"To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." Isaiah 61:3

The Burckhard Family

The Burckhard Family

Monday, December 26, 2011

Nole's First Christmas

Hope you all had a wonderful, Christ-filled Christmas! Nole's first Christmas home was too much fun! Here's a snapshot of his first Christmas home...







Nole' wishes everyone a "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!"

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Who's Got a Beard That's Long and White?

Santa's got a beard that's long and white.

Who comes around on a special night?

Santa comes around on a special night.


Special night. Beard's that white.

Must be Santa, Must be Santa, Must be Santa, Santa Clause!

Friday, December 9, 2011

My Fashionista.....

Oh my, are we in trouble! We have a budding fashionista on our hands......

When Grace saw the "Shake it Up" (Rocky & CeCe) clothing line at Target, she just had to have it! How could we say no?

She loves to look at herself in the mirror from every angle and then gives herself a double "thumbs-up" and says, "Perrrrrfect!"

She is just too much fun! I wish I could have her self-confidence and positive body image!! You, go, Grace!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Finally, I Return!

Hi All! Just popping in to say "hi"! I just noticed it has been a whole month since I last posted. I am not even sure if anyone really reads this old blog anymore (except maybe Grandma), so am trying to decide if it is time to retire from the blogging world. I must say, though, that this blog is the only time I have ever recorded any thoughts, pics, etc. about my family and our life.

I didn't even do baby books.

So, perhaps I should just force myself to keep going.....so at least I have a scrapbook of sorts for when my memory is fading (which feels like it is happening sooner rather than later.)

Today, I am in Sioux Center, IA, with Elizabeth. We are visiting Dordt College as a prospective student. She just loved it here. She is actually staying overnight at the dorms with some girls and I am at a hotel all by my lonesome. What a treat!

The last month was one of the most stressful, agonizing months of our lives. So many overwhelming things happened. The biggest I won't even mention here because I have to respect the privacy of the family member. Let's just say it is so hard!

So, my life is going through some changes, the least of which is that my eldest will be going off to college in less than a year. I am so proud of her, yet will miss her terribly!

Thanks to all of you who continue to read this blog. If I do decide to keep going, I will have to commit to doing a much better job, huh?

Blessings, Paula

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bella Watching "Annie"!

Here's our Bella watching the musical Annie...."Why anyone would want to be an orphan is beyond me!" (Miss Hannigan) Bella agrees with Miss Hannigan!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

B. E. L. L. A.

While sitting at supper, munching away on her Sissy's homemade waffle, Bella looked up at Sissy and signed "B e l l a".

video

She is one amazing little girl--especially considering she came home to us after living 4 1/2 years in an orphanage.

We are so thankful for everyone who has helped Bella develop her emerging skills: teachers, therapists, grad students, respite care workers--not to mention friends and family. Bella is proof that a little love and instruction go a long way. We are so proud of you, B.E.L.L.A!

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Witch, A Princess, and A Sock Monkey.....


After a long blogging break, it's great to be back to share some Halloween party fun! Our high school, Magic City Campus, Character Counts Club hosted a Halloween party for the DreamCatchers baseball team (for kids with disabilities) last night.

They had a blast......

Carving pumpkins.....


Eating pizza.....
Strutting their stuff in a costume fashion show:

But, the little sock monkey didn't like the applause so much....

Grace and Chelsea are sooooo scary.....

Thanks to Character Counts Club from the DreamCatchers!

It was a fun night for all!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Go Vikings!

My favorite Viking fans.... and, yes, I have a jersey too!

PS.....this may be the reason Kevin likes having FIVE children....more to influence towards his Vikes. It's sad really.... :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

30 Toes.....

When Grace was first born, we found out that one of the first clues that medical staff look for if they suspect Down syndrome is the toes....specifically for a gap between the first two toes.

I think we are safe to say that all three of my children with Down syndrome have this feature....

GRACE.....

NOLE......

BELLA.....
This past summer, Sam was looking at Bella's toes and asked if she was missing some toes! We had a good laugh at that one!

But no matter what, we love all 30 of those toes!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Nole's First Day of School......



Nole' started preschool at Perkett School this morning. He will be going every day from 8:25 am to 11:15 a.m. He will also get to ride the bus like his big sisters have done.....It doesn't look like it, but he LOVED the bus.

Our little man is growing up..... :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Look at Our New Haircuts.....

Look at our new haircuts.....

Oh, and can you tell we got McDonald's sundaes in the car afterwards for being good?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Even After Two Years....

Even after two years, Grace and Bella are still sleepover "fwiends". (As Grace pronounces it).

If you happen to remember, the first morning Bella was home with us, we opened the bedroom door to find two girls sleeping on the floor right next to each other, pillows touching!

This morning, two years later, I went to get them up and this is what I found....

When we adopted Bella, this is what we hoped and prayed for....that Grace would have a forever little sister and friend--and sleepovers to last a lifetime!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Who Keeps Stealing my iPad?



Nole' especially likes "Plants vs. Zombies" and "Angry Birds".....Silly boy!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Two Years Ago Today.....

Elizabeth and I made the long journey home from Ukraine with our new daughter and sister.

Here they are on the flight home.....
And, here she is--our Ukrainian princess--two years later.........Happy Anniversary, Bella Bogdana Burckhard....We Love You!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

All About Nole'...

Can you believe he has been with us for almost SIX months? We love him so much and are so thankful each and every day to God for blessing us with this little treasure!

With all that has gone on this summer, my blogging has take a back seat, to be sure. So because of this, I thought I would give an update of Nole's summer in photos. Here is our handsome little man.....

Grandpa made him a train table for his birthday. He loves to play with his Thomas the Tank engine trains and get right in on the action.....


He and Bella has become the best of buds....

Nole' at his first baseball game at Brewers Stadium.....


Nole' with three of his siblings (Sam was out of town).....

Swimming with Daddy in Milwaukee.....

Nole' opening his birthday present at his party.....

Nole' shared his party with Grandma Lucille who turned 86 on July 11th & Nole' turned 4 on July 14th.....

Nole "swimming" at the lake on the Banzai Sidewinder....

Nole's Dedication at church.....

He and Jake have become friends too....

Nole' and Sam (sorry this is so blurry, Grace likes to take pictures too :)

Lovin' on Daddy....

Nole's first DreamCatchers' baseball game.....

We love him so.....