Sunday, June 30, 2013

Where have I been?

WOW!  It's been a while since I've blogged.  Let's try to catch up a bit...

School is out and the hot summer weather is here!  It's been 105 degrees the past few days.  Anything over 90 is too hot for me! 

But before summer we had some fun things happen at school...PROM! 
Of course, we had to start with a haircut...

Al and I went out to Olive Garden (thanks to a gift certificate from Ken).  Al ordered Sausage Penne and LOVED it!  The night got off to a great start!
 Then we met everyone at school....notice the "yellow limo" in the background?  Yup.  We went on a bus!  This group cleans up nice!
 Here's a picture of their group picture.  Only 11 of the kids pictured are in Al's class and the others are peer tutors.  They had a great time and I was very impressed with how the rest of the school treats his class.  A lot of people were coming up to Alex to say HI and then when he asked them to dance, they all danced.  The person saying HI, their date, and Al!  I have loved having Alex in high school.  Between him growing up and trying so hard to be a big kid and the teachers and peer tutors, I have to say that high school has been a great experience for Alex.  Next year he will be an "almost senior" (Junior - but he's stuck on the senior part), he will be on the wrestling team again (and now that we've been through a year I will feel more comfortable letting him be more involved (meaning go to some away matches), and thank goodness he will have the same teachers.  I'm so proud of him and all he's accomplished!
As you can see from the big picture at the top of our blog, we got our family pictures taken!  I am so excited to show these off!!  We had them taken by Melanie Isaac and I would suggest her to anyone that is looking for a photographer.  She did a great job capturing everyone's personality and has great pricing.

 A, Kierra, M, Colby

  O, Josh, Cali, and the balloons represent McKallister and Quincy
Taylor holding C, Brandon
 My baby!  He's becoming a man; he's shaving and everything!  He has to or else he has this really sparse, icky hair patch growing off his chin.  But, man, is he handsome!!!  And I have to tell you my secret about him driving.  NO!  He's not driving!!  I have told him when he's as tall as his brothers he can get his license.  When he gets his license he can get a phone.  I have it all figured out.  And I'm pretty sure I'm safe.  Thank goodness he hasn't figured out that I'm no where near as tall as his brothers!  If he ever does....well, I'm a girl.  The rules are different for girls!  BUT he mows our lawn with grandpa's riding mower!  I walk in front of him (yes, I'm dumb brave!) and he follows behind driving the mower.  He does pretty good, too!  He's only taken our 1 of our sprinklers and demolished one bird house.  Not bad!

We are so proud of our little gaggle of girls!

Oh.  My.  Beautiful!  Thank you Melanie!!!
And, of course once we got our pics taken, we had an addition to our family. ...
Meet CR.  He was born a few weeks before we had pictures taken, and we had met him, but birth mom had not signed adoption papers, yet.  Let me fill you in....
Our neighbor's daughter's friend's dad's fiancĂ© (whew!!) was pregnant.  It wasn't a planned pregnancy and they were having troubles financially to raise the kids they already had.  They were considering adoption so they were told about Josh and Cali.  (That's really the only way to adopt anymore - word of mouth.  Even going through an agency there are just so many couples waiting and not enough babies available.)  So Cali and birth mom met one Friday evening and got along great.  When they were saying their good-byes birth mom made a comment that made Cali uncomfortable so she pushed that baby to the side.  The next day, Saturday, Cali got a text; "I am 15 and have a 5 week old baby.  Are you still looking at adopting?"  After texts and phone calls, they met Sunday evening with birth mom, her parents and birth dad.  They had been looking at their blog for the past 6 months and birth parents were just realizing they couldn't raise this baby.  They were so convinced that they wanted Cali and Josh to adopt this little girl that they brought ALL of her belongings and left her with them that night!  The plan was to meet them at the adoption agency on Monday evening for parents to sign papers.  So, they have this sweet, little girl in their home for 24 hours, they bond, they fall in love and they even had spiritual confirmation that she belonged in their family. 
Monday around noon, birth mom's dad called Cali and said that things were changing.  Birth dad's mom and her partner both had to give children up for different reasons, and had convinced this young couple that they could do it with their help!  It was more than heart breaking for Josh and Cali to put this baby in a car that smelled of drugs with this young couple and his mom's partner.  They got a few texts from birth mom over the next few days, but that was the end of that story.  A big affirmation of how we all have our agency, even if it's not what God planned.
While Cali and Josh were working through this fiasco, they got a bunch of calls from the first mom (that she met with on Friday) saying that she had given birth to a baby boy and she wanted them to have him!  Of course with the comment this birth mom had made that had made Cali uncomfortable, and then with getting and losing this little girl, their emotions and nerves were raw.  Cali texted her and told her they were sick and they would call her in a few days.  When Cali did call her she made it very clear that if birth mom wouldn't go through an agency, that they weren't able to continue.  Birth mom said that was great!  Come see him! 
He was premature  not sure how premature but guessing a 34 weeker) and in the NICU but they had saved a wrist band for Cali.  Cali visited him almost everyday after that, with Josh going as often as he could.  All of us grandparents even got to go see him a couple of times!
 Whenever Cali walked in the room and said his name, CR would turn his head towards her!  They fed him, changed him, loved him, all while he was in the NICU.  Birth mom didn't sign her rights away until the day he was released (3 weeks later) so there was still some concern that he would be theirs, but he is home with them and growing like the great man he will become!  So even though we knew about him when we got our family pictures taken, since papers hadn't been signed and Cali and Josh had already had a baby slip through their fingers, we didn't dare wait to have our pictures taken.  It just means we have to do it again real soon!!!

 Papa and I LOVE holding our little man!
Alex and I went on a hike recently with the Maughan family up Bell Canyon.  It was really hard for Alex but he pushed through it!  Every once in a while he would rub his hips and say, "Yup.  They're still there."  He was real hesitant.  I don't know if he was scared of getting hurt or what, but like I said, he persevered!!
A is a climber and is walking all over the place now!... I think she's crazy!!  And I have NO idea where that would have come from??
 OK, OK, OK.... she may be a bit like me.
Remember N's hairdo?....
...she got a big girl's haircut and looks soooo good!  We loved the wild look, but she looks like a 2 year old now!  AND...
 ...she's crawling!!  It's a little unorthodox, and this video was actually taken when she first started crawling but it's so cute I couldn't resist sharing.  I will put a more recent video of her crawling soon.  She's really improved!  But this is so cute!!!

So.  Life is good.  Life is busy.  Life is grand!  And I'm the luckiest lady in the world!!!