Once upon a time....

Flash back to 1999, we were a family of four. Happy in our new roomy house and comfortable in our ways. A few years later, the Lord blessed us with an additional little package, little boy #3. Now we were a family of five and sure that would be the end. As time moved on, so did we. The Lord used the time that passed to open our eyes to His will. Several years ago, Bob and I individually heard the call to adoption. It has been a long "pregnancy", but during this incubation time, the Lord has brought us to where He wants us to be. Spring 2010, we traveled to Ethiopia where two little angels were waiting for the Lord's timing - to become our children. Now we are home and can't imagine life any differently! What a blessing to be in His will.

Galatians 4:5 says "God sent Christ to buy freedom for us, who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as his very own children." We are just following his model. A Perfect picture of salvation.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Colorado or Bust!

We just arrived home last night from an exciting, fun-filled family trip to Colorado.  We stayed at Lone Duck Campground just outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado.  We visited the Garden of the Gods, a park full of natural rock formations.  While there, we hiked around the rock formations as we avoided stepping in horse doo-doo.  Nardos found it entertaining to name the piles as various foods that we eat (chicken and rice, meatloaf, meatballs) stating that she had prepared it especially for her siblings.  What sense of humor and creativity!

We drove up the Pikes Peak Highway ~ kudos to Bob for driving that freakish highway!  I really think they could use some of that improvement money to add guard rails!!!  It was quite chilly at the top, so we went into the gift shop to use the restroom, took the commemorative photo, and headed back down the hill.  We had to stop at the halfway mark to have the obligatory break check, which resulted in a 20 minute layover to let the brakes cool down.  Finally, we made it down to the base of the highway and headed back to camp for our daily swim.

On Monday, we packed our cooler with picnic fixins' and headed up to Mueller State Park for a day hike.  We stopped at the visitor center where we learned that a small black bear had been spotted near the entrance of the park just 5 days earlier ~ which they shared as a selling point, not for fear factor.  The back of the park was off limits due to elk calving season, okay, so we viewed the trail map and found a nice little hike.  The hike itself was only 2.4 miles ~ a nice little walk, but turned out to take a sudden dip in elevation, which we would later have to make up for in up-hill climbs!  For the most part, the kids were real troopers.  Nardos and Alex even had a race or two during the hike.  We did spot wildlife - other than the ones we brought with us - three deer wandering through the forest.  At the end, we were rewarded with a picnic lunch in the beautiful weather while a yellow swallowtail butterfly danced around us!

Tuesday we planned a trip to a local Dinosaur Museum.  It boasted of real fossils, a hands on children's area and an area where you could view real paleontologists at work.  It was all that, but after an hour and a half, the kids were done.  That was the disappointing part, since we paid a chunk of change to get it.  Our visit there was followed by a trip to a local sports complex, where we could spread out and play.  We topped of our excursion with lunch at Buster O'Brian's Cafe.  It was delicious and we received a very nice compliment from the owner on how well the kids behaved.  That's always nice to hear, especially on the rare occasion that it happens... just kidding.

Wednesday was a real hit!  We went to the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center.  We took a tour with a real...uh, caregiver..... for the animals at the Sanctuary.  She told us stories about how the animals came into their care and a little about their personality.  Obviously, they are against euthanasia of animals, especially unnecessarily so (like in the example of trapped animals being shot for sport), but they didn't shove it down your throat.  We were pretty up-close and personal with the animals (they have wolves, coyote, and foxes).  It was fascinating and although the sun was pretty toasty, the kids really enjoyed the visit.  At the end of the tour, the guide had us all stand in one area and howl.  We did - as commanded - and were rewarded with a chorus of wolves and coyote howling.  It was amazing!  The tour guide stated that the wolves are more active in the winter and that they do tours year-round.  You can imagine the ride back to camp "Mom, let's come back in winter!!!!"

Other camping news:  We swam every day, we cooked s'mores and had hot chocolate.  The kids were great on the ride out (which we split by stopping overnight in WaKeeney) and then drove straight home at the end of the trip.  It was fun and we are already planning our trip for next year!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Nardos' graduations!

She had two!  She graduated from Susquehanna Preschool and Fort Osage Early Childhood Center.  Now she is obsessed with what kindergarten will be like.  I purchased a set of 5 pre-kindergarten workbooks.  One and a half weeks into summer and she has already completed two books!  She also had her vision check and passed with flying colors!  Go Nardos!

Here's Nardos marching in with her friends!

Nardos was very busy searching the crowd to find us!

Here's Nardos with her teachers Mrs. Haight and Mrs. Jones.

Marshall's 6th grade Band Concert

Marshall rocked at the 6th grade band concert.  What a super drummer!

A stellar photo shoot!

We had such a great time!  Hope you enjoy the view!