Thanks for the La La’s, Kathy!

Grace & Bella both received a beautiful collectible doll (Bella calls them la la’s) from a dear friend of mine from college. Kathy and I were close friends when we both we attending UND in Grand Forks. So, it was so fun, through the magic of the internet, 🙂 to connect with her again.

When she found out about our two special muffins, she wanted to know if she could share two of her dollies with them. You see, Kathy is a wonderful mom to BOYS.

Thank you so much, dear friend, for sharing your dolls with my little dollies. They love them!

Grace Loves Baseball…..Players!

Tonight was a big night for Miss Grace.

The Minot State University Baseball Team had their annual DreamCatchers Baseball night.

DreamCatchers is our local baseball team for kids with disabilities. DreamCatchers is Grace’s thing! And, tonight they got to play with the MSU players at the Dome.

When we brought her into the dome, she looked and saw all the young baseball players waiting to be chosen to be a buddy and looked up at me, gave me the thumbs up and said “AWESOME!” She loves those cute boys, that’s for sure!

Here’s Grace with her chosen buddy, Paul:

In the outfield with the MSU players and her friend Joel:

Grace and her bestest friend (& future husband) Conner:

Hangin’ with da boys:

Getting a MSU jersey signed by the players:

Modeling her new autographed jersey:

And again…

With the lady who started it all….Michelle Bliven:

Thanks MSU players, they had a “ball”!

Home Six Months….

Can you believe it? Bella has been home with us, her forever family (which includes Grandma pictured below), for 6 months! Her adoption has impacted our family so much. Perhaps the person most influenced is none other than her big sister Grace.

Grace’s teachers confessed to me last fall that they were worried for Grace when they heard that we were adopting another little girl with Down syndrome. They felt she would probably regress and that her behaviors in school would deteriorate. But guess what? It has been the exact opposite! She has blossomed in her role as a big sister and is having her best school year ever! Isn’t that wonderful?

And, a funny little story to share….Grandma said the other day that when she was just leaving our house after a visit that she heard Grace say “Nyet, Bella Bogdana, Nyet, Paka Babushka!” Too funny….Bella has dropped all her Russian/Ukrainian and Grace has picked it up, so much so that one whole phrase was in a foreign language. Does this make Grace bi-lingual? 🙂

But, we are still amazed at how wonderully Bella is doing in her transition to American family life.

Let’s just say she’s a keeper!

Bella’s Birthday Bash…


Bella had a big birthday bash at preschool yesterday. I just had to share this picture her teacher sent home which so vividly captures her joy!

Tomorrow is Papa’s birthday, so we are having the family party in the evening with presents, chocolate cake, candles, the whole works–Can’t wait to see her face then!

Happy Birthday, Bella!


Happy Birthday, Bella! Today is our little girl’s 5th birthday. We are so excited to celebrate this day with her!

I remember last year on her birthday–I felt so sad that we weren’t able to be with her on this special day.

What a difference a year can make!

Kevin said this morning, “It seems just like yesterday when we brought her home. Oh, wait, we did just bring her home…” Ha Ha, Papa, you are so funny!

So, this is our Ukrainian princess’s 1st birthday, although it’s her 5th, at home surrounded by a Mama, Papa, a brother, and two sisters who love her more than she will ever know…

Happy Birthday, Bella!

A New Play Room….Thanks to GRANDPA!

The girls are so excited (well maybe not Elizabeth ) for their new play room! Here they are playing doctor with their Papa (not pictured). This wonderful little space was completed under the basement stairs by none other than our amazing handyman…Grandpa!

Grace & Bella say…

“Grandpa, Thanks for our new play room! We love it and you!”