Three things

The porch turns out to be where the kids spend a lot of time when I tell them to go outside. It's outside, but just barely. I can still hear all the shrieking and laughing and yelling if I'm in the kitchen and they can make fish faces on the screen door for me. They have hammock wars on the porch and sometimes relax nicely in the hammocks too, and they eat their snacks sitting on the railing. The screen door slams about four thousand times each day. Summer, we love you.

Max went to BYU Lacrosse camp and I think his favorite part of the whole thing was wearing a helmet and pads. It automatically made lacrosse the coolest sport he's tried yet. He ended up having a great experience and has been carrying his lacrosse stick and ball with him always the last few days. He had a hard day in the middle of camp, though when he wanted to come home. The hard day happened to be the day that Taylor was able to sneak away from work to go watch Max, not knowing he was having a rough time. When Max saw Taylor he came over to the fence crying and said he wanted to go home--they talked about how he could do hard things and needed to stick with it. (good thing it was dad there, cause I maybe would have been like, "Hop in! Let go get you some ice cream") Taylor stayed and watched him for an hour and a half and then they did stop for ice cream on the way home and Max was so proud of himself for doing something hard. The fact that Taylor somehow had the time in his schedule that day to do that, when Max really needed his dad, was a miracle. It was also a reminder to me of how much my Heavenly Father loves me and loves my kids. They are His and He will help us be their parents. Good news, cause I really have no idea what I'm doing.

Last thing was this sweet family tree that Charlie wrote down in his Journal. Thankful he knows his grandmas and grandpas and knows he is part of this family who loves him. 


Birthday presents

It was a good birthday. 

Could I be any luckier? 



Last week we got our I-800 approval from USCIS in the mail (the next big step!). We weren't expecting it for another month and anytime things go faster than expected in this process it is a miracle that we are so thankful for. I think the quick turn around with that document has us feeling extra excited and urgent about the rest of the process happening as quickly as we can possibly help it happen. As my best guess, I think this puts us traveling in October and that will be the same time of year we traveled to get Simon two years ago. (feels like 5 years ago). Also, I can't believe that we will most likely have Louie here for Christmas. My heart is so anxious and grateful and hopeful. I am constantly thinking about little Louie. I am aching to hold him and have him be real to us, and then I'm at the same time thinking through him being here and planning in my mind. At the grocery store I was thinking about how when Louie is here maybe I'll wear him in the Ergo and push Simon in the cart with Georgia in tow. Or I could just go late at night when they are all in bed. 

We are keeping busy while we wait. Good thing it's summer. We found a new park we love up the canyon in the mountains we live by. It has a stream that runs through it where the kids can play and be wild. Last time we went they built dams to try and make a pool to swim in and then when that didn't work they built tiny houses out of leaves and branches. I followed Simon around because he is sneaky and fast and adventurous, until he is tired, and then he just sits and watches and sucks on his thumb. Georgia has become a nature enthusiast and spent her time watering the plants with water she brought from the stream in a paper cup. Anna built a fairy house. Max built a house for tiny dragons, and Charlie found bugs to lure the dragons there. When everyone started fighting and the magical spell was broken, I decided it was time to go and then I locked the keys in the car. We called and then waited for Taylor, who was luckily available to come save the day. So we are having summer adventures. 


Big sister

Georgia asked to borrow my phone today to take a picture of her babies because, "They were being so cute", and I just found this on my phone. They're adorable, for sure. (The princess baby collecting is a little out of control, but it's all she has really ever wanted for her birthday or Christmas or getting potty trained, etc.)

She graduated from preschool this last week, and is already missing it because I don't really have big enough plans for this girl. She has a lot of energy and a lot of determination and when she's sleeping I just want to go hold her and kiss her because when she is awake we are in constant negotiations concerning snacks or glitter glue or fingernail polish or screen time. That's why we're both really tired at bed time. I look at her though, and see her energy and strength and mothering heart and the way she doesn't give up until things feel right to her, and I think that she is perfectly placed in our family. She has one, and soon, two little brothers who need a big sister like Georgia.


What life is looking like these days

 I've missed this blog! Since I haven't posted regularly in a really long while, I thought I would give you a phone-picture update of our life, which looks kind of like this most of the time....

Play dough.

Signing Grandpa in the car in hopes that we are heading to you-know-who's house.

Eating fine cuisine. (a Gogurt) Wearing the dragon costume that we wore to school. (because we choose our battles and I chose that that one could be for the teacher. It had been a long morning.) 

Not sure what was going on here, but five happy kids and every blanket we own in one big pile.

Good morning Mom. 

Trampoline time with every ball we own in one big pile. 

After school snacks.

Climbing the staircase which is more commonly known and used as our indoor jungle gym. 

And hammock-ing--our favorite pastime of 2016.

There you have it. I love these little people.

 When I look at all these pictures of my favorite moments, it reminds me that life is pretty great and precious and that family is everything to me.

We can't wait for Louie to join in these shenanigans! We love you little boy!


Little Louie

Exciting news! We are adopting again! I want revive this blog to share our story a little with our family and friends. So here we go...

When we first brought Simon home I was pretty positive that I would never have it in me to go through another adoption process. It was hard! I was worn out emotionally from waiting and worrying and then adjusting when Simon got home. As we began to find our normal and see the changes in Simon that came from being loved by a family, though, we started thinking about adopting again. At first we thought maybe we could do it again, and then we thought we probably someday would adopt again, and then we decided we definitely wanted to do it again and that we were ready. At the end of last year, after feeling that we were ready to commit if we found a child that we felt belonged in our family, I saw a picture of this little baby boy. I felt the same way that I had when we saw Simon's picture--an ache in my heart and a whisper that this baby and our family needed each other. When I showed little Louie to Taylor, he said, "That's him! What do we need to do?" Taylor has faith and energy like Peter. When we talked to the kids they were SO excited--they talked about being big brothers and sisters again and how they would love this little boy. Anna told us not to get as stressed out about paper work this time, and Georgia told us all..."I can totally handle two little brothers." and we believe her. :) 

We are so excited. We are, I think, a little less stressed this time and even a little more excited, because we know some things to expect. We already have a perfect little son as a result of this process who has changed our family for the better and worked his way deep into our lives and hearts forever. I am so in awe at this part of the path our lives have taken. I never thought I would be a mom to two little boys from China, but I love our story so much and am thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who has a plan for each of His children. 

* What we know about our little Louie is that he turned two in January and is in mainland China. He has Down syndrome and, as you can see, is adorable. Right now we are a few months into our process and have completed our homestudy. We are currently waiting for USCIS approval from the US government and then we will submit our dossier to China. We're hoping to travel before the end of the year.