Fall 2013

Fall 2013

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Candy

The absolute BEST candy ever!!

Matthew and Maia weren't quite sure what to make of this dressing up thing. They both got to wear their costumes to school. I helped out with Matthew's party which was a lot of fun! I'm not sure he cared too much that I was there, but that's ok - lol!!
We took the kids to see Nana and Papa first. They still didn't understand what trick or treating was all about but were happy to see them. But... after the first couple of houses in our neighborhood, they realized they were getting lots of candy and that was pretty good. Then it was, "one more (house) please." We limited it to about six houses because it was getting late. But I'm guessing next year, we may need to plan for a few more. :-)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

What we've been up to

Wearing cuddly new pajamas from Nana
 They are great!!

 Enjoying time with family - Mark's cousin Bethany hosted a shower for us yesterday. It was wonderful to spend some time together and visit for a while. Schedules make it a challenge to get together as often as we would like so this was a special gift. And the kids were so blessed, I'd say it was as good (or better) than Christmas!!! Jill, Matthew has not went anywhere without his airplane since we have been home. It stayed in the car at church this morning, though.

 The kids' cousins have a trampoline at their house and were kind enough to let Matthew and Maia give it a try. Pretty sure it was a hit - lol!! 
 Daddy was hiding underneath "helping" them jump around.

Truth to the phrase "A picture is worth a thousand words." Maia goes through life at a slow, leisurely pace. Matthew - well, he's moving so fast that he's just a blur! Maybe he should be The Flash or Speedy Gonzales for Halloween.

I forgot to mention that Maia had her first dentist appointment last week. She was not too sure about people looking in her mouth and a little apprehensive about leaning back in the chair, but she made it through and had a good report. No bite problems, no cavities. She'll go back in six months and we may try cleaning her teeth at that time.

Today, we had a full day! Sunday school and church this morning. After the service was over, the kids got to attend a fall festival while Mark and I attended a parenting session sponsored by our church's Health and Wellness Committee. We both felt like we were given some good information. Ran home for a quick change of clothes and headed out to the farm where Mark keeps his airplane (and other toys). Met my parents there so that Mark and my dad could pull a snow plow blade off an old truck. The kids enjoyed running around and Matthew was so excited to see Grandpa Jerry. Ran a couple of errands, stopped for dinner, and came home. The kids were exhausted so hopefully, they will sleep well tonight.

A little funny for the day... the kids have been learning that it's polite to say "excuse me" after certain bodily functions. Yesterday, we were in the car and drove over some rumble strips. Maia and Matthew looked at each other, started giggling, and Maia said "PARDON ME!!"

And ten months ago today (at about 1AM on December 30, 2010), we walked in the front door of our house with our daughter. In some ways, it seems such a short time ago and in other ways, it feels like she's always been here. Can't imagine life without that sweet girl!! God gave us such a blessing in Miss Maia!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Sometimes I forget.  The stress of daily life can be overwhelming at times. Parenting two children with special needs is often exhausting, mentally and physically (yes... I know - parenting children in general is exhausting). Add a demanding job, worry about finances, a messy house, all those things that we deal with every day and it's easy to get bogged down in that. Tonight, I am making a conscious choice to be thankful.
  • Thankful that even though I am feeling rotten, it's just a cold. I will get over it. Compared to a life-threatening or chronic illness, I have nothing to complain about.
  • Thankful that my sweet husband told me that he would put the kids to bed tonight so I could go out and sit in the hot tub, relax, and then climb into bed myself. Not every parent has someone to share the responsibilities with.
  • Thankful that I have a job caring for a precious group of people, the elderly. And that this job is stable and offers us excellent health care for the entire family. What a blessing that is!
  • Thankful that there are two adorable kiddos who greet me with squeals of joy when I get home at night. Kids that are learning what love and a family are all about, kids that God has given me the privilege of parenting.
  • Thankful that I have a God who reveals Himself to me when I stop long enough to seek Him. I sat outside tonight looking at the stars and prayed that God might show me a shooting star. I closed my eyes for a few minutes and opened them to see a one right in front of me!! How cool is that and what a reminder of God's presence. I am thankful that He reminds me to slow down and BE thankful!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bad Daddy

Last weekend we came home from something and Maia as always saw our house and said "THERE IT IS"
and then BAD DAD drove past the house. Maia didn't like that and started to cry. I just drove around the block as Melanie tried to tell Maia it was ok.


PS. on a side note.  Last March when I filled up the hot tub we found I did a poor job of getting it set for winter when we went to get Maia. Yep it froze and cracked a pipe. Well it was a little more than a pipe, it was a manifold. I just got it fixed and we used it for the first time last night.

Next time I will pay to have it done by the pros.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mini vaca

Well, it wasn't really a vaca, but I took a few days off work. On Monday, Matthew had Early Childhood screening at school and I wanted to be there for that. He did well, passed in every area except speech which is not surprising given that he's only been home a little less than three months. The speech therapist who did the screening works with Maia. She will rescreen Matthew in the future, but she didn't seem too concerned with the results she got. That's great news!
Since I was home, Mark took advantage of the time to go back to the cabin and fix the roof on the shed. 60mph winds had ripped off the tar paper that was waiting for shingles (or something). Anyway... Tuesday, he took our nephew Gavin and his friend Tim along to help out. Maia and I had lunch with my friend Del and after Matthew was done with school, went to visit my cousin Marge and celebrate our birthdays.
The kids were both off school yesterday so we had a lazy day. Up late, brunch, made some cookies as a thank-you to our neighbor John who took the awesome pics you see below (and our family pic above), then headed to the park. Mark got home late afternoon. My parents came down last night and took us out for dinner for my birthday (thanks mom and dad!). Matthew was soooo excited to see Grandpa Jerry!!
It was wonderful to have a a little break and just enjoy time with the kids. Kind of hard to go back to work today. Mark and the kids came to have lunch with me which was a nice surprise. And that sweet hubby of mine asked people to send me email birthday wishes so that was fun, too. He made a fabulous dinner - ribs, baked potatoes, and broccoli/cauliflower - yummy!! Oh... I forgot one of the best parts - I got out of the car and Mark and the kids were at the window, waiting to sing happy birthday to me - what a great present! How blessed I am!!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weekend at the Cabin

Several years ago, we purchased some land in northern Minnesota. Our cabin is NOT what many people think of as a "cabin" - you know... the second home, all the amenities, etc. We bought this land thinking about the future - possibly building our retirement home there. But right now, it's pretty primitive. No running water (yes, that also means that we have an outhouse), electricity by generator, no tv, no internet. We've had big dreams for everything we want to accomplish, but life has been a little busy lately - lol! Last summer, I didn't make it to the cabin at all. Mark went once. We didn't make it at all this year before bringing Matthew home, but Mark has been able to go a few times since we've been back.
Finally over the weekend, we were able to go as a family. The first time for the kids. They loved it. Lots of space to run around and play. Treasured time together. What a blessing. Here's a few pics from the trip.

Our property is heavily wooded. This is a picture of the ground - yes, those are all trees!!!

A giggle for your Monday

Ok, here's my first "kids say the funniest things" story. We're driving down the road and all of a sudden, there is an odor from a farm that we passed.

Mom: "EEEWWW. Something stinks."
Kids start smelling and making faces.
Mom: "Wow, it smells like someone pooped their pants."
Matthew: "Mom, Maia."
Mom: "No, Matthew - Maia did not poop her pants."
Matthew sticks his hand down the back of his pants, pulls it out, and says, "NO POOP MOM!!"

Oh my goodness, Mark and I couldn't stop laughing! Yeah... we've been working on keeping fingers out of butts even before this happened.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

365 days ago

One year ago today, our dossier arrived in Ukraine. Oh, I remember the anticipation of that time. The waiting was so difficult. Praying for Maia every day, that God would prepare her to become part of our family. That He would prepare Mark and me to be her parents, that He would go before us and smooth every path. And He definitely did!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

God knew!

Although there is no doubt in my mind that God chose Matthew to be our son (I only have to think back over the past ten months to see His hand at work in Matthew’s adoption), I would like to share a story with you that gives further confirmation of His divine plan.

I received an email in the middle of August from a woman named Michelle. She introduced herself by saying that we didn’t know each other, but she felt “compelled to send” us an email. Michelle had been on an international flight in early July and met a woman who was bringing home her daughter (adopted through Reece’s Rainbow). A while later, she was on the RR website, checking out the “Already Home” page to see if she could find this family when she came across Matthew’s picture and our story. Michelle told me that she began to cry.

Now why would that cause such an emotional reaction?? Well, Michelle and her husband Bob had recently returned from Ukraine. They had met with the SDA on June 1 and received information about 2 little boys who were available for adoption. As the SDA told Michelle and Bob about the children, they mentioned that 7 other families had visited and rejected one of these little boys because of his medical diagnosis. Michelle and Bob chose to accept the referral and visit the child who had been rejected so many times. As they visited him, they struggled with what to do. Should they go visit the other little boy they had received information about? Were they going to be the 8th family to reject the child they were visiting? As Michelle and Bob prayed, they came to the conclusion that they could not leave this precious child in the circumstances that he was currently living in so they proceeded with his adoption. But, Michelle wondered about the other little boy’s profile. She asked God for confirmation that they had made the right decision.

Yes, God gave Michelle that assurance that she asked for. Matthew was the other little boy whose profile that she and Bob had been given during their SDA appointment!

Michelle’s email was a wonderful gift to us as well, confirming how perfect God’s plan is. When we received our referral for Matthew, we were also told that many other families had refused him. It broke my heart to think about that, but also reassured me that God had chosen Matthew to be our son. Hearing from Michelle reinforced what my heart knew from the first time I picked Matthew up, he was chosen to be part of our forever family.

Thank you Michelle for contacting me and giving me permission to share your story!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Weekend pics

We had a nice weekend. Mark was feeling pretty rotten - he and the kids have been fighting colds and I think are on round 2. Mark's had the worst of it. So far... I've managed to avoid the crud. In spite of that, I've got some cute pictures to share.
Yes mom, I KNOW how adorable I am!

 Actually, I can't take any credit for these next pics. I think we may have an aspiring photographer on our hands. These were taken by Matthew - yes, REALLY!

Our neighbor John is a photographer. He did a photo shoot for us on Saturday afternoon at one of the local historical sites. I brought along my camera and Matthew wanted to take pictures. He did a pretty good job, don't you think??

Today, I braved church by myself again with the kids so Mark could try to recuperate a little bit. The kids love Sunday school. And they did pretty good until just after the sermon - really sitting still for two hours straight is a lot to ask of a three and four year old.  This afternoon, we visited some of Mark's friends. I wish I had brought the camera along. The kids got to play with a little white lab puppy and pet a horse for the first time. Matthew even got to sit on a cow. It was a full weekend and Matthew reached his limit. By the time we got home this evening, he was wiped out. Even getting ready for bed was too much for him. So... mom put his pj's on and cuddled up in the recliner. 

Precious moments, the first time Matthew has fallen asleep in my arms. (Maia? Nope, not yet.) 

Matthew and Maia were asleep by 7pm. They will probably both be awake at 4:30am - just like this morning. Even though they went back to bed, I'm not sure either of them made it back to sleep. Ah, well.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Ice cream on my nose

Dad was giving me some ice cream, but then he put it on my nose.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thankful Thursday

One year ago today, our dossier arrived in California on it's way to Ukraine. Oh... the anticipation of knowing that we were that much closer to our child. I am so thankful that God has walked with us each step of the journey. Blessing us with our beautiful daughter. Can you imagine how He must have grinned when we met Matthew for the first time? Knowing that we were going to be that adorable boy's parents? Knowing what my heart instinctively told me the first time I held him? That I was going to be Matthew's mama. I am thankful beyond measure for His perfect plan for my life and for the treasures He has given me!

And speaking of one of those treasures... for the first time tonight, Maia said "I love you" - in Miss Maia language of course. What a precious moment that was!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

It took two months

Well Matthews room is almost done. It took a long time to do because I could not work on it as often as I wanted to. It didn't take a lot of man hours, but it took a long time because I had other things to do as well. So Matthew spent his first night in his room last night. It still needs molding around the door and the new electric outlets hooked up. He was very happy to say Dima's room no Maia.