Saturday, August 17, 2019

Family Found!

( Our Dad)

In January 2019 we sent our Japanese flag,
a momento that our father had from World War II,
to the Obon society, to be returned to Japan..

Click here for the original story!

Once they received it,
we heard right back from them...

They informed us that it may take up to 2 years
to find the soldiers family
and that there was a chance that
they may be unsuccessful.

(our Mom)

To be honest, my heart sank.
Two years and maybe no living relatives...

Did we wait too long to send it back home to Japan?

But then, I prayed over it and felt better.
I knew that God's plan was happening
and that this was his timing.

Six months later,
we heard that the flag's family 
has been located!

Praise HIM!

We revised the letter and personalized it to the family!
After translation it will be on its way to the nephew
of the Japanese soldier that carried it in WWII.

Soldier’s name: Mr. Sakae Hisajima
Location of death: Mariana island
Date of death: July 18th 1944
Name of found relative: Mr. Teruo Hisajima
Relationship to soldier: Nephew
Resident of: Fukui Prefecture

The Japanese family is eager to receive these remains.
We are preparing your flag now to send to Japan.

We are so thankful that this is finally happening!

Almost exactly 75 years later,
it's really going HOME!

The flag has been sent to the family and received by them!

They were very thankful and grateful 
to have their Uncle home!

We have not heard anything else
and most likely there will not 
be any other communication.

We all have a wonderful sense of peace!

Boating and Big Island!

It was such a treat going boating and
spending the day with the
Big Island Boat Club!

Special Thank you to Captain Bob, Marcus and Lori!

The kids were so excited!
They fished off of the dock!

Enjoyed arts and crafts!

Ate at the picnic shelter!

There were many boats to take all of the Hope Kids to the Island!

We were amazed by their efforts and kindness!

There was a fire boat that the kids took a ride on
and tried out the hose- on the far left!

I walked around the island and thanked God,
while checking on all of our children!

Sweet Mary caught a fish!

And Emma got to go fishing, too!

As did many of the other kiddos!

The picnic lunch was great!

Emma was so happy she caught a fish,
she just had to show it to us!
Emma finds such joy in the sweet and simple things in life!

Hubby and I thought we could not adopt
a child with a cognitive disability.
But God...
He knew better!
And we have been so blessed since
she came home!

Back to fishing after lunch!

Face painting
was a huge hit!

with BOTH of our younger girls!

Treasure hunt time!

Lots of prizes and treats!

Another group of kiddos rode on "The Doctors boat"!
It had an upstairs and a downstairs!

Madeline and Melissa are chillin'!

This was such a special day!
A blessing in every way!


Friday, July 19, 2019

Let's Go Fishing!

Did you know that it's impossible 
to be anxious when you are fishing?

The feeling of peace is present and permeating
when you are slowly circling the lake 
for the best spot to go fishing!

I have only been fishing a few times in my life.
Probably, not enough to count on one hand.

We were blessed to bring some of our kids fishing
through volunteer group called
Let's Go Fishing!

We chose the kids that didn't 
get to go to Extreme Faith Camp
and that would be able to safely partake
in the activity.

The WINNER of the largest fish contest!
Can't remember what kind of fish this is???
Can we have a little help here?

Jake loved going fishing with his family!

He loves having a family!
A mom is great
but having a Dad...
is the BEST!

He is wonderful with me,
and I love that he wants to be with his Dad!
No matter what the day looks like-
chores (yard work), yucky guy stuff (unclogging toilets)
or watching sports on TV.
If Dad's doing it, 
Jake wants to do it, too!

For awhile...
Mary didn't catch any fish.
But then she hit a lucky streak and caught 4!
She was as happy as can be
each time!

Oh ya,
me, too!
I caught 2 fish!

Yes, we know that some of our fishy's are small
but we did not care, a bit!

Joey was soooo proud!
Hubby helped take the fish off the hooks!

It took Mia awhile to snag a fish,
but she did it!

Our guides were David and his son, Joe!
They worked very hard
getting the bait on our hooks.
We had a lot of nibblers, 
meaning fish that ate the bait 
but didn't grab the hook!

This was my favorite spot to fish,
relaxing on the end of the pontoon!
Sam, on the left caught the most fish (8 fish)!
Ben came in fourth with 5 fish!

Madeline came in second place with 7 fish!
Jake came in third place with 6 fish!

Joey caught one fish,
so he got to drive the boat
back to the dock with Captain Dave!

It was the BEST evening!

Thankful, happy parents!
Our grand total was 42 fish caught and released!

Thank you HopeKids!

And YES,
it's impossible to be anxious
when you go fishing!

Saturday, July 6, 2019

HaPpY 4th of JuLy 2019

Love having the kids in their Red, White and Blue!

Last year we celebrated in Richmond, VA
but this year we were back home
and creating new memories (once again)
in MN!

The day was unpredictable, weather wise.
So often, we make our decision on what to do,
based on the weather...

But this time we decided to go for it 
and just have fun, 
no matter what Mother Nature 
was going to give us!

And it proved to be a super fun choice!
A choice that makes good memories!

Hurry up and get in to the pool 
before you get wet!!!

Just as quickly as the rain came,
the sun peeked out!
Go Jake!

Luke's turn!

The fun continued,
rain or shine!
Anna is soooo good at limbo!


Jenny and Anna were close to being the winners...
but not quite!

Abby was disqualified due to her knees on the ground.

And Mary,
She decided to do it differently!

Jake opted out at this point!

We LOVE bingo!

Generally speaking-
the odds are in our favor!

We usually win, win, win!

not so much this year!

We sure tried to win...

Ava came the closest!
Funny things is...
they were playing the losers game this round!

We couldn't even win this!

Sarah likes to win 
and really tried hard!

But to no avail!

We made the most of our 2019 
losing streak!
And we're a little bit silly!

Sometimes the photos tell a story.
So even though they are similar
they show us...
being us!

We celebrated from 11 until now (8:00pm)...
The parents were getting a little tired.

We tried to bribe the kids
into going home
and watching a family movie...

Our idea got mixed reviews.

They love giving us a hard time...
raising hands, changing their minds,
voting again and again and again.

So I made an executive decision...

And we stayed for the fireworks!

They seemed to be happy with the choice!

Me and my date!

Mary is photo bombing the pic!
She is so sweet and such a blessing to our family!

Our blessings!

Mary and Melissa are from 
the same orphanage in China!

I actually have pics of the two of them together!
(with other kids, too)

Thank goodness we brought sparklers
for the down time as we waited 
for the fireworks!

Our sweet Ava has matured 
into a beautiful young lady!

Thankful for these three!

This is Dwight!
He made Ben and Grace's orthotics!
He has since retired,
so it was a special joy
running into him!

The fireworks were wonderful!

They went on for about 45 minutes!

Our precious two younger girls, 
that have become BFF sisters!

Our GOD is so amazing!
I call them our twins!
They are only 2 days apart in age!
Sweet Mary is going to the
Endocrinologist next week. 
She hasn't grown in height for quite awhile, 
actually for 3 years...

Hoping to find out a few things 
and praying they can help her.

We celebrated from 11:00am to 11:00pm!