Having Fun with Our Son


I'm not sure what happened to the original post of this.

I typed it.  
I published it.  
It vanished.


So, her goes round 2.

While we were visiting Aaron, we decided to go to Six Flags Great America.  I love roller coasters.  The higher, faster, the bigger the drop, the better!

Aaron loves them, too.

Kevin is a willing participant!

I had never been to Six Flags Great America before and, boy, was it worth it!

I think it has the most really great coasters of any I've been to. 

And, I experienced something I'd never experienced before...a brief blackout from the G-forces!  That was on the Batman, in case you ever go...on my third consecutive ride. 

Maybe I overdid it!

But the lines were short...and it was a great!

But by far my favorite ride of the day was The Raging Bull.  It is extremely similar to the Apollo's Chariot in Busch Gardens...and that is my very favorite roller coaster!

After a day at the park, we went out to eat and then hit the Putt Putt course.

Par-King is supposedly in the top 10 of Putt Putt courses in the US according to the Travel Channel (I think!).

Yes, it was fun.  Old school and creative!

Including a hole that replicated the Sears/Willis Tower...elevator for your ball and all!

The final hole was a Roulette wheel.  If you landed on 0, you got a free game.  Needless to say, none of us did!

Hopefully, this post will stay!  (I'm blaming my new Blogger App on my Android phone for the loss!)

In Him,


Aaron's Naval A School Graduation

TodayAaron graduated from his Naval A School. openinget is his first  school after bootcamp and prepared him for his job in the Navy.  

He also received his orders yesterday, and after going to another school in a yet to be determined location, he will spend 2-3 years in GUAM!

Not sure exactly when he leaves (should know Monday).

Praying for Lord's hand to be clearly directing Aaron's future, opening and closing doors for His glory.

In Him,


First Day of School

That's right...today was the day!

Anna Grace, Ally, Lily and Joshua started the new year today. 

 Emma has been working hard for over a month now, so it was just a typical day for her.   Anna Grace & Ally were glad to be back in a routine and have something interesting to do (we'll see how long that lasts!).

 But for Lily & Joshua, this was their first first day of "real" school.  They were so excited!  Especially Lily, who really could probably teach me!  Yes, she's that smart...and I'm not just mama-bragging!  

The littlest are preschoolers and are working on the typical preschool things:  letters, numbers, colors, messy play, reading lots and lots of books.  
I didn't even spring for new crayons!  Yes, I gave them to them broken already!
I spent a good deal of my time in Florida last week (pictures in another post) piecing together their schedule.  I felt like I should call it Preschool by Pinterest, because of how much time I spent on there gathering ideas, but in actuality it is only a portion of their schedule. 

A big emphasis this year is on character qualities, so today they began with obedience (with the older girls sitting in to "help teach" the lesson. Of course, they have this mastered.  Snicker.)  We will spend the next 3 weeks talking about the 4 keys to obedience:  immediately, cheerfully, thoroughly/completely, and without complaining. (Okay, the key idea did come from Pinterest!)

 Today's focus:  immediately.  

Fun as a game.  Not as much fun for some in reality!  

All in all it was a much smoother day than I had anticipated.  

Praising Him for that answer to prayer, as I was the one not ready to begin this year.  But it felt good to me, too, to be back in the rhythm once I was there.  Last year reminded me that homeschooling is too much for me, but not too much for Him.  So I pray I will lean totally upon Him this year, obey immediately (smile), and enjoy the process.

In Him,


Lily's Forever Family Day

Three years ago today, Lily joined our family...forever!

From Emma's Instagram today

This morning she woke up to the "Happy Family Day!" song (which sounds just like the "Happy Birthday" song, by the way!).

She was soooo excited!

She got to pick where she wanted to go for her special celebration and she picked Krispy Kreme!   

You'd never know our tiniest (though not youngest, thank you very much!) could eat a whole doughnut!  

(Well, she almost ate a whole one!)

Milk is vital to proper doughnut consumption, in case you were wondering.

The Lord really wanted to bless her because tonight they not only had the customary hats....but also balloons...

and Krispy Kreme temporary tattoos!  

As if watching doughnuts being made in front of you wasn't amazing enough!

I had high hopes of being able to watch the videos of our first day together, but time went much too fast, so we will have to save that for tomorrow.

But, my, did she have fun celebrating!

What a precious gift!

And just to show you one of the reasons Lily was so smiley...

my super-silly, make-you-belly-laugh, quick-take-a-picture husband!

That is what family is all about!  A place to...
be loved, 
be who God made you to be.  
inside jokes, 
picking each other up...
and so much more.

Most of all...it is forever.

Lily, we love you...forever.

In Him,



Dental Checkup & a Detour

A couple of weeks ago Joshua had a regular dental checkup with the doctor who performed his dental surgery in Feb.

He's quite the celebrity there!   They all  remember him and he surprisingly loves it there!   No fear of dentists for him.

After an easy cleaning and checkup, he was given a super report & declared good to go for another 6 months.   Thankfully,  all crowns and spacers are holding tight!

I happened to dress him in his Redskin RG3 Jersey.  Everyone at the dental office assumed we were going to training camp.  I had not been planning on it.  But  after talking with his dentist,  Emma and I decided that since it was right down the street it would be totally worth it to see Kevin's face!

Only problem was there were no players there for our little football player to watch! 

 They were on lunch break until 3:40 and it was only 12:30!  

We stayed for an hour, took some pictures &emailed them to Kevin (who promptly called! ) and then we went home.

It was worth a try!

In Him,


PS... Diane A. and Carol P. this update is for you! 


1 Year into Forever!

It was one year ago today that Joshua was placed in my arms!


 Or as Emma said today, "No, Mom, you took him...there was no waiting on your part for them to hand him to you!"

Quite true!

I remember anxiously and tearfully waiting for Joshua to arrive and then seeing a van pull up, a door open, and a man place Joshua on the ground next to the van.  

The mama instinct in me wanted to run out and grab him or at least yell at the man to hold his hand so he wouldn't run out into the parking lot and get hit by a car! 

But decorum kept me in line and I waited until he had crossed the threshold...

to scoop him away from his orphan-life into one of forever and always.

Can it really be a year already?

In some ways it does seem like a year...2 surgeries, 5 months of castings, the rough several months of adjusting to life in our home.

But in other ways, I feel like I've barely blinked.

We've watched a transformation happen in this last year.  

The pudgy cheeked angry and confused toddler has blossomed into a smiley, silly, friendly, cuddly tall boy.  He's gone from chucking toys at me or hitting me when he was angry to simply boo-hooing when upset, sad, or angry.  He's gone from being unsure of my touch to being one of our 2 snuggliest kiddos.  He gives the greatest hugs.

Not only has he grown and become more secure, but so has Lily as a result of his presence.  

She has a comrade, a buddy, a "twin" brother.  The two are rarely apart and consider themselves inseparable, I believe.  After two and a half years of not being able to leave Lily with anyone without Kevin, I, or Emma present, Lily (thanks to Joshua's presence) now consistently and joyfully goes to Sunday School (with him, of course)! 

Can I get a Hallelujah?!

We couldn't be more thankful for the transformations we have seen take place in our home and in our boy!

Today we celebrated Joshua's Forever Family Day with waffles for breakfast and lunch at Chick-fil-A!  

Joshua with Lily and Ally

Joshua, we love you...to forever and back!
His first scooter attempt!

Playing on the playground before the 4h of July

In Him,