Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Birth of a Family

Lacey wrote the best announcement, so I'm sharing that.....


Laura Deaton, 53, of Norman OK, welcomed three little ones on July 8, 2014. Gina Marie Jackson, 13. Steven Kyle Jackson, 10. And Zachary George Jackson, 4. Visitors included Grammie Jackson, Hallie Hembree, Lacey Holt, and Ericka Scholl (Hallie’s volleyball partner). When asked if they were ready to be adopted, Gina replied “Yup!”, Steven replied “Yes!”, and Zachary giggled and smiled at his new mama. Upon conclusion of the adoption proceedings Laura was handed three giant stacks of paperwork to which Lacey stated, “At least these three come with instruction manuals!” Joy filled the air as the new Jackson trio left the courthouse at approximately 9:30am on Tuesday. Grammie hugged the youngest and said with a smile, “I have eight grandkids.”

Let the adventure continue.

Thanksgiving 2012, I had them about 25 days then.

The cutesy trio now

Gina Marie Jackson  "Lovely"

Steven Kyle Jackson  "LB"

Zachary George Jackson  "BB"
 The kids have changed so much since that first week.  Of course, they have grown up physically, but mentally, they have changed so much too. 

 I'm so proud of Gina.  She has changed the most of all the kids.  Physically she has lost around 50 pounds.  She has figured out how to tame that hair.  She is calmer, and quick to make friends.  She has a smile that will light up a room.  Love me some Gina.

Steven came to me with no glasses.  I finally was reading through his IEP one day and noticed mention of glasses.  I asked him, and even then, always the peacemaker, don't rock the boat kind of guy,  "OH, it ok, I only need them to see".  OH, well in that case........ 
Curly hair and losing teeth.  8 years old. 

And of course, Zachary.  He was barely 3 when he came into our lives.... all curls and no English.  Still in diapers, and so beautiful..... and so confused and lost.  Who couldn't resist that face?

And we figured this living together thing out, and have taken these 3 little beautiful souls and blended them into our lives.  It's fun, it's hectic, it's rewarding, it frustrating, it's overwhelming and it's the only way to live.  

Like Lacey said.....let the adventure continue.  

Monday, July 7, 2014

Finding the Sweet in the Bitter

July is a freaking tough month.

I still cannot believe that on July 10, it will have been 4 years since Laynie got her angel wings.

Today, our dear friend Katie Begley featured Lacey on her blog.  It is just fantastical.  (I happen to love both of these girls to the moon and beyond).

Katie's blog

As I sat in church on Sunday and watched the message of my most favorite series, "At the Movies", so many thoughts ran through my head.

First, when we had Laynie's celebration of life, the church was decked out in Ratatouille, complete with cafe, eiffel tower, etc.  I even talked about At the Movies in the eulogy I prepared.   Full circle, I felt.  Our family has come full circle.

Second, as I sobbed my way through the message.... (I can cry at the drop of a hat for the next couple of weeks, over ANYTHING)...... and they showed this scene.....

All I could think about was about the day I finally leave this earth and get to heaven.  I can promise you with everything I am, that I will be screaming, "LAYNIE!!! LAYNIE!!!" and running as fast as I possibly can to have her jump in my arms.....  and seeing my dad again......   I just want all of you to know right now......when my time comes,  I don't want no bawling send-off.... I want a celebration!!  BECAUSE I will be free!!!  And I expect all of you'n's to keep your noses clean, because I want to greet you the exact same way, when it's your turn some day!

So, I choose joy in the face of these days.   We are gearing up for PURPLE day on July 10......

Our phones, facebook pages, instagram just light up on July 10, and it's just a blessing to walk through that hard, hard day....with the love of our friends pushing us through. 

Another sweet...... tomorrow I will be increasing my family tree by one branch with three apples on it.  I will blog more tomorrow and have some pictures from our special day, but because God is faithful and He always delivers us JOY when we most need it...... We are going to court on 7-8 at 9.  I'm glad they made it easy for me.  I doubt 2 of the 3 Vietnamese that live in this house will get much sleep tonight.   They are JACKED UP with Joy. 

So thank you friends.   Thanks for loving our family, and walking our journey with us.  Thanks for reading my words, and letting Laynie's life matter and be so personal to all of you. 

She was a gift from God for all of us......Sent from heaven to show us what heaven will be like......

God is good, simply all the time. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Being Inspired

I have written about this precious couple before LOVELY THINGS ABOUT THE FOSTER FAMILY and I am so thrilled to share this post with all of you.

I saw Kannon at the CMN Sonny Bright Duck Race a few weeks ago and I could not get over how much he has grown!!!!  He had surgery awhile back to correct some issues and it just unleashed the hulk in him. :)   He is getting quite large and boy did he TELL me all about it, when we visited at the duck race. 

So, with growing boys comes new needs.  And a wonderful organization has selected Zach and Kelli and Kannon to be the recipient of the proceeds raised at a 5k "Get Inspired" in Kannon's honor!!!

Get a kleenex to watch this, because you will need it.  I have cried twice, once watching it, and once just thinking about it!!

So, TEAM HOPE wants to get behind this family and have everyone that has participated with us at all the WINGS TO FLY run in El Reno, register and don your TEAM HOPE tshirt and come and help us support this incredibly INSPIRING and loved family!!!!!

I know I'm doing it (this non-running, very sweaty mess) WHO WILL JOIN ME???  Let's get this family a VAN!   How fantastic!!!  

Get on your running shoes and join us on September 13 in Midwest City.

There are so many lovely things about this family....come see for yourself!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Round Barn Kind of Evening

When Kip decided to get married in California, I was like, "What about all your OKLAHOMA peeps???"  She figured she would just have a "Super Fun" reception sometime in June.  We checked the baby sister's volleyball schedule (ridiculous) and the ONLY time available, (back in April, when we set things in stone) that Hallie could be there was June 14, Father's day Weekend.  So, we booked the Round Barn, and then, waited for June to roll around.

Then Hallie's team won regionals, and a tournament was cancelled and a tournament planned, and all the sudden baby sister wasn't going to get to be present for the reception. 

BUT in spite of the change, we pressed on, (and notice I say WE in all this).  By WE, I mean, Kip.  I got a DJ and bought a pillow that said, "Hey, Y'all".  That was about the extent of my "Helping".

Picked up my Cali Kids on Thursday late afternoon, and after a burger at Irma's and a pretty intense game of Life in grammie's living room floor, we called it a day.

Friday rolled around, and Kip was a food buying, flower pickin', organized frenzy of party planner.  She had already helped Brandon's mom Pam, put together one in California in May, so this wasn't her first rodeo, and as much as she wanted to see all her people, she was ready to just have an ice cream social in the park and call it good.  She had mailed a lot of signs and things (to the WRONG ADDRESS, for the love) (Hi neighbors, did you get another box for me at YOUR ADDRESS?) sigh.

Saturday was on us in a blink, and setting up, and laughing and SWEATING became the order of the day.  But once the friends and family started arriving, Fun was Definitely HAD. 

Brandon's mom, Pam, has the best costume props and Kip brought them all and set up a photo booth, and we had some serious fun in that baby.

  FUN WAS DEFINITELY HAD .We danced (Well, Lacey danced), even at one point she boogied by and said, "Thanks for buying me a DJ, mom".  I decided we invited a bangload of Baptists.  No one dancing.  LOL.  But the few times we did dance, it was a blast.             
If Kip ever decided to get in the party planning, catering, wedding planning business she will be an instant success.  What fun and I have no idea why my page is doing this so I am signing off for now. 


Volleyball Fever

I have two posts to share tonight, because looking through my old posts, I realized I never blogged OK Premier's regional win. 

We had a pretty spectacular year. 

It seemed like everytime we went somewhere to earn a bid to Nationals, someone was hurt or sick.  So pretty much all year, we haven't had our girls be able to show their stuff.

Until regionals in Tulsa first weekend of May.

We went into the tournament ranked 2nd overall, and that's a pretty exciting honor right there.  It's a two day tournament (48 teams in our 15's bracket) and I am happy to tell you that these girls went undefeated ALL.WEEKEND.  Didn't drop one set to ANYONE.  Just came to clean house, and boy, did they.

If you have 9 minutes, you might want to watch this video I put together of the finals we played against the #1 seed, Club One Black from Tulsa.

It's good stuff....

So in winning this tournament, this means we earned a bid to Minneapolis, Minnesota to the Nationals Division (there are 3 divisions, Nationals, Open and USA) at the Nationals volleyball tournament.  This is HUGE.   People, 2 years ago I didn't even know why that girl in the back row wore a different color shirt (thought she was captain or something).  Now we are going to Nationals!

So MUCH TALENT ON THIS TEAM, it's just stupid.  Here is the link to their website
OK Premier Website if you are thinking you want to get your children involved in volleyball, this is a great place to put them. 

This weekend, the girls traveled to Topeka, KS to play a 2 day pool tournament (no brackets, no winners) for just basically an intense practice against other teams in other divisions going to Nationals in two weeks.  We played 16 year old teams, 17 year old teams, 15 year old Open division teams, just crayyyyzzzyyyy.  The girls did great, winning 4 of 8 of their games.  That's amazing, considering we just wanted to show up and do our best.  These teams are the top of the top, and WOW, what an honor to play them and get some good insight of what Nationals will look like. 

I didn't get to go, because we had Kip and Brandon's Oklahoma Reception (see next blog), so Hal traveled with Christie and Abbey Woodrow and Christie seriously text me every point the first day until I told her ONLY ENDING SCORES, I AM DYING.  Laura Thompson (Lexi's mom) kept me in the loop with texts like,  "Hallie for the kill and win" and "Kill from Hallie.  Ball went two courts over".   I seriously love my volleyball moms. 

So tomorrow, the parentals are suppose to bring their game and take on the girls from 5-6 at practice.  I guess we need to be even more dominated by our nearly 16 year old children than we already are.  We already sit, sweating on the passenger side, with almost all of these ladies, let's let them wipe the floor up with us in an exhibition.  I, for one, will have on my tennis shoes and stand at the net, facing my much taller baby, and try to school her in her sport.  I think to keep her humble, though, I shall make her try to go sell a funeral for me, and see that everyone has their own special talent. 

Aww, this is the life. 

Corey & Sammi came up to watch Hallie in Tulsa, and Corey didn't get the memo that this was a serious picture.  LOL

I especially love this picture because it shows how ridiculously high that big kid can jump.

Actually, this is even more ridiculous. 
Tyler and Lacey came to cheer on their younger sis, and Tyler braved the freezing gyms in his redneck shirt.  It was AWESOME.
Also, his very loud, projecting voice would help bolster Hal into another level.  I love that about him.

Here's one more of her very enthusiastic fan club.  Very proud of this young lady!!!

Very excited about driving to Minnesota (cough, cough, cough) to watch the girls play, and I can't wait to get my yell on in two weeks!!!