For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Homecoming

Waiting Anxiously for their parents

There they are...

Mommy, Daddy,...K!

Hugs All Around

More Hugs!

The Crowd

There She Is!

A Precious Smile

Smitten with her big brother
Once Again, we were blessed to be a part of welcoming home Connie and Clayton and their precious little one. Welcoming home adoptive families is nothing less than wonderful! It never, ever gets old! It never, ever fails to bring me to tears! It is an amazing testimony to what God blesses us with whenever we say "Yes" to His Call!  Each and every time a child gets a forever family, it gives but a small glimpse of the love of Jesus. The love He showed to us giving His life so that we can be adopted heirs with Him for eternity. There is a saying that I read recently (which I love!). It says, "We adopt not because we are the rescuers but because we have been rescued." A Welcome Home party is but a brief glimpse of the love and joy that we get to experience when we are welcomed home to be with Jesus. Oh How I Love A Welcome Home Party!

Final Days with the Fab Fifteen

Well, as you can imagine, the final days with the Fab Fifteen were busy days or at least filled with activity. The kiddos spent much of Spring Break playing outside, riding bikes, exploring in the forest and many hours of play with Legos. They continued to enjoy each other's company so very much. It is difficult to explain how well they do get along...God orchestrated for sure!
In addition,we took a trip to town for hamburgers at our favorite place, Freddies, and then we braved the big "W" store with all fifteen. I dislike that place, especially when taking my kids there. I can't explain why exactly, except to say, it is always super stufffed with items and super crowded. Trying to manuever around the store and keep all my chicks with me and out of people's way becomes a monumental task at times(or so it feels). Anyway, the thought of taking 15 had me a little stressed. ln actuality, it turned out to be easy thanks to each teen taking some of the smaller ones and going off to explore. A few stayed with Brad and I, as we were shopping for birthday party supplies. I still managed to forget a few things that I had wanted to pick up but nothing "earth-shattering". The kids were well behaved, and no one asked for anything (which my kids usually drive me crazy with even though it never works). Most importantly, we left Walmart with all fifteen kiddos.  
Princess Kennah's birthday was Wednesday, and so we thought it would be fun for all of us to have a mini-celebration. We knew that she would celebrate when mom and dad returned;however, we thought it would be a fun activity for all the kids. Anything to keep them busy, and everyone loves a party. The birthday girl requested a princess party. We honored that request with a "princess" theme. After a birthday dinner, the party began. We had to pretend to "blow out"the candle (because that was one of the things I forgot). Everyone was ready to dig into the cake and ice cream, and Little K was very excited about opening her presents. She was surrounded by lots of helpers, but she managed to get the gifts open much to her delight. Her smile brought happiness and was all the thanks anyone could need. She was(is) a beautiful princess indeed!
Princess Cake for a Princess

Opening presents

A Princess Doll for a Beautiful Princess 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Breakfast with the Fab Fifteen

Funny Cereal Face (Can't help but love this cutie...MY BABY)

Boys, Boys, Boys...silliness extrodinaire!

Coco Crisp are a healthy breakfast,right?!

These are yummy!
Mealtime with fifteen is crazy at best...But after 13 days together, we have developed a system and it works! It is easiest to limit choices and to serve plates in an assembly line. Breakfast is slightly different, and I learned the hard way that the majority's breakfast of choice is waffles or cereal. (Yeah...made eggs, bacon and toast one breakfast...not many happy plates :)! ....even my kiddos who like the occassional big breakfast preferred cereal/waffles...makes it easier for me!...) 
Funny Story: We have had meals provided for us by the church...praising the Lord for His provision and for their generousity! Weekends have been my cooking days... I love to cook, but have to say it can be a bit difficult with bunches of kiddos needing my attention. It is difficult, as well, to find things that ALL will like (because,of course, " its not like momma's"). So, for Sunday lunch, I made beef stew using Beef Stew Meat, Carrots,Potatoes (my momma's recipe that has withstood the test of time and lots of  kiddos). It was a hit! Most of the kiddos ate it well, and they soped up the gravy with cornbread. One K~krew teen loved it a bit more than most...eating so much that he was miserable (2 huge, heaping bowls)! He kept going on and on about how good it was and how he enjoyed it! I am thinking he is just schmoozing me...!  However, yesterday (Monday) Brad was asking him something about food and being hungry. He said,"I am getting so fat... because of Ms Kim's food." To which  I replied, "No one has been forcing you to eat so much." His reply,"I know, but that "stuff", you know that "Stuff", you made yesterday. It is so good! It reminds me of China. It taste just like "Dog Meat"... Brad and I started laughing( we just couldn't help ourselves...). He said, "What?! It does! It taste just like dog-meat I had in China." Oh, Dear! It was meant as a compliment, I think!??!
Since, serving time went smoothly this morning, I was able to take some fun pics as they ate and played.
Legos, Oh how I love thee!! (many hours of entertainment!)

Have to chase these guys off the video games and outside...

The only kid of picture I get of Nate these days...

The Rock Star Breakfast...(not really her breakfast, but she loved aggravating the teen that it belonged to)

Monday, March 18, 2013

More Sunday Silliness Pics

More crazy pics...
Tried to get them all to cooperate, umm yeah...

Little K burst into tears, 4 yr K covered her eyes, our bunch decided to be silly...

Then K boy decides to refuse...

Teen K convinced Littlest K to look for mommy...

Let the Silliness begin...

Look, I am making them laugh...

How many kiddos can we fit in this one bathroom?

Wait! Isn't it our turn yet?!

Blessed Beyond Measure

We have been so blessed by the church body during our stay here. Last night was no exception. A big Thank You to Seth and Megan for taking the teens and spending some quality time with them watching movies and chowing on pizza. ...And another huge Thank You  to church members who treated us to a night out, and to the Muellers who took time out of their Sunday to come babysit the middles and littles of the Fabulous Fifteen. Brad and I enjoyed our date, but we have to say..."We are getting OLD. We didn't realize that we were just a bit exhausted until we just sat for a little while. After dinner, the most exciting thing we decided to do was to go to a coffee shop for coffee, and we almost fell asleep while sitting there." We do sincerly thank those willing to give us a brief rest, and we are rejuvinated and ready to begin the final stretch of time with these beautiful kiddos!
We had a request for more pictures from the momma of the Kkrew,so we tried our best but many were not cooperative on this Sunday night. The pictures turned out quite comical. Everyone can see all the kiddos in their "Orneriness". Hope you enjoy!

**More pictures to come...having trouble uploading to blogger**

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Slow Start...

Big Boys playing on the Playstation

Yes, I did let her choose her own clothes today

She was picking on Nolan

Look Nolie, I have your hat!

She is a sweet, quiet and just a little mischeivious!

We took this Saturday morning very easy. We slept in, if you want to call it that(8am). We ate some yummy cinnamon rolls courtesy of a church member, and got ready for our day at leisure. When we tired of hanging around the house, we made our way to town and walked around the mall. We found a carpet/rug that looked like a checkerboard... we had enough kids to make "human checkers" and, they spent a chunk of time playing the game. The kiddos even attracted a small crowd of on lookers (of course that is the case when taking a crowd of 15 out anywhere). We ate lunch at one of our favorite places, Chick Fil A, and consumed a tray of nuggets, a bunch of waffle fries and 2 gallons of sweet tea. It was a Hit... not one nugget left (or fries or tea for that matter)! We made our way back home and are enjoying a lazy Saturday afternoon. The kiddos are continuing to do well; however, they are wishing for mom and dad to be home. We will do our best to fill the days with some activities, and we are hopeful that it will help the time pass quickly. Well, On to Spring Break week...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Some things I have learned...

Being Mom to 7 and playing mom to 9 over the last week has been quite the learning experience. If you missed it...that is 16!
Here are a few of the things I have learned:
1) There is not much time for picture taking...hence no pictures of late.
2) It is not something I would ever want to do all alone! Although I can do whatever God has in store for me, I am more than grateful that He leads my steps and gives me strength and encouragement each and everyday! I am also very grateful for the man that God has blessed me with to be the love of my life, my husband, my helpmate, and father to all my children. (Brad had a business meeting in Tulsa,so he took our teen boys and one K-teen with him. They continued on back to our house to take care of our animals, and to attend youth group last night. I missed them!... and Brad!... and the extra help for taking the middles and littles to church dinner and church last night!)
3) Patience is a learned art! I am so very weak in this area, and I pray for God to give me an extra measure of grace and compassion each and every day. I do this when dealing with my seven and continue these prayers everyday while here!
4) When the toddlers, 2 three yr olds and a 4 year old, awaken at the same time as the school crew (6:45)... It means a very long and taxing day... this is when my prayers for that extra measure of grace sometimes become prayers by the minute. Oh, and they get an early nap time!
5) It is amazing what God's church, his people, can do when they serve him whole-heartedly! The church body here has blessed us immensely! They have shown generosity, providing enormous amounts of food to keep this Krew fed (many have brought dinners and several have brought extra groceries to help), offering encouragement and praying for our families.
6)Laundry is laundry...never ending no matter how many kids you have, but with 16 it is a constant process... (2 washers and 2 dryers would be like heaven for moms of many... I am sure Ms Connie would be oh so grateful if anyone wanted to hook her up with this :)!)
7) I think a family closet would be AWESOME!! ...Brad, would you get right on building one of those in our house? and I am sure that Ms Connie would love one in her house too! ... (just kidding babe..well sort of)
8) Assembly line, assembly line, assembly line...this helps make meal time a little more sane. 
9)I still don't like "bath time"...don't like it at home, and I still haven't found anything to make it easier.
10) I Love.Love.Love kids!!! (Yes, still!... and always!)
I still stand in awe of the way that all the kiddos get along and the understanding that they show one another. Each child has shown compassion toward one another. There is little to no complaining, and for the most part, they all just go with the flow. They are a precious group of kiddos! (I may change my mind after they are home together for Spring Break next week. :) )
Thank You all for your continued prayers!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fabulous Fifteen

** I know there are a lot of pictures, but  I know a momma and daddy in China who need to see their precious babies and to know how they are doing. And. besides....who can resist looking at all those beautiful faces!**
 The Fabulous Fifteen are doing great! We have been "keeping busy" and having fun. We are finally getting in the grove of scheduling. It has been relatively simple and our homeschooling routine has fit right in the gaps of the KCrew's schedule. Our key to success has been divide and conquer. Early to rise...haha!... I am learning! I even got a shower and some bible study done before it was time to awaken the school crew, Hooray! We start with getting the school kids ready, fed and off to school. Then it is time to awaken the homeschool crew and the toddlers follow as they awaken on their own. We are usually schooling before they get up, but we are able to fit an outfit change and breakfast in during a break in the studies. The homeschool gang can hardly stand the wait for the KCrew to return from school and the Kcrew jumps right in to the excitement as soon as the bus drops them off afterschool. Brad has been taking those who want to the Billion/Gazillion  many softball and baseball games while many of us choose to stay behind at the house.
Our weekend was filled with things to entertain and keep all hands and minds active. We made it to church and only a few minutes late. The kids dispersed with lightning speed, and Brad and I made our way to Sunday School classes. We worshiped the Lord with an amazing group of believers,and then returned home for our lunch. (Ms Connie, I think I went too exotic on the meal: pork roast, wild rice, black-eyed peas, and hot applesauce were a bit too different for your kiddos... they ate the pork and left the rest....who knew?!) We finished dinner... the teens did the dishes. We played outdoors (the trampoline won the choice award), played Just Dance 4 (some pretty good dancers), made sugar cookies, ate Ms Connie's Chocolate Chip Cookies--Yummy! (and we saved the sugar cookies for another day), teens went to play basketball, the middles did homework,and the littles colored and played, prepared for the next school day, baths and into bed with them all,Whew!

Watching a Movie... Ms Connie, I did try to keep the house picked up, but that only lasted about 5 min.

Doing his "Homework"

Reading together...

Mr Brad helping K with her homework

Not sure what the teens are doing here, BUT it wasn't homework

The Little Girls love to color

Uh! Yeah!....Ms Connie's chocolate chip cookies gone in less than 15min.

Beautiful K rolling and cutting sugar cookies
Preciousness...coloring her "pidure"

Homeschool crowd...working hard on their lessons

She is very serious about her studies

Working hard and finishing his work

Diego on Netflix's is my our friend!!

Yes! Our teen will go to any lengths necessary to entertain the masses (it doesn't hurt that she is a cutie patootie)!

Afterschool Decorating of our Sugar cookies

She was having a great time "painting"her cookies... She is an artist!

Can you see the look on little K's face? She and Nate have buddied up. He loves her and she him!

And of course their is ALWAYS lots of this!!