Tuesday, February 14, 2012

More than I could ask or imagine....

I am continuing in my attempts to catch up on the missing months of life in our home since this is sort of our family chronicle...so, here goes!!

In November, Mark and I once again (our 3rd year) had the privilege to raise support for Covenant Mercies by running in our first half marathon. We trained for several months and ran 13.1 miles in Philly on a beautiful fall day. Mark ran on his own (he runs at a faster pace) while I ran with my dear friend and running partner, Darlene. In total Covenant Mercies was able to raise over $21,000 across the country as different runners were sponsored. We were grateful to be a small part of making a difference in the lives of African children.
Later in the evening of race day, P was baptized. What a joy it was to hear him boldly and articulately express his own faith and to once again rejoice in the man he is becoming. It was a special nite' as all of those baptized were either youth or young adults. It was not planned this way...it's just the way God ordained it and it made us all freshly aware of the goodness of God in our midst. After each participant was baptized there was an extended time of prayer and encouragement. M had the privilege of helping to baptize P with our youth pastor( I was concerned he'd be too sore to climb in the tank but he did fine!!) and later commended him in prayer.We were especially grateful for both sets of grandparents once again making the journey to share in the celebration. It was a very special nite!!

The following week was Thanksgiving and we enjoyed time with both sides of the family.

The next day, our extended family also pulled off a surprise 75th birthday celebration for my mom (aka: Mimi) My stepsister did an amazing job creating a special keepsake album with sentiments from each of my mom's children, stepchildren, spouses, and grandchildren. Family traveled in from other states...it was a wonderful time to honor Mom for the impact she has had upon our lives.


On December 1st, the youngest 4 performed in our homeschool Christmas musical entitled,"Three Wisemen and a Baby." Each of the kids spent hours in rehearsals, memorizing lines, and practicing dances.They all had significant roles this year and we were so proud of how they applied themselves to the task at hand. It was quite a switch as our older boys are no longer on the stage but working behind the scenes. P controlled the projector and C worked the lights. It was a wonderful nite' and both sets of grandparents once again trekked over the bridge to watch the performance.

December 2nd was a very special day for our family.... it was the 5 year homecoming anniversary of Mercy and Odesco!! I can hardly wrap my brain around the fact that 5 years have sped by already! It is hard to remember what life was like before they came home. We celebrated on Saturday at the Kachs and we were joined by several others. When we went to take the picture we realized that the other 2 families who joined us were also celebrating December adoption homecoming anniversaries :) How full my heart was that nite' to see 7 adopted children in the group...all completely grafted in to their forever families and our church family. How blessed our kids are to be raised in an environment where adoption is so prevalent. I am so thankful and can't imagine life without any of these precious ones who have made our lives richer. It has not been an easy road but it has been His good and sovereign plan & we feel so privileged to be a part of the miracle of adoption!


On December 9-10th,my hubby and I were able to have an overnite' locally and then traveled to NYC for the day while the younger kiddos were entertained and well taken care of by Miss Brit and the older boys...Our last time away was almost 3 years ago so this was so appreciated!! That's Central park behind us:) It was a great way to celebrate our 22nd anniversary!!


The following Monday, all 4 younger kiddos participated in a piano recital. They are improving as they continue on and G especially seems to have an affinity to playing.The recital was held at a local piano store and the kids were able to play on a $66,000 piano!! Grandmom and Pop Pop B made the trip and joined us once again!

We hosted Christmas caroling at our house the following week and enjoyed Christmas Eve and Christmas morning church services followed by visits to both sides of the family. Our friend, BAA joined us for the day...we love having her be a part of our holiday celebrations!
We rang in the New Year in Salisbury,Maryland with our "blended family." What a gift it is to have step siblings I love spending time with and cousins our kids can't wait to see! We had a wonderful visit...

Midnite' madness:)!!!

In early January we also had a holiday reunion with the B side of the family...always a joy to spend time with our extended family there too!

This post has embarrassingly been in draft mode for weeks...looking back and seeing all we did in less than a month makes me realize how blessed we are to have such a full life~
I'm thankful for the exhaustion that comes from that blessing!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Catching up,really...

How can I possibly catch up on the past 6 months or so of our full and busy life?? I admit that I have succumbed to posting pictures on Facebook(I know Aunt Sharon, shame on me!) and because I keep in touch with many via that venue, I have neglected this blog which had become a chronicle of God's faithfulness to us over the years. Now that we have celebrated Christmas and I have a bit of 'down time' from homeschooling, I am feeling motivated to play catch up through pictures....we were just looking at old photos today and commenting about how quickly the kids are growing up...it is bittersweet to see them transforming before our eyes and I am suddenly compelled to get this post done!
I have searched my computer and sadly can not find any pictures from P,C, and L's May birthdays :( P turned 16 and prior to our trip out west, he had his official 6 hours of driving instruction. He now has his permit and has been driving both our vehicles for practice...it is indeed strange to be sitting in the passenger seat!! Another reminder of how quickly they grow up!

I can't believe I never posted a picture last spring of Odesco and L enjoying their 1st season of Little League!! It was fun watching these 2 work together 'for the team'!
Before our big trip out West, Aunt Sharon and Uncle Bill joined us for dinner and baseball...in prior years they came to watch big brother,C play ball...now it's the little guys' turn :)

In early August we sadly said goodbye to my Aunt Margie...she will forever be in our hearts. What a comfort it is to be able to grieve with hope,knowing her suffering is now over.Because she placed her faith in Jesus, we know she will spend eternity in heaven with Him and as Believers, we also have the blessed hope and promise of seeing her again...

Mimi,Pop-Pop, me, and the 4 youngest kiddos made the trek to Massachusetts for the funeral. We had sweet times with cousins...It was Mercy and Odesco's first time meeting Emma and Grace~

My brother and cousin also had some time together after many years( 17 years or so) of not seeing one another.

It was wonderful to reconnect with my 1st cousins too... We hope to have a reunion with our spouses and all our children on the East Coast in the near future...

My sweet friend, Kari has been a huge blessing to our family helping me take care of Mercy and Odesco's unique hair needs... on this day, she gave Odesco some team spirit as she crafted a Phillies P in his hair!! It was the only way I could get him to agree to a haircut!!

Thanks, Kari :)

Later in the month, while the older boys and Daddy were away at youth camp, the younger crew and I took a trip to Mimi and Pop-Pop's where we had loads of fun~

We love their new place and the scenic walks we can take there...

It is so peaceful and beautiful...

And there's nothing like special time with such special people!

In September, Odesco celebrated his 8th birthday...we finally made it to Mimi's in October ... and after enjoying this homemade Phillies creation, we headed outside.

The fall foliage was just beginning to peak so we took a walk to enjoy God's colorful palette~

...Unfortunately, 'someone' managed to wind up in the mud...too bad we didn't bring any spare clothes...thankfully Mimi's shower, washing machine, and some spare adult sized clean clothes were readily available while we waited for 'someone's' clothes to dry!! This same 'someone' had previously declared,"Wherever I go, trouble is sure to find me!"...this curiously sounds like a classic line from 'someones' favorite series, "Anne of Green Gables"...

Fall Saturdays at home were spent raking leaves galore...here the kids and our neighbor friend created a 'leaf fort' which stayed intact until it was raked to the curb for removal by the township.

L neck deep in his 'thinking spot' :)


Our sweet and spicy girl turned 10 on November 9th...Daddy gave her sunflowers...her favorite! We had both sets of grandparents over for a celebration:) How loved she is!!

I will end this post here. As always, I am so very grateful for the loving kindness and sustaining grace of the Lord. He has been so good!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Where have we been???

I know I have been quite delinquent with blog posts...again!! We actually just returned from a whirlwind tour out west. We went with our dear friends, the K's (who adopted from AOH at the same time as us) . We were gone for nearly 3 weeks and had quite an adventure.The picture below was taken at Yellowstone and yes, it was snowing in June!!! To quote mamaK," Nothing like 3 weeks of camping to make coming home seem like a vacation!" I would add that it will seem like a vacation once the mountain of laundry and clean up is completed :) Cyberboy set up a separate blog for our trip and if you would like the link to it, please leave me your email in the comments section and I will send it to you.

It is so good to be home but I am so grateful for the many wonders of God's creation that we were privileged to experience!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

G is 11!!

I can hardly believe that our little girl is 11?!!! I still remember the raw emotion of hearing the doctor say,"It's a girl" and the utter joy to be experiencing pink bows and lace in the midst of our Tonka trucks and mud!! G is becoming a young lady and I feel so blessed to be her mom. We hosted a "Minute to Win It" themed party for G---what a blast it was! Mimi also hosted a gathering at her home and Grandmom and Pop-Pop B joined us...what a fun day we had together. So thankful to be a mom to this brood :)

G with her 2 sets of godly grandparents...how blessed we are!

Mimi and G with her piano cake creation~

G had such fun picking out party favors, and Mimi surprised her with handmade 'snap purses' for each of the girls

Dizzy Mummy game~The girls had to wrap themselves in a roll of toilet paper without ripping it...harder than it sounds!

"Face the Cookie" This game is a hoot...the girls have to get the cookie to their mouth without use of any other body parts...they have to move their heads and facial muscles to get the cookie into their mouth...some girls got close but no one was quite able to do it ...the best part? eating the cookie of course!

"Junk in the trunk"--the girls had to bounce 8 ping pong balls out of the tissue box attached to their waist.

"Hanky Panky" Each girl had to empty a tissue box as fast as they could with one hand...the dust was amazing especially when after the boxes were emptied, they tossed the mess of tissues into the air!

It killed me to waste all these tissues so I saved them in a trash bag and have been shoving handfuls of mangled tissues in our tissue boxes around the house for over a month now with no end in sight! My wise hubby told me to put the bag in the garage...he'll use them for clean up with oil changes. We are all relieved to have neat tissue boxes again :)

It was a fun night...I'm so grateful G is growing up with so many sweet friends!

Just after this picture was taken, the majority of the girls piled into our huge van and I taxied them all home...believe me the party continued until the last girl was dropped home!