Monday, May 30, 2011

A day at the pool

We, along with the rest of Jessamine County, decided to head to the YMCA's water park today to try and cool off from these high temps. (wasn't I just complaining about turning on the heat a few weeks ago???) The kids loved the afternoon splashing in the park, but we learned that 4 hours at the water park is an hour too long. Cranky, tired kids were no fun to deal with tonight! AJ actually fell asleep at the supper table, but I couldn't get the camera fast enough before everyone's laughter woke him up.

Essie went down the water slide by herself after the other kids decided the wait was too long. Very proud of Ms. Independence! I actually got more shots of Essie than the other kids because after she got done on the water slide, it took us a while to find the other three kids.

Essie praying the water will fall right on her.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

Kindergarten Awards

My babies are growing up WAY too fast. Today Matt & I went to their classroom to see a short program and see them receive their Kindergarten graduation certificate. Of course, I forgot my camera. UGH!!!!! I was kicking myself over and over, but hey, its just been one of those crazy, busy weeks.

Essie received the "Eager to Participate" award as she is always willing to join in whatever the class is doing. Side note: Essie & Chloe did Essie's hair last night while I was at work and surprised me with it this morning. I had asked Matt to take her braids out, but had no idea the girls had combed a part down the middle. I was impressed with their effort.

Chloe received the award for "Most Willing to Try New Things". This is SO true of Chloe. Even when we first got the girls, Chloe was picking up English words the first week. Essie is much more likely to hang back until she has mastered a new concept before she will try her skills. Essie barely spoke any English the first 3 months the girls were home. Then one day she said, "Ababa, can you help me?" Matt and I just looked at each other and said, "When did Essie learn English?"

In keeping with her award, Chloe was the only child to help me pull weeds in the garden tonight. She also enjoyed transplanting some flower seedlings and spreading mulch.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Real Courage

I've spoken to so many lately who tell me that parenting kids from hard places was not what they envisioned for themselves, but it has helped them find strength that can only come from the One who can heal all the hurts and pains that our kids come to us with. Parenting is hard. In fact, its the hardest thing I've ever done. But I've learned that I can only parent my kids from hard places by relying on the love of the Father. I am not good enough. I am not nice enough. I am not smart enough. I have to allow Him to flow through my very being or I will fail.

"Today I gaze at my Savior and I know: courage is not the absence of fear.

Courage is to say, “I am afraid,” but walk it anyway. Courage is to stand broken and limping and look into these faces around us, His faces, and say, “Not my will but yours Father.” Courage is to say, “I don’t want to do this,” but to grab tight to a slaughtered Son and let His blood pool in my sin-holes and allow Him to pull me with Him into glory."

Monday, May 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mickey

Today is Mickey's 11th birthday, and we had a great celebration. People often pity adoptive parents for missing so many of our children's "firsts". But we still have some great firsts, and the first birthday is very special. Mickey always fears that things in his life will be a disappointment, and the birthday was no exception - he was very worried that his birthday would be a letdown, and because of that, so were we. But things seemed to go very well, and Mickey seems satisfied, and that is a good thing.

Superman cake baked by Amy and decorated by Matt

Our 11-year-old

Mickey wanted a "UK and Superman cake"; since we couldn't fit all that, we went with a Superman cake and UK plates.

Jersey of Mickey's favorite basketball player - Brandon Knight

A boy's first pocketknife - just like Dad's (and more importantly, MacGyver's)

Soccer goal from Aunt Buffy

A new bike in Mickey's favorite color - orange

New school shirt from Meemaw

The girls "helped" AJ blow out his candles on his birthday, so Mickey jumped the gun a little trying to get his before the girls could "help".

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Congratulations, Firestorm!

AJ's soccer team, the Firestorm made a great run through their league tournament (5 games in six days), knocking out two of the better teams in the league before falling to the team with the overall best record 4-1 in the championship game. AJ didn't mind losing, because 2nd place got medals too, and that was enough for him.

The two teams pose together after the game. Our neighbor (and one of the boys' best friends) is the blonde boy in the middle of the second row on the purple team. A little neighborhood rivalry!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Sunny Day of Soccer

After freezing our way through a rainy spring soccer season, today was 80 degrees and sunny, and both AJ and Micky had games. The glow on Dad's face is not just pride, it's quite a bad sunburn.

AJ's team, the Firestorm, has made a surprise run in the U10 rec-league tournament, and their win today earned them a spot in the championship game on Sunday.

Mickey's select team played the other select team from our county. Mickey scored 4 of the game's first 5 goals in a 7-2 win. The win locked up a division championship for his team, which is now 9-0-0 in league play.

The referees and parents from all teams bragged on both of the boys today. They are quite the little soccer stars.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Day at the Aquarium

Today was primary day here in Kentucky, and the kids had the day off school. So after casting our ballots, we took the kids to the Newport Aquarium. (Special thanks to Uncle Ron and Aunt Ok who sent some money for us to do something fun!)

Overlooking the Ohio River with Cincinnati in the background brought out a chant the kids learned at school: "Boo Ohio State! Boo Ohio State!"

Checking out the shark tank

Mickey and an octopus

Just the right number of frogs in the Frog Bog

Taking a break in the jellyfish room

Measuring up to a hammerhead shark

Mickey just touched a shark!

Essie goes in to pet a shark

Chloe and Essie waiting for a shark to pass close enough to touch

See how the Kinnell kids compare to a shark's weight

Chloe makes some penguin friends

Chloe and AJ watching the penguins swim


Essie & Chloe


Watching a shark swim by

AJ, Essie, and Chloe


I think Chloe & Essie have seen about enough fish for one day.

One last shark before heading home