Saturday, April 28, 2012

Laura's Music Debut

Laura is mainstreamed into a first grade classroom, with a one-on-one aide, for music, adaptive P.E., art, and library.  She seems to really enjoy school.
Those of you contemplating a special school for your little one, I can only say that we've had two great ones!
 Thursday night was her music debut.
She sat, with her aide, and played instruments during all of the songs.
Not easy getting pictures...the gym was PACKED!  And HOT!  
No wonder there is a new elementary school going up just down the road!
Look at the smile on her face.  She loves music.

This one is blurry, but she was clapping.  So proud of herself!

 After her performance, her siblings greeted her like she had just won an Oscar!

Her Grandma and Papa drove a long way to see their sweetie's performance.  
Does this not look like pure joy?

We're so proud of you, Laura!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hot Scoot

Our Amarin has been home for over 2.5 years.  What a joy...what a clown...what a sensitive boy!
His language acquisition has been nothing short of speedy.  Such is the case, I do believe, with most kids when they come home with no English language skills.  They are like sponges!

we still have these funny moments that make us all crack up.
Like today at lunch, when we were eating some icecream with toppings.

Amarin:  Mmmmm...this is good hot scoot.
I think we all said, in unison, "What?"
Amarin:  I said this is good hot scoot.

Translation:  butterscotch!
Thanks for the laugh, buddy!

smitten kitchen photo credit

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Baby Laura

I'm slowly but surely getting pictures hung in our house.
I came across this poem today and thought I'd share.
My Aunt Judy wrote this right before we arrived in the U.S. with Laura back in June, 2005, and it makes me teary still when I read it.
It makes me remember the blessing of bringing Laura home,
as well as those children who still wait.
Breaks my heart, and makes me want to go back .
The poem was sent in baby shower invitations so attendees could bring an orphanage donation if they chose.  We ended up with two large boxes of donations that we sent to Shangrao SWI. Jiangxi.

Baby Laura
I am a tiny China girl,
My birth name was Ling Guang Yi.
Not very sure of birthdate,
But born in province of Jiangxi.

Foster care and orphanage have been my only home.
With other black-haired babies,
But still I was alone.

But one day a pretty lady came
And held me in her arms.
Also, a man named Daddy,
And a small boy filled with charm.

I'll be leaving soon with my new family.
But other babies will remain and they still have a need.
So would you add to our box of care for those who stay behind,
Their future may not be as bright as I envision mine.

My every need will now be met,
I'm a very lucky girl.
But the ones who stay will every day
Be wanting in some way.

Author - Judy Peterson, Angie's aunt

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Last Time

 So here it last time setting up a big kid bed.
No more cribs or toddler beds?
I don't know if I like this.
I don't know if I'm ready to say that my family is complete.
I just love adoption.
And 5 kids isn't really THAT many, is it?

Anyway, Jenna has been waiting and waiting for her big girl bed.
And her Papa had given us his bed, and she gets to use it!
She wanted to help clean it up...

But couldn't wait to try out the new mattress.
 Here we are!  As I type, she is all nestled in for the night in her new bed.
She's a happy girl.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Charlie

Just turn on the sound...this is soooo my Charlie!
He was at a baseball game with Daddy and his brothers, along with a few of Jamie's colleagues from various countries. This kid loves life!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Life in the 'burbs

Who says there's no need of a tractor in the 'burbs?
Though we're thinking of taking her driver's license away.
She can't seem to stay on the path.
Not that she can hurt those weeds in our yard.

My girls. I'm thinking maybe Laura should be wearing the helmet!

We thought we'd give Char the job of pulling Laura. Just asked him to not take the corners as fast as he did with Jenna riding in the back. Every time he took a corner, Jenna fell out...hence, her helmet!
I don't know why Char's wearing his helmet. I wonder if he will want to wear it when he drives a car. Oh, I shudder at the thought.

Do you notice the trend? Char is never looking forward as he drives.
Maybe the helmet isn't a bad idea.
Laura doesn't seem to mind. She's having a blast.

She's got this "bye-bye" thing down pat!
Her baby brother is so proud of her!

Later that evening, I went for a pizza run. The big boys had been outside with "the multitudes" all afternoon. So, when I called them in for pizza...more children came than what we claim as our own. Glad I bought extra, and glad the neighborhood is comfy joining us for dinner.

Our next door neighbor showed our boys how to inflate a marshmallow peep in the microwave...with the understanding that if Mr. Peep exploded, said friend would be scrubbing my appliance!

No appliance was splattered and no one, except Mr. Peep, suffered from this experiment.

Can I just say how much we will miss this neighbor friend when he and his family move within the next couple of months??? He's in and out of our house like he's part of the family, and has been attending church with us. We will be changed and stretched again, especially Jacob who has been truly enjoying this friendship.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pure Religion is this...

I recently learned of this family who is bringing home two little boys.
Boys who will be freed from orphanage life, and into a family.

James 1:27 is the verse within the header of my blog. A verse that is very dear to my heart as it gives the command to care for orphans and widows...the least of these.

And when I saw these window decals, I just knew it belonged on the back of my mom-mobile.
You can get one HERE, too!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

40 & 12

40 & 12. Those are the most recent milestones at our house over the past two days.
12 sounds pretty fun. 40 just sounds old.
But it's a good old. I'm happy. How could I not be? Just look at this crew!

They are so much fun and make me so happy.

As will this zero-gravity chair when I need to catch my breath!

Jacob's birthday is the day after mine. (Yes, I was in labor on my birthday 12 years ago!)
He started his day with a favorite...cinnamon roll!
Anything "food" is good.

That night, he wanted to eat at Joe's Cr@b Sh@ck.
Food. It's all good.

He was appalled at the idea of having to wear a chicken hat, and stand up to do the chicken dance with the waitresses. He said, "No, thank you," and just let them sing Happy Birthday.
Can't say I blame the kid.

Finally...he got to open presents. So hard waiting all day!
Laura & Jenna gave him animal crackers. Jenna was actually jumping and dancing when he opened them. I think she thought he was going to share right then. Bummer.

Grandma sent him a new homemade blanket. Can you tell he loved it?
The younger kids thought she actually drew the pictures!

Amarin & Char got him a car book. He's into cars right now...sports cars, antiques, classics...

He was surprised to get the Wii game he has been wanting.
Of course it's St@r W@rs!

The most fun gift to give was his new William Wallace sword. He has been drooling over this thing for the longest time. He was way, way excited!

12 years, oh, my.
He wanted an icecream cake, too. Amarin and Char made it, while Miss Jenna "supervised."

But the best gift???? Surprising him with a visit from his best buddy and family. They were supposed to arrive the afternoon of his birthday, but circumstances delayed them until almost midnight. They called from about 5 minutes away. I woke up Jacob and told him that I had forgotten a present and he needed to come downstairs to get it. He stared blankly and I wasn't sure if he would get up or not! But he did, and a few minutes later his friend pulled in the driveway. His smile was from ear to ear when he finally realized who it was. Even after staying up until almost 2AM, I could still hear them chattering and laughing downstairs in their sleeping bags. Friends. So thankful.

"This is the best birthday ever, Mom." Yeah...I think so, too.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


So I have Amarin and Charlie at the dentist this morning.
The hygienist is very sweet, and making small talk with Char while prepping her tools.
Hygienist: Do you play soccer, Charlie?
Char: (shakes his head no)
H: T-ball?
Char: (again, shakes his head no)
Then he says (keep in mind that he's a whopping 38 inches tall)...
"I play basketball. Well, at home."
I can almost picture him dashing in and out of players' legs...
And he is wearing a "varsity basketball" shirt...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cowboy Salsa

I can't for the life of me remember where I got this recipe. But it's really easy, delicious, and fun! Amarin made it for us this AM, and we ate it for lunch. Served with some chips...yum, yum, yum!

Cowboy Salsa
1 can each: pinto, black-eyed peas, black beans, northern beans, white corn (we omit this)
Drain all and rinse.
4 ounces diced chilis
2 bell peppers, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar (we used a dash of honey)
1/2 cup olive oil
Combine it all, cover and refrigerate for at least 5 hours.

He Plays Again

Over one year ago, I couldn't believe that Jacob wanted to play the tuba in band.
Seriously? Could he pick a bigger instrument?
I told him to pray about it for a few weeks to be sure.
'Cause I was thinking drum sticks would be so much to carry.
Yep. He was sure. And it was a wonderful choice for him. He loved playing the tuba, and he had free instruments from the school where he played.

But then we moved. No more tuba.
So we started looking a little here and there. Made a few calls.
Have you ever tried to rent a tuba? Not an easy find. And they're not readily available to purchase, either, unless you want to spend thousands of dollars. Yeah...we've seen them over $10,000.00.
No. Way.

We knew that it would take a true miracle to find one, and we were told that same thing by various others in the industry as well. Usually kids use the schools' instruments. But that wasn't an option here.
I decided to send out an email to our homeschool group here.
Guess what?
Someone just happened to be selling a tuba...for a crazy good price.
Someone else was looking at it first, but decided not to buy it.
Guess who has his own tuba now?

It is beautiful, shiny, great sounding, has a sturdy, rolling case, and he starts lessons in two weeks.
our new homeschool co-op has added band for next year!

In the fall, Amarin will start band, too. I wonder if he's interested in some drum sticks?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

New Earrings!

Finally...Jenna can change her earrings!
Daddy took her to Cl@ires today to get, of course, Hello Kitty.
Is there anything else?

She showed every possible neighbor her new earrings that she could find,
and then paired up with the teenager next door to get a manicure, pedicure, and new hairdo.
She is such a girly-girl!