Thursday, May 31, 2012


 We tried planting a garden in the Spring.  It looked good for the first few weeks, but eventually it all died.  I had helped the kids plant the vegetables in flower pots, the long rectangular kind.  What I didn't know was that there are plugs in the bottom of those, which must be left open for the water to drain.  Daniel says that's the reason the plants withered and died.  They drowned.
When Alicia was over the other day, she and Danya and some of the kids were digging around in the dirt behind the basketball goal in our back yard.  That's where we had thrown the left over seeds from our gardening project.  Apparently, some of the carrot seeds were hardy little things.  They survived and grew, somewhat.  They weren't very big, but the kids loved them.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Colorado Springs Vacation

 Just the two of us, a whole weekend away, no meetings to attend or work to get done.  Just us.  It was awesome.  We were waiting to take a trip like this until after the adoption was finalized.  It's so much simpler to hire an overnight babysitter when you don't have to follow the county's foster care rules.

It was great.  Daniel let me plan everything, but had final approval on some of my crazier ideas.  First we went to a castle because I've always wanted to see the inside of a castle.  It was interesting.  It had been a sanitarium and apartment complex and private residence over the years.

Then we went to the Cave of the Winds and took their lantern tour, which is a bit more adventurous than the standard tour.  We were really climbing through small tunnels and up slippery rocks while carrying oil lanterns.  Afterwards, I convinced Daniel to try the Wind Walker experience with me.  We just happened to pick one of the windiest days ever.  I was praying the whole time and clinging to each post like my life depended on it as I made it across each section.  Daniel said I made it look easy because I went fast.  That was grim determination to get it over with as quickly as humanly possible.

We also loved the beautiful resort that we stayed in.  It had everything from swimming pools to tennis and a private lake.  We rode several water vehicles that I've never tried before.  I panicked a bit in the canoe, though.  Those things just wobble way too much for comfort.  We played pool with strangers in the lounge and had chocolate and strawberries in our suite.  It was beautiful.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Youth Group Friend

 Danya and her good friend, Alicia, have been taking turns inviting each other to youth group.  Alicia lives just a couple blocks away from us, so she and Danya are always calling each other to do fun things together.

This night, Alicia joined Danya at youth group.  They played some crazy games, listened to a good lesson from Pastor Mark, and then shared a meal at Panda Express.

Danya had been praying and asking God for a close friend that would live near her for years before we moved to our current home.  If for no other reason, I'm really glad that we let Danya attend the local public school for a semester back in 5th grade, since she was able to meet Alicia.  She's a good kid from a Christian family who is also part of a foster/adoptive family.  They both enjoy music and reading and playing at the park.  It's like they were made to be friends.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Date Night

Movies and a walk.  Most importantly, time alone to relax, hold hands, and talk without having to worry about nine little ones for a couple of hours.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Spring Camping Trip

 Daniel and his parents took the kids camping for Mother's Day this year.  It was everything they hoped it would be.  For Jordan, Michael and Karyie, this was a new experience.  I love that they are making special memories with their grandparents.  I also love that I got to have the weekend to myself, even if I was very sick the whole time.

They took our big 'ole fifteen passenger van off roading a little bit.  They went for a hike and explored the caves and water falls.  They even got to check out a fish hatchery.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Picnic Pops Gone Wrong

 Danya's middle school band was supposed to have a concert and picnic outside of their school.  The weather forecast calling for rain changed their plans.  Although the night turned out to be cloudless and beautiful, everything was already set up in the gym, so they held it indoors.

Danya had some exciting music from Phantom of the Opera, Harry Potter, Star Wars and Indiana Jones.  She was very excited.  I only got to watch the first few performances, though, because I got a last minute invite to be a substitute for Bunco with my friends from church.  I've been hoping to be invited for YEARS, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to play for the very first time and find out what it was all about.

I had a great time.  It was so much fun.  Apparently, it's just a dice game where you toss the dice as fast as you can to earn points.  Mostly, it's an excuse for the moms to get together without kids and talk non-stop.  I hope I get invited again some time!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Unexpected Beauty

 While Daniel's parents were here we decided to have lunch and then find a nature trail to walk on.  I couldn't find a good parking place near the one I wanted to go to, so we drove through a random neighborhood and found this pond instead.  It had a pretty walking trail, a playground, and a community garden.  The dock was nice, too.

Soccer Camp!

 Our church does an annual soccer camp on Wednesday nights during the summer that lasts about six weeks.  This is pretty much the only sports program our kids participate in.  They really like it.  The weather was beautiful this year, so they got to spend almost every Wednesday outside.  I had fun walking around taking photos since I typically have a kid in every age group.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Foreign Exchange Student

Her name is Seokyoung.  She's from South Korea.  She plays the flute.  Those were the first things we knew about the young lady who will be traveling around the world to come live with us for a year and go to school here.  It was exciting and a little scary to agree to host a foreign exchange student when we first considered it.  Now that we are getting to know her  and her family a little more through emails and Facebook, it's starting to feel more real.

Unfortunately, the agency we met her through, Pacific Intercultural Exchange (P.I.E.), is having trouble with the U.S. state department, so they aren't able to issue student visas right now.  We're trying to quickly switch to another agency, but it's a slow process.  We've filled out all the info twice now and are preparing for a second set of interviews and home visits.  We're praying for her as a family and with our Sunday school class.  Hopefully, God will work things out so that she can still come and be a part of our family this year.

Watering the Neighborhood

God is good.  I know this because every time something awful happens, God provides a special person to help us fix it, usually for free.  When we had plumbing problems at our old house, God provided our friend, Jim, to help us fix it.  When our van air conditioning stopped working, God provided our friend, Chad, who volunteered to fix it and even bought us a new blower.  This time was no exception.

Not only did our sprinkler head break, but also, a man from the city showed up to tell us that we were wasting tons of water according to our meter, so we must have a leak.  Fortunately, God provided Daniel's dad.  Grandpa Wayne was visiting, so he was able to help us dig around the meter and find the leak.  He tightened something after digging through quite a bit of mud and fixed the problem for us.  I'm so glad, because we would have had NO idea how to solve it.  Daniel's dad was the head of maintenance for my school system for over a decade.  Sometimes I think there is nothing he can't fix.

Grandma Time!

 A visit from Grandma always means super fun craft time!  An all time favorite is marble painting.  Paper and paint in a box, then you roll the marble around inside to make cool designs.  The kids love it.

Sometimes the best fun is simple fun.  And, of course, everything is more fun with Grandma.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Dedicating Our Children

 We don't believe in baptism for babies since that is supposed to be a sign of the decision that a Christian has made to die to their old self and live as a new creation in Christ.  We do, however, believe in dedicating our children to the Lord.  What this means is that we are making a promise to God to raise our children in the knowledge of Him.  We are promising to do our best to be a Godly example to them.  And our church family is promising to help us in that task.  We are saying that our children belong to Him and we are promising to be faithful stewards of them since He has given us that great privilege and responsibility.

On May 13th of this year, we dedicated all our kids at our church.  I thought it was really neat that they allowed us to do that on Mother's Day.  Danya and Gloria are the only ones who had been dedicated when they were born.  We decided to go ahead and dedicate all the kids together this time.  We were so glad that Daniel's parents and Molly were able to be there with us.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

GREAT Grandparents!

 Grandpa Wayne and Grandma Nancy were so happy to see Molly and get to hold their great grandbaby, Alayna.  Each day they were here they asked when they were going to get to see Molly.  It's understandable, though.  She is incredibly cute.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Hair Extensions!

Elitch's Homeschool Day 2012

 We took advantage of the half price tickets for Homeschool Day at Elitch's this year.  Even though it rained off and on, it was a fun day.  Shannon and Luke joined us to help out with the kids.  We all pretty much got to ride everything we hoped to.  We haven't been to Elitch's in a few years.  Jordan said that she had never even been to a carnival, much less an amusement park.  Lucky her, she's going to get to go twice this year.  We're planning a trip to Frontier City in July!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Summer Soccer

 Our kids joined our churches annual summer soccer camp.  It lasts six weeks and is held on Wednesday nights.  I don't know if the kids are learning a lot about soccer, but I know they're having fun and memorizing scripture.  That's my kind of sporting event.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Science Fair Success

 Gloria and Danya entered their very first science fair this year.  It was a lot more work than any of us realized it would be.  Gloria's project was called "Is Black a Color?" and involved research and testing to see what colors black ink is really made out of.  Unfortunately, she wasn't very excited about the project, so getting her to work on it was like pulling teeth.

Danya's project was titled, "I Drank What?"  She tested several different water sources from distilled water to local rivers and ponds and compared them to the tap water from our sink.  She used a pool tester kit.  We knew she'd worked hard on it and did all but a little of the typing herself.  We were already super proud of her.  Then she showed us her first prize ribbon!  We were so excited I thought I would bust.  Her hard work definitely paid off.