Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Little of This, and A Little of That

Who needs the gym? I certainly don't when I have Oliver to keep me on my toes.  He is exploring everything nowadays. 

Our neighbors bought four beanies and a headband to help out with adoption costs.  Thanks Krysta!The grey one turned out so nice, that Julia made another one with a bit of originality.  Presenting the padawan beanie! :)
I was totally against a drum set.  Actually dead set against it.  Like I needed another noisemaker in the house.   But I am actually enjoying it for the most part.  Annalyn plays this African jungle beat that gets me dancing every single time.  Literally.  So I thought we would have a dance contest.
Here I am doing my dance. 
And here is Caleb doing his.  Sorry Cay, but I think I won. :)
Rachel got tons of nail polish for her birthday so she treated me to a pedicure.  As I type this I am having my toes painted to look like glittery gold nuggets.  Because there is nothing like some bling bling to bring in the new year. 
I forgot to mention that Julia made me these amazing oven mitts for Christmas.  A blog reader noticed and emailed me about them.   She said that every pair of oven mitts that she has still made her burn her hands, just like me.  That is why Julia made them for me.  They are crocheted with four strands of yarn in the tightest stitch.  They work great! 
Thank you for your oven mitt order Kim!
Thank you for your donations and orders.  I am in awe of your generosity... to be on the receiving end on behalf of our little girl that we are adopting to help get her home, you have donated $4000 in the last five days.  Thank you so much!  

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Pictures Galore

Nolan is doing great in school.   He is so motivated to learn and write.
He can color, write all of his letters, and cut with scissors.  He lets nothing stand in his way of doing what he sets his mind to.
His Assistive Communication Device has been ordered and he should begin his trial run with it sometime in January.  I am so excited for him!  We did a trial period with a bone conduction headband to help with his hearing and it was a flop.  Nolan did not like wearing it longer than a half hour at a time and he would pull it off and leave it somewhere.  Since it was a loner I could not take the chance of losing it, so after three weeks, we returned it.  Down the road we are looking at surgery to have a bone conduction implant anchored, but it is not urgent.  For now, he is on ear drops to help dry the left one out. 
A week ago we had some friends over.  After dinner we decorated sugar cookies.

Alex and Oliver waiting for dessert.
Anastasia listening to music.
Andrew and Paul playing a video game.
The older kids working on a drawing of 12 things that remind them of Christmas.

William bought himself a box of his favorite cereal.  For Christmas, he shared a bowl with me.
I cooked another turkey recently, this time in an oven bag.  It turned out really moist.
After deboning it, Paul and Nolan had a field day looking for the wishbone and eating the skin.
Adam helped Dennis build a rocket.
John got me this industrial strength 14 quart pot.  I love it! 
Sveta and Paul
Jonny building a new fort.
My sister and Aunt gave us some money for Christmas.  I got the kids a few razor scooters and bikes off of a local craigslist type site.  The kids have been riding them non-stop.
Even Alex likes to play the new drums.
Julia got the girls Just Dance 2014 for the Wii. 
Aunt Tanya helped Alex do a puzzle.
There is an official ranking in the house of Oliver's favorite people in the whole wide world.  Adam is number 1 hands down.  Oliver will always go to him no matter who is holding him, and he doesn't even need to be dishing out marshmallows.  Julia, Anna, and I are all pretty much tied for second depending on his mood and whether or not there are marshmallows involved. 

Happy Birthday!

Wow oh wow! My oldest daughter turned 18. I think I am still in denial.  Happy birthday Rachel!
For her birthday she wanted to go roller skating.  Four of her friends along with her sisters and Caleb went skating for three hours.  When they came back we had tons of Chinese food..... and a few burgers from McDonalds for those who don't like Chinese. 
She requested "I Do! I Do! Wedding Cake Ice-Cream" from Blue Bunny, but after looking for it at four different stores we settled on a variety of four different ice-creams. :)
We sang happy birthday.
She blew out the candles.

She opened presents.  A few weeks ago I took her on a mini-shopping spree and let her pick out whatever she wanted.  It was fun for her, and took the stress off of me.  I think I will do this will all of my girls when they turn eighteen.  She of course had to wait for her birthday to open her gifts though.
Friends and family knew exactly what to get her-- as she was all smiles

John and I are very proud of Rachel.  She is beautiful inside and out.  Though we have only had the pleasure of parenting her for the last 6 1/2 years of her life, we have witnessed a flower blossom into full bloom.  What a privilege.

I have to admit, it feels like time is slipping through my hands.  Just the other day we were celebrating her 13th birthday, then her 16th, and now her 18th.  
She may technically be an adult now, but I think she will always be our little girl!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Lots More Yarn

It's been awhile so I figured I would give an adoption update.   This process is going well.  We are just waiting for our home study so it could be sent off to USCIS. 
We have received around $3000 in donations including $150 today.  I am thankful... humbled... speechless.  Tis the season to give... it is true.  I hope you have been blessed by your giving to know that your donations are helping to bring home-- God willing-- our little girl.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Julia and I went out to get some new yarns.  Grandma gave her some too.  With our newest orders, I thought it would be easiest if you just saw the colors we have.  Just let us know which picture and color of yarn you would like.
4.  These balls are only big enough to be flowers.
5.  There is a slight variation in these two balls.  One has brown and mustard yellow and the other doesn't.
7.  The first brown has flecks of gold.  All three resemble the color beige.
9.  Julia and I thought these two colors would make a really pretty headband.
 These are a few of Julia's past orders.

Julia wanted me to let you know, that she makes baby beanies too.  If you have a certain crochet pattern and you would like her to make it for you, she can do that too.
Headbands are $17
Beanies are $20
There is a Pitch In box on the top right hand corner of this blog for donations in exchange for crocheted items.
On a side note, I have to share... the car window decal fundraiser has been a complete flop.  I have sold three... out of 80.   Indeed it is embarrassing that I took for granted that this fundraiser would go as well as prior ones.  I was wrong.  I guess I didn't do so hot with the design this time around.  Or perhaps the suggested donation is too high at $20.  If anyone decides that they would like one, they are now only $10 including shipping.  You can find them here.
I leave you with a picture of the little girl we hope to adopt, when she was younger.
Our Grace Haven Family page can be found here.  All tax deductible donations made through this link will help with adoption costs related to bringing home little girl.