Thursday, June 30, 2016

We have been without a dishwasher for 27 days and SJ has loved helping~
I wanted to document her standing at the sink even though the repairman came to fix the dishwasher today. 
SJ was sad. I'm pretty sure she can wash pots and pans too!
Thankful we are back in business! 

Blueberries for Sal~

Sometimes a book leads to an activity and sometimes the kids want to pick blueberries that leads to the book.
Our neighbor has 3 big blueberry bushes between our house and her's so we can pick anytime.
We have the cutest little pails from IKEA that store our school tools and we used them to pick so we could her kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk~

We pushed Calla over in her car which was fun for a little while.
She had been playing at her water table so think she wanted to get back to that~

There were plenty of berries for everyone to pick and each brought home at least a half pailful~

The fun ended for Calla and I when she couldn't eat any more berries.
She does not like the word no nor does she understand why~
SO I left the rest to pick until their hearts' content while I strolled the screaming baby home.
Once everyone was home, we read Blueberries for Sal and made blueberry cobbler. Yum!

Been a While~

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The kids have continued to school even though I haven't been blogging.
While we were gone to China, my sister and Nan kept the kids in the groove.
They mainly did their book work: Math U See, Spelling You See, Grammar book, and for fun, a circle a word book.

Since getting home with Calla, we have worked hard to find a new routine.
Calla wants to be doing what the big kids are doing and today she drew in her journal and tried her hand at cutting.
She is very happy to be busy and has a pretty long attention span.

The boys never verbalized they were bored with the BOB books, but I felt it was time to move to a (real) book.
We chose Frog and Toad and they were hooked.
SJ actually got them interested by reading to them.
On the first day I made a copy of first two pages then 2 pages per day.
We practiced the new pages and I could see the confidence building.
Today they got the last two pages of the story and read the whole thing to me.
I am SO proud of them!!!
We will continue with this reading habit for a while~
A sweet teacher at church dropped off these adorable tshirts for the kids and they all chose to wear them today.
A very sweet day with these babies!!!

Water Girl~

This girl LOVES water~
Sometimes she wears her swimsuit pulled up and sometimes it bothers her heart scar so there you go~
Up until daddy jumped in the pool, she was perfectly fine playing at the water table. 
This past weekend was her first time in and she adored it~

We have discovered Calla loves flap books especially this ABC book~
We were so happy to have Nan and BC at our house yesterday. 
Calla and BC had more time to play. 
Love the friendship that is beginning to bloom.
Everything Beautiful!!!

Dental Appointment~

Thursday, June 23, 2016

We had another appointment this week. 
Calla came to us with quite a bit of dental work needed, so we saw the oral surgeon @ CHOA~
He confirmed our suspicions.
She will need surgery soon, so we're are waiting to be scheduled. 
Could be 4-8 weeks before we hear anything. 
Scott and I are constantly amazed how well the kids do traveling in the car and waiting through appointments~
We had lunch @ Steak-n-Shake, and treated them all to milkshakes for being so awesome.
Calla is getting better with the car seat~

On the way home we had to stop by to see Nana and BC.
They had been in Hawaii for over a week so we were anxious to see them~
BC and Calla were funny getting to know each other~
This last photo was SO sweet.
I love taking photos in Nan's foyer!
The crew is finally all together!!! ;)

Our 30th Anniversary~

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary just like a couple two weeks home from China with a new little one would~
Dinner in Greenville with little bit in tow.

She jumped in her carseat perfectly as if to say, "Where are we going guys?"~
We made a mistake maybe by eating out on the patio because CA wanted to be up looking around instead of eating our delicious shrimp and grits (which she LOVED!).
Who cares if we weren't able to sit quietly staring into each other's eyes to reminisce over the last 30 years?
We already know the best 30 are still to come, and we were holding our future in our arms.
Love you sweetheart and all the blessings we cherish.
Here's to another 30+!!!

Weekly Update~

Monday, June 20, 2016

It seems I can only hope on and update once a week but I am Instgramming often so if you want to see us daily, hop on there and follow. Just IG button on the left sidebar.

Nothing earth shattering here unless you count helping a new little one know and feel love in her new home. While the big kids are swimming in the pool each afternoon, Calla and I play in the water and blow bubbles~

One morning when Calla slept in a little, we came to the kitchen to find EK&SJ making pig-n-the-blankets. Yum! We also attempted a little bit of school and Calla lasted oh.... 5 minutes. :)~

When EK came home, we watched the Chinese dance video a million times. Now Calla loves it too! AND she has started to love her lovie which we call Baby~

Tuesday we had a cardiologist appointment and it was NOT fun making her sit in a carseat! She can not stand to be held down and to her that is exactly how this felt. It lasted the whole way to Atlanta and gradually she began to relax. Finally on the way home, she managed to fall asleep... all three bitties did~
Calla didn't like the dr very well but when Evie jumped up there with her, all was fine~

SJ is taking lots of time with Calla too. Teaching her to color and glue and Calla is starting to let SJ love her. This is a big deal for SJ as you can tell by her face~

One of Calla's favorite things to do is look at our family photos. She always says daddy, mama, Ebie, Mimi, and Gigi. She can repeat all the other names and learning more each day~

Our afternoons are filled with nap, snacking, and playing outside. Calla loves to eat frozen yogurt pops~

My mom wanted to get Calla something special so I suggested a water table because Ben Curtis loves his so much. It has been the perfect toy while the big kids are playing in the pool~
 The big kids like it too~
 Sweet summertime~

My mom and dad gave us some fresh green beans and these three loves helped me snap them~

Calla LOVES to swing especially in the disc swing~

AND this is her golf cart face. You should see Scott and I taking the 7 for a ride around the neighborhood. We look like the Clampetts. LOL~
 and these faces~
 and these faces~

Sometimes it's just fun to water the monkey grass~

Evie and Calla have been friends from that first day in China. This week when Evie hopped on the batman car to ride, Calla wanted on too. What a sweet big sister~

Father's Day was extra wonderful with Calla home. We decided since we couldn't all be at church together, we would stay home and take the boat out. It was SO fun celebrating this amazing dad~

 We grilled for lunch and that afternoon we made homemade ice cream. Call actually like it~

Four weeks today this little love has been in our arms and LOVE she now Knows, Accepts, and Gives. All glory to Jesus. He gave us the courage to say yes, raise the funds for her adoption, and the strength to get her home. Many think we're crazy crazy crazy and we are... Crazy in love with the life God has given us. Content to love the ones we've been gifted. They are all on loan and we pray each day they grow closer and closer to our Good Good Father. Calla certainly has the best on earth~

There are still tough moments with her but we are finding a new normal each day and everyone is adjusting to having a baby in the house again. We are SO thankful to have her home!!!

Three Weeks Forever Today~

Monday, June 13, 2016

Calla has been in our arms for three weeks today. And we have been home for one week tomorrow so I picked out some of our best moments to remember. As soon as we were home from the hospital Calla wanted to be outside. She loved riding in her push car! We LOVED gathering around our table for our first meal together. Calla is eating SO well and will eat most anything~

She fit right in with her sibs and was playing 'camp out' in no time. The photo below was made for us on Calla's gotcha day. I sat it on my desk beside my 7 stone. What a beautiful reminder of God's provision when we follow His call to step out into the unknown. SO thankful we get to be her parents!!!~

Family walks and golfcart rides are just a few of the ways we are having fun... so much that it makes her naps long and wonderful~

We hung BC's swing finally and Calla was not the least scared to swing... only when the dog barks. She also loves water so splashing in the pool was a favorite. We are keeping her from swimming until we have seen all the specialists in the next couple of weeks. Memommy ordered her a water table so I think that will certainly keep her entertained~

Just a little personality bursting through~

I am so proud of all the littles as they have welcomed this happy, screaming, hitting, spitting, kissing, hugging, unpredictable precious sister into their normal. It will never be the same but oh so much better. They include her when she cooperative and step back when she's not. It has been beautiful thing to watch and referee~

Here is an example of times when we are a little overstimulated or just didn't get her way. She goes to the same exact spot, plops down criss cross, and screams. No tears and waits for me to walk over. She holds her hands up and as I lift her into my arms, the fit magically disappears. We are trying to keep her world small, stress free, and calm~

Sleep was NOT Calla's thing in China. I think she was stressed from the whole experience and didn't know if we would still be there or not. Then we had the whole hospital thing with nurses and techs in all hours of day and night waking us for terrifying reasons. NOW we are home where things are relatively calm, she is getting some serious naps and night sleeps~

Calla is beginning to notice what the other kids are doing. Evie constantly plays with her dr kit so of course with hospital fresh on the brain, Calla took right up with it~

While the kids are swim, Calla loves playing in a pan of water. Mostly she likes to pour it on her head :) ~

I think one of the most beautiful things I've witnessed since we've come home is the relationships blooming... Ella is taking her big sister status very serious and when I need her the most, she scoops baby sister up while I finish up what I'm doing. Calla is loving her dada more and more now that she knows he will take her outside every time she points to the door. Today she fell asleep with him instead of on me. Baby steps~
AND I was able to move her to the sofa where she still lies sleeping away. We praise God for all He is doing in our family and Calla's heart. He gets all the glory because it is ONLY in Him any of us are able to do this holy work.

James 1:17  Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.