I’m gonna miss ‘em.

FallKids-23

So what does a mama do, when she should be packing for China? She ventures into the fall-colored woods with her kiddos and takes pictures of their sweet faces. Because she's gonna miss 'em. Crazy to me that I'll be leaving in a little over 24 hours. And I'll be away for 2 whole weeks. Away from all these shiny little faces. All these busy little hands. All these noisy little feet. I am *almost* missing them already, and I haven't even left yet. Almost. Thankfully, they're not feeling the same sappy sentimentality over momma leaving. Because … [Read more...]

orphan sunday

littles-2

Today is Orphan Sunday. We watched a video in church that was created to celebrate all the children who have come home to families in our church through adoption. Some from Ethiopia. South Korea. Alabama. And a few especially adorable ones from China that, when their faces flashed across the screen, might have made me tear up a little. Especially their faces before they came home. It's not that they didn't have a roof over their heads. Or clothes on their backs. Or food in their belly. It's that they didn't have parents, a mama to snuggle … [Read more...]

these two

firstdayschool-1

It's the first day of school again. Seriously feels like we were doing this just a few months ago instead of a whole year ago... summer you were just a blur. (Especially when some of your kids are finally finishing up their school work from last school year. But I digress.) This year the Shepster is going into the second grade. Jude is going into the third. Our only two who are going to public school. Seven will be staying home. Six will be homeschooling. And one will be doing her best to distract us all. Both boys were a smidge nervous about … [Read more...]

it’s summer.

schoolsout-2

And school is out. How the heck did that happen? Actually, school has been out for a week already and I'm just now getting my head above water long enough to post these pictures I took on the last day of school (aka last morning to wake up at 5:45 until September, hallelujah). And in a effort to keep a record of how they grow, I'm including a little snippet about each of these three - "the school kids" as they're known around here. I'll be sharing about the other kiddos when they're actually done with school. First off is Shepherd. He just finished 1st … [Read more...]

opening day

poolday-3edit

Last Saturday the high was 86. Officially one degree higher than 85. The temperature it had to be. When we bought it - the long-awaited, blow-up, backyard pool paradise - it was just barely March. Way too cold to even consider breaking out anything that had to do with water and outdoors. So I set a minimum temperature of 85 for opening day, knowing that without my sage input they'd have opened it immediately. And probably all perished from pneumonia. They didn't seem to appreciate my fierce mother love. Instead they asked, regularly, what the … [Read more...]

Sunday Snapshot: thankful

vivienne

Two days ago we celebrated Thanksgiving. But, before we dug into our big turkey dinner, I decided to ask our youngest seven what they were most thankful for. I thought it would be an interesting little exercise in learning more about what stirs their affections and, hopefully, remind them of all of the ways God has blessed them. I did not prompt any of them and I didn't let any of them know what their siblings had said. I wanted their answers to be all them. Some took longer than others, but they all were able to come up with five, and probably could have … [Read more...]

Sunday Snapshot: Shep turns seven

Shep7-11

No, you're not seeing double. We just celebrated another birthday. Meet our newest (and happiest) seven year old. For his birthday he asked for, "Anything Nerf, Ninja Turtle or Ninjago." And he got a little of each. He asked for a "green and blue cake, with green on the inside." And he got that, too. Happy Birthday, little man. We sure do love you. And your toothless grin. If you're ready to play along, go ahead and link up below. Be sure to visit here for the full scoop. To link up this week with your Sunday Snapshot, just copy the … [Read more...]

Sunday Snapshot: the boys

shepnjude3

These two. I took them out together - planning on photographing each of them individually. Because they can make each other laugh like no one else. Turned out that, more than anything, they wanted to be photographed together. And pretend to be ninja fighters. And make superhero poses. So grateful that even though these boys were born over 500 miles apart, 9 months apart, halfway around the world, that God saw fit to make them brothers. And, even more, best friends. If you're ready to play along, go ahead and link up below. Be sure to visit … [Read more...]

how they grow

kidssizes

Because my memory often fails me. And because you can't misplace the internet (not that I've ever misplaced anything important.) I took measurements of my kiddos about the same time last year. But - thinking I'd get around to measuring them later - I skipped the littles. And never did measure them. Until yesterday. This year I decided to forego the lengthy process of individual pictures. And went for the super-quick group shot. After an after-school snack, I herded them out front. Begged them to look less irritated than they were. And took what I could … [Read more...]

first day of first grade.

firstdayofschool1

And second grade. And third grade. And, yes, fourth grade. Not necessarily in that order. Just look at my sweet babies. Love 'em so much. I did sort of cheat with my "first day of school" pictures, though. Instead of getting a picture of each of my school-bound kiddos, I went for the group shot. At least it's better than the picture I got last year. As I watched my kiddos teeter off to the bus stop with their over-stuffed backpacks and arms full of school supplies (what the heck, how many supplies can one kid need?), I was torn... Sad because … [Read more...]