Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Cruising 2016

I knew that I wanted this to be an awesome family vacation, especially after seeing and hearing the kids excitement grow as it got closer. I was not prepared though for how well our kiddos cruise....they are champs. We know that our kids have faults, don't we all, but we are always amazed at how well our kiddos adapt, keep going and seem to quickly obey when they sense urgency in our voice. They adapted so well to the ship, no one but Adam felt it moving. They were kind and loving to the crew. They did activities with us and when we hit land they lasted as long as we did even though we tired ourselves out with physical activities and high temperatures. I think we may be a cruising family!!!

Day 1-Adam met us in Galveston where we were hanging out with my running girlfriends and their kiddos. We boarded the ship after 2 long hours of parking, showing passports and birth certificates, standing in long lines and making sure the kiddos knew where to go in case of an emergency. We were delighted to find the large circular window in one of our rooms where we could watch everything, especially the interesting and intricate process of docking. We were doubly delighted to find that our other room, directly across the hall was a handicap accessible room and therefore was HUGE with a HUGE shower which is so helpful when the two young ones are still showering with a parent! We ate lunch soon after boarding and the kids were super excited over the fact that the buffet was huge, always had cookies and that they could try new things. We didn't set any PALEO rules for the trip but encouraged them to always have a fruit and veggie on their plate and they loved the sugar free mango juice and water. I was super pleased with Ribbit who chose lots of grilled fish for her meals and LICKED IT UP. The boys did their own things but always ate their veggies. I loved having tons of different proteins and veggies to choose from. I ate soo many pears, sweet potatoes, carrots, okra, yucca, steaks, lambs, fish and never once craved pasta or breads. I went to the omelet bar every morning and  had a big egg, ham and veggie omelet with hot sauce and smoked salmon on top!!!! I did allow myself to have some desserts, especially my favorite tiramisu and dark chocolate coconut macaroons.

(I"ll go ahead and add that I worked out every morning while watching the sun rise (sooo amazing)....I even ran a 1/2 marathon on the last day around the jogging track...I thought it would be a neat goal to set and meet. I wasn't the least bit worried about adding in extra calories since I logged around 18,000 steps a day and weighed myself 3 to 4 times. The only thing I worried about was the extra sugar affecting my gut and skin so I upped my frankincense and collagen intake...we will see!)

Our luggage was pretty late arriving to our room so we let the kids swim in their clothes, no big deal. The kids were not happy that we had to practice lining up in case of an emergency but when the dolphins began to show off right in front of us they were quickly distracted and distracted every one else! We played putt putt right after lunch and Baby Boy got his first hole in one. One of the things we found fascinating is that SO MANY people, especially the crew asked us if our kids were actually ours. They were so inquisitive and several people asked us about our agency, the court system, etc...and then proceeded to ask the kids their names, ages, and tell them how beautiful and well behaved they were. It really threw Goober for a loop and he admitted that he didn't like telling strangers that he was adopted. We asked him what he would rather us say and he said " that my birthmom couldn't take care of us"....We immediately reminded him that we would never speak ill of her, especially to strangers and that hopefully by talking about the adoption we were encouraging others and even getting a chance to talk about God. He agreed but still kept kinda quiet about it.We joked with several people that they started out as white kids but got better tans than us...this was mostly to shop owners in Cozumel, Goober thought that was funny!

One of my favorite memories from the first night was sitting down to dinner and I heard Goober whistle. He said "wow, chocolate pie"..as I turned to see what he was talking about I saw a waiter with stacked dishes that were covered with brown lids to keep them warm. From afar it looked like huge chocolate pies and GOOBER WAS EXCITED!!

Another funny favorite was watching the kids in the elevator. They asked everyone where they needed to go and would press the buttons for them. However, one not so cute (but hysterical) moment was when the elevator stopped on a floor and no one got off....the elevator was packed and from the very back you hear a little voice say "bullcrap". I said "baby boy, dont say that". He said "well no one got off". Everyone died laughing and Adam and I tried to keep ourselves together so that we could tell hiim not to say that again!

Everyone's favorites from the day were...

Baby Boy-his hole in one at putt putt
Goober-his new friend Quincy that he met at Kids Club, instant best friends and such a sweet kid
Ribbit-When Baby Boy said bullcrap
Mom-Watching kids be the elevator waiter
Dad-swimming in clothes

Heading to Galveston with a packed car and excited kiddos!

Goober was a great big brother to all the kiddos!!

The boys digging for crabs!

She loved getting pulled on the boogie board!

These two have been sweet friends for over 2 years now.

Both mornings in Galveston I ran 5 miles while Goober rode his bike around me and praticed his tricks!

Some snuggling early in the morning.

Missing Daddy but loving the windy beach!

While in line for to dock both kids wantedto be held....they actually were very patient.

Chilling in the window.

Loving our family time!

Putt Putt

Fancy fruit for dinner.

We saw a lot of Dreamworks characters.

Sunset with my babies!

Princess Fiona

Goober wanted to take this picture of me with the ocean in the background

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Ready for some waves

We are almost all packed....for 3 days of the beach with my girlfriends and their kids and then 7 days on a cruise! Adam has been showing the kids videos of people snorkeling at our port stops and they are super excited! They ask all day long for me to show them how much longer we have until the cruise!

We have stayed busy with the chickens (which i sometimes refer to as the babysitters). The kids actually like cleaning out the coop and making sure they have fresh food and water. We are pretty sure that Ironman is actually a Man....the other 4 are hopefully hens...you wouldn't believe how much research Adam did on Bird Butts to see if we could tell the sex of each chicken, but you really can't until they are 6-8 weeks.

I am also venturing out into another step to make our home as clean as possible. We have tackled the whole paleo diet and seen great results in our how we feel and how reliant we can be on what God provides. That next step is doTerra oils. I have been using frankincense and coconut oil as my face moisturizer for about 3 weeks now and LOVE IT...no acne, no acne meds anymore. When I started researching doTerra and saw how great a company they were (empowering third world countries and women, giving back and how they see that God gave us everything we need) and realizing that the things I slather on my children and have them ingest are man made and just add to the problems. We have been treating a wart on Goober's hands with oregano, treating mine and his acne with frankincense and tea tree oil, making natural insect repellent with lemongrass and taking collagen (a natural protein) to build up our skin....the kids all have awful nail growth and once again the collagen helps with acne and provides extra protection from the sun.

With all that said I have already had one class and I am hosting three more this summer. I know it sounds weird to use oils, but its also weird to ask people to believe that Jonah was swallowed by a whale and then spit out unharmed...but I believe it. I believe that God put us on earth and gave us everything we need...plants, food, healing, oils....so this is just another step in trusting him.

Plus, we are already the weird family....different colors, paleo eaters, early morning runners, chicken coopers....so why not go for it :). Plus, once you start researching you realize that more people would use oils if doTerra and other oil companies could post more about the ailments they have actually cured, but the FDA won't allow that....kinda like how doctors won't tell you that diet and herbs can better affect your ailments over medications and pumping your body full of toxins.....because they loose business. MEH.

So my next post will probably be filled with lots of beach pictures and exciting tales of our beach adventures!!!

One of my new favorite dinners. Sweet potato fries, 1/2 avocado and salsa on top!!!

This was an intense CrossFit!!!

This was all bodyweight but 20 rounds....dddaaannngg.

The last gymnastics class of every term is when the kiddos invite us in to show the parents what they have learned. Ribbit is doing great and isn't afraid to go upside down on the uneven bars or to let her teacher spot her in doing a back handspring...but this is her favorite..hanging from the parallel bars...She loves being a monkey!

This was not planned but when Baby Boy decided he was done sleeping at 3:15 but was conked out again at 4, I couldn't go back to sleep to save my life....so I just ran until everyone woke up and was ready for breakfast . 

Our school likes to give our fun awards at the end of every year. They started this by saying that there are people in life who have inhibitions and just make everything FUN....so here is the FUNGI award, a great pun since Adam is known for his puns, imitations, dance moves and funny emails to the whole school concerning facilities or keys :).....oh yeah or weather you wad or fold your toilet paper. Love that they appreciate that about him!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Circle of Blessing

We had a good DAY of summer...Friday was our first and last day of "summerness" for a while. Monday/Tuesday I have inservice and the kids will go to Cougar Club. Wednesday we will be packing for our Galveston Beach Trip with Friends and Cruise. We leave Thursday and spend TH-Sat with friends at the beach. Sunday, Daddy drives down and we board the cruise ship!! The next Sunday we come back home and wake up to VBS for the next week!!! The next week we start all of our camps and then maybe we can get back to this thing called summer :).

However, our one day of "summariness" was fantastic. We played with the chickens, roller bladed, skateboarded, rode bikes, bought handles for our kitchen cabinets which means we have kitchen cabinets!!!, took naps, went to a graduation dinner and then graduation.

The kids can't stop talking about the cruise and who they think might be their teacher next year!!! They miss their friends but rest assured we have plenty of camps and playdates already mapped out!! We were supposed to have a yard sale this morning but we woke up to thunderstorms (not predicted) and therefore we took the opportunity to use the free chick fil a breakfast cards that a sweet family at our school dropped off for us yesterday. They kids and daddy all got chicken biscuits and the kids played in the playground while it stormed all around us....oh well, we have every thing ready and organized for the next nice Saturday that we are home to have the sale.

Some thigs I want to remember.

Baby Boy calls all black birds "scarecrows"....i think he means crows :).

Ribbit was so sad to leave her teacher and prayed for her on Thursday that "she will like her new kids and have fun with them".

Big Man won the Grace Award for 5th grade and I ugly cried....grace is not my strength and to see God give it in abundance to my child is very humbling and convicting...for his teachers to notice it in him gets the ugly cry.

Well, it happened, we heard this may happen when we were in foster parenting class but it finally happened yesterday....5 years after adopting our first kid I was asked " are you their babysitter". I smiled at the nice cashier and said "No, I am their mom"...she said "ohhhhh", then tried to back out of that awkward situation and said " you just look so young". I am not sure how young I looked in a torn Newsboys shirt from 2001, running shorts, flip flops, unwashed hair and paint all over my body from finishing up painting our kitchen cabinets. I had also asked them all to put down gum at least 3x and reminded Baby Boy about the circle of blessing twice while she was checking us out...not sure how any of that relayed "babysitter" to her brain but it did. I love that Big Man smirked at me when she asked and we had a whole conversation between us with just our eyes ;).

Speaking of circle of blessing, thats my mantra this summer. No yelling, no threats, nada. If they will not obey then they will be reminded that they are outside of Gods circle of blessing and are therefore being disobedient...there are consequences for that and a spanking will soon follow. They respond and should fear being outside of God's circle of blessing much  more than mommy and daddy's circle of blessing. Plus, when we are in public all I have to do is hold up a circle with my two hands and its a reminder that the next step will be a physical punishment. This keeps my mood in check and reminds them that their ultimate authority is the Lord. I love that!!....There were 2 circle of blessing talks yesterday...one for both boys and both of them responded well...not immediately but with genuine apologies and acknowledging bad behavior.

Someone earned his yellow belt in karate!!!

Blueberry kefir plus spinach...YUMMY!

Performing at the Retirement Home with 5th grade strings.

Kindergarten Performance

She dressed herself and looked so sweet!

Getting his Grace award!

A very proud momma!!!

Last day of school celebrating at Jump Street with all of our friends. Collins and Baby Boy have been the best of friends all year. Collins has been battling cancer since May of last year and has been given a clean bill of health after a year of chemo....WE LOVE HER!

Our Paleo icc cream. 3 frozen bananas, 1 bag of frozen strawberries, 1 can of full fat coconut milk, 1 tbsp of vanilla. Blend for 1 minute and ITS READY!!!

I was shocked to get nominate for Master Teacher for the 4th year in  a row. I work with simply amazing teachers and I know every ounce of good I do in the classroom is because of the Lord. I didn't see it but all of the other teachers said that my kiddos made the sweetest faces when they heard my name called. Big Man said he thought to himself " I am not surprised"...such a sweet compliment from my kiddos.

Practicing our rollerblading.

We will miss everything about PK3, especially our amazing teacher Mrs. Perona...she inspires a LOVE OF LEARNING and has the patience of a saint!

We had a great second year of Kindergarten...can you believe that Ribbit went from reading level 1 to reading level 8 this year? Her teacher, Mrs. Whitten couldn't wait to tell us!!!! Mrs. Whitten gave Ribbit the award of Joy and Creativity for kindergarten and I couldn't agree more!

Last day of school picture in front of my students graffiti wall! LOVE IT!

Showing off their achievements in karate together. The sweetest of friends!!!

Ripsticking our way through the first day of summer.

I will hold his hand while rollerblading all day long!!!!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Last Full Day of School

Its my last full day of  school, followed by 3 1/2 days for finals. The kiddos have 2 more full days and 2 half days and then SWEET SUMMERTIME....and then our CRUISE!!

My parents sent money yesterday and each kiddos used it to buy snorkel gear and an underwater camera, which they are equally excited to use!!

We are doing our own excursions, taking taxis and going to parks at all 3 stops in order to save money...and to keep from being off the ship for 8 hours at at time..we may need naps and/or need to be on our schedule. We have been researching like crazy and it seems like the best option when traveling with kiddos!

I can't wait to get into our summer routine of staying up a little later, waking up a little later, playdates and camps...seeing family and traveling. Adding on our 5 chicks to the family and planting a bigger garden will also keep us busy this summer!

I wanted to share pictures of my Mothers Day weekend, they are out of order but meh..its summertime right?

Someone had a grand time at Sweet and Sassy with her girlfriends!

These two have been the best of pals this year!

Mother's Day gifts from Baby Boy...I was super sweaty :).

Adding it to my plate collection!

Just like every other day Ribbit drew me 400 pictures that say "i love mommy", "mommy is the best"...can't get enough of them!

Check out this beautiful card.

Working hard in the chicken coop.

The chicken coop makes a great babysitter..hehehe...We are at 5 chicks now....Sunshine, Snowflake, Ironman, Fuzzy and Phenix.

I have to say that I made a killer mothers day dinner...marinated steak cooked in bacon fat and rosemary from our garden...plus roasted veggies. Goober said it was the best steak ever!

Bubba and I ran in the Buffalo Boogie on Saturday morning..he wanted to capture all the cactus in the background at the Fort Worth Nature Center.

She begged me to take this picture and send it to her teacher!

Another killer dinner...Green hatch chile beef meatloaf mixed with crook neck squash and onions that we cooked down on the stovetop for a loooonnngg time.

Dancing with another friend at the party!

Check out her diva pose...top left.

My treat on Saturday...not only did I do a 25 min AMRAP CrossFit workout that included 48 Push presses, 80 heavy deadlifts, 112 Knees to elbows on the bar and 800 jumpropes plus a mile run.....but then add a 1mile walk to the starting line for the Buffalo Boogie (most of which I carried little bubba), a 1 mile run with little man, and then the 1 mile walk back. SOOOOOOOO, I was sooo hungry. This is cucumber sushi with spicy tuna, salmon and shrimp. YUM!


Animal spot tattoo after our run

Cutie patootie in front of some blue bonnets on our long walk after the run.

We had to park so far from the starting line....but it was neat to walk over the interstate and watch cars zoom underneath us. We passed the time by singing the ENTIRE " there was a hole, in the middle of the ground......and the green grass grows all around, all around, etc" song.

So proud to be chick parents.

Yall need to pray for Ironman.