Saturday, May 12, 2018


During the week after Spring Break we got a call the M's glasses came in.  He was so excited to go and pick them up!  T and I had an appointment with Dr. S so Brandon took M. 
M: I am about to get glasses!!!

Sadly, Brandon's phone died right after the photo above so we didn't get any photos of his first moments with his glasses!

M: I love my new glasses!

As things go, he was very excited about them at first, but has not been too eager to wear them very often since.  He doesn't notice much of a difference when he is wearing them.  

A couple days after getting glasses he got a haircut so we needed to take an additional photo!

M: I feel like a teenager!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Dyeing a bit late

Late in the day on Easter Sunday the kids declared that they DID want to dye Easter eggs!  Oy!  Better late than never.  We told them they would not be able to dye them that day, but that I would boil them on Monday and they could dye them after school.  I didn't have a dye kit, but I made the colors with food coloring and vinegar and it worked just as well!  The kids got really into making rainbow eggs and it ended up to be a pretty fun time.  

I told the kids about my egg huts as a young child.  Actual eggs were hidden.  They wanted to hide their eggs too.  On Tuesday night when the eggs were very dry we hid them three times in the family room.  They really enjoyed it and I did too! 

At first they were speedy!

Then they became more focused!

M: I made a 4 colored egg!
T: I made a 5 colored egg!

Our Greeter

Each week after church Brandon and T greet everyone who leaves the second service.  T loves doing this and I think those she greets love it too!  On Good Friday the service ends in a somber note so Brandon typically doesn't shake hands after the service.  T didn't get the memo so she was shaking hands solo!  We also learned that she stood at the back of the sanctuary and shook everyone's hands when we were in Mexico!  She is such a sweet and social girl!  She has seen Brandon model this and it has become important to her too!  What a treasured tradition!

T: I love to shake hands!

T: People like to shake my hand too!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

He is Alive!

It was a special blessing to celebrate Jesus' Resurrection with our church family!  The time leading up to Easter and Easter Day are always pretty crazy, but there are blessings in the midst of the crazy.  The biggest blessing is that Jesus didn't stay dead!  He was victorious over death and He IS victorious in our lives!  

This year Easter was on April 1st.  This means I am officially writing about an event that occurred last month!!!  I am slowly catching up on the blog!

The day started with the kids watching a Resurrection movie while I showered and baked a banana bread.  Then we went over to church for the Easter breakfast.  

YUMMY!  Pickles and Jelly Beans!  

Don't let T's first plate of food fool you... I learned that she eventually did eat egg bake.  How did I learn this?  She told me when she was sitting on the toilet struggling... she can't have dairy but has no self control!  Oh this girl!!!  

I was so thankful that the kids were willing to pose for a photo after the second service.  It was fun to be surrounded by beautiful fresh flowers!
A family photo!!!!

After church we relaxed at home for much of the day.  Actually, Brandon and M did more relaxing than T and I.  Brandon and M both took naps. T had a rough patch where she really missed her "China mom and dad" as she calls them.  We decided to look through all our photos from China and then look at some of the things in her China box.  T decided to try on her "gotcha day outfit."  Her outfit was huge on her when we met her.  She was 11 months old and weighed 14 pounds.  She is now 6 and weighs about 31 pounds and can still fit into the outfit!  She was very proud to wear it!

T: It's a little short, but it fits!

T: Do I look like a Chinese baby? 

She also tried on all of her Chinese dresses and still fits into her smallest one.  She is very petite!!!  

We might have started an amazing tradition this year!!!  For our Easter dinner we grilled steaks and hamburgers and had oven fries and onions and fruit The kids had fancy glasses with actual juice.  It was a great meal to end the special day and celebrate the end of Spring Break as well!

Let's Eat!

Silly Faces!!!

The kids were a little put off by the whole not doing anything candy/gift related for Easter.  I am a little put off by doing something, but we compromised!  I hid a few dozen eggs with little candies inside of some of them and the Resurrection Egg things in 12 of them.  After we found them we talked through the Holy Week objects and ended our day on a good note!

T: I love hunting for eggs!

T: I am super fast.  

T: I wanted them all!!!

M: I only got a couple of them!

T: It was fun to sort the eggs and tell the Resurrection story!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Spring Break Adventures

Spring Break 2018 was the last week of March!  Yay!  I am almost writing about things that happened "just last month" haha.  

The break this year was filled with activity.  While I didn't remember to take too many photos, I did write a tiny bit each day so that when I eventually blogged I would be able to remember.  I sure am glad that I did that, because otherwise I would not have remembered!  I realize this information might be a bit boring for most of you, but it is good to record what we did so that I can remember in future years... and for the times when our kids say, "we didn't do a single thing over spring break."

The break started with a 1/2 day of school on Friday.  M hosted a playdate with a good buddy from his class.  He was able to play quite a bit with S and I tried hard to keep T occupied.  Amazingly they actually wanted to play with her at times.  After the playdate I took the kids to the library so they could play on the computers there.  We have learned that it is nicer to say "no" to games on our computer at home and allow them to have all their screen time out of the house because it regulates the amount of time they can spend on a screen.  While the kids played games I finished the book "The Help."  I found it to be a powerfully written book that I couldn't put down!

On Saturday the kids had swimming lessons in the morning and then we headed over to Charissa's house for a playdate with her kids.  They got their camper out of storage so our kids were able to have a tour.  They were very impressed to be inside an actual RV!

On Sunday we had Sunday School and church and then M went to a friends house for a bit and then to a party with the friends, a special day for him.  T and I built a fort that wasn't doing too well.  Charissa came over for a walk and Brandon took over with the fort building and it ended up looking like a lovely well built fort!

Monday was Brandon's day off so I was still able to get in a short mom walk with a friend in the morning and then I took T down to our beloved Dr S's office for an appointment while M hung out with Brandon.  I met up with Brandon and M at OT and dropped T off so I could go home and make dinner.  Both kids had OT this semester and it was a HUGE success to have both of them in it! I had a special mom night that night with some of my friends which I was very thankful for!

On Tuesday we drove down to the Dr's office where M has has med checks.  Everything went well there.  Now that we learned that he gets upset tummies when he takes his meds on an empty stomach things have been going much better for him in that department!  After the med check we stopped at some friend's house to pick something up and then went home for a quick lunch.  After lunch we headed to eye Dr. appointments for each of the kids.  We learned that M needs glasses for an astigmatism and he got fitted for frames.  He was thrilled and T was jealous!  The kids were NOT impressed with all of their Dr visits on the front end of the break, but it makes sense for them to have them since we are not in school!  While we were in the car we listened to the audio book Freaky Friday.  Both kids loved it and it made the travels much more enjoyable!!!  

On Wednesday morning we headed north to visit one of our favorite families.  We have a tradition of visiting them each year on the week before Easter.  In the past we have visited on Good Friday, but this year we visited on Wednesday.  The kids have SO MUCH FUN with these boys!  I have just as great of a time chatting with the mom!  Truly, our time there was such a blessed time! We stayed all morning and ate lunch with them.  After lunch we headed to the Family Activity Center for some playtime.  Sadly, after making the long drive we learned that it was closed for Spring Break.  Luckily there is a Trader Joe's just 3 minutes from the Center so we decided to go shopping instead!  We finished the audio book, so on our way home we stopped at the library to pick up the DVD of Freaky Friday!  The kids convinced me to let them do a bit of computer time too.  Twice in one week... lucky kids!

M and T:  We love these boys and their dog!
On Thursday morning we got the sad news that the family we were planning to spend the day with caught a nasty stomach bug and we were not able to play with them.  The kids were devastated.  They didn't know that the other mom and I were secretly planning a make up date for an early release day the kids had in April.  The benefit of being behind on blogging is that I can tell you that playdate did happen and the kids all had such a great time together!  We ended up staying all afternoon and didn't get home until bedtime.  We were so glad we could reschedule the date.  The family lives south of here and it was so warm when we did visit them that the kids and I felt like we had gone on a vacation for the day.  This mom is a dear friend from Brandon's seminary days so I cherish my time with her too. OK... back to the Spring Break update.  Anyway, we decided to work hard and get the house cleaned up in the morning with the *possible* reward of watching the movie in the afternoon.  The kids were great cleaners and we were all able to enjoy an afternoon movie.  After the movie T had OT at our other OT clinic.  

Lots of reading and cuddling happened all break long! 

On Friday we had TWO playdates.  The kids were so very happy that they were not canceled.  In the morning we went to play with some local friends.  We then decided to go to the scratch and dent store and score some good deals.  In the afternoon we had a playdate with some of my local adoption support group friends and their kids.  The kids had great fun and got pretty worn out.  After the playdate we had to drive to another town to get eggs and cheese to make pizzas.  I have no idea why I said yes to a pizza night on Good Friday!  The pizza was ready 7 minutes before the church service started.  We ate a tiny bit but it was so hot.  We went to the service and let it cool.  When we got home we had a second dinner!  

On Saturday morning the kids both took long relaxing baths.  Brandon played with the kids so I could get the nursery ready for Easter Sunday.  After lunch M took a nap and T and I sorted through 5 of her drawers of clothes.  We pulled out two huge trash bags of clothes that were too small or too big or not her style.  I still need to sort those bags haha.  The drawers are still full.  We are so blessed with clothes!  After M's nap we went to the theater that shows movies which have been out for a while.  You can get a great deal and still see it on the big screen.  We went to Ferdinand.  The kids LOVED it and laughed so hard.  On Saturday night we played a game of family Monopoly.  

We got their early to get good seats and get in a little pre-movie reading!

My best girl!

My favorite little man!
I will put the Easter Sunday info in the next post.  

Monday, May 7, 2018

BAHA hair woes

T has been doing so well learning about how to take her BAHA on and off and how to take out the battery and store it!  Sometimes the band is tricky and I pick her up from school with some interesting hairdos!  Here are a couple of pictures from one morning before and after she had some help!

T: How does it look? 

It actually looked pretty fun, but wasn't the look she was going for!

T: Tada!


Brandon rescued some leftover soda from a church event.  T thought she wanted to try it and used her reading skills.  She said, "Can I have some Zup please?  ZUP!!!  Love it!!!  We don't drink my soda around here haha.  She did figure out the name and wondered why it was called that.  She tried it, but didn't really like it. 
T: Zup is actually called 7 Up!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Bedside notes

One night after T went to bed she was busy in her room writing notes for her family.  She didn't tell us she wrote them.  She snuck out of her room and put them by Brandon's bed, my bed, and M's door so she didn't wake him.  Brandon took photos to document her generosity and her love of a good surprise!  

For Daddy!

For M!

For Mommy!

Dollar Store Gift Cards Rock!

T loves most things in most stores, but it is no secret to most people that she has a special place in her heart for Dollar Tree!  She marvels at all she can get for $1.  This year for her Birthday she really wanted "credit cards from Dollar tree."  She was given two of them and decided to cash one in on a special mother daughter shopping trip.  The sweet thing about her purchases is that many weeks later, she still loves all of them!  

T: And I still have more money on my card!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Even when they go away... Grown-Ups Come Back!

Finally the day arrived that Brandon and I would be coming home.  The kids were very excited about this!  They drove down to the airport early and were able to watch many planes come in at a special observation parking lot.  I had no idea that observation parking lots existed.  They are super cool and even allow you to use your car radio to tune in to the air traffic control tower and hear the pilots talk to the air traffic controllers.  What a cool (and free) activity!

M and T:  The planes were coming right at us!

M: Maybe it isn't as warm as I thought!

Our homecoming wasn't picture perfect because we lost Brandon's sleeping goggles at the TSA check point when we started our vacation.  We were asking if they had been found when the kids came running up to us!

The reunion!

Full arms once again!

Getting caught up on hugs!

T: I was so glad they came back!

T was HILARIOUS trying to help with the luggage.  She wanted to lift it off the belt, but it was too heavy so she sort of rode around the belt with it.  She pretty much captivated every person on our flight!

T: I got the bags.  Daddy helped a little! (look at the faces in the background)