Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Our family would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. 
Luke 2:13-20

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas Piano Recital

This past summer Gabe and Selah started piano lessons. I had been giving them lessons until that time, but it was time for someone else to take them under their wing. We started searching for piano teachers. One evening I had a coffee date with a friend of mine that had been directing the choir I now direct to pass on her knowledge to me, when piano lessons came up and she told me she had some spots open for homeschoolers! YAHOO!! So we go every Monday to her fabulous piano studio. 

On Saturday, we drove to a little one-room school house, now converted into a Community Center, for Gabe and Selah's first ever piano recital. 

Selah played Good King Wenceslas without missing a note - even though her second page was upside down! 

Gabe played Little Drummer Boy and really hammed it up!

Then he joined a buddy at the piano for a duet of The Holly and the Ivy.

Mrs. Amberson has been a blessing! She is a great piano teacher and loves her kids so much. This is just one-third of her students. 

We love Mrs. Amberson!

OK - now - don't take my word for the amazing job these kids did, watch the video below and let their music get you in the Christmas spirit, too! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Kid's Praise Christmas Concert

The Kid's Praise 1st - 5th grade Choirs performed their Christmas Concert at out mall this year.

What a great outreach! They were able to take the gospel of Christmas out into a secular place. They did an amazing job and many, many people stopped to listen. 

Selah sang her first solo at the mall and did a beautiful job. Gabe had a part in the drama. You can see their performance below. It is only 5 and a half minutes long...so enjoy!! 

Mig's choir performed the next evening at our church. These littlest of the Kid's Praise voices did an amazing job, too!! This was my first time directing the Pre-K and Kindergarten's Christmas Concert and I loved planning, preparing and teaching these sweet kids! 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Jolly Old St. Nicholas

Last year we did not attempt seeing Santa Claus. Faith was afraid of so many things and so we did not even try. This year we went to see the lights at BLORA in Belton and stopped in to Santa's Workshop. Faith walked right up to "Ho Ho", as she calls him, without any hesitation!! So here are our first Santa pictures with all four children! 

This past weekend we walked into Walmart for groceries and sitting close to the entrance was Santa again. He was so sweet! He talked with each of my kids about what was going on up at the North Pole and won our Faith over so much that she gave him a HUGE hug and then waved good-bye until she could no longer see him. This is a beautiful example of how far this child has come in one short year!! 

As we were saying good-bye, Santa leaned over to me, looked me in the eye and said, "That really made my day." 

Mine, too, Santa. 

Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 23, 2015

One Year Gotcha Day Anniversary

Gotcha Day (or Family Day) is the day adoptive families call the day a child was placed in their family. 

Today is our 1 year Gotcha Day Anniversary!!! 

It is amazing what 1 year plus a whole lot of love can do for a child!!


One year ago Faith:

- was called Li Ren Lan
-had about a 3 word vocabulary
-spent her days in an orphanage crib
-weighed 18 pounds 
- was 32" tall
-wore infant size 9 month clothing
-could not walk
-drank from a bottle
-was diagnosed with "failure to thrive"


Now Faith: 

-has a new name
-speaks English fluently
-spends her days surrounded by siblings, a mommy and a daddy
-weighs 29 pounds (gained 11 pounds!)
-is 36" tall (gained 4")
-wears size 3t
-spent 4 months in casts, had 1 surgery and now walks!
-has bedtime songs, stories and kisses
-has heard how much Jesus loves her
-has a BIG extended family to love and spoil her
-is loved by a huge church family 
-has had her birthday celebrated for the first time ever
-has a light from within that shines through her eyes


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Now look who is TEN!!

Ten years ago Byron and I went to the hospital as a young married couple and left as a family! Gabe is the one who made us parents and I can't believe that we have had the names "Mom" and "Dad' for a full decade!! 

Gabe LOVES to read and devours books like they are candy. I am so thankful that we own a library card, because there is no way I could afford all of the books that he reads. 

He also loves God and God's Word and has hidden more verses in his heart than anyone I know! 

Gabe has always been such a friendly kid and will talk your ear off if you let him. 

Gabe has had an exciting year. He has gained a little sister and a dog. He has learned how to be big brother to a little one with special needs and I have seen that same compassion shown to other kids in the community with special needs. He touches our heart in so many ways. We are so proud of the little man he is becoming. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Look who is 4!!

I cannot believe that the little peanut we brought home from China almost a year ago is now FOUR!! 

Last year on Faith's birthday we landed in Beijing, tired from the long flight (not to mention the screaming child sitting behind us), excited at the journey before us, but a little disappointed that we missed celebrating her 3rd birthday by just a few days. 

This year she is in our arms and we are so excited to be celebrating the little person she is!

Faith is still tiny for her age. She weighs 29 pounds and is 36" tall. But within that tiny girl lies a little warrior. In her 4 short years she has been through so much, yet faces the world with a smile and her own unique spunk. 

And as a special treat here is a slide show of her journey from 3 years old to 4 years old. It is really something to watch her progression (but it is 16 minutes long - so grab some coffee or tea and get comfy). 

Faith is a blessing and an inspiration. We are so happy that she is ours!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

More October fun!

 The weekend before Halloween we carved our pumpkin.

And when I say we, I mean Byron. We just tell him what to carve. :)

This year we chose a happy skeleton. It turned out very cool!

The triplets came up to spend Halloween with us!! We played Halloween games, had a spooky dinner and then went Trick-or-Treating as a big group! 

This year Gabe was Captain Jack Sparrow, Faith was Elmo, Selah was a beautiful princess, Mig was the Red Power Ranger, Charli Kate was Anna, Tali was Elsa, and Adrik was Olaf. 

They all ended up with tons of candy and even a toy! It was a fun October!!

First Pumpkin Patch!

A couple of weeks before Halloween we went to the Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch!

This was Faith's first trip to the patch and she LOVED it!!

For the past 5 years, a visit to the Pumpkin Patch has been one of our families favorite traditions!

Gabe was Captain Jack Sparrow for Halloween this year.

Selah is a BIG Monster's Inc fan!

Ni Hao Kai Lan!!

The big kids love the hay maze!

The barrel train was one of Faith's favorite!

This big chair was new this year.

We ended our trip with a hayride.

Such a fun fall activity!!