Saturday, June 8, 2019

HopeKids 5K

What a perfect day!
Bigs and Littles together and celebrating HopeKids!
It warms a Momma's heart to have so many of her kids altogether!

Katie (with Bennett in the stroller), Billy, Mark, Kari and Johnny 
ran (okay, some may have walked) the 5K race!
Sarah, Mia, Ellie, Ava, Jenny, Melissa, 
Anna, Abby, Sam and Madeline joined them! 

Sam was our family winner for the day!
He also came in 2nd in his age group!

He did a great job and his time was 27 minute 45 second!
Pretty awesome for his first time, EVER!

Sarah came in 2nd place!
And 2nd place in the category of girls 19 and under!

And Melissa was 3rd place!

Followed by Jenny and Abby!

The rest of us were part of the cheering section!
(Yay, Billy- first big to cross the finish line!)

Way to go Madeline!

And Anna!

Next up was Ellie, Ava and Johnny!
Ellie does Unified Track at school!
So proud of her!

And then Mark, Bennett, Katie and Kari!
They may have walked a bit... or a lot!
Just so happy they were with us!

 Way to go Mia!
She loved the welcoming committee!

Time for snacks and beverages before the next race!

Ready for the FUN RUN!
The runners and the helpers!

I was demoted to a photographer, talker with adults and a fan!
I'm at peace with my role!

Next up was the FUN RUN!
It was a half mile run!

Ben did a great job!
He wears an AFO so we thought the longer run(5K) might be too much?!
Okay... the truth...
he breaks his AFO every 3-6 months.
It doesn't make our insurance company very happy,
although the people that make his braces 
are very impressed by his athleticism!

Personally, I see these people a little more than I want too...
so I was hoping not to break them in less than 2 months...
 this time...

And now Joey is crossing the finish line!
Jake was right behind him!

Way to go GRACE!
She is running, while wearing 2 AFO's and a back brace!

Have I told you how much I admire these amazing children!
they ROCK!

And then our sweet youngest daughter!
Many of you have noticed her in our family pics!

We will officially introduce her at the end of the summer/early fall!
Her story is her own and not for us to share
but I will share how blessed we are to have her in our family!

I am so thankful to be a Momma and Nana of these amazing kiddos!
They bring so much joy to our lives,
 every single day!

They LOVE their medals!
(Our granddaughter Emily, 5 yrs old!)

Way to go sweetie!
You finished the race!
(Our granddaughter Ali, 3yrs old)

Jenny, you are soooo strong!

Yes, I am being sarcastic!

Some of the kids had fun with the extreme sports!

Potential weight lifter?
We feed Joe seconds, thirds, and fourths, 
just hoping he will gain weight!
If only we all could have his metabolism!

That rope is soooooo heavy!

Thankfully, they got some super strong people to help them out!

What a joy to have these 4 join us!

and this guy, 
who's having a father/son moment...

Truth, he was giving his Dad a hard time for wearing khaki's
and not running clothes!

Next year Mom and Dad will make their 

Have you ever tried the hula hoop?
I can't do it?
We loved watching our grands and younger kiddos try to figure it out.
Some of them are quite good!
They others will get it soon!
nope... no hope!

They enjoyed learning about the fire truck

and the firefighters!

Love you Emma!

Emily sitting in the fire truck!

And trying on the necessary equipment!

It's a tad bit heavy!
She may have to wait a few years before she is ready to fight fires!

This guy should be a MODEL
for fireman gear!
While wearing a medal for running!
He is our heart baby and 
he came in first place of our middle/little crew!

We get a front row seat to God's miracles!

As cute as can be!

Our two granddaughters are as different as day and night!
I am guess Emily had no problem running up to
Goldy the Golden Gopher!

But Ali,
Only wanted a gentle hug!
(if even that!)
Ya know, he's kinda scary!
When you're only 3!

Keep practicing!
I see more grandchildren in my future!

It's not a party unless 
there are Princess's present!

And large ground moving equipment!

the smiles are so precious,

I needs to share all of them!

We tried to leave many times
but the kids just kept having fun!

And they were dancing!

I love it when they are dancing!
It tells me that they are uninhibited 
and enjoying themselves!

Dance away!

What a great morning and early afternoon!
Now, it's time to go home...
because the parents are exhausted!

The kids would have NEVER left...

Thank you

Friday, June 7, 2019

Emma is Graduating from High School!

And we are so very proud of her!
(This is one of my favorite pics!)
She has such a natural smile on her face!

Emma joined our family on her 10th birthday!

The transformation has been beyond amazing!

She was scared and out of control when we met her
and during our time in China.

She acted out of fear.
Her life in China wasn't a good life.
She was mistreated and misunderstood.

We prayed a lot during our time in China because we were concerned.

We didn't know if she was going to be able to acclimate to family life.

Once she arrived home with us
a "PEACE that passes all understanding" came over her.
Our prayers were answered!

Her senior photos were taken
by Kathryn Lee Photography!
(That's her big sis!)

She relaxed.
She trusted us.
She was still spirited but it was no longer "out of control"
and worrisome.

We home schooled Emma until middle school
and then she went to public school.

She has truly enjoyed going to school and meeting new friends.

It's helped her with her social skills
and to prepare her for being a young adult.

On June 6th, 2019 Emma will be a High School Graduate!
(That was yesterday ;-)

Emma cannot read or write.
She is more verbal than she used to be,
going to school has helped that!
She communicates what she needs to tell us.
She laughs at her Mom and Dad's jokes,
which WE LOVE!

She will always need her family and others around her to help her.

We have learned so much by having Emma
as our daughter.

We've learned, not fear the unknown
but instead...
to trust God with the journey
he has chosen for her and for us.

Emma has a beautiful soul.
She is simple in the most perfect way.

Her main concerns are her basic needs.
Love, trust, safety and food.

She can get cranky now and then but there is always
a reason for it.

The reason isn't complicated...
and generally its a small
but a fairly accurate.
She accepts our explanation.

She readily forgives and forgets.
She moves on, quickly.

This is one of my favorite photos!

I know there are many photos of our sweet girl...
in this post...
but I really wanted to show
of them!
I just can't pick a few when I love them all!
(a bit of a theme in my life!)

And this one, if another favorite!

Next year Emma will be in the transition program
at our local high school.
I think she will enjoy the program and
it will continue to help her prepare for the future!

We are excited for you and all that lies ahead!

We are blessed because God chose you for our family!