Wednesday, August 31, 2016

three in the tub

Sometimes all three kiddos decide to hop in the bath together.  We don't end up with any water on the floor while three are splashing all at the same time...

Ok.  So a fantastic picture of three kiddos is really difficult to come by.  I might have to learn how to do composites so I can take the best of each kiddo and combine it into one photo.  Until then, an abundance of pictures...

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

play time

We've been playing hard around here, and it makes my heart want to explode to watch these sweet kiddos together!

I think about my heart exploding like 57 times a day.  It's a sweet time of life, and it's all because our God is so amazing.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Lauren's birthday party

We had a blast celebrating Lauren Kate's 3rd birthday!

She was SO excited for her party this year - talking about it every day and asking so many questions.  "Tomorrow be my birtday party?"
"Grandma Helen be at my party?"
"After my nap, then it be my birtday party?!"

I forgot to take pictures of the park shelter after we decorated, so just imagine this stuff hanging up all cute...

Grandma made an amazing spread for dinner

and it was fun having all our friends milling around while they ate.

Grandma was making cotton candy too.  Yum!

While the littler kiddos were playing at the park, the big ones were with a few daddies down at the creek.

(Mr. Big Stuff!)

After plenty of park play time, it was time for cupcakes!

Lauren loved having everyone sing to her.

After I photographed these three cuties enjoying their sweet treats,

we were reminiscing about the picture I shot of the same three at Lauren's party a year ago.  Looking at home much they've grown absolutely blows my mind!

So grateful Lauren gets to do life with such fabulous girls.

Cory's first cupcake was a hit.

LK opened gifts and received all kinds of wonderful treasures.  Here she is with Annie Jane

and with Oreyna.

We are so grateful for the precious group of friends and family we have to love our kiddos.  Happy birthday, sweet Lauren Kate.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Lauren's birthday gift

Lauren got a pretty awesome gift for her 3rd birthday!

We now officially have two kiddos behind the wheel...

but sometimes it's more fun to all pile together into one rig!


"Mama, look!  Lauren is a ghost!"

Goofy, happy kids.  They got a kick out of this idea!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Lauren Kate is 3!

Our sweet baby girl is now a big, beautiful, hilarious 3-year-old!

Every month is so fun, but this past month has been particularly exciting in the life of Lauren Kate.  She's always been a woman of few words, and all of a sudden Lauren insists on speaking in complete sentences.  8-word sentences are flying off her tongue left and right, and it's a blast to listen to!

In other [gigantic] news this month, Lauren became an instant big sister via foster care!  We told her Thursday at lunch time that a baby boy would be coming to stay with us.  When she woke up from her nap Thursday afternoon, she walked into the baby's room and said, "Where my baby brudder?"  He came Friday afternoon, and she started mothering him instantly.  When we take into account how drastically and immediately Lauren's entire world was rocked, we are so proud of how well she is handling the transition.

Our sweet girl is a mama and loves playing with her babies.  She also loves books and games and having a job to do.  She likes to color and is so creative when explaining all the parts of the pictures she draws.  ("It a worm!  A baby worm!  Oh, dat a rainbow.  Toe [so] pretty?")

Our girl has really taken to bike riding this month and is getting so good on her strider.  When she puts her mind to it, Lauren can figure out anything.  She's pretty athletic and is getting very fast!

Pretend play is big right now too:  doctor checkups and haircuts and tea parties and making/selling food and whatever else makes sense at the moment.  Lauren is thorough in her pretend play, and likes to follow the same routine for each task.

Little girl is super, super funny.  She is so shy and quiet when she isn't comfortable with her surroundings, but she's hilarious when she's confident in the circumstances.  Her conversation skills have improved greatly this month, and it's so fun to listen her chat with people.

On her birthday, Miss Janet next door called over, "Happy birthday, Lauren!"  Lauren responded with, "Happy birtday, Danet!"  Two seconds later she started laughing hysterically and said, "I tay happy birtday Danet.  It my birtday!!  Happy birtday Yornen!!"

Our girl has a tender heart and is the sweetest sister and friend.  She's strong and determined, creative and energetic, and so, so precious.  We love you, big 3-year-old girl!

Friday, August 26, 2016

foster care :: reflections on the first week

As of last Wednesday, August 17th, we are an officially-licensed foster family!  God has called our family to serve in foster care, and we are so anxious to see how He works in and through us on this journey.

There is a shortage of foster homes in our area (and everywhere), so we expected a quick placement once we were certified.  We didn't expect the worker to bring a referral with our license, but that's exactly what happened.  36 hours after being certified, we welcomed a 15-month-old boy into our home and our family.

Yesterday marked one week with baby C in our home, and it has been the most amazing experience!  The sad-eyed, quiet little boy that arrived at 8:30 Friday morning was wrestling with Collin and Lauren by lunchtime and giggling with Ryan and me before bed that very first day.  After a full week with us, he is comfortable here and his sweet, silly personality is shining.

My husband is the most gorgeous daddy in all the land, and watching him parent another sweet bebe has been precious.  So grateful to be his partner for life!

Collin and Lauren have hearts the size of the universe.  The beautiful way they've adjusted to having a new little person in the house is mind-blowing, and I have no doubt God has been preparing them all along to love like this.

We don't know what the future holds, and we don't know how long baby C will be with us or how his time with us will be.  We are committed to loving him every moment like he belongs here and like he's ours, and trusting God's plan and provision for the duration.

It's a stunning experience to watch God's beautiful stories unfold.

hail storm

We got a big hail storm, and Collin and Lauren had a blast checking out the remnants.

Shorts & jackets & muck boots - ha!

Meanwhile, little buckaroo wasn't thrilled that I made him stay in the house...