Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Homeschooling - Pioneer School

We spent the day at Cahill School and Marm Erickson taught the children!
Joey and Luke could not join us... 
they where too young for pioneer school.
Em and El were at their school, so they were not with us either.

Four other families joined us!

Sarah went on this field trip once before and loved it!
As the children came home, I knew we wanted to do this again so they all could experience it!

Doing this after our visit to Laura Ingalls Wilder's home and museum was perfect - they all had their outfits!

The children LOVED hearing about and experiencing life back in the early 1900's.

They wrote on slate boards with chalk.
If you erased your answer too quickly, it was counted wrong.

We brought our lunch in pails and baskets!
BUT umm, some one in the group may have brought lunchables... 
I'm not sure who it was...

What a way to kill a pioneer experience, huh?
I don't what to judge BUT she may have had a bundle of kids and was a bit too busy to make 9 lunches ahead of time...

Sometimes I have to pinch myself to realize this dear boy is actually HOME!

Some of the girls knew each other and some of them just met.
Either way, they all got along beautifully and they are friends now!

Some time,
 silence is GOLDEN!

"Try, try again"
I love this motto!

Marm Erickson read a story to the children. 
She also taught us how the children would bring their lunch to school.
They would use pails or baskets but some of the lucky kids had a lunchbox.
That is an old fashion lunchbox on her lap.

After we ate the children cleaned up,
 just as they did over 100 years ago.
Then, we played games like "button, button where is the button", danced and had a spelling bee!

She gave the children words from their grade in homeschool, which worked perfect for us!

It was a WONDERFUL experience!
So thankful we were able to do this and for the wonderful families that joined us!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Happy 9th Birthday Melissa!

Our sweet 9 yr olds!
They get along so well!
It was truly a God ordained that these two would someday be sisters!

Melissa chose dinner out...
I'm not a very good cook
so a homemade meal is not top on her list...

I'm not complaining and I don't feel a bit bad!
I'm won't be throwing eggs into the air and starting large fires to entertain the children!
Heavenly days can you imagine the mess!

But we are glad they will do that here!

Melissa defines easy!
She gets a long with everyone and she is a peaceful, quiet girl.
She is a thinker and doesn't ask for much.

Melissa and Ava have so much fun together!
They tease and giggle together.
I put them next to each other in the car and they chatter away!
Ben is with them, too!
And his English has improved by leaps and bounds!
(hmm, I think I am going to be putting our challenged speakers with these two, very soon!)
(Yes, we have assigned seats in the van!)

Melissa gets along with all of the children.
In fact, when she first came home and had a few scuffles with Madeline and Mia, it was very upsetting to her.
Each time, she was the one that cried.

Billy and Johnny joined us!
Who can turn down a great meal AND a cute little sister's birthday!

The littles love it when we compare their personalities to the big kids.
We say Melissa is like Billy!
He is quiet, a thinker, loves to read, smart, organized, sensible, self sufficient and Melissa is a lot like that!
They loves the stories we tell and they want to know all about the big kids when they they were younger!
FYI- we are still offering cash to any of our children that can go without a fender bender during the first year they get their license.
So far, NONE of the first five could do it!

My babies... freezing outside while Momma takes a pic!
They know my priorities!

The next day- a school day, was her birthday!

YEP! It was HER birthday!

And there is NOTHING like opening presents when you didn't get to celebrate your birthday for the first 7 years of your life...

And you know how the children want to get closer and closer and closer to the birthday child...
Soooo, I held Joey captive!

She loved her new outfits!

And she loved the suspense of opening gifts!

She doesn't ask for much... in fact it was hard for her to even think of things for her birthday.

So her Mommy broke all the rules and guidelines and bought her precious daughter...

make up!

We are completely into growing up slowly.
The natural look and
you are beautiful just as you are...
I knew she would share.
I knew, if I said this was for home and not for when we leave the house, she would listen.
Sooooo, sweet girl-
have FUN!

Happy Birthday Melissa!
Plus an added photo bomb with Luke!
Who is having the next birthday!

We love you so much and are so blessed to have you in our family!

HaPpY BiRtHdAy!

Yes, that we be make up that she is wearing ; - )

Time to make your wish!

I'm pretty sure she is wishing for world peace...

Okay, I'm just kidding!

Thanks for helping out, Ava!

And once again we have had 
successful birthday!


Friday, November 14, 2014

In the Midst of the Storm

We have been blessed in so many ways this fall.

The weather has been beyond perfect!
Beautiful leaves that stayed on the trees until the 20th of October.
Sunny days and mild temps in the 50's and above!

We have enjoyed cheering on Johnny's soccer team and meeting the new families, players and friends!
The children love doing lots of gymnastics on the sidelines!

We have been blessed with abundant wildlife to enjoy-
40-50 blue jays in our yard for a couple days to a week(although this little guy did not quite catch the flight south), daily morning visits from a mother deer and her fawn, wild turkeys and a wily coyote in the front yard! The squirrels have enjoyed the many acorns from our oak trees and it has been a banner year for the mice, too.

Wait a second... I'm not sure about praising God for the mice...
But it has made us think about having a few outdoor cats- so I will praise God for the outdoor kitties that we have considered ;-)

We have seen more eagles this fall than we have seen in all of our lives! They soared over our home, over our community and even over the soccer games countless times.

Our children's health is great and God has guided us through a questionable illness with Abby that we now know was a reaction to "too much" of her medication.
The Doctors have learned and so have we about the signs and symptoms of too much chelating medication.
It can be a bit of a mystery when your child is the only child with this diagnosis.
(Beta Thalassemia and Congenitol Siderblastic Anemia).
They now have a better idea on what dose works best for Abby.
Thankful, just plan thankful!

We had a taller door put on the garage and Sylvia fits in perfectly!
 She is ready for the winter!

We have gone through 40 more boxes from our move last year and the garage is close to being emptied of ALL boxes!
Hubby has bought me a new (used) Yukon XL that can handle the Minnesota winter roads and weather!

A friend sent me a treasured gift that has encouraged me in my prayers.

Our older children are doing well and Mark is trying to adjust to life in Fiji and working on his project.

God has blessed Hubby's business and they are getting closer to approval and then production!

This is an orchid. 
They are challenging plants to grow. 
It is our Aunt Kathy's favorite flower. 
Kathy passed away 16 month ago.
If you know me, you know I do not have a green thumb.
In fact I kill plants (accidentally, of course).
The fact that this plant on our window sill is alive and well and blooming in November- is a miracle!

YOU are amazing God and we praise You for all that You are, for Your kindness and for Your many blessings.
God, You are everything that is GOOD!
We know You are near and we know that You will NEVER leave us.
We are SO THANKFUL to YOU, oh Lord!

Our homeschool is going strong and we are ahead of schedule.
This was part of our plan since we were thinking we would travel to China sometime early this spring.

But sometimes even the best intentions and the best laid plans do not turn out exactly the way we hope and desire...

When the enemy strikes
it's usually NOT a single blow...

Ephesians 6:12....For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

With all of these many many blessing this has been a difficult fall for us...
We have felt like we were walking through a mine field.
Satan strikes and then strikes again before we can catch our breath.

He has weakened us at times and we have allowed fear into our hearts.

At times we have missed out on the beauty of HIS blessings because our thoughts were somewhere else... deep in worry...

Awhile back I asked people to pray for what was heavy on my heart.
You were and You still are - amazing!
It is comforting to know that we have an army of prayer warriors behind us!
We are so thankful for your prayers, it makes our burdens lighter.
You have helped us to see GOD in the midst of a storm.

We ask you to continue to pray.
Pray for our Grace and Jacob, that wait for us in China.
Yes, his name is Jacob.
God made it clear to us that Jacob was his name.

Now I also understand why God told us that our dear daughter's name was GRACE!
It is God's grace that will see us though.
Please pray that God will keep them safe and healthy.

We praise you Lord!
And we thank you for your promises and for your faithfulness!

I told another adoptive Mom that our adoption was under attack by the opposition.
She said
"Of course it is, Satan hates adoption."
and went on to say
"Every time we have adopted extremely challenging things have happened to us."

At least we know we are not alone...
Others have traveled this road.
We will hold fast to HIM!
And pray our way through the storm...