Help outfit Michael, Sarah, and John

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Orbits

My husband shared a quote with me about orbits recently and it has become a new family word. This was in an email he sent to me:

"The responsibility to watch over God's children is a heavy one. Whenever I feel inadequate as a parent, I remind myself of something Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926-2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles once said: "The same God that placed that star in a precise orbit millennia before it appeared over Bethlehem in celebration of the birth of the Babe has given at least equal attention to placement of each of us in precise human orbits so that we may, if we will, illuminate the landscape of our individual lives, so that our light may not only lead others but warm them as well."4

This statement uplifts me when I am discouraged. It gives my wife and me courage in our abilities as parents, knowing that our children have been placed within our "orbit" for a reason and that Heavenly Father trusts us."

Sister Kolarova was placed in our family orbit. She is the angel on earth who has been able to teach my triplets the gospel in a way that I simply cannot do: in Bulgarian. Not only does she speak Bulgarian, but she is from Bulgaria. She knows the slang, the food, the culture. She loves my children and she wants for them to learn the gospel. 

Today she is flying home to her native country. She has completed her mission in Utah at Temple Square. Towards the end of her mission, she requested an extension. Because she extended, I was able to meet her and she was able to begin teaching my kids. She said that Michael was her first baptism. After she goes home, she is planning to continue skyping with my children and teaching them more about Jesus Christ. She is humble and kind, inspired and loving. Because of her sacrifice to serve a mission, my children are learning the gospel faster than they would have. Because she decided to put her life on hold so she could become a missionary, Michael is now baptized. I cannot express in words my sincere gratitude to her. But I was able to send her a package before she went home. And this was after she mailed us Bulgarian wafers to celebrate Michael's baptism. 

Dear Sister Kolarova - I love you very much!!!!!!

First Dance

My three new teenagers are very picture-oriented, so the majority of my camera roll includes photos of them. Often these photos are taken by them of each other! If I could get paid a nickel for every selfie that I have of Michael, I would be a very wealthy woman. Ha ha. 

Michael enjoys handstands! Unfortunately, he did a handstand at the beach and hurt his wrist. 

Sweet notes from my Bulgarian girl! She writes them to me while at school. 

Love my Sarah!

More handstands...

A head cold hit our family a week after school began. Anna, Sarah, Michael, Keith, and I were all affected. We made some fresh juice to help us recover.



Guess who John wants to be for Halloween?

Tyler took Michael and John to the beach on Saturday. I was concerned about Michael, as he had a bad cold. When I saw this picture of him sleeping on the beach, I wasn't surprised. He was exhausted!

Saturday night was the first dance since the triplets came home. John and Sarah went with Anna and had a wonderful time. I am thrilled with how kind everyone was to them, and in helping them feel included. Michael was sick, so he stayed home. 

John's first dance with a girl! He was SO nervous. 

John watching the kids dance. I'm thankful to Cami for taking the pictures for me so I could see what was going on!

Michael's Baptism

After we came home from Bulgaria, we figured it would be a while before our triplets would learn enough English so we could teach them about the gospel. However, a friend introduced us to a Bulgarian sister missionary who is serving her mission in Utah. She has been able to skype with all of the triplets multiple times and after a few weeks, Michael was ready to be baptized.

It has been glorious for me to hear him speak about his love for the gospel of Jesus Christ. He has already received answers to prayers and feels the Holy Ghost testify of truth. I could not be more happy for him. He is planning to serve a mission and is eager to share the gospel with those around him. 



Michael requested white chocolate cupcakes for his baptism.


Daddy came in to help decorate a few.




My handsome husband and my handsome oldest son!


Ready to be baptized!


A Red-letter day for the Pierce Family!


Michael's friend, K, came to show her support.



The program went very well! Iryna led the music and I played the piano. Bryan C gave a talk on baptism, while Sister Kolarova translated over skype. Tyler baptized him and then I sang "I am a child of God" in Bulgarian. Tyler gave a talk on the Holy Ghost. K gave the closing prayer. We had an ice cream bar with cupcakes for dessert. We are thankful for everyone who came to support Michael! He was confirmed in church the following day. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Back to school

Another school year is here! I wrote individual notes for each child's first day of school and placed them in their lunch boxes. 





Silas has a friend (Paige) in his class this year.


Calvin is eager to have library day at school again. He loves books. 


This girl broke her glasses the week before school started - she was nervous - but her first week of school was a success and her new glasses came in the mail, so she is able to see better. 


Bugaboo is happy to be back at school and riding on the school bus! 


John was so nervous that he wouldn't eat the special breakfast I made for his first day of school. At lunch, he pulled out his lunchbox and some kids started pointing at him and laughing. So - he refused to eat his lunch. A week later, he still won't eat lunch at school. He comes home ravenous. 


Sarah came home from school stating that she made three new friends! She also didn't eat her lunch the first day, but has every day since. Woo-hoo! 🎊 


Michael had a good first day of school, other than not eating lunch - and he is adamant that he will just wait to eat lunch until he comes home from school. He is quite the popular fellow with the ladies. Many girls sit next to him and want for him to teach them Bulgarian. He is flattered by the attention, but a girl from church has his heart. He says he is a one-woman-man. 


Anna Belle began her 10th year of school - and her third year of homeschooling. She is already ahead in her class schedule from BYU high school online classes. 

Here's to another year of education! Hooray! 🎉 

Monday, September 11, 2017

39 years young

Another year - another birthday. I love celebrating this wonderful life I have been given. The triplets were especially excited to see all of the birthday traditions that they had only been hearing about - and now they could participate! Michael worked very hard to clean the house for me (I requested a clean house). Tyler had the day off - which was awesome! We had strawberry crêpes for breakfast. Michael made shopska salad and tarator for lunch. We made pizza for dinner with homemade cherry vanilla cake (Sarah decorated it for me) and homemade cherry vanilla ice cream (Michael and John hand-cranked it!) for dessert. We went around the table and everyone said something they like about me. John said that he liked how I speak Bulgarian. Tyler brought me home some flowers and we had a wonderful day together. I am so blessed! Here's to another beautiful year!





Tarator -  a Bulgarian soup. 












A gift I received is a projector that makes the ceiling look like moving water. I love it!

Friday, September 08, 2017

Trip to Oklahoma

The triplets have been asking to go to Oklahoma ever since we picked them up in Sofia. After they were transitioning better than we had anticipated, we took a last-minute trip out to introduce them to family. We took over 500 pictures, but here are some highlights.







Anna wasn't at home when we took these pictures. 


Meeting their Great Grandfather, Keith. 



All three of the triplets fell in love with their little cousin, Russell. 


All of the grandkids with my mom and my Grandpa.

My sister, Heather, had this made for the triplets. So sweet and thoughtful!

Sarah wants to learn how to play the piano now. 

Tyler and I with our adorable, niece. 

My sister, Rachel, with Tyler and I. 

My siblings are the best! #lovethem

I have the best in-laws! #seriously #theyareamazing

Getting ready to swim!







Sarah is a snuggly girl and I love it!

The triplets are often asking us to kiss so they can take a photo. We don't mind!

I was able to see my fabulous friend, Melisa, in Tulsa! She's quite a gem!

Silas with Aunt Rhonda.



Tisha is awesome!

Tyler took the kids to Osage Hills - a place he went to as a child. They all had a blast!


We had a fun cookout with Kyle and Tisha.




My boys with their muscles.

Cousins posing.

Fishing with Papa.


Swinging off the tree.








#posers

These five Bulgarians came to their new families within the past six months. It was fun hearing them speak Bulgarian together. Sarah, Donka, and Lizzy stayed up until 2am, chatting away. 

Our 8 kids + their 17. It's a party and we love it!


This has become "John's pose."


I love this girl!

Iryna loves her friend, Alayna.

Evan and Keith - used to be crib buddies in Artemovs'k, Ukraine. 



We had a wonderful time and the triplets LOVE their new family and friends.