Thursday, July 26, 2012

Blog catch up game in pictures

We have been busy around her in the past couple weeks.  So much so that I haven't had time to blog (or take many pictures).  But, trust me we are having a fun summer.  Here is our catch up for those who missed us...

1. I was contracted to type a book for publishing for Philippians Ministries that had to be done by the end of the month.  Every moment the kids were sleeping I have been typing.  AHH, I finished yesterday, my fingers are happy to have a break!

2. Jason is on vacation this week so we have been at the pool daily enjoying the cool in the 110º weather.

3. VBS started this week so Aidan has been attending each night. We all went and enjoyed the carnival on Sunday.

Dancing the night away!
Both girls sat patiently for face painting!
Feeling the beat!
4. We had a great visit with our friend LaShawn and her new husband Kyden,who are in the US just for a few weeks then it is back to Paris!  We love LaShawn and totally approve of her new beau.  He is a keeper!
LaShawn and Kyden
5. Last but not least, we FINALLY got off our lazy bums and redecorated the girl's room.  I know Dariya has been home a year and her room still had Aidan's old sports theme up.  But, not anymore it is cute and girlie and both girls love it.  Even though they aren't sharing a room yet, we foresee that they will in the future.

Boxes that new bedding came in are pretty entertaining... like for over an hour the kids played in it.
Didn't hurt that Aidan was inside the box.
That makes it twice as fun.
Alayna loves her polka dots.  Jason and Aidan did a great job on painting!
 Love the light purple.
We hope you are enjoying summer!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer fun, clothing optional (I guess)

Aidan was at church camp last week and had a great time.  He was able to go horseback riding, do archery (with real arrows Pop Pop!), water slides, and shaving cream wars and of course, learn more about the parables of Jesus.

One of the ideas he brought back for the girls (he is such a teacher type) was paint made out of corn starch, water and food coloring.

I put the girls in their swimming suits for easy clean up and we headed out to the backyard before the weather got too hot.  Alayna loved it and painted with Aidan for quite a while.

Dariya on the other hand, painted for about 3 minutes, dumped her cup of paint and then proceeded to wander off in the yard and strip buck naked. Yep, that is her swimsuit around her ankles!

That is how some of us do things here.  I think the Ukrainian way of having 30 layers of clothing on is a thing of the past for this girl!

She soon decided she wanted their pool filled up so she could skinny dip.   Glad you are enjoying your summertime Dariya!

Well done Aidan, you are a great teacher!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Dariya's homecoming anniversary

After 5 weeks in Ukraine it was incredibly emotional to come home and be reunited with the kids again!   Our welcome home was amazing!

Thank you again to everyone who helped us get Dariya home.  We couldn't have done it without the hundreds of people who prayerfully and financially supported us and walked this journey alongside us.

For the crowd who blessed us at the airport and took pictures and videos we can't thank you enough for capturing those first moments home.

We will never forget this journey nor the multitude that made it possible.   God certainly used the two fish and five loaves to multiply.

I pray that we are still multiplying his blessings and passing it on to others.

We are beyond blessed!

I still can't watch these without crying!  Welcome home Dariya!


Dariya's homecoming July 13, 2011

Make photo slide shows at

Thanks Shannon and Jody for the videos!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Gotcha Daddy and Dariya?

July 8th we celebrate Dariya's gotcha day.  One year ago on that day we were able to take her from the orphanage forever!  We ate Ukrainian food to celebrate Dariya's culture having borscht, vereniki and fresh bread.

During dinner Aidan (whose idea it was to have Ukrainian food each gotcha anniversary) said, "next year we should have fish and chips on Daddy's gotcha day" (the day Daddy immigrated from England to America).  Then he said, "Daddy, what day did you come to America."

Both Jason and I paused for a second and even though we had never realized it before in that moment we loved the God sighting. I don't think things happen by chance!

Jason immigrated to America on July 8th, 2001 to marry me (I know I am blessed ;) )...10 years to the day that we got Dariya out of the orphanage forever.

So next year maybe we will have fish and chips and some Ukrainian food.

Dariya loved the borscht but wasn't too keen on my vereniki (I had to agree with her).  Alayna and Aidan tolerated the borscht and picked out the insides of the vereniki and called it good.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Happy Gotcha day Dariya!

One year ago today we took Dariya out of her baby house forever and headed back to Kiev to complete our embassy visit so we could fly home, otherwise known in the adoption world as "Gotcha Day".

This year has been an amazing journey.

Sometimes it was completely easy, other times it wasn't.   

But, it has been so worthwhile.

I can't imagine our lives without Dariya.  God certainly knew what He was doing when he chose her for us.

She fits in perfectly, she has come so far in just a year, she loves with abandon, gives the tightest hugs and the sweetest kisses, her giggle is contagious and her heart is pure.

Her life is worth so much more than living inside an orphanage, even a good one like hers.

She has learned so many things this year.  She is one smart cookie.  I couldn't begin to make a list.

But, most of all she has learned how to be a part of a family.  She loves her siblings, she seeks out Aidan and Alayna to play, she doesn't hold grudges or seek revenge when Alayna is having a mean moment.

This girl has a heart of gold and I am so glad she is mine.

Tonight we will dine on Ukrainian cuisine.  Borscht, fresh bread and vereniki.  This tradition was Aidan's idea last year when we sprung her from the orphanage and we thought it was a great idea.

So today we will celebrate our blessing, enjoy a little more of her culture and let her know how loved she truly is here at home.

Happy Gotcha Day, Dariya.  We love you!!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Swimming the summer heat away!

I haven't taken much time to blog as we are busy enjoying our summer.

We have been swimming all we can.  Of course when it is 105º in the shade there isn't much else to do!  Trust me when I get done with a few hours at the pool this old gal is tired!  But, all three are having fun and nobody has drowned or gotten back into the parking lot;)

The girls are now both great at kicking their legs, floating on their backs, putting their face in the water and bubbling.  They LOVE the 2 foot wave pool and it is a great workout for them while they swim and walk and chase their toys around.
We had a fun fourth with swimming, friends, a cookout and watching fireworks.  Of course, I forgot Dariya's glasses so bless her I am sure she couldn't see any of the fireworks.  The girls surprised me and slept in until 9:30.  That NEVER happens!

Since they slept in we ate a late breakfast and headed back to the pool for a few hours.  Dariya had a sweet little 3 year old boy come over and introduce himself and he was stuck to her like glue.  Finally instead of swimming away from him she interacted with him and played with him for a while.  Of course, little sister found him and definitely enjoyed playing catch with him.   Dariya swam off nonchalant because she doesn't have a care in the world and really doesn't care if she has anyone to swim with or not and I love that about her.  Alayna, "Miss Social"  is always looking for someone to play with wherever she goes, sometimes I think she tries too hard.

We are also working very hard on teaching the girls that they can hug and kiss family members but, not strangers.  High fives and fist bumps are ok.  Both girls have indiscriminately walked up to someone (many someones) at the pool and hugged and/or kissed them.  Ugh!

We always have our mix of people when we go to the pool:  There are those who ask questions about the girls because they are truly interested, those that think I am either heroic or stupid for bringing them to the pool alone, those that interact with them and think they are adorable, then we have the adults that stare continually, yes adults stare as if they are going to catch an extra chromosome by swimming in the pool with the girls, we have the kids who talk to them and play with them, and we have the kids who shoo them away and look at them like they have horns coming out of their heads.

I am thankful that the girls are too young to pick up on the staring or the kids who don't enjoy them.  Life is too short girls!  Seek out those that do accept you for the beautiful girls that God created you to be!

For you parents out there, teach your children young that it is ok to be different, it is ok to play with kids who are a little different and finally it is never polite to stare!