Monday, September 24, 2012

My Darling's Gotcha Day and Mommy's 40th B-day

  Happy Gotcha Day -- My Darling!!!

 I just have to share some pictures from that very first day --- in September of 2005

 She was SO scared!!!  AND SO very tiny -- only 11.5 pounds at 9 1/2 months.

 She had been ours for 4 hours -- she would NOT let go of the keys.  She had not made ONE sound or smiled.  Yes, I was scared, too!! Oh -- but she was just precious.

 I had to share this because this is just 4 days later -- could she be the same child?!  

Here she is TODAY!
Absolutely BEAUTIFUL -- inside and out!

This young lady has forever changed our life!  She is full of spunk!  She LOVES life.  She has a ready smile -- and a quick wit to make us all laugh.  She is ready to make me laugh after a long day at work!  She is SOOOO smart!  She loves to read and write stories!  BUT what I love the most is her compassion for others.  She is so willing to help those that need help AND so concerned with others less fortunate.  She has been the best sister -- willing to share EVERYTHING when BaJabs came and again when she got a older sister.    Yes, this girl can give me a run for my money -- drama, drama -- BUT God blessed us the day He matched her to our family!

So -- today we celebrate!!!
We celebrate this day she was placed in our arms for the very first time!  
We eat Chinese food -- decorate Chinese -- wear classic Chinese clothes -- drink tea -- and give a little reminder of China!

Some of our family comes to celebrate!
Chicken and snow peas, beef and broccoli, homemade crab rangoons, watermelon, hot and sour soup AND tea -- yes, most of us use chop sticks.

 When I was in China I purchased 18 Chinese items for me to give her for each of her Gotcha days.
This year she got a glass bottle that is painted with pandas from the INSIDE.  I actually got to watch the man paint this!  It is beautiful.  AND of course this is something that is a special art form in China.

she got a jade bracelet with all the zodiac animals.

All 3 of our Chinese Princesses on this special day!

We also celebrate my birthday!
Yes, I turned 40!

I do not feel any older than I did yesterday!  
It is really just a number -- 
All these kids really keep me going!

 The girls love watching me open gifts. 
Everyone made my day special -- even at work!

 One of my gifts was an Under Armour sweatshirt I wanted!  I was very surprised!  Along with the newest addition to my nativity set, a few gift cards to STARBUCKS, perfume, new shoes and some money.

 My mom made me cream puffs -- my absolute FAVORITE!!!  Yes, they are barley free -- so I CAN EAT THEM and NOT get sick!!!

I finished the afternoon holding this sweetheart.

Monday, September 17, 2012

JM singing

This is just a short post --
BUT had to do it :)

JM sang a duet for the first time during the PM service at church.
He decided to ask one of his friends to join him for the first time.
They picked the song out together -- practiced alone AND together!


finally, did it!

They sounded great!

AND they gave awesome praise to our Savior!

He is already planning on the next time ----
possibly with MD and My Darling!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

First Day of School

First Day of School for ALL 6 of us!!!

Another school year is upon us.  Another year to deepen and add to our knowledge, renew friendships and add new ones.  
Of course, another year of BIG schedules: driver's training, FFA, band, violin lessons, trumpet lesson, guitar, high school youth group, middle school youth group and Awana -- to name some.

BIG year of newness to our NEW one, Elizabeth.  This was REALLY her FIRST day of school :)

It is also a sad good-bye to summer and a big hello to fall -- although, today was SO hot!

A new school year to embrace our challenges and learn to make good choices


through it all 


Because we know easiness is not always an option but our attitude is!

4 of the 5 kids started new schools today.
After MUCH prayer and thoughtful effort we decided to withdrawal our children from private school and enroll in our local public school.


YES, we are totally at peace about the decision ----


If today is any indication of how the year will go -- 
Well, I'm thrilled we trusted God's leading.

MD -- our high-schooler
JM -- our middle-schooler
BOTH get on the bus early!
School begins at 7:35 am for both of them!

BOTH boys have pretty good schedules.  JM is learning to navigate a much larger school, have 6 different teachers AND a locker with a lock.  He actually LOVED it!
MD is my only child returning to the same school he attended last year -- and he had a great day!  His first tri schedule is good but there are still some things to iron out in his other tri's.

MOM leaves at 7:30 am as my school beings at 7:55 am
I am beginning by 19th year of teaching.
This is my 3rd year as 6th grade Language Arts teacher.
This year has some new challenges BUT is still showing promise to be a GREAT year!!!

The 3 girlies.
My Darling and Elizabeth are starting 2nd grade -- TOGETHER.
BaJabs is starting 1st grade.

They get on the bus much later than the boys as their school starts at 8:35 am.
TODAY, daddy was wonderful!!!  I miss out on 1st day activities EVERY year.  BUT daddy always gets to make special memories with them AND he takes great pictures to document it for ME.

 In front of their 'NEW' school.

 All 3 holding hands going into the school.
Yes, this warms this mommies heart.  The really stick-up for each other and help each other out!!!

 By their lockers -- 

  Elizabeth and My Darling with their new teacher Mrs. A.
We met a week ago to discuss Elizabeth's needs AND I instantly felt at ease with this teacher.  She has brainstormed ways to work with her and help with transitions.  She went out of her way at open house, contacted extra support for her, and emailed me about their day!
The girls had a fabulous day!
When MD got the girls off of the bus, Elizabeth said, "Mrs. A -- she good!!"  She LOVED her day --- school isn't so bad!
My Darling said, 'It's going to be different than my old school -- BUT I like it!!! AND I LOVE my teacher!'

 The girls at their desks -- YES, for the first couple weeks they will be next to each other.  My Darling is a great helper BUT the other kids at the table helped Elizabeth as well.  Once Elizabeth gets used to the routine she will choose other friends, as well!

BaJabs at her locker.

BaJabs with her new teacher Ms. P
AND yes, I'm thrilled with this choice as well.  I did not know the 1st grade teachers very well and went with a recommendation.  BUT after I met her, she is really a GREAT match for our BaJabs.
She is VERY helpful, loving and motherly.  AND this is something BaJabs continues to need!!

Thank-you Lord!!

BaJabs at her table spot. 

All 3 girls rode the bus home.  
The bus went past our stop -- and had to back-up EVEN with MD standing at the stop waiting!
The girls thought it was funny :)

They had lunch and crashed!

Please join us in praying for our children!

  1. They would make GOOD choices!
  2. They would find and make GOOD and lasting friends!
  3. They would be protected from evil!
  4. They would learn what is expected and have FUN doing it!!!
  5. Elizabeth would be blessed to EASILY grasp the English language.
Our plan is to have an AWESOME school year!
It will NOT be perfect --
I'm sure it will have trials, changes, growth, tears AND fun!

P.S.  Many of you ask about the girls clothes -- all 3 picked their outfits this year!  I found Elizabeth's online (I did NOT make it).  I love the girl in the bus -- she is Asian.  I had someone make BaJabs' '1st grade Rocks' upcycle dress AT her request.  I LOVE it and thankfully, she did, too!  My Darling picked the '2nd grade is a Hoot' and I made the ribbon jean skirt to match.  Honestly, I think they looked adorable and their outfits really matched their personalities -- AND they chose them!