September 1st

As I turn the page on August and look ahead into September I am reminded of what a whirlwind of a summer it has been. Wow! I recently had a friend email me with this comment, “So let me get this straight- you have had your sister’s wedding, two kiddos birthday parties, a family funeral, the referral of your daughter, a trip to Ethiopia, an new office being built for Bob, several first time camp experiences, a baby shower, another trip to Ethiopia and now a new addition to your family.” Ha! Seeing it all down in list form does crack me up! I guess that is the way we roll around here and life is too short to miss much. There is great work to be done and we are generally happy to accept the challenge. Somehow everything has felt as though it all has happened at once but I keep reminding myself that there is a reason. God is trying to tell me to let go of the little things and to focus less on all the fringe that does not matter. Of that I am sure.

I have moments of feeling sad about the boys all returning to school yet I know they have had such a joy filled and memorable summer. They have played hard and soaked in all the sunny days. They have matured in areas we never saw coming and so far have amazed us now that their sister is HOME.

Take our six year old… Owen. I keep pinching myself as I watch him since our return home with Ava.
He is loving being the big bro and had I known he would clean up his act this much (LOL) I might have considered adding a younger child years ago. Of course this may be the honeymoon phase but I am grateful for all the positive interactions with my youngest son. He is such a fast acting, confident kid who likes to do it all his way and to see him interact in our new family of six is truly precious. I love you 
dear Owen. Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing all that first grade holds for you!
Then there is middle brother, Carts. He is such a gem and shows so much love toward Ava already!
Yesterday he sat with his sister on the floor while I scrambled to shower. He showed her toys and I could hear him just chatting with her. All was great until she spit up. Well then it all broke loose and my 
moment alone to get ready was over. The boys all crack me up about the spit up. They can’t seem to take it and they flee at the first sight. The bad news is our sweet daughter cannot make it through an hour without major spit up. Our first doctor’s apt is this Friday so we look forward to getting things all checked out. 
I just love how Carter and Ava share the same big soulful eyes!
Hayden, the oldest of our brood, is in love and has quickly taken on the leadership role of making sure Ava’s needs are met and that all the brothers are handling her properly. Is is quite amazing to watch and I love when he roams around the house with her over his shoulder. Yesterday her little arm was draped down over his arm and he said. “Mom , look how cool her skin color is.” My heart melted! The boys are aware that Ava looks a bit different but there is nothing negative about different. How could I ask for anything more positive than that?  Children are so raw, so smart and so pure in their thoughts and they can teach us all so very much!
Hayden loves the stories both Aunt Shanny and myself told about our days with Ava in Ethiopia. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, who saw Ava each day did the Ethiopian snap and pucker sound. Those of you who have been there with babies in tow must know what I am talking about. Every hotel  and restaurant employee did it and every person we encountered as we made our way out of Addis did the same thing. Obviously, it is a cultural thing and Hayden dances around snapping a puckering until Ava lights up in smiles. 
Bring on a long Labor Day weekend, football games, back to school, packing lunches, and a new bedtime routine. The next few weeks sure should be interesting.
Peace and love to you all!
4 replies
  1. Becki
    Becki says:

    Congratulations on your daughter and beautiful family! I found your blog through my friends, the Burlieghs…we've watched their journey with lots of interest. Hoping someday that God will lead us down the same path 🙂 We have three boys just like you and they often talk about having a sister!

  2. MamaMimi
    MamaMimi says:

    Awww…such sweet pictures! I think a little princess is exactly what your house needed! Ava seems to bring out the best in everyone.

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