Saturday, November 24, 2012

Big Times

This past week has been a big one for us.

Which explains why I haven't written anything in a while.  My grandma reminded me tonight that it's been more than a week since I've posted anything, so here's a quick rundown of what's been happening.

Nov. 17 & 18...
Jerad and Leah headed south to Oklahoma for rifle season in hopes of shooting a deer worthy of mounting on the wall and a doe or two for the meat.  He ended up shooting a nice deer, which I just found out we are having mounted...I keep catching him sitting on our couch in the living room determining which way he wants the deer mount head to be turned so it matches the other one we already have hanging...I said that discussion is not over yet...

I headed north to a Crossfit Level 1 Trainer's Course so I can teach classes in Crossfit now.  I had a 2-day seminar full of lecture, hands-on training, coaching/training, and working out.  The course was on Fort Leavenworth military base.  I had the best time.  I sweated and suffered through workouts next to men who have served to protect me and my family in several different countries, several different times, and I was never more honored or in awe of this opportunity.  What a humbling experience!  What incredible men and women!

Mom had the kids.  Everyone survived.

Then, Thanksgiving week began.  It consisted of recovery from the weekend.  Monday's are always the worst after a busy weekend out of the routine.  Autum clung to my leg, hollering "mom, mom....mama, mama, mom, mooooommmmy, mama...maaaaamaaaa....!" All day long.  I attempted to get Leah off to school with a sack lunch packed from an empty pantry.  Poor girl. I think she had half a hot dog, half a bowl of ravioli, a bag of chips, 1/2 an apple...and a juice box.  And a fruit snack...thank God for that! Blake just ensued his constant pestering of his sister, consistent with an ornery grin and a PeeWee Herman, evil laugh.

Wednesday we packed up and prepared to head back down south to Jerad's family for Thanksgiving day.  We are still limited to short trips for now, as Blake adjusts slowly, and to not throw off our routine too much, for the sake of us all losing our sanity.

But this day also represented Blake's GOTCHA DAY, one year ago.  That was the day we ransomed him from his orphanage forever.  You can read more about and see more about that day here.  Honestly it feels like he's been a part of our lives for so much longer.  He just fits in.  He is a perfect balance to my loud, crazy, high energy girls.  He's pretty chill.  Does his thing.  And has come SOOOOO far in just a year's time.

What a wee little, frail, scared boy here...I can just see it so clearly now as I look back at these pictures.  He had never known the consistent, loving presence of a parent.  Just a family, always being there.  Day in and day out.  All he had known was: A new 'nanny' crew each day to take care of him...same clothes, same routine, same crib to sit in, same mush food, limited affection shown, naivete to the world outside of his 4 walls, lack of love, lack of feelings, lack of care towards his needs...until we came along.

Then we celebrated Thanksgiving with family on a beautiful day in Oklahoma.  We spent the whole day outside working off all the food we ate.

Technically it was Blake's first Thanksgiving meal.  Let's just say he loves mashed potatoes!

Friday we returned to Kansas for a one day's break before heading to Hutchinson to celebrate with my family.  Friday was a big day for us for two reasons.  One, it was my mom's birthday!!  Two, it marked the one year anniversary of us returning home with Blake.  You can see more about the news story and pics from that trip here.  Oh what a day! Oh what a year!

I'll leave you with these pictures, but hope to write a blog this week about how much life for me and life for Blake has changed over this past year.  It's been just remarkable.  I'm not sure who has been affected more.
This is what happens when you only have one electric police 3-wheeler...

This is what happens when you stick out your tongue at your 'big', little sister...
And this is what happens as she drives away...

Evidently scare crows are not his favorite...this is what I walked into the front room to find him doing...the wind-up...

...the focus...

..and the punch!

Almost got one snapshot of them all looking at the camera...almost
And putting up the tree at Mimi Terri's..

Running up and down Mimi and Papa's hill at their house in the country.

Meg and buds...he LOVES her!!

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