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Welcome to my family blog. I have been married to Mike for over half of my life. I love my Savior, Jesus. I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to six terrific, interesting children. My 3 oldest were born to me in my younger years, while my 3 youngest were given to me by God in my older years. I am very blessed. ~Cheri


This and That

Jack seems to like tie-dyed shirts.  So, we decided to give it a try on our own.  I bought all we needed along with some cheap t-shirts (not good for tye-dying).  The children had fun with the squirt bottles, and Eva and Joy had fun running around in their underwear on the deck (no houses nearby).  The results were good, but would have been better had I known to purchase better t-shirts.  I just ordered Jack a couple of shirts from Lands End.  I'm sure they'll hold up better than our Fruit of the Looms.



Cheri and Jack


At the park

I am also in the process of getting some picture cards together for when I travel for Ivy Xue.  They are cute simple pictures, words on the bottom, showing actions, emotion, sickness, hygiene, and food.  Jordan and I colored most of them and laminated them.  For anyone adopting an older child, go here for the printable cards.  I am hoping they will make communication much easier.


My personal favorites



There is another Virginia mom, raising money for her adoption.  She's got some fun things to raffle, if you'd like to help her out.  The button is on the side.

Some More Pictures

Rebecca's mom sent me some more pictures.  These are just too cute!

Rebecca looks all into this posing stuff.  Ivy seems a bit unsure.


I've already thought about asking Mike if we could adopt the sweetheart on the left.  She and Joy have a similar arm/hand defect.  Ivy would probably LOVE to bring her home, too.  But, then I thought about it again.  As much as I would easily jump back into the adoption life to bring her home, I know it is not possible for our family.


Hesitation vs. Excitement

I've been finding lately that I want to share my joy and excitement about adopting Ivy Xue.  Yet, I'm hesitant because of our experience in May.  Sometimes I feel as if it is wrong for me to be excited about another adoption.  Most people have been very gracious because they know us personally.  There have been others who have not been as gracioius.  One lady actually moaned in a sad way when I mentioned that we were in the process again.  In my heart, God has healed me and has shown me quite a few things these last 6 months.  I cannot help but quote the scripture from Psalm 30:5, "..weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."  Then again in verse 11, "Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou has put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness."  So, I'm throwing off my sackcloth and am going to rejoice about adopting Ivy Xue.


Sixty Days

60 days
I feel pretty confident that we are at least half way through the wait.  Now the wait gets harder.


Have You Seen These?

Apparently, if you stare at the pictures, they have the illusion of moving or flowing.  Can you see it?  I think they are neat and so does Jack.  He likes things like this, that doesn't make much sense.

Wavy Columns


Flowing Leaves


Fifty-five Days

55 Days


Another Driver in the House?

Seth is now 15 1/2.  We got him the study book for his learner's permit.  He thought it was so easy.  I took him for the test.  He missed a sign.  We'll try again in a couple of weeks.  I'm somewhat relieved, actually. 

Mike took him around the driveway, which is circular, a few times.  He did quite well with the clutch.  We decided that all the children need to learn how to drive the truck.  Jordan did not learn to drive the truck really well until this past summer when she wanted to go kayaking.  Kayaks don't fit too well in her Camry, thus the necessity of trucks.

My children are growing up too fast.

Seth, in the driver's seat



Joy usually ends up being goofy.


A Few New Pictures

I'm very excited to say that a kind family, recently in China, gave me a few pictures of Ivy Xue.  This family adopted the cutie-pie Rebecca from the same orphanage.  The girls look like they are good buddies.  This family is only a days drive away and it would be very nice to be able to visit them next summer, after they've both settled in to a good family routine.
On another note...Ivy Xue's special need is obvious.  She has a repaired cleft-lip.  Her medical does not state she has cleft palate.  Her lip has been repaired, but will need some more surgery later on for appearances sake.  She's still cute, regardless.  This brings me to share our experience in Guangzhou in 2007 with James, a young man from China.  We shared with him that we were there to adopt Joy, and had previously adopted Eva, who was with us.  He noted Eva's appearance and how cute she was.  Then he went on to say that some people adopt children with "broken noses".  We figured out he was referring to children with cl/cp.  Mike shared with him that in the US, these children can have surgeries to repair this need and make their appearance very beautiful.  It seemed that "James" did not care for this special need.  That incident has made me think about Ivy Xue, and possibly her treatment from people.  I pray she has been treated well, regardless of her visible scar on her lip.  The more I look at her pictures, the less I see the scar, the more my heart grows tender towards her.

I love the sweet smile on Ivy Xue's face!

Jordan told me the "peace" sign means, "I am happy".

This is sweet Rebecca with Ivy Xue.  Don't they look like good buddies?


Still Waiting

We are still waiting for our LOA, but feel confidant that we are at least half-way through that wait.  There are some people who have waited much longer than 100 days, but the majority wait less than that.  I'm glad to be at this point.


Funny "Accidental Adoption"


As we anxiously await any news from China about our adoption, I thought I'd post this funny "Accidental Adoption" conversation.  I read this years ago as we were waiting on Eva's referral.  I've made some changes based on the current state of affairs, but all who adopt, know and understand every part of this post.

Honey, sit down. I have some news for you.

What is it?

Well, I don't know how to say this, so I'll just come out with it. I went to the mailbox today and... well, we got an I797C.

A what?!? An I797C? As in, we're going to have a(nother) child?!?

It looks that way.

But how? We've been so careful! I put away all the blank I-800A forms. Didn't you hide our homestudy update?

Of course I did, but don't forget, there was that one night...

What night? (pauses) Ohhh, that night, But it was only once. We were just messing around. I didn't print clearly. I didn't even use ink! (pauses again) But it was kind of fun. (giggles).

It was, wasn't it? I'll never forget how cute you looked getting your fingerprints. So now we've got our I797C, eh? But that doesn't always mean you'll adopt, does it? I mean, shouldn't you see the agency or something, make sure everything's okay?

I already did.


I'm five documents along.

Five documents! And they're all notarized, certified and authenticated okay?

Just great. There was one small scare when the agency couldn't see the Notary's middle initial but it showed up just fine under the magnifying glass.

Thank God.

And you, honey? Are you feeling okay?

I'm feeling fine. As long as I know you're happy about this.

Happy? I'm thrilled! It's always a shock at first when something like this happens, but of course I'm happy.

Author Unknown


Fall, Soccer, and a Birthday

I really enjoy the fall weather and the fact that we can go outside without sweating.  Eva and Joy are big sweaters and their hair gets plastered to their foreheads when the humidity is high.  The last few weeks have been so pleasurable, having the windows open and the children outside playing.  Just like Seth and Jack did when they were younger, Eva and Joy love taking truck rides around our property.  We don't have much land, just over 3 acres, but we have a long driveway and can get up to 3rd gear.  So, I love the pics of the kiddos in the back of the truck with Millie, our dog, heading around the driveway.  What fun!



Poor Millie got thrown around one too many times and had to get out.  She enjoys chasing the truck anyway.

We did our yearly brush burn.  Who knows what is in that pile?  For some reason, Jack is always fascinated with the big fire and messes around with it for days trying to get it to burn again.


Seth's team is doing great in soccer.  They are undefeated in their division.  Seth has scored about 5 goals.  Last night I enjoyed one of his games.  I'm usually having to be at Jack's games, but Monday Jack was off.





I like this picture because you can see all the gnats swarming around at this field.  They were everywhere.

Then, of course, Eva and Joy had a good time as always.  The hillside we were sitting on had a nice dirt hole.  They dug and carried dirt everywhere.  By the time the game was over they had a golden look all over them.  I had to pat them down before getting into the car.  They were one big dirtball, but had fun.  I only made them stop throwing the dirt!  Once Joy had dirt in a cup, put it up to her mouth, proceeded to get dust in her eyes.  What was she thinking?  She didn't do that again.


Sweet Ivy Xue turns 7 this weekend.  We are sending a package to her, but know it will not arrive on time.  I still need to get some photos in her album so she can get used to the idea of a family.  I hope she thinks we look normal.  She may have concerns about Seth and Jack, though.  Joy is kind of iffy.


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