It Is Webinar Day!

Today is the day! We are having a Superkids webinar! It begins at 1:00 (Eastern time) this afternoon.

April and I will be talking about our most recent trip to China. We will be showing you lots of pictures of children and talking about some of Superkids Charity's goals. We will be introducing you to some of the children that we just got files for! There will be time for questions at the end.

You can register here to get in on the fun!


Birthday Parties and Other Forms of Awesomeness

We started our summer off right! The children have the tent set up out in the woods and have been building a fire and roasting marshmallows regularly. The benefit to me is getting roasted marshmallows delivered to the house. And they know exactly how I like them lightly browned on the outside, warmed to the center. Every single one of them has learned to do it perfectly. Even Eliana can roast a mean marshmallow!

Grandma feeding Oreos to Brandt

The other evening we were invited to celebrate our little nephew, Shawn's, birthday at Keith's mother's house. Shawn just turned five. Do you remember how much fun fifth birthdays are? It was so fun to see him enjoying himself so thoroughly! He's pretty cute don't you think?

We also went to a friends house recently and took family photos for them. It was a beautiful evening. With that gorgeous golden light coming across the Lancaster County fields. So ideal for photos! They were very fun people to take photos of.

We've truly wrapped up school now with even our portfolios being completed. It's a very good feeling!

This week we are expecting guests from Missouri. My sister Keri and her family are coming! It's been a while since we've seen them so we cannot wait to see them again.

Welcome summer! We're so happy to see you again!


Storytelling {Baking Cookies}

I am taking a photography class and one of the assignments is to take a series of photos that tells a story. Here is one attempt at "telling" very common, everyday type of story.


Keith- Superkids Supporter Extraordinaire

You all know that I volunteer with Superkids Charity. We do a lot of wonderful and amazing things and we blog about it and post about it on Facebook. We even tried tweeting about it, but that has been a bit of a failure since Twitter remains a mystery to most of us. Anyway, you get the idea, you pretty much know what I do with Superkids.

But let me tell you about Keith. He is as dedicated to Superkids as I am. He doesn't mind that I spend hours every week on volunteer work. He always encourages me and often can be heard "bragging" just a bit about my involvement.

When I go on those wonderful trips to China that I love so much guess who takes over here at home so that I can go? Yep. Keith. When I need to speak with families or on a webinar guess who makes sure the house is quiet (no small feat, I assure you!)? Yep. Keith. He is the quiet supporter behind every single thing I do.

And now he is taking it further. He is planning to run in the New York City marathon in November to help raise funds and awareness for Superkids! We have a fundraising goal of $1,250 by the end of May. I should have started this sooner, but, um CHINA was happening! 

Any donation would be so appreciated! You can read what Keith wrote and donate here.

Thank you so much for helping Superkids in this way!


Post Placement Reports

It is that time of year. Time for Annika's post placement report to be filled out and sent to Gladney so they can forward it to Kazakhstan. It has become a fun thing to do as the years roll by. She helps me fill it out.

It starts with us typing in her Kazakh name. It is long with a lot of consonants. We try to say it, but we only know how to pronounce the part of her name she actually went by "Diliara".

We move on to height, weight, and health. Considering that she is a little girl and is healthy these are fun blanks to fill in.

She loves telling me all of her likes and dislikes and having it all recorded to be sent to people in Kazakhstan. She always wants them to know that her favorite food is burritos and that she doesn't like spicy foods. That her favorite color is blue and she doesn't like to be bored.

Another fun part to fill out is the "recent accomplishments". She has learned to swim, is taking piano lessons, and is learning to play soft ball.

She wondered what the "Changes/Stresses noted in marriage of adoptive parents" section meant. I told her "They are asking if Daddy and I fight." She thought that was hilarious! She told the other children that the people from her orphanage want to know if Mommy and Daddy fight! (Just in case you are wondering that was easily answered with one word, None.)

Every year we answer the same questions. Every year I am amazed again at this perfect, beautiful little girl who is our daughter.


Living With {MY} Reality

Yesterday we decided to tackle cleaning Freeland and Casper's room. It was a big job! Let's just saying they haven't exactly been great about keeping their room even in decent condition. They have a storage closet in their room, which made things even more difficult. We worked all day and by the end of the day the room was completed. W e had moved the bunk bed down and the drawers the closet was clean. It looked great!

But here's the thing, I was totally exhausted! So exhausted I could hardly function. And thus the title of the post. Most of the time I do so well. I know my limitations and don't overextend myself. But a day like yesterday reminds me just how limiting lupus can be. I'm not complaining. Most of the time we function very well. I have the help I need, my children know what to expect from my limitations, and we've adjusted our lifestyle accordingly. I can even do things like go to China when I choose to.

And I'm truly thankful for all of that! I'm thinking ahead to the rest of the week. Tomorrow evening I'm planning to take photos for a family. On Friday and Saturday I want to go to the home school convention in Harrisburg. And, of course, go to church on Sunday. On Monday I need to go to New York City for a meeting. That means today and tomorrow I'm taking it easy. As a matter of fact, right now I'm lying on the sofa dictating to my computer to write this blog post. Doesn't get a lot easier than that!

I guess what I'm trying to say is that lupus is limiting in a lot of ways, but we've learned to live with it and even thrive with it! I can't help but be very, very thankful for that!
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