Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Ava Turned 12!

 In June Ava turned 12!
That means she is already 12 yrs 3 mos!
My goodness, I'm behind!

 We celebrated the night before her actual day
because we had big plans for that day!
Not a birthday celebration but a family outing.
(We are actually trying to make our celebrations a little more low key.)
Next post we will share what we did!

 This girl is amazing and such a blessing to our family!

 The kids are still making cards and gifts for each other!
They take pride in their work and 
love doing something special for the birthday person!

Opening presents is the BEST PART!

And she was definitely happy
with what she got!

She wanted the perfume but
she was mostly after the 
Silly girl!

I may have said open you eyes and look at me...

She was very excited about getting roller blades!

 They do a lovely job with the bundt cakes!

I can't believe she is 12!
It's gone by sooooo fast.
Ava came home when she was 5 yrs 8 months.
Her transition was extremely easy!
Sam came home with her.
Both kiddos bonded and adjusted immediately-
 it was a blessing!

She's taking this seriously!

 Ava has a wonderful sense of humor!
It is so much fun chatting, joking and laughing with her!
She is a bookworm and always has a book in her hands!
Sometimes she forgets her chores because she "needs to read"!
Ava is super smart girl and a whiz at everything academic.

She loves animals and is our resident 
dog and cat whisperer!

She has a very kind heart and treats her sibling well...
she can relentlessly tease
her sisters and brothers!

Ava likes to go shopping...

in her sisters closets!

And she loves to 
her siblings books! 

Happy Birthday dear Ava!
We are blessed to be your parents!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Two Baptisms, a Reconciliation and a First Communion!

During our time in Minnesota
we were able to catch up on some of our Sacraments!

We absolutely love Father Steve and he was so kind to preform them!

Because we moved within weeks of Jacob and Grace coming home 
we were unable to have them baptized.

It's challenging when kids come home older, 
don't know the language and have never heard of Jesus before.
We just don't fit into the traditional timeline for Sacraments.

Fr. Steve is so respectful and understanding of our unique situation.

Jake and Grace are 10 and 9 yrs old and are between languages.
They are not ready for baptismal classes.
They are infants in their faith walk.

Abby and Johnny are their Godparents!

He is so good at explaining and personalizing the 
Sacrament of Baptism.

Jacob and Grace understand how much we love Jesus and 
they are learning about how much Jesus loves them.

And now, 
it's time to head to the alter for family pictures!

It felt so good to have these two baptized
in the name of the
Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

He has such a kind heart
and gentle spirit!

God Bless these two children as the begin their faith journey!

Thank you Johnny and Abby!

It's always fun hanging out in the Narthex after church!

That same day,
in the evening
Jenny had her first communion!

She was so excited to finally get to have communion with everyone else!
(Except Jake, Grace, Joey and Luke- they're next!)

 This girl is such a blessing to our family!

Jenny looked beautiful and she was so excited and ready for her Sacraments!

Poor dear was a little shell shocked in front of the whole church...
and we may have forgotten to practice
it went well (enough)!

We celebrated with cake for all of our blessings!

Auntie Barbie and Auntie Mimi joined us for the Sacrament and the celebration afterwards!
It was such a joy to have them there!

Mimi brought arts and crafts for the kids
since we had no TV in our MN home
(bc we were moving out).

Now we are back on track! Jenny is with her siblings her age.
(8 kiddos all together!)
They are ready to start Confirmation in the spring!

Our four oldest girls just started Confirmation this fall
and will be done in the spring!

The four youngest kids are all at the same place.
We just need Grace and Jacob to understand English a little better
and then they are good to go!

Feeling extremely

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Breaking the Silence

Just to let you know right off the bat...
there is nothing huge going on.

We are all fine and living life.

But there have been a few things
that have kept me from blogging.

1. Confusion of dealing with a child that has RAD-
the ups and downs and the ins and outs of RAD
are very challenging.
Wondering what we should do for that child 
and then implementing the plan.

2. 70,000 pictures (gulp), not in chronological order... on my computer. 
Although I am thankful for each and every one of them, 
I am finding that it takes so much time trying to find "the pics for the post".

3. Most of our kiddos are now teens and tweens
and they need a lot of my time and attention.
I thought it would be easier but it's not!
They need stuff to do (keep 'em busy and close so they stay out of trouble)!
We need to process (talk about) everything that happens with them 
(Oh, my goodness teens talk and talk and talk- usually about nothing 
but every once in awhile you get some good conversation going)!
 We need to just hang out, have fun together while meeting all of their needs 
and trying to have a moment as a couple!

4. Moving was a bigger project than we expected.
Trying to find the Drs for all of the children's special needs.
I'm finally figuring out where things are and 
I no longer need my phone for directions 
(just sometimes, now)...
Finding a new church and getting used to the way they do things.

5. Trying to make new friends but 
not having much time to spend with those new friends.

6. Nervous as to how we will be received in our new surroundings. 
Let's face it we are large and awkward...
sometimes we are loved and warmly greeted
while other times we are a crowd and "in the way".

7. Finding activities for the 14-16 kids that are affordable!
That's an oxymoron and darn near impossible!

8. Attempting to home educate 14-16 kiddos from where their at...
btw- each one is "at" a different place! 
While taking into consideration their individual special learning needs...

I have missed blogging.
Your emails and messages were so kind~

It is my plan to get back to it, asap!
In fact, hopefully right away.

Blogging helps me to see the joys instead of focusing on the challenges.
It helps me recall the fun and love we have within our family.
It is a wonderful way to "scrapbook" this journey God is taking us on!

I hope that our blog is encouraging to others!
I hope that others see how God is working in our lives!

I'm sorry for the long silence.

God's Blessings to YOU!