Tuesday, January 21, 2014

News from October - December, 2013

Catching up on several events from the end of the year since Ive been a lazy blogger...

October - We celebrated Jillian's 12th Birthday a week early this year. She had a China themed party with a big dragon hanging from the ceiling. We had cute little Chinese takeout gift bags with chopsticks, a bracelet, a fan, and  fortune cookies. Her cake was an edible image of her when she was a baby wearing a traditional Chinese dress. After the party, she had a sleepover with her two best friends, Hannah and Autumn! She and Laikyn wore the Made in China shirts we bought in Guangzhou. The best part was the fun we had planning it together. 

On Jillian's actual birthday, I was in the hospital recovering from surgery the previous day. Of course she came and spent the day in Louisville. Dad took her to Panda Express and to buy The latest Rick Riordan book. 

Halloween 2013- We skipped Vastwood this year, due to cold and Mommas lack of ability to walk very far. J and K reused their costumes from Korbins Duck DYnasty party and went as Willie and Uncle Si. Laikyn went as a pretty witch. We hit the church, fire station and Kelly Heights. Then came home and snacked on Aunt Gert's famous popcorn balls while watching movies. Also sharing some pictures from the beautiful fall colors in our year this year. 

Thanksgiving 2013- On Thanksgiving Day, we had a lasagne dinner and went to our traditional family movie. Although we usually go together, we split up this year. The olders went to Catching Fire with me and Daddy took the littles to Free Birds. We hosted my family at our home this year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and had a great time. Aunt Gay volunteered to do most of the cooking to help me out and everyone brought their usuals. I did the turkey and dressing. We had a great day of fellowship as the kids played and roared throughout the house. Granny Kruse hosted Daddy's family at her apartment on the Saturday before. It was another wonderful day. 
Above is pictured the 5 generation picture we took. Dad, Sis, Lisa, Kourt, Livi

Christmas- We started Christmas with a magical ride on the Polar Express at French Lick. Cousin Kyle went with us. Great time. Loved the singing and dancing in the aisles and the cookies and hot chocolate with the elves. Another evening, we took Grandad to see the light at Lake Rudolph in Santa Claus. He had never been and was very impressed. Christmas Eve was our family gift exchange and Christmas Day was spent watching old home movies and Christmas movies. The Saturday before, we had our Snyder Christmas at Dana's. The Saturday after was our Kruse Christmas at our house. We were all tired of turkey and ham by that time so we did soup and sandwiches. it seemed like Christmas lasted forever this year and we loved every minute. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Korbins 8th Birthday

My Lil buddy turned 8 this week. His actual birthday was on a school day so Granny brought cookies for his class. He was so thrilled. Today we celebrated with a duck dynasty party. We had an edible image cake, a duck blind photo booth, a duck target game for the nerf gun, and camouflage decor with little rubber ducks floating in blue water as centerpieces. He loved it. Jillian and Korbin dressed as Willie and Si and even Gdad and Uncle Kev got into the spirit with their beards! We had lots of fun and great fellowship. Korbin got lots of Star Wars toys and duck dynasty shirts, even a talking Si doll.

Monday, July 8, 2013

June 28th, 2013 - Our 27th wedding anniversary

So this year, I just wanted a night away with all Thats been going on. We got 2 rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bowling Green and actually went with the whole family. Brandon stayed in one room with the kids and took them swimming while Dad and I had an anniversary dinner at Raffertys. It was very nice, but we were expecting a long leisurely time to chat and relax. We were seated immediately on walking in. Never had this happen on a weekend in Bowling Green! Then we had our food in ten minutes or less. We laughed and said we would just have to eat slow. Im sure if the kids had been there, it would have been a two hour, stressful ordeal. After dinner we met Kevin's family back at the hotel and chatted a while and then took all the kids to Orange Leaf. This was Grand Opening Day for our newest store, which was the second reason we chose to spend the weekend in Bowling Green. We had a lot of fun even though it was a part date and part family time. The kids all stayed in their own room through the night, even though poor Bran was traumatized by lAikyn and now says he never wants children. LOL We didn't hear a peep and had a nice restful night. Saturday, Daddy had to spend the day on marketing and brand awareness, so after lounging for the morning, he took us to Uncle Kevin and Aunt Jill's pool to spend the afternoon. The kids had a blast and I really enjoyed the sunshine and visit since I've been cooped up recovering all summer. Gay and Steve met us at Kevin's after swimming and we had another nice visit before heading back to Hawesville! So an unusual, but equally fun anniversary. We just bought a new van, so decided that we needed to not do gifts, but Rob is having my pictures framed, so that was an extra bonus!I can't believe we've been together since we were kids. Not something I recommend, but by Gods grace we made it. This year we've learned all about better or worse and sickness and health. There is nothing more romantic than the "better" of watching daddy bond with the child of your heart in a foreign country and there is nothing as tender as "worse" of your husband being willing to hold you up and wash your hair because you have no strength. I only pray that soon we are looking back on this experience as yet another testimony of Gods grace and mercy through trials of life! He definitely gave me the right person to see me through this situation!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Happy 1st Gotcha Day Laikyn 5/21

On this day last year, A kicking, screaming Mingzhu was placed in my arms. I loved her deeply through those first difficult moments and within minutes I was able to see a transformation take place as she calmed and began to respond to my hand running by rubbing my hand back. Still shaky, she accepted a treat from me and began to look at me. Soon we were playing together in the office play area. It was like a dream and as I look at her today, I'm still seeing that transformation happening. We've had a wonderful first year together but it
hasn't been without struggles. Like a butterfly emerging from the cocoon, the struggles of sleep disturbances and medical issues have made us stronger as a family. We have also created many beautiful memories over this first year together, watching her embrace all of the things she has never experienced like church, family trips, movie theaters, picnics, parties and holiday traditions. Her language is still coming along. She can almost always tell what she is wanting to say and get close enough that we can figure it out. In the car the other day, she kept repeating, "Bubba Himmy". We finally figured it was Bubba Hit me and she was so excited that Korbin got in trouble. Later she got a bottom swat for something and that turned into a half hour of reporting, "daddy himmy". Love that girl! Today we made sure we watched our China video with her. Nothing new since she watches them almost daily anyway. The plan is to celebrate by taking her to do a special activity and a fun restaurant over the next day or two.

5-23 We were able to celebrate today ! We started with a trip to Evansvilee Red Robin where Laikyn got a balloon, one of her favorites! Next we went over to the Build a Bear store where she picked out a kitty cat to stuff. I predicted that one as she always gets excited when she sees cats. We also had to put the sound in it since she is so good at saying meow. She gave the heart a loving kiss before putting it into her kitty. I asked what his name was and she said, "Meow"! Not sure why I didn't think of that one. We ended with a trip to the Orange Leaf in Evansville just to see how it compared to our store. It was a long day with only a short car nap, but she did great. I'm sure she had no idea what this gotcha day was all about, but I'm sure she will come to love it as much as big sis does. Poor Korbin was mad all day because he doesn't have a Gotcha day.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Jillian's 5th Grade Graduation

Today as Im preparing for this event, I can't help look back on her school career. She started school in tears every time there was too much noise in the gym to having to leave the class and go to PE and art to having a sub. She was only content when she was in her room with her regular teacher. She still thrives on organization, but is now the most confident young lady I know. Nothing much ruffles her feathers or upsets her. In the year book, she was voted most dedicated by her classmates. They nailed that one. She always does her homework first thing, usually before I leave my class in the afternoon. She always asks me to quiz her for tests, just to be sure that she is 100% ready. She even came home and practiced for the end of year fitness test. Having her as a student last year was wonderful for me. She even kept me on track when I had a sub or got sidetracked. She always reminded me if I had something to pick up for a special project. I called her my lil teachers aide. I wish I could keep her here at South Hancock with me forever, but then again I wouldn't want to miss all of the exciting things her future holds as she grows up. With Brandon, every milestone brought tears and sadness of him growing up. But Honestly, Im having just as much fun with Brandon now that he's an adult. The best is watching him finally figure out for himself some of the things I have told him for years. So tonight Im going to try to enjoy the moment rather than linger on our sweet moments of the past. I am just so proud of this little ladybug who has been my sidekick since day 1. She is not only smart and dedicated, but she is beautiful, helpful, obedient, organized, and has a very funny side as well. She loves God and family first and shows that in how she lives her life. Can't wait to honor her tonight by being at graduation. Since My surgery, she has prayed that God would make momma well enough to come and we're thankful He granted her request.

Now home from graduation and it was wonderful! Mrs Spindel's charge to them to be leaders instead of followers was great! This was her last graduation, which made it more special. Savannah Swihart led a touching prayer over her classmates future and Mrs. Spindel's retirement as well as a prayer of thanks for the school. The class sang Thank You for Beibg a Friendand Autumn Brown sang a song she wrote. Next awards were passed and Jillian had many. She had the All A honor roll award, Presidential Achievement award, Social Studies-award for highest average, and the physical fitness award. Im so proud of her and her work ethic! After diplomas were passed we watched a music video of their years in elementary. I have a copy for her scrapbook! It was a beautiful evening for a beautiful little lady. We let the kids run and get a quick piece of cake from the reception and then had to get Gdad home since it was passed his 7pm bedtime.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

This year was another special celebration of being a mom to my four blessings from God as well as my first Mother's day with Laikyn. On this day last year, we were packing for China and anticipating our new little miracle. I have been feeling strong enough to get out a little, so I was able to attend church with my crew and then eat at Chicagos with Robs family. Rob and the kids gave me a 4 strand Mother's bracelet with each child's name and birthstone. I LOVE IT! I also spent some time missing and thanking God for my own mom, who I lost way too soon, as well as my aunts who loved and cared for me like momma would have. I'm blessed to have had so many Godly women in my life. When I think of how my Aunt Sy lost her only child in childbirth, I wonder if our strong mother/ daughter connection came from the place of loss in both of our lives. It shows that God provides in the worst circumstances.! After lunch, the kids were very quiet while I took a long nap and then we spent the evening just visiting! Love these special days! I'm attaching a picture of my gift, and one of Laikyn just because its her first Mother's Day and one day she won't remember this, but I want her to look back and see how happy she was. The one we took of me with all the kids"accidentally" got deleted since Brando didn't think he looked as awesome as he should! Lol!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Locks of Love 3

Today Jillian Completed her 3rd Locks of Love Donation. The tangles had been worrying her for several weeks. So she decided now is the time. She is anxious to grow it back by October so she can use it as a duck dynasty beard for Halloween. I assured her we will find her a fake beard, so that satisfied her. She cracks me! One of a kind! She has received so many compliments! I thought Grandad would cry when he saw how old it made her look.