A Murder Mystery on NYE

2016 is about to roll out, and we’re anxiously waiting for 2017 to roll on in.  2016 hasn’t been the kindest of years.  We’re ready for it to end.  When we asked the kids how they wanted to kiss this year goodbye, they said they REALLY wanted to party.  This year Santa brought the kids…

The 24 Hours After

Twenty-four hours ago, we elected a president. I’ve never openly discussed politics on this blog, but if you can read between the lines, you could probably infer where I stand. If you and I are friends on Facebook, no inference is required, you know. My political beliefs were driven further to the left this last…

Empowering for Adulthood

Our goal as parents is to raise children who become free and autonomous adults.  Free thinkers, able to regulate, capable of higher level thought processes and decision making.  We want happy kids who turn into happy adults.  When you have a kid from a hard place getting to that point feels as daunting as summiting…

Ally in Washington DC

This week, Ally got a chance to hold the whole world in her hands for just a little bit as she explored our nation’s capital, all by herself. The photography in this post is all her, up until the photos at the end of her re-entry.  She took an online class with me before she…

Stronger and Stronger: Ally’s Graduation

Dear Ally, As I type this, you’re at your 8th grade dance.  I can picture you, surrounded by girlfriends, giggling away.  I asked your dad if he thought you would dance with a boy.  Then, we both erupted in our own fit of giggles.  You’ve got no time for boys, and I adore that about…

Scenes from a Saturday: Fun Fair and a Cut of their Hair.

I want to be so much better about posting the every day stuff we do around here on this blog, along with documenting the firsts .  Today was the elementary school Fun Fair.  I love this day every year and I will be SO sad when I don’t get to go to them anymore.  Luckily,…

I Made A Promise.

Not to post too many pictures or say too many mushy things.  I’ll just say this… Happy 14th Birthday, Ally! These kids, and many more, love you to bits. –FullPlateMom, who loves her Ally too.

It’s Your Time Now.

Gigi is adjusting beautifully to our home and family.  She is growing and learning in amazing ways.  This shocks me every time, and it shouldn’t.  She has nine of the most dedicated, amazing teachers.  She also has one little shadow who tolerates her existence.  So, we’ll call that a win. While Cam and Brady came…

Down on the Farm.

Yesterday was one of those perfect midwest days.  We were invited to a farm a little more than an hour from our house to celebrate adoption with families from WACAP who live in our area.  WACAP (World Association for Children and Parents) is the agency that has done all our home studies for China.  They were…

Around the Table.

We’re nesting around here.  I usually don’t use terms that compare adoption to pregnancy in any way, but this part of the process does overlap, so I’m going to appropriate the term.  For me, the nesting process starts as we close out every adoption.  It means I get everything in order that I’ve been putting…

We Found Love Right Where We Are.

Today marks fifteen years of marriage for this couple.  This December will mark twenty years of togetherness.  I’ve tried to write this post about one thousand times in my head as this day approached.  There are so many things I want to say.  So many things I want Joe and the kids to know about…