Thursday, December 16, 2010

Breakfast with Santa

For years I have wanted to go to Eckerts and have breakfast with Santa.  Every year it has just not worked out.  This year I was determined we WERE going.  And it was great fun! They have just remodeled the restaurant so it is really nice.  They serve you family style buffet which is an added bonus with 5 children.  All the food is brought to your table.  My children are HUGE breakfast fans so they were in heaven.  Santa and Ms Clause walk all around the room greeting the kids.  The price also included your photos with Santa, face painting, and decorating a sugar cookie!  And a wagon ride but the freezing rain kept us from doing that. Very fun day I hope to repeat next Christmas!

 I love this picture.  Mavery, hanging on to Sage but looking up at Santa in wonder, priceless!

Gingerbread Houses

 Mark worked so hard to get the castle together for the girls.  It seemed to be doing pretty well standing up.  That is until....
many hands joined in to decorate.  And the walls came a tumbling down!  Not many tears were shed, they all just jumped in eager to claim a piece of the castle.

 And smother their piece in as much icing and candy as it would hold!

A castle is pretty and all to look at, but if you can actually EAT the pieces, that is so much better! 

 unless you are 13.  And like things orderly.  She was not so thrilled that we did not put it back together. But eventually got over it and enjoyed her piece of the castle!

Hiz Kidz Christmas Choir

We have been thankful this year to have a kids choir once again at church and as you can see the kids are too!  This is the first time for Sage and Mavery to sing in choir and they are thrilled.  ANYTHING that gets them on stage makes them happy!  ;-)  Sawyer is not thrilled with the stage, but enjoys seeing his buddies so he goes.  That and his grandma is the director so he HAS to! 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Makenna's Acting Debut

One of the classes Makenna took this year at Masters Lyceum (our homeschool co-op) was drama.  This is the first time she was old enough to take the class and she sure loved it.  Maybe we have a future thespian on our hands?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Sage's First Gymnastics Competition

 We have had all the girls in gymnastics on and off for years.  Last year we were able to do a during the day home school class with my friend Sheila teaching at a gym here in town.   At that time they all had fun, but were not heart and soul into it.  So we took a break and ended up doing a class during our homeschool co-op.  Well it became clear in the last 6 months that our Sage has a passion for gymnastics.  And is good at it.  Last year she had a hard time standing in line, waiting her turn, but now, she make it through a 90 minute class, with sometimes a 30 minute private lesson after.  She is back with Ms Sheila and able to be on a competitive team, which is just up our Sage's alley!   On her 5th birthday she competed in her first competition! 
 Stretching, she makes it look so easy doesn't she?
 Here is Sheila with her daughter Eden, who is getting ready for her pass.  You can also see Sage's friend Grace in the background.  Lots of friends at the gym!
 Good job Eden!
 Sage getting ready for her pass.  She lucked out, they bumped her up a level and so she was the only one her age in that level. 
 Forward Roll
 First place trophy! Being the only one in your age helps, but according to the coaches, she did well.  We are still learning all the competition lingo.
Waving at her adoring fans!  I wish we had snapped a picture of her right when she was done with her pass, she stood up and waved at the crowd.  ;-)   She is pretty excited because the team will be traveling to New Orleans for the Jr Olympics this summer and if you know Sage, she is ALL about a gold medal!  If you have seen her lately, you will know she no longer can walk, she cartwheels everywhere she goes.  Sheila keeps telling me to just wait, backflips everywhere will be next.  Oh my!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

To a Mother I will never know

 To the mother who gave birth to my daughter,

Can't help but wonder about you this week.  Some will say we make birth mothers  a fantasy that is not really true.  I don't care about any of that.  Because I simply know you made a choice to save my daughter.   The reasons do not really matter to me.  

 Of course I wonder, as I am sure she someday will too. I wish I could meet you and tell you how amazing she is! I wish I could let you hear her laugh, just once.  It comes from deep inside of her and it can fill up a whole room.  I wish you could watch her think.  She concentrates so hard and you can see her little mind turning things over.  I wish you could watch her do her cartwheels.  She is becoming quite the gymnast and she flips around a room more than she walks! I bet you would have been as proud as me to see her at her first competition holding her 1st place trophy!
  I wish you could see her with her siblings or her family or our friends.  She is loved and adored by so many people.  I wish you could see how smart she is.  Scary smart! This year she has mastered riding a bike with out training wheels, she can now tie her own shoes, she can spell anything that she can sound out and is reading words.  I wish you could see her eat.  She LOVES pasta! And you would be proud, she can eat chinese food complete with chopsticks!  I wish you could feel her hugs and kisses.  They melt me. 
I can't help but wonder, is she tiny because you are?  Are you as laid back and whimsical as she is? Is your voice deep and scratchy like hers?  
And I can't help but wonder if you are thinking of us this week, as much as I am thinking of you.  With out you, we would not have our Sage and I can't even imagine a life like that.  You gave her life! You gave her a chance to hear about Jesus, and say prayers and be surrounded by love. 
It is true.  I do not know your story, and I probably never ever will.  It is so hard for me to comprehend how you walked away from her 5 years ago.  But I know you wrapped her up so she was warm.  I know you left her in a place where she would be found.  I know that we have been blessed beyond words to have her. 

I will forever be thankful and I promise that I will do my best to make sure she understands these things about you.  My continued prayer is that someday we will meet, most likely not this side of life.  I pray  that we can stand before our Father who had this marvelous plan for our lives, together, and you can finally see the gift you gave us.

You are not forgotten, never. 

Love, a very thankful mommy

**Flowers are in honor of each year since she left your arms.

Team Chenzhou!

Now that everything is official and rolling along, I wanted to share that I am heading back to China next summer!  NOT for another baby, not this time.  This time I am going to serve those who are left behind.  I have the privilege of being able to go back to Sage's orphanage, Chenzhou, in Hunan.   I am heading up a team through an amazing organization called Visiting Orphans.   It has been on my heart to go and work for some time.  Makenna has been ready to go since we first adopted Sage.  So when I found that this organization actually works with Chenzhou, I jumped right in.  We will spend a week working with the kids.  Then we will fly to Beijing for a bit of touring, and get to spend a day at Shepherds Field.  I have never been there, but have read such great things about them I can't wait to visit there. 

We have been working hard to try and come up with the funds for this trip.  Cost is $3500.00 per person so with both of us going, we have lots to save! I am proud of Makenna, she has been saving for the last year or so and has a pretty good amount put away.  We have a couple of fundraisers in mind so prayerfully that will help to offset our cost.

This trip is open to ANYONE.  So if YOU are interested in going, take a look at the website here.   
Would love to have a large group going with us. (15 is the max)  If you have any questions, feel free to email me at

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I ♥ Naptime- Sometimes

Yes, my 5 year old girls still nap.  EVERY day.  For TWO hours!  Believe me, NONE of my older 3 did this, nor did I NEED them to nap in the same way I need nap time now!  I do have to say though, our house does SHUT DOWN at 2pm on the nose each and every day. I make the older kids read in their rooms, or finish up school.  I close my door and hide sleep catch up on whatever I need to.  No one comes to my door unless there is blood involved.  And why would there be if they are doing what they are supposed to be doing?  Which is reading/resting/sleeping.  Some might say we are actually fanatic about nap time.  We do nothing from 2-4pm no matter what.  The very few times we did, we paid.  Because there is a certain someone in the house who begins to melt at exactly 1:55 PM.  Literally.  And if you have been around her you totally get why our lives revolve around nap time. 

Sadly, one of the 2 5 year olds is slowly giving up her nap.  Which thankfully is the one who it is OK to give up naps.  I try, and she tries, but I know she is really about done.  (which I find SO odd really, wouldn't we adults ALL enjoy being told to rest for 2 hours EVERY DAY!??)  As I went in her closet yesterday, this is what I found.

 Sage loves her barbies and if she is not going to nap, playing quietly in your closet is just fine. Even if you are hanging barbies! I actually thought this was quite creative!

On the other hand, Ms Mavery NEEDS nap time.  WE need Maverys nap time.  She takes awhile to settle down but she does sleep every day.   I thought that settling down was just the singing in her bed thing I heard.  But obviously not.
 Interesting enough, her teacher just that day had asked me if I had alot of art on my walls because Mavery had colored on her rug.  EEK! And it gets better.
 If I home schooled her, I would have sworn she sat in on our lesson of hieroglyphics we just had.  Throw in some stickers all over the bed and you have quite the art studio wouldn't you agree?  Maverys answer?  " It was an accident, I didn't mean to".  I hear this at least 391 times a day.  
And this poor Barbie?  I have no idea because "It was an accident, I didn't mean to!"   That is all I got.

It has been a rough, VERY rough few weeks.  I have no idea what is going on.  Is it the time change? Is it the weather change?  Is it Mommy is stressed and crabby more than usual change?  Is it the missing a few weeks of therapy change?  (which makes no sense because how can 45 minutes of therapy once a week REALLY be THAT helpful??)
I picked the girls up from preschool one day (the drawing on the rug day) and the teacher said "I do not even know what to say, or how to explain her behavior today".  And I simply wanted to kiss her and say WELCOME TO MY LIFE! I am so glad someone gets to see a glimpse of it!
To top it off, we were at my inlaws over the weekend.  It had been a bad day, following a bad few weeks. We were having dinner and Mavery put her hand through their china cabinet. Shattered the glass.  Only by Gods grace did she manage to do this with out cutting her self up. One small tiny cut that was it. 

I sure wish I was like all the other blogs I read that seem to have everything perfect.  Perfectly happy kids with a perfectly happy mommy who probably doesn't even need naptime because she is so calm and happy with her kids.  The ones who never have meltdowns or throw fits or ruin a perfectly good day because they have an attitude.   The ones who seem to adore their children every second of every day and never need a break from them. 

I am not that blog.  Or that mom.  And I guarantee you those are not my kids.  I love my children, I really do.  But I do not like attitudes.  I do not like my walls being colored on after I have told you not to do that 529 times. I do not like whining and hearing about what your sister got and you did not. I do not like fighting with your siblings.  I do not like dirty socks left in the van, in my bed, on the stairs, or on the table thank you very much.  Sometimes I don't even like doing 10 loads of laundry a week or washing dishes 3 times a day or going to walmart every stinken day!   I certainly don't like having to repeat myself.  "Stop it.  Listen.  Come here now. Stop it. Listen. Come here.  DID YOU HEAR ME??? Stop it NOW.  LISTEN. GET OVER HERE BEFORE I LOSE IT.  Stop it." 

This is my reality.  I have been reminding myself about this roller coaster ride of life I am on.  Just when I think we are hanging on, almost to the end of the ride, we start back up that hill again.  And many days, I want to be on that one coaster, you know the one that goes backwards.  I want a rewind! I do NOT want to start over, I don't want to climb up a hill, I just want to coast along.  But for whatever reason the Lord just straps me in TIGHT and tells me to keep going.  

So while we hang on and continue to ride out this roller coaster, I think I will continue to enjoy nap time every day with my door shut! But I think I will make sure all crayons are GONE!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Family Photos

Marks brother came in town this weekend and we were excited to get a photo shoot done. (of course excited to see him and my niece since we have not seen them enough, they have moved to Georgia!) Have not had a family photo since Mavery first came home.  Because I am so impatient, and because he gets that, he was kind enough to get me a few photos to share.  ;-)  So this is just a preview of what he did today.   Overall he got a ton of great shots.  As you can imagine, getting 5 children to cooperate is a tough job.  And to be honest, Mavery is like 5 children of her own wrapped up in one.  Been a VERY rough few weeks, wish I could even put it into words.  But regardless Brett is patient and got it done.   It will be some time before we attempt this again! 

Sage is FIVE!

My Sage, my baby, my heart, is 5 years old.   FIVE!  It sounds so OLD to me!  I realize it is not that old when I turn around and see my 13 year old who is now about as tall as me.  And yet it IS that old because just yesterday Makenna was ONLY turning 5.  Now I am even more depressed.   Yet how can one be depressed when they get to be Sage's mommy!  My joy, the one I can count on to make me laugh no matter what is going on.  So thankful for the gift of this child. 
Happy Happy Birthday Baby Girl!