Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Welcome Home Son, Welcome Home

Yesterday was the best day of our year. We received an early Christmas present; our son was officially recognized as an Alvey. Commissioner Schwartzbart signed a court order stating that Joshua Tucker Alvey is entitled to all of the rights and inheritance of our family. Amazing! We've waited for this day all year long.

After the hearing was over, I was reminded of what it means for God to adopt us. We too are entitled to all of the rights and inheritance as God's children. (a much better inheritance than we will leave our children!) With all of our faults, continual mistakes and crap that we drag into our lives, God does not disown us. What a miracle! I often have students ask me why we don't see miracles any more...for me, God's daily forgiveness of my selfish ways is a miracle.

But, back to the hearing...Kevin's mom, Dorothy Alvey and my parents, Larry and Linda Jantzen were able to join us. Kev's mom flew in from Utah just for the occasion. We also had a very special guest. Abbey Cazares, Tori's social worker, dropped by for the hearing. We believe that God used Abbey to introduce us to Tori, and such also brought Joshua into our lives. We are forever thankful for Abbey's diligence with Tori's case. Thank you Abbey!

Everybody keeps asking us if we are 'done' now. We were very happy with two little girls...we are thrilled to have a son. We are not looking to add to our brood, but would never turn away a little one that God brings to our door. (see James 1:27)

Here are a few pictures from the day...

In our court day finery
Waiting with Grandma Alvey
With Papa and Nana (Josh is showing off his funny face)
The whole family
Gotcha brother!
Taking our oath
It's done...celebrate! Oops, we lost Joshie's head!

Monday, December 3, 2007

We Have A Court Date!

Finally, after almost a year of waiting, we have an adoption hearing set for Monday, December 17! We are thrilled. We can't wait to 'finalize.' Grandma Alvey is even coming out for the big event.

What an incredible Christmas gift. It also happens to fall 5 days before Joshie's birthday.

Little Two Teeth took three steps today! He may be walking to his own adoption hearing...pretty cool.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Attitude of Gratitude!

We had a great time on Thanksgiving on Thursday. I think we had the smallest celebration ever, only 14 of us! But it was cozy and intimate...and relaxing! My nephew Jeremy made his first pie, Dutch Apple...delicious! Great job Jeremy. In the pictures of the table you can see people lighting candles...as each family member said something they were thankful for and then lit their candle. Our favorite was Tori saying she was thankful for "my wamiwy", or my family for those not familiar with Tori Talk.

Today is move day...we are moving into my parent's former home. This is a move we've been planning for over three years, and the whole reason we moved out to the ranchos. In the past week, we moved my parents into their new house (on the front of the property), stripped wallpaper in the old house, scrapped the acoustic ceiling, sanded doors and the ginormous pantry, pulled up carpet, retextured the ceiling and walls, painted the entire house and put new flooring in the bedrooms. We also packed up the house we are living in. Kevin has been working from about 7 a.m. to midnight every night. Extreme Makeover Home Edition has nothing on us! We had a lot of help from friends, special thanks to Jay and Mikendra McCoy! We packed up my kitchen on Tuesday, so Mikendra called church friends to schedule meals for the rest of the week. We are so grateful to be part of such a supportive church family at Flipside!

I'll have some before and after pictures to post soon. In the meantime, here are just a few from Thanksgiving. We are truly thankful and grateful for a God who carries us through difficult times.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Crazy Hair Day

Lizzie's school, Sierra View, recently celebrated Red Ribbon week with various activities each day. One of the days was Crazy Hair Day. Of course, since Lizzie's hair was crazy, Tori had to get in on the fun too. I think the pictures speak for themselves...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Life has thrown us a couple of curveballs recently...we're still trying to figure out how to hit them out of the park.

So I've been a bad blogger and haven't updated lately, sorry!

In a nutshell, I missed Halloween, pix below. I was a doctor, Tori a policewoman, Josh a fireman and Kevin was our accident victim. What about Lizzie you ask? Well, we explained that she was our foreign exchange student...she was dressed as a Japanese Princess...

Right after Halloween Josh had an ear infection and so was treated with Amoxycillin. On the eighth day of his treatment he broke out in a terrible rash. Pictures also below. My poor boy! But through it all, he still was such a happy baby.

Even though we are trying to figure out the curveball, especially before life throws us a slider, we are very thankful for our children, our health and specially for our faith, without which we would be feeling pretty hopeless now. Happy early Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Congratulations Kristina

What a great weekend for my neice, Kristina Regier, our favorite water polo fish. On Friday Edison (Kristina's school) beat Bullard (their MAIN rival) in the CMAC tourney semi-finals 7-4 (Kristina had 12 saves).

And then Saturday, for the league tourney championship, they beat Sanger High, the team that had beaten EHS 3'xs this year and we won 6-3!. Kristina and the girls played unreal and Kristina was selected as the All-Tournament Goalie! Wahooo, what a great game. Here are a couple of pix...

One of Kristina's many saves

The victorious team

Kristina's fan club (from left, Alyssa McNeely, Kristina, with Tori in front, Lizzie with the goalie hat on and Lindsey McNeely)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Happy 10 month birthday!

Joshua turned 10 months old on Monday! He had a check-up this week; he weighs 21 pounds (50th percentile) and is 27 inches tall (25th percentile). Since he has started crawling, he's lost a little weight. He has an ear infection (no temperature or grumpiness!) and is about to get his first tooth!

Lizzie's MRI results came in as 'negative', which is good. No mass or tear in her muscle. We're waiting to hear back from the doctor for next steps.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Just Playn' Around

Okay, sorry for the delayed post. I spent the week in Sacramento last week while Kevin was home with the kids. Let's just say he was exhausted when I got home Friday night.

Interesting things going on in Alveyland...

Lizzie has swelling and a small lump in her right neck/shoulder muscle. We've done a full blood panel (everything normal), X-rays (again normal) and this last Friday she went in for an MRI. Normally they like to put children her age under general anesthia so they hold still, but they let her try to lie still first. She was very brave and was able to do it! We were very proud of her. We should have results this week. We just had our first parent-teacher conference for the year, and Lizzie is doing great! She is reading at an advanced third grade level and loves school.

Tori started speech therapy at Lizzie's school. She thinks she is such a big girl now. She is really speaking well, but they just want to keep on eye on her development. Tori continues to have a great time wherever she goes and teaches us to find joy wherever we are!

Joshua is growing so fast. His latest trick is waving. He loves to wave hello and goodbye! Such fun. He is pulling himself up and taking steps around furniture, so walking is soon to follow.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Dinner with the Stobbes

We have some good friends that we haven't seen in a long, long time. In fact, they hadn't even met Josh yet! So we remedied that situation by going over to their house for dinner Sunday night.

The Stobbes have three daughters...the eldest, Brianna is a sophomore in college, then next we have Brittney, a junior in high school, and the youngest is Brooke, in eighth grade. When we first met the Stobbes, Lizzie was about 13 months old. She has always adored playing with the Stobbe girls. In fact, she created a nickname for Brit and Brooke...they became Brookney.

Tori, and now Josh, also had a great time playing with the girls. The Stobbe girls are so patient with the kids and just spent a lot of time loving on our kids. They are awesome! They are great role models for my kids (4.0 GPAs, polite, well-centered, very involved in extracurricular activties and best of all, they love Jesus) and fantastic babysitters for my fellow moms out there.

Thanks Stobbes for a fun, fun night!

Lizzie 'stunting' with the Brookneys...

more stunting

all of the girls

Josh had fun too!

Tori had to get in on the stunting fun.

the mamas and the papas


Lizzie started cheering for the flag football teams in RYF (ranchos youth football) in July, but games didn't begin until September! Her squad was so excited to finally start cheering (for real). Here are a couple of pictures.

All 29 Flag Football Cheerleaders and coaches (Lizzie is first row standing, far right)

Lizzie's squad (7 girls to a squad)

Lizzie and her self-proclaimed BFF, Destyni!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

9 Months Old!

Joshua is now a beautiful, busy 9 month-old! In this last month he has perfected his crawling (he is super fast and has already mastered stairs!)he pulls himself up to stand and continues to be genuinely pleased to start each new day. The girls love to play with him and delight in making him laugh (which is not difficult!) Josh has yet to discover a food he doesn't like...which may account for his 23 pounds! Kevin and I are in constant amazement in God choosing to bless us with such a wonderful gift. That may sound corny, but it's true! We feel so fortunate and so blessed!

(Okay, so Josh's 9 month birthday was actually last Saturday (9/22), but better late than never, right?) I promise to post updated pictures of our son soon. (how cool is it to say "our son?" :-)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Public Has Spoken

At www.vote756.com the public was invited to choose to: (a) Bestow it intact to Cooperstown, (b) Permanently brand the ball with an asterisk before sending it to Cooperstown, or (c) launch it into space forever

With over 10 million votes recorded and tabulated, the results were clear:

A) BESTOW IT - 34% B) BRAND IT - 47% C) BANISH IT - 19%

The public chose to send the ball to the Hall of Fame with an asterisk, as a constant reminder of this unforgettable moment in sports history and popular culture.

In the end, 80 percent of voters believed the ball should go to Cooperstown (47% opting to mark the ball; 34% without), and two thirds felt that doubts surrounding the record needed to be recognized (47% for the asterisk; 19% for space.

(For those of you that are confused, this is regarding Barry Bond's record breaking homerun ball.)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Vote on 756

Yes, I am a Giants fan, but no, I'm not a huge Bond's fan. I ran across this website and thought what a neat way to hear what the American public thinks about Barry breaking Hank's record. You have three cool options to vote. Check it out!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Construction team

Okay, sorry for the delayed post. We have been up to our eyeballs in construction! Every year we spend Labor Day weekend camping...well, this year was a little different. We spent the entire weekend on the roof of my parent's house. Kevin, myself, my bro Lance, nephew Mattie, nephew Jeremy, my uncle Kerry, friend Dave and my dad worked in shifts to get their house roofed. We were exhausted! (and my legs got torn up wearing knee pads that did not fit well) We then moved on to the old house (where we will be moving in Oct or Nov) to reroof it. We had to strip off the old shingles (thanks Dave!), knock down the nails, have the roof inspected and then move on the the next phase. Next involves carrying some very heavy plyboard onto the roof and nailing it down, then another inspection before we can start rolling tar and nailing down shingles. We hope to be shingling (a word?) this weekend. If anyone is available...please help. We are worn out! I will be working in Porterville all weekend and thus will not be able to help.

Even though we worked really hard, we had fun working together...in fact Mattie and I even came up with a little shingle jingle.

Reroofing is the beginning of a very long remodeling process that we are very anxious to get started. (I've had things in storage for two years now!) We can't wait to get going!

My bones, my butt, my body hurts...can't find anyone who wants to work...if you think you will, if you fit the bill, oh please, oh please, oh say you will! (not the shingle jingle, just a little bonus)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Bye-Bye Summer!

We had a great summer this year! We visited lots of friends and family. Some of our travels were...Angel's Camp, Tuolumne, Old Town Sacramento, Huntington Lake, The Big Trees at Sequoia and San Juan Capistrano.

Here are a few photos from the summer, I'll post a few more soon!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Just like mama...



Wednesday, August 22, 2007

8 Months Old!

Today is Joshie's 8 month birthday. He really gets around these days...he pivots on his tummy and then rolls where ever he wants to go; and he is quite fast too! He continues to love his food...he weighs about 21 pounds now! For reference, we brought Tori home when she was 8.5 months old and she only weighed 13 pounds! He is quickly gaining on his big sis!

Johua had a great time meeting and bonding with Alicia (known as Leesh-Leesh at our house) last night.

Updated pix of my big boy to come soon!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Happy Anniversary to Us!

On Saturday Kevin and I celebrated our 18th anniversary - 18 on the 18th - kind of our golden anniversary (if you don't know what your golden birthday is email me!). We actually went out to dinner on Friday to Flemings to celebrate. Wow, that food is good! Saturday we spent at a cheerleading event and then a going away party for my nephew Jacob.

It has been an amazing 18 years! The highlights include the birth of Lizzie, meeting Tori for the first time and bringing Joshie home. (attending the 2002 Olympics was pretty cool, too!) We have been blessed with family, friends and mentors (we still miss you Bruce and Janice!) who have stood by us, supported us and prayed us through difficult times also. Thank you.

Kevin is an incredible partner and phenomenal father. I don't know another man like him. (not many could handle being a stay-at-home daddy!) I love you so much Kevin and I am so grateful that God brought us together.

The top picture was taken last summer, the picture below was one of the first pictures we took as a couple.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Today was Joshua's scheduled .26 hearing...it went like clockwork! Birth parents were notified properly and in enough time, no complaints were filed IT IS DONE. The judge terminated parental rights on the spot. Thank you Jesus! As I've told a few of you it is a bittersweet moment; while our family is moving towards finalizing with Josh, another family had to be torn apart to do so. I think of Joshua's birthmom often, thinking that she has no idea what she is missing with Victoria and Joshua. They are truly such a blessing to our family.

The next step is finalizing the adoption; we should have a court date set soon for that. Thank you to everyone who prayed us through today and special thanks to Abigail Casarez (Tori's social worker) who introduced us to Tori and thus brought us Josh.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Hello Huntington Lake!

Last weekend we had the pleasure of joining Rod, Julie, Alyssa and Lindsey McNeely at a cabin at Huntington Lake. The weather was perfect (about 85 degrees), company great, food was excellent and the view was fantastic!

While Joshie and I napped, all four girls, Rod & Julie and Kevin spent some time at the lake. The water was a little chilly, but they had a great time in a canoe. Lizzie decided she was a canoe expert because of her time watching Pocahantas. After returning from the lake everyone warmed up in the hot tub at the cabin.

During the time they were at the lake I had an interesting encounter with a hummingbird. I heard a noise coming from the blinds at one of the windows, so I went to investigate. I pulled up the blinds and there trying to get through the window was a hummingbird. As I gently talked to the bird I cornered him in the window with my hands. I cupped him in my hands and carried him to the door where he flew away. It was an amazing experience. He sat on my finger and didn't even try to fly away until I opened my hands. Way cool!

The four girls get along so well, they always have a great time when 'the cousins' get together. Thanks for a great time McNeelys!

View from the cabin deck, Huntington Lake behind Rod and Kevin.

Even Josh got in on some spa fun.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Welcome Sophie Shae!

On Saturday, July 21 at 4:57 p.m. our 22nd (wow!) neice was born in Utah. (Actually we have 11 neices and 11 nephews, cool huh? Another cool note, Sophie is our second great-neice!) Sophie Shae Wheatley weighed in at 7 pounds, 11 ounces and is 19 inches tall. Welcome Sophie, we can't wait to meet you in person!

Sophie and daddy (our nephew Dallon)

Mom (Amber), Dad and Sophie