Sunday, August 26, 2012


Growing up it was just my brother Robby and I.  We have tons of cousins and extended family, but there is still that special bond between siblings that is different from any other bond with anybody else. It wasn't until I was older, probably in my 20's, when I had an Ah-ha moment about my brother. He was the only one in the world who grew up the exact same way as I did. We have many of the same memories.  I can say to him, "Remember that house we lived in (insert city) when (whatever) happened?"  And he remembers it too. Or, "Rember when (insert family member) came to visit (or in some cases, came to live with us)?"  Or even, "Remember (insert name of teacher) at (insert name of school)?" Even though it was just the two of us and we were 4 years apart I think we still managed to have a bond and a closeness that is important for siblings to have.  This bond my brother and I have is one of the biggest reasons that I really wanted Travis to have a sibling too.  Although we don't talk every day, or even every week, we do manage to catch each other on the phone often enough that we know what is going on with the other one.  It is a good feeling to know he is always there if I need him and vice versa.  It is hard being that we are in Arizona and he is in Washington State.    Here is Robby (or Rob as he likes to be called now) when he was 5.  In my mind, I still think of him like this sometimes!
 Anyway, fast forward to this past Thursday morning. I was with Connor at PCH getting ready for another laser treatment when my cell phone rang.  This was about 7 in the morning and I could see it was from Rob. The nurse was in the room so I quickly muted the phone and finished up with the nurse. After she left I quickly texted my brother to ask what he needed. His question was, "What did it feel like when you had appendicitis??"  Uh-oh. That did not sound good!  After texting for a few hours the end result was that he had gone to the closest emergency room.  They admitted him and started ruling everything out.  He was funny though. One text said, "Well, they have my blood, they have my urine, now I just sit and wait."  Followed closely by, "Great, they just did an ultrasound. Good news is I am NOT pregnant!!"  Good grief!  At least I could tell he was in good spirits.  By that evening he was having his appendix taken out.  We were worried because the doctors weren't positive it was the appendix and were going in for exploratory surgery.  Good news is that once they got in there it was the appendix so no need to explore any further.  I know from experience that it is no fun being sick with that!  Lucky for him he has a wonderful support group of friends that have been there to help him out.  They are actually more like family to him, they all have been close since their college days.  Yesterday he got to go home and he is resting and taking it easy.  I am sure he is going to make a full and speedy recovery.
Get well soon "little brother"!  We love you and hope to get to see you again sometime soon. 
Rest up!
Is it just me... or is it kinda wierd that we both had our appendix taken out... and it happend to each of us in August??  Hmmm... lol

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Unexpected E-mail

While we were anxiously awaiting Travis to come home I had subscribed to the magazine Adoptive Families. Over the years I have sometimes renewed my subscription and sometimes I have not. A few years ago I found that they have an online community so that is where I have been reading articles and looking at pictures.  Also, they are always having photo contests. I have entered a few pictures but never has anything come of it.  Well, that changed just two weeks ago. I got an email from somebody at the magazine asking to use one of my pictures of the boys for an upcoming issue of their magazine!  Wow!  The funny part is that the picture was from last year. (Oh well! Who cares? My boys are going to be in a magazine!!)  It is for their back to school issue coming out in September. So, if you subscribe to the magazine and see this picture in there that would be my boys!  (Not like I am proud or anything... haha!!)
The funny part is that when I look at this I can really see how much they grew in just one year! I sure wish time would stand still sometimes!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Another Gotcha Day?!

I can hardly believe that August 2004 was 8 entire years ago. In some ways it feels like a lifetime ago.  In other ways it seems like yesterday. Then I look at Travis today and realize just how far he has come. And I realize how much farther he still has to go! 

Here we are in Blago, the first day we actually met him and got to hold him.  Can you believe we didn't even have a digital camera in "those days"? Hard to believe, I know.
I still love this one of Travis and Daryle. I just love how they are looking at each other.
Fast forward to 2012. Is this really the same child?!  He is 9 years old.  He is in Third Grade.  He plays any sport, but is passionate about both baseball and soccer.  He is funny, silly, crazy, athletic, loving, generous and an all around great little boy who is turning into a young man before our very eyes.  He is starting to become "fashion conscious".  He likes to pick out his clothing, and pays special attention to the accessories.  He really enjoys styling his hair every morning. He really likes using hair gel.  And LOTS of it.  He now clears the dinner table every night. He takes the plates, rinses them off and promptly puts them in the dishwasher.  Without being asked.  Wow!  He is also a wonderful big brother to Connor.  Don't get me wrong. I have plenty of days where I want to tear my hair out.  But, in the end I couldn't have asked for a more perfect child for our family.  Tonight we finally went out for our Gotcha Day Dinner with the grandparents.  Thursday was his "real" Gotcha Day but he was sick (as usual) and it would have been just too rushed for a school night.  We went out tonight and then even had time for ice cream afterwards.  It was much more relaxed this way. 
Of course Grammy and Grandpa were there ....

... along with Red Truck Grandpa.
And of course Connor was there too!  We were a little squished at our table, which made it hard for a family photo.

I have to laugh. According to Travis the new way to wear your hat is with a "flat bill" as opposed to a "curved bill" on your baseball hat.  This is evidenced by the hats I see in the stores. This flat bill thing drives Grandpa nuts.  Here he is making his hat into a flat bill hat... Travis was cracking up!!
After dinner we went out for some ice cream.  Where did that tongue come from??  (Can you tell that *someone* wants to be like his big brother and also is wearing hats now?)
This picture just cracks me up. I don't know what is funnier, the look on Travis face with his ears sticking out or my mom eating her ice cream. (I hope she doesn't kill me for posting this picture!)
My boys.  I love this picture. I think it might be one of my new favs.
And there you have it.  Tonight we also watched Travis' Russia video.  It starts with Daryle and I in Moscow, then we are in Blago meeting him, and finally we are back in Moscow with Travis. Then almost every year after that we have video of Travis talking.  He sure is growing up. Not that I needed a video to tell me that, I can see it on a daily basis!  Watching a few minutes of each year right in a row like that really seems to speed the whole thing up!

Sometimes I just sit back and look at my family in awe. I think. I reflect. It always comes back to this basic thought.
Adoption is a  pretty amazing gift. 
Families are also an amazing gift.   
I am so happy that my family was made through adoption.
I wouldn't have it any other way. 
Happy 8th Gotcha Day Travis!  
We love you so very, very much.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

What Is Going On At Our House?

After much thought and consideration we decided to sign both boys up for fall baseball. We had considered doing soccer but when we found out Connor could play T-ball we decided on baseball.  Connor is SOOOO excited! He has been walking around the house carrying this bat (of course he always has his batting gloves on AND his cleats!) and saying, "Dad, I am ready to play baseball!!"

I told Daryle he has created a little monster!  Yesterday Connor got a new bat just for him as well as his very own baseball bag. He carries it around talking about how he is ready to play ball. I can hear him talking about all of the home runs he is going to hit and how he has big plans to "hit the ball out of the park." He is quite the little character!  For the past two weeks Daryle has been taking the boys down to our local school to practice on the ball fields after dinner. Daryle took these the other night when they went out to play.
I love this picture and decided I need to have Daryle take more pictures around here.
 Here is Connor's "baseball stare". Would you want to him to pitch you a ball??
 Daryle sometimes has Travis hit off the tee to work on leveling out his swing. 
 Connor is preparing for his home run derby....

Sometimes it is so hot we need to end our evenings with a little ice cream sundae! 
The rest of our time is spent at work and at school. So far so good. Travis is enjoying Third Grade. Connor loves his school and has even made a few new friends.  I am happy because we hired another teacher so by Friday I will go from having 31 kiddos to 23 kiddos.  Phew!  We will be able to get so much more done.  I am thrilled!
Friday night was horrible though. Around 9 pm we realized our air was not working.  I hardly slept a wink.  I actually slept with ice cold gel packs on me!!  Finally it was fixed by noon the next day. Our house got up to 88 degrees inside. That is awful! We usually keep it at 78, so you can only imagine how stifling it was in here!  The good part is that whatever it was that broke was still covered by warranty so it only cost us $100 to fix.  Thank goodness for that!
I can hardly believe August has arrived. It  is already going to be a busy month.  The good part is that we are that much closer to our cooler weather!