Monday, September 30, 2013

Retirement

After 19 years of running the computers at the LDS Printing Division, my mom retired today.  There was a nice celebration for her.

Ellie was fascinated with Grandma's computers.
 

 Lynlee fell asleep for about 10 minutes in the car on the drive, and stuck pretty close to Ellie while she woke up. 

Lu sat on Ellie's lap for a long time, while Uncle Jon entertained them with his phone.

Always fun to see Aunt Phyllis, Grandma Great, and Aunt Christine.  And Bobi, Lyssa, and Brian (of course).

Mom had some of her violin students come and play Minuet in G.

Some speeches were made, and awards given.


Lots of people came.  Maybe only for the cake.  But fun to see the room full!

It was wonderful to be there with Mom to celebrate her last day!

To continue our celebrations, we had a little hot tub fun for Family Home Evening.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Just the Same



Just the Same
By Diana Lynn Lacey

Sometimes—
God sends rain
Straight from the sky
To nourish the young flower
and it grows.

Sometimes—
God sends rain from the sky
To the mountaintops,
Then over hills and through valleys
Until it reaches the flower
and it grows, just the same.

Sometimes—
God sends a child
Straight from His realm
Into a mother’s arms
and love grows.

Sometimes—
God sends a child
From heaven to another’s arms,
Then over hills and through valleys
Until he reaches the arms of his mother
and love grows, just the same.

http://www.lds.org/ensign/2011/04/just-the-same?lang=eng

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Big Sister & Pancakes

I love that these girls call each other sister.  Hailey is an excellent example and an amazing big sister!  Ellie and Lynnie will do great if they follow her example.

drawing by Hailey, hanging on our fridge


We love to make whole wheat apple pancakes, and Lynlee loves to taste the flour.

Seriously, she will just eat a spoonful.

Or, most of a spoonful.  Whatever actually makes it into her mouth.
***love this girl's bed head***


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tayler is Awesome

Tayler is truly amazing.  My case worker asked if we would come and talk to the expectant parent support group at LDS Family Services with Tayler.  I texted Tayler to see what she thought, and she immediately said yes.

I miscommunicated the day, and when Tayler figured it out, she managed to get someone to cover her shift and still come.

Totally awesome.

Tayler was so open with the expectant moms while she shared her story.  I was really impressed by how she talked about the positive and negative aspects of adoption.  That placement was hard, and heartbreaking, even though she knew it was best for Ellie.  Knowing the decision is right does not make it easy.

I cried.  At least five times.

As she was telling how she came to pick Greg and I to be Ellie's parents, I was reminded of just what a miracle it was.  On itsaboutlove.org, there are some options for searching for a couple.  Tayler said it was overwhelming how many families were listed, so she would click "10 random families" and look at the pictures.

Greg and I came up every time she clicked random.

Every single time.

After a few times, she clicked on our profile and looked through it.

Then she went to a specific search and put in every little picky thing she could think of.

Two profiles came up, us and another couple.

Miraculous.

Our open adoption works because it is about Ellie, about how much we all love Ellie.  Tayler made the point a few times that our adoption works because of honest communication.  There have been and will be misunderstandings, because our relationship is a human relationship.   Communication, commitment and love are key to making the relationship work.

Tayler is articulate and bright and it was moving to listen to her speak about her experiences with open adoption.  I am so grateful she was willing to come and share her story.

I am so grateful to know Tayler, and to be a part of her life.  We are a family, forever.

collage that Tayler made for Ellie's birthday


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Open Adoption





What does "open adoption" mean to me?

It means that Ellie and Lynlee will grow up knowing how much their birth parents love them.



5/11
It means that I love our birth parents.  Absolutely, irrevocably love them.  They chose life for the girls, and they chose me to be a parent.  This is an amazing gift, and an awesome responsibility.


I love our birth parents for who they are, for the people they are, for the gifts and talents and strengths that they possess.  They are truly wonderful people and I am blessed to be part of their lives.



I respect the birth parents in our lives.  I have a commitment to them to continue our relationships.

Are these relationships perfect?

No.

We are all human and we make mistakes.

Are we committed to these relationships?

Yes!

11/11
Do we keep trying, no matter what?  Do we keep loving through the hard times and the miscommunications and the misunderstandings?

Definitely, yes!

Do we all have a common goal, to see Ellie and Lynlee grow and flourish and be happy girls?

Absolutely, yes.

5/11


There is joy in adoption, as well as pain.  It is difficult to see the pain in the girls' birth parents lives that directly results from their choice to place the girls for adoption.  It is difficult to not feel responsible for that pain, to recognize that it is not up to me to "fix" their pain.

True healing can only come through Jesus Christ, through His love and His grace.



I am blessed every day by open adoption.  The girls are blessed every day to know their birth parents.

Adoption is truly all about love.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Date with Davis. And Then With Daddy.

I love having Ellie's preschool right next door.  Although it makes it to easy to be late, since it takes 30 seconds to get there...  But I love being able to check on recess simply by looking out of my bedroom window.

We were driving in the car Ellie said that she was excited to grow up and get married.  I asked her who she wanted to marry and she said Daddy.  And then Lynlee said, "but I want to marry Daddy!"  I told them that I was already married to Daddy.  Ellie then said, "well, I guess I can marry Davis.  He would make a pretty good husband."

We tried to convince Lynnie that she could marry Eli (they have the same birthday, after all), but she was insistent on marrying Daddy.

Sounds like a plan.

Later that afternoon, Ellie was laying on the floor in the family room and she let out the biggest sigh.  I asked her what was wrong, and she said, "I just really miss my husband.  I just really want to play with him!"

I promptly texted Elizabeth and we set up a play date for the next day.

In the morning, Ellie came running out of her room with her Sunday dress, and asked me if it was white enough to get married in.

We decided it was perfect.

As soon as we got to Davis' house, Ellie told him they needed to get married and be sealed in the temple.

Davis thought about it a minute and then said, OK.

Ellie was even kind enough to bring along Lambie so she could be their baby.  (A new Lambie--the character from Doc McStuffins.)

They divided up their wedded responsibilities.  Davis took Lambie grocery shopping.

Ellie vacuumed.

Elizabeth even had cake for us to eat to celebrate their marriage.

That night, we had a family date at Thanksgiving Point.  We originally were going to meet Lynlee's birth dad, but he got stuck at work.  We missed him, but had fun wandering around as a family.

Lynlee thought this arbor was a cave and she was excited to run in it.



Ellie performed some excellent dance moves.

And found purple flowers to smell.

The setting sun made some gorgeous light.



We loved walking on the white lines.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Campfire and Bubbles

We love playing outside, even if we only catch a few minutes at a time.

I love to watch their creativity.  Lynnie is starting to do more pretend play, and Ellie loves to imagine things.

 Ellie decided to build a campfire and roast marshmallows.


After playing for a while, I decided the front porch could use a quick sweep.  Ellie took my broom away and insisted on doing it herself.  What a good helper!

Lately, Ellie likes to take a bath while I take a shower.  She said she was going to get in, but got involved playing with Lynnie and didn't make it.  After I was all ready, she decided she still wanted to get in, so we turned it into a bubble bath extravaganza.


Lynnie has been cautious about bubbles, and has never liked them.  She had a real breakthrough, wanting to touch the bubbles, and then wanting to sit on the edge and put her feet in, and then...

...she wanted to get in!  Go, Lulu!!!!

 My favorite part was when Ellie scooped up a ton of bubbles and put them in the toy bucket.  So the toys wouldn't get lonely.


After the bubble bath extravaganza, we headed out to run some errands.  It was afternoon now, and  Ellie was starting to have a rough time.  She has not been to bed on time for about a week, and has created an environment where it is harder for her to be happy.  As we were checking out at Walmart, Ellie scraped her foot on the cart.  And when we were in the car, she told me, "I just miss daddy!  I wish he would be at home when we get there."

Ellie even took a picture of herself and texted it to Greg.  Without my help.

I didn't know she knew how to do that.

Pretty impressive.


After an hour at home, all was well in the world, and we headed to dance class.  Lynnie was hilarious while we were waiting.  She told me, "I need to show Daddy.  I'm super strong.  Tummy side!"

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