Boys really are made of slugs and snails and puppy-dogs' tails!

Raising boys... I love the way they live up to their stereotype. They are gun toting, car racing, lego loving,  rough housers and stick grabbing little scamps.  And they are aggressive. 

 I really don't like to spank.  Turns out it really does hurt me more than it does them.   My favorite punishment for the boys (the girls very rarely have been seen outside doing this) these days is making them run laps around the outside of the house.  If they talk back, won't stop fighting, or just plain won't do what they are told they get laps.  If they argue about the laps, the laps are increased.  That shuts them up real fast.  

whit brady dressed up


We adopted Brady from Cucuta, Colombia at a 3 y.o.  He was handsome and a handful!


He grew up though, and by the grace of God, and me, he stayed out of trouble, and turned out just fine.  : - )  Now he is a Sargent in the United States Army...and still handsome as ever.


Brady met and married Rebecca, a lovely German girl.  They met in Germany,  but she was  raised in the Congo as a missionary kid. Rebecca keeps Brady in line better than I ever did!!  The boy tithes and does devotions every day. 



Shortly after Brady left home, and by then 6 girls later, a friend sent me a picture of a boy.  He is in the green between the boy in the red and the girl in the yellow.  I would say he was beautiful, but boys are handsome.  I think God had already starting nudging me to adopt another boy too.  So, even though I had no plans to adopt I couldn't stop looking at Tian Man Qiao's picture.  Three days later, and for the first time EVER without even asking Mike,  I called the adoption agency and said I wanted him.  I named him Stafan (pronounced stay-fun).   

Stafan's best friend, Miller is in the red tshirt.  Notice,  Miller is the only one smiling.  The reason was he had just been adopted a couple days before.  He came back to say good bye and he was there with his new Mom.  Stafan and Miller loved each other.  Miller was adopted to a family in Michigan.  We got to visit him soon after we adopted Stafan.  When we left Stafan broke down and cried.  It was a true friendship and the closest thing Stafan had ever had to family.  


This picture is heart breaking.  Miller's new Mom took it.  Stafan (Tian Man Qiao) was watching Miller leave the orphanage.  Stafan did not know God had plans for him too!

Of course, with adoption there is always this little problem called money, and you need lots of it!  The next morning Mike was not in a very good mood, because of it.  By 11:00 am we had $4,000 drop in our laps.  It was enough to get the ball rolling.  I know it was God.   And,  it was all it took to get Mike in the right frame of mind and me out of the dog house.   Thank you Jesus!  

Stafan Allen

And there he is, Mr Handsome himself.  He came with impeccable manners.  I kid you not.  For the first 6 months it was "Thank you mama" this and "thank you mama" that.  To this day he is the perfect son (if there is such a thing anyway).  LOL


Ok, so he was a little bit of a messy eater. 




Ever since I met Stafan's friend Miller I had a desire to adopt a boy to be close to Stafan and for them to grow up together.  Just a couple years later we got Shepard.  Shepard is the same age as Stafan and they share a birthday.  They are also both from the same orphanage.  

Shepard looks like he is missing his two front teeth here, but he wasn't.  He had teeth in his referral picture, but by the time we got him they had been knocked out and broken off.


His gums were an infected mess and we spent an entire winter doing dental work.

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So, that is how we came to have quadruplets! Two girls and two boys the same age.  And now the quads are ready for middle school...oh my! 


They all hang together.  They are all good kids,  have a lot in common and yes they all get along.  One thing I've noticed since they are getting older is, the boys like the girls' girlfriends and the girls like the boys' boyfriends.  My work is cut out for me, but I am up for the challenge... I think.  : - )


Then last fall, we got these two:  Pryor and Boone.  They are both easy and smart boys.  Pryor is from the same orphanage in Guangzhou that Stafan, Shepard, Arden, Bret, and Remi lived in.  It has around 1,000 kids that come and go.  Boone came from a very small orphanage near Shanghai that even our agency had hardly ever heard of . 


It has been brought to my attention by a certain friend, and a sister,  I put too many pictures of Boone on here, or actually not enough of Pryor.  So, I go in the kitchen tonight to take pictures of Pryor and Boone.  You tell me which one is the more interesting subject.  






Sure I could get Pryor to give me a fake cheesy smile, but why when I have this...


The boy smells the camera a mile away and goes into his own kind of mode without ANY prompting.


He makes me laugh so hard sometimes I can hardly hold the camera still.



All I am saying is, don't judge.  It is what it is-Boone is funny.  Arden said yesterday, "Boone is spoiled.  I mean I think he is cute too, and he is funny, so I understand."  Tonight they all went swimming and like always Arden hung with Boone the entire night!  Boone said the other day, "I have a new friend." When I asked him who it was, he said Arden.  The older kids are so torn. 




He can even make Shepard laugh.


Shepard is a wonderful boy 99.9% of the time. Once in a blue moon he gets mad and can have a temper.   Probably from having his teeth knocked out in China.  I could take 10 more just like him though.


Stafan is reserved and has the cool factor going.  Lael told me he was going to be stuck up and in the homecoming court.   She is wrong.  Well maybe half-wrong.  He may be homecoming king, but he isn't going to be stuck up.  He is a good, good boy. 


Like Stafan, Shepard is a pleaser.  If I ask them a question they give me straight answers.  


We also have my nephew Sawyer in the house a lot.  These three boys are happiest when they are hanging out together. 




My nephew Eliot is in high school and isn't hanging out here as much, but was here tonight.  So, with all these boys you see why I came up with the laps.  : - )