Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Full Circle

Do you ever have so much going on that you feel like you have nothing to blog about?  Between open houses, football practice and games, band, etc...we have been busy!  It has struck me just how much I missed last year being in China.  I felt like I never caught up and I'm sure I was right!  Even though I've been busy, though, I'm pretty sure it's nothing you'd be interested in reading about!

We do have something exciting happening next week, however!  The girls will be back in school!  I cannot tell you how ready the three of us are.  Since the boys have gone back to school, the girls are constantly asking about their school.  Thankfully, the countdown is on!  We went to their classroom today to "meet" their teacher.  This is where the "full circle" comes in.

Here are the girls and Mrs. Abadie:

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And here is Mrs. Abadie with Cade when he was 4! August 2012-9013

 I'm sure if you've watched the news, you know that tomorrow is the 7th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. That means that today is the 7 year anniversary of my grandmother's death, and 6 days from now is the 7 year anniversary of our house fire. I went through my pictures to find one of Cade and Mrs. Abadie and saw these:

 On the porch, watching the wind from Katrina. August 2012-9012

the aftermath: August 2012-9010

and our big aftermath: August 2012-9014

 I wasn't planning to post about hurricanes and fires, but since everyone is home from school today because of our impending Hurricane Issac, it's kind of on my mind :)

 I can't believe how much has happened in 7 years!!! Hopefully, I won't have any exciting pictures to share with you of Hurricane Issac. I'm not expecting it to be a huge deal, but I do think our electricity might be out for a while :( ugh!!!

I am happy to have a couple days with no school, football or baseball to try to get things caught up!!  I just made a big batch of chocolate chip cookies, so we're ready for the storm!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sweet Aunt Bea

This is my Aunt Bea. Actually, she's my great aunt so that makes her the girls' SUPER great aunt :) She is 87 years old and has been a faithful follower of my blog and facebook since we traveled for Wesleigh.

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She lives about an hour away, and we were so blessed to get to visit her Monday.  She had met Wesleigh once before but was so thrilled to meet Gracie also.  We had a great visit and my girls love her.  Wesleigh keeps talking about her friend, Aunt Bea :)  She also says "I like Aunt Bea...she so cute!"  lol...

We love you, Aunt Bea!  See you soon!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Snapshot

I thought I'd join in the fun this week.  I think this is the photo of the week for me :)  Celebrating one year with our precious Gracie Joy!

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I posted more pics from this shoot earlier in the week, but chose this as my favorite because I think it captures both her natural beauty and her personality. I think these are the first photos I have taken with her hair down and I love it!

 This shot was taken with my Nikon d700. I used my 50mm f/1.4 lens. My settings were: ISO 200, f/2.2, and shutter was 1/125. It was edited in CS5.1 with Florabella's classic work flow set. I used classic film and rosy cream.
Ni Hao Yall

Friday, August 17, 2012


I have been planning on putting the girls in gymnastics since we met Miss Gracie in China!  To say this girl is made for the gym is putting it mildly :)  Wesleigh is not as coordinated and flexible as Gracie, partly due to her Spina Bifida, but she loved every second of it and I think this is going to be great to strengthen her!

They actually went last week, but due to Bryce's birthday, license, party, etc....I'm a little late posting.

Seriously?? How cute are they in these leotards?? August 2012-8748

Yes...Gracie was the life of the party. Honestly, I cringed through most of it because she was all over the place! I'm sure it will get better... right???? August 2012-8752

As brave and fearless as Gracie seems to be, she is very timid to take risks sometimes.  It makes me laugh, and I haven't quite figured her completely out yet.  Watch this sequence:
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She is so strong and has a death grip with her foot.  It took quite a while to get her to let go and flip.
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Then she grabs onto the teacher's leg and would not let go!
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Wesleigh, on the other hand, is not as strong physically, but it willing to take more risks.  Now that I'm typing, I think it's a trust issue.  When Gracie has to rely on someone else to catch her or support her, she's more nervous.  When it's a situation where she's dependent on herself (such as jumping from my coffee table to the sofa), she flies without any problem.  How about that...epiphany!! :)
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Again, Wesleigh loved this and fell into the pit without any problem.  Gracie wanted to love it, but didn't want to let go :)  She finally did though!
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I know I posted too many pics, but it's so hard for me to leave any out.  I want to remember it all!!!  I know their interests will separate at some point, but for right now, they both love EVERYTHING!  Some of you asked if they are doing dance again...YES!!  There is no way I would miss that!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

One Year Ago Today...

We met this little firecracker!

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What a difference a year makes!! 2012-08-15

I can't believe it's only been a year.  I looked back at my Gotcha Day post last night and sat with my jaw hanging open.  She has grown so much.  Gracie was different than Wesleigh in that she was not developmentally behind.  She also transitioned super fast.  That first day in Walmart...she saw Sam (our guide) run into something, and started laughing.  She never looked back after that.  What a strong, resilient spirit this one has!!! God has definitely ordered her steps and destined her for something great. I'm just trying to hang onto her coat tails!! :)

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Gracie has brought this house to a whole other level I didn't know existed.  She keeps all of us on our toes, and has brought some amazing characteristics out in Wesleigh.  She has forced Wesleigh to be more assertive and outgoing, and Wesleigh teaches Gracie that there are times to calm down and how to be a good listener.  I think they were exactly what each other needed!  They are sisters through and through!  It has been fun to watch their relationship blossom.

August (5 of 14)sweetness

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I took Gracie out last night for a last minute photo shoot.  She is such a good model sometimes and was loving it yesterday!  I didn't have the time to put her hair up, so we decided to leave it down.  I love it!!  (You know I can't post just one!)

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Happy Gracie Day to my sweet girl!!  We are so thrilled you are with us!!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

That Didn't Take Long...

So...Bryce has had his license since Tuesday, and driven to school two days.  In that amount of time, we've already dealt with some attitude that is not quite like him.  That little piece of plastic left him feeling quite entitled, so we've had to work on that.

Miraculously, after school yesterday, he was the most pleasant person.  I was so happy to see that my rational boy had returned.  Shortly after he got home, I understood why:

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While picking up a friend in the neighborhood for school, Bryce backed into the mailbox across the street!!! He didn't realize he had caused damage to his truck until he got out of school. He now has to pay to get the light repaired and also has to talk to the owner of the mailbox.  I think it's such a God thing! Something to knock him off his high horse and remind him that he hasn't really arrived.

 His truck is hard to back up in. I actually crunched a parked car a couple of years ago in it :( It just takes some getting used to. I am thankful that God chose to teach some valuable lessons in a harmless way!

 We were all able to laugh about it. We don't really get worked up about little things about that. If his attitude had not been apologetic and humble, it would have been a different story.

 I can tell you one thing though....he will NEVER live it down!!!!  Some of my funniest stories growing up are car stories of me and my brothers.  I still laugh out loud thinking of them.  This is why my kiddos will never drive brand new cars!  This story would not have been funny if his car was brand new.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back to School

Well...the boys went back to school today!  It's early, but they also get out earlier than most people in May which is good.  They were all excited to go back.  Braden has been at a different school the past two years, so I know he was excited to see old friends.  Cade is thrilled to be in Jr. High, and a little nervous to be at a new school where he doesn't know the teachers.  I am happy that they are back in the same place for a year :)

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(Braden even fixed his hair this morning! He made sure to let me know that he only cared because it was the first day. Tomorrow, all bets are off! lol....) August 2012-8840

Notice Cade's socks and shoes.  He is not one for following the crowd.  He likes to do things his own way (and most times, people follow his lead)  I love that!!!
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 Bryce is excited to go back...mainly because he now gets to drive himself. I have to say...that little piece of plastic seems to have gone to his head! He has become quite, what's a nice word to use... annoying!! It's only been 2 days and he's already gotten very upset at me for not letting him run the roads whenever he wants. (He doesn't read my blog so I can write this!!! lol...) I suppose he's testing his boundaries, but it has left me with my mouth hanging open a couple of times. IT's ONLY BEEN TWO DAYS!! This morning, we were all getting ready for school, I look our the window and see Bryce backing out of the driveway!! He didn't even say goodbye!!! He so should have known better because I ran him down, made him get out and take this picture!!!

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I can't look at it without laughing out loud! So funny...and such good revenge for his stinky attitude! I can't even tell you how mad I would have been if I hadn't caught him though!! Here's another, just for good measure!

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HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I'm still laughing!!!

Here's to a great school year!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Happy 16th Birthday Bryce!

WOW!!  That was fast!  0 to 16 in about 3 days flat!!  How does that happen?

I'm pretty sure it was just yesterday that this was Bryce:

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Bryce has always been infatuated with anything on wheels (He even wants to be a pilot "when he grows up").  His favorite childhood toys were hot wheels and a roads mat.  If I had a nickel for every time I was asked to "pay roads"...  Years ago, in a former life, I used to scrapbook.  (I quit after our fire and I lost most of them)  This one survived and today...that makes me very happy :)

August 2012-8735 (notice the spare truck in the back!)

Now look at my baby boy: August 2012-8737 Finally has his own "real" wheels. This was Richard's old truck. It has a ton of miles on it, and is perfect for Bryce's first vehicle. He is so proud.

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We had a party for him, which was originally just going to be family. Then we realized that he had band practice from 6:00-8:00. I told him he could ask some of his friends to come over and eat cake if he'd like.... August 2012-8791

Yep...just a few!!! lol...  (there are about 10 of these boys upstairs sleeping now!)August 2012-8796

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I'm just realizing that I have NO pics of family!!  It was a little overwhelming!

These two would never admit it, but they were super excited for Bryce. This was their way of expressing that :)
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They actually came to me in the middle of the chaos and asked if I approved. Of course I did! Had it not been so crazy, I would have taught them how to do a better job than that!!! I've rolled a few houses/cars in my day!!! :)

Bryce, I am so proud of the man you are becoming, and so proud to call you my son.  You have amazing gifts that God has given you and am so excited that I have a front row seat to see how He uses those gifts in the future!
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