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!!!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Happy Birthday Rainbow Twilight

About 3 weeks ago she changed her name to Rainbow Twilight.  Before that she was LuLu and for awhile it was Gloria.  But by any name, our sweet Louise is the life of the party.

Louise turned 5 years old this week.  Unfortunately, her birthday fell at the same week that summer vacation started and everyone in our house got sick.  And the sickest....sweet Louise.  Super high fever, hacking cough.  But she celebrated like a trouper.

Her brothers and sisters showered her with gifts.  All of them went out and bought her something special with their allowance money.  It was the first time that all of them were really old enough to get this concept and they bought her some really cool presents.

 We were all too sick to deal with wrapping paper, so we just had a birthday present parade and each kiddo presented their gifts one at a time.  Louise loved it!

Then on to the cake.  Custom designed online by Louise herself, at HEB.  No, this is not a plug for HEB, but we were all too sick to go in person and she got to pick out all the colors and fillings and everything.  Very cool!


Louise had one other surprise on her birthday.  She lost her second tooth.  The pictures below show her looking a bit distraught.  It was the blood or pain.  It was because she was washing her tooth off in the sink and accidentally dropped it down the drain.  Oh well, the presents helped ease the pain.

A few fun facts about Louise.  Her favorite color is still purple.  She loves anything that is glittery, shiny, girly.  And boy does she love My Little Pony!  She is however, the toughest girl you will ever meet.  Extraordinarily strong, athletic, and energetic (truth be told, I sort of liked her being a little under the weather this week because she is easier to keep up with). She climbs like a tree frog, swims like a fish, and hugs like a sumo wrestler.  She is my most passionate child.  Quick to laugh, quick anger.  But also my most compassionate child.  If anyone is hurt, she quickly arrives with a bandage and "there,there" on the back.  She hates cleaning up, but she loves to cook and will always share her food with anyone that asks.  That is a really good quality in a house with 8 people!

I love this little angel to the moon and back.  Happy Birthday Rainbow Twilight!

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