Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend

Hi Everyone~
Sorry it's been a while since I have had 2 seconds to post an entry.... life has been very, very busy lately!

We just got back from a weekend jaunt to visit Dave's family in NY State. It's always an adventure when we visit! We started the weekend with a visit to the ER in standard fashion... the Knopf boys can't keep from injuring themselves while we are there! Ben twisted his ankle and it swelled up huge... I was pretty sure it was broken, but luckily it was just sprained. He had it wrapped and was about as dramatic as he could be about it!

It was a fun weekend visiting everyone. We had family portraits done and as soon as I get one to scan, I will post it for all to see... it actually came out really good. We haven't had one done with Dave and I in it in a very long time.

Here are a couple of photo's of the kids with their Great Grandmother... they call her "Bea"
This is Ryan with Bea

This is David and Jake with Bea

This is the Jolly Green Giant AKA Alex with Bea... Alex is 6' 3" tall!

Here are a couple of pictures of the kids hanging out... they love to sit on the trampoline with their cousins and chat...

This is Ryan and his gierlfriend Kellie, She spent the weekend with us... they both graduate from High School in 3 weeks.... sigh....

Stay tuned in he next few weeks... there is a lot going on around here... the Senor Prom is Saturday night, Aric gradutates from 8th grade, Ryan graduates from High School on 6/22 and we go away on vacation on 7/1! There will be lots of updates and photos!

Enjoy the sunshine!!!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Flowers in my yard this week!

Happy Mothers Day...

It's been another busy sports filled week here at the Knopf household. Dave is still on night shift and God willing that will be over this week-end. Just in time for Mothers Day! I feel like I am going 100 miles an hour these days and one day kind of just blends into the next.

Although the days seem to be an endless blur at times, when I look at the older boys I wonder just where the time has gone. Caroline is playing t-ball this year... it seems like I have spent a lifetime on that t-ball field watching my kids play. I remember like it was yesterday the first time we took Ryan to play t-ball, he was so excited to FINALLY be old enough to play... when I close my eyes I can still see him marching out on the field ready to play.... He graduates from high school in a month. He is a wonderful young man with a bright future and so much to offer the world. I am so proud of him and his choices. But I am also so sad that he is not my little boy anymore...

Alex turned 16 last week. We celebrated the occasion by going to the DMV to get his learners permit. He will be a Junior in the fall... he will be taking College level classes for college credit at a Junior. He is a smart kid. He blongs to the fire department at Gardner Lake. He had been recently promoted to Captain of his Cadet group. He is 6ft 3 inches tall... how on earth did that happen?? Where did the little boy who hung on my leg and cried every day at preschool?

Aric... ugh... he is 14... so 14 it isn't even funny.... he is almost 6ft tall and absolutely adorable... he goes to High School in the fall and he is so ready to go... another of my babies in a hurry to get to the next stage and be his own man. The girls call for him... giggle into the phone... he acts all cool on the phone with them.. like it's no big deal... his dimples and freckles tell another story.... he loves every second of it.

David.. even David is spreading his wings and doing his own thing... he is becoming a teenager... I see it happening right before my eyes but I don't quite believe it... my baby who there where many times we didn't think he would live.. how many times we were forced to say our goodbyes... no parent should ever have to do that... we've done it 3 times in his 12 years... the first time was the day after he was born and he was being transferred to Yale... they had us say goodbye before the transport team took him... we just didn't know what we were facing. The second time he was 2 years old and had RSV... the 3rd night we thought he was going to leave us.. he couldn't breathe, he was being deep suctioned and intubated, the Dr.s told us he was either going to start to get better or he wasn't going to survive the night.. we stood by his crib all night and silently prayed.. he was still with us in the morning and started to improve. The 3rd time was 3 years ago when he was burned... I can't tell you the things that went through my mind that first night.
Today though... he is in 6th grade... trying so hard to be a typical pre-teen.. he is on the track team and doing so well with it. He has his moments, but if 12 years ago anyone would have told me he was going to be doing the things he is doing, I would have never believed it.

Jake is teetering between being a little boy and letting go to be his own person.. part of him still wants to be a little kid and another.. amybe even bigger part of him is so ready for the next step. He is athletic and competitive much like Ryan was at his age.. we sometimes jokingly call him "Ryan Jr" because he is so like Ryan. He has a deep side to him that is far beyond his years though.. he has compassion that you don't normally see in an 11 year old. He works with David and Ben's Special Olympic Soccer team and is so very good with all the kids. I am so proud of him. He makes Honor Roll, works hard at everything he does. I remember like it was yesterday when he decided it was time to walk when he was 10months old... we knicknamed him "Earth Quake Jake" and he was... he left a trail of destruction in his path... Hard to believe he is 11... Jake my "Surprise" baby... the poster child for failed birth control... the only pregnancy I cried for a week straight after I found out about... David was 4 months old when I got pregnant with Jake... I can't imagine it any other way. He is such a great kid.

After Jake, we really thought our family was complete for about 2 years... then we started talking about adoption. 6 months after that conversation we found out about Ben. I remember telling Dave about Ben the day I heard about him. It was a casual conversation... nothing life changing... I told him I had gotten a call from PWSA that there was a baby for adoption that had PWS and if I knew of anyone I should have them call the office. 3 days later we were sitting on the deck after work talking when Dave asked me if I had heard anything about the baby in Washington. I had been thinking non-stop about him but had been afraid to say anything to Dave for fear that he would think I had lost my mind!!! I told him that no I hadn't heard anything and asked him Why? He looked me dead in the eye and said "call me crazy, but I haven't been able to stop thinking about him since you told me about him" The next day our first adoption journey started and Ben came home when he was 5 months old. Ben couldn't be more ours if I had given birth to him myself... he fits so perfectly into our family. He is a smart, high spirited kid who lives his life to the max... he doesn't let anything stop him... I have often said that someone forgot to tell him he has PWS... he doesn't let it get in his way very often.

2 years later, Caroline came into our lives. How lucky we were to be entrusted with her. She was a tiny baby girl... the sweetest little thing when she came to us. She was only supposed to stay for a short time while her birthfamily found an adoptive home for her. Weeks later she was still with us and we were head over heals in love with her. She fits the bill as the "baby sister" the boys all dote on her and she loves it. She has completed our family beautifully. She is a happy little girl and I am loving every second with her. With the boys all in such a hurry to grow up and do their own thing, it such a treat to be able to spend this time with her. I feel like I am getting an extra chance to enjoy these early years again.. I find myself savoring them with her and enjoying the little things... she is such a joy to me.

As I look back over the last 18 years... I am blessed. I have a beautiful family, a husband who I love with every fiber of my soul and a network of friends that stretches across the world. 18 years ago when Ryan was born, I never in my wildest dreams pictured that this was where I would be today.

To every Mother out there.... I wish you a Wonderful Happy Mothers Day!

With Love,