, we spent the morning hanging out with friends at...
Sky High!
I had purchased several groupons for the kids months ago, and since then they had been burning a whole in my pocket.  Monday's weather was wet and soggy so it just seemed like the perfect time to have fun inside!
The kids had a BLAST and are already begging to go back!
  After a morning full of jumping fun, we headed over to the mall to enjoy lunch 
and some more play time!

Tuesday, we headed to the $1 movies. 
This was Addy-Kate's very FIRST trip to the theater and she did so well!! As long as she had her bottomless box of popcorn in hand, she was content to sit for hours;)
 After the movies, we stopped by Wendy's to redeem our coupons for FREE frosty's!
On Wednesday, we headed to our library to meet the Bobcats mascot, Rufus!
Rufus was there doing a program to promote reading and literacy among children! He put on an AWESOME show, and at the end of the program each of the kids got to visit the Bobcats bus. The bus was set up just like a library inside and the kids got to pick out their very own book to take home!
 How cool is that!?!?

After the library, the kids asked if they could visit the "little red caboose" which is parked right next door. With no where else to be, and nothing else going on...I said, "sure."
This time next week, we'll be running here, there, and EVERYWHERE!! But for now, I'm happy to stop, savor, and ENJOY these fleeting moments left of summer!

"Summer afternoon - Summer afternoon... the two most beautiful words in the English language."-- Henry James

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sophie the lifeguard

This summer, Sophie became quite infatuated with the lifeguards at the pool. While the other kids were off swimming, Sophie could be found following the guards around the pool, helping them check the chemicals, sweep the deck, empty the trash cans, or giving "thumbs up"to other swimmers letting them know it was safe to come down the slide. 
She LOVED having a task to complete at the pool and took her "jobs" very seriously. And if you asked her right now, she would gladly tell you that her new ambition in life is to become a "princess lifeguard"! Let there be no mistake...she will STILL be a princess, but a life guard one at that;)
Needless to say, we got to know all the life guards at the pool very well this summer. 
However, one guard in particular took to Sophie like no other.  Her name was Charlotte and
Sophie absolutely adored her!! Charlotte was so sweet to Sophie and the two became fast buddy's;)
 Charlotte got Sophie this "lifeguard in training" shirt which was a HUGE hit with our girl.
Charlotte is a student at Clemson University and after a quick visit down there this summer, she brought all the kids back bright orange Clemson T-shirts. I mean, how incredibly sweet is THAT;) The kids LOVED them and are now begging to go visit Charlotte at school and attend a football game. I'm seeing a fall family weekend trip in our very near future, for sure;)
 Charlotte left this weekend and is headed back to begin her junior year at school.  Boy oh boy, do we miss her so much already! The pool just won't be the same with out her. Before she left though, we were able to spend an entire day with her at one of our all time favorite places--Carowinds!!!
  It was such a treat for us, and the kids loved having Charlotte all to their selves;)
What an incredible blessing it was for our family to have met this sweet girl over the summer!
And when Charlotte returns to the pool next summer, I know one little girl in particular who will be super excited!! With bathing suit on and whistle in hand, Sophie will be ready to rule the pool once again;)