Monday, February 1, 2016

Flashback: 2015 Thanksgiving

Our family headed to the Deserts of Arizona where we played with cousins, all my full siblings, aunts, uncles, ad all grand parents too! We enjoyed Hiking, Running, Biking, hot tub time, trampoline, game nights and girls nights with my sister , Mom and sis in law! This was the first time all of my family has shared Thanksgiving since my parents split when I was 4! It was wonderful- no one got sick, only little boo boos and lots of good convos with each other! Enjoy these pics!
Uncle Glenn and Aunt Di

fooz-ball

cousin Pete singing to Slade

learning to ride his new bike

the feast of Thanksgiving! Uncle wade cooked a smoked Turkey this year.

Uncle Glenn ( great uncle to our kids) trying out the Ladies Bike- funny guy:)

the Girls and Grandpa Danny & Grandma Mary

Grandma Leslie and Grandpa Carl and the kids

Grandma Mary, Gpa Danny, the boys and MIMI - their labradoodle

daddy's instructions and patience are often better than moms when it comes to biking!

biking like a champ (on training wheels)

feasting


Family time is so special and the cousins created so many memories! Can't wait to see them in the spring and summer!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Happy New Year, folks!

 Brandon's side of the family:) Its SO hard to get a GOOD shot when kids are cold and tired and someone else is shooting :/


Grandma is SUPER content with her babies!

 love these littles!!!
Goofball Slade!

Cutie sisters are Besties!


We tried- it was good in theory!

We are excited for the new year and all it holds!
 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Santa Cuties


 Our kids had so much fun seeing Santa this year. We had him all to ourselves for 45 minutes and He was wonderful with each one of them. He also invited us to do some charity work with him on Christmas day so, the big girls, Brandon and myself will be helping some families in need! God is good and I do believe Santa is a good symbol for Christ.  Here's a great book talking about the symbolism in it all!

ENJOY the pictures and ENJOY your Christmas and New Years too!











Friday, November 13, 2015

Advice to Parents of Unplanned (Younger-ish) Expectant Parents

I have witnessed many situations of parents Loving and Supporting their children when they find out that their child ( of any age) has gotten unexpectedly pregnant. These great parents have been through thick and thin with their now adult children as they figure out how to make sense of " Now what do we do?" Where do we go from here?" and I commend you wonderful parents for loving your kids, grown kids and other people's kids who are involved in now making a decision to either parent, place or abort.

So, with that said- I have some advice for the Opposing/ Unsupportive parents out there who are also dealing and swimming through those above ?'s " Now what do we do?"

Well, first off- LOVE YOUR KIDS- love them as GOD loves them and embrace and support them, even if internally you are Freaking Out! This is going to be an extremely hard time or already is, and you are not making it any better by RE-ACTING out of FEAR or being worried about YOUR FAMILY NAME being talked about around town. You should care less about what others think and more about what You can do to strengthen this bond between you and your now adult child.

Secondly, Do Not make a RASH decision on this matter. Take lots of time, love and deep prayer as how to best support your pregnant daughter ( or if you are the parents of the dad in this situation- your expectant son). This is not a light situation and rushing to create an elaborate plan on how you can SOLVE it for them is not helpful. It's counter productive. We all know if a parent tells a strong willed child what they MUST do or takes away choice- the person will turn and do the exact opposite 9 out of 10 times. So take yourself out of the equation completely ( unless your son or daughter is a minor in which case you cannot do this) and Let them find their own way and make their own decisions. This is their baby and their life , not yours.

Third, INFORM , EDUCATE and do not PUSH! You are of course free to express what you think may be best for them and you can and should educate on all the choices they have. Parenting is hard- talk about the finances, life goals for the baby, life goals for the parents, their own desires and hopes and how they can accomplish the goal of parenting. Adoption is hard- Talk about the options and types of adoptions and benefits to them about finishing college or career paths,  advantages and options to see and visit with the child and their hopes and dreams for their child, if they choose placement. Weigh out the pros and cons! Talk about Abortion ( if you support all choice) and what that means. Talk about grief, death, the sanctity of marriage. Share your feelings on the benefits of starting a family in the bonds of a committed relationship. GET down to the Nitty Gritty on all subjects and NEVER FORCE your desires on them- ever.

Fourth, WITHHOLDING and MISINFORMATION can block or deter expectant parents( or anyone) from truly understand what these options are. Some people live in a bubble and just never actually pay attention to what is going on outside Mayberry. If you withhold or misinform, you are setting the stage in your relationship for mistrust and deceptive behaviors. Not a good foundation for building trust, now is it!


Lastly, I heard of a recent situation where a Young Woman ( let's call her Jane) finally told her parents she was unexpectedly pregnant! She came to them hoping they would wrap their arms around her and support her as she had decided at 18 weeks to start looking at couples to place with and to give this baby a Mom and Dad. She took some time to think about this and when Jane told her parents, They LOST it completely! " how could you do this to our family?" " What were you thinking?" " Now you have to Clean up this Mess!" " You cannot chose adoption, we will raise the baby and you will Go and FIND GOD." We will get someone to Marry you, even if we have to pay them to." " You have disgraced our family name" " We will send you away for awhile and when you come back, no one will know, then after a few months of the aunt raising the baby, we will "adopt" the baby!" "Adoption is not a choice you are old enough to make!"etc....



All of these are responses based out of fear and Lack of education,  and lack of  unconditional love!

Please remember when counseling with your young adult...

A child is NOT a tool of repentance for your young adult child to LEARN FROM, or a Mess to clean up! You do not ever make an innocent child SUFFER as a form of Restitution, ever.
MAKING THIS RIGHT- is not just choosing to Parent, it also is Choosing a Adoption plan and finding a Family for this baby.
Neither of these are Easy, ever.

A child is not a Trophy  to show off to your people " look we support our daughter as she parents because we are better parents than you!" "I would never let my own grandchild leave our family!" etc. (obviously the people are not informed on how OPEN adoption can be or is!)

A child is not a meal ticket for free gov't handouts or a ticket into the life of someone who is not desiring to be in a committed relationship with them. Both of these are detrimental to all parties involved.Though the gov't help is there as needed when choosing to parent and income is scare.

A child is NOT Magic Glue or a Band Aid that will Make everything all better and everyone Stick Together for the Good of this baby. If the foundation of the relationship is weak or already crumbly- a child only magnifies the problems.

A child is NOT to be used as a tool/ blackmail or any other selfish desire one might think of.

A child is NOT a guaranteed "someone who will love me no matter what!" Because we all know- teenagers can turn on their parents and resent them for tough upbringings and life difficulties. 


Enough of that now- Let's talk about HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR YOUNG ADULTS as They Face Unplanned PREGNANCY and all the decisions that come with it....

TWO WORDS:

LOVE THEM! 


In loving them as Christ loves you, unconditionally, you will be doing the most good, being the best influence for Good and your relationships will indeed strengthen and Their decisions will become clear to them. And guess what?  Your young adults may choose to parent, get married or not- That's great for them! Congrats you are Grandparents! They may choose to place with an adoptive Family and have an open or semi open adoption too! Congrats again- you are still grandparents and may very likely have just Adopted an entire new FAMILY! Yep, in open adoption, you will be involved! ( this varies from couple to couple) They may choose Abortion ( sorry I have no congrats for this one but, suggest some post abortion counseling as soon as possible).


In our faith We believe:

" Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities."


In the Christian faith, Jewish faiths and
Catholic faiths, all support The Family, adoption as a choice alternative to abortion and the sanctity of LIFE.  We all know its a person's choice and all of these faiths have programs for unplanned pregnancy, expectant parents and options for answering those hard questions!

May all who are facing unplanned pregnancy find the support, love and direction they seek. God Bless!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

SO FALLing for These Cuties!

I can't believe they are growing up so dang fast! The FALL is in full swing and we have some interesting weather here. One day its 60, the next it's snowing! We have been enjoying it all and the wildlife eating our left over pumpkins and elk bugling.

The girls are busy practicing Songs for Christmas and the Winter Sing that the school holds and this year they will be in a Holiday walk/parade on the main stage. They are so excited.

Life is busy but, great most days and when it's not, I try and remember- things could always be much Worse. Brandon likes to remind me that We could live in a third or second world country where people are Really suffering! It's humbling to think about and my Girls are gearing up for Christmas and getting ready to tell Santa to send their toys/treats/food to the orphanages this year- Again! They have such huge hearts!

The boys are staying busy with preschool , library, play dates, trips to the children's museum and more!  They are such cute brothers together too! Especially when they are Not fighting over a toy or snack  (reality is, this DOES happen almost daily but, ends quickly)!

Overall, Halloween was fabulous( more to come on that), we have one last appointment with our Case Worker, Emily and our Home Study will be practically done! YAY! so exciting to be done with all the nutty ?'s. Here's the Poem I Wrote for her Home Visit ...



Dear Social worker who is coming over for our Home visit in a hour or so...
Welcome to our REAL home,


There will be dust in a few places, toys here and there,
 some dishes in the sink and I won't really care!

We live in this house, it holds more than messes.
 It's full of finger prints and fancy dress-up dresses.

Some papers piled in corners, a stray sock or two,
 a messy kids closet, a pile of books, a muddy shoe.

There may be a diaper that hasn't made it outside
but, I promise you this--- we have NOTHING TO HIDE!

Our home is full of laughter, tickle monsters who chase,
sweet dreams and memories are found in this place.

A daddy who gives hugs and plays zombie through out the house,
He brings home the bacon and is a Fabulous Spouse.

Our kids enjoy one-on-one time, cuddles and classes,
they all enjoy the zoo, museum's with year passes.

Mommy stays home, cooks great foods and strives to be healthy.
We enjoy our freedom and in love, we are Wealthy!

Our kids know their birth moms, dads and grands birth families too.
We party, relax, vacation with our wonderful crew.

So much love and blessings are found in our family,
and though we are far from perfect- It's splendid to Me!

So, please ask the odd ?'s and check out our place
and enjoy the Reality of our piece of Grace.

God has brought many moments of goodness to us,
so don't mind the minor stuff and don't make a fuss.

We know you are just trying to do your own job
and hope you don't think that we live like a slob.

We are ready and willing to do what we must
and hope you see, that in US , you can TRUST!

A child and her birth family are hoping to find
a family like ours, we are one-of-a-kind!

Our Hearts have been led down this incredible way
we will do all we can, & say all we can say.

 We would walk a million miles or fly across the sea
if it meant with our new family, we would Forever Be!


-The Christian Family
Oct. 23rd 2015

Monday, October 19, 2015

Anderson Farms Fun!

We had a fun trip a bit ago to Anderson Farms, in Erie! We tried our hand as a family, at the big Corn Maze  and it was a challenge. I think we only made it through half the maze too!

Coming here brought back Memories of my older childhood and playing in the Maze at Lattin Farms, In Fallon NV! And the History I have with the Wonderful Family that ran this great place....

( flashback to 1998 or so...)

I played Soccer on the Fallon HS team and enjoyed being active. Although, I wasn't the best, I had some great plays and awesome memories with my team mates and coaches. And our team had some pretty cool coaches- Nate Waite and Lance Lattin.  I played a bit on the club team as well so, I can't remember what game it was but, I remember seeing Laura Lee( lances sister) a lot. Her little sister, Leann played on the team as well. Leann was a small girl but, a spirited fighter and a great player and person! One day, while sitting on the side lines during half time, I asked Laura Lee if she planned on having kids at all. Her eyes welled up and she looked into my youthful stare and bore her heart. She said that they had been trying for a very, very long time and she desired to be a mother more than anything but, had no such luck so far. 

My quick and upbeat answer was " well, you guys should adopt a child. Listen to this cool song I know!" And I began to sing to her the Song From God's Arms, To My Arms, To Yours!   I watched her beautiful soul, fight back the tears but, to no avail. At the end of the song, we hugged and she cried on my shoulder, like we were sisters!

A short while later, she told me that they were putting their adoption papers in! I was so happy for them and months passed, as they do, pretty quickly and then Laura Lee told me of a baby that just might be theirs because of an incredible birth mother.

I remember once She was home with her new sweet little Kyler boy, her recounting the experience and the pain they felt as the birth mother had decided to parent. But, the powerful and spiritual turn of events, led them to meet up with Kyler's birth mother, in a church building a state away, for the most sacred of exchanges where He became their son! His birth mother was comforted by the words Laura spoke to her once they found out she was parenting. Something struck her to the core and she called her caseworker to let Alan and Laura Lee, it was time to come meet this special little guy who was meant to be with them.

As I gazed on this tiny bundle with dark hair and sweet eyes, I felt so grateful for my friends and so honored that the message carried through my voice, could help plant a seed of adoption in thier hearts and  that I was able to witness this loving couple grow into a family!...


So, Corn Mazes, Remind me of the Lattin's Corn maze ,which remind me of Laura Lee and our Connection to Adoption!


Now, Here's the cool Anderson Farms we experienced here in CO!
 Besides silly pictures, we rode the peddle karts, the barrel train and had fun at the campfire site meeting some of Brandon's work colleagues and their families!

 Daddy and his big girls!

 silly fun pics in the MAZE!

 Jess and the boys! She is such a great friend and tons of help!
( she is also a birth momma to an adorable spunky girl)

 The kids liked the goats and sheep very much- Brandon says he wants a Fainting goat one day- Lol!

Our little boy is growing so fast!






















I could not have told you, when I was 17, that adoption would impact my life the way it has and continues to do! I could not have even understood what God would put on my heart at such a young age, would benefit more than just my family. I truly had no idea then, Why God has put this special call of helping in the adoption world, in my heart- But, It's there to stay. And Now, I am starting to understand WHY!

He will continue to use me as an instrument in His Hands to bless not just my family but, all families and people that I possibly can!

In the scriptures it says "O Lord, have mercy and spare my life, that I may be an instrument in thy hands"

I was spared! I was saved in a horrific car crash- and it's for a Big reason.

I Pray to always be a GOOD steward of all who come into my life through our special connections.

May all the fall festivities remind YOU of goodness, love and family as well!


*epilogue- Laura Lee and Alan never adopted again the traditional way but, later a young lady( one of their students) came into their lives who Needed them and they LOVE her and have essentially adopted her as well! Adoption truly is amazing!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

spook-tacular!

 
 
 
 

our front porch bench
 
We are having fun getting ready for Halloween! This is Brielle's Favorite Holiday ( at least until Christmas) She does have a sweet tooth and is interested in Tim Burton films!

Any who, Our family has been getting into the mood by decorating a bit, wearing fun clothes like
pumpkin/ jack-o-lantern shirts, witch wear and more! We have put up some d├ęcor but, still need to hang our ghosts, orange lights and set the stage with even more cobwebs! Frightening, I know!

Slade is always GOOD for a DIRT bath and his BOO is scary in the cutest way possible! ( more costume cuteness to come!)

 
 
 
 




Mr. Bones is very friendly and loves to wave at the neighbors as they go to collect their mail! We make every Holiday as fun as possible and this year we are hosting a party with our friends too!


This weekend we head to the pumpkin patch for even more fun, corn mazes, hayrides, games, campfire fun and special memories!




We are so blessed that God has given us means to not just provide things but, provide time, energy and whole-hearted love!


Here's a few more pics from Halloween's PAST and Present:


Gavin- 6 months

Boys listening to the spooky flashing light sounds tonight! When it got
too scary, Gavin would hug Slade and tell him " It's Otay, Sladey!"
Mr. bones and his pooch named "Spike"
a fun sign we are making but, ours will be on a coffin board!

Brielle and Aria 4 and 2.5 - almost same ages as the boys now!










 
 
We are excited to have our friends and neighbors over to celebrate and enjoy the FUN parts of Halloween!
 
 
Happy Haunting Everyone!






*learn more about our family by visiting the pages and getting to know our story of love, faith and open adoption!