Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend...

Our weekend was one full of grilling out, pool time, basketball, motorcycles (even my big kid enjoyed the riding), more grilling out and even more pool time.  It was a fun, relaxing weekend.  Here are a few of my favorite pictures.  I only took about 100 pictures or so over the 3 day weekend.  What can I say...I love pictures and I have some BEAUTIFUL  subjects to take lots of photos of:-) 
I really enjoyed just hanging out with Lance and the kids all weekend.  All the smiles and laughter did my heart good.  I am blessed!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Birthdays 5, 6 and 7...

Liam's 5th Birthday...

Today is Liam's 7th Birthday!!!  We missed his first 4 Birthdays:-(   And Liam actually 
turned 5 yrs. old about 7 days after we got him in China.  I can't say we celebrated too much though.  We actually had a pretty rough day of tantrums with Liam on his 5th Birthday.  So much had changed in his short time with us and it was all starting to catch up with him.  We got him at one hotel, moved to a different hotel, drug him all over town for paperwork/site seeing, took him back to his orphanage to say goodbye to his friends, took him on his first plane ride, yet again to a different hotel and then to a medical
 exam...all in the first week.  I think by the time his Birthday came he was just a little overwhelmed maybe.  It makes me a little anxious just typing it all out.  LOL!  He did play at the park and have a smoothie from Starbucks but that was just about the extent of our celebration.  I was just happy to have him in my arms at last and glad that I would never have to miss another Birthday.  For his 6th Birthday we
 made sure to have a BIG party.  We invited lots of friends and family.  He had 2 Spiderman cakes and lots of decorations.  It was a GREAT day!  Today...Liam turned 7 yrs. old.  I can't believe it!  He is so tiny but his personality, smile and laugh make up for his size.  He is SO fun!  He wanted to ride go-carts, lazar tag and video games at Somethin' Funn this year.  He had a BLAST!  
Thank you Jesus for my amazing little man.  

5 Birth Moms + 6 Kids = 1 VERY Happy Mother's Day

Mother's Day was bittersweet this year with my Mom so sick.  Neither Lance nor I truly got to spend time with our Mom's this year.  Lance's Mom and Dad were out of state on a trip.  And my Mom in the ICU and not able to communicate.  I did go see her but it was just not the same:-(  I spent most of the day with the beautiful kiddos that call me Mom.  We went to church then to the Great Wall chinese restaurant, where we celebrated both Mother's Day and also Liam's "Gotcha Day".  I can't believe he has been home for 2 years now!  After lunch we went out to our land.  I wanted to take pictures of the house staked off and the kids wanted to play in the woods.  We had a great time and it was a BEAUTIFUL day!  On our way home we stopped in The Village to have some ice cream.   My thoughts always drift to Liam, Lorelle and Lilyan's birthmothers on Mother's Day.  It is my wish that somehow they know how loved and cherished they are.  It is amazing to me to think that although I have 6 incredible kids that call me Mom and that are TRULY meant to be my children... they have 5 different birthmother's amongst them.  I am so blessed to be the Mom to each and every one of my precious children.  God is GOOD!

Friday, May 8, 2009

2 Years Ago Today...

 In Jinan City, China, we first met our youngest son.  Fu Shuang Ke came to us a tiny little 4 (almost 5) yr. old covered in chicken pox, a scrape near his eye and full of smiles.  He was SO brave.  We saw him waiting outside the hotel for us when returned from a walk to the store.  He looked up at us and said, "Ni Hao Mama, Ni Hao BaBa" and he reached out for Lance to pick him up.  Oh...how my heart melted!  He cried briefly on the elevator on our way up to our hotel room but it didn't last.  He was so ticklish and funny from the start.  Here is a picture of us together outside the hotel just minutes after we first met.  The close up picture is of me tickling Liam.  He has the BEST smile and laugh!  The last one is a photo of Liam today.  His smile and laugh continues to light up my life.  Happy "Gotcha Day" Liam Daniel ShuangKe!  We love you...

PLEASE Pray!!!

Here is the CaringBridge site I set up for my Mom...Praying For Linda.

Let the building begin!

Last night we officially signed the contract with our builder, Brovont and Son.  This afternoon the road and house were staked out.  It will be exciting to watch the progress this summer.  Here are some sketches of our future home.  

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My "Baby Girl" turned six!

On Monday...Lilyan had her 6th Birthday.  We had BIG plans to celebrate her Birthday at Disney World this year.  Unfortunately, her Grandma became very ill and we had to cancel our trip.  I will never forget the look on her face when she realized we were NOT going to be there for her special day.  Her lip came out and her face just melted into tears.  She was heartbroken.  She understood why we couldn't go but she was still very sad.  The next best thing after Disney, is something she calls..."Just Mommy and Me Time!"  She begs for this time with me and her dad but unfortunately, with 5 siblings, she doesn't get it quite as much as she would like.  SO...to cheer her up, Lilyan took a "sick" day from school Monday afternoon and her and I spend the afternoon together doing whatever she wanted.  We had a sweet time together.  She chose lunch at the Boathouse, so she could have barbeque ribs...her favorite! Then we went into the Winona Merchantile (or the Boathouse store, as we call it) and she picked out some new Webkinz. Then she wanted to walk down to the Pottery Bayou, to paint some pottery, but sadly, they are closed on Monday:-(  So then we walked on to her favorite ice cream shop...Sweet Dreams and she had a scoop of her all time favorite flavor, Pillsbury Cake.  It has pieces of yellow cake, sprinkles and frosting mixed in vanilla ice cream.  Mommy had some too.  YUM!  After ice cream we headed to Wal*Mart for a mini shopping spree.  She picked out an iDog, DS game, movie and a journal.  Then off to the grocery store we went where she picked out a giant chocolate cookie instead of a Birthday cake:-) And to end her special day we meant her Dad and siblings at the China Palace for some of her "my China food" as she calls it.  It wasn't Disney but I think she felt special and enjoyed her day.  We love you Miss Lilyan Xiao Min!!!

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