Monday, February 1, 2016

Worth the Wait

Back in 2010, after 2 1/2 years of waiting, 
I opened my email and saw this little dumpling.


Her name was Ying Ying and we couldn't wait to bring her home.


There was a glitch ( surprise, surprise) and it took several extra months before she joined our family.


It didn't take her long to fit right in


Even though there were times of sadness as she grieved for all she had lost.


She's bright, independent, bossy, busy, imaginative, loves her friends and cousins,


Loves to read, play dress up, play games, ride bike, play soccer,


We love her like crazy!


We are so glad you are a part of our family.
.
We are so blessed.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

While We're Waiting...

Everything feels like it's on  hold at this point.  

C'MON TRAVEL APPROVAL!

It's hard not to wish away the next seven weeks( WE HOPE!) so we can get on with life as a family of eight!

Wait...did I say eight?

I'll admit that while mothering five kids isn't usually that big of a deal
(except for feeding the herd three times a day.  THAT is a big deal!)
for some reason the IDEA of SIX kids is rather...terrifying.
It seems like a big jump.

And I suppose Alex will expect to eat three times a day, too.
Some days I seriously consider the idea of exchanging my kitchen table for a trough.
I'm all for labor saving devices.


We are ALL ready for life to move on.

Even Megan.
(Remember, she's 12!  'Nuff said?)


While we're waiting, we got a little snow.


My 5-year-old has taken up snow boarding.
She isn't half bad for the 8 feet she rides before she sits down.
And pretty good for a little girl who 2 1/2 years ago couldn't walk across a room without falling and hitting her head.  


It wasn't that cold, but Kaitlyn was dying to try out her face mask.


The girls built a "spa."


Some people bury each other in sand.  Davis buries our cat in snow.


Homeschool group is something my kids look forward to twice a month.

This is the art class I inherited from my sister-in-law.
Given a choice between missionary in Mexico and overseeing an art class...
Next time I'M going to Mexico.


The oldest kids started working on the drama of Esther.


More drama.


All these kids own shoes.
I'm not sure WHY they don't wear them.
In January,  For gym.  


Snowman project.


I finished matching comforters for the boys' beds.  
Usually the only bed that's made is Alex's.

This must have been a rare day because there is no farm equipment or trains or legos to be seen.


Megan bought herself a tablet.
It is her new best friend.

She's also been helping clean the disaster area I call my kitchen.
I am BLESSED!
The only thing worse than cooking is cleaning up afterwards.

She's makes a mean 3-layer cake and scrumptious brownies.
I still make better cookies!


The little girls have alternated the last few days between ballerinas and Indians.

Kaitlyn loves to be the big sister.  She's 8 going on 25.  
She loves pierced ears, Ramen noodle soup, and bossing.  
She also loves to read:
Junie B. Jones
American Girl series
The Littles


Emily has not puked, thrown-up, regurgitated, vomited, or any other form of emesis
in almost 2 1/2 years!

Her favorite Christmas gift was Mickey and Minnie Mouse duplos.
The Minnie Mouse slippers are a close second.

So we wait.

Hopefully our travel approval will come tomorrow.

Or the next day.

Or...

Well, you know.

We were talking tonight about expectations once Alex comes home.  How he may hit or spit or act out in some way to get his way.  What to expect when we meet him...anything from screaming to crying to being happy to meet us, All sorts of cheery subjects like that.  Kenton had left to check things out at the farm when Davis snuggled into my lap and started to sob.  

I was horrified.  I figured I should have been a lot more gentle in expressing what might happen.

Nope.  He was crying because it "feels like forever until we get to go get Alex."  

I get it, buddy!  I've shed a few tears of my own today for the same reason.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Update #2

In December the weather was so unseasonably warm and beautiful that the kids spent a lot of time outdoors in t-shirts.  


 The treehouse was a popular hangout. 


Up-the-slide is faster than the ladder


I told them to get in the doorway for a picture together.
One way or another, Emily is going to be the death of me.


At the risk of losing my mom-badge, I will admit that I took only 3 pictures at Christmas.

#1 - Megan because she's looking so grown-up.


#2  - Emily because she's "the baby."  
Need I say more?


Emily with my grandolly, Rosie.


We had a great time even though it wasn't captured by a camera.  

And someday when my kids complain that they never got to do anything, I'm going to nod at my straight jacket and mention gingerbread houses and Christmas cookie decorating.

I DESERVE MY MOM BADGE!

Emily was pretty happy just decorating her own graham cracker.


My kids don't really like to eat them, just decorate and then pick off the good stuff.


We learned the hard way never to buy pre-broken...I mean, pre-assembled.


Everyone (even Jamison) had fun. 

And once the candy was gone, I pitched them when no one was around.

When I got up Saturday morning I saw this...

Two more months and there will be three boys checking out the farming magazines together. 

Update #1

Theoretically I like the idea of blogging.  It gives me a bit of a record of what happened in our lives, especially since I haven't kept up with photo albums or writing down the cute things my kids say and do.  Maybe even if things happened two months ago once I finally record them, my kids will spend LESS on therapy someday than if I'd skipped it altogether.  

Kaitlyn turned eight.  She's still going on 25 no matter how old her biological age.  She loves to be independent and takes care of Emily like a little mother, both caring and incredibly bossy.  She loves crafts, reading (Woohoo!), the dolls, working with the big kids, except cleaning the kitchen.  


Megan's gift to Kaitlyn this year was to persuade dad that Kaitlyn should be allowed to have pierced ears.  


I started a comforter for the girls' bed.  I have a love/hate relationship with sewing.  I love it when it goes well and hate it when it swings the other way, which is about 50% of the time.  My seam ripper is used almost as much as the sewing machine.


My progress may be slow, but give me enough time and eventually I'll get it done.


Kenton, Dennis, Ben,and Carl began working on the lot at Raymond's.


They cleaned up the mess, poured an outside feed trough, and fenced it in with old guard rails.  Kenton is determined not to get calls from the neighbors that the cows are out over there.  


There's a new sheriff in town.


This is what we found when we took the linoleum out of the boys' "new" room.  We've since painted the floor green and moved them in.  


We had Bender Christmas on Thanksgiving.  It was a beautiful day.  


Notice those bare feet on these best buds!  :)


It's not very often ALL the cousins are together for Christmas.  
(Dawson missed being in the picture for some reason)
Next year Alex will be home and eventually Ben and Janelle hope to add two more from Haiti! 


Flattening a cousin


Getting ready to set off a rocket


Cousins and kitties


Can you have Bender Christmas without touch football?
Or ultimate frisbee? 


Unless the dogs steal your frisbee...


Hey, now I'm only 1 1/2 months behind!