Monday, January 30, 2012

Shark Tooth part 2

So, a certain 6 year old with an extra tooth got a hold of my camera.  As I was scrolling through the photos on it, I came across this video. What a ham!  Apparently this shark-boy has also invented his own language. Also, for those of you who might meet him in real life, he has informed me that he's tired of being famous for his shark tooth. So, no autographs, please.  But if you ask nicely, I'm sure he'll happily oblige and give you a peak of his tooth.

Friday, January 27, 2012


Yesterday we jumped on the opportunity to go to Legoland Florida (how can you pass up a deal where a family of 6 can get in for $30? We went with our homeschool co-op at a discounted field trip rate).  It was awesome!  We all had so much fun.  Of course, two of my boys are hoping to grow up to be professional Lego builders like millions of other kids, but who knows?  Maybe living this close to Legoland they will one day :) The weather was great, the crowds were down, and we got to hang out with some friends, and saw many other friends throughout the day.  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Shark Tooth!

A few weeks ago we noticed that our 6 year old son is growing a tooth behind his two front baby teeth. We assumed it was his adult tooth growing behind, but it turns out it's just an extra tooth!  It's called a mesiodens tooth, and I think is fairly common.  He had a dentist appointment the other day, where they informed us he'll need to have it pulled soon, much to his dismay.  He's  proud of his "shark" tooth and feels quite special and unique.  Anyone else have one??  I read online that it can be inherited, but neither Joel nor I know of anyone in our immediate families who have had one.  Anyway, I know this post is a bit off my usual posts (adoption, DS, etc.), but thought it would provide you all with some mild entertainment ;-)

p.s. Darya is all better from her pneumonia!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

7 out of 9

Seven out of nine orphans that we have been specifically praying for over the past few years are either home with families or have families on their way!  Isn't that wonderful?  Our boys faithfully pray daily for the orphans.  They have had no doubt they'd get families, it's just a matter of when it's going to happen.  It's been such a blessing to see my children's faith grow as their prayers are answered.  Each time I tell them that one of the children is on the "My Family Found Me" page on Reece's Rainbow they get so excited and say, "The Lord answered our prayers!".  So true!  Yes, 7 of 9 have families....but I'd love to have that 9 out of 9!

1. The first child we signed up to pray for (through Reece's Rainbow) was "Kyrah" who is now named Jessa.  The boys prayed daily for months and months.  She is now home with the White family, along with four other kiddos from her same orphanage:

Jessa ("Kyrah") then:

Jessa now (in the middle of two of her sisters) - how stinkin' cute are they?:

2.  Shortly after the White family committed to adopting Jessa, we signed up for another precious little girl with Down syndrome.  Sofia was adopted and home with her new family, the Sanchezes, in less than 6 months!

Sofia then:

Sofia now (isn't she just gorgeous?):

3. and 4.  Next, we signed up for two boys with other special needs. These boys had the odds stacked against them. First of all, boys are less likely to be adopted than girls (I don't know why that is). Secondly, they have other special needs that might be harder to place them with families. Finally, they were getting older which slims their chances even more.  But thankfully, God doesn't work within statistics! Seth (formerly known as Phillip on RR) just returned home with his family, the Lunnens, this past fall, and Edwin (who will be Micah) has a family, the Evensens, in country right now adopting him!

Seth then:

Seth now (eating a chicken nugget in the van - All American boy!):

Edwin then:

Micah (aka "Edwin" on RR) now (while in country, still being adopted):

5. and 6. Last year, we helped to fundraise for a little girl, Carlene, for RR's annual Angel Tree fundraiser.  Now, she has a family in the adoption process.  And, of course most recently, we have been praying for and advocating for Lilianna.  She has a family starting the adoption process for her, too!  Both girls should be home some time this year, Lord willing.



7.  This would be our precious Darya, who has been home with us for over a year :-)

Darya then: 

Darya now (our sweet little firecracker!):

8. and 9.  Catherine and Anna are still in need of families.  We are still praying for them!  Would you please pray for them, too?  Thanks!!

Catherine is still waiting:

So is Anna:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Measure of Success

I love my family.  I love that they love Darya and everyone has welcomed her into the family with open arms.  This morning I got an email from Joel's grandfather (aka "Papa") with an article written by a Fox News reporter, Cal Thomas, who wrote about his brother, Marshall, who had Down syndrome (he just passed away).  You can click the link below to read the full article, but I love this quote:

"No life is a failure when it causes so many to care for others. At that my brother succeeded magnificently."

Darya may not grow up to be successful in the world's eyes, but that doesn't matter to me in the least.  Our children, our family, our friends all see the value she possesses, simply as being beautiful just the way God made her.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Short Update and Some Good News

Well, the holidays have come and gone, and I didn't do a single post or share any pics......well, a few are down below.  Better late than never, right?  With Christmas being on a Sunday, we ended up celebrating with the kids on the Friday before.  (Joel usually spends Saturdays finishing his preparations for church the following day).  That Friday, we had our annual traditional cookie decorating party with our church family (such a fun tradition!).  After that, we went home and the kids opened up their presents.  On Sunday, we had church in the morning then in the evening we had a few church families over for dinner and had a wonderful time!  New Year's Day, Darya and Nate woke up not feeling well so I stayed home from church with them.  After a couple of days, Nate got better but Darya didn't.  I took her to the doctor last Wednesday and my sweet little peanut has pneumonia (it was determined after she was sent for a chest x-ray - which she hated!) :-(  She's been on antibiotics since then, but there hasn't been much improvement.  I took her back this morning, and the doctor is starting her on liquid Albuterol.  If there's no significant improvement by Wednesday, I'll have to take her back.  It's so hard to see her not feeling well, and she has NO appetite.  Thankfully, she's getting enough fluids.  I just want her to feel better!

On a brighter note, I wanted to share some exciting news about Lilianna!

1. She exceeded her Angel Tree goal by more than double, $2,216.03 $2,866.03 was raised (and I know there are some more donations that will be added)!!

2. After the Angel Tree fundraiser, another donation of about $1,000 was added to her grant putting her total at $3,274.53 $3,924.53!!

3.  And the best news?  I found out today that she has a family committed to adopting her!!!!

Some pics from the holidays:

They can't wait to rip open the presents:


Darya opened the present from Nate - beans!  (I wondered where that can went! haha)

Darya looking through our fence (I just thought this was a cute picture)

Luna!  Isn't she a cute dog?

They LOVE each other so much!

Joel and I had a rare date night with some very good friends of ours (this was taken at the Columbia restaurant in St. Augustine)