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