Thursday, September 30, 2010

Here She Is!!

This is our sweet little girl!

She is 5 yrs old, her birthday is in June (the date was estimated). She attends school and is in kindergarten. They said she plays well with other children (that's good news for this family)! She likes to sing and has good rhythm. Although we will never be a family singing group we do love to belt out those children's songs! 

She has a big heart and likes to help others! She often helps her teacher. They said as soon as people meet her, they love her. That's the way we felt when we saw her picture!

Don't ya just love the dimples!

We are very excited to add her to our family! Although we still do not have a name yet - more on that later!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Time to Share!

You all are very smart and I am not good at fooling people!

We are adopting 2 precious treasures from China!!

We are bringing home a little 5 yr old girl along with our 4 yr old boy!

The kids are both from Henan Province but the are not in the same orphanage.

They do not know each other but soon they will!

We are having a bit of trouble naming our new daughter! Could you help us?
We have 4 names we really like. There are a few issues with some of them- I will share that in my next post along with her picture!

Now which one of these do you like best? Please vote in the comment section! You can also add any other "M" names you like!


Melissa (Missy)

Madeline (Maddie)

Mary Claire

I am guessing that many of you thought we were bringing home another little boy! Well, don't worry we will be going back to China!! We just knew there was one more little girl waiting for us and we needed to bring her home now!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Oh My, I have something to share!

BUT , I am not quite ready to share it yet!

I will share soon but I need a little more time!

Let your mind wander!

What do you think is on my mind?

Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy Golden Birthday Katie!!

Our dear daughter Katie, turned 25 on the 25th of September! Oh my, has time gone by too fast! She is 
still our little girl and always will be! She is such a blessing to us! We love spending time with her and chatting about life! She is a joy to us and a great friend to me!
She had a fun day planned with her friends on Saturday and then the three of us went birthday shopping on Sunday at MOA!
It was a special treat for Sarah to go with us! It was time to have a little separation between Sarah, Emma and Ellie. (explanation in another post)

 Then we met everyone else at a restaurant for dinner.
It was a fondue place and the dinners there are always so much fun and soooo delicious!
They gave us our own little room which was really nice because the manors of this crew leave something to be desired!

 Johnny's birthday is in a week so it was a dual celebration! It is hard to find a time that everyone is available so we justified dinner out because it was for two people!
He will get his gifts closer to his big day!
Isn't that a nice yellow sweatshirt he has on! If it belongs to your son, let me know because it is not Johnny's!
I am wondering where half his clothes are- probably at friend's homes?? The other half is on the floor of my laundry room!

The girls all had a hard time staying in their seat! You know I'nm thinking we may have to have birthday dinners at home once again. My cooking is so so bad... but as our crew grows we are not restaurant worthy if ya know what I mean!

Picture taking and playing with Katie's camera were part of the entertainment!

HaPpY 25tH bIrThDaY kAtIe !!

HaPpY 17tH bIrThDaY jOhNnY !!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

An Update on Sam!

Be still my heart!!

Oh My, is this boy precious!!

It was such a wonderful day maker to get this e-mail! We have waited a long time for an update and new pics of our guy! We were not disappointed!

We also got new measurements. He is 4 pounds heavier than Anna but he is the same height. It should be interesting seeing those two together. I am sure she will mother him until she wants to be held and then he better move on over!

We have had a couple families e-mail us and tell us they saw our Sam on the waiting child list. He stole their hearts and through him they were lead to their child! We love hearing stories that have anything to do with our little boy and children finding their families!

Way to go Sam! You're already workin for the Lord!

Friday, September 24, 2010

This and That!

 The girls went to a birthday party last weekend. They had a wonderful time and it was a beautiful day to spend outside.

 I noticed that Emma struggled a little at the party. It was wonderful but overwhelming for her. She could not interact with the kids. She watched them but did not know how to play with them.

 The jumper was a blast for the other three but Emma choose not to jump in it. I think she "self regulated" herself. She knew she couldn't do it or she wouldn't be comfortable doing it so she didn't. I could see by the look on her face that she made the right choice for her.

Zhou turned 7 yrs old- Happy Birthday!!

Ellie is asking a lot about her birthday. In case you didn't know the girls turned 8 and 9 a day after we came home. We were exhausted and everything was so new to them, plus we didn't speak the same language so we decided not to celebrate- it would have been overwhelming for all us.

Ellie is completely confused "how on earth did she turn 8 and not have a birthday"- it is kind of funny watching her try to figure it all out! Maybe we will celebrate their half birthday?!?

She is quite a character with a lot of personality! She has a good sense of humor!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Game is still on...

So here we are in the middle of a monsoon and the soccer game is still on. We've had 3 inches of rain so far. It's letting up a little but the sky is heavy and grey- I'm telling you there is more to come.

Cancel the darn game and let this Momma stay home! 

We are scheduled to work in the concessions so we both have to be there- Who on earth made that concession schedule- oh ya, it was me! I should have looked further ahead into the monthly weather report when I did that!

After all what about the players, they are going to get so wet and cold, they may get sick or slip and get hurt. What are they thinking??  

In the good ole days (last year) the game would have been cancelled due to rain but now our school is the proud owner of "turf". Yes, I said turf and we are all supposedly so excited about it! yippee yippee...

I'm wantin the grass back right now!

I am...

I am learning as we walk through each new day with our family and our new daughters.

I am learning-
that it takes longer to get to places with 4 little girl than with 2. I need to leave earlier and give more time to "the process" of going places.
homeschooling with 4 at home also takes more time. I need to make the necessary schedule changes so we have that time.
where are girls "are at" with their education and what we need to work on.
how different each daughter is and how wonderful that is!
that working on dossiers, dr appts., and therapies takes a lot of time.
that others aren't quite as excited for us as we adopt a fifth time.
how much we enjoy being with our children both big and small.
that I need to trust him more and not take things into my own hands.
that I have so much to learn...

I am realizing-
How much I need our Savior Jesus.
that I need to keep my eyes on him and stay true to our beliefs and his plan for us.
that I/we would never be happy if we weren't trying to do all that we can to help the orphans.
that we are doing this not just to help the orphans but in our own selfish way it is what we want to do.
that I cannot let the world sway me- because the majority of the people have different views about adopting many.
that I need his comfort and the encouragement of other like minded people to carry on.
that I need to trust Him, listen to Him and be patient for Him.

how much I miss my Mom- just thought I'd add that in because I do miss her and it is the times of weakness that it is even more apparent- I just want to talk to her...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Field Trip to the Farm and Apple Orchard!

Ellie noticed right away the smells at the farm are quite strong!

The girls loved the baby goats!

Sarah just couldn't get enough of them!

She loves everything and anything that is "baby"!

The calves were so soft and their tongues are like sandpaper.

The big goats aren't quite as cute! The girls found all the animals fascinating!

They were so excited to be there! I love to look at this through their eyes!

We went on a wagon ride through the fields. It had rained all night and part of the morning so there was plenty of mud for the wagon to slosh through!

Sarah wanted to bring him home!

Mom and Dad said "NO goats for pets!"

The Mama pig and her piglets! She looks exhausted!

Rebecca and Sarah met last year. The girls clicked again right away!

Oops! I meant to choose a better pic of all the kids but too late now!!

The played in the corn!

I have always wanted a farm... but I'm thinking we will just go visit the farm instead of having a farm. Since I kinda like things neat and clean- it's probably not a good fit!

More friends to admire!

Now, isn't he a sight for sore eyes!!

Since it had rained so much we were unable to go pick apples. We went to another apple orchard the next day and enjoyed raspberry and apple picking, along with pony rides and train rides. I didn't have my camera with me- bummer. It was a fun field trip!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Reluctant Child

Oh My, I misplaced my camera on Saturday and feel so lost without it! It is not lost forever, just at a friends house and should be arriving home soon- thank goodness! I love my little camera , it goes where ever I go and documents our life! We went to the apple orchard today and by golly I had to just enjoy myself instead of snapping pics the whole time! ;-)

I do have something on my mind and I just wanted to ask all of you out there in bloggyland. We feel so good about our adoption. We feel like this is a perfect fit for us! We couldn't be happier and by the looks of it everyone in the family IS happy. However, everyone in the family is not as excited as we are about adopting again.

For us it is "of course we're adopting again, how wonderful, can't wait to get this precious child home." Everything about it feels right and it is a good fit!

I understand that other family members have feelings, thoughts, and concerns. Because we feel so good about it we are not tuned into those feelings, thoughts and concerns. Hubby can understand it better than I can but I try. We do have really good conversation with the older kids about adoption and us adopting again. Usually they are okay with it after the conversation.

We are passionate for the orphans. It is a life long dream of mine. Hubby did not have this as one of his dreams- the senior golf tour was one of his dreams but he is enjoying every minute of these blessing that we have at home and looking forward to those that will be coming home!

All of the children seem to come around - they rise to the occasion as we bring a new family member home. We have seen personality characteristic growing within each one that has exceeded our dreams.
A tenderness and kindness for a child that is different than themselves.
Love that is readily given... just because...
Patience for someone that is slow to catch on...
Acceptance to a child because they are part of "our family", they are one of us but just weeks ago they weren't...
A feeling of wanting to protect them because they are your sisters...
Smiles when 4 little girls from China cheer him on at a sporting event and are just so excited to see him!
Teaching, a new sibling something new- it is as exciting and fun for the older sib as it is for the younger sib!
A tolerance, for these little girls when they are crawling all over you..
An ability, to say okay- love you girls but it's time for me to leave...
Eating and enjoying your dinner with a sister on your lap... and she's there because she loves you so much!

I just do not see a down side... as far as my data goes it is all positive!

Yes, there are uncomfortable moments- but they are passing moments, they don't last long.
Yes, there are growing pains but that is expected in all relationships.
Yes, it does cut in to individual attention time- but we work hard at still giving everyone our time.
Yes, they need to share more- (but that's okay with me).

The benefit to us is immeasurable! The benefit to the child that now has a family is lifelong!

Do you have a reluctant child? Tell me about it and tell me how do you handle it?

Saturday, September 18, 2010


We got an email this week. Samuel was scheduled for surgery soon. We don't know exactly what procedure they were planning to do. Since they knew he was being adopted they asked us if we wanted "it" done - which was very nice.

We had very little time to respond - my first feelings were no don't do it. We prayed about it, then asked the yahoo group that I joined for children with his disability and called the local specialist.

Everyone answered the same- WAIT for surgery until he gets home. He can be with his Momma and Daddy while he recovers and the procedure will most likely have a better result if it is done in the states.

We let our agency know what we wanted for "our son" (that sounds so good to me- our son).

Praying that everyone gets the message and he does not have surgery in Ch*na.
Please say a prayer for our sweet boy!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Busy Fall!

About 3 evenings a week we are at Johnny's soccer games! It is fun to watch him play. He always gives 100%.
He is one of the captains on the Varsity team!

Since he is a captain it means we are captains parents which means we, along with the other families, have lots to do!
Tomorrow the team and coaches will be coming over to our house for a pasta dinner after practice - they are going to "carb up" before a big game on Saturday!

The girls love to go to his games... because... there is a candy jar that we all pass around! And they love candy!
Oh, yes and they love to watch him play, too!!

It has been fun for me to be on the sidelines taking team pics!!
I actually get to watch the game in peace BUT don't tell Hubby!
I will be taking pics and I'll hear Momma, Momma! It's pretty cute!

Matt came to a game before he left. He is amazed at his little brother. He said "Johnny must have gotten all the competitive genes and he didn't get any!"

Matt is the sweetest guy, he sees no reason to chase down that ball. He would just as soon have the other guy get it!

I love the differences in kids. It doesn't matter if it's birth or adopted- it is so wonderful to rejoice in their individuality.

(It only took me a bundle of kids to realize this but I get it now!!)

Such Blessings!

I have to add that when the girls first came home Johnny wasn't so sure he wanted them at the games. He looked at us and said "Can you get a babysitter?" We tried but Karen wasn't available and as it turns out he loves having his sisters there! They cheer him on! It is so cute to hear them call out Johnny, Johnny, Johnny! He eats up the attention!

Just like the fair we wondered how can we bring them to the games- we were wrong, it is a great family bonding time! We huddle close when it's cool out! It's cozy for the girls! The other night, as clear as a bell, Emma said "I'm cold!"
We were shocked and thrilled! We warmed her up with hugs, blankets and high fives!!

Rejoicing in MN!!

(I can hardly wait for Sam to be at the games next year! We are going to have to get him a soccer jersey!)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Colorado- here they come!

This last weekend Matt left for Colorado with his girlfriend Caitlyn. It was hard to see him go - I did great until the final goodbye and then I cried like a baby.
He had a job interview the next day after they arrived and guess what! He got the job- Thank You Jesus!!
(Please pray for Mark- he is struggling with being away)

It was a nice weekend with Matt and Caitlyn. This was her first time meeting Emma and Ellie. All the kids love her! She is a special Ed Preschool teacher- talk about perfect! As you can see all the girls were all over her!

Billy came home over the weekend, too and again the girls were all over him!
Thank goodness our big kids eat it up!!

Every once in awhile they need a break from all the love. So we made the basement an older kids only zone! The girls are tempted to go down but the know the rules. The big kids come up when they want to hang with the younger kids, chat with us or eat! It has made it so Johnny can have his High School friends over without getting bombarded by little sisters!

It does warm a momma's heart to see the kids together- littles with big and big with littles!

We do work hard to be there for all our kids. It is very important to us to give each one time and attention! I am so glad the big kids love to come home and chat with us!

Emma and Ellie are understanding what we say. The English is still coming very slow BUT it is happening. They are now saying cute little phrases like- I don't know? I love you? Oh My Goodness! Let's go! Time for bed! Good Morning!

Sarah's Chinese is doing well- she is remembering more and more. AND yes, they do talk about me sometimes- I just know it!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Samuel James

We are beyond thrilled to have him join our family! His file was about to be returned to China and we just couldn't let that happen. We were drawn to him from the moment we saw him. We had to wait until it was time to ask for his referral. The moment they said we could look at it - we didn't even have to - we new he was ours!!

I want to post more about him but I need to get homeschooling the kiddos!

Thank you for sharing this exciting time with us!!

Monday, September 13, 2010


At 52 and 53 yrs old we are expecting through adoption! We are so excited!
This time...


He is as adorable as can be!! He turned 4 yrs old on August 25th!

He has had a colostomy since birth and it most definitely needs some medical attention- it does not look good. We got a mini update on him and it said that he changes "the baggy" himself. Oh my, he "just turned 4" and he changes it himself. It made me want to hop on a plane and change it for him. He is our little boy and this Mommy is excited to take care of him!!

Daddy will have fun doing guy things with him and I know the older kids are going to adore him! Anna and ? will be 5 months apart- and I am sure Anna will be bossing him around BUT most likely he will be taller than her! It will be quite a sight and worth a few giggles for the new parents and older sibs!

We are so excited for this sweet little guy to join our crew!!

Stay tuned for a picture and his name!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Dear Lurkers,

The 120's have been wonderful! We have enjoyed them immensely!! You all have followed us to and from China and shared our up and downs! Thank you so so much!

However, it is time to grow! It would make my day to venture on into the 130's. I know, I know, it's asking a lot but it would make this stay at home "Mom to Many" very, very happy!!

If I happen to get into the 130's I might just share some really awesome news with you! Yes, it does sound a bit like blackmail BUT I would prefer to think of it as more of an incentive!! So please, PLEASE!!!!! get me into the 130's!!

addendum: Okay, now that I'm in the 130's I want the 140's! Your right, it sounds so greedy, but what a fun way to be a little greedy! That would be so incredibly exciting and I am not afraid to beg- Please, please please!! I guarantee you won't be disappointed! I know, I know there is just something about me that is a little naughty- honestly, I look at our children when they misbehave and I know exactly what their doin, what their up too! Hubby- he is as sweet as they come- he has no idea. Not so sure it's a good trait i have BUT I have it ... I like to think of it as a mothers intuition!

Thank you!! This could be a real day maker!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

How Do You Know It's Your Child?

I was just wondering how it is with other adoptive parents our there in bloggy land? How did you know that child was yours?

For us it has been different each time. One we had this immediate overwhelming feeling- honestly, I think it was straight from God- "this is our child"! It was so clear- there was no mistaking it. He spoke and we listened. We were giddy with excitement! Another time I had that feeling and shared with hubby. He was accepting of what I felt and believed along with me that it was straight for the Lord! We will never forget what he has said to us and we are holding onto his promises.

Other times we have prayed about it and as we move in the direction that we think is right God has interceded. He has literally stopped the email that declined the referral. A complete feeling of relief came over us and we then excepted the referral. We took a chance and we are so happy we did!! There have been other times that we have felt like it just isn't going to work out and then our minds completely change and feelings of certainty fill our hearts!

And then other times we just can't get a child(ren) out of our head. We try to pray it away and we can't. We try to refocus but we can't. Thoughts of them keep popping into our head. Then our mind wanders- what a great fit they would be and wouldn't they have fun with their new siblings...
At that point we move forward and IF it is in God's plan it all works out. If not we can only assume that God has other plans for the child and for us...

There is a feeling- it may not come right away but it comes. It's peaceful BUT this may be new territory for you so it may feel a little scary. When I have those scary feelings I give them to God. I know all things are possible through him. I know that somehow it will work out. Their are no guarantees but I know he will be with us every step of the way. Thank goodness because we really couldn't do this without him!

Hmmm, we've adopted 4 children... IF you do the math you can see this doesn't quite add up... hmmm. Hoping to explain it all, a little more in the future ;-)

How did it happen for you?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Karate Kids!

The girls are doing Karate, except Anna she is certain she is much too young for this (which she is not)!

Expectations are super low! Super, super low! BUT the girls do excel in the cuteness category!

The girls have earned their patch (which their momma needs to sew on x3)! They have also earned their belt! Not sure what they did to earn it- but they did! They are thrilled!!

They are having fun and they are always happy to go to karate!

Personally, I think they are adorable in their outfits! I am sure they are not officially called outfits but it works for me! What do you think?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Day at the State Fair!

When we were in China Hubby and I talked about how we were going to have to modify our life. We felt the girls would not be ready to do very much. At that point leaving our home with them seemed very scary!
But now the girls have been with us for 9 weeks - there is such a huge difference. They can pretty much go anywhere with us! Even the State Fair!!

When we first got there the crowd wasn't too bad. It picked up in the afternoon- the streets were packed with people. I am glad we had plenty of time to enjoy it in the morning!

The girls loved it! Even the most simple activity was fun for them! It helped having them all in pink- no problem finding who belonged to us in the crowd!

They had lots of firsts while we were there! Eating cheeses curds, pronto pups, mini donuts, 1919 root beer, etc

Emma even did the pedaling motion on this little tractor!!

Then they planted in the garden!

Watered their plants!

Sheered the sheep!

Milked the cow!

Did an art project!

Took a rest while wearing a crown!

First time on a ferris wheel! Dad wasn't going to go with them but thank goodness he did! They all stood up, to wave at me!

It was a big ferris wheel- kinda, sorta!

Then they rode motorcycles! We had many shouts of glee and very loud giggles!

The rides where a big hit!

Time for the carousel! I had to be there for Anna! (she is a chicken!)

Lots of walking around and tons of smiles!

Nothing like an airplane ride to make the day!!

Sarah is up there somewhere in pink! We did not have the other girls do this ride- for their own safety. they felt completely jipped out...

We visited the animals- baby goats!

Many many horses including this very large one!

And these itty bitty guys!

It was such a great day!!