Monday, May 30, 2016


Just wanted to share something that Bill and I thought was really sweet. We went to church on Sunday and since it was Memorial Day we sang several patriotic songs. One of the songs we sang was America the Beautiful. We were all standing and we had said America, America quite a few times when Tess tapped me on the arm. I leaned down to see what she wanted and she said, "Mama, I like America." How that touched my heart as she looked up at me and smiled. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Miracles In Motion -- A Star Is Born

Bella had her first dance recital on Sunday. She was adorable! This was her first year of dance and she missed so many days that I am surprised she managed to dance at all -- remember all the strep. I guess she really didn't dance that well, or even do what she was supposed to do, but she did manage to look pretty cute. So, maybe she wasn't a star, but we were so proud of her. 

Only three years ago she was living in an orphanage in Bulgaria -- in a little mountain village. We visited her in her orphanage every day for five days. Then we left for home and she waited another seven months. When she arrived in the United States she was scared and would hardly let us hold her. She would not eat anything but cheese puffs for several days, and that is what I gave her as I was so worried about her lack of eating. She is such a sweet confident child now and as I watched her on the stage I almost cried. We are so blessed that we have her in our lives. 

Of course, Bella wasn't our only dancer this year, but it was her first time dancing and being in a recital so I am only posting a few pictures of her. Sarah and Caroline also danced and they were excited, as usual. The recital is all they talked about for probably three weeks. Claire was sick and so wasn't able to be there. 

I am so thankful that we have this dance group for our girls. I know it is a lot of work for their teacher, Miss Kim, and all the other helpers, but they always manage to put together such a wonderful recital for all of our special needs children. It is such a blessing to be a part of this group and I don't know what my girls would do without it. 

Our little star -- Bella. Ok, I know she doesn't look very confident or happy, but she didn't cry!

She seems to be warming up and relaxing a little in the next few pictures. 

After it was all over and I went to get the girls, Sarah ran to meet me and asked if her Sunday school teacher, Miss Mary, was there to see her. I figured Miss Mary would not make it as it was not close to where she lives and it was a messy day and she probably just wanted to stay home and relax. I told Sarah that Miss Mary probably came, but it was too crowded to see her  -- thinking that would satisfy Sarah. Of course, Sarah asked me again and again on the way to the car as she doesn't give up easily. Then I heard someone calling my name and looked and there was her Sunday school teacher and another woman from our church! That just made Sarah's day -- and mine, too. It was so important to Sarah that she come -- we are so blessed that we have teachers that truly care for our kids. 

Maybe I will post a few pictures of Sarah and Caroline next time. Sarah has actually started relaxing a little and Caroline has always acted like the stage is where she should be. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Second Nature Walk

So, we did our second nature walk. It was fun, but not sure how successful I would say it was when it came to getting information down or actually writing in the journals. Jordan spent right much time looking up stuff and writing about it. Andrew did a lot of searching, but didn't seem to record much this time. Bethany did absolutely nothing in her journal. She just ran and played and had fun. I am thinking next time I will require that they spend at least 5 or 10 minutes recording something in their journals. They actually seemed to enjoy doing that last time. This time they seemed more set on running and finding things and having fun, but not writing or drawing much at all. 

I want to make this a weekly thing we do -- if I can make myself do it. I usually do have good intentions that sometimes don't pan out. But, I think this is a worthwhile cause and they do seem to love doing it. 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Nurse

This past week Katharine graduated. She is finally a nurse and is so glad to be done. She already has a job at a nearby hospital in the cardiac ICU -- she starts the end of June. We are so happy for her and proud of her. Another one graduated. So far five of our girls are on their own or almost -- one is a mom and a personal trainer, a doctor, a broker, a police officer and now a nurse. They just keep growing up and leaving home. But, we do have 12 girls and 1 boy still here, though how long Katie will be here I don't know.

Friday, May 6, 2016

A Walk and Journals

Last fall I bought nature journals for some of the kids. We didn't seem to get out to use them very often and most of the kids hadn't written or drawn much of anything in them. So I decided to have them pull out their journals and take a walk. We just took a walk in the woods that are behind our house, but it was fun.

The woods aren't that large, but have some interesting things in them -- some old farm equipment and a cemetery and a little bridge that the kids had fun on. I'm not sure why we don't go there more often.

The kids insisted on taking a snack, water and, of course, their journals. I always have good intentions when I buy these things, but sometimes I just don't get out with the kids enough and help them record the things they see and encourage them to draw some of nature. 

I'm good about making sure they do their math, history and other subjects, but stuff like this seems to fall by the side -- though, I think it is important. 

Even the kids that don't normally like to write -- that would be Sarah -- decided it might be fun to draw something or write a little. I guess it was because of the excitement of the other kids. I enjoyed just taking pictures and watching. They looked up some of the flowers they found and tried their hand at drawing them. Later, at home, they printed some pictures to put in the journals. We kept this pretty simple but hopefully they learned a little while having fun.

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