Sunday, March 18, 2012

2012 A New Chapter

It has been a whole year since I posted. I refuse to admit that a whole year has gone by and the kids are another year older. Although I enjoy each stage they grow through, I can’t bear the thought that high school will come and go for Emi and Nate in no time and then Jess and Joaquin will follow close behind. *sigh*
So, this year…we put our house for sale and have found where we would like to move. The lot is a matter of 3 minutes down the road and we can have the house built that will fit our needs. We had a potential buyer and were hopeful that things pan out. Long story short, we feel it’s God’s plan to stay put and modify our current home to fit our needs . I went back to work full time which was perfect timing for our family needs and a real “God thing!”
Emi, Nate, Jess and Joaquin are all SO very different and yet they are such true siblings. They fuss at each other, yet are protective of one another. They all have a deepness about them, each in a different way. They all four have such amazing futures and talents to use that I can’t wait to see where God leads them. They are growing by leaps and bounds in every area and are willing to let us share in their journeys.

Emilee Jean
Oh where do I begin? Emi decided to give up cheerleading and running for a while to heal her knee and pursue other adventures. She now works part time, putting in about 15 hours a week. She's making money and enjoying her growing savings account. She also began more volunteer work. She goes once a week to the Bethany House, a women and children’s homeless shelter, where she provides child care while the parents attend group meetings and therapy. She LOVES her time with the kids and is learning what an influence she can be on tiny lives. She is learning about the culture of inner city parents and children. She is continuing to work with the Special Olympians at her school as well as volunteering in other areas of the community with Key Club. She is a sophomore this year and is taking a college course, BioMed. She is also taking a photography class and doing some awesome work. Emilee now has her temporary drivers permit. More new adventures await her as she gets behind the wheel. Emilee also applied for a leadership program where she will host an Irish teen for the month of July. She was chosen to be a participant/teen leader for the Ulster project where she will get to meet with 12 teens from Northern Ireland, and 11 other teens from Cincinnati on a daily basis for a month to volunteer and learn leadership skills. The goal of the Ulster Project is to train the Northern Irish students to be leaders in their community and to be accepting of one another no matter what their religious beliefs are. She also has a trip to Costa Rica in the horizon. She is in Spanish 3 this year and will be taking a trip next summer with a small group from her school. She is starting to get things in the mail for colleges, but is still set on staying home and attending UC Nursing/Med school. We have one smart girl on our hands who knows what she wants and is not afraid to go after her dreams and achieve her goals. I know I have said it before, but Emilee is such a great example for Jess to look up to. We honestly couldn't be anymore pround of her. We just glow with pride as we watch her mature into an amazing young woman.

Emi and her BFF Rhaea

Spirit Week - 80's day


Emi and Daddy date - going to see Wicked

Emi and her favorite little guy making a gingerbread house on Thanksgiving

Emi and her friend Tina from Australia

A little Hunter time

Emi and Nate heading out to the Christmas Dance with some friends

Nate, Nate, Nate. Rough and tough on the outside and…not so rough and tough on the inside. He’s a mama’s boy, and I’m not complaining. Well, Nate was accepted into St Xavier High School. He scored VERY well on the exam and was super excited to get out of public school and see just how far his character and smarts could take him. Nate spent the summer, almost every day, at St X at some kind of camp or at football practice. He has become such a wonderful, caring, young man. St X has a motto, “Men for others”, and that is just what he has become. To watch your young teenage son look out for others before himself allows for very proud parents. Nate has flourished this year, what a transformation. Watching God open doors for him to develop has been very cool. Nate played Football on a team of 114 freshman and made us proud. He just finished up his wrestling season and working on some real muscle *grin*. His freshman coaches have put him in a great position on the freshman squad as a leader, although he wrestled with the Junior Varsity team most of the time. He took first in the Freshamn GCL Tournament. He leads prayer, team warm ups, etc. His new adventure for 2012 is that he has joined the Rugby team. A rough and tough sport, but a very respectful one…who knew? He was chosen by his peers to be Captain of his team. Yes, our Freshman the Junior Varsity Captian! God has big plans for him. Along with an intense sport schedule, he has managed to keep First Honors in his grades. His favorite pass time is to aggrivate Jess, which she secretly loves! Nate, a man for others, and a great big brother for all 3 of his siblings. He is officially taller than Emi and with being only 13 months younger he acts as a big brother to her too. He helps to keep her on level ground and is protective of her when it comes to the boys who wish to court her.

Nate plans to go into Zoology/Biology...I think it's a perfect fit

Still our animal lover (Emi took this pic for a photography project to dispay "Happiness")

No caption needed(smile)

Nate "The Beast"

Rugby, the newest sport...and we are loving it


Jessica Ann
Jess…what first comes to mind is GROWTH! She has grown physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I am amazed at the growth in this child, and in such good ways. Jess just turned 11 and is becoming a real young lady. She is all about her clothes and her hair and is working on finding out just who she is and who she wants to become. She has come out of her shell this year and is not afraid to try new things and see what fits her best. She started volleyball in the fall and LOVED it! And she did pretty darn good too. She is playing basketball with her friends at school for intramurals and loves the social aspect of it. She still loves art and being crafty. She has made great choices in who she chooses to hang out with and despite her learning disability she is soaring in 4th grade and is at the top of her class. She has worked really hard to overcome and understand her hardships. Jess loves her brother Nate. They aggravate each other and carry on like they have been doing this since birth. He loves to play big brother and she loves to push his buttons to get the attention. They are very fun together. Jess really amazes me. She totally understands “her adoption.” She was old enough to remember a lot of Colombia and her past. She understands things way beyond her years and handles them with such ease. She embraces who she is including her past. I LOVE THAT! I want them to keep their past as part of who they are and to love that part as much as they should love the “American” and loving family part. She worries about people but doesn’t let on. She cares about people and feelings. Although we call her our Colombian Blonde, she is deep. She is very deep. Jess amazes me. When I allow myself to take the time to watch her and her thought process, she really amazes me. Jess…GROWTH…she is enjoying the ride!

Our BEAUTIFUL Colombian!

Hanging with baby Hunter


Pink pumpkins are hard to come by

Ready for some action

Making Gingerbread Houses with soon-to-be-Aunt Holly

Joaquin is still our little man. He has finally grown some, but is still a little fella. A spit fire, ball of energy, keep me on my toes, little man. Joaquin has a heart the size of Texas, but his energy sometimes gets in the way. He wears his heart on his sleeve and is a follower, but a very smart guy when he decides to tap into his brain. He is funny as funny can be when his siblings let him have a chance to talk. He loves to build and put things together. Give him legos, puzzles, kinex, magnex and you won’t hear from him for hours. He likes to play soccer, but could really care less about taking the time to understand and learn about sports. He likes the activity, but would like to put together a lego set even more. Joaquin LOVES to help. Clean, cook, whatever you can think of, he loves to help. Joaquin is complex. A really good kid with scars so covered over that it’s sometimes hard to make sense of. I have to remind myself of that from time to time so that I can try to find ways to help him heal in areas he is not even conscience of. I don’t feel I do a very good job at that, but I always try to keep in on my radar and make positive effort in the right direction with him. But I often fail. It’s hard for me, and impossible for his siblings to understand this side of him. He is such a great, caring, smart, fun kid. And Yes, my baby.

Everything Joaquin does he wants to check with Nate to be sure Nate accepts

Just being cute

Finally learned how to ride a bike

Reading Twas the Night Before Christmas to us on Christmas Eve

Little Man giving it all he's got

The 4 most beautiful kids you can lay eyes on !!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fall/Winter 2010

In short, life is Fine and Dandy, everyone is doing well and all are happy, busy and content. Our fall was full of running around with all 4 in demanding sports and getting in routine of 2nd, 3rd, 8th and 9th grade. Now the school year is half over and I can hardly believe it. The holidays have come and gone. We had a great Christmas and have started off 2011 on the right foot. I can't wait to see what 2011 has in store for all of us.

Daddy and his girls

Eric Emi and Nate went to a race

The fall in review:

Jess has just grown by leaps and bounds the last 2 1/2 years and is a beautiful girl. She spent the fall starting out in cheerleading again, but soon decided she would much rather keep up on the swim team. Jess isn't into the sports as much, but she does love to swim. She thought about taking piano, but then changed her mind. She did join Spanish club and Craft club at school and loves every minute of her clubs. Jess loves fashion, being creative and doing for others. She is a social girl and has a HUGE heart. She has just blossomed into a very fun kid who has finally found herself and is comfortable in who she is. Although I don't want her to grow too fast, I am anxious to see where life takes her. Jess is a pleasure to watch grow.

She made a gingerbread house and carved a pumpkin

Mom, Jess and I got to go to see the Nutcracker! We had a great time making memories and having time with Just Jess!

Big Bro Nate showing Jess how to use her new phone Santa brought her

Joaquin has come amazingly far and we are so proud of him. He controls his behavior and is doing awesome in school. He played football this fall and had a blast. He was one of the 2 smallest kids on the team, but that didn't bother him at all. I was thrilled that he made some new friends and went to a birthday party for a friend, which was another first! I was still leery in the fall that he wasn't ready, socially, for sports, but by the end of the season I couldn't believe how much he matured. The last few months he has just grown in so many ways. He is going to play soccer in the spring and we KNOW he is going to love it. He still adores his big brother and is so full of personality. I really can't express how proud we are of him. He is just doing AWESOME!

#78 our "little man"

A typical day in the life of Joaquin includes things like...
Making yourself a super hero out of tissue paper from Emilee's birthday gifts...

And a popcorn bucket for a hat...always making us laugh

Trampoline doesn't get much better

Nate again played football and is currently doing wrestling. Wrestling is a first for me, not sure I liked it at first, but Nate loves it and is doing great. Wrestling was one of Eric's prime sports growing up, so it's been fun to watch Nate learn from Eric. Nate a real ladies man and maturing quickly! Nate also took a test to try and get into an elite high school, St Xavier High School. He came to us requesting that we allow him to take the entrance exam. We are quite proud of him for his efforts. There were 1200 test takers and the school only accepts 400 freshman. He should have his results in about 1 week. We are praying that if he is accepted God will show us whether or not to send him. It is quite expensive, but we know if this is God's will for Nate, that He will provide the way. Nate is showing a great desire to mature as a Godly respectable man, and we love that about him and are praying about how God would have us parent that desire.

Go #33!!!

Taking care of the family...filling the freezer for the winter

And a typical day for Nate always includes a little time cozied up with one of the dogs

Look at those muscles!

Emi suffered a major knee injury at cheer camp over the summer and had quite a time with her recovery. So cheering all thru football season was a struggle but she is all better and cheering for basketball and doing a few cheer competitions. She has decided this will be her last year to cheer. She has decided to work out at the gym and do zumba and other aerobic activities to stay fit instead of sports, so she can free up more time to work with the Special Olympians, be involved in her youth group and to do community service work. A few months ago Emilee decided to start looking for some part time work so she can save money to put towards a car, she will get her temp license in a year, and she also wants to go to Barcelona in two summers with Spanish club. We are proud of her for working hard for things that she wants and not expecting to have things handed to her freely. She is a hostess at the favorite Mexican restaurant in our town. We couldn't ask for a better teenager and example for her siblings.

Emilee getting the spirit to go to Cheer Camp as a camp wonder she has knee trouble

Emi and her GodSon...her favorite boy in the whole world

And the day after Christmas Emi and I got to go see Wicked on Broadway which was AWESOME!!