Monday, June 12, 2017

I Remember...



While we were in China this past December
one of our daughters
remembered part of "her story"!

It's was jaw dropping and heart breaking to hear it...
And yet...
it's such a blessing to know 
some of her past.


This post is posted over at 

To see this post please click on the link!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Her First Birthday~ Grace is 9 Years Old!


In China birthdays aren't celebrated.
And when you are an orphan,
a birthday... 
goes unnoticed...


So once our kiddos are home 
we like to 
celebrate them!


This was Grace's very first
birthday celebration!


And needless to say...
she enjoyed 
every minute of it!


Mom and Dad needed to get 
a post placement pic
with Grace!
Here is our first attempt!
I'm in the midst of telling Sarah
what to do... 
she snaps it a bit early!
Of course, this would be 
the best pic of Grace 
and
not of us...


Second try...
sorry Grace...
 this ones going to China!
A Mom's gotta do, what a Mom's gotta do!


The kids love to make cards for each other!
It's so heartwarming to see them working hard on their siblings bday card!


Joey is very proud of his masterpiece!


Gel pens and coloring books 
are very popular around here!
Hours of peaceful fun for all!
(Including me!)


Grace asked for an American Girl doll!
She was encouraged to go through the catalog
by her Momma and sisters!
The time for this is growing short
and we want the children to enjoy 
their childhood for as long as possible!


You might thing we are spoiling Grace...

You're right...
and it feels good!

She has the sweetest, kindest demeanor.
She asks for nothing...
She defines- easy going.

She left everything she has ever known
and joined our family.


What an awesome look of 
DETERMINATION!

Grace wanted a bike for her birthday...
We weren't sure if she would be able to ride it
but with each day
she is getting better and better at it!


Now her bike has joined the
line up of bikes in our garage!


Mary Ellen and Grace are ready for bed!


This is Grace's 9th Birthday!


For eight years no one noticed...
so now we CELEBRATE!

I used to love it when the big kids could join us
but now the are all grown up, working, most are living in different towns
 and some of them have children.
All a blessing
but still
sometime I want to live in the past...
It's important for me to be thankful 
for all the fun times we have had
but also it's important 
to move forward and enjoy the moment... the present!


It looks like Jake might be singing a bit too loud for Abby!


Since they have never blown out candles before 
they often
are not too good at it!
It took Grace a couple tries!


Getting better every day!


Grace and I share a birthday!
My post is next
and you will see 
that we were both abundantly blessed on our day!


The next morning we celebrated by going to Build A Bear Workshop!


Another experience she has missed out on...
but not any longer!


Her bear was stuffed with everything it needs 
to live a long and happy life!


God Bless You
sweet birthday girl!


Jenny and Jake got a bear, too!
Now we're done...
everyone has a teddy bear!

I think this birthday was a success!

There will be more birthday blessings on my next post!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Mother's Day 2017


Happy First Mother's Day to our wonderful DIL Caitlin!
It was such a joy to be able to celebrate with you!


Elodie is so cute!
She is such a mellow baby girl!


We went to church bright and early 
and then had a mid morning brunch!

We all made an egg dish together, cut up fresh berries
and...
ordered apple pancakes from
The
Original Pancake House!
(Per my request!)


She is interested in everything!
Especially all of the different shapes in our house-
a chandelier, rod iron railing, the echo when she makes noises
and more!


Caitlin LOVES being a Mom!


Elodie is crawling now
and she's quite fast!
Every time I was set to take a pic...
she'd head in a different direction!
Nana's got to get faster with the camera!


The children ran errands with Hubby 
and brought home a few special things!


 Balloons and flowers!
It made my day!


They made many special cards and pictures for me!


Mia made this and privately gave it to me!
Progress!
She is moving in the right direction and we are so thankful!


 All of the other children called and texted
"Happy Mother's Day"!
It was different not having Billy, Kelly, Mark and Johnny
come over for dinner.
(We did celebrate with a Mother's Day brunch in MN the next weekend!)

It was such a blessing to be able to celebrate
 with Matt, Caitlin and Elodie!
Since they have lived in Colorado for quite awhile
we missed many holidays with them.


Being a Mother 
is truly my greatest joy! 

I am so deeply passionate about 
ALL of my children!

Feeling abundantly blessed!




Friday, May 26, 2017

Happy 11th Birthday Ben!



When we went skiing this spring we discovered (drove by)
a place to go ziplining!
Ben immediately thought it would be a great idea 
to do this for his birthday in May!


All of the children were super excited!


It turned out to be a perfect day!
70 and sunny!




When we made our reservation
we could tell they were slightly 
apprehensive...
How many children?
What ages are they??
Ummm okay!


They gave instructions to all of the children!


 Grace and Emma stayed with us in Idaho Springs!
We hope that with time Grace will be able to join the group.
Grace is continuing to recover from her repaired club foot 
(born with Spina Bifida) 
and learning to walk on it.
But if that doesn't happen we love having her and Emma with us!
Emma is unable to partake in some activities
 for her safety and the safety of others.
She gets frightened, she freezes 
and is unable to respond in these situations.
We asked her if she wanted to go Ziplining
and she didn't even hesitate when she answered "NO"!


Idaho Spring is an adorable town
tucked away in the mountains!


 The instructors were shocked at how smoothly
everything went with 14 children!
They even took the time to take this picture!


Beautiful cloud formations from the top of the mountains!


They thought it would take 3 hrs 30 min. 
for our kiddos to go through the zipline trail.
(Anna ziplining!)


Thank goodness we came back early 
bc it only took them 2 hrs 30 min!
(Luke ziplining!)


We were so glad to get a few pics
at the last spot.
(Ben- the birthday boy, ziplining!)


Mia LOVED it!
She has a combination of an adventurous spirit
along with having some fears and anxieties.
We are so proud of her strength and determination!


The end of the zipline!


And it was over...
much too soon
for this crew!


They had such a great time!


The birthday boy was quite happy with his choice,


as was everyone else!


 Time to take off the gear and head back home for the rest of the celebration!
We would have loved to have spent more time in Idaho Springs
BUT
if you remember the last post...
we needed to get back home for the puppies!


And remember the concerns they had about 14 kiddos ziplining...


Well... it turned out that this was the best group they have ever had!
They went on and on and on
about how well the kids listened and 
did all that they were instructed to do
for a FUN and SAFE time!

GOOD JOB GANG!

We were invited back!


 Ben had some great birthday gift idea!


Sometimes artificial twinning is frowned upon...
BUT it has been an incredible blessing to our family!
That's when you have two children close in age that are not actually twins.

These two brothers are 3 months apart
and they are the best of friends!
They are perfect for each other
and having them both in our family 
was exquisitely orchestrated by God!


Lots of happy faces!


It's your day buddy!
ENJOY!


Ben is so good natured!
His siblings sometimes like to tease him!
Both Ava and Sam pretended it was their birthday...


When I think of how long this amazing child waited for a family...
I shake my head...
He is incredible!
Born with Spina Bifida
(a sometimes feared special need)
and yet...
look at him...


I see courage,
I see capability,
I see joy,
I see an amazing blessing to our family!


 Sam and Ben share so many interests.
They didn't in the beginning 
but it's something that has evolved 
as their love and respect for each other has grown.


The boys love legos!


 And after watching big brother Johnny's team 
make it to 3rd place in the nation...
they really love soccer!


Jersey's rock!
Especially when it's the #1 team Chelsea
or big brother Mark's favorite team 
Manchester United! 
(I love hubby's reflection in the picture!)


And then it was time to find the last gift...


Nope...
not there!
Wrong door!


Look at Daddy's face...
he thought he was sooo funny!
(We've been too predictable
so he decided he'd mix it up a bit!)


Ahhhh, there it is!


He was thrilled!


 He has waited a long time for a bike that actually fits him!


He is so patient...
and he has a heart of gold!


We are so thankful 
he is our son!


Someone...
ordered his cake from the wrong bakery location...
I don't know who could have made this mistake...
I ain't fessing up to anything!


Thankfully the bakery was soooo kind and whipped up another one!
(Thank you to "The Bundt Cake Shoppe"!)


HaPpY BiRtHdAy to you!


I love the looks on their faces!


And now we are all smiling!


Have a blessed year, sweet boy!
We are blessed by you
everyday!