Monday, March 26, 2012

Our Girls

Let me just first say, Elise only agreed to these pictures on the blog under one condition~~ that I also show the picture of the "real" her too!  If you ask me~~this is the real her, ha ha!!  However, she was referring to the 3rd picture~~the normal looking Elise!

This is what happens when you have teenagers in the house who use your camera for goofy pictures! You never know if they'll show up on the blog or not :)   Let that be a lesson to you girls!  

Like this one?!  Soooo dramatic at times!  Perhaps she should be an actress, huh?!  Shawna is just as dramatic~only she'd never be caught on camera doing such things! Any wonders where the Forever Home girls may get their silliness?  They have the perfect examples right in front of them :)

According to Elise, this is the "normal" her! 

I have to tell you that our girls are really something special.  While I don't often brag on them, I am today! They are so dedicated and loving!  Most people do not know just how much these girls give of themselves!  Not once in awhile, but EVERY SINGLE DAY!  We live with these older orphan girls and naturally that involves them in nearly every aspect of their lives.  They are always helping them~~and they do it so willingly.  If they aren't painting their nails, making cookies, or cotton candy, it's brushing teeth, or helping getting dressed and ready for school~~or the so many other tasks that need being done to help mom and dad get 8 girls where they need to be on time.  Side by side they work along with us each and every day.

They truly love these girls and while it isn't always easy, they also wouldn't have it any other way. How would we know that? When specifically asked again last summer when looking to move if they'd rather our family have our own apartment and the Forever Home girls another separate one~~their unanimous decision was way easy for them~~NO WAY!  They didn't even have to think about it~~they just couldn't imagine their lives without these girls!

We always try to be sensitive to their needs and never wanted to force our work upon them.  Naturally, if we live with these girls, they wouldn't have much choice in the matter~which is  why we again asked them what THEY wanted to do.

I don't often feature them on our blog posts for several reasons.  The biggest one being that they are your typical teenagers who really don't like their pictures taken and think mom doing blog posts of them is silly and embarrassing.  Why, it's hard to just get a few pictures of them!  Then usually if I do, they are telling me they don't want them posted on the blog :)

They freely give love to these girls out of their precious hearts. We laugh together, rejoice at victories together, and we cry together when one of them leave us.  I think it's the hardest job we've ever had, but at the same time, it is also the most rewarding job.  We are so blessed when one of these girls find their very own forever family and we know in our hearts that we've done our very best to help each one grow, learn and transition into these loving homes!  When they leave us, though we are happy, well......we are also heart broken for awhile for the loss we feel.  Sometimes the pain seems unbearable and I sometimes wonder if we can possibly do this again~knowingly opening up ourselves to the pain we know we'll surely endure all over again.  But the answer to that~no matter how much it hurts~is very easy.....ABSOLUTELY!  If an orphan needs a home, we'd never turn them down!  Love compels us to press on no matter the cost!  You see, we know~without a doubt~that this is what we are called to do.  So it is in Him we place our trust to continue on, loving these girls unconditionally just as He also loves us unconditionally.  

I say all that to say:  We couldn't be prouder of our daughters (Elise, Shawna, and Elizabeth) and appreciate~more than words could ever say~just how much they do for us and these precious orphans as we continue to work side by side!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sweet Little Emma

Emma is such a little sweetheart!  She has such a mild and laid back personality.  We think she's just simply adorable!  

What a cute picture, huh?!  I think she's saying here "Whatya doin' takin' my picture?!"

I LOVE this picture!  This is my "Don't even think about messin' with me!" look!!

Two peas in a pod, these two are!!  When I used that idiom the other day to describe Emma and Mollie, I found myself having to explain what was meant by that to our older daughters. Not living in the states, they don't often hear idioms and sometimes we forget they don't have a clue what that means!  Then when shelling some real peas bought from the local farmers market, I again demonstrated what two peas in a pod looked like~so close together and alike they were almost inseparable.

It's funny, one day Emma went to the hospital for some blood work and Mollie came home from preschool without her.  Poor Mollie just stood around the house looking all sad and seeming to not know what to do without Emma there!  Then she took her afternoon nap, and lo and behold, when she awakened--there was Emma~back all safe and sound!!


I think Emma likes cake, what do you think?!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Elated Elly

Elly is another of our little sweethearts, then again--all our girls are!  We're not prejudiced at all--we think all our girls are great! It's true and you'll not convince us otherwise! 

Looks like she's doing her chores~setting the table.  If you'll notice, she doesn't use her walker much at home but is able to walk around holding onto things such as the table, walls, or other furniture.  We greatly look forward to the day when she doesn't need anything to hold onto for support in walking~~ but probably not as much as she does!

This is typical Elly!

Who made your hair Elly?!  Bet it's the same person taking the picture~which isn't me!  I'll give you a guess--it's one of our older daughters and her name starts with an "S."

Like those sweet treats Elly?!

I wonder what she whispered to Emma, don't you?!  

Friday, March 23, 2012

Happy Holly

This must be our "model" pose.  Something new these days for Holly.  Wonder where she picked that up from?!  

As I'm doing this post, I noticed one clear theme here--the green sweater!  Though all these pictures were taken on different days, in each picture she seems to have on this same sweater!  Now, I know it is her favorite thing to wear right now, but honestly she doesn't wear it every day--though it might certainly seem like it in this post, huh?! She actually has a closet full of clothes--all green sweaters!!  Just kidding!

I'm not real sure what she is supposed to be here, but it was fun anyway!  I wonder if she happened to have that same green sweater on underneath the blanket too?  I can't say I remember, but guess we'll never know, huh?!

Holly, like Hannah, really likes to use hand gestures in her pictures too.

Posing for a picture with dad and Hannah, at the last second, decides she wants to be in the picture too!  Funny Hannah, but you already had your turn!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hilarious Hannah

Hannah is such a sweet and wonderful girl!  She has such a sense of humor and you will often see her teasing or pulling practical jokes on people.  Here she's posing for a picture with Holly donning a goofy hat she found in the playroom.

What a sweet smile, Hannah!

Now this is more the Hannah we are accustomed to seeing!  What's with the red tongue?!  Well....I believe it was Koolaide.

Here she takes time out for a picture with me.

And another one with dad.  Gotta love the hand gestures in many of her pictures, huh?--something we can't seem to get away from.  It's just part of who she is I guess.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Miss Mollie!

Dr. Mollie wants to check your heart Emma.  Hold still now and no cryin'!

Whatch ya drinking Mollie?  Perhaps your afternoon yogurt?

This is my "Aren't I just so adorable?!"  look!

And this is my "It's my book and you ain't gettin' it!" look.

The Games We Play

Recently a friend visited New Day for a few weeks to help out and brought us some board games for the girls.  We were happy to have them and decided to play a couple of them one afternoon when the two little girls, Mollie and Emma, were napping.  Since they are above their level of playing anyway, it gave us uninterrupted time for the older girls to learn these new games.  They had a blast playing!

Big sister, Elise, reads the rules of the game so we know how to play, right girls?! Not exactly the funnest part, but important nonetheless.

NOW...the real fun begins!

The Games We Play Cont.

Elizabeth watches as Elly takes her turn.

Hannah and Holly really enjoyed playing this game too.

Not the same mouse trap game we remembered playing ourselves as children, but still the girls had fun!

Elly takes her turn.

Holly had a great time.  Perhaps the first time she's played a board game we suspect.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Random Cuteness

We might have a movie star on our hands with this one!  Or at least she thinks so!  

Holly and Elly--a bird's eye view.

 Hannah is our silly jokester.  She loves to tease and play practical jokes on everyone.  Such a sweetie and always laughing. We're really going to miss her when she's gone! She's been with us more than 2 years now and what wonderful changes we've seen in her. She's growing up so quickly!  She'll be our next one to leave with her adoptive family from the US--we're expecting sometime this summer.

Emma--also an adorable girl with a sweet personality to match!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Elly--All Adorable Faces

Elly--her serious look--which by the way, we don't see too often!  She's usually laughing and smiling.

Now that's more like the usual Elly we see!

And this is a typical--oh, you're taking my picture pose!

Now this one is a new one!  Pucker up! Sending you kisses from afar!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I Want Glasses!

It's funny how kids always look up to those around them and often want to be like them.  It's a totally natural thing. That's why it's so important that we be the best role models we can and pay close attention to who our kids are looking up to as we know how much it can and does affect their behavior.  

Anyway, though Holly has never said it outright, but she is clearly modeling what she thinks would be a good thing.  These are really sunglasses that has the lenses taken out of.  When I first kept finding the lenses out, I was assuming that they were just falling out until it happened every day and they weren't even loose!  

Then it dawned on me that she'd realized that everyone in our family wears glasses except one and she wanted to be like us. So....she'd pop the lenses out and wear them around the house like glasses. I did tell her while glasses are okay, you really don't want them unless you really need them.  It didn't make her much difference as she continued to wear them :)   And I gave up trying putting the lenses back into the glasses!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Little Girls' Laughter

If you've ever noticed, it's extremely popular in China to make these hand signs when taking your picture.  The girls often try to get us to do it, but you know it's just not our style in the Western culture.  Well....Elly talked dad into doing it for one picture and she thought it hysterically funny when he did!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Cookin' For Two

 Mollie and Emma LOVE the play kitchenette and all the dishes!!  In their spare time you can most always catch them cookin' up something special to eat!  

Now it's time to eat it seems :)

Looks possibly like tea time girls?!

Check out Mollie who caught me taking their picture and is now trying to tell Emma to "look at the camera girl!"