Friday, October 31, 2008


We enjoyed an unseasonably warm day today here in the Midwest, enabling our kids to go trick-or-treating without parka's covering their costume's. Jake was a bit confused by the event, but quickly caught on to the idea of getting a bucket full of candy.

I know I'm biased, but these little guys are stinkin' cute!

The kids worked hard, walking all over the neighborhood. Here they are examining their big haul.

"I'm getting a bit long in the tooth."

"Maybe if I give you my cute, cheesey smile, you'll give me a few more pieces of candy before I have to go to bed."

This was Jake's response when we told him we were going to spread the wealth and take a portion of his candy to give to Mom and Dad after he went to bed.

Two years ago today...

Gotcha Day!

Two years ago today, we were in Taiyuan, China, meeting our little man, Jordan! (Yep, it was Halloween.) It's hard to believe that two years have passed since that memorable day.

He is still a quiet--sometimes worried--little guy, who likes to line his toys up and keep a close eye on 'his stuff.' He likes cars, trains, and blocks. He tends to be an observer, rather than a joiner, although likes to play with his siblings.

He has come a long way. When we got him, he didn't know how to be held, and would keep his body stiff as a board. We gradually taught him to bend his legs and put his arms around our neck. Recently, he has finally been letting his entire body relax into us when held. Hooray for Jordan! He also tells us he loves us, which was another huge milestone for him. He is such a sweet little boy. Happy Gotcha Day, Jordan! We love you!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Life is Precious

I know I said I was not going to post anything political on this blog, but I saw this video today and felt compelled to share it. When I look at my precious kids, I am so thankful that their birth mothers chose life and that those little lives now grace my own.

I have been trying to embed the video in my blog but it keeps giving me an error message, so I will have to send you to the site where it was originally posted. It is a Catholic website and although I am not Catholic, I wanted to share it. Click here to view....

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139: 13-16

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hunting and Muddin'

What do teenage boys in our area do for fun? Deer hunting season has arrived, and also some fall rain. This means that two fall sports...hunting and muddin'...have begun. Ryan has been trying his hand at both.

What is 'muddin' you ask? It is taking your four wheel drive pick-up truck to your friend's muddy field, and driving around in the mud. If one truck gets stuck, it becomes a competition to see whose truck is big enough and strong enough to pull out the vehicle that is buried up to its axles. Do not call this sport 'mudding.' If you do, everyone will know that you are not a true mudder. The correct terminology is 'muddin.' Let's just say, I don't really get the appeal of this sport.



Deer season for bow hunters, opened a few weeks ago. Ryan was quite excited about sitting in a tree for hours, waiting for a deer to happen by. He didn't see a deer, but while he was gone, we took these pictures from our back door - looking out over our yard and the greenspace behind us.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fall Color

Fall in the midwest is a beautiful time of year. I have a friend who reads this blog who has moved to California and misses the weather changes. In her honor, here are some photos of the brilliance around us right now. The camera doesn't do it justice, but you can get an idea of the colors. Sorry in advance for the pictures I took while driving...hehe...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Trip to the Apple Cider Mill

On Saturday, while traveling back from a college entrance exam for Ryan, we stopped at a cider mill. I won't bore you with the details of why we were all on this outing, but suffice it to say, we had all the kids with us.

I was very excited about the cider mill, wanting to share fond childhood memories of cider mills with my offspring. Everyone was agreeable until we neared the mill and saw the crowds. The teens and the husband groaned in dismay. Only at Cedar Point (or any other amusement park) could big crowds and long lines of this magnitude be tolerated.

I was undaunted, figuring it must be a great place if so many people were there. The little kids were excited, so we all piled out and tried to stay together amid the throng. We eventually found our way to the barn where they were pressing the apples and took the kids inside for some cider and donuts. Yum... Jeff and the older boys had long before, lost their willingness to participate. I think it evaporated before they even got out of the car.



Then came the big excitement! The train!

It was cheaper to purchase 10 tickets than to purchase 8, so Jeff bought 10. He would want you to know that he had to stand in a long line to do this. Since we had enough tickets for Ryan and Taylor, and they had nothing else to do, they stood with us in another long line to ride the 'glorified golf cart' train. My amused observation to the older boys, that they LIKE riding in golf carts, was met with eye rolling and more complaining about the long line and how hot they were. Oblivious to the distress of their older siblings, the little kids were happily estimating how many more times the train would come before it would be our turn.



We decided to be merciful and leave after the exhilarating, three-minute train ride. It was a beautiful fall day and we enjoyed the scenery on the way home.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Belated Gotcha Day, SaraGrace!

Friday was SaraGrace's third Gotcha Day. It was our mutual Gotcha Day, because we got her - but she also 'got' our hearts.

She loves princess clothes. Animals. Rainbows. Hugs. Kisses. Her family. And drama. Lots and lots of drama.

She often says with a big smile and great passion, "I LOVE my family. I'm so glad Jesus gave me a family." She often tells us that we are the best parents in the whole world. She regularly calls me "my sweetie-pie Mommy." God has given her great spirit, and due to that passionate nature, she is well aquainted with the time-out chair. (wry grin)

She refers to herself as 'your little honey" or "spitfire" depending on her mood. She is a study in contrasts and keeps us on our toes. We adore her and are so thankful to God for blessing our lives with this little punkin!