Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Go Dawgs... ???

Clearly I am a Clemson Tiger fan.  And Kevin is a Georgia Bulldog fan.  Our girls have yet to make the determination as to which team they'll like.  For all we know, they may pick a different team completely or decide they hate sports all together.  We are an equal opportunity family though - so it's totally up to them!

Since we live so close to Clemson, we're usually able to take them to a game every year.  Athens is a bit further and while Kevin and Kate have gone to a couple of games together, Karsten hadn't seen the Dawgs play until this weekend. Kevin's track record at seeing his team play is pretty poor too.  He's gone to a game almost every year, and Georgia hasn't won while he was there since 2012.  

So this weekend we took the girls to see Georgia play Samford.  If his team had not won this game, I'm not sure I would have let him live it down.

They are ready for Saturday in Athens!

We've officially reached the "fake smile" stage. 

The game was a night game, which was great since it was a million degrees outside!  We left our house with plenty of time to eat dinner on the way, and got to Athens early so we could walk around. A quick stop in a Georgia fan store landed the girls with new hats and Georgia "G's" for their faces (glittery ones, of course).  Then it was game time!

We'd originally planned to stay till halftime and knew we would call it a success if that happened.  When Georgia scored another TD late in the 3rd quarter to make it pretty much a guaranteed win, we figured we were safe to start walking back toward the car.  The girls did great throughout the whole game.  I will go ahead and put it out there, I packed the iPad in my bag for Karsten.  Knowing that the game was starting only 30 minutes before her normal bedtime, I needed to be prepared! She only played on it for maybe 30 minutes total and did really well.     

 And now both kids have been to Georgia games.  In about a month, they'll be sporting the Clemson orange that I love to see on them. But for now, I'll admit that they look pretty cute in the red.

PS - I listened to my game (Clemson vs Louisville) on XM radio while watching the Georgia game. Multitasking at its finest. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Weekend Favorites

I better catch up from LAST weekend before we get to this weekend, right?  We've had a lot of low-key fun lately and I love spending time with family and friends. 

The girls have grown so much lately, and the weather is starting to cool down just a tiny bit (in the mornings only), so I know they are going to need some warmer clothes before too long.  They can't fit into a single thing from last year, so it's time for shopping!  We attempted to go to Carters on Friday, only to get there at 8:08pm and realize they closed at 8. Boo.  The girls spotted Mr. Knickerbockers next door, and so we walked over. 

$40 later, we walked out with 2 stuffed tigers and 2 sets of tiger ears. 

Saturday morning, we pulled out one of Kate's birthday presents.  Kristi and Davis gave her a kit to make gummy Trolls (think troll-shaped gummy bears).  She had a blast and they actually turned out well. But the green was gross. 

Also Saturday - game day!   The girls wore their Clemson jerseys.  Although, to be completely honest, Kate does have her UGA jersey on underneath her Clemson one.   Clemson and Georgia both played at the same time Saturday night, so Kevin and I were each stationed in different rooms watching our respective teams.  Luckily, both teams won!

We had to take a picture of our boys - Kevin said they were praying for a Clemson and UGA win.

Sunday afternoon, I left to run errands and get groceries. Kevin said he was going to put the girls down for a nap and I came home to THIS.  We got a new mattress a few weeks back and our old one has been sitting in the floor of our formal living room. We left it there for a little bit because the girls have enjoyed using it as a trampoline. Looks like we may need to take a page from Clemson's playbook and turn this room into a nap room. 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

The End of an Era

The links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

This week was a big one in our house. Karsten started "school" on Tuesday. Boy was she excited!

Side note - I have gotten lots of questions about Karsten's dress.  It is by Genuine Kids from Target. And if you are thinking of ordering it, use the link below to get 20% off!

Last week we went to meet her teachers.  We were only there for about 20 minutes so we could find out all of the rules, etc and so Karsten could see her new classroom.  When it was time to leave, she didn't want to go! She thought she was going to get to stay.

Needless to say, when the actual first day of school was here, she was ready.  We got to class a couple of minutes early and were still about 5 kids back in the line to drop her off at her classroom door.  The entire time we were waiting, Karsten was begging to go inside.  We finally got up to the front of the line, and as I was handing Karsten's bag and lunch box to her teacher, she took off inside.  I didn't get a hug, a wave or even a "bye".  That's how ready she was.

And now, she's already asking when she goes back.  It's a little sad, as this is the last year our family will have a kid in the "baby" program.  It's the end of an era. Next year she'll be in 3K - an official preschooler.  So for now we'll savor the last few months of the little kid stage. We are looking forward to a great year of Parent's Day Out!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Summertime Fun

For her birthday, Kate got an outdoor chalk/paint set, and the girls got to try it out a few weeks ago on one cool, sunny Sunday afternoon.  These two girls are all about arts and crafts.  And this Mama is all about OUTSIDE arts and crafts. :)

Kate is my main little artist. She loves all things that involve painting, glitter, drawing, and coloring.  This set was right up her alley! 

Karsten loves anything that Kate loves. And she loves getting messy.  See below Exhibit 1.  I took the first picture, and then by the 2nd picture, I realized she was no longer painting the driveway.... she was painting her legs!!

See what I mean?  Messy and proud.

This was Kate's masterpiece. Since it didn't rain at our house for a couple of weeks, it stayed on our driveway for quite some time. She loved seeing it as we drove in each day.  Between the swing set in the back yard, swings hanging from the trees, and colorful artwork displayed all over our driveway, our house is clearly one with kids! I love it and wouldn't have it any other way.  I'm so thankful for these two little girls, and even their messes. There's not much that a good scrub in the bath tub won't fix.  Though Karsten was a little Smurf colored for a few days...

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Adoption Thoughts

Today, Kevin and I got the privilege of speaking to a group of couples who were just starting off with their adoptions through our agency, Bethany Christian Services. We got to share our stories, and on the drive home, we both commented on how fun it was to be able to share what our experiences had been.

SO - basically I just wanted to put that out here too. Maybe you just read this blog for fun, and that's fine.  Or maybe you know me from high school, college, or somewhere and read it out of curiosity. I'm good with that too! But maybe you landed here because you're thinking about adoption.  Maybe you're in the middle of an adoption and wanted to find someone who's "been there".  If that describes you, and you have any questions, feel free to send me an email.

kelleyandkevin (at) yahoo (dot) com

Kevin and I are both very open with what our experiences have been as we started out with adoption, as we were matched and placed with our girls, and now as we've been navigating the whole open adoption world.  It's been a learning experience and we would love to help give others encouragement and support as they go through the same thing.

And with these two girls as part of our testimony, why would we not want to share what God has done in our lives?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

First Grader - Kate

This morning, Kate started first grade. Like I expected, waking her up for school was no easy task. However, once she realized what exactly I was waking her up for, she was ready!  No complaints on getting her up and dressed for the day!

When we got to the school, Kate wanted me to walk her in.  We got about 10 steps down the parking lot and she saw 2 of her friends from her Kindergarten class - Corbin and Aubrey.  Once she saw her friends, she didn't care much about me being there anymore! I followed her in anyway, since I was the one carrying their five hundred pounds of school supplies. 

After we got to her classroom, I think she got a tiny bit nervous.  She asked me to stay for a couple of minutes, and that is so NOT Kate.  I hung around for about 5 min and then headed to work. Kate gave me a kiss and then her day alone was underway.

We love her teacher and are praying that this is a GREAT year for her! 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Night Before First Grade

Last week we headed back to Kate's elementary school for Meet the Teacher night.  Kate was so excited.  Tomorrow, she starts first grade. Summer has flown by faster than I could have imagined, but that seems to be the season of life we're in right now.  So - back to school we go!

Kevin and I have an envelope for each of our girls in a drawer in our desk. We'll occasionally write letters to them (hand written) and put them in their envelope for them to read when they grow up.  Last year I placed one in Kate's envelope the day before she started Kindergarten.  I figured that this year, I'd write it here (and will probably copy it into her envelope also)...


You are SIX and tomorrow you start your second year of school.  First grade! It's a big deal.  You were so excited about school, you almost voluntarily went to bed early tonight.  You got up about 4 times before finally falling asleep, but still.  It's the thought that counts, right?  On Saturday, you made a craft with one of your new art supply kits that you got for your birthday.  The first thing you asked was if you could give it to your new teacher.  I hope you always keep this excitement for school.  Please remember that excitement when I'm waking you up early in the morning, okay? 

Your bag is packed. Your new pink pencil case is safely tucked inside. All of your paperwork has been completed and is ready for you to turn in. Your lunchbox is ready and waiting on the kitchen table. Your clothes are laid out.  Your shoes are by the door. Your STUFF is ready. Your mama is not. 

You're one more year older and that's one less year for me to keep you here with me.  One less year of you being little.  It's hard on my heart to see you grow up, but it also makes me so extremely proud at the same time. It's hard to explain. I know one day you'll get it. 

You already know a few of the kids in your class, but knowing you, you'll be best friends with the rest of them by the end of the day.  I hope this is true! I'm so thankful that God made you exactly the way He did.  You're quick to include people and make friends.  If only we could all be a little more like you in this!  When you see another kid on the outside of the playground all by their self, go take their hand and ask them to play. Run, and jump, and laugh and have a GREAT time with your friends. I know you will. You would find a way to make sharpening pencils all day fun. 

I may be a little sad, but I'm also a lot excited.  I'm looking forward to our morning car rides together, and our prayers in the drop off line.  I'm looking forward to hearing about your day and going with you on your field trips.  I'm not necessarily looking forward to the homework, but I think we might both feel the same about that. First grade will be awesome. And it will be over before we've even realized it's begun.

So enjoy tomorrow.  Pay attention, learn the class rules, and tell me all about it when you get home. 


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Kate - 6 Years

It's official.  Kate now has to use two hands to show you how old she is. Today, she turned SIX.  And she was so excited.  Every where we went, she told people it was her birthday.  She told the lady at the bank (who had to put a new PIN on my debit card because I forgot the number.....), she told her gymnastics teachers, she told the waitress at lunch.  Seriously, every single person we saw.  But ya know, you only turn six once so why not be excited about it? 

I love this girl so much. She is fiercely determined, she is still very strong willed, and she is independent.  It's funny though.  Up until now, her personality was very independent but she was still so little, we couldn't really give her a whole lot of independence on her own.  Now though?  It's so fun (and terrifying) to see her grow up enough for us to give her a little independence and see how she handles it.  My heart both hurts and bursts with pride to see her growing up.

She is a nurturer and a comforter. When Karsten gets hurt, Kate is the most concerned of all of us.  Kevin and I are quick to tell her to shake it off.  Our theory is that if you make a big deal of it, they cry harder.  If you tell them it's ok, shake it off, they usually do!  However, Kate's tendency is to cuddle and comfort in all situations.  She'll pick Karsten up and rock her, or give her a kiss.  And if she really does get hurt and Kevin and I are doing the comforting/doctoring, Kate is right there making sure she actually is okay. 

She is so excited for first grade and can't wait to meet her teacher, Miss Pennington, next week.  She loves to read and Kevin has been reading chapter books to her each evening. I hope her love of reading continues throughout her entire live.  

They recently started the 2nd chapter book in a series about fairy ponies.  Pretty sure Kevin never imagined THIS part of parenting, but I know he loves this time of night that has become their tradition. If you ask Kate "Do you want Mommy or Daddy to tuck you in?", she quickly answers with "Daddy."

She's a picky eater.  She does not like hamburger meat, rice or pasta, which either make cooking dinner extremely difficult when I try to accommodate her, or it makes our time at the table difficult when I don't.  Mom problems.   

However, with the foods she DOES like, she is a girl of expensive tastes. She loves shrimp, crab legs, steak, and lobster.  She recently asked if she could have crab legs at her birthday party.  Um, no.  She picked out her birthday cake tonight and what did she pick?  Red Velvet Cake. 

Oh but she will eat almost anything if it is smothered in ranch dressing. 

Yesterday she and I were in the car and we drove past the YMCA.  She asked me about swimming lessons and asked if I could find her goggles before we went back to the pool.  This was our conversation: 

Kate: Does the YMCA pool have tentacles?  
Me: No, they don't.  
Kate: Oh, good.  So I don't need my goggles. I can just open my eyes underwater.
Me: No.  You can't at that pool  It's got chlorine in the water. They put too many chemicals.....

LIGHTBULB MOMENT.  Tentacles = Chemicals

She is quick to tell me "I love you Mama" and I never get tired of hearing her tell me.  I'm just as quick to say it to her.  

When I tucked her in tonight I said "Goodnight, Birthday Girl! You have a whole year to be six."  She answered back with "I can't WAIT to be seven!"

Slow down time. I know that day will be here before I know it!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Girly Girls

Around age 1, Karsten became flat-out obsessed with Frozen.  We have just about every Frozen paraphernalia that's even made- dresses, shirts, shoes, stuffed animals, microphones, dolls, etc.  You name it, we've got it.  While Karsten likes Elsa, she surprisingly is biased toward Anna more.  Maybe it's the whole younger sister thing. Who knows. 

I'll sometimes put her hair in 2 puffs on her head, but she almost always asks me for Anna braids.  You know, like this...

The problem is, I don't really know how to french braid.  I can do normal braids fine, but never really learned how to do french braids.  I attempted it a few times when Kate was little but her hair quickly grew to be more than I can even hold in my hands, so I basically gave up.  After Karsten's continued begging, I figured I better try again...

Can you tell she loves it? Hopefully my next attempt turns out at least as good as this one. 

Pretty sure until the Frozen phase passes on through our house, the Anna braids might be a frequent reoccurrence.  

By now I know better than to do something for one kid and not the other, because later that evening, Kate was wanting to have "special hair" too.  We rolled her hair in curlers, she slept in them overnight, and then she woke up like this. 

I LOVE her hair like this. So fun! She even dressed herself and picked out a headband to match her fancy hair.

My girls clearly love the "girly" side of their personalities - fancy hair, dresses, bows, etc!  I love having girls and getting to do these fun things with them.


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