Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday's Fabulous Five

Several years ago I started keeping a "joy journal." At the end of each day, I would write down five things that had happened that day that made me smile. I called them my "Fabulous Five." It is so easy to get caught up in the challenges of raising children that I was forgetting that the joy in motherhood often comes in moments and, rather than focusing on these moments, I was letting them pass me by. In the beginning there were days where it was really a stretch to think of five "fabulous" moments, but as I continued to look for those joyful moments of motherhood each day, I discovered that those things naturally became the focus of my day, allowing the challenges and frustrations to fade into the background.

It is also easy when blogging to focus only on the "big" events in life and to gloss over the little things that make day-to-day life so sweet. Beginning today, I would like to introduce "Friday's Fabulous Five," an opportunity to share with you a few of the joyful moments that we experience each week! So without further ado, here are a few things that have given the Rieben's something to smile about over the past few weeks. . . .

1. Last Thursday, my sister-in-law, Lauren and my brother, Ben, welcomed their first child into the world. Miss Kayden Paige entered the world at 9.5lbs and 21 inches (Lauren is my hero)! She is a beautiful baby and I cannot wait to get my hands on her!

Kayden Paige

2. With so much going on in the past few weeks, I have managed to get a little behind with the laundry, particularly MY laundry. When I went to get dressed last Friday morning, I discovered that I was out of clean jeans. . . .except for the "skinny" jeans tucked away in the deep recesses of my dresser drawer. Preparing myself for disappointment, I pulled out a pair, took a deep breath, stepped in. . . . .and pulled them right on! It was a GREAT day :-)

3. Last Friday, Alayna finally got her new glasses (she has needed a stronger prescription for quite a while and has been without her glasses for several months now). When she put them on she gasped and said, "I can see!!!" Then she turned and looked at me and said, "Mommy, I see you. . . .you have a little head!" She has insisted on calling me "Little head" ever since. It always puts a smile on my face.

4. Nothing relieves stress after a long week like a Friday night dance party (those of you who are LDS might recognize some of the songs. . .the CD is called "Popcorn Bopping'" and consists of jazzed up versions of many of the Primary songs. . .hilarious!)

5. Last, but DEFINITELY not least. . . .Last Friday we received word from Bulgaria that the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) had accepted our commitment application for two precious baby boys with Down syndrome! Surprise! Introducing #9 and #10:

Benjamin Daniel
(named after two of my amazing little brothers)


"He-who-is-yet-to-be-named" :-)
(accepting any and all suggestions that work with Christopher as a middle name)


Anonymous said...

Congrats that is super exciting!! How old are the boys?

Denise Reker

Charity Brown said...

OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!! That's sooooooooo exciting! I have a soft place in my heart for children with downs. Tyler's family's best friends have a son who has downs and I adore him. They are definitely sweet sweet spirits. Name wise.... hmmm. How about Austen, or Hayes?

Carla said...

Congratulations!! They of course are precious! How old are they?? I am soooo excited for y'all!!

Kirsten said...

Congratulations!! How full your hearts must be!

Mary said...

Oh, Valerie,
How wonderful for them and for you.
If you ever want to talk to someone close about Down syndrome, let's get together! I'm just a little south of you!
Mary Stolz

The Hamilton's said...

Congratulations! Love the name Benjamin Daniel. Now, you know he's also named after your favorite uncle, right? Well, at least we can tell Dan that, right!!! Just kidding! That is wonderful!!!! Congratulations!!!\

Dan, Jenn, Grace, Olivia, and Emma

Amy said...

I LOVE your "Fabulous Five" idea! Awesome! I had to watch the video without sound because my little ones are sleeping - It was still SUPER! We love to dance at our house too! Your 5th JOY caught me by surprise! Wow - I'm so happy for you, your wonderful family and your new precious sweeties! I'm looking forward to following your journey!
Amy & Family

Jill said...

Christopher Tyler. Not that I'm biased by liking that name. ;)

SO happy for you! When will you head back to Bulgaria???

Us said...

Congrats, you are an amazing family!

BriannEm said...

I like Matthew, Edward, and Gregory. But Matthew would go with the Biblical trend you're following in boy's names. :)

Mandy said...

Congrats!!!!! BTW I am in complete awe that your living room is so CLEAN in LIGHT colors!!!!! How do you do it? Mine is a war zone and I only have 5! LOL
So EXCITED that you are adding again :)

Courtney said...

I vote for Stephen Christopher. :)

Emi said...

Oh my gosh!!! So amazing news, those boys are ADORABLE!! Love the name Benjamin Daniel! And for your other cutie, what about Tyler Christopher? or John Christopher, Marcus Christopher, Landon Christopher, Eric or Owen? I guess i got a little too excited with this name thing... lol

Autumn said...

Awesome! Loved the dancing, especially when Alayna was off in the corner shaking her behind - So cute :) I hope you keep blogging - I love reading it!

Yvonne said...

Congratulations!! Can't wait to meet your bunch!! How about Nathaniel, Joseph, Elijah, or Samuel.... I will think of a few more... I had a baby doll when I was a little girl... I named him Christopher, so I am very fond of your little guys middle name.

Talk soon!

navy said...

All of your kids are sooo cute!

How about...
Hudson Christopher?
Asa Christopher?
Noah Christopher?
Judah Christopher?

Shelley said...

So glad you finally spilled the beans about #9 and #10. Now when people ask who those adorable boys are going home to, I can tell!!!!

Stacey Kirchner said...

You know, David goes pretty well with Christopher :)! Congrats again!

The Shultzs said...

Love your fabulous 5 idea. I am starting tonight. =]
The boys are adorable. =]
Will be praying for your upcoming trip to Bulgaria.

fiona said...

Oh my goodness, how exciting! Congratulations!! They are beautiful little boys. So, does this mean I get to see you again??? :D What a sweet new niece, too, and "Little Head" cracks me up!

Dunstan Family said...

Oh they are beautiful. Congrats!!! I wish I could give you a hug. I am so happy for you.

Jenna said...

My name is Jenna and I came across your site. Wow you are an amazing and wonderful woman to adopt all those kids, especially the ones that are special needs. Ur kids are amazing, beautiful, cute, handsome and adoreble. They are inspirational hero's. Congradulations on adding to more kids who need a caring, and loving home with caring and loving parents.
I was born with a rare life threatening disease, and developmental delays. I am a self advocate. I am also a strong supporter of down syndrome, because my friend has down syndrome.
I love it when people sign my guestbook.

Anonymous said...

Tate Christopher?
Landon Christopher?
Christopher Tyler or Tyler Christopher?
I'm so excited for you guys congratulations! I have been waiting to see who their family is! They are darling! Again CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!

Sarah B. said...

Wow! I have not read your blog in almost a year, and now that I have what did I find? You little "no-name" boy is my RR Prayer Warrior baby! I have been "Nigel's" prayer warrior for about 6 months and I was amazed when one week after I committed to be his warrior he was put on the "My Family Found Me" page! I cannot wait to continue following your journey!
God Bless.