saturday: we started with...
it was a special Freebie Day at many State Parks and a variety of other attractions. we were blessed to have wandered Dinosaur State Park's museum and hiking trails with two dear families. one family being longtime friends and Godparents to our youngest and the other is a fellow homeschool family we met while farming.
R bought all the children souvenir pennies while D helped the children figure out this oddity.
B thought flattened pennies were "cool"
A was amazed at seeing real fossils
E liked taking pictures of everything including the resident snake and skink
S liked making foam craft bookmarks
then some hiking
and frog spotting
we celebrated E and B's birthdays with a picnic lunch and cupcakes D made
sunday: after church, we had F-n-T over for lunch and went hiking at another state park...
daddy and his girls
F and S
i'm having a turn carrying tired dog
good thing their dog, Nutmeg, got tired and had to head back to the car... that big lunch we had was not conducive to enjoying a rigorous walk. we were happy to rest and chat while waiting for the sweaty-bug-eaten family to return.
after hiking we enjoyed a monster campfire in our backyard and s'mores. blackened- just the way everyone but me likes them.
monday: our big day. homeschool day at a local amusement park. S had to work, so we picked him up on our way to the park and dropped him back off 6 hours later-let's just call it a "long lunch!" speaking of lunch... the park admission price included all you could eat burgers, hotdogs, fries and drinks. woohoo. i admit i indulged in two big cheeseburgers. it is birthday week after all.
B wasn't loving this one. E and A loved it though.
the carousel is more B's speed
S and daddy leaving the station smiling...
after this...S came back to the station sobbing. no more coasters for her!
E and A rode with their friends Megan and Michael at least a dozen times
S sobbed on at least half the rides. it was agonizing to hear her crying and not be able to help her until the rides were over. she kept saying she wanted to ride that one and then freaking out as soon as the ride was in motion. finally i told her she couldn't go on certain rides thinking she wouldn't like anything that might make the rest of us scream just a little. but she liked the bumper cars, swings, slides, tea cups, train, and carousel.
tuesday: after having several cavities filled for B and S at the dentist, we headed over to their paternal grandparents for a pizza party and
wednesday: E's actual birthday.
thursday: B's actual birthday.
friday: i took the children to our local beach for the first time. we often wonder if this or that is our adopted children's first time experiencing it. sometimes we just know it is. a beach outing was not, but roller coasters were!
saturday: we were blessed to be invited to my father's company picnic. it was truly one of the most fun days i have ever had. there was so much to do...swimming, ping pong, shuffle board, pie eating contests, egg tossing contests, pony rides, dunk tank, climbing wall, bounce house, mini golf, crafts, dance and hula hoop contests, and even more -all included in the admission price. also there was all-you-can-eat food, drinks, snacks, cotton candy, ice cream, and desserts. it was awesome. it reminded me of the Haley Mills movie Pollyanna, when she is at the town fair and eating everything and trying out everything, with childlike awe. S and B had so many firsts. first pony rides, mini-golf, and cotton candy. S took a bite of my mother's cotton candy and exclaimed, "no! ew!" taking another bite, "no! ew!" and another, "no! ew!" she ate the entire thing looking completely pained. then proceeded to have another stick of candy still saying, "no!" after each bite. i am not sure if she ever figured out if she truly liked it or not. it was really funny.
Grandma Beany and S
Grandpa Joe and B
check out the "kung fu" grip. not that it helped her aim at all. it was more chase the ball than ping pong.
S's first pony ride
B's first pony ride
E's one millionth pony ride...i may be exaggerating a tiny bit.
first mini golf. E beat us all!
E and A try the wall. A must have tried to conquer this new challenge a dozen times.
A finally gets to the top. good job determined girl!
round two of cotton candy
E and A enjoy the pool
Grandma Beany teaching B to swim. S liked playing with mommy in the pool.
the entire week was blessed. we made many memories. i took several moments to do a reality check. what if we didn't say yes to adoption? what would have become of these girls? would i have ever had felt this much love in my life? this much presence of God? would they? would they ever have gotten introduced to the One who gives us all things? i hope the children look back on this transition as being full of firsts, fun, and faith.
don't get me wrong...we have had equal share of grieving and growing pains. adoption is full of tough stuff for everyone involved, but the tough stuff doesn't have much power when pitted against multitudes of smiles.
THANK YOU FOR ALL THINGS HEAVENLY FATHER. WE ARE TRULY GRATEFUL.