Sunday, September 28, 2014

Alcatraz Swim and Obnoxious Selfies......

Last year when we swam Alcatraz Hank made the dumb statement that we should swim it every year until we are 60 since our first time was for our 50th birthdays. I pretty much taunted him into it again this year since he was the one to suggest who doesn't love a trip to San Francisco. I can do anything for 45 minutes to get a trip out of it haha!! 

The swim did not disappoint! It was nice not being nervous wrecks this year since we are such "pros" (ha) being our second time and all. I actually got hot(an obnoxious perk of being menopausal, Hank was perfectly comfortable), the water was 66 degrees, last year 59. Both of our times were faster this year but we both attribute that to better navigating. My funny moment was when I started relaxing as I approached the opening to the bay and just started sighting the opening instead of to the right of it to compensate for the current.....big mistake... pro that I am. I was so proud of myself that I was not going to come in down the wall this year. I noticed a kayak next to me and looked up and saw the wall and said "crap!"  The kayaker laughed, he was there guiding the swimmers back on course. 

On to our obnoxious selfies!!!

on our way to San Fran

Before the big event!!
in all my glory... no makeup, good thing I wear it most allllll the time!

proof that we are not the only crazy swimmers out there!

what we texted John David after we finished...
I'm quite confident he was not amused....
but positive his parents are total dorks!

all done!
hoping to do it again next year:)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

John David ROCKED the Kids Tri!

John David has been participating in our towns kids triathlon since he was in first grade. He swims year round but has never really trained for the bike and run portion. This year he did and actually had a bike that was big enough for him. All his work paid off for him....he placed 8th overall and 1st in his age. He was so happy:)!!!

I LOVE this pic!!
When I was pregnant with John David I told Hank I wanted a boy that looked just like him:)
and yes John David just got braces:)

Janie has made a new little friend in JK
She really needed this for a repeater year!!
Caroline is such a special sweet little friend!!

giggling during the opening anthem:)

ready to swim (200 meters)

getting started on the bike portion (6 miles)

these girls know how to get creative when their brothers are competing!

the fan club!

and lastly the run (1.3 miles)
love the look of determination!

more fans
they were a little hot and bored at this point:)

he finished strong...

and tired!

I love Hank's smile, he was so happy for him and knew he had probably placed well....

we are sooooooo spoiled that all the big kids live here!!!!!
Goodness I am very thankful to have my entire family in town!

cheers to gatorade!

the final posting of top times

JD and his fan club cooling off and checking fb ig ect....

John David and Graham have both done this race for years,
checking out their times

such a fun day for these boys and their families!!!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Only Madeline!!!

She came running in the house to show me her new pet....

she squealed that she put her pet frog on a leash
well of course she did
I am so glad I did not see the action
I probably would have fainted 

she wants to keep him as a pet 
in a jar
Daddy has tried to talk her out of it
froggy may "escape" tonight:)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

So.....You Wanna Be a Princess???

Janie received her long awaited Anna dress in the mail today. She CANNOT wait until Halloween to be Anna:). After dinner tonight the girls decided to have their own little picnic....they were gone a bit and I ran out to catch a few shots....

my absolute favorite
looking at a plane

Friday, September 5, 2014


Eight years ago today I saw this little face for the first time!

We had been waiting on our referral for almost 2 years that day...
her big eyes and little pursed lips stole my heart....
my Madeline Nian

I am a "prepare for the worst hope for the best" kind of person
I read every book I could about adoption and attachment 
 prepared for a child that would not look me in the eyes,be unable to sit on her own, unable to eat food, push me away, not take bottle, malnourished....

I dwelt obsessed about these things constantly while we waited to go get her 2 months later.
I prayed very specifically for her for each of these things.

We met her on November 5th
 and she was none of the things I imagined
she would look us straight in the eyes
we called it the "stare down"
she was chubby
would let us hold and cradle her
took a bottle while being cuddled
did not arch her back
could sit on her own and crawl
cackled the best laugh ever

We were amazed at how on target she was for her age. 
But I was naive....

We worked hard at doing what the books told us
and followed all the adoption rules in attachment

what I did not understand then was...
just because all outward appearances show a child on target
and attaching well to her new family,
she may not be doing so well...
she may be unable to process all the changes
and losses in her short life....

I believed that adopting a child as a "baby" 
 would help her have less attachment issues,
...probably true in some instances...
It breaks my heart now how naive I was....
in believing that the lack of worrisome attachment criteria
meant she was good
was attached and could just be raised like any other child.

Looking back I now know
 she is a thinker
she was checking us all out
inspecting us
could not figure out her place in our family
all the while her new Mommy was naive
I thought I could raise her just as I had my 4 previous babies....
we learned the hard way that a child from loss
must be parented in a different way...

We have come a long long way with this precious thinker.
she still 
"studies" people
takes a while to warm up to a newcomer
likes to stand on the outskirts and observe
needs to have new situations explained to her
...if not it will cost you...
gets anxious before any change in schedule
does not like to look you in the eye until she trusts you....
she is an introvert through and through

I am no longer naive about my girl
I know now that her heart is broken by loss
 a piece of the puzzle is missing for her
 it does not make sense to her
why her China mama had to leave her
it does not make sense to me either for that matter
it makes perfect sense to God
He cries for her loss as well
 He knows the future only He can give her

My prayer for this special child of mine
is that she will grab hold of our God and not let go
that she will learn to trust Him before any other
that He will make straight her paths and will lead her.

One of my favorite Bible verses is 
Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord you God with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him
and He will make straight your path.

Madeline Nian your family loves you with a love something fierce,
you are cherished, adored and valued....
I know you question that value
and don't understand...

So on this anniversary of sorts I am so very thankful that Madeline was chosen for our family
just as I began dreaming for her on that day 8 years ago
 on this day I dream of her future 
a future of hope and trust...

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Life Lately....

We have been trucking along with the beginning of school and I have been getting SO MUCH DONE AROUND THE HOUSE :). I have painted cabinets and rooms, cleaned out closets, garage, drawers and much more. It has been years since I have gotten this much accomplished!

We went to the fair on Labor Day...

the girls had a great time...
I did too since I was too big to get on the little rides:)

when we met back up with John David and Hank they still had tickets left over
they had decided that it can't be safe to ride something
 that is taken apart and put back together every 2 weeks lol
oh my they are alike!

John David's "Mom you are not that funny and you are embarrassing me" look....
As we waited on the Ferris wheel some ranky rap music was playing
John David was not amused when I started dancing rap style....
if you can't stand the music, make fun of it right????
I totally forgot how much enjoyment I get messing with teenagers!!!

as we were leaving we had to check out the snakes...
Hank asked this girl where she keeps them...
her response
" oh just at home with the other 30 snakes"