Little Kids Learning to Talk

Watching small children learn how to talk is both amusing and incredibly frustrating.  Just when ypu think they are starting to learn they inevitably seem to forget everything.

Now imagine this kid is four years old and still can’t talk and it becomes mostly frustrating.  But then you habe a day like today and you can’t help but smile.

Th is four but he spent most of his first four years in China so his English is non existent.  It has been very slow helping him learn too.  He has actually done quite well with responding to is for awhile but pretty much all he will say is in mimicking us.

While that is a start, today he actually started to string together a few words and respond as you would expect him to.  It was simple stuff like “okay momma” but when you are used to getting nothing, that is huge.

He has actually been jabbering a lot lately so I am hoping he is on the verge if major breakthroughs.  For now I will enjoy what we are getting.

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I Love Being With My Family

I come from a very large family.  My dad has a brother and a sister that each have a few kids that also have kids of their own.  My mom is the fourth of seven kids who also have kids and grandkids of their own.  I am the fifth of seven kids who also have a bunch of kids of their own.

For those of you keeping score at home, that is a bunch of kids.  All told I have 30+ cousins who almost all have kids of their own, and it is freaking awesome.

As kids we saw each other a lot but as we have gotten older we don’t see each other quite as often but it is still always awesome when we do.  My sister was told that while we were together today all we would do is eat and chat and eat and chat and that is exactly what we did.

It really doesn’t matter how long we have been apart, I could spend hours with my siblings and cousins and aunts and uncles just chatting and enjoying a nice meal.  I am so glad that we are now back closer to family so that my kids can make memories with their cousins like I was able to.

Family is just so darn great.  I know I am exceptionally blessed in this area, but family can really come from anywhere, not just blood.  When I deployed or have been on long trips it has been my crew that was my family.  We have taken on our neighbors as family when we moved far away from our blood relatives and loved them just as much.

This world is full of amazing people worthy of our love and attention so find someone you love and tell them how much they mean to you.

Simple Joy

I was flipping through pictures on my phone today and just had to share this image with you.

This is of my little princess enjoying one of those bouncy slides at an awesome little festival we went to.  To me the look on her face is just priceless, and even more awesome because it was something so simple.

She was just going down a slide for less than two seconds and it brought her so much joy.  She actually kept talking about it for another ten minutes.  

As kids we find so much joy in simple things and then somewhere along the way we are taught that it has to be bigger and more extravagant to make us happy.  I am sure there is some scientific reason why dopamine is not as easily created or something but I also think it is a choice.

There is no reason we can’t find happiness in the simplest things in life.  In fact many of the happiest grandparents I know find their joy again in the simple joys of life.  Maybe we just go full circle and start to remember that it is the simple things that can bring us the most joy.

I’m Glad I’m Able to Help My Wife

I am going back to work tomorrow after a few weeks off courtesy of my transition from active duty to the Guard, and I am thrilled about it.  As much as I enjoy time off when I am getting paid, I start to get antsy to get back to work and actually do things.

The biggest upside of these last two weeks is all of the time I have gotten to spend with my family.  Just today I was able to go and have lunch with my kids at school and it was great.

It has also been nice to be able to help my Queenie so much after all of the amazing work she did by herself for the two and a half months that we were apart.  I cannot begin to express how grateful I am to her for how amazing she does every time we are apart.

I can’t even imagine being a military spouse, so I am grateful that I have been able to make up for the time apart these last few weeks.  We have had more time to talk and be together too, which has been great as well.

I will miss all of that time now that I am going back to work, but it will just make our time together after the kids are in bed that much more special.

I was in a Magic Show With my Son

I don’t know why I am such a bump on a lot sometimes.  It is not uncommon for my wife to ask if I want to so something and I just sort of shrug my shoulders.

Fortunately, she is not easily deterred and today we went to a little free magic show at the library.  I don’t remember the guy’s name but apparently he has been on tv numerous times and was the magic world champion twice.

The show was only about an hour long and he kept it all pretty simple, but it was so much fun.  He was funny and engaging and he let me and my son be part of the show.

We both went up together and got to be part of a trick.  I normally habe no idea what magicians are doing, but today for the trick I was a part of I actually saw what was happening for almost the while trick.

Easton on the other hand had no idea and loved every minute of it.  He was laughing and bouncing around and having a great time.  It is always so great to see your kids that happy.

It makes me wonder how many of these opportunities I have missed because I was being a bump on a lot.  I’m sure it will happen again at some point, but for now I will enjoy how awesome it was to see so much joy in my son’s face.

My Son is Starting to Warm Up to Me

Adoption is such an incredible journey.  You experience some of the most amazing highs and some incredibly frustrating lows.

Bonding with my son is really important, but the reality of our lives made that really hard.  We just celebrated six months since Ty joined our family and of that six months I was not with him for about three months of that.  

As you would imagine that did not help our bonding much.  It has been awesome to see how close he is with his mom, but it also makes me a little jealous too.  

I haven’t really had a lot of time with just him and I, but today we got some time just the two of us and it was really great.

He climbed up on my lap and brought me books to read, including one that was actually just a handwriting book.  It was fun to just sit together and be alone.

I know that there is a long way to go here in our relationship, but it is so awesome to have these moments and see that we are making progress.

It was Good to Get Back to Church

For various reasons it has been a couple of weeks since I have been at church which is always a bummer, but is sort of the nature of my life.  Even more of a bummer is that it had been three months since I went with my family.

I know a lot of people would cherish a quiet meeting at church, and I do on occasion, but it was so nice to have my kids around me making a little noise.  I would say that it is probably because it is just one more reminder that I was home.

It was good to be back in church and be able to feel the spirit again.  It is always a little uncomfortable going to a new ward in a new place, but it is also wonderful to know that no matter where I go in the world I will hear the same messages and the same gospel.

As many of my fellow Mormons will understand, I was a little unsure about how Elder’s Quorum would go as they can be very hit and miss in the quality of their meetings.  Fortunately, it turned out to be a great meeting of a small group of men that spoke freely and openly with each other.  It is just one more proof to me that a great message can often come when you least expect it.

There were no ground breaking revelations or earth shattering experiences today, but it is always good to be where you know you are supposed to be with the people you love the most.