Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween 2010

Meet the Flintstones:
Trick or Treating crew:
Sleepy Pebbles:




Lake House!

Well, I logged in to post Halloween pics, then I realized I never posted pics of the new house. So, first things first:

exterior
backyard balcony view

playroom


Masons room



Master bedroom


girls bedroom

Living room
These are from the first week or two, so some things have been rearranged and added and such, and there are some missing rooms here- but hey- I am stuggling to keep up here- so enough apologies!






Monday, September 6, 2010

Changes

So I feel bad blogging this without pictures, but its big news and I need to document it here! I'll add a picture post soon- promise. We have moved! We are all so excited that we found the perfect place. Shaun is now 20 min from work, we have doubled our square footage, it is in a fantastic neighborhood with great school, AND its on a lake. We have already been loving the benefits of having one of our favorite activities outside our back door.

Mackenzie has done fantastic with the change. She is a pretty adaptable kid. The move has prompted multiple other changes for her that we have been putting off. She had finally discovered she could climb out of her crib, so she is now in a twin bed. Her second set of tubes have been placed in her ears, so we no longer have an excuse to let her keep her pacifier (we kept saying we didnt want to take it away until after the recovery). And potty training has begun in earnest- she is THREE for goodness sake! So far, the only thing we have had much success with is the pacifier. The boppy just simply did not move with us. That is it, cold turkey, its gone. So she had very little choice, although she does still ask for one occasionally. The sleeping situation is hit and miss- fine on some nights, crazy on others. Naps have sadly fallen to the wayside- no way I can force her to stay in that bed in the middle of the day, and school pickup tends to interfere anyway. And bedtime....well- Z thinks bedtime is party time. All the bedrooms are upstairs, so tracking her is pretty easy. We tuck her in all snug, usually with a book she can look at for a few minutes. We place the baby gate across the door so that she will stay in her room at the very least. And we go downstairs and wait for the herd of elephants. The girl is NOT light on her feet! Off the bed, over to the window, over to Ashtyns bed (poor thing shares a room with her and is suffering in the sleep department because of it!), back to the bookshelf for more books, then to the door....Thankfully all of the toys are being housed in a designated playroom downstairs so at least that distraction is not there. I just keep remembering the super nanny episodes and stand firm...bedtime is bedtime. Problem is she DOES share a room with her sister who really does need her sleep, so we have said forget this and brought her back downstairs until Ashtyn is out a few times. And then there is the potty training. Yeah....not so good so far. She has had a few random successes- absolutely loves being rewarded with a Hershey's kiss. But most of the time I am battling that strong will of hers. I can MAKE her sit there, but I cant MAKE her go...and she cant sit there all day, so she gets up after she tries...and pees on the floor. And then blames it on the dog! I think it may be awhile before we are diaper free...

I do promise pictures later....

Monday, July 26, 2010

She's Three!!


Hard to believe my baby is turning into a big girl. She celebrated her third birthday recently. It is amazing how much she has grown and changed. Mackenzie has a strong personality all her own. She always has a plan, and she is forever instructing those around her accordingly. "Cmere! Follow me! Sit down! Stay here! Play wit me?" All part of her constant chatter. She has a vivid imagination and loves to play pretend games. She loves playing with her sister's toys- Barbies, Polly Pockets, Ponies... the play kitchen is also another hit. But don't think she is a girly girl- not at all. She adores making Mason's dinosaurs attack his cars, too. I hate to admit it but she has an unhealthy attachment to watching movies on our iPhone. She can operate it perfectly- pulling up exactly what she wants, even skipping to and repeating her favorite parts of movies. This has lead to an obsession with Toy Story. Buzz, Woody, and Jessie are all favs. We took her to see Toy Story 3 on her birthday, which she loved. Afterwards we had some family over for dinner and cake, where she received her very own Woody and Jessie dolls that now travel with us everywhere.

This summer Mackenzie has been enjoying time in the pool as well. She is somehow much more hesitant than she was last summer. She wears her vest and has to be holding onto someone where last year she would take off independently with it on. I regret not getting her in swim lessons this year. I will be so relieved when she finally learns.

We have a new addition to the family as well. His name is Tyler, and he weighs only 4 lbs! He is a Pomeranian that a family near my MIL was giving away. Ty is not your typical jumpy barking little dog. He is calm and quiet and adores being held. Which is a good thing, because between Ashtyn, Mason, and Mackenzie, his paws hardly ever hit the ground. Our biggest worry there is that Z will break him though- she is STRONG and very rough and tumble when she's playing. She does seem to be catching onto being gentle with him (I hope).

We have been living in a feeling of limbo all summer, which has been a bit frustrating. We found a new house and have been trying to close the deal, but it just doesnt seem to be happening. I guess banks don't like self-employment! :) Other than being half packed and not knowing what school the kids are going to go to this fall, it is no big deal really. Yes, the new house is really nice and we were all excited about it, but if God wants us to stay here then that is where we want to be. It is still up in the air- could still happen I suppose. Just as long as we get it figured out before school- Mason starts kindergarten this year,and Mackenzie qualified for speech for 30 min two days a week. Hopefully answers will be coming soon.

Next week Z goes back in for a second set of tubes in her ears, so please keep that in your prayers if you will.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Famous Friends :)

Mackenzie's bloggy friend and former bunkmate, Ellie (did they ever occupy Tokmok at the same time? I'm not entirely sure) is on the cover of the Lifeway Babies materials this quarter. We were so excited to see this sweet smile, we had to snag a copy! So, for Ellie's mama- here is their picture together. Maybe someday we can get one in person ;)

PS- How is that for a smile? I'm not really sure what that is!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

White Horse?

Newsweek posted an article on their website this week that I hope you will take a minute to read. It brings national attention to the plight of the 65 waiting children and their families who are in limbo right now- and have been for about 2 years. Reading on John Wright's blog the other day, I was haunted by the story he told of holding an abandoned newborn at a hospital in Kyrgyzstan. Where do these children fall on the priority list of a struggling country? Where is their white horse? I continue to pray for peace in Kyrgyzstan, I pray for an improved government after the restructuring that will improve the lives of all who live there....but most of all, I pray for these precious children. They need someone to speak out for them, they need someone to care for them, they need someone to love them the way only a family really could.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Heartache in Kyrgyzstan

I have been scouring the Internet for the last two hours looking for information about the events in Kyrgyzstan in the last few days. Reports state that 40 people are dead and 400 wounded in an uprising in Bishkek. (I think it actually began in Talas, and they are seeing riots in Tokmok and other places as well). I barely follow the politics in my own country, so my understanding of the details in Kyrgyzstan is limited. I am gathering that the people have grown tired of a government that is increasingly authoritarian- a president that came to power just 5 years ago calling for change himself but who has been appointing his own family members into key positions of power and moving further and further away from democracy. Add to that the insult of some key opposition leaders being taken into custody and a 200% fuel hike in a country that is already impoverished (remember the rolling blackouts this winter?) and you get some pretty angry opposition. Shots are being fired, bombs going off, cars overturned....they are demanding the resignation of the President and his officials. From what I understand, he has fled the capital and the opposition has put into place a temporary government. I am not really sure how I feel about all of this. I have been hearing of corruption in the government for some time now, but I hate to see the violence and bloodshed that making a change has come to. On the (hopefully) positive side of things- they have put into place a new minister of health who has given a sympathetic ear to the waiting families and seems to want to work for progress in lifting the moratorium on adoptions. So I pray that will lead to some positive change. Mostly my heart just breaks for the people there. Such desperation, so many needs. I see images of places I have walked- car bombs going off near gates I have taken pictures by. Fire and smoke coming from buildings, blood and bodies on the ground. It is heartbreaking. See for yourself (I have omitted many that were much more graphic). Please pray for these people!




















Monday, February 1, 2010

Therapy, mornings, and pictures

Mackenzie has been in speech just shy of a year now. And she has her speech therapist wrapped around her little finger every bit a tightly as she has the rest of us. They have been trying to discharge her for a couple weeks now. To do this, she has to demonstrate certain skills for two consecutive weeks. So, in order to ensure that her one on one play sessions with her good friend continue I suspect, Mackenzie has taken on this strategy. Therapist arrives- Z runs excitedly to her highchair for their session. Therapist asks what she would like to play with, Z seals her lips and points at the bag of toys she has. Much prompting...."Iwathaone" Use your words please "No! Not tha one! Tha one!" The puzzle? You want the puzzle? Nodding. I.."I" want "wa"...puzzle "puzzle". I swear to you, some weeks the sessions are spent with more giggling at her obvious stunts than succeeding at getting her to speak. Which of course, just ensures that she will repeat it again next week...Then, as soon as the therapist leaves "Cmon! I wa football. Cmon! Sit Down! Here. Book? I wa book. (flips through pages, names some common objects) This way! Cmon this way!...." Nonstop chatter- a narration of her every thought. Ahh, Zima...


Mornings are an amusing study in contrasts around here. Ash is always the first one up. She is my morning glory. Huge brown eyes pop open, smile is instantly on her face, she hops out of bed and promptly begins dressing for school with no hesitation. Then, there's Mason. I call to him- he shuts his eyes tighter and rolls over. I scratch his back and hear a low grumble. I tell him its time to get up and get dressed, he tells me he's cold and pulls the covers up to his chin.... When I finally force him out of bed, it is with half closed eyes, tousled hair, slumped shoulders, and plenty of groaning. And then there is Kenzie. For a girl who is so demanding throughout the day, she is shockingly laid back in the morning. I honestly have no idea when she actually awakes- she doesn't make a sound. Eventually I might hear her quietly talking to herself, or I just finally say I am sure she is up by now. When you walk into her room, she scrambles to her feet and reaches out those arms. The smile is so huge that her eyes are scrunched shut, the hand points out where she wants to go, and the narration begins.
Camping and canoeing at Alexander Springs



Friday, January 22, 2010

Holiday Pictures














sorry baby girl :)

Kenzie,

So your momma has been doing a terrible job blogging for you as of late. Being our third child, I know you are already in danger of missing out on the careful cataloging of your early years. Ashtyn got professional pictures taken every six months....you do get lots of snapshots (you are more likely to smile for those anyway). Ashtyn got a baby book I wrote in religiously- yours has a few post it notes stuck in here and there, and nothing written in its actual pages yet. I always made myself feel better by telling myself at least you had this- a blog that covers all the major events. And maybe someday I would go back and plug it into that baby book :) I have been so busy with YOU (and your siblings) lately, that I have completely dropped the ball on this. Oh well, I am sure that you like tea parties better than momma at a computer screen anyway. But, so that all of these memories don't fade away when we go onto the next stages, let me try and record some of my favorite things here:

I love the way you put on the most ridiculous get ups-dress up skirts with your brothers boots, an apron from the kitchen and a backpack on your back- and parade around like you are the most beautiful little princess in all the world (you ARE, by the way)

I love the way you come flying at us with a huge smile and a heartfelt "YEA!!" after a separation of any length

I love the way you have to kiss every member of the household before you can go to sleep, and you remind me of this by smacking your lips together

Every other statement out of your mouth is "I-wan-tha-one", much to the dismay of your speech therapist. We spend I lot of time on "I. want. the. ball."

You are the toughest little thing I have ever seen- you will run full speed and then fall flat out on the concrete without so much as blinking, but if someone so much as taps your toe or your head, you exclaim "OUCH!" and look indignant

You have the most amazing imagination. You love to play with dolls in the doll house, baby dolls with the stroller, and cook in your kitchen. One of my favorite play sessions? Sitting at your little table, while you waited on me. "You wan coffee?" you would say, and then make little filling sounds as you pretended to pour it into the little mug. Then, before you could get me any food, you had to 'turn on' the water and wash your hands.

You have the worst sweet tooth ever. More than once I have looked for you in the morning because it is just too quiet. ..and found you sitting on the floor of the pantry, door shut behind you, sneaking cookies for breakfast. You really get insulted that I take them away.

You are two and a half now, and you amaze me with everything you are soaking up. You have more and more words everyday, and you are learning to tell us exactly what you want with them. It is a joy to watch you grow pumpkin. I love you, Momma