Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Signs of Spring...

Mud, mud, mud, and more mud!
Longer days as we now have daylight from 6am to 10pm.
Melting snow uncovering anything that was left on the ground last fall.
Bike rides with my kids down the Old Sterling.
A pair of Sandhill cranes in our yard, letting us know of their presence.
Snowshoe hare in our yard, its winter coat is changing.
The woods have come alive with the songs of many returning birds.
A pair of Mallard ducks on the pond.
Red breasted robins in the trees, singing their songs.
No more snow pants or snow boots.
Now the kids are wearing rubber boots and sweatshirts.
Garden plants started in the windows in the house.
So hard for everyone to stay focused on school.
Eagles soaring overhead, looking for a place to nest.
Jump ropes, baseball mitts and balls, and bikes...

We love spring and the newness of life it brings!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Adoption Celebration

We celebrated Kailee's 9th Adoption Day on Monday, April 19.  She got to do one of her favorite things...go out to lunch with Dad!  We have done different things over the years to celebrate and remember each child's adoption, but the favorite is to go out to lunch. 

Tonight we were watching some video footage of meeting Kailee for the first time in Vietnam.  Such a sweet little baby girl!  We had to make two trips to Vietnam to complete the adoption.  For the first trip Marcia(mother-in-law), my mom(Linda), and I traveled to Vietnam for nine days.  It was an exciting trip of discovering Vietnam... new foods, new people, and new experiences.  We stayed in a beautiful, but extremely narrow hotel(20ft wide) that often saw adoptive families with new babies.  I only got to hold my new baby once on this first trip as she was staying in a city three hours away.  So most of our time was spent sightseeing in Hanoi. 

One month after returning home, we got a call that our paperwork was complete and we could now make our second trip to Vietnam to bring home our baby girl.  Steve and I left Ethan and Tyler at home with family as we spent three weeks in Vietnam to complete Kailee's adoption.  We picked her up within a couple days of arriving in Hanoi and got to enjoy our new baby as we discovered Hanoi together. 

It is so fun to be able to share our memories and love of Vietnam with her now.  It is so hard to imagine our tall, English speaking, Alaskan/American girl growing up in a remote village in Vietnam!  What a picture that paints in my mind!!  We are so thankful for Kailee and that God placed her in our home, family, and our hearts!  We love you, Kailee!

Monday, April 12, 2010

House full!

Thirteen kids plus four parents equals lots of fun!!  Our friends, Joe and Jennifer Germain and seven kids, came down to Homer last week.  Their oldest four and our oldest four had SBA testing with Connections for three days last week, so they came down to spend the week as the kids had a couple hours of testing each day.  While the older ones were testing, Alyssum and Adams had lots of fun with their youngest three!  They didn't have to do school so they thought it was a great break.

It had been almost two years since they had been back to Alaska so it was fun to see how much the kids had all changed.  Amazing how quickly the kids grow up!  The house feels a smaller now with that many big kids!  Legos, games, dolls, movies, outside time, lots of food, and plenty of laughter filled our week!

Joe and Jenn and kids spent almost three years in the Philippines and with that time comes lots of valuable experiences for us to learn from...gardening, raising rabbits, chickens, and goats, feeding their large family in a different country, learning a new language, setting up a house in a village setting, and many more.  Our kids were comparing Tagalog with the language the Germains learned, Cebuano...some similarities and many differences, but it's always fun to try a new language on someone else that may know a few words!

It was a fun week and we look forward to seeing them a little more often this summer!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Spring time in Alaska...

 The snow is melting and the snow is falling...all at the same time!  With the warm sunshine each day we decided to save a few dollars and hang out some laundry.  Not so sure that getting snowed on is going to save us much!  We love the warmer days and the lengthening daylight.  With the warmth you can almost watch the snow melt each day.  Ethan and Tyler have digging ditches jobs everyday as they try to make the melting snow head off into the ditch and not create huge puddles in the yard and driveway.

This morning, Easter Sunday, we woke to gently falling snow.  Hmmm, snowboots and Easter dresses just don't seem to be a great combination!  Oh well, I guess instead of spring bringing new life, spring in Alaska brings the cleanness of new fallen snow.

He is Risen!  He is Risen Indeed!

Happy Birthday Alyssum!

Alyssum had a fun birthday with family and friends!  She is a big eight year old now!  Cousin Katelyn and friend Amanda came over for a slumber party.  Alyssum has a new love...penguins!  So I made a fun penguin cake for her birthday...

  Since it was so close to Easter we colored eggs as birthday party fun!  It was fun and we have some beautiful colored eggs...but oh what a lot of eggs and dye.  Alyssum got some wonderful gifts from family and friends, including a few stuffed penguins, penguin stickers, Legos, art supplies, books, collector coins, and plenty of candy from her siblings!
She also got penguin fabric to make pajama shorts with Grandma.  And Grandma gave her a matching penguin lap quilt.  Alyssum was thrilled with her penguin stuff!  What a fun birthday for a sweet special little girl!!