Saturday, October 25, 2014

Happy 8th Birthday Madeline!

I took the kids to build a bear to celebrate the fall(girls) birthdays!
(when allllll of the other children in the world were in school- I love that about homeschooling!)

They immediately started a game of limbo and our fun salesperson joined in!

 The kids love build a bears- no matter how old or young they are!

We brought build a bears to China with us when we adopted Mia, Melissa and Madeline.
This is the first time they got to pick out their own!
I love their choices!

First the stuffing!

Then the heart ceremony!

where we had to give our hearts lots of...
cuddles and

and brains...

and a sense of humor...

and love...

and strength!

And then give them to the bears!

Next it was bath time!

And here is the final product!
They are thrilled with their build a bears!

Then it was time for everyone to pick out an outfit!

Our salesperson was a hoot!
Lots of positive energy and tons of fun!

Everyone was happy because they got to bring something home but especially the birthday girls were thrilled!

We didn't schedule a party ahead of time just took the kids into the store but we pretty much got a party out of it!

Next it was lunch at Friday's!
And they sang their Happy Birthday song!

Madeline opened her presents at home!

HaPpY BiRtHdAy

Which one is the birthday girl?

She is allll girl and loves everything fancy!
So sparkle pink pants and a sequin vest worked for her!

Along with clip on earings and a jewelry box!

A fashion drawing set is fun to do, too!
Especially when you have some older sisters that want to do it with you!

The ice cream cake has a picture from Frozen!
It's hard to see on this picture.

Johnny is home with pneumonia so he joined us for the celebration.

Belting out the 

Sweet girl had a hard time blowing out the candles.

With 6 candles still lit - she has lots of boyfriends!

I think one reason is because she has verbal apraxia.
He mouth doesn't always do what she wants it to do.

But eventually she got the job done (with a little help... Ava)!
The celebration was a success and once again we have another darling 8 yr old!
Praise GOD!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

What is an Overcomer?

Sarah sits up front with me when we go places.
I love it.
Sarah is a talker and she always keep things FUN!

Once again we had our favorite radio station on and we were singing away!
When the song was done she asked me-
"Mom, what's an overcomer?"

Oh, my goodness honey that is an easy question to answer!

My heart was so full at that moment (and it continues to be)...


YOU are an overcomer!

All of you are overcomers!

In your short life you have already been through so much.
You have already seen things that children shouldn't have to see.
You have experienced loss and change more than some will, 
in their entire life.
You gave up all that you knew, all that was comfortable, 
all that was familiar
in the hope of a family, of love and a better life.
You left the known for the unknown and you trusted without certainty.
Promises where made to you and you believed them,
 even though so many lies had already been told to you.

You stepped out in faith that these promises would be fulfilled.
Faith in what?
You didn't know, but you knew there had to be something better out there.

Oh dear child...
I am so grateful to God!
So grateful for your bravery!
For your trust
that we hadn't even earned, yet.

And still within 24 hours of meeting us
you refused the orphanage visit.
You hid behind us and cried.
You wouldn't even look at the nanny or the director.

I know you had your moments of thinking
"What on earth have I gotten myself into?"
"Did I make the right choice?"
But still you perservered through all the many new experiences.

darling daughter
are an

You made it very clear that we would have to learn Mandarin.
But when that didn't happen you learned English in record time!
(I told you she was a talker!)

You embraced your new life and you allowed us to teach you, to direct you and to lead you.

You accepted our love in bits and pieces until you completely found yourself consumed with it.

Your precious heart was open and ready to learn about Jesus.
You had heard of him in China and you wondered
"Who is this Jesus?"
Now, you tell me that you think about Jesus all of the time.
You pray to Him throughout your day.
You share your ups and downs with Him everyday.

That faith that was mentioned earlier...
It was Jesus!
He planted a seed in your heart.
Just like he placed one in mine and in so many others that know HIM and love HIM!

He has plans for you dear daughter!
And what a wonderful journey it will be!

Your little brothers and sisters are

All of these amazing children

We are so proud of you!
Of your faith, your smile, the joy that is inside you!

We are so thankful to God
for leading us to YOU
and to all of our precious children.

YOUR child is out there...
please find them!
Please share your home, your life, and your love with an orphan...
It will be the best thing you have EVER done and
you will get to see the Lord's miracles right in your own home!

Your new child will be an 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Happy Birthday Mia!

Our sweet girl has been home since Feb. 2013.
I am amazed at the progress she has made in only 20 months!

One more time!
Who's birthday is it?

We met our darling daughter when she was 11 yrs and 3 months old.
Her shirt says it all!
"Love is all you need!"

She had not received any of the gifts, pictures or letters that we had sent to her.
She was not prepared to meet her new parents and family.
It was a struggle for her- Bless her Heart!
And now she is blossoming!
She is doing so well and we are so proud of her!

Once again the crowd(that would be family) gets closer!

I love the bond that these two have formed!
It has made it so much easier for Mia to adjust to all that is new!

And the crowd just keeps getting closer and closer!

She is a princess and a true blessing to us!

And these two... sit near the parents ALWAYS!
Partners in crime!

Happy Birthday Mia!
She is taking horseback riding lessons now and absolutely loves it!

Mia will be getting braces in the future.
Her orthodontist does not feel that she is 13 yrs old. 
Her lower 12 yr old molars should erupt in about 6-12 months but the uppers have a long long way to go...
All our other children have had their 12 yr old molars coming in within 6-8 months of their birthdays.
We sometime wonder how old she really is?
He thinks she is 12 yrs old at best.
The endocrinologist says 12 also... but then she also says plus or minus 6 months...

Sometimes it makes me sad for the lost information.
These kids deserve to know more...

Ava is a very witty and cheerful girl!
She has now claimed the princess crown!

This cake is exactly what Mia ordered!

Good job Sarah!

Happy Birthday Mia!
I love how happy Sarah is for Mia!

Happy Birthday to YOU!
We are blessed to have you in our family!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Happy Birthday Johnny!

We didn't have a party planned but Johnny decided to come home the night before his birthday!
Which made this family VERY HAPPY!

And it just so happened that his brother Billy decided to come over too!
So we had an impromptu birthday party!

Johnny had a game the next day so he was hoping for a good meal and some extra rest!
Of course, teasing a certain little brother was also part of the FUN!

They both eat it up!
Johnny was not meant to be the youngest- God knew he needed little brothers!
In fact one of the times we told him that we were planning to adopt again-
Johnny wasn't so sure about it.
But then we told him it was a little boy and he saw the pic of Sam (at 4 yrs old),
he was all for it!

Ava is giving us all a lesson- she's all about books and all about fun!

And here we have Mia reading... ah, honey?
Excuse me!
Your book is upside down  ; - )
I'm gonna need to talk to her teacher!
Oops, that would be me!

Okay, I think she may be hiding from the camera!

This boy is sooooo proud of his purple cast!
He chose purple right away because it's Johnny's school color!
Joey has struggled a bit with knowing his colors.
But he knew purple right away!
He said, "Purple, Johnny soccer!"

When it came to light blue he looked at it and said,
"I don't know that one!"

I think someone is getting a little tired!

Love you three, but you look like your up to something!?!

Awww, the birthday boy and his big bro!
Missing you Matt and Mark...
Um, Katie too!
And Andrew, Emily, Caitlin, Kelly and Laukii!
and we look forward to more "AND's"

We had Johnny b-day cake after the game!
I can't believe my baby from the first crew just turned 21!
It's all going by too fast...
A couple of the families served the team dinner and we brought the cake ; - )

So thankful to our GOD!