Monday, February 28, 2011

A Morning at the Botanical Gardens

Can you feel it?  Spring is almost here! 
Bring on the warm weather fun!  We're ready!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Loving Day

Loving Day, as Joe calls it, started off with the creating of Valentine cards for Daddy. 

Then I got into a "mood" that I couldn't seem to shake, brought on by a number of things, but mostly expectations for the day that I was unable to fulfill.  Things like Valentine's Day group shots that didn't happen, decorations that didn't get made, misplaced gifts, etc...the "things" that when you get down to it really don't matter. 

Fortunately Daddy arrived home from work ready to save the day and gathered the kids in the kitchen to make heart-shaped pizzas.  And I realized that the good stuff is spending time with those dearest to my heart and how blessed we all are to make these memories together.
My husband also brought me this gorgeous bouquet of flowers...which of course brought a smile to my face.
 I hope your Loving Day was spent with those closest to your heart!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Quick Adoption Update

I have great news to share!  We're one step closer to adopting Rebekah...parental rights were terminated this morning and our family has become the adoptive placement for her.  The fast-track process is really living up to its name.  Now we wait for paperwork to be completed and the rest of the 6-month waiting period to end.  We're still looking at a possible June adoption date.  Thanks to everyone for the continued prayers, love and support!

Monday, February 7, 2011

500 Babies Go Back to the Rodeo

Believe it or not, not every American was watching the Super Bowl yesterday.  Some of us went to the rodeo instead.  Normally the rodeo is jam-packed on weekends, but I had a hunch that the crowds would be a lot thinner during the big game.  When we arrived at 5:00 and saw a steady stream of people leaving the grounds, I knew my hunch had paid off. 

Here's the pre-rodeo group shot from last year:

And this year:
Aw, still as cute as ever!  All right, on to the fun!

We had front-row seats to the snake demonstration.  Here are the three big kids following directions by using one finger to gently touch a snake:
Here's Adrian at the snake show.  He did not get to use one finger to gently touch the snake because he is still working on the concepts of "one" and "gently".
Like last year, we packed our own lunches to save a little money.  (But the lure of fajitas may or may not have been too great for the adults to resist!)  Due to the light crowds, we had our pick of picnic tables.  Normally we're lucky to even find a bench to sit on.
HEB had a fun "Farm to Market" area set up for children.  The kids get to choose a basket...
...plant and harvest pretend vegetables...
...and feed pretend chickens to receive a pretend egg...(These are live chickens in the picture.)
They were also able to milk a pretend cow to get a carton of milk for their basket and brush a pretend sheep to receive a baggie of wool.  When finished, they "sold" their goods at the market and then got to "buy" an item from the store.  By the time we got there, all that was left for them was celery, but as you can see they didn't seem to mind.  (And it wasn't pretend celery, either!)
We also did the usual walking through the animal barns and petting area.
So there you have it, another successful outing for the 500 Babies!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Post About The Snow

Early Friday morning the rarest of events took place - it snowed in San Antonio!  And since the temperature had been below freezing for 3 days, the snow actually stuck to the ground.  So it was only .4 of an inch, but it was enough for us. (By the way, did you know that in January 1985 it snowed 13.5 inches here?  Crazy!)  When Daniel and Mikea looked out of their bedroom windows in the morning, they both thought the snow was paint! 
A layer of ice formed on the ground from a steady mist that fell a couple hours before the snow arrived, making driving quite treacherous.  The freeways were shut down and early Friday morning it was school!!!  On Thursday I had already prepared Snow Day outfits in anticipation of the kids playing outside.  All in all it took 4 coats, 4 hats, 3 sets of mittens, 2 pairs of socks used as mittens (for Adrian - and we had to rubber-band them on), 3 pairs of socks for the big kids, 8 pairs of pants, and 8 shirts (two layers of pants and shirts each.)  You can see why I prepared the day before. 

The neighbor kids were already playing out front so we bundled up after a quick breakfast and joined the fun.
Adrian ponders, "What is this cold, flaky, white substance on my hand?"
I just love what the looks on the boys' faces say in these pictures...absolute joy!
And the look on Adrian's face in this picture says a lot, too.  It says, "Um, what just happened to me?"
The group shot.
We had to make the most of this opportunity because it could be YEARS before it snows here again. Here are snow angels in the making:
I love this shot of Mikea throwing snow at her brother.  The snow was too powdery to stick together to make snowballs, but flingable nontheless.
Here you can see the depth of the snow: 
After playing out front for a while, we headed inside to drink hot chocolate and warm up for a few minutes and then went to the backyard to check out the conditions there.
We did a little shoveling with sand tools.  After a few minutes Daniel declared, "I want to go to the beach!"
While inside we found a monster mask for Adrian to keep his little face warmer.  I think he appreciated that.
And speaking of little faces...
All in all the back yard was a little too muddy for my liking so we went back out front.  Then Joe took a spill on the ice and little sister quickly offered her assistance...
...but then she took a tumble in the process of helping out Joe!
Here's one more shot of Adrian peeking outside after he warmed up again inside. 
What a fun and memorable morning!!! 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Use Your Noodle

Yesterday I shooed the kids outdoors to enjoy the beautiful, balmy day.  With the chilly weather on its way I wanted them to soak in the warm sunshine while they could.  Only in South Texas can you enjoy 78 degrees one day and then drop down to 18 degrees the very next!  Rumor is we may even seen snow on Thursday.  I'll let you know.

Anyway, the kids set upon themselves to prove that you don't need a body of water to utilize a pool noodle.  See for yourselves:

I wish I could tell you exactly what they were up to.  They claimed to be building a gate, which is quite possible because their dad was on the other side of the yard building a gate to enclose our dogs in their very own special place.  The dogs need their own special place because they are ruining our backyard. They are digging holes, ruining the grass, and of course, pooping everywhere.  So we're fencing in the side yard and reclaiming the rest of our back yard for the humans.

Here's Adrian watching Daddy work.  (Power tools were involved so for safety's sake he had to be restrained in his chair.)
And this little darling was inside helping me make dinner.
I've decided to stop posting pictures of Rebekah's face because, well, I'm not really supposed to until she's been adopted.  Today we learned that there's a chance that the fast-track she's on could happen even faster if the judge decides to bypass the 6-month waiting period.  Now that would be awesome!  We've been having a few "hiccups" with our agency lately and we are just ready to close out this chapter of our lives of being foster parents. We're weary of the extra layer of stress that being a foster family adds to our already busy lives.  It's been a wonderful blessing, obviously, because we've been blessed with 5 beautiful children, but we are ready to begin living our lives with a little more normalcy and freedom.