Monday, April 30, 2012

Do you remember...

When you were in school and you had to vote on different things...

Well, we did that tonight and it was so cute...

I had to stall the voting in order to get my camera!

We had three movies to choose from...
Tom and Jerry
Signing Times

They were supposed to cover their eyes and raise their hand for the movie of their choice!

There was a whole lotta cheatin going on!

But even more than that, there was a whole lotta cuteness going on!

When the voting was over with we had to remind Abby that she forgot to vote!

She was a swing vote!

Tom and Jerry won for tonight!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Our Weekend!

The little children had their first karate tournament on Saturday!
They had so much fun and came home with a lot of hardware!
They see Johnny getting trophies and medals so they were thrilled to finally get their own!

Johnny went to prom this weekend!
There he is with his date...
I mean dates!
Yes, both boys(Will and Johnny) took Gabby to the prom!

The both got her a corsage but...
 I sent the second team(hubby) to the pictures and well, the pics weren't quite what they should have been. (That's just between us!)
Johnny said "Dad spent most of the time talking AND then the camera ran out of batteries..."

I guess that's what happens when it's the 5th time through...
Our poor Luke- he'll be the 13th ;-)

The kids love to go get donuts/ muffins and coffee with Dad in the morning.
They really wanted to have breakfast outside today!
Dad said yes...
I said it's 44 degrees outside honey!
Dad said so they'll eat fast!

They did (eat fast) and loved it!

We went to church with Katie and Andrew this morning it was so nice! The church they are being married in is absolutely beautiful!

Katie helped Sarah do her nails!

They are the sticker kind and look so cute!
Sarah was thrilled!

This weekend we also had recital practice for Ava and Anna, manners classes and 2 MRI's of the brain.
It was a bit busier than usual and I did think maybe we should not go to church this weekend but we ended up going... and everything fell into place- perfectly!
Only God!
And yes, my fleeting thought of skipping church was... well, wrong...

This weekend I came across two children that I remembered from a waiting child list. They were such precious children- quite unforgettable. I had just been wondering IF I would ever be able to find out what happened to them?

And then God led me right to them- it was so cool!

I wish there was a data base so we could see where these precious children are and also see their forever families.

How was your weekend?

Friday, April 27, 2012

G*ggle, G*ggle, Quack

The children LOVE to go to plays at our local Stages Theater!
They are for the 10 and under crowd and all of our children are able to understand them!
We usually read the book before we go to the play so they can understand what is going on.

Giggle, Giggle, Quack was wonderful! They were all laughing at the antics of the farm animals, Farmer Brown and his twin brother Bob!

Before it began a bloggy friend came up to us to say "hello"!

It was so fun to meet Cindy from Minnetrista! She has two treasures from China!

After the play we love to get a pic with the actors!

 If you are familiar with the books- Duck is on the lower left and will be once again in the play "Duck for President" next fall! Yay, he was incredible and we can't wait to see him again!

This is the book... if you look at it sideways... sorry!

In a couple weeks we will be going to
"Where the Mountain Meets the Moon"

It is from chinese folklore and we know the little girl that is in it!
I bought the book! We had planned to read it! It was longer that I had expected... and I can't find it ;-)
I have looked everywhere...

sooooooo, we won't be reading that story...

BUT, we will be enjoying the play!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Homeschool Conference

Sarah and I went to the homeschool conference in our city. We had so much fun together!

She volunteer for one of the speakers!  I was so glad she was confident enough to do that! She did a great job!

She was able to look at her new books for the next school year!
It was so exciting!
Seriously- we are already looking forward to next school year!!

The best part of the day was when we met Sarah's teacher from last year!
We felt like we were meeting a celebrity!
Sarah does Abek* video streaming.
So she has an online teacher.
She has learned so so much!
We are very happy with the program- especially for her!
And especially for our busy family!

She is just finishing *2nd grade in June and will be in 3rd grade in August.

We left with many items and had so much fun together!

* Sarah came home at 8 yrs 9 months old. She did not know any english and did not like school in China. She was treated as many of the orphans are- hit and belittled in school. She was often hungry and afraid to ask questions. When given the opportunity she would stay home and care for the babies.

She came to us with no confidence in her learning ability and NO desire to learn. She was very good at faking that she knew the answer and cheating to obtain it.

She would sit for hours and pout and power struggle over her school work.

In time she learned to "love learning" and to not be embarrassed when she didn't know the answer. She has learned about Jesus, about his unconditional love and how much fun it is to learn. She is loving homeschool right now and we are so thrilled!

We school year around with breaks for holidays and off a month in the summer- July!

People often ask where do you begin when educating an older adopted child. 

For us, it was at the beginning.

You start at Pre-k and go as fast or slow as you need too!
They need the basics, they need the foundation from the early years.

I look forward to bringing more children to the homeschool conference when they are ready!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

On Her Own!

Last week Sarah started Cot*llion! 
They are basically manners classes-  simple dance combined with etiquette.

This is her first time going anywhere without her Momma and the posse...

And she loved it!

After class she went to the grocery store with Daddy(and the posse) and saw many of her new friends (they were also shopping for dinner).

Hi Sarah, Hi Sarah, Hi Sarah!
Hi, Hi, Hi!

When she arrived home she talked a million miles a minute- and told me all about it!
I do love girls and how they share!

All the children bought me flowers from the grocery store!

They are so thoughtful!

FYI- we did have a bio kiddo that basically flunked out of manners classes...
But I won't post which one it was for fear I would embarrass him...

I am just so happy for her! 
For all she is learning!
For her excitement about life as a 12 yr old!
For her amazing progress in just 3 short years!
For the wonderful young lady she is becoming!

Thank you Jesus!

Monday, April 23, 2012


We went to the Doctor today for the littlest superman!
He listened to his heart- no rubbing sounds!
The inflammation is gone ;-)

They took an x-ray. No fluid around his heart!
(We stopped the diuretics last Wednesday.)

And he loves to run!
He didn't love to run...
He loves to run now!

Can I have an "Amen Jesus"!

He loves to jump!
He never jumped before...

He is starting to climb!
He never climbed before...

Can I have another "Amen Jesus"!

How can it be...
that an orphan from China 
with a severe, life threatening heart condition, 
that wasn't expected to live...

Is now thriving!

It can only be God!


He is 3 yrs old and he is...
Running, laughing, jumping, climbing, teasing his big brothers, saying boo to his Momma and Daddy(always trying to scare them), recognizing numbers 1-5, counting to 10 and more, knowing 6 colors, doing 24 piece puzzles, riding a tricycle, drinking all his milk (he is not a milk fan) and speaking English beautifully!
(and so much more)

He has only been home 4 months!

Praise God!


Thank you, to his foster family and his special needs orphanage!
More than a thank you
 has to go to Israel and the Doctors that operated on him!
More than I thank you
 needs to go to the family that advocated for him and made the surgery... happen!



JUST LOOK AT the pictures...

You have truly saved his life!

We go back to the Doctor in 3 months.
Then they will see us in a year
and the next year
and the next year
well, you get the picture!

He has a normal life expectancy AND a normal activity level...

I am on my knees in gratefulness to YOU!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

First Communion!

Emma and Ellie have been so excited for this day!
They could not wait to wear their beautiful white dresses and have communion like Sarah and the adults in the family!

They love to dress up and look pretty AND they have gentle love for Jesus.
Ellie is always asking us questions about Jesus.

As they walked down the aisle at the beginning of church I was overcome with emotions.
It took me by surprise.
Tears welled up in my eyes and I had to fight them off.

These two girls have come so far in the 21 months they have been home.
I am so proud of them! 
They have been through so much in their short lives.
And now, here they are wearing white before the Lord and receiving Holy Communion.

They were a little nervous before and during the service.

When it was time for Emma to have her first communion she forgot everything we had practiced and talked about. Jim helped her through it.
Ellie was with me and she remembered and did everything correctly.

One of our priests is from Vietnam.
He has a special place in his heart for our children.

He talked briefly about adoption and had our family stand at the end of the service.
He said how thankful he is for adoption.
For being adopted by Jesus and for our church welcoming him into the parish family.
He was very kind and even got  little teary.

I am so thankful that these children are home!
They are like a flower unfolding.
It is an incredible blessing!

After church we went to our favorite Chinese restaurant!
The girls were on top of the world happy!

Mark had to catch a flight back to Denver right after dinner.
Yes, the big kids are dressed very casual...
pick your battles friends, 
pick your battles!
And that was not one I was going to pick!
Besides they usually do pretty good with dressing appropriately.

We brought the cake to the restaurant hoping we would have enough time to have it there- but it didn't work out, so we served it at home.

Ava was carrying the cake into the restaurant and she fell...
with the cake in her arms...
It hit the ground hard but landed right side up...
Ava was fine and I think she was thankful the cake was okay too.

There was a little shifting going on as you can see in the picture!

Emma and Ellie never noticed a thing!
They were too busy being happy!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Annoying brothers and new glasses!

Guess who is home again!
Yep- it's Mark!

I was trying to take a pic of all the big kids (except Matt).

The title for the picture above is 3 Mulvahills and a Burgess!
(that will be Kate's new name)
Don't worry honey- Andrew will beat them up if they don't behave!
YES, brothers can be so annoying!

They were incredibly immature throughout the whole evening...
so of course it was a lot of fun!

Do you know how hard it is to get a decent picture of this crew?

It's a downright painful experience!

I think you are beginning to understand...


The evening was so much fun with all the big and little kids around!

Then the thumb wars got started!

This is real competition!

Everyone seems to need a little lap time!
Which I love!

Have you noticed that I have new glasses?
There is a huge problem with new glasses!

 Biggest problem is...
I can see better and I'm looking older than I thought I was...

Sometimes ignorance is bliss!
God made our vision worse at this point in our lives for a reason!
He is so so smart!
But new glasses just killed the fantasy!

Okay, I am also a little competitive and wanted to win the thumb war!

But, I didn't!

Good job Ava!