Gotcha Day – 9th Anniversary

I reminisce every year when I do our annual Gotcha Day posting. Looking back at all the stair photo comparisons, it’s hard to believe that this is the same child. He is turning into a Tween and his legs look a mile long in

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the photo this year. Looks aren’t deceiving – we have been through 3 sizes of pants in the last 6-8 months keeping up with his growth spurts.

I have been thinking a lot lately about what his future will be like this time next year when he has started Middle school. I am so worried about the transition but he can’t wait. That’s my boy, fearless and ready to meet the world head on! I’m so proud of my little man!

9th Gotcha Day stairs

Gotcha Day – 8 year anniversary photo

Gotcha Day – 7 year anniversary photo

Gotcha Day – 6 year anniversary photo

Gotcha Day – 5 year anniversary photo

Gotcha Day – 4 year anniversary photo

Gotcha Day – 3 year anniversary photo

Gotcha Day – 2 year anniversary photo

Gotcha Day – 1 year anniversary photo

Gotcha Day – 8th Anniversary

Well it looks like it has been a year since I last blogged! The ease of FaceBook posts are slowly killing off my blog postings but I’m not quite ready to give it up yet. Our 2Dolphins blog has a lot of sentimental value and was very theraputic during our adoption journey so it must go on!

We celebrated our 8th Gotcha Day this year and I hadn’t realized how much Liam had grown until I just saw his last year’s photo again. That boy is going to be taller than me soon!

One of our annual Gotcha Day traditions is to create the stairwell photo comparison from the day he left his baby home to now. It’s always a challenge to find the right stairs for him to pose on and this year’s stairwell is from the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef Aquarium.

Every day I think I could not love this boy any more than I do right now but every day I love him a little bit more! I’m so thankful that Rob and I are lucky enough to be his parents.

Liam's 8th Gotcha Day

Gotcha Day – 7 year anniversary photo

Gotcha Day – 6 year anniversary photo

Gotcha Day – 5 year anniversary photo

Gotcha Day – 4 year anniversary photo

Gotcha Day – 3 year anniversary photo

Gotcha Day – 2 year anniversary photo

Gotcha Day – 1 year anniversary photo

Third Grade

Hard to believe but Liam started 3rd Grade today. These school years are going by quickly and we will have a teenager on our hands before we know it. For now, I am happy that he is still in the somewhat innocent years of elementary school.

It seems like kids are growing up so fast now and the things on his mind were never thought of until we were much older. Over the summer he began questioning his purpose in life. What 8 year old does that or even cares? Maybe it came from the influence of The Lego Movie and Emmet’s dilemma; who knows? He is such a deep thinker. He also worries about having friends (which he has never had a lack of) and it makes me sad that he thinks he doesn’t have friends or doesn’t fit in. In the past, his teachers have assured me that he has lots of friends at school and does just fine so I hope that’s true.

We ran into his new teacher last week and she was very excited to see him and seems like she is going to be a good one. He had a great year last year and we are hoping that trend will continue!

Below is a picture of my baby this morning all ready to conquer another year of school!

Gotcha Day – 6th Anniversary

It’s February 1st so that means that Gotcha Day has rolled back around again. I can’t believe how quickly 6 years has passed. It seems like only yesterday we were in Russia to bring our little guy home and now our little guy is not so little anymore. Below is our annual stairwell photo comparison of then and now with links below it to past years. Happy Gotcha Day Liam, we love you!

Gotcha Day – 5 year anniversary photo

Gotcha Day – 4 year anniversary photo

Gotcha Day – 3 year anniversary photo

Gotcha Day – 2 year anniversary photo

Gotcha Day – 1 year anniversary photo

End of First Grade

First grade is officially over!

There were a few bumps along the way but for the most part it was a great year. It was Liam’s first year at a private school and the transition took some time but after he learned the ways of his new school it all worked out. I’m so proud of how far he has come this year. I can’t believe all the things they teach in first grade! It is so fast-paced compared to when I was in school. He is an excellent reader and speller. His reading vocabulary tested at almost 6th grade level! I think that’s pretty incredible for a kid who didn’t even speak English his first 2 years! Below is a picture from the award ceremony, where he received an “A” Honor Roll award and a picture with his first grade teacher and his extended day teacher.

I’m sad that my little guy is growing up so fast but I look forward to 2nd grade and new adventures. For now, however, he will be chillaxin by the pool for the summer!

Award for

His 1st grade teacher Mrs. McDoniel

Extended Day teacher Mrs. Ford

Liam chillaxin by the pool

Soccer 2013

This year Liam played soccer for the first time. The jury is still out on whether he liked it enough to play again. I enjoyed it much more than T-Ball because it is faster paced and the season ends just as our temperatures start hitting triple digits! Yesterday was the final game for the season and the kids were very excited about getting trophies. Liam is so proud that he carries his trophy all around the house with him.

Liam’s 7th Birthday

We celebrated Liam’s highly-anticipated 7th birthday this year by doing something different and having his birthday party at a private gymnastics facility. We thought it was an original idea but now it seems like everyone else is doing the same thing this year. It’s a welcome relief from the jumper/arcade/pizza parties and I sure do prefer the private parties to being mixed in with the crowds at the public facilities.

Liam’s chosen theme for this year’s party was Batman, which made it pretty easy for us to put together. Instead of the traditional 1/2 sheet cake, we did a cupcake cake (a bunch of cupcakes iced together to look like a cake). I made the mistake of not asking what color the icing was going to be so we ended up with lots of blue faces at the end of the party. Note to self: only do white icing from now on!

The kids (and a few of the adults) had lots of fun jumping on the trampolines, walking the balance beams and tumbling on the mats. It’s definitely something I would do again!

I can’t believe my baby is now 7 years old. The last 5 years have just flown by so quickly that I know I’m going to wake up one of these days with a teenager on my hands and I’m just not ready for that! Until then, here is my sweet baby boy having fun at his birthday party.

Liam jumping off of the balance beam
Liam on a trampoline
Batman cupcake cake

Gotcha Day – 5th Anniversary

It’s hard to believe that it has been 5 years already since a scared little boy and a couple of scared parents instantly became a family. For those of you that might be new to our blog, we celebrate Gotcha Day each year with a few traditions; a cake (there are 5 candles but 2 are blended together in the photo)…

a few presents…

and a comparison stairwell photo.

It’s always shocking to look at the stair photo and see how much he has changed. Below are the links to the past stair photos if you missed them the first time around or if you just want to see them again. 🙂

Gotcha Day – 4 year anniversary photo

Gotcha Day – 3 year anniversary photo

Gotcha Day – 2 year anniversary photo

Gotcha Day – 1 year anniversary photo

First Grade

I can’t believe my baby is already a 1st Grader!

first day of 1st grade

He’s off to a great start on the new school year. We made the decision over the summer to move him to a private school this year. Although we loved the elementary school he went to last year — especially the principal Mrs. Voss — we were not happy with the after school options (or lack of) and we were not happy with all the other problems associated with public school. With the population growth of our city in the past year, the public school class sizes continue to rise. Since school started 2 weeks ago, 2 of the elementary campuses are already at full capacity. So we felt that Liam would benefit from a smaller class setting and since we aren’t the best parents at getting him to church, we are very happy that he attends chapel and Bible studies are incorporated into his curriculum.

We tested the waters over the summer by enrolling him in the school’s Summer Camp to see if it was a good fit for him. It worked out well and it was nice to see some of the bad influence that he had picked up from the kids at Kindergarten and the after school daycare he was going to last year disappear. And especially after meeting his teacher and hearing all about what the Carden curriculum is going to cover, we’re looking forward to what we hope will be a very successful year of learning!

Kinder Class of 2012

kindeergarten graduation photoLiam has officially graduated from Kindergarten!

It’s been a long year of learning for all of us. We had no idea how difficult the transition from daycare Pre-K to public elementary school Kindergarten was going to be.

Apparently life in Pre-K, even though it seemed well-structured, was still mostly about playing and doing things on your own schedule. So going to a class setting where all activities are highly-structured took a bit of a toll on our guy. We thought all hope was lost for the first few months, but after the Christmas break things worked out and he adjusted to the routine and even won a citizenship award by the end of the year. We’re so proud of our little guy and still totally amazed that he can now read books on his own.

I’m glad Summer is finally here and we can all relax and enjoy the next few months before first grade starts!