Thursday, June 30, 2011

The art of eating a sunflower seed...

Grab a handful of sunflower seeds and put them in your mouth...

Chew, chew, chew, chew, chew...


Spit some more...

At least that's how Chloe does it...

sprinkler fun!

Tonight was the PERFECT night for some fun in the sprinkler!

It was HOT (still is!) and humid, so after supper, we headed over to the DeCooks so the kids could play.

They seriously had a BLAST! Constant giggling and squeeling and running around.

They were adorable, so I HAD to get out the camera.

I forgot how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE my zoom lens. Honestly, haven't used it in MONTHS. So glad I used it tonight because it reminded me that I need to use it more often...oh and the fact that the light at the beginning of the evening was incredible!

So you're getting LOTS of pics! :)

Oh, and I brought the kids suckers...I think Chloe ate hers in about 30 seconds flat and then started working on Ava's. Ha!


Yup, I'm serious...I actually managed to capture these next 2 shots!


And there were water balloons too!

Ya, it was a good time.

I mean, she's obviously a girl...very resourceful!

And I'm sorry, but he is just plain cute!

Now the only thing that would have made it better would been if Lora had been there so I had someone to have some "girl talk" with!

You can come home now, really, come home!


Tate: "Mommy? Remember when a I was in a girl's belly? Whose belly was I in?"

Me: "You don't remember?" (I was surprised he didn't remember because we talk about Maggie all the time and how he grew in her belly)

Tate: "No, will you tell me?"

Me: "Remember, her name is Maggie."

Tate: "OH YA, Maggie. I was in her belly and then she gave me to you and Daddy!"

Me: "Yes, she did. Do you know why?"

Tate: "Ummmmmmmm, no. Why?"

Me: "Because she loves you SOOOO MUCH and wants you to have the best life possible with all the things you need and a mommy and daddy who can provide you with those things that she wasn't sure she would have been able to provide for you when you were born."

Tate: "Ya, like lots and lots of my own toys!"

Uh, not really Tate, not really.

I was surprised that Tate brought this up in the middle of dinner out of no where. We talk about his adoption VERY often. We pray for Brandon and Maggie and thank God for them daily. He talks about them and knows they love him. However, he has never brought it up on his own out of no where before. He is getting to that age though that he may start to kind of "get it" more. We are prepared for that and happy to share with him anything he wants to know and answer any questions he may have. Especially with the upcoming addition of more kids into our family, he will likely have more questions. I just wanted to document this so I have a record of this first time he brought up the topic of his adoption on his own without my prompting or starting the subject.

Praise Be!

We got approved for the July PS-MAPP class so we will be done by October and ready to take kids into our home! Thanks for the prayers!

Summer heat with 3 kids...

Talk about a HOT summer day!

That is today in a nutshell!

I have Ava and Chloe for the morning and into the afternoon a bit and they are just so fun. Today has been a good day. Tate is always on Cloud 9 when they are here! The kids are getting along swimmingly and just all giggles!
It almost feels like this is the first official day of summer because I just don't think I've spent much time outside on any of the hot days we've had. Sad that it seems like the first day of summer when it's already almost July!

The kids were soaking with sweat after about 10 minutes outside! After their Icey Pops were gone, they were asking to go in.

The air conditioning kind of felt like heaven when we came in!

We decided to settle in for a movie and rest time...

After many struggles to stop the wrestling and giggling under the covers, the kids gave in to rest time...they are tired!

Sweaty and tired kiddos!

The Incredibles is on and it is finally quiet. :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fostering/Adoption Update...

We got our "APPROVED" phonecall this afternoon to let us know we can start our 10 weeks worth of PS-MAPP classes to become a licensed foster family! Hooray! We are 1 step closer to our next children. :)

I am not surprised that we were approved just due to the fact that we don't really have any criminal activity in our history and didn't expect our fingerprints to bring anything up. Ha. Still, it was so exciting to get the call.

You know, I've never gone through all of the excitement of pregnancy, but just as in our previous adoption, I am feeling all kinds of anticipation and nerves and dreaming about all things children. This is why in adoption, this part is called the "paper pregnancy". It's quite a bit different when going the foster care to adopt route, but my feelings are the same. I know that I am on my way to meeting our new children and it is such a thought consuming process.

I do have a couple specific prayer requests as we go forward...

1) That we are approved to miss 1 PS-MAPP class to make up at a later date so that we can get into the July class. If we do, we will be done with our classes by the end of September.

2) That if we do not get into the July class, the August class fills up with at least 3 more families so it is not cancelled which would cause us to have to wait to start our 10 weeks worth of classes in mid November!

3) That the children we foster (and hopefully adopt!) are being well taken care of by whichever foster family they are currently with.

It's just so hard knowing that since we are doing this to specifically adopt, our children will have likely been in "the system" for quite a while prior to coming to us. We are praying that the children placed in our home are "adoptable" and won't have to move to any other homes beyond ours and we can be their forever family. Legally, we cannot be told if the children to be placed in our home are adoptable until we are officially part of their case and they are in our home. However, Iowa KidsNet knows what our purpose in this process is and knows that we want to adopt in the end of all of this. That being said, we are fully prepared to foster children who could go back to their birth families and would be happy to love them and provide a happy home for them while they need it.

It breaks my heart to know that the children we will be fostering and hopefully adopting are likely going through so so much sadness and heartache right now. I pray for them every day and think about them constantly.

We are very anxious to get the classes and homestudy taken care of so we can grow our family once again! :)

My handsome boy...

My favorites from the 10 minute photoshoot I had outside with Tate last night.

When did he grow up?!
In my eyes, he is the most gorgeous 4 1/2 year old boy I've ever layed eyes I am so in love with our little man!

Knutsons Visit

(I decided to delete this post that I put up yesterday and instead try to repost it so the pictures show you see the pictures now?)

Great friends are so important...SO IMPORTANT!
We are blessed to have some really amazing friends.

The Knutsons are definitely are great friends and we cherish our times with them because the times are fewer and farther between then they used to be! Sean has knows Sara and Jemerie since college and I met them in 2004 just before Sean and I got married. We lived in Colo, IA and they lived only about 6 miles from us. We hung out all the time. They are a good time! :)

They were traveling through the Quad City area on Monday and decided to stop for the night. We are so glad they did! We had an absolute BLAST! We laughed and laughed and laughed some more. We played Dance Central and then carried the dance party out back to our patio where we did a little more dancing to some "old school" tunes. :) Funny stuff. We chatted the night away and didn't go to bed until the WEE HOURS! The kids played amazingly well inside and there were moments when we forgot the kids were even with us! It's fun when they get to that age that they don't need to constantly be tended to and they can just play and play and play for hours on end on their own! :)

Sara and I...

We snuggled up by the fire and even had to wear sweatshirts! Seriously, it's almost July!!!

Oh these 2 are two peas in a pod! They have known each other for longer than Sean and I have known each other and know a lot (probably too much!) about each other's pasts. ;) They are hilarious together though. They had tee times for 8am and were likely regretting the night before when their alarms went off. They're like a couple of college kids when they get together!

And what's a night at the Peakin residence without S'mores!

Livi thouroughly enjoyed her S'more complete with a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and the MONSTER marshmallow...

Delaney thought hers was tastey too. I mean, I met the Knutsons when she was 1 1/2! When did she get this old?! She is such a great kid!

And Tate was in hog heaven.

Kids to play with, S'mores, someone to play XBox Kinect with, a sleepover...not much is better in his world! :)

We had so much fun that we already planned the next time they're coming!

Thanks Knutsons for stopping over! Can't wait to see you again soon!

I figured out why...

So apparently there is a limit to how many pictures over a certain size that can be posted on Blogger for free. I had to purchase more storage space at a whopping $5/year. Who knew! So I do that and then Blogger tells me that that extra storage space might not show up for 24 hours. Darn it! I wanted to post pictures! So now I wait. I'll try to post again later today.

Looks like I'm not going to have as full of a house as I thought. Ayla is sick and so my parents are just keeping her as well as Brigg and Lani in case they have anything that could get Tate sick. So I have a lot less busy day than originally planned. And it's GORGEOUS out, so we may just have to take advantage of the nice weather and get outside!


I don't know what the issue is with me being able to upload pictures, but I can't. I've tried everything. The most frustrating part is that I have a ton of great pictures that I'm dying to get on this blog!

After dinner tonight, we were just lounging in the livingroom and I looked out the window and thought, "man, this lighting would be great for a photoshoot!" So I told Tate that if we changed his clothes and went out to the back yard for a photoshoot, I would give him some icecream. He was all in. :) And honestly, he is like the cutest 4 1/2 year old boy in the world, so I got some great pics.

Also, some of my pictures from the last 2 posts I put up aren't showing up and my mom even said that none are showing up for her. Not sure why I can see them, but others cannot. Can any of you see the pictures from my previous 2 posts?

I'll have to try again tomorrow...maybe. I am going to have 3 extra kids tomorrow and 5 extra kids on Thursday from 8-2pm. I have Brigg, Lani and Ayla tomorrow and am keeping them overnight and then will be watching Ava and Chloe in addition to Brigg, Lani, Ayla and Tate from 8-2pm on Thursday. So I may not have time to try to post pictures again until Thursday afternoon...we'll see. It's going to be a full house for us, but a fun one!

Monday, June 27, 2011

She's here!

Welcome to the world Layla Kay!

Can't wait to meet you and see your sweet face!

Congratulations Kay and you guys!

Sunday, June 26, 2011


I am a total blogging slacker. I hate that. I have had such an incredibly busy weekend that it really just hasn't fit into my schedule! I haven't picked up my camera once since St. Louis, so I don't have any pictures to post.

We made a flying trip over to Des Moines Saturday afternoon and stayed until this afternoon. Tate and I stayed at the Poley's house and we had a fantastic time. I got to see my Aunt, Uncle and cousins and hang out for a bit with them as well. It was a short trip that every minute seemed to be accounted for and I wanted to collapse into bed upon our return home. Tate was out like a light by 8:45pm (UNHEARD OF!) and I am heading up to bed once I am done typing this post. I can't wait.

Sean had a 3 day stretch of work and he's still on nights until September. He was supposed to be back on days for a month in July, but in an effort to help out, he agreed to stay on nights for what would have been his typical "day month".

I can't believe it's almost July. Really?!!! I mean, I wore a sweatshirt outside last night and was still chilly! I actually loved that...I love sweatshirt weather, but it's weird that it's almost July and in a few weeks we head down to Florida and the day after we get back, school starts for the teachers here in Davenport and Tate will be starting PRESCHOOL in a couple of weeks after that! YIKES!

I am thinking I need to do a "randoms from my cell phone" post because all the pictures I've taken in the last few days have been taken with my phone. I'll try and do that soon, but will be too busy tomorrow as Knutsons are coming in the afternoon and staying the night. We are so excited to see's been way too long. We look forward to just relaxing and chatting and the guys plan to golf on Tuesday. Hopefully I'll have fun pictures to post after their visit!

Okay, heading to bed...goodnight!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

St. Louis Cardinals Game 2

The last evening of our trip was fun. The boys got to go to ANOTHER Cardinals game (bummer they lost AGAIN!) while Tate and I went on a date walking around downtown St. Louis and stopping at a fun restaurant for dessert. Tate ate nearly the entire "fishbowl ice cream sundae". It was such a beautiful night!

The boys heading out to the game...

Sean bought Brigg this t-shirt at the game the day before...he loved it...

It was such a fantastic trip!

Lots of memories made and we look forward to the next time we get to go down to St. Louis!