Saturday, September 19, 2009

"Thank you . . .

for eats, for Bella, mommy, daddy, noah, asher going to Mema's, hairs, brush teeth, vitamins, monkeys, cows, ducks, fish, fork, brush hair, wilkenson, cows reading books . . ."
You have not lived until you've heard Jesi pray!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Big Change

First of all, we have decided to officially call Wilkenson Kenson. He did not like it a while back but has changed his mind and that is what he likes now. Jes has had the easiest time transitioning over. She immediately called him Kenson.
Second, starting Monday, Kenson will be a student at Will's school. After much thought and prayer, we feel like this will be best for him. The time in the car going back and forth from school alone with his daddy will be worth it all. I really don't know how he feels about it leaving and attending school. He got excited about spending time with daddy and getting to help him carry stuff into the school each morning but wants all of us to go with him. It was quite precious!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

No "see"food

Ok, so lately I have been trying to help Jes and Wilk understand that they need to keep their mouths closed while eating. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done. They literally cannot seem to keep their lips shut while the inside of their mouth moves. This is totally baffeling to me. Asher even shows them how to do it. But the more we show them, the faster they chew with their mouth open. We have not been able to make them understand that they need to keep their lips shut but can keep the inside of their mouth open so they can chew the food with their teeth instead of letting it dissolve. Wilkenson tries really hard. He has started holding his lips shut with his fingers and when all the food in his mouth is gone, he will say very proudly with his arms up high, "TA DA!!!"

Friday, August 21, 2009

A new natural "do"

It took almost 4 hours and 4 different set of hands, but Jes finally is extension free :-). Her hair looked so adorable in a little fro, that we have kept it like that for 3 weeks now. She loves wearing headbands and I have bought lots of colors and sizes with bows to match. Her curls remind me of the spring that you take out of a writing pen. They are so small and tight but extremely adorable. I don't know that I will get tired of this do anytime soon.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Family Pic

I am so excited about our family picture. I have been waiting for over a year to take this photo. I have even put my sister-in-law to have a grandchildren photo done in the hopes that the children would be coming home anytime. I just love it! I am also excited about getting photos up in the house that include Jes and Wilk. They don't seemed bothered by it but I can't help but think that they would feel more at home to see themselves on the walls.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Our trip to SC

We had a great time visiting Will's family in SC. The 16 hour car ride was a little less than desirable and I would have to say that I am not ready to take that trip again any time soon. I do understand that it is hard for kids to stay confined in a car seat for hours on end with only the toys that haven't fallen on the ground. By the time everyone had fallen asleep for the evening, Will and I looked at each other enjoying the quiet and decided to just go ahead and drive straight through. Although we were tired the next day, it was worth it.
Jes and Wilk did very well with the transition. The only issues that we had were those that are typical of kids out of their environment and routine.
They thoroughly enjoyed meeting Will's family and vice versa. All the kids got to do a lot of swimming, TV watching and even a trip to the mall to get a Build-A-Bear. We also visited a hands-on children's museum that my other kids have always enjoyed going to.
We already miss them terribly and can't wait till our next visit which will probably be for my sister-in-laws high school graduation.
I will post some pics later ~ I have not been able to download them off my camera just yet.

Friday, July 31, 2009

More Pool Pics

Wilkenson shooting hoops!

Chicken fight!!!
Alex, Micah, Noah and Wilkenson

Will, Noah and Asher

Saturday, July 25, 2009

An amazing week

The theme for VBS was Rome: Paul and the underground church. We took pics one day of the kids dressed in togas so they could take home as a souvenir.

Our church put on a Vacation Bible School in which Will and I were in charge. There was a ton of planning and preperation and each day started very early. After the services on Sunday, we had a 3 hour meeting with all the volunteers and then decorating that took about 3 more hours. Each day we got up early and left the house at 8:30 a.m. to get to the church to prepare for the day. VBS started at 9:45 a.m. and lasted until 12:00 p.m. After VBS ended for the morning, our family stayed around to clean up and prepare for the next day. Most days we did not leave until about 1:30 p.m.

I say all that to say, Kenson and Jes did wonderfully. They were real troopers as were the rest of our children. Not only is that a long day for them, but they did not get to stay on their schedule of eating and rest and were surrounded by, at least, 150 others kids and adults each day. All the kids were split up into groups called families ~ I purposely put Jes in Bella's group and Kenson in Noah's group. Their leader did have a time getting them to stay still and not run around but, overall, they did very well. Jess's leader was her Sunday School teacher who is the only one at church that is allowed to pick her up and take care of her. I was always around so I could take them if needed and could deal with any behavior problems that might have been exhibiting. They never seemed scared or out of control and really seemed to have a good time.

On Friday, one of the volunteers had a pool party at her house for all those who helped. The kids had a great time. The teenage boys started the game where you get on each others shoulders and try to knock someone else off. Well, they let Noah and Kenson play. It was absolutely precious to see these boys carrying around Kenson on their shoulders and helping him even dunk the basketball in a goal that is set up near the pool. He was in heaven!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Doing good

I am so excited that Jesula is starting to really bond. She is calling for me and wants to be with me even if everyone else is swimming. She is starting to initiate kisses which is big for her. She is even randomly telling me that she loves me. This is something all of our other children have always done so it is so nice to hear her say it.
Wilkenson has always been affectionate and thorougly enjoys seeing any of us return home even if it has only been a 5 minute trip to get gas. He does not really like to kiss but has always given huge hugs. He is a bit more exasperating at times and Will and I struggle with getting frustrated with him. We basically just need to view him as a 3 or 4 year old instead of an almost 6 year old. He is super sweet, though.
It is still challenging sometimes with Asher and his jealousy issues but it is getting better. Asher even leaned back at supper tonight and said, "Wilkenson. Wilkenson. I love you." To which Wilkenson responded back with an I love you. Man, am I blessed!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Happy Happy 4th!

I am writing this post right now with 4 out of 5 children standing around me. I can hear one child singing at the top of her lungs, "Wilkenson, dance with me!" . . . another child saying firmly but with a smile on his face, "Stop it!" . . . another one saying in an accented voice, " Mama, gade gade," . . . another one is quiet but not for long and the youngest's wearabouts in the house are unknown but you can hear him yelling, "MOMMA!" This is the choas that I am learning to enjoy and embrace. I have a long way to go but I ask the Lord continuously to help me understand what it means to really enjoy my children and not just survive till bedtime. My goal as their parent is not to just teach, protect, take care of and train them but to Love, Honor, Respect, Cherish and Value them as individuals that God created in His image.
I now must go ~ Bella just informed me that Asher was standing on the toilet in order to pee and there was gum stuck to his rear and he has flicked and she is not sure if he is trying to get it back out of the toilet :-)

We left that morning of the 4th to ride our bikes to the donut shop and get Korean made donuts, then we rode over to the park to watch the parade. This is a tradition that we have come to enjoy. Although we missed Daddy very much, we were glad to have Aunt Tina join us.

Waiting patiently for the parade to start.

Celebrating the 4th with my brother and his family. Aunt Tina was here too but left for a bit with Asher to attend another party.

Matching July 4th outfits.
I am not only a proud citizen of America but this holiday was my dad's favorite and it makes me miss him that much more. Knowing that my dad walks with Jesus and sees God's face, I would never want him back but the pains of missing him are still very real. I am so glad that I will see him again one day!

We are so ready for Daddy to come home. The kids and I put together this sign today to welcome him home ~ each child took a letter and decorated it with colors. It was a great way for each of them to get involved!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


We received their Certificates of Citizenship. Kenson and Sula are officially US citizens.

Went to the Zoo with a group of children from our church. Kenson was excited from the beginning. Sula was not too sure but by the end, she was fully embrassing the experience.

Eating supper with our friends, the Zapatas from Tennesee.

1 month ago . . .

. . .I entered our front door emotional, full of fear, and weak kneed. I could not see or think past what my chaotic mind would allow. Although I knew that one day, the children that I entered that door with would come to understand what being in a family means and we would all blend together, I literally could not envision it. Now, just one month later, it is happening! Kenson and Sula are coming to understand their roll as our children. They want us to comfort them, to hold them, to put them to sleep and to have fun. They are not seeking out others to fill those needs. They are getting along more with Asher, Noah and Bella. Kenson and Sula miss them when they are gone and continue to ask about them until they return home. Thank you, Lord. Only you could have made this all work. You, alone, are the reason those children are here in our home. You deserve the credit for it all. May I commit every day to you . . . the easy days, as well as, the most difficult.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sickness and Fun

The last few nights have been hard around here. It started with Noah vomiting in the middle of the night at my sister's house. I was on the phone with her several times while Will drove out to her place to get Noah. He was fine the next morning so we thought it was just something he ate. Then, last night Bella started. She threw up about every hour until morning. She was feeling better today and we went bowling for my birthday but then it happened again at bedtime. I am praying she is so much better in the morning. Kenson and Sula have not caught it yet and I truly hope it stays that way.
On the other hand, bowing was a blast. Of course, they had no reference to go by when I explained what we were about to do. They just kind of stood there in the bowling alley when we walked in. They did amazingly well with the safety rules. Kenson had a blast and by the end, he was getting and rolling his ball all by himself. Sula, though, thought it was funny to roll the ball and would walk away like a little goof ball. She is our little court jester!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Language Barrier . . .

. . . thank goodness for translators. Will had to work today for the first time since the kids have been home. Wilkenson came to me later in the day asking me a question about Will but I could not understand what the question was. He kept asking and then Jesula joined in. Bless his heart, I just did not know and he was not giving up. I called our new friend, Norma, at work. (She is so wonderful to stop what she is doing and help us out.) I watched Wilkenson listen to her on the phone with a big grin on his face. Norma let me know that he was asking if his daddy went to Mardi Gras. I have no idea where he would have gotten that idea but, at least, he knows now that his daddy was working and not partying.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Kenson and Jes are fabulous swimmers. Kenson loved swimming in the pool from the beginning. It now takes him quite a while before he gets so cold that he has to set out wrapped up in a towel to warm up. He never even tried holding his nose when he went under the water. He loves to jump into the pool and loves to wear his blue goggles.
It took Jes a while to warm up to the idea of swimming. She would just sit in her regular clothes and just watch. Now, she is like a pro. She loved to jump off the ladder and let Bella rescue her. She makes me a little nervous, though. Several times Bella was not really watching and there is Jes going under several times before Bella snatched her up. Amazingly, once her head came out of the water, she had a huge dimply smile on her face.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Doctor visit

We got our results back from the kids poo tests and Wilkenson has giardia but Jesula does not. I was a bit concerned about Jes's extended tummy and a few other things so I took her into the doctor for a quick look. She checked out just fine and, over time, her little belly will go down with proper nutrition. They will start an antibiotic tomorrow and after 7 days, they should be parasite free.

On Thursday's, I take Noah and Bella to piano and art and get a little one-on-one time. Will gets to stay home with the three little ones. This week, he took them to the park for the first time. As you can see, they had a pretty good time.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Some more pics

My sister's birthday bash at our house ~
Aunt Tina and all the cousins

Our five beautiful children

Torture time!!! (code for tickle time)

Playing with play dough

A sweet kiss

So far so good

The kids are doing amazingly well. I know it is all to God's glory. There is no way we could do this in our own strength.
The kids are not speaking very much English but they do understand a lot. They still speak to us in creole like we understand what they are saying. It is kind of cute to hear them say, "Mamma" and then follow with several sentences about what they are doing or thinking. Unfortunately, I don't always understand but thankfully, they are OK with that.
They have already experienced quite a bit of activity yet none has been too much for them. They only time it was too overwhelming was when we packed three different activities into one day. Wrong move. We learned our lesson.
They have been to the lake and on a small boat ride, celebrated my sister's birthday with all the family, lots and lots of swimming, been out to eat twice, bike rides and walks around the block, church and today was a movie at the Omni Theatre. They have been real troopers!
Needless to say, we are still adjusting and trying to become a family. I will be glad when the newness wears off and we just mesh. We are still learning and following God's lead.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Life full of firsts

Wilkenson's first time to talk on the phone. He was talking up a storm in creole to his Daddy.

First hotel room

First tricyle rides

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Our first week

I wish I did not feel this way but with the emotions and mindfilled chaos I was experiencing, I am glad to say that the first week is behind us. I am starting to feel like myself again ~ Thank you Jesus. I have realized just how uncapable I am of doing anything on my own. All of my strength comes from the Lord.
I will try and post pics tomorrow but for now, Wilk and Jes are doing very well. They seem to be adjusting smoothly with just a few snags that are to be expected. We have no real issues right now. Along with pics, I will post some special and crazy moments too. Sorry for the lack of any real info. Until tomorrow . . .

Saturday, June 6, 2009

We are home and adjusting

Thanks to all of you for your encouragement and prayers. The last week has been a whirlwind of emotions and feelings. We have been super blessed with meals, paper goods and other wonderful things, and help by family during the days.
Quickly I will say, because I don't have a lot of time, the kids seem to be doing fairly well right now. Bedtime and eating are a challenge. They both cry at bedtime and although Jesula eats fairly well, Wilkenson is picky. They want snacks a lot! Disciplining is a little bit of a challenge due to the language barrier but I know they will pick up quickly.
My other children are doing great. Noah is a born teacher so he automatically wants to teach them. If you could have only seen his eyes in the car while riding next to Wilkenson. He just kept staring at him. Oh how I would have loved to have gotten into his mind to see what he was thinking. Bella takes very good care of Jesula. Bella, unfortunately, was very sick when we got home so that mixed with some emotion, she had a little bit of a difficult time but is doing much better now. Asher, on the other hand, being the baby, is having some jealousy issues. I am trying to hold and love on him as much as I can.
Will is amazing and I don't know what I would do without him. He is incredible. I am so thankful to have him home for the summer.
I am doing OK but having a hard time grieving what our family will never be again. It is just like post partum depression which has astounded me but thankfully not uncommon. I just realize more and more that I cannot do anything alone. I must have the Lord.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Leaving tomorrow

We are wrapping things up and getting ready for our flight out tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. My friend, Renee, will be going with me. We still have a few things to do but it looks like I might actually get to go to bed before midnight . . . might :-).
All the donations are packed, the kids suitcases are ready to go and all flight info is printed and emails sent. I would appreciate ya'lls prayers as we travel and that Jesula and Wilkenson would respond well to traveling for the first time.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Where do I start . . . THEY ARE COMING HOME!!!

First of all, God did it again. He graciously provided all the needed money to get our tickets and pay all of our fees in Haiti. He did all of it within 5 or so days. I am still to this day in awe of how He works. I am so thankful for the people that he used and how gracious they have been to give so freely. Some of them, we do not even know. Thank you!!!!!

Second, it has been a whirlwind here. Just hours ago, we received the phone call that the visas were picked up and to schedule our flights. Whew!!! After the shock of it all, a late night visit to Wal-mart with my mom and aunt, and several emails and phonecalls, our flights are now booked. We leave for Ft. Lauderdale on Saturday, May 30th, and arrive in Haiti the next day. We, then, return home on Wednesday, June 3rd.

In addition to all those who gave monetarily (sp), are those who are helping in other ways: a teenage girl from our church who is going to stay at our house for a week and watch the kids so Will can finish up his last week of school, friends who are helping with meals and errands, and Renee who will accompany me to help bring the children home. I know that are more and as soon as I send this out, I will regret it because those people will come to mind. Most importantly, Will and I could not do this alone. We love ya'll!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Getting ready yet still no news

Will is so amazing. He took the bed he built several years ago and made it into a 3 bed bunkbed. Some friends we knew were selling some boys bedroom bedding and accessories for dirt cheap and it blends in perfectly with what we already had.

Some other friends of ours gave us this beautiful bedding for the girls. They both will sleep like princesses. Thanks Laura! BTW, Bella's bed has a trundle so it will be perfect for Jesula; although, I have a feeling they will be sleeping together for a while :-).

We were amazed when we went into the attic and took all the boxes down. I had no idea that I had stored enough clothes for both of them. Some of these clothes I don't even remember having. They are set . . . at least for now.

This is the boys closet ~ Wilkenson's clothes are in the middle ~ I am going to have to get creative with how I keep them separate but organized. Just thankful that they are washed and put up!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We received an email today saying that our visa appointment went well. I don't totally understand the process but, from what I can gather, the visa appointment and receiving the visas happen at different times. The children are suppose to receive their visas on Thursday, although, they are not sure that Wilk and Jes will get theirs then. This past Friday, we were informed that Haiti wanted us to submit additional paperwork before the visas could be received. That paperwork did not reach the offices until after the visa appointment so the director of Chances for Children, Vivian, is not sure if we will get our visas on Thursday along with the other children or if we will have to wait. Unfortunately, not having answers has been our lives for the past 2 years.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Waiting for our visas

Tomorrow, May 26th, 2009, is the date of our children's visa appointment. Once their visas are in the hands of Gina, the creche director, she will inform us of our travel dates. We are anxiously awaiting that email or call and will post as soon as we know the dates.