Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas with the family...

The family exchanged gifts the night we arrived in South Carolina. 
It's fun, because it was like an extension of Christmas when we got here.
It's so fun being back home in SC.
Just Dance 3.
Long family dinners with mom's fabulous cooking each night.
Sister time.
The Lil guy and Peyton chasing each other around and loving on each other.
Snuggling with my baby boy, Peyton.
Shopping with my mom.
Biking with the family.
Coffee in the morning and after dinner. 
Late, Late, LATE night talks with lil sister.
Shopping and styling advice from big sister.
So many parts of this visit that is so precious.
Can I say what a blessing my parents are to me and my husband?
We got some much needed encouragement and advice about parenting.
They are full of wisdom...a life time of wisdom and experience.
Their loving talk brought both Ryan and I to tears.
They said just the thing we needed to hear.

I am so glad to be home.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

memories to be made...

The last night in Kansas, we had to take out annual pajama picture.
Each year we take some:)
They always come out so cozy and fun.
 After a weekend back home in Storm Lake for Christmas Eve and Christmas church services,
we headed out for the drive to SC.
We drove and drove and drove and stopped in Indianapolis, where we stayed at a hotel.
Taking a kid to a hotel with a pool for the first time in his life was a BLAST.
and the memories are still continuing to be made!!!:)
Made it to my family and enjoying being in the beautiful state of South Carolina!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas with the Brandenbergers:)

Spending Christmas with the Brandenbergers is always a sweet treat.
We get to spend Christmas with both families this year, and we're so thankful to be able to go.

 Actually, Ryan and Katie are actually not feeling too great this time around, but it's still nice to be able to spend the time together as a family. 
And as the day as gone on, both of them have been feeling much better:)

Opening gifts a littler earlier for Christmas since we're here. 
Wow! Just so thankful! I look at what we've been given and  have given I'm just thankful for the thought into the gifts and the fun of opening them together! 
 I got new owl pajamas from Katie and the SWEEEETEST owl vintage purse. 

 Early Merry Christmas to everyone!!! 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

3rd grade concert

 Getting three kids ready for a third grade concert was crazy and yet so fun.
Everyone was running back and forth in the house, trying to get their hair ready, get dressed, and asking, "what do i wear???" or "Do I look good like this??!!!" 
We had a full house of people while everyone was rushing back and forth getting ready.
Right after school, i had three 3rd graders and two highschoolers until the concert, so we played a few games together, ordered a couple pizzas, and headed to the school.

Such a fun night full of fun memories.

Here are two of our high school supporters;). 
They're two people who are wonderful with the kids that we are involved with. We can usually count on them to cheer for the kiddos and be extra support and encouragement:). 
Each child got their individual shot by the tree...
Again, i can't show our lil guy's pics, so  many of our great pics aren't going to be online, but here are some of our sweet friends that we had the privilege of going to the concert with.

Karen did this lil gal's hair for the concert. They two ladies turned out guest bathroom into  pamper room for her:).
Damian decided to go with his hair completely spiked up like an anime character.
When I asked, "are you sure you want to go like that?"
He said, "Oh, yes! I LOVE my hair!"
I had some extra boys shirts just his size donated by a couple of wonderful ladies that I work with, so Damian went to the concert looking absolutely handsome.
I tell ya, this kid is growing up fast.
The concert was so fun. Probably the most fun of all the ones we went to this past week...I'll let the pics show you. 
Damian had the big important part of Santa Claus.
Sweet boy, I about teared up every time I heard your voice on the speaker.
3rd grade class.
It was SUCH a fun night.
It ended with a special treat of seeing one of my favorite girls of my favorite students and camper from Summer Sizzle was at the concert! Karen and I were thrilled.
Christmas is full of such fun special things.
The Christmas concert was just one of those many things that we'll get to look back on years away from now.
The night with three crazy 3rd graders, two highschoolers, my hubster, and myself made me look forward to the days that we have a full house of kiddos. 
It was such FUN. I can't even describe how exciting and fun it was for me to have everyone getting ready for the concert.
I felt like i was getting these kids ready for prom. 
and i teared up with each thing they did. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

pardon the delay

My apologies on updating my blog.
My blog is usually the first place I go with pictures or stories or updates.
However, most of what I've been taking pics of usually have to do with our little foster boy.
and I can't post pics showing who he is or disclose any info on him.
so that's my excuse, i know, probably not a very good one.
But so much has happened in the past couple months!!!
I'll let pics tell you the story of the past couple of months:).

we went to Kansas for thanksgiving.
These are ryan's toys from when he was a kid.
He brought them out and it entertained our lil guy for hours over the weekend.

 It's always so good to see our family.
Such a refreshing time monkey in' around with Katie again;)
 She got tired;).
 Here's the early morning hour after a snow day in our home. I love the serenity of our main room when there is the warm lighting of the Christmas tree and the white snow background outside the window.

 We always celebrate birthdays with this family:)
This month we celebrated Damian's 10th birthday. 
I can't believe he's already ten.
This night on his birthday I had this conversation with him while it was just the two of us in the car...
*true story*
"Damian, I can't believe you're ten already. I remember when I first met you. You were a little shrimp of a kid cuz you were in f1st grade and it was my first day of work at the school.
You punched a kid and it was my first recess duty ever and when i tried to talk to you about punching the kid you RAN CIRCLES AROUND ME and called me the "B" word!!!"
He reached over and hugged my arm while I was driving and he goes, 
"I know!!! I'm SORRY!!!!!" 
We both laughed at the memory and then while he was still hugging my arm he looks up at me and said,
"But told me about Jesus."

Boy, i tell you, that made my heart skip a beat and melt. 

here we go to the many wonderful memories of the past couple months.
I wish i could show you some of my favorite sweetest cutest pics of our lil guy, but i can't. 
More to come though!:) 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Shower interrupted

Just now, I'm sitting on my couch, with my laptop, ready to get some work done.
My hubster is playing Mario Kart beside me.
The Lil B, Chato, is in the bathroom starting up his shower. 
The water starts running.
His normal singing routine starts up, with renditions of "Happy Birthday to You," all the way to "Party Rock Shuffle,"and as usual, he's singing at the TOP of his lungs.

Chato sticks his head out of the bathroom.
"Yeah, Chato?!"
"Who, Chato?"
"JEEEEESUS AND GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
"Whoa, really?! THAT'S COOL!!!"

Then he sticks his head back into the bathroom and continues his singing.
Ryan and I looked at each other and totally just in amazement started laughing.
What a cool kid huh? 
We're still praying for his little heart.
God's gonna do something cool with this lil guy.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Life with boys...

All my life, I grew up with very few boys in my family.
My dad was special. He got all special boy attention because he had three girls and a wife that adored him.

Then four years ago, came my little brother...who is actually, a Beagle/Dachshund mix. Peyton. He thinks he's a little boy and we see him that way. 

 But that's it. 

Now though...
Life consists of mostly all boys.
At least, at home, they're all boys.
My husband and the little guy, we'll call him Lil' B(oy).
It's non stop boy stuff:
Nerf battles, complete with foam swords and bunkers set up all around the house.
Midget basketball which is set up on Lil B's closet door. 
Football in the backyard.
Basketball at the school playground.
Running and chasing balls. (literally...Lil B throws the balls and then chases after it, and tells the balls, "HEY!!! WAIT UP FOR ME!!! WAAAAIT!!!!" It was so funny to watch.)
Attempts to tackle Ryan which leads to Lil B clutching Ryan's leg as Ryan drags him around the house. 

Then there are the times that are just really sweet...
Those big eyes looking up at Ryan to see what he does.
Reading picture books on the kitchen floor while I wash dishes to practice his 15 minutes of reading a day. 
Watching him do the hand motions and dances to songs from Bible School this week, like Jesus Loves Me and This little Light of Mine.
His questions about Jesus.
When he hangs his crafts from Bible School up and says, " God loves me! God loves you!"
His glee when he wins at Uno.
The way he pops up in the morning and his first question is, "Is Ryan awake yet?!"

Then those tough times that just comes with being a kid...
His inability to stay put in his bedroom after saying goodnight, because he has,
 "just one more thing i forgot to tell you..." 
" something i forgot i wanted to show you..." 
or his needs for last minute late night drinks of water.

I can honestly say that we've been using more energy than we have been the last couple years.
But it's been fun.
It gives a new perspective of life to us. 
It's blessed us by showing us the joy of caring for another person in our home.
It's fun to learn new things about him...
as well as he learns new things about us.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

a few moments before becoming a mom

My hands are sweaty. 
My hands are never ever sweaty.
My heart is pounding.
I'm at the verge of tears and I'm trying to calm myself down.
Life is about to change for us.
After today, I don't think we'll ever see things the same again.
God is bringing a child into our lives. 
This hour.
And we're waiting.
Every five seconds I'm looking out to see if he's here.
Trying to grab hold of the last few minutes of life before kids with Ryan.
But looking at the future of what life is going to be like with a little boy.

I'm looking out the window...
there he is...
our little boy is here.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


To ya'll...
We're praying for all of you.
Even those we don't know yet are coming to us one day.
We've been praying for your situations, your safety, your little hearts.

We're praying for ourselves.
As we put ourselves in a position of parenthood...
Your parents...for a short time at least.
We ask God daily for wisdom, strength, guidance, and love.
That you will know how much He loves you through us.

We've been praying for you for months now.
And even though you may not feel like it, you're a part of our family.
You've got a piece of our hearts.
We're excited to meet you, to hug you, to have you in our family.

We're praying that through this time of your life, you'll grow to know what is love.
Love that is unconditional,
never fading
and won't ever leave you.
And guess what? We're not talking about love from us.
We are confidently expecting that through this time, you will leave knowing how loved you are, how special you were made, and how valuable your unique self is because...
God loves you.
And it's only because of His love, that we're able to open our hearts, our lives, our home to you...

Welcome to our family.
We're prayerfully waiting for you.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

it's happening!:)

We'll be parents in the next few day.
Here's a quick shot of the kids' room...still trying to figure out decorations and toys and stuff.
So excited and ready! 
Pray for wisdom for us and strength as we begin this new journey!
Our lives are changing in just a few short days.
The kids don't realize how much we've been praying for them.
and now we'll get to see who we've been praying for...
face to face.
Can't believe it's actually happening...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fairy Tales and Classics

Learning can be fun...
especially when you're imagining 

....that you're Hansel and Gretel...
Or if you imagine 
all the animals that live in the woods.
Or if you look out and imagine you are Laura Ingalls Wilder playing in the prairies...

and enjoy those simple little things like chasing grasshoppers and worms...

Or if you just soak in all the colors and sun that God gave this beautiful earth.
and watch their little faces delighted with the outdoors...

and watching kids play games and use their imaginations...
and pretending you're a lion in tall grasses all around you is just a blast.
I've never done that.
Till now:)
It was fun! 
My imagination was soaring with stories and books that talked about all these things.

you made things so beautiful.