Thursday, December 30, 2010

The joy of 5



















I love the joy that these kids have on their faces. I love that Quinn would hook up an old tricycle to Shaelee's princess bike, and then give rides to his little sisters.
On the princess bike no less! I love that little brother, Vincent, will allow his little sisters to climb all over him and tickle him to hysterics. I love that Emily is first on the scene to comfort her baby sister. I always appreciate Claire's maturity and understanding of her 4 younger siblings, and that she gracefully faces the challenge of being the oldest. I appreciate that this week they have all gotten along, and that they have had a ton of fun, and that they have enjoyed the company of each other. At least most of the time. I received a picture from a dear friend, and it said, "Family is where our story begins". I always hope that the kids are storing good memories of their childhood. Memories that will be with them and sustain them when they have their own families. I know that they had a wonderful Christmas, shared with Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and close friends. They got some really fun gifts. But the best gift of all? It's the gift of our family.

Have a blessed and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas



Merry Christmas To All!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gym Girls















How lucky are we to have a budding photographer in Claire? If it hadn't been for her pictures, Mom would have missed Parent's Day. Emily and Shaelee, you did such a good job. Shaelee can climb the robe just like her big sisters! I love watching these girls!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Real Name is.......


Last week Shaelee said:
"My nickname is Shaelee, Shaelani, Nadi...but my real name is She Zhi Lan.
She keeps her precious memories of China close to her heart.
We sent pictures to China about a month ago, this sweet girl wishes only for a note from her Ni Ni. Still saying prayers that it will happen.
Still hoping for that Christmas miracle for our peanut.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Can I Take Your Picture, Please?





Sometimes, the kids just do not want to get their picture taken. Thankfully in this case Emily came through, and persuaded her little sis to finally take a picture. This was last weekend, and I just wanted to get a picture of the girls in their chosen footwear.
I love that they were wearing flip flops and cowboy boots. The weather was beautiful, and I guess, anything they chose would be just fine.

Also, just want to wish Lexi a very Happy 2nd Birthday! Love you!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Siblings



We are knee deep in Kid's Christmas parties, Musicals, Quinn's sports, school work, and keeping a house full of kid's moving along at lightening speed. Mom is working like crazy, Dad is holding his own, and Rochelle is working double duty. Claire is wrapping presents for everyone, and she is also making presents for people that she loves. I love her creativity. I appreciate that all of the Kiddo's chip in to help without too much complaining. We really need it this time of year, and 10 extra hands can do wonderful things.

In spite of everything going on, there is always time to reflect and relax. So with that thought in mind, here is a favorite picture of Claire and Vincent just relaxing and hanging out together....
Sweet siblings.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thankful
















Has it really been 4 days?
Thank you Mary and Brian for hosting Thanksgiving. We can't believe that it has been a year that Shaelee and Lexi have been home! I have been hoping for a year that our girls would talk to each other, and here is a picture of them smiling together in your kitchen. Quinn and Brady were trying to break the wishbone, and Ms Emily actually won!
Lexi finally held Claire's hand! Claire is still talking about it. Took us a full year to win that trust, but Mr Jeff got a hug the first night....
Thankful for our cabin. We woke up to snow. Not snow like in MN, but a dusting. To quote my dear grandfather, it was only "spitting snow."
Thankful for Shaelee, Lexi, Sienna and Kit...all home from China.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas








When you work in retail, you have to plan ahead. Otherwise, the meaning of Christmas can get lost somewhere between taking care of the shoppers and taking care of how the family celebrates the holiday. We usually don't set up the tree this early, but I was inspired by a few things. Last weekend Shaelee and I saw snow...and lots of it. And this weekend, our friend Ms Mary told me that she had her house decorated already. So, Ralph got down the boxes and the 2 biggest kids helped to decorate the tree. We had a great time, as did the little one's celebrating in the backyard. Wish I knew what had Vincent so excited!

I was telling Quinn that when he was about 3, he was beyond fascinated by the tree. We told him that he could look, but not to go onto the hardwood floor. More than once we heard the crash of an ornament, only to find Quinn looking at the tree from the tile. Clearly not on the hardwood floor. He was just too cute standing there with a big grin on his face. I think he thought that he was pulling one over on us, but the truth was, he had such a good time checking out that tree, that a few ornaments on the ground were a small price to pay.

This Sunday our Pastor gave us some interesting statistics. 26% of gifts received aren't really wanted. 41% of gifts are lost or broken by April of the following year. And that $40 would feed an orphan in Africa for a full year. The kid's have all agreed to give up one present to feed an orphan for a year. Of course one of them wanted to "see" the present and give up the least favorite. Had to redirect that thought process!

Anyway, it was great getting the tree set up, the Christmas cards ordered, and 98% of the Christmas shopping complete....

Christmas is our favorite time of the year! Thankful that our children understand the reason for this very special season.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!