Monday, December 31, 2012

Finishing out 2012...

We've been chopping a lot of wood, especially when our heater went out.  Hannah can chop as much wood as a man.  Not sure if that's a selling point or not.

No, she's not chopping with the wrong side of the axe; she's splitting.  I also love this picture because look at Isaac in the background.  That boy will make a gun out of anything!

Widsar's turn.  (Notice how far back everyone is standing.)

Maggie's turn.  She wants to be like Hannah.  She did a great job!  Better than I could do!

"I did it!"  A look of satisfaction for a job well done.

The boys with their little axe.  

LOVE my boys!!

Too cute.  And is that Silas going to be a handsome man or what?


Oh how Silas loves that cat.  Technically still Canaan's cat, but Canaan has given in to saying Pizza can be partly Si's.  Si feeds her and takes care of her and Silas's bed is the only one that Pizza will sleep in regularly.  Silas is just such a sweet, gentle soul; I think Pizza just really trusts him.  And he loves her.

Dancing with Windsor!!  "You don't know you're beautiful!"

Hannah at her art desk working on another shirt.

Hannah asked for metallic markers for her Christmas stocking.  She loves them.  Later that day I saw this lying on her desk.  Just a little metallic dragon doodle. 

Widsar and Hannah set up a human agility course and we all tried it, while Silas was the official timer.  It was tough!!  I think I was the slowest.  And it was really cold out.  (You wouldn't know it by how everyone was dressed.  Three were in shorts, and I don't think anyone but me had a real coat on.)

Hannah motivating Maggie!

30-something degrees out.

Canaan was cleaning out some of his things and found all his old Bey Blades.  The kids had a blast.

Widsar doing Maggie's hair on Sunday morning.

It is really hard to get a good picture with all eyes open and everyone smiling and looking forward.  Hopefully we will be taking a new picture soon with our new brother!

Hannah did a photo shoot with Widsar and pretty much every picture turned out so well.  She is so photogenic!  Here are a few shots.

Our beautiful girl!

Happy New Year to all!!

Welcome New Year

He rises and heads towards the door
As many times he's done before
He pauses to set down his cup
While each head in the room looks up

Some gasp and fly across the room
And plead, "Why must you part so soon?
You leave with things we've held so dear,
Loved ones, and health, and youth and cheer."

Others gladly push him out
"Good riddance!" Off with you!" they shout.
Out with the old, on to the new;
So much to earn and learn and do.

A few of us but calmly stand
Reach out and firmly clasp his hand.
"You've brought me grief and struggles, tears,
Brought me to my knees with fears,

"Yet through it all have taught me much
Of faith and mercy, strength and love,
What truly counts, who truly cares,
That wheat can grow amidst the tares.

"You take with you, I must resign,
Nothing that was really mine.
In turn I've found, with gratitude,
Joy is not to be pursued,

"But when we forfeit our demands
Slips gently by, and takes our hand,
And opens up our eyes to see
There's so much more to life than me."

We nod our heads, the door pulls to.
A silence settles cross the room.
And then a knock, the door swings wide
A new foot cross the threshold strides.

We greet him each in our own way,
Some greedily, some with disdain.
I smile and murmur, as he draws near
"Stranger, you are welcome here...."


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas and Other Happenings...

Making Christmas cookies.

Kiki did really well!  And she loved it.

I did not get the best photo of this (there's a reflection I didn't realize) but this is what Hannah and I made for Granny for Christmas this year.  I drew the portrait of Pop, and Hannah made the cut out border, then I framed it.  "See you later Pop," is significant because this is what Maggie said as she watched the hearse drive away at Pop's funeral.  Still chokes me up.  We want Granny to always remember that it's not good-bye, it's just see you later.  We will see him again.

Hannah was asked to design shirts for her Taekwondo school.  She created about ten designs and the students and parents voted on them.  Here are three of the final products.  I think they turned out great!  She learned a lot about design, and working with a shirt printer who doesn't always understand what you're trying to do!  

My birthday.  And a picture of me where I don't look horrible. I guess at 48, I could certainly look worse.  

Love Eden's expression here.  She was sooo excited about what she got me.

Eden and I both love owls.  This is an owl that melts wax in the top to smell nice.

Lots of love from all my kids.

Christmas Eve.  All the stockings are laid out by the tree.  I started making these big stockings when the first three were small.  I like the big stocking because I can usually fit everything for each child in their stocking.  The gifts under the tree are things that they got for each other or from other people.

Lazarus's stocking is all made and ready.  All I wanted for my birthday was for his visa to be issued so that we could go and get him.  If all had gone as it should, we would be on the plane to Ghana right now as I write this.  It is very difficult knowing that children suffer because people in agencies and governments and all those who ought to be advocating and protecting these children and expediting their homecoming in every way humanly possibly, just don't.  I will never understand it.  There is nothing I would not do to help someone else bring home their child, weekends, holidays, or the middle of the night.  This boy should have been home weeks ago.  And on Christmas Day, he sat in his little umbrella stroller in a miserable orphanage across the ocean.  We do not know when we will be able to get him.  Right now it's just waiting for people to get around to doing their jobs. My heart breaks for him and for all the other children being held hostage by red tape and apathy.

Twas the night before Christmas!

My happy kids!

6:00 am Christmas morning, waiting on the stairs for the word "go!"  Whose idea was it to make the wake up time 6:00 am anyway?  I just went to bed four hours ago!

Kiki got a little magnadoodle and she loves it.

Widsar's man.

Hannah, delighted to get a purse size bottle of Febreze.

In the "go figure" department, the big hit of all the stocking stuffers and presents were these dragons.  Hannah had collected dragons as a girl, and had saved a box of some of her favorites.  She got it out and picked out one for each of her little brothers and sisters, and man do they love them!  It might have something to do with the fact that she just read them the Hobbit too.  

Maggie made a "box for special things" for Hannah.  She made it entirely by herself with craft items she found in the craft supplies, and painted the box orange, Hannah's favorite color.

Delighted faces opening up video games Uncle Jake sent!

Well, sometimes no caption is necessary.