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 supporting our 12th child in Ethiopia after her adoption could not pass court.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Julia and the World Puzzle

Julia has started this 600 piece world puzzle before and it got messed up.
This time she was smart enough to put it on a white board that we could move around. Elijah and I worked with her one morning for a bit, and James helped some at the end, but mostly it was her effort.

Honestly, it was so much more difficult than it looked, because the countries and states were individual and did not snap into each other. You couldn't bump them or move them without messing the tiny pieces up.

When she got all done, we found out that it was missing a few tiny pieces; we had bought it used. I'm wondering if anyone will do it again knowing that. 

I'm proud of Julia for working so hard at it and learning more geography along the way. 


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Birthday Week

Yesterday was Tori's birthday, today is Alayna's and Monday is Bella's. While Alayna isn't back in Virginia yet, Tori and Bella wanted to try out the new trampoline park, Sky Zone, in town for their birthday event. I felt like an hour wasn't going to be long enough, but it sure was expensive enough, and it turned out to be plenty of time. They didn't do any sitting or resting, but they had time to enjoy everything that was offered. We will hope to go back sometime when the ninja warrior course is completed.

Elijah probably flipped 100 times in the first 20 minutes we were there and was in pain with an aching back. We outlawed any more flipping and he still had fun. He can flip frontward and backwards effortlessly on a trampoline or diving board. He has been working on back flips on the ground in karate also.

We watched a handful of teenage boys strive to jump high enough to slam dunk the basketball; once they gave up, they handed Tori the ball and she made it several times. I think they were a bit embarrassed.

Today was Tori, Elijah and Selah's first basketball game. I didn't get to see Tori's since I had a birthday party to take the younger crowd to, but she scored 12 of the 18 winning goals!

Dodge ball is a favorite since they play it weekly at home school PE. At one point, Selah was the only one in on her side and dodged three boys throwing balls at her until the whistle was blown. It was humorous because she trips over her own feet regularity, but can dodge speeding balls!

Once we finished up our hour at Sky Zone, we headed to CiCi's pizza buffet for dinner and then home for Tori's cake and gifts. Her major gift is acting lessons in CYT's (Christian Youth Theater) spring session. She is certain at this point that her career is in Hollywood; unlikely from rural VA, but local theater perhaps.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Books, Teeth and Hair

Over Christmas break, I took the kids to the library. After being there a LONG time already, I found out that there was a book sale going on down the hall. By the time I made it out of there, Tori and James had taken the kids outside to play. My largest score was this set of out of print books by Lois Lenski, featuring a story of a child set in different parts of the country in different eras. They look so good and like I said, are out of print. I'm thinking libraries ought to keep copies of out of print historical books much more than things like multiple volumes of Captain Underpants. Just my crazy opinion.

The two huge boxes I staggered home with forced me to clean off the school bookshelves. I did pull off a large box of books to get rid of. I have been tired of the history shelves confusion that were supposed to be in timeline order, but often crammed back in the wrong place. This attempt at organization was adding baskets for different times - like one basket is WWII and one is the Civil War time.

We also caught up with the kid's DVDs; I toss the cases and cut the front paper to fit in a little plastic sleeve and we keep them in these two boxes in somewhat alphabetical order. JD's DVDs are going to be the next project, which should free up an entire cabinet.

We did some fun stuff over Christmas also. I stopped at Bass Pro Shop on the way home from Selah and Bella's Christmas party at the hospital in Richmond. Our intention was so get a free picture with Santa, but once the line was estimated at three hours, we just visited with the animals.

This was the first New Years Eve in a long time that we didn't have a bunch of teenagers at our house, so we took the younger crowd bowling. They love it and we should do it more often.

Bella lost her front tooth on Christmas Eve, right between church and the sibling present exchange.

Elijah woke up like this after going to bed with wet hair - I told him you couldn't even create that if you wanted to without the use of serious hair spray. 




Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Goat Milk Soap

I made my second ever large batch of goat milk soap a few days ago. The first one was a success, so I decided to add essential oils to this batch - it happens to be peppermint. I find it rather challenging to keep the two pots at the correct temperature, but thankfully it seems to be slightly forgiving of spiking temperatures.

Elijah was appointed goat milk soap stamper; he did an outstanding job.

I like the rough cuts, possibly wrapped in a burlap bow for gift giving.

The soap sits for 24 hours in the mold, then is cut and stamped. After that it has to sit for 3-4 weeks before curing for use. My stacking cookie trays have become soap trays and they cure in the cool basement storage room.