A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Adoption Book Review: Jack and Almost Jill


I love to see children's books about adoption, and not just for adopted kids.  The more we normalize adoption to all children, the less "different" that makes it. 


My youngest daughters, Hannah and Katie, were adopted from China.  However, there are different ways of adopting.  Jack and Almost Jill is a kinship adoption tale. 


I read Jack and Almost Jill, A True Story of a Twin Adoption with my girls, and we all enjoyed it. 


We may never know why Hannah and Katie's birth families were unable to care for them, but hearing this story gives them one of the reasons why a family might choose adoption for their child or children. 


In the family depicted, there were 3 sets of twins born to the same parents!  We have twins that visit us from time to time, so my girls have a pretty good idea where the phrase "double trouble" comes from. 


Hazel Quintanilla does a great job with whimsical illustrations throughout this easy to read book, geared toward K-3rd graders. 


There is one sentence that might not be appropriate to all adoptees:  "Being adopted means you have two families who think you are very special."  In closed adoptions (be they domestic newborn, foster adoptions, or international), we don't know what the first family thinks, and we need to be cautious about what we assume.  Overall, Jack and Almost Jill is a fun little book that depicts adoption in a very positive light. 

Author Jackie McReynolds-Ruchti also wrote a book about self-confidence and bullying called, Freckles are Fabulous


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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Apple Hill with Grammy


We had a weekend with Grammy planned before the Sonoma County fires broke out, and there for a while I wasn't sure if she'd be able to still come visit for not.  Fortunately, she's back in her home now, and it all worked out. 


The high schoolers had a half day Friday, so we took them out to lunch.  Aren't they adorable?  Later, we ended up taking Boy with us to pizza dinner, but there were no pictures. 


Saturday, we set off for Apple Hill.


Usually, we go during the week, with just the homeschool kids, but since no one is homeschooling this year, we had to brave the weekend crowds. 


I tried to get a group picture taken, but it didn't work out. 


We stopped at 3 different farms.


We bought apple donuts and apple butter and apple pies.  And plain old apples, too. 


Brianna wanted to make sure she got a chance to come this year, since if all goes well, next year she'll be in the Army. 


The girls got to ride horses. 


This really shows how far Katie has come.  She used to be so terrified of all animals. 


Hannah rode a horse at this farm the very first October she was home. 


Three generations of strong women. 


Donuts only hold you for so long.  We stopped at Taco Bell for a late lunch on our way home. 


Jack got Lego candy at the candy store behind High Hill, and built this wall when we got home. 


Grammy and the girls assembled this gingerbread haunted house that Grammy brought.  I supplied some partial cans of frosting out of the fridge, and a bit of extra candy. 


Jack helped with the decorating of the roof. 

It was a nice weekend, and it was really good to see my mom was doing okay after all the stress of the fires and being evacuated. 


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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Fall Concert


The younger kids' school has a Fall Concert every year. 


This year, it had a patriotic theme. 


There's Hannah!


And there's Katie.


And there's Jack Jack.  His drama class did a little play.  He played China. 


The elementary classes each performed a couple songs. 


I have to admit, I felt a little verklempt as I listened to my immigrant children singing about our nation. 


Afterwards, the girls showed me their artwork.  The older kids drew Statues of Liberty and Liberty Bells. 


This was Hannah's. 


Turns out, this is not actually Katie's flag.  She brought her flag home from school this week, and it has 4 red stripes on it.  But you get the idea. 

Although the weather was in the 80s the day of the concert, it has since started dropping, and I think it's time to put up the sleeveless dresses and start pulling down some of the long sleeved ones.  It's supposed to be 70* today and tomorrow, and then drop into the 60s and 50s for the foreseeable future.  Time to pull out the girls' uniform pants. 


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Monday, October 30, 2017

Homecoming 2017


I just love watching my kids grow up and have special events. 


Boy brought Brianna flowers.  He's a sweet kid. 


I got to do last year's prom pictures, and his mom did this year's homecoming pictures.  I'll share a few of those, too. 


I took a couple quick pictures, and then they were off for the more formal pics with his mom, and I took Eli to go pick up his date.


I thought this was hilarious, but I'm not sure Eli agreed. 


I took them to a local park to do pictures. 


I like this picture because he's usually the tall one. 


They're adorable together. 


And I think we did a pretty good job color matching, considering she gave him a sock to take shopping for color comparison. 


Have I mentioned how incredibly adorable they are?


It's been really special to get to know Brianna's Boy and Eli's... I need to come up with a blog nickname for her, don't I? 


Is Miss Adorable too corny? 


We had fun taking pictures together, and afterwards, I took them out for frozen yogurt, since we had some time before they needed to meet friends for dinner. 


Meanwhile, on the other side of town...


Boy's mom was taking equally adorable pictures of our offspring. 


Hard to believe she's going to be leaving for boot camp in less than 8 months. 


I know that with the holidaze coming that time will fly by.  Someone remind me to slow down in February and enjoy the last 4 months as much as we can, okay?


I'm pleased with how well these pictures turned out.  Bri had a toothache that night, so she wasn't feeling her best, but they're both very photogenic kids. 


I laughed when I saw this one, since I had literally taken the very same picture of Eli and Miss Adorable at roughly the same time. 


At the dance, with another friend.


I so enjoy the crazy shenanigans of my peeps. 



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