Friday, August 30, 2013


I have had a somewhat busy week. First let me just say that Madison had a GREAT first week of school. She loved going and since Anne is her teacher I get pictures sent to my phone throughout the day which is awesome! And, boy has it come in handy to be BFF's with her teacher because almost every afternoon Madison has been telling me things that I just could not decode so Anne has been filling in the gap for me:)

This afternoon Madison was trying to tell me something and was getting frustrated because I had no clue what she was saying so I decided to video her & send it to Anne. The only words I could understand was: sock, fireworks & emergency but after speaking with Anne I found out they had a fire drill at school thus the word "fireworks" and "emergency" although we're still not sure about the socks!!

In addition to it being the first week of school, Tuesday was also our 1 year gotcha day (one year anniversary of the day we got Madison).  I don't even know how to explain it, but there has been something different about Madison ever since Tuesday...She is more happy, calm, laid back...I have really been enjoying her every afternoon and she has started asking me to snuggle with her all the time:) which I am happy to oblige. I thought maybe this "change" I had noticed in her was just my imagination but David even mentioned it to me at lunch today. I feel like I am beginning to see the rainbow at the end of the storm! It's like once the 1 year mark came those walls that she had been putting up has finally come down.

We're praying Madison truly is beginning to understand that we love her & she will never be left or sent back to China again. I'm not sure if I have mentioned this on the blog before but for about the last 5 months or so Madison says to me at least once a day, sometimes multiple times a day, "no got back to China, mommy" which breaks my heart.  During these times Madison will get the book I made for her with all the pictures from her adoption & then she will turn to the pictures of the orphanage & say, "no go back there, people mean!" I have no words....it's been a year and in a lot of ways I'm still processing all I saw & experienced in China.

As I mentioned at the beginning this has been a busy week. David spoke 4 times this week at a church in Clearwater which is an hour  away so he left every morning at 7 which meant I got all 3 girls up, dressed & packed lunches and left the house by 7:40...Then Tuesday night I had McKinley's parent night at school, Wednesday night I had Awana training from 6:30-8:30 & since David was speaking in Clearwater I had to take the two Little's with me &  they played in childcare.  Since we didn't get home till 9 this is what I had to deal with Thursday morning:

I told them to go to their rooms and get dressed for school and when I came back 5 minutes later this is what I found:

Bless their hearts! then Thursday night I had another parents night for Morgan's class. Which leads me to today, Friday...Oh how I love Fridays, My hubby is off on Fridays and since all 3 girls are now in school we have declared Fridays our "date day" and I am just giddy about it.. Although today I had a hair cut at 9 then we went to the DMV because I had to renew my drivers licence (in cert huge sigh). I hate going to the DMV. I always feel like I should go home & bathe with antibacterial gel after leaving there. Anyway, we got there and I had my drivers license, passport & SS card but that wasn't good enough they wanted some sort of proof of address like a bill receipt....I am biting my tongue here....I mean I have given you a stinkin passport that lets me leave the country, I am a US citizen, I'm holding my old license which has all the correct information on it and yet your telling me you need a bill of some sort? Lady if you only knew how long a week I have had you'd let this slide! But after an hour and half of waiting I had my new license and got my height changed from 5'3 to 5'4 because yes, that 1inch means ALOT to me! Don't judge! My hair also looked great because I got it cut and fixed this morning...yes I also went to the DVM today because I knew it would be a great hair day.  Again, don't judge, I've got live with this picture for the next 10 years!!

I hope your week was a little less stressful and that you have a happy Labor day weekend!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Happy GOTCHA Day!

1 year ago today at 9:30 am (China time) we met our little firecracker, Madison.

Madison enjoying a sucker we gave her right after they brought her out to meet us.

Our first "family" photo in China (take just before they told Madson she was going home with us).

Back at the hotel on that first night as we were showing Madison around the hotel room.
When I look back over this last year I feel like I have taken a lot for granted...We still have some very
hard & challenging days with Madison BUT, she has come such a LONG way! When we first met her she was this sacred fragile little girl who didn't even know how to be held or how to give or recieve a hug.

Playing games with mom right before bedtime on our first night.

She has always had this amazing smile that can light up a room but behind that smile was a very hurt little girl. Most days we don't see that side of her much but then every so often something will happen and remind us that she still has a lot of hurt, but man, as we look back over this past year we can see how love truly does make a huge difference.

Only in the last 2 months has Madison started letting me snuggle with her on the couch while watching cartoons.  Just this morning she actually crawled up in the bed and let me hold her for while...sweet times.

Now a year later, she is about to start Jr. Kindergarten and she is SO social. Don't think for one minute this little girl is shy. She walks in every place we go like she owns it!

She went from being scared to death of the pool in China to swimming like a fish :
Everytime I look at pictures like that one I get tears because it took about 6 weeks before she trusted us enough to jump in the water & let us catch her. The first 2 months she would'nt even let David get in the pool with her...now he can through her up in the air and she'll do a backflip for him.

Madison LOVES to dress up, be a "mommy" to her babies, and play with her kitchen every day:

She also like to help me in the kitchen!

And she loves her two big sisters...most of the time:)

Madison, happy Gotcha day sweetie, we love you!

Monday, August 26, 2013

First day of Jr. K

Madison was beyond excited this morning to be going to school, she has been asking for over 2 weeks when can I go to "McKinley's school" and today was the day...

David & I both walked her in today but McKinley will definitely have to walk her to class from here on out. Madison likes to "wander" off a lot, we always keep her in her stroller when we are in big crowds because she will see something she likes or looks fun and she will just walk away...And that is what I noticed her doing this morning, She would notice cute decorations in classrooms and go in that room:)

She hung up her backpack when she got into her classroom:

 Then she had to sign in and I must say she wrote her name GREAT!

 Look how big she looks setting at her desk:)

I forgot to get a picture with Mrs. Knight this morning but the above photo was from open house.

It is only 10 AM and I have already walked 2.5 miles, done a load of laundry, had my quiet time, and now I am watching my DVR'd shows with NO INTERRUPTIONS!!! I feel a little guilty about how excited I am about being kid free for 6 hours a day but this may very well be the most productive 10 months of my life!

Cant wait to hear how Madison's day went!


Sunday, August 25, 2013

mcKinley's Baptism

On June 15th McKinley asked Jesus to come into her heart. David & I had been talking with her for a few months and she had said she wasn't ready yet so we left it alone and about 6 weeks later she came to us on that Saturday morning saying she was ready!

So tonight, at church's 3rd annual beach baptism she got baptized!

It is such a special thing to me that her daddy was able to baptize her.

The only thing that could have made this day better would be to have my family here to witness this.

We gave McKinley a special little cross necklace that says FAITH on it and her big sis gave her some earrings:

And just in case your wondering what her little sister was doing while all this was going on....

Tomorrow that Little cutie starts school!!! I will be blogging about that later:)


Friday, August 23, 2013

First week of school

We survived the first week of school. Both the girls had a great week.

Morgan is on the morning show this year and I am SO proud of her...She has been plagued with my "fear of speaking in public" so I'm super proud of her for facing her fears and being on a show each morning in front of the whole school. I know its not easy being in front of a camera especially when you know that all of your peers are watching & critiquing you!

This week for McKinley has been all about learning the procedures & classroom rules but middle school for Morgan has been a totally different story, today she had an History essay due, she had to give an oral book report as well as a science test....we are in full swing over here!

Madison starts next week so an update on how she likes school will be coming soon!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

First Day of school

 Both Morgan and McKinley seemed to be very excited this morning. I pray they have a great
year and let their light shine for Jesus!

I am ready for the school routine to start back in the house and Madison starts Jr. K next week so that
means I will have 6 hours to myself 5 days a week...If you listen really closely you can hear the hallelujah chorus:)

McKinley's teacher asked us at open house to write a letter to her for the first day of school, this was McKinley when she saw her letter..I love that smile, missing teeth and all.

Praying for all the childs as they start back to school today!


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

5 year check up

Madison had her 5 year check up today at the DR. She started out feeling very comfortable but after being there a while Madison got scared and wanted me to hold her. The Dr's office did a hearing & eye test which didn't go so well. I don't believe she has any issues in those areas, she just didn't understand what they were saying to her and what they were asking her to do. It was a reminder to me we still have a long way to go. Her English is getting so good that most people think that she understands what they are telling her.

We were also told that Madison has gained 5 pounds! She is now in the 16% in her weight:) She is still really small for her age but the Dr. was pleased with the 5 pounds gained.

The picture above was when they first called us back, like usual she walked in like she owned the place:) and then 45 minutes, 2 shots, and a flu mist later this is what she looked like:(

Bless her heart, on the way home she said "mommy you not tell me you gonna take me back to the Dr." Ha. She is still not speaking in complete sentences but like everything else it will take time.

She recovered much more quickly this time after having shots. Within 30 minutes she was
playing and having fun in the pool with McKinley. 

Happy Wednesday!