Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008!







We had a great Christmas. We scaled back a bit and only got 4 things for each child, but with grandma gifts and gifts from siblings, they had more than enough. In fact, I think next year we'll go with 3 gifts per child to represent the gifts from the 3 wise men. I try to do whatever I can to remind them of the true meaning of Christmas.

The kids were so excited that they got up at 2:00 a.m.! When they came in to our bedroom, we ignored then in hopes they'd just go back to bed. Nope. They ran around making all kinds of noise until 6:00 when they settled down for an hour or so, then were up and running again. Tim and I finally gave up and got up.

The rest of the day was so fun, with gifts, stockings, and our traditional Christmas foods. We have Jimmy Dean Sausage, Egg and Cheese Croissants for breakfast, stocking goodies for lunch, and lasagna for dinner. May sound strange , but it's tradition for us - mostly because it requires very little cooking from me. I'm not a cook!

We finished off the day with a movie and some eggnog, and then fell into bed exhausted. Merry Christmas everyone!

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow.........


This picture is of something that's rare for this area - show that sticks. Enough to actually make a small snowman. In fact, this was just the beginning. It continued snowing off and on for a couple of weeks and by the end we had about 14 inches at our hill top home. The kids were thrilled, and Lexie was happy to have an extra week of Christmas vacation because the schools were closed. It was pretty, but I don't like being snowed in!

Church Christmas Party







We had a very nice Christmas party at our church. There was a yummy dinner, and then the children sang and the little ones acted out the nativity. Then there was a visit from Santa. I absolutely love to watch kids put on programs. They're soooo cute! Emily and Ashlyn were supposed to be sheep in the manger, but they both wanted to play with baby Jesus. So instead of standing and looking on adoringly, they took turns holding baby Jesus and patting his back. It was the cutest thing ever and they stole the show!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cute Lexie


Lexie had to have some photos of herself for a Young Women's project at church. This one was too cute not to post! I love her hair short like this. She looks so grown up!

Marq and Annie's Baptism




We had to wait until September to baptize Marq and Annie because our schedule was so crazy this summer. They were so excited to finally get baptized! It was a beautiful day and ceremony. Ellie played the piano for the service and our good friend LauraMaery gave a great talk. All in all, it was a wonderful day!

Brantley's 9th! Aug. 24 2008


He's getting so big! I couldn't believe he was turning 9. It seems like just yesterday that we were taking him to all the medical specialists who helped him get through his first year after being born 4 months early. He was such a tiny thing then, but not any longer. He's a big healthy boy now!


His picks were:

Fruit Loops cereal

Orange soda

Pizza. Can you guess what's the favorite food around here?


For dinner we went to Chucky Cheese for our annual "All Kids Birthday Party". Several children ago we realized that we just couldn't have huge birthday parties for everyone every birthday. So now, they get to have a party with friends every 3 years or so, and the rest of the time they have family parties. Then once a year we all go out to a place like Chucky Cheese and celebrate everyone's birthday. I of course forgot my camera, but believe me, everyone had a blast!

Marq Turns 8! July 25th 2008


Handsome Marq with his cake. He was so excited to finally be old enough to get baptized and go to Cub Scouts!

His birthday picks were:

Frosted Miniwheats cereal

Root beer for his soda

Pizza for dinner. He'd eat it every night if he had the chance!

Ashlyn's 4th Birthday, June 29 2008




I couldn't believe it when our youngest turned 4! I no longer have to buy diapers or or pull-ups or carry a diaper bag - for the first time in almost 18 years! But I digress...........


Ashlyn was so cute on her birthday. She kept saying "I'm a really big girl now, right? Can I have a car?" Can you tell she has teen siblings?




For her birthday choices she had:


Disney Princess cereal


Orange soda


Hot dogs and chips for dinner


And of course another cake!

Annie is 8!


Here's Annie with her birthday cake. I never bake them, I just take the easy way out and buy them. We actually have 4 family birthdays in June, so by the end of the month we're all cake-ed out. For her birthday choices Annie choose:

Lucky Charms for her breakfast

Sprite for her soda

Pizza for dinner

I can't even remember what she or any of the other kids got for gifts this year, but I know she was thrilled. What can I say? I have mommy mush brain. I'll have to do a better job of keeping track in 2009!

Summer Soccer







The 3 3rd graders did soccer this summer and had a great time. I kept forgetting to bring my camera to their games to get pictures. You'd think with as long as I've been a mom that I'd remember these things, but apparently I'm a slow learner!

Karate Anyone?
















Here are the little kids last June in their karate uniforms. Aren't they cute? Ellie and Lexie take karate too and are both brown belts. Two more testings and Ellie will earn her black belt! She's been working for it for years and can't wait.

2008 Catch-Up

This year, and probably for the next few years, I'm blogging instead of scrapbooking. I have oodles of lovely scrapbook supplies and I love to do it, but I just don't have the time. And since I didn't start this blog until October, I need to include the rest of 2008 so when I print it out, it contains the whole year. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, I have very few pictures because of a flash card malfunction earlier in the year. So here's the rest of our year, out of chronological order and missing several months, but such is life!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Belated Happy National Adoption Month!

Last month was National Adoption Month, and I was going to do a post about, surprisingly enough, adoption! However, my friend Wendy blogged about it so much better than I could, that I'm just going to repeat much of what she said. Thanks Wendy!

It's no secret that our family was formed through adoption - with pale parents and children who are all some beautiful shade of brown it's pretty obvious and often garners unwanted attention. Ok, so we're all used to it by now. I'm getting better at not wanting to kick strangers who stare in the grocery store. Although from time to time someone makes a sympathetic comment about how sad it is that I don't "have any of my own".

I have a range of replies to this, and I've gotten good at not rolling my eyes as I reply that they're all "my own". I have the court papers to prove it.

So, in honor of National Adoption Month, I'm going to turn the tables. You see, I've always felt a little sorry to those whose lives AREN'T touched by adoption. Here, in no particular order, is my (and Wendy's) list of reasons that I love adoption and wouldn't in a million years trade the way my family was created:

1.) I can brag all I want about my kids and it's not an ego thing - it wasn't my genes that created these incredible kids.

2.) Knowing firsthand, in the most personal down-to-the-bone kind of way that love is thicker than blood, blind to color/ethnicity/disability or any of the other conditions society puts on it.

3.) An excuse to immerse myself in new worlds. I've discovered that I love African American literature and have a thing for black history. Who knew?

4.) Validation of my ability to parent! Yes, the endless round of social workers, attorneys and judges is beyond annoying. But unlike most parents, I have at least 8 homestudies that pronounce me a fit parent - heck, most of them say all kinds of nice things about my mothering. And 8 times a judge has concurred. This is great to remember on those "What ever made me think I could do this?!" days.

5.) Having each precious one sealed in the temple. It doesn't get any better than that.

6.)Connections. Through adoption groups I've been a part of, I've found some of my dearest friends, friendships that transcend our common experiences in adoptions and carry over to the rest of life. And because adoption is such a visible, public thing for our family, I often get sweet experiences of proud grandparents showing me pictures of their adopted grandbabies, or quiet conversations with relative strangers who placed a baby for adoption months or years ago and felt the rightness of that choice confirmed when they saw our family together.

7.) I've learned things I didn't know about myself. I've learned that if I just step forward in faith, the Lord really will make up the difference between what I thought I was capable of, and what I'm actually am. There WILL be enough time, money, energy, emotional strength, and patience for another little one. I've learned that I can give up control - yes even a control freak like me. I've learned to let go of my plan and let God accomplish His purposes. His plan is always better than mine anyhow.

So there you have it. Happy National Adoption Month from a happy adoptive Mommy!

House Part 5


Yea! We have a roof! Now hopefully the inside can dry out from the recent rain. We also have stairs so the kids were able to go upstairs and see where their bedrooms well be. It's so fun to see it taking shape!

Thanksgiving


Well I'm finally getting around to posting about our Thanksgiving. We had a great one! We did something we've never done before - went out to dinner instead of eating at home. I decided that I just wasn't up for cooking a big dinner in our rental house's smallish kitchen using the little pots and pans that came as part of the house's furniture, so out we went. We didn't want to do anything fancy, just casual and fun, so we ate at Old Country Buffet. They has all the traditional Thanksgiving food, plus lots of other things too. Several of the kids had pizza as well as turkey, and everyone got to have several desserts. It was easy and yummy!


That night, we continued our yearly tradition of stating something we were thankful for. Here's the list:

Ashlyn: Barbies

Emily: Princess Barbies

Marq: Eating at a restaurant

Annie: Holidays

Brantley: Sponge Bob

Lexie: She was too busy texting to answer!

Ellie: Music (she's really missing our piano while it's in storage)

Me: The miracle of adoption

Tim: The gospel

We also were all thankful that our house is being built faster than we thought it would be. By the way, the picture was taken out on our front porch on our way to dinner. Doesn't everyone look hungry?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Shoes


This just cracked me up. Here are the kids shoes next to the front door AFTER they've been cleaned up and sorted through all the extras have been put away. Proof positive that I have quite a few kids!

My Handsome Marq


Doesn't he just look great in his cub scout uniform? He's such a handsome young man and growing up way too fast for this mama!

House Part 4


Well, they're moving right along. The weather has been sunny and warm for the most part, so they've been able to get lots done. There are no stairs yet, and the kids are dying to see their bedrooms, but I just won't let them all climb the ladder to see the second floor. I know, where is my sense of adventure?

Halloween Pictures Finally!




Well, life got busy as usual, but here are our Halloween pictures. Our church had a carnival and Trunk-Or-Treat again this year and the kids had a great time. And the weather even cooperated! Tim and I were old fuddy-duddies and didn't dress up this year but I thought the kids looked terrific. Ellie was a missionary (she can hardly wait until she can be one for real), Lexie was a hero from the TV show "Heros", Brantley was a Star Wars guy, though I'm not sure what one, Marq and Annie were both Spiderman, and Emily and Ashlyn were pegasus unicorns. Annie is so funny. She's totally girlie in some things, but very much a tomboy in other ways. I thought she'd pick princess or something like that, but nope, she wanted to be Spiderman. And next year she wants to be the Incredible Hulk! Gotta love a girl who knows her own mind!

Monday, October 27, 2008

What a view!


Whenever I drive down our street I'm greeted with this incredible view of Mt. Rainier. This picture doesn't do it justice - it's really breathtaking!

House Part 3


Here's our house as of last week. It's going quickly so far. Yay!

School?


I was doing school work with the 3 3rd graders when the babies decided they wanted to join in. Homeschooling is always an adventure!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Quiet Time?


While I've been writing all these posts, the kids have been having quiet time. Every afternoon when we're home, they all go to their rooms and play quietly for an hour or so. Or at least that's what's supposed to be happening. Today however, I heard giggling from the living room and when I went out, this is what I saw. Not exactly MY idea of a quiet time activity!

Our House - Part 2



Ok, so I meant to include our floor plans in my last post, but they're in a corrupted file or something, and I couldn't figure out how to fix it. I am NOT terribly computer literate! So, here are pictures I took with my camera. If you click on the picture you can get a closer look, but it's still not great. At least you'll get an idea of what we're building!

Our House


I can't believe we're building AGAIN! There just wasn't a house that suited our needs in the area we wanted to be in and at a price we could afford, so, there wasn't much choice. We're using the same plans we used for our house in Covington and have just added on a bit here and there to accommodate our larger family. It's supposed to be done next summer sometime, but with building you just never know! Here are is a picture of what it looks like at the moment. All I could fit into the picture is the garage because it's a wide shallow house. It's on 2+ wooded acres and I can't wait for it to be done. The house we're in now has nowhere for the kids to play outside except the sidewalk in front. Not good with little ones. I'll post more pictures as the building continues!

Just Because They're Soooo Cute........


My littlest angels!

Thursday, October 9, 2008





We visited the V2 Farm this week for a homeschool fieldtrip. We got to go on a hayride, pump water from an old-fashioned hand pump, go through a corn maze, and see lots of animals. Much fun was had by all. And a real bonus was that after Brantley smelled the pigs, he decided that he no longer wants a pet pig! Now if we could just get him to stop asking for every other animal imaginable.........

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Library

Today was library day for the 5 youngest. We just got back, and all I can say is whew! Anyone out there who's gone to the library with 5 young children will know exactly what I'm talking about. It started off with multiple trips back home to retrieve left books and library cards, so by the time we finally made it to the library, I was already tired. Then of course we had to check in our books - all 92 of them. At that point we were finally ready to enter the library. We had our usual "quiet voices" discussion and headed in. I then got to spend the next hour and a half wondering if I'd been speaking english when I asked them to talk quietly. I honestly had no idea a person could whisper so loudly that it could be heard across the entire library. Then came the $23.00 in overdue book fines. And the table piled so high with books to check out that they spilled all over with a loud racket - several times. I spent the entire time chasing down jumping and running littles and apologizing profusely to every librarian I saw. Finally it was time to leave. So up to the front we marched to check out 92 more books and figure out how to get so many bags of books out to the car. And now you know why I say whew!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Welcome

Welcome to my blog! This is just an easy way to let our friends and family know what we're up to. I probably won't have the time to update too often, but I'll try to post every month or so. Who knows, maybe I'll be able to post even more than that. Sleep is overated, right?