Sunday, April 26, 2009

Charlie and Spunkles

Our adorable new 7 week old puppy Spunkles, a mix of Australian Shepherd and Border Collie

Susanna loving on our beautiful faithful dog Charlie, 13 year old Australian Shepherd

Love, Dawn

Friday, April 24, 2009

Nature Study at the park

We had an absolutely fabulous time of nature study and just enjoying God's gorgeous creation this afternoon.  We went to one of the parks right along the Scioto River and spent 3 hours there.  It was about 80 degrees, sunny, and just perfect for it.

Love, Dawn

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Last night Dad treated us to dinner out at a Chinese buffet.  It was SO yummy and the children all absolutely loved it.  Most were thrilled about the Chinese food.  Susanna was thrilled about the jello.  :-D  Unfortunately, one member of the family did NOT like the Chinese food.  Benjamin was up until nearly 4am very fussy and hasn't done well today, either.  He didn't even make it through his occupational therapy session without a lot of fussing.  However, he still managed to show off his skills and I am very pleased to say that she thinks he probably just needs a couple more sessions and he will be on target.  :-D  I look forward to him graduating from it!

Dad left today for Washington, D.C. with Thomas and Stephen.  The boys were SO excited when they headed out at 8:05.  When I talked to Dad at 3:45 he said that they were getting pretty bored.  They still had an hour and a half to go.  They were stopping once an hour to get out and stretch their legs.  I'm sure that helped some!

Tonight I took Naomi Ruth, Sarah, Rebekah, and Hannah to swim lessons.  I am so proud of how much progress each of the girls is making!  They all had firsts this evening.  Naomi Ruth dove down to the bottom in the deep end to retrieve rings.  Hannah jumped off the diving board.  Rebekah and Sarah went down the slide.  Now, I do have to mention that Sarah came up thrashing and screaming HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The lifeguard dove in and came quickly to her aid and then reminded Sarah that she was wearing a life jacket.  :-D

Love, Dawn

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

About the house

Miriam has autism.  It is amazing how many different areas that it affects her life.  On the one hand, it is not her, just something that she has.  On the other, it is hard to separate who she is from it.  This is a very accurate photo of her in that it both shows how beautiful she is and also how wild she almost always looks.  :-)  She has many challenges ahead of her, but I will continue helping her as best as I can.

This is our sweet dog, Charlie.  Aaron gave him to me as a gift in March, 1996.  That was before we had any children.  He's been with us through all 10 of our children and through 7 moves.  He has been an absolutely wonderful dog.  He's now experiencing a lot of health problems and I am afraid that it will soon be time to tell him good-bye.  He will be greatly missed.

Thomas has Asperger's.  Among other things that he loves doing, one of his favorites is playing with modeling clay.  This is a photo of his desk.  It almost always looks fairly similar to this with slight variations.  He does all sorts of imaginative play with his modeling clay.  The things which look somewhat like worms are the people in his stories.  You'll notice the numbers, too.  Thomas has had a great interest in numbers and a love of math since he was just a toddler.  In fact he could count to 100 before he could answer the question, "What is your name?"

This is Naomi Ruth making pizza for the family on Friday night.  We have enjoyed our Friday night pizza tradition for years.  Usually, she makes the crust totally from scratch, starting with grinding the wheat.  This time, she's going with a much easier version.  I love coupon shopping and got a great deal at Kroger on Pillsbury pizza crusts.  Naomi Ruth has always been a very hands on kind of girl and loves the feel of the dough on her hands.

This is me holding Benjamin.  While he is my 10th child, he is my 7th by birth.  By this time around, I am much more aware of how very fleeting this stage of childhood is.  I treasure the time that I am able to spend holding him, snuggling him, nursing him, and playing little baby games with him.  I sometimes find myself wondering if he will be my last.  Only God can answer that question as we always leave all matters of family planning in His very capable hands.

My Dad will arrive this afternoon.  I'm really looking forward to seeing him!  He'll be here until Thursday and then will drive Thomas and Stephen to Washington D.C. for a fantastic experience there.  My Mom will meet him there and they will return on Sunday.  While there, they'll get to have dinner with my brother and his family in northern Virginia and stay that night with them.  We've been doing a big American history unit study for the last month in preparation for this wonderful opportunity that my parents are blessing them with.  Right now, the children are having a fun end to their study by watching, "This Is America Charlie Brown."

Love, Dawn

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Art in Bloom

We went to the Columbus Museum of Art this afternoon for a wonderful time.  They were having a family day called "Art in Bloom."  We got to experience art hands on, especially related to flowers.  The children had so much fun and all came home with beautifully decorated flower pots, each one a unique piece of art by them.  They have little wildflower seeds in them and should be beautiful when they bloom and a nice reminder of our time there today.  On the way home, the little ones napped while the big ones excitedly talked about all that they'd seen and done at the museum.  :-)

Love, Dawn

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Thomas and Stephen had a wonderful time this month playing basketball through the Honda Youth Basketball League.  It was the first time for both of them.  Stephen is naturally athletic and loves every sport he tries and quickly increases his skill in it.  Thomas has Asperger's and is not naturally athletic.  He started this season scared of the ball, but showed great courage.  He faced his fear head on and overcame it!  This was their last game and their first win.  Stephen had 3 baskets and Thomas had a couple of steals and rebounds.  I'm proud of both of them!

Love, Dawn

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pirates and Swim Lessons

Susanna sometimes has fun making us all laugh by pulling her covering down low across her forehead and saying "ARRRRRRRRRRGH!" like a pirate.  :-D  She got that from the Veggie Tale movie, "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything," one of the few that we've gone as a family to the theater to see.  This is  a photo of her doing it last night.  

Swimming lessons went well yesterday evening.  Below you'll see Naomi Ruth, Hannah, Sarah, Rebekah, and Stephen.  They're the ones signed up for this round of lessons.  Naomi Ruth is Level 3, Stephen is Level 2, and the other 3 are Level 1.  They are every Tuesday and Thursday evening this month.  Our next round of swimming lessons will probably be sometime this summer.

Love, Dawn

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Some funnies and more photos

Yesterday as I was working on making 15 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, I got to witness the funniest incident.  Samuel was freaking out about a bug on the floor.  He was squealing about how it might bite him and really losing it.  Susanna gave him this LOOK, walked over and got a napkin, came back and squished the bug, and threw it into the trashcan with a little "Hmmmph."  Hahaha!  Wonder where she got that from!  ;-)  

We had another funny moment at dinner.  Aaron was reading from a wonderful book of church history.  He finished up the section of Jonathon Edwards and was asking questions.  When he asked where he lived, Samuel got all excited and threw up his hand saying "ooh, ooh, ooh!"  "Yes, Samuel?"   And Samuel replied, "He lived in the egg house!"  The whole table erupted in laughter.  :-D  I have no idea where he got that answer from.

This morning we homeschooled.   During Bible time, I was teaching Rebekah and Hannah the story of David and Goliath.  After reading it and talking about it, I had them go get 5 beanie baby stuffed animals.  Then they stood a little ways back from our door, which we pretended was Goiath, and tried to throw them at "his head."  They had a blast doing it and pretty soon Naomi Ruth and Thomas had joined in and were attacking Goliath, too.  :-)

This afternoon Benjamin had his 6 month appointment and he's doing just fantastic.  We also got a referral for Hannah to see an ENT next month about her tonsils.

The whole house smells SO yummy right now.  I've got a roast plus black beans, onions, peppers, and Texas seasonings in the crockpot.  They've been cooking all day.  Later this afternoon, I'll pull out the beef and shred it all up and put it back in.  Then at dinner, we'll put that plus all sorts of toppings in tortillas.  Yummy!


1 & 2:  Benjamin
3 & 4: Rebekah, Sarah, and Naomi Ruth
5: Stephen and Thomas - When Stephen first got here from Liberia, he was SO much smaller than Thomas.  He's grown so much and is closer to being the same size.  They're only 3 weeks apart in age.
6:  Aaron with Benjamin and Stephen
7:  Aaron with Benjamin - I love when Benjamin does those HUGE whole face grins.  :-D

Love, Dawn

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Have a blessed Resurrection Sunday!  These pictures were all taken today.

1.  Hannah just lost her first tooth!
2.  Susanna is feeling SO much better now.  She had to go to the ER yesterday and received an IV of fluids and morphine.  She was dehydrated and in severe pain.  Now, she is on Tylenol with Codeine and is functioning much better.
3.  Samuel showing off his Student of the Month medal from school  He loves wearing it daily.  He's so proud to have received it.  It was awarded for trying so hard.
4.  Aaron and me
5.  Thomas, Sarah, and Samuel
6.  Miriam and Stephen
7.  Rebekah, Naomi Ruth, Susanna, and Hannah