Sunday, November 30, 2008


Wow! There are so many things to be thankful for, and of course the most obvious one is that Anaya is HOME with us!!! I am also so thankful for the little things, like when today for the first time since she has been home, she cried and clung to me as I dropped her off at nursery!(OK so she wasn't wailing or anything like I am used to with the boys, but she was certainly sad!!) Usually she lunges for the nursery worker or anyone else around, now I must say it has been a refreshing change of pace to be able to leave her and know I am not going to get called out of church because she is throwing a fit(like the boys did!) But, I am so thankful that she is starting to want me! We had a couple of weeks there when she wanted to be held by complete strangers and would cry if I took her back! That was like a kick in the gut~I would give my life for this child and she would rather be with a stranger!! Hmmm...I think there is a spiritual lesson there...Christ gave his life for me, But do I cling to Him as I should, or do I look to others for what I stand in need of?...

Anyway, we are so blessed and I am so thankful for all of the things God has brought us through this past year! Last November 9 we were told we were out of PGN and that Anaya would be home in 6 to 8 weeks!! Well, we all know how that turned out... throw in a difficult move and job change and that about sums up our fall/winter last year. But God is so faithful and He has shown Himself mighty in so many ways.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Houston, we have a problem....

We went and scouted out the perfect(ish) tree, which by the way was WAY harder this year than in years past, as we went to a different place to get our tree. At the old place you could pretty much pick out the tree while blindfolded and it would be beautiful, this place however was not so great, but we needed to get a tree, and there weren't any other options so....

We found this beauty. We cut it off at about my head, and it looks fine. The strangest thing though, the tree smells like citrus, like citrus Halls cough drops! I don't really care for that smell, I am a pine tree scented pine tree liking girl, can't wrap my head around why this one smells the way it does!

After letting each of the boys take their shot at sawing it down, and hauling it to the truck, we went home and started decorating it! First of all we had major light problems, and of course by the time we figured that out, the store in town was closed!(oh how I miss Meijer!) So I had to tear off the lights and start over again using 3 strands for my entire tree~Ugh! Then we put on the colored lights and had the same problem only 1/2 of them worked! Finally we got to the ornaments and after a few smashing once they hit the ground (we have the tree on the hardwood floor~not carpet like usual)it was time for the little "helpers" to go to bed!!!

I finally got it all decorated and ready to go and we remembered that we didn't water the tree yet, so we filled it up and that is when I said "Ryan(Houston)... we have a problem!" There was water everywhere!! It seems we are missing something on our tree stand and the water is running out the hole where the stake is. We have never had this problem before, and so now we don't know what to do, as the stores are closed, and we are leaving for Thanksgiving out of town and our tree is definitely not getting any water!! The lady said this particular tree holds it's needles well ~ lets just hope that it does so long after it is dead!

Look what I found on my tree, a duct taped candy cane! Oh the joys of little boys ~ although this one has Ryan written all over it!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


God is amazing!
There were 2 adorable boys in church this morning, and their story is amazing. Last week they were living in an orphanage in Mexico with no hope for their future, and today were in church here in Michigan! Most of you know that adoption is a long hard process to say the least, but for these boys and their new family, it was incredibly short! A man from our church had gone down to the Lilly of the Valley orphanage last November on a mission trip. 2 of the boys from the orphanage (brothers) wanted Al(man from church)to adopt them. All of the children there want someone to adopt them, but these boys wanted to live with Al and his family. Al had no idea, nor any intention of adopting anyone, he and his wife already have 7 kids. Some time in the last year Al and his wife started feeling the call from God to at least be open to adoption (I don't know the exact story~though I have talked with them and know that is what they were~open to what God had for them!)Fast forward to about 3 weeks ago, and one thing led to another and Linda(also from church~and works with the orphanage in Mexico)found out that the boys were both born in the states....inject lots of working and praying and thinking and figuring this situation out...... and wallah...several miracles later here are the boys in Al's family, just as they had dreamed about!!! You can read about this in more detail on Linda's blog by clicking on her name. I just wanted to share the story of how sometimes dreams do come true, and for these 2 adorable boys...they did! Please pray for Al and his family as they are going from open to adoption to having the kids here so fast, and for the kids as this is a huge adjustment!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chuck E Cheese!!

Anaya found Dylans tokens and thought she hit the jackpot, but as you can see Dylan was not about to let her have them!

I don't think so Grama!! Just as soon as we put the token in she was trying to jump out! It was fun before it started, but when it started moving and making noise she did not enjoy it so much!!

Little stinker! She knows how to get that ball in the right spot!
Dylan and Spencer(check out Spencers leg kick!) He is so competitive!
Anaya loves to be at the wheel!
Easton with his empty token cup, and only 2 tickets ~ But happy as all get out!
While the guys were out deer hunting last Saturday, my mom, sister and I took all of the kids to chuck E cheese! I think the big kids had the most fun searching for extra tokens and tickets! It was funny to see them laying flat on the floor looking under and around the games while Easton was walking around putting his tokens in and walking away! Some of the kids caught on to that and followed him all over! He got the biggest joy just putting the token in the slot, while someone else got to play the game! Anaya was trying to climb in and on all of the things but when we put her in one of the cars and put in a token, she freaked out!! Kids are so funny!
Then I thought about the times in my life that I just "put in the token"~like reading my Bible, but not really listening for God to speak to me ~ and I miss out on the blessing or the thrill of the game!! Or when the "token" is put in ~God sends me on a "journey" meant for good,~ and I freak out and want to get off the ride! Oh the things I am learning through my children! Thank you Lord for life lessons and your patience with me!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

finally our Halloween pictures....

Dylan the robberJayden(actually dressed as he is everyday!!)~Daniel Boone

Spencer the football player

Easton, the "scary" cop!(doesn't he look scary to you?)
Anaya the fairy was not too sure about her wings, and soon we let Mia (Jen's dog) wear them!

She was thrilled I am sure!!

All of the "Tuinstra" grand kids. Check out Braydens mustache! None of the other kids wanted one, but boy did he look extra cute in it!!

Anaya trying to sneak a sucker from Braydens stash!
We had a fun night celebrating my sisters 26th birthday~Again(for like the 5th time...) =)
Then letting the kids get a huge amount of candy which they inform me I "never" let them eat!!
Oh the fun of dressing up, I remember it well!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mayan dresses....

We are putting together a picture album for Anaya's birth mom. One of the things she requested from us was a picture of her in a traditional dress, as that is how she dresses. In fact when we were there we bought her the one she is wearing in the photo above, the lady that sold it to us said that this skirt is the one they wear in her birth moms village. It does look similar to hers and I know that they are village specific, but I am not 100% sure that is accurate! My friend Tonia got her the other one, which is much cuter! (I took her bows out, to be more authentic!) She was dancing all over ~ She knows she is cute!! The skirt (see picture below) is HUGE they wrap it around several times and cinch it with a belt, as she was dancing around her skirt started falling off, there must be some sort of technique I am not aware of because we saw lots of little girls wearing these and running all over the place smiling just as big as Anaya is in these pictures ~ and they weren't loosing their skirts!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

and so it begins....

I imagined that someday we may have problems with Anaya "falling for" one of the boys friends, but I did not expect it to be so soon!! We had Dylan's friend Jonah over today, and from the minute we picked him up she was smiling and "flirting" with him! She followed the poor kid all over with her arms up and would cry when he left her sight! Silly girl, he is cute though so she has good taste! But boy are we going to be in for it if she keeps this up!

Jayden had his friend Isaac over today also, so we had a house full of boys! They all played and had fun together. They climbed trees and played outside for a large portion of the day, until it started getting dreary out and started to sprinkle. At one point I found them all by the computer playing a game.
Later I found them all huddled around Jonah who had his Nintendo DS with, what is it with boys and video games? Look at the intensity on ALL of their faces! They are so cute!

What a fun day we had today!