Adam and Brian thought it would be fun to go do carnival rides during Easter Break. Papa and I went along to help herd the 10 children. The cousins had so much fun!!!



Umm, pretty sure the adult men also had fun!!!!!!!!!



two adoptions and seven kids later… :)


Our three foster children: Joseph, Brian, and Adriana were officially adopted into the McCracken clan on Thursday, August 11, 2011. We adopted them from Clark County Foster Care here in Las Vegas. We are so happy to have an official day to celebrate and commemorate their inclusion into our family. The three Littles have been with us for almost a year now, and we have considered them “ours” from the moment we got them. But there is something about the adoption decree that allows us, the parents, to exhale that last bit of breath. You know, the “what if” breath that we don’t even know we are holding until the judge says, “YES.”

At the courthouse…we had so many friends and family members in attendance. In addition, there were many dear workers from Clark County, whom we consider friends, who have been involved in this wonderful placement. Joseph kept wrapping my arm tighter and tighter around his tummy. Brian wouldn’t let go of Adam. And Annie, well, she’s just smiley bubbly Annie…happy to be along for the ride. :)


We’re guessing most people are not excited to see their name listed on a docket at Family Court. We got quite a few stares as we were taking pictures of it.


And look at all the amazing people who came in support of this awesomeness:


It was obviously a beautiful day. Thank you, to everyone who attended, and who continue to support our growing McFamily!

Welcome (officially), Jo Jo, Brian, and Annie:



welcome home


We finally did it. The vagabonds have turned domestic, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. There has been no buyer’s remorse, no regrets, no second-guessing. We know we bought the right house at the right time in the right place. Now if we could just move in already!!!

Before and During side-by-sides:

Progress is being made, as you can tell from the photos. The flooring should be finished in the next few days. Then comes new counters and stained cupboards. So excited for that. :) Finally, they will lay the carpet. We are still shooting for a move date of Memorial Day Weekend, but it looks like we could actually be officially done with the remodel a few days before that.

Here’s our beautiful pool, and outdoor kitchen. We LOVE this feature.

We’ll keep pictures coming, as the updates happen.

girls trip 2011


YEAR FIVE: Cannon Beach, OR

MY GIRLS: Amy and Jessica

HOTEL: Surf Sands Resort

ACTIVITIES: scrapbooking, massages, eating, shopping, storm watching, talking


1. Croissant Breakfast Sandwiches

2. Driving through a flood, literally, to get to the Seaside scrapbook store

3. Watching the waves from our balcony

4. Talking, talking, talking

5. Diet coke and peanut M&M’s….of course

6. Listening to the constant sound of rain

7. Sitting in the hottub

8. Getting a massage

9. Hugging Truxton!



NEXT STOP: Colorado Vacay with the families….summer 2012

auntie amy comes to visit


Auntie Amy was in town for business back in October. As soon as she visited, the mayhem of three more children hit our family, and I forgot to document her visit. How could that happen? :)

While she was with us she spoiled the children, as usual. She purchased and played Operation with the ninos, which is the favorite new game in the family. She read the kids two bedtime stories. And she all around loved on them in her awesome Amy way. We also got some alone time: shopping at Target, eating at PF Chang’s, and bringing home Baskin Robbins.

It was the perfect visit.


Thanks, Auntie Amy. We love and appreciate you. We’ll take whatever time you give us.

just like old times


Lovin’ the new foster rules for our family. We can actually go out now! This date reminded me of our double date just before picking up four little strangers in Bogota, Colombia. Good to know we still have it in us. :)

Check out Jaime’s post for the full scoop.



not quite calico tanks


The ninos and Adam took the Littles on their very first hike last weekend. I ran some errands. Went out to lunch by myself. And even did some Christmas shopping. What a glorious Saturday morning. I was on a bit of kid overload because Adam worked every night last week until about midnight, and I had the kiddos home for two day school break. Needless to say, I was ready for a small break of my own, and Adam was ready for some outdoor kid fun. Perfecto!


The little tribe did not make it to the end of the trail because little Bear peed his pants, and then melted down over it. Yep, in the middle of the canyon with many a passersby looking for a little solitude. During the meltie, Uncle Dave and his girls passed by. At least Adam had some sane company for a few minutes. He said that Bear’s meltdown lasted a good half hour. One lady passed him going both ways, and complimented Adam on his patience. She said, “I haven’t seen that kind of patience in a dad in a really long time.” Adam just laughed! :)


I guess the bright spot is that we are used to this stuff…even though it’s been awhile. Is that a bright spot? We are even used to kids peeing on purpose on hikes. It hasn’t happened in a really long time, but we are reminded how it used to be….and how far the ninos have come. That is pretty rewarding. Other than the meltdown, the kids had a blast. I think we have three more children hooked on the outdoors. That makes Daddy really happy. :)

“gorge us” auntie


Thank you for the gifts, Auntie Jes.

Cards have been made,

Books have been read,

and t-shirts have been worn.

All in the name of Aunt Jessica!

We love you.