Tuesday, October 29, 2013

She's Eight!

The Birthday Girl!

AnnaClaire chose On the Border for her birthday lunch. We do love us some Mexican food in this family!  

And here's the usual "pose on the bench" after we had lunch. 

Back at home we snapped a few more photos (because that's what we do when Sissy's home!) before heading in to open presents and eat cake.

Everyone had a turn to pose with Sissy~ 

Love this one of my oldest and youngest daughters having some fun! 

And here's the birthday girl with her balloon!

Love this shot of Ellie that Emily took!

For her cake, AnnaClaire chose a banana cake recipe from the American Girl "Kit" book.

Happy Birthday, Dear AnnaClaire!

May all your wishes come true! 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Saturday Fun~

Emily came in to town this weekend to celebrate Kate's gotcha on Friday and a certain someone's upcoming 8th birthday on Sunday.

She had a fun morning planned with AnnaClaire Saturday morning.  They started out with a pancake breakfast.

And then they headed to Claire's!

Can you guess why????

There were no tears.

Just a squinchy face.

And then it was over and done!

Can you see the cute blue sparkly earrings she chose?

In the afternoon, Em spent a little time in the kitchen.  She made us some yummy pumpkin granola.

And we ended the day with a campfire and some s'mores!  Yum!

  What a fun Saturday!

Friday, October 25, 2013

5 Years!

Today we celebrate 5 years with Kate!

She was so fragile and so very scared, that day we first met.

And look at her now!

Kate, we love you to the moon and back.  You are a treasure.  A gift from God.  You are a precious daughter and a wonderful sister.  

You are SO loved!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Birthday Road Trip~

Catching up from Labor Day Weekend~

We had Grandma H. in for the weekend to celebrate her birthday.  Since she reads the blog and always tells us that our road trips look like such fun, we decided to take her on a road trip for her birthday and let her experience all the fun first hand!

Our destination was Lynchburg, VA.

We left on Saturday morning, and our first stop was the Patrick Henry Memorial.

 We arrived at lunch time and had a picnic lunch on the beautiful property.

Then we toured the property.

 Patrick Henry's House

6 mos. before his death, while living on this property,  Patrick Henry wrote:

"I live much retired amidst a multiplicity of blessings from the Gracious Ruler of all things."    
His large family and this beautiful home and land were amongst his greatest blessings.

 The back of the house and some of the out buildings.

This beautiful, old tree has been on the property since Patrick Henry lived there.  It's called an Osage Orange Tree.  It's over 300 years old and is the largest tree of its kind in the America. 

Patrick Henry is buried on the property.

I loved this quote from his will:

"This  is all the Inheritance I can give to my dear family.  
The Religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed."

Grandma and the youngest 5, of her 14 grandchildren.

After our visit we headed in to Lynchburg and enjoyed dinner at the Depot and afterwards, watching the kids swim in the hotel (indoor) pool.

We woke the next morning, Grandma's birthday, and had a big breakfast at Cracker Barrel before heading to Poplar Forest.

If this looks somewhat familiar, that's because it's Thomas Jefferson's "country" home, and it bears some resemblance and similarities to Monticello.

 This property is still in the process of being restored.  Though interesting, there's not nearly as much to see as at Monticello.

The grounds were very beautiful and hilly, though most of his original property has been sold and developed.

A birthday pose with the grandchildren!

After Poplar Forest, we loaded the van and headed to the National D-Day Memorial.

The site was really, really well done.  And every single thing that is a part of this memorial has some sort of meaning or significance. Nothing  was placed there "just because."  You really do need to take the tour to find out about exactly what you're looking at.

 This part was showing the actual landing on the beach at Normandy.

Grandma and AnnaClaire opted out of the tour and sat on the covered porch of the visitor center. I'll let you in on a little secret....Grandma is not a big history fan.  No she's not.  But she LOVED spending the days touring with her family. She was real a trooper!

After seeing the Memorial, we loaded the van in search of some dinner and then headed home. We got in late that night.  It was a LONG day!

Monday, Labor Day, we celebrated Grandma's birthday.

 And we added Drew to the group.  He was in town for a weekend event, and spent Labor Day with us.  Such fun to have a quick visit with him!  When they're grown and living out of town, you take what you can get, right???

Happy 78th Birthday, Grandma!  So glad we could celebrate with you!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


I know all you bloggers out there can agree with me that the true BLESSING of blogging is the friends you meet along the way!

Yesterday, we had the privilege of welcoming this family to our home for lunch and a short visit!  They are on a BIG east coast road trip with their 5 children (they're a homeschooling family, too) and they were in our neck of the woods for the day.

All the kids!

Jocelyn and I have connections through AWAA, the agency we used for our first 2 adoptions and that they used for both of theirs.  But our closest connection is through Shepherd's Field, where her Elijah and our Kate waited together for their families.  We "chatted" quite a bit during the time we were both waiting to travel.  When big brother Drew was able to visit Kate at Shepherd's Field, he also was able to meet Elijah and play with him and snap some pictures for Elijah's waiting family.

How fun to get these two back together and meet as families face to face!

Jocelyn and I have also been able to share lots of conversations about older child adoption and some of the challenges involved with that.  It's so nice to have a friend that's walking a similar path.  So glad we were FINALLY able to meet in person! 
(sadly though, I didn't get a picture of the mamas)

Thank you, friends, for taking the time to stop by and say hi!