December 20, 2011

Empowered to Connect.

  As we are having a really, very terribly trauma induced day, it reminded me that I wanted to post about a conference that Brian and I are headed to in February.


  I have said this around 50 times before (my husband accuses me of exaggerating.  I say, I’m just really getting my point across.) but if you foster or have adopted I sincerely recommend the book The Connected Child, by Karyn Purvis.  It is so easy to read, gives some really helpful, applicable ideas, and gives a well rounded idea of why in the world your child is acting that way. 

You know what way I’m talking about.  The way that makes you think, am I just really losing my mind as a parent?  What in the world am I doing wrong?  How is it even possible for me to address this without escalating this out of this world???

It’s my go to book because I can read it without feeling like I need a medical dictionary and the DSM V on hand.





Karen Purvis and a couple (Amy and Michael Monroe) from Irving Bible Church teamed up and wrote a Bible study that goes along with The Connected Child called Created To Connect.  This is also very helpful.  It breaks down the info even more, and connects it to the worldview of a follower of Christ. 




This is all a part of an organization called Empowered to Connect.  (Confused yet?)  It is led by Karyn Purvis and Amy and Michael Monroe and is full of great resources for those parenting kids from hard places.


Empowered to Connect is having a conference in February at Irving Bible Church, co-sponsored by Show Hope (Stephen Curtis Chapman’s adoption foundation).  Here’s the description:


Empowered To Connect, together with Show Hope, hosts the Empowered To Connect Conference — a two-day conference designed to help adoptive and foster parents, ministry leaders and professionals better understand how to connect with “children from hard places” in order to help them heal and become all that God desires for them to be.

The conference features Dr. Karyn Purvis together with Michael & Amy Monroe, and is ideal for adoptive and foster parents, those considering adoption or foster care and those who are serving and supporting others, including social workers, agency professionals, church staff and ministry leaders, counselors, therapists and others involved in adoption and foster care.

The next Empowered To Connect Conference will be on February 17-18, 2012, in Dallas, Texas at Irving Bible Church. Registration for the Dallas conference is now open! Visit for more details and to register online.


So, just wanted to put that out there.  We’re driving a long way to get there, but we are so looking forward to being poured into.  To be educated and supported in working with these kids.  I’m feeling so drained today from the behaviors, and I cannot wait!

December 19, 2011

8 Months.

  I think this is the first month that you have stopped looking like an infant and have started to look more babyish.  Subconsciously, until now, I have been able to keep telling myself that you are only four or five months old – because you still looked it.  But now I have to face the music. 

You are growing up.



(Your sister rocking her baby while Daddy rocks you.)

  This month is also the first time that you and your sister have been able to interact more.  I love seeing you two make each other laugh and love on each other.  (Not so much when your sis is not so very loving.)  It is a glimpse of a beautiful relationship that I will get to watch grow.  I can already tell you two will get into all kinds of things together.  It will be ridiculously cute though.  She loves you.  Even on her crabbiest mornings, (she wakes up like your Daddy.) when she sees you, she lights up and says good morning.


  You are crawling all over and you like to be right in the middle of the action.  If your sisters are running circles in the kitchen, you prefer to be in the middle of their sloppy circles, inches from losing one of your itty bitty fingers.  You are pulling up on things now, too, but you aren’t sure how to get back down once you get up.  You get very frustrated and look at me to come rescue you.  Gladly.



(You and Mayah.  If you two are anything like your older sisters, you’ll be good friends.)


You just decided today that you would really try baby food for the first time.  I’ve been trying it out for a few weeks, but you completely hated it until tonight.  Sweet potatoes were a winner.  It’s kind of ridiculous how excited I was that you were actually eating instead of puking it back up on me.  But it was mixed with a twinge of sadness, knowing that if you start eating food, you’ll start nursing less and less.


You still sleep with us full time.  Your dad and I keep saying we’re going to start putting you in the crib at the beginning of the night, but we just can’t do it just yet.  This month.  Maybe.

  You aren’t really making any new sounds, but you are sure as heck loud.  Nana says you sound just like I did.  Turns out you’re a lot like me so far. 

  I want you to know that you love Bella.  And she loves you too.  I know you won’t remember her, but she really looks out for you.  I think you’ll always have a big sister in her.



I love you more than you know, sweet baby.  I pray for you, and worry for you, and am thankful for you all the time.

love you, love you, love you,


December 12, 2011

Sisters. Part one.

I frequently get e-mails and questions about fostering from people who are either considering fostering, or are in the midst of licensing.  Of all the questions that I get, there is an overwhelming majority that are on one topic:  my forever children. 

In the interest of those who question, ‘But what about my kids?’ I thought I would try to document a little bit of what Bella’s transition home is like, for her, and for Sylvia.


--Before I begin, lest it seem I am void of emotion, merely observing how all this goes down with my two year old, let me say that this is absolutely the most difficult aspect of fostering for me.  Before we had kids, this was all much easier.  I can manage, I can field what is thrown at me and process all of these emotions (admittedly, not well at times.).  But the unknowns of going into this with my children is difficult, to say the least.  They are, far and beyond, the most precious gifts to me on this earth.  Honestly, what it comes down to, is that God has called us here.  Sometimes I don’t know why.  And my children are much more precious to Him even, than to me.

He has not called me here as an individual, or even called Brian and I here as a couple.  He has called us here as a family.  He has made this a part of my journey, and a part of theirs.  Sometimes I just have to rest in the peace of knowing the fierceness of my love as a parent, and that he is also Abba, Father.--


Sylvia and Bella have grown very close.  This is the first time we have had a placement that Sylvia has been old enough to really bond to them and become friends.  They play together every day.  They look out for one another.  They fight like crazy. 

This weekend was Bella’s first time being away overnight in almost six months.  She left Saturday morning for her parent’s house, and she will return this evening before bedtime.

We have had lots of discussions with Sylvia about where Bella goes on her visits, who she sees, why they are important, and that someday, she will go and live there forever.  We talk about it a lot (when Bella is gone) in hopes that when she actually goes home, Sylvia will have some understanding of what is happening.



This weekend there have been lots of times that Sylvia has forgotten Bella isn’t here.  When we were out to lunch, she tried to correct my order to make sure we got something for Bella.  When she got a new book today, she asked, “Where Bella’s book?”.  She’s not really seemed sad that she’s not here, she’s just so used to her being here that it’s only natural that she lives life as if she has an older sister along.



Every time she mentions her, the cracks in my heart begin to form.  Cracks from knowing Bella won’t be here with us much longer and cracks from knowing that my sweet baby will miss her.


But honestly, so far, Sylvia has dealt with this with a miraculous understanding (for a two year old).  She has verbalized that she understands that Bella misses her Mommy and Daddy, and so she should be with them.  It all seems much more simple to her.

Bella misses her Mommy and Daddy?   ….Well she should be with them!

Bella wants to live with her Mommy and Daddy?  ….Well she should go!

Bella is sad she can’t be there?   ….Well of course she is!


I think that this longer transition period will be good for Sylvia to adjust to Bella leaving.  She’ll be able to get used to her being gone a little bit longer each time.

In the meantime, we’ll keep trying to prepare her to say goodbye.


(If you have specific questions about this transition, let me know and I’ll try to get it in.  Just shoot me an e-mail.)

December 9, 2011

decorating 2011.


Picking out the Christmas tree.


































We’re really trying to practice Advent this year.  Finding peace in waiting, expectation, excitement.  Looking forward to celebrating the birth of our Savior.

December 7, 2011

Visit, behaviors, improvement, repeat.


This is an all to familiar cycle to anyone who has fostered for long.


Bella has started having longer visits with her parents – this weekend she’ll have an overnight visit for two nights and three days. 


oh boy.  holy cow.  We are feeling the repercussion of painful scabs being scratched open again and again and again.


I think this is one of the difficulties of fostering that may be different in adoption (hopefully we will find out eventually).  In fostering it seems that you are never really working toward healing.  Really, you are working at keeping a wound just raw enough that when it comes time for reunification, the wound can be grafted back into a family unit, that will slowly heal together.


Fostering is about dealing with open wounds.

We aren’t working toward closure.

We aren’t working toward healing.

We really aren’t even working toward progress in behaviors.


Because every visit, she goes home for a few hours, and then she has to leave again.  Leave her sister.  Leave her mom and dad.  Leave her home.

And the scab is picked off.  And we’re starting all over.


The pain in her little heart is something I can’t imagine.  As an adult, as a foster parent, it is emotionally exhausting to experience.  As a four year old in the center of it all?  I can’t fathom it.

She doesn’t know what to do with all that pain.  We try to help her process it, put names to emotions, cry through the confusion.  We try to explain what is happening and why in four year old terms (because caseworkers don’t do that.  we’ve never had a caseworker explain what was happening consistently.).  But there is too much hurt, and it has to come out.


It comes out in defiance.  Lots. and lots. and lots. of defiance.

It comes out in anger.

It comes out in tantrums.

It comes out in needing extra affection.



And we do our best.  We increase nurture with structure.  We use lots of feeling words.  We connect while correcting.  We avoid un-needed consequences like crazy.  We talk about choices.

Things get a little better.  We see more smiles.  We see better choices.  We see her heart mend, just a little.




And then there is another visit.


And we start all over.


And it’s not even about the behaviors.  (although some days, it’s hard for that not to be the focus.)  I just want her little heart to be able to heal.  I just want her to stop hurting all the time.

December 2, 2011

7 Months.

I know, I know, you’ve been seven months old for a couple of weeks

Things have been nuts around here – but I want to make sure to get ‘you at seven months’ down on paper, because I’ve lived enough life to know that a year from now I won’t remember at all.  (I hate that.  I blame it on your Nana.  I got my memory from her.)




You are incredible.

You are happy all the time.  You smile at anything.  You laugh at me even when I’m obviously annoying you.  You are joy personified.  I’m not sure I’ve ever met a baby as happy and smiley as you.  I sing you “You are My Sunshine” all the time, and it’s true.




You’ve started babbling, it approximates something a little like: Aaaaabababababa.  I’m still working on Mamamama, but at least you didn’t go with Dadadada. (That was your sister’s first sound, and your Dad still brags about it.)  You are very passionate about your babbling, and when you get going you are very loud.  We’ve had to leave several church services, a wedding, the library, and small group all because you are so loud – but you’re happy loud,  so I can’t very well shush you.


You are moving all over the place.  You half crawl, half drag yourself around on your belly, but you are bound and determined to get to where you want to be.

You are itty bitty like your Mommy.  At your six month check up you were 13 pounds 4 ounces, and in the 5th percentile.  When you crawl around you look like a little four month old crawling.  You are petite, and I love it.




You’re still sleeping with us full time.  I think soon I’ll start putting you in your crib at the beginning of the night – but I love snuggling you, so we’ll see.  I’m pretty sure you love snuggling me too – when I lay you in bed at night and you see me coming to lay next to you, you literally start giggling, squealing, and doing a little squirmy dance.  It occurred to me the other night that you don’t know anything different than sleeping next to your Mommy all night long, and I love giving you that comfort.


I’ve tried giving you a couple of foods.  Bananas, carrots, butternut squash.  You didn’t like any of them – you’re not too keen on eating just yet.  When I tried out broccoli you actually vomited all over me, so I think I’ll give you some time. No rush.  You don’t have any teeth yet, and your gummy smile is so cute that really, I’m glad.




You’ve started reaching for me and your daddy when other people are holding you which positively melts my heart.  You’re also pretty in love with your sisters.  You think they are the funniest thing that you ever did see, and you giggle at them all the time.




So, in short, you are very cute, very happy, and very loud.


I love you more than you will ever know.  Every time I see you and your face lights up into a smile, my heart fills with a joy that I can hardly keep in.  I pray for you everyday, only slightly less than I pray for God to help me to be the Mommy you need me to be.  Thank you for being my sunshine, I’m am so grateful to God for you.


Love you, Love you, Love you,


November 28, 2011

Answered prayer, aching heart.

It’s been really busy?


I guess that’s my excuse for telling you that Bella had a hearing, and then not updating.

But you all let me know.

So here’s an update, for all the e-mails and questions! 

(I feel very blessed that there are so many people who care to stay updated!)


All reports at court were good!

I knew that Dad was doing well – he’s been very motivated since day one.  Mom I was a little more concerned about – but apparently she’s come around and is doing very well also.

They have planned for Bella to start doing overnight visits every Saturday beginning in a week and a half.  These overnights will culminate in a four day visit over Christmas (hard not to have mixed emotions over that!).

Also, the court approved for them to have a 30 day trial home visit some time in the next 90 days.  I’m guessing it will start some time in January.


Honestly – this is what foster care should look like.

Motivated parents, progress, teamwork to overcome barriers to reunification.  I am so thankful for progress that is cautious.  Progress that includes the agency still keeping tabs on how things are going, and setting the parents up for success.  Progress that is not overwhelming for Bella, her parents, us – but is still working toward home.




With that said, we are headed into a transition back home.

None of our kids in the past have had a proper transition, for several different reasons.  I think a well played transition is more the exception than the rule. 

But even now, being given notice in months instead of days or hours, it seems so fast.  It’s just that gripping realization that before this season has even had it’s last snow, it is likely that our beautiful Bella will no longer be here with us.



That is mixed with an intense joy for her and her parents.  This is what I have prayed and prayed and prayed for them.  Through long nights rocking her to sleep through the tears, this is what I have begged for.

Fix the brokenness, mend the hearts, graft this family back together.  Redemption.


I am so happy for Bella, and so happy for her parents.  I pray the next couple of months are smooth and healing.

And although my heart aches at the thought of her leaving, I know that He gives and takes away for our good, and for His glory.  I will cherish the time we have with her, while championing her family’s new beginning.

November 16, 2011

Our tradition.

With each of our foster children, before they leave, we go to the ceramic shop and have them paint a light switch cover for our home.  About half of our light switches are adorned in artwork and memories – and eventually they all will be.


Bella has court on the 17th (read: tomorrow).  And while I’m told we can expect for nothing big to happen, there is something uneasy inside of me.  I wouldn’t put it past the judge to just send her home.  It’s been done before.

So, with this in mind, I took her to make her light switch cover last weekend. 




I always go with these grand thoughts of artsy looking children’s paintings to cover our walls in.

But alas, every single one of the covers we have done in the past ends up being one color (or several that are so mixed together that they appear to be only one) with very little definition or design.

Bella’s is no different.  It is three colors, all put on one sponge and smeared around.



But when it hangs on my wall, I will always think of this beautiful girl that I have been so blessed to know.


I also had her paint a picture frame for her parents for Christmas.



She is very excited to give it to them. 

I will be answering the same question every day between now and Christmas.

“How long until I can give it to them?”


If you could pray for her hearing tomorrow, I would really appreciate it.  I don’t know what to deem the ‘right thing to happen’ tomorrow – I just pray that whatever it is, that it is truly in her best interest.

November 14, 2011

My broken heart.


"...I think Jesus tells us to love our neighbors, not just for our neighbors sakes, but for our own as well, because he knows what happens inside our hearts when we let in those who are vulnerable, needy and even repulsive near us. WE become vulnerable, needy and dare I say it, even repulsive too. Our own motives and shortcomings and entitlement and laziness come to the surface and stare us in the face. And that IS uncomfortable."   -Sarah Dornbos



This defines so much of what my fostering experience has been.

With every child, God has refined me.  Pruned me.  Poked around in those parts of my heart that I’d just as soon pretend aren’t there.

All of these ugly things start bubbling to the surface.

Trauma tantrums?  Up comes my impatience.

Hours of crying out the hurt?  Out comes my lack of compassion.

Needing to be rightnexttomeeverymomentoftheday?  The hard parts of my heart are exposed, unwilling to love with the intensity of Jesus’ call.


In it all I feel him moving.

I am pruning you.  With my help, you will produce more fruit.  Because I love you, I will not leave you in the state you are in.  Trust me.

Some days it is easier for me to love, to serve, to find joy in the brokenness.


Sometimes loving other people’s children is difficult.  Sometimes I struggle with allowing my heart to love them, forcing myself to be what they need, trying to be selfless in the face of pain, struggle, challenge.

I’m being honest.  Painfully, really.  Literally, painful, to my heart that knows the love that has been lavished on me only to struggle to fully love a child.


Some will choose to judge in the face of honesty.  Those who have fostered, and those who have not.  To that, I say, I cannot blame you.  My heart is ugly.  My only redemption is Christ.


I wish you could meet Bella.  Or maybe you have.  She is beautiful.  Her gentleness and innocence have persevered through so much.  She finds joy after being drug through hell.  She has a loving heart, yet her pain is worn on her sleeve.  She loves pink and purple.  She loves to dress up like a princess.  She loves swinging.  She has her Daddy’s eyelashes.  She HAS eyelashes (!!).  And in His eyes she is beautiful and purposefully created.




Yet in my heart, sometimes I struggle to let her in, to love her, to be compassionate.


I hate it.

And in my brokenness I cry out, “Jesus, prune me! Teach me.  Fix me.”

His love is the only love that will always be enough.  But slowly, he will refine my heart so that my love will look more like his.


“This is my command: Love one another.”   -Jesus

November 8, 2011


  Let’s see.  Where to start?


Well, I caught the Virus From the Bowels of Hades *VFBH* (that’s the proper name.  or maybe just what I call it.  It is definitely the appropriate name.).  You know how lovingly children share their germs.  If we could universalize their willingness to share germs, our lives would be so much easier. 

Anyway – I had the VFBH for approximately 11 days.

Holy. Cow.

High fevers upwards of 103.  My entire mouth swelled up.  I couldn’t eat.  For 11 days.  Have you ever had to drink Ensure?  Avoid it. 


We got the VFBH from Bella.  That’s one of those nuggets that people rarely share about fostering.  Kids coming from *less than ideal* environments can bring all kinds of *less than ideal* ailments with them.  Lice, scabies, thrush, random rashes, VFBH’s.  Sometimes they’re just part of it – and life goes on.

But I’m pretty sure that if I had taken a picture of my mouth last week and posted it on the blog   …..   you would never ever foster.  So I won’t.


In other news, we are in the thick of processing all  that is going on with Bella.

Recently she’s started role playing her situation while she and Sylvia are playing pretend.

She role plays that she has a meeting to go to and that at the meeting they are going to decide if she can go home.

She role plays that she is going on an overnight visit and explains to Sylvia how much she will miss her while she is gone.

She role plays that she is going to court and that the judge has to make big decisions.

It breaks my heart to hear her.  She should be pretending to be a Mommy cuddling her baby.  She should be pretending to go to work, or pretending that she’s going grocery shopping, or pretending that she’s going somewhere with her friends.  Instead she’s pretending things that she shouldn’t even be able to imagine, things much too big for her four year old little mind.

But, I also know that this is how she is processing what is happening, and that it is good for her to work through these situations in her mind.  For her to be able to imagine an end to her situation, and for her to be able to try to make sense of everything that is happening.  When she’s playing pretend is the only time that she has to have any control over what is happening to her at all.



She’s also started asking questions about what will happen to me and Sylvia when she goes home.  As a foster parent it is difficult - I rarely have much more information than she does (which is ridiculous.) – and so answering her questions is usually just some vague bs’ing done in such a way as to aid her healing rather than open fresh scabs.  I pray that we’ll be able to stay in contact when she goes home, and that we’ll be able to serve her family in whatever ways we can to benefit Bella.  We’ll see.


They’ve started having visits in her home, which makes everything about 200% more difficult.  It is a necessary step toward going home, but I wish they would wait until reunification is imminent.  Emotionally this wrecks her.  She pays an emotional toll for it all week long, which means that we do to.  We’ve been dealing with pretty significant defiance and tantrums that are obviously triggered by the visits. 

Foster care and reunification is always a catch 22 it seems.


Her treatment is going wonderfully.  She’s healthy as can be, which is no small blessing.  Seeing how her health has turned around since she’s come to us makes me ache inside at the thought of her returning to an environment that was keeping her sick. 


Anyway – long and boring post, but wanted to get a brief update posted.


Always so much to process.  Always.

October 27, 2011

Why Foster? Yes and Amen.

Saw this video over at J’s blog and had to repost. 

Can I get an amen?

What if when you were 10 you were labeled ‘unadoptable’ and so you



had a family?


And probably, it was just because you were ten.

too old, you see.


October 25, 2011

Clip, clip.

Ever since Bella came to live with us (almost 4 months ago now!) we have had frequent conversations about when her hair grows back.  It never seems to bother her much that it’s gone, but she is very excited for when it’s back.

One of the things that she’s been most excited for is when it got long enough to put clips in it.  I promised her we’d go find some Dora clips and Princess clips (her choices.).


So the day has finally arrived!


Drum roll please!







We got it to stay (for at least five minutes).

She was so excited!

And now, off to the store to find Dora clips.

October 24, 2011

Seizure, shmeizure.

This week has been crazy.

And since blogging is somewhere around 46th on my priority list, I’ve gotten a little (a lot) behind. 

  Things move so quickly around here, and I don’t want to miss a beat – I want to have it all here so that I can go back and reminisce when Bella leaves and I’m missing her,  and again when Sylvia is turning 25.  

Sentimental?  Er, I prefer to just say that I hold life close to my heart.


Today end six days of Sylvia having a fever.  I say this tentatively and with my fingers crossed – as I’m sure it could return.  She also hasn’t been eating, has barely been drinking, hasn’t been sleeping, and has been on my lap all week.

On Wednesday night we ended up in the emergency room because her fever spiked and she had a febrile seizure.  (Ok, when I think seizure, I think, holy. cow. let’s get to the E.R.)  When we got to the E.R. her temperature was 105.  They drew some blood (much easier said than done with a two year old) and ran some tests.  They weren’t sure what was going on, so we were told it was a virus.




Can I interject here to say that they acted like the seizure was no big deal?  If these things are so common, then why don’t us Mom’s know more about them??  Oh, your child seized, their eyes rolled back in their head, they wouldn’t focus their eyes or respond to you, and then they couldn’t form words when they tried?  No big deal.

Anyway, the next day we followed up with our physician who told us the same thing.  Two days later, she still had a high fever (upwards of 103 without medication) so I decided to do a little research myself before I worried myself mad.




After 30 minutes on the internet, I made a hypothesis that she had contracted Herpes type 1 (essentially cold sores, but can come with a lot worse reaction for little ones.  Sounds gross, but over 70% of the general population has it.) and that it had combined with some other virus that she picked up that also seemed to be reeking havoc on her mouth, gums, and body temp.


So today Brian took her to the urgent care (doctor number three) and sure enough, they thought she had contracted Herpes type 1 and that it was in conjunction with hand, foot, and mouth disease.


This was not helpful for the peace of mind of someone who is already pretty cynical regarding the medical field. (If you are a doctor, I have no beef with you.  I could spend about 10 posts on this.)


Luckily they said she seems to be nearing the end of it, and it will wrap up soon.


Nothing scarier than your baby girl having high fevers for 6 days with no explanation.  Except when one of your other baby girls has a suppressed immune system.  And the other one is only 6 months old.

Neither of the other girls have caught anything though.  We assume that Bella has already had HFM, and it’s likely that she is where Sylvia got the herpes from.  Naomi has my immunities since she is breastfed.


But holy. cow.  It’s been one heck of a week.


P.S.  I woke up with a fever this morning. blegh.

October 23, 2011

6 Months.


Jiggle, jiggle, jiggle, jiggle,
Tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle,
Little sack of sugar
I could eat you up.




Hey, hey, hey,
My little sack of sugar
Ho! Ho! Ho!
You’re my little sack of sweet.

Hee, hee, hee,
My pretty little angel.
So pretty, pretty, pretty
I could eat your feet




Hey, hey, hey,
Little honey-bunny
Ho! Ho! Ho!
Little turtle dove.

Hee, hee, hee,
Little sack of 'taters.
So pretty, pretty, pretty
I could eat your toes



Hey, hey, hey,
My tootsie wootsie.
Rangle,tangle, dangle,
And a honey and a tree.

Ho! Ho! Ho!
My butterfly-flitters,
So pretty, pretty, pretty
I could eat your nose.


vb bbb0++


Goo goo google
and a coo and a cuddle
Kick your foot like a bicycle pedal
Pretty little hoe down
And a one eyed frog
So pretty pretty pretty
I could gobble you whole




Jiggle, jiggle, jiggle, jiggle,
Tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle.
Little sack of sugar
I could eat you up.


- Woody Guthrie

(And your Mama.  I love you.)


October 11, 2011

Celebrating Two.

  I was so excited to celebrate Sylvia’s second birthday.  And we did.  It was  exciting and completely filled me with joy to watch her soak up her birthday fun.  We didn’t do any huge, themed party with coordinating everything (gasp!) but we had a lot of fun and spent a lot of time together.



We filled the hallway outside of her door with balloons so that they’d flood through her door when she opened it!





Bella, Naomi, Sylvia, and I made brownies together in the morning to have after dinner that night.  Then we went to the park and had a special lunch.  Unfortunately, Bella had her visit that afternoon, so she was gone from 1 until after 6:30 – but it did give us a little bit of time to give Sylvie some one on one lovin’.  (Of course, Naomi was there, but she’s really pretty easy!) 


Brian came home from work a little early to celebrate.



We went to Deanna Rose (a children’s farmstead with lots of playgrounds) for the afternoon.




  Then we headed downtown to go to Fritz’s for dinner (the choo-choo resteraunt).









That night, after Bella got home, we had cake, brownies, and ice cream.  Of course, this was the girls’ favorite part of the day.







Happy birthday, babe.  We love you.


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