Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hello!!! A Quick Update!

Wow! I could write a book right now. Seriously. So much has happened over the past couple months.

First of all, Chris is doing fabulous in TX and is passing the train dispatch course with flying colors! He has been offered a job and will start on Dec.2. We already have a house picked out and have started working on financing and all of that fun stuff! The kids and I are still in MS with my how did I go house shopping with the hubs in TX? FaceTime. We knocked out about 13 houses in one day. House shopping is a blast from the couch! :-D

Everything is going great here. The kids are doing wonderful. Big G is doing well in school, all A's. She is still playing her violin and enjoying that. When we move to TX, I plan to sign her up for some Irish Dance instead of continuing her in ballet. I feel that it will suit her more. She is so bouncy. :-)

Little G is loving PreK. She has not shed a single tear over being dropped off and enjoys every single minute. She is only in the 2's program but the structure is doing very well for her. Finding another PreK program in TX is an absolute must.

Griffin...where do I even begin! Mercy, this little boy has made a huge change since the summer. I'm going to have to make a seperate blog on his changes but to just quickly explain what has happened, he has come out of an anemic fog. Because of Celiac Disease, he was so severely anemic, that he was literally in a fog and his brain wasn't fully functioning. His iron levels in his blood are pretty much normal now but the levels in his bone marrow are still on the low side. He is still on supplements to bring his iron levels up, and of course, he will remain on the gluten free diet for the rest of his life, and that should keep him from getting in this state again.

But anyway, oh my goodness, this little boy is so amazing. Even more amazing than before. When Chris came home in October for a visit, he noticed a huge difference in Griff's cognitive state. He is so much more focused and involved. His therapists are taking notice that he is working harder and completing tasks during his sessions. Exciting stuff, folks! Very, very exciting!

Can't wait to have better internet access so that I can update y'all more often! Miss y'all terribly! No worries, though. I will get back to blogging regularly once we have settled into our new home!

Love and Hugs!!!

Monday, July 29, 2013


Great news!!!

Chris was accepted into the train dispatch program!!!  Praise God!  He will be headed to Ft. Worth, TX for a 4 month program in 2 weeks.  (Not really looking forward to that part, but I'll get over it. :-)  Once he is done with the program, he will have a job in TX...the exact location will be known about 2 months into the program.  WHEW.

So...Chris is going to rent a place in TX and we will stay here in MS.  Hopefully, we will join him around January, once he has a job and can get us settled in somewhere.

More news...

Griffin was diagnosed with severe autism.

I'm not really sure how I feel about this diagnosis yet...

All I know is that I love him more than ever...

I'll blog about this once I can figure out how to express my feelings in words.

Lots of ups and downs this month... Lots more ups than downs, that's for sure.  Most of the downs have just been colds, migraines, a little fender-bender, etc. but we have our family, we are still chugging along... we are still stronger than ever!

Here are a few pictures for you!

Leaving church on Sunday

Bouncy House!

Griffin Lovin'

S'mores with friends

Picnic time!

Picking Blueberries

Great job, Big G!

Working while the girls play. LOL

Trying to love on Little G.  LOL

Love and Hugs!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

What Have We Been Up To?

I have missed y'all so much!

Sorry the posts have tapered off... we have very little internet now.  I'm currently at my BFF's house in TN and using her Internet to give y'all an update.  I don't even know where to begin!

We are still in MS with my mother and I love being able to spend time with her every day!  I'm spending every moment that I can with her because I know that this won't last forever.  I'm making the most of it.  Yes, it's crowded under one roof, but it's family, and well, it doesn't get much better than that!  After being away for 4 years, you truly realize what's important, that's for sure.  So yeah, we are packed in like a can of sardines, but what's wrong with being a little cozy, right?  <wink>

We kicked the summer off to fun start with a short trip to TN to see my BFF's family.  While there, Shana and I treated Big G and her daughter, J, to a birthday weekend to see the Lion King in Nashville, to include an overnight stay in the Gaylord Opryland hotel.  LOVED it.  It was so much fun having a girls' weekend while our husbands took care of our littles.  We truly have the best husbands ever!

The next weekend, our friends from Germany, the Copous family, made their journey across America and met us in Gulfport, MS, for a weekend stay in a beach house.  We lounged around, chatted about our times together in Germany, watched movies, had great gumbo and crawfish, went bowling, and let the kids catch up on all of their missed playtime... The rain didn't slow us down a lick.  It was especially hard to say goodbye this time around... They are now settled in Colorado and hopefully we can see them soon.

We are currently spending another two weeks in TN with my BFF and family.  We decided to make the trip to TN again to spend the 4th of July.  They have a furnished basement and a totally childproofed home.  It's awesome!  They also have a 2 year old adopted son who has Down syndrome and I love to watch him interact with Griffin.  They make such a sweet duo.

We have been spending a lot of time with the Lowes, our matchmakers.  We actually did a quick double date night after the kids went to bed, to New Orleans, for dinner at Bubba Gumps, and dessert at Cafe du Monde!  What an awesome evening!  We've also been having play dates at McD's on rainy days.  Loving it!

Griffin had a 1 month summer camp with ARC and had a blast.  He loved every minute of it.  He got to go swimming and took field trips to the zoo, movies, swimming pools, and bouncy slides.  The end of the month program was so awesome and my heart just overflowed as so many people stopped us in our tracks to say how much they loved him.   There is so much love there!!

Little G is such a stinker!  She is absolutely loving church now and can't wait to go every Sunday.  Every day she asks, "Sunday school, 'morrow?" and when I can finally say yes, she is overjoyed!!

I have learned that my 2 littles must be outside for the majority of the day.  They are not meant to be inside children.  So for most of the day, we are sitting outside in the smoldering MS humidity, swinging, mostly.  My arms get a really good work out!  Ha.  Little G has decided that she loves to crash her tricycle into things so that has become somewhat interesting.  She thinks it's hysterical, though.

Big G has learned to ride her bike without training wheels!  Amazing what having land can do for you, huh?  Took her about a week to get the hang of it.  So proud of her.

Big G and I also started taking violin lessons together!  We love it!  We can play Row Row Row your Boat like rock stars!  We are planning to continue taking lessons through the fall.

What's going on in the medical world?
Griffin has been enrolled in physical, occupational, and speech therapies and has had about 3 sessions each.
We are also waiting for Griffin's autism assessment results.  The results are in, just have to wait until we are back home.

What's going on in the job search?
Well, Chris has over 200 resumes sent out.  Times are tough, y'all.  There's not much out there for his line of work.  He's an Air Traffic Controller... he has recently applied for an open position in Louisiana and he has applied for a train dispatch program in Texas.  Both of these look to be the two most promising leads.  Pray y'all!  We will take what we can get at this point!

We will definitely continue to blog.  Blogging will happen more frequently once we have our own home and Internet.  Hang in there with us!  We appreciate having your love and support!   For the next blog, I hope to have our family portraits up!  They will surely make you laugh.  <wink>

God bless y'all!  <<<HUG>>>

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

He Came Back! Griffin's View

Griffin's View of May 29, 2012

There was a bunch of excitement going on in my groupa today.  The nanny got the scissors out and cut on my hair!  I really don't like hair cuts and I put up a huge fight!  Then they gave me a quick bath and I got really excited because I love the bath tub, but it didn't last long enough.  They dried me off really quick and stuffed me inside a pair of overalls.  THEN they sprayed smelly stuff on me!  Seriously, what is going on?!  I wish they would just tell me why they are dressing me up like this.

Before I knew it, the nanny carried me to the door, opened it, and there stood the papa!!!  He came back for me!  I had to blink a few times because I didn't really believe that he was there.  He had a huge smile on his face and he grabbed me into his arms and gave me a big squeeze!  I was so happy on the inside that I thought I was going to explode, but I managed to keep it inside, because I didn't want to do anything to ruin this moment.  Was he about to take me to the playground?

I heard the word "machina" and I got really excited!  I love machinas.  The papa said that I was about to go for a ride in the car!  I guess that's the other word for machina.  I could hardly keep myself calm!  I wanted to shriek with excitement!

The papa plopped me down on his lap on the back seat of a little black car, right next to the window!  Oh my goodness, is this really happening?!  I wonder where we are going?  The papa was talking a lot to the other people in the car but he would tell me that I was doing a good job, in my ear, every now and then.  Seems like they were talking about a lot of serious stuff.  He kept squeezing me so tight because I really wanted to crawl up into the front seat and drive!  I even reached up and pulled the driver's hair!  It didn't help, though.  I thought he would stop the car and let me drive.  Nope.  Instead, I just banged on the windows and tried to jump up and down on the papa's lap.  He was having a hard time keeping me still and he started to sweat!  When the car came to a stop, they took me inside a little building and tried to take a picture of me.  Nope, no way.  I really don't want my picture taken so I put up a huge fight.  The ladies started sweating, too!  Finally, they said that they got a good one but I don't see how because I was shrieking and wiggling all over the place!

We had a few more stops to make and when we stopped at the orphanage I just wanted to cry.  I didn't want this adventure to be over.  I'm so confused.  I really don't know what's going on.  The papa said that he was going to take me home but here I am back at the orphanage.  Oh well, I'm just glad he came back to see me.  The lady took me from the papa and they drove away.   I watched until the nanny took me inside.  I really hope that I can see him again tomorrow!  I'm just so, so, so glad that he came back!!!

For Chris' view of that day, click here!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Longest 10 Days Ever

During this time last year, we were on the 10 day waiting period.  Chris went back to Germany to be with Big G, I went back to the US to get Little G... and our sweet Middle G had to sit in the orphanage and wait for us to return.

My heart aches to think about that long 10 days.  I know Griffin well enough now to know how he felt when we left.  I know how he handles stress and the signs of how he handled that 10 days without us were very visible.  Breaks my heart.

Griffin's view of the 10 day wait from May 2012-

The momma and the papa had to tell me goodbye for awhile.  They said that they were going to court for me and that they had to go home and then come back to get me.  I'm not really sure what 'home' is, but they are going to take me there.  I'm pretty excited about it!  They showed me pictures of two girls that are going to be my 'sisters' and said that they have to take them back home, too.  They said we will be a family.  I'm not sure what that is, but it sounds nice!

I'm lonely.  I've never really had this feeling before because I never really had anyone to pay me a bunch of attention every single day.  I got use to seeing them and they made my days much happier.  I really don't want that feeling to ever end.  I enjoy having something to look forward to, other than the usual things... food, going outside when the nannies allowed, and I can't really think of anything else.

Maybe they aren't coming back for me after all.  It seems that it's been forever since they left me... maybe it's already been 10 days.  I don't really know how to handle this.  I've been moaning and crying a lot.  I have started scratching at my face and hitting my head on the side of the crib.  I can feel the marks in my forehead from my fingernails, but it makes me FEEL.  Feeling the pain of that makes me feel something other than the loneliness that I feel inside.  The other kids don't like for me to cry.  One little boy keeps biting me on my face.  I have bruises on my cheeks and it hurts really bad.  I just want the momma and the papa to come back and get me.

My days are the same as they use to be.  Every time the door opens, I hope that it's them.  But it's not. I miss seeing the smiles on their faces and feeling like I'm the best boy in the world!  They told me how special I am and I was starting to believe it... I hope they still think I'm special.

I think I understand what the 'love' word means now.  If love means that you miss someone so badly that it hurts, then I love them.

I hope they still love me.

I hope they come back to me.

I hope...

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Our Court Day Anniversary

Wow.  Time has really slipped by us!  I can hardly believe that it's been 1 year since I stood, nervously,  before a judge who grilled us to no end.  I just read the blog that I wrote that day and I can feel the tension creeping up into my shoulders and neck, just from reading it!  I can't believe that it's been a year.  It's still so fresh in my mind and I never want to forget it.  I never want the details to fade.

Today has been wonderful.  We got to spend some one on one time with Griffin this afternoon and it was so nice!  We took him to a new Mexican restaurant and bought him a cheese quesadilla and we realized that we forgot his sippy cup.  Not good.  So we bought him a kid's cup with lemonade and hoped he would give it a shot.  At first, he just pushed it away... wouldn't even give the straw a chance.  Then, Chris started giving him lemonade with the straw by holding it up to his mouth and dropping it in like a medicine dropper.  Worked like a charm!  He realized that he could actually suck the lemonade from the straw that Chris was holding up, so once he got the hang of that, Chris put it back in the cup, and Griffin started drinking it!  We had the whole restaurant wondering what was going on while we cheered and high-fived him over and over again.  We were so proud!

After that, we took Griffin to pick up Big G's birthday cake for tomorrow.  He is such a great shopping buddy and I love having him with me.  He helped me pick out plates and napkins to match the cake and managed to make a few girlfriends along the way!  haha.  When he flashes the smile, the ladies melt.

After our shopping was done, I took my sister-in-law and Big G to a painting studio for their birthdays.  We were directed on how to paint a canvas with an owl on it and it was so much fun!  2 1/2 hours later and we had some pretty awesome paintings to hang on our walls!  Big G was kind of discouraged since it was a bit difficult, but she perked up when I told her that we were going to trade paintings...she will hang mine on her bedroom wall, and I will hang hers on mine!  That made her happy!  I love her artwork and everything about her.

It has been the perfect day and I have enjoyed every minute of it!  We ended our night with some playtime at McDonald's with some awesome friends... and then we took a trip to Wal-mart after the kiddos were tucked into bed for the night.  We are zonked!  Tomorrow is Big G's birthday and we will be having some awesome family time.  Looking forward to it!

Love and Hugs!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

An Important Signature...

On this day, 1 year ago, we finally received something that we were desperate for... something that was needed in order to give our son his freedom and a family...

Griffin's birth mother finally signed away all of her rights so that he could be adopted.

She wasn't able to care for him but she didn't want him to be adopted.

She didn't visit him or provide for any of his needs.

I'm not sure why she didn't want him to be adopted for so long... but I'm glad that she finally realized that he needed a family.

I'm so thankful that she gave birth to him...that she carried him to term.  She gave him a chance, even though it didn't always seem like that to us.

I'm grateful that she finally signed the one piece of paper that released him from the bondage of that orphanage.

I'm sending a photo book to his orphanage with some great photos of Griffin doing what he does best... playing, going to school, loving on his family, enjoying the sunshine, riding his tricycle...and I hope that one day she can see how amazing he is... and find comfort in knowing that he has a family who loves and treasures him.

For our view of that day, click here.

Love and Hugs!!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Endoscopy Tomorrow (Thursday) and IEP Meeting Today

So it's that time of year again...time to get retested for Celiac Disease.  We took him to the GI doctor last week and she believes that he has Celiac we are hoping for a solid answer.  Please pray that he does well with the anesthesia, recovery, and results!  

Today was Griffin's IEP meeting to discuss his goals for next year.  It went really well and I'm pleased with the goals that are set for him.  His teacher is awesome and seems to have great insight into who Griffin is and feels that he is a very intelligent little guy!  I have to agree!  :-D

Griffin's teacher shared some of the things that he is doing in the classroom and I'm amazed, honestly.    However, some of the things that he is doing in the classroom shows markers for autism.  Griffin's behavioral specialist in Germany mentioned that he could possibly have autism but it's very hard to tell since he was an institutionalized child.  Only time will tell.  

1.  He lines up toys in the classroom.  (He's never done this at home.)
2.  He learned to raise the blinds and can keep them level by pulling and alternating both strings.  (When she told me this, I almost started crying!  He's so smart!)  She feels that he is drawn to the horizontal lines of the blinds.
3.  He's infatuated with opening and closing doors. (Nothing new here!)  She explained that it could be the lines of the doors that draws him in.
4.  Repetitive motion of opening and closing doors, drawers, cabinets, etc.  He would do this for an hour if he's not redirected into doing something else.
5.  He waves his hand in front of his face.  (His hands were his only toy in the orphanage, so this may just be something he will grow out of.)
6.  Lack of speech.  I thought he was trying to say 'banana' and 'more' several months ago, but he stopped trying to say it.  He is still relying on sign language and I'm extremely proud of him.

Some positives that go against Autism.
1.  He craves touch and attention.  Yes, he is content to lounge on the floor alone for awhile, but if a person walks into the room, he will make his way over to that person and crawl up into their lap.  He reaches out for people as they walk by.  He will pick our hands up and place them where he wants to be rubbed...he loves to have his head scratched.  
2.  He makes eye contact.  
3.  He wants to be involved.

So does he have autism?  I don't know.  I'm not ready to put that label on him without giving him more time in a loving home.  All I know is that we are crazy head over heels in love with this little dude and we will provide the very best for him!  

Well, we have to get up super early in the morning in order to get to Jackson.  Griffin's procedure is not until 10:00 and he will be so hungry!  Prayers appreciated!

Love and Hugs!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Rock Star Status- Griffin's View

This is Griffin's view of May 7, 2012... one year ago.

Griffin's View-

The momma and papa came back again today!  This is starting to feel like normal and I hope they never stop playing with me!  We do the same old things when they take me outside but I don't care!  It's better than being trapped in a walker that doesn't move!

Today, the momma and papa got very excited over something that I did.  Actually, I impressed myself, too.  I don't get this opportunity often because I'm always plopped in a chair by the nanny everywhere we go... but when the momma put me in the play shed, I saw a bench that I wanted to sit on, so I did it all on my own!  I put my hands on the ground, poked my bottom up in the air and backed up until I felt the bench on the back of my legs.  Then I walked my hands up my legs until I was sitting straight up!  I didn't know that I could do that, but the momma and papa got all sorts of excited!  That made me very happy and I made a mental note to keep doing this.

In a little while, the music lady came to my groupa's play shed and the momma took me to watch.  She didn't want me to miss my music class, and I didn't either...because it's my favorite class!  As the teacher was playing, I waved my hands in the air and clapped them every now and then.  I watched as my most favorite instrument was passed from kid to kid...the tambourine...and I wanted that tambourine so badly!  After all the kids took their turn, I thought that the music lady was going to put it away, but I was surprised when she handed it over to me!  The momma was so excited and she kept saying, "Go Griffin!  Play!" So when the music started, I turned into a rock star and tore that tambourine up!  I'm really good at keeping the beat and I always impress the nannies when I do this.  The momma and papa had a very surprised look on their faces and they kept looking at each other as if to say, "can you believe this?!"  Yep, I'm really that good!  I would be even better if I got to have a turn every single time!  I didn't want the music to end and I poked my lip out really far when it did... I didn't want to give the tambourine back but the nanny took it from me... but they all clapped their hands together after my performance!  That made me feel good.  The momma said that she would buy me a tambourine one day and I like the sound of that.

When they came back for the evening visit, they let me try to close the door again!  One day, I will get that door closed.  It shouldn't be open but I'm not strong enough to close it.  I just want to help the nannies out so that they will be proud of me!  I always watch the nannies and it seems that every time a cabinet, door, or drawer is open, they immediately close it.  I've been watching them do this for 3 1/2 years so it must be the right thing to do.  It really bothers me that this door is open.  The momma and papa let me try to close it for a few minutes and then they took me to the empty play shed.  There was a box of toys in there this time!  They let me play with the whole box and I've never been able to do that before!  I thought it would be fun but it actually made me feel angry inside for some reason.  I'm not sure why.  I would pick up a toy and it would make me mad, so I would throw it... then I would pick up another, and I couldn't help it, but I would get mad again!  I don't understand these feelings at all.  I think I confused the momma and papa, too...because they were trying to figure out what the problem was.  They kept picking up the toys that I was throwing and tried to show me how to use them.  It was just too much.  I was getting overloaded with too many words and too many toys at one time so I just tried to disappear behind my fingers.  Then the papa started tickling me and I was happy again.  It seems that these people are really understanding me much better than I understand me, sometimes.  That makes me feel very special.

For Chris and Maria's view, click here!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Momma Met My Girlfriends- Griffin's view

Griffin's View of May 4, 2012-

Griffin's View-

I don't feel good today.  My eyes and nose are sick. The momma kept fussing over my eyes and saying how red and swollen they are... and they kept acting like the nanny, as they tried to rip my nose off of my face!  I have to turn my head from side to side so that it will stay on my face!  They kept trying to make me happy, too, but I just wasn't feeling it.  Actually, the momma doesn't look like she's feeling too good either.  I know how she feels.

They tried to let me do the things they know I love to swing and play...but finally they put me in the play shed and gave me the mysterious bag of toys that the momma hides in her purse.  She gave me the whole bag!!!  I dumped all of it out and found a machina, that they call a car, a book with a strange looking mouse, called Mickey or something like that, a flat balloon, a toy phone, a ball, some I got rid of all of those and played with the bag!  It was awesome!!  I wadded it up and started scrubbing the whole play shed.  I figured that the momma and papa would appreciate this since I see the nannies always scrubbing things.  They let me scrub for a very long time!  I have waited so long to be able to do this but I never have anything to scrub with.

They also strapped me into the stroller and pushed me around the building.  I really didn't know what to think about this but once they gave me my giraffe meat, I relaxed and enjoyed myself.  I enjoyed feeling the wind in my face because it felt good.  As we passed by the play shed, the momma noticed that the music lady was about to start playing music, so they took me over to the nanny and asked if I could join them.  I think the nanny thought the momma wanted to end our visit because they soon walked away.  I was kind of sad to see them go, but the nanny gave me a tambourine so I was happy again.  I'm a rock star on the tambourine.  I wish the momma and papa could have seen me!

I was so glad to see the momma and papa later on that day.  Since I wasn't so happy today, I was afraid that they wouldn't come back to see me.  This was a good surprise!  They took me down the hallway and then they did something very fun!  They let me play with the door that I've always wanted to touch.  It was propped open and it should be closed!  So they let me push and pull with all my might and I couldn't get it to move.  I started to get mad so they took me to the swing.  I'm not sleeping good at night and I don't feel good in my eyes.  The new groupa has new sounds that scare me at night...If I don't go to sleep, the nanny will come in and shine a flashlight on me and I will get in trouble.  So I can't cry out for help.  I have to hide behind my fingers so that I will disappear... and wait for the sun to go up in the sky.  Sometimes that takes a very long time.

While they were pushing me in the swing, my two girlfriends found me!  They have pretty red hair and they both like to scream out, "Nazar!", so that I will look at them.  They like to come over to me when they see me and I wish that the nannies would let me go with them.  I'm always stuck in a walker every time they come to see me.  The two girlfriends saw the momma's purse and they tried to take her things out of it!  It was funny but my face hurt too much to laugh.  The momma kept saying that she wishes she could take them home, too.  What does "home, too" mean?  I watched my girlfriends until I drifted off to sleep.  My eyes were just so heavy and I couldn't keep them open any longer.

After I woke up, I felt like taking a walk, so we made some circles around the orphanage.  My mind kept racing about why these people were really here to see me every single day.  What were they doing?  I like that they come to see me but it just doesn't make sense to me.  I'm not going to complain because I do like to go outside every single day.

When our time was up, they took me back to my room.  I really didn't want to say paka (bye) yet, but my stomach was starting to talk and I knew that dinner time was about to happen.  That makes saying paka much easier.  Something funny happened, though!  The nanny told the momma and papa to come inside our room!  The nanny put me in the big play pen and told the momma and papa to stay and watch.  They looked very confused, like they didn't know what the nanny was saying, but they did the right thing.  I stood up and made my way to them so that I could be as close to them as possible.  That seemed to make them happy, so I threw my leg up over the side so that I could try to climb out!  They laughed at me and tasted my head.  That's so weird.  I'm beginning to think that they aren't really trying to eat me, but it means something good...strange, but good.  Soon the nanny came back and they had to say their pakas.  I feel pretty positive that they will be back tomorrow!

For Chris and Maria's view, click here!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Candy Lady! Griffin's View

Sorry for the delay in posts!  We have been having internet issues.

Here is Griffin's view of May 2, 2012-

Yesterday was such a scary day because I had to leave my favorite nanny and friends and move to a new room.  I tried to be really when I got scared, I would just cover my eyes up and disappear.  It helps when I do that.  I wondered if this move would mean that the nice people who visit me twice a day would try to visit another kid from my old room instead of me, but they came back for ME!  They found me in the other room and still took me outside.  I didn't know if the other nannies would allow it but they seemed fine with me going with them.  I'm starting to really look forward to these visits because they make me feel special.  I wonder why the other kids don't have a momma and papa people to visit them, too.  It kind of doesn't seem fair... But I remember a long time ago, another little boy named Vlad, who was just like me, had people visiting him and then he disappeared one day.  I wonder if I will disappear, too.  That kind of makes me nervous but these people are nice, so I think I will be fine!

When the momma and papa came to get me this morning, the momma sounded different.  She sounded like she was all stuffed up, like how I get sometimes.  So the papa took me, and the momma said something about blowing her nose.  So he took me outside to wait for her.  As we passed by the kitchen, I smelled my yuckiest meal ever!  LIVER.  GROSS.  I don't like liver very much but I always have to eat it so that my stomach will be quiet.  My tummy will talk when it gets hungry and it doesn't make me feel too good.    When we made it outside, two other little kids walked up to the papa and held his hand.  He still carried me but I didn't really like these other two kids pulling on this papa.  I'm starting to feel like he belongs to me, only, and I don't really like to share him.  Is he going to keep those two with us the whole time?  He led them to the play shed and dropped them off.  I was relieved because he kept me with him.

We played and had a great time!  I really didn't want them to leave but they promised they would be back for the evening visit.  I was looking forward to that!

I was so excited to hear the buzzer after dinner today because I knew that it was the momma and papa!  They waited in the office for me and just before they were about to take me out, the doctor candy lady gave the momma a piece of candy to give to me!  I was so excited!  I kept staring at that candy over and over again and it made my mouth water.  I kept having to push down my excitement because I didn't want them to see me act that way, but it was so hard to do!

When we got outside, the momma opened up the candy and I got so excited.  She put a piece of it in my mouth and then she let out a shriek!  Oops!  I tried to eat her finger, too!  She should be more careful!  She kept feeding the candy to me and when it was over, I got really mad.  I cried a lot.  I don't like it when my food goes away.  I was pretty grumpy after that.  The momma suggested that we go to the swing and that cheered me up a little bit.  She had to wipe the seat clean with her hand and then she let out another shriek!  She held her hand up and it looked like poopka, but it wasn't me!!  I have my diaper on.  She said that it was bird poopka and then ran inside to wash her hands.  The papa cleaned it up and let me swing, so that made me a little happier.  The doctor candy lady kept coming around and every time I would see her, I would think of candy and how bad I wanted more.  She kept making me very upset because I wanted more.  I didn't like acting this way because I could tell that it made the momma and papa worry about me but I just couldn't help it.  I have to act this way if I want food.  Everyone acts this way.  The louder I am, the more food I get.  I have to be louder than the person beside me.  I will try to do better.

The momma and papa held me even tighter today and promised me that I would have lots to eat one day.  I like the sound of that.   They also said something about a new name...that I would be called Griffin Nathaniel... I like the sound of that, too!

I'm looking forward to tomorrow!

For Chris and Maria's view, click here!

Love and Hugs!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Where The Sheets Go- Griffin's View

Let me begin by saying that I desperately want to go back to my son's birth country.  This month is just filled with so many memories of our time spent there and I miss it.  I want to go back to his orphanage and see all of the others that we left behind.  All of those sweet little faces are burned into my memory forever.  How many of them will have families?  How many of them will succeed in life?  I pray that they all will...but reality tells me otherwise.  I'm so pleased to say that 2 of the little boys that I would have taken home in an instant have families on the way for them in the very near future!  They will make excellent sons...I'm sure of it!

Griffin's View of April 25, 2012-

The orphanage is different now.  All of the nannies are opening up the windows and taking the rugs outside.  The sheets have been taken from our beds and it smells fresher in our room. They keep saying something about spring being here.  They also took me from my giant play pen and said that "momma and papa" are here to see me.  I know that it's the lady who keeps wearing the black sweater and the man with the scruffy face.  I really like those people because they take me outside!  It's really nice out there.

The nanny didn't stuff me in all of those thick layers of clothes today.  I can move and breathe and I don't feel too hot!  Come on people, take me outside!

The nanny handed me off at the door and away we went.  I like that these people let me touch the wall as they take me outside.  I really like the way it feels.  The minute they stepped outside with me, they stood me up on the ground to let me walk around the orphanage.  They have to hold both of my hands to keep me from falling but I'm still in the lead.  I stick my belly out so that I can be faster than they are.  hahaha

I finally realized where all of the sheets from our beds are!  I can see them floating from strings in the trees!  That's kind of weird.  The "momma" noticed that I was looking at them and she said that the sheets are drying on the clothes line or something like that.  Then she said something like, "that's how we do it in the south, too."  I'm not really sure what a south is.  Maybe "the south" is why she sounds so weird!  hahaha

These people like to tickle me so much!  They also tell me that I have big squishy cheeks.  My hat that the nanny always puts on me makes my cheeks squish out even more because they tie it under my chin.  It aggravates me so much and I don't want it on my head.  I do like the tickles, though.  It causes me to make a happy noise and causes me to smile.  I notice that every time I smile, they smile... I like the way they look when they smile at me and I'm trying to make the same face as them.  It seems to make them happy.  I've never really made anyone happy before so I'm going to do my best!

On the way up the stairs, though, I knew that our time was over and it made me sad.  I made a huge pouty face and I think I scared the scruffy papa man.  He made the momma come over to me and look at my face. My lip was poking out really far and I made a loud moan.  I did a good job of choking back my tears.  The tears kind of surprised me, though, because I don't really let that happen anymore.  Tears don't really work here.  I stopped them up and the momma took me in her arms and told me that it would be ok and that they would come back to see me later that day.  That made me feel a little better but I still didn't want them to take me back to my room.  I really like them and I really like being outside.  They make me feel special.

They gave me a squeeze and told me they would be back later.

For Chris and Maria's view, click here!

Love and Hugs!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

They Came Back! Griffin's view

Griffin's View- First full day of visits.
April 20, 2012

I really like to sleep and the nanny knows that.  She will let me sleep as long as I can and will feed breakfast to me when I wake up.  However, this morning, she actually woke me up, which caught me off guard.  I quickly put my hands over my eyes so that I could disappear but then I realized that she was going to feed me.  So after a very fast meal, she started dressing me in my outdoor clothes!  Wow!  This is my lucky day!  I heard the door bell ring and the other nanny went to answer it.  I could faintly hear talking and I heard my name.  That made me scared again so I covered my face up with my hands and peeked through my fingers.  The nanny took me to the door and I relaxed a little bit when I noticed that she was smiling.  She said something about a mama again and then I saw them!  The people from yesterday...they were standing in the doorway with the biggest smiles on their faces.  They talked to my nanny a bit and then I was handed over.  The nanny showed them how they were suppose to help me walk, by holding both of my hands, but I'm not sure why because I don't really need to walk.

The lady looked really antsy to get me in her arms so I let her take me.  I was nervous but she seemed nice enough.  I have my hat and shoes on so I know that we are going outside and that's OK with me!  The nanny told us good-bye and said something like "20 minutes" and then we headed outside.  I was trying really hard not to laugh...I wanted to be very quiet so they wouldn't change their minds about taking me out.  The lady held me so that I was facing her and she put her mouth on my forehead.  Was she tasting me?  Like I did with that prickly man yesterday?  He's following us outside.  I wonder if he will let me play with his whiskers again?

We finally made it outside!  I was stretching backward so that I could stare up at the sky!  It's been so long since I've been outdoors because it's been very cold.  I didn't feel cold now because I have a lot of clothes on.  I wish I didn't have this hat on.  It's really bothering me.

They took me around to the back of the orphanage to where my groupa usually goes in the summertime.  I haven't been here in forever!  The lady, still wearing the black sweater, sat me on the bench and then kneeled down in front of me.  She very slowly took her hands off of me and when I sat there she smiled and said something to the man... Something like "he can sit on his own!"  I started to wobble a little bit because the bench was a little tilted so I saw the lady look at the orphanage and then she quickly sat me on the ground!  Oh no!  Please don't let my nanny see this!  But she didn't leave me there long...she smiled, cheered, and tasted my forehead again.  I'm good at sitting!

It wasn't too long before they started taking me inside.  I was pretty sad but I didn't make a peep because I didn't want them to get mad at me.  I thought they were going to take me back to my groupa but they passed my door and took me to a really big rug.  They took my shoes off and I didn't like that at all!  I picked my shoe up and tried to put it back on my foot but I just couldn't do it.  The lady seemed happy that I was trying, though.  Before long, my nanny came by and told them that they could remove my outer clothing.  What a relief!  I was finally able to move!  I turned over and started crawling and they got very excited!   I went as far as I could and then I had to take a break.  They pulled out a book full of colorful pictures that I wanted to taste...a balloon that kind of scared me a little bit, and a toy car that I really didn't know what to do with... so I banged the car on my head.  It didn't feel that good so why would they want me to play with that?  I don't understand.  Much too soon, I had to go back to my groupa but they said something about coming back later.  I'm not really sure what that means.

It was a good day!  It was fun going outside and doing different stuff.  I hope that I can see those people again so that they can take me outside.  I really liked that!

Time for Lunch!

For Chris and Maria's view, click here!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Met'cha Day-Griffin's View

Today marks the one year anniversary of meeting the most precious little boy in the world!

He has a story to tell...

Griffin's View-

There was so much going on this morning and I was on edge.  Every time things change, even slightly, I try to hide.  I will put my fingers in my mouth and cover up my eyes with my other hand so that I will disappear.  What was even scarier is that I kept hearing my name over and over again..."Nazar"... and I didn't know why they were talking about me.  I was being good!  It made me want to hide even more but I was in my crib and there was no place else to go.

I could see the nanny pulling out my usual outfit that I only wore if I needed to be warmer.  I was already wearing my usual red tights and a long sleeve shirt...Was she about to dress me to take me outside?!  I would love that!  She whisked me out of the crib and laid me down on the table to put my outfit on... wait... no shoes?  no coat?  no hat?  What's going on?  I peeked between my fingers to see the unfamiliar nanny quickly dressing me.  She seemed very rushed and I heard my favorite nanny across the room say something about a mama...

The nanny picked me up and turned me to where I was facing outward.  Her arms were firmly around my waist and I was able to see where we were going...down the stairs, with pictures of other little kids lining the walls.  I tried to reach out to touch the walls but the nanny wouldn't let me.  There were strange people walking around in white coats with scary doctor masks over their faces.  I only see these people once a year and it always puts the nannies on edge.  The nannies always clean a lot and rush around to make everything look nice.  It didn't seem like these people wanted to see me, though, because the nanny kept walking.  The smell of my lunch was surrounding me as we made our way down the hall... Was she taking me to the kitchen?!  I would love that!  Just as I thought we were about to go there, she took me into the office across the hall... I've never been in there before.  Ever.  There was a lady at the desk and she motioned for us to open the next door.  Without hesitation, the nanny took me right on in.

I didn't know what to think!  There were so many pictures on the shelves, so many people standing in the office, and there were two people who didn't look like nannies, and they were looking at me. A lady across the room said something like, "Maria, you can go to him" and she jumped up out of the chair and took me from the nanny's arms.  I didn't know what to think so I started laughing.  I couldn't tell if I was laughing because I was happy or if I was just nervous... or maybe both.  This lady had on a warm black sweater and she held me tightly to her, and it felt different than how the nannies carry me.  I looked up and saw that she was crying and I hope that I didn't hurt her feelings.  She kept squeezing me and telling me something that sounded like "I love you" and then she tried to say it in Russian... it came out like "ya tibya lu blue"...but I don't really know what that means, but I felt something inside me that I have never felt before.  Maybe those are magic words!  The lady in black passed me over to the man.  He had a scruffy face and I couldn't help but rub his cheek with my hand!  That wasn't enough, though, so I got really close to his face and licked his cheek!  He must have liked it because he started tickling me.  I was laughing so hard and I was having so much fun!  Then the doctor told the nanny to take me away.  I was kind of sad to go...but I knew it was lunch time and my tummy was talking...

What was that all about?  Why were those people so nice to me?  Why did the nanny take me to see them?

When I got back to my groupa, the nice nanny said something about a mama again and she looked very happy for me.  I still don't really know what she is talking about...But I hope it's good!

For Maria and Chris' view, click here!

Love and Hugs!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces

Chris's View-

It is funny how a child can fit so well into your family!

Everyone with children knows that moment when their new baby truly becomes part of the family.  It is different for every parent.  I know with Big G it was looking in the rearview mirror into the rear seat mirror and seeing her sleeping.  For some reason, I knew then I would lay down my life to save hers if ever the need arose.  For Little G, it was a little more traumatic.  When I saw my sweet baby in the hospital with a IV hanging out of her head, I knew I would do anything to take the pain away from her, it didn't matter what she was feeling.  For Griffin though, it was a little different.  I did not feel that "love" for him until I went back to get him.

I know, that sounds bad.  Let me explain.  I loved him as a child.  I loved him as a child of God.  I loved him as an orphan.  Even though we had been through court and he was technically our son, I did not love him as such.  That all changed when I got back to the orphanage and saw regression and some sores on his forehead from what looked like stemming.  I knew then I would take my son's place in whatever bad situation he may encounter.  I knew in my heart I would have stayed in that orphanage in his place had they allowed it.  I may never know when our kids truly accepted Griffin as their brother, maybe I can find out from Big G, but for Little G, she'll never be able to tell me (if she has even accepted him yet!  LOL!).

It is crazy the difference a year makes... I know, June is his year home with us, but for Maria & I, we have had our son for a year now.  Maria took a video of us on the way home from my Granny's birthday party this past weekend.  On a long straight stretch of road I was able to share a little part of my childhood with my kids.  I remember my Granny "stealing our stomachs" on some thrill hills in her old, tan, cast iron, beast of an automobile.  It was even better for us, I am sure, as there was no such thing as seatbelt laws back then!  I am sure we caught air in the back seat more than once!  Anyway, I took my kids across those rapid drop hills and they LOVED it!  Everyone of our kids were squealing and laughing.  It was this moment I hope Griffin felt he was a part of our family.

He was laughing and giggling and squealing right along with everyone else.  The funny thing is he was raising his hands like he was on a roller coaster!  He's going to be a thrill seeker we think.  At that point all of our children were acting as, sorry for going military here, a cohesive unit.  That split second reassured me that I, that we, were in God's will and that I would gladly trade my life if it could make my children as happy as they are in this video!

I leave ya'll with the evidence, with my proof of family if you will.  I'm guilty, and so glad!

See ya'll later!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

He Is Our Son

Well, it's that time... we have made it to the one year anniversary of traveling to get the most wonderful little boy in the world!  I can hardly believe that it's been a year.  Time flies when you are having fun!  OK, well, let's get real, it hasn't all been sunshine and roses.  Adding a child to your family by adoption or by stork isn't easy.  Period.  There is always an adjustment period in which you have to find your new normal.  Thankfully, though, Griffin has been a dream come true as far as his temperament goes.  We truly did hit the adoption jackpot.

This move has been awesome for our bonding experience.  Like I said before, my routines have kept Griffin in a little bubble while we were in Germany...rarely letting him step outside of the bubble to show me what he can actually do.  Also, he's never actually had to choose me before because I've always just been there for him.  Since there are so many other people around us, he can actually choose to be with me... or with his aunt, uncle, grandma, etc... and most of the time, he chooses to be with me!  He will visit with everyone but he always makes his way back to me, and that does my heart so good!

Before, I thought Griffin was kind of indifferent with me.  I kind of felt that he would go with anyone, anywhere, without looking back.  Now, I truly feel that he wants to be with me and that makes this mamma's heart feel so good!  I have learned that he also knows what I expect of him and will test others to see what he can get away with.  My mother and sister babysat them the other night so that Chris and I could go out to dinner.  Well, that little boy got into everything and absolutely would not sit on the potty for them.  He never touches those blinds when I'm around and he will sit on the potty until I allow him to get up.  He knows where the boundaries are in the house but he tries to get away with adventuring out and he's pretty sly about it.  He grabbed my sister-in-law by the hand and pulled her into the foyer, which is a no-no place, and since he had an adult with him, he thought he wouldn't get in trouble!  ha ha.  Well, he didn't get in trouble because that's the first time that he has willingly grabbed an adults hand and pulled anyone anywhere.

If I'm holding Griffin or sitting closely to him, he will pull my head down to his and give me a kiss.  It's the most precious thing in the world!  He is learning to initiate affection and wants it in return.  If I scold him for doing something wrong, he reaches out for my hand and makes me rub his head.  Of course, I have to scoop him up and give him a ton of kisses.  He knows how to get to me.

On this day, one year ago, we were boarding a plane to head to our son's country... I remember as we were making our approach to land, looking out of the window, seeing the night sky with the beautiful city lights, and thinking that our son was so close to us...that we were finally in the same country.  He had no idea that we were coming for him and we had absolutely no idea what we were getting ourselves into...but we stepped out on faith, knowing that God had prepared us for this journey and was leading us to our son.  It would have been so easy to turn away and run back to the safety and comfort of what was known to us but we kept our eyes focused forward and on the path that God had set for us.

And I wouldn't change that for the world!

God doesn't make mistakes...

He is our son.

-More tomorrow!

Monday, April 15, 2013

First Day at the New School

Big G and Griffin are adjusting very well to the new school.  Big G is fitting right in and having a good time...making new friends and having fun.  I'm so proud of her for being so open to change and embracing it.  She was a little nervous but once she saw the beaming smile on her new teacher's face, she relaxed.  We walked her to her class on the first day and her teacher was actually standing in the hall waiting on her.  She was warmly welcomed and we took a brief tour of the class and discussed how things flow.  Another student took Gracie by the hand and helped her start on her class work for the day.  It was so sweet!  I left feeling very relieved.

Things have been somewhat hectic for Griffin.  All of the teachers are working on next year's IEPs for the other students so it's hard for them to find the time to get everything done for Griff's enrollment.  We decided to let him start on his existing IEP and will work in the meeting for ST, OT, and PT later this month, as they have the time to meet with  us.  Honestly, I just want him in the atmosphere.  He craves school and needs to be there.  We decided to let him ride the bus to school because he loves it so much!  However, that means that the bus will pick him up at 0620 in the morning!  I would take him but the joy I see on his face when the bus pulls up keeps me from doing that.  I have been giving him an appetizer for breakfast and then the teacher will feed him a pack of oatmeal at school for us.

His teacher is awesome...very kind and loves children.  I haven't gotten a progress report on his first 2 days of school and I'm so antsy!  I'm dying to know how he is interacting in class.

I was on the fence with letting him ride the bus on the first day of school.  We decided to go ahead and let him do it, even though it felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest.  haha.  He was so excited!  Griffin and I had just started heading down the very long driveway to the bus stop when I realized that the gate was still locked at the end of the drive.  I didn't have my keys so I told Griffin to keep walking and I ran back to the house to get them.  He was obedient and kept walking on the paved drive, very slowly, within my sight, and did exactly what I asked him to do.  He may have made it about 5 feet in the time it took for me to run back to the house.  I praised him for doing as I asked and he had the biggest smile on his face.  He loves that I am starting to let him be more and more independent.  I let him walk all the way down the driveway, but he had to stop a few times to dance with me.  So sweet!  By the time we made it to the end of the driveway (around 10 minutes later), my sister had starting walking down, Gracie came running down the hill, and my mom was close behind.   As the bus pulled up, my mom fought tears as I loaded him on.  He sat on the first seat and was incredibly happy, signing 'bus' over and over again.  And away he went...

Needless to say, we were standing at the bus stop way too early to get him off the bus that day.  He came to me with a smile on his face and looked so incredibly content and proud.  My baby boy is trying to grow up way too fast and he needs to slow down!

Today is his 3rd day of school and I sent breakfast money with him this time.  I love that he can eat at school because it's great therapy for him.  I have a tendency to fall into very strict routines, so having fresh eyes and hands will make him step outside of his little box.

Tonight is our first ARC buddy party, pageant style!  We bought him a 4 piece suit and some awesome shoes to match.  No worries, pictures will be posted!

More to come on how our bonding experience is going!   I'm very pleased.

Love and Hugs!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

We Are Here!

Hi!  Remember me?

First things first.

Are you ready for this?

Just now, I told Griffin that I loved him and he signed it back to me!


We sign it differently, in a way that I feel is easier for him.  We cross our hands over our heart and sway back and forth.

So what if he was sitting on the potty when he did it?  haha.

So....where do I even begin?

The night before we flew out, Big G and I were both in the ER.  Big G had been running a high fever for days and actually missed her last few days of school.  I had relapsed into one of the worst colds of my life.  Pretty sure I had the flu but they didn't test me for it.  But anyway, they gave us meds to help us make it on the plane ride home.

As we made our way through the Frankfurt airport, guess who set off the metal detector and had to be patted down?  Little G, of course.  The workers wouldn't let me help them capture her so I had to stand back and watch the show...and laugh.  She ran circles around all of them, laughed hysterically every time they managed to start the pat down, rolled around on the floor, and repeat.  Come to find out, it was her Twinkle toe shoes that set the alarm off.  Once they were done, we were on our way!

The children did very well on the flight...better than I expected, actually.  Want to know the trick?  I wore headphones that canceled out most of Little G's noise, turned on one good movie after another, and I was good to go!  What worked for Little G?  Those Crayola invisible markers that only write on certain paper...and her favorite fish puzzle.  What worked on Griffin?  He was content to play with Giraffe Meat and snuggle.  He was awesome.  Big G had a nice relaxing time by kicking back and watching movies.  Don't get the wrong idea, though, it was an exhausting trip.  Little G had to be catered to for the entire flight, needing constant entertainment.  By the time we landed in MS, we were almost too exhausted to get off of the plane.


The welcome that we received at the airport was amazing!  We landed in a small airport and our family and friends were actually able to stand just inside the door that led to the runway.  We had to walk on the runway to get inside of the airport, so they got to see us exit the plane with the little ones.  It was great!  (No worries, our cousin, who is a photographer, captured the moment and we will get the pictures this weekend! I will post them for you.)

I had a wonderful surprise at the airport.  My BFF, Shana, and her family, made the trip from TN to greet us at the airport!  It had been a year since I got to hug her neck and it was so awesome to see her there!  I got to meet her precious little son that she adopted from Russia, only a month or so after we adopted Griffin, who also has Down syndrome.  He was just too precious!

After we said our hellos at the airport, my family took us to the community center and had a dinner for everyone who wanted to see us.  We had over 40 people to join us and it was so enjoyable!  It seemed that we all got our second wind and made it through the evening just fine.

Life has been crazy busy since we landed.  We enrolled Big G in school and she had her first day on Tuesday after making it to MS on Easter Sunday.   Griffin's process was a bit more difficult.  He actually had his first day today!  And yep, he rode the bus!  Big G is loving school and Griffin seemed very pleased with himself when he got off the bus today.  I can't wait to talk to his teacher to see how he did!  I will do a separate blog on Griffin's first day back to school.  It's just too precious.

So what are these kids up to around here?

Well, let me back up a bit and say that Little G finally decided to use the potty chair in our temporary housing after months of trying to get her to do it.  I was so proud of her!  However, we had to leave that potty chair behind because we didn't have the space to pack it.  We immediately bought a new one and she refuses to go near it looks like we are back to square one.  Griffin uses this potty chair just fine, so I think I will take Little G to the store and let her pick out her own potty.  Maybe that will help.  Who knows.

I have been noticing that Little G says "gosh" all of the time.  I finally realized that she got it from Mickey Mouse!  We have been trying to break her of saying it by saying, "don't say that", every time she lets it slip.  Well, this has become a game to her.  So what does she say now?  "gosh, no say dat!"  <sigh>  Can't help but laugh though.  She always keeps us rolling around here and there's never a dull moment.

Griffin is the Houdini of removing his diaper so magically beneath any article of clothing.  We have reintroduced nap time to him since he's sleeping through the night, and if he wakes up, you better be quick to get him out of there.  He will find mischief.  We thought that having him in a onesie would keep his diaper on, but he's figured out how to remove it without dirupting his onesie.  He must be in footed pjs every time he goes to sleep, complete with a safety pin at the top.  Once, we found him trying to untangle his giraffe from the blinds in his bedroom, so we had to move his crib.  He's such a stinker!

Griffin has received his first 4wheeler ride and his first tractor ride.  Little G didn't want to participate in those but Griffin loved it!  The littles also enjoyed their first stroll on our family land to the pond.  Little G kept calling it, "da jungle."  They have been playing outside for hours every day and it's so refreshing!  I love having to wash the dirt off of them every single night.  This is the life that they need and I pray that we can have a big back yard for them, wherever we have to move.

Big G experienced her first tornado warning at school today, complete with hunkering down beneath her table and also in the hallway.  She had a lot to talk about when she got home from school!  Where was I when the tornado hit?  Target, buying more footed PJs for the little Houdini.

Chris has attended two job fairs, one in Houston, TX, the other on the coast.  He's sent out a ton of resumes so we are praying that God lines a perfect job up for him soon.  I have to admit, it has been awesome having him here with me 24/7.  I love that man!  He thinks he's going to grow out a full Duck Dynasty beard, but I have to say, he's sadly mistaken.  <wink>

Well, I think I will wrap this up for now.  Little G keeps messing with my mother's china cabinet and it's past her bedtime.  I promise I will blog more frequently now that we are getting somewhat settled!

Love and Hugs!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Here is a bunch of pictures from the retirement ceremony.  Thank you so much to our friend Erica Fritz for being such a caring and selfless person that she would take the time out of her day to help us capture, not only this, but many special moments while we were stationed in Germany!  THANKS ERICA!