Saturday, April 30, 2011

WOW, it has been a while!

The last few months have zipped by.  We have been incredible busy as a family of five.  M and E are in gymnastics and we were all in Awana's as cubbies, S as an honoray cubbie and I was a leader.  It seems that the weeks have zipped by and I haven't even downloaded the camera in months.  I plan to do that very soon as we have S's six month post placement visit coming up on Monday and I need photos for it.  It is hard to believe that in a couple weeks, May 22nd to be exact, S will have been with us for six months.  So here is an update on what I have missed blogging about!

M starts kindergarten in the fall.  She was accepted into the Mandarin Immersion program that we have been praying for.  I wasn't quite sure what were going to do for kindergarten if she didn't get in.  She is so excited and can't wait to start, she would start today if they would let her.  She was very well prepared for kindergarten and does not have a list of items that she needs to work on before the fall, thank you to her preschool and my fabulous teacher sister S!!!  She will be moving to the school age program next week at her preschool and she is so ready to be know as school age!

E will be moving to the PreK program very soon.  He is doing great with his kindergarten preparation as well, although he has one more year in preschool.  I love it when he comes up to me and recites the spelling of his name and his classmates.  He is our child with 100 questions a day, he notices things that so many of us miss each day.  I love see the world through his eyes.  He is a wonderful big brother, he does such a great job looking out for S and helping her with things.  You can really see how much he loves her on a daily basis.  He is really turning into a little man, even helped the family work cows and nana and papa's last weekend as we prepare the cows for the summer.

S has transformed so much over the last five months.  She does not resemble the scared little penguin that she was in China.  When we were in China, if we were in the hotel and I wasn't carrying her you would find her right behind me.  I had to be careful when I was moving around so as not to run her over.  Now she is constantly skipping, jumping, swinging, laughing and just being plain silly.  She is anxiously awaiting gymnastics and practices her bar routine on anything that she can hang off of.  She still has nearly a year before she can start but I think she will love every minute of it.  It is amazing how athletic she is, she has a really good aim when she is throwing things, she even has her own football.  She has claimed her place as the youngest child in our family and it is a great fit.  She is such a blessing to us and daddy and I can't believe how blessed we are to be her family.  We can't thank BAAS enough for all they did to bring us together.

I started selling Thirty-One gifts in February and it is a perfect fit for me.  I can't tell you how much I love the company, the women I am meeting involved with Thirty-One and the people who I can be a part of their lives through Thirty-One.  Thirty-One is allowing me to contribute to families adoption funds and organizations that help orphans when our financial means would not allow it.  It is so rewarding to be able to give back when so many gave to us as we worked to raise money to bring S home.  Since starting in February I have been able to partner with three families to raise $513 towards their childrens adoptions and with Henan Kids International to raise $283 towards projects they are working on in Henan China orphanages.  It is my goal to continue to have at least on fundraiser going on each month.  If you are a fundraising family and are looking for a new fundraiser I would love to partner with you on your fundraiser journey.  Send me an email and we can talk about Thirty-One fundraising.  While our family may be done growing I am passionate about adoption and would love to help you bring your child home.

I have started on the adventure of coupon shopping.  While I know that I will never be an extreme coupon shopper as I don't believe in buying things that my family won't use just because I can get it free.  I do want to work harder at be a good steward of our money and hope that I will be able to get things that are needed by organizations in China to send with families traveling for their children.  Formula and medication are always in demand so I will be picking those items up when I can.  We are also starting a garden to help reduce our produce bill.  Our seedlings are doing fantastic and we are working on getting our flower beds turned vegetable garden ready to plant as soon as the weather becomes stable. Who would have thought we would wake up to snow yesterday.  It was our plan to put down decorative rock in our flower beds and turn them into low maintenance (weed free if possible) however our finances didn't allow it last year and then our dear dog Tri pulled up the weed fabric, now plans have changed and they are turning into vegetable gardens!  I am really excited to see what we can produce to eat fresh during the summer and then can or freeze for the winter.

We have had quite a bit of illness in our family this year.  We have had several cases of "fifths disease", bronchitis, sinus infections, stomach viruses and such.  E had a febrile seizure, M became dehydrated while batteling a stomach virus coupled with her sinus infection so our local ER has seen our family a bit over the last month.  My husband also lost his dear uncle in March, while it was expected, it was still very hard.  His uncle was the man in his life as he was growing up and taught him so much.  He gave him his start in construction and prepared him to succeed in Construction Management.  My husband was able to be with him in the last days and was there with him when he went home to Jesus.  While the loss of him has been so hard I am forever grateful that my husband could be by his side with his cousins during those last days.  I wish we would have had more time together, when we moved an hour away our time together really became nonexistent.  From this we have learned that we have to make the effort to be with our family as often as possible, we won't have forever on earth to spend together.  I am very thankful that one day we will be with him again in heaven.

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