snippity snip.

lolly pops and laptops appear to be the secret to a new do...well that, and curls that won't stop and blondess that is so awesome, i want a hair transplant :)

oh, and by the way, in case you were wondering, this is what hair tastes like....

in the morning light, we discovered a new little boy...the curls are curlier than ever, and although when dry the new do is slightly shorter than i meant to snip, he is hilariously in love with his new hair. and the back is acctually brown since the longest parts were so bleach blonde...it's like two different boys depending on which end of his head you find yourself :)

the smuf head and snowball perfection

we are notorious snow-day make-shifters. we thrown on whatever items we can find that appear warm, and whether lovely or not (hence my smurf hat donned with my dad's coveralls....me and rowan's matching hot pink scarves...and clint in an old ski hat from 1979) we head out into the snowy bliss.

i admit. freezing my bootscoot and getting snow-ice sprayed up my pant legs isn't my favorite pastime...but then the zip of a toboggan...the whoosh of a saucer...the squeals of those sliding by and down down down into the far off region of the neighbors hillside yard...it beckons. i forget how much i hate to be cold, and we squander in the snow...making warp speed perfect snowballs (thank you 5 and below for this year's best purchase)

and we throw out our old baseball arms whilst nearly missing a stray child's cheek...we pile on blow up tubes and have saucer races and the winner takes all using any methods necessary. it's one of my favorite winter things.

i must mention, even before heading out into the snow-filled wonderland, i already dread the 1/2 hour it will take to get all of those little arms and legs and hands and heads donned in warm attire. and i can photographically picture the piles upon piles of wet and half dirty snow clothes that will no-doubt lay in dismay when we come back in. oh the soggy jackets. oh the cleaning of salt and grime from the floors. oh the 3 loads of snow clothes laundry that will surely lay in the basement for at least 2 days.

but, oh. for a few moments...it's perfection.

you can't beat little boys in snowy glasses and aunts and uncles who sled even in their mom's old duck boots :)

we were even met with this perfection as we were taking our last few slides.

thanks dad for snapping these pics...even though your feet were freezing in your crocs :)


the haze

time stood still this weekend. it was as if all of the wonderfulness of christmas weekend lingered longer than usual. our family created all new traditions this year. between my parents, clint and i, and my brother and lauren, each of us made and brought a top-secret meal item to our christmas lunch.
not just any meal, mind you. our most favorite meal...and no one else knew what was being brought. there were no guidelines...it could be anything. appetizer. main dish. side. dessert...anything...the only guideline was to keep it a secret.

it ended up being the best. meal. ever.

spiral honey baked ham.
pulled pork bbq sandwiches.
sausage egg and cheese casserole.
6 cheese mac and cheese with bacon.
homemade sticky buns.
corn mush (henricks family tradition...not delicious, but traditional).

not a veggie in sight. perhaps for the first time ever, we ignored the unhealthy factor and went with the spirit of new traditions. we left the table stuffed to the brim and laughing at how much fun it had been.

next, we each brought a top secret handmade gift. we didn't know who it would be for...but it had to be handmade. the exchange was ruled by a gift exchange dice game my hubby invented. it was hilarious. tearfilled with sentiment. the most fun christmas ever.

the other rule? no gifts. nada. other than our handmade exchange, we didn't purchase anything for each other.

stress level ZERO.
the way i would love for Christmas to remain for years to come.

and now.
winter is looming. snow everywhere and not a flower in sight.

i've been enjoying a week of being sewing machine free. i've snuggled up by the woodstove a night or two, chatting it up while watching old movies with my mom. last night it was "funny girl" with a young barbra streisand- awesome! how have i never seen it before?
and i've finally had time to feed my internet obsession.  i've been scouring the internet for adoption laden information and packing lists and parents of chinese children groups, and hospital programs...
and searching for photos of Emery's orphanage. which i have found. a bit regretfully. some are not so bad...little old ladies, crowded in a courtyard, holding babies. i love the holding part. it looks cold and dirty and old outside. the inside looks a bit more colorful with some murals in the background of animals. but there are children everywhere. sitting. standing. flopping. there is a photo of a large room with no less than 25 cribs all packed together (not sure how anyone gets to the babies in the middle of the crib pack??). a few cribs were empty, but at least half of the cribs has 2 or 3 babies in them. oh, and they don't have mattresses in china. they use bamboo mats. i forgot about that until i saw the photo. i'm praying for a sweet old lady to love by baby. to snuggle her and hold her. hold her and hold her and hold her. i'm already scouting gifts for this sweet old lady i am praying for. please be holding her, sweet old lady. she is so precious.

on the bright side, we got an emery update photo today! she looks a lot older than her first photo, and has crazy hair! we love crazy hair around here :)  they put so many layers of clothing on babies in china...her arms are practically horizontal to the ground!!

all of the sudden, i've entered a new community. and i'm finding it's a community of amazing.
out of sincere kindness, other moms who have adopted from our Agency, have reached out with their stories. their encouragement. their gritty, awesome, wholesome, need-to-know-because-i-love-you information. women who, i'm sure, have 1,005 other things to be doing other than emailing me their adoption stories. women who run photography businesses, and adoption websites and assist chinese m's to raise funds and raise busy, amazing families and advocate for orphans all over the world...and yet here they are...graciously sending a sweet, encouraging, heartfelt email to someone they don't know.
if there is a community i want to be a part of, this is it.

oh, and just for kicks, i cut my son's mullet this evening :)
mr. blonde locks of gold is now a dusty blonde in back and party blonde in the front. he's quite fetching. although tomorrow will tell how crooked my slice job is!

when i have time, i'll post a few shots...they are hilariously cute :)


by the way, i met my daughter today. yep. that's right. my DAUGHTER!

i have no idea where to begin or what to write...but one thing is for sure...

that's right. our baby GIRL!

oh my love. its bursting out!!

it's been a whirlwind of a day...the email i anticipated sometime in january or february all of the sudden happened last night. on the night of the eclipse. the week of christmas. seriously...how awesome is that??  

i've been on cloud 9 all day. although a bit distracted with my cloud 9 status....i forgot to eat breakfast, and lunch...even forgot COFFEE..seriously, that's wayyy ridiculous distraction :)

but the rediculous distraction is with good reason.
she's deliciously cute and adorable and everything i dreamed of. she's perfectly perfect. and she is ours! the very first referral given to us for review...just as we prayed...prayed against having to look through a long list and say no to so many faces and yes to only one.

she is only 8 months old...we anticipate bringing her home before her first birthday, which is in May. holy cow. that's incredible!!!

i have so much to write, but in the midst of processing such awesome news, i'm still working to finish christmas orders...so it's late to bed for me tonight...but i'm late to bed with a huge smile. for my little girl. i know who you are. you were created in a most incredible way. i love every little bit of you.

i'm not going to post any photos of her until after we bring her home. i want to keep her just for us. stingy, right? i'm allowed :)
i'd really love to just hide away for a few months just the 5 of us and do nothing but eat gooey snacks and catch frogs and build doll houses and have camp outs and ride tire swings and paint messy things and bake cookies and dance like crazy and kiss and hug and tickle fight all day long. i have a feeling our first few weeks and months will be that way...a whole bunch of nothing that means everything. i hope and pray it will go like that.

my heart is filled with praise...we serve a God who is keeping us in a place of growing closer to Him...it's intoxicating :)


wheelbarrel boys and lonely bikes

we've recently found a 2 wheeled vehicle that is even more thrilling than our usual 2 wheeled buddies. the usuals are quite lonely as of late. the new is filled to the brim with the joyous giggles of leaf spreading proteges.


telemarketer in training

 we've been in a phone call phase recently. countless times a day we leave adorable laden voicemails for unsuspecting members of my contact list. we have a few repeat customers, but every once in a while, a new number gets added to the list. yesterday, our call list included 5 voicemails and 2 live pickups. hopefully we aren't creating a future telemarketer, but perhaps if he were, an evening dinnertime phone call wouldn't be quite so annoying if his sweet little voice was the one selling me something. i might just sign up for long distance service i didn't need. and i'm pretty sure i'd give up my credit card to an envelope stuffing scam if he were the sweet little cutie tootie on the other end of the line.


this one and that one

this one got side swiped and his glasses took a bite out of his eye lid on sunday.

this one's pinkie toe fell victim to a falling chair and we found ourselves getting our first xray this morning.

this one fell off of her stationary bike and banged up her 92 year old back this afternoon.

this has been a week of watching God protect precious eye balls and adorable pinkie toe bones and sweet old ladies.

3 peas

we have the honor of living our days alongside of one of our dear family members. my granny. we all moved in together with my awesome, amazing, generous parents about 2 weeks ago.  i could write 12 blogs about how i adore her, the challenges she faces as her years grow thin along with her memory, the fact that she can't be alone for even a few moments, and how her sassy wit is still very much alive when she turns her hearing aid up enough to catch a drift of the passing conversation. but right now, i just watch in awe. somehow the time has crossed in benjamin button fashion, and my 4 year old foster has become akin to her 92 year comprehension. it is as if they are strangely on the same wavelength. she likes to sing songs. play little games. marvel at the small things. and so does he. he tells her everything. they sit. they eat together. they watch each other's every move. i thought having kids around would make her feel stressed, but i think it has the opposing effect...she is calmed a bit by the chaos. by having something to focus on instead of the dreaded long winter days.

my sweet boy's heart has been very tender to spiritual questions. recently we are tackling "how do you get to heaven?"  "how do your bones get under the stone?"  "what happens to your bones and why do we have to go under the stone?"  "where is heaven?"  "what is 'wash away your sin' mean?"  "do we get raised from the grave when we die?"  "is it dark in heaven or is it light?"  "how long do we live?"

these from a 4 year old. the age-old-most-difficult-to-explain questions that i hardly comprehend, and he is looking at me with his question face on, looking for answers. so i'm honest. when i don't know, i simply tell him so. i tell him about faith. and trusting when we don't have all the answers, but we know God's ways are amazing. God has our days numbered. we don't have a guarantee for tomorrow. i'm not going to sugar coat things, but i try my best to simplify them in the way he can start to understand. in the midst of reading "crazy love" and "ordinary women and their extraordinary God" i can't justify easy answers. so we talk. a lot. we peruse it together and read from the bible. it's hard. farthest from easy. little minds that are grasping. and i am not worthy to answer. but prepared or not, it's upon me. i must answer. please, Lord, don't let me screw it up.

last night in the car, we had one of our most deep and question filled car rides. i had no idea what sank in.

this morning, i heard foster and granny. having their usual heart to heart.

foster: "granny, you're getting old. but don't worry. heaven is beautiful. you can walk and talk to Jesus about anything you want. you don't have to be scared."

granny: "oh i know, honey. you are right. i 'm not afraid to die. i know i will go to Heaven. it's going to be amazing."

what a blessing she is. what a blessing my little boy is.
i pray constantly that God will call him to Himself. it's not my job to save him. i know that. it's not about the prayer he prays. it's not the words. it's got to be deep within who he really is because God has called him out of darkness and into forgiveness.
wow. for a post that started about my granny and 2 cute kids, i've somehow found myself in the spiritual land of the unknown. the largest and most threatening challenge of parenthood. never assume. pray fervently, and live in such a way that your kids want to know Jesus. and pray for forgiveness and grace for all the times you fail.
yeesh. parenthood is hard.
i'm in the midst of the struggle...the struggle and challenge of balance...so much to do and at the same time so much i should be doing and all at the same time, so much i need to let go of and just be. it's a challenge to say the least.


foster:  (while we are in the car driving in the rain)  "mom, if we had a convertable right now, we would get so soaked! i would close our lid like a tea pot!"

foster: (while tackling my legs with a giant spider hold)  "mom, i'm gonna stick to you like a sharpe! i'm not coming off!!"

foster: (while talking on his pretend cell phone to his buddy owen)   "hey owen. it's me. foster. do you remember me? yeah, i'm your friend. i see you sometimes. are you coming over? ok great. i'll see you soon. oh and bring your ipad. we can play ipad games and eat snacks and play cars and gasoline lazer beams."


national federation of awesome hair

we are members. gold star members.

i love little boys and awesome, wild hair. i say throw caution to the wind, along with little old ladies who mistake you for a girl, and let your hair be free.

apparently, little boys with glasses who constantly need to "swoop" their hair out of their eyes have begun to petition the national federation for a bit of a snip.

foster started asking me to cut his "bangs" last week. every few minuets, i heard "mom, these bangs are really in my way. they keep hanging in my eyes. can you cut them up to here???" he would ask, while pulling his bangs straight up and over his forehead so only his skin remained.
"ok, we'll think about it buddy. maybe a little trim."

next i heard, "can i get a hair cut mom? like a real one? maybe all of my hair could be short?"

it was a theme. i decided to roll with it.

when daddy came home, the conversation continued. we snagged the camera and some clippers, double checked with the national federation of awesome hair (who responded via email saying "hair grows. go with it.")

and the clippage began.

if i'm being totally honest, i love his old, long hair. but, even more, i love that he loves his new hair and that he chose it. he keeps looking at himself in the mirror and giggling. he marvels at how different he looks...and so do we!


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