Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Always A Mommy

23 years ago on January 9th, I became a first time Mommy.

It was a difficult first 5 months of pregnancy, but did finish off an uneventful last few months. I went 14 days past my due date to end with a challenging, excruciating,  and long back labor. There was no epidural, 4 hours of pushing which then resulted in an emergency c-section.

Tyler Jay was born, all beat up with a scab right above his eye due to the internal monitor they put on him, as he was presenting face first and the doctors didn't know. He had too thick of red blood cells and was required a saline/blood type transfusion through the umbilical chord site. He had to be monitored for 24 hours.

I was extremely sick, feverish and weak from a lot of blood loss. My iron levels were way below normal, I was not allowed out of bed that first 24 hours. Sadly, I did not get to see him that first day. It was all very disheartening to this new mama, whose hormones were kicking into high gear. I cried a lot that night. At this military hospital, Jay was not allowed to stay in my room after hours either. So I was all alone and scared.

Our beginning was rough, but once I took him into my arms, that first time holding my almost 9 lb baby boy, it was bliss. He nestled under my chin, as he slept and I can still remember that intense feeling of love, welled up in my heart. I was a "Mommy" and it was miraculous. Both of us had almost lost our lives, but God protected us. It was the first time, in a long time, where I really began to seek God and ask for His guidance as this huge burden for my baby boy was on my heart, mind and soul all the time!

I would love to have a Magic Wand and relive some of the "first" moments holding my children. God has blessed me with 11 and each of them was just as amazing as the one before. I come to literal tears each time I reminiscence those days. Sigh...and too quickly they all grow up. It is good and right, but it is hard too.

Parenting one, two, three, and so on has grown me up. I was only 20 years old when I became known as "Mommy". However, God began to gently show me I was no longer a "one woman" show. I needed His help. Being an only child, in a very dysfunctional family growing up, caused me to always be very independent and to believe all I ever needed in my life was, "Me, Myself and I". Over the last 23 years of parenting, I know without a doubt that I don't need Me, Myself and I at all...I just need Jesus. I wish it didn't take so long to figure it out but I am thankful I do get it now, even while I still have so many Blessings to take care of at home.

And now I find even with my oldest son that while my duties of nurturing, teaching, discipling, and snuggling are long work as his Mommy is never done. In fact, it is different, but it is harder. I find myself more burdened, asking the Lord, on my knees to protect Tyler and his family. I beg the Lord to keep him fully devoted to Christ. I seek the Lord for his future children, in faith, that the Lord will bring up a mighty generation through my son and his wife.

So now, is the time. Emily and Tyler will be having their first child some time in July 2015.
It is a boy and they will name him Hudson Crew.

I find such a burden to pray for Hudson, knowing that God is the only one to take care of him.
Thank you Jesus, you are such a patient, loving, and good God. I so look forward to meeting little Hudson.

And Happy Birthday Tyler... (sorry this was a few days late). I'll love you forever. I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living my baby you'll be. I can't wait to watch and pray for you as you are a Daddy to Hudson.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Where Have I Been?

I can hardly believe how quickly this year has gone....
And it has been over 5 months since my last blog entry.
I guess I have a few friends that stop by as they have commented on my lack of writing on here.
I love to blog, but life has been so busy and ever changing that my time is limited on the computer. Now that I have a phone that does texting and emailing that is about all I do to communicate via technology lately. I honestly didn't know I would ever join the ranks for texters and the such, but it really has made my life a bit easier in that regard, and I do end up spending less time on the internet that way, as I don't really enjoy reading stuff on my little phone anyway.

Since I didn't have time to send out Christmas cards and letters this year, I will do an update on all of us.

So what has been going on in our little world?

Well, we have had stress and joys and Blessings of building a house, moving into that house, unpacking, painting, organizing, schooling, hospital visits for Isaiah's heart, many-many therapy days and specialty doctor visits for many of the children, sickness for all of us, and regular old relationship building....which is most important..

Adelia is doing well. She has been home for 6 months now. It is so hard to believe. She got her wheelchair two weeks ago and it is so cute and she is using it a little bit most days. I think she likes her new independence. She speaks English only now. She still is into all Girly things. I can't wait to see how she enjoys Christmas this year.

Addie got her right Achilles contracture fixed with casting, only to quickly develop some horrible pressure sores from her AFO just a few weeks later. So she has been out of AFOs until we see what they are going to do with her hips. She will need recasting again and a different type of material in the AFO. We love our orthopedic Dr. She is so kind and patient. When we visit her she spends a good amount of time making both of us feel comfortable and all questions answered. Addie has some cavities that are going to get taken care in Feb. She will need to be under general anesthesia for them as one is a root canal and two crowns. Since she is very afraid of anything painful and being held down, screaming and fighting, we decided to do it that way. After the teeth are fixed then the orthopedic is going to perform an Arthrogram on her hips. This is an xray type test that uses dye and manipulation of her joints and muscles to see how her body moves and how much of it is all being used properly in those parts of the bodies. Both her hips are dislocated. However, since she won't be likely walking and she doesn't feel them out of socket, it could possibly stay that way. The big issue is that her right hip is so bad she also can not straighten her leg. She needs to be able to stand on both legs in the least, or at least sit with both legs in a comfortable position for her spine too. So this test will give lots of information to the doctors as to the potential surgeries that will be helpful or not helpful. One that they might be able to do only is lengthening the IT band over her femur. It is so tight right now. So all that to say, we just don't know yet. We did have an MRI in October which confirmed she has a Spinal Chord Injury and NOT Spina Bifida. It is disheartening to wonder what she has been through to cause that injury.  Wow, it feels like she has always been here with us. So thankful, so blessed.

Of course, all the kids are so excited about Christmas.
And we have a double blessing this Christmas...
We recently found out that our oldest son Tyler and his wife Emily are expecting a baby!! We are going to be Grandparents. I will be "Amma" and Jay will be "Baba". It is so fun already and I already feel this urgency and burden to pray for this little life. Emily is just about 16 weeks along and the baby seems to be growing well. I don't like that they live two states away, so I anticipate we will try to visit at least once a year. It is just a long drive for 12 people in the van. But to build a relationship with a new little one is so important. I can't wait to meet the baby and hold it. So thankful, so blessed.

Here is all the children on Christmas morning...

front row, then back row: Adelia (Addie 4), Isaiah (4), Asher (4), Lenea (7) Elliana (Ellie 4) Makenna (19), Tobias (Toby 9), Jacob (Jake 14), Eliza (17) and Moriah (11)

We all had a wonderful, blessed Christmas season.
God has been so good to all of us.

Jay still works for a wonderful company and God has provided a mostly stress-free job for him, with only a 45 minute commute.
We will celebrate 24 years of marriage on January 18th!! God has been making our marriage more beautiful every year. I am excited to see what it will be like another 24 years from now.

I am still able to stay home with my precious children, mothering and homeschooling. I enjoy cooking, playing with the kids, reading and scrapbooking when can. But mostly just being here is my joy. I am still big into Trim Healthy Mama. I never did do an update as to how that was going for me. It has been going well. I did the program on and off, faithfully for about 9 months and lost about 15 lbs, even with many cheats. The nice thing about this program is all the food is delicious, satisfying and if you make a choice to "cheat" or go off plan you can pick right up again next meal. I have stopped for the most part since we moved two months ago, and I gained a couple lbs back. But only 3 lbs in two months is nothing. I have a goal to start again next week and stay on track for a while until I reach my goal, which is only about 10 lbs away!! I also hope to add in some more exercise now too.

God has provided a strong, Bible-teaching ONLY, church that also is very supportive of adoption. We love Ellerslie and feel so blessed to be a part of this newer Missionary training church.

I can't say enough how blessed my life is. I may be turning 44 in a few months, but I feel healthier and happier than ever. Yes, I have hard moments, circumstances and even an entire day at times. There are situations that continually bring me to my knees in prayer and tears. There are things in my life that I struggle with daily, and ask the Lord to change in me or give me strength to deal with more.

Here are some of the other awesome reasons I am blessed.

My oldest daughter Makenna, is truly a gift. She is hard working, self-sacrificing, smart and a girl after me. She and I think, probably too much, alike. She is going to school full time to be a nurse and while Chemistry is a big challenge, however she is doing well. She stays home the rest of the week to help us. I so appreciate her giving of her time to us. Most young women would want to pursue selfish things with their time, but she is just keeps on giving. She loves the orphan and disabled. She is a big help to me with our disabled children. She hopes to adopt many children with special needs herself some day.

My next oldest daughter Eliza, is also a gift. She is a bit younger (17 tomorrow!!). She has truly become one of my heroes. She has had to endure some difficult things in her life, however, she still manages to put on a smile 99% of the time. She truly radiates Jesus every day. She is generally so patient and gentle, yet when she fails in that area she is quick to make it right. She is such an example to me, as it has taken me quite a long time to be like she is at all, and the Lord has put that in her heart at such an early age. She is working hard at high school, a junior. She is not sure what she will do when she graduates in 2016. I have encouraged her to take some time then to pray about it and see where God leads her. She loves also working with special needs. She hopes to lead a special needs worship dance camp this summer!

Then we have Jacob. He is growing in leaps and bounds the last year. He is close to 6 foot tall now. He is going through shoes every three months! Jacob has a true desire to learn about Jesus the last couple of years. It is exciting to watch his growth in that part of his life. He is also becoming more handy around the house. Jacob will be starting high school next year. It is so surreal to think about his beginning struggles in schooling. He was a very late reader, due to some possible dyslexia and a vision tracking problem. He didn't really read on his own until almost 10. However, in the last 5 years or so he has caught up in most areas of schooling. He is a very good student and a hard worker. I am thankful also for his sweet and joyful spirit.

Next is our gentle, patient and fun Moriah. She has a big birthday coming up in February. She will be 12. In our family 12 is a turning point from childhood to adulthood. It doesn't mean she will be considered fully an adult, obviously she still has maturing and growing to do. But it does mean we will encourage her to go deeper in lots of ways and be given more responsibilities and privileges.
She is such a gentle spirit. She is a favorite play mate to ALL of our children. She gets along with everyone and is creative and sweet. Moriah is entering 7th grade soon. She enjoys dance too.

Tobias is the next in line. He is the middle child with a huge passion for life. He still loves his Legos and doing things like puzzles, playing Army men, computer games, anything active, and listening to audio stories. He is doing well in 4th grade. He has dreams of becoming a Navy Seal someday. That sort of scares his Mommy, but we will trust God to have perfect plans for his life, whatever that may be. Since our move, he was able to move into his own room for the first time. It has been good for him to have a quiet place to retreat to when he needs it. Toby is the one to always make us smile.
After Toby comes Lenea. She just turned 7 on New Years Eve. It is hard to believe she came into my arms that long ago. It feels like a blink. She is all girl. She loves dance, school, dolls, new clothes, her friends and family, to be a helper in the kitchen and to be a big sister. She does well in school. She took off in reading last summer but isn't to the point of preferring to pick up a book just yet for enjoyment. She did get some pretty reading glasses last week, and she wants to wear them all day long. I appreciate the way Lenea always wants to snuggle. Maybe it is because she was the "baby" of the family, but I will always welcome hugs and kisses from kids. Especially, now that I have experienced one moving far away.

Following Lenea we have the 4, four year olds...
Asher is the oldest and the one who has been with us the longest. Last November, it was 3 years since we went to China and became adoptive parents. It has brought so much joy and privilege and blessing into my life. It has also challenged me in so many ways. It keeps me on my knees. It gives me many things to keep learning and experiencing.

So Asher is all B.O.Y. He is strong, brave, smart, fun, active, a leader, and snuggly too. He is definitely the "First Born" of the adoptive 4 year olds. He has to be redirected often not to "boss" everyone. He is sweet though, and can usually be persuaded to do the right thing. He is also starting to ask some good questions about Jesus and why He died for us. It is such a joy to see faith through a child's eyes. Asher still has some speech issues that he will deal with, likely until his cleft is fully repaired at about age 8-10 with a bone graft. He speaks well besides those cleft related sounds.
He did experience his first ear infection and sinus infection just a few weeks ago. It was miserable for him. His first antibiotic he had a reaction too. The second seemed to work fine, but his ears are still itchy. So next week back to the ENT. I know that God has amazing plans for this boy. I am so blessed to be his Mommy.

Elliana is the next after Asher. Ellie has many issues daily that requires full-time care. I am sure it is only doable because there are many older children here to help us. We all find great joy in working with her, teaching her, playing with her and holding her. She is so smart and is even beginning to say some more works. She does lots of therapies: speech, occupational, physical, behavior, and we just started trying something new to us, called Anat Baniel Method. The testimonies that I have read are all very positive and encouraging. It is certain manipulations of the body to open up new neuro pathways, which will make new connections in the brain and help the person to do things they couldn't do before.

After Ellie is Addie, and she began this post. So I will go onto our baby. Isaiah!!!
Isaiah is doing pretty well. He had another heart cath in December. He did well. He also has been sleeping so much better since his tonsils were removed last May. To not have to use the CPAP is wonderful! He had an appointment with his cardiologist just today. His pulmonary valve is working well although that left pulmonary artery keeps narrowing after 6-9 months. The next step is a profusion Scan, which will measure how much oxygen is going to each lung. This will help them to decide what future steps are needed or not, to keep his lung developing properly. He has been otherwise healthy. His speech is very delayed though, so there is a thought that maybe his lack of O2 in the first months of his life might have caused some damage to his brain development. So he will be having an appointment with a neurologist next...Isaiah is the gentle, snuggly, loving, curious George if our house. He tries hard to keep up with Asher, they are two bosom buddies. However, sometimes Asher is too intense for him, and he and Addie or Ellie hang out in a quieter way, which I think Isaiah prefers. Again, so blessed to be called Mommy by this gentle little guy.

We all just got back from an amazing trip to Disney World for Isaiah's Make  A Wish. I will be posting lots of pictures soon!

I wanted to do this updated blog first.

I look forward to new adventures and experiences and relationships this New Year. May our God, continue to keep me on my knees and humble.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Isaiah's Special Wish

In 6 days our family is being sent to Disney World for our special, amazing, heroic and sweet Isaiah. 
He has a serious, life-threatening heart condition that qualified him for Make A Wish.
He loves Mickey Mouse and we were blessed with this amazing opportunity. Every one in our home, aside from Makenna (because she is over 18) is being paid for. We will pay for way and we are bringing one of our dear helper girls, Charis.
We can hardly believe the generosity that has been given to us.

I plan to post an update after we return on January 6th.

I will also be doing a big update post soon that will share a little more about how his heart is doing these days.

Isaiah with his Wish Grantors

All of us (aside from Charis) who will be flying on an airplane to FL!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Precious Children

So thankful to have these people in my life...God has blessed me so much.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

They Are Almost Home

I am sorry I didn't give the expected update when Jay was travel to get Adelia. Life just got so far away from me. Here are some of the big reasons:

1.We have some medical issues we have been dealing with in some of my children.

2. We are selling a house (had one contract that fell through, got a 2nd one 48 hours later).

3 Packing to move into a temporary rental for 2 months in Aug and Sept at least, and then hopefully moving into our last, and completed new house in October.

4. We have been hosting our sweet, 12 year old boy from Latvia since the middle of June. Sadly he leaves August 8th. I wish he did not have to go back.

5. Then of course the biggest news of adopting Adelia.

Jay left on June 20th with my 11 year old Moriah. I literally packed their stuff beginning 48 hours before they left, which is not my typical scenario. I just am finding that sometimes I have to let things like that go more and just trust that God has given me bigger priorities. Plus, there are stores in China and credit cards and a guide to help shop if I forgot an essential.

So I have been a single mom to 9 children for 13 days which is very hard, rewarding and focused work. But it is exhausting too. I am thankful and blessed to have the awesome help and support of my 3 teens. They cook, clean, babysit, hold crying kids, read stories for bed time, mow lawns, take out garbage, play games with littles, and then sit with me at the end of the day and share stories and dreams with me. I LOVE My kids. I am so blessed.

Well in about 15 minutes I head to the airport to pick up my handsome husband and amazing father, my sweet, selfless 11 year old and my new, spunky and confused 3 (almost 4 year old ) daughter from China.

She did Skype with me (well watching me and saying a few Chinese words to the computer screen). But she did say "bye bye Mama" one time with a big smile! She also watched a couple of short videos of me over and over and over again. Jay said she would get upset if it had to be turned off. So at least she will know my voice.

She seems to be doing well. I am a bit nervous how she is going to accept me after beginning to attach to her new Baba (Daddy). However, I know that God will give me patience, endurance, love and wisdom as I learn to parent her and understand her. I know he will help us bond forever. Your prayers are so appreciated.]

Here are a few photos I received from Jay while he was in China.

 The most nervous time for parent and child. "Gotcha Day" it is indescribable and so precious. She did cry for a bit, but not too long.

 She liked the toys I sent her, thankfully. Reluctantly going with her new "baba".

Adoption Day~ She is ours forever!!

Playing on the bed with some new toys. Her foster family told Jay that when she throws a fit to give her a new toy or buy her a dress. Apparently she was spoiled ! (he got to meet them and let her say goodbye, which was hard on her but we believe will help her too. We have video of them blessing her and telling her to go with her new Baba. She cried when she left but then was over it soon later)

Sitting with Daddy at breakfast time.

On the way to the airport from province.

Now she is an official US citizen!!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Happy Birthday My Sweet Ellie

One year ago today we were in Guangzhou, China waiting for our day to come to fly home. We had 2 more days to go. Elliana had been in my arms (literally, didn't leave them but clung to me) for 9 days already. She was very scared, malnourished, and angry. She also had her fun moments where we got little glimpses of smiles and laughs, especially when she was swung in the air. She slowly began to trust me, nesting in the Ergo, letting me hold her close and helping her to feel safe.

For three years, Ellie had little opportunity to succeed or be valued. She grew up in an orphanage with many crib mates and nannies (albeit loving nannies too) but never a Mama to love her unconditionally, tell her how beautiful she is and to meet all her needs. She could not speak therefore was frustrated with no one to hear her attempts at language and listen to her cries. She had no voice. She couldn't feed herself easily but was left with a bottle alone in a crib to receive most of her nourishment. She was hungry. She couldn't keep up with the other children due to her disabilities which made her frustrated and try even more, with minimal reward.

This is probably the youngest photo we have of her besides her newborn photo and she was 8 months old here.

Because of a strength given by God Elliana is a fighter. She is a survivor.
Today, she is learning to be gentle. A year ago I had bought her this adorable little Asian dolly which I had planned to give her at home for her birthday celebration with the family. However, I decided to hold off as right away it was obvious she didn't know what to do with a doll and was afraid of it. She did not know what to do with most toys. She did make a game with our suitcases though, she loved clothes from the start. A true girly girl.

Today, she is learning pretend play. So I gave her that same dolly for her birthday today and now she can hold it, cover it with a blanket, give it a spoon for food and ask for help in changing her clothes. Another thing she likes to pretend is playing "kitchen". She will even "make" meals and deliver it to you while she does her bunny hop on her knees to get around and pushing the food to her friend. It is such a joy to watch her flourish.

Today, she is learning to use her walker and peddle a trike. Yes, she can peddle a bike for short distances. She can't crawl yet but she can peddle a trike. She LOVES to play outside and do anything her brothers and sisters do. It actually can be quite a challenge to keep her safe and happy. She will do anything whether she gets hurt or not and will have tantrums that last an hour if she can't do something that everyone else does. Oh...the joys of parenting a child with special needs. I love this little girl.

Today, we celebrate her life, her joy for newness, her fight to live, and tenacity to overcome all odds. When I got her a year ago (May 27, 2013) it was obvious that there was a severe neurological issue going on that we were not aware, I did feel anxious at times. However, I knew without a doubt that she was my daughter and that God had brought her to me to be her Mama. I also knew God did not mistakes. Even though I felt so inadequate for the job ahead of me, I knew He alone would equip me. I still believe this way today, even more so , seeing the huge transformation in Elliana in just one short year. Even with a Mama who is very busy but loving, a bit forgetful but with intentions, and so inadequate but willing! I am willing Lord, I always will be.

Elliana is 4 years old today. Here are some photos as we celebrated her life.
I am more than blessed by this precious girl.

Elliana loves opening presents and this was no exception. She also happens to love clothes!

This is to give a perspective of our one year's time. This was Elliana on her 3rd birthday last year in China!
We were signing "Happy Birthday" to Ellie and she was smiling so big! Almost as big as I have ever seen her and laughing. She was so excited we were celebrating her!

Here Daddy held her arms back as she isn't trustworthy with lit candles. But she did attempt several times to blow out the candles. There was some movement which I call success. Next year, she will get them.
And this is the best for last, we started a tradition a little while back of everyone clapping for the birthday person to stand on their chair and take a bow. Ellie is very aware of us doing this. Daddy helped her to stand and she did her "bow". It was adorable and we all were so blessed by her elegance.   

God has amazing plans for this little girl, Elliana Kate Jun!!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Our Trip

I am so behind in posting about our amazing, special time we had visiting my son and daughter in love. So here is the overview and some photos. 
We went in March for 12 days. We took two days to drive to Tyler and Emily's place near Phoenix and stayed 3 days there. Then we all drove (including Ty and Em) another 6 hours to San Diego to the Naval base where we got the stay in a hotel, on the beach. One of the perks of being retired military. I must say it was gorgeous. I grew up in California where I had the blessing of visiting the beach regularly. But it has been many years since we have been back to the beaches of California. In fact, all of my children, except my oldest, have never seen the beach. Oh how I miss the beach. It really just does something to give my soul peace and rest to be there. I really need to visit more often. 

While we were in San Diego Jay had to work. His home office for his employer is there and they paid for our gas to drive out there and his hotel, which was the only way we could afford to do this trip. But he had the evenings with us.

I also drove the kids up to Carlsbad one day to Legoland. We are a huge Lego family and none of us had been. Besides the shock of the cost factor (and we had reduced tickets for military as well!) it really was a cool and creative place. They had rides, mini Lego buildings, giant Lego buildings, and other attractions. We were there most of the day one day and the day we were to head back to AZ Jay took the kids there for a few more hours (we had a 2 day pass). 

So all in all we were in San Diego for 4 1/2 days. It was great. I went to San Diego State University the year before I met and married Jay, so I have always loved that city!

Then we headed back to AZ. This time we drove a little more south to see our longtime and close friends. Their son was Ty's best man in his wedding and Darlene (Lynn) is my best friend, and the one we are naming Adelia after (Adelia Lynn). We had the joy of spending 2 days with them and their precious foster children. It was quite the rowdy and loud house with the 13 of us and the 6 of them! But we had a blast. 

After that we headed home sweet home. The two drive was not so fun, as about 15 out of 18 hours was constant high winds and our van doesn't seem to tolerate it well. My strong and diligent husband was faithful in bringing us home in safety.

The day after we got home was back to the same. 

Here are the photos.

 Tyler (my 22 year old) meeting his youngest brother (Isaiah age 3) for the first time. They easily became friends, which blessed this Mama's heart.

 Makenna (19) and Emily (20) two sweet friends from 11 years ago, who had no clue that one day they would become sisters!

 Me with my sweet Ellie (age 3)

 Me with my handsome Isaiah (age 3)

  Lenea (age 6) loved Emily's dog (Ella).

 Ellie loved the sand at the park!!

  Moriah (age 11) swinging herself the "fun way".

Our first stop in San Diego was the air craft carrier the USS Midway Museum. It was very huge and spectacular.

 Adorable man, Asher (age 4) posing for the camera.

 Toby (age 9), Isaiah, Makenna, Asher and Eliza (age 16) posing inside a big helicopter.

Isaiah posing on some ejector seat thingy? I actually didn't see this so not sure what it was. 
 Legoland! Asher riding a horse as a jouster, It was a very cute ride. I think one of the most creative fun ones for his age.

 Makenna and Lenea (Toby and Moriah also rode this ride) road this crazy thing. It whips you around every which way, and you have no clue what way is coming next. I was surprised they road it. I could not bring myself to do it.

 Toby in a lion's mouth!

 Jacob (age 13) and Lenea flying a helicopter.

 Lenea and Makenna riding some up and down ride? I went on one like this and it feels like you are going over railroad tracks very fast, over and over again.

 Asher and Eliza flying a police helicopter. We like helicopters :)

 Everyone in front of mini legoland. This was so cool. Right here was the US state Capitol. 

 Emily, Lenea, Moriah and Tyler riding a boat scenic ride.

Asher loved driving the car!

 Emily hanging out with Ellie and Isaiah on the beach. They loved it!!

 Asher had the greatest time with the waves. Here Emily caught him running and jumping at just the right time (see his cute feet in the air). Lenea and he kept saying they were afraid of the "jelly fish". which was actually the seaweed. I did take the time to show them a small seaweed and let them hold and examine it in hopes to comfort their fears. :)

 The next photos are all taken by my beautiful, aspiring, and awesome daughter in love and photographer, Emily! Thanks Em they are amazing!

Lenea and Tyler, sweet sister and brother.

Our desire was to take a photo with all of us. While we found a great spot for photos, the sun was going down and it was very cold. Emily was able to get a good one with everyone except her in it. Phooey! Anyway, here is all my kiddos except Emily and Adelia. Maybe next time ~