Wednesday, October 31, 2012

HaPpY HaLLoWeEn !

 Although this is not my favorite holiday the children sure do have fun!

They have been so excited for Halloween! 

They get to dress in a costume AND get candy!

Sam loved digging in the pumpkin and cleaning it out!

Ava was our other volunteer!

Katie made it very clear she did not want to carve a pumpkin...
And here she is, carving a pumpkin!
Thanks Kate!!

Ellie was very excited about carving this year too!
(I helped her a little)

And Sarah carved a pumpkin, too!

They did a great job!

Yes, we only did three pumpkins, 8 would be way too many!

They kept talking about how many Halloweens they have been home for!
Anna- 6
Sarah- 4
Emma and Ellie- 3
Ava- 2
Sam- home for 2 but only celebrated 1 because he was having surgery in Cincinnati last year.
Abby and Luke- 1

The children were so excited!

Including the big kids!!

And then, of course they each wanted pick with the littles!
(Katie's turn!)

(Luigi and Kelly's turn!)

(Astronaut Mark's turn!)

The children took the photography session as well as could be expected!

Then were ready to get on with the trick n treating!

So Katie and I were left to pass out candy!

Except there weren't any trick or treaters at our house... 
 : - (

(We live on a little private drive with 4 other homes. Obviously the children nowadays are much more savvy, they know how to get the max amount of candy while traveling the least amount of distance!)

our own little 8 children rang the doorbell when they were done and we gave them candy!

If your in the area PLEASE stop by!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fall Fun!

A couple weeks ago the kids did some raking for us!

They had no intentions of bagging up the leaves!

Instead they had their own plan!

And it included having LOTS of fun with those leaves!

So they gathered as many as they could and then . . .

they spent the next half hour throwing them in the air and jumping around in them!

Even one of our puppy dogs got into it!

You can hardly see her! 
She is in the middle, buried in leaves!

I am trying to be a more fun Momma.

But of course when I saw this...
 "bath night" immediately came to mind!

On bath night, we divide bath duties and conquer the large task looming in front of us.

Sarah and Ellie can shower by themselves!

If Hubby is home he does the two little boys!

I do the three little girls (soon to be 5 little girls).

Jim, Sarah and I take turns washing Emma's hair. 
(Sarah actually likes to do it!)
Then I get Emma set up in the tub. She is learning to do most of the bath herself.
So thankful that she is making baby steps in the right direction!

Can I have your feedback regarding-
At what age can children shower by themselves? Just wondering your thoughts?

This is my favorite pic!
It makes me smile!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A weekend of UPS and DOWNS...

When I last left you we were jetting off to Denver to meet Caitlin's parents- Deb and Dan!

When I sat down in the plane I was next to a beautiful smiling young woman. I wondered right away... Okay God is this going to be a flight where I quietly pray and then do my sudoko puzzles OR do you have plans for me?

I took out my "Kisses from Katie" book and the conversation began... and only ended because the plane had landed...

Angie was marvelous and had a passion for Haiti!
She loves the Lord!
She had been on many mission trips to Haiti and is going back in February.

To be honest friends - MY ears are perked up and I am listening to the Lord.

I am feeling like HE has something to say to me... and I am waiting to hear from the Master!

On with the story-

As we walked up the steps to Matt and Caitlin's new home an energetic smiling woman came out the door and wrapped her arms around me, it was Caitlin's mom! Talk about an ice breaker!!
She was smiling from ear to ear and joy was all over her face! What a blessing to us- to have someone as happy as we are for this young couple!

Truly God is so good and so amazing!

The evening proceeded without a hitch! The 6 of us had a wonderful time and we were so grateful to God to have been able to meet Caitlin's parents and get to know them!

Deb and Dan were wonderful!
And what is even MORE wonderful is how happy Matt and Caitlin are!

Despite the rough start to the weekend we were amazed that we were even in Denver!

On Sunday hubby and I enjoyed a cup of coffee together and went for a drive.
It was so great to have a moment together! 

As we checked out of our hotel room and prepared to drive to Matt and Caitlin's home to spend the afternoon together and eat lunch we received a phone call...

It was not the kind of phone call parents want when they are out of town...

One of our sons fell victim to another young mans wrath and was on the wrong side of this persons fist...

We immediately called an older sibling to help him and get him to the ER. 
Reason #546 why I love having a big family. The other sibs banned together and came to the rescue.

Hubby and I were much to upset and concerned to stay in Colorado, so we needed to back out of the day's festivities and hop on a plane home.

The airlines were very accommodating- praise GOD!

Once again... GOD had a plan...
As I sat in my seat and took out my book, 
yep "Kisses from Kate" (will I ever be able to finish this book?), I saw my seat partners book...

The Bible

Of course I knew GOD HAD A PLAN!
In the midst of my/our turmoil the LORD sent someone to help us!
Seriously friends-

WE talked, read scripture, laughed and prayed together.


We are home now, our son is home, the siblings that live nearby are home and we are rallying around the one who is hurt both physically and emotionally. Raising his spirits and processing all that has happened.

He has a concussion, neck sprain and is badly bruised.

WE are praying over the situation and praying that those who are in charge will handle it appropriately.
This is an opportunity to guide young men in a Godly way...
We pray that the end result would give GLORY to GOD and healing to those that have been hurt.

Will you pray with us?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Please Say Prayers- Updated

For Ava. . .
In mid August she was diagnosed with HSP. 

The rash and other symptoms would come and go over the last 2 plus months.

This week she had another flare up. This is the worst one so far.  Her legs are covered with purple spots. Her ankles, knees and abdomen hurt and she has a low grade fever.
Now she is having kidney involvement with blood and protein in her urine.

She is with hubby at the Mpls. Children's ER getting fluids and seeing a pediatric Nephrologist. They have done an abdominal ultrasound and other tests, we are waiting for the results.

Please say prayers for her-
For healing(no kidney damage), for comfort and for God's tender loving care!

Hubby and I are supposed to leave early tomorrow morning for Colorado to meet Caitlin's parents...

This probably won't work out now. We are disappointed. We were so excited to meet them and see Matt and Caitlin (it's been too long since we saw them).

We will see what the Dr says and update you.

Praying for Ava

Ava and Hubby are coming home this morning! We were able to change our flights and we are leaving mid afternoon!
Ava is doing well! The IV fluids were very helpful and all her test came back with good results! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

New Photos!

Right after my last post we were blessed with pictures of Melissa!

Be still my heart!

I was beginning to feel like we would not recognize her when we saw her and that I was not bonding to her as much "from afar" because I had no idea what she looked like now...

Her pictures were a year and a half old, blurry and all of our attempts to get updated pics had been denied.

Well. . .
that problem is solved. 
We now have 7 lovely pics of our middle daughter! 

AND. . .
we are completely in love with her!

I can so see her in our family!

I can see her running, jumping, skipping and twirling with the others!

I can see her laughing, playing, and singing with them!

I can see her in her Momma and Babba's arms!

I can see her face peering over the kitchen counter!
and her skinny little body hopping into the bathtub!

I imagine looking back in the van and seeing her in her car seat!
And then later that evening she will draw us a picture, we will have to close our eyes while she counts to 10 (I know it's supposed to be 3) and ta da, she will show us her latest work of art!
Which will then be displayed on the refrigerator for all to see!

Praising GOD!!
For allowing us to raise these treasures!

Praying we can get to our new daughters as soon as possible!

We're coming sweet girl!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Really, Really, Really Good News!

We just got a call from our agency!

They received 3 LOA's for us today!!
We have a "really" in our title for each LOA!

Yippee Jesus!!

They came on day 41!

We are over the moon excited to get our trio home!!


We also got an update on Melissa!!
still no new pic.

We will beg for an updated pic before travel time.
Not sure that it will do us any good but 
we'll give it a try!

We are so thankful to have our questions answered!

Melissa does not know any English.
They have told her that she has a family and will be going to America!
She is excited about the news!
(I wonder if she saw the photo album?)
She is a good student, she is polite and she gets along well with others!
She always finishes her school work.
(Of course that makes this homeschooling Momma very happy!)

She loves to do artwork!

When she is not in school she is a sports fan! This will work out great for Hubby and the big boys!
She loves to run and jump!
She has many friends!

I'm thinkin she is going to fit in beautifully!!

Mia's Birthday was on Oct. 14th. She turned 11 yrs old. I just want to get her home before she turns another day older.

We sent her a cake and got some pics back. The poor girl looked a bit nervous.
They sent supper small pics- so I am sorry if they are blurry.

Madeline is turning 6 tomorrow. We are hoping to get pics of her party too!

HaPpY BiRtHdAy sweet girl!

So now we have 5  "6 yr olds"!
Melissa (turning 7 in November), Abby (January), Anna (April), Sam (August), Madeline (October)!

Honestly, it sounds like a whole lotta fun to me!!

Tomorrow we will receive, sign and send back our LOA's!

Thank you Jesus!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Whatever Happened to . . . ?

I know...
 people come and go in the bloggy world.
Their lives, their interests and their needs change. So they decide not to blog any more or they take a break.

I have a couple blogs listed on my sidebar and would love to be updated on their families! I am hoping that you may know how they are doing? 

I will also be updating my sidebar and will be taking off any inactive blogs.
If you know anything about these families please let me know in the comment section!

1. How they are doing?

2. How are their adopted children are doing and their family?

3. What they are doing now?

4. If they have another blog I could follow or if I could get in touch with them to follow their private blog or be friends with them on FB?

5. And if they have any prayers requests!

Even though I have never met them I feel like they are old friends and would love to be updated!

Here is a short list of 
"whatever happened too?"

1.  April @ Our Party of Seven. 
Also known as 
Mei Meis and Mayhem
Last I heard their Ava was having open heart surgery.

2.  Nicole @ The Bakers Sweets
They had just brought home a little blessing from China but were still having challenges in their home.
Nicole always was honest- God bless her!
Challenges are a huge part of adopting.
I could easily identify with her and the many challenges.
I have continued to pray for them.

3.  Anita @ He Leads Us to Faith- Faith Walking to Caleb!
I loved this blog! They had older children and a daughter from China. When I started following her blog they were on their journey to Caleb.
He had a limb difference but he also had a smile that was so contagious!

4.  The Journey Continues...
This was Mandi's family. They have 4 treasures from China! Their last one was Kalia.
I am sure they are busy with everyday LIFE but I would love an update on them!

5. Cari at Wherever He Leads Us
She stopped blogging about 5 months ago but does FB I think?
How is Selah's transition going?
How is the rest of the family?

6. Pam at the The Byrd's Nest
She stopped blogging 4 months ago.

7.  Suzette @ Living By Faith

8. Forever n Always
They went private, I think?

9. Tanya @Acorns and Cherry Blossoms?
They adopted Khloe in 2010. She lives about an hour away from me but I haven't heard from her in quite awhile?

10. And how is Hezra @ Home in the Woods?
They added a group of three to their family and I am sure it must be very challenging.

Thank you for helping me find out about my long lost friends!

I hope you like our new blog look!

THANK YOU Katie for cleaning things up a bit and giving us a new clean crisp look!

One question? Are the bats driving you batty?
I like a more peaceful feel so the bats may be going!

Sorry our header pic is not real clear. It was taken with my point and shoot and then blown up. All our complete family photos that include Andrew and Caitlin were taken with my camera- oops!
I am definitely going to need to learn how to take better photos with my larger camera!

The pictures are from Homeschool Day at Sealife Adventures at the MOA!
We got in for $5 per person and they had many learning activities!
It was a great day!

God's Blessings to YOU!