In the beginning, JD adamantly only wanted two children. I thought that four would be perfect. Once we caught God's vision of putting orphans into families, our plan was multiplied by God. We are currently blessed with 12 children; five biological, six adopted and one more waiting in Ethiopia. Our first adoption was from the U.S., the next three were from Liberia, West Africa, and our last two were from Ethiopia. We are traveling back to Ethiopia this year to bring home our 12th child. We have found God's ways are higher than our ways and true joy is found in following His plan!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Welcome Selah

 We have a new homeschooler in the house - Selah. Selah has done pretty well in K and 1st grade at school, but she hasn't really loved it. Since Christmas, she has told us several times that "she doesn't really like elementary school". Once I finished my tutoring year at CC, there didn't seem to be any real reason to make her finish the school year. I pulled her out right at spring break. We celebrated her first day home with donuts on the porch; she has been so happy this last week at home.

I gave Selah and Bella the job of making their own PB and J; they were thrilled. Elijah, however, neither likes PB, nor the idea of making his own food, so he observed.

We started weeding the garden yesterday; it's amazing how many weeds spring up in the beds.

 We brought out the goats for help trimming the tall grass around the bed. I am so amazed how grass can grow so well through the soil cloth, yet can't grown on half the yard.

Yesterday's weeded bed on the left - today's yet to be done on the right -

My birthday request this year is a walkway around the beds, so we can keep the tall grass from growing higher than the plants. (I like practical gifts!)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Camp ... and a Virus

My computer is very sick - it seems to have caught an incurable virus. This blog has taken way to long to get up, because things weren't loading. For whatever reason, it is working for the moment so I'm going to race to post.

This was our third year of weekend family camp. One of these summers, we may actually do a full week in the summer. The kids would love it. It really has turned into a spring tradition that is very special for our family and it started the first spring that Selah and Bella came home.

We did African drumming and dancing. Selah was by far the youngest dancer, but did incredibly well following the directions. The rest drummed, other than Julia who took a shift of each.

My favorite is the time at the lake boating and fishing. My favorite lake picture is of James and Tori in a canoe, but it won't load.

JD and the littles waiting for the paddle boat
Selah wanted to steer and did a pretty decent job
JD set out one trip letting Julia row and returned with Elijah rowing, without tipping the canoe - I don't think I'd be that brave.

The theme this year was Superheroes -

This was during the Superhero obstacle course where I was peacefully painting the "family" craft with only the help of two kids.

The big event for our family was the rock wall. It was closed last year, so it was the first time that a few of the kids even attempted it.

James on right
Elijah on right
Selah preparing
Julia on left and Bella on right
Ben makes it look easy

Only at camp do you sleep on your back all night to not mess up a late night face-painting.

 My seven little heroes. 

 As we pack out our cabin, the kids always enjoy the tire swing. It seems to take us longer to pack and there is seldom much competition at this late point.

 Good Memories

Friday, April 10, 2015

Spring Break

 I envy the people who get to spring clean over spring break; I desperately need to spring clean, but spring hair took over spring break. Since I was in CA before spring break and we literally have a major event every weekend in April, all four girls had to have their hair done this week. I normally never do more than two in a week!

I started taking Julia's out last Friday. On Saturday, Tori took Selah's out while I did the first round of corn-rowing in Julia's.

Bella's really needed to come out before Easter as well, so Tori continued and took Bella's out Sunday morning while I washed and combed through Selah and Bella's. Selah and Bella wore theirs out and wild for Easter and Julia went with just the first round of braiding.

I rebraided Bella's on Monday, since her last day of school was Tuesday at CC. Since my lesson plans were complete, I went ahead and pushed myself through the Selah braiding that I had planned for Tuesday as well. That worked out really well, because we went and saw a dairy cow (that's a different blog post) on Tuesday afternoon and I would have been a day behind otherwise.

On Wednesday, Ben took out Tori's hair while I started the second round of braiding on Julia's. I had a hair crisis by running out of the extensions and frantically searched our county hair suppliers to find nothing.

At this point, I had to take Tori and Julia to a park day with half done hair. On Thursday, I rebraided Tori's hair.

On Friday morning, I hit four hair supplies "in town" and come home with the needed supplies for Julia and promptly finished her hair.

Now it is Friday and we are headed to family camp for the weekend. The kids are ready and wearing last year's camp t-shirts, except for Bella whose must be in the wash, so she is going with the purple San Diego shirt.

Elijah wanted in on a shot
 JD is picking up Moriah at work and I should be loading the van instead of blogging, but here's a shot of my pile. It's a lot when I have to take all our bedding and towels.

JD just called to see if I had started loading, so I'm off....

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter 2015

 Waiting for the crew to make it outside -

A quick picture of the underage nine -

 Waiting for the crew to arrive again after church -

All of us after church with a friend as our photographer - 

Since we all enjoyed going out for Mexican food last Easter on our way home from family camp, we decided to repeat the tradition this year. We drove most of the way home, but were disappointed to find the restaurant closed for Easter. 

We then drove farther and paid more, but got our Mexican meal.  

 We dyed our eggs this afternoon, since we had a big church event at our house yesterday and did not have time (later post...) -

Then we hid and found the baskets downstairs and the eggs outside; I'm so thankful to have nice weather -