Saturday, September 27, 2014

First Birthday Party!

Will, Lena and Hope were all invited to a birthday party for sisters, Hannah and Lucy Winklepleck.  Hannah will be 7 and Lucy will turn 4 on September 28th (yes, they share the exact same birthday)!
Instead of having their guests bring gifts, they asked for donations to Children's Hope like diapers, formula, toothbrushes and toothpaste.  What a blessing for CH!

While Lena and Will had small family birthday parties this was their first REAL birthday party to attend!  They loved it!  It took Lena a little longer to get the hang of the ginormous jumping house with slide but Will took right to it.  Of course, Hope was an old pro!  Lena and Will also had their first experience with a piñata .  I explained to them that when it came to their turn, to hit it as hard as they could - Will took me very seriously but Lena was hesitant.  However, when the candy came out, she seemed to know just what to do!

They had a great time and the weather was perfect.  Our thanks to this family for giving Will and Lena just a great experience and for the donations to CH.

Hannah and Lucy
Hannah and Hope

Hope coming down the slide
Will made several good swipes at the piñata!
Lena was just not sure about this tradition!
Lena finally decided the slide was fun!
Hannah and Hope

Monday, September 22, 2014

First Farm Experience!

Last Saturday, Andy and Beth took the kids out to the farm to ride horses and 4wheelers and see the small fish in the tilapia farm.  I got a much needed rest and some time alone!  Hope fell in love with horses at first sight which was at a fall festival at First Baptist shortly after we brought her home.  She screamed so much to keep riding that we had to leave.  Needless to say, it wasn't long until she had her own horse named Gypsy.

We were not sure how Lena and especially Will would respond.   They were both a little tentative at first but came around and as you can tell by the pics seem to be quite content and enjoying themselves.

The even liked riding the 4 wheelers which was very surprising for Lena, because she doesn't like loud noises.  All in all, the report was favorable that Lena and Will both did well with these "first" time experiences and they are ready to go back!

An update on Will's ear surgery:  The surgery went well on Sept. 8.  The dr. cut from the top of his ear to the bottom (behind his ear) and used super derma bond rather than stitches.  As the derma bond comes off, it looks like wax.  While we can't see any, his ear has packing in it that will be suctioned out on Sept. 30.  The packing basically causes him to be completely deaf in that ear which leaves him with one ear that has mild to moderate hearing loss.  However, this has not stopped him from asking his routine million questions per day, so we have been doing a lot of shouting at the Birchfield house.  The nurse says that we should see (or hear) a big improvement when the packing is removed on Sept. 30 and then they will recheck his hearing in that ear 6 weeks later.  If this surgery is successful, then the other ear will be repaired in about 6 mos.

Sunday, September 7, 2014


Since Will's birthday is Sept. 7 and Lena's birthday is Sept. 11, I decided to take the easy way out and celebrate them together.  It was very low key with just our family eating at Niffer's at the lake and cake and presents at home.

Will got to celebrate at school as well and he wore his paper birthday hat with much care and pride.  I don't think he stopped grinning all day.  Thanks to Mrs. Cox and his friends for making him feel so special at school.  I don't think Lena really understood what was happening but she sure had fun!  It was great seeing them so excited and soaking up the attention on them.  For some reason, the number 100 is stuck in Will's head.  He often asks if he will still be doing certain things when he is 100 such as going to Sunday School, skiing (doesn't do that now), going to school, riding his bike, etc.  Of course he asks literally 1,000s of questions a day far more than any other of our children.

Lena is talking more but she is a little difficult to understand.  However, she does not have the issues with pronunciation that Will has.  She was just speaking a few Romanian phrases but Will had an excellent command of the Romanian language.  However, he is learning English at a rapid pace but having trouble with certain sounds and blends that he never used in the Romanian language.  He is rapidly losing his ability to speak Romanian which is sad.  I wish he could be bilingual.

Will and Lena have been with us for almost four months and God has been so gracious in that they have made so much progress.  We are so thankful for everyone who has had a part in helping us by bringing a meal, teaching our children at school and church, keeping the kids to give us a break and especially to those who have spent a lot of time in prayer and continue to pray for us.  I get told so often that our family is being prayed for daily and God continues to answer those prayers by giving us what we need to raise our family and direct Children's Hope.

Will with Mrs. Cox
Eating at Niffers - hotdogs and smiley fries
Birthday cake
Lena with her new pink phone
Will and Batman
Lena changed into her Minnie Mouse costume before blowing out candles
Lena, Beth and Will (shark goggles)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Labor Day, 2014!

Labor Day, 2014 was spent at the lake with the Colee Family (minus Chris) and the Peters Family.  Ken and Maria are the directors of the orphaning at CH in Jacmel, Haiti.  They along with their children are spending some time in AL and then headed to Disney World.

Will made a huge breakthrough on Labor Day - he threw his life jacket aside and began swimming by himself even in the deep.  He jumped off the side, let people throw him in, and swam like a fish!

Ken and Maria along with their children: Isaiah, Jesse, and Sophia
Hope, Beth, Will, Sophia, Caroline, Jesse and Isaiah
Beth, Sophia and Caroline
Dow, Christy and Chip
Will swimming
Hope and Will  - mid jump!
Will jumping in - looked like it was a belly flop but somehow he turned it!
Lena, Hope and Will eating hotdogs!
All the little kids up front with Dow and Chip enjoying a boat ride.
Lena and mom snuggling!