Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from the Prichards!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Christmas Story that will forever touch me

In 1994, two Americans answered an invitation from the Russian Department of Education to teach morals and ethics (based on biblical principles)in thepublic schools. They were invited to teach at prisons, businesses,the fire and police departments and a large orphanage. About 100 boys and girlswho had been abandoned, abused, and left in the care of a government-run program were in the orphanage. They relate the following story in their own words:
It was nearing the holiday season, 1994, time for our orphans tohear, for thefirst time, the traditional story of Christmas. We told them about Mary and Joseph arriving in Bethlehem. Finding no room in the inn, the couple went to a stable, where the baby Jesus was born and placed in a manger. Throughout the story, the Children and orphanage staff sat in amazement as they listened. Some sat on the edges of their stools, trying to grasp everyword.
Completing the story, we gave the Children three small pieces ofcardboard tomake a crude manger. Each child was given a small paper square, cutfrom yellow napkins I had brought with me. No colored paper was available in thecity. Following instructions, the Children tore the paper and carefully laid strips inthe manger for straw. Small squares of flannel, cut from a worn-out nightgown an American lady was throwing away as she left Russia, were used for the baby’s blanket. A doll-like baby was cut from tan felt we had brought from the United States.
The orphans were busy assembling their manger as I walked among them to see if they needed any help. All went well until I got to one table where little Mishasat. He looked to be about 6 years old and had finished his project. As I looked at the little boy’s manger, I was startled to see not one, but two babies in the manger. Quickly, I called for the translator to ask the lad why there were two babies in the manger. Crossing his arms in front of him and looking at this completed manger scene, the child began to repeat the story very seriously.
For such a young boy, who had only heard the Christmas story once,he related the happenings accurately-until he came to the part where Mary put the baby Jesus in the manger. Then Misha started to ad-lib. He made up his own ending to the story as he said, “And when Maria laid the baby in the manger , Jesus looked at me and asked me if I had a place to stay. I told him I have no mamma and I have no papa, so I don’t have any place to stay. Then Jesus told me I could stay with him. But I told him I couldn’t, because I didn’t have a gift to give him like everybody else did. But I wanted to stay with Jesus so much, soI thought about what I had that maybe I could use for a gift. I thought maybe if I kept him warm, that would be a good gift. So I asked Jesus, “If I keep you warm, will that be a good enough gift?” And Jesus told me, “If you keep me warm, that will be the best gift anybody ever gave me.” “So I got into the manger, and then Jesus looked at me and he told me I could stay with him—for always.
“As little Misha finished his story, his eyes brimmed full of tears that splashed down his little cheeks. Putting his hand over his face, his head dropped to the table and his shoulders shook as he sobbed and sobbed. The little orphan had found someone who would never abandon nor abuse him, someone who would stay with him-FOR ALWAYS.
I’ve learned that it’s not what you have in your life, but who youhave in your life that counts.

Merry Christmas! The past three weeks have been a blur of constant programs, presents, and hyper children. It is so easy to get lost in this but this story above is what it is all truly about. My heart always thinks of kids who long for Mom's and Dad's someone to tuck them in and tell them they love them. Aren't those the basics that kids deserve? This story made me cry last year at Brianna's Christmas program at school and will forever hold a place in my heart and our Christmas here. So I wanted to share it with you all and wish you all a happy holiday season and not forget those who need so much.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A tree is found! Last weekend we found a tree at some good friends property. Most of the kids loved it. Andy is happy in this pictures but he had a hard time! Tired I think...or hope:) We had some fresh snow falling to set the scene. Riley and Brian esp love this moment! They are our mountaineers!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dancing duo

Holiday Prep

We are in full swing of Holiday prep. I have to say at the beginning I am way more enthusiastic than I am now but none the less the kids are here to keep up going. We have many discussions about the real meaning of Christmas but one can not deny the child wonder that is part of the season. Speaking of that we saw the man in red today and the only one who would see him was Andy. Oh how I wished I had a camera. He went up and gave him a huge hug. The girls could not get away soon enough...pretty funny. Brianna thinks writing a letter is the way to go! We have had a lot of snow and cold to set the mood and of course the continuous Christmas music in the house ( that is my love:)). I will post more pictures of the holiday prep soon but pictured below is our darling two little ones dancing just like they saw Mom and Dad. How cute is that! It looks like Halloween but really it is a normal day in our house!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The pictures below are of some fun family times. The first is of Brian and our niece Railyn. She is such a cutie and the baby of the family so she gets some extra attention I am sure. The other two are from a trip to my parents house. I thought Andy was so cute at their desk. After all a farmer needs time to do his books too! Then Mom plays the piano but it has been years since she has played for us so we couldn't get let those Grandchildren miss out on that. I love Christmas music so this was really fun for me. They loved it so that makes it all worthwhile.

Today was tree hunting day and we have had some snow to go with it. The kids loved it or at least most. Andy is still looking for the magic in that! So now it is up and we are hoping it remains so. The kids told me that 19 days it too long to wait and I am thinking it is all going so fast. How age does that to you!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our friends and family!

Tomorrow is the a day of cleaning and cooking...and then the kids ask what is for dinner????

To be thankful for all we have seems like not enough in this day and time. So many people we know are struggling day to day and the realities of hard times are all around us. How does one impress upon young children that we have so many blessing that we need to give from our resources? Kids learn by example and that is our greatest hope for our kids. Tomorrow we will have a table full of food, lots of family to share the day with and many health blessing and answers to prayers at our table. Seems like a lot to take in and yet it makes me want to share more. So enjoy your day our friends as we complete one season and head to the season my children can hardly wait for. Love Teri

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Katie Eun Sol

Katie is growing in leaps and bounds. Her talking is coming along at paces that surprise us all. I think with this ability to communicate is her growth as a more independent child. As with all children who are learning to talk there are those lines we hope we never forget as we grow older. She now tells us "You are getting on my Nerds!" and the latest and greatest is introducing Andy everywhere we go as her little brother! I like it when she does that to complete strangers who basically see them as twins and they look at me and just can't figure it out. I have learned it is fun to keep people guessing esp those who think our lives are their complete businesses!

My sister is doing well. First round of chemo done! She is tired but other than that feeling well. We are so glad.

I can't believe Thanksgiving is next week. We have so much to be thankful for this year as years gone by. Now just need to get my act together since it will be here. Happy Start of the Holiday season to you all:)


Look what came home from preschool our own little turkey Miss Katie

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween night and the days following!

Ok so after 3 days of Halloween events both at school and at home we got to have many shots of our kids sleeping. How funny is that! They were exhauted. Below is my niece and the girls. All were princesses and they loved playing that role all of them! Such girls they are:)

Star Wars and Princesses

Look what was at our house during Halloween. It was a crazy three days but the kids had fun! It was such great weather and we loved that for this time of year.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Teri and Railyn

Railyn asleep on Aunt Teri. Is there anything better than this ? I think not. Ok I know I am crazy about babies...can't help it. Always have been and always will! Kids Rule!


Look at our niece Miss Railyn. She loves her Uncle and Brian and he loves her! She is such a doll! How lucky we are!

All Bundled up for the Pumpkin Patch

A trip to the pumpkin patch is a an essential for this time year. Never mind that we grew our own it just doesn't thrill the soul of a child as a whole bunch of pumpkins to choose from! And choose they did. Andy and Katie ended up with two white ones and Riley and Brianna the usual orange. We will have to cook one of those whites to taste the difference! It was very cold last weekend so we had to bundle up but everyone had fun. It was fun to be with my two nieces for this trip also. Three three year olds keeps the group blessed we hard. Of course we could not do without the leadership of Riley and Brianna!

Pumpkin Patch

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Big weekend for Mr Andrew. For the 1st time we got to see Andrew drink from a straw. For most of us this is something we take for granted but for Andy this has been hard work. And to see it for the 1st time as his parents was huge. It is hard to make a mouth work in new ways and teach it things that most of us knew as babies. Such a blessing to see his improvements each week!

For my sister we are on a schedule of waiting. Always more waiting and this time to figure out the treatment needed. There are many hard situations she is facing and I am praying that time will heal.

We are super busy with fall and looking for ways to settle down some. The big two are loving soccer and so much fun to watch. Katie is REALLY talking up a storm. I am more than amazed. She loves preschool and it is fun to watch her there:)

Andrew using a straw

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


A look at our book worms and bee keepers! Brianna loves to teach the little ones so here she is having her reading lessons. I spent the day with Riley at Science Day and one station was about bees. He got his chance to try on the hat! It was a very fun day in the mountains with many different science experiments for us all!

Monday, September 21, 2009

A picture of my Mom and Brianna. Those two are 2 peas in a pod! The bottom is my very adorable niece and nephew!

Snow in Colorado

Sept 21st and we already got our first snow. Hard to believe. Harder yet to believe that I was putting shorts away today as I watched it snow! Kids are so excited and sad it melted already!

Life is going on as usual. Kids are busy with their own little lives, school and misc activities. Never a dull moment but thankful all the time.

Poor Andy had an ear infection and I didn't even know it. Hope this is not a sign of things to come this winter for him. Wasn't understanding how the whole tubes in the ear thing works until today.

My sister is doing well. She will meet with the Oncologist on Oct 5th and that will give us all more direction to her treatment. There are still many unknowns but more gratefulness than anything. It is so good to be able to talk to her about many things again and circle back to cancer and all of the different parts of it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Good News

Good news came this week to our family. My sister had another surgery for more biopsies and to see where and if the cancer had spread. News after the surgery was very positive in that they believe it did not spread. It was very much a prayer answered. She will still more than likely have treatment and will find that out in about 3 weeks but for now we are relieved. We know that there will be hard days to come but in the scheme of cancer this is the best we could ever hope for. I did get to watch her little boy, my nephew this week. How much fun was that. It was great to help out in some small way also!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Xiao Tong

To Not Forget

In the past week it has been brought to our attention that there is double the kids at Andy's orphanage that there were a year ago. The number was about 80 when we adopted Andy and has gone to 152 now with 121 being special needs. These need range in degree but nevertheless are lovable children needing good homes. These facts disturb me to no end. How I wish I could be there to hold the children, kiss them and help take care of them while praying for them to have homes of their owns. As Pingliang families we will come together to do what we can. When I look at Andy and kiss his sweet head I forget for a minute where he came from, and yet I know as an adoptive parent it is our responsibility to never forget.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Another week...more details are presented to my sister. From my point of view it is hopeful that the cancer has not spread. More details will be present next week as another surgery will take place. The road will be long because as a young person they are more aggressive with treatment some which will be less than fun. I believe she will make it and walk away very strong yet as a different person. How could she not?

It is a journey in that I so long for normal conversations. Life changed in one day and with it relationships, outlooks, and that sense of normal we all enjoy and take for granted. I believe this will all come back, but for now it makes my heart hurt and tears come. I have watched my children this past week and have drawn strength for them. Even our oldest doesn't really get it and how lucky are they. That I believe is the greatest gift God gave us as parents is to look in their eyes and see hope and an acceptance of the world around them. What a time to realize this!

School Days for Andy Katie

Our cute little ones the first day of preschool. They are going twice a week for speech therapy. They were too cute walking in there even if my heart did break. It has been an adjustment and we have had to readjust bedtimes etc but they love to say they go to school...after all that makes you like the big kids of the family.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Sister

This week has been a time of extreme emotional exhaustion. The kids started school which always makes me sad, but the extreme sadness happened when my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. There are no words to express the feelings that happen when those calls are made and you look at a life that is young, healthy, and hopefully. Now this life is looking at a road that is not so sure. We don't know the depth of this and each day brings new information and outlooks. As her sister I want to find the best ways to support her and her family as this will affect us all as a family. My prayer is that God will watch for her and bring her the strength she needs. Life will never look the same and that may be a good thing. We now know not to take life for granted, and I have to say the older I get this may be the ultimate lesson to be learned.

Brianna School

Miss Brianna started preschool on Monday. She is 5 but missed the cut off and we both felt to wait a year would be fine. So one more year of preschool for her. She had a great first day, loves recess and riding the bus home. That must be the highlight since we heard about it a lot. Brianna being in true Brianna fashion came home to say she already had a friend at school. She is full of energy and love and winning the way into those teachers hearts daily we are sure!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Time for 2nd Grade Mr Riley

1st Day of Second Grade

Yesterday Riley Lynn started 2nd Grade. How hard is that to believe and yet what an amazing kid he is. His classroom looks like so much fun and so inspiring. We all have to readjust our clocks and ways to getting back on schedule which may be harder for some than others, and yet a schedule again will feel good. You don't get a lot of information out of Riley about how his day was, but yet what you do get is important it seems as he wanted to tell you. I am excited about what the year will bring for him as he learns more about our world and the workings of it. Trying to capture all these moments that seem to disappear so fast.

Next week we will have three more first days of school with Brianna, Katie, and Andy all starting some form of preschool. Andy and Katie will be going for speech which moves to the school now and Brianna for preschool as she has a late summer birthday....I hope Mom makes it through all these "FIRSTS" in one week!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Birthday Fun for Two Special 3 year olds!

Happy Birthday to you two little ones! They had a fun day. First got some time with Grandma and Papa and then we had a big dinner with friends that night. It was complete with brownies and homemade peach ice cream. They were so cute... a little scary blowing out candles but we all survived. They loved the presents and fun kids have. It is always amazing to me the different ways our family was created and all we have to be grateful for! These two are amazing and it was fun for Brianna and Riley. I always think of their birth moms on this day and many days. The words are hard to say when we think of them but as always we hope God can somehow make them feel the joy these two had yesterday. Now they are more toddlers and growing up way to fast, just like they all do.

Birthday Fun!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Katie and Andy

Monday, August 10, 2009


We are so lucky that my Dad has a great apple crop this year. I made applesauce last week and had lets just say had a lot of "help". Kids fighting over peeling apples is something until 5 hours later and I couldn't find a peeler! That is okay they are kids but boy was it fun at first. My garden got beat up by hail. My heart just hurt for a week and still does when I think of all the work. So it is nice to have some things to put away for winter...speaking of winter we saw a big bear down our street last night. Imagine they too will want a lot to pack away before winter!

Fishing with the big boys

Riley got to go fishing with his Grandpa, Dad and Uncle this weekend. They caught some beautiful fish! He loved it and did very well....a new chapter of his life has happened as he has proven he can hang with the boys and do their activities. What memories are being made!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Beets, Hail and the VBS

The title basically says what our life has been about this week. Riley and Brianna have attended VBS all week. Very positive week and tonight is the big program! They are so cute sharing their secrets about it that none of us can know until then. As for me I dug my first batch of beets and canned them this week. My first time canning and believe it or not I got it done with all 4 kids! I just love this time of year when our dinner plate consists of mostly things I have grown! As for the Hail there was a horrible hail storm in Pueblo that did some damage to our car but worse than that to many places and crops. Brian said it was the size of golf balls. God always lets us know who is in charge:)

Friday, July 24, 2009


Summer is coming to an end and with it I am trying get all those things we planned to do done .It just so happens that both of my sisters are off work temporarily now and we have been able to meet. How I wish they were off all year, but we will take what we can get. So yesterday was a trip to the lake with a sandy beach. The task to have fun in the water and keep track of all of our 7 kids. It was fun and they all had great time. We then got to keep our niece Abby for the about worn out kids today. I insisted that we all take a rest today as I could see we were a little worn out. It is so fun to be close enough for our kids to have this family in their lives.

I am a summer girl and the thought of socks and shoes = yuck! I am constantly amazed at how family just fits and how each of our kids steals out hearts!

Prospect lake

Prospect lake

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