Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!! We got our Christmas present the day after Christmas and it was a call from Mary Katherine (our Anna Li). She was so excited that she called while Papa Denny, Mama Carol, Kevin (Chad's brother) and Bethany (sister in law) were here.
She got to talk to everyone. She is doing very good and is very happy.
That just made my Christmas complete. The kids on the night before Christmas looking all cute in their pj's.
Bethany is way to polite to say she has a favorite... for goodness sakes, I couldn't even get her to tell me what she wanted Santa to bring! I believe her favorite was her Nintendo DS games and her North Face jacket. She detested the blow dryer he brought (didn't even want it in the picture) but mom loved it because that means she can quit using mine!!

I know, I know! Santa has went overboard once again!! Someone is going to have to have a talk with that man. Colin's favorite was the bat cave. He spent hours on end playing with it. The picture is a little blurry. I think my camera is at the later part of its life. Hmmmm, maybe Santa should have bought me a new camera!


Dylan bug got a walker.. his legs are too short for him to touch the ground but I promise you he is so ready to take off. Grow legs!! Grow!!! He just looked in amazement as the other two tore into their presents;)



Friday, December 18, 2009

Sleepy Head

I am so tired today!
Dylan kept us up all night.
I am not sure if it is teething or the stuffy nose..
or both
but I pray we get some sleep tonight.
We tried Tylenol last night
but it seemed to just boost his energy
instead of giving him some relief.
I am so thankful for my husband
for taking shifts with me.
I was up until 2am
and Chad took the 2-4am shift.
I think he gave out sometime after 4am
and we got a little sleep
before getting up for work.
Oh the joys of parenthood:)
_______________________
I have also made the decision NOT to quit work right now.
I know, I know.. I am heartbroken over this.
There is nothing I want more than to be a stay at home mom.
BUT
let's face it
the economy stinks!
I have a good job with good benefits.
We are just not where we need to be in order for me to quit....
BUT
I will stay optimistic.
I will continue to pray for Chad a full time teaching position.
I will work really hard to pay down our debt.
AND
I will reevaluate things this fall.
Bethany is still being home schooled.
Chad is home during the week to help her.
I get to do special projects with her when I get home from work.
She is doing really well.
She use to hate to read and now she loves it:)
She is doing great in math but still needs to brush up on her multiplication tables.
She is learning so much about the East in History
and doing lots of projects.
We just finished China! She made a model of the Great Wall, learned to write 1-10 in Chinese Characters, and is a champ at Chinese Chess.
We love the Sonlight Curriculum.
It is very demanding but she is learning so much.
We are going to focus more on writing, spelling, and vocabulary this next semester.
Those are her weak spots.
So, we are hanging in there.
We are still struggling with the loss of Anna Li
but God will carry us through.
Tonight Chad and Colin is going to the movies
and Bethany, Dylan, and I are going Christmas shopping.
Tomorrow night Chad, Colin, and Dylan will stay home
and it will be Bethany and Mom's time
for the movies.
It was the only way to work it so we wouldn't have to have Dylan with us.
He just isn't crazy about the movies... too loud for his little ears:)
Tomorrow we have an eye appointment for Bethany...new glasses:)
Next week.. another hearing test for Dylan...
let's pray he passes this one!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dylan Bug is 3 months old







Well, he will be in about 2 more days but close enough!
Dylan is such a joy!!
He is very active.

He loves to laugh, smile, and coo.

He was 11 lbs at 2 months so we will have to wait for his checkup to see how much he has grown.

He LOVES to be held and walked around thanks to the girls!

We have made it 3 months without any sickness
minus the stuffy nose;)


He loves his Bumper Jumper.


He hates his swing and bouncer.


He loves music
and
He loves his mommy!






Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mission Fair @ FBC


We had such a fun time at church today! Last night Bethany and I baked lots of cookies for our Mission Fair at church today. The kids set up booths in the gym and sold their arts, crafts, and baked goods to raise money for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Bethany was able to donate $22 from the sale of her cookies. We had Mint Chocolate Chip, Brownie Bites, and Sugar Cookies.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bethany's 11th Birthday Bash

Oh what a night we had!!
5 little girls running all over the house.
5 little girls giggling.
5 little girls with their high pitched screams.
Oh what a fun night we had:)
Happy Birthday Bethany! I hope you had a wonderful night! Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate
These girls can put away some chocolate.
They had chocolate cake and a bag
full of chocolate candy bars.
Washed down with about 3 litters of sugary coke=
ONE wild night!
The girls created their own fashion designs and
put on a fashion show.
I can now say I have no garbage sacks, cling wrap, or aluminum foil.
They would have got the TP but there was only 2 rolls left...
That could have been disastrous;)



1 girl went home sick (probably from eating too much chocolate)
2 girls went to bed at 2am
and
2 girls went to bed about an hour ago (8:30am)
Uhhh, that would be Bethany and her cousin Kailey!
Pray for me today as I will have two very ill and grouch kids:)
Colin spent the night with his buddy Luke... wonder what time he went to bed??



We got a very unusual surprise this morning...
A beautiful dusting of snow on the grown.
Doesn't happen often where we live.
I had to take a picture to show the girls because I am sure it
will be long gone by the time the girls get up!



Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thanksgiving Pics (better late than never)!

This year we took our 2nd annual after Thanksgiving dinner walk in the woods:) It was a little sad not having Anna Li walking with us but I know she had a wonderful Thanksgiving with her new family AND she called and talked to us the next day. She is really doing great in her new environment. We are so thankful for her and her family. I can't say enough how much it means to have them in our lives.
Before you look at the pictures I want to share a few blogs with you. My dear sweet friend Vickie adopted a 13 year old about a year ago only to find out that her daughter had two biological brothers in China. She is now in the process of going back to adopt them (in the paperwork stage). Such a precious family click on their link and if there is anything you can do to help them out please do.
Another great blog to check out is
Myah and Emily were adopted around the same time from the same orphanage from two separate families. The two girls were really good friends and were heartbroken when they had to leave each other. Myah was chosen from the Make-A-Wish Foundation to have a wish granted and the two girls will be reuniting this weekend.
I have kept in touch with both families over the past year and they are both just really great people. Such a sweet story!
Enjoy the pictures:)
Chad and Colin
Bethany and Kailey



4 Generations
Mary Katherine (our Anna Li), we love you and we miss you BUT
we are so happy for you!
You are the sweetest little girl
and you deserve the best out of life.
See you this summer!



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Eve

I am enjoying my Beth Moore on-line Bible study so much!! (Thanks Jean, I would never have know this to exists if it wasn't for your blog!) It was just what I needed to heal from this difficult time. I do thank you all so much for your kindness, compassion, and friendship. It is going to be a tough holiday season for us but we know the Lord will carry us through. We have talked to Anna Li a couple of times and she is doing very well. We were so excited to discover the Nationals for AYSO is 10 minutes from Anna Li's house! We will be going there in July and look forward to visiting her and her precious family. Her new family has given her a new name. It is beautiful, just like her:) It will be Mary Katherine (if she doesn't change her mind again:)). It will take some getting use to but we do love it!

We are looking forward to our Thanksgiving feast tomorrow. I am praying my Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake turns out:) I feel truly blessed and have so much to be thankful for. It seems like Thanksgiving is the only holiday left that we can truly enjoy without being bogged down. Do you know what I mean? On Thanksgiving we can just eat and be merry:) We are surrounded by friends, family, and wonderful food. We get to spend the whole month reflecting on all that we have to be thankful.... that is it! No decorations, no gift giving, no shopping, no maxing out the credit cards. We just get to fill ourselves with joy over the blessings the Lord has given us. It doesn't get any better than this.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Reason, A Season, a Lifetime

A dear friend sent me a poem about people in our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I am not sure who the author is but I have pondered this poem for sometime as I let go of my daughter to give her true happiness.
Anna Li was put into my life for a reason. She changed my life forever and I will never look at things the same way again. She brought a joy into my life like no other. I love like I never loved before. I am changed.
I believe we were put into her life for a reason. We taught her love. We taught her family. We shared the love of Jesus with her.
She has overcome so much in the year we have had her.
We were her stepping stone...
to get her where she need to be
and now when I see her I see nothing but true happiness.
Anna Li was put into my life for just a season.
We shared, we grew, we learned so much about each other.
We laughed. We cried.
She has taught us more than we could ever teach her.
I knew from the moment I seen her face
that she was a gift from God.
She is an angel sent from heaven and she touches everyone that meets her.
Anna Li will always be part of our lives... forever.
We will never forget her.
We will always be here for her.
We will forever be tied to her and her new family.
I adore them so much.
God is good... even in our darkest hours.
I give Him all the honor, glory, and praise.
I trust Him with my life and
I trust His will for my life.
I will follow where ever He leads.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

2nd Day with New Family

I am getting so aggrevated with blogger! It takes FOREVER for me to load pictures these days. So, I did get one loaded to share... Last Sunday we spent the entire day together as a family. We knew it would be our last weekend with Anna Li. Chad was able to get off work and he went to church with us. After church we went to the park to have a picnic and took some picture. It was a beautiful day and we all enjoyed it so much. We ended the day going to see A Christmas Carol in 3D. Anna Li and Colin thought it was a little scary. Anna Li slept through half of it:) I guess she wore herself out at the park.

Today Anna Li is spending time with her new family but will come back to us tonight. It's a tough weekend for us and I ask that you continue to lift us up in prayer. Chad was having a hard time last night and I believe that Bethany is struggling with this as well. I am trying to stay strong for everyone but man I'm gonna miss her so much. I am so thankful she is going to such a good home. I wish you could all see how much she is loved by BOTH families:)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Meeting the New Family: Day 1

All I can say is we had a wonderful first day with the new family!
LOVED IT!
I love this family! Precious, precious, precious!!
Mom and Dad are GREAT
and the kids are SO SO ADORABLE:)
We went to the park and let the kids play and the adults talk.
Then, Anna Li left went with the new family to eat dinner and enjoy sometime with them.
I asked her when she got home what she thought and she said,
"THEY ARE GREAT!!"
and she is right... they are!
So, God is soooo good and I just want to shout it from the roof tops:)
I am going to miss my little stinker so much but
I am so happy and blessed!
Continue to lift us up in prayer.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Transition Plan

Wow, tomorrow is the day that Anna Li's new family arrives.
We are all full of so many emotions!!
We have established a wonderful transition plan for Anna Li
(subject to change per Anna Li's request).
The family will arrive late tomorrow night so our first official day of meeting each other in person will be on Friday.
Day 1: Our two families will meet with the social worker. We plan to meet at the park or somewhere fun for the kids so they can play and we can talk.
Day 2: Anna Li will spend the day with her new family
Day 3: Anna Li and her new family will be attending church with us. That afternoon we will have a special dinner for Anna Li. We will have grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins there to meet her new family and say goodbye.
Day 4 & 5: We will have the new family over for dinner.

Day 6: Anna Li will be leaving with her new family.
This will be such a special week for Anna Li to have both her families together.
She is very excited to have them attend church with us and we are excited to have them as our guest. Anna Li can not wait to show off her new siblings to everyone.
Anna Li is a little nervous about leaving but she is also very excited to start anew in Florida.
We thank you all for your love and understanding.
We ask that you continue to lift us up in prayer.
God is so good

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Season of Change

So today is the day that I share with the rest of the world the changes going on in our family.
I know it may be hard for some to understand and not all will agree, but I know in my heart that we are doing what is right no matter how difficult it may be.
Anna Li will be leaving our home and joining her new family very soon.
It was a very difficult and agonizing decision for us
but it was a decision made with Anna Li and not for Anna Li.
We love Anna Li with all of our being,
and she loves us as well.
We have made lots of progress over the past year.
It seems as each day goes by we get closer and closer to each other.
With that said, there is still a huge emptiness in Anna Li's heart.
She misses her country, her culture, the food, and the people.
Living in small town America limits the opportunities we can give to Anna Li.
I choose not to talk about the difficulties we have faced
in our small town, but you should know that there have been many.
Through the adoption community, we have found a wonderful Christian family
for Anna Li.
We have been in contact with them for several months.
Anna Li talks to them on the phone almost daily (sometimes for hours!!).
She will have 6 brothers and sisters adopted from
China, Columbia, Vietnam, and Guatemala and
ranging ages from 3-13.
She will also have some older siblings that are now grown and have families of their own
(Big Family!!).
She will have a sister that is 4 months younger than Anna Li and from China as well.
They are both able to speak in Mandarin to each other.
She also has a sister named Molly that is 12 from Columbia.
I believe that these 3 girls have so much in common
and will be a great source of strength and support for each other.
I have never seen Anna Li happier.
She is going to live in a larger city with a huge Asian population.
She will be around children that are like her and understand what she has been through.
She is going to have a sister and a brother from China,
and she is so excited about that:)
Anna Li has been nothing but a blessing to us.
We have learned so much from each other.
We have laughed, we have loved, we have shared many tears.
We feel the Lord has placed Anna Li in our lives for a reason.
We have learned so much about ourselves and others.
We feel the Lord has put Anna Li in our lives for a season,
to prepare her for where she needs to be.
Anna Li has a fresh start at life now...
knowing English, knowing what a family is, knowing what love is.
We have no regrets
We love this child and want the best for her in life.
If I knew then what I know now would I still do it?
YES, YES, YES
The Lord has given us such a special gift.
He allowed us to be part of her life.
HE gave us the opportunity to share the Love of Christ with her.
He graciously used us as a vessel to get her where she needs to be.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 2009

Happy Halloween!!! Anna Li was a cat.. meow:)
Colin as Darth Vader..
Bethany as Alex Russo (Wizards of Waverly Place)..
and
Dylan as my sweet little snow bear.

We had so much fun this Halloween, I really do have lots of pictures to share but here lately I haven't been able to upload pictures without getting an error. So aggravating!!
We went to our church's pumpkin festival Friday night
and
to my Mom's church on Saturday night
for a fall festival
then
back home for some good old door to door
Trick or Treating.
Mr. Dylan is growing like a weed:)
He is starting to smile and goo.
What precious days these are.
God is good.
Dylan's first Halloween
6 weeks and 3 days old




Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Apples, Soccer, & Babies

The kids had so much fun making Carmel apples. Anna Li decided that apples are not that bad when covered in a ton of sugary Carmel... she ate every bite (and she hates apples)! Colin LOVES apples but decided the sugary coating was much better... therefore only ate the Carmel. Bethany loving apples and Carmel enjoyed her pre-Halloween treat:) Soccer season is winding down and it has been a HOOT watching these 5 year old boys play!

Go Colin #6!!!!

Can't end the post without some adorable little babies!!!
Colin is so sweet to Dylan:)

Last is my adorable nephew Canaan!
Look at that sweet face!









Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Pickin' Day

Colin's Preschool Field Trip to the Pumpkin Patch Dylan in the hay

The hay ride

The boys



The girls "faking it" for the camera...
smile like you like each other..








Saturday, October 24, 2009

In Loving Memory of Matthew Loyd

Zack, Matthew, Ginger, Lexas, Jagger October 22, 2009 the Lord called Matthew home after a long battle with cancer.
He was survived by his wife: Ginger (my cousin) and threir three beautiful children Lexus (10), Jagger (6), and Zack(3).
Visitation was last night and the funeral will be today October 24 at 2pm.
Please join me in lifting this family up in prayer.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I Took His Hand

I Took His Hand and Followed
Mrs. Roy L. Peifer

My dishes went unwashed today,
I didn't make the bed,
I took his hand and followed
Where his eager footsteps led.

Oh yes, we went adventuring,
My little son and I...
Exploring all the great outdoors
Beneath the summer sky

We waded in a crystal stream,
We wandered through a wood...
My kitchen wasn't swept today
But life was gay and good.

We found a cool, sun-dappled glade
And now my small son knows
How Mother Bunny hides her nest,
Where jack-in-the-pulpit grows.

We watched a robin feed her young,
We climbed a sunlit hill...
Saw cloud-sheep scamper through the sky,
We plucked a daffodil.

That my house was neglected,
That I didn't brush the stairs,
In twenty years, no one on earth
Will know, or even care.

But that I've helped my little boy
To noble manhood grow,
In twenty years, the whole wide world
May look and see and know
.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New Blog... New Beginnings



Welcome to our family blog.

We feel at this time it is best to change from an adoption blog to a family blog

because that is what we are- a family.


We have huge changes going on in our family.

Some very difficult to understand

but through lots of prayer

we feel that these changes are for the best.


We hope to be able to share

with you these changes in the near future.

In the mean time, we ask that you lift us up in prayer

as we seek God's wisdom and strength.


******


The girls continue to enjoy being home schooled.

We have participated in a lot of fun activities recently.

Anna Li and Colin went to see "The Little Red Hen"

at the Children's Theater and loved it.

We also went to Camp Meadowbrook

All the kids made animal tracks and went on a hike.

Next week Bethany and I will go to see

"The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe"

at the Children's Theater.

Colin and Anna Li will be going to the pumpkin patch

with Ma-maw.

So many fun things to do and we are really enjoying

our time with each other.

We have made colored rice and play dough!

We hade a cooking night with the kids and made

homemade mini pizza's and cookies:)

Great days!!