slide show

10.29.2014

Because I Don't Want to Forget

This silly girl...



This beautiful girl...



The things she says!



Yesterday she had an eye exam. She was really nervous, not knowing what to expect. She climbed up on the chair and explained, "I might not do it right because I'm Chinese and I don't really know what to do..." Seriously?! Where did that come from? Not from any of us, I assure you.



Or today while we were out shopping:
Me: It's raining!
Her: Run for your life, Mama!
Drama queen? No! Not her!

Or when Freeland killed a bug that was crawling near her: "Thank you for saving my life, Freeland!"

I never want to forget her just like this!

10.28.2014

The Finish Line

I'm going to talk a bit more about our Texas trip. I'm also going to tell you a bit about my husband. I know every couple functions differently and what is perfect for one couple isn't for another, but I am so thankful that God knew that I would need Keith.




We really had a great, though busy trip. By the time we got back to my parents' house after our trip to San Angelo I was just so tired. We got in late after meeting Eli and Kelly Meier. (Separate post coming on that! Suffice it to say, we enjoyed that evening as much as we expected to, which is saying a lot!) The next day was our last day at my parents. We had a huge amount of laundry to do and all of the packing.




Keith loaded up all of the laundry and took it to a laundromat and knocked it all out at once. He brought it back mostly folded and ready to be packed. I fully intended to pack it, but all of my sisters and sisters-in-law from the area were there and we all sat out under the trees visiting for most of the afternoon. Keith packed everything, cleaned out the van, loaded everything up, and had everything ready to go while I enjoyed holding the baby nieces and visiting.




Saturday morning Keith, Douglas, my brother Jesse, and a couple of other people we know ran a half-marathon in Dallas. I was so proud of all of them for training and finishing!




That afternoon we went to an airshow in Fort Worth. The Thunderbirds were very impressive to watch! Several of my family came in too and it was such a fun, perfect ending to our trip. But it was hot! About 90 degrees with the sun beating down on us the whole time. Again, my sweet husband made sure he blocked me from the sun as much as possible. So I sat in comparative comfort while he took the brunt of the direct sun.



We all set up our chairs in the shade of a massive plane after the show was finished and visited and ate funnel cakes for a while. It was truly the perfect end to a wonderful trip!

Waiting on our 6:20 A.M. flight at D/FW.

10.23.2014

Catching Up

This poor little blog has been sadly neglected and it is high time to correct that! Right now I am in a hotel room in San Angelo, TX. The room is dark and everyone around me is still sleeping. Keith and Douglas are out running in preparation for the half marathon they plan to run on Saturday.



We flew down to Texas last Wednesday. Due to a medical emergency in Keith's family the day before we left, it was all very uncertain whether we should go at all. Thankfully all is well there and we are enjoying our time here.



Our days have been full with visiting all of my siblings and their families. We have gotten to meet not one, but two new nieces! I've been clicking photos of everyone everywhere we go.



The boys have been helping my brothers and dad on the farm. Wallowing in mud and manure to their little heart's content. I'll admit I don't really have farm pictures because I don't exactly want to go wallow with them...




Yesterday we drove from Kemp to San Angelo to visit my grandparents. It is so good to see J and Nan-Naw again and they are looking and doing so well! I'm so proud of them and how they take care of themselves and each other. I loved watching my children visiting with J and learning from him as I did when I was younger on a walk we took last night. And guess what!? We got rained on! Who expects to get rained on in Mertzon, TX!?



We are planning to go back out to see J and Nan-Naw again this morning then headed back toward my parents. On the way we are planning to meet a sweet family that we have only communicated with online. I can't wait to hug Kelly in person!!



It promises to be another beautiful day!


10.11.2014

Newborn Sessions {Part 1}

I recently had the privilege of photographing a newborn baby girl.




How many ways can you say perfection?










Congratulations on your precious new little one, Lee and Fern!

10.08.2014

Library Day

Everyone looks forward to Wednesdays around here. Wednesday is our lightest school day. Wednesday is piano lesson day for four out of five little Martins. And... Wednesday is library day!



On Wednesday morning we gather all of the items to be returned to the library. This is normally between twenty-five and thirty books, so I always fervently hope we know where all of them are and breathe a sigh of relief when they are in the book bags ready to go.



Each child is allowed to choose four books. I love to see them carefully looking and selecting their books. We are pretty careful about what we allow them to read, so I need to approve each person's books before we check them out.




Once each one finishes selecting their books they lose no time getting started reading them.




And the drive home is always perfectly, blissfully quiet on library day!

10.01.2014

And My Baby?

Well, I guess she just isn't a baby any more. On Monday she started Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and she is doing so well with it! Today she had her first piano lesson. You just don't do these things with babies, you know?



I really wasn't sure how school would go with Eliana this year, I didn't think she was quite ready to start first grade and I want her to be able to really enjoy her school work without a lot of stress. She is just surpassing my expectations on every level! She is counting and adding (with manipulatives) like a champ. She is breezing right through the beginning Explode the Code levels. And now she is learning to read and taking piano lessons. It's so sweet to see her learning so much!


Adopting a pre-schooler gives you the unique opportunity of watching a child develop at warp speed. Two years ago she was a baby, walking unsteadily, speaking hardly any English, not yet potty-trained, and the list could go on. Today she is a confident six year old who is catching up on every level. It truly feels as if I blinked and my baby turned in to a little girl.



It is easy to forget her history as we go from day to day. But there are moments when it becomes crystal clear in my mind again. Like the other morning when she crawled in bed with me and said, "When I wake up I just think about I have a Mama." Can you imagine being six years old and knowing what it is like to NOT have a Mama? My little girl remembers life without a family. I believe this is what adds so much charm to her sweet personality. She is thankful for things that most of us take for granted. She has a zest for life and loudly celebrates every little thing.



I'm so thankful she is ours!

9.30.2014

A Farewell Party {As Captured by my Camera}

Last night we went to a farewell party for a family from our church who is moving to Ghana for three years. Our children especially love this type of event. There were lots of games and plenty of food and good conversations all 'round.

I used a different photography method of setting my camera, putting on my widest angle lens, and snapping away without looking. It was so fun to put my camera card in my computer today and see what I had!

Without further explanation, here is our evening in photos.










 
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