Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer is here!

Father's Day.  Everyone together, everyone looking at the camera, everyone's eyes open.  Not bad.  That's no small task!  

My grand-kitty, Donut.  You can see her coloring better here.  Very pretty markings.

She's playful and entertaining, but she doesn't like other animals much.  It's pretty funny.  She's so tiny, and whenever Biscuit or Pizza or Lechay come anywhere near her she does this:

...  this little, barely audible hiss.  She's standing her ground all right!  It's very cute.  And it's hilarious to see Biscuit back down from her.  Biscuit, who is ten times her size, won't go near her; doesn't even like to look at her.  We can't even bribe Biscuit to get near her by putting her favorite treats down near Donut.   She'll just look over at her out of the corner of her eye and slink off.  Animal relationships are very interesting, and entertaining.

My beautiful Maggie.

And my lovely, lovely Hannah.  sigh....

This makes me happy.  No, it's not a party.  All those cars mean our house is full of people who love each other and belong.  

Candice and Canaan.  Every picture of Canaan with Candice, he's got this goofy, ecstatic look on his face like he can't believe he actually has a girlfriend.  I think he's glowing, don't you?  

Studying Pennsylvania and painting Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs.  They did a great job!

Those with no shirts on have paint on their shirts already.  

We are studying insects now.  Every time the kids are out studying something, Kiki is right there too.  She is so cute.  I love her interest in all that they are doing.  

I LOVE what Art did with our back deck!  He was flipping the deck to add life, and then decided to extend the steps, and add another set of steps on the other side.  He also brought it out about 8 inches.   It doesn't sound like much, but the final result has been so much more useful for me.  It's like a new deck to me!

I love that my kids enjoy nature so much.  There really isn't much of anything that they are afraid of.  They love to discover things, catch them, and study them.  They found this tiny frog out back.  It's so cute!!  

Kiki wants her turn at everything too!  (And just look at her gorgeous skin in the summer sun.)

Hello little froggie friend!

Look at my gorgeous little girl.  She has turned out so beautiful.  Look at those eyes, and those eyelashes, and that glowy, lovely skin!  

Ahhhh, my Sunshine-Lemonade-Singing-Canary-Rosebud-Lips-Miracle!  She loves her little cell phone and I come across her like this all the time.  Art gets phones because he works with testing cell phones and gets the cast offs.  They don't actually have service but the kids can play with them taking pictures, videos, recording each other, and playing games. The girls really love it!  

Laz got a new haircut under Windsor's supervision.  It's a little Mr. T, but great for the summer.  

Isaac's summer cut!

My joyful girl.

Daddy can still hold up his daughters.  He won't let them down!

Maggie playing with Donut.

She has beautiful markings, but Pizza still has prettier eyes.

Windsor is so much help.  Here she's sitting and watching Laz on the potty.  I don't usually have the patience for it.  She gives him a magazine and sits and waits.  :-)

And a Haitian dinner of fried plantains, some sort of fried root vegetable, and corn mush with epices.  All we need is some chicken gizzards.  

I thoroughly enjoy seeing my kids enjoy the summertime!  They play so hard, and swim in the pool for hours, and then relax with popsicles or ice cream.  Here Eden, Isaac and Maggie are warming up on the trampoline with some ice cream.

Then they went over and picked raspberries right off the canes to put in their ice cream.

We've had some really sweet raspberries this year!

Another homeschool activity.  We were studying Pennsylvania and read a book about Milton Hershey.  He made his fortune first with a caramel recipe he perfected!  We had to try our hand at making caramels from scratch and to my amazement, they worked!  They were delicious!

And that about wraps up June for us.  Halfway through the year.  How did it go so by so quickly?  Time to start planning the next Christmas card!  We are enjoying the beautiful weather, and getting out into it.  Things are a little less busy during the summer, but not much.  We are still doing schoolwork and gymnastics and music lessons.  We keep busy!  

Our paperwork was submitted this week for the Brothers.  Now we wait for travel dates.  We are praying all will go according to God's plan.

I love reading over the accounts of those who are in Eastern Europe now, and meeting their children.  I was particularly touched by one family's account this week.  They are adopting two little boys.  As they visited in the orphanage, a little girl sat beside the mom and said, "Don't adopt ____, he's a naughty boy.  You should adopt me instead."   Most children that we know who are growing up, it goes without saying that they are loved and wanted, even though we say it plenty to them anyway.  Can you imagine having a little girl sit next to you -- a perfect stranger to her -- who is so desperate to have a Mommy, a family, a home, a place to belong, that she would try to convince you to take her home?  The sadness of this just really impacts me.  This mom went on to say that many of the children at the orphanage asked her to please find them a family too.  There are children in this world who are begging to have one of the most basic things in the world:  a family.  Not a rich family, or a family of a certain size or in a certain place.  Just a family.  Just somebody to want them and to belong to.  What a basic right, that we take for granted.  Such a simple thing to provide for a child who needs it; something that YOU could provide.  Hear them sitting next to you, and asking you, "Can you please help find a family for me?  Couldn't you bring me home?"


Saturday, June 15, 2013

June and such stuff...

My gymnastics girls.  End of the year for this gymnastics season, and into the summer session.

Sisters telling secrets.  :-)  <3

Hannah practicing with Eden.

Canaan and Candice's new kitten named Donut.  :-)  She is really cute and curious.  You can't see it here but she has beautiful coloring.

Awww... my Sunshine,,,  sigh....

This was right before Eden's surgery.  She had surgery to remove the wires from her mouth, remove some excess tissue and bring up some muscle tissue, and to make plans for her next surgery.  She snapped back from this surgery amazingly well and we were allowed to go home the same day!  She was back to normal in no time.  The bone grafts in her palate all took well and her palate is pretty much completely closed now.  Plans are for her next surgery in about six months to work on a bone graft in the gum line.  This will be her twelfth surgery.  
And she never complains.

Goofing around.

The kids asked to go swimming.  They usually swim in the big pool, and I put Laz in the little turtle pool and add warm water for him to play in.  They asked to go swimming without feeling the water first.  It was cold!!  I looked out a few minutes later, and this is what I saw!  haha!  Turtle hot tub is where it's at.  

And guess who's home?





Windsor drove all day from South Florida to get here.  I was so impressed.  She hates that drive, but she stuck in there and made it all the way without stopping.  Boy were these little people EXCITED!  They had been counting the days.  Then when she pulled up, they could hardly contain themselves running out into the cul-de-sac to hug her!  

Silas, especially, loves Windsor.  Whenever she is gone, he is the one who is always talking about her, asking when she's coming back, and saying he misses her.  It's pretty sweet.

Windsor got here just in time for Kiki's birthday!   Kiki is five years old now!!  Amazing.  What a lovely little girl she is.   She is doing very well.  She just finished up her speech and educational therapies for the school year.  She was supposed to qualify for speech therapy for the fall, but I was just informed that because of budget cuts, they are not offering speech therapy to charter or homeschooled children.  Well, I won't get into what I think about that.   She has progressed very much with her few months of therapy.  She is now testing at a solid three to three and a half year old level.  This is progress, as she had been testing at half her age.  

Kiki is into M & M's.  So, we did an M & M cake, and she loved it.  

Somebody likes cake!

A new dress from Hannah.

One of her favorite gifts:   a Rapunzel doll from Eden and Maggie.  Canaan also bought her a bunch of hair things, and Rapunzel got a beauty treatment.  

Lazarus loves Maggie.  He can say her name very well, and it is understandable since she is very sweet to him and very patient.  She works with him almost every day, trying to teach him things, and she takes great care of him.   
We just received word that Laz was accepted into the special needs school we were hoping to get him into this fall.  It is supposed to be an amazingly good school, and he will get the ongoing therapies and teaching that he needs.  I am excited about this.  In his testing, he tested at a two year old level.  He has a lot of catching up to do.  I am excited to see how this may help him progress.  It does not start until August though.  

And here are a couple of bumper stickers that Hannah designed.  Please click on the BUMPER STICKERS page to read more about them.