Saturday, June 25, 2016

Joyful Noise 2016

Last year I brought this crew to Joyful Noise 2015!
They loved it and wanted to come back in 2016, so we did!

Except we(I) decided to bring six more kiddos for 2016!
They were so excited to go for the first time!
Emma, Joey and Luke stayed home with Dad.
The two little boys were not interested in going 
and Emma does not like crowds.
She gets nervous with so many people, all the loud noises 
and concerned she will lose us in the crowd. 
We try not to put her in that situation very often (except of course- DisneyWorld ;-).
The three kiddos happily stayed home with Dad!

In Mn we have 4 seasons!
Fall, Winter, Spring and Road Construction...
We left in plenty of time so we wouldn't miss our favorite artists!

Josh Wilson was first!
He sings
"That Was Then This Is Now"
"I Refuse"
"Before The Morning"
"Carry Me"
and so so much more!
He was fantastic!

Next up, my personal favorite-
Francesca Battistelli!
She is truly amazing and her songs are the best!
Each one speaks to my heart!

She sang all of her hit songs!
"If Were Honest"
"He Knows My Name"
"Holy Spirit"
"This Is The Stuff"
"Beautiful Beautiful"
"Free To Be Me"
"It's Your Life"
"Strangely Dim"
"Let It Go"
And the list goes on!

We sang at the top of our lungs,
with her!
Praising God throughout the evening!

My kiddos were in front of me and I was constantly counting heads!
We were standing in the front area near the stage!

And when she was done they set up for the Newsboys!
 They let more and more and more people into the standing area.
We inched closer and closer to the stage as the crowd pushed forward.

I was always watching my babies- I did not want to lose anyone in the crowd!
We've lost a child one time and it was awful-
 not going to let that happen again!
Thank goodness they are so good about staying close to their Momma.

It was a beautiful evening in every way!
And we were soooo close to the stage!

And then the Newsboys came out!
They put on quite a show!
With a lot of energy and a lot of base!

And then...
my kiddos felt claustrophobic and nauseous.
We felt the base throughout our bodies.
One kiddo had to go to the bathroom
 and she was doing the dance...
if you know what I mean!

We were stuck in a HUGE energetic crowd!
I prayed and thought of this song

I had to smile!
Of course this would happen, of course!

And the kids followed me out of the crowd.
We had no problem getting out because
as I walked through the massive amount of people I said,
"We have to go to the bathroom and we are going to throw up!
Thank you!"
Which was all true!
(And we may have but I promised I wasn't going to post it)

Everyone parted and moved aside ;-)

Once we did our business and recovered, 
we returned to our previous seats and enjoyed the rest of the concert from a distance!
Personally, I like the seats further back a bit better!

Honestly friends, it was a challenge to
get there on time, 
find parking,
find a place for 12 people to sit
 and put their things.

Get a small affordable bite to eat for 12
 and make sure everyone got to the bathroom.
I was so thankful to God for his kindness and
that, for the most part
everything had worked out quite well.

I was feeling thankful and a bit teary and weary.

Then one of my kiddos handed me this note from the family sitting near us.
I saw her writing notes earlier in the evening and thought
"Wow, she's multi tasking at the concert."

I had no idea I would be the recipient of such kind words!


You made my night!

Words of encouragement
are such a gift!
How did you know,
that was just what I needed!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Book review - The Story I'll Tell!

I have posted this book review over at the "No Hands But Ours Site"!

Please click on the link above
to read the post!

Thank you!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Congratulations Matt!

We are so proud of our oldest son, Matt!
In the end of May, he graduated from graduate school at the University of Colorado 
with a Masters in Bio Statistics!

He has made many friends in Colorado over the last six years 
and he truly enjoys all the people that he has been working with from this department!

Matt received "The Maurice Davies" award for being the top bio statistics student.

The award winners- Mikaela, Matt and Brian!

Debashis is the head of the Bio Statistic Department and
Nicole is one of Matt's professor's and mentor!

So thankful we could go to Colorado and be there for his graduation!
And it was so much fun spending time with Caitlin and Matt!
The next time we will see them...
they will have their baby!
Can't wait!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Finalized And Forever!

Jenny's adoption is finalized!
We are thrilled!

Adoptions always take longer than planned whether it's domestic or international
but thankfully this one is DONE!

Jenny joined our family in December, as we were in process to domestically adopt her!
It has been such a blessing to have her with us as we went through the process.
She fit in seamlessly from the day she arrived at our house.

I had been waiting for this day to come and we were so happy when it did!
It was a joy to celebrate this dear child!

Everyone loved going to the courthouse and 
making her adoption final and forever!
After the hearing we all went out to The Original Pancake House and had brunch!

Love the dimples we get when she smiles big!

In April, Abby got her braces off
and on the same day
Jenny got her's on!
The other kids may have teased her a bit and told her Abby's braces were going onto her teeth!
Her response was, "Really, yuck!"
But I reassured her that she would get fresh new braces for her teeth and not Abby's old ones!

For now, Abby wears a retainer at night and she will get braces on again at a later date.

Jenny will have her braces on for 4-6 months. 
She had teeth growing in behind one another and she was sucking/biting on her bottom lip.
As you can see in the photos at the top of the post, the braces are working!

Jenny still has many baby teeth so it will be quite awhile before she gets her second set of braces.

Jenny is blind in her right eye and her vision is low in her left eye.
We are doing all that we can do to protect her good eye!
Plus, if she is not wearing corrective lenses she can barely see at all
so we ordered prescription googles for her!
She has swam a couple times in them and LOVES them!

She has prescription sunglasses for the bright sunny days!

And we have ordered athletic glasses for her!
They will arrive next week!
(just as soccer is ending... darn!)
She can use them for gymnastics, YMCA gym classes,
when she's on the trampoline, riding bikes and playing sports, etc!

We love our girl and are so thankful we are together!
We are blessed by her everyday!
Happy Adoption Day Jenny!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Older Child... and Older Puppy... Adoption! (and My B-day!)

It's a perfect fit for us!
Older child adoption...
older puppy adoption!
It works for these slightly older than average parents!

I have seen a few other adoptive families go for the older puppies. 
At first I wondered why they didn't choose the adorable little puppies 
but then it became PERFECTLY clear to me!

Our kids loved the little puppies but within the first 15 minutes 
two of our more responsible kiddos each dropped a puppy as they were holding them.
All of the kids wanted to do
"what they wanted to do" with the puppy and 
I was continuously scanning the scene to make sure every one and every puppy was safe!
Although the puppy playtime was 99.9% enjoyable I
found myself on high alert!

We went on... to drop three more puppies. 
None of them were hurt but 
it just made it clear what was
the best choice for us!

We had actually visited the puppies 5 days earlier and had a chance to play with them, 
put our money down and go home to pray and discuss our decision.
During that time, God directed us to "our puppy", the older puppy!

When we told the kids our decision they were good with it!
Once we decided, we went to pick her up! 

Their first meeting!
Our doggies at home are aging.
Sissy, on the left (formerly known as Missy until we adopted Melissa) is over 10 years old.
Mimi, on the right (formerly known as Mia until we adopted Mia) is over 13 yrs old.

When we bring home a puppy, it brings new life to our doggies at home!
This is the third time we have done this and it works!
The older two dogs provide companionship, comfort and guidance to the new puppy!

An older puppy is a bit more hearty and less likely to get injured!
The children are really gentle with the puppy and doggies but accidents can still happen.

Big brother Mark came over to meet her!

He is happy with our choice!
Mimi and Sissy welcomed her to the family!
Mimi(far left) is a bit old and probably has no clue what's going on- 
our sweet girl's eyesight and hearing are not so good.

She was a little scared at first but it didn't take her long to adjust!
She loved the big dogs, the yard, the toys, the kids and all the love she is getting!

The cuteness just doesn't stop!

It took us awhile to name her- so many opinions in this family!

Honey, Sunny, Daisy, Minnie, Dolly, Lolly and Trixie
we all in the running!
Plus so many others!
We loved all of the names but decided we would not name her human names!

After all we have 19 kids and almost three grand babies with hopefully many more on the way!
We wanted to leave the human names to the humans!

Dolly and Lolly were hubby's Mom's names- so they were vetoed.
Minnie sounds too much like Mimi and would be confusing!
We loved Honey except Hubby and I always call each other Honey!

We decided on Daisy!
Her formal name is Sunny Days of Medina
but to us
she is Daisy!

It's hard to get a good photo of a playful puppy!

Most of them are just a blur!

Looks like Mimi and Sissy would like to share Luke's snack with him!
But that's not what Luke had in mind!

Sprinter Vans are good for more than just hauling the family around!

I just couldn't decide which pic to keep in the post-
 Daisy is just tooo cute!
AND so is Joey!

We have a little puppy therapy moment going on here!

We adore her!
We're completely in love!

And then another big brother shows up!
So everyone has to run to greet him!
Including Daisy!

She's exhausted!

Mimi has arthritis but since we have brought Daisy home 
we see her moving a bit faster, even occasionally running!

And now it is rest time for our baby!

 What a great way to celebrate!
So happy with our precious pup!

Love this fun loving family of mine!
So thankful!
Especially thankful that my hubby is up for all that we have going on!
"Oh, the plans I have for you"
God said that, not Jean ;-)

Thank you for all of the wonderful birthday wishes on FB!
I have tried to respond to them but I haven't been able to get to all of them!
The birthday wishes and kind messages really made my day!

Hubby is so sweet! 
He ordered the b-day cake, they made the wrong one so he reordered the right one!
And then he forgot to go back to the bakery to pick it up ;-0!

No problemo,
I love strawberry shortcake!

Welcome to the family, Daisy!