Monday, August 22, 2016

We Are Family--Another Summer In the Books!

Today was my first day of regular classes at school.  I've been back at work for the last 2 weeks, but today the new students arrived for the new school year and it finally felt like summer was really, really over.  And I must admit that the transition is super hard for me.  Hard to leave my babies at home.  Hard to dive into a new year away from them.  Seems to get harder every season.  Especially hard because the summer was so awesome!

This summer we were once again blessed with an invitation to visit our friends Stori and Jamey in Indiana. We got to spend our time with several other families who have also adopted from DRCongo. It is the most amazing gift to be able to give our kids an opportunity to stay in contact with some of the same children that they lived with in Kinshasa and to be around families that are so much like our family.

I have to warn you, these are not my most stellar set of photos.  I was having so much fun and so many moments of wonderful that I kept forgetting to pull out my camera and record it all for the future!



We camped our way across Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Kentucky.  We landed in Indiana for a giant weekend of wonderful!







Louise right away got reacquainted with her old friend!


I got to hang out with one of coolest women I know!


My kids played and played and played and played!





There were lots of hugs!


And lots of fun!


And a kabillion amazing kids!


Jamey took us to a super cool petting zoo!




And we got to worship together with some amazing music!



Did I mention the hugs?  This was a sweet goodbye between the boys on our last morning together.


A final shot from our very last night of camping on our way home.  Bittersweet!  It's always hard to leave summer behind.  And so hard to say goodbye to good friends.  Can't wait for next year!


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Summer Speeds By and Suddenly Another Birthday



Here we are in July and my vow to blog more over the summer has sort of gone out the window.  But not without good reason.  For the first month of summer my whole darn family was sick sick sick! We had a terrible cold/virus/plague that ran through all 8 of us.  Cough, fever, sore throat, etc, etc, etc, but it just wouldn't go away.  I really felt robbed. Like I need an extra month of vacation to make up for June!

But we have also filled up summer vacation with a lot of activity.  We started the summer with a super camping trip to Lake Bistineau, Louisiana with our dear friends the Solbergs and the Apgers.  A mini China sisters reunion.











OK, the whole trip wasn't super.  It was the weekend of the great Memorial Day Weekend flood here in the Houston area.  School got called off on that Friday morning so we decided to get the heck out of town before the weather got worse, so we headed northeast and ran smack into the flooding.  We got stuck on a major highway that was flooded behind us and flooded in front of us.  We ended up about 60 miles from our house, but trapped.  We slept on that Friday night in a parking lot in a tiny town with nothing in it.  Not even a Walmart or McDonald's.  Thank goodness we had our trailer, or we would have had to spend the night sleeping in our van.  But the next morning the waters receded and we ended up having another great camping trip.


The following week we had a wonderful reunion on the beach in Galveston with some local Congo adoption families and my dear dear friend Cami, in from Arizona.  Cami and her husband adopted 2 older kids from Congo at the same time that we brought Haven home.  In fact, her husband sent me my very first picture of Haven and Brian together in Congo.  So her kids were in the same home with Haven for a short time waiting for all of us to bring them to the states.  This was the first time since they all came home that they have been together.  Of course, Haven didn't remember them, and Cami's kids only had vague memories of Haven, but it was so wonderful to see them altogether, along with a bunch of other beautiful, wonderful kiddos and parents.

















And we got to hang out at the beach, which my kids adore! A couple of weeks later, we did another day trip to the beach with the Solbergs.  Lauree's kids are water babies, too.

Over July 4th weekend we took a quick trip to McKinny Falls State Park, near Austin.  It was awesome.  We met the Apgers there and did a ton of swimming.  There are small water falls with a swimming hole below, and my little fish just loved it. It was holy smokes hot, but the water was wonderful.  And somehow I managed to to misplace all the pictures I took from that weekend.


Our next big event was celebrating JoJo's 6th birthday.  We celebrated a few days early with a surprise trip to the zoo and a day filled with JoJo!  My sweet Peanut is still such a little guy that I can hardly believe he is already 6. Everyday he surprises me with inventions, discoveries, and the best sense of humor in the house.  He is LOUD, ACTIVE, and FUNNY.  His favorites right now are Spider Man, the color yellow, camping in his trailer, and Daddy.  He would spend every minute running errands with just he and Daddy if he could.  He doesn't really have a favorite food and sometimes it seems like he is just surviving on air and water.  Like one of those ferns.  But he never lacks energy!











So, I'd better wrap up this blog post or I'll never get to the next one--our big trip to the OFA reunion. So many wonderful memories were made.  But more about that later.  Hope you're having a super awesome summer.  Mine is flying by way too fast!!!
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