Monday, February 24, 2014

The Journey!

Went surprisingly well!
Ben threw up three times but hit the bucket on the last two!
He is such a pleasant boy- no complaining- just happily threw up and went on with life!
Because of the language barrier we couldn't explain to him what he should do
but he did understand the bucket part!
We discovered dramamine and that solved the problem!
From now on I won't leave home without it!

We were so glad to get out of MN before the snowstorm but also knew we would be heading into high winds in Illinois.
The winds were gusting up to 60 mph and there were tornadoes in the area.
We stopped to get gas and chatted with the truckers who said well this is nothing compared to the storm that is headed our way.
Storm? What storm?
And then he pointed to the west-
The sky was black and ominous.
We immediately piled back into Sylvia and quickly headed south in hopes we would miss the hail, downpour and tornados.

Thankfully we were successful and safely arrived at our next destination!

Early enough to have a decent dinner, TV time and showers for everyone!

The next day we had pleasant weather and an easier drive to Lookout Mountain to see our friends!

We arrived at their farm ahead of schedule. 

It felt good to get out of the car and run around!

It was an amazingly beautiful place!

The children were in awe of the horses!
Sarah and Ava ride now and many of the other children are hoping to as they get bigger, older, more confident, more responsible and more predictable.

Horses are such beautiful animals.

When our friend car pulled in we were thrilled!

We actually met the H family on our first (and their first) adoption trip!
They brought their 5 older children we had our five at home. Our families hit it off right away!
It was such a joy to share this marvelous experience with a beautiful faith filled family!

If I had my other computer with me I would post pics of these two darlings when they were only 17 months old.
LeeLee and Anna were from the same orphanage, they have the same special need, their foster families were neighbors, they had the cleft lips repaired at the same time and were in the same room in the hospital in China. They were adopted on the same day through the same agency. Both families had 5 older children. 
It was a delightful reunion!

This was our second time getting together in the last 6.5 years.
However, Jim, Mark, Ben and Joey were with them in China this last November/ December.
They were their for their 3rd adoption.

Our time together started off with everyone getting a chance to ride one of the horses!

Our kids were thrilled!

What a treat for each one of them!

It was Ben first time!
He LOVED it!

Luke and Sam swept the barn!

And then Sam and Ava brushed the horse!
I think I may have some budding farmhands!

Abby was so excited for her turn!

Sam would love to be a cowboy!

Mia tried to hide her excitement but once she was on the horse she could not contain herself and her face lit up!

Praising GOD for his blessings!
6.5 years ago two families journeyed to China for their first adoption.
Now their are 16 less orphans!

This was Joey first time riding a horse, too!
I love firsts for these special treasures!

Some of the children got to ride on a 4 wheeler!
No, this cute little one did not drive!
Her Dad did!

Then it was dinner and lots of visiting!
Of course, I wish visiting time could go on forever!

We had a bonfire and smores for dessert!

So glad we made a little time for a picture of the kiddos that joined us!
(their 18 yr old son is not pictured, he was still down by the campfire)

Sarah and Louisa are both 13 going on 14!

Blessed and Thankful!

I do wish I could compare this pic to the one we took 6.5 years ago!
But, it's just not on this computer ;-(

We stayed in their farmhouse and they went home.

It was just so cute- I had to take pictures of it!

I think I just might want to be a farm girl! 

Hey, I can at least dream about it!

We slept a tad later than planned- if only I knew how to work the alarm on my cell phone!
(our big kids are shaking their heads as they read this!)

The next day was beautiful!
Perfect for the last leg of the journey!

All went well!
The children were so well behaved the whole time.
They watched movies, listened to CD's and played together. Each one brought ONE stuffed animal and a blanket! They all tried to negotiate so they could bring more stuffed animals BUT we held our ground!
WE could NOT go to Florida with 26- 39 stuffed animals!
13 works!

 Your waiting for more info?
This post is over!

Okay, Okay!
Yes, we were driving through northern Florida and we did get stopped...
Flashing lights and all!
The children were watching a movie, hubby and I were chatting-
we had no clue we may have done something wrong.

Our officer was a nice man but didn't crack a smile. 
We also got the question-
"So how many kids do you have in there?"

"13 sir, all properly buckled in!"

He gave us a warning, no ticket.

We were a little over the speed limit but going with traffic.
He felt that such a large vehicle should not be going that fast- 
Point well taken- safety is most important!

We arrived at our vacation home safe and sound 
the keys were waiting for us on our doorstep!
Thank you Mark and Darlene!

You saved our vacation!


Angie said...

Glad you made it safely, and sorry you had to experience the "lovely" windy state of IL. It's insane!! But you're welcome to stop by on your way home! :)

Sally-Girl! said...

Love love your time with your friends and their beautiful farmhouse!!! You are making me a farm girl!

Tina Michelle said...

Sounds like a ton of fun!

Sarah said...

How fun!!!

Lynne said...

I live in Missouri. We have had the horrible winds the past few weeks. How fun for you to be able to stay with your very special friends. As always love your pictures. So
fun! :))

Sue said...

Glad you guys are having a lot of fun and hope it continues to be.

Sammy said...

Loved the farmhouse!