Monday, December 19, 2016

I'm still in awe at the love and support that has come our way since we started this wall on December 1st.  A few short weeks later and Royce's wall looks like this.  What a blessing!!!  Thank you to everyone who has given and prayed and asked and loved Royce from near and far.  You will never know how grateful we are to each of you!  We leave for Haiti exactly 2 weeks from today and while there is a lot to do and prepare for, and we thank you all for being a part of our journey.  Our YouCaring and PayPal accounts will remain available for clearing envelopes if you still would like to give.  Thank you all!  We love you!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Let's Bring Royce Home!

It's a Boy!  After almost four years of paperwork and waiting, we've received a formal referral for a little boy from Haiti! We're not allowed to reveal much information about him other than his age (18 months) and his new name (Royce).  

Thankfully, with receiving a referral, we're in the home stretch! Thank you all for your encouragement and support!  A formal referral also means, though, that the majority of our fees are due very shortly.  By our calculations (with fees, plane tickets, doctor visits, etc.), we have about $25,000 to go.  With the generous gifts we've received from family and friends, a chunk of that is taken care of, but we're still in need of about $20,000 more.  We are continuing to save all that we can each month and will also be applying for a couple of grants for which we are eligible (we'll send updates about this).  In the meantime, though, we're starting an envelope campaign: 

We've decorated a wall in Royce's room with 201 envelopes--one for every week from the first day we started the adoption process until the day we got a call from Haiti.  The idea is that everyone who would like to give a financial gift to help us bring Royce home would pick one of the weeks (for example, week 23) and send us that amount ($23).  In return, we'll use the envelope on the wall to send you a thank you note written by Hadley and Joni.  You'll also be among the first to receive a photo of our family together with Royce once he's home as well as our other updates along the way.

Every envelope counts and every dollar gets us that much closer to bringing Royce home, so please consider helping us, whether you choose envelope #1 or #201.  We have a bank account set aside just for the adoption in order to make it easy to keep track of your gifts and of our fees.  There are three ways to give:

1) Just sending a check to our house is the simplest.  Message Andy on Facebook ( or leave a comment below if you don't have our address.

2) If you have PayPal, you can send money for free (no fees) using this link: Setting up a PayPal account is also free.

3) You can also give us a gift using a credit card through  They won't charge you a fee, but they will take a small transaction fee out of what we receive.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Wyoming...back Home on the Range

Here we are, 2 days after the mega-party, on our way to Wyoming for 2 weeks.  Andy headed to his second round of summer classes in KY and the 7 of us headed the other way.  Taking into account that we had 4 children and we were in the car for more than 10 hours, they did pretty well.
Our last stop before home was this hole in the wall Nebraska restaurant with big game animals everywhere.  We couldn't get the kids to eat with all the running around and looking at stuff.
We stayed busy in Cheyenne too.  Super Day at Lions Park was a hit (before the rain started).
only in Wyoming do they have roping lessons :)
And we made sure to have some fun visits with Uncle Ben!
We also had a fun Denver day...the zoo and Casa Bonita!!!
Our attempt at a good picture of these 4 was a challenge the whole time we were there.  I've gotten too used to saying "smile" and they do.  Maddy made the photo-ops super interesting.
We went to a Hibachi grill in Cheyenne as a family too...this was the fun before picture...
And the terrifying I'm-going-to-catch-on-fire picture.  
And we spent time at home with Oma and Opa.  Making smores and enjoying the fire.
Making "soup"
Running through the sprinklers.
Planting flowers with Oma.
Swimming (but only a couple times...we aren't in Kansas anymore with the 125% humidity).
And our attempt at the annual 4th of July picture for Oma...the was the first one...and then Maddy decided that she was done...
And this is the only (and first since before Hunter was born) of the 8 of us...whenever we get together Andy or Shaun is missing.  It isn't perfect, but I'm glad we got something.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Disney World PARTY!!!

Welcome to Disney World!  We went all out for the girls' birthday parties this year...a combined whopper that was fun to plan, fun to throw, and fun to enjoy.  Since I was still in Disney World mode after our trip in February and both girls wanted to have a Disney party, we did one big shebang!  Walking through the doors, of Disney World, you were greeted with a pair of Mickey (or Minnie) ears and a lanyard and 2 pins for trading.
There were a couple fun games to play during your time at "Disney World."  There were 12 "hidden Mickey's" around and you can to find them all (the clock was one).  This was where the food table was...under pictures of our trip.
This was the best thing we made for the party....a game of movie locations...each board had a place and you had to guess which movie it was from.  (There is another hidden Mickey on the 42 Wallaby Way sign).
We can books and coloring sheets and puzzles set about for the little ones....these 3 tables also formed a hidden Mickey....large black one closest to "Belle" and 2 small ears.
Courtney, Dad, Hunter, and Maddie came out for the party and actually took us back with them for a couple weeks in Wyoming (posts to come about that).  Janet also was able to come too!  They were a huge help and so fun to have at the party.  Everyone was supposed to dress up as their favorite Disney character and it was fun to see what everyone picked...Andy and I were Flash and Priscilla (the sloths from Zootopia), Hunter was Sully from Monsters Inc. (he lost his purple dots already), and I'll give you 1 guess as to who Hadley and Joni picked to be :)
 We had something fun to do at each of the MAGIC KINGDOM there was a photo booth in front of the castle.  P.S.  Hadley took EVERY picture in the photo booth with her hands like this.  Every. Picture.  She was really getting into her character.
 At HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS there was another game to figure out the paper-bag characters and a movie was playing the whole time on the screen below...we also opened presents there too.
EPCOT was probably my favorite.  We used a projector and white plastic tablecloths to get this in the doorway.  I LOVED it!
I didn't get many pictures because once the party started it was CRAZY, but in Epcot, you had to go to each of the World Showcase countries and do Japan you had to karate chop a piece of wood, in Italy you had to taste some tiramisu, and in a few you had to answer a question.  The kids had passports to mark down what they did.
And last, but not least, we went to ANIMAL KINGDOM and went on a "night" safari.  (Another hidden Mickey on the sign Andy is holding).
 Everyone got a Wilderness Explorer Handbook with animals they were looking for, a stamper, and a flashlight so they could see :)  
 This is what the hall looked like with the lights on, but we shut them off. 
 So I REALLY like planning parties and I really like Disney World and I had so much fun getting everything together.  The food was super fun too.  We had cherries from Wreck it Ralph, apples from Snow White...
 We had bananas from the Jungle Book...
 Spinach puffs from the Emperor's New Groove...
 Ratatouille from.....well  Ratatouille (which was surprisingly good)...
 Spaghetti, meatballs, and breadsticks from Lady and the Tramp...
and cake for dessert :)  One layer from each park and a Mickey and Minnie on top.
Super fun and I'm only a little sad I don't have one to plan for another year.
***Still no adoption news.***  When we know, you'll know!  Love to you all!