"The Switch" Directed by Avery Barstad on her 11th Birthday

Jus like last year, Avery wanted to write and direct her friends in a movie this year for her birthday. 
 We all helped with the sign,
 but she did everything else.  She wrote, planned, set up, directed and edited the whole movie.
(some scenes more intensely than others...)

And I forced everyone into a group photo after the wild night was over the movie was complete.
It ended up being 11 minutes and 11 seconds on her 11th bday :)
And Adalyn and Kennedy got to come with us to church.
Then, like last year, we set up stadium seating for the Super Bowl
while some of us napped.
Some of our small group and church people came over to watch.
And someone mentioned something about ice cream.  I dont know exactly how it went down, but thanks to  jeffs obsession with Favor, 3 blue bell galloons were brought to our house and we all ate our feelings after the Patriots won.
My mom sent a balloon bouquet for her actual birthday and we decorated a little bit before school.
We ended the night at Shogun and all had to roll ourselves out of there.  It was so good.
Avery, I can never put into words how much I love you or how very proud I am to be your mom.  You changed my life.   You keep changing it.  You teach me how to love others by how you love your siblings and friends and you impress me so much with your quiet confidence and amazing creativity.  I am so proud of your heart for God and how you pray to Him about other people who are hurting or have less than we do.  I know He will use you in might mighty ways and I can not wait to see what all you do for Him.
Happy 11th birthday!


Louisa Ingrid Barstad

But we call her Lulu.
We did it.  We got another dog.
Jeff had been looking at the SPCA website and found one that looked just like maddie.  He showed me her picture and we decided we should take the plunge.
So, we drove to Wichita Falls on Sunday afternoon and told the kids that we had a surprise for them.  We didnt tell them what it was or give any clues, so they had no idea.
We pretended to need to go to the restroom at petsmart where her foster parents were going to meet us to give her to us.
Even when we went inside and came out and Jeff was holding her, they still didnt catch on.

 But once we told them, they were beyond excited and avery almost started crying.
It was magical.
SO we drove home and thought of names the whole way.  Pepper, Sunny, Ingrid, Peppa, Poppy, and so many more.  Lulu was kind of thrown out there at the beginning and we just couldnt shake it.
It doesnt mean anything, but we think its cute.  So it stuck.
 And Gracie has been so sweet to her since she came home.

 She literally feels like a cloud, she is so soft.  And she is just the sweetest.  Loves the kids and loves us.  IT is amazing.
 We took her downtown the other night and everyone was all over her.  It was the cutest thing.
And if you look at her spot the right way it looks like a heart.
She is amazing.
*Quick Disclaimer- She does however still pee in her kennel and in the house.  She peed ON me in the car on the way home from the store the other day.  So we definitely have a ways to go but she is already catching on fastish.  Its not all rainbows and hearts, but it is getting better.  I didn't want to leave this without documenting that there have been some 'oh crap what have we gotten ourselves into' moments.  And I may have had a few panic attacks.  But for the most part its been pretty good and she really is so worth the pee. 

Welcome to our family Lulu Bear.

Room Shuffle and a big girl bed for Shea

 Well, we did it.
We moved shea into a big girl bed and moved Aves into her own room.

It was definitely sad moving shea to a big bed and seeing her transition even more to a big kid. 
But it was even harder seeing avery go from a kid to a preteen right before my eyes.
She loved getting to decorate her room and she has rearranged a few times and loved having sleep overs and showing her friends.
She just is a grown up and it blows my mind that she is about to turn 11 this month!
Sass ended up with the loft area that avery was in and now shea has Sass's old bed and ben stayed the same.
Sweet Ben. So thankful that he didnt care that he didnt get anything new. He is so kind and unselfish. I dont want to forget that.
Shea had been getting up a lot during the night and was crawling out of her crib (hence the reason to move), and since she is in a big bed she sleeps mostly through the night! She does have trouble going to bed and goes back and forth to ben and averys bed before she finally falls asleep.  And sometimes Avery still sleeps in our room on the couch because she is scared.  I guess maybe she still has some littleness in her.
Overall, it was a success.  I just wish we could get naps back...

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