Wednesday, August 10, 2011

See? They DO love each other!!

Some days, that seems debatable.  These two LOVE to argue.  About everything.  Some days, I want earplugs by 8am.  It makes me so very happy to see that they do enjoy each other, and that the sibling bond has definitely grown sooooo much this last year!

Aaaah.  Does a mama's heart good. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

This boy...

is something else.

This photo shows the mix of sweetness and attitude I get to deal with every day.  He's a lover and a fighter!! And he's nearly SIX.  Yep.  He's into counting on both hands.  I can't believe it!  Our little "I can't believe you're having another baby ALREADY" little man is almost six.  God certainly knew what he was doing when he blessed us with Benjamin.  What a joy he is!

This boy has to wait patiently for his baby brother to turn three, then he can rock his six-ness.  And rock it he will, folks.  Make no mistake about that. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I don't get it.

There are days when I just don't get it.  I have these fleeting moments - when we are having wild and crazy fun or sweet snuggles - when I look at her face, and I can't begin to understand why certain things have happened to her in the first years of her life. 

This face:

She's undeniably my daughter.  After almost a year together, we have a history. We have inside jokes, we have our little routines.  I know how she likes to be held.  How she likes to sleep.  What bow she will pick for her hair.  Every time.  I know that every time I put her in her carseat, she's going to ask me to put the music on.  I know that she likes to grab my face and blow raspberries on my cheeks with a silly little grin on her face. We have rainbow moments, she and I.

Then there are days when she drives me absolutely insane with her two-ness.  (Is that a word?  Because if it isn't, it should be.)  There are days when she is lucky to survive until bedtime... :)  We have thunderstorm moments too.  Even in those moments, I sometimes look at her and see.

The shadows of her other mother. 

The one who gave her life.  The one who gave her chunky sweet feet.  The one who gave her gorgeous pouty lips and a love for music and dance. The one who most likely gave her the stubbornness that is unequalled.  The one who should be holding her and kissing those insanely sweet cheeks and making boo-boos all better.  The one who would speak Korean to her and make sure she knows all the fun Korean kid songs. 

I see HER holding this girl.  Twirling her around to the music.  Laughing with her and kissing her face.  I see HER tucking her in at night and imagine the things she would be saying to her daughter.

I see the woman who I am forever indebted to for the life of my daughter.  The woman who I sometimes wish hadn't given her daughter up.  Because look at what she's missing.  It's huge.  This sweet girl is an amazing little person. 

Absolutely amazing. 

One day, I hope her first mother can experience the wonder of who she is.  Because this kid?  After almost one year of having her in my life, I can say with absolute certianty that she's not one to be missed. 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sprinklers. They're not just for watering the lawn.

This is what summertime is all about. 

This year, Benjamin decided he is brave enough to run right through the sprinkler.  Sweet.  He's not going to need a bath tonight.

Monkey see, monkey do.  The little guy can do it with a little help from his big bro. 

They won't need showers either. 

This goober?  Yeah.  No words. I think he's taking the "shower" concept a little too seriously.   This show came with a song as well.  For free.  The neighbors are just that lucky today.

Time to warm up in the sun.  Summer fun is tiring business if you do it right!

Now I'm off to pick up the drippy wads of clothing that are scattered everwhere.  They might not need showers, but now I need to do laundry.  Ah well.  It's so very worth it.

No Grace pics today - she was enjoying being clothing free, and we try to keep it G-Rated around here...  She will get her own post soon.  We are creeping up on a pretty important anniversary in a couple of weeks!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Finally they meet!

As we waited for Grace to come home, we were blessed to "meet" (online) another wonderful family waiting to bring their sweet girl home.  Our daughters were born just one week apart, and came home one month apart.  We have been talking about getting together for quite some time, and it finally happened!!

I wish I could say Grace just loved having another little Korean sweetie come to visit, but she wasn't that keen about having to share her toys.  She warmed up eventually, though!

It has been so wonderful getting to know another family that is in the same place in their journey as us.  We have experienced many of the same things, but have also had very different bonding experiences with our daughters.  It has been a blessing to get to know this family, and I hope we will be able to have many more chances to get together as our girls grow up. 

Aren't they cute together?
 Sweet girls!!!

Why are they looking at us?  Are we cute or something???

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Diggin' in the Dirt

The work has begun at the future home of the Circus...and it is dirty! 

(Disclaimer: the views and photos presented in this post are the views and photos of Ethan (a.k.a. Dad) and do not express the views or photographic excellence of the regular blog author (a.k.a. Shannon).  Any damage that has been done to the reputation of said blog is unintended and apologized for in advance...)
The holes are done and now it's time to go up!!

Sometimes you use the little toys...

...and sometimes you gotta use the big toys!

Sometimes you just gotta get some rest (this kid can sleep anywhere!!)

At the end of the day it's all about having fun!

Friday, May 20, 2011

The future home of The Circus!

Here it is!  The future home of The Circus!!!
(There will be no striped tents or other circus items used in the construction of the house.  I'm holding out for turrets...) 

 Nice views

 Mostly flat.  (That's harder to find in our town than you might think...)

Some funny boys mugging for the camera.  (Included in the purchase price)  James loves his Uncle Matt!

A champagne toast!*  (Because that's the last champagne we'll be able to afford for a long time.)

*Benjamin wanted to know if we were REALLY going to have champagne on our toast...

Tomorrow we will begin clearing brush where the house will sit.   Although we are excited to begin, we will probably wait until late morning to start.  We do want the neighbors to like us, after all.  Chainsaws at 7am might ruin our reputation more than a little bit.   More updates to follow - hopefully starring large machines and enormous holes in the ground. 

 Hooray!  What an exciting adventure.  We are blessed!!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bad blogger.

Pictures uploaded.  Trying to figure out video. 

Sam played his first violin recital.  Precious.  :)

We have something big and wonderful happening next Friday.  Prayers appreciated.

More miracles in the making.  Can't wait. 

We are blessed so much more than we deserve.  Thankful.

Life is busy.

Life is good.

Back soon with more words and more photos.  The kids keep getting cuter, life keeps getting better. 

Talk to you all soon!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A new dress!

Because every girl should have a twirly dress with clippies to match! 

I think she likes it!!!

Now, if summer would just hurry up so we could wear the dress somewhere BESIDES inside the house!!!


This is the way we eat Peeps...

 We stuff 'em...

 We eat way too many...

 We save some for later...

 We try to be cool like the big boys...

 We nibble...

 We decide not to eat them...

 We let them ponder their grisly fates...

 as we bite off little bits of them...

and enjoy.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tomorrow is her birthday.

Tomorrow, Grace will turn two.  It is her first birthday with her forever family, and is an occasion of major celebration!  But there are so many things that go through my mind when I think about Grace's birthday, and everything it means.

Two years ago tonight, her mother was feeling the last kicks and stretches of the baby girl in her womb.  Two years ago tonight, she was anticipating seeing the little face of her daughter.  HER DAUGHTER. 
Two years ago tonight was the last night her heart wouldn't have a Grace-shaped hole in it.

I can't help thinking of this woman tonight.  Our lives are forever linked in the life of our daughter - Grace YeoJin.  I wonder what she looks like.  Did Grace get her gorgeous full lips from her?  What about her long fingers?  Her dark brown hair that shines red in the sun? 

I wonder what she is thinking tonight.  Is she missing her baby girl?  Does she want to see her?  Hold her?  Whisper sweet mommy things into her ear?  I can't help but imagine that she wants these things - that she longs to hold her girl in her arms. 

Our daughter.

She is just that.  Ours.  She has two mamas.  One who is lucky enough to hold her every day.  To hear her laugh, see her smile, and kiss those sweet cheeks.  One who holds the memory of the sweet newborn smell, the baby sounds, and the first breath of the daughter she brought into the world.  

Neither of us will ever be the same.

Happy Almost-Birthday, Peanut.  We love you. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The family.

We are so blessed to live close to the majority of our extended family.  Our children have grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and even a great grandma that they get to spend time with on a regular basis.  We do birthdays, backyard barbeques, Friday lunches, and lots of "just because" dinners.  The big boys love to sleep over at Grandma and Papa's house, and I'm pretty sure Gracie will love it one day too.

James is so addicted to Grandma that he cries if he doesn't get to see her when he asks - which is often.  Yesterday, the highlight of his day was when Grandma showed up at soccer practice with hugs and strawberry limeades!  :) 

I love, love, love that our children are growing up with so much extended family.  Grace will have her birthday party on Sunday, and our house will be packed to the gills with just the family.  The big boys think their Uncle Matt is THE coolest guy on the planet, aside from daddy.  Grace isn't so sure about Matt yet, but she thinks Papa hung the moon.  I tell my mom that she is "the other woman" in our boys lives, and I hope that is always true.  I can't wait to see great big gangly grandsons lovin' on their grandma!!!

Here we are, in all our glory.  The Family. 

Yes.  Those are moustaches.  It's probably better if you don't ask.

Ethan, James, Grandma (holding our nephew, Ryder) my brother Matthew and his wife Amber, Sam (with sign) Benjamin, Papa, Me and Grace

****We are missing Ethan's dad and his brother Calvin - but they already have mustaches, so you aren't missing too much!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

NIne months home!

It's hard to believe that nine months ago (minus one day - I'm late... Heck.  I have four kids!  What more do you want from me?), we began a journey as a family of six!  We arrived home on July 15th, 2010, and jumped into something scary and wonderful.  The last nine months have had a steep learning curve, and have been anything but easy.  I have had many, many days of asking myself, "What have we done????"  

But as I look at my sweet girl, I know exactly what we have done.  We have added a blessing to our family - with everything that implies... 

The comments about how I "have my hands full" and the funny looks that linger a little too long when a stranger registers that our fourth child is, in fact, Korean.  The tantrums.  The extra diapers.  The massive grocery bill.  The mountains of laundry that now include a girly colored pile.  The multitude of sleepless nights.  The worries about raising another child, and doing it well.

The amazingly sweet kisses and hugs.  The giggles.  The princess that refuses to leave the house without a hairbow.  The lover of shoes.  The biggest and most entusiastic eater ever.  The animal fanatic.  The perfect pink answer to all the testosterone that floats around this house.  Our baby girl.


and this:

 and this:

 and this:

Blessing after blessing.  An amazing journey that has led us to more love and more silliness than we deserve.  Love that isn't depleted, but is added to exponentially.  A family that is so very much better for the nine months we have spent with this wonderful girl.  A future that is more promising because of the chance to love her.  Lucky us.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

This is how it's done.

This, folks, is how the big brother job is properly done...

...just in case you were wondering.  Why limit yourself to just giving a piggyback ride?*  How about dragging one around the front too?  That's 60 pounds of toddler there!  It's no wonder the littles adore the bigs.  They are an endless source of amusement.  Or WWF opportunities - take your pick. 

Lately it's becoming very apparent that although there are hard things about having a "large" family, there are always more than enough wonderful things that offset them.  This is just one!

*James calls it a "piggy backpack ride".  I don't think I'll ever correct him.  It is just too darn cute!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Wuh Wuh Woo.

Nightly routine with Grace is super important.  Everything done the same way, at the same time, and in the same order.  My favorite part of the routine has become when I lay her in her bed and tell her, "I love you!"   Because, just recently she began saying it back.  "Wuh wuh woo!"  Music to my ears, and my heart.  The last nine months have been anything but easy for either of us, but we are getting there.  One "Wuh wuh woo" at a time.
Wuh wuh woo right back atcha, kiddo.  Big time.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

New Glasses.

Samuel happens to be an awful lot like me.  "Me" being the mama.  Poor guy got my gene for fabulous eyesight, too.  Now he's sporting some awesome new specs.  Call me biased, but I think he just got cuter...

 He is really enjoying seeing everything clearly!

The camera in his face is another story...

What did I do to deserve this amazing kid?  Seriously.  See those perfect little freckles on his nose?  Be still my heart.  

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The circus returns...

You thought your lives were complete without a daily glimpse into our lives.... You were mistaken.

In this blog, the Circus returns.  Bigger.  Wilder.  Probably less sane.

We invite you to enjoy a view of life with four kiddos aged seven and under.

It's loud.  It's messy.  It's absolutely nuts. 

And we like it that way. 

Meet the crew:

 Samuel: 7 years old.   The ringleader, inventor, and all around smart fella.

 Benjamin: The middle child extraordinaire, tender hearted loverboy, and funny man.

 James: Sassy, spunky, snuggle-lovin' little man.

Grace: The only girl, drama queen, bosses the boys around, silly and sweet little princess.

Mom and dad occasionally enter the picture too, but aren't these faces so much sweeter?  Life is about to get crazy again, (no more babies, YET...) and we can't wait to share the journey.  Check back often, and I'll do my best to share a little slice of life - Circus Style.