Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 in Review

Too much has happened this past year for me to cover it all, but here are some highlights!

Amelia had her first ever birthday party, turning 7 in March. Her friends helped her celebrate at a gymnastics center.

In April we incubated eggs as a home school science project. The chicks were just too cute to give away, and now Zach is "farmer boy" and enjoys fresh eggs every morning. (Pip is now a beautiful hen, and still likes to be held by Zach-- and read to by Amelia if you look in the September posts!

In June, Jamie and his Dad took the teen boys on a road trip for their birthdays. It was a special trip to celebrate beginning their teen years. First they went to a Texas Rangers game in Arlington, then took a train to St. Louis to see the Cardinals play. Albert Pujols is Zach's favorite player. It would have been much cheaper if they could just be Red Sox fans!!

Nine years in a row we have gone to Rumney Bible Conference for a week during the Summer. It is always a relaxing and refreshing time for the whole family- and fun too! (There is an October post of Amelia kayaking on the pond at Rumney.)

In the Fall, Dante turned 3. He is not walking yet, but his new AFO's are helping him get there. He even tries to put them on by himself sometimes.

There have been lots of other happenings: Nikita buying herself a Cocker Spaniel puppy, Alexander now a freshman, Amelia joining a Special Olympics gymnastics team, and of course the biggie is us pursuing the adoption of Sunny. Bringing Sunny home is sure to be the highlight of 2009!

My favorite photo from this past year, though, is this one of Alexander and Dante. Dante adores his big brother, and I think it is safe to say the feeling is mutual. Being home schooled gives my children so much time together-- some of it spent arguing, but more spent bonding. This photo reminds me what a blessing each of my children are.

Friday, December 26, 2008


A few weeks ago our home school group had a field trip to Bemis Farms Nursery. The kids learned how to creat a properly arranged Christmas centerpiece. Four of my children participated, and here are some of the pictures. Micah especially enjoyed getting to use the pruning shears.

Since the recent ice storm caused school to be cancelled, Dad was able to come along and help Micah with his project. (Public school was cancelled; we did our best to maintain a schedule despite Dad being home for 8 "snow" days in a row!)

It looks mostly like the sample!

And some pics of Alexander, Nikita, and Amelia working on their centerpieces:

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Getting Ready for His Birthday

My children have never believed in Santa Claus. After all, Christmas is not about an overweight man in a red suit leaving presents. It is the day we celebrate the birth of Christ. We told our kids the story of St. Nicholas, and one of my favorite decorations is a little resin figure of Santa Claus bowing before the baby Jesus. We all love watching "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" because they are a part of Christmas. After all, we enjoy Curious George but that does not mean we think he is real. Just fun.

I was trying to explain to Amelia, now 7, about Christmas, and told her it is Jesus' birthday. Since He is not here in person, we give each other presents. Amelia LOVES birthdays. When we lit our Advent candle this past week we had to sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus. Actually, Christmas morning I make a coffee cake and we sing to Jesus before we open any gifts. Isn't that how it is done at a birthday party?

Another birthday tradition is the birthday card. Every party includes the birthday cards. Over the weekend Jamie and I finally got our Christmas cards done while the kids were playing. Then Amelia wrote a note, put it into an envelope, and wrote "Nana" on the front-- at least that is what she said she wrote--- and put it into the mailbox out front. Jamie helped her make it actually mailable (is that a word?), and it was sent. When Nana called Amelia to thank her for the note, I heard Amelia saying "Happy Birthday Jesus". She had sent a birthday card to Jesus, via Nana.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Our documents have been sent on to Taiwan! They should be arriving there on Monday. Then the long wait begins. I hope we have a really snowy winter so the kids and I can have a lot of fun sledding-- distracting me from wishing winter would end so we can get the travel call.

In other news, Jamie and I are traveling to Haverhill tonight to give our adoption testimony. The Brookridge Community Church's Women's Ministry is having a huge outreach Christmas Party combined with a fundraiser. This year all donations are going to Shaohannah's Hope adoption grant fund. Since Jamie and I have received a grant from the organization twice, we have been asked to speak about our experience. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't like public speaking, and I'm told there are going to be a LOT of ladies there tonight. God got me into this (I never would have said if I'd known first it would be over 200 ladies), and He will get Jamie and I through it tonight. I am actually not as nervous as I thought I would be-- of course, we aren't there yet! The party does sound like a lot of fun, and pictures of my adorable children will be on the 10 foot screens, so that will be pretty cool! And it means Jamie and I have a night out. And I get to talk about adoption, all in all I am looking forward to it.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Our paperwork has been received and is now in the Boston TECO office awaiting authentication. I am so thankful to finally have it! We waited exactly three months from hearing a "yes" to having the papers in our hands. Once it arrives back in Taiwan we will begin an approximate four month wait until we hear about travel.

We did receive some pictures of Sunny from last Summer. She was dancing and singing with other children...we received a lot of photos, along with 3 video clips of her doing the motions and dancing! Here are two...