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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

What We Are Reading

This month we started off with a favorite author -- Carolyn Haywood. We read Eddie And His Big Deals and it was a hit as always. We love Carolyn Haywood. Then we read The Doll Shop Downstairs by Yona Zeldis McDonough. This was also a good book and I especially liked how the family worked together in hard times. Bethany loved this one as she seems to always like the books about dolls. Piper didn't listen to this one at all from what I could tell. It was just too much for her and I don't think she understands what is going on in many of the books we read. Then we read The Youngest Artist by Eleanor Frances Lattimore. Now we are reading Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright. I love this book. It is really a wonderful read. I just hope the kids like it as much as I do. I read it years ago to my older kids and then again to another group and now again. We have only read a few chapters so it is hard to tell how much everyone will like it. But, I think this is such a good book and I like to read it in the spring and summer -- it is close enough to spring. 

Unfortunately, I seem to have had another bad month of reading. We used our tracker and only read fourteen and a half hours this month. That seems so little and I have always thought we read a lot. Somehow this month ended up with so many doctor appointments and dental appointments that it must have slowed us down. But we always have a lot of apointments so maybe we don't read as much as I thought. Hopefully, we will get back to full speed this next month. 

Please remember Joey in your prayers as this Saturday is when he has his next MRI. We are praying the shadow they saw was nothing and that the chemo is doing its job.















































































Sunday, February 26, 2017

Happy Birthday Bella

I don't usually blog about birthdays. We have a lot of them and they aren't that interesting to blog about anyway. But, I just really want to do Bella's birthday for some reason. Today Bella turned seven. I can't believe it. It doesn't seem that long ago that she got off that airplane as a tiny one, not quite three years old and now she is seven. I truly can hardly believe she is that old. I think the fact that she is rather small also makes her seem younger. But, no getting around it, my baby is seven. 



This child is such a blessing. I remember so well when we were adopting from Bulgaria. We had chosen Sophia and had considered a second child. For some strange reason, Bella's picture kept being sent to us by agencies and then within a day they would email us that she was no longer available. This happened like three times. So, we had finally chosen Sophia and that meant we had also chosen an agency. Then we got an email from our worker saying she knew we had thought of adding a second child to the adoption and with the email she sent Bella's picture. I thought -- again? I wrote back asking if she was sure this child was even available. She said yes. Then I started the worrying. Bella was much younger than we had planned. Sophia would be five a couple of months after arriving here, but Bella was only two -- not even close to the ages we considered. This was supposed to have been an older child adoption and even Sophia was younger than our original adoption plan. But only two -- that seemed way too young. I worried she was too young or maybe rather we were too old. Bill had no reservations. He was a yes for her from the beginning. I had to spend a little time worrying before he finally convinced me she wasn't too young for us. 


























Everytime I would look at her picture I would think - what a doll. Then I would start my worrying again. Finally, I realized how much I wanted to adopt her and to heck with what we had planned. So, we said yes and here she is. I can't imagine not having her. I can't tell you how many times my daughter Katie comes over to visit and the first thing she asks is -- where is Bella. And Bella adores her, too. Just this past Friday Katie stopped by to pick up Bella and take her out. This child is so loved and I have no idea why I thought of so many things to worry about before I could make up my mind to adopt her. Worrying for nothing. 

Bella is also one of the easiest children I have ever had. She is just so good it seems too good to be true. She listens (most of the time), plays well by herself, plays well with others (most of the time), can entertain herself for hours and is as loving as you could ever want. We are all so blessed to have her with us. 



























































































































































Happy Birthday Bella!!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Beautiful Sunday

Today was such a beautiful day and the kids played out almost all day long. It was so nice to see them swing on our rope swing and ride on the hammock and sing and sing and sing. That is one of their favorite things to do. I know that it will get cold again, but I sure am enjoying all this nice weather. 

We have strep here so we have had to avoid seeing Joey and his family which is sad cause it is just so nice outside. Bethany was begging me to take her over to play on Joshua's swing, but I just couldn't risk it even though she is not sick and is actually on an antibiotic for a sinus infection. We will just wait a few days before visiting anyone. 




























I took a few of the kids to the mall to pick up some dinner on Saturday and Bethany wanted Chinese so we stopped at China Max. The guy there saw Piper and asked if she was Chinese and I said yes and that she had been here for one year. He asked if she spoke Chinese and I tried to get her to say something, but she acted pretty clueless as to what I wanted her to do. Then she did something rather funny. I asked her if she could say hi in Chinese and then she actually said, "Hi in Chinese". She just didn't get I wanted her to speak in Chinese. I think they are losing most of their language and I am looking for a place for them to go and practice speaking in Chinese. I think I have found a place. I do want them to keep their language. 























































They played out until it was dark and ate their dinner on the front porch. Bella just didn't want to come in. She was still riding the scooter as it got dark and I had to make her come in to get ready for bed. How she loves to play outside. 



























Friday, February 17, 2017

Visiting

Bethany and I stopped by Joey's this afternoon. He pushed her on the swing and we visited outside for a little while. He had slept most of the day as he was so sick last night. But, he looked pretty good this afternoon and said he felt better. Two more weeks until his next MRI to check on the shadow they saw. Waiting is hard. 

The kids were outside playing and it was nice to see them running around. I am really enjoying the weather, though it is not as warm as I would like. I do think tomorrow is suppose to have a high of 71 degrees. 

Joshua and Madelyn played in the sandbox most of the time we were there. They have such a nice yard for the kids to play in - so big with lots of trees and paths to the woods. 


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Day Tea

I had told the kids that we would have a small tea today to celebrate Valentine's Day so we planned our day around the tea. I mainly bought cookies and some cupcakes and a little candy. I decided at the last minute to get one of their favorite things - chicken strips. It doesn't take much for the kids to have fun so I didn't really worry about what we got. Oh, and I got apple juice to replace the tea. 

We invited Reagan and Asher and Joshua and Madelyn. Sadly, Joshua and Madelyn couldn't come as Caroline and Bethany had colds and Joey just finished his chemo. He gets almost everything he is exposed to and they are trying to keep him as healthy as possible. He feels bad enough as it is and  he definitely doesn't  need to pick up some cold or bug. 

So, we had a small tea and the kids really enjoyed themselves. Meredith and I sat in the family room and listened to them laughing and talking and I was thinking what a blessing they all are. It was a nice day. 





















































Each one of them picked the tea cup that they liked best and used that one. They had fun picking out their favorite and not one cup was broken.


















































































Luke visited while his dad played the piano at a retirement home. He wasn't very interested in tea so he mainly slept. And no Michael, I didn't let Bethany or Caroline get near him -- they couldn't even come in the room he was in. 


























Then the kids went out and played a little while before it got dark. I am loving the fact that it is warm enough for them to play out most days. 





























Then after everybody was back inside and getting ready for bed, I took some cupcakes and cookies over to Joshua and Madelyn. They were just going to bed, but their mom let them get up and have a cupcake and I was so happy she let them cause I felt bad they missed the tea. Once spring and summer come, I think we will see more of them.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Computer Again

Finally got my computer back and set up. It took awhile to get everything loaded and up and running again. I am so happy to finally be able to take pictures and put them on my computer. 

Took this picture today after church. The three older ones - Bethany, Tess and Piper play together all the time. It is great. This time last year I was wondering if it would ever happen, but now they play constantly. It is so nice to look outside and see them having so much fun. Bella would love to keep up with them, but she usually just tags along. 

This last adoption has gone so well and with very few problems. I am grateful.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Waiting

Joey and Shannon saw the doctor today for the results on the MRI he had done on Saturday. The news was not what we wanted to hear, but not necessarily bad. One of the scans showed a shadow that was new. It was not on the two other scans they did. But, apparently, the new shadow could be new tumor growth or it could be toxins from the chemo. The tumor board will meet on Friday and discuss -  then call Shannon to tell her what they decided. It could be that he has to start a new chemo as the doctor said that the tumor could be resistant to the chemo he is using. Lots of questions, but no answers right now. They will be doing another MRI in one month to recheck the shadow. Until then we just wait, and it will be a long month. Your continued prayers would be greatly appreciated. 

I had to really grasp to find a picture for tonight. Just haven't taken many since my computer has been in the shop. 


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Today

Today I kept Luke while his dad played the piano for a church and went for a dental appointment. This was actually the first time I have kept him since he was born. He is a very good natured baby. The kids loved him being here and could hardly stay away, but I kept them out of his face and that wasn't easy. I knew his dad would feel better if 6 or 7 kids were not in his face all day. 






























Tomorrow Joey and Shannon go in to see the doctor to get the results from the MRI he had done on Saturday -- prayers would be appreciated. He started chemo Monday and so far is feeling pretty good. They actually went out to the park today as it was such a pretty day. Hopefully, he will continue to feel pretty good this week, but he never knows when it will really hit him.

I still don't have my computer, but realized I could just take a few pictures and try to get them on my iPad. That was difficult as my iPad is old and didn't want to load the pictures, but after about 4 attempts they loaded. So, I have a few pictures from today. 













































































We have tons of doctor appointments coming up and several surgeries. I am hoping to have most of this done by summer. Tess can't talk about anything but going to the beach so I guess we will have to try to get there. It is a daily conversation. I have talked to a therapist to help with the girls and their adjustment here in the US. I know what problems a lack of attachment can cause and I am trying to avoid this. They seem to be doing very well, but a few tips from an attachment therapist can't hurt. 

Hopefully, I will have my computer back this week and can get back to taking pictures and blogging more.