Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Fun!

The girls went to a Halloween party last night! They had so much fun with our playgroup!!
Emma and Ellie loved dressing up in costumes!! As we walked up to the front door Emma said "I love you Momma!"
I love you too honey!

This is Lily! She has been home from China for about 6 weeks! Her Momma and her Daddy waited 50 months for her- she was so worth the wait!
We had 4 new children and 2 new families join us at the party!!
It is so much fun getting together. No one understand adoption better than adopting families! We have an instant bond!!

A couple families had already left by the time we took the picture! As you can see there are no boys in the group- Sam is going to need as buddy! He is so outnumbered!(there actually are 2 boys- 9 and 7 yrs old that were not at the party)

Today we went to Boo Blast in Wayzata- a little nearby community that was welcoming trick and treaters! We rode the trolley from one shopping center to another shopping center for more trick or treating! The girls were thrilled with this concept of saying a few words "Trick or Treat" and someone would put candy in their bag!!

We had a wonderful day! The kids enjoyed every minute of it! Emma and Ellie really don't like candy very much but the whole concept of getting stuff amazed them!!

We met up with our friends and spent the afternoon together!

They got candy, silly bands, little gifts and much more!

At the local grocery store we had a free lunch- hot dog, chips, carrots and mini pop!

Even the hair salon participated! This is the first time we ever did anything like this and it was so much fun! This wasn't an option when our big kids were little. It safe and not scary!

Then we trick and treated in the grocery store- at one of the stops they got chocolate milk! I enjoyed the Saturday samples!

The train is always a big hit! Here it comes zooming by!

It's impossible to get everyone looking the same direction! Oh well, I tried!

Happy Halloween from a cat, a ladybug, a witch, three tooth fairies and a butterfly!

Cozy at home counting their treasures! Johnny's doing a little bargaining for some candy! Thank goodness he has sisters that will share!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thankful Thursday - October 28th

Johnny's 17th B-day!

He got lots of help opening the presents!

Thank you Jesus!

There is so much to be thankful for and to pray for -

 Today was special person day at Anna's preschool. Johnny was her special person! I'm not sure which one was more excited about it - Johnny or Anna! They were so cute! Everyone else had grandparents and that is something we do not have anymore, so we substituted a very special big brother!!

Tonight the girls and I skyped with Mark who is in Turks and Cacaos. The connection wasn't too good but it was so great to hear his voice and see his face! He will be home in December!

Our son Matt found a place to live in Denver! He had a place BUT it became uninhabitable- with dog poop, urine and mice. YUCK! He wrestled with trying to stay or move out. It was hard for him to break his lease and previous commitment to the landlord but he had too. The place was filthy and completely disgusting. I am so thankful he is moving out and into a decent place! He signed the new lease today! (Did I mention his roommate who has lived their for awhile and who owns the dogs also has a gun and a bad temper - that really scares this Momma. Matt found the first place through Cr*igs List- I think he learned a lesson) 

Praying that our dossier comes back from authentication asap, so we can get it off to our agency for final approval and then to CHINA for a DTC!!

Praying for those two incredible little boys on my sidebar. Please help find a family for them. Feel free to advocate for them!

Continuing to pray for our little homeschool!

Praying for Baby Luke and Cori at MSP for the necessary medical interventions that they need. That the Lord will keep them safe and bless them with good health.

So thankful for the incredible fall weather we had. There is a chill in the air now and we saw a few flurries today.

Praying for our dear friend Sally from My Life My Desire. Her plate is more than full and her family is being challenged in every way.

So thankful for our precious treasures in China. Can't wait to bring home Ava Marie and Samuel!

So thankful for Emma and Ellie's adjustment to their new home! They are doing so well- praise God!

So thankful for our older children accepting with open arms their new siblings (they maybe dragging there feet BUT their arms are open) and that they are willing to open their hearts to more treasures coming home!

The Lord knows my heart and my prayers for our friends in need. He know the prayers that I am unable to share right now. Please Lord know that I am forever grateful to you. This is all you, Lord- all blessing flow from you. Thank You Father!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Preparing My Heart and My Head!

The holiday season is near and I need to get my heart and my head in the right place! I have spent too many holidays filled with stress instead of filled with the spirit. 

There are years that it has been joyful and filled with praise but more often, that is not the case. 

I think, I try to hard too do "everything" instead of being peaceful and prayerful. I want so much for it to be perfect for everyone and I set my standards too high. I have my list of what we "have to do" and one by one I cross them off as we do them. The kids have fun but it can be too much for the Momma! Sometimes I forget to "simply" enjoy this blessed time. 

This year I am going to start praying about it now. Start preparing my heart and my head. Lower my expectations, pray to have the holy spirit in my heart and be filled with peace. No more stressing out! No more feeling like I am falling short in one area or another. I want the focus to be where it should be- on Jesus!

Could you tell me something that you do that brings you and your family the joy of Jesus during the holidays! It would be wonderful if some of your ideas and thoughts would fit into our homeschool!!

This is a wonderful time in our lives to make a few changes! Changes that could positively impact all our kids and especially our new daughters! Maybe then they won't make the same mistakes their Momma has made.

Hubby and I say to our children take what you like from our family and use it in your family.  Discard what you don't like, don't let bad habits and bad choices go on from generation to generation. Make life better!

It's time to put CHRIST back into Christmas!

Thank You Jesus!! 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Urgent prayer request!

Dear Friends-

 You are all such wonderful prayer warriors! Our friend is in need, together through prayer we can help her get through this. Please uplift our adoption loving, Jesus loving, bloggy loving friend Sally, in prayer.

Sally is caring for her MIL, who has terminal lung cancer, in her home. She is working outside the home full time and she has 9 children- 4 that are still home. She is also in progress to bring #10 home this winter.

Robert (hubby) and her children are okay but they have had an extended family emergency. I don't know the details and I am not sure what she plans to share but I do know that they all need to be uplifted in prayer! 

Please flood her blog with encouraging words and let her know that she and her family are in your prayers.

God Bless You!

Click here to visit her blog!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Homeschool Update!

One a month Sarah, Emma and Ellie go to a class at a nearby wilderness center. It is specifically for homeschoolers. They are with the 8 and 9 yr olds. The class is a little above their current learning level but they seem to enjoy it. I think Sarah is able to catch onto some of it. They are learning so much just being there, even if it's not exactly what the teacher is teaching!
It also exposes our girls to other homeschool children. 

We have tried to do some of the coop classes but it just doesn't work out for us. An older adoptee does not fit in at grade level. It complicates it even more when they don't speak English. 

I love homeschooling them and we have the flexibility to focus on their individual needs.  It is actually hard for me to overly plan our schedule because our day is based on needs not on a schedule. I think this is one of the many huge perks of homeschooling older adoptees!

We were learning about dirt and worms! Sarah is sharing some worm poop with her friends! Isn't that nice of her!?!

I have had my ups and downs regarding homeschooling. At times I have been confused on where to start and which direction to go in? I have prayed and prayed for our little homeschool. That it would glorify God and we would travel this journey with HIM. I cannot do it without HIM.

Recently things have started going in the right direction. I am so thankful for that! I was really having an inner battle- should we keep on OR should we try traditional school? Answered prayer came just in time!! It is a joy to see them learn! I feel very blessed to spend the day with them!

We also talked about decomposers and producers! Personally, I found it incredibly interesting!!

The day was perfect! This fall has been so enjoyable this year! The weather is beginning to change but it is still much more mild than usual.

English is still coming slowly BUT it is coming! Ellie tries to speak English all the time during the day which usually results in the same conversation over and over again! There are also many mispronunciations which provide for a few hidden chuckles!
Sarah still makes a few mistakes, too! Yesterday it was very froggy out!
Emma saves her words and then will say a 3 word sentence! It kind of surprises us when she does that- she is quiet and then all of the sudden an English phrase pops out of her mouth! We love it!

Each child is so different and moves at a different pace. Emma and Ellie are understanding everything we say. They are counting to 10 (forward and backward) and can almost count to 20! The alphabet is going great they can say all the letters except N- instead it is M M O P Q! They are catching onto some of the sound! They are beginning simple addition, patterns, identify the one that is different and learning  the names the shapes and how to draw them. This is big progress!! No more blank stares- whew!!

In this pic we are seeing two mice decompose (ewwww)!

Emma decided to take a closer look at a leaf and Ellie she came over to hug her Momma instead of looking at the mouse! I don't blame them!

Feeling thankful!!
Feeling very thankful!! 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

All State!

Johnny and two of his teammates were voted First Team All State in soccer! Congratulation guys!! They had a great season! Their record was 16-3-1!

Their team lost in the section finals so the season is over for this school year. 

We were blessed to have wonderful kids on the team and wonderful parents to sit with in the stands!

Friday, October 22, 2010

An Update On Ava!!

We just got an update on our little girl this week!

She is outgoing and knows how to share. She can play with older children and younger children. She gets along well with others!

Ava likes to go shopping! So she will fit right in with her new sisters- especially when it is shopping for them!

She does not know what a Momma and a Babba are? Oh my, she will soon find out!

By the sound of the update our little girl is in foster care now. This must have been a new development. That will help her to figure out what Momma's and Babba's do and what a family is.

She likes school and likes to learn new things!

Size wise she is 39 lbs and 40.5 inches tall.

I know when we meet her she will be a peanut, at least to us she will be! I thought Emma and Ellie were so little when we first met them.

I cannot wait to go to China and get these two treasures!

Our Home Study is being authenticated as we speak- PTL! We should be DTC'd and LID'd in November!!
If we do get LID in November when do you think we will travel??
What's your best guess??

We are hoping to get more pics of her!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Meals On Wheels!

Once a month on Tuesdays the girls and I deliver meals to the elderly (Meals on Wheels). The girls enjoy it and I am hoping through this and other things we do they will develop a tenderness for those in need.

Because their life was so different not so long ago, I would have thought that would have come to them naturally but it did not. It is something that needs to be cultivated, nurtured and encouraged.

They have more of a sense of individual survival than a sense of empathy for others. I can't blame them- they all had to fight for their personal survival. 

God Bless the Orphans. There are so many that need homes. It is heartbreaking to look at the waiting children and yet I feel so called to do exactly that.

After tucking in the girls, Hubby and I talked about how rich our lives are with these children. Their needs are so simple and so basic. Love, family and a home is what they so desperately need.

To others our family seems so odd but it is the others that are missing out. They are not hearing the call.

I wish they would. I wish they would bring the children home. They don't need to bring so many home, just one or two if that's what they choose.

What a difference it would make in the life of that child!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

This Weekend!

We played at the park with friends! The girls met a new friend at the park! Her name is Haley. Haley is 16 yrs old and has downs syndrome. The girls were so kind to her, it made this Momma's heart proud! They played with her until she had to leave. Even her care giver commented on the immediate acceptance they extended to their new friend! Thank You Jesus!

They loved playing with their friends Savannah and Aliyah (they are twins and as cute as can be)! It was a beautiful day- perfect for a late afternoon romp in the park! Their Mom and I visited! 

All the girls had the flu mist, so we are ready for the winter!

Ellie tried to ride a two wheeler.

And she DID IT!!!

We are so proud of her! Great job Honey!!

We went on a Hay Ride!

We all had fun!

We picked pumpkins in the pumpkin patch!

We washed them and brought them home!

We also got our Halloween costumes! The girls are planning to be a Cat, a Witch, a Ladybug and a Butterfly!

Emma and Ellie can't believe that people are going to put candy in their treat baskets! What a deal!

Hubby and I also had a date Saturday Night! Yes, you read that right!! We went to a movie and then had sushi and headed back home! It was so fun! 

It was a great weekend!!

I can't wait for Ava and Sam to join us!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

We Have A Name!!

We have a name for our sweet girl! We are so excited and it feels so right!!
I have had this feeling that it should be Mary but was having trouble bonding to the name and thinking of her as a Mary.

Then the other day I saw an adorable little Avery- she was so cute and the name Ava Marie popped into my head! The family has all voted yes for it and it does not conflict with any existing names!

So AVA MARIE it is!!

We will call her Ava most of the time! It fits in with our other names and it is short and sweet- easy for this Momma to call out with all the other names!

I can hear it now!
Sarah, Emma, Ellie, Ava, Anna and Sam- dinner!!

I didn't post for the last couple days because I spilled a latte on my computer keyboard- what a bummer! We turned it upside down and wiped it off. The sticky latte dripped out of it. I am surprised it is even working now but feeling very thankful!!

Thank you for playing the name game with me (over and over again)! It was fun for us, too!!

Last night as we decided the name we realized our three little one will be closer than we thought. I guess we just didn't take the time to figure it all out! ;-)
The three of them will be 14 months apart from start to finish!
I think we will be having lots of fun here at our house!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


So the other day I was shopping on line. Real life browsing the stores is a thing of the past. I need to educate myself at home and see what is available in the stores. When that shopping moment arrives I need to be ready and to make quick decisions and move on!

A day later I get an email that "thanked me" for looking at blah blah blah. Excuse me?? How did you even know I was looking at it? I didn't purchase it... I just looked at it.

Honestly, it creeped me out...

When I went to the store they explained to me that they can tell which site I visit and how long I stay on it...

Sometimes this high tech stuff is so creepy! Where is our privacy? Obviously- nowhere...

The other day I received an e-mail for a 25% discount at a children's store. I purchase many of the kids clothes there so I was quite excited. Emma and Ellie have never had their own robe and Sarah has grown so much it was time for a new one for her. I was thrilled and got our order all figured out. Of course then I read the fine print... does NOT include, sleep ware, yadda yadda yadda. There went the discount- down the cyber drain...

Anyone else feeling like this is kind of weird? Like maybe someone is encroaching on there personal life?
Anyone else feeling like gypped out of a good deal ?

Just wondering...

Makes me not want to shop at these stores...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Our Emma- an update

Today we took Emma to the adoption clinic. Everyone there was wonderful and we all felt the appointment was very helpful.

As we answered their questions and talked to them about our concerns we all realized how much progress Emma has made over the last three months. It has been nothing short of a miracle! And since everything is going in the right direction (some areas slower than other but still in the right direction) - we are going to continue with the current plan.

They recommended that Emma continue with OT, speech and ELL. She will also continue with her activities of swimming, karate and gymnastic. Expectations are low in all of them but again she continues to make baby steps. ( It may seem like a lot but all the girls do them together at the same time so it works for this Momma- they are kind of our homeschool gym class)

Some of the diagnosis I originally thought of are now in the past (at this point). They are thinking that she has sensory deprivation from neglect resulting in many delays and cognitive delays. 

Emma has not been able to make the language transition to English like the other children have. She seems to understand what we are saying but she cannot utter more than one or two occasional english words at a time and that is usually with prompting. In fact she is silent for a good portion of the day- taking everything in and answering with a nod of the head. She will officially be starting speech this week with a wonderful speech pathologist. I am looking forward to progress in this area, too- but of course my expectation are closer to reality than they previously were.

The adoption clinic is also sending us to a Pediatric Psychologist. He is an excellent DR and will be retiring in January. He just happens to be Chinese and although he is ending his career he has agreed to see Emma. Did I mention he speaks Mandarin! Thank you Jesus!

Hopefully we will be able to get more answers through him but for now we press on!

We have seen God written all over this adoption and it is so comforting! This little girl is such a joy to us and to think if we had known about her disability maybe, just maybe, we would have said no - that would have been a tragedy...  We would have missed out on so much, so much love, so much potential and so many blessings...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Weekend Walk!

We made sure to take a walk this weekend in one of the local state parks! It is so beautiful outside and the trees are still hanging onto a few of their leaves!

The girls loved playing in the leaves that were on the ground!

And throwing them in the air!

So often we have big winds around this time that totally take off many of the leaves but this year has been different. We have had warm temps and gentle breezes! Sometimes it looks like it is gently raining leaves- definitely a site to be seen!!

I couldn't resist snapping away!

This one quickly got tired and needed a ride! 

While your looking at the pictures let's talk names... again!
We can't do Mia because of the dog, unless of course you say we can... I do love that name!
We Can't do Madeline because her name would be Maddie and we have a Matty (Matthew)- inless you say we can!
I love Mary Claire but I am struggling bonding with the name... It is beautiful BUT I don't know...
Someone suggested that we go with an A name that works with Anna since they are the younger 2 girls. So I thought of Ava Marie or Avery Marie- what do ya think?

So the younger crew would be Sarah, Emma, Ellie, Ava, Anna and Sam?
Sarah, Emma, Ellie, (insert other name), Anna and Sam?
Just want you to know I have never done this with names- I always have a name before we have a daughter!

Making progress every day- one little step at a time!
(((Hugs to you, sweet girl)))

We looked behind us and this is what we saw! Absolutely lovely!

We looked ahead of us and saw this beautiful site!
How could it be that at this point in our lives we have been so blessed!

We missed peak by a week or two but it was still so lovely!

So many new experiences for this little one!

Come on Emma- catch up to us!!

We did run into a few wild animals!

Isn't this just calling your name? Don't you want to talk a walk, right now? Aren't you curious to see what beautiful site lies around the corner?

I will never tire  of this...

US- the seasoned parents! I try to snap pic of us here and there so we are all set for the next dossier!!

Just had to take this pic and see if it would come out as magical as it looked in person!
I don't have a good camera- just my cannon pocket camera- but it's easy to carry and takes pretty good pics!

This amazes me half red/ half green! Gorgeous!!

And again, if you want to comment on possible NAMES for this hard to please confused Momma, please do!!