Christmas 2016- Part 2 (Picture Overload Edition)

2017-01-03_0022Christmas was all things wonderful.2017-01-03_0020Visits with Santa2017-01-03_0019Shopping for Christmas trees (don’t you shop in formal wear??)2017-01-03_0017School programs with serious kids2017-01-03_0015 2017-01-03_0018Lots of fun with grandparents!2017-01-03_0005Some first Christmases2017-01-03_0003Matching PJs, matching dolls…2017-01-03_0004And my favorite Christmas pageant. Moment to remember: sweet little angel eagerly waving to her cousin the sheep!2017-01-03_0014 2017-01-03_0008 2017-01-03_0006 Oh, and “Once in Royal David’s City”. That is one brave kid!2017-01-03_0007Cookies and letters to Santa.2017-01-03_0012 2017-01-03_0010

Oh, did you know that Santa RECYCLES?? He does! That is why we left him a big bag of toys to pass on to other kids who could use them!! 🙂2017-01-03_0011And we had some very happy kids!

2017-01-03_00212017-01-03_0013Many Christmases we have one thing that stands out. Like the year that Drew stated in awe, “I was good?!”, or the year that Kaitlyn walked across the room for the first time. These are the things that live on in family lore.

This year for me it will be Hannah asking Santa for a wishing well. I honestly think this was the smartest thing that any of my kids have ever asked Santa for. I mean, come on, the gift that keeps on giving. And she was so earnestly sweet about it. She already had some of her wishes planned out as things to help me, or things to bring joy to her siblings. Her frequent discourse on the great things she would do with her wishing well brought tears to my eyes several times.

Santa left her a note in this little wishing well telling her that she has been so good, but that he is not allowed to give away magic. I was so worried that she would be crestfallen, but she was THRILLED to get a letter from Santa!! Sweet, sweet girl.

It was truly the most wonderful time of the year.

Happy New Year!!


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Christmas 2016- Part 1

Kids went back to school today. Sign. I know, I know, “cue the violins”.

We had such a fantastic December, and found some new traditions that are definitely “keepers”!

First of all, in addition to our regular advent calendar, and our homemade Jesse tree, we counted down the days using Random Acts of Kindness. This is the one that we used this year:


This is now a definite family tradition in December. We weren’t able to achieve every single one of them, but we did do most of them, and they encouraged thoughtful conversation throughout the month and provided lots of fun to us all.


One of the best parts that came of our acts of kindness was befriending Dorothy. Dorothy worked ringing the bell for the Salvation Army in front of our local Walgreens. Dorothy rang that bell 9 hours a day, 6 days a week in the weeks before Christmas. I’m guessing she wasn’t doing it for fun.

Anyway, we decided to make frequent visits to Dorothy. We brought her dinner, water, and gave her a needed break for her aching hands. And we had a lot of fun.

This felt like Christmas.

To be continued…

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Stitches- again

“Don’t kill Drew”.

That was the text I received driving home from picking up Z from swimming last night. I quickly remembered sending a message that was almost identical back when Drew broke the ipad, so I was trying to figure out what he broke this time.

Turns out it was his sister.

As I walked in the door I see Hannah standing at the door, and they quickly show me the cut on her head, all thanks to her big brother. Poor guy was actually laying on the floor, crying, and saying “I’m so sorry” over and over. It was a total accident that came out of happy play together, so I couldn’t be mad.

I looked at it hoping it would be fine, but I had to admit that it looked like it needed stitches. Sigh.

Why can’t these things ever happen in the middle of the day? They always seem to happen right at bedtime…

So, we made our way to the ER, and got the confirmation. Yep, stitches.


This girl was a rockstar. No problem for her. I think she rather enjoyed the one on one attention. Oh, and the popsicle.

Me on the other hand, I’m exhausted! 🙂

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Happy Hannah Day- 5 years!


It is hard to believe, but it has been 5 years since this beautiful girl was placed in my arms. Just thinking about that still fills me with emotion.


She still doesn’t quite “get it”. She doesn’t exactly understand why we celebrate this day (despite us having talked to her about adoption in every sort of way). She is just happy that we have said today is about HER. She definitely gets that. And she likes it.


Happy Hannah Day dear girl. So glad that you are forever ours!

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Dental surgery- check

One of the first things we noticed about Kai was that his teeth were terrible. He had several teeth that were turning black.

Obviously we knew this was going to have to be taken care of. Within a couple of weeks of being home I took him to the dentist. At that time Kai was so terrified of anyone that looked remotely medical, and it is only through his open mouthed screaming that the dentist was able to get a quick look and immediately told me that he was going to need a specialist who could sedate Kai in the office.

2016-10-06_0001It took me a little bit of time to find a dentist that I felt good about. We met her in her office, and I talked to her in depth about his need for sensitivity due to his trauma reaction with medical procedures. She seemed like a good fit, and we scheduled his dental repair.

That day is one that still could make me cry. Despite our conversation about Kai and my written paperwork reminding the staff that he needs special consideration and careful, sensitive treatment, that is not what occurred. Kai was strapped onto a table while I was forced out of the room and the anesthesiologist repeatedly poked him trying to get an IV, all the while he was SCREAMING for me. After what felt like an excruciatingly long time to me, they allowed me to come get him and shrugged saying they couldn’t get a vein. I was livid. I demanded my deposit back and let them know in no uncertain terms that I would not be back.

So at this point the dental work just had to go on the back burner for a while considering Kai has had so many other medical procedures that had to happen.

Finally I found a dentist in our city who specializes in “child trauma dentistry”. A winner! I didn’t know that there was such a thing, but I am forever thankful that there is and that I located her! From the first moment in her office she approached us both with kindness and gentleness, and I knew that we were in the right place.

2016-10-06_0002Kai’s dental work was so extensive that it had to be done at a surgical center under general anesthesia. He had to have a tooth extracted with a spacer placed, 4 crowns, and multiple fillings. It took almost 2 1/2 hours. The good news is that his teeth are restored, he is feeing great today, and no part of the experience was terribly traumatic. I was able to hold him until we got to the operating room, hold his hand and talk to him until he fell asleep, and hold him within a few minutes of waking up. This is what this child needed.


SO glad to have this one behind us, and to have Kai’s new, happy and silvery smile. 🙂

And for him the best part was that the tooth fairy came to him that night and brought him the “Best Beprise Ever!”, a new toothbrush and four quarters. 🙂

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