Thursday, September 7, 2017

One Less: Bring Serghy Home



When Keira first came home she started telling us about her best friend Karina almost immediately.  When we prayed, she prayed for Karina to have a family.  When she was having the time of her life, at the end of the day she'd feel sad..maybe even guilty...that she was enjoying herself but Karina was still stuck in the orphanage.  It weighed heavy on her.  We promised her we would do all that we could to help, and we all prayed that God would bring her home....I didn't really know what to do, but God reminded me to just take the next step, to keep sharing and leave the rest up to Him.  I definitely underestimated God....I never asked specifically that she come to RI, just simply that a family would adopt her and we would be able to call and skype.  But God, as always, did more than I could have ever asked or imagined and Karina came home....to friends of ours...here in RI.  I was so blown away.  

And the ripples continue....because as this family spent time in Ukraine while adopting their daughter, they fell in love with others....because how can you not?  And when they had an opportunity to host one of the boys that they met in Karina's orphanage, Serghy, they did.  He had an amazing summer and now this family began advocating for him to have a forever family......and God is so faithful and He answered.....with friends of ours who have moved to another state stepping up to answer His call!

And so again, we ask that you help make there be One Less....one less orphan in this world.  Your prayers are so very appreciated as this can be a timely and difficult process....pray for Serghy's heart and to prepare him for his new family....and for this family to be prepared for their new son.  He turns sixteen in May and would no longer have the opportunity to be adopted, so they are getting started immediately.  They have set up a Go Fund Me as it is very costly, and there will be some fundraising efforts going on as well that I will share here.  Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions!


and

Upcoming Fundraiser happening locally.......


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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

First Day Of School 2017

           And just like that summer is over and we're back into school mode! I can't believe how big these cuties are getting.  Excited for all that this year has in store!


My big first grader!  Annnnd he went to school in big boy undies for the first time today...annndd did not have a single accident!  SO proud!!


This lady brought all her toys in the school room today....she was not quite sold on the whole "school" idea.....


My big second grader!!  I'm so glad he was excited to start school and that he still wants to be home!


Busy girl today :) 

Love these kiddos!



Sunday, September 3, 2017

Summer 2017

Wow, this summer was a whirlwind!  We may have overdone it, but I'm glad we did!  The best thing we could have done was make a "Summer Bucket List" at the end of last school year with all of the things the kids wanted to do this summer.  Of course they listed every fun thing they could think of....and as time went on we'd add another...and another....  Looking at it now we only missed two things...and we did so much more than I realized!  It was great when we had a random free night to just look at the list and know what we should do.  So many memories made!  Slowly over the past couple of years we were able to do less and less, having to keep things simple and often break commitments until finally we really stopped making a whole lot of plans.  We have so many amazing people in our life, and it has been really hard to maintain those relationships, so we were really thankful to be able to spend time with so many that we love this summer!  
So, here's our summer album this year...


Such a blessing to get to spend time with all of these amazing people!  So crazy that this all started with a few friends in youth group....look how outnumbered you are now! :)


I"ll never forget this photo....I said hey, let's take a group picture...to 12+ children running in every direction....and....they....came......quickly, willingly, without my having to ask again and again.  Unprecedented!


We have been wanting to take new family photos for quite some time...mainly since Kyleigh isn't in any of ours!  Sadly we had to cancel a time or two, but they were offering free photos to families of emergency personnel etc. so we signed up!  We still don't have our complete family pictures and hope a time will come when we can take some....so for now we'll have a variety of family photos.


I took some of my own while we were there since we only get three professional photos....they were more interested in nature and daddy's uniform... :) 






Look at all those happy children!! Ha! 






Fourth of July....waiting for fireworks...the adventures before the fireworks are half the fun!


And the snacks of course....



Zoo day!



It's not summer without Dels of course....


And fireworks in the street in your pj's....


We went on a hike....but couldn't find the hiking spot....so we finally just pulled off the road and went with it....it turned out to be some pretty crazy sand dunes, but eventually we found the woods :) 




Movies with friends <3


Blueberry picking!



One of our favorite places....visiting Crosswalk this year....love these kids!








We've talked about it forever, but we finally made our own homemade ice cream!  There was a bit of learning curve so it was pretty soupy, but that didn't stop these kiddos....



Beach fun!



Not to be outdone by her brother.....she HAD to hold the creature too


Backyard fun with daddy.....


Zoo with friends!



Farmers Market Fridays with Meme :)


We haven't seen one of these in several years....I think I was more excited than the kids!


Summer Cookout and adorable friends!




I just love this...it's so Kyleigh....there's the enormous paper to paint on, and she reaches for the fence :)


Practicing the VBS songs!


Playdates!


VBS Closing Program!  He was so excited to have us all there to watch him :)


This guy finally decided to take off his training wheels.....and was off on his first try!


These two spent a lot of time together this summer as Levi had his summer program part of each day..


Daddy making projects with the boys...they requested swords..shocker!



Six Flags....






The rides all shut down due to an approaching storm....but when it finally rained, I think it was the highlight of their day!  They were SO thrilled to play in the rain...


These monkeys were so bummed that they couldn't go on a lot of the rides that the older kids could....but they kept themselves busy as we waited...here they decided to clean up all of the life vests on the ground...I just love them. 


This girl is OBSESSED with the horses!


Family dinners and visits with Keira!


These kiddos really have a blast, despite being in a really small conference room!


Monster Truck Show for the boys!


Kyleigh time for me....we found "treasures" to store in her bike!


Feeding the fish....


Bubbles!  We may have made some progress beyond just dumping the entire bottle out....maybe


Making roads for their cars....


Zoo Night!



Pony Rides





And a lot of swimming at Meme and Pops



Sweet Summer Nights....
                                      

It looked more like ice cream this time around!


Touch A Truck!



Playgrounds


Farmers Market and Pony Rides....and this girl decided to give it a try after seeing her friend do it!


And then she was hooked.....and I never stop hearing about riding horses :)


Fun days at the pool with friends....even those who wouldn't get in the picture ;)


"camping" in the yard during the day....daddy is always up for an adventure!







School ended so Levi was finally able to come ride with us!  He was a pro!



Family Vacation to New Jersey!  Our friends had chickens so our kids were so excited!


Six Flags Adventures





Such a fun place!  I think we all had a blast!


And after an entire day at a water park, they couldn't wait to come swim in the hotel pool!


Finally!  We had anticipated this for so long for Levi!!


He's playing it cool, but he was really excited, ha!



There were a couple of bonuses including this climbing contraption.  Caleb LOVED it and after a while, Levi started asking to try it.  If you've seen Levi's legs, you may understand my hesitation....I didn't want him to be frustrated, but he was insistent.  Well, he knew what he could do, and though he did want to give up at one point, he pushed on and blew us away!!
Caleb was a pro, doing it on his own the second time.....


There's Levi, NOT HOLDING ON AT ALL!


And of course....back at Six Flags for the Safari, we somehow ended up on the carousel again!





Children's Museum


My little worker man!


Mystic Aquarium



And....Kyleigh showing off her painted nails....she was so proud of her "pretty nails"


I'm so thankful for all of the memories we made this summer....quality time with friends and family.  
And though it went by fast, I think we're excited for the next season.....
We have one cool day and the kids are begging to wear their boots and winter coats....I love the way they get excited for the changes to come!