Thankful

November is half way over and I’m just getting around to a “thankful” post…

I am thankful for my family.  They’re my faves!

Sean, my favorite person to be around.  (and yes, precious children, that means we need a minute to have a conversation without you sometimes!)  There are no meaningless conversations with him….he’s always soul searching and I love it. And he makes me laugh!

Caleb, Sean’s mini me.  His creativity and sensitivity are awesome and he’s just a great kid to be around, 13 and all. He loves Jacob and Julianna and has some great dance moves. (probably got those from his Dad….)

Jacob, my baby boy.  Oh, how I love his quirks! He has turned into an amazing big brother and keeps us laughing.  He is my time keeper and built in alarm clock.

Julianna, our beautiful, rambunctious one. She loves life and having fun.  Life is not boring around here!

“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” ~ Guillaume Apollinaire

How Time Flies!

Miss Julianna has been home for 1 year!  It’s hard to believe……sometimes it seems like just yesterday and sometimes it seems like she’s been here forever.  She’s such a huge part of our family.

She LOVES to play school and mama.  She likes to wear our shoes, carry my purse, tell us what to do and take care of her babies. She’s a girly girl who also likes to play hard and get dirty.  Bows and cleats….

She has become a lot more affectionate and secure in the past few months.  It has been a year of adjustment and grieving for her.  So many new experiences and people to get used to, all the while missing her familiar.  New situations can still cause anxiety for her.  Korea is still part of our conversations and we hope to keep her very connected to her birth culture.   Some have asked if she knows she’s adopted or if we want to keep her language, etc.  We would LOVE to expose her to more Korean culture, but it’s hard here in Mississippi:)  The diversity is, shall we say, a bit lacking in our community.  While we’re on that subject, if you see people of different ethnicities in the community, be polite and nice.  Reach out to them.  Be patient with them.  Moving to a new culture is hard.  Learning a new language is hard.  Fitting in to new social situations is hard.  Making friends is hard.  All of this is hard enough when you are from the same country and move to a new area, but when absolutely everything is new, it’s especially difficult. Don’t be afraid to interact with people who are not the same as you!! (that really applies to anyone, not just immigrants) Just a little PSA for you!   Back to adoption talk……yes, she knows and it’s totally okay with us that she realizes she’s adopted.  What good would it do to keep that a secret?   We know it will bring questions along the way and we’ll deal with them as they come up.  We will speak positively about her birth mother and father, we won’t act like they don’t exist…..we will speak highly of her culture and not ever act like she isn’t Korean.  She has people in Korea who love her and we love that!   And remember, she’s almost 5 and super perceptive, so there’s no secret keeping from her!

Julianna is our strong, feisty, super smart and charming little girl!  She is compassionate and loving.  The boys love having her as a sister and think she does no wrong.  (well, almost nothing wrong)  We love her to pieces!

 

It’s Fall, Y’all!

Once again, time has gotten away and this blog is, “sadly”, being neglected.

While I do love summer, I’m glad it’s finally fall.  I love fall-ish stuff.  Pumpkins and football weather, soccer season and boots.  The J’s are both enjoying soccer.  We usually hit the doughnut shop afterwards, so that’s always a highlight for everyone.  The Korean owner calls Julianna by her Korean name, so that’s fun.  We have mixed feelings about Julianna losing her Korean heritage.  Obviously, we’re glad she’s learning English and adjusting to our family but…..she is Korean.  Anyway, maybe culture/language classes are to come.

Jacob is in 5th grade and doing really well.  He said he’s really surprised at how much he’s already learning in 5th grade:)  He’s so funny!  Caleb is enjoying 8th grade and Julianna is coming right along in her preschool class.  She’ll start speech therapy soon, so we’re excited about that.   I’m LOVING my teaching job and Sean’s still traveling a lot, so now you know everything!

Our family stays realllllly busy, just like yours, I’m sure!  Life is racing along and we’re trying not to miss too much along the way and enjoy every minute of it! Because, why not?

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“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”

Time Flies!

Keeping up with blogging has taken a backseat to life as a family of 5! Three kids have turned out to be way more than 2!:) Julianna has been home for 9 months. Her language has improved so much lately….she’s doing well in her new preschool class and is as energetic as ever. So much energy!
The boys changed schools this year. Caleb really likes it (8th grade!?!) and Jacob is warming up to his new class/teacher. He does like being right next door to me, though, so that helps. Speaking of me, I have never been more exhausted as I was Friday evening! So tired!! I already love my kids but I’m not gonna lie….it’s hard work. Hard and fun!
Nothing else to say so I’ll post a few summer pics.

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It’s Summer ’14!

Why has it been so long since I’ve updated this blog?? Here’s what’s new….Julianna is cuter than ever, Jacob is going into 5th grade at a new school and is nervous, Caleb is ready for 8th grade (at the same school where I’ll be teaching) and I finished my last day at NICS today. (It’s been 6 years!!)
We’ve been to the DAC, Sky Zone, seen family….you know, typical summery stuff.
Pics–just for you!

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We’re heading to Six Flags next week! Summer’s going by sooo fast! We’re having fun– hope you are, too!

Overdue Update

It’s Spring!! Yippee!!
Lately, we’ve been enjoying the pretty weather, riding bikes and tricycles, playing baseball, and counting down to summer.
Julianna enjoyed her first Easter at home. Egg hunts, candy and a pretty dress….she loved it all.
Julianna has been home for 5 1/2 months— kinda crazy! She’s doing really well, her English is coming right along and she’s as feisty as ever! She fits right in with the family and the boys still love her to death:)

A few quick pics—

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Happy Spring!

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…

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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!

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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!