Monday, December 29, 2008

Keep Praying Him Home

We received this smiling picture of our handsome son as a Christmas gift from Kez. We are so happy to hear that he had a nice Holiday in Haiti. He even went to the beach! Hooray!!! He's looking so grown up. Please keep praying our sweet son home!

Moments From Our First Family Christmas

There was a whole lot of eating, laughing, playing, gift giving, swimming, watching snow, singing, looking at lights... the list goes on and on. It was a wonderful Christmas! The only way it could have been much better was to have had Jacques with us too. Hopefully we will be together next Christmas and then every Christmas after that for many years to come!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Very Merry 1st Christmas (Early)

This morning we decided we would open our gifts to each other a little early instead of taking them to Arizona with us. It was so fun to have a special 1st Christmas morning alone at home together. I can still hardly believe that 6 of our kids are together this Christmas (still missing sweet Jacques) and yet at the same time it feel completely right that they would be here.

(Please excuse our just crawled out of bed looks...)
The first present is one for everyone to share.
A new WII game system. And the crowd went WILD

Lovebug opens her first ever Christmas present!

Luke is ready to take on the challenge. Doesn't the kid on the cover kind of look like him?

Oh Johnny... Always the funny and expressive one! He loves his Mario Kart.

I think Jude is just pleased not to get dolls again. ;) He kept asking me what he was getting for Christmas and I just kept telling him more dolls. Seriously though... Last year we held a fund raiser to take a Playstation 2, games, and a huge DVD collection for entertainment to the kids of HFC. The favorite game of the boys ended up being FIFA soccer. Jude recently shared with me that he never got to play it much because the big boys would only let the little boys play if they paid them with food. I was so disappointed to hear that the older boys had used this gift in this way. :( So now Jude has his very own FIFA game and can play it all he wants. Yeah Jude!

Kyle got the game he wanted too!

Our future amazing Chef got the Cooking Mama game. Now she can cook all she wants without messing up our kitchen. ;) It also will teach her how to make new foods~ just perfect!

The kids all good heartedly share in opening another gift for them to all share.

Oh Deer! Jim gets a gag gift that is a reindeer candy dispenser that dispenses round chocolate candy pieces from... well, the rear. Yes Gross but it made him laugh.

Lovenie dolls herself up with her Tinker bell trunk of costumes. She's so precious!

I got so spoiled with the perfect gifts from my husband and several of the kids even used their own money to buy me beautiful presents. So sweet.

What a beautiful pre-Christmas morning!

Tomorrow we load up in the van and head off to Arizona for Christmas with Jim's family! What fun. We wish you all a VERY VERY Merry Christmas!!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Retooning the Nativity


Update On Jacques

Last week I just couldn't take the no news anymore so wrote the agency/orphanage staff and asked them if there has been any change with our paper work to adopt Jacques. Nope, nothing... still stuck in IBESR. That makes 6.5 months that his paper work has sat in their office now. :( Really missing him!!! The good news is that internet is said to be up and running again at HFC so maybe we will get an email from him again soon.

Last week at church I sat near and spoke with a man named Jacques that is from Haiti. I was nearly in tears the whole time. Both comforted by the thought that one day our Jacques will be here with us, sitting next to us in church, and saddened by the fact that he is not yet here.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

135 Months Of Joy

Romance is still alive and well around here as we celebrate another Monthiversary. I've mentioned before that we celebrate monthiversaries on every 17th (another month of marriage) and 18th (another month from our first date). Today we celebrate 135 months together!!! A whole lot of great months! It's kind of our special days each month and a time to remember how very blessed we are to have each other.

Darling, Happy 135th Monthiversary to you too. The roses arrived and are gorgeous. Thank you, Thank you! And the card.... Oh, so easy to remember why I love you SOOO much. No doubt I hit the husband jackpot the day I married you. Hurry home safely to us tomorrow. We all love and miss you.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Kids Spa Day (at home)

Our children have been absolutely delightful these last few days. They have jumped in and helped with cleaning without even being asked. They have been thoughtful to each other. The bigger kids have been helping with their littler siblings. Just sweet sweet sweet.

So today to thank them I arranged a spa break for them when their school and chores were done. I sat them in a circle around a big tub of warm bubbly water to soak their feet in and served them warm chi latte tea. When they were done with that that were served M&M's. Afterwards the big kids gave the paraffin wax a try on their hands. They were challenged by putting their hands down in the hot wax and then thrilled to peel it off after it dried. To wrap things up I went around the circle drying their feet and rubbing in some cooling watermelon foot lotion that they all liked. I was really surprised HOW in to it they all were. They thanked me many times and repeated over and over about how much they loved it. I guess nearly everyone likes to be pampered, regardless of age. It was a joy to do with them and see their cute reactions to everything!

Jude checks out his white wax covered hands
The boys wait while the wax works it's magic on their hands. Our kids have the softest hands and sweetest smelling feet now!

Stephanie just got home from school and we reset the spa supplies and she got her very own spa time and loved it too.

Monday, December 15, 2008

More Wonderful Memories Made

So it's been a week since I last blogged. Usually that is not a good sign and means I don't have something nice to say. ;) It's been a real tough last couple of weeks with one of our kids. So I'm happy to say that the sun is shining warmly on our family again so I can blog some happy moments!

This week I am single parenting. Jim left right after church service yesterday. When we said goodbye to him I mentioned that I would probably just take the kids home and relax. Yeah right! I sincerely meant it but we all should know by now that if I PLAN to do nothing the rebel (yes, even rebelling against my own ideas, weird right?) in me comes up with spontaneous outings and big days. I'm glad it did yesterday because we ended up having a much needed sweet day together!

When leaving church and heading home (you know.... like I thought I was going to do), the kids saw carnival rides as we passed by a beautiful and fun place called Tom Farms. Oh, I couldn't resist... the car made a u-turn nearly without any help from me and it took us back to go and indulge in a little fun. The kids were so excited!! Below are some pictures of the great fun we had. It is interesting that when I go on outings alone with the kids people seem to notice us more. I think it is the 1 adult to 6 kids ratio. We had so many people ask us questions about our family and we were shown a lot of kindness from strangers. The most common comment from yesterday was "Are ALL these kids yours?". Oh, if I could only figure out how to make money off that question we would be RICH RICH RICH!

Photo op moments:

Train ride:

Super Sliding:

Boat riding in just Lovenie's size:
Pony rides:

I was excited and amazed when Lovenie got on and rode the pony. Just a couple of months ago she would scream and scream at the sight of them.

Petting zoo: (Lovenie and Luke are both freaked out by animals and wanted nothing to do with this)

What a sweet day. It didn't end there as the fun continued on at home... but that is another post.