Sunday, May 30, 2010

Another big day!!!

It has been a party week for the Crenshaws!  This is our first experience with end of the year school parties!  We had so much fun!  Austin's teachers helped them make class t-shirts with a self-portait of all of his classmates...they were super cute!  Everyone wore them to a bowling party to celebrate a great kindergarten year! Here is a picture:

I am so thankful!  What a great year!  Thank you especially to Mrs. Lindsey and Mrs. Perry!

One to the birthdays...
We got to celebrate my sweet hubby with the family with his favorite: pizza and heath bar cake!  Yum! Here are some cute pictures:

Brian blowing out his pretend candles...




And Olivia trying to make sure he is surprised with his present:


We love you so much, Brian!  You are an amazing leader of our family....thank you for all you do!

And last, here are some pictures from Olivia's birthday party.  We had so much fun!  She wanted an Ariel theme, so we had all kinds of water fun...slip-n-slide, pools, and games.   We love you, sweet girl!  It was so much fun to celebrate you!



(Above): some of the kids ready to slip-n-slide!
(Below):  Mr. John made Daddy do the "Pin the flowers on Ariel" since it was his birthday, too!  It was so funny!


Liv with Mommy and Daddy about to blow out candles:



Eliana "reading"...ha! :


Just having a conversation with Jones:


On her new bike!:


Happy Birthday, Brian and Olivia!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Big day for the Crenshaws

Big day here today! 

First, my sweet girl turned FOUR!  Yay!  Oh, Olivia...she is FULL of life, joy, and love.  There have been a number of times lately that she just keeps giggling and giggling and giggling, and she says, "I am so full of joy in the Lord in Christ!"  Hilarious!  Don't know where she got that (especially that wording!), but I love it!  It is very true.  She is filled with the Joy of the Lord.  She loves people well, she is becoming more and more of a servant, and she is so nurturing (I think that her little sister would say she is a little TOO nurturing...she thinks she is her mother, trying to carry her around, etc.).  It can make me so frustrated to hear Eliana squeel in anger, but at the same time, I am so glad that she has such a nurturing spirit.  She really loves her and wants to take care of her.  She just doesn't know how.  Poor Eliana...

To start the day, I got to take her on a date to the donut shop.  Here she is, with the four purses she wanted to bring:

And, the two donuts she chose:

Oh, what a cutie!  She brings light and love and joy to my life! :)
Daddy brought her home some flowers, but I haven't gotten a picture of that yet.  Saturday is her Ariel party, and I will post some pictures afterwards.

Another reason it was a big day:
Austin's LAST day of kindergarten!  Oh, my!  I canNOT believe that he will be in first grade. He had a great year.  We are so blessed to have been at the school he was at, and to have had the sweet, precious teachers that he did.  He grew a ton in so many ways.  This was our first experience with any school, and it definitely was a great one!
Here is a picture of his first day of school....




And today, on his last day of school...


Looking forward to a great summer!!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Deal finders...

You will LOVE this blog!  She is a friend of ours from college, and I just found this!  I am so excited!  Check it out:

www.mavenonamission.blogspot.com

My SIX year old!

Tears, tears...my boy is SIX!!!!  Wow...time has flown by.  So often lately I have just been looking at him, remembering so well rocking him when he was a baby, singing to him, playing with him.  I can't believe how grown up he is.  My heart is FILLED with thankfulness!  Lately I have just been laying down with him on his bed, and he talks about "being in first grade" or "next year when I am seven..."  UGH!  The tears start flowing! He wants to be assured that they are "happy tears," and I tell him I am just so proud of him and so thankful to the Lord for him.  Last night, I told him, "I just can't believe that God gave YOU to ME and DADDY!"  That is how I feel...so blessed!
Anyway...before I talk about my FOUR year old (more tears...) in a few days, I wanted to post some pictures from Austin's Star Wars party.  We have back to back birthdays in the spring around here!

It was such a fun day!  Filled with laughter, light saber fights, games, rain, and tornadoes (seriously...)!

We had:
  • a "Death Star" cake (thank you, google...I had no clue what that was or how to make it!!)
  • "Wookie Watermelon"
  • "Pretz-abers"
  • "Galactic Pizza"
  • "Yoda Soda"

Here is his cake:


Here are some of the young men after they were trained as Jedi's!


Instead of presents, they all went around and gave Austin one word that describes him.  It was a fun new tradition we started...we will make a "wordle" out of it and keep them throughout the years.  Some kids got creative and wrote their word in a card or picture for him. So sweet.

I hope you know how special you are, Austin!  We love you so much!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cousin time!

We got to spend some time with almost all of the cousins in April!  How fun!  We are SO VERY BLESSED to have an incredible family!  We love getting to spend whatever time we get with them!

Here are all the kiddos in Knoxville:


Thanks, Crenshaws, for a great long weekend! :) 

And, Case got to come with my awesome brother for the week (Sadly, Karen and Em stayed behind)
                                     Here is a trip to the zoo:


(I guess the girls were really interested in the elephants!)

They loved playing in the water almost as much as seeing all of the animals! :



At our home study, our social worker was asking about our support system and what our family relationships were like.  It really made me so thankful to the Lord for the family we have.  We are truly so supported by them. I am even more thankful to call them all FRIENDS!  Love yall!

Another step!

Just a quick update to say that the first home study meeting went great!  Thank you all for praying for us!  We used Adoption Assistance, Inc. out of Smyrna, TN.  Our social worker there is great!  She is super sweet, super easy to talk to, and super efficient! We were really thankful to find her (thanks, Ashleigh!)!  Our first meeting with her was actually at her office, and then she will come here in a couple of weeks for our visit at home. Then, she will write up our actual home study which takes a couple of weeks.  So many people have asked what they do to write up the home study.  At this first meeting, she basically just got to know Brian and I.  She asked us how we got to this place of wanting to adopt, our highs and lows and how we dealt with those in life, important people in our life, how we grew up, etc. 

The person that reviews these home studies (and our adoptive parent education that we need to complete) is actually getting married and will be gone for a few weeks.  We are trying to get all of this in by June 1 so that she can review it before she leaves, but if we don't get it completed in time, it will set us back a few weeks.  One thing that I know is that God already knows what children are in our family.  He is sovereign in the timing of all of that, so we are just trying to be faithful to get it all done, but not stress if the home study is not finished by then.

We got some great children's books from her, along with another book I am anxious to check out: "The Connected Child."  There is so much for us to learn!! 

...ITCHING to meet this sweet little one...

Thank you for praying for us!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Small Step

I was so excited to find our FBI fingerprinting results in the mail when we got home today!!!  It has been taking as long as 12 weeks to get them back recently, so I was gearing myself up for a LONG wait.  I even called last week and they said they could not tell me where in the process it was until it had been in their hands for 8 weeks.  It only took 6 weeks for us to get them back!  Thank you, Jesus!  One step closer to meeting our child!

Please pray if you think about it...our first home study visit is on Tuesday! I am excited to be another step closer!  I am wondering what all we will talk about!  My goal is to have all of the paperwork from the dossier complete by the time the home study is complete, so we can just send it all off!  I cannot WAIT to be WAITING to get that referral!!!!  I know that it will have a completely different set of struggles and difficulties, but it still seems like we will be a lot closer to bringing home the next Crenshaw.

Some awesome news:  our great friends, The Carrolls, passed court in Ethiopia, so their little Abigail is officially a Carroll!!  You can check out their story here.  We can't wait to meet that sweet girl!