Varied Interests

Reading thru past blog posts, it is very clear that I have three primary interests . . . . .

Children/Family

Travel

Gardening

I lump children and family together, but could also add adoption and foster care into this group.  Adoption brought Lili and Naomi into my life.  They are my children and therefore my family.  Foster care has also been a big part of my life and the children who have come into my life because of foster care are very important to me.  Hubby, my children, extended family, foster children and friends who I consider family are so very important in my life.

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Travel!  I adore travel and everything about it from planning to new experiences.  Without travel, I feel like something is missing in my life.

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Gardening is my hobby.  I am in my happy place when my hands are in the soil.  I enjoy the planting a seed and get excited when I see the first signs of life emerge thru the soil.  Picking my first ripe fruit or vegetable gives me a thrill.  Seeing bumblebees and butterflies fly from flower to flower puts a smile on my face.  I get excited about exploring and trying new gardening techniques or growing something for the first time.

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(It was windy when I took this picture.)

What are your interests?

 

 

Anniversary Week

It was 9 years ago on this day, March 20th, that we anxiously sat in the lobby area of our Guatemala hotel awaiting the arrival of Lili’s foster family.  It was this day that they very tearfully handed Lili over to us – her forever family.

Two years later, on March 16th, we drove thru the orphanage gates with Naomi in our arms.  A very different experience from the one two years earlier.  Another baby girl placed in the arms of her forever family.

Lili is now 9 years old and Naomi is 7.  Hubby and I feel so very grateful that these two beautiful little girls call us daddy and mommy.

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These pictures capture the smiles of two beautiful little girls, each with very different personalities.

Lili loves art, reading, swimming and her dog Jagger.

Naomi loves watching movies, playing with her toys, dressing up and her acting class.

However, they are so much more than art and movies.  Having them join our family are two of the very best decision we’ve ever made.

 

 

 

 

Photo Purge

I had quite a few photos on my phone and was running out of room.  So why not share them here.

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Lili and Naomi get a little help from Zoey

 

 

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Visit to the Gandhi Garden

 

This girl loves Snapchat and I have a lot more pictures to prove it.  Just don’t have the room here to post them all 🙂

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We went to the museum and found out that there will be a new exhibit soon.  Lili is VERY EXCITED!!!!  I’m guessing we will see this exhibit several times.  Good thing we have a family pass.

 

 

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Time for a selfie while waiting for our friends to arrive.

 

In looking at these photos, I think it’s pretty clear to tell which one likes to have her picture taken.

 

Souvenirs

We recently returned from a trip to Dallas where we visited family, did some shopping and went boating.  We had a wonderful time, but the souvenirs we brought home SUCK!

Instead of picking up magnets, post cards or coffee mugs we picked up a flu bug.  Unfortunately, it was spreading during our trip.  In fact, we cut our trip short by a day and a half, but it didn’t preclude that little bugger from joining our travels home.

First Naomi got sick on the drive home.

Last night it hit hubby and Lili.

Now I’m braced for it to hit the rest of us while hoping that somehow we have dodged the bullet.

Eventually I’ll get back to my blog on a more regular basis, but for now I’ll leave you with this.

Adventures, The End

After our drive thru the Garden of the Gods, we headed south to Texas.

The drive thru Colorado a mixture of beauty and just okay.  Then we hit New Mexico.  Holy Cow!!!  What beautiful country.

The girls and I were excited to see something other than deer crossing signs.  Like bear crossings.  Elk crossings.  I think we even saw Moose crossing signs.

Of course seeing the signs was exciting.  Not quite sure how I would have felt actually seeing any of these animals in front of my vehicle.

Then we hit Texas.

Ummm!!!!  The drive across the border to Amarillo was not exciting.  There is nothingness there.  Some homes scattered about.  A few hills.  Some farms.  But mostly nothingness.  Miles and miles and miles of nowhere to stop.  That’s really not fun when a bathroom is needed.

We finally hit Amarillo and checked into our hotel.  A short time later my stomach began feeling rough.  Hubby took the 3 oldest to the pool and I stayed in the room, at times doubled over with severe stomach upset.  Was it something I ate?  Had I managed to contract the flu?  I didn’t know and really didn’t care.  I just wanted to feel better.

By morning I was feeling better and we were on the road again.  Destination – the Dallas area.

We spent 2 1/2 days with hubby’s sister, her husband and their granddaughter.  She has two kids in the area and her youngest son flew in from New York to spend the holiday weekend with family.  It was a wonderful time.

The day after Thanksgiving we avoided all shopping and headed to the Dallas Zoo.  After all the times we’ve spent in Dallas, this was our first visit to the zoo.  Hubby and our brother-in-law stayed home while the rest of us spent a few hours in the sunshine taking in the sights and sounds of the zoo.

When taking 7 kids, ages 7 and younger to the zoo, there is bound to be fun, tears, laughter, and a meltdown.  Mostly, it was fun and a nice day out.

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Then it was time to head home.  We had an overnight stop in Springfield, MO where we met up with some dear friends for dinner and visit.  Then our 10 days of travel were over and we were home.

Our trip was met with some challenges.  Traveling with 4 kids isn’t necessarily easy, but mostly we came home with good memories and are glad we hit the road for a few days.

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Or at least I hope some of you have noticed my absence from blogging.

My family and I just returned from a trip to Missouri and Texas.

We visited with friends in Missouri and visited family in Texas. On the way back home we stopped in Missouri again to look at some property we’ve had our eye on and then back home. It was a nice time away and I will be catching up on my blog reading and posting over the next few days.

 

6 Years Ago

It was six years ago today that this little girl legally became our daughter.

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I had often heard that adoption is not for the faint of heart and that was proven to be true for us.   We had gone to visit her.  We held her in our arms.  We watched her play and watched her sleep.  We fed her, bathed her, changed her diapers and rocked her to sleep.  In our hearts, she was our daughter.  She was already part of our family.

Then Guatemala shut down adoptions and no one knew for sure if the adoptions currently in process would move thru or not.  Two months later  I received word that our adoption had been finalized and the tears began to flow.  The little girl we already knew as our daughter was now legally ours.

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Five weeks later we traveled to Guatemala to bring her home.  It was a whirlwind of emotions and our lives have forever been changed in amazing ways because Liliana is our little girl.

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Lili loves animals.  She has a Papillion she named Jagger and hopes to have sheep and horses on our little homestead one day.

DSC_1327Even though she hasn’t always been with us, it’s difficult to even remember life without her in it.

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We love you Lili, our little Guatemala princess!!!

**I took these pictures today.  Lili has been sick for just over a week now and is finally getting over bronchitis and a sinus infection.  She still looks a little under the weather in some of the photos and yet her beauty still shines through.

Ending Christmas Day

Lili woke up early this morning, wanting to know if Santa had arrived. She was trying hard to patiently wait for Naomi to wake up, not able to lie still and wanting to talk. None of us knowing exactly when Naomi will finally begin to stir, I asked Lili if she wanted to wake Naomi. Without hesitation she jumped out off bed and headed to Naomi’s room. Soon, both girls came bouncing down the hall waiting for all of us to go downstairs. The anticipation of Christmas morning almost more than they could handle. I told them to go check to see if Santa had come, both quickly turning around and wasting no time getting down the stairs. I could hear excited chatter and then both coming back to report their findings. Soon we were all ready to go down together and with a fire burning in the fireplace, we settled in to begin opening gifts.  A reminder of the rule – one person at a time opening a gift, going youngest to oldest. Everyone watching and waiting to see what the recipient received before the next person opens a gift.

Soon, all the gifts were opened. Wrapping paper, boxes and gifts now occupying different areas of the living room. The mess on Christmas morning is always welcome. It’s a lovely sight that I look forward to each year. As I begin to pick up, I sing Christmas songs and remember the smiles, laughter, excitement and surprise.

It was a good day!

Merry Christmas!