Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Cumbersome Halo

This past Sunday morning was the boys' Christmas program at church. My parents arrived early to save us a seat toward the front. I was a little nervous about sitting in the front as our crew can be kind of like a three-ring circus at times. This is why we usually sit in the very back, quick exit with a smaller audience behind us. Anyway, I figured with one in nursery and two up front, we were good with four adults to one precious little girl. As it turns out, she really enjoyed watching the program and was very well behaved. Not the case with the two IN the program. Let me set the scene for you; The beautiful Christmas music is playing and the angelic children begin to file down the center aisle to the front of the church. The audience is craning and waving to their precious performers and the kids are all smiles and beaming with pride. Each child is dressed in his or her costume. Some are shepherds, some are wisemen, there's a Mary, a Joseph, several animals and of course the angels. Derek was chosen to be an angel and Lukas was a donkey (I know, hilarious). The kids all make it up to the front and all eyes are on them. I was video taping the moment. Suddenly, (you know how it goes with the "great company of heavenly hosts" and all that) our little "heavenly host" (that would be Derek) rips the halo off his head and drops it on the floor. I was slightly embarrassed until the rest of the boys in his grade, who were all angels too, followed suit and tossed their halos as well! At this point I was horrified! Not only did my kid just demonstrate that he thinks he is far too cool for a halo, he brought 4 other boys down with him. Oh how prickly I felt for the remainder of the service. During the finale I was also very excited (read with much sarcasm)to notice that Lukas, the donkey, was the only animal without his ears on; another one bites the dust. I would say that the leadership skills are down pat, now we just need to work on making it positive leadership!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Just an FYI

This Wednesday night is the annual Home for the Holidays special put on by the Dave Thomas foundation. Thought you might like to check it out. You can read more about it HERE.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Happy #7 Lukas!






Lukas got his best birthday gift this morning: a snow day! The unexpected gifts are always so great! He did have to reschedule bringing his birthday treat and having a special play date after school but maybe it will feel like his birthday just keeps going on and on. That can't be all bad!
Lukas has chosen to have pizza with Coca Cola (mom's fav. too!) for his birthday supper and then chocolate cake with ice cream for dessert. We made cupcakes for school and for another party on Sunday. I'll post later with pictures of his present. He's going to be so geeked!
Seven words to describe Lukas are:
HILARIOUS
LOYAL
FUN
COMPASSIONATE
HARD-WORKING
HUNGRY :)
SMART

Happy birthday Lukas Jay! I can't believe you are seven today. You are still our Woogie Boy though. You're such a sweet boy and you always keep us laughing. We love you VERY much!

Monday, November 30, 2009

The December Shuffle

I absolutely love Christmas, always have. I love decorating. I love making the goodies. I love family gatherings. I love giving gifts. I love receiving gifts. I really do look forward to this time of year. In the recent years I've noticed that this time of year is much more hectic than it used to be for us. I think you take the usual baking, buying and gathering, and then add all the kids' programs, parties and "other stuff" and you get a bit more chaos. I think it must take some very intentional planning and some very graceful "no"-saying to keep this time of year from getting out of control. I want to feel reflective, peaceful and joyful as all those beautiful Christmas cards are telling me. I want that. I need that. I've got a new game plan for next year: slow down, take in the wonder of Christmas because it truly is amazing! I'm going to say "no" more often and be intentional about enjoying loved ones!

I hope that you've managed to keep the chaos at bay. If you have, would you please share your secrets?

Here are some pictures of our brood that reflect the general atmosphere around here. Enjoy!




Monday, November 23, 2009

What in Tarnation?

Every so often I attempt a group photo of the kids. I don't know what it is about the moment I run to get the camera! Will you look at this picture?!? It's just classic! Derek is trying to fulfill his oldest child duty by holding the same pose for as long as necessary while trying to manage the baby. I'm not sure what Lukas' deal is with pictures but it's always something with him, here he doesn't want to sit too close to Hanna...must be cooties. Hanna won't smile for pictures and usually won't even look at the camera. And Drew has just started putting his finger up his nose anytime I ask him to do something. They are ALL getting a copy of this picture in their picture books, mabye an 8X10! Frustration.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Diva in Training

D'ya think she could be a Diva!?! You wouldn't want to remove the shades for any reason! Partly she just loves things like sunglasses, jewelry, purses, shoes and phones. But she also knows if she puts anything down...the "stuff monster" is going to snatch it, slobber it and potentially break it! As seen in the photos. What's a girl to do?







Oh, he looks all sweet and innocent in the photo but he's a sneaky little guy! Mmmm...cute too. (couldn't you just smooch those cheekers?!?!?)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Baby Bird

I believe I've been given the "Baby Bird" from our youngest little monster. I had been frustrated about never being able to make it to laundry day before he was running out of socks. He has several so it shouldn't be a problem to go the better part of a week without needing to wash them.

The other day, I was annoyed that he was out of socks and it had only been a couple of days since I had done laundry so I went on the hunt for the missing socks. When I pulled his crib away from the wall, this is what I found:



Chris says he was telling me off. I'm always putting socks on him, especially before bed because his room is a little cool (and I have a thing about needing to wear socks, especially at bedtime). He's always pulling the socks off and I just put them back on assuming he's only taking them off because it's a new trick or simply because he can. Chris has pointed out that the poor kid's feet are always warm and he's probably P.O.ed that his mom keeps trying to jam the socks back on his feet. Thus, the "Baby Bird". Point taken youngling.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Deep Thoughts From Lukas

Lukas (on the return of Christ): "Hey mom!", "If we have to go to the bathroom right when Jesus comes back, we can just stand on God's hands when we're going up and pee off the side!"

Me (at a loss): "That might just work buddy."



The cranks are ALWAYS turning in that head!!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Things That Make You Go HMMMMM...

As some of you know, Hanna was diagnosed with Celiac Disease last winter. I found this very strange article while searching through my favorite Celiac website. CAUTION: ONLY FOR THE STRONG OF STOMACH! Read it HERE. I don't think we'll have Hanna try this just yet!!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sugar and Spice?

Here you see mostly sugar, but what you don't see is all that happened trying to get one decent picture of this beautiful girl....I guess that would be the spice. She is certainly SPICEY!


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Is it just me?

...or is there a bit of mischief in those eyes?
Handsome but maybe a little naughty?


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Free Today!

Happy 3rd birthday to Miss Hanna! When you ask her how old she is she says, "free today!" hence the blog title. No, she is not free for the taking. Not today anyway!
We celebrated tonight with cake, gluten free of course. Hanna helped to make it and frost it. She opened presents. Her favorite was a box of 24 colors of play dough, not gluten free of course. We'll just have to be careful about hand washing. I don't think she'll attempt to eat it. Let's hope not!
She sang "happy birthday" to herself with the rest of us. She was the loudest and proudest. At one point she busted out with "Go Hanna, it's your birthday, call your momma!". I'm not sure where that came from but it sure was funny!
What a special girl she is. There is never a dull moment with Hanna. There is rarely a quiet moment with her either. It's hard to believe she's 3 already. Wow the places she's been...and the places she'll go!
If I were to use three words to describe Hanna they would be:
TENDER
MUSICAL
DRAMATIC
(it's so hard to just use three...she's a whirlwind of things...like sassy, loud, funny, giggly, smart, a survivor, sweet, ...I could go on and on)

Happy birthday to my sweet sweet girl! We love you girl friend!



Wednesday, September 9, 2009

When Did This Happen?

...looking rather pre-teenish! Scary.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Girls and Pretties



Since the boys have been back in school, I've had more time to play with the "littles" and actually do things that they want to do. Hanna chooses doing "pretties" nine times out of ten. She asks me, "want me to do your pretties mom?". Then we have to get out a squirt bottle of water, a brush and an assortment of clips, headbands, bows and scrunchies. My spot is on the floor. She's very serious about this "game". I get very wet, my hair gets very "pretty" and I usually lose several strands in the process. I'll have to admit though, it all feels worth it somehow when she exclaims, "Mom! It's beautiful! Daddy's gonna love it!". And I'm always sure he would.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

No Dogs Allowed




I walked the boys across the street (I know...it is pretty rough) for their first day of school today and this is the pathetic sight I returned to. He's scanning the play ground for his guys. Too bad they don't allow dogs in school. Anybody own an extra small size Paws With a Cause vest? He was extra naughty today too...regressing...great.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Good and the Humorous




Did some one year pictures for Drew. Thought I'd share a good one and a funny one. Can you tell which is which? I think it looks like he's either trying to work the camera or he'd like to eat it. Mmmm...pixels...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Woot Woot!

Let me hear a "woot woot" for the birthday boy!!!

Oh, hey buddy, you've got a little somethin'...right...there.




Big Drew B. celebrated his 1st birthday yesterday. In some ways it's hard to believe he's been here for one whole year already. In other ways it seems that he's been here forever. I can't imagine life without him! What a buddy. He is such a blessing to us and we are thankful to God for his life and the part of our family that he is.

A big thanks to everyone who came to celebrate with us yesterday. It was a houseful of activity but that's what a party should be, right?

WOOT WOOT!!! Happy birthday Drew!! (sorry for the sugar hangover buddy....you just sleep it off)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Hmmm....

Me: "Lukas. Why did you just push your sister?"
Lukas: "For some reason I just want to make her cry."


Hmmm...

Class lists come this week. :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Always Love and Sometimes Like



I love this picture because it reminds me that our oldest two do actually get along once in a while and they do actually like each other a little bit. They can fight with one another like arch-enemies one minute and then be best buddies the next. I'm hoping that this is somewhat normal for brothers who are 2 1/2 years apart. I'm also hoping that we have more "like" than "not like" this summer....for everyones sake!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

10 months and not a chance...



Drew was 10 months old yesterday. I ask you, does the child have a chance at a "normal" existence? The pink thing on his head used to be a "hairy" ball that Hanna had gotten as a gift. Lukas Jay decided to take the air plug out of the ball and use it for a wig or hat instead of a ball. I swear that no toy in our house gets used for its intended purpose, but that's an entirely other blog topic. I'm not sure who decided that Drew should wear the "hat" but once he had it on I couldn't miss the photo op. He thought it was hilarious! I'm not sure if you can tell in the picture but it was quite tight on his head, to the point that his eyes were being contorted in strange ways. He still thought it was great. He loved the reaction he got from the rest of the family and he was flailing his arms and screeching with delight. I hope he'll look back fondly upon these years....I know I will!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Eleven Years?

How can that be? Eleven years have passed since Chris and I stood up before a very warm audience of family and friends to declare our love and commitment to one another. It doesn't seem possible!

God has been so good to us over all of those years. He's given us health, happiness, home, family, friends and so much more. He's blessed our feeble efforts to follow Him. He's mercifully worked situations for our good when our own efforts could've ended us up in hot water. He also has allowed us to be uncomfortable in our situation in order that He could mold our character. He's blessed us with people and places and things that we didn't even know we could've needed or wanted. He's gently and sometimes less gently grown us in our faith, in our love for one another and in our love for others. He's taught us things we didn't know we needed to learn. Most of all He's taught us so much about Himself and how He wants us to live and love in this life.

To God be the glory!!!!

Today we celebrate 11 years of marriage and God's faithfulness through each one of them!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Art by Derek

Some selected pieces from 2nd grade:





Saturday, June 6, 2009

Belated Birthday Blogging

A very happy birthday shout out to Miss Emily!! I had so much fun celebrating your 30th with you!! Can we do it again next year when you turn 30 again?



Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Celebration of 40 Years of Marriage

This past Sunday we celebrated 40 years of wedded bliss for Mom and Dad VK. The weather was just perfect and lots of relatives came to join us in congratulating them. God has been so good!
Here are some pictures from the day:





Wednesday, May 20, 2009

9 months old



Buddy boy is 9 months old! Hard to believe. I won't bore you with all the statistics and what not. I will say though that Drew is a happy and healthy boy and he's SUCH a joy and a blessing!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wow!

You've got to check THIS out.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother's Day

Both Chris and I have been blessed with wonderful mothers. What would our growing up years have been like without them? What would we be like now had we not experienced their love and nurturing? I think about the countless hours our mothers spent with us as children, as teen agers, as young adults and now as adults. It's hard for me to even imagine life without a mother or another person to fill that role. I'm so thankful to God for the women we have called "Mom" for all of these years. And as our children call these women "Grandma" we are reminded of God's faithfulness through the generations.

I believe that the gratitude I feel for the blessing of Godly parents is a huge reason for the passion I have for children who are orphaned. I just can't imagine being a kid without parents. I know that there are some 143 million orphans in the world and I know that I can't help them all find homes. But I will praise God for each child who finds a forever family and I will continue to advocate for them. Here is a wonderful article on this same topic. Check it out if you have time.

HERE

Friday, May 8, 2009

World AIDS Orphan Day

Swine Flu? Not really a big deal afterall. AIDS? I don't have the words. Please jump over to one of my favorite sites: Full House, Fulls Hands, Full Hearts. The author is a woman whom I "met" (in cyberspace) through our adoption agency while we were working to bring Hanna home. Watching and listening to her and her husband these past few years has changed me. They are two people who have heard God's command to care for the "least of these" and did something. If you're like me you'll be overwhelmed by the statistics. I have been paralyzed by the enormity of the need. I can make a difference. We can make a difference. We just have to start.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Go Derek..it's yer birthday...have a party...







Nine spankings for the birthday boy!!! Did I say NINE?!?!?!? This is his last single digit-er. Oh my. Wow do I feel old. But this post is not about me and my agedness. It's about the birthday boy! Today we're celebrating the gift of Derek. He has chosen the following things to help make today special: sharing frosted chewy chocolate brownies with his class at school, having mom bring McDonalds to school for lunch, Little Ceasars pizza for supper with his favorite family and root beer floats for his birthday dessert....I kind of feel like it's a treat-day for me too!
Here are NINE great words to describe Derek on this his NINTH birthday:

SPECIAL
CARING
LOYAL
STRONG
LEADER
TENDER
LOVING
NURTURING
HARD-WORKING

We love you buddy! God has made a wonderful YOU. Our prayer is that you'll always strive to be the best YOU that YOU can be, that you'll work hard to develop the gifts God has given you and that you'll use them to bring honor and glory to HIM alone!!! It's an audience of ONE buddy!!!