Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas review

Every year around Christmas time, there are lots of special things in the grocery store. Desserts, toppings, coffee creamer. Right now, I'm enjoying my cup of coffee with PEPPERMINT creamer in it. YUM!

I love Christmas. I hate when it's over and the decorations go away, and the stores aren't as festive, and life loses that sense of anticipation. I have a friend that packes up all their Christmas stuff asap after the big day. That just depresses me. I usually leave ours out as long as possible, thru Jan if my family lets me! Drinking my peppermint favored coffee is one of my silly ways to keep Christmas going.

We had a lovely holiday. My parents came in town Christmas Eve and we all went to the evening service at church. (Sometimes we go to the midnight service but we thought we were too tired to stay up that long that night.) Most of the presents were wrapped, but we had to make cookies for Santa and of course finish up all that stuff that needs to be done before the BIG DAY. Everyone finally went to bed, I followed at probably 2:30 (I always think I'm done but there's always more to do) and we had a lovely Christmas morning! Everyone got their most wanted gift and a few others, and we played games and watched movies all day. The week between Christmas and New Years went by waaaaay too fast. On the 2nd, the kids and I packed up and went to my parents for my aunt's funeral. She died Chrismas Eve, but since she lived 2 states away, the funeral was postponed over a week. My dad's sister. An aunt I didn't know well at all, but I know she cared for me and my kids. I remember when she came to my wedding, how sweet she was and how excited she was to be there. She always remembered us at Christmas, and sent special gifts to the kids sometimes.

I wanted to post some photos from Christmas. First, the tree. Usually there's an angel at the top but she broke and I couldn't stand for there to be nothing up there. We had lots of Santa hats so I stuck one up there temporarily, but I kinda like it.

Here's some of the favorite presents (and one small Santa):
Like the drool?!

And this is the BEST surprise of the year-
Andrew has known the past couple of years what he's getting. Either he finds out somehow, or he's wanted something so expensive I needed his input when buying his gift. Last year, his first at high school, we got him a cell phone and I was sure we were going to surprise him. I got it and charged it, and put his # in my phone right before Christmas. On our way to pick up his then girlfriend, he used my phone to call her. The twerp then was playing with my phone and I heard him say "who's Andrew?" Yep, he found his number. Grrrr. He's been bugging us for a year for a letterman jacket. I kept saying that they were too expensive and we'd try to save up money so he could have one before next football season, all the time knowing we had it! I talked both sets of grandparents into helping us buy it, and bought the school mascot patch months ago, and ordered it so we'd have time to get all his patches sown on. Check out his eyes in the first one:

Look how proud he is!

We told him that he's really earned it, working out every day, going to every practice, putting effort into every game. He learned something from every loss and became a very gracious winner over the past 2 years. This is a boy who was never into sports before last year. He found something he loves, and he's working hard at it even when it isn't easy. We're so proud of him.

Monday, December 22, 2008

You may have noticed several new buttons I've added over on the left. They are all children waiting to go home to their adoptive families, and if you're interested in their stories, please click and go visit them. The one below is a special case. The family is in the midst of bringing their child home, and unexpected financial problems have stalled the process. Click on the link and read their story. If nothing else, please add them to your prayers.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

'Tis The Season.........

To Neglect Your Blog, FA LA LA LA, LA LA LA LA!

Or maybe that's only if you're me!

I've very much enjoyed having a blog. I just always get overwhelmed this time of year. Plus I got a Facebook account. Very Addicting! To catch up:

We've had 2 "Winter Concerts", 1 snow day, and 1 cancelled "Winter Concert" due to inclement weather. (They used to be Christmas Concerts but the names apparently had to be changed. Christmas music is still played or sung however.) The tree is up, most of the presents are purchased, and most of the cards have gone out (the rest will go tomorrow, that is my goal). We had Jack's 2 year-old pic taken, and a family one as well. I still have to finish cleaning so I can get the rest of the decorations up and wrap! The kids are now home for break and I am so happy!

Jack re-cap:
He's starting to use some signs. Some are coming easier than others, and some are "modified" by Jack. Whatever, I'm thrilled he's doing it! He's starting to run, and it's hilarious! His balance still isn't the best, but when he tries to run, his little feet go a hundred miles an hour, but only move a couple of inches at a time! So he's taking these tiny little steps but very quickly. If I can get it on video I'll post it. He also still loves hats and now is putting on his little Santa hat when he gets ahold of it. So cute! And I'm really hoping not to jinx us, but still no fever or signs of illness! Yay! He has a tiny bit of snotty nose, but it's not runny and we all seem to be having nose issues - I think because it's so dry in the house with the weather being so cold.

Jack has also been playing the piano a lot lately, especially when M sits down to play. Notice he found he can stand in his little chair to get to the keys! Our PT says this could be a great activity to get him standing on tip-toes or going up and down a small step, like the phone book, to get to the keys. It seems to be working great! (Sorry about the incredibly messy house - I'm working on it, I promise!)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Okay, here we are, on fever day during fever week, and NO fever! I'm cautiously optimistic. He hasn't coughed in several days. He still has a liitle bit of runny nose but it's all clear and just a little bit. I noticed the other day that Jack is growing in the 2nd of 2 teeth that started coming in a few weeks ago. Hmmmmm. Doctors tell you that one has nothing to do with the other but I've never been convinced that was true. Out of 4 kids, ALL of them have occasionally run a fever for no apparent reason except there happens to be a tooth coming in. So, IDK. But we managed both therapies today on time for the 1st time in 4 weeks.

Jackson got the shots he was missing so now we're all caught up there, and I made the appointment to get his 2yr old pics taken. I went ahead and made the appointment for all of us to have a family pic taken too in case I can talk my family into it. I have about 1/2 of our Christmas cards out and the rest will be ready soon. 2 of the 3 older kids have had their Christmas programs at school and did very well on their violins. About 1/2 of the Christmas decorations are up. I have 95% of the Christmas shopping done. Do you see where this is headed? I'm feeling pretty good for this time of the year! We'll see what happens in the next 2 weeks though!

I have a couple of Jackson stories from the past week. He is not only not scared of the vaccum, he seems to like it! Every time I try to run it, he is totally in the way. A few days ago I decided to try to get a photo of Jack not letting me vaccum and this is what I got:

He's such a hoot! This happened in every room but I wasn't as good with the camera as I should've been. He would actually lie down in front of the vaccum. That last pic is just 'cause he's so cute!

And the last one is for Grandma. She's gonna love seeing Jack with a hammer!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Doing Good!

Jack is doing good this week! 'Course this isn't his fever week so nothing I didn't expect. Still has the yucky nose and cough once in a great while. He's happy and eating and sleeping normally so we'll just deal I guess.

I've been thinking about how in love with that little man I am. I know I was head-over-heels for my other wee ones too, but I'm nuts for Jack. Is it because he's still little? Or an unexpected blessing? Is it more intense because there's extra protectiveness because of his ds? I don't know. It's not the "he can do no wrong" kind of obsessed - he certainly has his moments. I just can't seem to get enough of him. I love to watch him explore and examine, and listen to him "talk" to things he's looking at. I love to kiss him, even his little cute toes. When we go out shopping or to run errands somewhere, I'm so proud of him. I've never seen anyone look at him with less than a "oh what a cute baby" look, or maybe I just don't see any other. How blessed I am!

Thinking of Jack's moments, this is a new one. He loves the dog's water. That's not new. He sticks his fingers in it; he puts toys in it; he dumps it on the floor so he can play in it. Drives me nuts! So I (we) try to pick it up when he's up and playing, and keep an eye on it when we put in down for the poor thirsty doggy. Sometimes we forget. This morning, I forgot. So I'm in the other room, signing on to the computer and I hear him splashing in the dog water. I jump up and run to the kitchen saying "Jackson, you know you aren't supposed to play in the dog's water!" and I pick up the bowl and put it on the counter. By the time I turn around he's picked up and is handing me the dog's food bowl, giant grin on his face! So he doesn't have any words yet, no signs except "milk", but he KNOWS. This has happened a couple of times recently, all evidence he understands, even though he isn't talking. I LOVE that! I love that he's getting things, and growing, and is such a little stinker!

Have I mentioned how much he loves hats? He's a bit obsessed. He has several of his own, but any hat where he can get it is good. So our pic today is of Jack wearing Ty's knit hat. He put it on all by himself! What a hoot!