Friday, July 11, 2014

Garden craziness...

This time of year with having a new little one any day now is already VERY busy...but then you've always got the fact that it's garden season, too...I can't believe we're trying to have a baby during garden season- we really are crazy!

We've been working at out gardening a few years now and we can never resist turning our lives upside down to focus our efforts on a garden each year.  We just get so much joy out of our labor.

Every day Elijah is bringing in to me something else that is ripe and ready!  We're sad that sugar snap pea time is over....everyone loves when those are ripe! We ate a ton of those earlier in the season...

We've tried making some lacto fermented pickles...ones with a salt brine instead of vinegar...they will actually have good bacteria and be super good for you!  They've been sitting for almost two weeks and will be ready to eat tomorrow :). 

I also made some regular vinegar brine pickles as an alternative incase not everyone likes the lacto fermented ones...

Needed to use up the cucumbers!

We finally have lots of watermelons growing this year as well...Elijah always wants to grow watermelons but last year the heavy rains rotted what did start growing.  This year we've been very careful to keep the melons up and dry and they are doing great!

Watermelon and cucumber plants gone crazy!  We've decided that even though they are all producing great, we need a better plan for where to put them in the garden next year...they took over way more space than we planned for!

We've also decided we really can't eat nine 30 pound watermelons on our own so we're hoping to have a little "end of the summer" pool and watermelon eating party just as soon as I'm recovered from having our newest little one.  The kids are looking forward to it!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Our Bulgarian Boy...One Year Home

Today marks one year home for Joseph!

We tried to spend the day letting him do a few things that we knew he'd like...he went in the pool, had icecream with whipped cream (an actual treat that he's decided he likes!) and a black beans and rice for dinner that is also a meal he now enjoys. Food is still quite an issue for him, so it's nice to have a couple things we know he'll enjoy :)

I'm sorry that I haven't been on the blog giving updates on Joseph the past few months...i have been pretty busy managing Joseph, Emmeline and growing our seventh little addition to the family due in July! Yup, we're busy preparing for another little boy that should be entering the world in the next couple of weeks!  Hopefully I can start to make some more time to blog...

It's hard to believe that Joseph has been home a whole year...I guess with so many doctors appointments, health issues, adjustments and experiencing everything for the first time...well, months seem to fly by.  He's gained a bit of weight and he's gotten so much stronger than he was when he first came home.  He's still not walking yet...though his therapists say that he's physically able and just can't seem to figure out how to get him walking yet.  He gets around, though....he can pull to a stand, climb up on bunk beds and furniture...he definitely enjoys traveling around the house!

He's still not able to communicate with us.  He makes a couple sounds but is not saying words or using signs yet.  

After a year home, we've prayerfully decided to try bringing Joseph to the local special needs preschool in the mornings starting at the end of August.  His speech therapist in particular has noticed that Joseph tends to learn new skills but can't seem to retain them for very long.  We're hoping the consistency of the morning preschool will help Joseph get more consistent practice with skills he could really benefit from.  If it doesn't seem to be good for him then I will just pull him out.  We really hope it works out, though...Joseph is such a great little boy who has missed so much.  He's getting bigger and physically stronger but still really struggles with a lot.  We'd love for him to gain some skills that will make him feel a little more independent and able.  We see his frustration over not being able to communicate and we hope that this will improve with some preschool time.

Even with his struggles, we all love him and feel blessed that he joined our family.  And we're looking forward to what the next year home with us will bring for him!

Thank you again to each and every person that helped support us with prayer and donations during our adoption  process...thanks to you, Joseph has had his very first year of being loved in a family of his very own!  So thank you!

Friday, March 21, 2014

World Down Syndrome Day

Today is World Down Syndrome Day...because its 3/21 and persons with Down Syndrome have a third copy of  the 21st chromosome.  

This is not a day that our family would have ever reallly thought of in years past...but now has a real significance to us thanks to our amazing son, Joseph.  

I can honestly say that I wasn't sure at first that a child with Down Syndrome would be a good fit for our family.  We just didn't have very much experience with children with Down Syndrome and I was worried.  Until I met him.  And got to know him...not as a diagnosis but as the person he is.  He's pretty awesome ;)  And God knew just what He was doing when he placed him before us and asked us to trust.  It is obvious to us now that he was meant for our family all along.  

Any concern I had about us not being familiar enough with Down Syndrome to adopt Joseph has been wiped away...because it just takes love.  Parents love their kids and do for them what they need.  Its no different with Joseph.  He has particular needs so we do our best to meet those needs.  And we are happy to do it...because he's our son and we love him.

I've been blessed with a deeper understanding of Down Syndrome this year thanks to our son, Joseph.  His being a part of our family has grown us and made us better.  And for that we are all very grateful.

More updates and pictures to come!

Overdue Post!

Happy World Down Syndrome Day!

I am so incredibly overdue on our blogging...I think it's been about 3 months since I've updated here.  So  very sorry!! I promise, though, that I have some pretty great reasons for not keeping up to date on this blog.

I'll be back here later this afternoon with a big update post to catch you up on all that's been happening here at our place...and of course lots of talk about how our sweet Joseph is doing now that he's been home 9 months. Can't even believe it's been that long.  Anyway, I'll be back with some family updates and some World Down Syndrome Day love!


Monday, December 16, 2013

Our Christmas tree farm outing 2013

We've gone to this family owned Christmas tree farm now for several years.  It's really become one of those traditions that the kids look forward to every year.  It's a great excuse to spend the day outdoors, take a wagon ride and roast marshmallows.  This was the first year for both Emmie and Joseph and they both seemed to enjoy it.

So fun.

My handsome husband doing the manly job of chopping the tree for us ;)

I wish I had gotten a picture of Joseph on the wagon ride.  He's been on one other wagon ride since he's been home and I guess he remembered what riding ipon a wagon was like because as soon as we sat down on the wagon he started to giggle the most wonderful giggle and bouce up and down...knowing what was coming.  It was awesome to see how much he enjoyed it!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Joseph had hid first surgery yesterday.  He had tubes put in both ears as well as had his adenoids taken out.  What was supposed to be a half hour procedure turned into 6 1/2 hours at the hospital.  It was a really long day for our little guy, but he did incredibly well and we're hoping this will help a lot with his overall health.  The ENT said that his ears were TOTALLY Full of fluid and that he had probably had many ear infections that went untreated (poor guy!). Hopefully this will clear him up and keep him healthier.

One benefit of the surgery was that I actually got to be there within minutes of him coming out of surgery so that I could cuddle him and do all the after care for him.  It was so good to know that he had a mama there to care about how he felt and help to console him. 

 So very thankful this season for our little Bulgarian boy and having him home with us.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

She'd follow him anywhere

These two are like to little peas in a pod.  Joseph has grown from just tolerating Emmie to seeming to like her around.  He will even reach out every once and awhile and give her a good head squeeze kind of hug...which always startles and excites Emmie.  See...she loves this little guy. She'd be thrilled if he would love on her like she would like to love on him.  She follows him everywhere he goes around the house.  She can be playing with something but if she sees him travel away, she stops what she's doing to follow him.  Always.  She's his little shadow.  She's really quite attached to him which is surprising because he doesn't really interact with her a whole lot.

She just seems to like the comfort of having him nearby ;)