Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011- A Recap!


It’s that time….  Time to start thinking about resolutions again…  but before looking forward, it’s always a good idea to examine from where we came…..

I’ve done this for a few years now…  Here are the recaps for 2010, 2009, and 2008 if you’re interested….  It’s fun to look back and see what I had to say about those years and how much our lives have changed since then!

So, in 2011 we had many exciting things happen,  here’s my recap:


January began with the anticipation of finalizing our adoptions.  We had just finalized other aspects in court at the end of December, so now we were looking forward to having the CPS chapter of our lives over with.  Shea turned 2 in January, and became even more active and busy than she was before.  People say of their children, “They’re 2 going on 20”…  Well….  Shea actually IS “2 going on 20”.  She’s going to rule the world some day.  Does this give you a bit of a picture of “Shea Speed”?



In February our daughter by heart, Heather, came to stay with us for a little while, before finding out she was pregnant.  She then decided to move in with her sister.  We continued on with the many CPS and ECI visits on our adoption journey.  It seemed that our schedule was only getting more and more full…..


In March Michael was asked to be on the Discovery Team for the church.  Discovery is a spiritual retreat the church puts on every year designed to help you grow deeper in your faith.  It was a big, big commitment, but when Discovery took place in April I think we could all agree it was life changing for the team as well as the pilgrims.  I’m so glad he got to do this.  We also got word from the County that Michael’s department was going to face a major budget cut, including lay offs and pay cuts.  Michael was able to keep his job, but he was reduced to 32 hours a week (resulting in a 20% pay cut), and his schedule was changed.  It was quite frightening knowing our budget was already stretched, and that once the babies were adopted we’d no long receive foster money either, resulting in an even deeper cut.  But, we took the news by hitting our knees in prayer, and, I’m proud to say we made it through.  It wasn’t until December that his pay was reinstated, but God provided for us every step of the way.  Also in March Auston found out that he was elected to the Order of the Arrow in Boy Scouts, which was quite an honor.



In April Auston and Gregory attended a Teen Pact Class in Austin, for which they needed a suit…  They look sharp, huh?


Also in April I was helping Michelle out by watching her kids, here they are in front of the cross on Easter at the church.  It was a bit of an adjustment to have 6 children instead of 4 in tow many days, but I wouldn’t trade the time I got to spend with them, and they with each other.  I knew I couldn’t do it for long, so I just tried to enjoy them while I had them until Michelle found another babysitter.  Winking smile


In May, Gregory graduated from the Encourager Homeschool Enrichment Program, and turned 12, and was elected Senior Patrol Leader of the troop, Auston completed his Ordeal for the completion of is election into the Order of the Arrow, and was elected Assistant Senior Patrol Leader for the troop, and Calley graduated from Midland Lee High School with HIGH honors.  It was a very very busy month! 



June… Oh June….  In June our family was finalized.  We are now officially Shea and William’s forever family and they ours.  June holds a major importance in our lives now.  It was an incredible way to start the summer Smile


We could not believe how many people came out to our adoption to celebrate our family.  It was amazing to see that these people love our children as much as we do and were just as happy for us.  Really.  Words can’t describe how much it meant to us to have everyone there.  It made the day what it was supposed to be.  About community and love.  And sharing that love.

Taking our oath before the judge


Seriously.  Do you see how many people were there to support us?  Could we be any luckier?  Even the judge was taken a back by the volume of people….

We are sooooo blessed….


It was a good day Smile

Also in June, Semalee’s Oma, Lois Cook passed away.  She is dearly missed.



In July Semalee went to Boy Scout Summer Camp with the boys again.  This year we headed back to Oklahoma, to Camp Hale.  It was an eventful trip, to say the least, complete with a broken down trailer and 3 out of 4 of the adults getting the flu the last night there and driving home sick…..  Blech….  Again I say, if they say I wasn’t a good mom, they need to read these recaps….  Winking smile  We also had a party to celebrate the adoptions, and had a special service at our church.  It was strange to realize that at that service the adoptions felt so much more real to us then they did in court.  We are so blessed by our church family as well. 

As if that wasn’t enough, Michael and I celebrated 15 years of marriage.  Weird to think after all this time I still love him with everything in me, and even weirder that he still loves me Smile




In August Auston spent 2 weeks at Camp Eagle as part of the service team.  It was sooooo weird to have him gone for that long.  And when he came back he was quite different.  My boy is growing up so fast.  The rest of us just tried to relax as best as we could, and started preparing for the school year.  Auston is doing 10th grade and Gregory is doing a majority of work from 8th grade…



Mikey turned 40 in September…  FORTY….  Man he’s old~!!!!  Winking smile  I did not make this cake, my friend Terri did, and she did a great job.  We spent September getting ready for Terri’s wedding and settling into school for the year.  I made the wedding cake for Terri and Jeff’s wedding.  While I was happy with how it turned out, I’m not interested in making another wedding cake…… ever……


Michael was spoiled with a birthday MONTH instead of just one lousy day Winking smile


And in a blink it was October.  Our daughter by heart gave birth to our Granddaughter by heart, Makinzee just a few days before Auston turned 15.  Auston got his learner’s permit, and I am scared to death of the big 1-6 and him driving BY HIMSELF…..  Winking smile


I also went to Women of Faith in San Antonio with my very dear friend Gwenn.  It was a wonderful experience, one we hope to repeat annually Smile


Michael was able to go to St. Louis for an Affected Coworker’s retreat with COPS in November.  He was really glad he went.  Smile  And, Semalee turned 37, and William turned two Smile  We shared a birthday party with Zeny, who turned 3 a few days after William’s birthday.  I made a Dora and Diego cake for their birthday….



And, before we knew it we were in December.  It was to be our first Christmas knowing that we had these babies forever.  Much anticipation preceded the event Smile  We’d all done some growing since last year, and we were all breathing a little easier.  Shea got over her fear of Santa, for which we were so grateful for, since we had tickets to ride the Polar Express!  We cut down our tree at our favorite tree farm, and maintained as much of our traditions as possible amidst our crazy busy schedule.  Christmas day brought a visit from Heather and Makinzee, and some much needed rest.





As we look forward to 2012, we have so much to be thankful for this year.  Yes…. soooo much to be thankful for.  I can’t even imagine how 2012 could top 2011….  but with Michael and Auston planning a mission trip to Sri Lanka there’s some potential Winking smile


From our family to yours, we hope your year has been wonderful as well!  May God bless you in 2012!


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