Thursday, December 10, 2009

Family Day


Today we are celebrating the 1 year of our adoption finalization with Mia and Joey and so we decided to make this a family celebration day. We wanted to celebrate God's sovereign plan in putting our family together, so we celebrate the adoption of Mia and Joey into our family and the birth of Kaden and Piper into our family. God, in his infinite wisdom selected each of our children for our family and we want to teach our kids to always view their position in our family as part of God's great plan.

Tim's mom and dad got each of them a bear from Build a Bear as a special gift today and the kids have been thrilled with their special bears. Of course they named the bears after themselves!

Monday, November 9, 2009

A few more.....


We got a picture of all of us and Tim's mom and dad with everyone smiling! This is an amazing feat b/c the camera was precipitously balanced on the ledge of a window, focused from the inside of the house with Tim's dad yelling out to Tim to tilt up or down and then taken with the auto timer!

All of my children love to walk around the house pretending they are mom's or dad's, landscapers, teachers, chef's or whatever else......the one thing that remains constant is that they all generally need some sort of backpack, briefcase, purse, bag or whatever to carry all of the essential things that they will need. I think their general motto is: the more they can carry the better! The picture of Kaden is a typical day for him.......being a landscaper is a very important job that requires a lot of things.....according to him!

Trip to California



We got to take a trip to California and we all had a lot of fun. We had an impromptu reunion with some kids from Uganda and Mia a lot of fun with one of the kids that she was friends with. They held hands all day and had a great time being reunited!

We enjoyed the chilly weather while we were there and we duplicated a picture that we had taken a little over a year ago. The kids are all bigger now and Piper is now in the picture!

Fun in the fall



To start out with.....yes, I actually walked around our neighborhood dressed like a tree in case you could not tell what I was supposed to be. Tim was dressed like a tourist, with a pillow for a gut, socks with sandals, sunscreen on his nose and camera around his neck! The kids begged us to dress up with them...Kaden told me I was not too old to dress up! The kids were similar to what they were last year......super Kaden, super Joey, and cute little fairy princesses.

The kids also had fun "helping" is carve a pumpkin and they wanted to make sure we carved a happy pumpkin!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

October!



Kaden and Mia started playing soccer this month and it is definitely a learning experience for them.....they look cute in the soccer stuff.

The picture of our cat shows what happens when I leave Tim alone with an electric razor and the cat. He started out planning on cutting out a small area of matted fur so I left the room and when I came back, he had done a terrible looking stripe down the middle of her back. I actually think she's embarrassed.

The last picture is of my little girls wearing hats! My girls are getting big~

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Homeschooling Update......better than I expected!

I will soon post some pictures of our little school room area but its not quite finished so I will hold off until its complete. So, for a homeschooling update for all those that might be curious. We officially started homeschooling the first week of September and I was a little nervous about beginning. I took the month and a half before school started to read some books about education, how children learn, etc and to review the curriculum, collect supplies and get organized. I created a school area in a room where we have workout equipment and storage stuff. I organized all of the supplies into bins, put things on a bookshelf and put labels on things. Tim's dad helped me paint the room because it was a really ugly room and the paint made it feel so much more welcoming! I selected some toys and activities to keep in the room to help occupy Piper and Joey. Each day we begin by "getting on the school bus" which means I honk the horn, figuratively speaking, the kids get in a line behind me and we make our way to the school room while we sing "wheels on the bus". Then we start our morning by praying, saying the pledge of allegiance, going over the alphabet, counting, doing the days of the week, the months of year and so on. We go over shapes and colors for the preschool side of things. I always greet the kids and have them tell me their full name and birthday and we will eventually move to them telling me our address and phone number. Then we follow our curriculum for the day which is full of hands on learning, some phonics exercises, songs, math skills, a little science and a Biblical foundation. I have been pleasantly surprised at how easy it has been, how much the kids are enjoying it and how much I have enjoyed it. I am really enjoying being a part of this early learning with the kids. I did not anticipate this to be the case when we decided to homeschool, I thought it was going to be difficult for me to do and to stick with. I was apprehensive before and I felt like it was going to be a big struggle and I have been happy it has not been that at all. As we go further in the year, I will spend more time but this has been a good "breaking in" these first few weeks!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Are you babysitting?

Since our family has expanded to four little ones, two of which are black and three of which are pretty close in age, a common comment or question has surfaced when I am out with the kids by myself and even once with another friend and her two kids: "Are you babysitting?"  "Those are not ALL yours?"  "Do you have a daycare?"  I know that for many families that have adopted children, that question can be a little offensive because from our perspective these precious little ones are of course ours and just because they do not look like us or have our same skin color or whatever else, does not mean that a little one is any less a part of our family than a biological child.  Many people take offense that people would right off the bat presume something other than the reality of these kids that look a little different than mom and dad being part of a loving  adoptive family.  The reasons that many would be dissapointed are many but I find that most often I am glad when people comment or ask me.  Many people have never given adoption much of a thought and many cannot fathom making a "choice" to love, as opposed to the common assumption that people love their kids because they are part of them.  When people ask me about my kids, whether its from curiosity, ignorance or whatever, it opens the door for me to talk about God!  God is the one that gave us the example of being adopted into the body of Christ, God is the one that enables us to share the love of Christ with anyone, including children that were once orphans.  God is the one that gave Tim and I a desire to expand our family in a way that reflects what He has done for us.  God has put our family together as He has seen fit and when people ask me about the interesting mix of children that are always with me, it reminds me of His love and gives me a possible opportunity to talk about the gospel.  So, if I was keeping a list of some of the great things about adoption, I would have to add, "It can provide many opportunities to share the gospel of Jesus Christ."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fun at the school bus!



Kindergarten!


As I have posted before, we are homeschooling Mia this year for kindergarten but she will also be doing a homeschool program through the Kyrene school district.  She will go to school 1 day a week, she will have a classroom and a teacher and they will do art, music, P.E., computer science and Spanish.  This is a supplement to the core curriculum we will be doing at home the rest of the week.  We are excited about starting school at home but that will not begin until the first full week of September, however her first day at the Kyrene program was last week.  She was really excited and did well.  We are really thankful for this program and hope it works well for Mia and our family!

The picture is of Mia getting ready to go to her first day of kindergarten and in true fashion for all my kids, she got water all over her shirt just before taking the picture.  She still looks cute and ready to go!

Kaden's Birthday






We decided to have a low key birthday for Kaden this year so we set up a triple slip n slide to let our kids and a few friends play on.  After a little while, the slip n slide got moved to the bottom of the slide of the playset, the kids went down the slide onto the slip n slide and flew across it.  They had a lot of fun.  Kaden got all the tools he wanted so he can go on pretending to be a builder, landscaper and plumber all he wants!  

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I haven't had much to say......

I guess I have taken a lax approach to blogging for the last few months.  As is the case with everyone, we have had a busy summer and I just haven't had that much to say.  The kids all seem so big now....Piper is moving away from being a baby into full blown toddler phase.  She is talking and repeating everything and has a ton of personality!  Joey is getting to be a big boy, he is potty trained, learning letters and things and is growing up!  Kaden will be 4 this week and he is no longer in toddler territory but is becoming a little boy.  He is getting so big that its hard for me to pick him up now.  Mia is going to be starting kindergarten and is such a big sister!  As most of our blog readers know, Tim and I have struggled with our school decision for this coming year....we have been up and down, back and forth and been reluctant to make to a decision.  I think we have been so reluctant because we have felt the Lord pushing us towards homeschooling this year and we just haven't really wanted to do it.  It is now official.....we are homeschooling Mia for kindergarten, Kaden for Pre-K and Joey for preschool!  We have decided on a combination of Sonlight curriculum and Our Father's World to use for kindergarten and I will be adding the other kids in with most of it!  We do not believe homeschooling is the only way or even the best way for every family but we do believe that it is the best fit for our families situation at this point in time.  I am a little intimidated about beginning this school year but I do believe it will have a lot of rewards!  

Thursday, June 25, 2009

It's been a while.......




We have had a busy month........the kids got to see 2 different people that they love from their time in Uganda in the last few weeks, so they have really enjoyed that.  My sister was in town all of last week and the kids loved having her in town, the only thing that would have made that better would have been for the cousins to visit too!  The kids started swim lessons this week and it has been a night and day experience from last year to this year.  The kids are doing really well and are not scared of the water this year!  We have had our usual days full of funny conversations and crazy kids but they are doing really well!

The pictures I am posting are of a few different things in the last month.  Tim and Steve took the boys to veterans graves for Memorial Day, the boys put flags at the veterans graves and Steve taught them how to salute.

One picture is of the dryer with a bunch of little pieces of paper in it.....Kaden left his little Bible in one of pockets........just one of the many things I find in the laundry.

There is one of Kaden holding a cucumber from our garden, this is an average size for the cucumbers we have been getting from our garden!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day




I had a wonderful Mother's Day!  Tim took the kids out early in the morning and I was able to take a nice long shower, take my time getting ready in peace and quiet!  The he brought the kids home with breakfast and flowers!  The kids were really excited about Mother's day and then inquired about when it would be daddy's day.  Then they also thought it would be a good idea to have a little boy's day and a baby Piper day!  I wanted to get a picture of me with each of the kids b/c I never seem to do that and then a group picture!  The pictures above give a pretty good glimpse of what its like to get that done, the last two were actually from the night before but the same things happen everytime we do group pics!  I love the kids and I am blessed to be the mommy and 4 crazy kids!  Its funny that it still seems kinda weird to me that I have 4 kids!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sometimes they can be so sweet . . .


Leala was not feeling well this morning and I had to go to work.  Leala called me later and told me that Kaden got his little step stool, grabbed a glass off the counter, took it into the bathroom, filled it up with water (presumably from the sink), and came back to Leala telling her, "Mommy, I think you need some water.  It will make you feel better."



Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Leala is out of control!!!!

This picture is the evidence that my wife may be losing it.  She got a label maker and has been using it . . . frequently.  It is actually really helpful because she can use it to start teaching the kids where their things go, helps me to know where my things go, and helps me to find things in our pantry.  I think she got it for free or pretty near it with all of her deal shopping right now.

Bedtime Fun

As we have said before, each night before bed, we pray with the kids.  
Leala or I will pray and then we have the kids pray.  Kade usually just says, "Thank you God for mommy and daddy.  Mommy, Daddy, I prayed for you."  Joey usually says, "(mumble) mommy, (mumble) daddy, (mumble) food, (mumble) playing, (mumble mumble mumble mumble)."  My usually prays, "Hands together, eyes closed (that was how they prayed at the orphanage), thank you for our toys, 
thank you for mommy and daddy and baby piper, thank you for (insert whatever we did that day whether it was going to the zoo or eating dinner
 or working in the garden)."

Tonight was rare.  
Kaden went on a praying rant thanking God for everything he could think of.  The following are some of the things he prayed for.  He repeated these things over and over.  Praying for making my car made me laugh, but praying the the stuffing in his blanket was really sweet.

"God, thank you for mommy and daddy.  Thank you for making daddy's car.  Thank you for making our seats.  Thank you for Jesus.  We wish Jesus didn't have to die on the cross.  Thank you for the people that made my blanket and for the soft stuff inside it.  Maybe sometime we can come to heaven and not have to die."
After we pray, we sing some songs.  Joey always has one request, Jesus loves me.  Even if we just sang it, he will say he wants to sing it again.

Melody loves to sing.  We will find her just singing randomly throughout the day.  it is really sweet.

At Sunday school this week, Kade and Joey learned about Kind David and his passing of advice to Solomon before he died.  When I went to his class, he told me he learned about King David and we are going to get old and die.  The whole ride home he had questions about death and asked if I was going to die and if he was going to die.  It was sad to hear the confusion in his little mind.  He asked me if after we go to heaven, we will be able to go home.  I had to explain to him that heaven is about God and it is a wonderful place where we can freely worship God forever and we won't want to leave.  Heaven is much better than our home.  He has continued to ask questions for the next few days.  This was also reflected in his prayer that he wants to go to heaven without dying.

Such a sweet little kid.  It reminds me of Mia shortly after we got home from Uganda when she threw a royal fit one night.  When we calmed her down she said she did not want to go to heaven because she did not want to leave her family.  Man I love that little girl.

The kids are great.  We are blessed.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

ONE YEAR!!!

Today marks one year from when Melody and Joseph came home from Uganda.  As Leala indicated earlier, it has flown by and the kids have really fluorished.  We are so happy to have them home and to have had the transition with them go so easy.  Kade continues to tell us how much he loves Joey and Mia and Joey and Mia play really nicely with Piper.  

Piper is their rescuer in time of need.  When the kids go to time out, Piper will run over to them and sit next to them to keep them company.  She will also get up and give them hugs when they are in time out.  Although the kids may be grumpy going to time out, Piper cheers them up and they start laughing and playing with her.  It really is sweet.

One year under our belt and many more to go.

Below is a picture of the kids very soon after they got home.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Decisions, decisions....oh how quickly school is coming!

For the last year, Tim and I have been discussing school options for our children, especially since one of them is facing kindergarten next year.  I have spent a lot of time researching different options for us and have been very frustrated at times.  I was in no way a model student growing up and I went to 13 different schools by the time I graduated so I had a significantly varied education.  As I try to collect my thoughts about what to do for my children's education, I realize I must throw my own experience out the window and tread lightly in conversations about schooling b/c school options are often a "sacred cow" for many families!  Tim and I, just like other families, have many issues at play when we begin to contemplate what schooling option is the best fit for our family:  location (we do not have a lot of schooling options near by), our children's readiness for school (especially given that the first one up has only been in our home 1 year), our children's personalities, our priorities and desires for education, our own strengths and weakness in shepherding our children during their schooling experience, etc.  There have been a few times that we have come to a decision only to find that a month or two later we are struggling and wrestling with whether or not we believe that is best.  Many people have said "its only kindergarten" and I know that in some ways they are right but it is my job to take care of my kids, to shepherd them and discern what is best for them and to be an advocate for them and what we do for school is connected with that. 

It seems to have come down to a local charter school that has all day kindergarten or homeschooling!  I have resisted homeschooling because I don't want to do it, I do not think I would be particularly good at it, I don't like the stigma that homeschool kids get, I want my kids to have constant interaction with other kids, with having 4 small kids I have felt like it would be good to separate them a  little, etc.  The reasons I am even considering homeschooling is because I don't like the idea of putting my 5 or 6 year old in school all day, 5 days a week, especially when I am not sure that my child is ready, I recognize that there are so many wonderful curriculum options available to homeschool families, I recognize that there are other avenues to provide socialization opportunities for my little ones and that homeschooling extends the time that parents can have a bigger sphere of influence on their children.  A week ago I knew what we were doing and this week and I am just not sure, but as complicated as I can make all of this in my head, I know that whatever we do doesn't have to be permanent and that if we faithfully submit ourselves to the Lord, he will direct us.

If anyone else out there knows of some great schools or curriculum or other great options, I would love to hear you input!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Random thoughts!

Since the kids have been home a year this coming week, I thought it appropriate to post a baby picture of Melody that was taken in 2004.  I am not sure how old she is or who took the picture but it is the youngest picture we have of her, thanks to volunteers from ABC.  I would have loved to have known her and held her when she was so little but I am thankful for the happy and healthy little girl she is now!

Tim and I had a great weekend with our friend from Uganda that was in town.  He and his family are missionaries there and were a huge encouragement during Tim's time in Uganda.  Obviously since they live in Uganda, their life is very different than ours:  all of the food has to be prepared from scratch, water has to be pumped, no air conditioning, no peanut butter, no cheese, few luxuries, etc.  When I asked him how it has been living without all of that, his reply was something to the effect of:  the more we do not live for this world, the easier it is......each day we focus on what the Lord is calling us to do and we just don't think about all the other stuff.  I realize at this point in my life, I am not called to live the same life that they are called to live but the point echos in my mind.....contentment!  I love luxuries....I love pedicures, hot water, pre-made foods, I hate being durty, I love watching something good on TV at the end of the day, I hate public restrooms and will avoid using them to the best of my ability, I love buying new things, etc.  The question is: Could I be content without all those luxury things I have come to expect in life.....would it bring more joy to give up those things for following what the Lord has for me?  I was recently reading a John Piper book about fasting and it makes a wonderful point about the effect the things in this world can have: "The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie.  It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world........The pleasures of this life and the desires for other things - these are not evil in themselves.  These are not the vices.  These are gifts from God.  They are your basic meat and potatoes and coffee and gardening and reading and decorating and traveling and investing and TV-watching and internet-surfing and shopping and exercising and collecting and talking.  And all of them can become deadly substitutes for God."  The point with fasting that he is making is that you can fast to take deliberate time to fill yourself up with the Lord and not other things, but the point is definitely bigger.  All these wonderful things in life can fill us up so that we are not filled with the Lord......that is definitely true in my life!

I am trying to have a little devotional time with the kids in the morning and 2 weeks ago we talked about being tenderhearted and I gave the kids a definition of tenderhearted from the book I was doing the devotional out of.  One of the kids came up to me last week and said "Mom, I am strong enough to feel the joys and hurts of Piper.....thats being tenderhearted"  I was appreciative of the fact that they listened and are trying to apply it!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Garden and new cabinets

So, in the last several weeks we have put in a garden and new cabinets in the kitchen.  In the garden, we are attempting to grow green beans, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, chives, scallions, cilantro, basil and some peppers.  Everything is sprouting and I am excited for it to really get growing!  I will post pictures soon!

This last weekend we embarked on putting new cabinets in our kitchen.  Tim has done a large part of the work himself and is still going.  Hopefully tonight the countertops and sink will go in.....which I am really excited about b/c we did not have water in the kitchen today!  It may take a while for me to post a pic of the new kitchen b/c I think the finish work may take quite some time!  The kids have been really curious about all of the change and they have been good little helpers, or at least they try to be good little helpers!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

5 Things for my morning routine!

A blog I was reading this morning is challenging moms to make their home a haven.  The first challenge is to create a morning routine so that the day can get off to a good start.  I have decided to take up the challenge of making my home a haven.  I really want my home to be a joyful place for everyone.....a place Tim can relax after all the business and craziness of work, a place the kids feel safe and love being, a place that encourages creativity and a place that is welcoming.  There is a balance between getting all of the tasks of the home done and making time for all of the members in your home and I can say that I do not have that balance: I am not nearly as organized as what I believe I need to be but I am sometimes selfish with my time by not serving the other members of my household in spending time with them.  So, I am creating my list of 5 things I want to accomplish each morning!

My morning routine:
- Quiet time with the Lord & Prayer
- Clean up the kitchen (put away clean dishes, etc.)
- Make my bed (I am terrible at)
- Morning devotional with the kids
- Get dressed and get myself ready for the day.

These things seem simple enough but I am terribly laid back about making routines and it generally does not take much for me to alter my plans for the morning.  I absolutely see the benefits of being disciplined and having routine, I would love to be that way but I find that when it comes down to it, I lean towards not having a set routine and instead opt for a more laid back and freedom/spontaneous type attitude.  I really want to change in that area and I believe it would be so much more beneficial to myself and the rest of the family!  So for all my friends that are reading this, feel free to ask me how I am doing!



Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Kaden wanted to go outside this morning with Joey after Joey got back from the hospital. I asked Kade if he wanted to watch a dvd or go outside. He responded in quite a serious voice, "I want to go outside and take care of business with Joey." We queried what kind of
business he wanted he and Joey to take care of and he responded, "Bookshelf business." He then
explaind to us that he and Joey have bookshelf business outside.

Later, they were playing and Kade told Joey, "Come on Joe, we need to take care of business." We are now headed outside to "take care of business."

Joey's Ear Tubes


This morning Leala and I took Joey to the children's hospital to have tubes put in his ears.  He has apparently had a number of ear infections that caused a differential in pressure that has led to some hearing loss.  With the tubes, the pressure should be equalized and his hearing should fully restore.

He was a real champ.  Before the procedure he was playing with the toys in the waiting room and driving a toy car around.  At the time of the procedure, he drove the car to the operating room and then very peacefully went with the nurses.  As always, Joey charmed everyone he ran into and had everyone fawning over him.

The procedure literally took about 5 minutes.  Afterwards, he was groggy but alert and he is now playing with Mia and Kaden.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Random thoughts and updates!

1 year ago this month, we had our court date to obtain custody of Melody and Joseph.  The picture above was taken when the kids received their passports!  They both look so little and so young to me now.  Joey doesn't even look like the same child to me.  Melody remembers a lot about her time in Uganda but a lot is fading from her memory, its kinda sad.  We go through pictures with her every so often and she is forgetting some of the kids names and some of the people.  There is always a excitement and familiarity she has at seeing the pictures but some things are a little vague now and yet some memories are very clear for her!  It is sooooo nice to be a year out from all of that and comfort that brings.  We are no longer acclimating and adjusting, everything feels much more normal now.  It warms my heart now when I hear Kaden say "I love my sisters and brother" or Melody say the same.  Melody is Kaden's sister and in his little mind that is just how it is and vice versa!  It doesn't really feel like its been a year since the bulk of our adoption experiences came to an end but when I look back to all the differences from then till now, it seems like a long time ago!

Joey will be getting tubes in his ears later this month.  He has some hearing loss in one ear and a severely retracted ear drum, so he will be getting tubes to hopefully help with those issues!

Piper is trying as hard as she can to communicate and do everything Kade, Mia and Joey do.  She understands so much and is a busy and full of personality little girl.  She keeps me on my toes!

Mia met a clown for the first time this weekend, she was very sketchy about it at first but she ended up handling it really well!

We are well on our way to having 3 kids potty trained.....still pull ups at night time but potty trained w/o diapers.......what a great feeling to only have one left in diapers!


Monday, February 16, 2009

Mommy, you are beautiful!

One thing that Tim is always very good at is complimenting!  Kaden, in particular has picked up Tim's verbal affirmations and he will often come up to me and say "Mommy I really love you and you are beautiful!"  I am always very grateful for those sweet times and for Tim's example to the kids!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My little cleaners!

The 3 older kids like to clean stuff which usually involves them sneaking into the baby wipes container, each of them taking out a few, tucking the corners into their pockets and then letting them hang out and wiping off everything.  This morning Kaden was wiping down his bus and Piper was sitting on the floor in his way so he leaned down and started wiping off the back of her shirt, then he lifted up the back of her shirt to clean off her back.  I asked him to stop cleaning Piper so he moved on but then I look up and Joey was getting ready to follow his brothers example and begin cleaning Piper......I had the no cleaning Piper conversation again with Joey.  If only I could get them to clean up the things I really want them to clean up........their chairs after lunch, the floor after lunch, the table, etc.  Were making progress!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Kaden's rules for tea time with Daddy.

video
As Leala posted, Kade, Mia and Joey had tea time with me a little while ago.  Kaden started telling me what the rules for tea time were.  Mia and Joey followed up with their rules as well.

video

video

Playing outside and saying hi to aunties

video

The kids were playing outside and we got them to say hi to their aunties.  When we got home, we decided to let Joey's hair grow out.  This video was a few months ago.  At that time, his hair was still sort of fuzzy.  We have since trimmed it.

Although you may not be able to understand what he says, he says hi to Auntie Karianne and Auntie Arielle.

Music time

video
The video above is of the kids playing some of their music.  They really love music and we are happy they are as creative as they are.  Enjoy.  For those that knew Mia and Joey at Amani--it is amazing how much they have grown.  This video was from a few months ago but we have had trouble getting it to post on the blog.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Piper, Pipey, Pipes!

Piper is going on 15 months, she has 8 teeth, and she has a big smile and a big personality!  Before you have kids and if you haven't spent a lot of time with little kids, its hard to imagine how much personality a little 1 year old can have!  Piper is full of personality......she loves to scream, she loves to be thrown in the air, she loves to have people scare her, she loves it when we sing to her, she loves to follow her brothers and sister, she loves to be tickled, she loves her pacifier, she loves to laugh, she loves to try and eat the cat food, she loves the cats, she loves phones, she loves to make faces, she loves to growl, and she loves to climb on things!  She was a pretty easy baby but she definitely gets spunkier as she gets older.......she will keep us on our toes!

Fun with painting!


Kaden and Joey were having a lot of fun painting and drawing with chalk!  I don't know if they will turn into little artists, but I love encouraging them to be creative!  I have a lot of great memories from when I was little of painting with my grandma.  My grandma was very creative and was a wonderful painter and did beautiful china painting.  I would spend time at her house and she would teach me how to paint......I loved doing those kinds of creative things with her!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Special Tea Party with daddy!

Last week I went to a cooking class, so Tim had the kids for the evening!  Tim got the kids ready for bed, put Piper to bed and then they had special tea time with daddy!    When they have tea time, they like to keep refilling their tea cups and then add some sugar, stir it and sip their tea.  They do this over and over again.  I teach them to speak properly and that when we have tea we talk about very sophisticated things......they of course, have no idea what that means.  I suppose one of these days I could let them try "real" tea, as opposed to the water that they pretend is tea....that might be interesting, Kaden may not like tea time anymore if real tea is what he had to drink.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Little tidbits!

I neglected to update that Piper is walking, she started taking some step right before christmas and then when we were visiting my family in Oklahoma for Christmas, she graduated to walking.  She is super active now, its very cute but like all little ones, she loves to get into stuff!

We are officially 8 months into locking Mia's hair and its going good.  For those that may not know, locking is basically creating controlled dreadlocks.  In Mia's case they began as tiny microbraids and the hair grew the base of the hair needed to be "locked" to keep it from being a frizzie mess, so we use a crochet latch hook to basically knot up that base of the braids as it grows out.  This process alows Mia to grow her hair out w/o all of the struggle of constantly messing with her hair for long periods of time every couple of days.  Once its long enough she will be able to put her "locks" into ponytails, pig tails and all sorts of different styles!  For now we just do beads.

Joey is officially a little boy not and not babyish like when he first came home: his imagination is growing, he is articulating so much (although he may need some speech therapy in the near future, he is leaps and bounds further than when he first came home), he is more confident, he is easy going and is figuring out so much!  He is currently in a repeating phase where he repeats everything that everyone says!

Kaden is definitely the "big" brother of the bunch.......he is much bigger in size and in his role.  He is mostly the leader of the pack.  He and Mia play off of each other with their imaginations and they come up with all kinds of crazy things to play pretend about.  They pretend they are landscapers, driving buses, going to work, cleaning the house, working on computers, cooking, having a tea party, working out, taking care of kids, etc.  Its pretty entertaining!

Mia loves to play, she is great at playing with kids and by herself.  She loves playing in her room while the other 3 nap.  She has a dollhouse, a kitchen, a vanity, dolls and all kinds of things she loves to play with in her room.  She happily keeps herself occupied in there for 3 hours.  She sometimes falls asleep but she loves playing and often she sings while she plays!  She has a bossy streak but is mostly very gentle hearted!

Piper is super funny and full of personality.  She smiles and laughs all of the time and she loves to play with her older brothers and sister.  She knows what she wants and when she doesn't get it, she lets you know!  She is a picky eater and when she is ready to eat, she is ready to eat!  She definitely tries to keep up with the older kids!

Our house is busy and sometimes crazy, lots of talking, lots of playing, lots of me learning to be patient and gentle and lots of eating!


Monday, January 19, 2009

Finally a post!




The above picture is what happens when we pack to get ready for a trip.....we did think about taking the kids to Oklahoma this way!

The pictures of the pile up of kids is our bunch with their cousins: Hunter, Kialey and Noah at Christmas time in Oklahoma.  They loved getting to know their cousins and spending time with them!

Our drive out to Oklahoma went far better than we thought it would, the kids did really well.  Gave us a lot more confidence to make other road trips in the future.