Sweet Sixteen

 We celebrated your sixteenth birthday this weekend.

We had friends and family over to party with us.

We also had some delicious ice cream cakes!

We are sad for you that you will not be with your family in Paraguay
for this milestone in your life, but we hope to make it as 
special and memorable as we can for you here.

Happy Birthday, Beautiful Girl.
We love you.


loving you

I don't know if I am just this much better at loving now than I've been in the past, 
or if you are just this easy to love... but I am in love! :)

I can't believe how well we fit together. You are a perfect match for our family. 
You're so good to Zeek and he likes you so much. 
Greg thinks you are so wonderful and sweet. And you and I are SO alike.

You are so fun to be around. I love when you smile and laugh. 
I love the way you tell stories, and the way you listen with so much compassion. 
You're up for any adventure, but you love a day of movies and games just the same 
as long as there's food involved. Like I said, we are SO much alike. 

I couldn't be happier right now. 
I love you so much, Sari. 


A Day at the Pool

Today we had Jaymee, again. 
We could not go to the local public pool,
so we went to her house to enjoy her pool.

It was nice and relaxing.
You had your first Jimmy John's sub sandwich.
It was a special moment for me. :)

The kids swam.

And of course, we played Sequence.



This is what we've been up to...

Sequence. Sequence. Sequence!

You win almost every gave. 

But sometimes you accidently scoop your nachos with your cards,
and that makes everything better. :) 

Soup on Pizza

The past week with you has been so fun and special. I can't believe how close we are and how much I really like you. You are so nice to be around. 

Yesterday, we went to the school to select your classes, meet your principals and counselor, and tour the facility. Everything went so well. 

The school is AMAZING. So beautiful. It made me want to attend! 

Your counselor, Julie, is the sweetest, most caring woman EVER. She really has an interest in her students and works hard to make things as best as she can for them. She is a Godsend.

After our meeting we went to a restaurant nearby for some lunch. As we were eating I noticed that, like me, you will put anything together for food. You put your cream of vegetable soup on your pizza! I smiled, wondering how I got so blessed to have found another crazy eater like me. 

The cutest thing was when I mentioned it to you, saying, "no one would put their soup on their pizza... except me", you replied, "l learned from you." :)

I love you. 



Today, we enjoyed the mall and burgers.

Whooo-hoooo!! :)

You bought lots of cute stuff
and then came home and proceeded to
lay it all out on your bed and photograph it all.
I can't tell you how many times I have done the exact same thing. 
We are so alike. :)

We also took you to Red Robin for the first time.
This is one of my favorite burger stops in town. 
You were amazed by the size of the fries! :)

We over ate, as always...
then we returned home to play games and drink coffee.

It was blissful.


Liaison Family

Today you met your liaison family, Heidi, Mark and Alyssa.
We had them over for dinner. 

It was too much fun!
I think we all could have spent days together
sharing, laughing and eating.

They are a very nice family, and they are ready to help out with 
anything we might need throughout the year. 

You are blessed to have such a great support team! :) 

The NEW Zoo

Today we went to the NEW Zoo with some of our friends.

Again, you and Zeek were pretty excited about those prairie dogs.

You saw and fed your first giraffes.

It was a fun out with nice weather and good friends. :)


B County Fair

We went to the fair today.

We won some prizes for Zeek.

We sat in the shade together watching Zeek go on 
one ride after the next. 

You went on THIS crazy ride! 

We saw the Bengal Tiger Show.
It was amazing!

And we looked at lots of animals. 

The cows were a first for you. 
Welcome to Wisconsin! :)


Farmers Market

I was so excited to finally be able to take you to the farmers market, today!

 You bought some jewelry and ate your first
egg rolls and rangoon.

Last week at the farmer's market, Zeek and I sat at a table under a tree to eat.
We talked about how we would have you with us
at the farmers market just one week later!
This afternoon we sat in the same place with you. :)

It was beautiful.


Special Memories Zoo

Today, we went to the Special Memories Zoo.

It's my favorite Zoo because of how close you can get to all the animals.

This baby camel was the highlight of the day.

And your hair was the highlight of his day. :)

I was surprised how many animals you had never seen before.

Especially the bears.

You and Zeek watched the prairie dogs the longest. 

This won't be our last Zoo, 
but I just might be the most memorable! :)

A Good Sunday

Today we had our first "bond-fire" together in the backyard.

You have never had marshmallows in your life, 
so of course we roasted marshmallows
and you enjoyed your first smore, ever!

We also cooked apples, onions and hot dogs over the fire.
I accidently used pepper that we not hot raw,
but burned your face off once they were cooked. 
I felt so badly for you.
You do NOT like spicy foods.
I ate yours.  :)

 We also went over the questionnaire that AFS gave us.
Who cares about rules and expectations right now?
We're just so happy to have you.
Not to mention you are perfect! :) 

After our fire, we went to our Sunday gathering with our best friends.
You had already met Beth and Levi, 
but this time you were able to meet their kids, 
and Robert, Erika and two of their kids.

It was the most beautiful afternoon. 
The weather was great. The kids were all happy.
The food was delicious, as always.

You mentioned to me later that you thought it was strange
that we ate strawberries in whipped cream, 
followed by salty cheese bread,
followed by more sweet strawberries
and so forth.
You said that in Paraguay you eat all the salty food at once,
and then you eat the sugars. 

You also said that when you go back you will do like we do, 
and people will think you are strange for it. :)



We went to the wedding in Milwaukee this weekend, 
and we looked great! ;)

It was a long ride, but it was a good chance for us to visit with you.
You were able to meet Bethany and Levi for the first time.
They love you, of course.

It was so fun having you there!

It was kind of a crazy day.
The sun shined a little.
And it rained a little.

But all in all in was a success!
You slept most of the car ride home.
You did very well for having just traveled for days.

Now, we will have to let you rest a couple of day.
But only a couple. 
We have big plans this week! :)



Today we picked you up from Silver Lake. 

We were SO excited to see you and meet you face-to-face for the first time. 
I felt like I was bringing home my baby. 

We couldn't get there soon enough! 
We brought flowers and a pink, unicorn, pillow-pet that Zeek selected for you last week. 

After a long drive and much anticipation, they FINALLY announced the group of students! 

I wanted to leave my seat and just take you home. 
But we had to wait for each student to introduce themselves, 
say where they were from and where they would be living for the year in the states. 

You looked so cute! :)

They did a drawing to select a student to receive the sheet that you each signed. 

Then FINALLY we were allowed to take you home! 

But first we went to dinner at Chilis,
where you enjoyed your first ever tortilla chips with salsa!
Oh, this is going to be a GOOD food year. :)