Thursday, October 28, 2010

Valerie had her picture taken at Sears yesterday. She acted so funny. She kept asking the photographer if she was going to give her a shot. I finally convinced her that it was not a doctor's office and there would be no shots! There's a link to the pictures below. I think they're pretty cute. Valerie was very interested in all the props and stuff in the studio but not so interested in having her picture made. After each pose, she would ask, "You done? You done now?" She still doesn't smile naturally for pictures, just gives that big fake cheesy grin, but we got her tickled a few times with a good result.

It's really true that you just don't take as many pictures of your second child as you did of your first. I took a picture of everything Blaine did for the first couple of years of his life! This is only the second time I've taken Valerie to have a professional picture done.

Just click below. Isn't she gorgeous?

Pumpkin Carving

Monday night about bedtime the kids started begging to carve a pumpkin. Temporary insanity set in and I said, "Sure, lets do it!" It wouldn't have taken that long but the kids didn't want me to help. They wanted to do it all by themselves. Blaine even drew the design and did ALL the cutting himself.

It was one tall pumpkin!

Scooping out the seeds and slime!

Carving Away!

The spooky finished product!

We stood on the front porch and admired our work. The kids had so much fun that the late bedtime was worth it!

Monday, September 27, 2010

It's been forever!

Life has been a whirlwind and blogging has not been something I've had time for. I miss it! As I read back through our story of adopting Valerie, there are so many things written there that I know I would never remember if I hadn't written them down. I'm so glad I have that! I want to get back to blogging, not daily, but at least hitting the highlights.

Todd is now the president of Tejas Bank, a brand new bank here in town. They opened in March 2010 in a temporary location and will move into their gorgeous, brand new bank on October 4! I am so proud of him and all his hard work. Lots of blood, sweat, and tears went into this venture but it has paid off nicely. He also stays busy on the ranch and being a wonderful daddy and husband.

I worked last year as a 5th grade teacher. I loved it but I missed out on way too much with my own kiddos. Teaching is a very time-consuming job. I'm staying home this year and love having more time to be with my precious kiddos! I was diagnosed last year with rheumatoid arthritis. This was a big blow to me and I had a really hard time accepting it. I'm responding well to the medications now and am not having too much pain.

Blaine is 8 and in 3rd grade. He is getting so big and handsome! He likes riding his bike, shooting his BB gun, and doing all sorts of boy things! His latest passion is working with the 2 steers he has entered in the county stock show next February. He feeds them every morning before school and in the evenings he brushes them, walks them, and feeds them. He loves it and is doing a great job with them! He shot two dove on his first dove hunt this season! Blaine asked Jesus to be his Savior and was baptized last spring! He is growing up way too fast. What happened to my baby boy?

Valerie is growing like a weed! She just turned 4 and is a beautiful little girl. She goes to Children's Day Out twice a week and loves it! Valerie knows no strangers. She wants to visit with everyone. She goes to dance class once a week as well as speech therapy. Her speech is very much improved! I rarely think about her being adopted anymore - she's just our little girl. Valerie is very coordinated and has little muscles all over. We may have an athlete! She has strong emotions. When she's happy, she's very happy! When she's upset, she's very upset! Drama queen!

We are very blessed in every way! Hopefully I'll update again real soon!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Family Reunion

We had the best time last weekend at the first ever Family Reunion for my Mom's family. It was in Weatherford at the Texas Star Ranch, which is a beautiful place. Almost everyone was able to make it and it was so fun to see all my aunts, uncles, and cousins; hear about their lives, and see their children! We got to swim, play games, eat, visit, and eat and visit some more. The kids had a ball and were exhausted by the time the weekend was over.

My brother, Bryan and me

Valerie and Corey, just a swingin'

Blaine and Valerie hanging out with cousins

Dad and Mom

My sister, Ginger and me

These are some of the pictures Ginger sent me. I don't know why two are smaller. I have some more good ones on my camera so maybe I'll post more later.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Fabulous Year!

I can't believe it's been a full year since this little girl became ours forever. And what a fabulous year it has been! Our friend and fellow adoptive parent, Catherine sent us this picture of Valerie on her "Gotcha Day". This is a picture of her on June 5, 2008 in the Baby Home. Her groupa had been outside playing and this caregiver brought her in so we could change her clothes and take her with us forever. Valerie had no idea just how much her life was about to change. And to be quite honest, neither did we! In one year she has adapted beautifully to a new country, new home, new family, new language, and new foods. Her progress has been amazing! Looking at this picture brings back so many memories and emotions. I was head over heels in love with this baby at this time last year but over the past year that love has grown and grown. What would we ever do without her? We are so very blessed!
Here she is one year later, 7 inches taller, 10 lbs heavier, and full of personality. She is totally uncooperative about taking pictures, but so very cute!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

This week 1 year ago...

We were in Khabarovsk, Russia!at Baby Home #2

meeting this beautiful baby girl

playing on the floor

getting to know each other

and falling in love!

These moments are so etched in my memory they seem like yesterday! We had such wonderful visits with Valerie for 5 days. The joy of meeting our daughter and the pain of leaving her there to come home and wait for a court date made for a very emotional week! Now she has officially been ours for 9 months!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Valerie has a really cool battery operated Dora toothbrush. She loves it and loves to walk around the house brushing her teeth. Yesterday, I caught her brushing Champ, our dog's teeth with it. She had his lips pulled way back in a painful looking way and was going to town on his teeth with her Dora toothbrush buzzing away. Yuck! Champ just sat there looking pleasant, maybe he was enjoying the bubble gum flavored toothpaste she had generously applied. I yelled at her, "STOP! NO, NO, DON'T EVER BRUSH THE DOG'S TEETH WITH YOUR TOOTHBRUSH! YUCKY, YUCKY!" She just gave me a look that said "what's the big deal?" I've seen that look before on the face of one of my first graders that I caught drinking out of my water cup on my desk. When I got on to him, he just shrugged and said, "I do it all the time." Eeeww!