Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas 2007

"I can't believe Christmas is over already." "A stuffed horse........but I wanted a REAL horse."
Children's Christmas program at church. Audrey has just tricked Chelsea into giving her the microphone.
Natalie and Makenzie don't fall for Audrey's cute tricks anymore.....they refused to give Audrey the microphone for this Audrey just stomped off back to mom & dad.
Our first picture with Paul, Audrey and Rachel together. It's hard to get 3 toddlers to pose for a good shot.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Star Student

Well, this was Natalie's turn to be the "Star Student" for the week. The star student basically gets to be extra special all week long (bring in pictures, show-n-tell all week long, first in line, etc.) When your the the star student you get to invite any of your family to eat lunch. So earlier in the week Grandma and Grandpa Homan ate with her. On Friday, Ted, the little kids and myself ate with her. If you have family come for lunch you get to set at the special round tables and you even get to invite 2 friends from your class to sit with your family. It was really fun and Natalie's friends are sweet!!!
Once again I've done multiple post at one sitting so be sure to scroll down to see what else has been going on in our lives. Tomorrow is our sweet Luke's birthday. I can't believe that he would have been 8 years old. I still miss him and think of him often.

Dayton's FCC Christmas Party

Myself, Paul, Audrey, Natalie and my niece Emily made to Dayton's FCC party (families with children from China). The families who organized it did a great job!!! I even finally got to meet one of my cyber friends in person (hey Sam). There were crafts, good food, a visit from Santa and even a secret craft in the kitchen...."NO moms allowed!!!" Sam's son, Cullen, did a good job guarding the kitchen doors to make sure no moms crossed the line. The kids came out of the kitchen with wrapped gifts for mom. Even though it took over an hour to get there it was well worth the drive.
Emily and Natalie making candy cane ornaments.
Both Emily and Natalie insisted that they would NOT sit on Santa's lap. I asked "well what if Santa has a gift for you???" Emily was the first kid from our group to get a gift from Santa's bag and boy oh boy she couldn't get up to Santa's lap fast enough!!!
On the way home Natalie and Emily debated if this was the real Santa or one of his helpers. Emily was sure he was the real deal (he was an excellent Santa) and Natalie was positive that he was one of Santa's helpers....hmmmm????
"Is it my turn yet??"

Gingerbread House Decorating Night

One of the high school girl's groups held a gingerbread house decorating night. It was pay only $5.oo per kids and you get a pre-made house (graham crackers) and all of the icing and decorating goodies you can imagine. The best part is once your just cleaning up the mess!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

One Year Ago Today

Loving on loving every second!!!! Entertaining the Thanksgiving crowd.
The very first time we saw Paul in year ago today. We could tell that he had already been only got worse from here.
This was the saddest thing I had ever seen. That first night after we managed to get Paul out of his clothes that he came to us in. He held on to them for dear life. He would calm down and then start to wimper and then grab up his clothes and hold onto them very tightly. He feel asleep the first night with the clothes in his arms. I cannot look at this picture without getting choked up.

December 4th is a BIG day for our family. Today my brother and sister-in-law adopted their newest daughter from China . One year ago today we met Paul for the very first time in Changsha, Hunan, China. We were so excited and he was sooooooo scared. I have never heard anybody or anything scream so loud and so intense. I have watched our 'gotcha' video just one time because it is so heart breaking. It didn't take Paul long to figure out that we weren't quite as bad as he had originally thought. Today his love for his whole family is very obvious. Boy oh boy do we love that kid. He is so sweet. He is happy and easy going. He has yet to be sick enough to need to go to the doctor. He takes his naps and goes to bed without much fuss about 95% of the time. He is very ornery or as the assistant director of the his orphanage told us a year ago he is a "naughty boy." Yesterday, Ted had to take the entire toilet off of the floor to find out why it was plugged. Mysteriously there was a comb stuck way down in the toilet. Everyone in the house agreed it had to have been flushed by Mr. Paul. We still have Paul's referral picture on our refrigerator. Sometimes I pass by it and remember that this sad little face sat on a special needs list for 3 months. I thank God every single day that He placed little Chen Zhi Qiang in our paths......our lives are much richer with Paul in our family.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fall Fun

First of all I did two posts at one sitting so keep scrolling down to see more pictures. I can't believe it is fall again. I decided I better get busy updating my blog because we have a lot of big events coming up in the near future..... Our 10th wedding anniversary, Paul's 1st 'Forever Family' anniversary, Natalie's 7th birthday, the new arrival of our niece Rachel from China and of course Christmas is just right around the corner. Yes...our children are goofy!!!!
Paul is just so stinking cute.
Once again my children are goofy.....I cannot get a decent group picture of them to save my life.
We had our fall harvest dinner at church today. The church was decorated with cute fall stuff.

Families United Through International Adoption Harvest Party

I am only a month behind schedule updating our blog. My friend Carrie graciously offered to take care of our international adoptive fall party. I originally thought that we would be getting ready to make our first trip to Armenia (haha). Carrie did a great job putting the party on and her husband Jeff did a great job tolerating Carrie during the whole process (thanks Jeff). The weather was terrific and the kids had lots of fun!! Josie (Carrie and Jeff's daughter born in South Korea) was the cutest "Pooh dressed up like a honey bee" that I have ever seen.
Carrie made these neat cards expressing a fall greeting in our children's languages.

The only group photo I got. The other kids were too busy having fun outside to come in for pictures.

Audrey, Riley, Luke and Paul are in the tunnel and Andrew and his friend Austin are on top.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

We could use a little more help

Hey everyone.......We're still fundraising. We've seemed to hit a bump in the road. I sent out a mass email promoting the items that we are selling to help bring our sweetie home. So far only 2 people have ordered items or made a donations. Please feel free to pass our blog onto anyone who you think would be interested in our items.

Here's a video that I copied from another Eastern Europe adoptive mom's blog, grab a tissue!!!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

We have been blessed in so many ways in such a short time!!!

SSC introducing our family to the audience.
Giving Paul and hug.
Myself talking (imagine that) about Rita.
SSC making a big deal about Natalie's "I'm a Cinderella"....SSC concert T-shirt. One of his new songs is called's about enjoying our children while their still little.
SSC was so sincere when presenting our family with a grant for $4000 from his organization, Shaohannah's Hope, for Rita's adoption.

I can't believe that it has been two weeks since our concert already. Here are a few pictures that my friend Stephanie's friend took while we were on stage. Stephanie and her family live in Findlay. We have gotten to know each other over the internet fairly well over the last year and a half. Her youngest daughter is from the same orphanage as Paul. She too has 2 biological kids and 2 kids from China. She and her husband are also waiting to adopt their 5th as you can tell we have a lot in common. I had every intention of posting every detail about the concert but time has just got away from me. We are still talking about our amazing night with Steven Curtis Chapman and his staff. The neatest thing about the whole evening was how we were treated like we were the ones doing them the favor and not the other way around. Over and over both SSC and his staff thanked us for being there.......uhhh.....hello........we were the one's who should be so thankful!!! So here are the details on the grant. We received $4000....praise the Lord!!!! What was so cool about the grant was how it was raised. SSC came out on stage during intermission. He introduced his new campaign "change for orphans." During this concert tour he has volunteers carry around buckets asking people to donated their loose change to help out orphans. ( to read more about change for orphans visit ) So he told asked his audience to dig deep because all of the change that was collected that night would go back "to a family that is right here in this audience" ( I assumed that he was talking about us!!!!) So actually $2000 came from Shaohannah's Hope and just a little over $2000 was collected that night from the people of Toledo!! Thanks Toledo!!!!! I joked with the kids as we were walking out that I was glad that we just got a letter stating how much the grant was for and that we didn't have to carry $2000 worth of loose change back to the van. It was a night to remember.

The concert was Sunday.....then we got really busy Monday getting ready for our big garage sale. Our pastor and his wife suggested having a garage sale and a soup supper at the church to help raise money for the adoption. We were busy for a good two weeks collecting "stuff" from people to put in the sale. We were overwhelmed by every one's generosity. This garage sale was a lot more than just a was a wonderful time to share our adoption journey and our faith in God with many people. I was hoping to make at least $500 BUT was so grateful to see that our total reached just a little over $2000!!!!!!!!!! I just couldn't believe that we made that much in just a 2 day garage sale. We even have a few bigger items that didn't sell that we plan to put in the classifieds that should easily bring in another $500 or so. Now we are just 6 days away from our all-you-can-eat soup supper. I'm praying for a big crowd. Once again so many people are helping us with this project.....some have volunteered on their own......some have been volunteered by me. It should be a really nice evening. We even have well over $700 worth of nice door prizes from local business owners.

Another blessing this week was that Troy and Sarah (my brother and SIL) received their LOA for their little sweetie Rachel!!!!!!! My exact words to them were "YIP.....YIP...YIPEEEEEE!!!" They should be traveling to China in 6-8 weeks to bring her home. Audrey is so excited that her cousin from China is coming home soon. To read more about Rachel follow the link on the side that says "waiting4Rachel." Troy and Sarah still can't officially post pictures of Rachel until they receive their travel approval but let me remind you.......she is CUTE!!!!!!

The only bad thing that has happen to the Homan family this week is that we suffered our first broken bone. I always assumed it would be Andrew but NOPE, it was Miss Audrey. She broke her collar bone after falling from the playground equipment at the campground. She has been quite the trooper but we sure do know when her pain reliever is wearing off. I'll post pictures of her in her little brace soon.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Steven Curtis Chapman ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!

It's late so just a quick post. The concert was awesome!! Steven Curtis Chapman and his band ROCK!!! We were surprised with a big grant too!!! I'll give more details soon. Of course the top picture is us and SCC right after we left the stage. The bottom picture is Will, SCC's 16 yr. old so who is also the drummer for the band. God is so great!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Durbin Bean Bake

Audrey competed in her first ever kiddie tractor pull. She came in 3rd place...yipee!!! She was so proud of her dollar bill that she won. Oh......did I mention that there were only 3 girls in her age group?? And that her tractor didn't even move an inch???? Oh well, who needs details, all that matters is that she came in 3rd place and won money!! Show me the money!!
How does this thing work?
Dad, I've almost got it....oh wait, I still can't get this darn tractor to move.

As I'm sure it is with most of you, I can't believe that the kids are back in school. I was so glad to get everyone back into a routine. Andrew and Natalie are open enrolled at Ft. Recovery this year and are doing great. All of us have been busy around here getting ready for our multiple fund raising efforts for our latest adoption. More details coming soon!! I thought I better get these pictures of Audrey now, because next week I'll have our BIG CONCERT pictures!!!!! Yes, we're just a few days from going on stage with Steven Curtis Chapman....what an honor for the Homan family!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Homan Campout

This weekend was our annual Homan campout. We had beautiful weather and lots of fun. Paul giving the Pinata a good WHACK!!
Andrew and Brandon spent hours and hours fishing on Saturday. Andrew with his big catfish and Brandon with his bass.

Natalie, Audrey and Olivia going sky-high on the tire swing.
Ashley doing one of the many task that the kids (and a few adults) had to do during "The Amazing Homan Race."

Thursday, August 2, 2007

more pictures from the weekend

Riley jump roping the best he can!!!
Kyle does NOT enjoy fishing as much as Andrew and Brandon.
Olivia spent a lot of the weekend "taking care" of the little kids. Here she's making sure Mya is all buckled in.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Summer, Summer, Summertime

Okay those of you that read our blog at work are probably cussing me right now. I just had to attach this song. It is one of my all time favorite songs. We listened to it in college all of the time (I'm showing my age). Anyways I am just planning to have the song on for this post and then I will remove it.......maybe I'll add another and maybe I won't. Feel free to hit your mute button if you're not a Fresh Prince fan!!! I couldn't resist dressing Audrey and Paul in matching outfits for our friend's wedding. Aren't they the cutest!!!!!!
We made a trip to Warsaw to visit my Grandma. The kids love going to great-grandma's in the summer. She has a big neat, property that the kids can go exploring on. We had just watch the Bridge to Terabithia the week before and Natalie was imagining that she and Emily were in the movie. Andrew had went fishing with great-aunt Kathy. Kathy sent us home with all kinds of goodies from her garden. We had so many cucumbers that we made freezer pickles when we got home. Yum..yum.
Just like the other kids, Paul loves ridding the go-cart. This was his first time of driving it. The look of pure happiness on his face was priceless.
Today we took cousin Kyle to Science Central with us for Andrew's birthday. As Natalie was peddling so was her new friend.
Kyle and Andrew learn the value of the pulley as they lift this heavy beam with ease.

It's hard to believe how fast the summer is going by. It's really hard to believe that Andrew will be 9 years old tomorrow. It seems like just yesterday that Ted and I were on the way to the hospital while I was in active labor and he decided to stop and get gas. Oh...the things that we wives never forget. Andrew weighed in at a whopping 9lb. 7 oz. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever laid my eyes on.