"What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters
compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Honoring Henry

The world lost an angel today. My dear friend, Carla's, sweet little boy is with Jesus tonight. I am just devastated for her and her family. 

Carla and her husband adopted Henry from Ukraine, just a few months after I brought Victoria and Francesca home. He has only been home for about a year. 

In Ukraine, he was diagnosed as having Arthrogryposis, like Victoria, which is how Carla and I started our friendship. After Henry was safely home in the United States, the doctors discovered that he didn't have Arthrogryposis, but Larson Syndrome. That's pretty shocking news to receive, that your baby has something totally different than what you are prepared for, but I remember how Carla always trusted in God. Instead of worrying (like me!), she told me how if Henry hadn't been mis-diagnosed with Athrogryposis, then he wouldn't have been able to be adopted. 

Henry had a host of complications, including a dangerously curved spine and knee joints that were on backwards. He had alot of limitations, He couldn't sit up, but he could get into toys and mischief.

Henry has made such a huge impact on so many lives. He never let anything stop him.  He found joy with the love of his family. Now he can run and play up in Heaven and watch over his family.

He brought happiness to so many. He spirit lives on forever in our hearts. 

Please pray for Carla and her family during this difficult time. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Weekend Thrills

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I did not brave the stores on Friday, except for Home Depot, which, surprisingly, was not packed with people trying to buy light bulbs and a shower curtain rod. 

We did have a little shopping drama though. Isabella wants a new doll for Christmas, but she is not known to be especially careful with her dolls. The poor things have been found outside in the dirt, dunked in swimming pools and gasp, beheaded (accidentally, I am sure). So, I told her that she needed to think of another present. Which she totally refuses to do. Her pouting was impressive, but I was distracted because I had a soda disaster to manage. All because of the Santa in Wal-mart. When I tried to get a picture of Francesca and Catherine with Santa, they got so petrified, they both bolted into a huge display of Fanta orange to escape from the feared bearded one. I am not sure why soda was being displayed next to Santa anyway. Jeez.

On to more excitement. Victoria is totally enamored with the moon. So, she was quite impressed with herself when she bit her cucumber into the shape of the moon. I wish you could all here the excitement in her voice as she yelled, "MOON! Big moon!" over and over. Victoria also wants to brag that she took ten steps by herself today! 

The weather has turned cold here, but never fear, we are prepared. Nothing like a one hundred pound ball of fur to snuggle up with. 

Othello is always happy to oblige in giving slobbery kisses. 

And so is Milo. He is even bigger than Othello, but a total baby. He is scared of the cats. 

This weekend also brought a awful, horrible, terrible, no good, very bad event. You can't even imagine the trauma that was inflicted on this poor child.

Did she have to get five shots? No. Was she chased by rabid wolves into a dark cave. No. Was the dreaded vacumn turned on. Nope. Did someone finally tell her that Halloween is over and to take off that pumpkin shirt? Still no.

She had to have her nails trimmed. I'm still not sure how we both survived. 

Oh, the injustice of it all! 

Luckily, everyone was appeased by some cookies and cream. Except for me, my head is still hurting from the screaming! 

We also managed to decorate our Christmas tree this afternoon. Unfortunately, two ornaments are already broken. Does anyone have any fun holiday traditions to share? I am hoping to bake some Christmas cookies, but I would love more ideas. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have so much to be thankful for.....my family, friends, our health, being safe, freedom, being able to actually find all five pairs of shoes today.  We are lucky indeed! 

I figured I should get in on a picture every now and then. 

We had Thanksgiving dinner at Great's place, so no cooking! Yea! But, sadly, also no leftovers.

So thankful for my wonderful mom! 

Thankful my kids have so many toys that they can make a mess in 2 seconds. 

We all waited patiently for our meal to be served.....

except for Victoria, who was trying to escape again. Luckily, the door locked, but she was pretty close to figuring out how to open it. 

Toasting our thankfulness.

Getting a tad impatient.

Sweet Anastasia.

Little Catherine kept us entertained with some enthralling stories about a vacumn cleaner. 

Victoria was rather horrified with the green bean casserole.....

......but Great loved everything. She said she was so glad her family could be all together, she didn't care what she was eating.

And Francesca really enjoyed the ice. Yea, I know, the girl who usually eats everything is going through some kind of picky phase. I'm so glad that we paid for the little ones to have a whole plate so they could turn up their noses at it. Really, I am glad, cause I ate all their food! 

"Now, wait just a minute, nobody told me they were going to have ice cream. Now, I am hungry!"

And pie, of course, always makes the world a brighter place. 

Victoria, really, really likes her ice cream. 

We took a walk to burn off all the extra calories..... 

and climbed some trees too. Who says you can't climb in a dress?

Catherine was pretty shocked to realized that today was not the day to get presents and that Christmas was still a month away. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I am so thankful to all of you!!! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Just One of the Gang

For a long time, my girls have played mostly in pairs. Isabella and Anastasia spending their time pretending and creating. Little Catherine and Francesca running around in circles and falling down. Victoria sometimes got left out, not intentionally, but because she just wasn't as mobile. I am thrilled that now my three little ones have all joined forces. 

The Three Musketeers, or maybe the Three Stooges. 

Last night, the big girls went to a sleepover. Catherine decided that she and her sisters should have a sleepover too. In my bed. Yea! 

The sleepover lasted about five minutes. Francesca kept getting up and running around and Victoria was fussy. That was the end of that. But they sure looked cute for that five minutes. 

They have a new game called "fall down on the bed and laugh hysterically". 

Victoria has even figured out how to push herself up to a standing position by herself. That is no easy feat when you can't bend you legs. I tried, but couldn't do it. I am amazed that Victoria isn't afraid to fall down since she can't bend her knees. She is getting really confident. 

They are wild! (I love how Catherine is hanging on to Victoria to make sure she lands safely)


It wasn't long ago that Victoria would just sit quietly and not join in, but no more! She is loud and quite demanding! Her latest saying, "get up, get up!"

Sisters are forever! 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A "Great" Birthday

Guess who had a birthday on Saturday! Our wonderful, Great, turned 95 years old! 

Everyone in our family wears this wreath on their birthday. It came all the way from Czechoslovakia, which is where my family is from. 

My girls know how to party! 

Great loved her present, a tapestry of Mary and baby Jesus. 

Yum! Though I almost had a heart attack over the kids eating all that red dye. It's the only health conscious thing I worry about! 

Francesca thought the whole cake was just for her! 

We were worried the whole time that the sparklers were going to set off the fire alarm, but we lucked out. 

When you're 95, you get to make a really big wish! 

Great and her oldest great-grand child, my sweet son, Elliot. 

This balloon was way bigger than little Catherine. 

Special birthday gifts. 

This is Great's friend, Lou. He doesn't really like anyone, but he loves Great. They are buddies. 

We had a great idea to make bean-bag socks for everyone to toss. Beans pretty much ended up all over, but everyone had fun. I love how Victoria is just standing so straight and tall. 

Everyone waited patiently for their cake. 

Victoria kept setting off the alarm by opening the door. Her newest word is "outside".

Two of my favorites, Jean and Jean. Jean, with the purple shirt calls everyone "Honey Bunny". 

Happy Birthday Great! We're so glad we got to be with your on your special day. We love you!!