Thursday, May 24, 2012

School Is Out

It feels like yesterday I was taking a picture of Eric and the kids heading to breakfast before their first day of school. I can't believe how fast the year flew by. It was a year full of fun, growth and 
tremendous blessings. 


As Eric and the kids left for breakfast and I sat down to write their teachers notes I got all teary. I feel so blessed that each of the kids were truly blessed with amazing teachers this year. They were a perfect fit for each of their personalities. If you remember back to the first day of school post


Alexa was in tears and totally stressed out on her way into school her first day. It usually takes her a month or so to settle in and let her nerves calm down. It is hard on this mom's heart to watch and yet I know God is working on both of us and growing us in the process. This year was amazing. Within a day Alexa's little heart, mind and soul was at a very peaceful place. I didn't seeing an anxiety or stress rise up once in her the whole year which is absolutely amazing. I attribute it to her amazing teacher. She has an amazing gift in how she handles her classroom, how she teaches and her sweet, gentle spirit.
  alexa wall-blog

Alexa grew in so many areas this year and her confidence soared through the roof in so many subjects. She turned into a complete book worm . Her heart and compassion for others struggling her classroom was an area her teacher said she also stepped up to the plate. She was quick to recognize when others were anxious or needed help and found a way to gently come along side of them. I just can't believe she is going to be a 4th grader. This was the first year she really voiced being sad about school being out because she was going to miss her friends. Alexa has been given the gift of a couple very special friends and it was so fun to see their friendship grow and move to a new level this year.


 It wasn't uncommon for them to make things for each other and give each other notes of encouragement. One of her friends often made little bookmarks with verses on them. I pray their friendship and love for the Lord continues to grow in the years to come. 


 Emma went through her 2nd grade year in true Emma style. She loved everything about school and embraced it head on. She had two teachers this year that job shared. They were a perfect fit for her and each of them brought out something different in her. I saw her heart for the Lord grow this year in a new way. The excitement she had for the Bible and new nuggets of information in stories she heard over and over again. Emma felt like it was a great year as she gained confidence in her Math and Reading. Her very favorite part of 2nd grade was studying the human body.Over and over we heard from her teachers that she had a huge heart and just loves life. Emma has always had a large group of girls she plays with but this year she had a couple that became her best friends. It has been fun to see those relationships blossom this year.

Shane had a great year too. It started out a little rocky with a few time outs as he was figuring life out as a kindergartner. He had an amazing teacher that was gentle and loving and yet ran a tight ship so Shane knew exactly where the lines were.


 It was amazing to watch him grow and blossom this year. He matured so much in his self control and ability to focus and finish. He is a true boy who loves to wiggle, talk, poke his neighbor ... so watching him work through all that and come to a place where he knew what was expected and see him handle it was fun to see. 

Shane wall

 I think Kindergarten is the most amazing year as they go from hardly knowing their letter to reading. They go from learning numbers to adding and telling time. They go from just figuring how to write all their letters correctly to writing words and complete sentences. They go from looking so little to losing teeth and looking all grown up! I am so proud of Shane and the way he grew socially, emotionally, academically and spiritually this year. It was a big year for him and he is ready for 1st grade. I am just not sure I am.
  shane's picture

The kids had their final chapel of the year that I got to go to and then when school was out at noon we said our good byes to friends and teachers for the summer. I love summer and was so looking forward to it but as I hugged teachers goodbye and told them thanks for all they did for my kids I got pretty teary! I feel so blessed that God gave them all such amazing teachers. There were precious memories made this year and each of them had an impact on my kids in a very special way. The big kids and I headed out for a special celebratory lunch. Later we got home and I had a fun little idea pop in my head.
  school is out

If you know me you know I love to throw a party so I thought why not have a "School Is Out" party.
  food collage

We made a quick run to Target and I made some sneaky purchases and while the kids played outside I pulled a quick little party together. Thank goodness for people who make darling printables and post them for free on line ... these printables made things pretty easy.

  table collage

We had a fun evening of celebrating a great year and we are looking forward to a fun summer!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Tulip Festival

We headed to my home town last weekend for the annual Tulip Festival. The kids were so excited to see papa, grammy and all their cousins. They were anticipating all the fun that was in front of them.

On Friday we got to town in time to watch the parade. I wish I would have gotten a picture of Max on my dad's lap during the parade. Max isn't afraid of too many things. One thing he isn't a fan of is bugs and we quickly found out bands are not a favorite of his either. When the bands would come by he would hang on to papa's neck for dear life.

  The kids could hardly wait to hit the rides with their cousins. It was a bit of chaos for all the adults to keep tabs on everyone as kids were wanting to head in different directions. Good thing there were 8 adults with 16 eyes to keep tabs on everyone. The excitement was running pretty high!
  rides3 collage

Max was beyond excited as he jumped in the puppy with his brother. I am pretty sure you can see just how Shane feels about life by the expression on his face!
  ride collage

The big girls are growing up ... insert sign .... they no longer love the little cars and slides. They have moved on to bigger and better things. I couldn't keep up with them and most of the rides they chose moved so fast or were so high I couldn't even get a picture of them. You can see the top of Darby's head in the bottom of the octopus. This is about as good as it gets.
  ride collage2

The three middles also thought they would move on to a bigger and better rides. They decided to hop on the Ferris Wheel. There was a bit of screaming coming from the bucket #11 when it reached the top. I wonder who was in there?


 Shane wanted another shot at the Dragon Roller coaster. We reminded him that just 2 years ago he was in tears when he rode it because he was so scared. Well this time around his expression was a little different.
  food collage

The Tulip Festival is not complete with out all the yummy treats. Papa treated the kids to some mini doughnuts and lemonade. Max was happily sharing his doughnut with papa. This will give you an idea of the eating rules at Tulip Festival ... for lunch on Saturday papa had purchased some funnel cakes for the kids to munch on while their parents were getting them some real food. No wonder we are chopped liver when papa and grammy are around.
  max collage

On Saturday we put on the Dutch Costumes and headed to main street to get the streets ready for the queen and her court. Max was the cutest little Chinese Dutch boy around.
  girls collage

I can't believe how fast these little Dutch girls are growing up! We had such a nice spring that we actually had a stem fest, there wasn't a tulip in sight.  We had to find some other flowers to take pictures by.
  shane collage

Shane wanted to take his pictures by the windmill!

A few other pictures before the street scrubbing began.
  boys street collage

The boys headed out and filled their buckets with water to pour on the road so the girls could come behind with their brooms to scrub the streets. I love Shane in action getting the water out to those ladies. Max was pretty excited about throwing the water out too!
  girls street3-blog

The girls were ready. We pretty much fill up the road here and Alexa and Darby are even a few steps ahead!

boys street3

Max was loving life!
  girls street collage

The girls had a great time too. Look at Mataya, the cute little Dutch girl I am holding. I can't wait until next year, hopefully our little Asian princess will be home for the festivities.

boys street-blog

  The boys reached the end of the route! What a fun weekend with a lot of fun memories.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Tough Mudder

 Eric decided to jump on the band wagon and sign up for his second Tough Mudder Race.   It is a 12 mile run with 30 military obstacles.

I thought he was a big crazy when I watched videos of this crazy race the first time he decided to do it. 

I thought he was even crazier when he had to sign a "death waiver" ... are you kidding me a death waiver? 

Eric and his good friend Jarrod decided to do The Tough Mudder Race together.  Their good friend Brad was on the injured list but went along to cheer them on and catch them in action.  I am pretty sure they will all 3 be participating in the next Mudder.  It is in their blood! 

There are electrical currents to crawl through ....

tunnels to crawl through ...

mud hills were climbed ....

and then run down .... 

there were tunnels to crawl through with water ... 

and then barbwire to crawl under ....

walls to climb ...

and then to help others over.  

The guys had a blast and are ready to head back out to another Tough Mudder.  I was pretty happy to see him come home in one piece with just some minor scrapes and bruises.  

Friday, May 18, 2012

One More Step Closer

We are one more step closer to our little girl ....

Today We Are 


 Dossier To China 

 This means that our Dossier (large amount of paperwork we gathered) has been approved by Holt International and is on its way to China. We will now wait for a LID. The LID (Log in Date) is the date that our paperwork is logged into China. After we receive our LID we will be ready to be matched with either a little girl thats file is released in the monthly release from China or a little girl that is designated to our agency! We can't wait to see the little girl that God has picked to complete our family!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Fun Day In Kindergarten

Shane had a fun field trip to the Butterfly House for his final field trip of the year. He was very excited for a trip to see butterflies then lunch and playtime at the park. 


 The kids started in a room as someone shared about butterflies. The kids also got to pet the taranchula, Lucy.

aquarium collage
  They also just added an aquarium area at the Butterfly House which was fun for the kids. Shane's favorite fish were the ones that would pick up sand with their mouth and then spit it back out.

We then moved to the Butterfly House and saw hundreds of beautiful butterflies.

Shane really wanted a butterfly to land on him so found places to sit and wait patiently for them to land.

 He waited ...

and waited!


 Finally he got one to land on his shoe lace!
  butterfly collage

The kids had so much fun!

We then headed to the park for a picnic and time to play. Shane's teacher gathered all the kids and the kids were sad to be heading back to school. Little did they know what was to come. 


Shane's teacher started reading the book "My Teacher Sleeps In School." When she was to the last page she said it was now time for a Mystery Field Trip. There was a big buzz in our car as the kids were trying to figure out where we were going. We ended up at their teacher's house for the afternoon. The kids got a tour of her house and yard, snack time, they did Bible time and center time. It was a very fun surprise for the kids.

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