Monday, July 29, 2013

Wrapping Up Summer Vacation

We are wrapping up summer vacation around here.  It hardly seems possible school starts in about 2 weeks.  I feel bad for the kids because some of their summer plans were cancelled because of all the rain we had.  I am not complaining from my cheap, accountant mindset (I'm thinking FREE irrigation and a nice, green lawn all summer!)

On Friday we had a fun time with some new friends that moved to the area.  God always knows just who you need and when you need them.  They are also a fellow adoptive family so they truly "get" what all the changes are and struggles we all have as adoptive families.  Our kids got along real well together and had a blast. 

Our girls found a turtle down the street a few weeks ago and he's still living in our back yard.  He enjoys swimming in our pool.  Haley enjoys swimming with the turtle in the pool.  It's like we have our own aquarium. 

Miss Haley helped me mop my kitchen floor Friday morning. I never turn down good help!!  A few weeks ago I bought the new mop and bucket and Haley says, "No offense, Mom, but you look like a maid with that mop and bucket." I had to laugh.  She's such a goof.  She wasn't degrading maids.  I am always saying, "Pick up such and such.  I'm not your maid." And she added, "No offense" to the beginning of her sentence because she didn't want to sound disrespectful, but maids do carry around mops and buckets.

This past weekend we went back-to-school shopping.  Last year I was overwhelmed by the kids "ganging up" on me 3 against 1 when I took them shopping alone.  I usually cave when they ask for the more expensive things they really, really want (I will make a wonderful grandmother because I will spoil my grandbabies rotten...and it's a good thing none of my children are only children because they'd be ROTTEN).  We really cannot afford that this year, so I brought along Dad.  He has no problem telling them no to anything.  I read off the list, Tim found the cheapest item and the kids just watched in awe at how well the system worked....I'm sure secretly they were wishing it was just Mom taking them shopping so they could get the cooler items they wanted. ;)

Let me just tell you it is NOT CHEAP sending your kids to Christian school.  We have to pay tuition, books, registration fees, school supplies and very specific and hard-to-find uniforms.  Our pockets hurt since for whatever reason our kids keep out growing their clothing at a ridiculously fast rate! 

I am very apprehensive about this upcoming school year.   I dread working for hours on homework each night with the kids.  I really wish they'd just get all their work done during the school day.  I'm hoping for no drama as Kylie starts back 5th grade in traditional school (instead of home schooling).  That'll be a bit of a transition for her.  We are hoping for a really good year though.  I keep repeating, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." Philippians 4:6

Please continue to pray for our family.  We have a few things on our heart we continue to need our prayer warrior friends to pray for.  As God answers, I'll be sure to post on this blog the answered prayers.  Thanks so much!

"No offense, Haley, but YOU look like a maid with that mop and bucket."

Hardly looks like $320 worth of school supplies, but it was...and every
item was on sale...Thankful God provided a reimbursement to Tim just in time
for back-to-school shopping!

The turtle and some of the kids

Lots of little swimmers; so thankful for sunshine FINALLY

Kylie and her much fun

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Happy 12th Birthday, Katie!

Happy 12th birthday to our first born daughter, Katie! I love your passion for living life to the fullest & your drive for perfection. I love your teachable spirit. I love your laugh & sense of humor. I love your leadership qualities & how you enjoy helping out around the house. Most of all I love your discipline & desire to read God's Word every day and to obey it. I love you SO much!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, as a birthday surprise we worked on painting and organizing Katie's bedroom while she was at camp.  When she came home from camp she had been throwing up on the bus, so her reaction was not as enthusiastic as we had hoped.  However, now that she is feeling better she has been very thankful and has said how much she loves her new bedroom over and over.  She is always a very thankful child.  Our sweet girl thanks us for dinners that she doesn't even like, and she has probably thanked us 30 times since she's been home for her bedroom.

We are truly blessed by our Katie Bug.  She is a delightful child who has kept me on my toes since she was born.  As a baby she battled lactose intolerance, colic and was very fussy.  She threw up everything the doctors prescribed.  Yet, she was the most active and exciting baby in the whole nursery as she jumped up and down in the saucers while the other babies just sat and drooled on themselves.  At 9 months she climbed out of her crib...I swear she scaled the walls like spider man because her crib was on the lowest setting.  I called the crib company to ask them if they had a "lid" for their crib....they thought I was joking. ;) She's always been our "Houdini" as she could open the child-proof cupboards and doors, and remove the safety plugs from the outlets better than I could. As a toddler she was a living picture of a "terrible two-year-old" complete with tantrums and defiance.  Yet she has grown into a young lady who does not show any rebellion in her sweet spirit.   We rarely have discipline problems with her at all.  She is the leader of our pack and keeps all the littles in line.  She is such loving and kind daughter. God has worked in her life and made her who she is.  We are truly honored to be her parents. 

6 Months old
9 months old
2 years old
3 years old
5 years old

Birthday card from Gram Kerr before she died--Gram
never could remember how to spell Katie. :)
Katie 11 years old...she's not a fan of picture taking :(

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Katie's Surprise

Our oldest daughter, Katie-Bug, turns 12 this Saturday. Where has the time gone?! Katie is our little crafty child.  She loves to knit, sew, draw, paint, make things out of duct tape, make things with beads and make things out of garbage and all kinds of other things. She can teach herself to do pretty much any craft by watching instructional videos on YouTube. She once weaved a basket out of the pine needles that she collected at the park.  She’s really very creative and gifted.  Her 6th grade teacher even named her the “most resourceful child” she’s ever known. 

Along with her creativity comes……CLUTTER….and trash….and half-finished projects and more CLUTTER.  Her bedroom basically looks like something exploded even when she says she has just cleaned up the place.  When we adopted our boys we lost our guest bedroom.  Now her bed is the only one in the house that is a queen size and so her room is also where any guests stay when they visit.  I HATE having such a cluttery, messy room for guests to sleep in, so I decided to do a little project and surprise Katie for her birthday.

I say the surprise is for Katie, but really it’s like a happy birthday surprise to me (3 full months early…haha) because I LOVE having everything neat and organized.  I’ve been working all week on painting and organizing and this is what I came up with for her bedroom.  She is really going to love having a neat bedroom and a place to put all of her craft items and her precious nick knacks (dust collectors).  Best of all her daddy and I will likely earn some cool points with our almost-teenager. It’s an all-around win for all of us! 

BEFORE---Her work space

AFTER--Her work space straightened a little

BEFORE--Her book case, nick knacks on top & her bed

AFTER--Her bed and shelves organized
BEFORE--Her window wall and craft shelves

AFTER--Her window wall & shelves along with her new nick knack shelves

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Family Reunion 2013

When sweet Gram went to heaven this past February she left behind an inheritance and requested that all her family get together in Ft. Myers, Florida for a reunion. The reunion was the first week of July.  Gram and Grandpa had 4 children together.  These children married and had at least 9 children who mostly married and had at least 16 children (I’ve lost count of Gram and Grandpa’s great grandchildren).  It was amazing that about 52 of us were able to get off work and travel from all over the world to have the first reunion in many years.  We had family from Guam, Germany, California, Indiana, New York, Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina and some other locations.  What a great time!  I speak for everyone when I say we all had a blast. 

We were able to mini golf, visit parks, have a ride on a yacht, visit a sea life museum, watch Despicable Me 2, swim in the pool, take a huge family photo, watch fireworks, see dolphins, take turns cooking family meals each night, go for walks, play board games and so much more.

Saturday morning we had a bit of a scare.  Our youngest daughter Haley wound up in the ER.  She had an episode that resembled a seizure.  She woke up Saturday morning complaining of a severe headache.  She was very grumpy which is not like her.  We all dressed and went to breakfast where she complained of a stomach ache and said she was feeling dizzy.  Then she went limp.  Tim picked her up before she fell and carried her.  Then her eyes rolled back and to her right side.  She did not respond to anything for about 45 minutes. She wasn’t blinking.  She wasn’t talking.  She just sat there staring off into space with her eyes completely dilated.  She was rushed to the ER via ambulance.  It was the scariest thing I’ve experienced since Brandon died.  I literally thought she had died as she lay motionless in her daddy’s arms.  I’m still a bit shaken up by the whole ordeal and very confused as to what happened.

We are having more tests run on her as soon as the neurologist can get her scheduled for an EEG to find out if it was indeed a seizure and what the cause of it was.  In the meantime, Haley is supposed to stay out of the sun, stay hydrated and unfortunately no summer camp at the lake for her this next week.  She’s been uncharacteristically clingy this week, but I am fine with that.  I want her near me so I can keep an eye on her.  She’s talked about what happened all week.  She said, “Mama, when I almost died all I could see was peach and I couldn’t move.” “Mama, when I almost died I could feel your tear drops falling on me.” “Mama, if I had died it would have been okay because I would have been with Brandon and our other family who died and I would have seen God!” (Gasp!)

One of the things that I thought about often on the LONG car ride back from Florida is the fact that family is the only thing that we will see again in heaven provided each family member sees a need of a Savior, repents and comes to Christ.   Our belongings and money will stay on this earth.  Sweet Brandon, Gram, Grandpa, Kurt, Uncle Normie and some others were all in Heaven while we had our reunion and spoke fondly of them together.  They were probably lovingly looking down on us.  However, some of our family and friends do not believe there is a God and sadly, we will not see these people ever again once they pass into eternity.  This makes me sadder than Brandon’s death.  I truly hope that all my family and friends come to Christ.  I want to be with everyone I love for all of eternity!  It’d be a forever family reunion with NO GOOD BYES. 

Gram and Grandpa left a legacy to all of us.  The thing that was most important in their lives was their love for Christ.  Even in Gram’s last moments when her mind was leaving and her body was failing her, she remembered to pray for her family, she could quote the Bible and she loved hearing hymns sung at her bedside.  The thing that was second important to Gram and Grandpa was their family.  I am truly blessed to have married in to such a loving and generous family who genuinely enjoys spending time together.  Our kids said over and over this past week, “I am so glad this is my family. I love ALL of my family! We have the coolest family EVER.”

Anyway, I hope everyone had a great 4th of July holiday!  I’ve posted several pictures from our Family Reunion 2013.  Love and peace to all!
The last family reunion back in 1982...
Tim is the adorable 2 year old with a red bow tie in the back row
Family reunion we've multiplied!
Most of the great grandkids

Most of the grand kids

The kids with their spouses

Finding critters is what they do best!

The great grand kids lined up for a scavenger hunt--winning team
gets an ice cream cone!

The kids spotted dolphins and they swam right up to the kids

Bee's ER visit
At the park...all those kids are our family...even back in the water

Going for a walk....found some snapping turtles

Swinging from the vines

Climbing these neat trees

Friday we all piled on this boat for a ride

The captains of the boat!

We saw all kinds of wild life on this boat ride

The girls found a tiny sea horse

Most of the family on the boat

Uncle Dan's flying electronic thingy....flying closely to the kids



Monday, July 1, 2013

July 1st!

Hooray for a new month and a fresh, new start!!!!!!! (Happy 41st anniversary to my parents today).  Summer is in full swing around here.  I thought I'd share several pictures of our summer "vacation" so far.  We still have a lot planned that we very much are looking forward to and I will make sure to share photos later on this summer. 

Lately it has been storming a lot. I think it has rained every single day for at least 10 days.  This makes for an antsy bunch of children!  We sure are thankful, though, that we are not having a drought season or wild fires like out West!

Tim went away for a while to some training.  He passed his test he needed for his certification.  I married a smart man, what can I say?  We are all so glad he is home again!

Take care over the holiday weekend, Everyone!  Be safe!

The younger littles went fishing with Dad while KT & I went shopping

Finally, in the last 5 minutes right
before it was time to go, they caught a fish!

Bella and Bee-Alissa

Since we have no diving board, Kylie likes to
stand on T's shoulders and dive off him.

Bee trying to figure out how to get across the stream to the frogs

KY trying to find a way to make a bridge to get across with Bee

The kids cooped up inside with the rain made them get creative with play.
They were forcing Bella (dog) and Reeses Pieces (cat) to become friends
by enforcing a "time in."  A lot of hissing and barking occurred. LOL 
This is a crawling tunnel that goes to a tent and obstacle course.