Tuesday, September 30, 2008


We just got a message from our adoption agency and they are saying we will be in China by the second week in November at the latest. That means I am pulling out the suitcases tonight. I have just gone into the I have sooooo much to do mode and I haven't even started nesting yet. We thought maybe we would be in China by the end of November and we were praying we would travel to get Hope before her birthday Nov.28th. We just received a short update today from her orphanage. It said when Hope gets angry they give her a toy or take her outside and she is happy again. I hope it will be that easy. She is only on formula with rice cereal and they haven't added anything else to her diet. She doesn't have teeth yet and from the measurements they gave us she may possibly be the tallest Chinese baby ever. She does look big in the pictures. I don't have any hand me downs from Grace, because she was 16 months when we adopted her and it was April. It will be fun shopping, so I hope these measurements are close. This is going to be an amazing trip and we are so thankful we are all going. We were just trying to book rooms at the Victory Hotel in Guangzhou and the boys are planning to sleep on the floor and are really excited about the trip. I am hoping to pack light!!!!


Mike had a busy day. He woke up early to meet the German farmer out in the field to get our grass fed cow butchered. The farmer was adamit that we see this cow while it was still fresh(alive). I said I would forgo the viewing and stay home. The farmers wife already described the cow in detail to me on the phone as I was quickly trying to hand it to Mike. I really want to be able to enjoy this meat. Mike loaded the cow took it to the scales and this thing weighed 800lbs. They then took it to the butcher and Mike talked to him about the size of steaks we wanted. They left the cow tied up at the butchers and in a few days we go back for the fresh packaged meat. This cow should fill an entire big freezer and should last us all winter. After leaving the butcher it was on to meet a guy we are buying a swing set from. Mike drove about an hour to help the guy take the swing set apart in 3 big pieces and put it on the flat bed trailer and haul it back to our hoiuse. This thing was heavy and it took awhile to got it set up in the yard. Grace was so excited and was playing on it tonight right before it got dark. I told her we could play on it again fist thing in the morning. I just hope it's not too early.

Our Barn Cats Have Discovered Love

This is what happens to wild cats after they spend just a few short weeks at our house. They are really cute,but are still going to be barn cats!!!

Barn Cats

We went out the other day and got two free barn cats from the Craigslist. These are strickly outside cats to keep the barn free of mice and critters. These aren't cuddly kittens they are scared of people and run the minute you put them down, which is fine for outdoor cats.

Here are our scardy cats

School Days

I had taken these pictures a few weeks back on our first day of school. Of course it went just like I always imagine. Boys awake early and enthusiastically complete their chores as they hurry to the table for breakfast. I am cheerfully preparing a fresh cooked healthy breakfast. I have been up for hours reading scripture and praying, preparing for the day. The boys are cheerful and smiling at 7am ready for a day of diligence with great attitudes. As I teach the boys Bible they are so attentive and hang on every word. Then my alarm goes off I am tired and my real day begins.but hey it is always great to dream!!!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

We Have LOA!!! Sep. 25 2008

Our LOA (letter of acceptance) arrived at our agency today and will arrive here tomorrow. We are now one step closer to traveling to bring Hope home. We can now apply for our visas and send in our travel plans. Gracie has been saving a spot for Hope everytime we go to the grocery store and she points and says Hopie will sit here next to me in the cart. We have been praying that Hope is healthy, especially after the contaminated baby formula in China was given to the children at some of the orphanages. We also pray that she will bond to us quickly. We have been praying for Sophie and it has been hard not getting updates these past 2 months. It is going to be an emotional visit to Sophie's orphanage and we pray God will give us wisdom on what steps we should take next. We will know so much more when we can talk to the orphanage director and just spend time with Sophie and determine where she is developmentally. Sophie is so much a part of our family and we pray someday we can also bring her home. We have grieved over losing Sophie, yet we have hope and know that the connection we have to her is for a reason. It has led us to Hope and we are so blessed.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

New Pictures of Hope

A family from the Yangxi yahoo group was so kind and took these pictures a few days ago when they toured the orphanage. They are in China now bringing their newest daughter home. We are praying for them, as when they received their baby she was very tiny, malnourished and dehydrated and they are having a hard time with feedings and getting her to drink enough fluids. She is a cleft baby and we pray she will thrive now that she is with her Family. We have also been praying for another family who is now in China and their daughter has been very sick and hospitalized. They have just received a miracle and their daughter was released from the hospital today. You can follow their blog at http://www.roomforatleastonemore.blogspot.com/
We are so grateful for this update and praise God that Hope looks healthy in the pictures. We were told that all of the babies sleep on just the hard boards in their cribs and many have open sores. We could see a sore on the side of Hope's head from the 6 month picture, but it looks like it has healed well now. We think she is so cute and I am loving those cheeks!!! We are praying we will receive our letter of acceptance this week and be able to travel soon. Waiting is always hard.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Poor Scooter

Dixie,Scooter and Frisco the cat all arrived safely from Germany on Thursday. They had spent the last 2 months in Germany while we found a house and got settled. I was supposed to pick them up here in St Louis on Thursday night. I then got a call Thursday morning from Germany stating the pets would be flying into Dallas, because the heat index was too high for a connecting flight. They wanted to make sure I would be there to pick them up. Mike was still in training in Dallas and scheduled to drive home Thursday around noon. He stayed to get the dogs and after their 11 hour flight, he loaded 3 smelly animals into his little car and drove 10 hours to St Louis. He arrived safely here at 3am and there was much rejoicing!! Mike was home all weekend, but had to go on an airline trip on Monday afternoon. We had dinner around 6 and by 8pm we could not find Scooter. We called him, drove around the neighborhood and the boys went out with flash lights. By 1am I left the garage door open hoping he would find his way home. We have fox and coyotes here, so it was very probable he was eaten. The next morning I got the boys up early and no Scooter. Rylan and Curran were at school so I sent Hadyn and Eamon out to knock on doors and we put a lost dog sign up. The boys reported back that Scooter had been spotted several times yesterday. This was a great way to meet all the neighbors. The boys came back with bags of fresh apples and peaches and I had several neighbors visit. Scooter apparently followed Mike out of the driveway on his way to work, as someone saw him at the top of our mile long driveway at 4:30. Then around lunchtime I received a call from a woman who said she has a Yorkie and at 3am she heard him barking. When she quieted her dog down she still heard barking and saw a little fuzzy face wanting to come in, it was Scooter!! She had been up since 3am and had taken Scooter to 3 vets to see if anyone knew who he belonged to. The German chip does not apparently read here in the US. She said she was afraid to take him to the pound as they would probably euthanize him. She saw my lost dog sign as she drove back into the neighborhood and delivered him back home. We are all so thankful to have our puppy back. This was our first day of homeschooling for the year, so we got started a little late, but the boys got PE in early and they both received an A for socialization skills.

Biking The Katy Trail Sep. 1

We got up early Monday and loaded up the van with our bikes. The trail is really nice and fairly flat. The trail was constructed over the old railway and goes through quaint country towns. We ended up biking 14 miles and it should be so beautiful when the leaves start to change. We are also looking forward to cooler weather as the temperature was close to 90 degrees.

Stopping in one of the little towns

Grabbing a bite to eat at the country store

Gracie loving her Daddy

Who needs mustard?

What Rylan does in his spare time. He's still trying to figure out how to hook a book stand to his bike.

Back on the trail

Time for a nap

It was a great day

More Dressup!!!

Ok, this dress up thing is now definately part of the every night bedtime routine

Hadyn really does like this

Gracie looks sweet, until you get swatted by her beautiful butterfly wand .

We Have 9 New Additions!!!

On Saturday we went way out to the country and bought 8 laying hens. They are part Rhode Island Red and part Deleware hen. We also bought a cocky roaster named Jack. We have had them 5 days now and still no eggs. They are still fairly young and are just beginning to lay at this age or it may be we traumatized them with the ride home. We stuffed 4 of them in one box and 4 others and Jack in the other and hit every back country road with many pot holes on the way home. Dixie has also been running circles around the coop desperately trying to get in. We are thinking about putting just Jack and Dixie in the hen house together and I know who will win. That may teach Dixie to leave the poor chickens alone. They are very sweet and when we come up to feed them they come running over especially when we bring them table scraps.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Potty Training and back Yard Football???

Since we have been traveling all over the country this summer and have been living out of a suitcase since May we thought we would hold off on potty training Grace. We also thought we would be traveling to China soon so I was just going to wait until we got back. Grace has gone on the potty a bunch of times and really has been ready to use the potty. It's just that I'm not ready. Now that we won't be heading to China for a couple more months I figured this will be the best time to potty train.

The boys decide to spend the day playing some back yard football with dad

Curran really isnn't going to drive that golf ball and Mike forgot to take off his church socks

Here's where potty training and football come in. Grace wanted her little potty seat out in the driveway because it was too far to go all the way inside, especially when you might miss part of the game. I also like how she has her golf club at the ready.

Another Night After Bath Time!!

Gracie got Daddy to play this time

Grace always plays the princess

I like Daddy's hat

Eamon's New Pet Aug 30

Eamon came into my bedroom this morning to show me the new pet he found. It is a very cool stick bug that can jump. There are all kinds of critters living on the 5 acres that surrounds our house. The boys have found a bunch a frogs and turtles too. I am OK with these. I just don't do so well with the spiders and snakes.

Before Going to Bed Aug 30th

We are starting to get into a routine now. After dinner the boys take turns putting Gracie in the tub and getting her ready for bed. The bath time goes fairly well, but then right after bath time it is supposed to be time to read and start to quiet down for the night. Grace has different ideas. She thinks it is time for dress up and wants to get the boys involved and they are more than happy to oblige.

Eamon, Rylan in one of his more serious moments and Grace
or is it Minnie

The angel wings are also a nice touch and I think

that hat is really a purse

I wonder who came up with Eamon's costume

Grace loves shoes

St Louis Science Center Aug 28

Gracie doing magnets

Eamon has this stuff figured out

Oma working on a puzzle

Unsuccessfully trying to build the St Louis Arch

Hadyn teaching Oma how to design your own plane

Hadyn saves the day

Oma Comes Out To Visit Aug 22

Mike had to go back to Dallas for two weeks to finish up training, so I stayed here with the boys so we could get ready for school. My Mom said she would fly out and hang out with us for the second week. I am so glad she was able to visit us and we could spend some time together. After being in Germany for 4 years it was great for her to be able to take a short plane ride and we would be there to pick her up in a few hours. We decided to drop the olders boys off at school and head to the St Louis Zoo. It is a wonderful zoo and it is free .

Oma and Gracie

Eamon,Hadyn, Gracie looking tired and Oma

Gracie checking out the gila monster. I told her this
was the only real monster.
Hadyn,Eamon and Grace riding the giant beetle

Time to go home.