Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011


for a long time, levi was really good about not messing with rudy's food and water. just recently it has become a problem...he's always sneaking over there and messing with one bowl or the other. i've had to pull dog food out of his mouth a few times and i'm constantly washing his hands. this particular day...he didn't know i was in the room...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day

Today is Veteran's Day. I am thankful for the men and women who have served our country and for those who are serving today. Jason is now out of the Army, but I am thankful for the time he served. He served a total of 11 years and did 2 tours in Iraq. While the military life wasn't always easy, I miss it. I'm proud to be the wife of a US Army Veteran. 

CPT Giltzow and CH Glover in Iraq 

reunited after a year long deployment to Iraq

taken right after his promotion to CPT - December 2008

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011


this post is a little delayed...but here is the Halloween post. we had our friends over for dinner. chili...because that's what we have for dinner every year on Halloween. the point of Halloween this year was to dress Levi up in his adorable costume, walk to a few houses and take lots of pictures. he really had no idea what was going on. he was a trooper in his costume though...never messed with it or tried to take it off. all in all, it was a fun night, and the pictures are super cute! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Pumpkin Patch Round 2!!

Levi and I are currently in St. Louis, visiting my family. Sunday was a beautiful day and our family took advantage of the weather, along with everyone else in St. Louis, and went to the pumpkin patch. The difference between this pumpkin patch and then one we took Levi to in OKC was unbelievable. First of all, everything is green in St. Louis. And the pumpkin patch had an abundance of pumpkins and activities for the kids. was FREE! Each activity had a small fee, but it didn't cost a dime to get in. We had a great time and all the kids had fun. 
Alyssa rode the train with Levi...she said he cried the whole time!

up on the tractor!

Uncle Brian was nice enough to tote Levi around for awhile

first pony ride...he loved it!

Alyssa, Haley, Levi and Sean

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Pumpkin Patch

Fall is my favorite time of year. And going to the pumpkin patch is the perfect fall activity. The pumpkin patch in Lawton isn't open this year because of the terrible drought we had this we I decided we would just go to the one in Oklahoma City. At first Jason wasn't super thrilled with the idea of driving an hour and a half to go to the pumpkin patch, but he decided to the make the best of it. We set off after lunch and it literally starting raining the second Jason put Levi in his car seat. Remember that the Lawton pumpkin patch isn't open because of the drought? It hasn't rained here in month...and it rains the one day we want to do something outside. We decided to chance it and go anyway. We took the scenic route and enjoyed a change of scenery from Lawton. We basically outran the rain, but you could tell it was coming. 
As soon as we got to the Orr Family Farm, we paid our admission and set out to make the most of our time there before the rain hit. We visited the animals and then took the hayride out to the pumpkin patch. Levi was overwhelmed with everything but seemed to have a good time. Levi stood around and looked at all the pumpkins and then picked one up and then immediately threw it down. :) We snapped a few pics, grabbed a pumpkin, and then jumped back on the wagon to beat the rain. The rain started just as we got back to the main part of the farm. There were several other things I had hoped to do, but it didn't look like the rain was going to quit anytime soon. We visited the little store, bought some amazing apple butter and pumpkin butter and called it quits. I think we were there for a total of an hour, but it was fun and I'm glad we went. I thought it was pretty expensive to get it, but Jason said it best...Levi's face was totally worth the price of admission. 

Since we were in Oklahoma City and had driven 2 hours to get there, we decided to stay and find something else to do. Lawton lacks in restaurants...and really everything else. I looked up nearby restaurants and saw they had a Red Robin! Yum! After eating, we stopped at Academy so Jason could look at some hunting gear and then headed back home. Levi was a trooper, and slept most of the way home. All in all, it was a great day with the two guys I love most. I'm already looking forward to next year's trip to the pumpkin patch!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Boy and His Dog

(i'm just going to pretend that it hasn't been months since i last blogged and just start again today.)

Levi loves Rudy. He spends much of his day chasing Rudy with his toys, laughing hysterically as he goes. He often gets in trouble...and by often I mean every single day...for feeding Rudy his food from his high chair. And lately, he tries to cuddle with him on his doggie bed. It's pretty cute. I am super thankful that Rudy is a patient dog. There have been many times that he could have snapped at Levi or bitten him. But he never does...he just lays there and takes it...or when he's had enough, he walks away. We are working with Levi on being gentle. But that's a work in progress. He has grabbed Rudy by the throat. Poked his eyes out. And as I type this he is hitting petting him on the back. At this point their friendship is fairly one-sided and I'm certain that Levi thinks they are better friends than Rudy does. I'm also certain that as Levi grows, so will their friendship!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


so I'm behind, but this cute little guy just turned one on June 6!!

We had been in Tulsa for Jason's cousin's wedding reception, so since Levi's birthday was the next day, we just did a small family party at Jason's parents. It was really about the cake!! He tore into and was pretty funny to watch. I don't really think too much cake actually made its way into his mouth. At one point, he was taking it by the fistful and shoving it down his leg. We spent Monday, his actual birthday, at home reading and playing and doing what Levi's loves best. 
At one year old, Levi loves to read books. Really, he likes to listen to mommy read them while he is busy playing with toys or pulling more books off of the shelves. His favorite thing to do is to put small objects in and out of buckets, bowls, or whatever else is close by. He is pretty content to sit and play by himself. Sometimes I just sit back and watch and an amazed at his problem solving skills. He also has a pretty good attention span for a baby. He LOVES Rudy. He thinks that Rudy is funny no matter what is going on. Its of course, super fun to throw food down to Rudy during lunch and dinner, resulting in Rudy being put outside for mealtime. Levi also likes to clap his hands and wave bye-bye. He usually acts shy after he does it...but also seems proud of himself. His crawling like a champ and will walk anytime you give him the chance. He cruises around furniture and uses his little walker toy to go up and down the hall. I would say he loves to eat...but he can be pretty picky. One day he may like bread and the next act like its the most disgusting thing he's ever had in his mouth. 
We just got home from his one year check up. He weighs 18 pounds and 14 ounces!!! Thats 4 pounds more than when he came home. He's also 28 inches long and I forgot what his head is...but its in the 50th percentile. He's finally on the charts at 5% for height and weight. The doc said everything looks good and he's a happy, healthy boy! 
We love him to pieces and can't imagine our life without him. I often times think of his birth mom and wonder if she thinks about him. I'm so thankful for her and thankful that she had the courage to give him up. We are forever grateful to her. Levi brings us so much joy. We continue to pray that we will be good and wise parents and train him up in the way of the Lord. 

enjoy the rest of the pictures from his first birthday!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

catching up

a lot has happened since the last post. we are now living in oklahoma and jason is no longer in the army. he has decided to part ways with the military and entered the business world. he is now working for state farm and after one week on the job, is happy and feels like he made the right decision. it was hard to leave ft. bliss because i've made so many wonderful friends there. the army family is like nothing else in this world. so it was hard to say good-bye to the friends and hard to say good-bye to the army. but, i am looking forward to this next chapter in our lives. levi is still a happy baby. he has entered full-blown attachment to mom phase. which is good. its great, actually. there are times when i wish that he wasn't so attached to when i really just want to eat my dinner and someone is offering to hold him. but, i think its a good sign and very healthy. speaking of healthy, i took him to the doctor last week...and he now weighs 16.9 pounds!! he's growing and has a big appetite. we have pretty much skipped baby food. it only lasted for about 4 weeks and then he became not interested. he would rather have the real deal and he would prefer to feed himself. he's still such a sweet boy. most of the time you can find him babbling to himself and smiling all day. the move and transition has been hard, but he has done well. we've been at a hotel, at our new house, or at both grandma's houses since leaving el paso. and he has only slept in his crib at home 3 nights in the last two weeks. he has his moments...but really,  you can't blame him. we are currently in st. louis visiting my family. i'm enjoying my time here, but ready to get back home, finish unpacking and get settled into our new routine. Levi met my parents and siblings yesterday and was a big hit! everyone loves him!! hopefully, once we get settled back in at home i'll be able to blog more. here are a few pictures of the last few weeks!
levi...10 months old. march 6, 2011

levi's baptism. april 10, 2011
the new house

at cattleman's steakhouse in texas

Thursday, April 14, 2011

let's be honest...

at this point i don't remember much of day 4 & 5. i had typed out lengthy, detailed emails to family and friends for both days, but the internet cut out when i was ready to hit send and for some reason the email didn't save to my drafts. so, i gave up. i do know that we went to the orphanage both days. thursday we had to pick up levi's passport and visa. and since the nannies are there different days, i wanted them to all have the chance to tell levi bye. and i wanted the chance to tell them thank you for taking such good care of my baby boy. i cried both days as we were leaving. jason made fun of me. but what's new? :) we did take danny out to lunch on friday at Top View. i highly recommend this restaurant if you're ever in Addis. we ate there twice. really good food with a really good view. 
with our favorite nanny

with our second favorite nanny

lunch with Danny, Levi slept the whole time!

the view from Top View

the staff at the orphanage
side note: i am a blog stalker. i usually stalk silently, meaning i read blogs and never "follow" and never comment. however, i did find a blog and emailed the girl because i thought her agency used my agency and was hoping for a chance at more pictures of Levi when she traveled for court. come to find out, her agency uses a different agency now, but we stayed in contact...and ended up having the same embassy appointments. we met at the airport in DC and saw each other at the embassy and then hung out at the airport in Addis before boarding our flight. it was such a treat to meet a blog friend and make that connection. (shout out to Lesli!!) 

anyway, back to our flight. it went as well as could be expected. levi did sleep. and he slept for a while in the bassinet, but really he preferred to be held. all in all the flight was 17 hours...with a pit stop in rome for fuel. it was pretty miserable. my entire body hurt. i was hungry. and tired from not sleeping. but we made it. our good friend nick picked us up in DC and took us back to their house for a nice hot breakfast and a wonderful visit. can i just say how much i love the Fiore's. it was nice to wash my face, change my clothes, and let Levi crawl around on the floor before heading back to the airport for two more flights. 

the next two flights went well. levi slept almost the entire second flight and stayed asleep until we boarded our final flight. that flight was miserable. levi was cranky. we were in the back. the flight attendant was cranky. levi pee'd on us. but, we made it. and were welcomed home by many friends. more on that tomorrow. this is long enough. :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 3

Hi! We had a fun night...Levi was up several times. I'm not sure what the deal was but we are very tired today. He woke up for his normal nighttime bottle and then woke up around 2. He woke up around 4 also, and it was much harder to get him to go back to sleep. I had to stand
and rock him. Every time I tried to sit on the bed he would cry. I am longing for the glider at home in the nursery!! He woke once more at 5 and finally fell asleep on mommy...and we all slept until 7:30.

Some very generous friends gave us money to use while we were here to help out where needed. Jason and I thought it best that I stay here at the guest house this morning while he and Danny, our driver did the shopping. It worked out very well. Jason left around 9 and I gave Levi a bath. The owner of the guest house gave us a baby bathtub last night...which is MUCH better than using the little bity sink we have in our bathroom. He LOVED his bath. He smiled and laughed and wiggled the whole time. After his bath, I fed him some cereal and fruit, which
he chowed down. We are determined to make him a fat baby!! The whole staff at the guest house tells us he is not strong. :) They tell us everyday that he will be better once we get him to America! After eating, Levi and I went downstairs to hang out while they cleaned our
room. Fun fact...while changing Levi's diaper in the middle of the night, our bed (on my side) became soaked with pee. YAY!!! I slept the rest of the night on top of the covers. :) The guest house has a living room and so we hung out there and chatted with a german family. They are very nice. At one point they told their 3 year old son that our baby is now a Texas boy...which is appropriate because his outfit today had a tractor on it! Once the room was clean, we went back upstairs and both us took a big nap! We woke up right before Jason and Danny got back. We went to lunch at a great restaurant with an awesome view of Addis...but of course we left our camera at the guest house. Ethiopians LOVE their babies. One of the waiters took Levi from us so that we could eat. I've learned that its typical...the staff always hold him for us at the guest house during dinner. After lunch, we stopped by the store to get a few more things for the orphanage. We were able to buy several things off the list that the staff at Hope gave us. They are sooooo grateful. They told our driver that we are awesome people...and they said to thank our friends very much. You know who you thank you!!! One of the things on their list was a vacuum, but it came without the hose. Jason and Danny went back to
get it while Levi stayed and hung out with the other babies. It has been much colder than we anticipated and has rained on and off everyday. We are now back at the guest house. We are hanging out in the room until dinner, and then I'm sure its early to bed for this tired family!!

Overall Levi has been a super great baby. I'm amazed at how calm he is and easy going. I'm so thankful for that. He is almost crawling...he kind of does an inch worm thing which is adorable. And I'm amazed at what a great daddy Jason is. He is helpful (except the time when Levi woke up at 4 and 5) which is ok...he needs his sleep too. He has changed every poopy diaper so far. And lights up when Levi smiles at him. I love watching them together. :)

Tomorrow we will pick up Levi's passport and visa. Carrie pointed out that I should have said the last biggest hurdle will be the 30 hour trip home. She was right!! I am dreading that first flight. 17.5 hours will be awful. For all three of us.

Thanks for the prayers and we're looking forward to seeing everyone soon! I heard about a little airport party...we are excited to see you all!! :)

much love,