Tuesday, November 6, 2012



This was the kids first time going out begging for candy.  They had a fabulous time and I had fun giggling at their excitement.  Here we have Boba Fet (a Star Wars character), the most friendly pirate you ever did meet, and a rock star.  Dad and Phoebe stayed home and handed out candy for an hour and a half non stop.    It was pretty much a neighborhood wide excuse to get out and chat it up with your neighbors!  Fun times.

Monday, October 15, 2012

We rocked Iowa City

Last week we took the babes for checkups. Report: they are incredibly cute. Oh, and P's palate looks good so far and L does not need a palate expander. We will meet with the surgeon in December for our consult on his tooth extraction and bone graft. It was a fun day to be together and go on a " date" as Levi called it. We were all tuckered out.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Phoebe's palate repair surgery

On September 18th Phoebe had her palate repair surgery.  Here she is with Dad before they took her back. The procedure took place in Iowa City since she is under the care of the cleft team there.  We have a wonderful surgeon.  They said that she would probably be in the OR for 3-4 hours but it ended up being closer to 6 hours.  Everything went well and We are praying that everything looks good when we go back on Monday. 

Here is P after surgery.  Recovery was much more rough than I had anticipated, but I am so thankful for the great care of the hospital staff and that the Lord brought her through healthy.

After 1 week she began to turn a corner and she perked up a little.  She stopped needing as much pain medication, she noticed her toys again, and gave us more smiles.  Nights have been rough since she has trouble getting comfortable with her "arm accessories" :).  I found that leg warmers come in handy for keeping these things clean and secure.  It seems that we have collected enough to coordinate with outfits thanks to friends who have dropped of unused sets of them.

Two weeks post surgery she is feeling much better!  Getting back to her self but still wanting Mom and Dad close by.  She is still not a fan of the all liquid diet and certainly not the arm restriction, but only 5 more days to go until hopefully we are free from all of that!

Thanks to my Mom and John who came for 3 weeks and to Micah's mom who is coming later this week.  Also friends who have showed up with food and offers to help.  It has been harder than I expected in some ways but the precious time that we have spent sitting and snuggling is a treasure.  All of the kids have been troopers and it is such a blessing to parent them all.  To God be the glory!


Thursday, September 27, 2012

School is cool

Aren't they adorable?  For reals y'all.

Levi started preschool at Our Redeemer Lutheran School.  He just turned 5.  He LOVES it there.  He only goes for a half day, (M-TH) and then we get to play in the afternoons.  He has a bit of a hard time sitting still but I bet he will get the hang of it.  He is extremely social and is totally into his new friends.  Other things he loves are cars, Wii, his scooter, and basically anything that allows him to move very fast and be very loud while laughing.  He is still going to speech twice a week and making great progress.

Isaiah is in the 2nd grade at Kennedy Elementary.  He will be 8 in October.  He LOVES his class.  He loves to read and to have us read to him.  Currently he is listening to the Narnia series and the Lord of the Rings series, alternated every night.  ;)  He just joined the Cub Scouts and is really diggin all of the activities that they are doing.  He loves being with his brother and sisters, creating/building things, and campfires.

Naomi is in Kindergarten at Kennedy Elementary.  She just turned 6.  She had a rough start to the year, what with missing mommy and such, but now she LOVES it.  She has met some really nice friends at school and loves riding the bus.  She is very social and likes to tell me everything about her day when she gets home.  Her favorite things are playing with her neighborhood friends, playing outside, going on dates with Daddy, and having girl time with Mommy.  

And Princess P and I get to snuggle, play toys, and run errands while the others are gone.  She is 19 months old now!  She is such a joy to us all.  We all adore her and have had a blast watching her explore her new surroundings.  She has been home 5 months!!  She loves to climb, do anything outside, have Daddy throw her around in the air, suck her thumb, and scowl at anyone that tries to pick her up other than Mom and Dad.  No complaints here!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

What the heck...

...happened to this summer?!  It totally just started and now its over.  Here are some favorite pics minus our vacation pics.  That's a whole 'nother slide show.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lord of the Rings Art

We recently finished reading The Hobbit at bedtime.  Isaiah made a play-dough model of Smaug (the dragon).

Isaiah wants to make sure you can make one for youself if you're interested. Here are his instructions:

1) The tail -- get some play-dough (a small amount) and just roll it back and forth til it makes kinda like a tube but with no hole inside it

2) The end of the tail -- cut a little triangle out of the play-dough and stick it onto the end of the tube (make sure it looks like a point)

3) The body -- you make kind of a circle and kind of medium-sized with how big or how small you want it. Use a pencil or pen or chop stick or whatever and poke lots of holes in it. Make one kind of bigger hole -- this is the spot where the arrow went when Smaug died (you will only know this if you have ever read the book -- that is where Smaug was invented).

4) The mouth -- cut a circle out of the play-dough. Poke (2) holes for the eyes, or put (2) dots of play-dough for eyes. Then get a really small amount of play-dough and roll it back and forth five or six times and if it doesn't work you can roll it more. Then, curve it like a smile and put it on the head so it looks like he's smiling.

5) The wings -- get (2) pieces of play-dough (try to make it the same amount) and cut the wings however you want them to look. Then, put them kind of on the edge of the body, then get (2) amounts of play-dough and make them short like the smile but longer and put them onto the middle of the wings.

6) The legs -- make them just like you put the amounts onto the wings, but make them as legs. Then, you can add any other accessories however you want them.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Phoebe Walking


Happy Birthday John Deere!

We had a blast at the 175th birthday celebration for Deere today. We saw tons of friends, ate junk food, bounced, and toured the factory. The factory tour is a big deal, considering that on any other day you have to be 14 to take the tour and the kids have already been asking to go for some time now. It was such a fun day!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Good morning!

These are my early risers. Even though I can hear them chatting at 5:45am, (yawn) I can hardly bring myself to be irritated considering their absolute adorableness.

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Phoebe's Dedication


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Miss Phoebe

So...I know that I have not exactly said anything about our transition home with Miss P and the other kiddos. It has gone so great.  Phoebe is such an easy baby and the other kids have adjusted wonderfully to having a new baby sister to love on.  In fact, Phoebe is quite smothered all day long between the endless smooches from Mom and Dad and the way that she is carried around by the kids like a sack of beans.  :)

Some other things about her and us:

-She just moved to her crib in the room that she and Naomi share and is sleeping through the night and taking good naps.
- She eats anything that I will puree for her in addition to cheerios.  She isn't much on anything else yet.
- She is a happy girl and very easy going.
- She sticks everything in her mouth that will fit.
- She stands alone and took her first steps last weekend!  We were so happy to have witnessed them.  :)
- She lets others hold her but prefers Mom and is quite fond of Dad too.  Woohoo!!
- She laughs when tickled or tossed up in the air, but overall she is quiet and does not babble much.  She yells      
when she wants to be fed and cries when she wants to be held.  There are 5 people who are happy to oblige.
- The other kids are great about entertaining her so that I can get some chores done and she loves to have their company.
- We are in awe of God's grace, both in looking back to our difficult journey with Levi, and in our not so difficult one with P.  How amazing to know that He never lets us go, and that His grace is enough, no matter the circumstance.

Both Levi and Phoebe went to Iowa City Children's Hospital two weeks ago for their Cleft Clinic appointments.  We go every 6 months for a checkup with the entire cleft team which includes audiology, speech, dentistry/orthodontics, and then wrap up with the head surgeon.  Let me just say that I am so thankful for such a specialized team so close to home.  They are wonderful!  Anyhow, we had noticed that Miss P had an interesting odor when we met and since she puts everything in her mouth we put two and two together and soon realized that she may have some foreign objects lodged in her unrepaired palate.  Last week in the OR at the hospital she received ear tubes to relieve significant fluid and had several pieces of, ahem, *debris* removed from her mouth.  It was an interesting day.  And I am sure that she feels like a million bucks since that stuff has been removed!  So we watch her like a hawk- even the kids know to start hollering if they see her stick something small in her mouth.  We are hoping to have her palate repair in September.   

A couple of favorite pics:

That's all I have time for now.  Baby P is screaming at me to get her out of the crib.  Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A love letter

Sunday, May 20, 2012

New pics

We're trying out some new (to us) photo editing software.  These are the pics we've enhanced so far.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Almost done ...

Pictures from the next-to-last day in Guangzhou.  We head to Hong Kong tomorrow and to Chicago the next morning.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hello from hot and sunny Guangzhou!

Sorry we have not blogged much.  We are just having too much fun to stay in the room and blog.  We flew to Guangzhou on Friday night and are enjoying our time here very much.  It's so nice that we have been here before and know some things to do and how to get around by ourselves.  We have been hanging out on Shamian Island quite a bit since it is such a nice place to walk and shop.  Today we borrowed a stroller from one of the shop owners to give my back a break and provide some new entertainment for Miss P.  It was a hit.  

We have discovered that Miss P has some interesting talents, one of them being this strange noise that you can see on the video link below.  We don't know where it comes from or how she does it, but it sounds like E.T.  The video also shoes her with the quirky thing that she does with her thumb while she is eating.  

So, there you have it!  An easy and adorable baby and a very nice, well, shall I say...vacation?  We stand amazed.

Today's video:

Micah & Jamie

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Princess P

Micah & Jamie