A little bit of sunshine!

17 Mar
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Zinnia, Mimi and Lainee are ready to go!

 

Last week we took the kids out of school for a couple days and said goodbye to this ridiculous weather!

3 days in FLORIDA!

AHHHH

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at the airport in Chicago. We had a snow storm early that morning and didn’t know we would actually be spending the entire day at Ohare because of our flight being delayed

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It was still actually a really fun day. The children were great. The older kids did their homework and the younger kids read. These girls love to read, I’m so glad.

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Luke’s favorite thing was to sit for hours and watch out the window. He said, “this is better then a TV show, mom!”  He kind of had a bad attitude about going to Florida.  I knew it was because he didn’t know what to expect and its his way of feeling in control. He does not do well with change. He had a blast and now his first Florida beach vacation is behind us.  Now he’ll know what to expect! 

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The flight was easy and our rental van was there waiting for us! It felt a little bit smaller then our big black one but it was fine. We hit some serious traffic on the way to the hotel. After a stop to the grocery store, and bags of food stuffed all over the children… we didn’t crash for the night until after midnight…

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homework at the airport.

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The next morning it was so fun to see outside! We hadn’t been able to see anything because we arrived so late the night before. We loved to just sit on the balcony. The girls all said, “green! i see green!” It did feel so good to be outside without being bundled up. This winter in Chicago has been so long.

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The children spent 3 perfect days playing outside in the pool and on the beach. It was quiet and relaxing now that everyone is getting older…and now that everyone can read!

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Luke is our weakest swimmer. He makes due. He loved the warm weather which he is used to back in Ethiopia. I think swimming is so good for kids with different sensory issues. He loves being in the water.

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hot tub!

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gigi and zinnia

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gigi and christopher

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our tricks drew quite a bit of attention from the others at the pool!

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yes, we let the children chicken fight in the pool. These are the teams

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the pool in the back of the hotel had a waterslide! The BEST part about it was that it was unmanned! NO attendant on duty :) No one yelling to “walk” or “wait”. It was so much fun for all the kids

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christopher with the little ladies

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jonah, jonah, jonah….I won’t show you later photos of him. Let’s just say he got a little too much sun. Yowch!

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the girls and their books

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the girls and their shells….sorting shells, finding shells, digging shells. It was great. Mimi is the best at finding shells. She’s pretty picky about the kind that she will collect…twirly only. Lainee and Zinnia and Luke are just excited to see any ole shell! Our “target” child on the feingold diet did awesome. It’s made a HUGE difference. I brought a lot of food from home for her to eat at breakfast and dinner then in the evenings we went out and it was pretty easy to get her a grilled piece of fish and a baked potato.

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Luke was fascinated with all the jelly fish that washed up on the shore the third morning. He had never seen anything like it! He was determined to pop one but had a hard time doing it.

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beautiful jelly fish

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mimi’s 3 best shells

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luke won’t eat fish, and we went to fish places every night. He usually got a burger and this night he was so excited about his sweet potato fries. He’s got some kind of issue with drinks that we are trying to figure out. He’s mildly obsessed with having a drink during meals, like worried about not having enough to drink. He usually drinks 4 cups of water real fast before his food comes then can’t eat his meal. We are lovingly workin’ on it.

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after dinner one night a guy on the dock was giving boat rides! It was interesting (because he was drinking rum) but the children loved it. He pointed out different “famous” peoples’ homes.

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our last nights’ dinner. The place was not our favorite. 3 days in florida was actually perfect. Just enough to get out of the cold and appreciate our own beds…

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the kids at the waterslide. a fabulous time. My heart was divided however, my grandma is dying. My mom flew home from California to be with my grandma in Michigan, they moved her to a hospice house. I got to FaceTime with my sweet grandma while I was in Florida and now she’s unresponsive. She mouthed, “i love you Laura! How you feelin’?” which is how she always greets her loved ones, wondering how they are doing…

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i hate that these photos are all so little….

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The mama and the papa. Thanks for a great family get-a-way, Chris! You are the best.

hey everybody!

28 Feb
solo and ensemble practice, girls got a 1!

solo and ensemble practice, girls got a 1!

the 4 boys from Mekele a few sundays ago at church. Luke, Titus, Sam, Joseph.  It is still so amazing to us that these friends from ethiopia were all able to be adopted to friends in our area.

the 4 boys from Mekele a few sundays ago at church. Luke, Titus, Sam, Joseph. It is still so amazing to us that these friends from ethiopia were all able to be adopted to friends in our area.

Titus and Luke.  It is so special to listen to them interact.  Laughing and laughing about funny things that had happened in ethiopia.  Their english is really coming along so nicely.  They are so cute.

Titus and Luke. It is so special to listen to them interact. Laughing and laughing about funny things that had happened in ethiopia. Their english is really coming along so nicely. They are so cute.

We have had record cold temps here.  The girls have been so excited to go to the lake to skate but its just been too cold! Lainee and Gigi

We have had record cold temps here. The girls have been so excited to go to the lake to skate but its just been too cold! Lainee and Gigi

March is gotcha month for these 2.  Time flies.  3 years the end of March these two great girls became forever-joneses

March is gotcha month for these 2. Time flies. 3 years the end of March these two great girls became forever-joneses

gelato date night

gelato date night, dad and geeg

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One of the highlights of the month for us was our NYC trip to be with Show Hope and to see SCC in concert at Carnegie Hall.  We went with 4 couples from Wheaton, it was a blast. I cried thru the concert.  It was so encouraging and refueling.  I whispered to Chris, "i'm so glad we are doing what we are doing".  Sometimes it takes getting out of the day to day to remember God's call on your life.

One of the highlights of the month for us was our NYC trip to be with Show Hope and to see SCC in concert at Carnegie Hall. We went with 4 couples from Wheaton, it was a blast. I cried thru the concert. It was so encouraging and refueling. I whispered to Chris, “i’m so glad we are doing what we are doing”. Sometimes it takes getting out of the day to day to remember God’s call on your life.

The following little video is Zinnia the day she received her role in the school musical.  She’s come so far.  What a miracle.

The following little video was taken last night at the musical.  Zinnia was front and center for this song.  I was just a little weepy.  ;)

mimi’s solo~  (grandparents: You can see Lainee with the grey bow in her hair behind mimi after she walks back to her spot.  I was glad all three girls were close to each other

Zinnia leaning over to watch Mimi do her part.  She was blocked from my view.

Zinnia leaning over to watch Mimi do her part. She was blocked from my view.

our infusion bay!

our transfusion bay at CDH, the girls and I look forward to blood days!

lots of this happening on the weekends between ball games....I cannot wait till the kids can play outside again!

lots of this happening on the weekends between ball games….I cannot wait till the kids can play outside again!

bulls game 2 mights ago with christopher and gigi. chris is such a goof ball, life would be far to serious without his fun.

bulls game 2 nights ago with christopher and gigi. chris is such a goof ball, life would be far to serious without his fun.

lainee got a hair chop. it's adorable.

lainee got a hair chop. it’s adorable.

gigi entered a bake contest at school to raise money for the child her class sponsors.  It was fun.  Barefoot contessa's lemon yogurt cake. (no I'm not expecting a baby)

gigi entered a bake contest at school to raise money for the child her class sponsors. It was fun. Barefoot contessa’s lemon yogurt cake.

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In other news~

We are continuing to us the feingold diet on our “target” child and are amazed at the result.  I strayed from it for a couple weeks and the walls came tumbling down.  I learned my lesson.

Gigi’s swim season just wrapped up, she did great!

Jonah and Christopher decided to run track this year.  The first meet is tomorrow.  This will take a backseat once the tennis team season gets going…when I drive  by the courts I cannot imagine how long its going to take to get all that snow off!  Opening day got pushed back to March 10 (i think the high temp predicted for that day is 25).

Luke continues to settle into life in a family.  He struggles with being organized at home and school.  It takes extra time and effort on my part to keep on top of his stuff.  I’ve got a chart system in place for him.  He’s a joy to me most of the time but I do see some “baggage”.  I started going though Karin Purvis’s video series on the “neurochemistry of fear”.  It describes my Luke to a T.  God has some healing to do and I’m usually thankful to be part of it; but at times I just wish he could gel with us a little more easily.

I remember after bringing home Lainee and Zinnia at ages 6 and 7 it took 2 full years for me to feel like I was a “normal” in life, like I had settled in and they weren’t so new.  I’m wondering if that feeling will take longer since Luke came home older (home at 10). God knows, one day at a time!

another snow day!!

28 Jan

Its been so cold here in Chicagoland

Schools were cancelled yesterday and today.

Giving us a long, long weekend!

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we made a big meal for our brother’s sleepover friends…

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took some of the children to Feed My Starving Children on one of our snow days

took some of the children to Feed My Starving Children on one of our snow days

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these three kept our group in near constant laughter.  They loved it.

these three kept our group in near constant laughter. They loved it.

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Oh Lainee!

Oh Lainee!  We are crazy about you!

Some of our other children were there, but I’m thinking maybe I should ask before putting them on the blog with the hair nets on…?

It looks like there are several Chinese kids with Thalassemia needing homes, families, healthcare.

So of them are in dire need of families because of the standard of care in China for thalassemia kids.

I would love to see some people in our area of Chicagoland adopt some of these precious children.

Their little photos are so sweet.  Lainee and Zinnia have truly paved the way for thalassemia healthcare here in Wheaton.

 It’s such a blessing to serve these girls.

Its something I’m praying about.

 

 

 

 

Happy birthday mimi!

26 Jan

Today My Mimi turned 9!
IMG_5469Here she is opening letters from her grandparents

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After Church we went out for brunch and brought our family presents.  Anyone who knows Mimi know she is a PENGUIN expert!  It seems like penguins are all over the place right now.

IMG_5468 IMG_5449 Christopher and LaineeIMG_5451

Mimi and her newest penguin.  She named him Mr. Penguini!IMG_5444  Good job gang!IMG_5446

We have a small travel sized etch-a-sketch but I knew mimi would be so excited with a larger one.  Have you ever had the pleasure of watching mimi on the etch-a-sketch???  Her mind is the most creative mind I know.  You would be in awe.  I love how God made her like that.IMG_5441

Mimi also has an INCREDIBLE imagination.  She loves to play pretend.  Dad wrapped up an old cell phone, she was thrilled!IMG_5439

She also asked for a scarf.  like fashion scarf, not winter weather scarf.  She was thrilled!IMG_5437

We love you Mimi. We are so excited to see the little girl God created you to be.  You add so much energy and excitement!!!

Happy Birthday!!IMG_5434

This is Luke’s basket ball team.  They are so cute and Luke is SO GOOD this year! Its a great confidence builder.IMG_5425

IMG_5423 Noah’s school team ended the season yesterday.  Mr. Clum is such a great principal and coach.  He has played such a positive role in Noah’s life.  We are so grateful. They made it to the semi finals!IMG_5415 TODAY everyone is “well”  (I’m a believer in tamiflu…wow. )IMG_5393 and here is Miss Lainee feeling so special in her “fakies”IMG_5400

Mimi's birthday cake~ She requested carrot cake.  YUM! (FG approved!)

Mimi’s birthday cake~ She requested carrot cake. YUM! (FG approved!)

Aside 21 Jan

Yesterday i ended up taking our zinnia to the ER because of a super high fever (105.4) because she has a port its important to make sure that its not iffectex when her fever spikes.  It was hard to do because i knew it would be long and drawnand her thalassemia would be confusing to the ER staff.  I knew in my heart it must be influenza.

But it ended up she got IV antibiotics ans fluid and an influenza diagnosis.

today we are back to the hemotology unit and both girls are getting transfused.  I wasnt sure that they would let zinnia be transfused, or on the unit because of her fever and the oncology kids. But, they wisked us back to a private area and we have our own little room. ImageIm feeling so thankful that zinnia can be transfused. I ImageImagehardly slept wondering what the staff here would say and do for us today.  Praise God.

Dad and boys are home late tonight.  Trying desperaty to keep a clean house. To keep the sick children away from the healthy children! Gigi took this photo this photo last night after lainee and mimi pleaded for a sleep over and i said “yes! No one is sleeping with zinnia tonight!”  They had so much fun!

19 Jan

up in the night with a sick child

and woke up to this (after taking one that read 104.6 and not believing it was accurate)….
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Made two trips to the convenient care today as another one took a plunge, don’t you hate that place?

I have this feeling that  this could be the beginning of a long, drawn-out ordeal if it passes through everyone.

But I could be wrong.

I had the nurse give me a flu shot.  She said, “a little too late mom….”

IMG_5369Can you tell that there is a cold, light sensitive little cutie under there?

I brought a few others with me on the second trip to get flu shots too…

just in case.

No school for us on MOnday or Tuesday, so the children can rest up.

TVs been on ALL day, babysitting while I run to clinic and walgreens, then clinic and walgreens…

meanwhile I’m getting great updates from dad and the boys out west on their ski trip…

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longest ski trip ever (did I say that?)

~

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17 Jan

Im so happy for Chris and our boys to be away together, doing their favorite thing! Praying its a refreshing time, a bonding time, relaxing (time away from some annoying siblings). Luke told me, “mom, i feel bad that you have to be the only parent this week, i will help you!” It was sweet. I miss the guys but Im enjoying being “fully into” the kids at home. No school Monday or Tuesday so my sister and her 5 are coming from Michigan for some cousin time! Isnt the photo in the powder beautiful???

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