Monday, November 23, 2009

Leaving Utah

Notice Jewel's bunny ears above Tierra.....=)

Today was our last full day in Utah. We fly out at 10:00 tomorrow. So we will wake up, be sure we are packed up and head out. During the day we went and played at the park in the snow. We also went and had Japanese food and headed over to the Olympic Oval. It was neat to watch the speed skaters practicing. After hanging out there a while we headed home.
Clay had promised to take the boys to play laser tag. We decided to head over and I dropped the boys off for the laser tag and I went and picked up Tierra to head over to a couple of ladies' homes that were close to her and have been a huge support system through her church. It was nice to meet some ladies that I know mean a lot to Tierra. They were so thrilled to meet Clara and see how beautiful she is just like her birthmom! After we made our rounds to the homes I dropped Tierra back off at home to pick the boys back up from laser tag and get some pizzas to prepare for the evening. I took the boys home and then headed back out again to pick up Tierra and family. Tonight was our last time together for a while. We got some really good photos and had a great evening hanging out together again.

I know I might talk about this a lot... but I have to. I am so very grateful for the relationship we have with Tierra and her beautiful family. God has blessed us so dearly by bringing them into our lives. My little girl is now 2 years old. She is beautiful, talented, intelligent, thoughtful, and the light of my life. These traits that help make Clara her wonderful self are shared with Tierra and her family too. I am thankful to look at my beautiful daughter and say..."wow, that was a look Jewel would make!" or "She has Tierra's eyes!"....etc. etc. Our family can never say thank you enough to Tierra for choosing life for our Clara and then entrusting us with the most precious gift EVER! We so enjoyed our time here in Utah! The week has flown by and we will be heading back to Texas tomorrow to get back in the swing of life there. It was nice to slow down and remember the blessings that God has bestowed upon us and share them again with our expanded-extended family!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It is snowing!! =)

This is a car in the Whole Foods parking lot. I took it to show how much it was snowing. It had only been snowing about 45 minutes or so.

We took it easy today and had a lazy day. We basically stayed here all day long doing nothing. We then went and ate at a fast-food restaurant called Noodles. It was really good. I wish we had one back home. Another thing I will really miss is the Whole Foods Market...I LOVE it!!! I think we have gone every day!

As we left to go eat it started snowing. It probably snowed 4 inches or so tonight if not more. I think it is the most snow I have seen in my lifetime in person. We had a blast in it. We ate quickly and returned to go to the park behind our condo. Clay got out some plastic trash bags and the kids rode on them a bit. It was a good idea but not as good as a sled would have been. =) We are so thankful that we got to see it snow before we leave. We leave out Tuesday morning. The trip has gone by way too fast! We are hoping to see Tierra and family tomorrow before we head out the next morning. I was hoping to hang out with them tonight but we got scared of it snowing too much and too dangerous to drive. I am not sure how they handle this here. In Texas if it snowed like this the whole city would be shut down for quite some time. =) It is quite nerve-racking to be driving and see all this snow around you. By the time we made it back to the condo it was almost impossible to see the lines on the roads. It was getting slicky we did not get to see them this evening. I am praying we can tomorrow.

After playing in the snow and getting nice and frozen we hopped in the jacuzzi for a good long while.

Well, I best be getting in bed. I think it is still snowing outside. We were really excited to see the snow before we left. We felt it was just another added bonus God has given us to an already blessed trip!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hiking, Wheeler Farms, etc.

I cannot figure out how to lay out the pics any is really starting to tick me off. So here are the pics before the actually blog story. Here is a pic of all of us. I did a quick edit of it but I am pleased. All of our wonderfully blended family, hand picked by God!! I just have a wonderfully warm feeling when I see these shots. I cannot ever, ever express the love I have for all these guys!! Our growing family! Tierra holding Clara while Clay finished up the grilling. I love this pic. Three beautiful young ladies!
This was on the hayride we took at Wheeler Farms.

The kids playing around in the tree. They had a great time together today at the farm.

Clara on her second horse ride ever. She LOVES horses. She cried when she had to get off. She even went on a second ride and cried that time too. She talked about the horses all while we were a the farm wanting to go back and do it again. Dee loved the horses too and he also cried to do it again. Everyone rode the ponies except little Jewel. =)

Walking up to Wheeler Farm. The beauty of this place is just breathtaking and a picture can never do the real thing justice.

My precious gifts on our hike in the mountains.
Just one many of the fabulous views from our hike.

These pics of Clara crack me up. She loves to play but when it comes to getting anything on her hands it must not stay there long. So while she was investigating the new found thing called snow she did not like it when it stayed on her hands. She is yelling, "Daddddddddy!" in these shots. You know, Daddy, fixes everything! =)

Not sure what to think of the cold, wet snow that would not get off of her hands....makes me laugh when I see these!

It has been a great, busy trip in Utah so far.

Thursday during the day we all went hiking. We hiked about an hour. We ended up turning around during our hike because it just got too dangerous. It had snowed and it was starting to melt. So there were spots of slick ice or either mud that was very slippery. We decided falling off the side of a mountain on our trip would not make for much fun. It is absolutely beautiful in Utah. It is just pretty where ever you look. Even when you are in the middle of the city you look around and are surrounded by mountains.

Thursday night Tierra and the family came over and we all got to hang out. Syncere and Jewel got to spend the night. We had a great evening. The kids and I all played in the jacuzzi. Clara was not much into getting in as it was loud and crowded in there. The kids and I had contests holding our breath. It was a good time. We cooked out and had a nice dinner. It was great quality time hanging out and enjoying family.

Friday morning we woke up and were planning on going to Wheeler farms. Well, I ended up having a horrible headache...(migranie-ish). I never get headaches...NEVER anymore. I could not tell if I needed to eat, throw up, or all of the above. So, I ended up canceling on everyone and felt awful!! Jewel is so much like Clara as far as sensitivity goes. She was so crushed...I felt awful. I made it up to her today though and we made it to Wheeler Farms.

I have so, so many pics to share but I do not feel like posting a ton right now. This is as many pics as I am going to get done. I am TIRED and still feel not 100%. I will try to make a slideshow when we get back. These are just a few of a TON of pics!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Utah Day 1

We made it to Utah today. It has been a long but wonderful day! We made it safe and sound. We made a quick run to Whole Foods (which I loved). I so wish we had one. and was not so quick a trip. We came home to the condo which is GREAT! We ate a bite and then I headed over to pick up Tierra and the family. We had a great time together. It was as if we had not seen each other for a few days and we picked right up where we left off. Tierra was in awe for quite some time just trying to take in every inch of Clara. (I am still having problems uploading and moving my pics around where I want them. If anyone has any clues as to what to do please let me know what I am doing wrong.) So the pics aren't in the order I want them in but there are pics.

This is Dee, Jewel and Clara playing with the shuffleboard.
Syncere and Dee playing Wii.

I love this pic! Tierra and Clara!

A big group shot. Hopefully we will get some more pics with all of us in them togehter....well at least me too so we can all be included.

We left this morning for Utah. Clara had her second plane ride. The flight went smoothly and thank goodness we were 25 minutes early on arrival. Clara did well but started to break down right at the end. God was really great and answered our prayers with an early arrival.

Sorry about everything being so jumbled and out of order. Tomorrow we plan on cooking out. The park is literally in our backyard. It is beautful here! The mountains are great and the boys are loving the fact that there is a bit of snow (ice) on the ground left from the last snow. For us it is a lot...=) It is supposed to snow this weekend....we hope so. I will try to post every night but no promises. I also have to blog about my big girl's 2nd birthday party! I cannot believe tomorrow, Clara will offically be 2 years old. Exactly 2 years ago tonight we had made it to Salt Lake and had met Tierra for the first time. We ate Chinese together and I will never forget feeling Clara move in Tierra's belly. We were anxious for the day to come as Tierra was going to be induced to deliver Clara. God is truly amazing in how he works! I am so thankful for how His hand has been in each and every part of our adoption and our continuing relationship with her birth family....they are our family! Clara will turn 2 tomorrow and we will have the honor of spending an evening again with her birthfamily. It is such a wonderful feeling that is so difficult to explain to those that are not educated about adoption. My Clara is bright, beautiful and the light of our lives. She is one of 3 of the most precious gifst God has ever bestowed on me. I am honored to be her mother and that I was hand picked just for her.
Hopefully more to come tomorrow night!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Catch Up....A month in a post

I know, I know! I am sorry I have not posted in forever. I am finally taking a step towards trying to catch up. A lot has happened in a month.
Christian was in a local parade here in town for the local children's theater at the beginning of this month. It was a nice time. Christian did a really good job in a performance they put together quite quickly. Here are some shots from the parade and some of the festivities. They had a few neat things set up. They had a tiny petting zoo. Cullen was having a blast with his camcorder taking pics and video. We were a pair taking all of our pics. Clara actually pet the animals. I was shocked. She also got to ride a horse for the first time. I couldn't believe it when she actually let me put her on the horse. She rode the horse like a champion! =) Cullen went in a bounce house with Clara and they had a blast together. Cullen is such an excellent big brother.

October was beautiful here. So we had a lot of time outside playing football in the front yard! Clara blew bubbles a couple times but eventually poured out all the bubble fluid....=) The boys had me take some pics of them posing in football tackles and catches. We had fun playing around.

We also were saddened at the loss of Shyla this month. We had to make the decision to put her to sleep after much struggle and agony as to what to do. She has always been a mentally unstable dog that we rescued about 8 years ago. She was always scared and insecure but never showed a mean bone in her body towards us. She was loving, kind, happy, always wanting to be touching us. When it came to storms, gun sounds, fireworks, etc. she would be terrified. She would do anything to escape including ripping herself to shreds to escape our yard. As she has aged she became very protective of our property and of us. She is an escape artist so this is not okay. In the time span of a few days she had gotten out and cornered a young teenage girl behind a mailbox and terrified her. The young girl thought Shyla was going to kill her. Then a couple days later the gate had been left open and the police were called on her by a man walking the neighborhood. Clay and I decided with heavy hearts we did not want Shyla to end up harming someone or for someone to harm her. We had to put her down a couple weeks ago. It was the toughest decision I have ever had to make in all the time I have dealt with dogs. Some of you do not know my history with dogs, but I have been involved with them most of my adult life and even late teens. I have worked at a vet, been a dog groomer, have trained dogs, and was a foster home for many, many dogs while volunteering with a local rescue. Shyla was one of the last rescue I had fostered then adopted. She had come to us with many issues including fear of men and noise, destructive behavior (eating mattresses and sheetrock) and can escape from just about anything. Meaning we have tried concrete, metal around the top of the fence to prevent climbing 6-foot privacy fence, etc. I have had rescue dogs put down that were ill and dying. This was the first time I had to put down a "physically healthy" dog. I pray I will never have to do it again. Shyla went to sleep with us right by her side. We have missed her presence in our home dearly. I included a couple of shots of her last night with us. Clay cooked her a steak out on the made our hearts feel a tad better to spoil her a bit. Clara has asked quite a few times where is "lyla?" I pray she is in heaven mentally stable and healthy waiting on us to get there lying on the big couch in the sky cuddled up with the angels (just where she would want to be)!

For Halloween we did things a little different this year. We attended an Open Ranch Event in a little town called Como. It was not as exciting or as fun as we had hoped but we still enjoyed our time together. Christian LOVED it because he actually got to eat meat that was grass-fed and "junk" free. They had samples of sorbets, ice creams, pies, breads, homemade tortillas, grass-fed beef, organic apples and veggies. We had a nice time together. We also carved pumpkins. Christian made your typical Halloween pumpkin...spooky. Cullen, on the other hand, made an NFL pumpkin. If you know Cullen at all that is very typical. Clara had fun watching and helping along with swinging on and off while helping. Halloween day we had planned to watch a movie and go to dinner. Plans changed a bit as GG was in the hospital (still is). Clay took the boys to a church festival to play and hang out and then met all of us at the hospital. We then went and ate pizza out. Our first pizza away from the house. It was actually really good still without cheese. Cullen, Clara and I shared a pizza with one side pineapple, the other side had mushrooms, peppers, onions. It was yummy!

My grandmother (GG) is still in the hospital and needs all the prayers you can throw up to heaven. She is just not doing well. She was admitted with a heart attack and pancreatitis. She just is not the lady that played cards all over town and having women over to play cards. She is not herself. They were doing more tests on her today to find out why she is in so much pain in her stomach/abdomen area. She goes in and out of knowing what is going on. Please, please pray for her. Pray for comfort and peace. Pray that God will give peace to her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Pray for wisdom for the hospital staff and doctors (which seems to be lacking so much)!

We had a great October and I apologize for throwing it all into one big post! I will try to do better. I do have some GREAT news! We are heading to Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov. 18-24 to visit Clara's birth family! I cannot wait to see Tierra and the kids again and meet her new husband, Brad. I am just so thankful for the opportunity to spend time with the woman that gave life to my daughter and the honor to Clay and I to raise her. Tierra will always be a hero in our eyes and her family is our family!!! We cannot wait! Clara says Utah all the time and she is saying Tierra pretty clearly. I am ready to have more pics and many more memories that we have all shared together! Clara will be spending her 2nd birthday with Tierra and family. We will also celebrate Dee's (birth sibling) 3rd birthday while there as his birthday is the 14th. Clara's is the 19th. I cannot believe it has been 2 YEARS since her birth! If you cannot tell I cannot wait to see them all and hug them. To see them in person and just chit chat about life and what all has been happening. I am ready to see us all together again!

Hopefully I will post again soon. I also hope Blogger won't be screwing up and I can move my pics around so they are not in one single file line with no explanations. Uggggggh!!!

Ok, Blogger is messing up on me so I cannot move the pics I uploaded. I will just move the text to the top and you can scroll through them after you read all about it.