Random December

It's that time again - time to get out the tree and the festive baubles.  No. 1 Son and I just had an arguments about the word bauble - he was sure it was borble.  Turns out he was right - borble is a legit word for bauble.  Who knew?

Anyway, it's time for some decorating around here:

Also - it snowed!  Zoe was soooo excited!  She wanted to go out and play even though it was 10 at night.  I figured she would spend a few minutes and give up, but she stayed out until we made her come in!

Too bad it's going to be so stinking cold for the next few days - it's not so much fun to play in icy snow.  But that may not stop Z and Z!


Two Years

Today is has been two whole years since we met Zoe in Nanchang.  I can't believe it's been that long, and I am so proud of how she has grown.  She is lovely, persistent, smart as heck and she talks so well she narrates her life.  Here are some pictures of the last two years to mark her progress:

Meeting Zoe for the first time.
She LOVED going fast!


Happy Birthday!

First Haircut
Bumblebee Halloween

Snow is fun, but I think I'll just watch the sledding

More exploring

Easter Girls

Zoe Loves to swing!
Hame with My Mama and My Daddy.

We are so very glad you are home, sweet girl!


What I'm Thankful For

It's time for a little blog update, and so I thought I'd take a little time and some pictures to express a few of the many things I'm thankful for.  I live a blessed life, and it's good to sit down and think that over every now and then, so here goes:

I am so thankful for my husband.  He is an amazing man, an adventurer, a great provider, and a loving dad.

On a retreat in Ireland

Parasailing over Lima, Peru

Next I'm most thankful for my amazing kids.  They are beautiful, fearless, loving and really cool.  I am so blessed by every one of them.

Drama Queen is busy with her Senior Year at her wonderful school.  She just received her first college acceptance letter, with scholarship money!  We are so proud of her!

Isn't she beautiful!
Photo Credit May Beth Manarchy

So thankful for a great boyfriend who treats her well!

No. 1 Son is busy with his Freshman Year at Foundations Academy (homeschool).  He does an excellent job being diligent with his work, while having a lot of fun acting with Spotlight Youth Theater and Overshadowed Productions, and playing bass in his band, Bright Abyss.

Paul Bunyan - with Backup Dancers

Terrorizing his brother as Abel Magwich in Great Expectation
For Halloween Bright Abyss played in costume.
The Artist continues to love all forms of art, but especially musical theater.  He's taking tap dancing lessons, and just made it on to the dance team at Spotlight.  He's also a great friend and amazing big brother.

Telling the tale of John Henry.

As Young Pip in Great Expectations

He and a friend as Bob and Larry - they swear they did not plan this.

Z-Man continue to grow in his interest of anything having to do with building.  He's firmly ensconced in the world of Minecraft, and learning about electricity in school.

At Machu Picchu

He's growing so much!

Zoe is growing and learning more all the time.  She is a delight, and loves, no demands to be the center of attention.

She has no problem holding center stage at all times.

Isn't she growing beautifully?

There are so many other things in my life I am thankful for - great friends, loving extended family, opportunities in our lives to thrive and serve and love on people.  I hope all of you are blessed today and every day.  Happy Thanksgiving!



Well goodness, the whole summer has gone by and we are well into the fall, and I'm finally getting around to putting up some more pictures on the blog!  I may go back and fill in some of the summer, but in the meantime let's just go forward, shall we?

A friend and I took the kids to an apple orchard about an hour outside Chicago.  It was beautiful!  Unfortunately Drama Queen had to stay home and do math and French for school.  The other kids had a blast, and it was an absolutely perfect fall day.

Isn't he getting so big and handsome!

Always the goofball

The Artist is so very good to Zoe.

Ponies!  Zoe LOVES Ponies!

They had this huge "jumping pillow" the kids loved.

Apple slingshot

How very blessed we are.



Today is a sad day for Zoe, though she doesn't realize it yet.  For about a year now a wonderful woman named Susan has been coming to work with Zoe, giving her physical therapy through Early Intervention.  Zoe LOVES Susan.  When she is sad or we won't give her what she wants, she will look at me and say "Susan coming."  It's become her security phrase.  And until today, I have been able to answer "Yes, Susan is coming."  But not after today.  You see, Early Intervention only goes until the child is three, and Little Miss turns 3 this Sunday.  And honestly, Zoe is doing so very well with her Mimi (her prosthesis) that she doesn't really need the physical therapy any more.

So this blog post is dedicated to Susan, who came and gave my little girl focused, loving, gently pushing attention for an hour each week.  Thank you!


A Blessed Easter

We were very blessed this Easter to spend time with lots of good people and good friends.  We spent Satuday with friends we have known since Drama Queen was only 9 days old, and Easter Sunday with new friends who invited us over to their home for lunch and egg hunting.  Sunday night The Man played drums for worship at our evening service, which is he going to be doing regularly, and then we went out for Chinese food with more old friends.  What a great weekend of community as we celebrate the freedom that comes from the Resurrection day.  Here are some pictures of my awesome kids from the weekend:

The baskets of bounty.

My beautiful girls

Lively discussions

Making hunting eggs cool.

He's so handome!


Happy Birthday Drama Queen!

My sweet little girl is 17 years old today!  Oh my goodness, it's gone so quickly!

We celebrated her birthday last night with Ice Cream Pie and presents.  Brown Cow makes an amazing Peanut Butter Cup Pie!

Zoe wanted to sit next to the Birthday Girl.  She knew there would be present opening to come.

These have to be the weirdest presents of the bunch - antique Bobble Heads.

In honor of my lovely daughter's birthday, I found some of my favorite pictures of her growing up.  Isn't she lovely!