Monday, January 30, 2017

Boxes, Boxes, Everywhere!

One Day at aTime Sweet Jesus!

The next day... was a new day...
and we had a job to do-
get this family to Colorado!

We packed up all of our last minute things 
and hit the road by 10:30 am
with our children, pets and a Starbucks coffee!

I am so amazed by these kiddos! They are so brave and so trusting!
We are so thankful for each and everyone of our children!
Praise God for HIS blessings and for HIS provisions!

The plan was to drive straight through...
ya know...
were not quite as young as we used to be...
and we left much later than planned!

The fog was very thick and we didn't make it 
as far as we had hoped in Nebraska.
Thankfully we found a hotel that was "pet friendly"
and stopped there.

Mark and Sam had Daisy.
They did well and Daisy enjoyed sleeping on the bed with Sam!

Our teen girls had the cats and thankfully they did not get out of the room!
The cats, that is!
I don't really take pics when I'm not sure of the outcome...
I just pray and pray and pray!
Everyone slept... good enough!

The next day was beautiful-
crisp and sunny!
Perfect for the last leg of our drive!
We arrived at our new home around 1:00 pm and...
realized we had
of work to do!

It's wonderful...
just empty...

usually in these circumstances
I try not to have expectations.
I just pray moment by moment,
problem solve
and deal with it!

An empty house,
4 cats,
1 dog,
16 children,
1 big kid
and 2 parents,
(that don't have a clue what they are doing)!


No problem...
God's go this!


No problem...
God's go this!

You may have overheard me mutter to myself...
I trust YOU!

The simple silliness of the children always lightens the mood!

Once again we ended up staying in a hotel...
just one more night so we could tackle
the house the next day!
(One week later, we are still tackling the house!)

Anna had gotten
The Big Bag of Science" kit for Christmas!
She was dying to use it
but we encouraged her to wait until we arrived in Colorado.
Mark, our resident scientist was glad to help out!

He read the directions while the children followed along.
Mom and Dad worked in the house
except for an occasional break to snap a pic!

Big bro Matt came over to help us refigure our TV situation!

Mark flew home but the
science project continued!

So thankful to have Matt(our oldest bio son) and his family, nearby!

Bubble wrap is the newest rage!

And you can even
POP it,
in a wheelchair!

Our center island is
PERFECT for an extra large family!
We can fit everyone sitting/standing around it!

A couple days later the "YOU MOVE ME" trucks arrived!

And they started bringing our stuff in...
we brought a few things that we could have left behind...
we may have forgotten a few things in MN...

Oh Well!


in time, we will figure it out!

Thank you!
You did a great job!

There we go!
Now we are having a little more fun!

I really like our neighbors!
I haven't met any of the humans
but the horses
are gorgeous!

Some of the furniture arrived!
It fits us!

After Mark got Anna going on the science projects,
she was able to do it herself!
This is the
"how diapers absorb experiment"!

And her siblings joined in!

We highly recommend this for a Christmas gift
to any young potential scientist!

They made goo!

And more sibs joined in on the fun!

Then more bubble wrap popping!

A mountain of recycle!

Grace and Jacob are doing so well!

The transition has been easy!
I am amazed at how much they trust us.
They have not needed to "take control"
but have instead watched the other children and
happily followed along.

The hardest part has been the language.
They are both so fluent and accomplished in Mandarin
that changing languages
is not their first choice.
Once we get settled we will focus more on English acquisition
but for now they have been slowly transitioning
while some of the kids
have been speaking Mandarin with them.

The goo!

A Word of Warning-
remind your children to dispose of this in the garbage...
NOT down the drain!
We were able to stop a potential problem

We found the light sabers!

Even the big girls enjoyed it!

Don't tell them I got a pic!

Says Grace!

Okay, let me have a turn!

Colored goo...
can be kinda yucky!

Love our happy helpers!

We still have lots to do
but we are doing it

Hoping to get back to home school sometime this week?

While... continuing to make this house a

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Let The Journey Begin!

Wow! What a week it was!

It started with encouraging the children to play outside in the snow because very soon all of their snow gear would be packed up...

And sledding would not be an option...
Jake is sledding down the hill with Mia!

A blurry pic of Grace's first time sledding!
I bought a new camera and once again had trouble with it...

Grace is such a trooper!
Even with her club foot she is out there sledding and 
walking up the hill!
She is such a determined little girl!

We have a wonderful sledding hill at our MN home
and we wanted to enjoy it as much as possible before leaving!

The children built forts while the dogs played!

Even Sarah was out there in her "boot" 
after breaking her leg sledding (while we were in China)!

It was a beautiful winter day!

Ever since we got home from China we noticed 
how skinny Sissy was...
My first thought was
"Oh no, they forgot to feed her...?"
but that wasn't the case...

So we decided to bring her into the vet and have her checked out...

The vet did all the necessary tests and then an ultra sound...
 We were so so so very sad to find out she had lymphoma...
I will be writing a tribute blog post 
for our sweet amazing golden retrievers...

Every day we evaluated her health and wondered-
can she make the journey with us?

Hubby and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary!

This pic is from the weekend before when we were in DC
visiting the grand babies!
So thankful we celebrated with Andrew and Katie 
because on our actual anniversary 
we did not feel that we could leave 
the children and the dog...

The next day the packers came and 
all of the things we planned to bring to Colorado
were packed away...

during this time...
the big boys came 
over one by one...
to see our sweet puppy dog...
(talk about breaking a Momma's heart...)
I prayed through every day...

The packers did a great job!
So thankful we did not have to do it!

Everything was placed in the rooms 
that had previously been flooded and 
that will not be "redone" while we are in Colorado!

God has a way of working things out...
so thankful!

The children were a bit bored but
we did not have a choice...
more TV was viewed
than ever before...

Thankfully we kept out a few entertaining items
such as puzzles, gel pens and teen coloring books!

Then Grace and Daddy went to St Louis, Mo.
to see Dr Dobb's,
so Grace could begin her club foot repair!

Grace was the only one that could use the ipad!
It was her special treat because...
between you and me...
under the circumstances...
she couldn't do anything else...
God Bless HER!

And another big brother came over to see our puppy dog...
We had glimmers of hope that she could make it to Colorado.
We were prepared for her to go with us!
We had all the right medicines and the support of her veterinarian.
For a couple days she perked up.

And the next day was Abby's birthday!
Which is also another "Happy Birthday Blog Post"!
Thankfully we celebrated 
"over a period of time"
and the birthday girl was happy with the outcome!

That same day we had 3 doctor appointments.
Victor was our translator and he was awesome!
He also translated for us during Jake's appt the week before.

And while we were going through things
we found a CD with pics
of hubby and his sisters
when they were young!

I married the guy on the far left!
He is soooo cute!

 There are not many picture of my hubby when he was young 
so these are treasures!

Hubby with his sisters!

 Thank you Auntie Kathy!
She gave us this CD before she passed away in July 2013.

So thankful that we found it and I was able to download the pictures!

What a HUNK!

And a super nice, smart guy,
that obviously loves birds... hahaha!

And a random photo found of our two beautiful doggies!

The following day the moving truck came
but because the could not get a "moving van" down to our home they
had to use a smaller truck and make a couple trips up to the van.

And another big brother came over to see our precious puppy dog...

This was the day we needed to make our decision...
We prayed and prayed about it...
And we hoped and we hoped...
 but it was obvious that she was not getting better or even maintaining...
so today our dear sweet Sissy(formally known as Missy)
was set free from her pain and her illness.

We all sobbed and sobbed 
and were rendered helpless...
we could do no more...

We mourned our loss that evening
and gave ourselves a free pass
to leave...
at what ever time worked...

We are so thankful that God has been so close this week...
so many changes,
so many transitions,
so many emotions,
and yet
everything fell into place...

The kids did so well...
all of them!
We stayed close, we cried together, we processed together
and we moved together!

The ending was sad...
but it was happy...

Thank you Jesus!

To be continued...

(I promise the next post will be happier!)