Thursday, July 9, 2020

Fourth of July 2020



We are sooooo thankful the pool opened this summer!
If you are looking for us...
this is where we will be!
This is where we spend every summer!
(missing Anna in the photo)


And it's where we spent our 4th of July 
this year
(and every year)!
Some traditions are worth keeping!

Being able to be at the pool 
involves a bit more
nowadays!
We have to make reservations.
We have to request the reservations
right on time or we will miss out.
And they are only for a 2.5 hour time slots.
But, no complaints,
we will take what we can get!


These two girlies are 12 now!
They are growing up too fast,
slow down girls!


The club always does events on the 4th!
First up was limbo!
Jenny is very good at it!


Same with Sam
but he can only go so low!


Melissa rocked it!


Anna has always done well at limbo!
She is very flexible!


However... she is now 
the tallest girl at 5-3.5 
and still growing!
So limbo is getting harder for her!
She was out on this turn.


Ava did well!
She's 5-3 and stayed low!


Back to Jenny!
Wow, that's good!


But this girl, took the grand prize!
Mia got first place!
She rocked at limbo!


And Joe had no fear!


Mia (right) first place!
Melissa (center) second place!
Joey (left) third place!
Way to go kids!


Next up, 
the hula hoop contest!


We have many kiddos 
that are good at this!


So they made it harder and
they had to put their hands in the air!


Then lift one foot!


First place goes to Anna!
Congrats honey!


Next up where the splash contests
with different age brackets!


 Next up where the splash contests
with different age brackets!


Melissa killed it,
but she didn't win.
We thought about appealing the decision
but decided not too...
(Just kidding)!


Ava was awesome!


Jake did great!


Most of the kids gave it a try
and had fun doing it!
Dad participated in the contest
but sorry...
no photo!


Usually we would have dinner at the pool
but not this year.
So we headed home to continue the celebration!


Next was BINGO
in the basement!
Candy bar prizes for everyone!


It was so much fun!
The kids loved it!
Everyone got a chance to win!


The kids are so kind to each other
and would help those that needed it!

But, at the same time 
they are almost all teens/tweens.
so they were competitive!


Abby was the overall #1 winner
in Bingo and choose gum
for her prize!


This is the biggest loser form of bingo...
the one left standing that 
has not had a number called!
It's fun and no one feels bad because 
they actually win!


Cook out dinner on the fourth!


Delicious, FUN and easy!
What more could parents want?!


Everybody pitches in
when it's time to clean up!


And last but not least
SpArKLeRs!
(not fireworks, just sparklers!)
So, it was NOT us 
that frightened 
your poor doggy!


FUN TIMES!
We love being with our kiddos!
They are such a blessing to us!


Mia is in the background
taking a selfie!


 Ellie is having fun!


So thankful that Mary
has joined us!
It's been 14 months now, 
that she has been home!
Melissa and Mary are from 
the same orphanage
and knew each other long ago!


Luke, Madeline and Ava!


Happy Independence Day,
America!

Happy 4th to you and your family!









Sunday, May 3, 2020

Shelter in Place


This corona journey has been interesting!
I feel like we have made the most of this unique time...


We decided to "shelter in place"
 on Saturday, March 14th.
Just a day or so before the rest of the world.


We have been doing the peace rosary together
almost every day during Lent.
And now we are doing it about 3-4 times a week.
It is such a blessing to hear 
the children's prayers and petitions 
after the rosary!


Right before the "stay at home order"
we had 4 kiddos start piano!
They alternate lessons to keep the cost down a bit!
We liked it best when our teacher 
could come to our home but
distance learning works!


This is Dad's office BUT
that's not Dad!


It seems that his office was taken over 
by a group of kiddos
doing their school work!


At first he tried to work with them...
BUT
they are an unruly crew (jk)
and wanted
a complete take over!


So they were banished to their school room downstairs!


Where the kitties can play while the kiddos get their work done!


And when their school work is done
they play games!


We have completely enjoyed this gorgeous spring!

This pic is from March.
No we have green grass and buds on the trees!


We were blessed by Rock Elm Tavern,
our favorite local restaurant.
Thank you Troy, Allie and Michelle!


And I was the recipient of a new hairdo!
Thank you, Ava!


Our Family Zoomed
it was such a joy talking to everyone!


And I was able to ZOOM with
my birthday club!


Our dogs have never been happier!
They are getting a ton of attention 
with everybody home...
all of the time!

Our cat, Mike is so gentle and sweet!
He really likes his two doggy sisters!


The kids treated us to a
fancy date, at home!
It was delightful!
(previous post)


We had a family distance gathering!
It's heartwarming to see our bigs!


Sunday church together!
Some in clothes and some in PJ's!


On our knees to our LORD!
We desperately miss going to church...
We miss the fellowship with the other parishioners.
Mary has had to postpone her First Communion 
due to the shelter in place order.


Monday through Friday,
school is happening in every corner of our home!


Actually, I LOVE it!
This group has moved onto Abeka 4th grade, now!
They have worked hard and done a fabulous job!
Abeka is a comprehensive accelerated program.
If they were in school, 
they would be in 5th grade!


School is hard for our Joey!
Sitting still, 
while someone is giving him instructions, 
just isn't his thing!

He does well with one on one, for a limited time.


He is as sweet as can be 
and he LOVES to play
all day long! 


I cannot believe that this darling daughter
 has turned 15!
Where is the time going???
She was our God surprise!
A domestic adoption that blessed us beyond belief!


Jenny's birthday is the first in a string of three in a row!
This is repeated two other times each year!


Jake is next!
He turned 13!
What??? No way!


Jake has been home for just over 3 years!
He is such a great kid!

We are finding out more and more information 
on his special needs.
BUT truly,
he is doing amazingly well,
 considering everything! 

He has adjusted really well,
to his new family!
We are blessed!


And last but not least, 
this precious daughter turned 14!
Anna came home at 17 months.
She was our first adoption.
Our hearts were forever changed,
for the better!


Our kiddos are all growing up so fast...
Each child is such a blessing!
Yes, we have our fair share of challenges but
we just keep doing our best
and giving it all
to GOD!


Roller blades, bikes, scooters are all out and being used!
Basketballs, soccer balls, kickballs are everywhere!
This makes me happy!
Welcome spring!


And then some...
are trying to start small fires...?


Mary joined our family in early May 2019!
All summer she struggled with riding a bike.
We were beginning to think 
that bike riding was something 
our girl would not be able conquer...

Until this spring,
she got on a bike and rode it like a pro!

We were soooo happy for her!

Congratulations Mary!



Four kids go to public school.
Eight went to a homeschool co op once a week.
Four are homeschooled full time.


And now a new crew, 
doing their school work in the kitchen!


Mia is talking to one of her teachers!
Finding a quiet place in our home is NOT easy!


Joey joins the homeschool kids for bible
and then does his other school work.


We met sweet Romeo when hubby and I were on a date!
Our dates consist of ordering lunch 
and eating it in the car!

This beautiful puppy
may have given us an idea...?
Foreshadowing?


Exercising to Wellbeats with the kids!
The LUNCH Crunch!


It's a perfect time to get a few projects done!


Winter gear easily takes over the mudroom closets...


It is so satisfying getting it out of there 
and into seasonal storage!


Now, this makes me REALLY happy!


We have been taking many long walks
at Baker Park!
We started out with 2  miles
and now we go from 3-6 miles each time!
The kids and the dogs love the walks!


They get all tuckered out after a long walk!


BFF's


Yes, I will brush you!


Hubby and I watch Drs. Les and Leslie Parrot
speak about marriage.
Interesting realistic information with a good sense of humor!


Distance classes and not enough computers...


Lots of sharing at our house!


This was a special night!
We got a text that said
the puppies were being born!


Boy, Boy, Boy, Boy, Boy, Boy, Girl, Boy
We were 4th in line for a girl...
Looks like we will be welcoming a brother into the family!


This orchid has bloomed for many, many months!
Hubby's sister, Kathy loved orchids.
She passed away in July 2015.


We seem to be breaking a few rules
during this season of our lives...
and it makes some people and pets
extremely happy!


Love you two!
And no, she may not get on the couch with you!


Dad and the boys were able to talk with 
a professional golfer through HopeKids!


Aaron Baddeley is a pro golfer!
He and his wife have 6 adorable kids.
He is from Australia!
All the boys LOVED talking to him!


It was such a blessing to run into 
this sweet girl and her family!
She was our puppy dog 
but we had to give her up 2 years ago.

For some reason two of our dogs fought
and it was not a friendly fight...
From what we have read, 
we think it was because they were both
 at the mating age 
(even though they were both spade). 
And they were fighting over 
the mating rights, plus 
which one would be the alpha dog???

You would never think it possible 
if you knew the two of them now...
Both gentle, kind, loyal and loving 
golden retrievers...
in different homes!


For many of our kiddos 
the school year has ended 
and they are ready to begin a new school year!

Welcome to High School Geography, 
Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1!
Plus, our 3rd-4th graders have become 4th-5th graders!


April is a big birthday month
in our family!
Emily turned 6 yrs old
in the beginning of the month!


Wow, does this look like FUN!
Funny thing is...
this is in their family room!
(not outside)


Andrew celebrated his birthday in April, also!


Making the most of "sheltering in place" in Virginia!


And Mark's b-day was the very next day!


This is the first time we saw them in 8 weeks!
It was such a joy to be able to celebrate his bday with them!


First day of High School geography!
They started off without supervision
and it became quite obvious
there was a party goin on,
in the school room!
Now Mom,
the party killer, is present 
and actual schoolwork is getting done!


HopeKids virtual event-
Working in Hollywood!


And another HopeKids event-
 Disney Trivia!


Thankful for time together, a slower pace,
a better focus, good health, Drs, nurses,
all medical personal, all cleaning personal,
and I know I'm leaving out many...
just thankful...
We will definitely be keeping some
of these new habits as things change.


Concerned about the economy, small businesses,
our national debt, the level of government control,
our freedom to make our own decisions,
what we don't know about this virus...


Praising GOD for his many blessings.
Always trying to be respectful of the many different opinions.

Be safe, be smart, be free!