Thursday, December 30, 2010

The McManus Life 2010 in Pictures....

You knew it was coming. Here is our annual video recap of our year. All in pictures.....ENJOY!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

It's love when.....

on your anniversary you buy each other gifts that both drive you absolutely CRAZY.

Adam does not share my love for taking a picture of EVERY thing. But for our anniversary he bought me a awesome new camera.
And I do not understand Adam's love for video games. But I bought him Rock Band so he could play "rock" with his boys. (It was a big hit!) Adam might even tear up when Connor 100% his first song, he's gotten SO close.
More importantly, you know it's love when....You sit down to a romantic dinner on your anniversary in downtown Austin and receive a phone car. You hear words like; abandoned baby, can you take him tonight, sorry we know that you are out to dinner, and please. You take one look at each other and ask for the check. I love
* they found the little boy's family the next day and although we never got any details on his case, we know that he went home to "family". It was an emotional 24 hours, but it was exactly what we were supposed to do.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from the McManus Family

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly. 1st Peter 4:8a This almost perfectly sums up our year…

-oving others has lead us on quite a journey this year. We opened our home to a young-professional, non-profit photographer named Daniel who lived with us for almost 8 months. Since then, Brandon (a promising worship leader who is interning at our church) is now calling our house his home. It’s been wonderful helping these guys out and watching God use their gifts in extraordinary ways.

-h boy, another BOY! We became a foster certified home in June with the hope we could love on a little boy or girl who needed it. We dreamed that God would use us to not only love this child, but to also adopt. J-man came to us in July, and God had a very different plan for him. He soon (by the end of the year) will be unified with his Biological Mom and family. It will be a JOYOUS but sad day as we see God make a family whole again. Please pray for everyone involved and for the next child we welcome into our hearts and home.

-acation as a family! We went on our very first McManus family vacation. It was such a blessing to have a whole week to do just family stuff at Pine Cove Family Camp. Connor celebrated his 5th birthday at camp and became a “big kid” overnight. He is all about learning to read, practicing karate, playing video games, and becoming a rock star. Bryce captivated everyone at camp and in class (especially since he was the only boy). He also discovered a hidden self-confidence that we’ve enjoyed seeing. He is the thinker of the family and a little joker. He loves playing Legos, coloring, riding his big boy bike, and loving on his little sister and brother. Alexis is not a baby anymore. She’s walking and talking and wearing big girl ponytails. She and J-man enjoyed air-conditioned naptimes while the big kids and Mom and Dad enjoyed family free time at the lagoon, horseback riding, doing the ropes course, and swimming. Adam and I even got to enjoy a couple nights going on dates. We are counting down the days until we go again.

-veryday is a new adventure for us and you can read about them on our family blog at Adam continues to enjoy creating new things for the tech world while working at Gowalla. Jen is still rocking the stay at home mom thing and competed in her first Triathlon this year. Please pray for us as we continue to learn how to love others the way Jesus first loved us.

May you have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Love, Adam, Jen, Connor, Bryce, and Alexis

Sunday, December 19, 2010

All I want for Christmas....

I'm not a sappy person. I don't like movies what make me cry (I used to like them now I hate them). I'm not a card person (usually). I'm not a cry- er, but when I do cry (watch out). AND I HATE sappy Christmas songs that try to make me cry.

With all that said.

I've received 6 (YES 6) emails this month about kids waiting for forever families here in the Austin area. They break my heart. Sweet smiling kids with NO family. Living right here. I also have the great pleasure of being friends with a couple of people who work oh so very hard for the orphan around the world. When I close my eyes at night, I see the faces of children who are in desperate need of love, water, food, a family living here and around the world.

And so this song is on my heart and in my head this Christmas: (yes this is a sappy song that will make you cry) ENJOY!

Sponsor a child with Help End Local Poverty

Buy a Fair Trade Gift for Christmas

Become a State Certified Foster Babysitter

Become a Foster Family


Friday, December 17, 2010

How did it go?

I know that is what everyone is thinking. So here's how the morning went. We kept the morning very simple and very "what we do every morning". We got dressed, ate breakfast, laughed, played with toys, and rushed to get everyone in the car on time.

We drove to meet Bio Mom and I was beginning to get a little sad when all of a sudden I heard a whimper and a sound no Mom wants to hear. Yup, Alexis puked EVERYWHERE!!! She puked milk which made it even worse. I had to pull over on the highway and cleaned her up.

Cleaning puke was HORRIBLE, but a little bit of a blessing. You see I don't have normal "flight or fight" response to stressful things. Nope I'm more of a "clean or fight" kind of person. When I stress out or am sad. There is only one thing I want to do; CLEAN! I know it's weird, huh? So it was good that right about the time I was starting to get pretty stressed and sad, I got distracted and just had to clean.

When I finally pulled into the parking lot, I felt pretty good. I hadn't even thought about it, cause well I was paranoid that Alexis was going to throw up again.

Anyway I pulled in and jumped out of the car. Bio Mom was already crying and so I teared up a bit too. We embraced and celebrated for a moment. I hadn't seen her since court a couple months ago. We had talked on the phone, but it wasn't the same. She thanked us and began crying again. She told me that she couldn't have picked a better family to love on J-man during this time. It was a perfect "goodbye".

The older boys did a great job saying "goodbye", because we had told the kids that J-man's Bio Mom was sick and couldn't take care of him. So to them even though they weren't going to see their brother again, it was exciting to them that he finally got his Mommy back. Connor told me on the way back home that J-man's Bio Mom must have really missed him and will be so happy to have him for Christmas. I love that kid's heart. He just "gets" stuff sometimes.

Bio Mom and I had one last hug and a cry. And we took off. The rest of the day was pretty normal (expect no gym for me because of pukey Alexis, luckily she never threw up again). I had some moments when I teared up, but overall felt good.

I need prayers from everyone that the Holy Spirit continues to do a work in my heart. It's the only way I've made it threw this crazyness this whole 6 months. I've had a weird peace this whole process and I can't explain why without talking about "a peace that passes all understand" (Philippians 4:7). Even when things got sad or frustrating or just plain annoying, I always felt a calming peace. I will continue to need that the next days and weeks.

The bigger question is "will we do this again?" I'll write about it later. But the short answer is "yes, of course".

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Saying Goodbye to a SON

Tomorrow morning I'll wake up. Go into his room. Scoop him up and get him dressed. I'll tickle him and get a morning hug. We'll walk downstairs. I'll walk, he'll go on his stomach. I'll get his milk and his cheerios. He'll be smiley and giggling as the kitchen becomes louder and louder with kid's voices, and squeals, and screams. He'll talk and giggle with his sister. Maybe even throw a Cheerio or two. I'll clean him up. Get his things and walk him to the car.

Then I'll say "goodbye".....

On Friday, I'll say goodbye to my son. He came to us 6 months ago; scared, sleepy, with no clothes, no toys, nothing. We knew nothing about him. But LOVED him. He quickly became part of our family. We had a couple of weeks where we thought he'd be our son forever. Then for months we knew that just simply wasn't the case. His Bio Mom was working hard to get him back and one day we would say goodbye.

My heart is aching and rejoicing. Rejoicing for a mother who has not been with her son for months. She has worked hard and is doing great. But he is MY son. He's been MY son for months. He calls me "Mama." He's a brother to my sons. A a twin to my daughter. He's my husband's "big man" and son. He loves us very much and we love him.

I'm frustrated that we have to say goodbye a week before Christmas. I hate that he won't be here with us. But I'm excited that his Bio Mom doesn't have to miss the first Christmas he gets to enjoy.

Join me friends. Pray for our little man.

Pray for his Bio Mom.

Pray for this transition.

Pray for Connor, Bryce, and Alexis. Pray for Adam and me.

Pray that the short time he was with us, the short time he was our son means something eternally.

Pray that one day I see my son again. This time we embrace knowing that we'll spend eternity together......Pray my friends!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Annual McManus Christmas Q & A Video

Last year we did a Christmas Q & A video and had so much fun doing it. So we decided to make it an annual thing.


Christmas Questions from Adam McManus on Vimeo.

Monday, December 13, 2010

How we do Santa

So, I grew up completely believing in Santa. My parents did a great job making it super fun and super easy to believe. At age 8 or so, my Mom told me the "truth" about Santa which didn't shock or hurt me. I remember being completely ok with it. I didn't question our belief in God or creation or Jesus. I was just "ok" with it.

When we started having kids, Adam and I just kind of did what our parents did. Recently though, we've found ourselves doing stuff "differently." Connor, our oldest, has become very concerned with what is "pretend" and what is "real." We watch lots of Star Wars, dragon movies, play video games, and do other "pretend" things. We read about "pretend" places. A question I get at least once a day is: "Mom, is ______ real or pretend?"

Adam and I have also spent a GREAT deal of time making sure our kids understand what Christmas is really about. So, we made a new decision about the whole SANTA-thing. We decided to tell all our kids (and when I say all the kids, I really mean Connor cause Bryce and the babies don't care).

I sat down with Connor and explained that St. Nick or Santa Clause was a VERY REAL person and he loved Jesus very much. He gave the children in his village presents every year. He grew old and went to heaven. People loved all the great things Santa did so much that they continued doing it. Soon, people everywhere were playing the "game" of Santa by remembering a great man who loved others and doing the same thing by loving others and serving them. So, that is why we have Santa. It a "pretend" game that everyone plays. But he is no longer "here," but in heaven. We're going to play the game too.

Connor looked at me, nodded his head and took off. Later, he asked if it was just a game and if the "real" Santa was in heaven and would he get a present. I said "of course", but that if he told others and ruined the game then he wouldn't. (Yes, I did bribe him. The idea of my child "ruining" someone else's Santa-thing made me sick to my stomach.) When someone asks Connor if he believes in Santa, I told him that he could say yes because we know he was real and so we do believe in that. He seems to be totally cool with it and still excited that he gets a stocking and a present from "Santa." Bryce did not care one bit and was probably a little bit relieved because he still doesn't really "like" the man.

So that's how we do the Santa thing. How about you? Thoughts?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A sneak peek....

Here's a sneak peek of our family pictures Daniel Davis took of us. We had quite an adventure out in the woods. Carrying camera equipment, keeping track of kids, and hiking around the forest and rocks in high heeled boots. But he got some great shots. (Does anyone else HATE pictures of them self or is it just me?) You'll have to wait for our Christmas Card to see the pictures that were the BEST! (What you don't get our Christmas Card? email me NOW)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What is fair trade shopping?

It's a must watch!

Are you willing to buy just one thing? (BTW it's really hard to buy one thing, cause everything is wonderful) TRADE AS ONE

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The "dreaded" Family Pic

Once a year I ask....ok DEMAND...that my family takes a picture together. A good one. One where everyone is smiling and we look like we've showered, like we comb our hair, like we wear nice clean clothes, like we love each other, and like one where we have our eyes all open. It's once a year. It's a tradition. And it's an absolute BATTLE every year. If it's not my husband crying like a baby it's an actual baby....well crying. So today is the BIG DAY. Family Picture Day!!! Will we get one (yes I only need one)??? Or maybe I better question, how can I bribe my family to get me the picture I need?

Here's some previous "famous" family pictures......

You make your family do this, right? And you have some kind of fight each year, right?

My Favorite Christmas Movies

Ok I admit it. I love Christmas. I love the music. I love the decorations (although I suck at them). I LOVE THE MOVIES!!! So here's my list of all time favorites....

Favorite Classic Christmas Movies:

3)Meet Me in St Louis (First time "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is sung. This movie is a great laugh, a fantastic musical, stars Judy Garland, and has a little girl who is obsessed with death. Seriousily?? YES!)

2)White Christmas (Sorry it is just a classic and yes I'm in love with musicals. Thanks Mom for that)

1)It's a Wonderful life tied with Miracle on 34th Street (They just make you feel good.)

Favorite Kid Christmas Movies:

3) Charlie Brown Christmas tied with Home Alone (Charlie Brown throws down the "real" meaning of Christmas and I love that. And I grew up watching and loving every second of Home Alone. Hello it even has a John Candy cameo)

2)How the Grinch Stole Christmas (new and old) (LOVE LOVE LOVE!)

1)Muppet Christmas Carol (Another musical? Why yes it is. Michael Crain is magical in this movie and I love every minute of it)

Favorite Adult Christmas Movies

3)Christmas Story tied with Elf (I can recite every line from The Christmas Story and my Dad looked EXACTLY like Ralphie when he was a little boy. Elf is just too funny and I can't NOT watch it if it is on TV)

2)National Lampoons Christmas Vacation (I could watch this movie anytime any day, everyone loves this movie, right?)

1)Love Actually (I love this movie. I'm a sucker for a good romance and this one has like 5 different ones in it. Plus it's real life and I love that. Plus I have thighs the size of tree trunks and can't help but LOVE poor sweet foul-mouthed Natalie)

Best Horrible (but really funny) Christmas Movie

1) Bad Santa (Yes I laughed a lot and yes it is a horrible HORRIBLE movie)

Best Creepy Christmas Movies

3) Nightmare Before Christmas (I love this movie, but they make Christmas pretty stinkin CREEPY. This might be another musical)

2) Santa Clause the Movie (Look it up. It came out in the 80's and it freaked me out, A LOT)

1) Jingle All the Way tied with Jack Frost (Arnold as a Dad was just weird. And a movie about a Dady dying and coming back as a snowman double CREEPY)

Honorable Mentions (Forgotten Christmas Movies)

Rocky, Die Hard, Trapped in Paradise, Sleepless in Seattle, While You Were Sleeping, You've Got Mail, The Holiday, The Preachers Wife

What are your thoughts? What would you change?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...