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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


Rain and Mud

My boys have always loved playing in the rain and mud.  So do my girls for that matter.  So, it was no surprise when it did not bother Seth to play soccer in the rain last Saturday.

The whole family headed out for a day at the soccer fields.  The day looked promising when we left the house early that morning for the 2 hour drive.  Once we arrived, though, the rain greeted us with a smile, and stayed around for most of Seth's playing time.  But, it did not deter Seth's play or our cheering.

The Cheering Family

Jordan thinks she looks like a mom in this picture.  Well, she's got the kids because she held the biggest umbrella!  That is what she gets. 

Doesn't it look like fun?  Seth played a great game with a goal and an assist.

He brought home this yucky shirt that used to be white, along with the matching dirty socks.  After 2 washes, they look new!  I love Oxi Clean!


Three Minutes

Three minutes in the life of a 6 year old named Eva, the videographer, with her 5 siblings.  Yes, when they are all home it can be this chaotic at our house.  Jordan was doing laundry, Seth was on the computer, Jack, Ivy, and Joy were hanging around, Mike was in his office while I made chocolate chip cookies.  It was good.  We haven't had everyone home all at the same time in a while.


Playing Favorites

Yes, I have favorites.  I have a favorite bunch of kids.  This bunch.  The imperfect bunch.

Sometimes the easier kids make themselves easier to love.  The example of that is Ivy.  Another current example would be Jordan (but not 5 years ago).  If easy was a reason to love, then Seth and Joy would be extremely disliked in our household.  I assure you that is not the case.  Jack and Eva run a pretty even "normal", although you'd never know it from their expressions in this picture.  Clearly there is some unhappiness happening with those two.

Favorites.  I cannot imagine favoring any one of my children.  Jordan, Seth, and Jack are not any more special just because they came from my womb. Ivy, Eva, and Joy are not lifted on a pedestal because they were adopted from China.  Can you imagine the feelings of inadequacies any of these children could have if there were a favorite?  Unfortunately, that is not the case for everyone in my family.  I have 2 children that do favor a particular child each.  Can you guess?  They each have one sibling that they adore just a tad bit more than the others.  One favors a sibling because (I think) that child has a personality that matches theirs.  The other one favors a child because that child really likes him/her.  But, I know with time, they will come to understand that we do not love a child more than day when they have their own.


He's Gone

Well, just for 2 days.  Seth left this morning for his MEPS.  He will be taking his ASVAB and doing some physical fitness stuff.  He was so excited to be going.  This is his 3rd attempt for this appointment.  The first trip was postponed due to the hurricane.  The 2nd because of an error on the computers.  So, I hope all goes well for him.

Seth picked up some Marine paraphernalia for his proud mom.

Ever since Seth's decision to join the Marines, I've wandered between excitement and fear.  Seth has loved the military life for many years.  I just recently packed up tubs of guns, camouflage, knives, canteens, and many other things from his years of playing on the battlefield.  I'm not surprised at his decision, but rather expected it.  I'm excited for him because he is excited.

This picture was for some army playtime he made up.

Seth would wake up at 5:00 am, finish his school work by 9:00 am, just so he could have the whole day to play "Army".  He was always in full gear, including the blackened face, accomplished from cleaning out the exhaust on the truck.  We were frequent customers at the local Commando Supply store, where Seth always wanted some new "gear".

You would not want to be our neighbors at night.  Seth would army crawl to surrounding houses just to see how close he could get.  Once he invaded a neighbor's birthday party without their knowledge, bringing home secrets about their personal life which I cared not to hear.  Another time he arrived home to say that one elderly neighbor did not have blinds on his bathroom window.  (That one bothered me.)  So, you can understand why I'm not surprised.

Then comes the fear.  If you are a mom, I need not explain a single thing to you.  All you need to know is that August 2011 was a deadly month for the US Military in Afghanistan.  I think I would be less concerned if Seth wanted a desk job.  But, no.  Seth wants a RECON job.


Six Years Old a Day Early

Eva's birthday and family anniversary is the same day, September 12th.  It is amazing to me that she has been in our lives now for exactly 5 years.  Since everyone is going in different directions on her actual birthday due to soccer, karate, and school, we quietly celebrated at home today.  It was kind of last minute when I realized no one would be around on Monday.  Although she ended up with a store-bought cake, she was quite the happy girl to be celebrating a day early.

Eva has wanted a tool set for a few years.  I bucked against it, "Not my girly girl".  I have finally consented.  A girl needs her tools!

All the girls were quite interested.

The pink cape does not quite match the orange tools, but it will have to do for now.

She needed a little Pinkalicious to complete the day, a gift from Grandmaa

Jordan with Ned's Head.

Eva's smile just brightens up a whole room.  Of all my children, she has the biggest, happiest grin.  She makes me laugh with her silly ways and quick-witted replies.  She's sweet, clever, sneaky, and eager for an adventure.  When she first came home, she was all sweet and dainty.  Over time, her two brothers have had an impact on her.  She's quick to get into a wrestling match with Jack.  She's even been known to take a swing at him when I'm not in the room.  It seems she is always ready for a game of soccer and enjoys going to see big brothers play the game.  She still loves to eat.  I mean really eat.  A lot.  After a large bowl of cake and ice cream she asked for M & M's.  I denied her...until after dinner when she asks again.

Sweet Cousin Aidan came over to share a little bit of fun.


Why Bathe Her?

People not familiar with her would think she was a stray.  People probably would even think we do not take care of our dog, Millie.  True, she is an outside dog.  We bring her in when it is too hot or too cold.  But she is happiest when she is outside.  That is just Millie.  We recently had her bathed, and she smelled so good and felt so soft.  But, sometimes I think, "Why bother?"  She ends up looking like this.

Yes, that is manure on her.  She loves it.  Then, there are the burrs that manage to find her when she wanders through the woods.  Oh, to have such a grand life as she!

Eva tried picking them off, and Jack tried burning them off.  I put a stop to that one real quickly.


Can It Be Five Years Already?

Has it really been 5 years since we boarded that plane to bring home our Eva?  Exactly 5 years ago we were getting settled into our long flight to Beijing.  Other than a short flight on a prop plane, Jack and Seth had never flown before.  It was a fun time for them both...until about 4 hours into that flight.  The excitement wore off and they were just ready to get off that plane.

The crew looks so young, don't they?  I know what 5 years has done to them, imagine what it has done to me.

We did the usual tours in Beijing and had a wonderful time seeing the wonderful sites.

We loved the Hutong tour and eating the delicious food.

We had no idea how much Eva's adoption would affect us all.  We knew within a week of returning home, that we would be back to adopt again.

Our family of five would eventually become a family of eight.

Eva, 2006

Eva, 2011

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