Saturday, December 27, 2014

Random Pics

We are on Christmas break and it has been nice! Roman and London loved their first Christmas and I couldn't wait to be done with it!!! I have had them ask me 20 times a day for the past month how many days it is until Christmas. 

I have caught up a little bit on my editing. I haven't taken many pictures lately because it's been kind of dark and boring out. Sometimes I take a photography class just to inspire me and push me back into a creative state of mind. 

My little Lily Anna

I love the sepia tone of this and seriously need to frame this!!

My littles all ready for church. 

London, home about 10 months and already knows how to strike a pose for me. :)

London celebrating her 6th birthday and her first with us. She is a tiny sprout...6 years old and wearing 3T clothes!!

Roman drinking tea at church. Home 10 months and wants to be a preacher when he grows up!

I think I need to do some photo shoots with my two older kiddos as they seem to be missing in every picture!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

8 Months!!

Time has flown.

But we are enjoying our fall! 

It's so neat to see Roman and London experience all their firsts. It's kind of funny explaining Halloween to them. "Yes, Roman, you get dressed up for one day and then we give you candy." And Christmas is even better..."Yes, Roman, we're going to stick a tree in our house and put lights on it. And then we're going to buy you toys, but you don't get to see them...we're going to put paper all over the toys so you can stare at them for one month and be completely tortured." He really thinks we're nuts. Every time I explain it, he says, "okaaaaay" and looks at me in bewilderment. 

I have continued my photography classes and even had a mini class session with a professional photographer to help me take sharper pictures. I will post on that later, because it was hilarious...sort of.

Speaking of hilarious...

I love the look of shock on Lily Anna's face when she discovered berries in her hand.

Fall is the best time of the year!!

Beautiful Lily Anna. 

Look who loves to read!

Lily Anna and London. Beyond sweet!!!

Another one of Lily Anna. 
I think I'm going to have to frame this one!!

I adore this picture of Roman!! It was his first time drinking tea with me. The sun was pouring in through the window and I love how the whole room is shadowed except right on his eyes. This was a precious moment with him because now he loves to sit and drink tea with his Mommy! 

Happy Fall everyone!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My Little Photo Shoot

I took the littles out front for a mini photo shoot yesterday.


Lily Anna



They are so used to me posing them that they go into cute overdrive. 
School has begun, fall feels like it's here, and that combined with four adorable children makes for some pretty neat pictures.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Back To School!!

Yes, I have been absent from blogging. Summer break basically means I don't have a moment to myself, so blogging became my last priority...showering became my first.

 All my kiddos are finally in school and it's weird. I home schooled my two oldest for the past six years, so this silence stuff is not my cup of tea! It's too quiet here and it's driving me nuts. But I know it's for a reason. I am taking this time to pursue the things that God has placed in my heart for me to do and He has shown me that it is time. 

Josiah and Brianna have adjusted nicely back into public school and I look forward to their crazy stories from the day.  The difference between home schooling and public school is that I now teach them at night, rather than in the morning...sigh. I had no idea I was going to STILL be schooling them, ha ha. 

Here are a few pictures of all my kiddos on their first day of school. 

Josiah and Brianna started last Wednesday. He is a sophomore and and she is in 8th grade.

Johnny is in 2nd grade and Lily Anna is in 1st grade. They started  last Thursday.

Roman and London started on Friday and are both in kindergarten. 

Yep, this one is super blurry because I did not adjust my settings to accommodate more people in the picture. Yikes. Have I told you I'm not a natural at photography?? 

And it would have been a great photo too, except for Johnny spacing off with a fake smile. :)

Monday, July 7, 2014

5 Months With Roman and London

This past weekend we took the kiddos to the carnival. Roman and London's expressions were priceless. They absolutely loved it, and when we were done, we walk to the lake and, of course, I took 100 pictures. 

This week we will have had Roman and London in our family for 5 months. It feels like much longer than that except when they speak and it's still combined with some Mandarin. Roman is starting to lose his native language. It's crazy how it happens. He still tries to speak into our Google translate on our phone, but he no longer speaks the Mandarin language into it...he speaks mostly English, so he doesn't understand why the translator isn't "working" properly. 

We are enjoying our summer, enjoying bonding, and just being a family.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Be Still My Heart!!

This boy....he has my heart. 

And he knows it.

 When I first saw that video of him over a year ago, I kept thinking, "Why is this boy still waiting??? Why has no one snatched him up??? Are people out of their ever-lovin' minds??? Someone go GET him!!!" 

So I did. 

He has been with us over 4 months now and he is entertainment rolled up into a tiny six year old frame. Many days I feel like I adopted the Chinese version of Tommy Boy.

He's a lot cuter than Tommy Boy, though. :)

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Odd Couple

One hates food, the other loves it (it's kind of obvious which is which). 
One has a super low voice (Lily) and the other has a helium sounding voice (London).
One likes to shout (Lily) and one likes to whine (London).

They make a very odd pair.

 In China, London loved boy stuff, and actually acted very tom-boyish, much to my dismay. But I had a coniving little plan. I knew if I could just have London hang around Lily long enough, my sinister plan would be complete. It worked. Lily's girly ways seduced London and now she's all about pig tails, nail polish, and tutus. 

These two are interesting together. Although London is outgoing, her personality doesn't bowl a person over like Lily's, so sometimes she just gets trampled (sometimes literally) by Loudmouth Lily, tee hee.

But when they get all giggly like little girls do...they are just the same...beyond adorable. 
Although one has a high soprano giggle and one belongs in the men's choir. :)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

More Pictures

I have been busy with my camera lately and have been editing them as well. It takes me forever to edit so I have to call in my son and ask him how to do something that he showed me the day before, and the day before that, and the day before that...

So here are some more pictures I've taken:

This one is hilarious because Johnny's foot was dangling in the picture, so I used Photoshop and erased it...along with the other chain Lily Anna is swinging from. :) I refuse to go back in and fix it. Once I'm done editing, I'm done, so I'm just calling it a miracle. I mean, how many other children can swing from only one chain? 

Beautiful Lily Anna. 

The theme for this one was "Vintage." My niece was kind enough to model for my assignment. She is a photographer herself and has taken some of the classes I'm in. I'm kind of addicted to them, actually. I have no aspiration to be a photographer - I just want to take great pictures of my family. 

And this one is my beautiful daughter, Brianna. She is going to be 13 in a few weeks. It's soooo hard to get her to pose for me anymore! She promised a photo shoot this week with me, so we'll see. 

That is all for now!  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

4 Months!!

 I now know how many children it takes until you start calling them by every name but their own. 

It's six. 

Today I was calling for Roman and kept calling him Pucca. That's our dog's name. Sheesh. He looked at me like I'd lost my mind. 

We are home 4 months  now. 4 months!!! 

I am busy from sun up til sun down. Literally. I'm barely on any forms of social media and I'm loving it, to be honest. School is out and I'm enjoying sleeping in and sunshine. There is something about summertime that helps me bond completely with my new kiddos. I don't know why, but it was the same with Johnny and Lily Anna. 

The kiddos are still in the middle of doctor appointments. At first I was overwhelmed by how much these appointments were increasing, but it is all starting to come together. I am so happy with where everything is headed. 

Roman in particular has been a puzzle pieces scattered everywhere and some are missing.  I remember when I saw Roman's daunting file. I had already seen his video so when I saw his file, his diagnoses just did NOT match the little boy on the screen. I watched that video over and over and over again...trying to mesh the two together. Every time I played that video, I heard a song go through my head..."Take a chance on me." I don't know who sings it, but it's rather irritating, so leave it to God to use an annoying song to get through to me. 

So, I went with my heart because I fell head over heals for this little boy, and I took a chance on him. And I'm so glad I did. I've never spoken about Roman's "special need." Actually, I've never posted about any of my children's special needs. I'm not sure why. I guess because I feel it's their story and if my Mom had a blog, I'm not sure I would want her posting about my medical hurdles  that I had to overcome in my life. 

What's odd is that I gain a wealth of info from people who DO post about their children's medical issues. And I'm so thankful they go out on a limb and post the gut-wrenching things they go through on their journey with their children's medical issues. 

The truth is though, there's not much to post. All of my children had correctable issues that were taken care of in China. That is amazing. Amazing! So I feel kind of tinge of guilt about blogging that every time we go to the doctor, we are told that our children are cleared, or a diagnoses in China was actually a misdiagnoses and the real deal is barely anything at all. Because my other bloggy friends have children that get blood transfusions...monthly...for the rest of their lives.  And they have had to travel hundreds of miles to have their child's club foot corrected...over a dozen times. Then there's the cleft palate adoptive parents who have sat with their children through countless surgeries. 

So while I rejoice that my children's medical issues are really non-issues, I continue to pray and stand with those parents that are just believing that their children will one day walk on their own. 

Last week all four of our children went to specialists. And all four were given good reports. 

My children continue to amaze me! 

And it is nice to FINALLY hear English coming out of Roman and London. That is another post for another day. Let's just say ESL services in school just can NOT compete with home life. The kiddos have been out of school for less than 3 weeks and they (just this week) began saying full on sentences! For instance, London came up to me about 5 days ago and said, "Can I sit by you, Mama?" When Lily asked Roman if he wanted to play a game he said, "No, I don't want to play that game." 

More photos to come...and by the way...they are going to come from my Nikon!! Gosh, I feel like I've crossed to the dark side! But some of my Canon pics (actually most) are not as clear as I'd like, so I'm using my Nikon for awhile. 

Canon users, don't judge!! I'm desperate here!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


I'm back into the swing of things in my photography class, so I thought I'd post some pictures. I'm super busy with being a Mom to six kiddos, so posting on my blog seems to be hit and miss for me these days. I'll get a post up soon, I promise.

 In the meantime:

Lily Anna and Baba having a frisbee moment.

 Super cool pic of Josiah. 

Love this picture of Brianna getting ready for her dance recital!!  She did a beautiful job.

 And lastly, Lily Anna also getting ready for her dance recital. Such a sweet image of her!

I'm pretty proud of some of these edits. I'm not on the level of a lot of the ladies in my class. Both editing and photography just do not come naturally to me, but I enjoy the creative outlet it gives me, so I keep plugging away at it. I'm sure I'll get there someday...perhaps in September when ALL my children are in school and I can prop my feet up and eat bon-bons. (Are those even real????)

I just noticed I'm missing pictures of Roman and London. I'll post some pics soon of them. I also need to update my blog cover! Yikes, I've got a lot of work to do!!!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Happy 8th Birthday, Johnny!!!

My little man turns 8 today!

Johnny is the happiest boy I know. He reminds me SOOO much of my Grandpa Bradley...always a smile on his face. He actually reminds me of a little old man. He likes to sit on the couch with a blanket on his lap and pet the dog while watching tv. Or he will talk endlessly about science, math, or how things are constructed. I have fast-forwarded many times in my mind and have pictured him as one of those coffee-guys at know the ones. A group of about 4-5 old men, all retired, show up to have coffee at 6:00 am and discuss the newspaper and everyone's lives. That's Johnny. Just happy, content, inquisitive, and so very, very sweet!

Happy Birthday, Johnny Le Hai!!!!

Friday, May 16, 2014

3 Months With London!

All of my children reacted different on their Gotcha days. 

Johnny was timid, frightened, and had his head hung low. 

Lily Anna cried off and on and clung to me (and me alone) for dear life. 

Roman came in with a smile on his face, said he loved me, wished me long life and happiness, gave me a hug, and then proceeded to sing a song for me (and the crowd, ha ha). 

And London peered from behind her nannies...just staring at me.

 And when my guide told me to scoop her up and go, that's what I did. And London screamed, kicked, hit, and pulled my hair. And I let her. It was her way to grieve, and to be honest, it was good that she treated me that way because it meant she was leaving people who cared for her and she knew it. I'm not sure how, but overnight I must have hooked her, because the next day she clung to me and wouldn't go near her nannies. 

Today, English is coming along slowly...very slowly. She reminds me of Lily in that department. She wants desperately to go to school, so it will be good when all the kids are home to keep her entertained through the summer. 

The big issue is her eating. She will take 2 hours to eat, and that's with me constantly saying, "London, eat your food." "Okay, Mama," she replies, and then proceeds to eat a gerbil sized bite. She is tiny. Tiny frame, tiny everything. The eating issue isn't a massive problem when we're home, but school is coming and I know she will only have about 15 minutes to eat her lunch. Food is just not a huge priority to her. (Wish I had that problem!!!)

She may be tiny, but she is one tough cookie. 

And she's pretty cute too!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

3 Months!

Roman has officially been in our arms 3 months now, and London's 3 month date is tomorrow. It really is amazing the transformation that takes place once home. 

There are behaviors that were present in Roman in China that have never surfaced again the minute we walked in our home. One of the things that I love about having a larger family is that Roman had to get over his love-obsession with himself when he realized he was outnumbered, ha ha. Now that he knows the rules, I have begun to encourage that ego of his again. ;) 

I'm sorry...I just can't help it!! He is pure entertainment and always ready to make you smile, laugh, or drive you bonkers. That boy just has no problem in the confidence area, as long as the crowd is in the mood for his antics!!

I love my kiddos!! You know, I have 2 other children that just seem to always be absent when my camera comes out. I think I need to do a photo shoot with Josiah and Brianna soon to prove to my blogging buddies that I actually do have 6 children!