It Is Finished…

It is finally finished… no more home inspections, no more social worker visits, and most of all no more worrying about whether we will lose him… After 446 days of living with the Yeh’s, Xavy has now officially been declared a Yeh!  And we are thrilled to celebrate this “Gotcha Day” with him!  Here is a picture recap of our morning.

Arriving…

Waiting…

Swearing in…

Answering questions…

Hearing the “official announcement…”

Celebrating with a picture…

And another…

Walking out…

A picture with our sweet social worker…

And a picture with our dear friend who drove all the way out to the courthouse early in the morning because she is precious like that!  (And, she took all our pictures!)

It is hard to believe it is over.  Court took all of 2 minutes; (a bit anti-climatic after months of classes, months of waiting to be cleared, months of waiting for a placement, and then months of fostering!)  Yet, I am grateful for the wait.  God does all things in His timing, and learning to rest in Him and enjoy the process is a challenge, but a good strengthening of character!

Xavy, long ago God put it on Papa’s heart that he was to adopt a little boy, and teach him about his heavenly father.  Xavy, you are that special little boy.  Little did we know, that you would be one to show us our Heavenly Father’s love in new and deeper ways.  Thank you.  And, welcome to the family!!

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Routine

The garden doesn’t look so good right now.  I picked the last bouquet of zinnias and sunflowers yesterday as I began to prune and pull.  We still have beautiful butterflies and the air is still warm, yet there is a scent of fall that is unmistakable.   Because I love the turning of seasons so much, I actually don’t mind the ugliness of the garden.

It was so wonderful to be outside enjoying a “normal” weekend; one that comes at the end of a routine week of school.  The kids did their chores, and once again there was music in the air from piano practice and a last splash in the pool.  The hum of the wash machine sounded throughout the day.

Today Daniel made his famous quiche for breakfast, and we are now headed to church. Though we only missed one week, the kids said it feels like “forever” since we last went to church.  Today’s plans include pulling down our fall bins from the garage and decorating while munching our fall mix and making a stew for dinner.  I think I may even take a Sunday afternoon nap…

San Mateo

After Sacramento, we drove down to spend the weekend with my parents in San Mateo.  It was this little guy’s first time to Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  The cooler fall weather had me all smiles.  Daniel and I planned to take them to the beach, but they preferred to go to their favorite park instead.

Uncle Nate and aunt Hilary joined us for dinner one night, and the kids were thrilled to see them.  Aunt Hilary showed up with a special fall project for the kiddos.  I think I was the most excited to see jack-o-lanterns.  (I have fall fever right now; can you tell?)

I don’t think Xavy will ever forget being chased around the house by Uncle Nate.  Personally, I won’t forget his yummy chicken!  It was a short but sweet trip.  So thankful for family… and Fall!

Sacramento

When Daniel told me he had a class up in Sacramento, (the State capitol), it occurred to me… we are studying California history this year, so bringing the whole family was a no-brainer!  I wish he was able to join us on our adventure through the capitol, but we had a great time none-the-less.  First stop:  Sutter’s Fort.  I was so excited to find we were the first ones there that day, and had the place to ourselves!

After learning so much, we were all tired and hungry.  We drove to historic downtown Sacramento for some pizza an soda to revive us before heading to the train museum…

Honestly, I wish we had a lot more time at the train museum.  The kids loved it, and I found it fascinating.  Due to our parking meter, we had to go all too soon.  Parking really was tough, so we just did a drive-by of the capitol building.  The kids were ok with that as fatigue had set in.

During our video at Sutter’s Fort, we learned that this is the most historically important building in all of California.  Naturally, when I saw it I had to have Natalie take a picture for me!

The cop on a horse was a big hit.

And, another one by Natalie… this time as proof that I really was there!  This is a statue of the man who started the Pony Express.  We also learned at Sutter’s Fort that he was one of the many people who had stayed there.  And so was our schooling for the week…

Not included in this post was all the amazing food we ate.  Joining Daniel for dinner time was the best; he found us incredible dinner and dessert spots!

Next up… San Mateo!

Whirlwind

Four weeks ago we started school… then proceeded to go on 3 (mini) trips!  (We’ll call them extended educational field trips!)  As of last night, we are now back.  Today marks the official start of our “normal” routine for the year.  Piano lessons will begin this week, we met with our ES for the first meeting of the year, testing is out of the way, and it’s time for yet another “start.”  School year, I am now ready for ya!!

School Pictures 2018

The day after Labor Day… perfect for our school picture post!  This year our kids are starting a new homeschool program where I drop them off for 3 hours once a week.  Today is their first day.  They were so excited this morning, and ready to walk out the door an hour before necessary!  How wonderful that they were so excited for school.  Personally, I am thrilled that they are in a wonderful environment and I have a few hours to myself.  It’s a win-win!!

Allison is in 8th grade this year.  (How is it possible that I will have a high schooler next year?)  She is still an avid reader and enjoys Taekwando and running.  I love having a teen in my life; specifically, this teen!

Natalie began 7th grade this year.  She is an amazing drawer and also an excellent writer.  Taekwando is also her thing!  That ever-present smile always brightens my day.

Miss Sierra is in 3rd grade this year.  She likes to work slowly and meticulously unless she is offered free time, in which case she works fast!  You can often find Sierra creatively making something for her stuffed animals, writing letters to friends, or doing gymnastics or dance in her room.  She is full of ideas and fun.

Malachi Asher Yeh.  I think these pictures say it all.  He is a happy guy who still loves Legos, construction vehicles, and Taekwando.  In school, he excels at math!  Personally, I love watching his dance moves and how sweet he is with his brother!

AND… Introducing our newest addition, Xavy!!!  You may have noticed I stopped covering his sweet little face.  That is because he is officially a Yeh now.  We couldn’t be more thrilled.  Xavy loves playing with his big brother, “reading” books, and talking on the phone with Grandma.  His big accomplishment this summer was learning to swim without floaties!  He has gone from a nervous little guy to a daredevil and I’m not sure which I like better.  🙂  We are so blessed that God has added to our family, and look forward to watching this guy grow with us!

Family Science Camp

Family Science Camp is…AWESOME!  Here are the top 10 reasons I am so thankful for family science camp and planning to return every year.

  1.  Family time!  Being all together as a family is such a gift!

2.  The playground: endless fun happened here.

3.  Animal guy:  We learned a lot and had so much fun petting the animals.

4.  The rock climbing wall/ zip line.  Seriously.  We spent many hours here.  Two kids overcame their fears and actually did it.  Two other kids challenged themselves and persevered up the medium and difficult climbs.

5.  The ropes course.  I may have fallen, but I got back up!

6.  The cool weather and beautiful trees reminding me that fall is almost here!

7.  Friends.  It was so wonderful to be with our friends!

8.  Food.  Not only was the food really good, but I didn’t have to cook it.  Hurrah!!

9.  Afternoon malts at the malt shop.  We may have treated ourselves every afternoon… After all, we had burned so many calories, we really needed  milkshakes and malts!

10.  Best of all, for a full week I never heard, “I’m bored,” or,  “Can I have a video or screen time?”

And there was so much more… ping pong, night hikes, astronomy, deer, chapel, family devotions… you can check out the camp’s video here.

Naples

It was a short trip; just 2 full days.  But, it was long enough to give some much-needed refreshment!  We arrived in Florida at 1am, only to find out the only car for us to rent was a convertible Mustang.  Oh, the joy of driving down an empty highway with the top down and the temperature perfect!  Above you can see the view from our balcony which we woke up to.

Day one Daniel was at a conference, so I was stuck lounging around in a hotel room, reading, walking down the beach, sipping coffee, and napping.  Poor me.  (My kids said it seemed like my trip was boring; ha!)  Sadly, but interestingly there were several dead fish and creatures due to the red algae.  I had Daniel snap a few pictures for the kiddos.

The pier was just a  1.7 mile walk down the beach from the hotel.  I was smart enough to load up on sunscreen before making the trek, but still got a bit of color.  We were in the sun for quite some time!  We even swam with the dead fish until Daniel got nibbled by a live fish — then we jumped in the pool.

Driving around and gawking at the massive mansions was fun.  (Look at those colors!)  Both nights we had dinner with colleagues, and the second night we made it to the beach to watch the sunset right before getting soaked in a massive thunderstorm.  Somebody please tell my husband that thunderstorms are awesome and he won’t melt in the rain!

Yesterday was a long day of travel.  Today we are unpacking, doing laundry, and packing right back up for our family camp tomorrow.  I think I like starting school this way!

I Survived (a.k.a. The First Day of School)

Looks glorious, right?  Treats, painting, smiles… Don’t be fooled!  Here’s an honest look at some of the quotes from our day:

  • “Why can’t I have that binder… hers is better!”
  • “Do we have to do math?”
  • “You can’t let him do that!”
  • “We never do anything fun.
  • “Can I just do one page?”

I could go on… but I’ll spare you.  Homeschooling is tough.  It’s tough when things are going well and attitudes are (mostly) good because there is simply a lot to accomplish.  But, when attitudes are poor and it’s day one?

Thankfully, I woke up early and had my time with God this morning.  I don’t say that to boast.. I honestly don’t think I would have survived had I slept in like my body was telling me to do.  When I confessed to the kids that I felt like driving them all down to register for public school,  God gently reminded me that this was not His plan for our family… and I was also reminded of a sermon just a couple weeks back where our pastor said, “If God is in it, you better believe Hell wants to be in it, too.”  I needed that reminder.  It’s a battle… but it’s worth it.  On my own, I just want peace and comfort — but that’s not the life God has called us to live.  We are in a battle day in and day out, and our victory is in Him!

God so graciously gives us what we need when we ask Him, (and sometimes even when we don’t!)  Last night, like many other homeschooling nights, I asked for creativity and some ideas for our first day.  God brought to mind a song, and I thought it would be perfect to go through the lyrics with the kids.  After our Bible reading, we listened to “All In” by Matthew West and went through the lyrics.  (I may have heard a few “It’s my turn to read” quotes, as well!)  Overall, though, it was awesome.

Looking back over the day, I smile.  Our house is in chaos as our bathroom is being redone and the tile guy was here all day.  We are getting ready to go on vacation in 2 days, still ordering books and meeting with new people, and starting the school year.  It is not the ideal start.  But, we survived.  And, by God’s grace, we will continue to not only survive, but to thrive!

(Disclaimer: In all fairness, not all  of the kids were giving me a hard time.  Thanks, kiddos who were good today.  You know who you are!)

Just Like That…

…And the summer is OVER!

Boys eating watermelon…

Girls making homemade peach-filled almond cupcakes…

Afternoon swim…

Climbing on the roof…

It was a great last weekend of summer.  Although school starts tomorrow, we are easing our way back in… 3 mini-vacations over the next 3 weeks.  I am not sure if it’s a good way to start, but I know the kids think it’s awesome.  The beauty of homeschooling…