Biker Chick

There are times I feel like I walk a balance line of posting too much about one child (Caroline) and not enough about others.  I love them all.  And sadly, I wish I could say they all got their "first" year on the blog with all the cute stuff that they have done over that year but that just isn't true.
Right about the time I had Jack I quit writing on this blog and I completely regret it.  I was a mom to two really young kids who were 21 months apart and trying my best to start a photography business that was needed at the time to boost our income.  Not to mention that I loved the challenge of photography especially in the newborn niche and wanted to master it.  The family and the business took all my time and I just didn't want to sit at the computer any longer than needed after editing pictures.  So the blog took a backseat until it was nonexistent.

I found this post (click here) about this cute little guy and then nothing for the next few years.  I write this blog mainly for me and my family.  Despite being a photographer and taking some pictures (mainly posed and not as many as you may think) I want a place for the kids to go to look at "picture albums" and remember our life in pictures and in their stories in my words.  

I'm not in a lot of the pictures since I am behind the camera but I'm mainly the one writing our stories so where they don't see me they can hear me cheering them on and enjoying their childhood.  Sometimes I need reminders too.  Reminders that I'm not a horrible mom and that when I lose it out of frustration that it is a small part of my experience of motherhood that I'm doing my best with all of these little ones and my best is good enough.  There is no reason to keep up with the figurative Mrs. Jones because I have yet to meet one that has a 6, 5, 4, and 2 year old do more that we are.  This blog is also a good reminder to listen to my mothering instincts of what I can handle, they can handle, and we together can handle and not do too much for our age and stage in life.  Enjoy what we can do. Because if we do what we can't do we ALL get frustrated and that isn't fun for anyone.



I'm not sure what brought this on maybe it was that my 6 1/2 year old learned to ride a bike today with no training wheels.  I was so proud of her!  Even after a few falls she said " Mom, I just told myself nothing is going to get in my way I going to do this today." And she did it.  Super proud Mommy moment.  Not only did she ride around her Bebe's culdesac but she rode it all the way home too! At one point she seemed to be flying she was going so fast.  I had the young two in the double stroller and we had to run (not jog!) to keep up with her.

But then it was followed by my this voice in my head.  Yeah...but don't tell anyone because she should have learned when she was 5 probably.  I'm sure it is Satan...literally.   Telling lies and stealing joy.  It's his motto.  I'm already mad at him this week...I should be every week.  I would say why but really I don't want to remember why I was this week years from now so I won't.  His deeds don't need to be glorified.  

What I want to remember forever is this:


"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." Philippians 4:8 NLT

MADE IT

When this little 'ole blog of mine started way back in 2007 I was just a mommy to be with a need for a creative outlet.  This was way before Pinterest began.  It was just me and a group of creatives sharing what we had made.  I had a link party that we did called "MADE IT MONDAYS" it was a great time with people leaving comments of what they had made that week.

I've come a long way since then but I'm still Making stuff.  I had a few wooden pieces left over from our sign adventure this winter as we looked for extra ways to raise money for Caroline's adoption.  This week I decided to finish these three.  "Bless this Home" "Live by Faith Not By Sight" and "Then Sings my Soul How Great Thy Art"

Each of these pieces are 11 x 11 inches and hand painted.  The front is sealed and the back includes a little hanger.  My favorite is the White and Dark Navy one.  That's just my color scheme that sings to me.  The whole collection would be similar in color but others around me are made for color so I oblige. 


What have you made recently?  If you have a blog leave a comment I would love to check it out and see :)  Pinterest is great but I miss the personal relationships of the hand made community. 

 These three can be found at the Persimmon Perch Shop ready to ship :) Click HERE for the shop!





Adventure Day


We have decided that we are at the age we can start taking family excursions out of town to explore all the great things God has made and to get to see it brand new through the eyes of our children and it is a blessing indeed.




Adventure Day this time lead us to Sequoyah State Park on Ft. Gibson Lake.  It is still apparently closed to camping due to the extremely high lake levels but the gates were open to allow access to the boat ramps so we took that as an open invitation to explore. The best part was that our adventure seemed daring as we explored places uninhabited. 

The park has a cool nature center that the kids loved plus a bald eagle, coyote, and foxes to view in "nature".

Our next stop was the campground were Grant took me "fishing" but no fish were found however a great surprise picnic was setup waiting for us... And a gorgeous ring which 7 years ago started this thing we call family. 
We need a bigger blanket!  Maybe one for kids and one for us.





Man this guy has my heart!

After a picnic lunch the kids followed Grant to the waters edge and that is where the magic happened. Where God's creation was explored with brand new eyes and daring feats of bravery conquered new land and waters. Luke was made for water he will find every drop and this day he was in paradise relishing every second.  The other three were on a treasure hunt for animals they could tame and name.  It was a very good day!





Every boy needs to know how to throw rocks off a cliff.  It is a right of passage I'm sure.







Ezekiel 47:9 "It will support all kinds of living creatures that will thrive abundantly wherever the river flows. There will be a great many fish, because this water will flow there and turn the salt water fresh. As a result, everything will live wherever the river flows."

Adoption ROCKS

Adoption ROCKS!  I love love love my girl.   I love my girl because she is cute and because she is sassy, and because she tries so hard to fit in and learn how we do things.  I love her because I'm her Mommy. I love her because I choose to love her.  I choose everyday to love all 4 of my kids because everyday at some point they aren't loving and huggable but I'm their Mom and that's my calling.  A calling from Jesus that changes their lives and mine.

Until Caroline came home I often took for granted my job.  I easily got lost in the details of wiping mouths, hands, tables, chairs and the floor three times a day.  I didn't notice the the little things my children were learning every day from us.

Caroline is aware.  I don't know that I have ever been so consciously aware of the learning that takes place as we guide them through their days.  She tries so hard to figure us out.  It's endearing but also exhausting!

This week there is a mission team of adults and teenagers that have sacrificed time and money to spend a week in Caroline's orphanage.  A few of the people went last year and started Caroline's journey towards us.  This week I look at their pictures of children I recognize and that I've studied and I find my eyes looking for Caroline in the pictures.  It is odd.  The place and some of the kids are familiar but also familiar are the little things.  The way they pick up items in their hands, the way they squat to look at toys, and the way they hold their fingers.  They describe their lack of muscle tone.  These are some of the very first things we noticed about Caroline and I see it in these pictures.  I see it in these kids who haven't had a Mom and Dad work and play with them everyday.

One month home and she has changed so much.  I see a future for her and I pray for her friends.  I know some who are coming home in the next few months...but what about the ones still waiting.  It makes me sad.  They are all valuable and deserving of a family and a future.

Click here to learn more adopt domestic or international adoption http://www.awaa.org

At the very list click the link and sign up to view the children on the waiting list...the ones not chosen first and pray for them by name.  They need prayers to find their way home.

Caught Red Handed

As much as we are home bodies we are also can't stand to be home for too long. Too long is when there is more growling and screeching than actual talking.

One little thing on our summer bucket list is to go get Sno Cones. So Sunday night was we loaded the kids up and off we went! Now as far as Sno Cones go "Josh's" is known as the best in Tulsa but in reality we have had much better in Mississippi when visiting Grant's aunt. It was a goodness unlike any others!

This night it was 2 Strawberries, 3 Cherries, and one "Spiderman" which left lots of red tongues and one hand that might take days to recover! Luke wanted no help "I do it".

Grant and I ended the evening thinking about camping with the kids one weekend this summer...it may be all talk but I hope not. If you have a spot you could recommend let us know. We won't have a boat with us so we need a spot with kid friendly entertainment. Any ideas???

He stole my shot!

Family outings at this point in our lives can seem daunting. But we just do better when we are out and about; although when we are done we are DONE and every body knows it! 

Our Saturday adventure this week was to The Porter Peach Festival about 30 minutes away. We made sure the kids had been fed and we had plenty of ice water to keep us cool. My last memory of this festival is almost passing out from a heat stroke  while 6 months pregnant with Savannah.  A lot has changed since then and our potential for whining might be the same but much much louder!!!


Somehow we hit this festival at the perfect time which is the heat of the day on Saturday when they give out free ice cream loaded with fresh peaches!!
They serve this in the shade of the fire station and it was quite a hit with our crew! And I don't know if we were the first family the Tulsa News Reporter saw or if he saw us juggling 4 kids and 6 loaded bowls of melting peach ice cream and thought this is going to be a disaster I must photograph it but he chose us to photograph and got all of our names so we might just be famous! If I was in my right mind I would have handed him my phone which I had ready to take my own picture of this chaos so I could have a proof of this mess! Oh well, the kids bowls were empty by the time he was finished photographing us.  We don't get the Tulsa World so if you see us keep a copy for me😉

After walking through all the "crafts" we decided to let the kids ride the ponies. Our ice cream was free so we figured we could spend a little this time.  Never in our lives did we think the girl who runs screaming from all living creatures would climb on a horse... But she totally surprised us and did it not want to miss out!  I don't know if this is her keeping up with her siblings or just learning to trust us that we won't let her get hurt.  But we were so proud of her! 

After our "big ride" the kids danced down the street to the band and we were back in our car with the AC on full blast surviving a mid day adventure with no tears! It was amazing! Now our minds are wandering to where we might go next!

Caroline

Caroline has been home 3 weeks now and I thought it was time to update her pictures that hang in frames in our house to pictures that I have taken of her.  We will always cherish the few pictures we have of her before she came home.  But her new life has begun and she is doing awesome! So I grabbed the girl and the camera and off to the backyard we went :)



Daddy's Favorite!!!




Today was the first day we left her in Sunday School and for kids Church.  We decided until she picks up a few more words to keep her with Luke and then at some point she will switch to be with Jack.  The teaching portion just needs to be short or she looses attention quickly (who can blame her as she doesn't know what they are saying!) The teachers were great and kept me updated on how she was doing throughout the morning.  We are so proud of her!  It has me second guessing preschool...



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