There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle......
The other is as though everything is a miracle.

~Albert Einstein~







MEET BENTLEY


This is Bentley. He joined our family on December 24th.....it was pure excitement around our house when Rod showed up in the morning with a puppy . Rod and I have always said we would never own a dog.....well that all came crashing down...it's a long story, but let's just say there was a lot of guilt that led to us caving. I have to admit he is a cute puppy and loves to cuddle. I haven't had much sleep since he joined our family, but everyone says it will get better....they said that about kids too!! Our kids all said that this was the best Christmas present they ever got....well worth the smiles and joy it has brought....even though Bentley has totally disrupted our house!!!

O HOLY NIGHT

Merry Christmas from all of us........

Princess Ariel



Denaye turned 6 on December 10th. She had her first "real" birthday party last weekend.....complete with loot bags and friends. She invited 4 of her friends from school along with her grown-up friend Debbie. Debbie has been a friend of ours for awhile now and it just so happens that she is the teacher's aide in Denaye's kindergarten class. All of the girls thought it was a special treat that she showed up at Denay'e birthday party. Denaye chose to have a princess party so all of the girls showed up in thier best princess costume. As the princess's arrived, Denaye invited them into the royal ballroom to await the festivities. Denaye had the time of her life....she was so glad to finally have a birthday party that involved more then just family. The princesses made the most beautiful crowns and snacked on chicken nugget supreme and succulent carrot sticks. They toasted one another with sparkling cream soda and sparkling Grape juice. The day ended with the most lavish dessert ever....royal velvet cupcakes with sprinkles. The event was the talk of the town for days....truley one of the most lavish events ever.
Happy birthday Denaye.

SNOWFLAKE GALA



















Our family was invited to the annual Stollery children's Hospital foundation Snowflake Gala. It is a black-tie event and it is one of their biggest fund-raisers of the year. Everyone was so excited to be able to dress up and enjoy an evening out. They transform the Shaw Conference centre into a beautiful winter wonderland...complete with ballerinas and the nutcracker. As you enter the hall you are walking through a forest with trees covered in lights....it is so magical. They have a kids area complete with crafts, magic show, video games, air hockey the list goes on.......they even have there own bar area where they can order blue raspberry drinks......they loved it!! It was a fun evening and the food was incredible. Dessert for the kids was Dairy-queen ice cream. It was so nice to spend the evening with my entire family...they all looked so handsome in their tuxes and beautiful dresses. Denaye asked me this morning if it was on again tonight....she wants to go again. The Snowflake Gala is for a great cause.....Sam benefitted from the Stollery when he was born so this is a cause that we support. The evening came to an end and everyone was very tired.....we had a wonderful time....thanks Stollery for all you do.







MAYA TURNED 9

Maya got braids put in....all her own hair...no extentions this time!!!



Maya turned nine last week....for those of you paying attention we have skipped a few birthdays.......that's another post for another day. Maya had a Hanna Montana birthday......again. She invited 7 of her closest friends over and the girls had a great time playing together. These girl birthdays are a new thing for me and I am still getting used to it. The girls did a craft and they made the most elegant wands I have ever seen...complete with glitter glue, sparkles and sequins.....fabulous. Maya loves her friends and she was so grateful that they came to celebrate with her. The day was huge success....Happy birthday Maya!!!



I tell people all of the time that Sam is the kind of kid that will fall asleep just about anywhere at anytime. He plays hard all day long....can't sit still for any length of time....so when he's tired, he's done. He sleeps just as hard as he plays and here is the proof. I have no idea how long he was asleep.......... He just simply got tired and that was it...he went to sleep....his day was done!!!!

TAYLOR TURNS 22




It was Taylor's birthday last weekend and he turned 22 years old. It hardly seems possible that that many years have passed already. My sister and her family joined us as well as my mom. Taylor has not been feeling well ever since he had H1N1 so he watched us eat and blew out his candles all for our sake. What a trooper!! Taylor suffers from Crohn's disease and we think when he was sick that it has triggered some other things to go wrong. He has been in and out of the emergency for the past week.....it has been a long week. He is actually at the hospital right now with his dad waiting for test results. We think it may be his gall bladder. I am hoping to hear something soon. If you think of it please say a little prayer for Taylor...he has lost about 15 pounds since this whole thing has started and he is in a lot of pain. I am trusting that God will take care of him...we just need to know what is actually wrong.
Blessings
Debbie

HALLOWEEN FUN

Hannah Montana


Princess Ariel

Jack sparrow

CARVING PUMPKINS

This was Denaye's first time doing her own pumpkin...she did a good job.

The look on Sam's face says it all....he was not a fan of this part.

Proud Kids!!


The kids had a great time carving their pumpkins. Maya is a pro at taking all of the insides out of the pumpkins. Sam and Denaye lost interest in that part so Maya pretty much did it all...with a little help from me. They each drew the face they wanted on their pumpkin and then I helped carve it out for them. They were so proud of their work.....I think they look awesome. Now we are officially ready for Halloween.

MAKING COOKIES







Life is getting back to normal now that the flu has come and gone from our house. We aren't sure if we all had H1N1 or not, but I am just thankful we are all healthy again. I just have a bit of a cough still, but nothing serious. Anyway on the weekend we made cookies. Before the girls came to be part of our family I used to make these every year with the boys. They would usually only last for about 10 minutes then they got bored and move onto something else. It is so nice to have girls around...they actually want to do things like this and they stick around for the whole project. They had such fun cutting out the shapes and putting the sprinkles on our pumpkin cookies. Sam cut out 1 cookie and that was it.....oh well....the girls enjoyed it and so did I.

WE'VE BEEN SICK

There have been no posts lately because our house has been sick for the last 2 weeks......I am only now starting to feel better. I don't even remember what has happened...I feel like I have lost about 2 weeks of my life.....it's all a blurrr. I will get back at it when I get all caught up on everything else that hasn't gotten done for the last 2 weeks.....ugghh
Debbie

SAM'S STORY

In the past we ...or I should say Rod has done some speaking for the Stollery children's Foundation. They are having a fundraising event on Thanksgiving weekend and this time I am going to speak as well. I have put together a video of Sam's life in pictures to show at the event. It's hard to beleive that Sam's life started out so rocky...he is such an energetic and healthy kid today......I am so thankful that the Stollery was there for Sam....his life is nothing short of miraculous. I hope you enjoy the video. Here is the link http://video.yahoo.com/watch/6085514/15812474

Rod turned 50 on September 11...yes that's 9/11. We went to the Keg with friends and family. It seems that's the place we always choose when we have no children. We had a fun time and I can hardly believe that Rod turned the big 50.....where have the years gone. As I inch closer to that number it has me a little freaked out. Turning 40 didn't bother me, but I think I will just completely pass on the 50th when it's my turn. Rod says it doesn't bother him at all...it's just a number....he is right, but I think I'll still pass!! Happy birthday Rod!!! At the Keg...they gave him a piece of cake....it was really good.

Rod, Jesse, Maya, Emily, Sam, Denaye.




It was 30 degress outside on the kids first day of school....very unusual to be so hot at this time of year. Denaye's started school last week...another milestone in her life. She was so excited to get going she could hardly stand it. I drove her the first day and all the way to school she was chatting away about all of her new friends, her new teacher etc. We were almost there and then all of a sudden she got so quiet.....I think reality had just set in....she then quietly said to me....mommy I'm gonna miss you. Such a sweet little girl....she has been waiting for this day a long time. She has already forgotten that she's going to miss me and over the weekend was counting down the days until school started once again.



By this time she was tired of the picture-taking
...can't you tell.

Here is a link to a video I put together as a keepsake for the girls. It is highlights of the past 2 years....so hard to choose between 100's of pictures. Hope you enjoy it.
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/5891753/15338359

It has already been 2 years since we first met Denaye and Maya. So much has happened and changed for them. They have become part of our family....we don't remember life without them anymore. We are officially going to celebrate 2 years on September 6th. that is when they arrived in Edmonton and we became a family of 8. I am in the process of putting a video together of their life over the last 2 years, but for now here is a link to when we first met and brought them home. http://dkurtzfamily.blogspot.com/2007/09/our-adoption-journey.html

THE WATER FIGHT

Sam trying to escape getting hit from the water balloon....he failed

Hiding behind his dad's car






Sam getting ready to fire

Brody and Zach getting ready to launch their balloons....

The other team firing back at Sam's team.
Sam's team firing back......it was so much fun to watch.
The water-balloon fight that Sam had for his birthday was a huge success. Sam had 10 friends over and they split into 2 teams. They picked their base-camp and then the teams got together and made a plan. It was so much fun to watch the boys having a great time. Rod and I filled 550 water balloons....it took 4 hours to fill them all and about 30 minutes to use them all up. After the balloons were all gone they got out the buckets and the water-hose....Rod even got in on the fun. We had 2 injuries....not bad.....one was one of the boys tripped over the planter and fell into the tree and scrapped his back up. He was sad for about 2 minutes then he was back in the game. The other injury was Rod got hit in the head with a hockey stick by Sam......Sam had a pinata and he went to hit it and missed and got Rod instead.....now Sam was blind-folded so he had no idea....he felt really bad. Rod was o.k., but he had a soar ear for a little while. The weather was a perfect 29 degrees outside. We had pizza, pop, chips and birthday cupcakes. Sam said it was his best birthday ever......until next year!!!

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