Saturday, April 29, 2017

Spring Skiing 2017!

We've discovered spring skiing!
 This time, 13 kiddos got the chance to go downhill skiing!
They were all in ski lessons!
Six had skied once before
bur it was the first time skiing 
for the other seven! 

They left bright and early for Loveland Ski Basin!

Our sprinter van is not good in snow or ice.
We can only drive it up into the mountains on perfect days.
Hubby took the 13 skier and left earlier to get ready for ski lessons!

I drove in a separate car 
with Johnny, Abby, Emma, Ben and Grace.

We are hoping that these three will be able to ski next year
when we can get them started in adaptive skiing!
They had a pretty nice set up in the chalet 
with ipads, coloring books, gel pens and games!

The last time I skied was 20 years ago!

Johnny has never seen me do anything athletic...
That's because we have spent the last 20 years 
watching him play basketball and soccer!
We have loved every minute of it
but this time, 
it was a thrill for me 
to actually partake in the activity with him!

I loved skiing with my boys!

It was pretty cool to be right next to the continental divide!

Matt is a veteran skier!
He likes the black diamonds 
but on this day he did the green circles 
with his Momma!

The children were skiing on a different part of the mountain
so I couldn't get pics of them.

Straight ahead is a blue square...
it looks like a drop off to me!

My skills didn't exactly "come back" to me...
but at least I didn't fall!
It may have not been pretty but I did it!

Two weeks earlier Jim went skiing with 6 of the kids plus Matt and Caitlin!

Beautiful picture!
The mountains bring me to my knees!
They are so awe inspiring!
I think of how many times
our God has moved mountains
for our family and for other adoptive families.
We are so thankful for His never ending love
and His gift of peace.

The first crew did so well
they were able to jump from
 the 1st group to the 3rd group
 and then to the 5th group!

Gymnastics and all the other things they do
helped them with skiing!

Mia has found two passions!
Skiing and horseback riding!
She was adopted at 11 plus years
and her transition has been challenging.
It is so healing and motivating for her
to have things that she loves to do!

Anna and Melissa also

Love these two!
So happy we are living close to them!
(plus being near our grand baby is so much fun!)

Hubby and I love having fun with our children.
It has brought us all very close.
Spending time together has truly helped
some of our children who have attachment issues.

It seems like the more we are together the better things go...

Change is hard for this crew but when we are
together through it all...
we can do it!

Growing up in MN I could never understand
the concept of spring skiing?
I didn't want anything to do with the white stuff in March and April...

But it different in CO, especially since we live in Denver.
The weather is warmer and there isn't any snow.
The crisp mountain air is so refreshing!
We are enjoying being able to drive up to the mountains for the day.

No crowds!
It was perfect!

Matt and Caitlin ended early to watch the kids
and then head home to their sweet baby girl!

It's just sooooo
much fun!
We are already planning for next year!

It looks like skiing works for Anna and Mia!

I thought they would come home exhausted
that wasn't the case!
They were all excited and eager to go again!

Most likely
that won't happen until next ski season...
but ya never know!
It's snowing right now!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

He Is Risen~ Easter 2017!

We are so thankful to our Lord and Savior!
Easter is truly a celebration of our risen Lord!
There was an unspoken joy in everyone's heart!

This was our first Easter in Colorado and thankfully things went well!

 Johnny and Abby came for the Easter weekend!
The weather was perfect so they went out 
exploring the neighborhood on the kids bikes!

They made sure they got plenty of puppy time 
since the puppies are growing up so fast!

Last time Johnny was here we only had Teddy
and she was very tiny at 8 weeks old and only 7-8 lbs.
(I owe the blog a puppy post...
it will come soon!)

Now the puppies are 12, 14 and 16 weeks old!
They are growing so fast and already up to 21-25 lbs!

The kids were very excited to color eggs!

Grace is doing sooooo well!
She is so happy to be out of the casts
and working hard at walking!

Jake is as happy as can be 
although there is a bit of sibling rivalry 
with the younger three boys.

Sarah and Mia went grocery shopping with Dad!
The rest of the children stayed home to color eggs!

I set the children up for the egg coloring
when it came to the tye dying...
I had to call in the 
for help!

Johnny and Abby got it all figured out!

 "personal space"
is a bit of an issue with our family...

And elbow room...
is unheard of!

The eggs turned out fantastic!
The tye dyed eggs were beautiful!

After the egg coloring, we filled the plastic eggs for the egg hunt
and got the baskets ready!

Team Work 
makes everything work for our family!
The children love helping!
Many hands make light work!

The next day was Easter Sunday!
Easter outfits had been prepared ahead of time!
We made it to the 8:30 church service with time to spare
and even got a prime seat in the main part of the church!

Johnny, Abby and Auntie Barbie joined us at church!

We had Easter brunch when we arrived home!

Egg dish, fruit salad and apple pancakes!

It felt so good to be celebrating Easter
and making memories in Colorado!

There's a whole lotta joy going on here!

Thank you Jesus!
Emma had been sick the day before
but was feeling better and able to join us
on Easter Sunday!

Game time!

And then things got a little more serious around here...
because it was time...
for the infamous

The kids took their time
picking our their 
I mean egg...

Johnny and Abby carefully looked over their options!

Dad did the brackets!

first up-
Abby and Elodie!

Elodie didn't want to fight...

She wanted to EAT IT!

After one hit...

She tried to eat it again!

And then...
she busted Abby's egg!

Joey verses Madeline...
Slam dunk by Madeline!

Mia verses Jenny...
Mia comes out on top!

Melissa verses Ben...
Melissa for the win!

Anna, the 2016 winner was ready for Sam...
but Sam came out on top!

Caitlin verses Matt!
Matt wins!

Elodie beats Jake!

Madeline buries Grace!

Mia tops Ellie!

They both quickly look to see who has the broken egg...
Sorry Ellie...

Abby for the win over Johnny!

Madeline crushes Elodie,
even with her Daddy's help!

And then she celebrates!

I told you,
 we are a competitive crew!

She is a happy girl!
Madeline is such a joy to our family!
She was our youngest daughter until Grace joined us!
I think both girls would prefer not to be the youngest!
Everybody wants to be the oldest around here!

Mia smashes Sam!

Sam can't believe his bad luck...

The three remaining finalist...
Rock, paper, scissors
determined that Mia
got the bye!

Daddy was eliminated by Madeline!

And the grand 

That was FUN!
Until next year
egg fight!

Game time!

We all love playing games and the children are getting quite good!
(In other words they are beating their parents more often than not!)

Elodie loved her Easter basket and toys!

And she loves her Uncle Johnny!

 Like I said...
we are a very close family!
There are three adults in the middle of the hog pile!

Auntie Barbie showing the kids her games!
It was such a joy to have her with us
for Easter!

Patiently waiting for the egg hunt!

The big kids helped us hide the eggs!

Grace was thrilled to find her 5 eggs 
hidden throughout a few of the rooms!
It's her first Easter!
The children tried to tell her all about it
but we're not sure she understood?
Now that she has experienced it, 
she gets it!

We hide a couple extras...
because there are always a few that never get found...
until maybe the spring, the summer, next year...
you know!

Auntie Barbie likes to "help" eat the candy!

Jake's first Easter!
Both Grace and Jake go with the flow
of the family!
They are pretty much...
always happy!
God knew exactly 
what he was doing!
Very thankful that these two new darlings
have so quickly and smoothly become part of the family!
They have been home for 4 months now!

Ava's basket was...
in the piano!
Not under, around or near 
but IN it!

Sarah is still looking
and looking...
and looking!

She finally found it zipped into a jacket!

The big kids had FUN hiding
the eggs and the baskets!
They love making it extra hard for some of the older kids!

Ava found the egg in the sconce!

Taking a short break for the rigors of easter egg hiding!

Best time of all...
eating the candy!

And back to the couch for some down time!

Auntie Barbie taught Jenny and Madeline
beginning sewing!
We will advance into junior sewing machines next!

It's always sad to say goodbye...
Looking forward to them coming back again...

We are so thankful for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!