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

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Springtime (cont'd)

Studying the Flowers

Mia teaching the girls something about flowers

Signs that Spring is Coming!!

Lots of Daffodils in bloom

Turtles of all sizes enjoying the warmth of the sun

Bushes budding and in bloom

Plants growing
And then there are these bright, "sun"-shiny faces... Just for you Mrs. Connie and Mr. Clayton...
Baby-K Girlie

Sweet Pea

Cute Stuff


Big Bro.
Big Sis

Springtime Weather

Warmer weather meant that we could get out and explore. I took the crew to George Washington Carver's Homestead and Museum. We have been several times, but it never gets old. I love to walk the trails and take in the peaceful, serene surroundings. The kids and I started in the museum. They were naturally drawn to all the interactive exhibits, and we could have spent another hour in that area. We explored further and came upon an exhibit that displayed the creative activities from area school children. The exhibit showcased art in various forms: sculptures, diorama's, written essays, etc... . Surprisingly, after a brief warning to respect the other kids art, all of the crew enjoyed that exhibit a great deal!
Pretending to do Radio Interviews

Being a Radio Announcer

Learning about animal sounds


What is behind these letters?

Future Research Scientist ...perhaps?

Studying Plants

Next, we were off to explore the outdoors. We hit the walking trail and enjoyed the many sites and sounds that were around us. At one point, I had them all be completely still and quiet listening for sounds around them. It was fun to hear all their answers... and the highlight was when they heard cattle "mooing" in the distance. We found the house that GWC had grown up in and explored the grounds around it. They all wished that we could see the upstairs (which is blocked off from the public).
The entire Krew
Baby K-girlie is smitten or is it the other way around?

On the Trail

Getting tired...

Getting even more tired...

The prairie... it is beautiful in Spring, filled with beautiful flowers
 We then took the trail through the prairie which winds its way around to the cemetery (where the Carvers and their neighbor's are buried... GWC is buried in Tuskegee, Alabama). By this time, several kiddos were tired out and dragging...some others were needing the restroom. We headed back to the building and took a restroom break before heading home.
Restroom Break... some are very tired!

Synchronized Leg Lifts

 We got home just in time to eat Hot Dogs that Mr. Brad grilled for our lunch. After lunch, the crew couldn't resist the draw of Mr. Sun and spent a good portion of the afternoon outside playing. Then it was dinner time, and after dinner, we watched the Voice, our favorite show (sorry Connie, but we got your kids hooked...). We baked some cookies for a bedtime snack. When everyone was ready for bed, we had cookies & milk and read Charlotte's Web. There are lots of pictures of our adventure so, I will post them in two parts. Thanks for following along on our fun adventures. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Busy,Busy Weekend

To say we have been busy is a bit of an understatement. We had made plans to return to our house when the Kkrew got out of school for Spring Break. So, on Thursday, our kiddos finished up their school in the morning and helped me get the house in order a bit along with helping do the piles of laundry that had amassed. We got almost everything washed before the Kkrew got off the bus. I had all the kiddos help me pack their stuff. Let me just share with you that we had some major fun packing up this group :)! I think we managed to get everything that belonged to our household packed and out of the Kkrew house. In addition, we got all the Kkrew out with at least 4 or 5 outfits, some undies, and some Pj's to sleep in. If we forgot things, we are just making due with what we have or what we can find. I have to wash everyday, we just keep the washing machine running all day long... or, so it seems. 
 Friday morning brought an early start for our road trip. We shoved in, pushed in, squeezed in and filled up every little space in our car with all the stuff we had to carry with us. Brad is a "master" car packer, and we were on the road only an hour later than planned... and yes, we got all eleven of the kiddos in too(I would never purposely leave uhh, forget anyone...even the teens). Traffic was a little on the heavy side all the way home...guess everyone was heading out for their Spring Break too. We arrived at our destination with little time to spare. Brad made a trip to pick up things needed, and then we headed to our church for a fundraising event.
G-baby put together a basketball tournament to benefit our Honduras mission trip. He had been working hard on it for about 4 months, and now we were at the weekend of the event. We are so proud of the maturity he has shown, and he is such a hard worker...planning every detail, gathering donations, calling people and trying to advertise. We helped where he needed us, but he did the majority by himself. We spent Friday afternoon setting up and waiting for the youth ages to show up. Unfortunately, Friday's event was a bust... not one person showed in the youth age group. So, we closed up and went home for the evening. Saturday morning, we faired a little better. We all went to help where we could. The entire team was there to help with some part of the 15 and older event. We had four teams play the tournament, and we made a little profit, but not a whole lot. G. was so optimistic and decided that this was just not meant to be the fundraiser to help our funds increase. It was a beautiful opportunity for him to learn and to grow with the grace of our Lord Jesus. 
Playing before the Teams arrive...

Making some fantastic shots

Coloring with Mandy

And there is always time for Lego adventures

Sassy girls

Just being beautiful

All the krew was there...they did beautifully throughout the event. They gave help where it was needed, and they watched some of the games. The whole event was over by Noon. We cleaned up, set up for church on Sunday, and then left to go find some food for lunch. We took the kiddos to Taco Bell. Taco Packs fed the majority and made many very happy. The next order of business was home to pay outside for a bit, then it was bath time and off to bed.
     Sunday morning arrived a lot earlier than expected... boy, I could have used a bit more sleep :)! The kiddos dressed in record time, and we got them all fed without delay. They are being so cooperative (all week)... I think I need to pinch myself to make sure it is real. Once again, we made it to church with a few (ok, 2) minutes to spare. The kiddos all took off for Children's Church while Brad and I took a sigh of relief. Not one call to come get one child or another... they all sincerely had a great time worshipping today. Like I said, I think I need to wake up from this crazy dream! All kidding aside, the kiddos just make me smile, and they really ALL get along so well! After church, we had pizza at home, and then everyone went outside to play. It was a glorious day! The weather was PERFECT! The kids just played to their hearts content. I took in a few rays, and then I had to return indoors to work on piles of laundry and teacher work...home school stuff that I had put aside from the previous week :( ! To be perfectly honest, my head and respiratory system thanked me...ugh, Allergies. The kids are in our basement playing some heated games of air hockey as I type this. Wonder if I leave them up a little later...if they will sleep later... yeah, I know...doubtful! The plans for tomorrow include a picnic to the park somewhere...stay tuned!
And this precious one has all the menfolk in our house hopelessly wrapped around her little finger!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Good Morning World!

Eating Breakfast

Waiting on the School Bus. " This book is so good. I can't stop reading it!"

She wasn't awake when the others were, but she is such a cutie...I had to include this pic.

Already smiling this morning! Such JOY!

Thinking about something...

Ready for School and Oh So HAPPY!

Not sure she is awake just yet, nor is she "really ready" for school, but she's smiling ...

We have been having a grand old time here with the Kkrew. It is such a pleasure to spend time with these beautiful children! Our family seems to just meld into their family, and everyone works together stupendously; however, this blending is not without its challenges. Mostly, they are my challenges. I am not a morning person...never have been... I try desperately to get better at starting earlier. I am a semi-structured person, but find it hard to fit into a rigid schedule. So, this homeschooling mom is having a difficult time with the routine of "go-to-school" children. Not that we are not getting it done... I am just a bit slower and more awkward at it. I am sure I have forgotten many things(like 2 of the girlies forgot their glasses yesterday morning). The kids and their teachers are being so forgiving (sending papers back that didn't get signed, helping the kiddos with homework they missed, etc...). I am finally getting into the swing of things and guess what?... we only have 2 more days of school before Spring Break!
         The Home-school crowd sleeps a little later, and then we get started on our schooling while the others are away at school. It has worked well that way, and our kiddos are used to a later start. We are accomplishing lots and lots in our schooling while here. The preschoolers (the Tob-man and the mini-K girlie) are having a great time keeping each other entertained. They enjoy coloring, playdough, studying their alphabet and counting while the big kids do their school. I  often hear Tob-man gently instruct the precious girlie, and she is so sweet to him in return... they are quite the pair!
      All the kiddos have been busy playing and exploring outdoors in the warm sunshine after school. We then eat the scrumptious food that we have been so graciously blessed with...then, homework and/or silent reading, baths and then we all meet together to listen to Charlotte's Web (a very good way to calm this large crew before bed). Then it is off to bed. Our days are filled with this same routine during the school week....Next week though... we are taking a road trip to Missouri! We will have many more pictures of our exciting adventures, and I am sure that there will be quite a few stories to share. Come on along and enjoy the FUN...!

Sunday, March 8, 2015


Today was a beautiful day to spend together! We all got up in a timely manner, got ready, and made it to church on time. The "hairiest" part was getting everyone into the van...some into car-seats and some buckled in with seatbelts. Everyone seemed in a stupor about so many piling into one van. We kept encouraging children to move, to get buckled, to let the littles into their seats... everyone just stood looking at one another. It was like a comedy of errors. Brad and I managed to move kids into their proper seats, and then we were off... still can't believe we got to church in time for Sunday school :) !    

           After church, we returned home to finish up the lunch meal and eat. I had all the kiddos go outside until we had dinner on the table. They were having so much fun that we had to stop their play to get them to wash their hands and to sit down to eat. Once the meal was done, it was off to play outside again. I had them stay outdoors to enjoy the beautiful sunshiny day. They played, explored, jumped on the trampoline, created and invented new games, and just all around enjoyed their time together.

 We called them in at about 5pm to get baths, do homework, and eat (yeah for leftovers!). We read books. The kiddos had 30 min. of silent reading and...I started Charlotte's Web as a read aloud for these two weeks.  They seemed captivated, even the little ones, until we had been sitting 30 minutes and some were trying to avoid falling asleep. So, we stopped there and will resume our story tomorrow. Everyone was off to bed ...Springing forward that hour and playing outside made for some very tired children...most were out within a few minutes of being in bed. All of the kids are anxiously awaiting pictures of their baby brother... 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Let the Good Times Begin...

    Our Adventure taking care of the Kkrew has begun. The beginning was a bit rocky...we had planned out that we would arrive before C.,C.J., and the girls left. We had thought it all out with the Kids and I arriving early afternoon, and Brad arriving after work that evening. Our plans got thrown out when the weather decided to dump another 2 inches of snow on us and winter weather hit every area across which we had to travel. (You know, the best laid plans of mice and men..) We are very thankful that it was short lived, and we were able to head out the next day. We are also very thankful for people who filled in for us the first evening.
      We made it to the house a little before the bus arrived with the kiddos. It was fun to be there and surprise them as they got off the bus (the squeals of delight and the peals of laughter between the kiddos...well, that makes this momma's heart sing) , and it was almost instantaneous that the kiddos paired up and began to play outside with gusto (in spite of the temperatures being 45 degrees...and,yes, they had jackets on). They played, played and played some more only coming inside just before dark. Dinner was made easy by the wonderful support of Kkrew's church family... they are bringing dinner's every night that we are here... love, love, love this precious church body!!! We finished that first evening doing homework and then off to bed for an early start the next morning. The next day, the majority of the Kkrew was off to school. Our kiddos had some school work to finish, and then they were off outdoors (they love the trampoline). They were slightly bored waiting for their friends to return from school. Once the bus arrived, Levi and the K-boy were "glued" together playing outside, building with Legos and getting into boy mischief. Those two are best buddies! The girls all gathered together playing, riding bikes and chatting. Mandy was the sought after "friend" by the little girls, and they had her fixing their hair and pulling her around everywhere they wanted to go. She is good with them, and it helps me when my attention is needed by others.
       We are missing our big boys, as they are staying at home working and playing in a basketball tournament. They seem to be handling their time at home well. It is hard to believe that they are old enough to stay alone. So far they are showing great responsibility (Nolan said he even cleaned his room this morning :) ) We are missing their humor and fun-loving spirit.
               We began today with a big breakfast and then the kiddos were off to play. They alternate playing outside with coming inside for bits of time watching movies, playing games. and looking at books. We are just hanging around the house today... it is such a beautiful day with the promises of spring .
         This has turned into a long post, but I wanted to share all the fun. In addition, I know that the Kkrew's momma and daddy are grateful to have knowledge of how their babies are doing here. We enjoy so very much our time spent with them!  
 There are no pictures at the moment because I haven't gotten the camera out; however, I promise to take pictures in the near future. It is always amusing to see all the kiddos in action.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Long Time No Write

My blog is severely neglected!!  We have been busy decluttering and packing up non-essential items.  Our home is on the market and has been for sale for almost a year now. Brad has been working at his new job a year in March. We get asked all the time if we are still moving. The answer is Yes, when we sell the house. We never dreamed that it would take so long to sell our current home. We have watched many houses that we liked in our new town sell, but we are still waiting here. The truth is nothing is selling in our current place of residence. We know that God has this, and that He will sell our home in His perfect timing. We just have a difficult time waiting, and it is hard on my hubby making the drive to and from work several times a week. Your prayers are most definitely appreciated.
       In addition to waiting, we have been busy with doctor appointments and surgeries for our treasures. This has been the year of operations for us. We have been working with orthodontists and oral surgeons to repair our sweet girls cleft palate. It has required a first set of braces, a bone graft surgery for the hard palate and a palate extension surgery. It looks as if there might be one more surgery on her upper palate. Our princess has been such a trooper through it all. She acts as if the surgeries are an everyday occurrence, but hates the idea of a blended diet once again. We have to add a tarsal coalition to the surgery count. Our Nate developed one on his right ankle and tried physical therapy first, but it was still painful for him to walk any length of time. So, it was off to surgery. It went well, but required an extended recovery: two weeks in cast and on crutches, 4 weeks in a boot and another go at the physical therapy. Add homeschooling, basketball practice and games, and everyday busyness and there you have our life this year.        
         On a Happy Note: We are so excited that for the next two and a half weeks we will be taking care of the "Kkrew". We were so honored to do this two years ago, and we have been given the blessing of taking care of them this year as their parents are traveling to China to bring another precious baby home from China. We are so excited for them, and can hardly wait to see that sweet boy in the arms of his parents. I know that I will be blogging a bit more often over this time period as the kkrew's parents will want to hear all about their daily happenings. I hope that I can be better at blogging in the future... I love to write and miss recording life events.