Friday, July 25, 2014

Highlights of Spring!

Ah yes... only half a year from my last post... guess it's time for another!  I decided the best way to divide up the time from the the past months will be to write three separate blog posts - highlights of spring, summer, and our family vacation.  That will pretty much cover the gist of things around here and not take up an immense amount of time (my time for posting, your time for reading!).

So this post is dedicated to some of the highlights from Spring 2014....

In January we went hiking.  As I type this, we are ROASTING in the Phoenix "oven" of mid-summer.  Yesterday we hit 115 degrees - yuck.  I took the kids out for shaved ice and even walking from the van into the store was enough to make me a bit light-headed.  It's even too hot to be out at the pool (and most pools feel like lukewarm bath water around here by now).  I can't wait for play-at-the-park weather to return!  So, the picture of this hike below pretty much summarizes our life during the non-summer months, which is to get outside as much as possible!!!  It's a little tough to take five kids hiking (and yes, there was whining), but for the most part everyone did great.  Little J was about 3.5 at the time, and definitely got tired... by the end I thought Micah might end up with TWO kids in the baby backpack! But, Little J is pretty tough and he persevered to keep up with those big kids!!

Eli had a birthday in February and turned the great EIGHT!  He had fun celebrating with a couple of his buddies doing mini-golf, laser tag, and video games at Golfland.  At 8 years old Eli loves sports (watching them, playing them, reading about them, whatever), loves God, enjoys Math, loves PE and Recess, likes making people laugh, and as he would say, "just likes to have fun."  He really cares about being a good friend to others, and appreciates having good friends.  This past school year there was a boy in his class who had the reputation of being the "naughty kid."  Eli and Mikayla always had stories about the various troubles this particular child would get into. Well, for whatever reason this kid really took a liking to Eli, and would always choose to sit by him, be around him at recess, etc.  I knew Eli didn't love the fact that this kid liked to be attached to his side, but he always had a great attitude about it and really tried to be a friend to him.  You make us proud Eli! :)

We were beyond thrilled to officially adopt Addy into our family in March!!  It was such a special day filled with joyous smiles (and even a few joyous tears!), as friends and family gathered with us at the courthouse.  (We are looking forward to doing this again in a few months with our two foster sons!)

A couple weeks later we had an adoption celebration, and everyone who came left a a fingerprint leaf on this beautiful canvas a friend painted for us.  This now hangs in Addy's room and is such a great reminder of all the people who love her and who welcomed her into our family.

Our adoption announcement...

Part of our quest to spend time outdoors in the non-summer months always includes many trips to the Phoenix Zoo.  We have had a membership here for a number of years now, and we definitely get our monies worth between the months of October - April!  It's always a special treat when the grandparents get to join us!

Eli played coach-pitch baseball again this spring.  We were proud of his boldness in signing up to play without knowing anyone on the team!  He had a great coach and his team was stacked with more older players than younger, so Eli really improved a lot this season and hung in there with the bigger kids!  His team was almost undefeated and I think only lost 1 game out of 12??  Eli would know for sure... he never forgets "stats!"

Easter.  Ready for Church!

This big boy turned FOUR in April!!  Can't believe how much progress we have seen in this little guy since he came to us as a 2-year-old.  Little J loves playing sports with his older brothers, and due to his aggressiveness we actually think he has the potential to become a good little athlete!  :) His aggressiveness also earns him many time-outs at home, but he is working on it and learning what it means to have self-control :)  Little J is also very affectionate and loves hugs and snuggles.  His favorite toys these days are cars, balls, tag reader, and tools.  His favorite food is pizza, and he is NOT a big fan of mashed potatoes or ice cream.  (Ice cream?!?)  He enjoys tagging along with the three "big kids" in our family, but has also recently developed a special relationship with Addy and is starting to take on the role of "big brother" to her.  She adores him, so it is neat to finally see him taking an interest in her and reciprocating some of that :)  In another week our three older kids will be in school full-time, so I am looking forward to see the friendship that Addy and Little J develop over the course of this next year as they spend extra quality time together.

Good times at the Diamondbacks game with Grandma and Grandpa! This was an event for foster families, and included some fun activities such as making posters, and taking pictures in a photo booth (with props of course!), before the game started.

Mother's Day weekend we had the incredible privilege of dedicating Addy to the Lord, and committing to raise her to know and love Him.  It was a special time and we were blessed to have many members of our extended family at the service to support us.  Addy pretty much spent the time during the dedication staring at the worship band and admiring the shiny instruments.  When she did turn around and look at the audience, she would find people she knew and point and call out their name... "Nana!" "Gwamma!"  It was pretty funny. :)

We wrapped up Spring with Mikayla's ballet performance in her Arts School's production of, "Wonder."  She did a great job, and of course looked beautiful!  She has now completed her first year of a technical ballet class and plans to repeat the same level class again next year in order to continue refining the new skills she learned.  

And that pretty much summarizes our SPRING!  Next up... SUMMER!

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