Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever ~ Psalm 23:6
Maryn Gentry, you were so very scared the day we met, your tears were aplenty. I begged the nannies to hold you, to calm you and to rest your fears. Much to my dismay, they just encouraged me to hold you and they kept asking me if I had candy to give you. Sadly, I didn't have any candy so your tears and screams continued.
Soon, though, you settled in on my chest and your broken heart began to soften. I held you close, kissed you a gazillion times, and smiled because I knew we were going to be just fine.
The "firsts" began immediately.
First time to eat with us, first time to sleep with us, first time to bathe, first time to play, first swim....yet, your first smile was hard to come by. Those first few days you were quite a serious little cherub. We laughed that the nannie from your orphanage said you could be a bit feisty.
Once home, we began to see your little personality unfold. You quickly went from never having gone outside to wanting nothing more than to be outside. And you let us know that there is nothing that you cannot do - in your head, you can do anything your brothers and sisters can do!
Nannie was anxious to meet you so we sped over to have lunch with her and visit for a bit. I am so glad you met her and she saw your perfection....you charmed her just as you do most everyone!
You came to us a new walker but soon realized that those healthy legs of yours could get you to and fro fast....and then you followed behind your sisters as they climbed and jumped and danced! The sky is the limit in your book!
Two years old.
So glad we had a day to celebrate you!
So thankful we had a day to remember the choices your birth family made in order to give you life and hope.
Carolina Girls, the best in the world! And sunglasses, necklaces, stickers, big shoes, as well as any other accessory are a must in your wardrobe.
Three months home and your smile began to come easily. We were learning you and you were learning us. Your cries were less and, at last, we saw the feisty-ness appear - the nannies were right! But, oh that innocent grin and giggle that follows your sass - it is going to take you far little one!
Your feet became steadier and steadier and you began to exercise your voice by telling us, "Ima do it!" and "Yet me do it!"
Watching the world through your eyes this year has been something I will treasure for all of my days. Your eyes tell all when you are frightened, when you are happy, when you are sad, when you are thinking, when you are tired, when you are confused and when you are just mesmerized by your surroundings. Many times I have wondered just what goes on in your mind, do you remember those four walls that held you so tight for almost two years?
Where life begins and LOVE never ends!
All five kiddos have donned the pumpkin outfit....the cuteness in our patch is amazing! Halloween was a fun time for all.....you were a bit hesitant, understandably, with the masked creatures but you sure did enjoy every bit of chocolate that came your way! Food is your friend. You like it sweet. You love chocolate milk. You adore a good yogurt or applesauce pouch. You tolerate broccoli. You aren't big on meats. You love spicy food. And noodles. And boiled eggs. And you love a big bowl of good ole southern style grits!
You adore your family. You shout out all of our names if we are in sight. You call us to play with you. You beckon your siblings to hug and kiss you goodnight. When we tell you goodnight, you ask if we will be with you in the morning. If the dog barks, you say, "Daddy's home!" and race to the door to greet him!
When they smile, they are gorgeous; when they are sad, they are pitiful; when they are helping you think, we know to watch you closely to see what is coming up next!
I often refer to you as our "surprise"....
We thought four was the magic number....
how silly of us!
Five is magical!
Your laughter is our medicine. Laughing with you is sweetness to our souls!
You get into everything.
And then some.
Make-up, fingernail polish, pencils, Legos, soap, ice cream....you are our baby that when all goes quiet in the home, we know that is never a good sign.
You are ours. Our beloved daughter and sister. We prayed for you and sought you to be our family forever. We love you to the moon and back over and over and over!
One year looks so good on you! And it feels so good to us!
Maryn Gentry, happy one year home baby girl!
The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing ~ Zephaniah 3:17
Monday, June 22, 2015
Father's Day and More....
Happy Father's Day to the perfect daddy for our family!
Time with our little family was just what the doctor ordered....
and what do 7 Drafts do when they are given time together? Go to Target, of course! We divided into two teams and challenged ourselves with a little scavenger hunt throughout the store - it was cool, fun, and didn't cost a dime:)
The girls won in case anyone wondered.....Ryan says that the next hunt will be done at Lowes!
Father's Day weekend began at the airport welcoming home our dear friends and their baby girl, Kendyl.
Little Kendyl and Maryn were in the same orphanage and we met this sweet baby when we toured the grounds this time last year! So glad she is home forever!
Sweet girl got off of the plane and looked as if she was ready to conquer the world!
Sweet baby girl, we are so glad you are not alone anymore and we feel privileged to watch you grow up!
It is HOT! Popsicles, friends and watermelon have been a staple in our home this week!
Miss Maryn seems to be taking a turn for the better these days with her coloring habits.....she has colored more walls in our home and vacation homes in the past month than most toddlers do in a lifetime so we are thankful to see her drawing on paper!!!
Sweet girls love their make-up....
Potty training 101 is taking place in our home....fun times!
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Garden City Beach - Part 2
This baby girl!!! She was so much fun to watch at the beach.....
by day 2, we had her enjoying the waves, walking in all of the sand - soft and hard, collecting seashells,
and when she tired out, daddy gave her a ride in the wagon taxi....
we have had this wagon since Colin, who is 15, was a baby! It is still going strong and all of the children have enjoyed its company!
The ice cream man had us figured out.....everyday his timing seemed to be about the time we were coming in from the beach for a break....and everyday, Gran and the children chased down the "music truck" to get a special treat!
Maddox was thrilled to be a part of our water park day this year! She is tall enough to ride the slides and daring enough to do so as well!
She immediately teamed up with her daddy and together they tackled each slide at the park!
Meanwhile, the bigs were on the own triumphing through treacherous waterfalls...
and enjoying the slides over and over and over....
it was quite an afternoon for these 6.....
All braved the Dark Hole with the exception of Jay but I am sure he will be onboard for next year....this pic is of Ryan and Maddox - Ryan looks very similar to the man on sign!
The children raced and raced....
Our morning walk on the pier....always good to see the ocean from a different view....
SHARKS were spotted....as well as our jellyfish friends:/
pier fun always includes some walking, some game playing, some ticket collecting, and some prize winning....
I love the memories that we make each year with our family!
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Garden City Beach Days - Part 1
Maryn enjoyed her first edition of the ice cream truck.....
so thankful for Gran and her willingness to chase down the ice cream truck with the children!
Our adoptions have allowed for us to meet some of the most fabulous families....we had the pleasure of spending a day on the beach with one such family, the Rankins. Lily and Maddox were adopted in March of 2011 and our families have shared a great bond since.
Fourth beach trip is the charm! Little miss Maryn is now a full blown beach baby! She loves the water and jumping the waves and building sand castles!
Our day with the Rankin family was fun for all involved! Such a pleasure to have this time with them and to meet their newest baby girl, Mary Katherine.....she is a cutie!
The bigs have given up on boogie boards and have decided body surfing is the way to go this year! The have spent hours in the ocean catching the waves!
Meanwhile, the onshore activities were a hit as well.....jump roping is the new game of choice!
Colin has reveled in being able to ride his skim board again.....after his shoulder break two years ago, the fear set in.....good to see him back on the board in full comfort!
Little Miss Maryn and the beach wagon.....all five of our children have taken their turns with the beach wagon!
Maddox skipped out into the ocean with her boogie board in tow....she is such a free spirit and just goes to her own beat! Love every bit of this little one!
Surf fishing was attempted.....hoping for a shark, settled for a whiting.....
And while the boys fished, the girls created a sand castle kingdom....
Our mid-week goodbye photo.....Drew had to pack up and go home to work:( So thankful for this time with her yet so sad to see her go!