Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving school luncheon

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Lead Me Back To Home by Joe Purdy on Grooveshark

We had a great time today at a special Thanksgiving luncheon held at Noah's school.  He started a new school back in October... it's a Montessori school and thus far, it has been so wonderful for our little fella. Moving him to this new school was a tough decision for us.  The reason for the move...we found early on in the school year, he was drowning academically and emotionally at  the parochial school he had been attending since the latter part of kindergarten.  We loved the school and were impressed with his 2nd grade teacher this year.  We wanted so badly for him to have a good experience and begin to flourish in second grade.  But unfortunately, almost a month into the school year, it became glaringly apparent to both Jody and me that it wasn't working…despite all our best efforts to make it work, we were essentially as the old saying goes--trying to stuff "a square peg into a round hole".

Our poor little guy had 8 hours of school each day, then 2-hours of tutoring after school three days a week to try and keep up and... then 1-2 hours of homework each night. Additionally, he was working with a dyslexia therapist each week to try to help him work on strategies to be successful in the classroom.  It was just too much for him.  He was completely overwhelmed and literally began to hate school.  Given the fact that it was a private school, there were no accommodations or additional assistance available for his ADHD and dyslexia.

And so, after much thought and prayer (and tears, too--both his and mine)...we decided it best that we withdraw him and enroll him in a Montessori  program mid semester. The Montessori approach and methodology-- thus far-- seems to be a better fit for him and his learning style.  We still have a long ways to go to get him caught up …and since our plan is to move out of the Rio Grande Valley this summer--I'm hopeful we can get him back into public schools in a better area where he can start receiving some of the services and accommodations he really needs to be successful in school.

But thankfully, in just a matter of 5-weeks since we moved him to the Montessori program, we've seen his anxiety and frustration level go down tremendously and he's actually excited about getting up in the mornings and going to school.  Jody and I truly feel that it has been a prayer answered.

So naturally, we were excited to go visit him today in his new classroom setting and celebrate the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday with him, his new friends and teachers.  Daddy took off work this morning so he could be there for this special occasion and Gavin and Taylor...well, they were SUPER excited to get to go hang out with "Bubba" at his school.  I think it's safe to say that they honestly think he is the coolest big brother ever and they look up to him so much.  :-)

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We really enjoyed our time today at Noah's new school.  We're so thankful for his teachers and the school administration for making this such a special event for everyone. It was nice to get to visit with some of the other parents while we were there and hear their stories of what led them to the school and helped them decide to land upon a Montessori education for their children. 

Before we all sat down to eat lunch, Noah's teacher asked each family to stand and share what they were most thankful for this holiday season. It was very touching to hear each family share all the blessings they are grateful for. My heart swelled as I listened to each of them and as I looked over and watched Noah interacting with his new friends at school...I was reminded that us being led to this new school has truly been a prayer answered.  It is something that I am so very thankful for this holiday season. We are grateful for the Lord guiding us here...and that we were able to get him enrolled mid-semester (which is usually quite difficult and sometimes impossible since private schools almost always have a waitlist).  

Yes indeed, I'm grateful every day, but especially this Thanksgiving season... for all the little (and big) prayers our Father in Heaven continues to answer for our little family. Us finding this new school and the recent news last Friday about Gavin's final adoption hearing date...they are humbling reminders to me that the Lord does hear and answer our prayers...we just have to be patient and trust in His love for us on a deeper level sometimes...and accept that He truly does know what is best for each of us and our lives.  

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday...

xo,
jennifer


Friday, November 21, 2014

Adoption update…exciting news

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Today we are celebrating little Gavin's 3rd birthday.  He is soooo excited...when I got him out of bed this morning, he exclaimed really excited, "Mommy!! My birthday!! My birthday!!"  How thankful we are to be his mommy and daddy and to be able to share this special day with him.

Our little fella got an extra special birthday gift today--something that we have been praying for now for a very, very long time.  We are thrilled to share that a final hearing date was finally set today for Gavin's adoption case…on December 10th, we are set to be in court--and barring any unforeseen procedural issues that may arise during the hearing, we should be able to finalize his adoption.

We're keeping our fingers crossed and hopeful that all will go well and we can finalize his adoption before Christmas.  Many heartfelt thanks to so many of you who have been praying for this little fella and our family throughout this process, we are truly grateful for all of your prayers!

xo,
jennifer

Monday, November 17, 2014

Two

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On the 8th of November, our precious baby girl, Taylor Elizabeth, turned 2.  It's hard to believe she's been on this earth for over two years now!!  Time seems to be flying by faster and faster now that I'm older and have children.  I don't know about you, but I clearly remember when I was a kid-- things just couldn't happen fast enough.  But now that I'm a mother--it makes me sad how quickly life seems to be flying by with my little ones.  I know I say this all the time here on my blog, but man, I sure wish I could freeze time now and keep my kiddos at this tender stage of their childhood for a little while longer.

This year for Tay-Tay's bday, we decided to do what we did with Noah on his 2nd birthday…to celebrate it at home with just our little family.  Since she's still so young and probably won't remember much about this birthday-- and most of our extended family all live about 10 hours away--we decided a small, quaint party with just our little family at home would be easier this year.  

And so, the morning of her b-day…Noah went with me to the store to pick out her birthday cake.  He insisted on us buying a fairy tale princess cake…he said it was perfect for his sissy.  It was really sweet how excited he was about it... so this is the one we came home with.  

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Noah helped me wrap and bag her gifts and then set up the birthday table…

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Before the birthday celebration and while Taylor and Gavin were napping--
Daddy and Noah put together her big birthday surprise while watching the Aggies play football.
There were pieces and parts spread everywhere.

Noah had fun playing with all of Daddy's tools.


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After the boys finished putting together her surprise…
it was time to wake the birthday girl up from her nap and start the birthday celebration.
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Noah was so excited about the birthday card he picked out for his sissy…
it's one of those musical cards and it played "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".


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Noah's gift to Taylor was this precious kitty outfit we found at Children's Place.

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Taylor got a pretty new doll and purse from KiKi and Pops…she loves them.
And some new precious outfits.

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Gavin's gift to Taylor--he picked out this pretty necklace for her which she loves...

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Pop and Janet gave her a Mrs. Potato head (she LOVES it) and some yummy M&Ms.

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Gavin, Daddy and I looked on while Noah helped Tay-Tay finish opening the rest of her gifts…
I don't know who was more excited about the gifts--Noah or Taylor. :-)

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And then it was time for her BIG SURPRISE…

Noah walked it out and Taylor squealed when she saw it.
We knew she would love it….every time we go to a bday party at Pump It Up--
she plays in the cars like this constantly so we knew this gift would be a hit.

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We had fun lighting and blowing out the candles…
and yes, I know we have way more than "2" candles for her cake,
but Noah felt that we needed more than just 2 candles--he said, "Mom, that's too boring!"
So Taylor had lots of candles to blow out for her cake this year.


It ended up being a "group effort" to get all the candles blown out.  :-)


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We all enjoyed chowing down on her yummy birthday cake…

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We had a blast celebrating our sweet baby girl's 2nd birthday…it warmed mine and Jody's heart to see how tender Noah was helping her open her presents…giving her the bday card he picked out...feeding her birthday cake…and then genuinely excited about the gifts she received and helping her open them.   He has such a big heart and is a wonderful big brother to both her and Gavin.

And sweet Gavin…he just smiled the entire time as he watched his sissy open her birthday gifts--he loves her dearly and watches out for her.  If she's getting into mischief around the house--he comes a running to grab Daddy or I to go get her.  ;-) They are so close--more like twins than your typical brother/sister relationship.  What a blessing he will be in her life for years to come.  I thank Heavenly Father every…single…day for piecing together our little family through adoption in such a tender and amazing way.   I am humbled to be their mama and to be blessed to share this journey with my daughter, sons and my amazing hubby.

Sweet baby girl…someday you'll be reading this post in one of our family blog books and I want you to know how much we love you!!  You are the most amazing little girl I have ever met…so full of life and such a little charmer with that beautiful hair and those big, blue eyes.  Your constant hugs and giggles fill my heart with such happiness. You have your Daddy wrapped around your little finger …but I think you already know that!  :-)  You are a prayer answered baby girl and such a blessing for our family...we love you with all our hearts!!

xo,
mama