Tuesday, May 28, 2013

For Oklahoma

 Last week during my morning quiet time, I started thinking about the devastation in OK.
Boy, that could happen anywhere, to any one of us.
It came to me to put together a flier for our neighborhood to collect goods
for a local mission who is partnering with Salvation Army.
They are sending semi-trucks full of supplies to OK.
Three have already gone, and they are preparing to send at least 8-10 total.
We had a good response from our neighbors.
It was so fun to watch the supplies arrive on our doorstep, and to haul them to the local
missions warehouse.
So thankful for opportunities to serve.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Another Tooth!

 The tooth has been wiggling for a week now.
Daddy was brushing her teeth and out it popped this morning!
Glad she didn't swallow this one.
Now the tooth fairy has to deliver something other than coins...'cause she will eat them!
I think we'll suggest goldfish crackers...one of her favorites.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Guess Who?

Guess who's reading?
Jenna loves her books, and corners whoever she can to sit and listen.
Oh, dear, just please don't let her corner me with Dick & Jane.
That's nothing short of torture!
And did I mention that she doesn't care to have her reading corrected?
Very proud of your hard work, Sweet Pea!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

76 Trombones...

 ...did not lead this big parade.  Actually 2 tubas did!
Jacob and his buddy have so much fun together on those huge instruments!
The whole marching band entered the gym for their spring concert, all decked out in lights.
The highlight of the concert?  The Star W@rs theme, of course!
As they played, a crew of costumes marched down the center aisle.
Amarin was beside-himself-excited to see his favorite "bad guy."
Jenna's in the picture only because she loves the camera...she's really not sure she
 likes these guys up close.

This guy lifted up his mask to show Jenna that he was really just a person under there.
Amarin...well, he can't stop smiling.

Even Char, who HATES costumes, allowed himself to get close.
But he kept his eye on them!

The band played so well together.

Laura was just worn out by the whole big day.  She cuddled with a friend.

The end of the concert was very sweet.  Their band director did some research and found that approximately 19 of her past students had died.  She wanted to honor them, so their parents were invited to attend the concert and were given a special gift from the band.  Some of the band students passed them to the parents.  It was pretty emotional.

It has been a fun first year of marching band, and next year, our "little drummer boy" Amarin gets to join the ranks! 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Weekend

 It's Mother's Day Weekend.
I'm so thankful to be a mom to five beautiful children.

I love kids. I guess that's why I became a teacher a "few" years back.
And why I decided to stay home and watch my littles grow...and grow...and grow.
And why I decided to mix the two together and homeschool them.

I've recently been blessed with the chance to watch a few other children throughout the week.
Some of it is babysitting, and other times it's just the neighborhood children hanging out at our house.  And I love it!  This past Friday, I had between 8 and 12 kids in and out of the house...ages under 1 to 13.  Aren't they adorable?

 It's like feeding the multitudes!
(Note to self:  there are empty spaces at the table.  Should be filled.)

 The youngest and the oldest.  Is this not the cutest?

 On Saturday, Jamie shooed me out of the house with Laura for some shopping time.
I got an iced coffee...and Laura did NOT want to stop tasting it!
I'm surprised she didn't run through the store after being zapped with caffeine!
But she is almost 9.  It's only right that she be introduced to fine beverages.

Sunday, we went to church and then came home to presents.  Laura brought home a flower and pot from school.  I love the way she's hanging her arms around my neck while I open her gift.  She is really becoming my shadow lately.

 Jamie gave me a lilac bush.  I love lilacs and have had a bush at each home where we've lived.

 Then I got to choose where to go for lunch or dinner.  So, I chose a late lunch at an Asian restaurant that has one of my favorites...spicy mango chicken!
So thankful for my family.

All this said, I always have something else in the back of my mind on Mother's Day.
I think about the birthmoms of 4 of my children.  
It's only because of their decision...their sacrifice...that I'm a mom to so many children.
I truly hope that somehow they have a peace, knowing that their children are cared for and loved.
That they got out, and have the hope of a bright future.

This past Friday, for our weekly pizza/movie night, 3 other children joined us and spent the night.
Do you see this photo?  Only one child in this photo of 8 is living with his birthparents.
The others are without their birthmom for one reason or another.
I love that I get to be a part of each of their lives.  They are a blessing.

It makes my heart literally hurt knowing that there are so many orphans.
No matter how crazy and busy our life may be, I want to go back.
I want to do more.  I want to be their mom.  I want them to know a family.
I want them to have the medical care they need, and food and water to keep them healthy.
I want them to know love.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The See-Saw

 Yes, the see-saw is all put together and the kids are having a blast.
Amarin worked on it all by himself
(don't let those on-lookers fool you...they did nothing!) 
and only needed Dad's help to tighten a few bolts.
The boy wouldn't even come in for dinner until he was done!

There is a weight limit, but the big boys were desperate for a turn.

How many?

How many kids does it take to put together a see-saw?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

So, this past week...

 Laura got new glasses,

 and had a visit to her neurologist.
Our normal parking lot was under construction, so we had to navigate around
the hospital campus to find a new place to park.
We made it, and found a fun, new area in the Children's Hospital...complete with a playroom and shuttle to our office.  Felt like a Disney ride!
These spots on the floor are interactive. 
This one looked like rippling water.  Laura squealed, made a beeline for it, and bent over to touch "the water."  When she discovered it really wasn't water, she stood up and smacked Charlie in the arm.  Sorry, Char...guess she thought it was your fault!

 We also experienced the Midwest flooding first-hand.  The river hasn't been this high since 1943, so we thought we should see it.  This photo is of a walking area, train tracks, and parking lot.  Do you see the tiny bit of trashcan lid just to the left of the tall sign?  It's barely sticking out of the water.

Here is it again, one week later.  Jacob's hand is showing how high the water was.  Now, the water still has to recede WAY back past the paddle wheel boat in the back of the photo...where it sits at its dock.

 Then we ventured to Pella, Iowa with Jacob's marching band for the tulip festival and parade.
Unfortunately, all the festivities were canceled due to inclement weather.  But, the kids still had a great time swimming at the hotel pool, enjoying a pizza party, and having a movie night. They're a great group of kids.

 And this is what we woke to the next morning. Yes...that is indeed snow.  5 inches of snow.  In May!

 Once again, that didn't get in the way of fun.  We headed to the Amana colonies, toured a bit, and ate a delicious German lunch.

 Since there was still room left in the week, Jamie decided to redo the landscape at the front of our home.  He had plenty of helpers...

 and a supervisor. He's quite serious about his job.

 Just kiddin'!

 And Char decided to learn how to roller blade. 

Another Businessman

Amarin has joined the ranks of the workforce.
He, too, wants to travel to China with me, 
so he started a little business selling homemade icecream cakes.  
He sold his first one last week.

Next week, he has been asked to cook a cheesy potato dish for a mother/son brunch.
I guess he will be expanding his venue.
He loves to cook, and it's fun to watch him exploring his own interests.