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Friday, December 30, 2011

One for me, One for you

My grandfather is in the nursing home about 5 blocks from my parents home. I took Ribbit with me to spend some time with him on Wednesday morning and we had a blast. She brought along some goldfish and would feed one to herself and then feed one to my Papa. No, not put one in his hand, but in his mouth. One time she said he couldn't have anymore and when he made a sad face she gave him another. This completely dumbfounded me to see my grandfather behave this way with her...not that he isn't able to but the last couple of visits with him haven't convinved me of his overall health. She also sang him Jingle Bells and told him that he was her papa and that I was her mommy. Another man, whom I know from going to the same church all my life, also lives there now and brought out a teddy bear for her. He was interested to know that we live in Texas now and that my husband was/is attending seminary.
When we left Ribbit kissed papas hand and told him bye bye. I just know that our visit made his day....that and the fact that we brought him a snickers, that he downed with a coke :). I am going to take Goob with me tomorrow and I am hoping for a similar experience.

Even though Christmas is only a couple days behind us Adam and I have already changed our tune for next year. You see, all these presents are wonderful, very thoughtful and we feel very loved. We wanted our first Christmas with the kids to be memorable to to make up for lost time...to maybe give them the Christmas they never had. However, over the last couple of weeks I have been heavily convicted of the way I parent. I parent with words, not always actions. I want my kids to see me be the hands and feet of Jesus, not just preach about it. I want them to see me exhibit self control, not just yell at them about always wanting dessert. So, next year will not be about creating wish lists...instead we will create some homemade gifts and create memories of how to give. I think we will let them get 4 presents total.....one from us, one from santa (yes we do santa, geesh, who knew there were so many haters?), one from adam's parents and one from my parents. From there on out its all charity. I want them to be involved in making gifts for elderly and delivering them, maybe making some hospital calls, thanking firemen and policemen who are working that day, things of that nature. I want them to see that Christmas is not about them at all....but that we can use that time of year to minister, and probably be better received than any other time of year.
So once again, we are appeciative of the gifts we got this year, we will use them, play with them, cherish them but we are also excited to see what our kids will learn next year at this time.

I ask for your prayers tonight as well. We have a homestudy on January 13th of our new house.
Why?

We want to adopt again...its time....its obvious to both Adam and I. Its been on my heart for a while but I keep thinking " what if we mess up this good thing that we got?"...."what if we hurt Goob and Ribbit by bringing in more, more with baggage, more with behavior issues, learning disabilities, more with physical disabilities?, what if Goob and Rib don't think that there is enough love to go around?, WHAT IF WE ARE CRAZY?.
God always answer those questions with scripture.
James 1:27
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
John 14:18
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
Psalm 10:14
But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.

I'm pretty sure God wasn't kidding about any of this, so if I say I believe His word to be true, then I have to be willing to act on it.

Adam confirmed my thinking on one of our many drives all over this state in the last two weeks. He said " I think we can handle more"....coming from my husband, whose words are few, but are always well thought out and intentional, I practically lept for joy.....he's ready. He can't wait to get his hands on more babies.....right honey, right?

Here are more pictures of our holiday vacation

Tears from Lolly as she opens her angel boy apron...we get tears at least once a Christmas :)
 Ribbit stole Captains chocolate.
 Playing with Aunt Erika
 Showing Captain his angel boy picture.
 Papaw and CC reading their book that Goob wrote for them.
 Goob showing off his motorcycle gear from Papaw and CC....yes, my 7 year old is a harley freak already...thanks dad :)
 Ribbit and her Uncle Chris
 Giving my papa some christmas presents from the kids.
 Goob got a sling shot from Papa.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pictures

Goober is watching Peter Pan with dad and Ribbit is down for a nap so I have some time to post pictures over the last week and half.  Enjoy!
Here is Goober showing off his new shoes from Santa :)
 Daddy sitting in the Christmas vomit :)
 Goober's gift to Mom and Dad...a nativity scene...complete with mohawk sporting Joseph.
 Getting ready to go outside and play with their new toys.
 Watching brother's football game later on that day.
 Ice Skating with Dad..he only used that thing about two minutes and then he got the knack.
 The oversized teddy bear from Nana Harvell :)
 Thank you Nana Harvell for all the presents :)
 Sitting in Nana's wheelbarrow
 Pushing around her new Elmo and stroller from Santa.
 Investigating dinosaur poop from  Uncle Jason.

Highlights

I really haven't had the time or energy to post over the last couple of days. Santa has come 2 more times to visit the kiddos....and countless other presents from family members have been given. Let's just say that Adam and I are very thankful for the hitch and cargo carrier we received from his parents...otherwise lots and lots of presents would be left here in Alabama.
Here are some highlights from the last couple of days.
1-we went to Nannie and Papaws and the kids got to play with the cousins...Goober spent the majority of the day playing with the boy cousins on the bike outside. He was thrilled when we he got a remote control car, several books and musical instruments. Adam's family has never ever treated me like a guest and they have passed that on with our kiddos as well. We ate well that night....too well!
2-Santa came that morning to Adam's parents home and we spent the morning opening gifts with his family and a special guest....Mrs. Rentscheler (I think I murdered the spelling) who brought the kids some sweet presents. We got tears from Lolly....a yearly tradition and everyone gave sweet thoughtful gifts.
3-The next morning we went to church and left promptly for Bay Minette. We got to my parents house where everyone was waiting for us. My cousin Heather couldn't wait to meet the kids and she was great with them the whole time. We ate well again, played cards (a Coleman tradition that occurs whenever at least 4 of us gather, swapped gifts and just had fun. Adam and I made plans to go hunting with my uncle and his son later on this week and then.....Santa came!
4-Santa came at about 9 o'clock at night....which meant we were up super late exchanging gifts with my immediate family. The kids got lots of clothes...all a size to big..something I am a big fan of. They also got lots of neat toys.....Goober's favorite being his football, receiving gloves and practice outfit (that he is worn 3 days in a row now and it smells like dog). Ribbit got a Dora tricycle that she calls her motorcycle. She also got a baggie of lipgloss that has glitter in it and she used it all over Papa's  face that night and everyone else's face since.
5-My Aunt Robin knocked on our door early (well 9 o'clock) the next morning and we had fun eating breakfast with her, exchanging gifts and bringing my papa here to celebrate with us from the nursing home. Aunt Robin threw the football with Goober and he said that she is good for a girl :).
6-Adam and I left to go hunting at 4am yesterday morning. We sat in two different stands for about 2 hours. I saw nothing, but heard lots. He saw 3 but didn't think he was close enough to kill any. Luckily, my uncle had shot a doe the night before and gave us two hams. We are going again on Friday night---we are both determined to shoot something...its kinda funny. I felt like I had to kill something to feed my family...real Xena warrior princess like with my bright pink shoes on and my hand sanitizer just in case things got messy :).

We have tons of pictures and videos over the last couple of days but if I take enough time to edit and post them then I will miss the excitement around here.
MERRY CHRISTMAS

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Sweet Heart

Last night we went to Adam's Dad's side of the family for Christmas. We ended up staying until 9:00 (way past kiddos bedtime) because we were enjoying the time with family so much. It seems like everyone came this year (minus Kristy, Jake and Selah :( ). The kids were getting to know their 2nd cousins, great aunts and great grandparents better, the food was good and the company was great.
Ribbit was working the crowd. She was really on top of her game. I mean the flirting with all the men, the uncontrollable laughter from the smallest thing set everyone else into laughter. She also decided that Uncle Ronnie is her favorite and gave him kisses through the stair rail. She repeated everything anyone said, sang songs, danced, ate well, took pictures (somewhat) and was overall in a very good mood.
Goober on the other hand, had been feeling sick all day, had rashes on both his hands and feet (im thinking from something outside) and laid on the couch the first 30 minutes of the visit. He eventually got up and started throwing ball with the male cousins and from there out his mood improved. He also received a bear that is as large as he is from Nana and that really made his day. Nana continued to give Goob and Ribbit little presents all night long and Goob said "thank you Nana" each time-----thats what I saw.
When we got in the car to come home though, Adam turned around to make sure the kids were asleep (and they were) and then started telling me a story about Goober with tears in his eyes.
Earlier yesterday, Goober saw Captain cutting up an old credit card and begged him to have it. Captain said he kinda took it in a manner that made him think that Goober thinks credit cards are really cool and so he had to have it. So later on that night, when Nana kept giving him presents Goober walked up to Nana and said "here" handing her the credit card. He said " it doesn't have any money on it but you can have it". Later on when Adam saw the credit card laying on a coffee table he picked it up and started taunting Goober with it (not knowing he had given it to Nana) and said " look what I have". Goober grabbed it away from Adam and said " that's Nanas, I gave it to her". When Adam asked "why". He said " well because she gave me something, and that's all I had to give her". Apparently he told Nana the same thing last night and she just thought he had the sweetest little heart....and he does :).
Adam and I told him the story last night about the widow's mite and how she gave all she had and God was pleased with it, even though it wasn't considered to be a lot. He liked that story and we praised him for thinking of others first. We also got to tell him why everyone gave Nana gifts last night....because we were 1)celebrating Jesus' birth and 2) we were celebrating the fact that Nana passed down Jesus ---to Randy, to Adam and now to Goober....so that is another reason we give gifts at Christmas, to celebrate family who have taught us well and passed down Jesus to us.
GREAT NIGHT FOR THE HARVELLS!!

Funny note. Adam's cousin Jared has downs syndrome and it just the sweetest guy.....super polite, hands out hugs, says Thank you, please, sorry and is just so loving. He was standing beside me and Aunt Candie and asked her who those kids were..pointing to Goob and Ribbit. She motioned to me and said "those are her kids" and he whispered back ( loud enough for me to hear though )...."they are not white". Ha, we both told him that they were adopted and they call themselves Carmel....he didn't even wait a second before he said "that's okay that you adopted them, ok". The rest of the night he smiled at Ribbit, complimented the kids and loved it when he found out that he and Goober were both left handed (which I told him proves that they are related). He told me at the end of the night that my kids were OKAY!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Another post for today...because I can :)

This is really just a photo dump but since tomorrow we start the gift giving I know I will have lots and lots of pictures so I need to stay on top of things.
Goobers class after they acted out the Nativity...Goob was the innkeeper at Bethlehem. They also sang "Away in A Manger and Go Tell It on the Mountain" for us. He looks mad but he was just tired of getting his picture taken.
 Getting stated on his prayer box....his first prayer request to go in was that we would all have a safe trip to Alabama.
 Ribbit wanted to decorate something too so she put stickers on her forehead....
 both of them working hard on decorating things...
 like your cheek and lip with blue sharpie...look closely you will see it :)
 Mom and Goober at the ice skating rink...we had lots of fun.
 The night Santa came to our Texas home...Santa even sorted the gifts so that Goob's were on one side and Ribbits were on the other.
 Opening their stockings..we forgot about them and went outside to play with all our new presents (thus ribbit's boots )
 Both of the kids liked their Nerds Rope more than anything else in the whole stocking :)
 I found slap bracelets with animals on them....Goob put both of them on instantly and then made Ribbit really mad when he went to slapping her to get her bracelets on.
Goober is going to get his Christmas wish this year...BOTH front teeth are coming in and FAST!!! I don't know if we will recognize our little boy when he actually has teeth!

Artsy Fartsy

Here is some end of the year work by my students...MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

In Intro to Art we do a semester of drawing, then of painting..after Christmas we do a semester of ceramics, then the last semester is sculpture/printmaking. Therefore one of our last projects was to use 9 different watercolor techniques to portray two very different emotions. This is the best one, of course done by my male student who excels in art (when he is sitting down :)).
 We also finished our 7th grade art with watercolor...but instead focused on the Fauve style of painting and did cityskapes that included a bridge. They had to use 4 of the 9 techniques that I demonstrated.

This 7th grade boy has a style all his own...hes almost always the first one done with his projects.
 This young lady just started our school this year and has tons of talent....she was pictured in one of my other blogs posing in her tacky christmas sweater.
 This very simple cityscape was done by a fellow friend's daughter....she says she is super blonde ( and sometimes acts it) but has lots of talent. She's also one of the only 7th grade girls that I would leave alone with my children :)
 This 7th grade girl is one of my favorite students. She is funny, always stays behind to help me clean and love love loves art!
 This 7th grade boy is also new to our school this year...from Chicago...I worried about him fitting in but after he showed off his soccer skills in the first home game the boys befriended him.
 I'm really not surprised at how aweseom this cityskape is (even though its really not one) because this 7th grade girl excels in art. During bible she always says how excited she is for art at the end of the day. She is my student who brought us home a 1st place ribbon for a print she made last year as a 6th grader :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sweet Home Alabama

Well we made it..it only took us close to 14 hours but we made it. The kids did great. Goober was starting to get a cold and the medicine we gave him made him super sleepy the whole trip. Ribbit didn't use the potty in her diaper one time!!! She went potty at every stop and we were so proud of her!!! They watched DVDs and played with some of the car toys that Santa gave them.
We got to Lolly and Captains house on Sunday night, ate dinner and went to bed. Not before Captain and Goob had a war with Captain using his marshmallow gun and Goob using his new Nerf Machine Gun. It was quite loud and the whole house shook....we are still finding darts everywhere :).
Yesterday we woke up and went straight to Captain Dental Office to get our teeth cleaned. Everyone got a good report and no cavities. The kids even helped clean mommy and daddy's teeth. Ribbit went shopping there and we came home with lots of toothbrushes and mouthwash. Then we all came home ate lunch and crashed for about 2 hours. Later that afternoon we took Lolly some cookies to work and then Adam and I took the kids to the park. Adam and Goob practiced batting and catching the baseball while Ribbit and I went all over that crazy park.
Last night we all went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant and then went to Santa's Village downtown. The kids had lots of fun, there were reindeer, fake snow, Mrs. Clause, Santa, Frosty, cookies, all kinds of stuff. Both kids went straight to bed and slept through the night.
Tonight Adam and I are getting a date night out with some friends of ours while the grandparents take the kids to look at Christmas lights.
Here are some pictures from Santa's village.

This is at the entrance.
 Frosty..Ribbit was so curious and just kept staring at him/her?
 Sleigh Ride
 The cutest snowmen ever!
 The cutest snowwomen ever!
 Listening to Mrs. Clause read a story
 So this picture needs some explaining. Goob has been asking for a dss (dont' ask me what that stands for). Its some kind of video game...adam and I refuse to give in and get him one b/c he is too young and he don't want him addicted to video games. Anyways, his d ended up looking more like an a, so that is why his #1 request came out to be a curse word...we laughed so hard. He didn't get it :)
 Mom and Goober
 Daddy and his kiddos
 Talk about being out of it...this girl was dead asleep with all kinds of drool. After this picture was taken she woke up and was ticked off, making mean faces for next little while.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

SUCCESS

Santa did well. He ate the cookies, left a thank you note, closed the fireplace door and lined up the kids presents nicely. Both of them slept in this morning and we all walked out together. Goober just stared and stared at his gifts and then asked " Can I open one?". When we told him that they were all for him he went crazy and immediately grabbed the Nerf Gun....his #1 request. Ribbit told Mommy and Daddy thank you constantly and put her baby dolls under the blanket so they could go nigh nigh. Goober posed in his new shoes and was estatic when he opened a gift from Aubie that had two new Auburn sweatshirts in it :). Somehow Santa knew exactly what the kids wanted :).
Goober got us the best present ever. He handed us this bag and inside was a clay nativity set he had made. Joseph has a mohawk...its just perfect...best Christmas gift so far :).
The rest of the day consisted of a Christmas Party thrown by the agency we used to adopt them. We ate pizza, played arcade games, got stockings from elves and visited from people that have a very special place in our heart :). The people working the party kept thanking us for adopting and for "what we did" . Its always great for us to be able to use that as a witnessing opportunity and let them know of the blessing these kids are in our lives and how we know God orchestrated everything...how it was a calling from him in the first place. Mom and Dad won an activity and ended up with a gift card to AMC Theaters....woop woop...DATE NIGHT!!!!!!
Then we went to Goob's flag football game...they lost but once again played an older team. He had one awesome catch and lots of good flag pulling. We finished off the evening by packing and watching Christmas movies.
We leave tonight for Alabama....i don't think you are supposed to post that kind of stuff online but if you plan on robbing us, please clean the house, run the dishwasher and vacuum while you are at it :).

I don't think I posted the video from last week's game of his awesome catch so here goes.. and then are some pictures of the kids working out with dad :)
Here is Ribbit rooting for her favorite brother :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Santa's a comin

Its 10:10 on Friday, December 16th and guess what? Santa has already made an appearance at the Harvell house :). We wrote him and explained that we wanted to spend Christmas with our family in Alabama so could he please please come early to our Texas home? We even got his reindeer some food for their extra work. Luckily he was okay with that :)
We made sure that before Goob went to bed he knew that Santa would only come because he knows that its Jesus's birthday and that as a little boy "Saint Nicholas" gave gifts to children to help them celebrate Christ's birth. Its quite hard as a momma to balance the whole Santa thing when you really want to make the holiday centered around Christ. Advent has helped, Goob's school has helped reinforce that but other than that its a constant reminder that we are giving gifts out of the love that Christ gives us and that we could never outgive God. I read a great article though.....one that took some of the guilt off this momma (one who tries to do everything to make sure her kids have lasting memories and look forward to traditions) Here is the link Desiring God.Org.

Today was a great day. We all (yup thats right all 4 of us) went to Goob's nativity play..he was the innkeeper and with his arms crossed told Mary and Joseph that they couldn't stay in his inn but in the stable. Then we stayed for his Christmas party where they made prayer boxes, read the story of the Candy Cane and ate. Then we ran some errands (bank, gifts). Then we went to Ribbit's Christmas party at her old preschool and they kids ate lunch with her friends and she sang Christmas Carols with them. Then the kids and dad came home for rest while I went to the faculty Christmas Lunch. When I got home we all loaded up and went to Home Depot and bought tons of wood for my Mixed Media class next semester....that was fun with the kiddos (where is that darn sarcasm font?). As if we weren't all ready pooped we went to Dinner at McAlisters, then went Ice Skating, watched a glass blowing demo and rode around to look at several neighborhoods that had great Christmas lights.

Back to the ice skating thing..Goober begged us to do it. He had never ever ice skated, but of course like all things athletic he took right to it. He was going so fast around the rink that the manager kept asking him to slow down and by the end of the night knew his first name :). Mom on the other hand clung to the walls and begged for Goobers help at the entrance where the walls stopped. Dad and Ribbit watched and took videos. There is a great video of Goob attempting a spin, crashing into the wall, reaching for the top of the wall and then hitting the ice :). There is also a great video of mom getting instruction from dad on how to ice skate while Dad laughs at mom and then makes fun of her to Ribbit....CAUGHT ON TAPE!!!! When we got home, poor Goober had 4 blisters on his ankles from those skates but he says he wants to go again :).

Gooberisms (before I forget)
1. Goob and I were playing with one of my christmas gifts (from a student) the other day and he started to throw it. I said "okay goob, thats enough" and he said " what, we are harvells, we joke, we kid"  :)
2. In McAListers tonight Goob let one rip that could have cleared the whole restaurant....Adam, Goob and I were laughing so hard that I know people thought we were insane...especially when the TOXIN hit their nose. Then on the way home from ice skating Goober said " mom, do you like June Bugs?" I said "no" and he said " aw, why not, they stink and they are my #1 fans "....:)

Here are some videos from our day......they are pretty dagum funny!

Goober the InnKeeper
Jump Jump
What we are really proud of...our Goober memorizing scripture!
Ice Skating Fun!
Crash and Burn, while parents laugh :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jesus got bapatized

Goober and Adam had a good long talk at dinner about why people get Bap A tized. That's Goobers way of saying it and I personally like it. I always give Adam the stink eye when he tries to correct Goober's sweet sayings....I mean let someone else crush him :). He and dad read the story of Jesus's bap a tism (okay, okay I'll stop) and how God told him that he was well pleased. I know that God is already working in little Goober's heart but please join us in praying that he will come to salvation soon!

Ribbit has really started to sound like a little priss lately. If I am walking somewhere in the house without her, heaven forbid she yells "mommy wait" and runs and grabs my hand and then we walk there together. If she can't find Mommy or Daddy she yells " Mommy, Daddy where are you?". She also tells Goober and the cats what to do constantly and with her pointer finger :). Tonight I was singing her to sleep and when I was done she rolled over and put her hand on my cheek and said "my mommy, see you in the morning"--melt my heart.

Goober is the InnKeeper in the Nativity Play at school this year. He has afterschool practice tomorrow night and the play is on Friday. We have our family christmas on Saturday morning, followed by a christmas party at our adoption agency, followed by a flag football game, followed by a 12 hour drive to Alabama.....yay!

Here are some pictures from the Cookie Swap and Tacky Sweater Party we hosted for the 7th grade girls.
This is one of my sweetest and most talented (artistically) girls!
 She is new at our school this year but glad she came and is making friends.
 This is one of my friends daughters...she can work it :)
 Another one of my friends' daughters....leader of the worship team for our Logic School.
 This is Adam during the party....hmm, I really thought he would be into the whole thing :)
 ONESY!!
 My tacky scrubs top!
 Everybody!!
 Silly Shot!