What a whirlwind of a year. A year ago, I began homeschooling our oldest. This has been such a blessing. Quickly summer came and we spent time with friends, hung out at the pool, visited family and friends in Texas for a month, went to the beach and made it back home in time for the kids to start school. SJ started Kindergarten and is doing amazing. Learning and progressing so much. We are incredibly blessed to live in a community in which the school is so willing to go above and beyond to help her catch up and excel.She is a spunky little girl and apparently has a fan club. We hear all about her walking down the hall and children of all grades calling out to her "Sveta! Sveta!"
The girls hanging out at Papa Dale and Mama Lou's house in Texas last summer. Fun times with family. The miles between us are difficult but we are so thankful for the extended time we were able to spend with them.
No summer is complete without a trip to the beach and...a zoo!
Hot. Tired. Three kids waiting on lunch.
And of course...while at the beach we have to take an excursion to the alligator farm. WOW.
Fourth of July
Too much fun with one of my best friends from childhood and her kiddos. We both a little teary watching them all together. I think we were realizing just how OLD we both are!
Friends since we were ten years old!
The Texas cousins hanging out, racing cars. In about 104 degree weather. Add the sticky humidity and you get hair that never comes out of a pony tail. I don't miss that about SE Texas...at all!
Little One learning to jump off the diving board. No fear in this one! Big brother there to catch her.
First day of third grade for Miss P, and Kindergarten for SJ!
Annual trip to the pumpkin farm. More excited about the slide than anything!
In December, our hearts were changed...once again. We have been so overwhelmed with emotion through becoming involved with an organization here in our state which brings groups of older Ukrainian orphans over for a month to spend time at a camp close to our home. This is P with "L", a teenage girl who P bonded with. Oh my soul. I can't even fully express the emotion that was wrapped up in the night this photo was taken. P had written L a letter in Russian...telling her how much she loved her, how special L is, and how she will never forget her. When L read the letter, tears welled up in her eyes and she looked at my little girl with such sadness, and HOPE.
Beautiful L......she is cherished, loved, important and we are thrilled beyond measure that she and her older sister are being adopted by a wonderful family. We know we will get to see her again. We know she will spend the rest of her life in a family, feeling love and learning about her Father in Heaven and how great His love is for her. Someday...we pray the sadness in her eyes will be filled with joy.
At some point in the whirlwind of the past year my friend Jaymie and I took our kids to a wolf refuge.
What an experience. How many people can say they have been face to face with a wolf?! We sat in their dens, got to pet them...but mostly I sat completely freaked out praying one didn't bare its teeth at me or try to eat my child. Do we get "fun" mom of the year award for this one, Jaymie?
SJ's second Christmas home. What a terrible picture...with shadows on the edge..but believe me it was better than the others. And they were all three sort of smiling. And not fighting.
Another trip to Texas and time with family.
Sweet sisters. We are blessed beyond comprehension. And excited about what 2013 has in store.
Praying for the Lord to continue to show us how we are to do his work for the fatherless.
Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.