Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Angel Tree

Back a few weeks ago, I told the kids we were going to donate a certain amount to the angel tree and they could each pick a child to sponsor. I don't think they really understood because as we were looking at the pictures of the children Samuel said, "Wow! They're really cheap can we get one?" After I explained, Catherine found Kristen. Samuel found Dennis, but he really thought Aaron was cute too. What about Elliott? He decided to use his own money to help more kids because getting them families was more important than a toy for himself. So he chose Sasha and Derek, too. I was really moved and on we went thinking occassionally about them. Today when I got the mail I got a package from RR. In it were ornaments for each of the children we sponsored. It hit me so hard how important it was what we'd done (not becasue we're so great or sent a ton of money. It's all of us working together to bring them home). Yes, I know they need families. Yes, I know we're bringing Hannah home soon. But when I saw their pictures and saw so much more clearly these precious little ones, it made me cry. I still am. I'm honored that even though we're not able to have them physically with us, they're there on our tree this year and hopefully in someone's home next year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Adoption rumblings

Nothing official yet, but there are things in the works for another family our case is tied to. It's very exciting to finally hear that something is happening. We're secretly hoping and talking about what could be... Hoping to have news very soon for all.
We got Hannah's stocking up- the biggest of them all. However, Catherine dropped the usb connector down a tiny hole in the wall, so no way of posting pictures. :(

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Week in review

I tried to post earlier in the week and blogger wouldn't save, so I guess that saved you readers a few days of little family details you can live without. Here's our week in a nut shell.
Monday, after freezing outside, the kids went back in the dark to enjoy more time on the trampoline and sledding across the ice (Catherine pulled herself while she leaned over the front of the sled!) and didn't come in until their cheeks were so rosy and hopped into a warm bath! Tuesday we went to the Urbans for some fun and more time outside. When Caleb wouldn't nap in Ava's crib, he and I left to get a nap and to fold the mountain of laundry on our couch. Charissa lent me Nacho Libre, so I watched while I folded. Oh my,that was so funny! That night Buddy and I watched together and laughed so hard! Even when I got up to when Caleb woke up crying, I was laughing thinking of the scenes ahead. The next day, buddy was telling the kids about "the Lord's chips" and they got such a kick out of it. The kids and I watched yesterday and enjoyed it as much the 4th time as the 1st! A good rent if you need a laugh. Thanks Urbans!
Last week we watched Princess Bride, which is one of my all time favorites, and the kids really enjoyed it. I'm glad I have others who are willing to pull it out and watch more frequently than my other movie partner!
Wednesday we did more baking, for us this time, and drove to spend the night with Buddy. He's been blessed with so much work during this time of waiting for Hannah and we've missed him. It was a great adventure where the kids got to be with him for a bit while I got into the hotel room and ordered dinner. We played Uno and watched the Nutcracker on TV while we ate dinner. Do nice to be able to spend that time together. Buddy usually comes in and kisses me good bye while I'm still sleeping, but we all got to sleep til the same time. Samuel got to spend more time at his shop while Catherine and I picked up the room. Alas, one of my knitting needles didn't make it home with us! I've finished 6 for giving and really hoped to finish at least one more this weekend. Good thing Hobby Lobby is so close!
I'm a pretty frugal person and really like to get a good deal. When I saw Linen's and Things going out of business, I waited and waited and finally got our bookshelf and a few other things. I decided to go back to get more shelf liner and saw a few other fun things while I was there, but decided not to do anything then. Well, when I saw everything 70-80%, I was game to just go peek. Things I've been wanting and needing were sooo cheap! I got excited because God knows I'd like to have them, knows what we need to be doing with our $, and cares enough to provide things that are good quality for a very low price. I kept telling the kids how awesome God is. We could have paid the same price for these things elsewhere and they not last long, but now they'll last a very long time. We got covers for our couch and love seat, very nice blankets for our beds and guests, a new comforter set for our bed, a dining set (chair covers, napkins, table cloths, chargers, place card holders) that will be great for a birthday party we're having in a few weeks and for Christmas dinner, new wash cloths, and many other things that are exciting. I'm so thankful! One of the things we got for Buddy is a big mug that's a soup bowl. We had the funnest set several years ago and he broke both of them. Last night he was mentioning how much he missed them. Little did he know, there's one under the tree for him!
Buddy is working in town this afternoon, so we'll head over to the jobsite to spend some time together. Then possibly to a Christmas program tonight. We'll see how the timing goes.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Oh my! We don't have a thermometer or a scale at our house, which is ok with me. I just looked at weather.com and it's 19 degrees and feels like 4!!!! The kids are back out, though, and I need to get some hot chocolate going.

ice day

Thanks, Kerry, for the invite to FL! It does sound lovely to me. The kids decided to go out in it and jump on the trampoline. Sadly, we gave away the snow pants Samuel had grown out of and have yet to replace them! Many layers and retry's later (oh, he can only find one of his snow boots!) they were out with a friend, freezing their tails, but enjoying 30 minutes of crisp winter weather.
This morning, Buddy left for work and came back about 30 minutes later. He had gone about 1 mile to the on ramp, cars were backed up going 2 mph. He came home and got to spend some time with us, help out with dirty diapers and cleaning up the kitchen, and got to be part of school. They joys of homeschool, weather does not affect it! We did keep it short and did some more baking and delivered to some neighbors. Sadly, I'm out of flour and eggs and will have to think of something else to do. I need to make soup for dinner, it's one of those nights!
I put our SUV on autotrader.com and have spent far too long looking for our next vehicle. I'm really leaning toward a Suburban for the space, especially with travelling. It'll come

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Don't we look organized and somewhat official?
Catherine's creation yesterday. It made it safely home with only 2 pieces of candy falling off!

Well, after a second try, I see the need for instant, not quick acting yeast when the recipe says instant. However, everyone enjoyed it this time, so I'll look a little closer when I'm shopping and get it right. Third time...
We took the kids to see the Children's Nutcracker today. Since Catherine is in ballet, this was fun for her. Buddy wasn't sure what kind of production it would be, but it turned out to be very nice, with some really great dancers. At the end, Catherine thought it was kind of loud and lots of clapping, but the smiles throughout told the real story. I'm sure we'll be seeing dancing of a similar sort for a while. Samuel's favorite part was the mice and soldiers fighting. The canon went off and the soldiers fell down. There was also some sword fighting.
Mom and dad watched Caleb, which was the first in a long time since we rarely get our schedules working to get times when they're available. When I went to pick him up, he was sound asleep on my mom's chest. Too bad I didn't have my camera! They keep commenting on how much he's growing. He eats a little over 1 cup of oatmeal every morning for breakfast, amazingly. He's such a cute boy and was playing to get attention, which they enjoyed. We were thankful for 2 things- they were available and that they had that special time with just him. They're getting ready to move, so they had to put that prep work aside for a bit.
As I type, the ice is pelting our house! Last year we spent almost a week at my parents' because our electricity was out. I'm trusting this is going to be over quickly. Maybe it's time to start watching the news! Too bad I didn't get more eggs, we could have bake-fest tomorrow!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pictures from the Christmas ballet recital. Can you see why she wanted to take the tutu home?

I didn't get to the bread today, (try this family friendly version, thanks Mary) but the kids and I did get coconut cake made for our nearly 90 year old neighbor lady, her favorite. We also got sugar coated gingerbread twists made for friends' gifts. Both C & S had play dates and C's friend's dad asked if baking was part of homeschool curriculum. I told him, absolutely! It's fractions, following directions and planning. Yeah, planning is big, especially since I didn't read that I had to chill the dough for 2 hours- smack dab in the middle of play dates! I hadn't ever done anything like this, so I didn't realize how much time it took time to do the cutting, rolling, twisting, egg washing, sugar sprinkling. However, the results are well worth it. (That's egg wash on the edges because I don't have a brush and used a spoon!
We had happy friends who are glad we homeschool! Another thing we did today was go to Linens and Things. They're going out of business and I've been watching their sale % go down. In we went to find a jumbo muffin pan and I came out with a new bookcase! I've wanted one for our homescool books, which are piling on the kitchen counter. I was trying to not spend much money and didn't see anything I liked for a good deal. What a blessing to find it for $45 and it's pretty! Samuel and Caleb helped me put it together. I'll finish tomorrow, but I really need a drill to make it go faster than hand driving screws with no pre-drilled holes.
Tomorrow we'll go to our town's Christmas parade and then head to my parents to make gingerbread houses and relax. I might try that bread recipe in the am, after I'm very sure I've read the directions and have a good understanding of time frames!
We drove home from the play date last night and saw so many pretty houses with their lights. Caleb kept saying "Hi" in this really soft, high pitched voice and had the biggest smile when he saw lights. Made us all laugh.
Adoption news: We have to be really thankful that God is on our side. I heard tonight again the scripture that God places the lonely in families, which was very encouraging. I wish I could share details, but the best thing to say is that someone we needed to help us on the US side (not the agency, but government) who, in the past was not helpful, has made a turn around and is advocating strongly for us. I continue to believe it will be soon that we hear something and we will have our little girl where she belongs- in our home. There are 3 of us families effected by the way things are going and it's been a challenge at times to be patient. Please pray for these other families, too as they wait out the conclusion of their adoptions.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A few fun updates. Today we went to the Urbans and joined with another hs family for a Christmas party. We had 14 children from ages 10 years to 15 months. We got to decorate cookies, made ornaments from hand prints, acted out the Christmas story (during which my video camera battery died!,) had a great snack, and some good old running around outside time. The kids all behaved very well, only 2 ornaments were broken and no one was hurt. I must say the little ones did much better on this than on the turkey project!
While we were there, 2 of the girls were playing piano. Almost as soon as we got home, Catherine started asking me to give her a lesson. I took for 8 years, play rarely, and about pulled my hair out when Samuel took last year. However, Catherine has always enjoyed singing and music and she seemed ready. So, we sat down with S's old books and had a little lesson. She was so pleased with herself and did really well. I told her that Samuel used to play each song 5 times. "Can I do that?" Of course! Granted, it's the first day, but she's so excited! She has a little notebook and was writing down the notes and what they were worth. this may be a little easier than I anticipated!
Samuel has had some challenges with multiplication tables, but does ok counting by 5's, 3's, etc. Charissa lent us a book that is so awesome! I don't have it in front of me, but it's stories in pictures with the factors and products. One time through the book and he could tell me all but one of the answers. I need to get the lower numbers at some point, because this is amazing! I'm looking forward to much easier times at the kitchen table.
On another note, S has never wanted to be called anything but Samuel and gets kind of irritated if you do (although he has no problem calling other people things besides their chosen name.) However, the other day he told Caleb he could call S "Bubba."
Caleb has begun giving us kisses and making the sound to go with it. It's so sweet, except he didn't want to kiss his daddy! It may have something to do with the stubble issue.
A friend had eye surgery and is supposed to take it easy, so we brought dinner to her tonight. Catherine wanted to eat with her and she said it was fine. Her parents had left this morning and she was a little lonely. Ha! We are the cure for that! Caleb has no inhibitions and was quite pleased to check out the cat food, garage can, and pull anything he could off the coffe table. It was a nice visit and she was very sweet about it, but I'm sure it's a little wearing when you're not used to such an active little explorer. She did say we warmed her tummy and her heart, which I'm thankful for.
Cranberry jelly does NOT make everything better. The bread I made was awful! Caleb kept eating it and grabbing every piece I missed, though. I'm not ready to give up yet, although I did buy a loaf at WalMart today! Mary, who would knock Martha Stewart's socks off, sent a nice recipe that I'm excited to try. Here's a little warning, though. If you're going to make this with your kids, be aware there are some words we don't use in this house included in the direction. I'll let you know the results! http://steamykitchen.com/blog/2007/09/10/no-knead-bread-revisited/

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Great ambitions

After our trip to Great Harvest Bread , I thought it would be so cool to make bread for our family. My mom and I used to do it together when I was growing up, so I thought it would be a neat thing for the kids to do with me. We have a Vita Mix already, so when I saw the dry container that grinds grain for you, I bought it. I went to Whole Foods, bought my grain and organic yeast and got excited. After the kids were in bed tonight, I opened the recipe book, ground my grain, mixed my yeast and added it, flipped the switch a few times like it said. It said to let the dough rest. I did for about 5 minutes and flipped the switch a few more times and poured it into the pan. Funny thing was, the directions said it would be a ball and mine was a bit runny. I followed exact amounts and timing for switch flipping! It said to let it rise 35 minutes until it was even with the top of the pan. Let's just say mine was not showing signs of doing anything! I pulled out the yeast package and it said to let it rest 1 hour, knead, let it rise 1-2 hours, etc. Let me just say, I did not want to be up that late and baked it as is. It didn't do much of anything, but we'll chalk it up to experience and see if I can improve a bit next time. I'm sure with cranberry jelly, it'll be just fine!

We got some videos!

Yesterday we received 2 short videos of Hannah! We also got about 6 pictures of her-oh my, she's growing up! I know God and people are working to bring this to a quick close and so I'm thankful. Wish I could share with you the video- she's so pleased with herself and her accomplishments that she's showing us. Imagine the leaps and bounds once she's home...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Date night

Tonight Catherine had her little Christmas ballet recital. They were dressed as angels with white tutus and wings that had glitter on them. Sadly, they were rented and we couldn't take them home with us. She did well and enjoyed herself. Pictures will follow.
After we got home, our babysitter came and I joined Buddy for an ORU basketball game. I'm so thankful we took advantage of it last time and went with the Urbans, who unfortunately couldn't come this time. It was a great game and so nice to share something totally out of our normal routine with each other. I guess that's why date nights are so good for you. I think there's one more before the end of the year that we'd like to take the kids to, minus Caleb. We were amazed at how many older people were there- it's loud and has crazy college kids dressed up and very full of spirit!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A few of my favorite things

...watching Caleb reach for Samuel to pat his hair while we're driving and seeing him lean in for a snuggle with Catherine at the same time.
...finding organic treats for my kids and hearing them exclaim about the wonders of candy canes that are made with sucanot and jello that has no animal parts and squishes around in their mouths (1st time today. Caleb couldn't quite figure it out and spit it out for quite a few tries and eventually ate some while he was in the tub.)
...a husband who comes home from a very long day yesterday, a full 7 hours of work, 2 hours of driving today, and puts up Christmas lights outside, runs to WalMart to get more so we can finish the last 5 feet, and then has a slumber party with them in the living room so they can sleep on the sofa sleeper.
...hearing my children cheer for Caleb as he takes more steps
...wrestling/tickling on the floor with the kids
...seeing compassion in Caleb for his sister- when he saw her tears tonight over having daddy and S gone and no friends to play with, ponted to her face. I said, "yes, sissy is sad. Go give her a hug" went over to her to give her a hug, then sat down and snuggled in her lap. (I got a picture but Catherine begged me not to put it on the blog.)
...hearing Samuel suggest he and Catherine rake up all the leaves in our yard to surprise daddy "and maybe he'll pay us!"
...working with S&C on an art project after we got home from the museum as we explored a new way to express ourselves. They behaved so well today while we were out and I praised them several times and told them how great it was to have them acting so nicely and how much I enjoyed our time together. Catherine's response- "we're honoring God with our work."

Friday, December 5, 2008

A day on the road

Today was a funny day. Usually, Buddy works about an hour away, but today was installing right in our town! He'd spent the night away so he could get up early and get to it. the kids and I planned a little surprise and met him at the job site with some treats and smiling faces. We planned to stay for a short while so we could get back to school work, but ended up staying for over an hour. I must say, it's really neat seeing his handiwork. As I told one of the other contractors, I get to wash his dirty clothes and that's about all I see, usually. We came back so Caleb could nap, did the majority of school, turned around to take lunch to Buddy and his helper and had a picnic in one of the bedrooms! (The house is new construction, so there's no carpet down and the wood floors aren't stained, so it's not a big deal if we have a few crumbs.) Back home for the rest of school and laundry, a failed nap for Caleb, then we were back over to the house to bring some papers to Buddy. They were planning on installing at another house tonight, but hadn't had dinner, so back on the road to Panera for our dinner and got some for the guys. Spent some time while they were eating and helped troubleshoot, then back home. It felt like we were gone as much as we were home, but we were all thankful to have that time with Buddy.
I had intended to take the kids to a Christmas program that, I'm sure, wouldn't have been fabulous. However, I didn't have a babysitter and the older 2 had some attitude issues that were less than becoming. So, change of plans for us, which ended up being fine since we had dinner out and more time with daddy.
Tomorrow should be a much better day attitude-wise or we'll miss out on some more fun I've planned.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Field trip day

On Tuesday the Urbans and we had a field trip planned for the George Washington Carver Monument. Amanda came to watch the 3 youngest, which let the rest of us pile into one vehicle. I forgot how long it would take, but it was a good 2 hrs and the kids did fine. We were so happy it had warmed up while we drove, because we had to eat outside and it was windy! There was a really nice movie about GWC's life and what kind of a man he was. Then we got to see really neat things from his life. Seeing the bill of sale for his mother was really eye opening for us. There was a hands on area for the kids to look at nature and appreciate it in a different light. We saw a typical school room from that era, which the kids enjoyed.
When the kids finished 6 activities, they got badges to be Jr. rangers. They had to take an oath and were very pleased.

There was a nature walk where we got to see his birthplace and where he spent much of his time. Before we went, we read a book called "The Man Who Talked with the Flowers." It was a little challenging for the kids to understand, but so eye opening about overcoming adversity and the potential we overlook and ignore. Imagine if we took time as he did to meet with God each day for direction and then did it! He was so humble and caring, such a pure spirit. I'd like to be like him. Interestingly, we were reading a book exploring creation and in Job 12:8 it says "Speak to the earth and it will teach you." It's not just for GWC, it's for us if we'll believe it. I encourage you to look him up and learn more about him, it's an amazing, inspiring story.

When we got home, Caleb was so happy to see me and wanted to be held, not out of my sight. Funny thing, he wouldn't walk for me, but as soon as Buddy got home, he walked to him! We watched Wall-E after the kids went to bed and I knitted. What a nice cozy time together, which I enjoyed. We need to do this more often.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Questions

My friend Kristi emailed this, but I don't think I've ever responded to one of these, passed on recipes or anything like that. This is a big step, but I'm sharing with all for her sake! If you'd like, share on your blog and let me know!

Christmas Questions
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both, but mostly bags
2. Real tree or Artificial? Fake for the past 8 or 9 Christmases, although I was feeling pretty nostalic about the scent and all
3. When do you put up the tree? Usually the day after Thanksgiving, but had to wait til the Sunday after when Buddy could get it down for us.
4. When do you take the tree down? New Years day, but sometimes feel like I'm so ready to get my house back I can hardly wait!
5. Do you like eggnog? Sometimes, but I don't like things really sweet
6. Favorite gift received as a child? a sewing machine
7. Hardest person to buy for? my dad
8. Easiest person to buy for? Kids
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes- 3-1 in the kids room, 1 on the piano, 1 on the entertainment
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Last year I did nothing, this year it'll be mailed, probably a picture (I was hoping it would be an adoption announcement)
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? can't remember one I really didn't like. I'll have to think on that
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Don't have one
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Usually early December, although I started in November
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Sadly, yes
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? muffins or cinnamon rolls for breakfast
16. Lights on the tree? Yes, wrapped and wrapped around the tree
17. Favorite Christmas song? Mary Did You Know, Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel by Margaret Becker
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? stay home (Buddy has a Santa suit and we make the kids stay in bed til Santa visits, then we can go get presents)
20.What's on your tree top Angel or a star? had an angel Buddy didn't like, so back to a star
21. Open presents on Christmas Eve or morning? One Christmas Eve and the rest the morning of
22 . Most annoying thing about this time of the year? the pressure to buy, buy, buy and all the rushing and traffic
23. Favorite Ornament theme or color? They're mostly from each year of marraige/life with no theme at all
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? probably sweet potato casserole again
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? a little girl to be with her family

Monday, December 1, 2008

Budding artist

Today we made a poster about cockatoos for Samuel's cub scout project. After we were done and getting ready for dance, Caleb found the markers and was intent on using them- leaning over and marking very intentionally on paper that was also left on the floor. Thankfully, the covers were all on!
After we got done with dinner, he found another stray, so I rescued some huge coloring books we were going to recycle to see what he'd do. He had such a great time! I had had suspicions about which hand would be dominant and it appears he's very right handed. Who knows, it may change tomorrow, but he was very serious about holding with his right hand.
Here's a more finished picture with contributions by Catherine and myself. This may have to be a keeper.

Kid moments

Caleb took his first steps yesterday! It was so cool that Buddy was here and C walked to him for his first steps! That didn't happen with the 1st 2, so this was quite monumental. Funny thing was after that he spent quite a bit of time bear crawling (hands and legs straight) around the house. Buddy says he could win a medal in the 100 yard crawl! I was calling "Catherine Ruth" while I was feeding him the other day and he said "aaa ooo." It's going to be flood gates opening when he finally says something!
We were driving around on Friday, I think and Steven Curtis Chapman was singing a song which I realized was from an orphan's viewpoint. Of course, I was moved by it and told the kids what it was. Catherine said, "I want an orphan for Christmas." That is the sentiment of all of us here. Click here to see what we heard and then go to Reece's Rainbow to help sponsor an orphan who could be helped so much by a little help from each of us.
Well, a very belated Happy Thanksgiving to all. We spent a nice day with our family and ate a bunch, but didn't overstuff. We happily took leftovers home and ate for the next 2 days on the great stuff. Of course, I failed to make enough sweet potato casserole to last more than one left over meal. I do have the recipe, so I could make it again! I made a blueberry pie for the first time and was pleased to hear that it was a hit with all. I also made a wild rice cranberry dressing which was tastey for us Minnesotans.

Before we went to mom and dad's, we went to the house Buddy is working on. We met the cabinet guy who happened to be a Christian. It was very sweet to hear he knew Buddy was a believer as soon as he introduced himself. We had such a nice conversation about how good God is to us and how He cares for us so well. The fact that they both had to do a bit of work on that day was cause for thanksgiving, know God has given them both work in spite of what we hear about the economy.

I've been happily knitting away and have finished 3 scarves. The first went to Catherine, the 2nd we can bless someone with, the 3rd I started with yarn that is a bit more challenging than I anticipated with kneedles much smaller than I had been using, so it's in my sewing box to be torn apart later or finished, as I feel led! The 4th goes to Samuel and he is quite pleased to have "boy colors" on his scarf (I accidently ended up with an extra stitch somehow, so it's a little wider than I planned.) Ok, now that they are done, I can go on to the ones we'd like to gift to others.

Yesterday we finally got all the decorations down from the shed loft. Buddy does the heavy work and the rest of us do the decorating. As you can see, we don't have a theme, just a family memory assortment. I have ornaments for each year from when I was a little girl, a family ornament since we were first married, and one for each Christmas for each child. Plus all the crafty ones they've made in school and some here at home. The kids put most of the ornaments on the tree and did a pretty good job. Buddy got to top it with the star and Caleb was able to take an ornament or 2 off when he got close.

We'd had a train for several year, but it bit the dust last year, so we got one on sale and have been anticipating Christmas so we could get it out this year. If you look closely, Samuel put his special touches on it.

We have to go get batteries today so it'll sing to us, but it's been fun even with manuel power!

We had the fireplace going, Christmas carols playing, and a balsam fir candle burning (to mask the dusty smell of the tree) and had such a nice time! The kids asked me what my favorite part was and it's really listening to the kids ooh and ah! over all the ornaments and decorations. They have lights up around the ceiling in their room, a nativity scene, dolls and tiny trees on their dressers.

Caleb gets such a kick out of climbing on the hearth. It's a little concerning to Buddy, but he knows how to turn around to get down, which I think is so smart of him! The fire in the fireplace was a lot of fun for him, plus the stocking were quite fun for him to look at. Excuse the leftover dinner on his belly.

Well, back to a "normal" week of school and getting the house back in order after decorating! We woke this morning to a dusting of snow on the roof and some on the ground. We're hopeful for a much warmer day for our field trip tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving celebration homeschool style

This morning after a very quick session of reading and math, we made cranberry orange scones and got ready to go to the Urbans. My kids were so excited, except Caleb was a bit whiney, even after a nap! We started out the time together making hand and feet turkeys. Originally, you were supposed to trace around your feet and hands, cut them out, the feet were the body and the hands were the feathers. Charissa and I thought they'd enjoy it more with painting their hands and feet then putting them on paper and cutting that out.
It was a little chaotic as we had 6 kids and 2 adults to help everyone get done and then remembering which hands/feet belongs to whom. I did write names or initials, but some disappeared anyway only to show up after we were all done! We even did Caleb and Ava's, which was NOT fun for Caleb. He balled up his fists and pulled so hard on me to make me stop. Alas, only 3 hands for him and his foot went missing! The kids did well, though. After they were dry, we cut them out and glued them into turkey shapes and they wrote on them what they were thankful for. It's very sweet to read them.

We played the JINGO game and the kids did really well remembering the things we'd learned about the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving. Homeschooled kids are so smart!

We were going to make hats, but it turned out the moms made the hats, Leisel and Catherine modeled them for about the time it took to take the picture and then were done.
After we made the hats and put the turkeys together, we gather for our Thanksgiving feast. The Urbans had made the Cranberry (bear berry) jelly, bannock cakes and Indian pudding. We brought succotash stew and scones. We didn't feel right about having the kids drink beer, but the Pilgrims hated water and that's what they drank! Just teasing, we had hot tea.
One more round of crafts before it was all over. They painted welcome signs and it was amazing how quiet they got! Really, it was the quietest they'd been all day! Pure silence that was soothing to our ears.
Samuel's say "Not WELCOME unles your a boy!" we did try to hot glue some center pieces together, too, but they'd had enough and it was time to go. Amazing how fast 3 1/2 hours go! We were very thankful to have friends to celebrate with and look forward to our Christmas party! Maybe we'll go lighter on the crafts next time.

Monday, November 24, 2008

This weekend we took 2 shoeboxes filled with goodies for children around the world to the drop off location. If you missed it this year, make a point to look into it next year. It's an awesome organization and cause. After we dropped them off, we decided to make more. However, today was the last day to drop off, so we had to do it amid many errands, but got it done. This way, we gave for all 4 of our kids! Samuel told me it would be so cool if Hannah got a shoe box. I agree!

I thought one of my fillings was coming out and called the dentist today and actually got in today, too! Turns out it's a chip, but I need 2 little cavities filled that I've needed to do for some time. When I get them fixed I'll get the amalgom's on that side removed and replaced. I remember the feeling of the needle and the taste, so I'm not excited. I got a babysitter for the kids so was able to go shopping for school things, craft things, a quick Sam's trip, and finally bought something for me with birthday money. It was so nice to be able to browse by myself! I found some really cool yarn for $1.99 that had been $8.49! What a steal that was.
I also found some more things for our Thanksgiving party with the Urbans tomorrow. I believe we've got the craft stuff done and I found a game called "J-I-N-G-O" which is like BINGO with questions about Thanksgiving. We've got our recipes ready and are going to eat like Pilgrims, or so we think. Wouldn't it be funny to find out what we thought was history was totally off? (Actually I think that's true more and more as history is being re-written. Hmmm.)

I finished the 2nd scarf last night and the kids were very impressed. Now, to keep the motivation and make some more... I'll take some pictures and post them so you can see how very crafty we are. I'm thinking about what we could make and send to Hannah.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I love my kids!

Today marks 7 days of Caleb going to be with just his paci and "B" or afghan my mom made for him. It's been ok, not horrible, not great. It's also the week that he's really showing he's getting some molars :0( He still likes to snuggle in bed in the am for a bit, but gets busy playing, climbing around, entertaining us while he explores. For his birthday my parents got him a Tonka you can push around or walk behind. He's had no interest in it until Tuesday and now he sooo enjoys it! He hears it coming and off he scoots to meet it. He's starting to kind of let go while he transitions from one piece of furniture to another. He's just plain cute in too many ways to tell.
Catherine is getting so much better with her reading and picking up math. I was totally shocked when we was able to add dimes and pennies together with very little instruction from me.
She and Samuel got really excited about the idea of learning how to knit! OK, I admit, I bought some knitting needles when I was 6 months pregnant with Caleb! The yarn I bought about a year ago. Part of the reason is because I want us to start doing something that is much more giving to others minded for Christmas. Years of buying things that get used just a short time have left me realizing that we need to do something different and give as a family significantly to others in need. Well, tonight while we were watching The Truth 16 Big Bucks (hunting videos) they both helped me knit a scarf! It's not done yet, but should be tonight. I am using the most enormous needles- about the size of a quarter, so it should be done fast! Samuel did both working the needles and adding yarn to the stitches while I did the opposite. Catherine helped one row, but asked about 10 times, no exaggeration, if I was done yet. The 1st will be hers while I learn what I'm doing!
We were cleaning up the kitchen and out came these silly kids...

We were talking about Hannah while we were getting ready to go to sleep and they started talking about what we can do for her, what we want her to have, etc. They are still so excited about her and are so sure it's going to be soon. They are convinced she'll be here for Christmas.
I'm all for it and am excited for her arrival.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend. If you listen closely, you'll hear my needles...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Playtime and school fun

Yesterday, since we were studying Ben Franklin, I decided to do an experiment with electricity. At least 1 Christmas ago we bought an electricity kit for S and used it very little. It seemed the perfect time to pull it out. We couldn't get any of the things to work- fan, buzzer, light, etc. By the time we were part way through it, Caleb was up and nothing was working, so we called it a day. We did learn how atoms rub against each other and change their charges. They had fun learning that. We rubbed balloons on our hair to make static electricity and tried to get them attract or repel. I think they got something out of it. It was a good diversion none-the-less. Today we got to act out the Boston Tea Party, which they thought was pretty fun, and marched around protesting "no taxation without representation!"

Last night we got a call for a play date with S that he's been wanting for sometime. Of course, we had to find something for C. However, when we were just starting school, we got a call that "W" had misbehaved and lost the privilege of a play date. Oh my, did that ever bring sadness to S! This was a shining example of why we need to behave when we have special things happening. However, we got a raincheck for tomorrow and "I's" mom called today and he got to go there for several hours.

C and her friend had a great time, in and out of the high 30's windy weather! Here they are, dressed their Chinese clothes, after they were writing in Chinese on the dry erase board. (Boy, has that thing been fun!)
Looking forward to Buddy being home tomorrow most of the day. It'll be good to have some daddy time!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thank you!!!

I was brought to tears yesterday when I got our mail. You see, there is a young lady named Mary who happened upon our blog, is very interested in Hannah's birth country, has some music from there, and was willing to share it with us. After a few emails, she promised to get them in the mail. I forgot about it and didn't expect anything for a week or so. When I opened the package, it wasn't one cd, it was 4! There was a sweet note explaining some of the history, which we all thought was very cool and also brought lots of questions from Catherine. For many years their singing was in secret to keep their culture alive during occupation. She wanted to know if the occupying country could hear the clapping we heard on the cd, if they would find these singers, what would happen, where Hannah was during all this, etc. We've basically listened to nothing since then whenever we're in the car. I was so moved by that and then I saw this sweet lady had enclosed a check. Here she is, a college student and she was moved enough to give to us to help bring Hannah home. It still gets me now to know that total strangers care! We are ever so grateful and look forward to sharing this with Hannah as she grows up and has a link to her history.

Great fun

Well, after saying we were going to have a quiet weekend, we didn't really follow through with it. Saturday, we did stay home in the am, but then went together to drop off something with Buddy and out for dinner. We had a great time at dinner and all behaved nicely, even though Caleb was a bit sleepy. Then another trip to Sam's. I'm telling you, that place had even more things we hadn't seen just the day before!
Sunday we went to Kid's World, which was an expo of about 30 countries showing their culture and history. At the Israel booth, the kids got to write a prayer that will be put in the Western Wall. They thought it was pretty cool. You'll have to click on Catherine's picture to see what she wrote. Very cool. Oh look, there they are themselves!
The kids got to write calligraphy at Taiwan's table. The did leaf rubbings, painted a fish, got a tree to plant, had their names written in Hebrew, Hindi, Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese (?), and Cyrillic. After we got home, they practiced writing them on the white board with the new markers that actually work! We got to try on wooden shoes, have a Japanese head band that says success, or as Samuel spelled it "sexess." I was a little disconcerted when I first saw it, but then he explained and I casually mentioned how it's really spelled. SOOO not ready for any talks!
We got a tree to plant, which will be very neat. We did that growing up and when I've been back to MN to see our old house, it's amazing how it's grown! I know we will not be in this house much longer, so I'm hopeful it'll provide the next family with many years of enjoyment.
I got some really neat info and ideas for field trips that I hope we can do soon.
Last night, The Urbans and we went on a double date. That's a first in a very long time for us! We were going to go to a dinner and a basketball game where Charissa and I went to college. However, I had to take C to dance, pick up the babysitter, line up dinner for the kids, drive to their house so we could ride together. Buddy came home right before we left for dance and it was a blessing because while we were gone, Caleb had some major activity in his diaper that required a bath. He was all cleaned up by the time I got home, but Buddy hadn't even had a chance to shower yet! Sweet guy, that was the second time he'd bathed C for the same reason! So, change of plans and the Urbans came to our house. By the time we got there, got our tickets, waited for the escort up to the dinner, they had run out of food. We're starving and had the options of eating concession food, leaving to have dinner somewhere else and be late for the game, or eat everything else that was left besides the roast beef, which was the only thing missing from the menu. It turned out to be good food, a really good game, and fabulous fun being with our friends. Sadly, neither of us brought our cameras! Great news is that we get to go again since we missed out on dinner, really just the meat, and have another Monday night date night. I did get a picture of the picture Catherine drew while we were gone. The babysitter had to ask who Hannah was and the kids told her all about her.

Today we went to a very nice Bread co. that makes their bread from scratch, complete with grinding the grain. We were a little foolish in our dress because we thought we'd take the tour inside and instead spend a chunk of it out in the low 40's weather. I felt bad for Caleb. Fortunately, I had him in a carrier and he had some padding and shelter. The bread was delicious! The kids got to knead some dough, see the ovens

Friday, November 14, 2008

What a day!

Today was a busy one. I think we were home about 4 hours between 7:30 am to 6 pm. Buddy got to be home in the morning for breakfast with us, then met up with us for an appointment and lunch. The kids and I spent some time shopping at Sam's. Boy, it's been a while and did we ever find some great things! A white board for school and 12 lovely colors of dry erase markers! Alas, the purple didn't work, so we'll have to take them back. This brought a few quick tears, but we got past it! We also found cool trash cans that someday we'll go back to get. The beautiful Christmas gift sets are out, along with lots of toys! Dad was in town and visited with us while we were shopping, so that was fun. Back for a nap for Caleb and finishing up school work for S&C, then off to do some errands and quick shop for a birthday present for one of Samuel's friends.
We had a little moment after we got the gift. See, Samuel likes to trade things with his friends. He was blessed with a game boy micro about 1.5 years ago and traded it for a regular game boy a few weeks ago. He traded one game for another, then traded that game for the Things hands. Some how he ended up with no games and he was quite distressed that he was giving games to "I" and he had none of his own. We had to talk about why we should maybe share or think long and hard about things before we trade. And also, when you give it opens up the doors for blessing for you. I think part of the issue was that I had him use some of his money to pay for part of the gift. I think he'll be ok. He doesn't hardly ever play game boy anyway!
When we got home, "I" and his mom were in our driveway, ready to take S to laser tag and pizza. The funny thing was, I's mom kept having to ask the boys to get into her car! They just kept playing and were heading outside to play at one point. They're still out at 8 pm, just now eating pizza and will be back ready to play some more. As soon as they left, C&C and I went to the Dollar Tree. C has gotten 5 100's on spelling tests and got to pick anything out she wanted. Can you guess what she wanted?
We had to go get pizza for us since the boys were having some, so a quick shopping trip at WalMart and back home by 6. Samuel has also had 5 100's on spelling and we got him some football cards.
Caleb really likes to play with the drawers in the dishwasher, pulling them out so he can take out the utensils and throw them all over the floor. Well, tonight I turned around to see...
I quickly grabbed the camera, took the picture and then said, "No, no! Don't climb into the dishwasher!" He looks like he couldn't care less.
Catherine and I ate our pizza, put Caleb to bed, C read to me, we made some yummy cake and ate it. Now it's time for bed and we're thankful tomorrow will be much slower paced!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Caleb is 14 months today! I found out this morning why he's been Mr. Grumpy Pants the past few days- he sprouted 2 new teeth over night! Finally, he has 8 teeth!
We spent a splendid morning at an art museum with a total of 22 children and 6 adults. Unfortunately, I was the first to be told "DON'T TOUCH!" when I accidentally touched the glass on a painting. Thank God it was the glass and not the actual painting! There were some other hands that touched and a somewhat nervous lady followed us around to make sure we didn't do anything we shouldn't. It was a very interesting tour and the kids came home with an art kit they can add to each month if we'll go back to see more. Sounds like a plan.
I had to share Catherine's prayer from last night, which should be less controversial than the last one! "Dear God, please, please, please help Hannah come home soon. I've been waiting for days and days and days and days for her to be here!" We're closer every day.
Samuel is going to play laser tag tomorrow with a friend, so I arranged a play date with one of Catherine's friends today. We all ended up staying and having a very good time together. Thanks Jennifer!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pilgrim activities and more

Thanks for all the kind comments and for some of you coming out of hiding to share your thoughts. Makes me feel a bit better. I feel bad for the person who is, obviously so sad about something that it comes out in this fashion.

On to happier thoughts...
Here is Samuel's self portrait while he's hiding from me.

In History, we should have moved on to Ben Franklin, but have stuck with the Pilgrims. I think I mentioned that earlier. A few days ago we made Bannock Cakes that were an even bigger hit with Caleb and Samuel today while Catherine wouldn't touch them! We tried making Indian pudding that was a Pilgrim favorite. Evidently, it takes a very long time to make. We use Rice milk and I think that may have been a key factor in the results we got. After 2 hours in the oven it should have been done. However, ours is a soupy mess that I'm wondering about it ever thickening up! Samuel did think we should make all the recipes and bring them to mom's for Thanksgiving. I'm not too sure how that would go over, but it's a great thought!

We decided to make models of the Pilgrims oven and spits. Imagine with me, if you will, the friendly warmth of the fire, the crackle of the logs (which we later added with confetti) and the meat roasting, the smell of bread in the oven, pea soup in the pot, and the cold backsides from no warmth apart from the fire in the oven! Catherine made a table later, that was loaded with crusty loaves of bread. Of course, Catherine has pink for her oven. Samuel wanted to make furniture and people and .... but settled for what what you see. Notice the detail on his turkey! I'm thankful for all the crafty things mom's shared and the big table to accommodate all the needed embellishments C wanted to put on hers!

Catherine really likes to play piano. She's currently playing "Walking from the ocean to the forest" on her keyboard. It's lovely. She was singing "It's Just Like Jesus" the other day and playing it on the piano. I've sung that Hymn since I was little and it was so funny to hear her singing the right words to a completely new tune. Caleb has discovered the piano, too, so both S & C put him on the bench with them and sing together. He has a blast!
We switched today to A Beka math from Saxon. Both were very pleased with the new books. They have color and seem to be more fun, even though they are required much more at this level. I'm excited to see how they catch up and excel.
That's all for now. I'll let you know how the pudding turns out.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Not Wanted

OK, I haven't addressed this before since this is a new phenomena to this blog. I've had a few ugly-grams from "anonymous." Is it surprising that people who are hateful can't put their name with their comments? I don't want to make this blog private, I don't want to cut out the ability to comment. I'm asking for some respect and consideration from those of you who don't agree with me. There are some things that are just my thoughts. There are other things I believe because it's very clear how God thinks about things. I've not said anything hateful in my blog about anyone, nor have I been misleading about anything happening in our family. As I read on another blog recently, I'm not asking you to agree with me. I see things one way and others another. You don't see me posting nasty things when I don't like what I read. I just quit reading. So, if this is you, your ugly-grams are not wanted. Please don't waste the time commenting because they won't be seen and you'll not change how I feel or think.

End of an era

Well, today I packed up the bottles and yesterday I sent back the pump I'd borrowed. My baby is beyond these things and it is time to let the reality show in my cabinets. A little sigh, but it's ok. This is the way it's supposed to be, so off to the next stage!

Day to day notes

Not a whole lot going on around here, but I do have some stories to share.

I'm not sure if you remember the day we announced homeschooling and the crying that followed. We realized it was a shock, but the most important thing was to be obedient to God so His blessings could follow. I guess it was over a week ago now, but we were driving somewhere and Samuel asked if we could homeschool forever. Of course, my first internal reaction was "yes, we'll do it. I'm thrilled you can see the great in it in spite of the issues we have some days." But my response was, "We'll pray about it and if God says to do it, we will." Samuel's response,"And if He says no, can we still do it?" We're getting there!

I've noticed that the hardest days we have are after Catherine has been up past her bedtime. If she has something special happening that day, she will try to hold it together. However, if there is nothing special for me to "take away," her behavior can deteriorate quickly into tears and whining, which I don't tolerate. I've seen her turn it on and off too many times to think she can't control her behavior. After we have a little talk or I send her to her bed, she amazingly comes back with a better attitude, which I praise her for. Samuel's hardest thing has been not talking back and arguing with me about things. I have to remind him that he would NEVER talk to his teachers at his old school that way. Usually after a talk, he is much more respectful and thankful, showing the real Samuel that everyone loves and speaks so highly of.

Of course, I love my children regardless of their behavior, but there are things that I will not put up with. And then I also have to apologize if I behave poorly and use myself as an example if I've had a bad attitude and reacted in a way that is less than lovely. Thankfully, we are all still growing and learning and becoming more like Jesus.

One of the neat things that have happened because the kids are home is that they've been able to see Caleb growing and learning new things. The so enjoy playing with him and cheering him on when he's trying to stand or do something new. Yesterday, we got out his MegaBlocks to build something together that he could play with, too. I so appreciated Samuel's attitude when Caleb kept taking apart Mr. Ping's noodle shop (from Kung Fu Pando). We were able to laugh about it instead of getting ticked.

Caleb has been learning to stand up and works on it frequently during the day. This morning, S & he were playing in the living room and S came running into me saying "Caleb just stood up all by himself for about 60 seconds!" He was so excited to witness what C is doing. C is getting used to us clapping for him and claps for himself when we cheer. He's taken a half step twice as he's getting ready to crash, so it's coming soon! It's so sweet to see him with his buns up in the air as high as they can go!

Samuel's $519 worth of popcorn is here and he is ready to deliver it NOW! However, it's been rainy and not so nice out, so we need a good day. Unfortunately for him, he's ready in the middle of the day when people are working and it's so hard to wait!

Today was Veterans Day, so we went to school, invited the Urbans to join us for their V. Day presentation. The 4th grade puts it on and it was very moving. One cool thing was that a man from WWII was there and stood with his cane to tell when he served. He looked rather frail and couldn't remember the years, but we were all so moved by him and the sacrifices of all the Veterans there. Makes me very thankful to be an American.

The older Urbans came over for several hours to play this afternoon and fun was had by all. Again, good to have a fun family to play with. A funny thing was that Samuel wanted to play Game Cube and watch a movie and Simeon wanted to play Legos! Rarely see that one. We've got some fun things planned the next few weeks with them, which is pretty exciting. They lent us a book about Pilgrims' manners and eating habits. At the end of the book are several recipes. We've already made Bannock Cakes, which Samuel couldn't decide if he liked or not and kept coming back for more just to see if he liked them better the next times! Catherine liked them, especially drenched in syrup. Caleb even enjoyed them and ate and ate. I'm looking forward to the next recipe.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

For your viewing pleasure

We got new pictures last night of Hannah! It had been over 2 months since the last and we really needed something to encourage our faith that things are moving. Someone Buddy just met gave us some money toward the adoption and shared the story of Mephibosheth again with him. David sought out "M" through the whole land so he could show kindness to him, providing the very best for this orphan, treating him like one of his sons. God cares for orphans and we KNOW He's bringing our little girl home quickly!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A glimpse into our home school

This morning, we were really close to being done with work and were going to head to the library. Both S & C were very excited to finish. They like to read to me on our couch so were have some snuggle time together. Samuel wanted to do oral math facts with me at the same time Catherine wanted to do her reading. Caleb was awake and wanted to be with us while he played with his sword. So, picture the 4 of us on about 1.5 couch cushions, Catherine doing reading, Samuel saying his math facts, Caleb waving the foam sword all over, and me trying to pay attention and help each as needed! Kind of a circus, but a very enjoyable one!
I took the plunge and finally bought a car seat for Hannah! In July I bought her some clothes in a reluctant effort. Things were not moving along, we hadn't had progress in months and had no clue on a court date. So glad I didn't buy much, because she may never fit in them. I felt ready now to buy something that says we're really ready for her and are acting like it's coming true. Everyone was excited about it. Caleb had a great time in the box! Now, we just need a big enough vehicle to fit all 6 of us in...

amazing kids

Last night, we were praying with the kids before bed. Much to my surprise, it went like this...
Samuel- "Thank you Lord for this day. Protect us, watch over us, and keep us safe. And God, help Mr. Obama come to know you and change his heart. Amen"
Catherine- "Thank you Lord for this day. Help us have a wonderful day tomorrow. Protect Mr. Obana and keep him safe so he can know you. Amen"

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

God news

Last night we watched a bit of the returns before the kids went to bed. The kids went with me to vote yesterday and were very patient for the hour we were at the polling place. They were well aware that one candidate "wants to change the world and wants to kill babies," as Catherine says. We were really clear on what our beliefs are and why we were voting as we did. However, I kept reminding them that God is still God, He'll always care for us, protect us and bring blessing to us no matter who is president. We also talked about how God can move on the President's heart to favor the righteous even if he isn't.
So this morning we woke up to find... God is STILL good! He is still going to bless us! We still have Someone greater to take care of us. We're so thankful that this is true and we can rest in that as we go through this term in office. We'll just be reminded more than ever to lift up the government in prayer each day.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Caleb tidbits

(Enjoying Samuel's birthday cake. Where's his bib!?!)

Caleb is really blossoming lately and I just have to share. While we were in Branson 2 weeks ago, we were sitting around the cottage talking, and he let go of the coffee table and stood by himself a few seconds. He continues to cruise and have fleeting moments standing. While my MIL was here, she did yoga almost everyday. Caleb would get over where she was, play with her hair, and attempt some yoga postures! Really!
He's been signing "more" for several weeks, but today he signed "please," "all done," and "eat!" I realized he'd been doing "eat" for a while, but I hadn't recognized it until he did it after I asked him if he wanted to eat. Also, as the Urbans were leaving, I took him in his room to change his diaper and he waved and called out "ba bye" as clear as can be. (while laying on his changing pad!)
We took him out on the trampoline a few days ago and he had a blast! Unfortunately, the record button was not on. Urrr! We've been reviewing spelling words while Samuel jumps on the trampoline this week (odd, but Samuel's been spelling very well) and Caleb goes with us and really enjoys it.
We have a cd of music sung in Spanish that the kids really like. Caleb will hear it and make a bee line to their room, pull up on the table, and dance to the music. He will raise his hands and jabber. When we say, "Praise the Lord," he waves his hand and jabbers more. So sweet, because we never "taught" him that, he's just picked it up from when we've been at church.

Tonight Samuel was concerned about Caleb getting into the MANY Lego pieces, but I told him it would be my job to keep him out. Considering it was a 692 piece project, there were a lot of small parts and a big box. Well, Caleb had such a great time getting on and off the box, squealing with delight and pointing and talking to the little guys! I got it on video, but can't get it to download. (Major frowny face!) Use your imagination and I'll work on figuring it out.

Happy Birthday Samuel!

(Insert music from Fiddler on the Roof)
Amazing how 9 years has flown by. I remember this
and this
and this (with my Gpa Sams)
and this.
But now, we have this!

Yes, it's still fairly dark outside, but I'd fixed our traditional hot cereal and put a candle in it. He really wanted granola, but candles don't hold up so well in that!

They had a great morning of school and then got a phone call that Gpa was going to take us out to lunch to celebrate! We finished up most of it, then went to Panera for chicken noodle soup, by Samuel's request. Shortly after we got back, our homeschooling buddies can over so we could light the candle for the 3rd time and sing again for our sweet boy.

We found out that Buddy was working late, so I brought out his last gift after a dinner of chicken noodle soup. (really- no chicken, noodle soup, but you get the idea.) This was a staged expression, but so like him when it comes to Legos!

In slightly more time than I pushed to deliver him(seriously, it was 12 minutes more), all 692 pieces were in place. He did have some help from the girls, but 1 hour and 32 minutes later, it was complete! They have great plans to play 1st thing in the am. I tried to convince them it's a great thing to sleep in, but I'm not sure they want to.

Then it was time for bed, but right at the time he was born, I told him the abbreviated version of his birth. It was so sweet to have him sitting on my lap while I share with him what a blessing he is to us and how thankful we are to have him in our lives. I'm looking forward to watching him grow into all God has for him.