Friday, December 23, 2011

What a precious site for a parent :)
Seeing my two "babies" curled up on the couch with Ira hugging onto Haley is awesome.  Thank you God for blessing me with Haley in 1992 and then with Ira in 2010!!  Only YOU could have created two amazing children like this!

Two days until Christmas!  Our second Christmas with Ira and he loves the tree :)

This year we will know that next Christmas we will be sharing it again with a new baby!  Haley will have a bundle of joy, peace and love this summer so Christmas 2012 will be brand new baby time all over again!  Ira will be an uncle at the spry age of 2!  Love it!!

Christmas is full of going here, going there, baking, remembering where all the presents are, making sure (via spreadsheet, of course) that everyone is getting something and it is at the right house.  So, before it gets too crazy, I want to pause and remember what I am thankful for this year.

1.  I am thankful every day that I am a child of God and of our relationship.  He has blessed Jeremy and me so much with our two babies and each other. 
2.  I am thankful that Jeremy and I will be married 10 years this summer and he still makes my heart flutter. 
3.  For Haley and Ira, you are the cherry on my ice cream sundae (well, okay, frozen yogurt).  I love you both.
4.  I am so thankful that Grandma and Grandpa are such a huge part of our lives.  We love you to the moon and back!
5.  Every day I am thankful for Phyllis, her hubby and kiddos.  Every great memory I have had in the last 10 years has you all in it.  I love you dearly.
6.  I am thankful this year that I have rekindled a relationship with my father and his wife, De.  True joy!
7.  I am thankful to be surrounded by Jeremy's family and their dynamic personalities. 
8.  I am so, so, so thankful that baby Gabriel is healthy and sharing Christmas day with us this year!
9.  Heifer South Africa - it is such an honor to work with you and be a part of your story.  I love you all.  I am also thankful to Mike Grober for sharing his dream with me, Your Mission Matters, and trusting me to help me make it a reality. 
10.  I, along with every other Christian, am thankful for Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for me....little ol' me.  Wow - it's almost too much to even fathom. 

I hope you have a beautiful time with your family.  I wish for all of us that we do not get caught up in opening gifts, lunches, dishes and full bellies that we don't pause and just enjoy each other's company and remember why we have this time together. 

Merry Christmas,
Love,
Angie

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Merry Christmas to all!

Christmas is right around the corner and it's a "hustle and a bustle" everywhere I look.  We have our own around here!  :) 

We just learned that in July, we will be blessed with a child!  (grandchild, that is).  Haley is about 8 weeks pregnant.  She's still working at Potter's Clay (still such a blessing!) and is starting to school at Pulaski Tech in January.  A lot of work ahead of us, but God will lead the way on this and it will be wonderful. 

Ira and I are still hanging out together everyday together.  His vocabulary is improving and eating habits are better.  (not great, but better - LOL). 

Jeremy is busy with a new trial and depositions so he's always going, going, ....you get the idea. 

I came home a few days ago to find my house exterior decorated for Christmas by Grandma!!  She is such an incredible blessing to us all.  I love you, Grandma!!

As we celebrate the birth of our Lord Savior this month, I also pray for peace, tranquility and answered prayers for our family and many others. 

Love to all~
Angela

Saturday, November 5, 2011

These photos were taken Halloween weekend. The top one is Jeremy and Ira at Burns Park and the other two are of Ira doing some early trick or treating at Nanna Phyllis' house :)












What a day this has been! Grandma, Ira and I went to my new nephew's Meet and Greet (after a couple of weeks of him being at ACH in the NICU). Ira had SO much fun playing outside on cousin Maggie's playhouse and swing set. I MUST get him some of these things. He loves them so much!!!!

Our plans were to:
1. come home afterward and feed him a late lunch and down for a nap
2. go to Phyllis' big Fall Event in Bryant with Ira and Haley
Did that happen? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Ira was SO overtired he would not lay down and was walking around like he was dizzy (so sleepy). He ended up slipping on the floor and face planting on our wood floor so then I HAD to keep him up for a while to make sure there wasn't any concussion or bad things going on. So, I walked outside while Jeremy had Ira and an ice bag, called Phyllis, had a meltdown about how much I was sorry we couldn't come and once Ira was able to go to sleep, I crashed like I had been up for 24 hours straight.

Highlight of the day was that while the Razorbacks were playing and Jeremy was listening for Ira, my baby girl and I got to go eat some yogurt at Three Flamingos and just "talk" - so, so, nice. In fact, I loved it. It made the day so much better. I missed out on Phyllis' amazing food and fun, but I did get some quality time with my girl and that was worth it.

On a personal note, I'm reacquainting myself with someone who hasn't been in my life in a long time. Taking it day by day - but am happy about it.

Platform time: Why do Stay at home Moms NOT get a W-2 at the end of the year??? This is hard and SUCH important work. Attention Michelle Obama!! Love what you are doing in other areas............how about this? I'm not a creative person at all, a hermit at heart and so it is a challenge.

Little news for folks: Jeremy and I are slowly starting a nonprofit. It is "Veterans United Against Hunger". I've registered us a Facebook and Twitter account already, working on a URL and a logo. Then I can file for IRS 501c3 status and trademark protection. This will be a slow start as we are really busy right now but we are finally moving on some thoughts we have had for a long time. Stay posted.

Getting ready for Haley's 19th Birthday ON Thanksgiving this year - will fly back in from South Africa just in time. (doing a little shopping already....yes, Haley, if you are reading this...)

Haley is doing so well at her job. One of the parents call her the "baby whisperer" at CAC's Potter's Clay Daycare. This is such a God thing for her to be there. In some many ways.......

All who reads this: please pray for me for my South Africa trip. Some new and exciting things going on and I need to be on top of my game. (and not sick from plane food - :( ).

Love to all~

Blessings,
Angela

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Trip to Florida - 2011 and end of summer


Our trip to Navarre Beach was a trip! Literally! Jeremy, Angela, Ira, Grandma and Grandpa loaded up in Uncle Larry's great suburban (thank goodness - had a DVD player!) and headed out. Great trip down there and first day was awesome.....then came the rain. Well, rather Tropical Storm and tornadoes. We didn't have a lot of time on the beach but great time together. We went to the Naval Air Museum (they have a kid play area and Ira LOVED it!!) and the smiles on Ira and Grandpa's face made the trip for me. Grandma and I hit the mall for as long as my "boot would walk" and the water would not blow us over. Lots of great Grandma cooking and Barney!!!

Times with these two special people can never be replaced. So happy to hear stories from Grandma and Grandpa that we may never have had heard.

A few weeks later - even better news!!! HALEY CAME HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She is working her TRUE first job at Potter's Clay Daycare in Sherwood and loves it. She is a natural. I'm so proud of her. Back to school in January - probably Pulaski Tech for a year or so, then UALR.

Ira is doing great. He's adding a few (well, couple) of food items to his menu. I love spending time with him and also letting him have play time a couple days a week with his friends at CDC (so I can catch up on laundry, mopping, vacuuming and having a long breakfast with Haley if possible at Panera Bread).

Jeremy is busy, busy, busy. We are throwing around ideas about starting the process to launch a small nonprofit engaging veterans to fight hunger in America. Long process, but so needed. It will have to be a 3rd job for him and lots of work from us, but we are looking at it. Prayers are guiding us.

Halloween is Monday. The little man will be SUPER Man this year :) (Daddy's year to choose).

My adorable nephew was born on October 11th. He had some issues and has been at ACH but will hopefully be discharged tomorrow. He is so beautiful. Gabriel Michael Vincent is a gorgeous baby and can't wait to hold him.

Keep our family in your prayers for healthy babies, kids, new ideas and safe travel to South Africa on 11/15.

Blessings,
Angela




Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Chapter Two Begins

I guess I am referring to this as "Chapter Two" as it seems like we (our family) has moved from one phase of our life to another.

The photo shown here is from this last weekend at The Wonder Place where Ira and I played with Grandma. Ira is at the "vet clinic" with his little stethascope doing a checkup on a cocker spaniel. Too cute!


Change - wow - and to think I used to fight it kicking and screaming...:) We are for sure going through changes. The biggest and most "felt" is Haley has moved to El Dorado and is going to school there. She is living this year with her father and his family and going to a Community College. Her plans right now are to transfer next year to a 4 year school in Magnolia and live on campus. She started classes yesterday and begins her FIRST job next week as a hostess at a local restaurant. I won't go into the details but this was not an easy transition for anyone but I know there will be a lesson in this for all of us.


Second - September 12th will be my last day at Room to Read. It is time to do something different starting with spending a lot of 1:1 time with Ira. I'm not sure what I will be doing a year from now - that used to would have been freaking me out; it's kinda fun now.


Third - I'm sporting a big, black boot on my left foot. Yes, the ever-so-graceful Angie did a fantastic turn of the ankle taking out the trash in the rain and spent the evening in the ER. Fun stuff - especially since we are leaving for Florida on September 1!! I'm still trying to figure out a way to parasail.....We are taking Grandma and Grandpa and staying a week in a beautiful condo (the same place we go every year) in Navarre (an island off of Pensacola). Larry is generously letting us use his suburban to go in so we'll all have room to stretch out and Ira will have a drop down screen to let him watch a little Barney when things start getting tense with him in the car seat. :)


We also have a new member of the family on his way. Jessica and JP's little baby boy is expected in October sometime. We are hosting a shower for Jessica on the 18th of September that should be fun. It's funny though - Jeremy has been saying for about 7 months or so we need to start planning on getting another little boy. Last night we watched this show called "Nanny 911" and after it was over, Jeremy took that back...he said "perhaps we have enough". I laughed so hard!!!


I think he will get to periodically have another little boy around some. Our neighbor's husband, a pilot in the Air Force, deployed yesterday for a YEAR!!! So, I imagine one of their little boys will be here from time to time.


I'm planning my trip to South Africa for the Heifer South Africa Annual General Meeting in November (the week and weekend before Thanksgiving). I can't wait to go back. I wish it was not such a long flight so Ira could go.


Ira is doing fantastic. He is 14.5 months old and full of it!!! If he had his way, he would have someone pulling him around the neighborhood in his wagon all day long....:) He is beginning to eat a little food with texture (not a lot, but a little). One day at a time.......

He is such a joy - and keeps us on our toes!!


Hopefully I will start writing again. I must keep up with all these milestones so when I get around to doing his baby book, I have something to go back to for dates! ha!!!


Love to all,


Angela

Monday, June 13, 2011

"Gotcha Day"

Today is our "Gotcha Day". In the adoption community, it is the day you received your baby or child. Lots of families celebrate it or acknowledge it; some do not. I don't think we really have an opinion on it other than knowing today, one year ago, we met our son. By this point, we were already in the car on our way........making bets on how much hair he would have, how long he would be, chubby or lean, etc. And, of course, the big question...........the middle name. It's funny how he was Ira Benjamin until a few days after he was born and we had to put it on paper and it turned into Ira Christopher (Jeremy's middle name). Glad we didn't go that far with monogramming. :)

So, Ira, Happy Gotcha Day! We sure are happy we did!!!

love,
Mommy and Daddy

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Birthday - HUGE success




Yesterday was Ira's first birthday and it was a celebration from morning to bedtime. :)
He started his day off with a bottle and some scrambled eggs and fruit. He's doing pretty well with the scrambled eggs. He opened his presents from us (toys, 3 new pair of shoes and a pool). We tried to keep him "napped up" (is that a word?) so he would be feeling good for his party.

The party was at The Wonder Place in Little Rock. First of all, the cake made by Cakes by Sam was...........amazing. Awesome. Incredible. It looked just like the photo I gave them and it tasted wonderful too. Also, you know the old saying that you only count on about 33% of those you invite showing up...well, that was NOT the case. Only a few invited didn't attend. It was so heartwarming to see all our friends and family walking in with donations of canned food items to the Arkansas Rice Depot. Grandma and I had this silly idea we would just wheel the food out in the Radio Flyer Buggy they bought him....HA! It will take tubs and more tubs!! Which is wonderful for the Rice Depot and for the children in Central Arkansas!!! I can't wait for Ira and I to make the trip this week and deliver it all.

I got to meet new family members, see friends I hadn't seen in a while, family I wish I saw more and the best friends in the world. Lots of kids got to play without being trampled on by others because we had the whole place to ourselves. It was a blast!

I thank you, God, Jesus and Mary, for all the blessings you have given this family. We have what we need and a lot of what we want. We give YOU all the glory.

love,
Angela, Jeremy, Haley and Ira

Friday, June 10, 2011

Ira's Birthday Eve

Tomorrow is the little Prince's first birthday! Just 4 more hours and he will be one year old! I can't believe it. A year ago - our lives - what was going on - only to get that call on a Sunday morning while getting ready for church that changed our lives forever. Unforgettable.

Big day tomorrow. Ira will eat scrambled eggs so I think that will be his birthday breakfast. We bought him a little pool with a shade over it so I think an early dip for the first time in his pool after his morning nap will be in order. We did get him a few presents to open so we will find time during the day to see what he does with wrapping paper...and of course, it is RED! :)

His Barney Singing and Light Up Doll has not even shipped yet :(. That will be a surprise for next week, I guess. His cake was delivered today (Dr. Seuss - made by Cakes by Sam) is AMAZING....they took the photo I sent them and did it.....they actually did it and it is so cool. I can't wait for everyone to see it. I know Ira won't eat the cake; he may not even play with it, but that's fine. As long as he gets to play around and we can work the party around his nap, it will be a success!

I'm honoring his birthmother tonight as a year ago she was in labor. A young girl, in a foreign country, giving birth while knowing her plan. I'm honoring her in my heart and mind today so tomorrow will just be about Ira. I hope she gets the letters and the photos. I hope her heart knows he is doing wonderfully and her decision was the right one. I pray she is achieving her dreams.

As Grandma says, God gives us the desires of our heart. I believe that and it makes me feel better for her.

love,
Angela

Monday, June 6, 2011

Graduation Party!

Well, the celebrating of Haley's graduation has come to a close. Her party with her closest loved ones was last night at Grandma's house. Her colors for the party were pink and black to match the cake she picked out (made by Cakes by Sam). Food was divine (thank you, Grandma Betty, Georgetown Cupcakes and Community Bakery). Beside our gift to Europe, I mad a movie for her that went from the beginning of her life, showing highlights through the way to her senior photos and receiving her diploma. I got 3 (three!) private hugs and thank-you's from her so I think she was really appreciative of the work by Grandma and me, for Sara helping in cleaning up and for ALL the friends and family that came and joined her in this celebration. I know she will never, ever forget this night. Thank you for being a part of it. We both love you!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Year of Reflection

Today is our wedding anniversary - 9 years! Great accomplishment. We have done a lot in 9 years, made many new friends, lost loved ones, gained new family members and continued to be a strong family unit. This year has been a rollercoaster - well, that's an understatement. Almost a year ago, Ira was born. I was blessed with being able to spend 3 months at home with him (above photo - which I love!) and bond in such a wonderful way. I think back to the first two weeks we had him when we were in Texas. We couldn't wait to get home - bring our baby home - but now when we talk about it we realize what a blessing it was to have those two weeks. We got to know each other in a very intimate way without a lot of distractions.

We came home to a beautifully cleaned home (thanks to Phyllis, Grandma and Jessica), balloons, flowers and a flow of home cooked food for several days. More importantly, Ira entered Arkansas to an outpouring of love for him. He was embraced from the first moment. I want him to forever know that his FOREVER FAMILY loved him from first sight. If he had come out of my womb, instead of my heart, he couldn't have been loved any more. And it is still the same way today.

Our same loved ones hosted a beautiful Sip-n-See with over 100 guests to meet Ira and bring him gifts. It was the most amazing day~I know I had a glazed over look on my face the entire time, but the beauty of reflection is that you can take the time to really think about how special that time was.

Haley soon started her senior year......with a bang! (or a fall!) One broken leg and months of a boot with physical therapy, she was able to hobble to the Homecoming Dance. :) The only bright side of that was she was at home a lot those first few weeks after her accident and we got to spend some much needed time together. I'll never forget that.

Haley's 18th birthday party at KanPai, Thanksgiving, Christmas (I think we did 4 that year) and then we rolled into the new year. I was able to finally, after many years, get my "Purple Rain" birthday cake courtesy of Cakes by Sam. It rocked! Several holidays later, including Easter, Cinco de Mayo at my house, and my first Mother's Day with Ira led into Haley's high school graduation. All wonderful days celebrated with my loved ones - as someone just said "the people that matters most". :)

So, this weekend is Haley's graduation party. I hope she likes the decoration and also the surprise for her from me (homemade). Then, next Saturday is Ira's first birthday at The Wonder Place. Dr. Seuss themed cake should be outstanding!! I know he won't understand it all now, but I've learned from Haley that kids are very interested later in life about their "firsts".....

So, as Jeremy and I celebrate our 9th year together as Mr. & Mrs. Jeremy C. Lasiter (or Major Lasiter and his wife...or Haley's parents....or Ira's mom...etc. - I seem to have many identities), I celebrate ALL of this year. The bad, good and ugly. Because through it all, I have been taught. I have learned things about myself, my children, my husband, my family and life. And I think we should never, ever stop learning.

Thank you to my family - and you know who you are - DNA doesn't make you family - love and support makes you family and I have the best.

Angela

Friday, May 27, 2011

My beautiful daughter, the graduate.

"Isn't she lovely, isn't she beautiful" - I have those lyrics going through my head as I look at these photos from Haley's graduation this past Monday.

Words just cannot express how thrilled I am that Haley has graduated from high school and is getting ready for college. She was the epitome of a young woman in the arena getting her diploma. And she is SO glad to have those 13 years behind her........:) I don't think she will be the kid who keeps going back to the high school building and trying to hang out with the teachers. LOL

After getting her driver's license Mother's Day weekend, she pulled out a little while ago in my black Camry that she will be driving to take it to Splash Car Wash and detailed. It is hilarious that "cleanliness" in an automobile was never an issue until it became the car she was going to drive! :)

Graduation party is in a week to allow time for her boyfriend to return home from Army duty. That will officially be the "end" of high school - wow.

I'm so proud of her. I know my mother is equally as proud as she watches over us all from above.

We are so blessed.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

From Diapers to Graduation Gowns

On the eve of Haley's graduation, my mind is flooded with images of this young woman - from years ago, sitting on the counter of my mother's kitchen, before the cancer and the chemo and the...loss...., having her make Haley "super supers" which was glorified sundaes. It was a highlight of Haley's day when she could sneak it by me or I relented to the heavy sugar intake late in the evening.

I think about her spending an Easter with me at my sister's house, hunting Easter eggs and already posing for the camera and showing off the dimples. It came so easy to her even back then.

Her first day of school which coincided with my first day of law school. Guess which one of us DIDN'T cry...yes, her.

Jeremy and I taking her on trips to San Antonio (even pulling her out of school for a week and chalking it up to "education about Texas"! ha!), Dallas, Florida, Atlanta, Disney, Colorado, etc. and enjoying seeing her at all the water parks, finding the ice cream stand and gift shop (the child loved to shop from the womb, I believe).

Years of school friends, heartaches, loves, fusses and makeups; her support for me while Jeremy was deployed; her sense of humor that I don't think everyone sees - she's one of the funniest people I know. Jeremy and I are blessed with all these memories.

She has the gown, the graduation dress, shoes, getting her hair styled tomorrow afternoon and then tomorrow night, she will be a graduate. I know there will be college and that graduation. But this is the beginning of such a time for her. So many new experiences. I pray they are all good - but if can't be that, I hope they are life lessons for which she is not hurt by and learns from.

Pride? Yes, I am very proud of her. But most of all, I love her. I love her unconditionally. I know her Nana does too; how? Because she loved me unconditionally, as well. Most of all, she taught me that is what a good mother does -

It is going to be hard to loosen the strings. I'm sure there will be moments when she wonders why I want her to text me or call me when she arrives back at the dorm. I hope she humors me.

And I hope she remembers. Remembers it is because I love her with all my heart. And then remembers it when she has a daughter one day. This.....I hope we pass down another generation.

Unconditionally - I love Haley Taylor-Elizabeth Jones. And am so proud to be her mother.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

He's almost ONE???

Haley is out of town this weekend and Jeremy has drill so I've spent Ira's nap times stuffing birthday invitations and printing labels. I cannot BELIEVE his first birthday is just a few weeks away. This year has flown by. Haley's senior year in high school and Ira's first year of his life...wow.

So, it hit me this week - it is time to start writing my first "annual letter" to Ira's birthmother. I did it every month for the first six months before the adoption was finalized, but is not required after that except annually on his birthday. What do I say? How can I express what a great little boy he is; how much joy he brings to our lives; what a God-thing this was; how I still think about her so much and hope she is doing well and doesn't question the decision she made for one second? Maybe those are the things I tell her......I know God will lead my hand while I'm writing it.

Received a compliment at church last week. This may sound VERY odd to many - but an African-American lady who always dotes on Ira at church told me "you dress him so nice and care for his skin and hair so well; you are doing so good!". *tears* If my best friend had said that or a family member, I would have said "thank you" without a lot of post-reaction thinking. BUT, for a mother/grandmother of African heritage to tell me (pink skinned! joke at the house) that I'm caring for his skin and hair and she likes the way I dress him........it was HUGE. I don't think I have shared this compliment with anyone - but the more I think about it, the more I think it is "okay". It is a common fact that his skin and hair is different that mine and it takes a different type of care than I would use for Haley if she were a baby. More work? Not really - just different and it has taken a while to see what works for him. As far as clothing, I have to say the color of his skin doesn't play into that...I'm just super picky about boys' clothes. :) I like what I like......

I LOVE my kids; I wish I were younger and could do this some more - LOL. Second thought: I'll wait for a granddaughter and just have fun that way. :) A LONG TIME FROM NOW, HALEY - YEARS AFTER COLLEGE GRADUATION - YEARS FROM NOW.....LOL.

I hope Ira reads these blog postings one day and realizes some of my thoughts before we knew him, while we were bonding and 1 year later. I know he will know his Mommy loves him to the Moon and back; Haley does and Ira will too (if not already).

Well, I have an Excel spreadsheet to make for Haley's graduation party and Ira's birthday party so I should work on that while baby boy is still snoozing away.

I am blessed ~ Thank you, God!

Angela

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

What a difference a year makes?! How many times have I said that......
Today is Mother's Day; my first with Ira and maybe my last with Haley living under this roof. I got teary-eyed at church this morning thinking of that as she sat next to me.
BUT, she got me a very awesome and creative Mother's Day gift .......wait for it....HER DRIVER'S LICENSE! ;) Yes, Friday, after her Senior Breakfast, she took her exam and got her license. She bought me flowers last night and a card. Inside of the card, where the slot is for a gift card or something, she inserted her license....LOL - what a sense of humor she has.

Jeremy and Ira got me a gift card to my favorite spa and donations made to the American Cancer Society in my mother's name and to the Gladney Center for Adoption in my name; very, very special. My first Mother's Day card from MY SON was Snoopy :) - yep, I cried and cried and cried.....

This has been a big weekend for Jeremy's family too. His sister, Alynn, graduated from college. She is going to be a history teacher. Her commencement was yesterday and her party was last night. Ira's had a lot going on this week (his surgery) and this weekend. He put a moratorium on naps this weekend...LOL - but finally gave in a little while ago :).

We also had our first Cinco de Mayo party this week (Thursday night). Not sure how we've done all of this in seven days but it all got done.

So much going on in the next 60 days or so. Haley graduates on the 23rd, Maddie on the 19th, cousin Baylor on the 28th, wedding anniversary on June 2nd, Haley's graduation party on June 5th, Ira's FIRST birthday party on the 11th (I cannot BELIEVE it!) and then Haley leaves on June 19th (Father's Day) for her Europe vacation (can we say "princess"????). Somehow in there I've got to plan these parties and *work*.....oh, yeah, "that"....

Maybe July will slow down - trying to look at places and dates for a summer vacation. Do we go back to Navarre like always or try something new like a cruise? I just love Navarre - not the drive - but love the condo and being on the beach. Peace. Quiet. Ocean breeze. awwwwww -

I am not sitting here today crying that my mom is in Heaven and missing out of this time with us. I know she is watching us and is a part of my every day. I know she has made sure angels have surrounded us many, many times. I hear her sometimes in things Haley says. I know this will sound crazy but I see her in expressions that Ira makes; his laugh, for example. He laughs JUST like my mother did; big and loud - it reminds me so much of her. She's right here with me. It's taken a long time to feel this way - and some days are better than others - but today I feel it.

People complain about Hallmark holidays but I do not see anything wrong with taking two days out of the year to remind us about Mothers and Fathers - maybe it helps even the mothers and fathers keep things in perspective.

I've tried to wish my mommy friends "Happy Mother's Day" but if I missed any, I am thinking of you all today and love you all~

Angela

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tubes!

4:30am - woke up early to give Ira a few ounces of juice before his surgery. 5:15am - left for Arkansas Children's Hospital. Went over a mountain of paperwork, shuffled from one room to another, met a lot of great doctors and nurses (and even parents). His surgery went fine. In the last two weeks, however, his double infections had returned and his left ear drum was about to rupture. They went on with the surgery anyway (v. waiting until the infection went away) so he has some blood draining from his left ear. Other than that, he did fine and has felt pretty good today.
Haley, on the other hand, is much worse. Bless her heart.....as soon as we got home, Jeremy took her to the doctor's office and her "cold" has turned into double ear infection (right ear) and a sinus infection. She hurts ALL over, is having chills and heat sweats, and feels rotten. I hope her meds kick in really quick. She's at the end of her senior year, about to take finals, and doesn't need to miss anymore school.

It's been a crazy last couple of weeks: tornadoes, rain, flooding, ear surgery, sick teenager and the news about bin Laden........crazy week. Oh, and 32 viruses invaded my computer last night...yes, what fun! NOT. It's still sick but maybe it can be fixed tomorrow.

Mmmmm - ready for Haley's graduation (did I just say that?), Ira's birthday, Haley's trip to Europe and planning some vacation this summer that involves ocean, sand, water, tanning lotion and Ira playing around in the pool - no worries about his ears!!!! What a joy it will be!!

Thanks to all who kept Ira in their prayers - I know, I know....just "TUBES"....and thank goodness, it was "just". :)

love to all,
Angie



Saturday, April 30, 2011

Haley's Senior Prom- April 29, 2011




video





She looked beautiful - like a Barbie doll! Haley has such a keen sense of picking out gowns and hairstyles that will look fantastic on her plus compliment each other. She knows what she is looking for and doesn't settle until she finds it. Job well done, this year! After going to every gown store in a 50 mile radius, we resorted to looking online and ended up talking to the designer on the phone to make sure her size would work without too much tailoring and that it would arrive in time.
She picked Peyton Place Salon for her hair as their reputation for special events styling is becoming well known. They also did her makeup. I think she could have done her makeup almost as well but with all of her BRAND NEW MAKEUP from Sephora being stolen a few weeks ago, we went with this option.
She picked an upper arm bracelet corsage (a little Eyptian style) prepared by one of the girls at Tipton Hurst. They did a beautiful job. They had a photo of her dress so they did well by not overloading it with "bling" to take away from the dress.
The only downside of the night was that her and her boyfriend both were suffering from either a really bad cold or allergies. Hard to tell in the photos but she was really not feeling well at all. Thank goodness for Allegra to get her through the night, but they both skipped the post prom and came home to watch "The Nightmare Before Christmas". My little girl......
I LOVED that she wanted us at the Capitol for family photos. I LOVE the photos she took with Ira even though he was so sleepy he could barely keep his eyes open. He loves her so much - she walks in the room and you can see his eyes and smile just light up! I'm afraid all girls for him will be compared to her in his mind........:)
Loved being joined the entire day by Hana Dugger who helped Haley in every step of this "getting ready" process including toting around bags, cameras and video cameras with me. True Friend!!!!!
I also loved having family and friends who love Haley at the Grand March (video attached). Grandma Betty, Nanna Phyllis, Maddie, Claire and Dennis and Mark. Jeremy and I appreciated them being there in the craziness of the crowd to support her in her big moment.
But mostly, I thank God for bringing her home safely last night. When she woke me up to say they were home, my heart did a little jump-for-joy as I knew God had watched over them from the crazy drunk drivers that fill the streets on every Prom night.
Now, we will spend the weekend getting her feeling better and getting geared up for 6am Monday at Children's Hospital with Ira. Mixed emotions about his surgery but my prayers keep leading me to this being the right decision and he will feel so much better afterward. Still so hard.
I continue to praise His name for all our blessings - every day.
Angela

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Night before Haley's Senior High School Prom


What a weekend this will be!

What a week this has been!

Storms, tornadoes, the aftermath of it all,
~ but then am reminded of all the good things when I see my beautiful daughter having her final fitting in her Senior Prom gown that is tomorrow.

I remember when Haley was Ira's age, wondering what she would be like when she grew up. I knew she would be beautiful (really, I could tell at that early age - no lie!), but would she want to be a teacher, or a nurse, or own a salon like her Nana? We never tried to push her down one avenue over another. For the last 5 years, she has said "I will be a stay at home mom and have 4 kids". Bam...Okay, great, fantastic - but you have to go to college anyway to make sure you always have a way to support those fantastic 4 little grandchildren of mine if you need to. :)
So, since the adoption process started, she has done a lot of thinking about social work and/or guidance counseling. I think she would be good at either. I'm not sure how she comes off to adults, but if there is a child in the room that is not being treated fairly, Haley (mind you, she's just a little over 5 foot tall, 110 pounds or so) will come off a table to make sure the situation is turned around quickly for the child...hence, her almost being kicked out of taking her ACT's one year. If that had happened, I would have been proud of her anyway. She's tougher than she looks. I'm not worried about her at all.

What will Ira grow up to be? Well, for now, a little munchkin who loves his pack, loves his toys and food and playing Superman. Can't believe he is almost 1?????
Hope he forgives us Monday for the ear surgery. I know in my heart it will make his life better!! And we are SO ready for the Mommy & Me swim classes!!
And the beach again this summer!!! Yay!!! He will enjoy it more this year.

So, as the Royal Wedding plays on, I help dress a senior for her last high school prom, have her hair and makeup fixed, photos, Grand March, Prom and Post Prom. She's my Royal Princess....always has been and always will be. She will meet and marry her Prince one day...but for now, she's still all mine. :)

Life with the Lasiters - always something going on, always busy and sometimes a little funny.
Love to all,
Angela, Jeremy, Haley and Ira

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ira's first Easter

What a great day it is today! We started out with a beautiful church service - the house was PACKED (and we went to our normal 9am service! can just imagine what the 10:45 was like). I pray that many people found Jesus Christ today and committed their lives to Him. Pastor Mark Evans taught an inspirational message and Ira got to see his favorite, Pastor Greg, on the way in the door. Since Pastor Greg did his baby dedication, he was a certain affection to him. I think Ira remembers him - I do!!!
:)
We then spent a lunch with Jeremy's siblings and grandparents. His grandmother (our grandmother :) ) made a wonderful lunch. I told Ira he would get to eat some of Grandma's great Easter lunch next year!! This year, pureed sweet potatoes and fruit - but he enjoyed.

The big kids (ha!) played egg toss and egg "walk" of which my husband and daughter won the "walk" - she has her beauty queen/head straight ahead walk down pat!!! Ira and my niece, Magnolia, hugged around on each other, a few kisses, sharing of Ira's Easter eggs with organic rice puffs and blowing bubbles (what a timeless activity). Next year, we will have a new baby in the family (Jessica and John Paul are expecting in the fall) so the family is growing!!

I missed seeing my sister and my "other" sister Phyllis and kiddos but will see them soon.

Ira and his daddy are taking much needed naps right now, Haley is watching a documentary on shark attacks (oh, her and I are so addicted to documentaries now that we have gotten a Roku) and I am just sitting here so thankful that THIS year, our family is complete. Last year I wrote that we would have Ira this year for Easter - and God brought him all the way from Kenya JUST for us.

I wish a beautiful Easter to all my friends and family.
Love,
Angela

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ira's first Easter

This weekend is Ira's first Easter. I am still in awe of how God worked out such a miracle for this family. So many little details that a year ago was frustruating me is NOW known to me as the process God was facilitating to make sure Ira was sent to us from Kenya. So much to be thankful for this weekend~

Haley is preparing for next Friday's Senior Prom. She is going to be stunning in her gown. Her graduation announcements have arrived and it is becoming "so real" to me. She is counting the days....like all seniors....I'm thrilled for her because I know this is moving to a new chapter in her life.

Today is Jeremy's mothers birthday. She would have been 53 today - we miss her so much. I really can see her tossing Ira around and smiling her beautiful smile at him. I know she is looking down on us from Heaven, along with my mother and both of our Nanny's, and keeping an eye on things. :)

So, as I plan for Ira's first Easter, maybe Haley's last Easter while living at home, Haley's graduation and prom, Ira's first birthday and my 9th wedding anniversary, I thank God for all we have. Our life can get hectic and crazy, but it is all a wonderful gift.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New Year!!!
2011 is going to be a great year. I can feel it. My beautiful daughter is going to graduate from high school. It doesn't seem possible that this precious baby girl who didn't like cutting with scissors in kindergarten, loved anything sweet, adored her Nana, was spoiled by her mommy and others (and you know who you are) is about to graduate and begin LIFE. It is all a little overwhelming at moments.........and then there are times I am probably as ready for it as she is.

We are currently prom dress shopping. I will admit, I do not like to shop unless it is behind a computer. Stores, clerks, lines, traffic, etc. just does not excite me in the slightest. But, last Saturday afternoon we braved it all and went to two of the biggest prom formal stores in this area. IT WAS MADNESS! She found the dress online before she went to the stores but neither have it in and it can't come in until AFTER her prom date - so we are on to Dress "B". I can't imagine finding a dress as pretty as the one she wore in the 7th grade to the Valentine's Banquet at Abundant Life (known as "the chocolate dress"). But this dress will have to be spectacular because it is her senior prom dress - I understand - I get it. My checking account does not understand but will be forced to. LOL

Ira is doing great - crawling everywhere as of last week. There is nothing slowing him down now. He has two bottom teeth and cutting two top right now. He says "Dada" and "Hawee" but nothing really sounding like "Mommy" yet. The Dept of Education's Commissioner told Jeremy that he hasn't said "mommy" because I'm always there for him and he doesn't need to. I don't know about that since he goes to daycare, but I like it and it made me feel better...sorta. He LOVES his Haley....Wow....he thinks she hung the moon and stars both.

Jeremy is so busy with work. The Legislative Session is in so he is slammed with that plus his Air Force work. He's so good to stop by Wal-Mart on the way home and pick up something after a long day because he knows (as stated before) I do not like to shop. Good man! :)

Finding it harder and harder to stay plugged in with friends. Things were different when I didn't work in a remote office out of my home. Lunches, coffee breaks, etc. were nice. I miss those. Now it is just hard to allocate the time to meet up with someone for lunch. This is one part of working remotely I do not like - at all.

But most of all, we are blessed. I AM BLESSED. I have a wonderful family ("pack"), great extended family and friends, good neighbors and am blessed with a wonderful Church (Church at Rock Creek). I wish I could do more during the 24 hours I am given and do it BETTER, but I have faith it will all work out.

This time last year we were going through a Homestudy for an adoption, recovering from Jeremy's deployment and I think I was in Sri Lanka. My, how things change.

Signing off -

Angela