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Florida getaway


Nate and I hadn’t taken a trip with Nate’s family in several years. In fact, the last vacation we took was probably before Owen was born. We do go to Illinois to visit Nate’s extended family usually once a year but as far as vacations it just hadn’t happened in a while, until this year. I also am not counting wedding weekends because those are VERY frequent in Nate’s extended family. He has a lot of cousins!
Nate and I had taken Owen to Destin last year and fell in love so when his mother asked us if we would like to take a trip we immediately said Destin. His parents rented a beautiful 4 bedroom house in Sandestin that my vacation-planning husband found. It had two golf carts so you could pretty much go anywhere in them which is nice not having to deal with car seats. (Don’t judge, yes Baeya rode in a golf cart in a golf cart community). We had so much fun and are pretty sure we haven’t been on an actual 7 day vacation since our Jamaican honeymoon eight years ago. We had many days of pool, beach, guys golfing, shopping, movies, restaurant eating, and two boat rides. Unfortunately Nate’s brother and fiancé didn’t get to join us but the kids got their papa and grandma to themselves for a week and their own rooms. (Which was nice for mom and dad considering the little one still doesn’t exactly sleep through the night). Of course the dolphin cruise and the pirate cruise were Owen’s two favorites. Since we have been home both kids have been sick with ear infections but that hasn’t stopped Owen from reciting his new mantra, “We are the crew from the bucc-a-neer, yo ho ho and a bottle of root beer” incessantly. I believe that Captain Hook is definitely the top contender for Halloween this year. Thanks Mike and Paula for a great trip!



























2nd Annual Cornholers for Adoption

If you have been friends/acquaintances with Nate and I for the past 15 months, you know that

A) We adopted our smart, independent daughter, Baeya Hope, last year

and B) one way we were able to do that is through a fundraiser that we had in June of 2013 that we loving call Cornholers for Adoption.
Obviously adoption is close to our hearts and when we came up with the fundraiser idea we wanted it to not only benefit our situation at the time but to hopefully benefit other families in the future.
Our very good friends, Rob and Caroline Carmack, have decided to adopt also through Buckner and are allowing us the opportunity to host a 2nd Annual Cornholers for Adoption fundraiser for their sweet growing family. If you don’t already know them here is a link to their Go Fund Me page. You can also learn more about them on Rob’s blog. Sweet Caroline Boutique is Caroline’s adorable etsy shop to help raise money for the adoption as well.

We learned a lot from last years fundraiser number one being, June may be a little hot to have a cornhole tournament in a airplane hangar without air conditioning. So the tournament will be Saturday, October 4. This is a family friendly event where we hope to have amateur cornholers up to the league attending diehard cornholers, such as my husband. Please do not feel intimidated, there will be different brackets for different levels of players to win, yes there is prize money:) We will be raffling off lots of goodies and will have some kid friendly activities. We will also have plenty of opportunity to buy food throughout the day (another thing we learned the hard way). If you have never played cornhole or unsure of the rules please watch this you tube video.

So please mark your calendars and find a partner (or we can find you one)! You will not want to miss out, here are some pics from last year.
If you have any potential raffle items to donate or a spare bounce house we could use please let Caroline or myself know. Hope to see you there!



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Sorrells Family Vacay

07.26.14 Rangers vs A's_072714_G52RQ_0154

Every summer my family plans a vacation, but let me be more specific, we don’t just plan and go, we talk and plan pretty much all year long. We meet up every 2-3 months or so for OU football games, kid bdays, etc. and inevitably the family vacay gets brought up. This has been my whole life. If there is not a vacation (or OU football) on the horizon my whole family is in a bad mood. Nate has somehow adapted this mentality as well (substituting OU for Tech football of course). So we are constantly scheming cheaper getaways.
As I have mentioned I have a brother in Moore, OK and a sister in Austin, and my parents live about 10-15 mins. from us. Between the three of us “kids” and our spouses we have 7 children. The oldest, my brother’s daughter, is turning 11 in a few days and his son is turning 7 next month. The other five kids are 3 years old and under. Needless to say, our trips have gotten a lot more interesting in the last three years.

Two years ago we celebrated my parents 40th wedding anniversary in Florida (with four grandkids), last year it was just a trip to San Antonio with five grandkids, and this year it was sort of a week long staycation with all seven. My parents did rent a beautiful house on Lake Bridgeport for two nights throughout the “staycation”. In case you are wondering it was a six bedroom house and there were several babies sleeping in closets. Those “Texas-sized” walk-ins have saved our sleeping on several vacations. For the most part though we were in ft. Worth. Next year we are doing Disneyworld (yes all 15 of us….assuming no one has/adopts anymore) so we decided to be low key this summer. I will say it was right after I started The Connected Child so we were still working out the technique kinks and the behaviors were subpar (for my two). There was a lot of swimming, boating, eating, board games, and one rangers game. I also learned that B may be a bit of a bully when it comes to her younger (by 6 weeks) cousin. She tends to think of Maddie as her personal play thing. Our saving grace are my brothers oldest two, Aubree and Brody, they keep those babies entertained like no one else can. Owen is the next oldest and he has a very strong relationship with my sister’s oldest Ella. Strong in that they love deeply and fight often.

One morning when we were at my house I heard a little 2 year old voice through the monitor say, “Hello, Hello Owen open the door.” Then I hear my son saying, “I can’t”. Again the other little voice, “JUST OPEN THE DOOR”. About that time I walked up and saw my niece. No one was awake so on later confirmation from her mother I learned that she had scaled the pack n’play for the first time, opened the doors to the media room where she had slept, and walked downstairs to help Owen escape. Little did she know that we keep a child proof door knob on Owen’s room due to past escapee events. While these two are consistently up to no good and Baeya is climbing little Maddie every chance she gets, little Casen, who turned one in March, spends his time observing the crazy older four and ignoring the “babies”. Aside from a missing shoe and some missing wood chips for the big green egg, I think it was a pretty great week. Looking forward to some more crazy episodes next year in Orlando.















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Parenting The Connected Child

Last year when we were doing our Individual Interviews for B’s adoption my social worker asked me how we were going to deal with discipline.  I think everyone knows how truly opinionated I am here but for some reason I have not jumped onto any specific parenting style. I had read several parenting books: Bringing up Boys; What to expect in the first year; Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby; Happiest Baby on the Block; etc. and have taken numerous child development classes throughout my undergrad/grad school/CEU history. I just don’t have super strong opinions on things like co-sleeping, breastfeeding, baby wearing, time-outs, or spankings. Don’t get me wrong I never wanted to spank as a punishment, but I also am fully aware that in the parenting world you NEVER SAY NEVER.

When our SW asked us this question we had just crossed over into full blown “terrible 2′s” and I was a little at my wits end. Owen had been getting time-outs since 18 months old, but they had started to not work quite as well. My fuse is long but the explosion ain’t pretty. She recommended a book called The Connected Child. So being the huge book nerd that I am, I immediately downloaded it on my kindle app. I was about 30% of the way through when we got the call about Ms B. Needless to say I quit reading it and didn’t think about it for months.

Then two months ago I received an email from this adoption group that I follow. It was offering a women’s book study specifically on this book. I thought, now that’s weird. Owen had escalated his bad choices right about this time conveniently when B started crawling (and getting to his toys). So I emailed some adoptive/foster mom girlfriends and we jumped on. This discipline style is so tough especially for an exploder like myself. It sounded a little hokey in the beginning. Connecting and then correcting the behavior. Constant nurture along with constant structure. Time-In’s instead of time-outs. Stopping and thinking about why I am saying no and if I can turn it into a yes. Choices with opportunities to compromise, but I cannot deny it COMPLETELY works. Owen is a much happier, easy to comply child when I am on my Connected Child game. He listens better and is much easier to take no as an answer when it is surrounded by loving yes’.

The book study ended about 2 weeks ago and I have been slacking big time. Owen’s behavior has gotten a little worse but I am comfortable in the fact that I know what to do. I am no parenting expert and use to cringe at my elementary school when parents asked me for advice, but I can answer those questions now with a little more confidence. I don’t know if this will work for every kid or even if it will work for Baeya, but I am on board. We have signed up for another book study including the fathers and I am anxious to see how much more we can curb those bad behaviors as a parenting team. So if you are in a place similar to where I was 6 months ago and you are open to a complete overhaul on parenting techniques please please check it out.





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Book Club Free Month

book clubThis month we start our “new year” for book club. It will be the beginning of our 5th year together. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made was to start a book club. You can read more about that at Book Club!. So this month we had a free month to read what we wanted while deciding the format for the 5th year. Summer months are the best to read in. Bedtime no longer applies to myself in summertime. I have no idea how my brain deduced this because there are still 5 am feedings for B, 2 am potty wake ups for O, and 7 am wakeup calls, but in the summer it completely doesn’t matter. Needless to say when we decided to do a “book free month” in July, I was stoked! So far I have read the first three Harry Potters (for the fourth time), the third book in the Divergent Series (btw-that was a big fat ”meh”), and I am doing an ongoing book study of The Connected Child (more on this later). Last week I had about 20 pages left in the 3rd HP and I kept putting it down because I didn’t want it to end. Typically if I have even 50 pages left in a decent book by golly I am staying up until 2am to finish it. I am always sad to finish HP3 though, I love reading this book and it never disappoints. I could go on and on about that but I digress.  I actually just wanted to publish all the books from our four book club years. We usually have a family book exchange party in December so there are only 11 books per year but for some reason there is olnly 10 in the third year. I thought about highlighting the books I really loved but realized that I love them all. A book becomes so much more when you get to talk about it with a great group of ladies! Happy Reading!!!



Titles of the first year of book club:

Olive Kitteridge-Elizabeth Strout

What is the What-Dave Eggers

The Pilot’s Wife-Anita Shreve

Sarah’s Key-Tatiana de Rosnay

Still Alice-Lisa Genova

The Lace Reader-Brunonia Barry

Hunger Games-Suzanne Collins

Their Eyes were watching God-Zora Neale Hurston

Across the Universe-Beth Revis

Room-Emma Donaghue

Remains of the Day-Kazuo Ishiguro

Titles of the second year:

Wuthering Heights-Emily Bronte

To Kill a Mockingbird-Harper Lee

Little Bee-Chris Cleave

Ender’s Game-Orson Scott Card

Shiver-Maggie Stiefvater

The Girl that Chased the Moon-Sarah Addison Allen

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time-Mark Haddon

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society-Mary Ann Shaffer

Something Borrowed-Emily Giffin

People of the Book-Geraldine Brooks

Defending Jacob-William Landay

Titles of the third year:

The Happiness Project-Gretchen Rubin

The Devil in the White City-Erik Larson

Portrait of a Lady-Henry James

The Fault in our Stars-John Green

Wasted-Mark Johnson

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks-Rebecca Skloot

Shanghai Girls-Lisa See

The Long Earth-Stephen Baxter

Wild-Cheryl Strayed

The Handmaid’s Tale-Margaret Atwwod

Titles of the fourth year:

The Wicked Girls-Alex Marwood

These is my words-Nancy Turner

Sirens of Titan-Kurt Vonnegut

Rebecca-Daphne Du Maurier

And the Mountains Echoed-Khaled Hosseini

Labor Day-Joyce Maynard

January First-Michael Schofield

Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein

And Then There Were None-Agatha Christie

Losing my virginity- Richard Branson