Wednesday, January 26, 2011

China Trip to Chenzhou

I just wanted to share that I have been working on a blog for our trip this summer to work at the Chenzhou Orphanage, in Hunan China.  Still working on getting a team together.  Please click HERE to read all about it!  And yes, the picture is the day we met our Sage, from Chenzhou. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Christmas Eve

 I love this girl, isn't she just adorable?  Her personality matches this smile perfectly! And I think pink is her color!
 Our little man, we miss him! Luke has gone with his mama, we sure enjoyed him!
 Before Church, we had some cranky little girls. 
 He was not cranky, just not sure he wanted his picture taken!
 Cousins! And they even coordinate.  We sure missed the Garris family.  ;-(  The snowy weather kept them home this year.
 Oops some closed eyes.
 Missing my brother, who is still in China.  Though we were able to spend much of the evening together through skype! And yes despite the snowstorm outside my girls refuse to wear socks or jackets!
 The Geist Family
 Mommy & son!
 3 brothers
 Yep, we acted out the nativity again.  It was quite comical, we made the adults join in the fun. I need to see if anyone video'd, it is a good laugh!
 Happy Birthday to Jesus!
 Right Left Game, love seeing who knows their right from left!

It was a wonderful evening of being together.  We were thrilled to have a white Christmas, though we did have a fun time in our big van trying to get to church!  But we made it and while it gets a bit crazy in service with the kids, we are thankful to celebrate our Saviors birth together. 

Cousin Christms Fun

 We had lots of fun celebrating Christmas with cousins Jaylyn, Adley and Leighton.  My kids were thrilled to party somewhere besides our house! ;-)  Amy is a brave woman to invite us over for sure! The kids talked for days about all the work Amy did planning out games and crafts for us. 
 Present Time! And as you can see, between us we have SEVEN girls and then Sawyer.  He loves that. His attempts to talk TJ into adopting a 10 year old boy have not worked out.  Yet.
The girls are holding TuTu bags Amy found, aren't they cute?  We love them and the girls carry them everywhere.  Thanks Amy & girls for a fun day out of the house!

Family Christmas Dinner

 Every holiday we still try to do a "special dinner" with just Mark, myself and the kids.   I did not realize how much the dinners actually mean to the kids till we missed the Thanksgiving dinner.  We do have dinner together every night, but these dinners involve sparkling grape juice, candles, the real china, real mashed potatoes, etc..  They were so upset that we did not have Thanksgiving, we made it up in early December!  We had steak for our Christmas dinner, compliments of Mark's work, yum! After dinner we read the Christmas story and each child puts a piece in the nativity.
 Then it is on to the gifts.  We let the kids draw a name of a sibling and it was so much fun this year.  Each year the budget has become smaller,  this year we set it at $5.  I so enjoy taking them on s special shopping date to choose their gift.  The thought they put into it, you can just see their minds working. They are very secretive about who they bought for, and can't wait to surprise their sibling on this night!
 Mavery pulled Sage, and I saved her shopping day till the day of.  Good thing.  She walked in from the store and said "Sage I got your gift and it is a secret!" Sage was pretty excited about Rapunzel.
 Sawyer giving to Mavery.
 Anyone who has seen Sawyer opens a gift, can imagine when I say that Mavery opens just like him! The screaming and yelling and SO excited!
 I think Sawyer did a good job, don't you?
 Makenna & Malaine drew each other, which they found pretty funny!
 Oh my she looks old to me here, wow!
 Sage was thrilled to pull "her buddy", and she took F.O.R.E.V.E.R. to pick out his gift at the store!
 She thought this walking light up eyes, growling dinosaur looked like it came from Harry Potter !
 Last but not least, Makenna gets her gift. 
 Good job Malaine!
 Happy Siblings!
I do treasure these times when we can just slow down, relax and enjoy each other.  We are already thinking ahead to Valentines Day Dinner!