Toddlers and Teens, Etc.

Today is the 3 month home mark!  Julianna is doing so well, learning English like crazy and bringing us lots of laughs.  She has a great sense of humor and likes to boss everyone around.

Funny things Julianna says/does…..

She calls napkins “dungies”, she says “take it to me” instead of give…she holds out her “noooooo” like a champ.  She pretended her single piece of popcorn was a baby going to sleep and had it wave to us.  She screams “BLESS YOOUUU!!” everytime you cough or sneeze. She was fussing at me, but couldn’t think of what to say so she just pointed at me and said, “YOU!!!” I knew what she meant;)

The boys still think she hung the moon, so she gets away with lots of stuff, but it’s okay.  She is really cute.

Caleb turns….ahem….13 this Friday.  I’m not sure if I can accept that.

Jacob told me this week that he wants a school transfer because his class missed a few minutes of recess.

Sean comes home Thursday. I’m throwing a party. It will just be him and the kids there, so I think they’ll have a lot of fun!

Week At A Glance

This week flew by. Julianna had her 2nd week of preschool and is doing really well. She’s picking up English quickly. (And she talks nonstop!) She also turned 4 this week.
Jacob was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society. We are very proud of him! He works really hard at school. All 3 kiddos are having a great school year.
So, here are a few pics…





That sums it up! Busy but fun.

Embracing The New

Cannot believe it’s 2014. (I’m pretty sure I say that every year!) This has been a busy/crazy/fun/eventful year for our family. The obvious would be gaining a family member! But the boys have had a good year, too. They’re both doing well at school and have really been great with Julianna. We’ve had a lot of fun over Christmas break, mainly, just doing a lot of nothing.

Last year, I chose a word for the year. (Do you do that, too, or just me?) It was “intentional”. People say choosing a word helps you focus and prioritize your life. So, this year’s word will be “embrace.” Embrace life, embrace love, embrace others. I need to embrace the life I’ve been given and not worry about how other people choose to live. Be loving—unconditionally… to those I know and those I do not.

I’m looking forward to this year. I love watching our kids grow and learn more about themselves and how they want to live. And I love learning from them, too. I love their sense of adventure, their sense of humor, and their love of learning. All 3 of them.

Goodbye ’13 and happy 2014! May you and I embrace everything it has to offer!


Bragging And Silliness…You Know, Because It’s The Holidays!

It’s almost Christmas!! (and I’m not through shopping)  My kids are soooo excited! Jacob has asked to open a gift every day for over a week now.  Caleb and Jacob can’t wait to be out of school and are trying hard to convince us that these last few days really don’t count.  - They all had fun decorating the tree.  The boys are super sweet with Julianna–she gets so excited about everything.  She loves Christmas lights, cookies and her ornaments on the tree.  It’s a “Christendenden tree”  And, she lives in “ssippi”.  She says the cutest stuff!  One of her favorite things to say is “booger nose!”  She loves to talk and will just babble with us if any of us are talking around her.  She fits right in!

Caleb was in the spelling bee at school and came in 4th place.  He’s also in choir and is a great singer.  (if I do say so, myself…..and I do)  He said he’s not scared to sing a solo anymore–the teacher makes them:) He sang “Counting Stars” by One Republic and nailed that high note;) He’s awesome.

Jacob was invited to join the National Junior Honor Society.  We are super proud of him. He works really hard at school and has had a great year. He’s does so well with Julianna, too.  He thinks it’s hilarious that he can be a big and little brother at the same time.  LOVE him.

IMG_1558 IMG_2538Awww, isn’t she cute?? Julianna, not me.

And I’m just telling you that this picture, along with the book about angels I got for Christmas really tells the truth about me.  The secret’s out….

Disclaimer: I do not really think I’m an angel. Nor do I believe that I could wear wings that big.

Merry Christmas, everyone! Eat a lot, enjoy giving and receiving and spending time doing whatever makes you happy!


Grace, Grace, Grace

First, read this short blog post by Donald Miller……..

This resonated with me.  For various reasons, I tend to carry junk with me.  Some of it is mine, some of it is not, but I still hang on to it.  Or, it hangs on me, weighing me down, keeping me second guessing myself, my purpose, my passions.  Time to stop it.  (past time, actually)

Okay, next……this Dr. Seuss excerpt is a good follow up to the Donald Miller post!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.  And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

I picked a word for 2013 about 11 months ago… was “intentional.”  I reread that post and was reminded that I don’t extend grace to myself easily.  I’m not sure why, but I plan on continually working on that.  I definitely don’t want my kids to think that’s okay… be hard on yourself, to think that you couldn’t possibly make a difference in the world, to  carry junk around for years that doesn’t even matter and never did, to think that God could love you less.  Don’t ever think that God could love you less.


Happy Thanksgiving!

It is freezing in Mississippi! We’re bundled up like eskimos and I’m holding out for Sean to make the coffee.

My sweet Jacob turns 10 tomorrow!  He is sooo excited and has been asking to open presents all weekend.  We asked him what he wanted for his birthday dinner and he said either Chick Fil A or chicken noodle soup at home.  He’s so demanding!

Julianna is doing really well.  She’s settling into the family and calls herself the baby.

Caleb is dying for Thanksgiving dinner.  I think it’s his favorite holiday because of the food;) He was so happy they had Thanksgiving lunch at school twice last week. He even had extra helpings since a lot of his friends don’t like school lunch;) Thankfully, he’s the least picky eater in the house!

I would update you on me or Sean but I know you don’t really care….I mean, you probably do, but…nahhhh–you don’t.

We had pictures made Saturday and they turned out really good, despite the freezing cold wind! Here’s a sneak peek…

IMG_6802IMG_6808 Awwww, they are so cute!


A little more about Julianna…..

She is a very funny little girl, lots of personality, a daredevil, loves to play with her stroller and her kitchen, very independent, very strong willed, is picking up English quickly,  loves her brothers and likes to yell for them across the house, prefers chopstick to forks, is a good eater, sleeps well and is quite the girly girl.  She likes to help do chores, like wiping off the table, throwing things away, folding clothes, etc.  She thinks she’s grown.;) She does not like being told no. :)  She imitates us and it’s hilarious. She’s great at mimicking facial expressions.

The boys are doing soooo well with her.  Jacob did get mad when I called her “J” because that’s his nickname and how’s he supposed to know who I’m talking to if I call her that!?!   Oops. Good point, J.   Caleb caters to her, which she loves. He gives her piggy back rides and plays with her a lot, so he’s probably the favorite right now:)

For those who like to know about actual adoption stuff, she is adjusting really well.  She comes to me for comfort when she’s hurt or upset and if she needs something. She loves her Daddy and knows he’ll spin her around or play rough with her and she loves it.  We’re having fewer meltdowns everyday and she seems really comfortable.  She let Caleb push her in the stroller but was concerned that I wasn’t coming, so I stood on the porch and she was fine.  She’s pretty social, but seems to know that we are her family and she sticks close to us when other people are around.

Home Sweet Home!

I had good intentions. I was going to blog while in Korea and keep everyone updated.  But,   I did not. I’m a big liar–sorry.

Our trip was good and a bit of a whirlwind. We enjoyed some sight seeing, new food and the first days as a family of 5. As you can imagine, we had a scared little girl, but she was trying hard to be brave.  The boys were such a  big help. They were able to play with her and make her feel more comfortable.  The flight back was good, with a few meltdowns along the way, but nothing some shrimp crackers couldn’t fix!

We are doing really well.  Julianna is finding her place in the family and the boys are loving her.  Everyone knows that Jacob needs routine and people have asked how he is doing.  He did great on the trip and is excited about having his sister home.  It can be a little trying for him since she’s loud when he’s talking to us and he hates being interrupted! She’s still getting over jet lag, so our schedule is a little off still.  He’s learning to be a big bro and he’s doing a great job.  But overall, it’s just a matter of everyone getting used to everyone.  Caleb loves playing with her and is a great big brother, which we already knew.

More about Julianna…..

She is stubborn and funny, smart and a major copycat.  She mimics us like crazy and it’s hilarious.  She sticks her bottom lip out when she’s acting like Sean and Caleb and makes dramatic faces when she’s acting like me.    She’s adjusting well, sleeps well, eats well and is picking up English like a pro.  Overall, she’s a pretty typical 3 year old, which means, I’m tired!  We’ve had the normal behaviors that come with being brought into a new family that doesn’t speak your language, that looks and smells different, etc.  After the first few days with us, she settled in a lot better and seems more comfortable.  We see her personality come out more every day and she’s a little firecracker.  She LOVES her stroller and her baby doll stroller. She pushes them around all day and thinks it’s hilarious when she sits in hers and tries to walk herself around in it.  She loves to laugh and be silly, loves to fall down and roll around on the floor and she has the art of fake crying down pat!

So there ya go.  Thanks for all of the prayers and sweet words during this crazy long process. Thank you for all of the gifts and cards and balloons and the “welcome home” well wishes!    She is home and we couldn’t be happier!

Foggy Tuesday In Seoul

We landed in Seoul Monday night after an easy flight. Just disregard the whole 15 hour flight time. The boys were super excited, the food was good, there were movies, and we were all seated together.
We ate fast food last night at Lotteria. (Maybe??) Sort of like McD’s, but with a Korean twist, like fried squid rings instead of fries! You know, like onion rings!;) Caleb was the only one who ordered that. He also was dying for street food, so we bought these fish cakes. They’re sweet, filled with red bean paste.
Jacob wanted one but couldn’t get past that filling! Who knows why they are fish shaped?! 20131029-063704.jpg



It’s Tuesday morning here. We’ve all been awake for hours except Caleb. Which means he’ll be the only one worth anything later today.
We heard Miss J is having a going away party this afternoon! We’ll pick her up tomorrow, so let the praying begin! Or kick into overdrive. Caleb and Jacob are so ready for her to be with us!
We’re planning on going to Lotte World today and probably a little sightseeing. Right now, I’m just ready for breakfast since I’ve been up since 4. There’s a Starbucks closeby, but it doesn’t open until 10! (We do have a 7 11 at the bottom of our hotel, though.)