Friday, May 26, 2017

Happy 11th Birthday Ben!

When we went skiing this spring we discovered (drove by)
a place to go ziplining!
Ben immediately thought it would be a great idea 
to do this for his birthday in May!

All of the children were super excited!

It turned out to be a perfect day!
70 and sunny!

When we made our reservation
we could tell they were slightly 
How many children?
What ages are they??
Ummm okay!

They gave instructions to all of the children!

 Grace and Emma stayed with us in Idaho Springs!
We hope that with time Grace will be able to join the group.
Grace is continuing to recover from her repaired club foot 
(born with Spina Bifida) 
and learning to walk on it.
But if that doesn't happen we love having her and Emma with us!
Emma is unable to partake in some activities
 for her safety and the safety of others.
She gets frightened, she freezes 
and is unable to respond in these situations.
We asked her if she wanted to go Ziplining
and she didn't even hesitate when she answered "NO"!

Idaho Spring is an adorable town
tucked away in the mountains!

 The instructors were shocked at how smoothly
everything went with 14 children!
They even took the time to take this picture!

Beautiful cloud formations from the top of the mountains!

They thought it would take 3 hrs 30 min. 
for our kiddos to go through the zipline trail.
(Anna ziplining!)

Thank goodness we came back early 
bc it only took them 2 hrs 30 min!
(Luke ziplining!)

We were so glad to get a few pics
at the last spot.
(Ben- the birthday boy, ziplining!)

Mia LOVED it!
She has a combination of an adventurous spirit
along with having some fears and anxieties.
We are so proud of her strength and determination!

The end of the zipline!

And it was over...
much too soon
for this crew!

They had such a great time!

The birthday boy was quite happy with his choice,

as was everyone else!

 Time to take off the gear and head back home for the rest of the celebration!
We would have loved to have spent more time in Idaho Springs
if you remember the last post...
we needed to get back home for the puppies!

And remember the concerns they had about 14 kiddos ziplining...

Well... it turned out that this was the best group they have ever had!
They went on and on and on
about how well the kids listened and 
did all that they were instructed to do
for a FUN and SAFE time!


We were invited back!

 Ben had some great birthday gift idea!

Sometimes artificial twinning is frowned upon...
BUT it has been an incredible blessing to our family!
That's when you have two children close in age that are not actually twins.

These two brothers are 3 months apart
and they are the best of friends!
They are perfect for each other
and having them both in our family 
was exquisitely orchestrated by God!

Lots of happy faces!

It's your day buddy!

Ben is so good natured!
His siblings sometimes like to tease him!
Both Ava and Sam pretended it was their birthday...

When I think of how long this amazing child waited for a family...
I shake my head...
He is incredible!
Born with Spina Bifida
(a sometimes feared special need)
and yet...
look at him...

I see courage,
I see capability,
I see joy,
I see an amazing blessing to our family!

 Sam and Ben share so many interests.
They didn't in the beginning 
but it's something that has evolved 
as their love and respect for each other has grown.

The boys love legos!

 And after watching big brother Johnny's team 
make it to 3rd place in the nation...
they really love soccer!

Jersey's rock!
Especially when it's the #1 team Chelsea
or big brother Mark's favorite team 
Manchester United! 
(I love hubby's reflection in the picture!)

And then it was time to find the last gift...

not there!
Wrong door!

Look at Daddy's face...
he thought he was sooo funny!
(We've been too predictable
so he decided he'd mix it up a bit!)

Ahhhh, there it is!

He was thrilled!

 He has waited a long time for a bike that actually fits him!

He is so patient...
and he has a heart of gold!

We are so thankful 
he is our son!

ordered his cake from the wrong bakery location...
I don't know who could have made this mistake...
I ain't fessing up to anything!

Thankfully the bakery was soooo kind and whipped up another one!
(Thank you to "The Bundt Cake Shoppe"!)

HaPpY BiRtHdAy to you!

I love the looks on their faces!

And now we are all smiling!

Have a blessed year, sweet boy!
We are blessed by you

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Trifecta... A Puppy Post! UPDATED

We always adopt in multiples!
Except this time it wasn't from China!

We may have gone a bit overboard?
we couldn't help ourselves!

Teddy came home first!

Just a quick recap-
We lost our Mimi(darker golden retriever) in the end of August...
probably due to old age but we suspect cancer, too.
We were so so sad to lose her...
She was our older children's dog...
They grieved deeply for her...

When we got home from China on the 21st of December
we could see that our Sissy was noticeably thinner.
In early January we took her into the vet
and found out she was filled with cancer...
We were moving to Colorado in less than 2 weeks and
we did everything we could to be able to bring her
but she was too weak and too sick...
We were sad beyond belief...
Never pictured moving to CO without our Sissy...

So just Daisy and the cats came with us to Colorado.
After being in Colorado for 2 weeks Daisy had a medical emergency.
We quickly took her to the ER VET.
She died on the operating table of a twisted intestines.
Being a nurse, I suggested the do a resection
but over 85% of her intestines were black
and it was too late to save her...

We were devastated...
The children at home and the parents were in shock
over losing our sweet puppy....
She had been professionally trained and
although tiny for a Golden (38 lbs)
she was an amazing dog!

So we did this...
(see below!)

(Sadly we just lost one of our 4 cats. His body produced stones in his bladder. The stones blocked the neck of the bladder and he went into shock. They cleared one stone and then the ultrasound showed over 20 more stones. He blocked again before even leaving the emergency vet hospital.)

She joined us on February 17th!
it was LOVE at first sight!

She is a golden retriever
but a darker color!

She was tiny,
only 7.5 lbs when we met her.

She was a bit frail and 
very tired...
I'm sure our family was a little 
for her!

Johnny just happened to be here
to enjoy the moment!

But it didn't stop there!
We went to look at a few other puppies
on the following weekend!

And said "YES"
to this adorable little girl!
She wasn't quite ready to bring home yet.

So while we waited we showered
with love and attention!

And babied her in
every way possible!

Katie and her family were also visiting 
so they were able to enjoy our new addition, too!

No Sarah does not need a wheelchair...
She was playing with Grace's wheelchair.
It was a fun toy while we had it but
still glad to see it gone!
Teddy got a ride throughout the house!

One way or another!

Did you know you can study your spelling words 
while cuddling a puppy!

BEST therapy in the world!

Baby Ali wanted to share her bottle
with Teddy (Theodora).

And Teddy thought it was a GREAT idea!

Getting a puppy after losing our other three dogs
was so healing for everyone!
And especially for Mia!

Cuteness overload!

And then it was time to bring her sister home!

This time, we decided to bring everyone!

Once home...
we discovered that Teddy wasn't so fond of her new sister...
She growled...
she ignored...
she sniffed a bit...

And then at night I held her while she cried...
I knew what she was saying...
"I don't like her..."
"There's still time to return her..."
"I liked being an only puppy..."
"Why do we need another one?"

I actually have the funniest video of her crying and moaning,
while on my lap in the evening!

Thank goodness she decided to make 
lemonade out of lemons!

Soon, they were snuggled up together
and getting along
just fine!

The children LOVE having our sweet doggies!

We named our English Cream Golden Retriever

Teddy wants to walk Quincy!

Happy pups!

At the vet and looking soooo cute!

These two pups are 2 weeks apart in age
and they are both girls!

I'm adorable!

Can we go home now?

We are soooo thankful to have these two puppies!

They play

and play...
all day!

 And they tire each other out!

The cuteness never stops!

They were very happy together!

And then we did it again!

And we added another sister to the mix!

At first they weren't so sure about her...
But then, they quickly accepted her into the pack!

She's two weeks younger than Quincy!
The fighting over Mr. Quackington!

 Her name is Sunny!

Ava is a doggy whisperer!

Melissa is excellent with doggies, too!

They have our hearts!

Sunny has been a wonderful addition!

They all want the same toy!

Nothing like a pile of puppies!

They are growing up so fast!

Already, Quincy looks so much older compared to Sunny!

Teddy is getting taller and more slim.
She is getting her grown up fur!

Alpha is me...
But Quincy and Teddy
aren't so sure who comes in second place!

Why are you watching me?
You must know what I am up to...!

I got it!

Until she got it back!

The little sister had to have a turn, too!
We have three hooves in the kennel but
they all wanted what their sisters had!

Teddy is waiting to make her move, again!

Now they are all going to walk each other!

A "play bow" by Quincy!

As they got a couple weeks older it began to get a bit
out of control...
So we have a trainer coming once a week!

She train us,
so we can train them!

Thank you Pavlov Dog Training!
Thank you Shannon!

We are seeing excellent results!

Sorry... I posted soooo
many pics!
Just wanted you to get a chance
to see what we get to see

Dog training has become part of
our homeschool curriculum for some of the kids!

Good girl!

There's a whole lotta love here!

Four pics of Sarah with the puppies?
I could decide which ones to keep and which ones to take out!

They love hopping in their water dish on a warm spring day!

Thankful they are all getting along!

And now Quincy is getting some of her "grown up fur", too!

Thankful for our puppies!
We could watch them play
and cuddle them for hours and hours!