Friday, January 4, 2013

Post Christmas and the girls were all about dressing alike....and they looked so cute that one just needed to take a photo:)  Plus, this pic shows their newfound desire to want to be together more than not....this is a developing want and one that everyone is so thankful they are discovering.  
 Everyone was so thankful for Daddy being home....
 Daddy builds the best forts and sleepovers in the family room are inevitable!
 And sometimes one just has so much fun that they need a little rest.....even if it is on the arm of a recliner!
 The middles and I had a middle date at the ice skating rink.  Pryce's goal was to go as fast as he could and ram into the wall - my guess is that he was thrill seeking and trying to work out his inner hockey playing dream??? At one point I asked P if he had fallen on purpose.  His response, "Of course! I am an all purpose kind of guy!" MK was so cute.  She was very hesitant about getting on the ice.  The whine came on strong.  Finally, she took the plunge and her skate hit the ice.  By the end of our two hour stint, she was all over the place and even dared several times to skate without the help of the helper thingie.  She said, "Mommy, thank you for telling me I could do it!  I LOVE ice skating! This is my dream come true!"  Sometimes they just need a little push:)  (What she doesn't know is that I had paid good money for those skates to be on her feet and by golly she was going to use them!)
 New Year's Eve and the kids were all aglow with the fire pit and some smores making ingredients....
 smores with graham crackers, marshmallows cooked right and Reeses peanut butter cups=YUMMO!

 The girls and I tended the fire for a bit while the boys and Ryan took a timeout to watch some of the Clemson should note MK's attire.  It was chilly.  And she was in a sleeveless shirt and no shoes half the night.  
 Who needs to get dressed, though, when you have a robe?  The children all took turns lighting fireworks and playing fire patrol....there were fireworks all over the sky which was fun to take in as we lit our little crackers.  On a side note, so thankful for a husband who carefully set our firework box outside after everything had been lit.  Good thing he did not set it in our garage.  I looked out and saw flames.  Lo and behold the box had caught on fire!
 New Year's Day and everyone was put to work....some had bigger jobs than others!
 And the dreaded meal.  Pork loin.  Collards.  Black Eyed Peas....and garlic mashed potatoes.  The pork is always a hit.  The rest, not so much.  However, to make it all worth their while, we always play Deal or No Deal.  And laughter is aplenty which makes the food part secondary.  This year we have incriminating photos of certain children performing their best ballet dance; a certain someone was challenged to go outside and yell, "I LOVE Justin Beiber" at the top of their lungs, for all to hear; someone had to sing Mary Had A Little Lamb, opera style.....ringing in the new year with a table full of laughter=perfect!
And finally, the cast.  One last bath with the bagged up cast.  So glad to get a good report on Wednesday....Colin's eyes got a bit larger when he asked me how the cast would be taken off and I told him with a saw.  He was hesitant to say the least!  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 Picture Review

A week into 2012 and we landed ourselves in Legoland with the boys for an extended weekend - and then it was off to Harry Potter Land at Universal.  Noteworthy memory, the boys and I choosing to ride the river rapids ride - who knew we would get soooo wet!
MK turned a whole hand - five years old and counting!  What a blessing she is to our family!
And close behind is always Maddox....she celebrated her first "half" birthday with us.....
In February, we all anxiously awaited the arrival of Lulu from China.  2012 proved to be the year of adoption news....a family in our neighborhood accepted the referral of their little girl, our dear friends accepted the referral of their 3 in Ethiopia, a local family is bringing home 3 from Congo, a family in our China group is leaving in just 16 days to bring home their little girl from China.....and, "my little girl" is coming home too!  Her name is Chloe.  I have watched her since she first went on the list.  A family traveled for her and walked away knowing they could not provide for her.  She is precious.  And my heart hurt for this child, this little girl who has never known the love of a family.  One thing led to another and she is coming home this year to her forever family....the best part?  She will live in our town and go to our church!  Praying 2013 holds many more adoption stories!
Also in February, my best childhood friend, Sandi, came to visit with her family!  The best part?  Her sister and brother-in-law moved in just one neighborhood over from ours so I get to see her more often than ever since our high school days!
And my Nannie....she is now 92 years old and as sharp as a tack.  She has aches here and ailments there but she is hilarious when she starts telling the stories of what goes on in the assisted living home where she lives.  She even makes herself laugh which is music to my ears.
The boys continued on with piano and 2012 brought on a night of tunes to mark yet another successful year of music appreciation.  
March marked one year home with Maddox.  Oh to watch a little one blossom and grow, a day does not go by that I don't hold this daughter of mine and shower her with kisses.  She is sweet and fun and LOUD and cuddly and curious and keeps us on our toes....
and this face is irresistible....her eyes, her pouty little lips, her expressions....oh my, she is a little love.  To keep it real, though, do know that she is not all innocence.  She is known to hit, push, scream, and spit - yes, spit! Yes, sweet Maddox has embraced every aspect of life in 2012.  (Thankfully any negative behaviors she may exhibit are only shown at home!)
March also marked four years home with MK.  2012 proved to be her year to mature; and her year to earn the description of being perceptive - she understands so much to be only five years old, her Kindergarten teacher describes her as an "old soul."  2012 was her year to shine in school, in swimming, in ballet, in relationships....look out 2013, this little one is going to do big things!
 March marked the 12th birthday of C, his last childhood birthday before becoming a full blown teenager.  **Insert big sigh here**  I vividly remember rocking him at just a mere few weeks old, wondering to myself if he would ever grow up and SLEEP more than an hour at a time, I remember making a circle with my thumb and index finger and his little tiny leg did not even fill up that circle; and here he is, 12 years later.  He continues to grow up and underestimate the power of sleep.  2012 brought on lots of laughter with him be it shopping for a sports coat or deciding which Axe spray smelled the most "swag".....
There was a time when my boys decided slip on shoes were the way to go, who needed shoestrings anyway?  So they were much, much older than the age of 5 when they learned how to tie their shoes....and we had to sit down and teach them, step by step, around the world we went.  Then enters MK, who at the age of five was given a pair of sparkly tennis shoes.  She literally walked in, sat down, put the shoes on, no need for around the world demonstrations, tied them up and off she went, just like that.  Typical.
Our beautiful Firefly.  Roar of Love 2012.  MK was the most graceful one on stage!
And then came Jekyll Island....2010 was too much for P when it came to the shark dissection.  However,  2012 was Dr. P's year to shine with the shark....he was pulling out the heart and the eyeballs and the stomach, need I say more?  Ewww.
Easter at Gran and Pop's house.....all nine grandchildren, all in their prime egg hunting ages = game on!  
Big girl more diapers!  No more crib!  Much to her dismay, there is still a carseat.  She begs daily to "Please ride in Mei-Mei's seat?  I B-I-G now!  See my muscles?  They big."  
Out with the old, in with the new....glasses, braces and pimples, oh MY!  
Happy birthday dear Pryce, happy birthday to you!  And many more!  10 years....two hands and counting.  To know him is to love him....
Probably my favorite picture of the year....MK and SK, the picture speaks for itself.
And before we knew it, our little one was a graduate!  Look out world, again, I say, she will do big things!  
This is another picture fav.....sums up Maddox's personality in one frame.  A girl and her paint.
Disney 2012....camping, boat riding, swimming, Soarin, Cinderella's castle.....
A year of baseball for this guy....two seasons, first base, third base, shortstop, left field....tripples, doubles, singles, on as we move into 2013.
A haircut.  Then she announced she wanted Rapunzel hair, so 2013 may be the year of Rapunzel hair!
Swim Team.  It is required when you live in our family. It is offered in our neighborhood, friends are in abundance and what else are you going to do during the summer months but swim???  C was hesitant yet when all was said and done, he asked to swim year round.  Success at its best....we stress to them not to worry about the person in the next lane, swim against your own times and you will see success each week.  It never fails, times improve each week.  
Beach 2012
Seabrook Island and Garden City
Our two favs
Two totally different experiences
July brought in some of our favorite people....first, the Monts.  Our neighbors when we lived in Massachusetts.  Lucky for us, they have family in SC so we get to visit with them annually....
And the Mohrs....our travel buddies while in China for MK.  We share Gotcha Days, and Gotcha moments, as we "got them" at the same time.  
We were blessed to have them visit for a week this summer....these guys will always be so special to our family and we can't wait to see what 2013 has in store for them;)
July also brought on our annual trip to the NC mountains.....Joeys Pancakes, the Mast General Store, the bakery, tubing and, in 2012, the jacket.  The leather one.  The one where we got a deal/steal.  The one P could not live without and swore he would wear it all.the.time.  The jacket of all leather jackets.  
And just because there are not too many pics of these guys these days....2012 brought on the lens shyness, the "quick, lets get out of here!" shouts as they saw me bring out the cameral bag, the "do we have to?"....I predict 2013 may involve some form of bribery when photography is involved.
And before July went out,  we celebrated big when our Maddox turned three.  THREE.  She was all about the cake, or rather, the icing on the cake; gifts were "ooohhhed" and "ahhheedd" over, and I may have shed a tear knowing that she is growing up just too fast for me.  
2012 and all of the kiddos are aging.....our group began when MK was just 14 months old.....the group has grown, the families have grown, and now the children are showing their age too....
Bless.  If I could take back one personal moment in 2012, it would be the moment when I heard MK say, "Mommy, I am a good helper.  I will get Maddox down for you."  And then, boom.  In an instant we went from having a picnic and swimming filled kind of day to ear piercing screams, sirens, blood, stitches, and sitting in an ER kind of day.  Oh sweet girl, how I would have switched places with you a thousand times that day.  
Thankfully, MK healed.  And Kindergarten has been just what the doctor ordered for this year.  She has the most awesome teacher and has made some of the sweetest friends.  
September brought on a mini-reunion with our adoption friends whom we have met over the years....Ashley and Miss Junie, always dear to my heart, so strange how God placed them in our lives yet so perfect in every way.  Love their continued friendship.  And, anyone wanting to adopt needs to know Donna.  She should have her own reference book.  She is the go-to lady when I have questions, always has been.  We met through blog land.  Her little Shelby was an inspiration when we were looking at SN adoptions from China....again, love how He works things out in the most unexpected ways.  
September.....Labor Day Parade and these two coffee buddies were up early "cheering" one another with their early morning caffeine.  
And Carolina football (and Clemson) was off....both teams had fabulous seasons.  One team, ahem, more so than the other.  And my girls are still cheering on their beloved Gamecocks.  
Colin is the only child of ours born in Georgia.  The girls were born in China and Pryce was born in Massachusetts.  So, P had questions and wanted to see just where he was born, the house he lived in, the hospital he was born in....we were fortunate enough to spend a long weekend in MA touring all of these sites and more.  Boston proved to be a favorite destination spot for 2012.
Enter Fall 2012....4th grade, 7th grade, IEW, art, piano, swimming, basketball, baseball, and....
ballet for BOTH girls.  Absolutely precious.
And add to it a Game Ball for a stellar game for P....
and Halloween - a peacock princess, a cat, an epic Clemson fan, a friend AND a last minute-throw an outfit together-I am a dude....
and Thanksgiving on the farm.  My dad and my Nannie were so pleased to have everyone in attendance.  And the children were all smiles too....these cousins enjoy their moments together!
The break?  Still not sure what this all means but there was a cast, an orange one no doubt.  And he was banned from swimming, basketball, piano until further notice.  And he milked it at first then decided it was quite an unwanted nuisance in his life.  
And Social....a new thing for C.  And one he is thoroughly enjoying.  Another thing he was opposed to yet decided he liked it after all once he began.  
Tis the Season....our Elf, Matthew, was up to a lot of mischief this year but we all welcomed his antics and could not wait to see what he was going to surprise us with next.  
2012 was full of many blessings, happiness, laughter, challenges, memory making opportunities.....
and this is how we went out, asleep.  Half of us.  The girls were out, the boys all made it into 2013 with smiles on their faces after watching Clemson win the Chick-Fil-A bowl, extraordinary.  25-24.  Last seconds were nail biters. 
2013 we look forward to your days and memory making moments to come!