Welcome to our corner of the web! Here you will learn about our family and our journey of a family member adoption. In July of 2010, after 9 years of trying to add to our family and 5 years after we started our adoption journey, we welcomed baby Emily Rose. Emily's birth mom is Sharon's adopted sister. We look forward to someday adopting more children but for now, we are enjoying our time together as a family of 4!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pictures of Tammy

One of my favorite things to do is photography. I absolutely love being able to capture memories for years to come. Now, Tammy doesn't like having her photo taken. Her dad's ex-wife used is a photographer and so Tammy always had photos being taken of her. So it isn't her favorite thing anymore. But occassionally she will allow me to take some photos of her. Luckily occassionally, came while we were in Utah. While a lot of the times I tried to take photos I did end up with the hands in front of the face shots like this one

Then there are the shots where she actually lets me take photos like these that I took on Easter Sunday. (She is wearing a dress she bought for one of the scenes in Grease)

Then there are the shots where she knows I'm there but doesn't try to hide, but also isn't posing. Someday maybe I will get some actual training to be a photographer. In the meantime I love being an amatuer photographer.

I also wanted to share pictures I got of Jacob's parents at the wedding last weekend. I just love both of these pictures. They capture them so well.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Joey's Married!

On Saturday, our last full day of our trip Jacob's brother Joe got married. We started out the morning with getting ready and then taking Tammy to Jacob's mom's house to watch Ruth's boys so she could go to the temple ceremony. The ceremony was of course beautiful. Joe and Teresa are a sweet couple who are perfect for each other. I didn't get any pictures at the temple, I left my camera in the car. But I did get a few pictures at the wedding luncheon and the reception (o.k. more then a few).

Here is the happy couple enjoying time with family at the luncheon.
Jacob's brother Paul did the wedding photos as a gift to the bride and groom. I caught him and his wife Erin in a moment of their own.
There were finger puppets on the tables to keep the kids busy, which was such a great thing! Although, I think the adults had more fun with them then the kids did! They were a blast to play with! Tammy found 5 ducks and a goose and played duck duck goose with the finger puppets. Silly girl!
I got the cake done Friday evening just before we went to closing night of Grease. Everyone at the wedding on Saturday seemed to love it.

Everyone in the receiving line looked great!

Jacob's parents were so excited for Joe and Teresa! I think we all were, but can't you just see the happiness of Mom and Dad!

Jacob's brother John was able to make it to the reception with 4 of his kiddos. Melissa was of course at the hospital with Dawn. John sure was tired! But it was great to see him. Here he is with Jacob. We also got pictures of all 4 of the brothers with their dad. (From left to right, John, Joe, Jacob, Paul, and dad -David- up front) (We wanted to get a picture of all of Jacob's siblings with his parents, but Ruth had gone home by the time John came. She had to get her boys to bed.)

Since learning how to decorate cakes I don't like to eat them. But I was told it tasted really good. Considering it was over half gone when we left and there were people who went up for seconds it must have been!

Enjoying a relaxing moment
It's getting late so I will post more tomorrow!

A busy and full Friday!

Friday was a full day! I worked on the cake for about 10 hours. That combined with the 10 hours I had spent doing flowers the few days before that, made for a very long day of decorating. But the end result was worth it. The bride and groom were both happy with the cake. More on that in a later post though. My mom Barbara came to help me with the cake. She helped me to ice them and kept me company which was great. The morning came with a phone call from my sister-in-law Dawn. You know, my friend who introduced Jacob and I, who also happens to be married to Jacob's oldest brother. Dawn was 37 weeks and 2 days pregnant. Which is actually pretty far along, ecspecially for her. She always has her babies early whether she wants to or not! She was showing signs of Toxemia so the doctors were keeping a close eye on her. She was calling to tell me that she had an appt. with her dr. that day for a check up and was going to try to get permission to go Joe and Teresa's wedding the next day. I told her to keep me posted. Later that day she called back. The dr. decided to admit her. The symptoms were getting worse, and what was more, she was dilated to a 4. That was at around 4 in the afternoon. At 10P.M. I got a call (Tammy had my phone because she was at her cast party so we wanted her to be able to get a hold of us if needed so I didn't get the call, I got the message late that night). Melissa Dawn was born at 9:35 P.M. weighing in at 7 lbs. 13 oz. and 21 inches. Because it was late when I got the message and the next day was full to the brim with the wedding and we left Sunday morning we weren't able to go meet our new neice. But from the pictures I've seen, she is a doll!

I finished the cake at about 6 on Friday evening, just in time to change quickly and run off to closing night of Tammy's play. Tammy went to her cast party that night after the play and we picked her up afterwards and then went to my brothers house where we were staying so we could get some sleep and rest up before the wedding festivities.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Grease Is The Word!

The rest of our trip went awesome. We got back late Sunday night. The house we were going to put an offer in on is now under contract so we chose a different house. We will put in an offer on that one within the next few days. We did get our pre-approval so that will make the buying process go so much easier knowing what we were approved for. Anyhow, Tammy was in her school musical Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. She did awesome! I'm so proud of her! She has quite the stage presence and has a beautiful singing voice.

My brother Roy, his wife Andrea and their kids, Jacen, Rachel, Wyatt, and Addison all came to see the play.
Who can resist this face! This is my adorable neice Addison (Addie). This particular day happened to be her 1st birthday! Happy Birthday Addie!
My mom Barbara was there too. (My nephew Jacen is in this picture with her. He was actually smiling! He's a 10 year old boy, so you can imagine how often he does that! hehehe My mom was being goofy making bug eyes at the camera.) Jacob's mom Alice Ann was there as well. (Jacob's dad David had class that night and wasn't able to make it.) Jacob and his mom passed the time before the play started by chatting. Tammy played Frenchy in Grease. Despite the sound system not working half the time and most of the kids forgetting their lines (it was a Jr. High play after all), she did great! She nailed everyone of her lines and sang her solo beautifully! (Tammy is in the front right bottom corner, yes, the one with RED hair! You were expecting to see her with her blonde hair weren't you? She decided to dye it, "for the play" but really it was because she has been wanting to dye it for a while and the play gave her an excuse. I really love red hair on her! She has been wanting red hair for a long time. Although now my hair looks brown next to hers and not the usual dark red.) This scene is the opening scene introducing all the characters. They each ran out on stage shouting their characters name and then got into position. Once they were all out they did a dance number.
This one was my favorite scene. This was the Beauty School drop out scene. (Can you tell from the "angels" with "curlers" in their hair). (I got this picture from my Andrea's blog, the one I took of it wasn't any good.)
This was the curtain call at the end. I missed Tammy bowing because of course I was clapping loudly for her! I did get this picture of the rest of her part of the curtain call. The kid next to her played Doody in the play. He kept blushing each time he had to dance with Tammy. Apparently he has quite the crush on her.
Tammy had such a great time that she is determined to try out for all the future plays and musicals that her Jr. High and High School does from now on! I say got for it! She will do awesome!
Great Job Tammy! I can't wait for your next play!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Greetings from Utah!

I'm sitting here at my brother's house where Jacob and I are staying here in Utah. It has been a great visit so far. Saturday we left our house at about 2 in the morning and arrived at Jacob's mom's house at around 4 p.m. It was a fairly uneventful drive. We did hit a snow storm in Gallup New Mexico which is about 6 hours, and all the way on the other end of New Mexico from our house. Luckily we were both exhuasted and tired by that point so we pulled over and slept for a little bit. By the time we woke up about 20 minutes later the snow storm had passed. The drive through Monticello and Moab Utah was gorgeous. Neither of us had ever been through there. The red rocks are something else. Just beautiful. Jacob's brother Joe and his soon to be wife Teresa along with Jacob's brother Paul and his wife Erin came over to Jacob's mom's for dinner. It was so fun to just sit and catch up with everyone. Tammy discovered that Grandma Alice Ann now has a Wii and Guitar Hero so she was in video game heaven for several hours. Paul played with her on the Wii.

Sunday was Easter, we woke up in the morning and watched our Nephew's David and Aaron hunt for Eggs. We went to church and then came home to a yummy dinner. Both brother's and thier significant others who had been there the night before were there again. That evening we came to my brother Matt's house.

Monday and Today we spent looking at houses. We did find several that we really liked. We ruled out a couple of those and have narrowed it down to 2. We are weighing the pros and cons of each (cause let's face it, there is no such thing as the perfect house). One of the houses seems like a better fit in so many ways but the other house is a better price and a has little more room. We can see ourselves in both of them and they both feel like they could be the home for us. We are going to the temple tomorrow and will pray about our decision. We may decide to wait to put in an offer on any house for a few months. Ecspecially considering we weren't going to put in an offer on any house this go round. We were just looking to see what there was and what we wanted. So we'll see. It is only a little over 4 months before we move anyway. Say closing takes around 60 days (which we would request a July 1st closing in the offer) so we close then. We would then owe our first mortgage payment on the 1st of Sept. which is the week we are moving back. In the meantime my mom said she would paint the house for us and do the window treatments so that it is all ready for us to move into when we get here in Sept.

Tomorrow we are going to the temple and then I am going to work on the flowers for the wedding cake. We will also go to Tammy's play. Thursday is baking the wedding cakes, finishing the flowers and Tammy's play. And then Friday is putting the cake together and if I get it done in time we will go to the closing night of the play. Saturday is the wedding so we have a fun rest of the week. If we decide to put an offer in on one of the houses we will talk to our lender on Thursday and submit the offer hopefully before we leave on Sunday but it'll depend on how long the pre-approval takes. So we'll see.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A visit with friends

When we lived in Kansas we met and made some amazing friends. These are the kind of friendships that will last forever. One of these friends is my wonderful friend Belinda. It's kind of funny how we met. About 6 months before she moved to Kansas I was in a card swap on this stamper's website that I belong to. I made my 20 cards and sent them to the hostess who then swapped out all the cards everyone made and I ended up with 20 different cards. I love swaps for that reason. You come up with 1 card and get a bunch of other ideas. It's great! Anyhow, I remember getting this one card made with a stamp set that I didn't really like but the card was so darling. I flipped it over to see who made it and I saw it was made by a lady named Belinda (I'm not saying her full name for privacy reasons of course). Well fast forward 6 months. I'm sitting in Enrichment night at church (in our church we have quarterly activities for the ladies in the congregation that are geared towards strengthening our lives in different ways like spiritually, emotionally, physically, etc. Basically just showing us how we can become better people and more like Jesus Christ) So I'm sitting in Enrichment and this lady gets up to get a talk. The conductor said her name and my mind immediately flashed to this card I had gotten 6 months before. I approached the speaker later on that evening and told her how much I enjoyed her talk. I then asked her if she was a stamper. She is, I asked her if she belonged to this website, she does (as she is starting to look at me like I'm a stalker). I explain to her that I'm not a stalker and told her about the swap and how much I liked the card that she had done for it. She remembered my card as well. That was it, we were instant friends and have been ever since.

Well in July Belinda moved from Kansas to live in Texas where her husband was transferred to (her husband is in the Army too). Shortly after we moved to New Mexico. We live about 6 hours apart but haven't been able to visit each other. Until this last weekend. Belinda came to see me and she brought her kids. Her husband was actually here at the base we live on doing a training exercise. It was so much fun to have them here. We went to the park and played, we took them to the Sand Dunes, our dog Sirius went with us to the Dunes, it was exteremly windy and he got covered in sand but he had so much fun! Belinda's kids loved climbing the tree in our front yard and really loved playing on our Wii. I had a blast taking pictures of everything and anyone. I got some great shots of the kids playing and they all even agreed to be models for me so I could practice my photography. I won't post any pictures of Belinda's kids yet. I need to ask her permission first, but I will share this photo of her and I.

Ramblings about our upcoming trip....

Tammy is in a musical at her Jr. High next week. We promised her that we would come see her in the musical. Shortly after Tammy landed her role in the musical Jacob's brother Joe got engaged. We told them we would try to make it to the wedding but didn't know if we could because we can't afford to come twice right now (since all our extra money is being saved for our adoption and for buying a house come September). Joe and his fiance' Teresa talked about it and decided to plan their wedding for the week of Tammy's musical so that we can be there. Sweet huh? We were so excited and touched when they told us. Here we are getting ready to leave in a few days. Jacob has 1 day of work left, Friday is Good Friday so he has the day off. Thursday is his only day of work left. Friday we will be spending the day attending to all those last minute details. I'm making the wedding cake for the reception so I have to go through all my cake decorating stuff and make sure I don't forget anything cause that would be bad. Ecspecially considering that the wedding is in Utah, and we live a 13.5 hour drive away in New Mexico. I can't exactly run home and grab something if I forget it. Hopefully we won't forget anything though.

Sirius is coming with us. He was abused by the people that had him before us and has issues when we leave him. He gets really down and depressed. So we are bringing him with us. Of course I am bringing my camera and will have lots and lots of pictures to share when we get home.

We are spending Saturday and Sunday with Jacob's mom and dad at their house. Sunday is Easter and the soon to be marrieds have consented to spend Easter dinner with us there so that we can meet Teresa (since I'm sure that there will be so much going on that week and then of course the end of the week is the wedding, so it will be nice to meet her away from all that).
Tammy is going to be at Jacob's parents already so that we can spend as much time with her as possible while we are there. (She has play rehersals and performances that whole week so we won't see her much at all other then when she is on stage)

Monday and Tuesday we are looking at houses. Even though we aren't buying a house until September we want to get a feel for what's out there and what we are actually looking for in a house. We have an idea of what we want, but what we think we want and what will actually make us happy may be two different things.

Wednesday we are going to the temple with my mom and stepdad and then window shopping with my sister-in-law (my brother's wife). And of course Wednesday night is Tammy's play.

Thursday and Friday I will be working on the wedding cake. I have almost 1,000 flowers that I need to make for it (if I do the design I am thinking of doing, I may have to change it a little depending on time, I had a different one that I was going to do but after hearing that Teresa wants different types of flowers in various shades I came up with something else, so we'll see what time allows) Those two evenings we will also be going to Tammy's play. We want to attend all three nights.

Saturday is the wedding so that will be an extremely busy day. Ceremony at the temple in the morning, then wedding luncheon, then to the reception to set up the cake and then the actual reception. So very busy, but we look forward to it!

We plan to leave to come back here early that next Sunday morning. That way we can take all of Monday to rest before Jacob has to return to work that Tuesday. It will be a busy trip, but we are so excited for it!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

All About Tammy

O.k So she likes to be called Tamara. After all, she is almost 14! She's too grown up for a name like Tammy. But she will always be Tammy to me. She said her first word when she was 3 months old and was talking in complete sentences before she was a year and a half. She took her first steps just a few days before turning 1 but still didn't start really walking until she was 14 months old. She could walk, she just decided she could get there faster by crawling. When she turned 14 months old she stood in the middle of the room one day and looked around and then just started running. I couldn't beleive it. She ran around the room once and then stood there and looked around and realized that running was easy, and cool, and it's gets you to where you are going quickly! She has been on the go ever since. Tammy was a tomboy when she was younger. She didn't really like frilly dresses but would wear them. Easter Sunday just before turning two we went to her Grandma Jeanine's house (her dad's mom) and she did an Easter egg hunt. She wore a pretty floral print dress and a matching hat. She looked so cute. Her dad took her outside to play and 20 minutes later I went to find her so we could go home. I found her sitting on the ground in her pretty dress playing in the dirt. That's my girl! I found her several times jumpin off things and climbing in trees.

Tammy is now a typical teenager. She is 13 now and will turn 14 in June. She loves hanging out with her friends and listening to music. She also loves playing on the computer. She enjoys Drama and Choir at school and loves doing crafts and making things. She is so loving and is always thinking of how her actions and decisions will effect those around her. I have always said that she is wise beyond her years. Tammy also has quite a talent for writting poetry. She wants to learn to play the Guitar (but is settling on playing Guitar Hero until we can get her into lessons) and wants to learn the Piano when Jacob and I move back to Utah. My mom has my childhood piano at her house, it was given to me years ago and when we move back I finally get to have it. Tammy is so excited to learn to play.

We share custody of Tammy with her dad Nick. Nick has 5 other children, Tammy is the oldest. She is a great big sister and is looking forward to us adopting.

Tammy is about to appear in her Jr. High School's production of Grease. She is in the chorus and is also the understudy for Frenchie. Her drama teacher beleives that the understudies should get stage time as well so the play will go 3 nights and Tammy will be in the chorus for 2 of the nights and will be Frenchie on the other night. She is really excited. Jacob and I are excited to see her and plan to be there all 3 nights. A bunch of family is coming as well and you can bet there will be pictures to share!