Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Fun Day at Tiger World

The kids were out of school on Friday and Olivia has a project to do on how animals take are of their young so we decided to take a trip to a new place - Tiger World.  It is a really neat place about 30 minutes from here that takes in rescues, injured animals and animals on verge of extinction.  The lions, tigers, leopard, jaguar - all the cats were gorgeous.  They even had some cubs that were adorable.  Olivia is actually doing her project on one of the monkeys they had there because the baby, was with its mom.  They had a baboon that had the kids hysterical, he put on  a real show. A neat place.  Here are some of my favorites.
Allie, Jonathon's girlfriend, and Grace watching the baboon

 My absolute favorite of them!
The whole gang.  My friend Jeni and her two girls came along with us too.

 Allie taking Olivia for a piggy back ride
Jonathon had two girls along for the ride, Grace and my girlfriend Jeni's daughter Karissa

This was another one of my favorites. The kids look so happy and Jonathon and Allie look a little too natural!

an adorable couple

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Good the Bad and the Ugly

The past month has a been a blur, you know one of those periods in your life you sit and reflect on afterward and whether it was good, bad or ugly you know without the hand of Jesus gripping a hold of yours you could not have made it?  Let's see just to hit some of the highlights that I can share, there are more but to protect some I am going to leave it at the list below:
1.  Grace had an allergic reaction to a bug bite and her whole calf turned blue - yep a trip to the peditrican and a round of antibiotics which she is still taking.
2.  Logan had two teeth repaired that he broke in a swimming pool accident and came home that afternoon after the dentist appointment and fell on his ripstick and broke his collar bone.  He just came out of the sling but is not released for physical activity and lost his fall baseball season.
3. Some unnamed battles with some of my boys - a battle that required much spiritual sweat, a battle we haven't won yet, but I know the ending and I am holding on to that truth!
3. My aunt passed away suddenly at the age of 63 which has rattled my uncle, her two sons and granddaughers as well as the rest of the family.  I was asked to speak at this funeral.  It was an honor and God moved but it was an emotional time.  A time though where heaven invaded earth.  The funeral was the same day that I came home from our retreat.
4.  Which brings me to the good.  God moved in an incredible way no matter how many arrows Satan shot my way this month.  I still picked up my sword and battled.  God showed up in such a powerful and personal way and blew our minds with how "crazy" he was, radical, just sold out in love with his daughters.  We had 37 women attend.  Women from their 20's to 60's; 15 different churches; 8 different denominations; several unchurched; all coming together as the body of Christ.  All touched by the hand and heart of God Almighty.  God took me upon the mountain this weekend and allowed me to rise above the valley where I had been, filled me up and set me back on solid ground to continue to walk this season out.  I am in awe of Him!  Testimonies and pictures to come soon to our website,  Our next retreat will be in the Spring of 2013 for teen girls 13-18. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Melted My Heart

Okay so Donna Laurie the Director at Eagles Wing where Olivia lived in China posted this video today.  It was a video she put together of all the children adopted this year with pictures of them now that they are with their forever families.  This was to show those that loved and cared for our children how well they are doing...So touched!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

It's That Time of Year Again

We hit the field again this weekend for the beginning of th fall season of baseball.  I only have Christian this season since Logan still healing from his collar bone break.  Christian's playing on two teams though so we still stay hoping.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Ballerinas

I decided this year to let the girls try dance after experiencing gymanstics for 2 years for Grace and Olivia a couple months.  This will let Olivia's back be fully healed and just give them exposure to something new.  They were so excited. They are even in two different classes due to age and had no problem with that eithr.  So precious.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Our First Sleepover

Lily had her first sleepover with the girls this weekend.  They had a blast!  Build a Bear Birthday party for a friend - and yes my Grace did pick out the Captain America costume for hers!

and bed....

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lazy 5 Ranch

My sister and I took the little ones out to the Lazy 5 Ranch this week.  It was a fun time.  We laughed so hard at the kids reaction to these animals.  Moments of panic and fear to squeals of excitement.   Normally we do the wagon ride through the park but there was a 2 hour wait today so we decided to drive through ourselves.  For those of you that haven't heard of the Lazy 5 it is a privately owned and operated park where they raise exotic animals.  They have over 750 animals from 6 continents. These animals can be viewed by horse drawn wagon or from your own vehicle while traveling along a 3-1/2 mile safari ride.
The purpose of the Lazy 5 Ranch is to educate while entertaining as well as provide an excellent environment for reproducing some of God's most unique creatures and helping the recovery of several endangered species including the Grey Zebra, Scimitar Horned Oryx and Ring-tailed Lemur.


look at the baby

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Guess Who Started Last Year of Preschool?

Grace started pre-school this week.  She was very excited to go back.  I can't believe this is her last year before she starts the big Kindergarten.  One in her last year of preschool and one in his last year of high school.  Wow right?  I think I am just going to choose to enjoy them right where they are at and savor this year with all that I have.  Gosh I love this little girl.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fisher-Waite-Leonard Reunion

So we were blessed to travel not only once but twice with Keith and Shelly Leonard. You journey like this together you get close.  These two are so dear to us and so are their children.  Our hearts connected in China to our new children and to each other.  They were on their way home from Disney World and on their drive to Maryland stopped in North Carolina at our house to visit.  What a blessing!

 We met Francesca in 2010 when we got our Grace and she traveled with her parents to get her brother Benjamin. 
 As you can see she fit right in with our boys and next time she is going to stay with us for a while, can't wait!
These two Grace and Benjamin came home in 2010

 Grace and Annabelle met in February over this year when the both traveled to China to get their sister and brother
 Fred, Keith and Guy - some great dads
My sister Kelly and dear friend Shelly

My absolute favorite - 8 kiddos - once orphans now home with their families forever!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Party Time at the Splash Pad!

We celebrated Grace's birthday party this year at Village Park. It is a really nice little park in town that has shelters you can reserve, a playground and the big hit - a SPLASH PAD!  She had a great day.
Good times as Grace hit the slide

 Grace, Lily and Liam enjoying all the water spouts
This was one of Grace's favorites - shooting others with water.
Olivia and her friend Karissa; Olivia loved this.  This was her first time at a Splash Pad and she kept telling me how much she loved it with literal squeals of excitement.

 Grace trying to stop up the water spouts with her fingers
Olivia - this is so much fun

 Grace in the midst of the fountains
 Surprise surprise - Cars cake right
 Some of our friends
More of our friends

 Happy Birthday 4th Birthday Grace!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Happy 4th Bday Grace!

Things have been crazy busy around here but I am finally getting around to posting some birthday pictures of our beautiful Grace.  Grace turned 4 on August 25!  She is getting so big.  Took her for her 4 year old check up as well and she is in the 50% for weight and 90% for height.  Who would have thought we would have a tall Chinese little girl.   She is doing so well.  She even went ahead and knocked out her Kindergarten shots early.  Get this when they did her her vision test and and had the special glasses on and got down to the small shapes...she takes her glasses off and says to the nurse as if she is crazy "I can't see that!?!?!"  Then during the hearing test she put the headset on and told her to raise her hand when she heard the beep.  Well as we all now that beep gets fainter and fainter. Grace says "Hey turn it up" . Like if you want me to raise my hand when I hear it why do you keep turning it down.  The nurse and I were hysterical. This little girl keeps me on my toes and laughing a lot! 

 Present time
 It wouldn't be a party for Grace without Cars!
 and more Cars...the girl loves Cars still.....

and stuffed animals. Grace and Olivia play doctor and school a good portion of every day with all their stuffed animals.  They are a hoot to watch.  So Build a Bear is one of their favorite spots.  Check it out she got roller skates and a leash to take her cat for a walk.

 Grace chose Chuckee Cheese again this year for her birthday dinner with our family, my parents and my sister and her family.  The girls love Chuckee!
 Don't you just love her facial expression, like oh yeah - score - remote control Lightening McQueen and other Cars stuff from Nana and PawPaw
 And Aunt Kelly's present was a hit too...
 My girls love Doc McStuffens.  After Olivia's surgery playing doctor has been a favorite thing to do so when they found this show they loved it.  Since new on the market not much out there yet other than the dvds which Kelly got her but she made a Doc McStuffens kit with homemade labels and a "Doc McGrace" label.  Then my creative sister made a skirt for a lamb and put a bow in her hair and made her "Lamby".  Love it!
 the girls riding the virtual roller coaster - look at the intensity
It was a great day!  Happy Birthday Angel!