Bring Bennet Home

Monday, December 12, 2011

2011 Christmas Letter


MERRY CHRISTMAS to our wonderful Family & Friends,
   We hope this letter find you & your family healthy & happy. We have had a great 2011 full of milestones for Tucker & sweet memories for his parents to treasure. What an adventure!
   Chris just began his fourth year as the Student Minister at First Baptist Church in Sayre, Oklahoma. He continues to work with the students here and to fall more in love with what a little longevity in a ministry looks & feels like. FBC Sayre is a huge blessing in our lives & they continue to love us so well. This is the longest Chris has ever been at one church and being able to watch kids grow up & grow into leaders is really fulfilling for him. 
   My roll at church has changed some in the last 19 months, but I continue to help out when I can. I’m loving teaching Senior girls Sunday School, advising our student leadership team & helping with event planning and preparation throughout the year. Our students in Sayre really are the best kids to work with & we count it a privilege to be entrusted with them. Our church family at Sayre also continues to be a blessing & an example for how to love people & give selflessly. 
   Tucker is the star of the youth group & is constantly dotted on, played with & spoiled by our students. He definitely has his favorites among the group. It’s funny to watch them all vie for a baby’s fleeting attention. This year’s biggest debate was whose name Tuck would say first & Sawyer Johnston was the winner! She is still gloating, I think. What a blessed little boy he is to get to grow up as the little brother to 50 or so high school, junior high & college students.
   Tucker just seems to get more &d more fun as the days go by! We obviously think he is SUPER advanced in everything he does & are relishing watching our sweet baby grow into a kid. His vocabulary is expanding everyday, he knows all of the animal sounds his momma does, what sounds about half the letters in the alphabet make, two handful of songs (motions or words), family members names & even a couple of movie quotes. This year he has fallen love with the movie “Cars.” He regularly requests to watch it by saying, “ka-chow” just like Lightening McQueen. His favorite toys are cars, balls, shape sorter and his Cars tent. Tucker also loves to read books, run or be chased, play outside, watch tv/movies, play on our iPhones or on the the computer & his Momma. His favorite foods are green beans, mac & cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches and any carb. He is still a big boy! At his 18 month check up he weighed just over 33 lbs. (which is off the charts) & was 32 inches tall (60%). As the days go by we continue to marvel at the biggest blessing either of us has ever received. Tucker is just perfect! Sometimes its still hard to wrap our minds around why God chose us to be his family. Humbled is a massive understatement!
   My days are filled with chasing, playing with, feeding, changing, wrestling, laughing, teaching & loving Tucker. It’s a tough job somedays, but I have never loved anything more. Motherhood is the most rewarding & challenging thing I have ever done, but I’m overwhelmingly blessed to get to stay home with my sweet boy. I wouldn’t want to miss a second of these days that seem to be passing all too quickly! 
   Chris has grown into such an incredible father. It is pure joy to watch him love his son. They both light up when they see each other! When Chris takes Tuck into another room I love to listen to them laugh & talk & play. I knew when we were dating that I was not only picking a guy who would be a good husband, but also a fantastic father & he has surpassed all of my expectations. Chris stays busy with church work, student activities & our little family. He does a great job balancing all of those things.   
   We are looking forward to what 2012 will hold! A few things on the books for the Gordon’s next year are… Chris will begin his third season as the Sayre Eagle High School Boys Golf Coach, Tucker will turn two and Chris & I will be leading a trip of our students to Zambia, Africa in August. 
   During this time of year we can’t help, but reflect on all of the blessings we have. Our family & friends continue to remain in the number one spot. Thank you for your friendship, love & support! We are truly blessed to be loved so much by so many. 
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year,
Chris, McKenzie & Tucker Gordon

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Gotcha!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwY-BUJgRhw&feature=youtu.be
Love this song! It makes me cry every. single. time. Through our pregnancy/baby process the Lord provided us several HUGE prayer warriors. One of them sang this song for us at church shortly after Tucker was born. It's beautiful. Tears ran down my cheeks that Sunday morning as I snuggled my newborn and they do tonight as I marvel at how he's grown and learned and changed in 18 short months.

I'm reflecting on those days today because today is the one year anniversary of when Tucker legally became a Gordon. How blessed are we to have him in our family.
Happy Gotcha Day my sweetness!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Big Bed

So I think I've mentioned on here before that Tucker isn't the best sleeper. He's been a dream child in every other area, but sleeping at night has never been our strong point. Well, last week we went on a mini-vacation to Tulsa. We had a great time catching up with college friends and just being away. I didn't take the pack-n-play so we got a room with two beds and I wasn't sure how sleeping was going to play out. New place. No rocking chair. Big bed. But to our GREAT amazement Tucker LOVED it. He went to sleep on his own (with just his sippy) laying in the dark room at night and for naps. He slept until 5-6 each morning and I'd go lay with him and give him a drink and he'd go right back to sleep. It was awesome!
So we bought a new go-to-sleep book as a prize and when we got home I thought I'd try sleeping in an extra day bed that's always been in his room anyway. And wouldn't ya know it, he loves it too! He has slept in that bed by himself for naps and sleepies all week. I'm just super impressed. He stays in the bed, even after he wakes up he just sits there and plays until we come to get him. I guess he didn't like feeling trapped in his crib or something. We have all slept so good this week and I hope we've turned the sleeping-all-night corner. Crossing our fingers! I think almost 19 months of not sleeping all night is plenty.
We didn't plan on moving him to a big bed yet, but since it's working we're going with it. Now to say that I'm not a little sad that our rocking-to-sleep phase is mostly over would be a lie. I thought that it would be one of those things I got to say good-bye to with one last night of rocking and probably some tears as I let this precious phase grow with this boy who is less of a baby every day, but it just slipped away when I wasn't looking. But I guess trading for reading books and sweet cuddles it a pretty good swap.
I haven't been brave enough to try to get any sleeping pictures of him because I don't want to jinx this sleeping kick he's on. But hopefully I'll have some proof of his latest great accomplishment.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

18 Month Letter

Oh My Tucker,
   Somehow I've blinked and you are more of a kid then a baby. You are sweet, adventurous, coordinated, smart, handsome, friendly, kind, independent and just the light of our lives. Every where we go people still strike up conversations with me about how cute/sweet you are. The comment we get most is, "He looks likes he's gonna play football." Which would be fine with us. You do have the thighs for it! You love to climb, read books, sort shapes, play outside, the cat & dog, and play with trucks/cars/anything with wheels. You respond when spoken to. You follow commands. Your learning to help pick up toys. And much to your Momma's pleasure, you are still a Momma's Boy!

  You still LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your cousin, Emrie. You can say her name, tackle her, and you run as fast as your little legs can carry you to keep up with her. She's about 50/50 with how much she likes you. You really think she is the greatest thing. You laugh hysterically at her in person or on videos.
 Your favorite foods are mac & cheese, green beans, turkey, grapes, biscuits, pancakes, noodles (basically any carb will do!) goldfish and animal crackers. You usually eat pretty good, sometimes REALLY good. You drink lots of milk and some watered down juice everyday.
   You are very entertained by the television and if I'm not careful you'll watch as long as I let you. Your favorite thing to watch, by far, is Cars. It's a good thing it's a cute movie because I can just about quote it. You even say, "ca-chow" like Lightening McQueen. It's handy that you like to watch it sometimes, that's for sure.
   You are really smart, well I think you are. You know words or actions to Twinkle, Twinkle, Lord's Army, The Moon Song, Happy and Ya Know It, Patty Cake, Old McDonald and Yummy in my Tummy. You know the sounds letters A-E make as well as G, T, W and M. We're working on more of those sounds and recognizing them by site. Sometimes you do that and sometimes you don't so I'm not sure what all you have down. You know LOTS of animal sounds and recognize pictures of them. You know where most of your body parts are located. You help me put your clothes and shoes on every day and are learning some words for your clothing.
   You are very busy all the time! It seems like you are always running, climbing or chasing something. You do this thing where you sit on your booty and roll circles using your arms and legs. I can't describe it but it seems pretty coordinated for as young as you are. You can stand on one foot and kick a ball, you throw really well and with both hands. (your Dad hopes your a lefty for sports purposes) You have really good balance and are doing stairs with ease.
   We go to the doctor next week for your 18 month check up so I don't know official stats, but last time we went (three weeks ago I think) you weighed 30.14 pounds and were 31.5 inches long. I think you'll be off the charts in the weight category.
   My sweet baby, watching you grow and learn is the highlight of my life. You amaze me everyday with a new word or trick. I'm so proud to be your mom and have you show off all you know to anyone who will watch. I love this journey we are on together and I love the place you have permanently taken up in my heart. I don't know what the future holds, but I'm treasuring these moments that I have just you and me. You are my little buddy and helper. You follow me almost everywhere and always want to know what I'm doing. You love to help me in the kitchen with your own pot and spoon. We read, we wrestle, we sing and we snuggle every single day and I'm just trying to soak up all I can! Thank you for making me a momma and for bringing your Daddy and I more joy then we ever thought possible!

Just let me hold you a little longer because I love you more,
Momma

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Photo Card

Silly Streak Chocolate Birthday
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Sunday, October 9, 2011

GO POKES GO!

It's no secret that we are big Oklahoma State fans around here. We love our Cowboys and love going to the games. It's been a fun thing that Chris and I have shared since our very first conversation. Sometimes it seems silly how in to it that we get, but it is one of the few hobbies we have that overlap. Our first anniversary present to each other was season tickets and we've had them two other seasons since. There's just something about being at the game in a sea of orange all hoping for the same outcome. It's kinda like watching a movie in a packed theater, but better!
This Saturday was a special game day. It was Tucker's first OSU game. His parents were way more excited then he was, but still it was going to be fun. We had been planning on coming up for a while. A couple weeks ago Uncle Delton, who works at OSU, called and told his little brother some exciting news. He is in charge of the athletic dorms and has put in lots of overtime so as a thank you the team was honoring him as an Honorary Assistant Coach for the day. He would get to go to the walk-thru practice and team dinner Friday night and then spend Saturday with the team from The Walk till the end of the game. He was pumped and Chris was excited for him too, but also a little jealous. Last Wednesday Delton called and said that he'd get to take a guest and his brother was his first choice. To say my husband was excited would be an understatement. He LOVES OSU. Like passionately loves them. All year round I hear about recruits, stats, scores, stories and any other Cowboy info he can get his hands on. My sisters and Mom had also been planning on coming to the game so Saturday we all headed to Stilly for some good ol' Cowboy football!

Saturday at noon we lined the street between The an Atherton d Boone Pickens Stadium and waited for The Walk to begin. This is a game day tradition at OSU. The band, cheerleaders, pom girls, team, coaches and, of course, Pistol Pete make the trek as fans line the street cheering them on. Chris and Delton walked at the end of the procession with Coach Gundy and as they passed Tucker joined them. 
As they walked away I was just struck with pride and thoughts of what being a parent of one of those players would feel like. What it would be like to watch your son set his sights on something that few accomplish and see it through by playing at the collegiate level. We joke often about what if Tucker plays someday and if he would ever be able to play at OSU. It just brought tears to my eyes. And to my sisters too. We get that way sometimes. haha. 
Chris got to continue on with the team and eat lunch with recruits, sat in club level seats, tour both Gallagher-Iba and Boone Pickens Stadium. He was in Heaven all day. He met basketball players, media personalities, coaches and even T. Boone himself. He had a great day! 
We finally made it to kick-off and 32 seconds into the first quarter Tucker was out! A 2:30 kick-off is right in the middle of nap time. Daddy did come down to see us and make sure he was apart of Tucker's first game. 
 But as halftime approached so did the rain. We left early and even though we were a little soggy by the time we got to the car we made lots of fun memories. 

Chris and I look forward to many more games and many more memories surrounding our Cowboys. I'm so thankful that this will always be something we can enjoy together. It sure was fun to share with our Baby for the first time. Ride 'em Cowboys!!!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Vocab

I just wanted to make a list for my own sake to remember all that Tucker can say at 17 months old... Identify body parts: He knows where his _______ are.
eyes
mouth
nose
ears
toes
belly button
hair
knee
hands
wiener

 Animal Sounds: He knows what _________ says.
cow
snake
fish
bear/tiger/lion/dinosaur
whale
wolf
monkey
dog
duck

Words he says...
Momma
Dada
Thatcher (the dog)
EEE (for Emrie)
Granna
Nana
Mimi
Joe
wow
toes
nose
star
book
O-S-U Cow (he hasn't quite got the boys down at the end)
counts 1-5
go
bye-bye
hi
sippy
doy-doy-doy (were not sure what it means but he says it a LOT)
car

Songs he sings...
Twinkle, Twinkle
Mother Duck
Old McDonald
Patty Cake
If you're happy and ya know it
Itsy Bitsy Spider

He signs...
more
all done
bite

 I don't know if this really means he's as smart as we think he is, but we obviously think he's super advanced and great. He's just learning so much right now I wanted to make sure it was documented. I feel like there are more words, but I can't think of them right now. I literally feel like he learns something new every day, if not by the hour. He can say almost anything he wants to, but rarely repeats the new word. For instance, he said dinosaur once tonight in reference to his pajamas, but wouldn't say it again. I'm just loving this stage of exploration and learning. I am truly just in love with my sweet boy!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The next five years...

Last night Chris took me out on a wonderful date. Some sweet surragate grandparents watched Tucker for us and we tried a restaurant we'd been wanting to go to. (White Dog Hill in Clinton, it was fabulous! Choclate cake to DIE for. Literally die for!) As we sat chatting about our wedding and memories that surrounded that special day I asked Chris if where we are in our life/marriage/family/church is where he thought we'd be five years ago. Neither of us could've foreseen our inability to conceive a child and adopting our first baby. Living in Sayre wasn't on either of our radar. We both pictured somewhere a little larger, like Tulsa or Norman. If you'd told me we were going to move to Texas I'd never have believed you. As we discussed each of these topics the conversation turned to the next five years. Where we would be? If in Sayre, What ministry would look like after eight years in the same church? We have never had longevity in our ministry and thinking about the kids who will be in our youth group by then. Our now eighth graders will be seniors. Kids that were tiny when we moved to Sayre will be teenagers. We both think that we'll still be in ministry in five years and if so, we want to be at FBC Sayre. We truly believe there is no better church/pastor for us on the planet. Family. How many more kids we would have by then? I'd always thought two would be our number, but now that we're halfway there I can't imagine just having one more. I was one of three and have ALWAYS said if we had a third, a fourth would have to follow. But now I don't know. I think so much depends on if we are ever able to get pregnant ourselves. We definiately plan to adopt at least one more time, but if I got pregnant would I want two that way? I don't know. How many kids will our siblings have by then? What will that family dynamic look like? In five years, Tucker will be in school. He will be six years old. I can't even imagine that. He will probably be playing baseball and reading and doing all sorts of big kid things. I don't really like thinking about that. If the next years pass as fast as the first 16 months have, it will be here before I know it. Our waitress told me last night that she heard if you make it to seven years your in the free in clear. I wish that were true! But for both of our parents it was much longer before the called it quits. I think that scares us both a little. The knowledge that after 18 and 27 years two people can just walk away is unsettling. Last night just reminded me that our marriage needs to be a priority. Not just for the next two years, but for the next fifty or so. I truly am married to be my best friend and my perfect counterpart. I can't imagine my life without him as my partner and I wouldn't want to raise babies with anyone else. To say I'm thankful and blessed would be an understatement.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Five Years

Five years ago today we got all dressed up. He said "I do" and so did I. We had no idea what was coming our way or where we would end up. But five years later... here's the tally. Four houses, Five moves, Four towns, Three dogs, Eight cars, One baby, And we're no worse for the wear. I'm so lucky to be married to my best friend and the person who is my perfect counterpart. I've always said that Chris is more then I even knew to ask God for when I prayed for my husband. I couldn't do life without him and I can't imagine raising babies with anyone else. Christopher, Thanks for continuing to choose me and love me even when I'm unloveable. You are such a blessing to me and Tucker. I love you and I'm unbelievably proud to be your wife. You are an even better Daddy then I knew you would be and watching you fill that roll fills my heart to overflowing. Here's to the next 50 years!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Goals

Lately I have found myself lacking motivation. Like I seriously don't want to do anything and nothing is getting accomplished. At the end of the day I feel frustrated with myself because I've wasted another day. Sure I play with Tucker and take care of him, but not much else gets done. Every once and a while that'd be ok but on a regular basis its not good for my psyche, my house or my family. So I'm going to make some goals for this fall. Some big ones, some small. But just a list to make me think through some things that I want to accomplish.
#1. We are going to try to potty train next month. Tuck will be 17 months old and while I know he's young I think its worth a try. If it doesn't work we'll wait a month or two and try again. I REALLY want him to have it down by two. I'm really excited about this and the research I'm doing says that toddlers around 18 months are totally capable. Crossing our fingers!
#2. I want to take a shower every MORNING. I do shower every day, but sometimes its at 1 when Tucker's napping or its 5 when Chris gets home because I don't have anything I have to get ready for that day. I think showering earlier and putting actual clothes on instead of sweats will make me want to do more.
#3. Cut down on unneeded money spending. I find at the end of the month I've bought some things that we don't really need. The main area is clothes for Tuck. He doesn't need anything else, but I always seem to find something on sale or a good deal. I need to only buy what he NEEDS.
#4. I want to be more encouraging to Chris. He recently pointed out that I'm most complimentary of him right after we argue. I don't want that to be true. Parenting and marriage are stressful. Sometimes I blow up over little things Chris does because I'm frustrated with Tuck and then I feel bad so I try to compensate by telling him how much I love/appreciate him. I want to tell him those things just because I mean them, not in an attempt to make my emotional outburst seem more acceptable.
#5. I want to go to lunch with students or friends once a week. Its good for Tuck and I to get out of the house and be around other people. I feel like a hermit sometimes because I go days with Chris being the only other adult I see. Small town living doesn't provide us with busy parks, malls or many activities. Sometimes I find myself feeling jealous of bigger city living because there's just more to do. Even we do go to the park or something we are usually the only ones there.
#6. I want to clean out and organize our garage and office. Both have become catch all rooms and that disorganization annoys me but because its out-of-site and out-of-mind its easy to ignore.
#7. With the things I clean out I want to have a garage sale and really get rid of some of our excess.
#8. I want to read a non-baby related book every month. (I'm taking suggestions) I love to read but have a hard time choosing books sometimes. But its good for me to think about something else.
#9. I want to try a new recipe every week. I'm just getting bored with all my go-to recipes that we eat all the time. (Suggestions also welcome here)
#10. I want to start exercising and eating better. Chris and I both need to lose some weight and I need to be the one pushing us to do it. The extra hot summer has kept us inside a lot.
Ok that's ten. That'll give me something to work on. Hopefully the days won't pass as a blur if I have these reminders of things I'd like to do.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sleepless in Sayre

When you have a baby you expect sleepless nights. You know those are part of the deal. And we were fine with that. I think I thought that Tucker would continually sleep better and better until he mastered sleeping all night. I was not prepared for him to sleep all night for several months and then stop and want to be awake for 2-4 hours in the middle of the night and then sleep until late morning. This is brutal.
From the time we brought Tucker home he was an ok sleeper. He would wake up, eat and go immediately back to sleep (unless he was sick or cutting teeth) but around the beginning of the summer he started waking up again. And then he wanted to stay awake. That's where our problem is. I HATE staying awake. Some nights I can't. We've tried a million different things.
Crying it out. Doesn't work. We've done that for a week at a time five separate times in his life. He cries for at least a hour and then finally falls asleep but the moment anything changes in our routine he goes back to crying for hours at a time. This is traumatic for all of us and it just doesn't work for us.
I determined before he was even born that I'd always rock him to sleep for the night. Those moments are so precious to me and I know the days he will want to be rocked will pass quickly so I'm soaking them up. Even though a lot of books and websites encourage parents to teach their children to fall asleep independently rocking has worked well of us. It gives me some cuddle time and him some extra security. Its one of those moments of motherhood you dream about and I treasure it!
The only thing that seems to do the trick in the middle of the night is to put Tucker in our bed. This is one of those things we didn't want to start, but when you get so tired you can't hold your own head up it seems like a better idea then it once did. I don't know that any of the three of us rest very well in our queen sized bed, but a little sleep is better then none at all. One perk of this bad habit is getting to wake up next to two sweet boys. Tucker peaks his eyes open at me and then raises up to kiss me with his sweet open mouth and then we stretch and he smiles so sweetly. I think he likes having us at arms reach first thing instead of waking up alone. I guess we'll just see how things go and we may ask for a king sized bed for Christmas. ha!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

16 Months Letter

Tucker Gordon,
You are just growing up so fast! I swear everyday you turn into more of a little boy then my baby. You are so independent and adventurous. I haven't written you a letter in a long time and I just wanted to document all the fun things you're doing these days. You are truly a joy to so many.
You LOVE to be outside, dirt, messes, holes, rocks, grass and sticks as much as any toy you own. Your favorite toys include cars/trucks, balls, books and your Monkeys. You bring us books to read about a million times everyday. I hope you always love books! Brown Bear is still your favorite. You also like a book you have that's full of pictures. Your favorite pages are of trucks and animals.
You like to figure things and people out and still watch new people with a careful eye. When I'm holding you and someone you're not sure about speaks to you you shyly lay your head on my shoulder until they go away. You've figured out that if you pretend to be shy they won't keep pestering you. Its so funny because as soon as they walk away your head pops up and the jabbering continues.
You are SUPER vocal and loud. I don't notice how loud you really are until we are out in public and then it's almost embarrassing sometimes. You can say a lot of words now and your still signing several. You can count to three, say, "wow, wow, wow," say "O-S-U" complete with your guns (Daddy is so proud!) and you know a lot of animal sounds. You are just so smart. I can tell you understand more and more everyday. It's so fun to watch you learn to communicate.
Discipline has come to be part of your world, and as much as you hate it, you really are doing very well! You weren't responding much to spanking your hand so now you visit the time out corner every once and a while and you have learned to stay put until Momma comes to get you. You are usually crying during your time there, but you do stay which is a huge accomplishment. You also look at things you know are off limits and then look at me and shake your head no-no and walk away if I say that's a no-no. Our two hardest lessons right now are not throwing your sippy cup down when you're done drinking and going to sleep on your own. Momma and Daddy failed at sleep training when you were little because it just broke our hearts and you were REALLY stubborn. But we are committed this time and you are doing better everyday. You only cry for about 10 minutes before you go to sleep on your own. In the middle of the night you still cry for closer to a hour, which is AWFUL for all three of us! But I think in a few more nights you'll have it down...I hope.
You walk, run, spin circles, wiggle, dance, shake your booty, jump and crash all on command. You have started coming to get me or your Daddy by the finger and lead us where you want us to play with you. Every time you do it, it just melts our hearts. It's so sweet to feel your little hand wrapped tightly around my finger.
Another favorite thing you're doing is giving lovies. You come and want in our laps and then you nuzzle in and grunt like we do until we hug you tightly. You also freely give kisses, and sometimes you'll do that on command too. But nothing beats you grabbing my face with your fat hands and coming in for the kill! Love those moments.
You LOVE water, but hate your floaty. You want to be free so bad! You do still love your kiddie pool that you can get in and out of all by yourself. Bath time is still a highlight of your day, although you could do without having your hair washed. You're not a huge fan.

You also really like TV/movies these days. Your favorite shows are Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Handy Manny. Your favorite movies are Toy Stories and Cars. I tried to have you watch something else in the car a few weeks ago and you hated it. You cried until I put Cars back in. It's amazing how well you watch those things and how attentive you are. We have to make sure you don't watch too much, but you sure seem to like it!
You have had a haircut about every six weeks since your were five months old. Your last one was number 9 and every time you get one you just look more like a little boy. Last time Aunt Cassie cut around your ears and your neckline and I swear you looked so big!
You weigh 27.13 lbs. Your wearing size 5 diapers and size 18-24 months clothes. Your shoes are size 5 extra wide.
Your favorite foods are fruit and carbs! You love bread and noodles like no ones business. Grapes and bananas are your favorite fruits. Turkey is about the only meat you'll eat plain. You'll eat others if I sneak them in, but not a lot of them. You like green beans and potatoes as far as veggies are concerned. Really anything you can feed yourself you'll at least try. You get so frustrated if there's something we need to feed you, unless is sugary (like ice cream, snowcones or cake) then you'll happily eat if off our spoon.
You are most definitely still a Momma's boy! You also love your Daddy, Granna, Aunt Chelsie & of course Emrie. You guys are such turds to each other to love the other one as much as you do. Em is going through a big kid phase and sometimes you following her around gets on her nerves, but she takes great care of you.
The last week has been really tough. We thought you were going to have a little brother in January, but your Birth Mom had a miscarriage. You have been the light in these dark days. Your smile and sweet gestures have restored my heart. I'm so blessed to get to be your Momma and no matter what happens in the future we already got the best part of your Birth Mom in you. I cannot imagine my life without you. I'm loving getting to spend everyday with you and watch you grow and learn. I'm so proud to be your Momma! I love you so much more then you can understand.
Momma

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Aftermath

Just to update everyone on what we've learned since my last post... The baby was born at 12:48 a.m. on Wednesday, July 13th. It was a baby boy and he weighed just a few ounces and was about four inches long. K left the hospital around 8:30 that morning. She named the baby Michael Ray. They had a memorial service for him Thursday morning, but we didn't attend to protect K. She had him cremated and hasn't shared if the doctor told her any cause for her to have miscarried. K is acting very detached and says she's ok. Thank you for praying for her. Please continue to do so.
My previous blog post was also in our church newsletter last week because I didn't want to have to tell the story 100 times and I didn't want people to continue finding out over a prolonged period of time. This proved to be both good and bad. Most people have been very sweet and supportive. Most of them say something about God's will/timing because they don't really know what to say. I don't either. But it feels hallow when your heart still aches for what could've been. It's still so hard to understand. My imagination has brought me through every possible scenario and reason and hope that exists. And still part of me doesn't feel justified in these feelings because I wasn't really his Momma yet.
This morning our Pastor asked for people to come to the alter and pray for rain. We have had one inch of rain in Sayre, America since November. Our farmers are feeling it. Record numbers of cattle are selling at the local auction (it went for 23 hours last week). As our faithful church family crowed the alter several people prayed for rain, but a few of their prayers pierced my heart about our lost baby.
One man who has been so faithful to pray for Chris and I through the three and a half years of infertility and adoption #1 said, "...God, we know you create and sustain life..." As tears clouded my eyes for the millionth time this week, I realized that for me that is what is the toughest part of infertility and K's miscarriage. I KNOW that God is capable of creating life inside of me, but He is choosing not to. For whatever reason this has been a struggle in our life for over four years now. I also KNOW that He could have sustained Baby #2's life while K carried Him if He wanted to. It's so hard for me to wrap my mind around these truths and still trust that He knows what is best. Why not me? Why not this baby? Why get us involved so early? I keep telling Chris that if you can't get pregnant you definitely shouldn't have to go through a miscarriage. One or the other, but both seems so unfair.
The second thing that was prayed was from our Pastor. He used our "Tucker Verses" and my heart just broke. "To Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more then we can ask, think or imagine to Him be the honor and GLORY forever, and ever AMEN." Eph. 3:20. These were my prayer for our first adoption process and God was so overwhelmingly faithful to this promise. But some how this morning they didn't hold the sweetness they usually do. They made my heart hurt. I know they are true. I've lived their authenticity. Maybe that's why they stung today, because I can't see the fruition of that promise. I'm knee deep in the rough part that will make that promise sweeter. someday.
I don't know if we'll ever know or understand why Tootsie Roll's life was so short or why everything shook down like it did, but we are trying to praise our Father through the valley and trust His goodness and plans for our family. The two sermons today were on love and humility. I pray that through this hardship I grow in love and humility and learn to walk those out better. For Tucker. For Chris. For our future children. But mostly for the glory of my Father.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Secret Tootsie Roll Blog #7 - goodbye

My dear sweet Baby,
I didn't know you really, but you were mine all the same. I didn't get to feel you move or hear your sweet little heartbeat, but my heart is broken because your gone. I didn't get to meet you at all. I never got to hold you against my chest and feel your weight against my heart. I didn't get to rock and sing you to sleep feeling your tiny bottom in my hand. I didn't get to nuzzle my cheek against yours as I breathed you in deeply. I'll never know what you smelt like or who you would have been. I'll never know why you were taken from our lives when you were still just a dream. But I do know I loved you before I knew you. You held my heart before I could've ever held you. Just the knowledge of your existence and your place in our family were enough for you to change me forever. I was going to be your Forever Momma. I was going to be the one to rock you to sleep, tie your shoes and kiss your boo-boos as you grew up. I was going to be there to take pictures of you on your first day of school, piano recitals, and high school proms. I was supposed to get to love you no matter what for as long as I was alive, and I think I will even though you won't ever be physically present in our lives.
I think you were a girl. I don't know why, but since we found out you were going to be ours I've just thought you were going to be a girl. The thought of having a daughter and Tucker having a little sister thrilled my soul! I know Tucker would've loved you and been so protective of you as the two of you grew up so close in age. I was so excited to get to be a spectator in that love story the two of you would've shared.
I was scared about how I would handle two babies under two. I was nervous about making life work and not being so overwhelmed that I would miss out on special times with you or your big brother. I had already started trying to help Tucker grow up a little quicker to make your arrival as smooth as possible. I was anxious about where the money was going to come from for us to bring you home. But deep down I knew that these things would work themselves out because they would have to. We would've been ok.
I was excited to see Tucker love you and watch how your relationship with him would develop. I'm so sad that Tucker won't get to grow up with a matching, blood sibling. I wanted you to share that bond with him and both of you have one and other to lean on when questions were ready to be asked. I just felt like you would both need each other to understand this adoption story that we are living. I wanted you both to have a built in best friend so close to your own age, just like I do with your Aunt Cassie. I think I'm just realizing how much I wanted that for you both.
There are countless dreams I've already had for you sweet Baby. Milestones you will never reach. Its so hard to understand why this happened like it did or what the purpose is in it now.
I don't understand why God took you before you ever had a chance. I don't understand why He allowed us all to fall in love with you for such a short time. But I do trust He is sovereign and I know that there is a purpose for your little life. I know that He can use tragedy to call people to Himself and I pray that He will do that with your Birth Mom.
We loved you before we ever held you. You were a Gordon before your first breath. You will always be my second child and I will always love you with a love only a Momma's heart can hold. There just seems to be so much to grieve today. But one day when we are united in Heaven I will rejoice to have had you as apart of our family's story.
I'll love you forever, I like you for always as long as I'm living my baby you'll be. Good bye my sweet Tootsie Roll. May your story bring Him glory.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Let me see your Tootsie Roll...

Since June 7th, Chris and I have been counting down the days until we could share some big news with everyone in our world. Our Birth Mom was pregnant again and on June 7th asked if we would adopt this baby as well. We were beyond thrilled and a little nervous to have two babies under two. We had told our families and a few close friends and there were also a few people we slipped up in front of that knew were planning to welcome the fourth Gordon close to the first of 2012. My niece, who will be four in August, aptly named the new baby Tootsie Roll until we found out the sex. I have been writing, but not publishing blogs to our little Tootsie Roll and may still publish them someday. It feels too fresh right now, but I do want to have them for memory's sake. Needless to say, everyone was super excited, not only to adopt again, but to have the 5t for that second adoption to be a half sibling of Tucker's.
Today at 1:15 K, our Birth Mom, called and said her water broke and after a long afternoon of phone calls from her and our adoption agency, it was determined that it was amitotic fluid that she was leaking and because she was only 14 weeks along the baby's organs aren't developed enough to sustain its little life. They induced her labor around 5:30 tonight.
We are heartbroken and unsure of how to feel and process. Adoption makes a miscarriage different. We're apart of the puzzle at this point even though had the baby made it full term we would have been a much larger piece. I don't know how to feel, how to grieve. It's also different then if I had miscarried. My heart hurts for K as much as it does for us. She has very little support and people to come along side her and love her through this hardship. We have lots of family and a host of church family members and friends to lean on. She is the one actually have to go through the trauma of the events of today as well as the entire 14 weeks of this pregnancy. She has wrestled with deciding to parent or place, and through that had to recognize a lot of personal inadequacies (both physical and emotional). All of this is a lot of me to process as a (fairly) stable 28 year old married woman, little alone a 21 year old single mom with no family.
Please pray for all of us as we process and heal. Pray for K as she continues to face rough days, both in conjunction with this miscarriage and just how her life is unfolding. Pray for peace that passes understanding and the opportunity for us to share why we have a Hope during such a hard situation. Pray for K's salvation. Pray for the future of our family and clarity on what and when the next addition will be. After preparing our hearts to have another baby so soon we will be seeking the Lord's direction for when and how to pursue Baby #2.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Father's

I know this is late, but we were at Super Summer last week and on Father's Day. So here's my tribute to three of the men in my life. The three generations of Daddys in my life could not be any more different! But I've learned so many lessons from my Papa, Dad and husband in their own ways.

To say I adore my Papa would be a massive understatement. He is strong, quiet and faithful. He works hard, too hard these days. He loves his family and is a beautiful picture of a servant. He would literally give you the shirt off your back if he thought you needed it. He has been the two and three year olds teacher for more then 30 years at his church. He has been such a constant in my life and for that I'm eturnally grateful. God gave me the best Papa in the world and I'd be willing to argue that fact with anyone who thinks their's is any better.

My Dad and I have not always had a great relationship. He is hard for me to love and I'm hard for him too. But I have learned to be honest, work hard and do what I say I'm going to from my Dad. He may not have been able to love me like I needed him to but he always made sure we had what we needed, even at his expense or comfort. I'm thankful that my Dad and the example he has set for me, both good and bad
God gave my babies the BEST Daddy in the whole world! He continually shows us unconditional love. He takes so much from me without complaining. He is tender and patient with Tucker. He tears up with every kiss from our sweet boy. He reminds me daily of what real love looks like even when I don't show it well. I prayed for my husband for years before I met him and his ability to be a good Dad was amongst my requests but I could not have assembled a better Daddy.

Secret Tootsie Roll Blog #6

We got our re-application packet today in the mail! Things are getting so very real. My heart just feels so full every time I think of our Tootsie. On and off throughout the day I'm reminded that soon our family of three will add a fourth. Sometimes it's in excited anticipation, other times it's wondering how I will manage with two babies only 20 months apart and other its just a sweet peace that fills my heart to know that I'm going to get to be a momma of two. Lately the big brother has been giving me a run for my money because he's decided sleep is overrated. I find myself to be short and easily frustrated with my current two boys and I wonder how adding another will work. But I know that this sweet baby was made to be ours, just like Tucker was, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we will make it because we have to and because God doesn't give us more then we can handle.
Our Birth Mom, K, STILL has not been to the doctor and it's making me really anxious. I don't know why she's putting off going, but we are waiting to make this adoption public knowledge until we have a due date and know that things are ok. Because of the anticipation of making our big announcement and (lets be honest) my lack of control over the situation her not going has been weighing heavy on my mind. I want to know Tootsie is ok and things are looking good. I want to know K is doing well and making good choices. I want to hear a sweet little heartbeat. I want to know when we can expect this blessing to arrive. I want to know when we get to find out if Tuck will have a little brother or sister. I want to plan another nursery. All of these things are just that...wants. I know God is in control of this situation and I need to trust Him. I know He's capable of keeping Tootsie safe regardless of K or anything doctors can do. I know all of this is part of His plan. But it does make me question K and why she isn't going. In my scariest moments I wonder if she's even pregnant or if she was just using us for something. I hate that I don't feel like I can trust her word. All we can do is keep encouraging her to go to the doctor and get the ball rolling. She needs to see us be consistent and see us loving her as well as the babies she's placed in our lives.
I think that's really all that's going on. We are heading to Falls Creek next week and after we get home we are really going to get rolling in our re-application process. A home study update, grant applications and fundraising! Any fundraiser ideas from my blog friends would be greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Long Days

Today is one of those days. A long night has made way into a long day. I'm having to remind myself over and over that the days may be long, but the years are short. I'm trying to have a good attitude and be patient with a clingy, whiney baby but I'm tired and grippy too. Today I'd like to just disappear and sleep and do nothing by myself. Recuperating from a long week at camp is always rough, but with a 14 month old it's near impossible. And Falls Creek is looming next week, so we'll get to do this all over again then. He wants to read the same books over and over. He wants me within his sights at all times. He needs to eat, poop and sleep but needs my assistance in all of those things.
I'm trying to remember what a blessing Tucker is, that motherhood is, but it's hard. I'm trying to remember I asked for this, no begged for it. And most of all I'm trying to be grateful. But today is a long day. already.

But who can look at this face and not smile? Even on minimal sleep and a cling-bot attached to your leg?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Secret Tootsie Roll Blog #5

Since we found out about our little Tootsie Roll names have been running through my head all the time. I've read movie credits, eves dropped on peoples conversations in restaurants, scanned The Bump and even downloaded a baby naming app for my phone. We asked our Birth Mom to chose Tucker's middle name so he would have a name from each of us and we are planning on doing the same for this baby. We also think we'll stick with the last name as a first name theme. If you can call that a theme. But for now, here are some of the front runners for first names:
Girls:
Raley/Ralie (like the chapel at OBU, where Chris & I met while at Super Summer)
Finley/Finlie
The -ie's are to keep the theme of my sisters and niece who all end that way. We will have to see about the spellings.
Boys:
Smith (Chris's Grandmother's maiden name)
Mylam

Suggestions are welcome! As are ways you could make fun of any of these names. We want to be prepared.

Secret Tootsie Roll Blog #4

As the reality sets in of having two babies twenty months apart I go back and forth between super excited and a little panicked about how I will handle two at once. Simple things like going to Wal-Mart and getting two babies out of the car and in a basket and manage to shop. I'm not sure what that will look like. Or driving to Purcell by ourselves. If Baby #2 is anything like it's big brother who HATED his car seat for most of his life I don't know that we'll all make it. Or getting some where on time. I'm not very good at this yet with just Tuck. Now we're adding another person to get fed, clothed and packed.
We also had some goals we wanted Tucker to have accomplished before another baby came along. The main one was to have Tucker potty trained by two years old, but now will have to be moved up. He needs to be totally done by 20 months to keep from having two in diapers at the same time. We'll see. (Tips about this would be much appreciated!)
I know all of these things will take care of themselves because they will have to. We will have to. But it's just overwhelming as I think through daily life. How do you hold one and chase another? When Tucker was a baby I just held him nearly all the time, but that won't be the case with our little Tootsie Roll.

Cute Story: My sweet Emrie asked about when we'd get to meet the baby and I said around Christmas and she said, "Well I am ready to see that little Tootsie Roll." Love that little spunky miss!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Secret Tootsie Roll Blog #3

Dear Baby,
Yesterday was a life changing day in our family. Your Birth Mom, K, called to asked if your Daddy and I if we would parent you. The response of my heart was immediately yes. How could we not? It doesn't feel like an option to me. It feels like this is how our family was supposed to be built. It feels like the most natural thing in the world.
I am your Momma. What a blessing you already are to my heart! I love you already. Just knowing I will get to be your Momma makes me love you completely. I already feel protective of you and your little life. It worries me that my body isn't the one protecting you for the next six months and with every breath I breathe a prayer over you and K as she does what I cannot. I am excited to hear your little heart beat and see you in ultrasound pictures. There is much we don't know about you and six months is a long time to wait to know you. I'm jealous that I won't know you until the day you make your grand entrance into the world, but you have already made your way into our family, into our hearts. We are honored to get to be your parents and blessed beyond measure that K chose us again. What a privilege adoption is and words can't describe how it feels to know someone thinks you deserve to parent two of their children. We pray that we will do a good job!
You have a big brother who will be crazy about you! You are only 20 months younger then him so you will grow up together. I pray that you will be best friends someday and have a special bond that's just yours. I can't wait to watch him fall in love with you!
Your Daddy is such a great Dad! He is head over heels about you and will teach you all kinds of great things.
I'm anxious to know if Tucker will have a little brother or a sister. I couldn't pick a preference at all. There are so many great things about either one. I'm thankful our Father already has that taken care of. If you are a little girl, your Daddy will be putty in your hands the day you are born. I will strive to be a good example of what a woman should be for you. I will try to live out a life of love, submission and character before you so that one day you will grow into a Godly woman, wife and mother. If you are a baby boy, you have a father will be the perfect mentor for you as you grow up into a man. He will teach you what it looks like to be a Godly husband and father. We are all lucky to have him in our lives. I will love you always and try to give you confidence to be independent and a gracious leader. What a precious place a son holds in his Mother's heart!
Many prayers I'm already praying over your life and future! Thank you for making me a Momma again and for filling a place in our hearts that was made JUST for YOU! You are not an accident and your place in our family could not have been filled by anyone but you. You are special and perfect and already loved so much!

Love you!
Momma

Secret Tootsie Roll Blog #2

Telling Our Families: McKenzie's Side
We are planning to go to my Mom's house this Thursday and so I wanted to wait and tell my family in person that we were going to become a family of four in December. I thought all afternoon about a creative way to make the big announcement. I thought of phrases for t-shirts, I thought of videos, books, and various other craft projects. I even went to Wal-Mart and browsed the craft section. But nothing seemed to be what I wanted.
Chris was busy all day yesterday at the Church and didn't get home until after 9 last night. So I had no one to be excited with or process everything with. I needed someone to talk to about stuff. I wanted someone to be excited with. And let's face it, I can't keep a secret from my fam! So I caved and skyped my mom and sisters and told them the big news. Kinda anti-climactic but it was still fun. Then this morning I called my Nana & my Dad and told them. Everyone reacted in much the same way we did. Like we knew it was coming, but also with some hesitancy. It's hard to trust someone who hasn't proven trustworthy with something so huge. But I think as the days go by the excitement will build and the hesitancy will decrease.
Today Cassie told Emrie that she was going to have a new baby cousin and asked her what she thought we should name it. Emrie said, Tootsie Roll. So from here on out I think that's what we'll call it. It's kinda fitting! At least until we have a sex and a name. She's so funny! I can't wait to watch her love another cousin like she loves her Tucky-Doo! Cassie has made today so fun. We've been texting back and forth all day. I love having sisters to share big stuff like this with. She also provided some much needed reassurance! It's like she just knew I needed to hear someone say they thought everything would work out perfectly, just like last time!
As I laid in bed last night I got more and more excited. I began to think possible names and woke up even more excited this morning. December is a long time away! I think the three week pregnancy might of been the way to go!

Chamber Free

As of last week I am no longer the Sayre Chamber of Commerce Director! HOORAY!!!
It was just too hard with Tucker and there were a lot of issues with the position. It's a good thing! I get to just be a momma and I couldn't be more excited. I want to add some structure to our life so days don't pass without me doing anything productive as easily.
Some of my stay at home goals are: daily walks, a daily chore list, learn to coupon & continue to help Chris do ministry.

Tucker's excited to be unemployed too!

Secret Tootsie Roll Blog #1

About a month ago we went on a vacation to Tyler, Texas. We stayed at a condo in the woods outside of town (with horrible cell phone reception) and just did a whole lot of nothing. The only week we were going to be able to get away coincided with the Golf State Tournament, which Coach Gordon and the Eagles happened to qualify for. But I needed a vacation so it worked out that my sisters and I could go from Saturday-Tuesday morning and Chris would come late Tuesday night. It was a great time to get away and spend uninterrupted time with two of my favorite sets of people. On that Tuesday, Tucker and I were alone at the condo for most of the day. That afternoon I was feeding Tucker a snack when my phone rang. It was our Birth Mom, K. This was not altogether surprising because we had made plans to see her on our way home on Saturday. I had horrible service and could barely make out what she was saying. She told me that she had just found out she was pregnant again! I couldn't believe it! But before I could ask any questions I lost her and was unable to get back in touch with her. This would be her third pregnancy in 30 months. Baby #1 turned two yesterday, Tucker (baby #2) is thirteen months old, and now a third. My heart broke for K to be back in this situation. At the same time I was freaking out because I thought she was calling to ask if we would take Baby #3. I couldn't imagine why else she would be calling me THE day she found out she was pregnant again. Chris and I discussed it and just felt like if that's what she wanted then we would do whatever necessary to parent that baby as well. We knew we wanted to adopt again, but we didn't think it would so soon or with the same birth mom. I waited for her to call me back and she never did. I was a mess. Alone in a condo in Texas facing such uncertainty. After four or five hours I finally called her back. We talked a while and I just point blank asked her if she was planning to parent Baby #3. She said yes. I was disappointed, but understood... kinda. At the time, K was living in OKC and baby #1 was living in Lawton with family and had been for several months. My heart had been heavy for Baby #1 for several weeks and I had almost called our case worker at DPAS to see if she thought there was anyway we could talk to K about us adopting Baby #1. That Saturday I got to visit more with K and hear her plans. They were big plans that I knew probably wouldn't happen. Days and weeks went by and my heart and prayers remained heavy for Baby #1, Baby #3 & K. I look at Tucker and think of them daily. I also wondered how Tucker would feel later in life that his Birth Mom had kept Babies #1 & #3 so close together. I prayed for protection of his heart in those days and for wisdom in how Chris and I would handle those questions.
Yesterday was Baby #1's second birthday. Tucker and I had a day at home planned. Yesterday I was on the phone with my mom and Tuck was playing. I missed a call from a 405 number. I didn't think much about it. Almost immediately a voicemail showed up and then a text. The text asked me to call back, which I knew then was K. When I finished talking to my mom I listened to the voicemail and it was our DPAS case worker. I then realized K was with Dierdra. I immediately called back without giving myself time to speculate what was about to happen. I talked to both K and DIerdra. K asked if we would consider adopting Baby #3. My immediate response was hesitant. K has proved to be untrustworthy in the past 15 months that we have known her and she isn't due for six more months. A lot can happen in six months. We talked and I asked some questions and she continued to tell me reasons she wanted to place again. This was MUCH different from the first conversation I had with K on March 24, 2010. I wasn't emotional this time. I wasn't even all that surprised. I called Chris and, of course, we told her we would be honored to not only be allowed to adopt another child, but for it to be a half sibling of Tucker is more then we even dared to hope for. Later in the afternoon K called back and we discussed some more details and thoughts. Much of what happened last time will be the plan for this pregnancy/delivery. Again a huge blessing! Tuck and Baby #3 have different fathers, but both are African American so the new baby should look a lot like Tuck. Yay! Because I think he's THE cutest!!!
Please be in prayer for K! Some specifics: She just moved back to Lawton from OKC. Pray things fall into place for her. She has a place to stay, but no job or car. Pray for her health and for the health of the baby. Before she knew she was pregnant she turned 21 and the baby was exposed to alcohol, pot & cocaine. Pray that the baby will be protected/healed from these exposures without long term problems. She did give me her word she has stopped and won't drink or do drugs again. Pray for Baby #1 as she continues to live a life of unstablilty and constant change. Pray for her to be loved and taken care of. Pray for us as we wait and trust K to make good choices. Pray that Tucker would adjust easily and we will be the best parents we can to both of these blessings.
We are beyond excited and so honored that K not only trusts us with one of her children, but two! We'll keep you posted as things develop!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Answers

What works for us in disciplining Tucker?
Well that is definitely a work in progress. I'd love to tell you that he's the perfect child and no disciplining is necessary, but we all know that's not true. We started with slapping his hand when he touched things he wasn't supposed to and that worked well for a while. He learned to stay out of plants and stuff like that. But he's tough so I felt like I was having to slap really hard to get his attention after a while. Lately we are using time outs more because it seems to bother him more to be taken out of the action then to be swatted. It's hard to do at home because there's no one else to get in his way, but we're trying to be really strict at home so he will not throw fits in public when he is in trouble. It's hard. I had no idea how soon you really have to jump on this stuff. We are just trying things and keeping what seems to work and leaving the rest. Different days, different things work.

Do we plan to adopt again?
ABSOLUTELY! Adoption has been the biggest blessing and show of God's sovereignty I've ever witnessed. Here's where we are right now. We want more children and fairly soon. We want Tuck and baby #2 to be close in age so we don't want to wait too long. Especially because there are no timelines with infertility or adoption. A little background on our infertility that lead us to adopt Tuck... We never were officially diagnosed with infertility or really told why we weren't conceiving. So we plan to go to a specialist and have tests run to see if there's a way we could have biological children or not. We are really fine either way, I just need to know. The peace of mind that "I could possibly be pregnant this month" every month would be really nice. And if there are some minor things we can try we may do those. We don't want to go as far as IVF or anything like that. All of that being said we want to adopt again no matter what. Depending on how the fertility specialist goes will decide the time line. And I really would love for the next baby we adopt to also be brown so they would have that to bond over as well. I think that is important down the road.

All time favorite picture of Tucker?
This is hard! He's so stinkin' cute! I narrowed it down to top three.

Most recent favorite

At one year old

And as a newborn
It's really hard to look back through all of his pictures and choose because he's changed so much and his personality has developed so much. I love a lot of them for a lot of reasons.

That's what you wanted to know. Keep the questions coming if you have more.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Blog Draught

I'm in a bit of a blog funk.
There are things going on I could/should write about, but haven't found the motivation.
Tucker is doing all kinds of new things I need to document. (including his one year letter) But yet the words don't seem to want to come at the right time.
So I'm going to end the drought by answering your burning questions. Several of my blog friends have done this and I thought it was fun, so ask away! Just about anything is on the table. Now I know I'm not the most interesting of folks, but ask me something anyway.
Here we go!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Copied Craft

I went to a Youth Ministry Wives Retreat a couple of weekends ago and we learned how to make these SUPER cute wreaths. So I decided to show you how to make one.



Here's what you'll need: scissors, felt, styrofoam wreath, pins, a sharpie or other felt tip pen and 1" wide ribbon (optional). I used ribbon instead of cutting felt strips because Michael's only had 13 8.5x11 pieces in turquoise. That was just enough to cover my entire wreath (I got the biggest one they had). I spent right at $20 and it's super cute!



First trace circles onto your felt. I used a bolt of ribbon and got 11-12 circles on each sheet of felt.



Cut out the circles.


Measure your ribbon around your wreath and then cut it into strips. Or if you use felt cut them landscape in one inch sections.





Wrap the ribbon around the styrofoam and pin all four corners of ribbon or felt to the wreath.



Fold your circles of felt into fourths.



Stick pin through the corner of your fourth of felt. Crowd them into the styrofoam so that no white or pins are showing. The great thing about working with felt is that it sticks to itself so it's easy to cover holes and pins. (Reminds me of the good old days in Sunday School)



Finished product. I really like it. It turned out less summery then I had expected but I still really like it. I'm definitely going to make another one in gray for the fall. I also may add a bow with extra ribbon late.
Hope you enjoy this! It was super easy and fun to do. I used to be pretty crafty, but I haven't done that in a while so it was fun.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ree does it again

Last night I made this Pioneer Woman dish and it was delicious so I thought I'd share it. Easy, handy ingredients, fast and so yummy!

Ingredients
1-¼ pound Ground Chuck
1 can 15-ounces Tomato Sauce
½ teaspoons Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
8 ounces, weight Egg Noodles
½ cups Sour Cream
1-¼ cup Small Curd Cottage Cheese
½ cups Sliced Green Onions (less To Taste)
1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brown ground chuck in a large skillet. Drain fat, then add tomato sauce. 1/2 teaspoon salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Stir, then simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.
Cook egg noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and cottage cheese. Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Add to noodles and stir. Add green onions and stir.
To assemble, add half of the noodles to a baking dish. Top with half the meat mixture, then sprinkle on half the grated cheddar. Repeat with noodles, meat, then a final layer of cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, or until all cheese is melted.
Serve with crusty French bread.

ENJOY! We sure did!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The CALL

One year ago today I got up early to help Chris at the golf course with the Sayre Tournament. It was cold and windy. We went to the golf course and after they got started I headed to Elk City for a Wal-Mart and grocery run. I got back into town and as I unloaded the car my phone rang. It was our adoption agency calling to set up our Home Study. I was excited to get that day planned. I got everything put away and then went back to the golf course to see how things were going as the tournament came to a close. I was sitting in a pavilion surrounded by 100-ish high school golfers and their coaches. My phone rang with the DPAS number. I thought Holly had forgotten to tell me something or needed to reschedule or something. I answered as I pushed my way out of the pavilion, but it wasn't Holly it was Dierdra. I struggled to hear her say, "I have someone here who has some really good news for you..." I continued walking further from the crowd as I began to sob because I knew what was coming.
Our Birth Mom, K, got on the phone and told me she was pregnant with a baby boy who was due April 20th and that she had chosen Chris and I to parent him. I couldn't believe it! I couldn't breath or think straight. I fought back through the boys and grabbed Chris so K could tell him the news. He was as shocked as I was. We cried and I eagerly waited for the golf tournament to be over. I remember setting in the car with tears still streaming down my cheeks as I tried to absorb what had just happened. The next three weeks were such a blur... When we got home we call our families. At church we told our students and church family. The next days were filled with registering, painting, showers, cleaning, packing, crying, laughing, shopping and very little sleep. We met K on Saturday, the next Thursday I got to go to a doctors appointment with K, that Friday I went back to Lawton for an ultrasound, the next Thursday I painted the nursery, and the next Thursday we were on our way to go to K's last doctors appointment and got the call that she was in labor. Sixteen hours later our baby boy was born.
March 24th wasn't his birth day, but it will always be such a special day for our family. This year Tucker has a viral infection and has been battling an upset tummy since Tuesday. But as I've cuddled him today I've been overwhelmed with how much difference a year can make. How did I ever live without him? Thank you Lord for March 24th 2010. It's a memory I'll treasure forever.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Momma


Today is my Momma's birthday. She is everything I hope to be as a mother. She has lived her life in such a way that she has taught her daughters how to love people, give of themselves, value family and be true to themselves. I know everyone thinks their mom is the best, but my mom is the best for me.
As I've grown up our roles have changed and adapted. She is now one of my best friends. She is the first person I call if I need parenting advice. She is quick to help me see the other side of disagreements. I love to hang out with her. We got to go shopping last week and all day I just was overwhelmed with how blessed my life has been to get to be walked out beside hers. She sacrifices her own needs or wants for those of her children, even though we are all grown now. She is honest. She loves people. She is successful. People just like to be around my mom and that makes me proud to call her mine. Even if it's 2 am I know I can call her and she'll be there. She has been known to get in the car late and night and drive 2.5 hours because I needed her. She just fixes things and takes care of things like no one else I know. Last time she came to my house, she not only kept my sick baby she deep cleaned my house from top to bottom!
My Momma has turned into the very greatest Granna. She LOVES her grandbabies so passionately. She drops her life to spend time with them and adapts her schedule if they are sick or just need to be babysat. She has quwerky things that are just theirs that she says and does. She calls just to talk to Tucker sometimes. When we started the adoption process she was so supportive and knew we'd have a baby by April. Sure enough we did.
My Mom has always been my biggest supporter and most faithful companion. When I decided I wanted to go to Africa by myself for a summer when I was 21 she did all she could to get me there. When I said I wanted to go to OBU she worked hard and sacrificed so much and paid for half of my school so I wouldn't have loans. When I walked down the aisle she was beside me. When I showed her my son for the first time she cried with me. When I jumped off a bridge in Africa I cried because I knew she would've loved to have that experience.
So much of what I am is because of who she is. I cannot imagine the person I would be or where I would've ended up were it not for my maternal compass.

Monday, March 21, 2011

To Grandma's House We Go


Last weekend we headed to Bristow with Chris' Mom, Diana, and his brother, Delton, to visit Tucker's Great-Great Grandma Smith. She is 98 years old and one of the sweetest women on the plant. She loves her family and has set quite a legacy for all of us to follow. We don't get to see her often, but it's such a blessing when we do.

Four Generations (Diana's Mom would've made five, but she passed away when Diana was pregnant with Chris)


Swinging on Grandma's front porch. Tucker LOVED the swing. We sat out there for at least an hour and he never made a move. This is unheard of these days!

Great Aunt Betty

Great Aunt Janie

Exploring Grandma's house with Uncle Delton.
We had a great day visiting and it was so good to see Grandma. I love going back to Bristow with Chris because it's such a nostalgic place for him. He just rattles off memories and stories from his childhood of people who have gone on to be with the Lord. Just a sweet time!