Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Signs of Christmas . . .

Katie enjoyed dressing our little Wuzzy in his reindeer ears.  One day soon I hope to update  about Wuzzy and how he came to be ours.

A Christmas or two ago, the oldest 4 children received "Make a Plates" for Christmas.  Last Friday during our last homeschool day, we finally took the time to decorate the paper circles which we will mail in and then in a few weeks, the children will receive a Christmas plate of their very own design.  They all had fun and their art work was well- done and creative!

Fulton at his Christmas recital last Saturday.  He and Shelby both played very well although at least one of them was extremely nervous!

Ethan taking his turn to make shaped sugar cookies. 

This was not staged!!  I thought it was precious of our 3 littles watching their cookies bake so I quickly grabbed the camera.  Thankfully, I made it just in time to capture their cuteness before one of them looked my way.

My favorite sign of Christmas - my Savior as a babe in a manager.  I purchased this nativity set with my grandmother during the first Christmas season that I was married.  I have always loved it!

Many years ago when I had only one child, I began to collect children's Christmas books.  We have quite the collection now.  These books stay in the attic during the year and only come out during December.  They are certainly treasured by all of us.  Fulton has been carrying stacks to his bedroom every night to read them.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Spotlight: The Little Girls

Lilly and Ellie started "real" preschool for the first time this year.  Although they certainly learned a great deal last year at homeschool preschool, they are enjoying meeting new friends, doing many more crafts than this weary mother of 7 ever thought of doing, going to music class, and plenty of other new and exciting experiences.

 Our family took advantage of "free night" af Edventure, a children's museum,  a few weeks ago.  This was another "first" for Lilly and Ellie.  Because it was "free night", it was extremely crowded, but we had a great evening together as a family.  Lilly and Ellie most enjoyed the kid-sized grocery store.  They were able to go through the store twice making their "purchases" and had the BEST time!  

We just returned from our annual week of sand and sun at a nearby beach.  Lilly and Ellie loved every minute of it although Lilly did ask several times when she could go back to school.   Our "lively Lilly"  made quite a splash in the ocean and tried to keep up with the big kids as they rode the waves on their boogey boards.  Our Ellie, who is much more reserved, carried her boogey board around, put her ankles in the water, but she never quite made it in far enough to actually "catch a wave." 

These two are so different in may ways - Lilly is outgoing, a social butterfly, high energy, never staying still for long, and more demanding and bossy yet a bundle of joy all wrapped in one.  Ellie, on the other hand, is very content to sit and look at books for long stretches of time, is often in her own little world and enjoys talking to herself.   Ellie is just. a. lot. calmer.  Ellie is more of a peacemaker yet can whine and pout better than most. 

Different they may be, they are the best of friends  - most of the time.  Sure, they are sisters, and they do have their share of squabbles.  Overall though, they truly are the best of friends.  And I am so thankful for that!

I recently had the girls together at their cardiologist check-up.  Lilly was her active, "lively" self while Ellie preferred being in my lap and was very quiet and reserved.  The doctor commented that Lilly  must "drive her sister crazy".  That simply is not the case.  They compliment one another very well.   By the way, both girls received an excellent check-up including EKGs and ECHO (for Lilly who has minor valve leakage secondary to her surgery).  For the first time since 2007, we will not have to see a cardiologist for 2 years! WOO HOO! 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What Love Can Do

September 16, 2008

September 16, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Spotlight: The Big Girls

Pictures from this summer's horse camp.  This was Shelby's first time to attend a week-long horse camp as the cost had always deterred us.  It proved to be money well spent as Shelby absolutely enjoyed every minute of the camp.  This girl lives, breathes, and dreams about horses All.The.Time.  Jumping was a new experience which she embraced and now wants to do more of (this mom is not too fond of that).  Her trainer came to the house this week to give her a lesson on Oreo, and Shelby was able to jump on her own horse for the very first time.  She was all smiles when she walked in the house.


Katie and 2 of her friends, Christi and Grace, started a club this summer - the "KCG Christian Charity Club".  These girls have been working so hard.  Early this summer they had a lemonade stand with the profits benefiting a local ministry called Compassion in Action.  They had a very successful sale and raised over $70 for CIA.  Then the girls began to collect shoes for an organization called "Shoes 2 Share".  A family started this organization after taking shoes to children in Haiti when they went to adopt their 2 children.  They were overwhelmed by the joy and gratefulness on behalf of the children and adults who received shoes.  Thus they had the idea to try to send shoes to impoverished people around the world.  Katie, Christi, and Grace printed fliers which they distributed to family, friends, and their church families.  In a little over 3 weeks, they collected hundreds of pairs of shoes.  As you can see from the pictures, God truly blessed their efforts.  The girls and their moms spent over 3 hours packing the shoes and preparing them to be shipped by UPS.  The shipping was a bit more expensive that we thought, but God provided there also as he raised up several donors who helped share the cost.  I am so proud of Katie, Christi, and Grace and their desire to share the love of God with those in need.

I ran out of time so I will spotlight the "Little Girls" the next time I have a free hour.  Why does blogging take me so long?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Boys

Hudson's way of entertaining himself on laundry day.  He loves his (sister's) ride-on toy car.  On this day, he kept zooming up and down our long hallway.  He would manuever around the laundry baskets and head back out again.  Fulton had a great time chasing Hudson and trying to catch a picture of him as he sped by.  Hudson did take a rest on the watermelon which I thought was just so cute.  I don't normally laugh much as I do load after load of laundry for our mega family, but on this day, I laughed a lot!

Towards the end of the summer, meaning when we had carefree days before our rigorous homeschool schedule started, I was reading a Clifford book to Lilly, Ellie, and Ethan.  Ethan saw a boat similar to this one in the book and immediately began to talk Fulton into making one with him.  Thankfully we had an empty OJ container on hand.  These 2 boys had a blast working on their boats.  Fulton especially took his task very seriously and spent a lot of time on his.  Then the best part was sailing the boats in our kitchen sink.

Now that we are homeschooling, I feel as though I barely have time to breathe.  Updating the blog just isn't as high on the priority list as say math, fixing lunch, or doing laundry.  I will spotlight the girls the next chance I get though.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I Survived. . .

my first week of homeschooling 4 students while having not 2 but 3 toddlers running around!

Fulton started the school year off quite early.  This was at 6:40 AM!

Shelby is in 8th grade this year and is taking 2 courses for high school credit - a little scary for me!  Katie is in 6th grade and really wants to go to "real school".  Fulton is in 4th grade while Ethan is starting 1st grade this year.

These 2 little ones did great.  Since they are going to preschool at a local church in a few weeks, they simply enjoyed themselves without any real "school work".  They entertained themselves while the "big kids" and I were busy doing school.  Here they are in our "play closet" playing Leapsters.

This little guy caused a bit more stress for this homeschooling mom and her students.  Here he is in "time in" for . . .well, I really can't remember.

Only by God's grace have I made it this far in my homeschooling journey.  I remember when I first started prayerfully considering homeschooling back when Shelby was in kindergarten, I thought I would homeschool only one child at the time - when Katie graduated 5K at the church kindergarten, then she would come home for school.  Shelby would then leave homeschooling and go to a local private school and that would continue until the last one came home for school.  Obviously God had a much different plan.  It certainly is a challenge now that we have 7 children, but God strengthens me and equips me to get the job done.

Overall, it was a good first week, and we hope and pray it only gets better!

Friday, July 30, 2010

It's Been 16 Years!

Yes, my high school sweetheart and I were married 16 years ago today.  I can remember that day so vividly in my mind.  The wedding ceremony and reception were all I had ever dreamed they would be, but more importantly than the festivities of that day, these last 16 years have been so much more than I could have ever envisioned.  I never would have imagined the spiritual growth that we have both experienced or the abundant blessings that God has lavished on us - not  finanacial ones (we could use some of those blessings after 3 adoptions : ) - but the love we share between the 2 of us,  the supersized family He has created for us, the trials we have been through where we have seen the hand of God so clearly.   This journey that  He has led us on together these last 16 years has been far richer than I ever thought possible.  Today I thank God for a wonderful, loving husband who seeks to know the Lord more and more each day and who leads our family to know and love Him more deeply too.  Prince Charming will be arriving soon to steal me away from the 7 who consume most of my time so that I can spend a few hours focused only on him!  Can't wait!