Saturday, June 27, 2009

My sweet girls....and being thankful

I do my grocery shopping 2 times a week... Tuesday I go to Walmart and then I go to Sam's Club on Fridays. The kids love to go but usually I take up to 10 of them... We divide up into groups and which kids go alternates.... This Friday these girls, Olivia, Anna, Tia and Lily decided to buy me something special . They had gone off together and came back to me to ask permission to buy something.... but they would not share what with me . Then after 15 minutes they came back with the biggest smiles on their faces and a bouquet of flowers. They said, "We know you love flowers momma." They just did it for no special reason... They could not wait to show everyone at home too what they had bought... the funny thing was they did not have my card... and when they went to pay the cashier wouldn't let them... Joseph was the cashier next to them and he gave them his to use :)

Also every dinner just after we sit down our kids have this habit once we start eating... one will say ( and it varies who) thank you mom for dinner... then there is a chorus of thank yous. It is the sweetest thing. We never initated it... they just do it on their own.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

We woke to some great news !

We just got an email from our lawyer/facilitator in Bulgaria and she shared that we got our approval to adopt both our children yesterday from the MOJ...which means registered which means traveling soon. All the papers get signed and she gets the official referrals and we go..... can you tell that we are getting excited. It could be as early as July 15 or July 22. Last nite Paul and I went out for a date nite and we started to really process that we are traveling soon to meet our new children. You would think that it would get "routine" with as many children that we have but, I can tell you it is very exciting and special each and every time the Lord has blessed us with another child. Thank you to all who have supported us in prayer and thru your love in sharing this journey to Andrew and Gracie.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Our Fathers Day

We celebrated our father's day by staying home from church and making daddy a big breakfast which is his favorite meal of the day... it was yummy too. Then we played some softball and soccer later in the afternoon and the kids went for a swim. We grilled steaks ( which is something we only maybe eat this one time a year) and Joseph had carrot cake for Paul. Here are some pics of our family day....

Josiah turned 10 today but we celebrated on Saturday

Josiah was adopted from Russia and has been home a little over 6 yrs.. He is all boy and loves to be active...loves sports and being outside. He had some kidney issues when we adopted him and even had a lg. kidney stone the size of a marble that had to be surgically removed. He is very affectionate and loves to give hugs and just touch you when he stands by you.... a real sweetheart.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

How blessed I was tonite

Our dear friends the Livermores from our church called this am to ask if Isaac and Caleb could come over and help Mr. Livermore (Dick) with some work at the house... they are some very dear friends ( like family) who every week invite 4 to 6 of our kids over for the day.... All of our kids love to spend time with them ! Well they just brought Isaac and Caleb home . After they had showered they both came to me with 5 dollars that was part of the money they were given for working.... They said they wanted to add this to our adoption fund..... these kids are so compassionate and care so much about their brother, Andrew and sister, Gracie already. They have really made my heart full of joy. I told them we would spend it on something very special for the adoption.

Reading - summer reading or just plain reading is fun

I believe that reading well is the foundation to learning. It is not something I have to try hard at myself or dislike. Actually other than parenting a large family it is right up there on my list of things I love to do.... Paul and I feel that we want to share our love of reading with our children among other things.... so part of our home school curriculum is that they all read at least one hour a day. Even this summer we do this... the love of reading is a gift I hope we have shared and can with lots of children. So here are some pics from our am hour of reading today.... Even Ava gets into it and asks,"Can I read my hour of reading?" We go to our local library often . It is one of our favorite things to do. The librarians love us because we improve their circulation stats... we check out 50 to 75 books every other week. So I would encourage you all to read this summer .

Monday, June 15, 2009

Can you tell what Mya is teaching Ava to do?

This is how you pee if you don't want to go inside to the bathroom... geesh Mya. Ava did it... at least not in the pool :)

We had a wonderful afternoon Sunday in the pool

The weather was perfect, the water temp. was in the 80's, and all the family was home....with 2 pot roasts in the crockpots ... and we had no where to go all day and evening... It made for a fun and great Sunday.

Friday, June 12, 2009

What do you do when your fake eye falls out... in the pool?

Well, we had our first loss of Jonas' eye today... He has been swimming 2 times since he got his eye and had no problems... but today it came out ( not sure why because it is not suppose to). Anyway Dr. Friel had joked with us about this very thing.... of course they all put on googles and started scanning the bottom of the pool... it did not help that it was a blue eye and we have a blue liner :) We even unhooked the steps, walked around the outside... no eye. I thought well, there goes 3,000 down the drain.... then I offered a reward of 10 dollars to the one who found it... 10 minutes later Caleb found it in the middle of the pool.... I have to call the doctors ( ocularist and surgeon) on Monday and see what they want to do. It was somewhat funny after we found it. These are the things Dr. Friel said you can have fun with this eye with.... it goes back in easy enough... till the next time :) Thankfully we were not at the beach.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

He did it!

Joseph passed his written driver's test today... and we celebrated by taking him out to dinner.... Way to go Joseph .... We are very proud of your effort! Please visit his blog. He just put it together a few weeks ago and would love to hear from others. He is such a sweet, and dear guy. You will be as endeared to him as I am. Here is the link to his blog

He really tried hard to pass this and reading and comprehending is hard for him but he did it. He continues to amaze.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Mya said it best....

As soon as she saw him she asked, " I thought you were going to get a fake eye." Meaning it looks real. It is going to take a few weeks for the weeping in the eye to stop and the eye lids to relax.. sometimes they have to do some more surgery to remove scar tissue if it won't relax.. but the doctors think it will. The iris' are a diff. size in this pic. because he was in the dark room and the r eye had not adjusted yet when I brought him to the lighted kitchen for this picture. If you click on the pic. you can see what I mean. We will show pics at weekly stages.

Our day with Dr. Friel

We started out early this am for our appointment. It could be a 2 hr drive. Jonas I think was walking on water as we walked up to the 4th floor....He did great just sitting there while the doctor did his painting... then we walked around to find a place to eat and wait out the time between our appointments. It was a glorious day for my son to get his new eye.... the sun was shinning and the sky was blue..... after we left the room as we were walking to the check out... Jonas grabbed me and hugged my neck so tight... saying thank you momma, thank you momma. Then we were standing talking with the receptionist and Jonas saw Dr. Friel walking down the hallway with another patient and he went thru the door and gave Dr. Friel the same hug... we all were crying by this time. I tell you these moments are very deep and fulfilling for me... I hope to see many more children get a chance to live a more "normal", healthy life. It is the best "high" in the world to watch a child feel good about him/herself and to discover they can and watch them overcome. Thank you Jesus for this gift and blessing.

Jonas waiting for it all to begin... you can tell how happy he is !
Here is Dr. Friel and Jonas as he is painting the eye. It took about an hour... then we left for 3 hrs. and when we came back he finished it and placed it. We had come in 3 weeks ago and a mold was made then we came at 11 this am for the painting session and returned later for the eye.

Here is this handsome guy . Dr. Friel at Johns Hopkins is very good. He told us it takes about 2 weeks for the eye lids to soften and adjust to a more normal look... this was just as Jonas got his new eye placed. Already tonite we see a big difference in how it has relaxed some. He got the depth, shade and deep blue colors just right... and Jonas and I got to watch as he did it.

Our Dr. Friel is wonderful ! He is great with Jonas and has a super sense of humor... that put Jonas at ease. He is also quite an artist.

Kids could hardly wait to see Jonas and his new eye....

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Jonas gets his new eye Monday

Monday, Jonas finally will get his prosthetic left eye. He had surgery to get it ready and a conformer was placed in to keep the shape until this time. He had that surgery in March and did well. We went back to Baltimore every 2 weeks and finally we were sent to an oculartist ( an artist eye specialist who makes the eye). We had our first visit 3 weeks ago and he made the mold. At that visit we learned when he placed the mold it and it moved with the right eye that his new eye will too... praise God. This young man is so excited to be getting his eye. He is having a hard time sleeping tonite and has kissed me more times than I can count to say thank you mom! I will share a picture of my son's beautiful , blue new eye tomorrow.