Sunday, July 9, 2017

Food, Fun and Fellowship!

We were so blessed this spring(May 25th) 
to have guest 
visit us!

One of our priests from our church in MN-
 Holy Name of Jesus,
Medina, MN
brought his Catholic Studies class
from the University of St Thomas
to do mission work for the poor in Denver, CO.

They worked with Christ in the City
and Friends of the Poor
while they were here! 

And then they came to our home
for some fun, food and fellowship!

18 students,
 3 chaperones,
1 priest,
16 children 
2 parents

Our children loved the time they spent 
with the students and chaperones!

Everyone played games!
Foosball, four square, ping pong, pool,
air hockey, jumped on the trampoline,
visited the puppies and talked and talked and talked!

It was such a joy filled time in our home!

There was some tough competition going on
at our house!

Good job Fr. Howe!
Sarah won!

Preparing for our guests was a family affair!
Picking up the house and getting the food ready!

They were such a wonderful group of students
eager to serve the poor and show the love of Christ to others!

After the initial fun it was time for the FOOD!

We are used to feeding 18 on a daily bases
so 20 more just meant 
we had to double everything!

It was easy!

It was so wonderful seeing
We LOVE Colorado but
a little bit of time with
Minnesotan was
good for our soul!

We set up many different places for people to eat at
throughout the house!

The students were so friendly and 
 mingled with the kids
throughout their time at our home!

The children LOVED it!

So many great conversations going on all at the same time!

I just noticed that Matthew was spelled wrong... oops!
Oh well, it's still a great message!

May 25th was a big day-
 three people had birthdays!
It was Stephen's(standing in the plaid shirt), our Grace's and my birthday!
Plus Fr. Howe's ordination day!

So much to CELEBRATE!
They sang to each of us and 
they had beautiful voices!

They sang to each of us and 
they had beautiful voices!

God's presence was felt!

It was Grace's first birthday home!
What a wonderful way to spend it!

So much laughter and JOY!

The whole crew!
(I think)

And then it was time to share-
 about their service
about our journey in our faith,
in business,
in marriage,
in adoption,
and in service to our Lord!

They had many questions about our large family life.

We hope that we touched hearts
for adoption.

147 million orphans...

It's not hard to love just one more...

Our children have blessed us in unimaginable ways.

I pray that others will open their hearts to adopt and will

It was hard to say goodbye!
Everyone had so much FUN!

Clean up was snap with
16 adorable helpers!

Perfect timing!
Garbage pick up was the next morning!

Thanks GOD,
for today!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Blessed On My Birthday!

I'm not so found of growing a year older
but I do love it when my littles,
who are now getting bigger -
 shower me with LOVE!

Soooo many blessings!

And yes-
 it was my day
to feel special
and to get lots of

They were all so excited for Mom to open her gifts!

I love how close they get!
Personal space is not all it's cracked up to be!

They made birthday cards for me!

I love their creativity

and thoughtful hearts!

Photo bombing
is the new thing

Thank you kiddos!
Now I have wonderful new refrigerator art!

This Momma got a new phone
(with a much better camera on it!),
earings and a necklace,
 and a slow/fast(pressure) cooker!

Thank you for my wonderful gifts!
I also got a moment to myself as they all went out shopping!
Thank works!

I never dreamed that at 50 something years old
I would be so blessed
with 16 kiddos at home
celebrating my birthday with me!

All the bigs called and texted birthday wishes-
 it was so great to hear from each of them!

And 5 bigs living independently
and doing their thing!
Plus 2 wonderful "in loves" and 3 fabulous girlfriends for our boys!

Thank you JESUS!

Grace and I share a birthday!
We celebrated her first and then
I had a little celebration a couple days later!

But on our actual day we were both (and the whole family)
blessed to have visitors from Minnesota come to our home!

Kind of a new fun shirt,

when you need to go to the bathroom!

Of course that didn't happen to me!?!
Wink, wink!

Monday, June 12, 2017

I Remember...

While we were in China this past December
one of our daughters
remembered part of "her story"!

It's was jaw dropping and heart breaking to hear it...
And yet...
it's such a blessing to know 
some of her past.

This post is posted over at 

To see this post please click on the link!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Her First Birthday~ Grace is 9 Years Old!

In China birthdays aren't celebrated.
And when you are an orphan,
a birthday... 
goes unnoticed...

So once our kiddos are home 
we like to 
celebrate them!

This was Grace's very first
birthday celebration!

And needless to say...
she enjoyed 
every minute of it!

Mom and Dad needed to get 
a post placement pic
with Grace!
Here is our first attempt!
I'm in the midst of telling Sarah
what to do... 
she snaps it a bit early!
Of course, this would be 
the best pic of Grace 
not of us...

Second try...
sorry Grace...
 this ones going to China!
A Mom's gotta do, what a Mom's gotta do!

The kids love to make cards for each other!
It's so heartwarming to see them working hard on their siblings bday card!

Joey is very proud of his masterpiece!

Gel pens and coloring books 
are very popular around here!
Hours of peaceful fun for all!
(Including me!)

Grace asked for an American Girl doll!
She was encouraged to go through the catalog
by her Momma and sisters!
The time for this is growing short
and we want the children to enjoy 
their childhood for as long as possible!

You might thing we are spoiling Grace...

You're right...
and it feels good!

She has the sweetest, kindest demeanor.
She asks for nothing...
She defines- easy going.

She left everything she has ever known
and joined our family.

What an awesome look of 

Grace wanted a bike for her birthday...
We weren't sure if she would be able to ride it
but with each day
she is getting better and better at it!

Now her bike has joined the
line up of bikes in our garage!

Mary Ellen and Grace are ready for bed!

This is Grace's 9th Birthday!

For eight years no one noticed...
so now we CELEBRATE!

I used to love it when the big kids could join us
but now the are all grown up, working, most are living in different towns
 and some of them have children.
All a blessing
but still
sometime I want to live in the past...
It's important for me to be thankful 
for all the fun times we have had
but also it's important 
to move forward and enjoy the moment... the present!

It looks like Jake might be singing a bit too loud for Abby!

Since they have never blown out candles before 
they often
are not too good at it!
It took Grace a couple tries!

Getting better every day!

Grace and I share a birthday!
My post is next
and you will see 
that we were both abundantly blessed on our day!

The next morning we celebrated by going to Build A Bear Workshop!

Another experience she has missed out on...
but not any longer!

Her bear was stuffed with everything it needs 
to live a long and happy life!

God Bless You
sweet birthday girl!

Jenny and Jake got a bear, too!
Now we're done...
everyone has a teddy bear!

I think this birthday was a success!

There will be more birthday blessings on my next post!