Monday, December 31, 2012

Ready to begin the New Year


From a roaring fire in our fireplace all afternoon for dinner and a movie nite and sparklers with some snacks  later....We are ready to begin the New Year !

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Celebrating the birth of Jesus was filled with.....

Snow on Christmas eve gave us a white Christmas... to remember the purity of our souls when we have given our lives to Jesus. It was special to watch Jesse, Judah and Sari experience their first snow- which they loved. Then they came in to warm up by the fire which they also loved. Jesse and Judah brought their toys and sat right by the front door to watch it snow . Sari's face as she saw the tree with all the presents was precious. It was actually "controlled chaos" as we opened presents and then an evening shot of our front walk into our home looked magical and of course I love how our mantle reminds us of the light of Jesus being born in a dark world...I hope you all had a Merry Christmas celebrating the birth of the one who truly saves and gives us all new life.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

As the excitement builds here....




We had our last day of school Friday December 14. We had a week off already and it has been filled with lots of good news and fun activities including a short getaway for Paul and I to celebrate our 36th anniversary. Jonas is home for the next 2 weeks. The kids are so excited about Christmas. Tonite we had the candy canes that our friends Mary and Peter gave to us and their was so much excitement after dinner just talking, sharing and being together.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Well what can I say- except I am the proud Nana of 2 more

They passed court today in Ghana and we thank the Lord for the gift of 2 more precious lives. These pictures were taken from their trip in November when Keith and Mary Kate met the children. This is my best Christmas gift this year. We are blessed once again by a child/ren. Thank you Jesus .

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thank you Mike and Molly.....

Girls nite out at Mike's and Molly's for their Christmas present on Friday nite.

Then Molly and Mike took the boys to a shooting range and pizza for dinner on Saturday nite for their present.

Mike showing the boys his gun.

Joseph taking aim .

Josiah up at the range.

Mike and Molly and their family- Roxy, Hank, Sammy, Bella

For Christmas this year Mike and Molly had the girls over to their home Friday nite. Molly taught the girls how to make a very cute headband. You can see some of them wearing them. They had pizza for dinner and a great time.

On Saturday nite the boys went over for pizza and then they went to a shooting range. They too had a wonderful time with Mike and Molly. We have lots of nerf gun battles and occasionally air soft gun the guys thought it was really cool to actually shoot a real gun.  I think one of the best gifts though was spending time together. Thank you Molly and Mike for loving on the kids.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Anna surgery update

We got home from Johns Hopkins this afternoon and felt really good about this new surgeon. We were originally scheduled for Anna to have her lower jaw reduction surgery on Dec. 28 by the surgeon who did her first jaw surgery . We had many issues with the first surgeon starting even before the first surgery was done in August 2011. We go to the Johns Hopkins Craniofacial team for Anna and Luke. Anna's case has been described by many doctors as an extreme and severe condition- sort of unusual and rare. We used the first surgeon because medically he came highly recommended for the type of surgery and repair she needed. We never had issues with his medical ability . It was just his "bedside manner" which is equally important. Anyway as we neared to this next date for surgery we were having some of the same issues. Finally after speaking with the team coordinator we were given another option - the new surgeon.

He is young and I guess you can say progressive in his thinking. We were extremely pleased with our visit today and his plan is very different from the previous surgeon. Dr. B is conferring with his associate Dr. R and our orthodontist and he will get back to us by next week...Here is the plan he believes he will do. Instead of reducing her lower jaw he now plans to build up the upper part of her top jaw and at the same time the live tissue transfer he places from her tibia or fibula will repair the fistula that was repaired a long time ago but is occurring again because of her palate expansions...It is a very complex surgery that will take 10 to 12 hrs because of the need to create new blood vessels taken from her cheek to the live tissue that will be transplanted. It will require her to be in the ICU for 3 days where they check her surgery sites every hour and any issues they will take her back into surgery. She will be in the hospital for 5 to 7 days. This is a more involved process but we believe it will benefit her in the long run. Now on this side of things we are glad we had the experiences with the old surgeon so that we had this opportunity to meet and use this new surgeon. It is funny how God works things out like that. We are grateful for this opportunity for Anna and ask for your prayers for her as we begin this next journey with her cleft issues. We are thinking January or Feb. now for the surgery but we will share when we know. Thank you for your prayers.

Prayers for our day today and next Friday for Anna's surgery

This was Anna in August 2011 just after we got to her room at Johns Hopkins after her first jaw surgery....well today Paul and I and Anna are off to spend the day at Hopkins for her pre- op ( includes a CT scan) for her next jaw surgery scheduled for Dec. 21. We had used a diff. surgeon and had some concerns and so we have switched to a new one...and today we meet him so he can evaluate her for her surgery that will be done next Friday, Dec. 21. Sort of unexpected but glad we will be able to get this done...more later tonite. I am so thankful that Paul is always able to go for not only the children's many surgeries but also to the pre and post ops...God has met our needs so that he has been able to and we have wonderful kids who are mature enough to do the childcare at home .

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Celebrating the life of our Kloe

She loved her mini cupcakes and discovered corn on the cob for the first time...this pic was taken when we tried to take it away from her :) She chewed and sucked on it for 40 minutes.

She loves babies- what a sweet expression on her face as she stares at her baby.

It is hard to beleive that she is 1 yr old...this past year went by so fast.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

They were getting ready to sing their hearts out ....for Jesus

These are some of my younger children who are in the children's choir at church. They participated in the Christmas concert Sat. nite, Sun. am and again on Sun. nite. They were terrific and they all really love singing . Gracie who is non verbal did a great job too. They sang one song and signed it and she was super....I am very proud of them tonite.Seeing the genuine smile on Sari's face just brings tears to my eyes. She has really come out and shines every day. She had such a harsh face and appearance in her pics in Ghana so when I see her smile from within it just makes me so happy.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

It happens not by the numbers of people in our family but by the size of the hearts that live here

Whether it is Anna teaching Mya to knit or

the older boys, Luke and Isaiah playing with cars with Jesse and Judah....

Or posing for a picture with your younger siblings...

Or sharing momma's lap does not matter here. They just love being together. We have very little sibling rivalry or jealousy. Yes, we are a huge, mega family but there always seems to be enough time or laps for everyone. People from the outside might wonder and, I even had a precious friend email me about her sw " thinking how can you give children the attention when there are 5 or more little ones ?" I say bah humbug to that sw and I invite her to stop by our home happens not by the numbers but because of the size of the hearts that live here.