Friday, December 20, 2013


My blogging has been put on the backburner and I'm trying to get back into the swing of it. We'll see how this goes.

I don't even think I blogged about our Halloween. Everyone was a little under the weather so we tried to keep it low key. At the end of the night Harris was asking if we could please just go home, so I guess it wasn't quite low key enough. I really didn't want to skip trick or treating since we had a first timer and she was SO excited. Here they are at the beginning. Everyone is happy......ready to go.

At the time, I thought we started trick or treating too early because several houses on our street didn't answer their doors. Looking at this picture I'm thinking they were just hiding from us. We eventually teamed up with some neighbors and could no longer be denied. 

We went to visit Tom at work that morning because I'd promised them a Halloween treat and then it fell through. They really were not feeling too hot so we kept our stay brief and tried not to spread our germs. True to form, Walker, who dresses up almost everyday, refused to dress up on Halloween. There is no way I was fighting that battle.

We had such a nice Thanksgiving. We had a leisurely day around the house. Well, as leisurely as it can be with four children. Later that evening we went to Caroline's sister's house. It's so odd to think we didn't know these people at Thanksgiving last year and now consider that group our family. What a difference a year makes!

Cowboy boots......check.
Sassy stance........check. 
Biggest smile in texas.........check. 
I love that boy.


Walker had the most Thanksgiving spirit of all of us. 

Then Harris turned 6 and took his first solo plane ride to visit his Mimi. He has flown quite a bit and knows the ropes so he was all ready for his adventure. 

He couldn't possibly have had more fun. He needed something that was only about him and this was perfect.

We visited Santa. It was Caroline's first time and she was so excited. Walker, who was elated last year, didn't want near him this year.



Santa didn't really take no for an answer, though.

I took the big kids to see The Nutcracker, which was a great experience. The theater it's in is so neat and they had a special kids performance. I'm looking forward to next year already.

Walker made many, many crowns. He had a favorite that he wore everywhere for a couple of weeks.



Walker also has been joining us for "Walker Goolsby school." The little person who rejected all group/organized activities for the first four years of his life is coming around. I love it!

He also helped make cookies. They alllllllll helped.

I went from one helper to four. Walker is just recently interested, Hayes is just recently able, and Caroline is new on the scene. It's different having eight little hands all of a sudden but so sweet. Hayes could not be any more proud when it's his turn to dump something in. He thinks he is so big! I have to use smaller measuring spoons so everyone gets a turn. That one tsp of salt takes quite awhile to dump when it's measured out in 1/4 increments and "assisted" into the bowl by all those little people.

I wanted to write this before Christmas because I know that's a post in and of itself. I'm ready for Jesus to come. I read a devotional discussing the good news/bad news inherent in the message that Jesus came to save people from their sins. Good news: your Savior came! Bad news: you require a Savior! This past six months has left me reeling and even more aware that I need a Savior. I need Jesus and am yearning to celebrate his birth. Life has been so busy. I've been working part time for my old company (which is over) and then I got sick, and I have four (?!?!?!) kids and homeschool two of them and the days are passing. I just want to breathe and hear the Christmas story and ponder what a miracle Christmas is. Emmanuel, God is with us. 

God has given me a new perspective on what our adoption cost and a new appreciation for what it means to see our mess down here and choose to get involved. Not just involved....he sent his SON. I nearly had a panic attack sending my son to Houston to people that adore him and would protect him at any cost. I don't love enough to send my son to anything less than that. But God does. This Advent, more than any other, I am left knowing I have nothing to offer a newborn King and am grateful He came anyway.

"And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them."
Luke 2:20

I've heard the same news the shepherds did, and so much more. As I return to my routine, just as they did, I am praying that I'll be glorifying and praising God as well.  But before it is back to normal life, I want these next few days to be a time to pause and re-orient my compass to focus on the one who gives life.  

For my eyes have seen your salvation,
 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 
a light for revelation to the Gentiles, 
and the glory of your people Israel.”
 (Luke 2:30-32 NIV)

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Harris, you have been on this earth SIX years.

Little guy, you are such a pleasure to spend time with! Your personality is just as fun and sweet as it can be.  I took you on a date and asked you where you wanted to go. You picked Orange leaf and the library. Your tastes are so simple and you loved it! On the way home, of your own accord, you thanked me for taking you out. I love your sweetness all rolled up with your maturity as you age. You haven't lost that innocence and I cherish that.

A few weeks ago, we were out at a restaurant. A waiter was joking with you and being silly. The night before, a quartet had tried to get you to dance while they were singing. Both times, you didn't know how to react. You just got embarrassed and didn't really participate in either instance. However, your Uncle Justin and several different people we interacted with asked you questions like you were an adult. You answered them back in articulate, complete responses. I hadn't noticed before but you definitely prefer to deal with adults like adults. You can get silly like no other with kids but not grown ups. Yet there is no situation that a burp is not cause for hysterical laughter. :)

You keep me on my toes and I know if I say something even slightly inaccurate you"ll correct me with, "well mommy, actually........"  and I know not to argue with you because you're always right! What's so sweet about it is that you don't care about being right because you are trying to prove your knowledge, you are just interested in the facts and doing things as they should be done. I asked you not to erase you homeschool notebook because you'd been doing it so quickly then erasing it all (dry erase markers) that I wasn't getting a chance to look it over. The next day you asked me to erase it. I just handed you a napkin. You started with the, "well, actually mommy" just because you wanted to follow my instructions, even though I didn't remember I'd given them to you! Sweet boy. You are still my little rule follower.

This was "wacky Wednesday" at your school. You had no interest in wearing clothes in ways they weren't meant to be worn and it took quite a bit of convincing to get you to participate. Here you are, probably counting the minutes down until you can go home and dress appropriately. :)
You think about what is being said around you. We were at the hospital recently and you overheard someone talking about a doctor that people come from all over the world to see. Hours later, you asked me how the doctor was able to communicate with people from all over the world, since they spoke so many different languages. Good question! 

This is just such a Harris story I want to remember it. You were playing at a friends house with a boy a couple of years older. When we left, he asked when you could come back so you guys could "keep organizing." You found a kindred spirit. :)

Here you are, studying the layout of the Houston Medical Center. It's enormous and I'm slightly embarrassed to say you helped me navigate the map and determine which parking garage we must have parked in.
As much as you do big kid things, you adore Hayes and will stop what you are doing at any time to play with him. You sit down and read him books. You build towers as fast as he can destroy them. You will go to great lengths to make him smile and he loves you for it! You are considerate of all your siblings and are quick to share. We were at the dr's office the other day and Walker couldn't find his blue crayon. The nurse gave you extra stickers because you took it upon yourself to dig around in your own crayon box to find one and give it to him. When we're out and about you are constantly seeing things that one of them might like yet you do not ask for things for yourself. I love your generous spirit!
You are content. It's a special gift you have been given to be content in your circumstances. When we pray at night and talk about what we should thank God for, you always say, "for all the things that we did today." I was discussing with you that we can pick out specific things to thank him for and then notice those things when we see them. You looked at me, somewhat dumbfounded at the thought of trying to pick out just ONE thing from the entire day. I think you don't have the highs and lows that other people experience so things don't stick out to you as much. You really are content where you are and find blessing in that. We sat at the hospital for 8+ hours the other day. You did your schoolwork, colored, people watched and just generally kept yourself entertained and not once did you complain. Not once. In fact, you had a pleasant demeanor the whole time. Contentment isn't a gift I'd had the opportunity to see in you until recently. You wear it very well.
You have always been kind and compassionate but this year has put those qualities to the test. As a firstborn, it's important to you to "do it right" so rest assured you've done it all flawlessly. Overnight, with no warning,  you were kicked out of your room, a retreat that you valued. You instantly were expected to share every single thing you have, including your parents, with a stranger. The entire world shifted to now revolve around helping someone that you'd never even met. You have handled it with more grace, compassion, and forgiveness than any one in this family. You have given everything you have with an open hand and cheerful heart. You've given it generously and with so much love that it puts me to shame. You wake up and each day is new; you don't hold on to the hurts or injustice from the day before. I didn't know how it was possible to really forgive and forget, but you do. Something precious of yours was intentionally broken and once that was apologized for, you haven't brought it up again. It was done. How many adults can forgive that way??
You continue to display your childlike faith that is encouraging and convicting to the adults blessed to be in your life and witness it. Just today, I asked you what you did at quiet time. You said you prayed to God and asked him to take the sin out of your  heart and put more love in it. Sweetie, you did that all on your own. I have not once discussed anything like that with you. That was the prompting of the Holy Spirit and you followed without question. I'm so proud of you!
 In a four year span, you acquired three siblings. Your life has been defined by change and you've rolled with it every time. This time, I see you starting to strain a bit.  And that's ok because our anthem right now is that "hard is where you grow." Hard still sort of stinks though, doesn't it??! But you know what, buddy, we would miss so much if we didn't follow God's plan for our family. As evidenced by your quiet time today, this change is drawing you into Him and there's nothing better for you than that. God is taking us on an adventure that is shaping you into a man that seeks God. And that's all we want for you. As much as your personality is perfectly suited to integrate Caroline into our family, her personality is perfectly suited to support and encourage you in a way your brothers couldn't.
When you're an adult it will be inconceivable to you to imagine what your life would have been without Caroline in it, your thoroughly accessorized partner in crime.  You told me God put Caroline in our family to give you a best friend.  :)

Harris, I am so thankful to have the honor of being your mom. Your kind and generous spirit is a blessing to me every day. And on top of that, you're just plain fun! I like hanging out with you and hearing your perspective on things. I love seeing you race up to me each morning with a huge hug and smile, ready to see what the day has to offer.  You are one special little boy and as much as I want to see who you grow up to be, I want time to slow way down because it is FLYING by.
 I have treasured the past six years and am so excited to watch what you do with the next six! I love you so much, sweet boy!!
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
Gal 5:22-23