Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Eve 2015

 Christmas Eve is low key at our home!
Our job is to get everyone ready for church and to enjoy a nice meal together!

It is such a joy to praise our Lord on Christmas Eve!
I didn't always love going to church-
 it's been a journey.
it fills my cup for the week
and sees me through...
until the next weekend (Saturday or Sunday)
when my cup needs to be filled once again!

You may think
your cup doesn't need filling...
I'm guessing you may be wrong.
At some point in your life you will 
see what you are missing.
It may be an emptiness, a need, a loss, or an overwhelming sadness...
You may be lacking joy, contentment, peace...

HE can fill your cup,
meet your need
and heal your broken heart.
You need 
nothing more...
than GOD in your life!

It's also the day that this Momma
gets her pictures,
of her babies
at home!

They all wanted to open presents
we save that... for Christmas day!

So thankful that these three big boys live close by
and can join us for the holidays!
We miss you Matt, Caitlin, Katie, Andrew and Emily!

Yes,  Johnny is wearing an ugly Christmas sweater
and he's proud of it!
IF you have this sweater and you like it...
I humbly apologize!

Our little girls!
Well... to us they are little!
9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 9
they are getting big 
way. to. fast...

Look at these outfits!
They are made by Robin Magana
from Red Thread Stitches(Etsy)!

And Robin Magana made these, too!
Thank you Robin!
The girls LOVE their Christmas dresses!
And so does their Momma!

Our big girls!
They are teens and soon I will be posting on raising adopted teens!
15, 15, 14, 13
It's wonderful and challenging!

Our little boys!
8, 9, 7, 9, 7
So thankful for these little guys!

And now the pics of the process!

Everybody in their places!
We try to do it as quick and painless as possible!

I want to see everyones face!

there's the occasional

(by the biggest and supposedly most mature kid...)

We got this from Katie, Andrew and Emily!
Thank you!

That's the plan,
right there(above)!

We love fires in the fireplace on the cold winter nights!

Our tree, with the gifts!

Everyone has 3 presents to open!
It is a manageable number - for shopping and for opening!

Candy and one trinket for everyone!
Rubix cube, reading light, playdoh, flashlights!

Simple is better for everyone!

Just so you know...
I have a room full of stuff we decided NOT to give!
That's another post!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Carols, Baking and more!

Two of my dear friends came over before Christmas 
and sang Christmas carols with the children!

Liz was a elementary school music teacher(for our two oldest- Matt and Katie) 
and she brought her instruments with her!

The children loved singing along with the Liz and Marilyn!

And playing the different instruments!
(God did not bless this Momma with a beautiful singing voice...
Oh well... I have many other blessings!)

It was so much fun and such a joyous afternoon activity!

Y loved it!
He even attempted to sing along!

The cymbals were his favorite!

Sarah and Liz played piano together!

And the others that also take piano lessons got to play their Christmas songs, too!
I'm hoping this will be an annual event!

The children needed fresh air!
The parents needed peace and quiet!
So we sent the troops outside for a short while!
We didn't have any snow before Christmas so the snow pants were not needed...

We finally did our baking right before the holiday!

While some of the kids had horse back riding lessons
the rest of us frosted our sugar cookies!

They each got to eat their own creation!
While I frosted the rest of the cookies!

They went all out!

And made some beautiful cookies!



and some more

They were delicious!

Some of our kiddos have such sweet dispositions!
Ellie and Ben are two of them!
They are the nicest kids!

Emma loves being a helper in the house!
So thankful God knows exactly what he is doing 
when he placed these amazing kids in our homes!

When we picked up the kids we brought Y into the barn
to see the horses!
He loved it!

We have been using google translate
to talk to him!

It has worked really well!
We just type it in-
 and a voice says it in Mandarin!

Only, this smarty pants reads it before the computer even says it!
He is only 8 yrs old and he reads like a 12 yr old!

When he wants to tell us something,
Mia and Sarah can usually understand him!

Although now,
more and more of the children are speaking 
bits and pieces of Mandarin!

Y has an adorable smile 
but he can't do it on command for the camera!

This is not...
a flattering picture of me
but we were having so much fun,
I had to include it!

He loved the TLC from Babba!

And a titch of a tickle and he could stand it no longer!
He giggled and giggled!

Y has great vision!

 More baking!
It's so much more fun with the kids!
I can't imagine doing it alone...

We had to take him to our favorite restaurant!

He enjoyed the food and watching them prepare it in front of us!

Our Christmas celebration is next!