Friday, December 31, 2010

Family Friday: Group Pictures

Here's the final batch of pictures. If you didn't see the others & would like to, check out my last two posts.

When I look at these pictures, I am amazed at how our family has changed & grown in this last year. Just last night after Kam's basketball game, an elderly gentlemen stood waiting for me to come down from our spot in the bleachers. I was holding Kendi, & he said, "Did you adopt her?" Evidently, he & his wife had been observing us during the game & they were genuinely interested, so I took some time to share.

And then he said, "You must be very special people." This embarrasses me to no end, & I always try to fit into the minute I have left to chat the truth. The truth is that we are not "special". Quite frankly, I'm flawed, & there are days that feel like I get it wrong more than I get it right.

However, I do serve a special God. An awesome God who desires that every one of us not be satisfied with a life of "status quo" nor a life lived chasing the American dream. He has unique hopes & dreams for each of us. What I wanted so much for this man to see is that the only thing special about me is that I trusted God, said "yes" & allowed Him to begin a work in me.

While our family has changed drastically in the last year, understand that this journey began many years ago. This has not been an overnight thing, & honestly, it's an ongoing work in progress. And while the adoption of 3 children through 3 different avenues has been part of the journey, it's definitely not the only aspect of the journey. It's been about transformation.

The way I view my relationship with Him is different.

The way I view myself is different.

The way I pray is different.

My relationship with my husband & children is different.

My hopes & dreams are different.

Again, it's not always easy & it's definitely not perfect. But one thing's for sure: I will never be the same, & I don't want to be. And the reality is, even though I've come a long way, I know I've still got a long way to go. But instead of fearing that, I pray that I would be in anticipation of continued growth so that I can be & experience everything that He desires for my life.

And you thought you were just getting pictures. ;o)

I pray that 2011 is full of many blessings & that we recognize & seek Him in every moment.

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Batch #2 of Pictures: Individuals

I started posting the pictures we had done for Christmas yesterday. If you missed those & would like to see them, click here.

Today, I'm sharing all of the individual pictures of my babies. :o) I'm also telling a bit about each of them, just cuz. And while I'm at it, I'll throw in the one of me & my hubby. We were told once at a marriage retreat to make a point of having pictures of just the two of us to symbolize that our marriage is a priority, so we do because it is!

Joe & Dardi

Kaelee, Junior in College, Early Childhood Education Major

Kearsten, Sophomore in College, Intervention Specialist Major (Special Education)

Kameryn, Sophomore in High School, Varsity Basketball

Kyler, Freshman in High School, Student Athletic Trainer

Kade, 5th Grade, Football & Basketball

K'Tyo, 5 yrs/Preschool, Seems to be Liking the Sports Scene

Kaya, 3 Yrs., Princess & Cheerleader (According to Her!)

Kendi, 11 Weeks, Princess-in-the-Making :o)

I intend to post the group pictures tomorrow. Three blog posts in 3 days???'s unheard of for me!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wonderful {Almost} Wordless Wednesday

For Christmas, we got family pictures taken by a photographer. So as not to put you on cuteness overload, I will be posting them in groups over the next few days! ;o)

Our wonderful photographer gave me watermarked digital files so I could share them with all of you with a bit of protection added! :o)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Eve 2010

Yes, it's 3 days after Christmas, & yes, I am just now posting some pictures.

Tomorrow, I'm sending Christmas cards.

So, I'm running a bit behind. At least I'm still running, right?

Anyway, I love Christmas time & have become especially fond of our family time on Christmas Eve. It's just become a special, simple time with our kiddos, & this year was extra special b/c we have two more blessings than we did last year! :o)

We start the evening off by celebrating our Savior at a worship service.

I would say they clean up pretty good! When we get home, it is tradition that all of the kids get new books & jammies.

Once everybody has finished opening their gifts, they promptly get comfy in their new jammies. I adore this picture of Kaelee & Kearsten tag-teaming the task of getting Kendi changed.

Ok, this next picture is adorable & freaky all at the same time. No, Kendi cannot stand alone yet. You can hardly tell someone is holding her!

Kade got Mom a special present at the Santa shop at his school. The kids usually pick up a few things for Mom & Dad, so we open those on Christmas Eve, too. This year, K'Tyo gave us a gift of some special ornaments he made in preschool. He was so proud b/c we have a special tree that holds only handmade ornaments by the kids. I'm pretty sure I was too busy blubbering over those ornaments to get a picture.
Kearsten got me a sweet Willow Tree angel that reminded her of Kendi. She has curly hair, a headband, & is called the "Angel of Love".
When we finished gifts, it was time to enjoy some finger foods....
...and then some snuggling in with the ones we love.

So very thankful for the gift of His son so that we may enjoy moments such as these.

I hope that your Christmas was full of beautiful moments that will become treasured memories.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sharing Special Traditions

At the risk of being considered MIA, I thought I'd finally get something posted. I find myself just looking at my children, in complete wonder of how our family can look so different in just a year's time.

No family is perfect, including ours, but life is filled with perfect moments. Like our recent trip to the Christmas tree farm. This is a tradition that I cherish.

This year was no exception. While my children were in rare form & the pictures are filled with many very goofy moments, it was an absolutely perfect day! I love to watch the kids laughing & having fun together! :o)

And once again, K'Tyo took this new experience like every other one--totally in stride, enjoying it all!

I absolutely love these next two pictures! K'Tyo was totally into helping Daddy with the tree, & it just melted my heart (read: I got all choked up & mushy again!).

Hoping to enjoy some cookie baking soon along with some other fun family stuff! Hope you are enjoying the perfect moments that come your way each day!