Thursday, August 29, 2013

Listening In!

We put them to bed 30 minutes ago and we could still hear them downstairs...

They were loud and they were giggling!

When I wake them up in the morning they stumble out of bed-
 groggy and cranky...
But that would be only Monday through Friday (our school days).

Because on Saturday they wake up too early
 they are all excited 
to go get donuts and coffee 
with Dad.

(I'm not winning the popularity contest at our house)

We had already called up to them


They aren't listening...
naughty children (jk)...

So I started up the stairs

and I was rather irritated.

As I got closer to room I quietly listened.

Mia was saying 
"Okay Sarah, I am going to give you a really hard word.
Spell box"

"Mia, I can spell trampoline... of course I can spell box!"

After that conversation they began to give each other math problems.

I thought about entering into the room or flashing the lights but I waited a bit longer.

Long enough...
 for them to start quoting scripture.

they were quoting scripture from our homeschool lesson.
Genesis 1:1-5

At that point...
I wasn't irritated any more.
If I was a dog I would have had my tail between my legs...
I sheepishly went back downstairs to share with Hubby.

Sometimes I question if we are making progress.
It's not always visible.

I'm feelin pretty good right now!

Praising GOD!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Happy Birthday Sam!

Sam turned 7!

Now, we have five 7year olds!
Four in our home and one in China!
(Ben is still in China waiting for us)

Billy and Sam had plans to go to the driving range 

there was one problem!

Sam didn't have any golf clubs!

What to do?

So we decided to give him an early present!
(Early by only a few hours)

He was very surprised and very happy with his gift!

Of course now we have many more kiddos that want to go golfing!
However, I think most of them don't quite have the personality of a golfer!
They talk all the time, they move all the time and they would cry if they didn't win 
; - )

So we will see with time how many budding golfers we have!
Hubby learned the first time around...
if you teach all your children to golf...
you never get to golf!

This little guy was beaming!

It was record heat on Sunday as they set off to the driving range.
Didn't matter!
He was too excited!

It was pretty funny watching him walk out like this-
 the clubs didn't fit through the door,
so he got stuck!

The party goers!
Very rowdy crowd!

Billy played golf in college and was happy to teach Sam!
At one point when sam swung he let go of the club and it flew about 20 feet!
Thank goodness no one was there to get hit by it!

He got the usual 4 presents from us and then a few from others.
The kids weren't so sure it was fair...
but we told them 
he did not ask for nail polish, lipstick or earrings.
A soccer ball looks bigger but it is not more expensive.
The size of the box matters...
they were not convinced...

But they managed to muster up a smile!

Auntie Barbie joined us!

Sam has a lot of energy and a ton of personality!

He exudes JOY!

He has many passions!

Including BUGS, anything outside, animals, sports and the list goes on!

This is the picture of a girl...
whose birthday it is NOT...
she is feeling like life is so unfair...

I think the more commonly used term is

Of course once I said that she burst out laughing!
He birthday is coming up in October?
How old is she?
that's another post!

Legos... another passion!

HaPpY bIrThDaY SaMmY!

As the candles were being lit, there was a lot of excitement!

The million dollar questions was... 

How many girlfriends does Sam have?

Which would soon be revealed when we saw how many candles he did not blow out!

The excitement was mounting!

Can you believe it!

He has 2 girlfriends!

Just hoping I am one of them!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Squeezing the MOST Out of Our Summer!

Summer is too short in MN...
On Labor Day all our pools close.
Do your pools close then too?

So we are trying to make the most of it... everyday!

The children played for hours!

While the parents peacefully watched them!

Someone makes our lunch and their are life guards for safety!

Not sure why, but it is never crowded in August.

I think families are sneaking in a last minute vacation.

But this is our vacation!
Only 8 more days and then summer swimming is done...

I love seeing different siblings play together!

Today the noodles were a hit!

The more the better!

They are all such blessing!

So thankful for each one!

Feeling Blessed!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Adoption and Birth Order

A friend has emailed me and ask me to post on this topic.
So this post is from my perspective.

When you look at our family and you see who has come home  first, second, third, etc and in what order they have come home in, 
it looks like we have broken EVERY rule on adoption and birth order...
(I know... run on sentence...)

One glance and you would say-
holy cow this family is in trouble!

BUT first, before you come to any conclusions,
let me explain.

There are a couple points I'd like to write about.

 The first one is mixing in adopted children with birth children.
An example would be having a 10 yr old girl and then adopting a 10 yr old girl.

The safest way to adopt is to not disrupt the birth order of your birth children and to not artificial twin with a birth child. 
You will have issues, I guarantee it (oh my, it sounds like I'm selling men suits!).

BUT then,
 following God is not always easy and sometimes we are called to do things that don't seem to make sense. Often times it works out but sometimes it can cause a lot of heartache especially from your birth child.

If you have prayerfully gone into this potential adoption
by educating yourself,
talking to your social worker about the possible challenges,
 you have read all the recommended books,
talked to others who have done this,
you still feel this is your child...

 Then move forward with GOD as your guide!

Sometime God wants us to experience
Life is not supposed to be easy.

As an adult and as parents I  feel we can make our own decisions (with our spouse) as to what is best for our family.

Some challenges are doable to some families while those same challenges could bury another family.

Closely examine why and what you are doing.
Your thoughts and feelings along with your your spouses thoughts and feelings.

I do not think our birth children would have done well if we had adopted "out of birth order" and added a new child somewhere randomly in the mix.
There would have been a lot of feelings going on.
It would have been very uncomfortable and challenging for hubby and I.
We would have been very confused.

That being said...
some families have done it beautifully!
I truly admire what a wonderful job they have done!

Many agencies have rules regarding this issue.
Some hold fast to every rule while other agencies have more flexibility.

I feel that the parents should be able to decide what is best for their family.
They should be educated on the pros and cons and put in touch with families that have had experience with adopting out of birth order.

We have made a delebrate decision not to adopt older than Sarah. Sarah is a wonderful older child and a natural leader. She has asked us not to adopt a child older than her. We agree with her request! Sometime the children have a better insight than we do, as parents.

If you are considering adopting out of birth order you may want to hear what your children at home have to say about it. They may bring up some good points that you did not consider. Plus it would be interesting to hear their responses and reasoning- it may provide you with insight to proceed or retreat.

Second is the birth order amongst the "new children".

So why has adopting random ages worked for us?

Hubby and I think it has worked for us because -
The new children are and never will be the oldest- there is already 5 older than them. And even though they are significantly older they are a valued and active part of the family.
They haven't been in their new birth order position long enough to have their identity hinge on being the youngest, oldest or middle of the new crew.
They are learning empathy and understanding for the new child coming into the family because they have BTDT.

We still have a plethora of feelings and an adjustment period each time new kids come home but because so many have come home in a short period they seem to adapt quite quickly.
Hubby and I have no tolerance for unkind and angry behavior.
We have a pretty even keel attitude around here and they seem to in a way "take it on", too.
We are not much for drama- don't get me wrong there is a lot of excitement and energy in our house just not emotional drama- of course with 9 girls growing up I may be proven wrong!
We are with the children a lot! We homeschool and do all activities together.

So in other words we have no idea why this pieced together family works,


Don't let fear run your life.
Bring it to the best counselor- GOD!

Go with your gut- you know(God knows) what you can handle and what just won't work.