Friday, August 22, 2008

They grow up and move out...

My oldest daughter is leaving for college tomorrow. I know that this is a natural step for kids, but I am still having a hard time with it. I think I just need one more year with her at home. She skipped fifth grade so she is going to school a year earlier than she should. I have been sorry about making the decision to allow her to skip fifth grade for years. Even though it seemed right at the time, there really is no reason to rush them through school. She was really bored where she was before she moved up a grade and did very well after she was moved. But now here she is packing to move away. She is going to a college in Northern California, which is a six hour drive from here. Ray wanted to have us visit his mother who lives about an hour from the school. So we are going to make it into a little vacation. Dakota and I are going to drop them off at his mother's house and then get a hotel room by the school. We will move some of her things in Sunday morning and then spend a few hours shopping for various things. She is going to spend the night in the dorm and I will meet up with her Monday for a parent's welcome luncheon. She may be able to spend some time with us Tuesday before we leave. The whole first week for her is orientation, which is great. They really want the students to be comfortable with the campus and classes before the year gets started, which is great.
I am really dreading leaving her and I am sure it will be hard. She is a smart girl and is excited to start classes. I know it will be a great learning experience for her. I am really hoping she loves it. Once she says she is happy and is fine I will feel much better. People think I am a little crazy when I say I am having empty nest syndrome, but I think I am. I don't care if I have four other kids still at home. Having one leave is hard. Did I say I thought that them moving out was natural?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Riding the ponies

We asked Brookelyn if she wanted to ride a pony when we got to the park. She was really excited and told us, "I not scared. I won't cry (sounds more like fry when she says it). I won't hit the pony, I will pet it soft like this." I thought she might cry anyway though. She is only two and a half. But she went right to the woman who picked her up and put her on the pony. She has such confidence for a little girl with everything she does. We hear it from her teachers and other people that she is very confident. She even has a confident walk. It's almost as if she is strutting sometimes. And it is always surprising to me to see it when she is so little!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Sasha's face when she sees mommy

Sasha has a habit of crying if she sees me or hears my voice and I am not holding her. If someone else is holding her when I am in another room trying to get something done, she is fine. She will play and have fun with whoever is around. But the moment she sees or hears me, she cries until I pick her up. Ray always tells me I am spoiling her, but I figure she will get over it on her own when she is ready. She has been through a lot in her short life and I can certainly hold her when she needs me to. Here are a few pictures I took today of her when she was sitting on her dad's shoulders, when she had "forgotten" to be sad about me not holding her. She is completely fine until I call her name to look at me so I can take a picture of her. Then, suddenly, she sees me and cries for me. She is getting a little bit better lately. A couple of weeks ago she never would have sat on Ray's shoulders.

Climbing trees and finding leaves

Swinging from the vine and more

My favorite is the one where Brayden is trying to lift Brookelyn up onto the vine.

Petting and feeding goats

Ray, Brayden, Brookleyn, Sasha, and I went to a local park today. It was great. Brayden and Brookelyn each rode ponies, we went to a little zoo inside the park, fed the goats, swung on a vine hanging from a tree, and then stopped for ice cream on our way home. The kids all took naps on the way home, which was great, and then they played in the pool before bedtime. It was a really nice day!

Playing with family afterwards

Sasha is playing on the steps with Brookelyn and Colton.

More Re-Adoption Pictures

The three of us went out to lunch to celebrate before we went home. Great day!


We did it! We were finally able to re-adopt Sasha. It should have been much quicker and easier, since I filed the original paperwork back in December. But we did it! Ray, Sasha and I got to the courthouse and saw several other families waiting as well. A woman who had adopted a beautiful little girl from China came up and gave Sasha a little magna doodle to play with while we waited. Very sweet of her and Sasha loved it. She played with it while we waited and throughout the time we were in the courtroom. We were the second family to be called so we only had to wait a few minutes. Once we were inside we were able to set up our videocamera and the bailiff took pictures while we were with the judge. The process was really short. We just swore that we understood we were adopting her and she would have all rights as our child, that the papers we had filled out (listing our names, her first name, her new name, the agency we used...) previously were true and correct and then we signed the papers in front of the judge. And then it was over. It was very nice.
I am so relived to have that last step finished. I don't know whether it was just a technicality, but it feels good to have it finished. I feel so lucky to have that little girl. I am not a religious person by any means, but I feel blessed to have her. I am amazed and in awe that I get to raise her and be her mommy. I love you, Sasha!