Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pokagon State Park...

The kids and I, along with Grandpa Chuck, Grandma Deb and my little sis Maddy, went on a road trip today to Pokagon State Park. I think it took us about an hour and twenty minutes to get there from Warsaw. The kids really enjoyed the Toboggan run but not so much the waiting and line. It is the last weekend of the season and it was VERY busy. We had to wait about an hour just to get a couple toboggans and then about 30 minutes of standing in line each time. They only went down twice and then we were off to lunch at Pizza King:) The run is pretty fast, going 30-40 miles per hour. We rode 4 people on each toboggan and those things are heavy. Our hands and feet got a little chilly but the weather was not too bad. If only we had picked a less busy day:( Maybe next year...

Here are some pics of the kids playing in the snow while we waited for toboggans:)

Waiting for our turn...

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Today all of the 4th and 1st grade students at Harrison Elementary school took a field trip to the Honeywell Center in Wabash, IN. I went along with Leytan's class. We saw Suessical...The Musical. It wasn't the best show but still fun to have some "one on one" time with Leytan. I thought the show was cute but most of the kids thought it was kinda boring. I thought the costumes could have been much better and the singing was just OK. I did get to see the triplets briefly. Lorelle and Liam said they both slept during part of the show. Oh well...I am glad a went. Wish I could have seen it on Broadway instead though:) WOW...are we spoiled having the Wagon Wheel Theatre here in town?!

Leytan and I before the show began...

We couldn't take pictures or video during the show but Leytan took a few pictures of the theatre and stage before the show.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Indoor Soccer...

Landan had been playing indoor soccer again this winter with the Inner City Soccer program. This is the same organization that he does the summer camp with also. GREAT group of people! He is playing with the same group of friends that he played with last year and it has been great for them to keep the same team. GO Strikers! Their coach, Rod, is great with the boys and has even taken them snow skiing a couple times this winter. Landan LOVES it! We need to take the whole gang sometime...our other kiddos would really like to try it too. But...SOON it will be time for the spring soccer season at the CCAC. Landan and Lorelle are playing this spring. Lance is going to be coaching Lorelle's team:) I am excited to watch her play.

Unfortunately, during Landan's game Sunday evening, he fell and sprained his ankle pretty bad. He was in a lot of pain. He stayed home yesterday from school. We iced it and kept it elevated all day. As you can see above, as soon as he tried to put it down (even for a quick minute) it starts to swell and turn purple:( I did send him to school today on crutches and asked them to try to let him keep it elevated as much as possible. I am praying it goes OK today and that it heals quickly. I am not sure if he will be ready to play in his game this Sunday though.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Saturday Morning Football...

On Saturday morning we woke to beautiful falling snow. The kids and Chip headed out to enjoy a game of football on the fresh coating of white slushy stuff. They were having a GREAT time! I did not join them but I did take a few pictures from the kitchen window:) Yes, the snow is getting a little old but the kids still seem to be enjoying it. I for one could use some more sun...Spring where are you?!

Leytan tackling Liam below...

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

This means, "Best wishes and Congratulations. Have a prosperous and good year." I believe people are making their way back to work this week in China but I don't think the official end of the Chinese New Year celebration is until the 28th. In honor of Chinese New Year, Lorelle decided to wear one of her traditional Chinese dresses to school on Friday...for show and tell:) Doesn't she look BEAUTIFUL!?!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day Morning...

Since Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year landed on the same day this year, we were in Chicago for Valentine's Day as well. I brought the kids Valentine's Day gifts with me to Chicago and on Sunday morning when the kids woke, I gave them their gifts. Lorelle and Lilyan got American Girl dolls. They had picked out their favorite dolls out of the catalog a fews weeks prior but were not expecting them. They were excited. Lorelle got a doll named Julie and Lilyan got the doll of the year, and her name is Lanie. I also got each of the kids a small box of chocolates:-)

Lorelle and Lilyan opening their gifts...
Lorelle with Julie...
Lilyan with Lanie...

Landan and Leytan each got Walmart gift cards along with their candy and Liam got a computer game that he wanted. It was one his brothers play together and he was SO excited to be able to join them now. All the kids are enjoying their gifts. Lance just got a card:) I love all my Valentines SO much! I am BLESSED!!!

Happy Chinese New Year!

Yesterday was the first day of the Chinese New Year, the most important holiday in China. We always celebrate with the kids in some way. In the past we have gone to the Great Wall restaurant for dinner, given the kids their red envelopes, haircuts, crafts, and I try to do something with each of the triplets classes at school. This year I only made it to Lorelle's class. I read a couple Chinese New Year books and I made paper lanterns with them.

We also decided to try something else a little different this year to celebrate as a family. We decided to go to Chinatown in Chicago on Saturday. We gave the kids their traditional Red Envelopes and they went shopping with their "Lucky Money" in the local shops. As you can see below...Lilyan picked out a Chinese drum and Lorelle picked out a HUGE Chinese fan, that she now has hanging on her bedroom wall. Lilyan and Liam also had treats from the Chinese bakery while we were there. They chose not to have Chinese food for dinner but instead we had our favorite Chicago pizza at Giordano's:) It is SO good!

Lilyan with her Red Envelope and drum she wanted to buy...
Here is my gang in front of the 9 Dragon Wall...
Lorelle and Liam in front of the lion statue...
Lorelle with her new fan...
Dragon in the parade...
We spent the night Saturday night at a hotel near Chinatown and on Sunday morning we found a restaurant for breakfast called Yolk. It was GREAT! Then we were off to the Chinese New Year parade. Liam and Lorelle especially enjoyed it. The sun was shining and it was a fun afternoon. Happy Year of the Tiger everyone!!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day to me!!!

I woke to the BEST gift this morning. It was an e-mail from Adele at Blessed Kids. She was confirming that our cake and letter had been delivered and that she was also able to get some pictures for us. I was SO excited and cried tears of joy when I saw my sweet boy enjoying his cake. Adele was also able to get some updated measurements of Levi. He is 46" tall so he is smaller than the girls but taller than Liam. Poor Liam, all three of his younger siblings will be bigger than him. He is such a peanut! Liam was excited to see Levi's pictures. He is SO ready to have his brother home. I still think they look so much alike. I just know if they get matching haircuts and clothes people are going to think they are twins:)

Levi making a wish...
Blowing out the candles...
Getting another piece...
I think he likes it!

It sure did this mama's heart good to receive these pictures. Our last piece of paperwork is off getting state sealed and authenticated so we will soon have all our dossier done and ready to send off to China. I am SO happy! It has been a long paperchase and I ready to be counting down the days till it is time to go get my son. God is GOOD!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


School was canceled today because of the weather. The kids were SO excited to have an extra day off and to play in the snow. I took them over to Madison Elementary school to sled and snowboard on the hill there. They built ramps and tried burying Landan in the snow. They had a GREAT time!!!

Wipe out...

Liam burying Landan...
Lorelle snowboarding...

The sun was out on and off today. It felt SO good. It was a beautiful, fun day. Thank you Lord!

Lance and Leytan's Weekend Together...

On Friday, February 5th, Lance and Leytan headed south to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. They stayed at the Harbor Beach Marriott, along with the Indianapolis Colts football team. They ran into several of the players during their stay. They got quite a few pictures and autographs too (on the NFL football that Bob Sanders gave him:) What a AMAZING experience for Leytan!

Here is a picture of Leytan with Jeff Saturday #63...LOVE his shirt and his beautiful blue eyes!

Another of my favorite pictures...Leytan with Dallas Clark #44!

Lance and Leytan being silly. The picture behind them was signed by all the Pro-Bowl prayers.


Lance and Leytan at the BIG game!!!

They also enjoyed the pool, concert on the beach and the Museum of Discovery and Science. They saw the IMax movie Dinosaur...Giants of Patagonia 3D.

They returned home a day later than expected, on Tuesday, February 9th, because their plane had mechanical problems on Monday. Leytan was not too bummed to miss another day of school:) It was a GREAT trip for them and one they will never forget.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Levi!

Today my baby boy turned 6 years old. I am sad he is not here to celebrate with us. I hope that he got the cake and card that I had sent to him. I feel like this is the 2nd birthday I have missed. It is actually the 6th I guess:( I say the 2nd because last year when he turned 5 yrs. I was praying for him to get a family and thinking of him on his birthday too. We did not know he was officially ours until July but for over a year now I have been gazing at his pictures daily and thinking about him. It is amazing how much you can fall in love with photos. I feel like I know him and miss him but we haven't even met. It is hard knowing in my heart that he is MY son and not be able to hold him. I am trying think positive today and to remember that our paperchase is coming to an end and hopefully in the next 6 months or so we will be together at last. I know that his foster mom is probably holding him extra tight today since she knows this will be his last birthday with their family. I am so thankful for the love they have given my son for the last 4 years. I know they will miss him.

Here is a picture of the cake and card I sent Levi.

I feel like I have missed so much and have so much more to learn about my boy but here are a few things I have already learned:

1. He likes to play with animal toys.
2. He likes to eat dumplings and play in the dough.
3. He likes to eat shrimp.
4. He is kind and passionate.
5. He is smart.
6. He likes playing with wood blocks.
7. He likes puzzles.
8. He likes soccer.
And most important he is LOVED!

Happy Birthday Levi...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

HaPpY (or not so happy) Groundhog Day!

If you haven't heard, Punxsutawney Phil predicts six more weeks of winter:( I am not surprised since I look out my windows and everything is still covered with snow. I am not totally depressed yet but I will be ready for Spring in a couple more months. The kids haven't complained. Lilyan is still enjoying her snow fort building.

And we have at least one duck gracing our pond that made it through the cold weather so far. He had a buddy going into the winter but I haven't seen him in a while:( Hawk? Too cold? I am not sure.

The fresh snow is pretty and I SO enjoy the different seasons we are blessed with here in the midwest. Hang in there everyone...spring will be here before we know it!

Junie B. Jones:-)

If you have K-2nd graders...then more than likely you have heard about Junie B. Jones. She is the world's funniest kindergartner and my three 1st graders can totally relate and think she is just hilarious. The author Barbara Park has written a whole series of Junie B. Jones books and we have quite a collection of them. They are the perfect reading level for my girls. They are short, easy to read, chapter books and the girls feel grown up reading them. Here are a few Junie B. quotes for you:

"Work is when you use your brain and a pencil. Only sometimes I accidentally use the eraser too hard. And a hole comes in my paper."

"I am a very good spier. That's because I have sneaky feel. And my nose doesn't whistle when I breathe."

You get the idea:) TOO funny! I enjoy reading them to the kids too. SO...when we heard the traveling Junie B Jones play was going to be in town over the weekend, we HAD to go. We made a family date night of it and took the gang out to dinner and then to the musical. The boys weren't especially thrilled and we sat in the balcony, where is was like a sauna, but the girls thought it was funny stuff. The kids all got a free Junie B. Jones book too!

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