I'm blessed with 6 daughters, and I think they're all beautiful, both inside and out. Here are Annie and Cara in their Christmas dresses for church. Don't you love those smiles?
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
I try to make sure I get some one-on-one time with each child as often as possible. Last Saturday Marq and I went to volunteer at Northwest Harvest together, then went out for Thai food. It was so much fun, and he's such a great young man. I'm one very blessed mama to have him!
Every year we go pick out our Christmas tree in the freezing rain. But this year although it was very cold, it was also totally sunny when we got our tree! What a wonderful thing it was to bring home a tree that wasn't soaking.
We celebrated Cara's 5th birthday on November 29th. We're not sure of her actual birth date, but this was the one assigned to her in Liberia, so this is the one we're going with. She's been such a blessing and a gift to us. She's happy, loving, and tons of fun. She has the cutest little sense of humor! For her birthday dessert, we got her Marie Calandar's Chocolate Satin Pie, which is her favorite. Then the other kids helped her open her gifts, since she had no idea what gifts were all about. Once she saw her new toys though, she was all smiles. It was a great day, and I'm so glad we get to celebrate birthdays with this little one from now on. Happy Birthday sweetie! We love you!
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year. It was great having all the kids here (except for Ean) and was especially fun having Cara and Evie with us this year. We enjoyed good food and good family time. And as always, we expressed thanks for all we've been blessed with. I love Thanksgiving!
Brantley took time out from helping with Thanksgiving dinner to play with Evie so Lexie could relax a bit. It was so distracting having Cara and Evie around this year while I was cooking. I just wanted to play with the
In November, I finally remembered to order a Cara sticker to add to the stick family on the back window of my big van. I was so happy to be able to find a sticker with hair puffs! It's so funny to watch people constantly counting the stick figures on the back of my van!
November 3rd 2013 was Evie's blessing day. She got to wear her Aunts Emily and Ashlyn's blessing dress and looked so adorable in it. Lexie asked Tim to give the blessing, and it was a wonderful experience. The spirit was so strong, and I could tell that Evie is a very choice daughter of our Heavenly Father, and that so is Lexie. We feel so blessed to have this little angel in our lives!
We had fun again this year at our church trunk-or-treat and chili cook off. Tim stayed home with Cara who still wasn't enjoying crowds at that time. The teens generally don't dress up but do go and enjoy the party and help with the tons of little ones who attend. Here are some of the kids (Marq and Annie were off doing other things when I took this pic) in their costumes. Cara wasn't happy at all about the halo on her head, but I just had to get a quick picture because she looked so adorable. And don't you just love the Halloween costume Evie got at our baby shower last summer? And how cute are Emily and Ashlyn? Children in costumes are so cute!
On October 14th 2013 we went to court to re-adopt Cara here in the U.S. Even though her adoption was finalized in Liberia before we even picked her up, we wanted to do it here as well so she could get a U.S. birth certificate, which will make life much easier in many ways. It was short, sweet, and very nice. Our attorney, who had helped us with our last 5 adoptions before Cara as well, said on his way out "I'll see you for the next one!". Funny, funny man. :)
Who said teen girls are the only ones who spend tons of time worrying about their hair? Marq is very concerned about his. He gets haircuts as often as possible, and is very concerned about his "line up". Here he is showing off a hair cut he really likes. What a handsome young man he is!
Cara has such fun hair! It's a really loose curl that does pretty much anything we want it to do - easily. Here's an example. It takes only about 15 minutes to flat iron her entire head of hair, and it lasts until it gets really wet. Of course, she's totally adorable no matter how her hair is done!
On August 24th (Brantley's birthday) we had all the kids here for a barbecue, so my good friend Kim Proctor came over and did a photo shoot for us. She's so good at what she does, and it was really fun. This is just one of the great family photos. I'll be making a separate album with the rest of the family photos, as well as the individual ones. Thanks so much, Kim!
Another "Where has the time gone?" moment - Emily and Ashlyn are in 4th grade this year! They're still in public school, and still enjoying it, so that's where they'll be for now. I can't believe how grown-up they're getting to be! Weren't they just in kindergarten a minute ago?
Sunday, October 6, 2013
On August 24th Brantley had his 14th birthday, and I seriously can't believe it! I so clearly remember him as an unbelievably adorable 2 year old having tantrums and getting into all sorts of mischief. He's certainly grown up since then. He's now a compassionate and thoughtful young man who adores little ones and has a soft spot for older folks as well. He also goes with me to volunteer at Northwest Harvest every time I go. He had a great birthday at Trampoline Nation with his siblings. Happy Birthday you handsome young man - we love you!
We decided we'd better take advantage of our zoo membership before it expired, so down to Tacoma we went to Point Defiance Zoo. It's a nice zoo, and not so large that you're exhausted by the time you're done. It also has aquarium petting tanks and you can even pet sting rays. The kids had a great time! And can you believe how big they're getting???
In August, a couple of dear friends from church gave me and Lexie a double baby shower. We had wonderful food, were surrounded by great friends, and of course, got tons of adorable clothes for our little girls! It was just such a thoughtful thing for our friends to do, and we appreciated it so much. Thank you to everyone who planned, helped and attended - we're fortunate to have such great friends!
We think Cara is amazingly beautiful, with an amazing smile. When I think of all she's endured in her short life, I can't believe she can smile at all. Orphanage after orphanage, starvation, neglect, developmental disabilities in a country where that's not acceptable at all, and on and on. Then to top it off, these white strangers came in a scooped her up and out of everything she's ever known, only to bring her to a totally different place, with totally different people, food, weather, smells, customs, clothing and everything else. And yet she's happy. Very happy! She's just an amazing girl, and certainly one of the Lord's choicest spirits. I thank the Lord every day for having her in our family!
Here are the kids at our local lake. We didn't bring Cara with us this summer because she still wasn't enjoying water or being out in public, but I took the other kids often. I feel very lucky to live where we have our choice of nice beaches to enjoy. The kids have lots of fun!
Brantley loves the little girls in his life. He's an awesome uncle and big brother. I love seeing the tender side of him that Cara and Evie bring out. Here he is in his favorite position - arms full of adorable littles.
Cara absolutely loves to ride on shoulders. She shrieks and laughs and bounces up and down whenever someone puts her on their shoulders, and it's a sure way to get her in a good mood. I thought the rides might end the first time she drooled in some ones hair, but she's so adorable nobody seems to mind. Thank heavens for spit tolerant siblings!
Thursday, October 3, 2013
In addition to being great with Evie, Annie is a fantastic big sister too. She's always willing to play with Cara, get her dressed, change her diaper, and feed her. Cara just loves to snuggle and play with her. Life is so much easier with little ones when you have super helpful older kids. Thanks Annie!
This picture was the 1st one we were able to get with the entire family after Evie was born and Cara came home. It's not great, but it was so nice to finally have a picture with all of us. BTW, the little boy in the chair on the right isn't ours - he's a neighbor child. Just thought I'd better explain that since we tend to show up with new family members fairly regularly!
We had a great 4th of July this year! It was Cara and Evie's 1st 4th of July so that made it especially fun. I love the way our family just keeps on growing! It was pretty nice weather - which is always a bonus in our rainy climate. We had our usual yummy bbq and then did our own fireworks and enjoyed the neighbors fireworks as well. I love the 4th of July because it means family, great food, fireworks, and celebrating our great country's birthday!