Monday, December 21, 2009

So far we have had a wonderful start at Christmas with 3 kiddos. As I type this, G is asking the kids all sorts of Christmas questions. I'm proud of Benny. He can piece together Mary, Joseph, Jesus, Angels, Bethlehem and manger for the real story. Of course he thinks the Wise Men brought Gold, Frankincense and Grandma (G's Mom is actually called "Mur", which sounds like Myrrh). It's quite funny. Benny is still struggling with the concept that the presents actually stay wrapped until Christmas. He keeps bringing us a present, wanting to open it. Everlie is slowly figuring out all this stuff out. She'll get there. Delaney is happy to start ripping ornaments from the tree.

The kids are doing great. Benny and Everlie are getting to the point where they can play for extended times...without any major arguments. Delaney is enjoying having a big brother and sister. She always wants to be around them to play...unsolicited of course. They are all settled as brother and sisters. It's like they've always been together. Now, if we can just get them to sleep all night through...consistently.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Award Winning Photographer....who, me?

I mentioned on an earlier post of 2 entries making it to the finals of a professional/amateur photo contest, called SEEN 2009. This is an annual event sponsored by Studio Altius ( The photos were judged by professionals.

The results are in:

1. "Heartbreak In Ghana" won 1st place in the Editorial category.
2. "Seeing An Abruni For The First Time" placed 3rd in the Travel category.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Sometimes my wife and I look at each with bewilderment and amazement.
We constantly ask each other questions like:
A. How can a baby generate that much snot and slobber?
B. Why can't our kids just go to sleep at the same time?
C. Can you believe that Everlie and Delaney weigh the same?
D. Will the day come when our oldest child won't have his hands in his pants?
E. Will we ever be able to take the entire family to a restaurant?
F. Who knew we actually had alot of free time with 2 kids?

We usually try to see the lighter side of having 3 kids, because so many moments are actually funny if we stop and think about it. God has blessed us with Delaney, and we are loving it. She is growing like a weed. She has 5-6 teeth, with more coming in. She is also determined and strong, just like her sister. She is standing on her own and will be walking by Christmas.

My favorite time with the kids used to be bath time. I still like it, but 3 is definitely a crowd. Someone is usually upset about bath toys or space. Now my favorite time is when I come home. It's a treat when all 3 kids rush me shouting "Daddy" and want to hug.

Photo Contest Entries

Last month I entered 2 photos in a contest sponsored by Studio Altius ( This contest was open to professionals and amateurs alike. I was recently notified that these photos made it to the finals in their respective categories. These were taken on my trip to Ghana, for the Touch-A-Life Foundation ( The winners will be announced this Saturday night at their open house, but all 80 or so finalists photos will be displayed at Studio Altius throughout December.

Yesterday I emailed the editor of the St Louis Suburban Journal, informing her of the contest, as well as my entries. I wanted to submit a freelance article promoting local business news, and tying in these pictures to show the work that Touch A Life has done, through the support of many St Louisans. They don't accept freelance work, but the editor forwarded my email to Mary Shapiro. She is a staff writer who wants to do a feature story incorporating these photos, the contest, the studio and Touch A Life.
“Heartbreak In Ghana”
Editorial Category
Lake Volta
Ghana, Africa
August, 2009
This is Thomas. I met him while on a humanitarian mission with the Touch A Life Foundation. Thomas is a trafficked child, who was more than likely sold by his parents. Lake Volta is reportedly home to approximately 7,000 trafficked children, who are forced to fish these treacherous waters. Many children do not know how to swim and eventually drown. It is very common for these children to work up to 18 hours a day. These children are usually viewed as property and business assets by their masters and are not fed well, clothed well, educated or loved. Many times they are beaten severely.

One afternoon, our rescue team encountered Thomas as he was fishing on the lake. After a few minutes of negotiation, Thomas misunderstood the conversation and thought he was being rescued at that moment. He immediately tried to board our boat. At that point, his “boss” (usually a former trafficked child) told him to get back in their boat. He was not leaving. At this instant, all hope faded from his eyes as he rested his tired head on our boat. This is when I took this picture.

A few minutes later the master (via cellphone) agreed to release Thomas the following day. The following day, we made our way to the shores of his remote village to pick up Thomas. He had hope in his eyes and met us at the shoreline. Members of our team escorted Thomas up the worn footpath, leading to hs village, to visit his master and document his release. At that point, his master sent Thomas away and informed us he was not releasing him. We are continuing our efforts for his release.

“Seeing An Abruni For The First Time”
Travel Category
Remote Village on Lake Volta
Ghana, Africa
August, 2009
I encountered this little girl while on a humanitarian mission on behalf of the Touch A Life Foundation, to rescue trafficked children on Lake Volta. Her village is accessible only by boat. Upon seeing me, she shrieked in fear and ran behind her mom. After a few minutes of crying, she finally peeked around her mom’s dress, revealing her bloodshot eyes. I was walking with a young man in the village, who explained she had never seen an Abruni. This is the Ghanaian term for a white person. Throughout this ordeal, her mom smiled in amusement and didn’t skip a beat doing her chores.

I want to thank my wife for putting together a memorable Thanksgiving meal. It's embarrassing that I actually scoffed at her for putting so much time and effort into the production. At the end of the day, the dining room was beautifully arranged and the food was wonderful. Most importantly we were able to share this special time with good friends...while the kids played downstairs.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm spending this morning with Delaney and feeling thankful for our sweet girl. She is growing and starting to understand what's going on around her, and comprehending what we are saying. She can even say "DaDa", which is music to my ears. All 3 kids gel pretty well, with Benny smothering his sisters with hugs and kisses and Everlie getting the hang of how to annoy Benny. Evidently all it takes is to throw your hands up and act like a monster...ala Scooby Doo style. Delaney just soaks it in.

With regards to sleeping, Delaney is turning out to be the best, by far. We have her down to, maybe. 1 bottle in the middle of the night. Everlie keeps waking up and crying for no apparent reason, other than trying to go downstairs to play. No dice! I haven't had much sleep the past 3-4 nights with a respiratory virus, so Geri suggested I take an Ambien, and mentioned I might should take another one in the middle of the night to help out even more. What I heard was to take 2 Ambien (I have rarely taken these). I woke up yesterday morning unaware that Benny snuck out of bed to snuggle next to me for 4-5 hours. I was out of it, but Benny got read the riot act for getting out of his bed. Pretty much Geri and Delaney are the only one's sleeping good these days.

Since today is Veterans Day, I want to especially remember the Korean War vets. Without them, my life would be dramatically different. A few days before leaving for Seoul, I ran into a Korean vet, and shook his hand very firmly with thanks. He had his hat on, which made him easy to spot. He exclaimed that Korea probably looks different today than when he last saw it. He remembered seeing mainly burned grass all around. It has changed! Seoul is one of the most beautiful places I've visited, as is the drive from Incheon (where the Marines landed). So, in closing, Thank you!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Benny Pictures

After months of trying to figure it out, I have finally downloaded 300 pics and videos from my phone. I'll get around to posting others of Delaney and Everlie, but wanted to showcase some of Benny. He's truly a funny little guy, with lots of gusto and energy.

Benny decided to ride home from a school outing with this on his head.

One of our favorite places as a family is Rosemary Beach, FL.
Benny, Jonah and Grace decided to move ALL of the toys from one side of the room to another. Quite funny if you ask me.

Truly like his dad, Benny ran into the spine of the door going to the basement.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Fun In The Sun

With 12" of rain in October, the kids have a ton of energy to burn. Before Trick Or Treating, we played "lets clean the acorns and leaves off the patio" and "lets rake the leaves with brooms". Allthewhile, Delaney was glad to watch. This house is just crazy. 3 kids change the dynamics just enough to always feel behind the 8-ball. Pick up one room...another room needs it. One kid takes a nap...the other 2 decide to get loud and crazy. Bath at 7, bed at 8 after books and prayer? yeah, right. 8 turns into 9 turns into 9:45 or so. We'll figure it out, eventually.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happy 4th Gotcha Day, Benny!

"Benny's First Nap With Us"

I first held Benny on October 22, 2005 and I remember it like it was yesterday. He had big, beautiful almond-shaped eyes, resting below huge and curling eyelashes… the kind of lashes women pay big bucks for. His skin was soft and flawless, like he had been bathed in expensive creams. .He was easy going, with a killer smile and sticky-up hair. I was smitten.

Alot has changed in our family throughout in these 4 years. Benny's hair isn't so sticky-up, sometimes that killer smile is replaced with a mischievous grin, but I would not change one thing. We've been blessed to add 2 more Gotcha Days to our family calendar... I'm still smitten.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rombach Farms

Last Saturday was a bit chilly, but we braved the elements and made our annual trek to the Pumpkin Patch. Benny had been sounding off all week about getting a pumpkin for Halloween. He wanted to search the field over, pick out the best one, then cart it home to carve a mean face in it. That's my boy!

We pulled into Rombach Farms and I instantly sensed trouble... a new mascot. Benny has always hated big people in costumes. It borders on the obsessive, even though I tell him it's just a guy in a costume, getting paid $10/hour! Please allow me to name a few "offenders" from his past:
1. Fredbird (STL Cardinals mascot). This will not bode well as he gets older.
2. The Pioneer Guy (Kirkwood High School mascot).
3. The Easter Bunny. He insisted the bunny leave all candy at the front door.
4. Santa Clause.
5. Clowns in general.
6. The "Eat Mor Chikin" cow from Chic-Fil-A.
7. Ronald McDonald.
and now
8. The Red Robin bird guy, courtesy of Rombach Farms.

If that's the worst of his fears, he'll do alright. It'll just drive his family nuts.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

First Week With Delaney

So far the kids are getting along quite well. Benny is his usual self and loves his new sister. He hugs her...she cries. Wait another hour then repeat the same process. Everlie has taken to Delaney as well. She loves her space and individuality, but I think she's a bit put out from having to share the same room. Everlie is such a chatter, she cannot be quiet at naptime and bedtime. As for Delaney. She has had a great attitude, aside from being a bit sick with some congestion and possibly an ear infection. We find out tomorrow about that.

The last picture is of Delaney playing with her sweet friend Lydia Lee.

It's busy around here. It's messy around here. It is wonderful around here.

Monday, October 12, 2009

There is a beautiful stream meandering through downtown Seoul. It flows under a 500 year-old bridge, and keeps going (probably) to the Han River. It was designed with beautiful walkways to make it a peaceful and serene setting, within a bustling city. It was freezing cold and grayish, compared to this same pathway in February, 2008. This time was different. It was warm outside with beautiful colors all over the place. I was holding hands with Geri, and we were visiting with other families that were in town picking up their little ones from Holt. I smile thinking about it. Really.

I took this picture on our walk. This man was walking slowly and seemed to be deep in thought. I doubt he noticed the colors or the gentle breeze we felt. Same beautiful stream, same time... yet different experiences. Inasmuch as the stream was different last week from the cold February morning in 2008, my world today is different than 4 years ago. it was just me and Geri. We had yet to pick up Benny. Going out to dinner was easy. Going to a movie was easy. I owned a business and Geri was learning a new job.

Today is a radically different picture.

We have 3 beautiful kids in the house, I just sold my business and G has experienced a change in her career. Today is one of those days I feel like this guy looks. Walking around with my head down, absorbed in thoughts... however, I am aware of the surrounding beauty. It's an uncomfortable feeling, though... not having a business anymore, and being unsure of what's next. So here I sit with my head down in scramble mode, trying to think of what's next. Any ideas? I ultimately see myself supporting our family as an author, writing about someone's personal experiences...drawn from deep conversations and interviews (ie: Aimee Molloly, Jon Krakauer, Stephen Ambrose to name a few of my favorites). I'll get to that place, Lord willing.

...and so it goes in our house. As if on cue, the girls are now awake and crying. Everlie for her Mama and Delaney because of Everlie's shrill. Have I ever mentioned Everlie can be loud? Time to pull my head up and look at the beautiful colors in our home....even though it's significantly louder than the quiet brook in Seoul.

Thanks for listening.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Picking Up Delaney

This trip was special on many levels. Geri was able to see Korea and experience the culture (which she loved), we were able to pick up our daughter together, and we met quite a few great families. It was sweet to reconnect with Everlie's foster parents. We arranged to have lunch with them on Wednesday. Mr Shin and his wife still love Everlie. They came bearing a beautiful traditional Korean dress for her. Not only did the Shin family have lunch with us, Delaney's foster Mother/daughter came as well. We didn't talk much, but it will forever be a highlight in my life. I really appreciate Mr Shin beating me to the check, but really wanted to pay as a gesture of thanks. One of these pictures shows Mr Shin and his wife chuckling as they are watching a video of Everlie.

When we finally got Everlie on the 7th, there were tears aplenty. Her foster mother has taken care of 15 children over the years (and she is quite young). Her tears (like her daughters) revealed a truth that turning over a child you have cared for doesn't get any easier. Mrs Go was determined to not cry in front of her when I took Everlie in 2008, but the emotions were the same. We all cried as I turned and walked to the hotel elevator. I know Everlie grieved for awhile and I'm sure Delaney is experiencing the same loss. Did I ever mention that Foster Parents have my utmost respect? Hard to compare,

I have quite a few more pictures on Facebook. If you are interested and are on Facebook, respond to this post and I'll try and send you a friend request.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Welcome Home Delaney

We are now home after making the trek to Seoul to pick up Delaney. I have to give 3 cheers to Geri for braving the long flight from Chicago to Seoul and back. We have flown with several airlines over the years, but none compares to Korean Air. From the check in counter to the flight attendants, it's like stepping back in time to the "Glory Days" of flying. Maybe it's a Korean thing (which I deeply suspect), but it is refreshing to always be greeted with a warm, genuine smile. This is backed up with courtesy and service to a higher degree than normal. If you live in a hub city such as Chicago and want to see what I'm talking about, fly Korean Air to LA or another domestic destination. You will not be disappointed.

We landed at the Incheon airport Sunday afternoon and took the Holt shuttle to the Lotte Hotel, located in the financial district. All the while, Geri was soaking in actually seeing the country she was born in. The abundance of high rise buildings is almost staggering. You can tell this is a densely populated area, but wouldn't know if just driving the hour or so it takes to get to Seoul. The traffic is orderly and the countryside is free of litter and urban decay. Once we arrived at the hotel, we were greeted with warm Korean smiles, and were amazed at how beautifully appointed it is. Even the elevator doors were artfully adorned in an Asian theme. There are even place fresh roses in permanent vases in every elevator. Once again, the surrounding don't compare to the service and genuine smiles.

Monday through Thursday seemed like a whirlwind. We started off by exploring the surrounding areas from the hotel. We marveled at the architecture; a perfect blend of new and traditional styles. We wandered through small alleys, visiting various shops and trying different snacks and foods. Of course we went to Starbucks for coffee. I'm not much of a souvenir guy, but prefer a Starbucks mug from the particular city we are in. The best event on Monday was to meet Delaney on the 4th floor of the Holt building. We had a chance to visit with her foster Mother and daughter. They were amazing. I believe Everlie was her 15th child she's taken care of. She had a vivacious smile and a youthful bounce in her step. Her daughter is a beautiful 20 year-old, just starting to attend art school. Her talents were evident, as they worked hard at creating very detailed scrapbooks of Delaney's life to this point. These books were illustrated with drawings and filled with dates of her milestones. We now know what day she first rolled over, etc... Ms Lee (our Holt caseworker) was so amazed, she showed these books off to coworkers. After our initial meeting, we took a taxi to a Korean restaurant. It was funny, because there was more body language going on, than actual language. It didn't matter. It was about Delaney at this point. Delaney was surrounded by 4 people who love her.

On Tuesday we took a city tour that was provided through Holt. Among other places, we visited a few historic areas and even saw an ancient tradition of the changing of the guards being reenacted by "parttime actors and military men", as described by our laughing tour guide. We spent this time with 3 other couples there to pick up their babies. One from New Hampshire, a wonderful Pakistani family from Norway (2nd generation Norwegians), and a couple from Luxembourg. Quite the international crowd. A funny moment was when Geri asked the couple from Luxembourg if they were "Getting a Korean baby" (at this point, I tried to not laugh). The wife looked at her in a puzzled way and said in an affirmative tone, "are there children from other countries here?". They just laughed. The tour concluded at a great little restaurant in the Insadong area. If you go to Seoul, Insadong is a must. It is a place with great little shops and restaurants. My favorite place was a tea shop ran by a young lady. We walked in as she was making tea for some older clients. She invited us in and insisted that she pour us a cup. Trust me...this was a smart business decision on her part! Geri had a hayday. It's funny, because the young lady wasn't trying to get a sale, she was genuinely gracious. Her enthusiasm for tea and it's history and information was awesome. This was one of the best shopping experiences I have ever had. She was passionate. My equivalent of going to a mountaineering store ran by a bunch of die-hards.

That evening, Geri held to her word. She warned me that she would shop like crazy in Seoul. She was not lying. At one point, I fell asleep in a sitting area at one of the malls. It was 9pm (11am STL time). We finally hailed a taxi and went back to the hotel an hour later to crash. Tomorrow was going to be a big day.

Wednesday was a highly special day. More about that later... it's 11pm and Delaney is crying. Duty calls.

Friday, September 04, 2009

I love the mountains. I love looking at the mountains. I love climbing mountains. Earlier this year I signed up with a group called IMG (International Mountain Guides) to climb Mt Rainier. At the time, I was in need of a challenge that had a definitive goal. What better goal than to climb...summit....climb back down. You can look back and say, "There! I've done it". Here's what I was up against...being out of shape, and an all-time high weight of 205. I have to hand it to my wife, who got me in touch with Herb Sayer. Herb owns Valley Park CrossFit gym. He has Himalayan climbing experience and knows what it takes to get whipped into shape for this climb. Long story short, his 30-minute sessions were designed to wipe me out in a good way, in order to get me to the top of Rainier.

I was a bit nervous prior to starting the climb on August 26th. You see I tore my left hamstring while on vacation the month before. It was the single-handed worst pain I had experienced. I did not work out too much between that incident and heading to Seattle...not to mention spending 8 days in Ghana, Africa for Touch A Life. I arrived at the IMG headquarters in time to take a test-drive on my leg up a mountain trail. I told myself I'd climb an hour, evaluate, then turn around. An hour clicked by (and about 1,000' vertical) without pain. I was in spirits were soaring...nothing was going to stop me now!

Our climbing group was comprised of 8 clients and 4 professional guides. Our goal was to start at the Paradise Lodge on the first day and climb up to Camp Muir. We each had 40lb backpacks strapped to us, then set off. 6 hours later, we made it to this beautiful perch in the Washington sky. It offered a beautiful view of the summit, as well as stunning panoramas all the way to Mt Hood, Oregon. After a fairly good nights sleep (compliments of ear plugs...8 in a single room, mind you), we spent the next day learning the essence of roped, glacier travel, belays, self-arrest with our ice axes, etc... It was a great classroom setting with great teachers.

We then packed up our bags, strapped on the crampons and climbed across the glacier and over a rocky ledge to Ingraham Flats. This is a beautiful location sandwiched between 2 beautiful rock features (Gibralter Ledges and Disappointment Cleaver), just above some major crevasses at the glaciers icefall, and at the lower edge of a steep snow field. This was to be our "high camp". The final campsite before our summit push. Once we settled in at Ingraham Flats, we had dinner and prepped for the summit. The weather was turning. It was getting colder, the winds were starting to whip, and the clouds were slowly filling in the evening sky. By the time we went to bed at 6pm, it was starting to pelt snow on our tents. Privately I am sure many folks were wondering if we were actually going to get a shot at the summit.

At midnight-thirty, Chris, our lead guide started waking everyone up for breakfast. It was amazing. The wind died down and the weather seemed least for now. We had breakfast, then got prepped on the condition of the trails above us. They were definitely sketchy at best. We ate our breakfast, got roped up, and started on our journey. This was it. No turning back now...slow, steady plodding with the crunch/crunch/crunch sounds of 12 pairs of crampons making their way through ice and snow, illuminated only by our mountaineering headlamps. I had a smile on and was in bliss, or so I thought.

Our first obstacle was to go up and over Disappointment Cleaver. This is a rocky spine that rises 1000' and separates 2 glaciers. It looked fairly straightforward, but kept going and going and going. I can see why it's named what it is. At the top we were rewarded with a biting cold and windy ledge. It was there we tried our best to warm up (with our "puffy jackets"), choke some nourishment down, then get some water in us. After 15 minutes, it was up and at 'em again.

Directly after the Cleaver, we encountered the greatest patch of mountaineering I have experienced up to this point. The trail had deteriorated enough that we had some significant exposure. Oh, there were a few cracks in the glacier (bottomless-seeming) that we had to jump over, but we soon hit areas that required us to use fixed lines and belays to navigate through. The issue wasn't our ability to navigate through these was the consequences if something happened. The slope below was extremely steep, with major crevasses in the glacier at the runout. You could literally throw a bus down some of these cracks....and not know when it would hit bottom. The stakes seemed pretty high, but manageable if you took your time. Crossing the ropes were slow. One mountaineer at a time, you clip on to the rope and yell "CLIMBING". At an anchored area, you have to stop the process, and yell "ANCHOR", letting the others on belay know you're unclipping and re-clipping on the other side of that particular break in the line. You yell out "CLIMBING" when you have re-clipped. At the same time, you need to evaluate your footing and the position of your ice axe. Always have your ice axe in position to save yourself or help save someone else, in the event you need to self-arrest on the icy and snowy slope. One by one, all 4 roped teams managed to cross the exposed ledges that stuck out from the mountain face.

I thought the ropes were an incredible confidence builder. Our next obstacles were comprised of 3 sections of 10' ladders laid across deep crevasses. I was pumped. They were all tricky and dangerous in their own right, but we had had great training. Here I was, in the night at 12,500' doing things I always dreamed about, but thought I'd need to go to bigger mountains to experience. My heart was racing. I got a lump in my throat, and just wanted to cry like a happy baby. We negotiated these ladders and finally made it up to our last rest stop before the summit push. My guide was Eben Reckord and my roped partner was Sarah, a 19 year-old college student from Colorado. Eben reminded us about Michael Jordan. With 10 minutes to go in the game, he stepped it up a notch...not just for himself, but for others around him. It was GAME TIME!! I got it and was pumped, but Sarah never saw Michael play...she just nodded and got roped back the way, she is a climbing machine!

800' to go. Sounds easy, doesn't it? After all, we have climbed 8,200' by now!

It was dark, the wind was whipping at @ 30 mph and driving the temperature down to below zero, it was spitting snow and was foggy, and I was in pain. I rubbed some major blisters on my heels on the way to Camp Muir on day 1. My cure was to slap layer after layer of Duct Tape on my heels and sucked it up. Ironically, my feet weren't hurting. With 1.5 hours to go uphill, my left leg was killing me....compliments of my torn hamstring 5 weeks earlier. I simply left the Advil in my car, and hadn't taken it in 2 days. This was just a painful stretch on the climb.

So there I was, walking the best I could. I'd alternate my walking from the "French Technique" to "Duckstepping". Whatever would not hurt at the time. I also kept my head down and pressed on. At 7:17am, we finally made the summit! I was bushed, but felt at peace and fulfilled. All in all, we spent 15 minutes on top before heading back down 9,000' to the Paradise Lodge. I felt emotional about the summit only after we started back down. It was still cold, but the daylight was there to reveal the snowy expanse of the slopes we were trudging down.

It's funny. Hours of preparation in St Louis, hours climbing the 9,000' vertical feet on Rainier's beautiful slopes and hours trudging back down. All for 15 minutes on the summit? Do I consider this a success? YES. If we couldn't have made the summit due to weather, it would still be a success. I did everything in my power to prepare for this task, and I enjoyed each step of the process. It has been great being whipped into shape (and losing 20 pounds). I missed my family, but now have some great stories to tell our kids. Maybe they'll want to climb with me one of these days......naaah. So far Everlie is my only hope. Benny likes the warm, beachy excursions. Delaney is doubtful, since sisters are rarely alike.

I still have a burning desire to keep climbing. My sights are set for Cho Oyu one of these days, but there are many miles and milestones between now and then.

Friday, July 31, 2009


We were excited to get another picture of Delaney. I can't wait to get to Korea and give her a big kiss, but have many miles to go before Seoul. Get back from Florida, 8 days in Africa and climb Mt Rainier in Washington first...

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Michelle Ross (Under Grace Photography) is simply the best St Louis has to offer. Here are some pictures she took of our beautiful kiddos:

Benny and Everlie

Monday, June 22, 2009

Here are a few pics that Michelle Ross (Under Grace Photography) took of us. This is turning out to be a special summer for us. We have managed to spend quite a bit of time outdoors. We love catching fireflys, going on hikes to Powder Valley and riding the tricycle on the loop around our neighborhood. For whatever reason, Benny loves a mean dog (Cooper) that lives up the street. Cooper is a collie that needs do be ran, but is cooped up most of the time in his yard. Consequently he has a mean bark that makes his hair stand up on his back, when someone walks in front of his house. We are looking forward to picking up Delaney, but have many miles to travel until then. I'll be going to Ghana for Touch A Life and Rainier to climb. Between these trips our family will be heading out to Rosemary Beach for some fun at the beach.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Our new adoptive ultrasounds are here

Here is our sweet Punkie-Doo. I am still amazed at how clear these adoption ultrasounds are :)

We have decided that in one picture Delaney looks like Everlie, and the other picture amazingly resembles her cousin Abby. Benny has decided that Delaney will be sleeping with him, but I'm sure that sentiment will be changing once we get her (September?).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

These pictures really capture the realness of our kids. For whatever reason, Benny loves to play dress-up. He will wear anything...including Everlie's dance gear. The two pictures in our driveway were from Mother's Day. One minute they are smiling next to each other, the next minute Benny has Everlie in a headlock. Mind you, Everlie is very much like her Mom. One day her brother will try stuff like this, only to find himself in the sleeper hold or with his arm twisted around his back until he says "Uncle". Both Geri and I have conversations trying to figure out Delaney's personality. I'm sure she will be tough like her sister. Everlie is like an egg...hard on the outside, but soft on the inside. Maybe Delaney will be like a Nerf ball...somewhat tough, somewhat soft, but very resilient.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Benny's birthday was last month, but because of rain we delayed his party until this weekend. We had CIndy's Zoo from Moscow Mills, MO bring all their small baby animals for petting. They also had a horse the kids could ride.

Here is my favorite picture. This is Benny in the height of his 4 year old curiosity.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Wonders never cease. I didn't think we would get any information about Delaney for quite awhile. Alas, here are some pictures of our beautiful daughter. Hopefully we'll pick her up this Fall. I am excited to fly back to Seoul and catch up with Mr Shin, Mrs Go and meet Delaney's foster family.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I apologize for the lack of post. These days it's much easier to log on to Facebook and upload pictures and quickly visit with other folks. Benny and Everlie have really enjoyed this part of the year. Both love the snow and being outdoors. We have gone hiking the past few weekends, once with the Robinson's and a few times just us. When it's chilly, we usually try and get the kids away from the TV to do something constructive like painting or building towers, etc from blocks or cards.

A few weeks ago we were worried about Everlie's health. Geri kept noticing her hair was falling out in clumps. We called Julia, who gave her professional opinion about the issue (ie: Thyroid issues, etc...). We finally put the puzzle together when I casually mentioned putting up the scissors in the bathroom. After cornering Benny, he confessed to cutting her hair. Case closed. I think Julia even mentioned that as a possibility.

Here are a few pictures from the past few weeks activities of painting and picnicing.