Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween 2015! UPDATED!

The day isn't even over with and it's already been a success!
The children LOVE to dress up in their costumes!

The big girls are a Minion, The Cat in the Hat and 
Thing 1 and Thing 2!

The little girls are Cinderella, Elsa, a Witch, Anna and Rapunzel!
The wigs were a big hit!

And of course our Ninja Turtles!
(A repeat from last year!)

Our community has a celebration called "Boo Blast"
and all the children look forward to it!
This year we had to wait until the rain stopped
before venturing out!

We met our friends there and went "Trick or Treating" together!

Once we are back home the children have to inspect their loot!

The hot tamales surprised them and they needed water FAST!

Sam has 9 kit kats!

They look forward to this day
Although, I like Halloween it is not my favorite holiday 
but we do enjoy how much the children

Two stuck together, jackpot!

No Mom...
I am not planning to share with you!
(just kidding... I think)

Which one would YOU chose?
Big decisions are being made at our house!

And of course, we had to categorize the candy 
and then inspect it 
before choosing the next one to eat!

She's searching for her favorite candy!

Lots of giggles and fun!

The forecast changed last minute and our sunshine and clear skies didn't arrive until sunset...
So this is a perfect way to end the afternoon!

Biggest bubble he has even done!



Mike Wazowski(monsters inc) needed to check out the fire!
The kitty cats are very curious when there is anything new!

A couple days ago we carved pumpkins!

The kids divided into groups and worked together to clean, design and carve their pumpkins.

Euwwww, yucky!
But they still did a great job!

Some of the children could do their own but others cannot
due to their age
or special need so
groups worked out perfectly!

It's good to learn to work together!

Lots of planning went into their pumpkins!
So sorry I did not get a pick of the finished products- I will try to do that tomorrow!

Big bro Johnny joined us for neighborhood trick or treating!
Since we don't live in a neighborhood we took a short drive to one!

We made the children eat pizza
just to break the candy, candy, candy, trend!

As parents- it is a joy to see our children have fun on this holiday
but we do have a plan.
I would never be okay with them actually eating every ounce of this... junk.
Each of our children got between
4-5 lbs of candy.
That's approximately 60 lbs of candy total...
Oh yikes!

we let them enjoy their candy after trick or treating.
After dinner they get to choose three candies for dessert.
It will be snack and dessert tomorrow, too.
Then they will give a bunch to donate!
And finish up their favorites the next day.

Enjoy your dinner
and then
you can have more candy!

The children did such a great job on the pumpkins!
They did it ALL themselves!
I think we can do more next year!

Too bad no one comes to trick or treat at our house...
Country living!

The end of daylight savings time was a bit hard on Luke!

Blessings on your Halloween and All Saints Day!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

You've Come A Long Way, Baby!

Our Mia turned 14 this month!
She has been home for 2 yrs 9 months!

Our time together has been eventful.
It took her a long time to "like" us.
And it took even longer for her to "love" us!

After spending 11 yrs 3 months in two different orphanages 
she was very hesitant to trust us.

Mia has little to no recollection of her time in China.
Which is unusual for older child adoption.
Most of what we know has come from her friends.

She never talks about her previous life.
But, she loves to talk about when she met us in China.
We all end up laughing about it because she did not like us at all...

And now I can honestly say-
She adores us!
And we love and adore her!

Thank goodness older brother Mark came with us! 
And when he left China, big sis Katie met us in Guangzhou! 
Mia really liked the big kids and connected with them while in China!
I don't think she knew she could say no to the adoption-
Praise GOD!

It wasn't until after the first week in China that Sarah
all of the sudden remembered how to speak Mandarin.

Mia was shocked to hear her speak the same language!
And then Sarah could tell us what Mia was saying...
That was a mixed blessing!

Mia, Melissa and Madeline's three year post placement report is due soon!
Although it is a lot of work, it is a joy to do!
A mini trip down memory lane!
What a journey it has been-
challenging and so worth it!

We couldn't imagine our lives any other way!

Each child is such an amazing blessing!

The joy you see on her face, is what we get to see

Our triple adoption was an wonderful success!
It was God's perfect plan for our family!
And we are so grateful to GOD!

We are so thankful this sweet girl is home.
In China when a child turns 14 they are considered unadoptable.
They can never have a forever family and they will forever be an orphan.

As it turns out our rather large family is the perfect fit for her!

Someone got a birthday phone call from their big sis Kate!

Sometimes birthdays are hard for adoptees but this girl is handling it like a champ!
She was amazing!
Happy, thankful, joyful and so appropriate!

She loved everything we gave her!

 And even though she turned fourteen she still wanted a stuffed animal and blankies!
A stage she missed out on as a younger child.
Anytime sweetheart, anytime!

The show NEVER gets old!

The girls all sat at one end of the table
and the little boys, big boys and the parents sat across from them!

Can you see the piece of zucchini going right into her mouth?
Sarah, Ava and Melissa were successful, too!
Gotta love a restaurant where it's okay to throw food!

Sisterly love! 

The big brothers met us at dinner!
So glad they could take time away from work and school to meet us!
We are very thankful to have them in town and to be able to see them sometimes!
We miss Matt and Caitlin, Katie, Andrew and Emily.

Happy birthday sweet girl!
YOU are a treasure!