Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Next Adventure Begins

 So tomorrow our next big adventure begins.  I thought I'd put off packing a little longer and update the few remaining pictures before we post from Europe.

 This child is awesomely lovely, is she not?

 And not only lovely, but hilarious.  Underwear and bathing suits don't always work together. 

 A few engagement pictures.

 And soon this photo will have two more faces.  What a joy and a privilege it is to embark on this journey to ransom two more boys and give them hope and a future.  Make no mistake, it is a long, arduous process, but love always means sacrifice.  It is an honor for God to have asked us to do this.  He must have known we would not say no. 

"Jesus said, 'If you love Me, you will do what I command.' He didn't say if you love Me, sing about it, talk about it, write poetry about it, think about it, pray about it. He said if you love Me, obey, do what I say. The only valid test of our love for God is obedience.   -Elisabeth Elliot

While I do not look forward to missing my little ones, and I do not look forward to the long travel, or being away from home, I can't wait to see these boys' faces as they learn that they are orphans no more, and that they have brothers and sisters, and a mom and dad, and that hundreds of people around the world have been loving them and praying for them for so long.  May God's hand be on them as they wait, and on us all as we storm the castle!  


Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Zoo, Apple Picking, and an Engagement!

Starting off with some pictures of my sweet sister girls.







Yes, they are best friends, and the best thing I ever gave my kids is each other.  May they never take that for granted, and cherish their relationships for their whole lives. 

And off to the zoo.  We haven't been in a couple years, and the kids just love to go. This was Laz's first time to the zoo.
I wasn't sure what she would get about the whole experience.  Having never really seen animals like that, would he understand what we were doing there?  But he got it.  One of the first exhibits he was smiling and pointing at the animals.
Canaan and Candice
 The playground is one of the highlights of the zoo, strangely enough.



My big ones love a playground as much as the little ones.  They've just got to climb to the highest part, just like when they were little.
Canaan pretending to feel bad because Hannah was able to do something he couldn't.  (I forget what it was now.)


Hannah doing a spontaneous backflip in the playground mulch.  Doesn't everyone?

Found these old, tired folks walking around the zoo, and they looked a bit familiar.  



 I thought this was a cute comparison of Canaan picking up Kiki at the zoo two years ago and then now.  She has grown so much!  She was such a chunky little baby, and now she is a big, beautiful girl!




And this was Laz's first day of school.  Although he had no understanding of what was happening, he did understand that something exciting was happening and that he was included.  He was excited and happy.  He has now completed two full weeks of school, and has done great.  He is really progressing at school, and is constantly engaged in various activities.  It has been a great experience so far for everybody.

And on Labor Day we went for our annual traditional apple picking at Haight Orchard in Reidsville.  They have dwarf apple trees of various varieties, and all the varieties we have had have been excellent.  The apples are good, but we go because it is really fun!

My lovely girl...

I just love to see her smile!

Mommy with Kiki.

Canaan with Candice



Daddy juggling apples.


Canaan helping Laz pick some apples.


Ah, my heart.  There's nothing I wouldn't do for these little girls.







Holding apples fail, but cuteness success!


Hannah pretending to like Biscuit.


We found that couple from the zoo out picking apples too.  Small world.

Three apples up on top; I must not let them drop.

Eden taking a picture of an apple with a phone.  I don't get it either Plank.

My K-pop Heartthrob.

This picture captures the sweaty, flushed, happy, hot kids!  Time to go home a peel apples!

Waiting for the school bus.  Some mornings he cries to say good-bye to everyone, but they tell me that as soon as they ride up the road, he smiles the rest of the way to school.  He also has been very happy at school. 

And when Laz is at school, we can get more schoolwork done at home too!
Canaan threw Candice in the pool....

Then he threw all the kids in the pool too!

They loved it!

So here was the plan, basically.  We decorated the whole dining room in white and pink and fancy things (as fancy as I have anyway.)  Maggie and Eden dressed up in their best princess dresses and we did their hair up.  Maggie wrote up the menu and decorated it.  The plan was for Canaan to pick up Candice on Saturday morning and tell her that the girls were planning a fancy brunch for her to surprise her.  Candice doesn't like surprises (or so she says) so he said he was telling her so she would know.  In actuality, the girls would start off pretending to have a restaurant, and would hand her a beautiful menu with all our brunch items written out on it....

Princess Accomplices...


Serving the sparkling orange juice.

When Candice turned the page in the menu to see "Today's Specials"  there were three pages which read:
and when she looked up at him, he was kneeling down with the ring box open and said,

At first she seemed to not believe it, and then it really sunk in.


She said, "Yes" by the way.


Very cute and happy couple.  Everyone deserves to have people be happy about their engagement. We pray God's richest blessings upon them both as they strive to discover God's role for them as partners in His Kingdom.