Saturday, March 29, 2014

Missing Teeth and Ice Packs...

This is what happens when you have many 7-8 yr olds!

What an exciting day!
Both Abby and Sam lost their front teeth! 

I love their precious smiles just the way they were and would love to have time
But they keep growing and they keep losing teeth…
much to my dismay.

Abby has already lost the other front tooth and is working hard on two others. Sam's other front tooth should be coming out soon, too. AND
as for everyone, else they are wiggling their teeth, too!

Ben lost his two front teeth in China.
However, he had an extra small front tooth so we needed to get it pulled (along with the one next to it).
The other big tooth is on it's way now!

Ben is finally done with his dental work! So thankful!
It took 4 visits to the dentist to get it all done.

Sarah is excited to learn all about babysitting!
I haven't seen this DVD yet but I'm hoping it's a good one!
She is 14 yrs old and getting ready to help out when Mom has a short errand!

Our Lukey is not happy in this pic…

So here is the story-

Madeline accidentally scratched Joey.
She apologized and Joey got an ice pack to put in his scratch.

5 minutes later Luke comes to me and says-
Joey scratched me.
Me- I'm so sorry honey. Where did he scratch you?


longer pause

Luke- "I don't know…"

Me - "Well honey, if Joey scratched you, you should know where he scratched you."


uncomfortable pause

Luke thinking "how am I going to get myself outta this one"…

Me - Luke, did Joey really scratch you?

Luke- timidly shakes his head no… crocodiles tears appear…

at first I didn't get it…

but once I saw Joey with his ice pack and Luke looking longingly at it, I realized…

"Luke, did you want an ice pack too?"

Don't worry-
 he got an ice pack but I didn't get a pic!

I will be posting soon on how all 4 boys are doing as brothers.

FYI- we do not have high speed internet here in the country…
posting takes so much longer.
Good news is- it will be coming soon(sometime this summer)!
Praise GOD!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Bigs!

Are doing well!

Biggest brother Matt is definitely enjoying his time in Colorado!

Matt and Caitlin went skiing on a special mountain with a guide over their spring break- it looks like they had a great time!

Yes, I think the tiny dot down there is Caitlin (his fiancé)!
Thankfully they are home now, safe and sound!

Matt is getting a Masters in Biostatistics at UC Denver and working part time as a consultant to Faculty and Physicians in the health sciences. Caitlin is Special Education teacher for Preschoolers. She is also continuing her education. So when they aren't working or studying they are busy making wedding plans! 
We can't wait for the big day!

Matt and Caitlin are very excited to have Katie, Andrew and Baby only one hour away. Katie and family will move to Colorado in early June!

We love having our big kids close together!

And here we have 37.5 weeks!

Oh my… this is so exciting!!
Every time the phone rings I think… it's the call!

And here we have 38 weeks!
You know- the call that says we're in labor!

Baby is moving a little less now. 
We think she is kinda running out of room!

We can hardly wait to fly to Germany to see these two and our new granddaughter!
Oh my… wouldn't that be something if she was a boy!
There would be lots of pink to put away!
It's happened before!
Not to me but to a friend of mine ;-)

Big middle brother Billy is working full time. Actually more than full time because he is at one of the top accounting firms and this is busy season.
His schedule should lighten up after April 15th!
(Just in time for the golf season!)
He received a masters in taxation from the Carlson School of Business in December.

BIG changes are in store for our Mark (and for us) in the near future!

Mark has been a HUGE help to us!
He has gone on two adoption trips to China, taught himself (some)Mandarin, takes Abby to many of her transfusion appts, babysat whenever we are in a pinch, taken other children to their appts and the list goes on!
Along with helping us he has been taking classes and working as a lab tech at the U of MN.

This was a wonderful time for him to partake in the adoption adventures and gave hime time to seek direction in his life. The road has taken a few twists and turns but isn't too far off of where he began. Medical school is no longer part of the dream but instead God had guided him elsewhere! He has been accepted in two wonderful PHD programs that are very much in line with his passions. 
One in "Pharmaceuticals and Drug Delivery" and the other one in "Natural Products Discovery". He will be deciding which one in the next couple weeks. 
We are praying about it now! 
He has been such a blessing to us and God's timing is so perfect!
Mark is ready to move on and we are so proud of him!

And this brings us to the youngest of the BIGS ;-)
Our Johnny!

Johnny is enjoying college! He is happy NOT to be a freshman any longer and looking forward to being a Junior next year!
Johnny and his buddy went to see their friends at Marquette and decided maybe they should go to Florida…

So guess where Johnny and Jack are right now!
Yep, you guessed it!
No clothes, no nothing just decided to go to Florida- 
oohhhh, to be a college kid again!

And then my dear boy text me from the outlet store in southern Florida to see what color shirt to buy-
 Blue honey- blue always works!
I love that he needs me!

All of my children keep me on my knees but a last minute trip to Florida definitely had me praying overtime!

Johnny is double majoring in Math and Philosophy.
He is excited to play soccer this fall with his college team!

We just need to photo shop Matt "in" on the right!

And I am very blessed to have such wonderful additions like Andrew, Caitlin and hopefully Kelly!
(hint, hint)

I love my bigs!
Just like I do my littles!
God is good- no, God is GREAT

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad DAY!

I cannot believe that I have had the stomach flu twice this winter…
It should be outlawed, it is no fair at all…
plus the older I get the longer that 24 hour bug lasts...
I am finally on the mend!

We went to "Alexander's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day"

When I read the book I thought it was cute but Alexander complained a lot- something I am trying not to have my kids do…
I wasn't necessarily looking forward to the play but I already bought the ticket so decided we should go anyways.

We were pleasantly surprised!
The play was wonderful and they involved the audience!
Plus, we just happened to be sitting in the front row!

Since I kind of neglected St Patricks Day we made green mac n cheese!
They loved it despite how it looked!

When I was running errands the Lord blessed me by showing me a bald eagle!
I tried to get a better pic but this is all I could get.
They are so beautiful and it's a day maker for me!

Last week was a big week for Ellie!

She got her braces off!
She was so excited!!

The children's Aunt, Uncle and Cousin Annie came over Saturday morning with doughnuts!
We had to cancel our usual Christmas gathering this past year since two of the boys had just come home and it is quite hectic when ever we have newbies… that is pretty much all the time ;-)

But, now that they have been home 3.5 months we are getting into a bit of a routine and ready to meet more people!

Of course Joey immediately took to Cousin Annie (everyone does!)- he held her hand and hugged her- I guess we still have a bit of work to do with this little guy!

Hoping tomorrow I am back to normal!
It just doesn't work when Mom isn't feeling well…
(praying no one else will get it- Anna, Ben, Mark and Hubby already had it…)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March Birthday's!

I have to tell you that just looking at the referral pics of some of our children has completely stirred my heart and makes me so thankful to GOD that they are HOME!
Oh my goodness, how we love these little ones!

And now, 
I love looking at your referral pics(on FB and blogs), praying for your adoption journey and knowing that you are in for an amazing God experience!
It is so heartwarming!

Our treasures have grown so much in such a short while!

Re-entry into the real world after a vacation has been challenging this week.
Hubby had to jump right back into work and the rest of us miss seeing him.

On top of that, it is snowing right now and we are expecting 4-6 inches!'
(posted this after the snow and we only got 3 inches! Whew, thank you Jesus!)

Mark just bought a book called Chineasy.
Ben was thrilled to see it- something familiar to him!

We went to our favorite Chinese restaurant last weekend and Ben was so excited- he kept pointing to things and saying "China, me, China, me".
He was a bit surprised when I told him all the children were from China!
Funny- how we think they know things that they really don't know!
There is so much to learn with international adoption- for both the parent and the child.

Everyone was so glad to see Billy and Kelly! 
Billy starred his new job in January and has been very busy at work.
We miss having him reading and studying in the porch or downstairs.

The March Birthday's!

These two cannot get enough of their big brother Mark!

Happy Birthday Billy!

Good news! Madeline is done with patching for 2 months and then she will have a recheck! I was concerned that I had not done a "good enough" job with patching because of our busy schedule and vacation BUT her eyesight has improved even more! So happy for her!

Happy Birthday Sarah!
She also got a balance beam earlier in the week!
It arrived before we got home from vacation and she didn't fall for the "it's a wooden fence" trick. So she opened it early!
Kinda hard to hide a balance beam!

She has already learned to stick a cartwheel, handstand, splits, back walkover and a front walkover… just this week!
If this girl had come home earlier she would be competing in gymnastics!
(It's okay with her slightly older than average parents that she is not competing!)
we love her determination and work ethic!

and one by one…

they get closer and closer 

and closer!

She needed a bike that fit her!
It's a pretty good deal being the oldest of 13!
She is handing her other bike down to Ellie.
Ellie is very happy to have it!

We have a gymnast and a golfer on the cake!
Kinda looks like Billy will be knocking Sarah off the beam!

She's just making sure all 14 candles are on the cake! 

We are all wondering how many boyfriends Sarah will have?
She blew out all but 5!
Oh my- we are going to have to watch her closely!

It was a great celebration!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

How To Find Your Child!

Please go to the 
to find this post!
(click on the link!)

Just looking at some of our children's referral pictures stirs my heart!
Praising GOD they are HOME!!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Friends from Georgia!

Before we left on our "vacation" we had our friends over!
They used to live in MN (before we even knew them) but moved to Georgia.
They come up every winter to visit friends and get their fill of snow!
We certainly can accommodate their need for snow since this was a record year for snowfall here in the upper midwest!

We met in Guangzhou China when we adopted Mia, Melissa and Madeline.
They adopted Caitlin at the same time!
We missed you Vickie, Pheobe and Chloe.
The children and the parents hit it off and we had an instant support group!

Caitlin still speaks Chinese so Joey was thrilled to talk to her!
She was also used to helping with the younger children in the orphanage but in her family she is the youngest.
Caitlin loved helping Joey and he loved the TLC!

Claire and Sarah became good friends while we were in China!
Claire has been good about calling Sarah so the girls could still keep in touch!
It was wonderful to get them back together!

Just the bigger girls- 10 and over!
We did talk about the different characteristics of our children and how some of them don't exactly look like they 100% Chinese.
Susan's daughter Camilla(3rd from the right) reminds me of our daughter Ava. There hair texture is different from the other girls and same with some of their facial features.
My friend from Vietnam said that woman from many of the other Asian countries go to China to work in the factories.

This was good for both of them!
Joey got teary when she left.

My friend thinks Madeline is part Thai and Mia is part Filipino?
Someday we will do "23 and me" to find out our children's heritage! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Can't Wait!

We are home!
Praise God!
It feels so good to be home even though we did have a wonderful time in Florida!
The children were excited to start school today-
it felt so good to be back to school for me too!

Now that we are home though... our focus is toward the next exciting event!

And that would be 
Baby Girl Burgess!
FYI- it is predicted my the Dr. that baby girl is now 5 lbs!

Here are our girls at 35.5 weeks!
They are actually 36 weeks now!
Oh, my goodness!
We are so excited for to go to Germany and meet our new grand baby!

AND, we are so excited to see Katie and Andrew, too!

Now friends… baby is due on April 8th!
I was 9-10 days early(and then had a c-section because he was too big) and Andrews Mom was a few days early with him. Sooooo, what do you think? Any guesses on when our baby girl will be born?

Praising GOD!!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

All Good Things Must Come To An End!

After so much fun in the sun,
we decided it was time to have quieter day,
so we went to The Lego Movie!

We looked at a few shops just to kill some time.
I told everyone not to touch a thing, just look with your eyes.
Hmmm, once again what does don't touch a thing mean?
Okay, they were so cute in the hats I had to take a picture!

The movie was great!
I may have shut my eyes for a moment but would never fess up to that in front of the children!
At least I didn't snore this time!
At least I don't think I did- I was just resting my eyes!

Anna, on the far side of the fountain.

Hubby worked while we played!

I'm thinking I'm gettin the good end of the deal!
Praise GOD , hubby loves his job!
Because I LOVE mine!

Ben's foster sister lives in Florida.
He talked with her the other day!
He was teary and it was very emotional for her, too.
They spoke mostly Mandarin.
She has been home for 2 years and he has been home for almost 3 months.
They are 3 years apart and she adored him and helped take care of him.
When she was adopted Ben returned to the orphanage and left his foster family.
It is so wonderful to have this connection for him and for his China sister.

They are both so competitive!
Mia and Sarah are good for each other- God knew what He was doing when he put them together!
They can hold a handstand for quite awhile!

So glad we were able to catch a perfect sunset at our favorite beach!

They just can't help themselves!
It's like a huge sandbox!

Hanging out, while the sun is setting!

Sarah did a round off back handspring on the beach!
She loves gymnastics!

The tide was so low- lots of room to play!

Praising GOD for this sweet girl, Madeline is a darling daughter and we are blessed!
She has been home for 13 months now!
It feels like she has been with us forever!

Very peaceful!

And, once again I apologize for the next 13 pictures!

One of each child at the beach, while the sun was setting!














Another beautiful sunset!
This never gets old!

Praising HIM!

My Helper!

March 5th was Sarah's Birthday!
She is 14 years old- wow, time goes by fast!

This last Sunday when we were in church, a couple offered to treat us to the Dolphin Cruise. Their son was the captain of the boat. We had just looked into it and the children were hoping we could do it.
As it turned out there was availability on Sarah's Birthday in the afternoon.
I am always amazed at God's kindness and how he moves the hearts of his people.
HIS timing is impeccable (for more reason that I can even share right now).

We had the BEST time!

We saw 13 dolphins (but of course the kids think we saw about 18 cause they kept counting the same ones over and over)!

We learned how to identify the different dolphins and about the waterways and the wildlife of southern Florida!

It was a 3 hour cruised filled with information and fun!

They all had their clipboards and were checking off what they were seeing!

And of course we made friends with everyone else in the cruise!

We shelled on an excluded island.

And everyone of the children said to me fifty thousand times
"Mom can I keep this shell."
I gave up saying no.
Yes, you can.
Yes, you can.
Yes, you can.

And then all of the other adults felt it necessary to help our children find more shells...
Thank you...
Kind of...

Anna had the most... she won...?

I do have to tell you that-
Hubby said he heard that Joe Biden bought a home on an island like this one...
I said oh, cool...
Now who is Joe Biden again?
 He smiled and said...
the vice president of the United States Of America...

Oh ya, now I remember!

I'm sorry, I was thinking - what team does he coach?

I have officially earned myself a spot on late night TV, when they go out and ask people questions like this... 
Questions we should know!
I did know it... I just forgot!

We will have her party at home with brother Billy who shares a March B-day!
My pics are a bit too vibrant and over exposed. I think my camera setting is off a bit.

A cake from Cold Stone works great!

We are packing up now and heading home!
It's time to get back into our routine and see our doggies and big kids!