Just for a laugh...

Happy new year, everyone!
I have lots of pictures to post and another Kaden Quote in the works,
but for now, I just want to leave you with a laugh to start out the new year.
This video is of the Christmas story told by two 8 year old boys,
and amazingly acted out by a local church.
Watch this video,
you won't be sorry! 

Sunday Snap Shot

Bethany, 20 months old

Ni Hao Yall

Kaden Quote 8

When we were at my grandparent's house the day after Christmas,
everyone was eagerly awaiting opening up their stocking.
Kaden was as excited as any of them, and kept asking,
"When [can] we open up pretend socks?" 

Kaden Quote 7

Tonight while we were eating dinner Kaden suddenly asked a question.
"When Santa come?" he asked.
Now, we don't really do the whole "Santa" thing, so we were a little confused where his question came from.
"Who is Santa?" my mom asked. 
"Ommm... I saw him in a parade," Kaden answered.
"Oh, in a parade? Well, if he was in a parade how do you think he would get to our house?" was the next question.
"Drive in a car."
"What he would do here?"
"Sleep in my bed!"
Well that's Kaden for you!

My Early Christmas Present

For an early Christmas present, I got highlights in my hair for the first time.
I  was really excited to get them, and I like the highlights a lot.

Kaden Quote #6 and a Big Thank You

This is probably my favorite Kaden Quote so far.
It happened on the way back from Gatlinburg.
We had been traveling for several hours and I was sitting in the middle seat in between Kaden and Bethany.
Kaden had been talking for a long time about everything and asking questions about everything.
Finally I asked him if he would like to listen to praise music with me on my MP3 player,
and he did. 
After a couple of minutes he leaned over close to me a whispered
"I love you so much!"
"What?" I asked, taking my earphone out.
"I love Brittany so much!" he said again.
My heart melted. 
 Just hearing him say that made all the questions and talking worth it.
It reminded me that what I and the my parents do for my siblings,
even if its just little things, are appreciated, even if the appreciation is not expressed. 
It made me think about all my parents have done for me that I never thought to thank them for.
All these years of caring for me and taking care of my needs... and only on days like Mother's and Father's day are they thanked. 
So right now I want to say it.
Thank you, Mom!
Thank you, Dad!
Thank you so much all you have done and are doing in my life. 
Without you two in my life, I don't know where I'd be.
Thank you for all you do and don't get thanked for.
thank you for all the long nights you were (and are!) up with me and my siblings.
Even though we don't always remember to thank you,
you are appreciated, so, so, so much!
We wouldn't know what to do without you and are so grateful to have you as parents.
so thanks again, Mom and Dad. 
Thank you SO much!

Kaden Quote #5

This Kaden quote happened just tonight.
We were getting ready for bed when my mom motioned to my forehead.
"How'd you get those," she asked, pointing to two little scratches.
"I don't know I replied when Kaden walked in.
"what? what?" he asked.
"I have two little scratches on my forehead," I answered, bending down to show him.
"oh, cute!" he replied.

Kaden Quote #4

When we were in Galinburg, there were two air hockey tables
that almost everyone loved playing.
One day I was playing a game with Kaden when he hit the puck in his own goal.
I was just about to tell him that the goal didn't count against him
when he looked up with a huge smile on his face.
"16 points!" he yelled excitedly looking up.
Oh, Kaden.  Only Kaden:)

Happy Birthday Gandy! Our Gatlinburg, Tennesee Trip

"I can't believe I didn't find out about this!"
As a surprise birthday present for my grandmother's birthday
we went to the mountains of Gatlinburg, Tennessee for a week of Thanksgiving fun and celebrating.
My family had been planning for months,
but somehow the secret had been kept
 and my grandma was getting a great surprise birthday present.
And what a time it was!
We had so much fun playing in the snow, making a home movie, hiking, having air soft wars, going to an aquarium, making cookies, and more.   

At a mall and hotel  the day before
Finally at the house!
The first night in the house a raccoon showed up on the porch!
It was really cool to see and everyone enjoyed watching it.
Kevin and Bethany
Happy birthday, Gandy!
This is probably my favorite picture taken on the trip.
Our Charlie Brown's thanksgiving feast
the beautiful sunset
My cousin Nathan and me
the cousins!
We had such a good time in the mountains!
I'm so thankful for all my cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.
I have an amazing family, and I'm so blessed by them.
Happy birthday, Gandy!

Doing School... Now and Then

I was looking through some old pictures and found some of me and Bethany
taken right after she first came home.
Because I am homeschooled, I am able to do my work with the little ones near by.
The time I would do my math was Bethany's morning nap time so she would be my math buddy.
I love these pictures!
she's so little and cute in all of them, and now she so big and cute!




Bethany brings so much joy to our lives.
She is now 18 months old and is really showing her personality.
Bethany's a tough girl, and it takes a lot to make her cry.
And she'll let you know if she doesn't like something!
At one point Kaden was scared of her because she was so aggressive in how she
acted towards him at times.
But she can really be a sweetie, too!
Tonight she before bed she blew a kiss after signing "thank you" for reading her a book.
Moments like that are so sweet and something to look forward to every day.
So many times I take for granted the amazing gifts God has given us through Bethany and Kaden.
They are both doing SO, SO well, and it's really amazing.
It's hard to remember what life was like before them.
Even though moments are hard and frustrating,
I'm so thankful God has made me the sister of these two treasures!

Kaden Quotes #3

Yep, I have another Kaden quote!
Today we were shopping for a coat for Bethany,
 and Kaden was looking at shoes.
Something that is really cool about having an internationally adopted brother is that he doesn't
really understand how most people view pink things and dolls as "girl" things.
He likes pink things and baby dolls almost as much as his other toys.
Anyway, he picked out a pair of bright pink crocs and was looking at them.
After trying them on he set them down for a minute to look at something else.
An older lady who didn't know he was has been looking at the shoes
 walked up and began to examine them.
Kaden, not know what to do and wanting his shoes back looked up at her and said,
"That your size, NO."

Then and Now

What a difference a year makes...
Kaden and Bethany have gone from babies to little kids so quickly.
it seams like they just got home sometimes,
and yet it's been over a year.
We took a picture like the one taken in Congo to compare them.
How different they are!

Our Saturday Adventure

Yesterday we did something fun.
We went to a nearby creek to look for shark's teeth.
the water was cold,
and Kaden soaked himself about 5 minutes in,
but that's ok. 

he didn't mind being wet, and
it was a nice day.
we had fun!
We had a great Saturday!
How was yours?

Kaden Quotes #2

Kaden can say the funniest things!
While we were out on a walk,
 he bent down to pick up a golf ball.
"Ah!" he exclaimed, "I rescue you!"
He picked it up and put in in the bike's basket.
Then with a cruel smile on his face he said,
"Hah! I putta you in a cage!"

Kaden Quotes

We were looking through a container of animals earlier today,
and Kaden pulled one out and said turning to us,
"Caterpillars turn into a butterflies!"
"yes, that's right!  My mom answered.  "Where did you learn that?"
"At church," replied Kaden.
"That caterpillar can turn into a butterfly [just like this ]
 bumble bee can turn into a grasshopper!"


Recently something hit me.
David has grown up.
A lot. 
He's gone from a little boy with an adult personality to
a very talented athletic young man
David is really amazing.
He is great with Kaden and Bethany and we can always count on him to make them laugh.
He loves anything challenging and athletic
and is in level 5 men's gymnastics.
He goes to practice 2.5 hours Monday - Thursday and in thriving in it.
He really doesn't like school,
but is good at it.
He is really a goof ball and tries to get us to laugh,
but he can also be really sweet and sensitive.
David can drive us bananas sometimes,
but we love him soooo much and are so thankful for him.
You rock, David!