Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Resurrection Day

HE IS RISEN!

I'm not sure when the shift happened,...a year or so...maybe 2 years ago? Anyway, Rob and I decided that we were going to gradually pull our kids away from the mainstream hype of the Easter traditions with GOBS of candy and forgetting the real meaning behind Easter. In fact, we've stopped using 'Easter' and began using 'Resurrection Day' instead. Because, for us, that IS the real meaning behind this day. Its not about the Easter bunny or Cadbery eggs (although they've my favorite for as long as I can remember) or egg hunts. Its about Jesus and his magnificent work on the Cross. The last couple of years Rob and I have also made an appoint to watch The Passion Of the Christ as well. This year we watched it on Good Friday and each year, this movie hits me at different points and in different ways. Last year was a sob fest. This year I saw particular parts deep in my gut as I watched from almost a mom-perspective. Regardless of where I am in my relationship with Jesus, this reminder of how much He loved all of us, is overwhelming and completely humbling. Now, I know the different opinions on this movie, but the fact still remains that this movie is a really good representation of this event. I was listening to a sermon and the speaker mentioned that they had wished that there was a way that this movie had portrayed the grace more, but that it still held the reverence. I agree. The love and grace that Jesus had...it's impossible to really wrap our minds around what He did and WHY. Makes me all teary thinking about this and the depth of sacrifice and love. WOW. So the idea that my children would be more influenced by a stupid rabbit and finding candy-filled eggs as opposed to embracing the Love Christ showed for them....oh my gosh, tear my hair out of my head. Just not okay with me. Don't get me wrong, we allowed our children to be spoiled by grandma and grandpa and the fun activity of finding eggs, but we read the story of Jesus and make sure every year that our kids KNOW why Easter is so important. I want to clarify that I'm not writing this because I'm a super Christian or have an agenda to ram what we believe down anyone's throat...it has been a real conviction for both Rob and for me. And its hard not to follow the crowd because the easter bunny is 'just for fun.' The struggle I have is not that it is fun to do a sugar rush activity~ it's that life isn't about 'fun,' it's so much more than that and I'd feel like I had done my children a horrific disservice by not guiding them back to the Savior that loved them so much that He died and ROSE again, so they could have eternal life in God.

With all that said, we took a few pictures of the day






We even got to spend the day with one of my best friends. 






 And even though Rob wasn't feeling entirely 'photogenic' (SHOCKER), I still got a few good ones.




My mom even got in on her very first selfie duck-face...it was a lot of fun. LOL


HE IS RISEN INDEED!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Whoops, I Did It Again...

I keep forgetting that I need to keep going with latest and greatest moments in our household. I think its because I have 4 small children that keep me busy enough that if I don't stay focused, whatever task I had set out to do gets forgotten. Oh well, so with that, I wanted to congratulate and praise my two girls. To their daddy & me, they are Nobel Peace Prize WINNERS. They are completely amazing little girls that give so generously with something they have an abundance of: HAIR!!!
That's correct, their hair! A few years ago, my girls had seen a few of their friends come into school and since I'm friends with these moms, I had asked where their daughter's hair had vanished to. Locks of Love was the word around the halls. So my girls had wanted to cut their hair and asked what Locks of Love was and so we looked it up online. Now, 8 years ago I had donated 17inches to LOL also and it was such a rewarding experience. (Rob had a conniption and heart attack when I walked in with a pixie hair cut...I can laugh now, but I think I may have cried at one point because I'd never cut more than 2 inches off my hair prior to this cut.) I think I'll eventually do it again. So I was very familiar with the organization and felt very good about the girls looking at this organization as a worthy cause. We picked a date and time and the girls chopped their hair for 'little kids with cancer.' (for a quick glance back, click on this link! Goldylocks and a Whole lotta Hair)

It has grown out A LOT since then, and even though people tried to warn us that their hair wouldn't grow back curly or it would somehow grow back tainted (SUCH ridiculousness!!!), it's absolutely as beautiful now as it ever was...if not even curlier than before. But we were again at a point where it was becoming a lot to handle and for some odd reason, they didn't want mom coming in to comb out their ever increasing rat-filled wet locks. And because it was SO long and SO thick for Isannah, it was absolutely unmanageable for her little arms. You can see how long their hair was! Isannah has very thick, heavy hair. Natty's hair is just as long, but much finer and doesn't seem to knot up the way Isannah's does. But still, its a scream fest whenever I have to go in with a comb and untangle the mess.



Isannah was the first to decide that she wanted to donate her hair again. We live in a different town now, and while I LOVED Christy, it would be a significant hike to go up there again. But looking back, we may have to make an appointment because Christy just rocks. It was about 12 hours after Nan's haircut that big sis decided that she also wanted in on the action. Much to her father's dismay, she chose to have a pixie haircut. Its VERY short...but with naturally curly hair like ours, a super short cut could be very BAD. I had to hold my breath because my oldest child is JUST like her mama...when she decides on something, come hell or high water, she's not backing down. Hair is one thing...it grows back...I'd rather she experience all that she wants with supervision and learning how to love her hair. It's literally JUST hair. And with locks like ours, its hard to have a bad cut every time. And it grows out relatively fast...so daddy gave the final thumbs up and we headed out to the salon for some major snipping.



 And then Natty went for it! I have to admit...this was the most hair I had ever seen my child have cut off...except for that ONE time when she was about 2yrs old, found scissors, and was quietly cutting her hair in a wedge and cutting Isannah's hair in a chunk kind of way...I was at the gym. Their father said that they were playing quietly and I said that was a dead give-away that something was NOT right. It was a bad day for the household. LOL

I'm seriously so proud of my girls. I'm not sure I would have done what they have when I was 8 and 9 years old. I find that when a child wants to give of themselves in such a generous and loving way, why would I stop them?


Oh my gosh, looking back a month or so, it's making me laugh at HOW SHORT Natty's hair was! When we got home, Rob was soon to follow and I was choking back giggles because his face was one of utter shock as well. I had been told, "Please don't let her go too short." But like I stated before, this is what Natty wanted. We looked at several 'pixie' haircuts and because of her curly mass, I had to convince her that she needed more of a Meg Ryan haircut because of the obvious~ Meg can make any haircut look super amazing and she has curly hair! And so this is what we ended up with. I think next time we may go to a salon with a little bit younger taste. However, I think she looks ADORABLE...and both of them look so grown up.

While in the midst of putting together our family book for our adoption process, I noticed the picture I posted up top on this blogpost...I miss her long hair...but I know she enjoys the freedom to take a shower without the drawn out process of doing her hair. Isannah's length is just long enough that its cute, but not as short, but still allows her the freedom to have it up and to enjoy the length without dread locks forming. Our water bills certainly display the water conservation of shorter hair! All in all, I think this will probably become the norm~ grow out hair, donate again. I LOVE this norm. It's one that REEKS of beautiful, GENEROUS hearts.

 Natty donated 17inches and Isannah donated 10inches















Tuesday, March 11, 2014

When You Least Expect It

I didn't think that I'd have much time to update my blog, but since I have a few minutes, I thought I'd encourage that one reader that is searching for something to read regarding the craziness that happens when you decide to engage in an adoption journey. Yes, its a wild roller coster ride of twists and turns, ups and downs, and you feel like you're going to throw up sometimes. But see, the cool thing is that you're completely safe, belted in with God's plan. Its when you come unbelted, mid twist, from God's plan and things get real UGLY, REAL FAST.

This time around Rob and I have been very specific in our prayers about being in the middle of God's will. When it comes down to it, the best way I can say this is: I'd much rather be on a roller coster ride IN God's will than outside of God's will. In fact, I can't think of anything more frightening. And quite frankly, the reality is is that it's not just my heart or my husband's heart that will be effected by this monumental decision...it effects EVERY single one of my kids...so four more little hearts that are waiting for instruction and discipleship from Rob and I. Timing is crucial and because we are within the three year mark, our fees are considerably less than they were with Josh. Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration...the fees for Colorado are less than they were, but unfortunately, still more than we have and require enormous faith. Its strange though, this time around, we know we are in God's will, but the rate that He answers is somewhat overwhelming! What a silly thing to say? Uhm, I beg to differ. Aren't there times that you think, alright, I'm going to pray for this particular thing and hope that God answers you within a month...preferably within a week...but then it happens in hours and it sends you reeling like...HOLY CRAP!? This is exactly what happened with us this time around.

I have felt for a few months that time was coming up to the leaping off point. But for me, I need my husband to lead in this way...so I began to pray. I prayed for timing, I prayed for direction, I prayed for the Lord to direct my husband's decisions and give him Godly wisdom. I did this specifically in a hardcore chunk on a Sunday. God answered that evening! I play the 'well, maybe that was more me than God' card and began to think...nahhh...that couldn't have possibly been an answer so soon. On Monday, our friends giving us money to cover our application fees. HUGE. And again, I play my card again and doubt God's goodness. (Don't ask me why!? I don't know...I just doubt sometimes okay!? I don't take the obvious and accept it obvious!?) We decided that we'd wait for our tax refund and see what happens to cover the biggest fees due now...huh...weird...we had more than enough. But we had to pay for a few other things and would be about $1000 short. Okay Lord, if this is the way, and we are to walk in it...I guess I better start looking for dropped money on the ground...envelop of money in the door...right?

One of our best friends had called and said, "We feel lead to back you guys 100% with where God is leading you on this adoption journey. Be watching the mail." Oh...okay, wow...thank you! All I could think was...these are very good friends and I'm so blessed that they'd feel so strongly. Its been my experience in the past that whenever anyone says, 'hey yeah! This is awesome, we support you!' its more like, crap now we feel guilty and out of obligation to the slip of the tongue, we'll send you $15 in the mail. Please hear my heart on this...any gift is wonderful and we are so very grateful, because it is a blessing... but its hard to accept when it seems more like a sympathy gift or one given out of obligation, rather than wanting to give because you really want to. These friends have NEVER made us feel this way EVER, and we actually consider them to be our family, but because I'm also not friends with Brad and Angelina Jolie, I consider a support gift to be in the range of $25-$50. Yeah...God humbled me as I sifted through the mail and found their sweet card. I opened it up and out fell a $1000 check. I almost fell to the ground weeping. Just that morning I had asked God to give me the faith to walk in His will and to rest in the Hope that He gives me because He loves me. This was almost too much to bear. Man, when God pours out blessing, He does it so lavishly...and always when you least expect it.

Which is also irritating. Why do we even entertain the idea that God would do something and we'd 'least expect it'??  I've been a christian for a long time. I've only really matured in my faith in the last 3 years. If I'm praying in faith, and I have an intimate relationship with the Lord, why would I even NOT expect the Lord not follow through? I have read that verse in Philippians 4:13 where is says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." about a million times...but it wasn't until recently that it hit me while listening to a sermon through Bethel Church. The speaker said that if this verse says that I can do ALL things through Christ and it's Christ who strengthens me...well, that means I have to be weak. I have to be weak so that Christ can strengthen me...Christ will be my strength...I have to trust him if I'm going to be weak and know that He's my strength...and I have to be weak...awe crap...I don't want to be weak!? Being weak is such a struggle for me because that means I have to build my faith and intimacy with Christ. I'll be willingly and INTENTIONALLY putting myself into  situations where I have no other option BUT to trust. That's a lot. And God put that into practice the moment we chose to follow Him down the adoption path again.

Maybe that's one reason that our adoption journey is such a faith builder...we have to be willing to be weak so that Christ can make us strong...He can be our strength. So if you are just beginning the journey or you are in the middle of one and wondering if God has forgotten...no, He hasn't. He IS your STRENGTH. And He's not about to let you forget that...so...is this when you least expect Him to show you? Awesome! Prepare to get your socks rocked!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

When God says, "be still." But your Human says, "AAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!"

So if you read my last post, you were left with a possible question: Why is preparing for another post about another Riggins a spoiler alert...wait, you thought I mean another dog...LOL! Oh yeah, no. I'm kind of puppied out.

Ah ha! You're getting a new idea huh? Another...Riggins....GASP!? YOU'RE ADOPTING AGAIN!?

YEP!!!

Interestingly, we don't feel like we have enough? Weird. 

We like to keep the crazy going. LOL Rob and I had been talking about what it'd look like when we adopt. We have plenty of house for it now, so ...okay...when Lord? This last summer the kids and I drove up to Buffalo a little early to enjoy some time with our family up there. The girls were headed to Camp Bethel, but the desperately wanted time with their cousins, so we made sure they all had plenty of time to play and have their girl time. I had brought my painting clothes so Sandy and I could attack the starving walls. During our in depth color extravaganza, I was introduced to Graham Cooke and it was in this week that my spiritual growth drank a bottle of Miracle Grow. It was AWESOME. My whole spirit just soaked up everything Graham was teaching and I heard the Lord tell me many things. One of which was that there was another child...or two...

Well, this morning I woke up and I had a worship song in my head. I LOVE when that happens! And I was praying over the day and what had just happened this weekend...knowing that the reality is...we're going to adopt another baby. It's kinda like being in the fun 'let's try for a baby stage' with 86'ing the birth control and letting God do His glory. Except this stage for adoption means A LOT of paperwork...and anticipation...and TRUST. Man, this stage is the easy part...but having gone through an adoption already makes me wonder...what will this one look like? And when I say what will this 'one' look like, I don't mean my child...I mean, what will our process look like? As with ANY pregnancy, adoption is a process and each process and journey is completely different. So what will my heart look like at the end of this? What obstacles will the Lord securely walk us through? What kind of joys and tears will be see? I keep hearing over and over, "Trust in the Lord...be still and Wait." I also heard, "Rise up on wings like eagles." I had to sit and ponder this one because I didn't understand what that verse pertained to? Rise up like eagles? Huh? Well it is in reference to the verse in Isaiah 40:31. "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will fly up on wings like eagles; they will run and not be tired; they will walk and not be weary." Rob and I HOPE in the Lord. We don't have any other option. We also WAIT on the Lord and because we are focused on Him, He will renew us. It was like a sweet, whispered promise from the Lord that we will be able to rise up, fly up, like eagles...embracing and using the winds of faith. We KNOW God's got our family in a grip of grace.

That's about all I've got for now. I will update as we go along, but it could be awhile. I've already made calls to our agency directors and basically reserving our spot at the dinner table! LOL 

I will say this: Last night, one of my very dearest of friends, and her hubby, treated my husband and I out for a double date. It was WONDERFUL. Movie and dinner...CAN'T complain! She reached over and patted my purse on the outer pocket and said, "Do you ever zip this pocket closed?" Completely clueless, I looked down and back at her and said, "Nope, I usually just have a pen and my phone in here...?" She pats it again and says, "Yeah, but it feels like you have something valuable in there, you should probably zip it up." I'm oblivious to what she's trying to say to me, mostly because I do clueless  and I do it so well. "Well, I think I stuck some napkins in there..."  "Oh my gosh, Robyn! LOL Look in your purse for crying out loud, woman!" I stuck my hand in the open pocket to find a rolled up thickness...I see it is a solid roll of $20 bills. My whole body responded and I'm blinking tears back furiously. I had only started praying for God's timing last week and Rob and I were still only in the newest stage of asking, "HOW DO WE AFFORD ANOTHER PROCESS??" I looked at her through tears and she said, "There's your application fees." I want to shake her and say, "YOU WONDERFUL, CRAZY WOMAN!" But all I can say is a chocked up, "Thank you for everything."

God is so good. This is quite possibly the next 'stream in the desert.' 

No harm No foul

Alright, so its no surprise to any of you that know me that its been almost a solid 2 months since I've blogged anything. Its been a busy couple of months and it also seems that no matter how hard I try to get my rear in gear, something happens. I'm getting really good at switching my hats throughout the days...teacher, mom, referee, financial planner, event coordinator, taxi service, counselor, maid...you get the idea, I'm sure.

2014 came in in a SWOOSH! (without the Nike) No idea where this year has already gone. Obviously, after we get Joshua's birthday out of the way, it's fair game for whatever life throws at us! It's an adventure! I love adventure. Well, what I may have forgotten to mention was that we also got 2 puppies right before Christmas. We are fazing out Santa. I know that this is a delicate subject for a lot of families. Many of our friends still incorporate Santa in...some never did...some loathe the idea of Santa taking away from the meaning of Christmas...some love it. We are somewhere in the middle. We've made it clear what we believe about Christmas being all about Jesus, but there is something magical and fun to allow our kids to believe that there is a man with his reindeer, delivering gifts. ALL that to say, we also feel our older kids are at a point where they are old enough to know about Santa...so this year, we fazed Santa out ahead of time and got puppies as a family gift. 'Gift' is the word that makes me laugh because of how our dogs came to be apart of our family. We had been thinking about getting another dog since our beloved 10yr old Boxer, Gus, was put down in Nov 2012. I was not ready for another boxer, so we considered other breeds, specifically German Shepherds. We found a FANTASTIC breeder and the pups were only $800...the problem is that we didn't really think we could spring for such an expensive endeavor and decided to hold off until we felt comfortable paying more. That's when our wonderful neighbor called us and asked me if we were still looking for a puppy. I cautiously asked what kind of puppy it was..."a Pomwawa" WHAT IS THAT!? Its a Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix...oh dear Lord, shoot me. Nah, we'll pass...well...the thing is is that the puppy is FREE. Okay, well that changes it up a bit...so I called Rob. I was choking in laughter just telling Rob, my large, manly, Marine, cop husband that we should consider this 'purse' dog. He vetoed it with flare.  Unfortunately it made the void of not having our dog seem worse and we looked at adopting a puppy because it was cheaper and we still wanted a dog. It was a couple days later that we were driving home from our friends' home and Rob asked if I was serious about considering this free puppy. I thought, okay, if the dog is still available, we'll look into it more, but if not~ no harm, no foul.

I rang up our neighbor, and sure enough, the puppy is really needing a home. So I called the lady fostering this pup and we decided to go ahead with it. That's when God introduced Lucy into our lives. She's actually considered a PomChi...and one would assume that she's a yippy, dumb purse dog...but she's not! Thankfully, she's smart and LOVES our kids. I honestly thought that she'd barely survive our household, however, she has brought so much laughter. SHE IS A SPAZ. She's about the size of a young cat, maybe 8lbs. She's not too yippy either, which has solidified her spot in the family. Lucy engages all of our kids and plays in a way that makes you forget that she's so small. Lord, have mercy, may we never have another little dog though. LOL!!! Lulu is special because we later found out that had we not taken her, she and 2 other pups would have been abandoned at 5 WEEKS old on the side of a road. NOT OKAY. (Update~ 3/20/14~ Lucy is actually NOT a Pomchi at all, she is a blonde Jack Russell Terrier.)

We had already put in our application for another puppy traveling from OK. We had been praying about this decision and felt such peace that we decided to continue on in the process. Thats when we met our next puppy, aptly renamed Rosy Riveter (thanks to Rob). She's a black cur/mastiff mix. She was 19lbs at 10 weeks old and we thought, yikes...better buy stock in dog food. (Update 3/20/14~ Rosy is looking more like a solid Black Mouth Cur...we aren't seeing any Mastiff yet.) Now she's almost 6 months and probably around 35lbs. She's SO CUTE. As you can see from the pix, she's about the happiest dog you'll meet. Her tail is constantly wagging and she is at your beck-n-call. The first couple of days she also thought she was a lap/couch dog...which had to be stopped immediately. I had never heard of a black mouth cur before, but I know the mastiff breed and they get HUGE and I'm not sharing my couch with a big dog. I've gotten plenty of crap from the family about Lucy being on the couch, but Lucy won't be more than 12lbs and is more like a cat...Rosy is going to be a tank and will do a lot of damage to my beautiful furniture! Let me also point out my CRAZY. TWO PUPPIES...that means 2x the house breaking...3 weeks before Christmas. Looking back, it could have been MUCH worse, but these two beauties decided that my most treasured room, my formal living area and FAVORITE place to have my time, was their personal poop box. WRONG~O. For the last few months, they've not been allowed anywhere but in the family room on their bed and the kitchen...everywhere else is blocked off. Just last week we took down the blockade to the stairs, but they are only allowed to be up there with supervision. It's EXHAUSTING!!!!

But the greatest news I have to date is that we are officially done with potty training. I think accidents will probably happen, however, there hasn't been any in about 3 weeks. Its wonderful. They are also crate trained and so I feel like there's a blanket of new 'normal' settling over our household. Its WONDERFUL. LOL I also think it's funny that Lucy's FAVORITE lap to be in is the man of the house...as seen here. She will enjoy any lap though because she's a lover. We laugh a lot because Lucy also gets the speeds and zings around the family room and it makes Josh angry because toys get taken in the drive-by doggy-ing. Maybe we should have named Lucy 'Swiper' instead! And Josh has little or NO tolerance for that kind of nonsense. Especially because Lucy likes to take Josh's Thomas the train items. Rosy just wants to sit and lick Josh while he's on the floor...I can understand. He's usually got food stuck to him or just looks like something that would be fun to lick. So she does. And Josh screams, "NO NO WOSY! QIT YICKING!" Or my favorite is hearing him admonish Lucy, "NO YUCY! I SAY NO NO!"


 Any way, we'll see how the grass does. I had to employ cayenne pepper to some of my flower beds...Rosy, in her finest hour of brilliance, ROLLED IN IT. She likes to chew on my bushes. This clearly doesn't work for me since we offer an assorted buffet of ANY CHEWY POSSIBLE...but these bushes seem to be the chewy of choice. It's irritating. It's in the irritating scale of when you buy your child a really expensive gift and all they really wanted was the BOX. Oh yiyi. Who thought that having 2 dogs was a good idea!? *smack my forehead* oh yeah me...Hey, I wanted my kids to have that void filled too!!!! (fine, maybe there was some selfishness involved.)

 At any rate...these are the newest Riggins additions to date. (yes, prepare...there will be more.)

HOWS THAT FOR A SPOILER ALERT!? LOL

Monday, January 6, 2014

Where Has Time Gone?

STRAIGHT OUT THE WINDOW!!!! Jeepers...
video
this was Joshua at his First Birthday!
Joshua turned 2 today. Good grief, its kind of sad and exciting all at the same time. On one hand I'm sad that my baby is getting so big, but I can't lie, 
I'm SO happy that we are in more of a toddler stage. He hit the busy stages early, even though he walked a bit later than some. He was couch surfing for a LONG time, but didn't actually let go until we moved into our new house, in July. I wonder if it's like the idea of how some of those goldfish that will grow to the size of their pond? Josh had very limited room to get moving without 3 referees stopping any sort of forward movement. Needless to say, he has a specific scream for each older sibling that pisses him off. The more 'loving' the sibling, the more ridiculous the sound. He could probably break glass if I had any wine glasses near him. YOWZERS. Its kind of funny...my dad has to turn down his hearing aids, otherwise Josh blasts him. I don't know if you've ever watched Bill Cosby Himself...there is a part in it when he describes the scenario in which an older sibling takes something away from the baby and he says that the adults leg will begin to shake and we have to seek out the sound of 'MINE! MINE' and you slap the older child upside the head and say,"Don't you hear her screaming!? Give it to her!" and the older child says,"But Daaaad, she has something that belongs to me!" and He responds saying, "She has things that belong to me too!" THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS IN MY HOUSE. Minus the slapping...its usually me yelling down the stairs to whoever is making Josh scream to give it back, whatever it is...good Lord!? *sigh* I love Bill Cosby. He says what every parent wants to say and can't, without being turned in to social services.However, one thing I've found to be true~ parenting is the hardest job you will love and hate equally...for many reasons...all at the same time.

So over the past year, I thought I'd be much better about blogging the highlights, but like many of my brilliant ideas...they never make it past my mouth or brain. Frustrating, but I will share some pictures and videos.

Walking was definitely a big deal. I was worried that I'd have to lug him around forever! LOL And this boy is HEAVY. Solid eating machine. He must be on a constant growth spurt because he can out eat his 6 year old brother. Josh is my meat kid. He will devour just about anything meaty you put in front of him...including oysters. GROSS. Our good friends joke with us about the teenage years since at a party this summer at their house, Josh mowed through 7 hotdogs...yes, SEVEN...   He is healthy and active and such a blessing.
I believe that ALL of my children are a blessing. Each one brings such joy to my life and it's been so fun to watch each stage of life. I wonder at times if I am enjoying Josh's toddlerhood a little bit more because I'm not bombarded with 2 other really little kids...and I'm glad that we are starting another adoption process when Josh is older. Its hard to imagine that not too long ago, Isannah came when Natty was only 11 months old! And then Duncan came when Isannah was just 22 months old. I was tired...A LOT...and I still am, but I have quite a bit of help. LOL

videoJosh is a RIOT. Oh my gosh...here is one we got of him just a few months ago. Whenever I'm having a grouchy moment or a sad time, I open this up and laugh with my big kids, because they think Josh is HILARIOUS.

Then there are other times that I think he's funny, but only because he's being annoyed by an older sibling and things haven't gotten too out of control yet. To say that Josh doesn't have a whole lot of patience is a bit of an understatement. He is NOT shy about letting you know that he's less than pleased. He's also very safety conscience. He MUST be buckled...in his highchair, in his carseat, at the grocery store, or any seat in general. Its kinda funny. He's such a goofball.  He loves to be the center of attention and definitely is the apple of his older brother and sister's eye. He is beginning to talk so much and it's so much fun hearing him mimic us. An avid Spiderman fan, he's quick to find ANYTHING to do with super heros.


Josh is in a train phase too. For Christmas, Rob and I got him a Thomas the Train ride along bike type thing. He had a gazillion presents under the tree, but because this bike was so big, we felt it would have been a waste of paper to wrap it and so it was the first thing he saw when he was woken up MUCH earlier than he preferred (he's more of a 930am kid and Christmas presents began at 7am~ GROUCHY BABY). So he saw 'Thomas' and that was it. I could not coerce him to even look at opening another gift and all the uncles and Grandma's coaxing ...even Grandpa's efforts to rip of wrapping paper would NOT work. He rode around on Thomas for about an hour and then after 3 massive meltdowns, we put him back to bed...and after a 3 hour nap, he still wasn't about to open gifts! He had Thomas and that was good enough. I considered keeping all the unwrapped stuff for today, but thought it would be cheating. LOL It was the true picture of contentment. He literally had 20 gifts under the tree for him...and he had the one thing that brought him sheer joy~ Thomas the Train bike.

This last year has been such a FUN year. Its been jammed with so many new adventures and wonderful memories that its strange that we are already in another one. I can't believe that my baby is already 2...just blows my mind. Reminds me that tomorrow will mark the second anniversary of getting the THE CALL. What a WILD adventure! Last night I was thinking back to the complete lack of order and the chaos of trying to 3 children ready to go so Rob and I could drive 2900 miles to get our new baby clear across the country...starting with driving through a blizzard at night. LOL Good grief! And now looking at it from this side, 2 years later...it's overwhelming to see the love of God and His extraordinary grace. 


From this 




TO this!




HAPPY 2ND BIRTHDAY JOSHUA!!!! WE LOVE YOU SO VERY MUCH!!!!