Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy Birthday Rachel

Happy birthday to our daughter Rachel!  She is nineteen years old.  Since her birthday is on Christmas, we usually celebrate it early.  John and I took her and her new boyfriend out to a place called the Panda Inn.   We had a wonderful time, but didn't get very many pictures.   Since the night ended kind of late, we did not go home and do cake and presents with all the other kids either.  We waited until closer to Christmas and took the whole family out to dinner-- to celebrate Christmas and Rachel's birthday.
And John (the sweet guy that he is) took lots of pictures for me. :)
Waiting to be seated.

About thirty minutes later, two tables were ready for us.

Since we went on a Saturday night, there was a balloon guy there.  He made Rachel a birthday crown.

Before leaving, John attempted to get a quick group picture.  Many of the little kids were not looking, Caleb was not there, and only the top of Alex's head shows as he was still eating his meal-- LOL.   Oh well.
Happy birthday to an amazing girl young woman.   We are so proud of our oldest daughter.  She is beautiful inside and out and we are super excited to see what God has in store for her in the coming year!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas!

These past few weeks have gone by so fast.  Christmas Eve was here before I knew it.  With so much to get done, I was thankful for the extra help in the kitchen.   Adam and Caleb sliced all the potatoes so I could make cheesy scalloped potatoes. 
Grandpa and Grandma brought some yummy snacks.
Galina got a belated birthday present from Grandma-- a beautiful hand knitted scarf.
Adam waited for all of us to pile into the cars.
Once Christmas Eve dinner was in the oven, we went to the evening service at our church.  It was a beautiful reminder of no matter how messy (and unperfect) our lives are... there is much to rejoice in for a Savior was born who loves us (and our messy lives) very much.
Early Christmas morning, William got up with Baboonya to make Christmas breakfast.  He bought and made cinnamon rolls and strawberry shakes as his gift to the whole family.  It was incredibly thoughtful of him-- and much appreciated.
I barely got everything wrapped in time for Christmas morning.  I ran out of Christmas bags so began using birthday bags.  I don't think anyone minded though.
Christmas morning was very nice.
The kids were very excited.
Galina's sister Allie, joined us.
After the kids opened their stockings, the cinnamon rolls were ready.  We all shared a nice breakfast before beginning to open all the gifts.

Jonny and Andrew got out Lexi's stocking full of treats.
Lexi was happy to get a morning treat.
Opening presents has always been a bit crazy at our house, and this Christmas morning was no exception.
We started out having one person at a time open a gift, but realized that we would take hours.
Soon, there were 3 or 4 kids opening presents at the same time.  This turned out to be a nice pace.

In addition to William making breakfast for everyone, he got the four youngest boys a DVD of Masha and the Bear.  It is in Russian but the boys still love it!  And honestly, it is so much easier to watch now instead of watching it on youtube through the Wii--- that we all think it was probably the best gift idea this year.  Great job William!

Happy birthday Jesus!  And happy birthday Rachel!

Aunt Tanya came over and brought Misty.  We have all enjoyed spending time with her.

The girls got the new Just Dance game for the Wii.
Oliver enjoyed himself some chocolate pie.
Paul loves playing with his new Bop It Tetris.
Today I got a really special gift from Natalie.   She fell asleep on my chest during naptime.   She slept on me for one hour-- and it was amazing.  (This is truly a gift since such intimacy is hard for her and something I do not think she got in the orphanage)  Sadly, she woke up crying like she does everyday from her nap and could not be consoled until I got up and walked around, but at least it only took 10 minutes to get her to stop crying instead of her normal half hour.  Since this happens everyday when she wakes up from her afternoon nap, I can't help but think that she experienced something traumatic in the orphanage around the time she got up from her nap-- on a regular basis I might add. 
  Time for another game of pinochle.
Hope all of you had a Merry Christmas!