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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

One of the Best Days Ever

We have always known that our Reed was super special. You might not realize it, but we know that all of our boys are special. In fact, the other day when someone told Abbey how adorable our boys are, she quickly responded, "I know, aren't they?" How's that for humility? Well, we kind of feel like we can admire our boys too, since we actually had not part in their adoptable features! Alas, I digress.

For the past couple of years, Reed has demonstrated a spiritual sensitivity. He is very concerned with things of an eternal nature. He has been at church since the first weekend that we brought him home and we have regular "God conversations" at our house. He knows Bible stories and has had amazing Bible influence.

About a year ago, Reed started asking when he could become a Christian. He was sure that being a Christian was something that he wanted to do, but we weren't sure if he really understood what he was asking to do. We never quieted his requests, but kept talking to him whenever he would bring it up.

Last night, on our way to soccer practice, with the intensity of a bolt of lightening, Reed said "I want to be a Christian!" Abbey and I looked at each other and then I started asking him questions. I asked him if he knew what it mean to be a Christian, if he knew what a sinner was, and if he had ever sinned. He seemed to know very well what the answers were and kept saying "tell me what to do, I want to be a Christian." I pulled up my Bible app on my phone and read some verses to Reed. When I was done I asked Reed if he still wanted to be a Christian. He unapologetically said, "Yes!" I kind of have always imagined having this intimate, quiet conversation that ended with a prayer with my little guys. The loud chaos that is the LandLife Mommobile was not what I had imagined, but the Bible doesn't give a setting, it simply says "For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." And right there amidst the chaos of our van, I walked Reed through a short prayer where my precious firstborn son asked Jesus to be his Lord and his Savior. Oh what joy that fills my soul!

We told Reed that now that he has made this decision the next step is to tell people. Reed literally screamed over the phone to his grandparents and uncle Bill, "I'm a Christian, Now!"
Last night before Reed went to bed, we got out his Bible and I underlined some of the verses we had talked about. I wrote the date on the page containing Romans 10:13 and asked Reed to write his name. I want him to remember that on September 24, 2013, he sealed his eternity in Christ Jesus.
As you can imagine we're pretty thrilled with Reed's decision.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Happy Third Family Day, Will!!!

I remember getting the call about Nash and finding out that he had a little brother. Abbey had told me that she just wanted a referral for her birthday and we were both certain it wouldn't happen. Except that God surprised us. What we didn't think was possible was simple for him. I remember how excited I was to be getting two more sons. We fell in love with Will long before we ever saw a picture of him. It was several days after receiving the news of his birth that we actually saw him for the first time. We were thrilled to find of to he had been born on Abbey's birthday. What a gift.

The first year of Will was amazing. It was so hard learning to be the parents of three boys 3 and under but also super fun. Life as as constant roller coaster. Will's first year was marked with lots of trips to the doctor for asthma and bronchitis. His little body eventually got tired of fighting the Tennessee allergies and just decided to live with it. We were thankful to be able to quit using the nebulizer. He was always a big baby. So much bigger than our other kids.

The second year of Will brought so many laughs. This kid literally is full of life and full of joy. He makes us smile constantly and when you aren't on the verge of a nervous breakdown after one of his silly stunts, you are doubled over with laughter inside at how funny his little mind works.

The third year of Will left me often saying "one of these days he is going to let us all listen to that drum he marches to." He is definitely fully unique. There is no one on earth quite like Will. His favorite quote is "Dat Mine," and he is not afraid to claim any one of his favorite people as his own. He loves his brothers and thinks he is at least as old as they are and wants to do everything they do.
3 Things I Love About Will
1. I love his style. Will has the most unique sense of style and he loves to show you, several times a day. He changes clothes more than anyone I know and spends more hours completely naked each day than he does clothed. He is definitely unique.
2. I love his voice and zeal for life. I tell people that Will does speak with just his voice, he speaks with his gut. He doesn't say anything halfway but loads every word with an abundance of emotion.
3. I love that he is my son. I cannot imagine a life without will in it. His face brings a light to our house that shines even in the toughest of days. His desire to be ours is as strong as our desire to be his.

Happy Third Family Day, Nash!!!

September 11, 2001- we all know where we were on that dreadful day. But 2010 brought a big change for us as we think of September 11. It was the day that God blessed our family with our dear son Nash. For a couple of years we thought we had the perfect plan for a baby sister for Reed, but God had better plans. He wanted Reed to have brothers. I will never forget getting the call about Nash and Will. I was so excited and I felt a yes in my heart immediately. I'm so glad that God brought us to Nash.

Nash has had more adjustments in his little life than many of us have in our entire lifetimes, but that hasn't affected his gentle spirit. Nash is a precious gift from God and every time that I see his beautiful smile with those dimples so deep you could dive them, I remember that God's plan is so much great than our own. In the first year of Nash being our family he had so much to learn. He had to learn our language, he learned how to be a brother, he learned about sweet tea and the word "y'all." He even learned his new name. He took it all in stride and never lost his silly sense of humor.

The second year of Nash brought great strides in his language and physical development. He developed deep bonds with his best buddies and became a very doting big brother to Nash and Will and a fiercely loyal little brother to Reed. He made huge developments in learning his colors and numbers and smiled his little way through it all.

The third year of Nash brought the milestone of preschool graduation and the beginning of kindergarten. He has excelled and made close friends. He loves to be a dare devil and try to new things. He is every bit as daring as his big brother is cautious. He frequently climbs door facings and can scale the highest fence. He is a natural born gymnast that has skills just waiting to be tapped, but most of all his smile keeps us laughing and thanking God for this precious gift of our Nashy.

5 Things I Love About Nash
1. His Dimples - I've already mentioned it but this kid has the cutest dimples ever.
2. I love his hair - Nash is our only son with a thick head of hair and a double crown that makes it almost impossible to keep his hair down.
3. I love his outlook on life. He is a laugher and a smiler. He knows how to make us smile and he knows who he loves.
4. I love his gentle spirit. Nash is that child who would never intentionally hurt another one. He would rather suffer than to cause anyone else pain. He is a comforter and a super merciful.
5. I love that he is my son, and while he thinks its funny to answer my multiple daily "I love you's" with "I don't love you" I know he does. He can't control it because Nash loves everyone and everyone loves Nash. He has worked his way into the hearts of everyone that we know and clings to a special place in everyone's minds.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Happy 6th Family Day, Reed!

Six years ago today, our lives became indescribably better. We finally met the little boy that we had fallen in love with 5 months earlier. Although we had just seen a picture of this boy, we knew that God had a plan for him. Thankfully, that plan involved us. It's hard to describe the moment we met him with adequate words. Even as I type, I tear up thinking of that beautiful moment. The moment we first saw him and the first moment we ever saw him smile.

The first year of Reed was one of the most amazing years of our lives. We finally were parents and we were blessed with the most amazing child. A child that was so perfect for us, it would be impossible for him to be more ours. I literally would (and still) look at him and can't believe that he isn't biologically ours. I don't think that we look alike (he's much cuter), but he is so ours.

Two years of Reed past and we were still feeling the blessing and honor of being able to raise such an amazing kid. It was such a great blessing to watch him grow and develop. Being a dad is truly one of the most amazing jobs ever invented. You get to be a someone's hero for just being yourself.

Three years of Reed learning that the world revolved around him brought a surprising reality for our sweet little guy. There were other beings that were about to invade his life. For better or worse, these little newbies would be his brothers. Our third year of Reed brought lots of love and lots of adjustments. Reed had the opportunity to be a brother.

Four years of Reed showed us that he was not only one amazing kid, he was also an amazing big brother. He fiercely loved his brother Nash and mostly tolerated his brother, Will, but we know deep down he loved Will too. Reed showed his athletic side this year and began to emerge from his "shy" self into a super friend. Four years of Reed also brought another brother into Reed's life. This time, he began to see his duty as being a big brother.

Five years of Reed proved to us that Reed was super intelligent. He entered kindergarten and showed the educational world what he was made of. Such an exciting year for us as parents as we learned what it was like to have school. We also learned about packing lunches, Reed's new friends, and how to encourage Reed to further show his talents. Being a dad to Reed just kept getting better.

The sixth year of Reed has been the best yet. Seeing Reed learn to read, spell, and do math have been so exciting. But probably more exciting has been the development of his spiritual nature. Reed is a little theologian and is always asking spiritual questions. He is constantly growing in his knowledge of Jesus and is often wanting to know what it means to follow Him.

Six Things I Love Most About Reed:
6. I love his beautiful singing voice. Few people are privileged to hear him sing, but when you do, you are blessed.
5. I love his smile. Reed has the most beautiful, straight white teeth and he loves to show them with his big beautiful smile.
4. I love his laugh. Reed laughs from his gut and I love to hear him giggle with his brothers.
3. I love his competitiveness. He is an athlete and a winner. He has a lot of heart.
2. I love his sensitivity. Reed can be too hard on himself, but he is wise and he knows when he needs to make a good decision.
1. I love that Reed is Reed. There is no one on earth quite like him. The world is better because of him and I cannot even begin to describe how much better our family is because of him.

Drake Reed Kai Land, I love you so much!

Monday, September 09, 2013

Pop and Lola's Beach House 2013 - Day 2

We didn't spend as much time at the beach today as we did yesterday. We spent several hours this morning and then came in for lunch. Abbey made homemade pizza for lunch and then Will, Nash, and I took a nap. Abbey and Reed did his make up work that his teacher sent for him to do.

I love this picture. It is so representative of our boys. If Tuck had not been being held he would have been right down on the ground with them. They really are best buds. They get along so well with each other. Fighting several times a day, but mostly getting along.

Tonight we went to our favorite seafood restaurant DeSoto's. It was really good. I got grilled shrimp which is a huge deviation from my normal fried seafood platter, but I am making better choices.

After we got finished eating, we headed down to the beach to go crabbing, or frabbing, depending on who you ask. The boys were really interested in seeing their glow sticks under water.

Tuck has really taken to the sand on this trip. Back in May he was a little more cautious, but he is much better with it this time. I am glad. I love having beach babies.

After some searching, we finally found 4 crabs. One crabs met an untimely earthly departure at the wrath of Tuck's glow stick, but the other three were released back into the wild to wait for us to come and visit them again.

After the crabbing excitement, we headed up to the pool. It was a beautiful evening for a nighttime swim. Abbey and I would love to have a pool in our backyard. Nash has really turned into a fish on this trip.

Reed would be a great swimmer if he didn't have his sweet mother's cautious nature. He won't let go of his nose when he swims because he is scared for water to get in his nose. I keep trying to convince him that it won't happen though.

Sweet Will would love to swim but he is like a bag of bricks in the water. He is really trying hard though and has every bit the opposite less caution than Reed.

Location:W Beach Blvd,Gulf Shores,United States

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Pop and Lola's Beach House 2013 - Day 1

Before Nash, Will, and Tuck came home, we used to come to the beach every year. Since that time, schedules have been crazy and trying to coordinate three different families to a single week has been nearly impossible.

Even to year, we attempted to get everyone on the same week, but nothing we tried would work. Finally, we gave up. Then a couple of weeks ago, Pop and Lola decided they needed some sand between their toes. They tried booking a condo and that one was sold out. The owner had another larger one that he was willing to rent to them.

Pop and Lola sent their daughters an email and told them of their plan to go to the beach and welcomed them to join them. We, of course, are complete beach maniacs, so we rearranged our schedules and headed on down. Unfortunately, Ava's family couldn't make it work. We wish Brooks was here to join in on the commotion.

We decided not to tell the boys until the day that we we actually leaving to go the beach. They were so excited. It was a super fun trip. We spent the night in a hotel on Friday and the. Drove 2.5 hours yesterday to the beach.

We wasted no time getting to the water and literally spent the entire day out at the beach and then the condo pool. It was so nice. The weather was breezy and beautiful.

The boys loved the pool and we realized that we loved having the pool to wash them off to keep the sand from getting everywhere.

Nash has turned into a complete fish and is swimming like a champion. It is so fun to see him swimming. Will would like to be a champion swimmer but he still sinks like a hunk of steel.

Tuck has even been very interested in the water. A lot more than when we are at home. That makes me thankful because I love the water and I want my boys to as well.

We even got to have the boys favorite meal, Lasagna for supper. We are so thankful that Pop and Lola let us come and crash their vacation. It was a great, wonderful, needed blessing to be able to come to the beach twice this year.

Location:W Beach Blvd,Gulf Shores,United States