Saturday, November 19, 2011

Putting up the Tree!

We always put our Christmas tree up the Saturday before Thanksgiving. That way we get to enjoy it longer. We have a tradition where we order pizza the night we put up the tree so we called Pizza Hut and pulled all the Christmas boxes out of the attic.

Here is Elia pulling all of our ornaments out of the boxes:

And here is Kevin trying to untangle all the lights:

Here is Ava putting ornaments on the tree:

And Elia putting ornaments on the tree:

And Miley taking it easy:

The girls put up a pink tree in Elia's room:

Here is our mantle decorated with stockings and my snow globe collection:

I love the girls' stockings. We bought them in Guatemala on one of our many visits.

And here is our nativity set from Guatemala:

And our decorated tree:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

November Theme Dinner

I think I have to say that this theme dinner has been my all-time favorite. (Do I say that about every theme dinner?) Anyway, I struggled with a theme for this month. Of course it is November where have turkey and celebrate the pilgrims and the Indians. Well, the whole family does that every last Thursday in November so I wanted to do something different. Plus, I can't cook a turkey.

I told Kevin I wanted to pitch our tent in the backyard and use the firepit to cook hotdogs like the pilgrims and Indians did and then sleep in the tent like a teepee. Ava flung her head around at me and said "Momma, the pilgrims and Indians did NOT cook hotdogs." Then Kevin said it was going to be too cold to sleep in the tent. Ok, two bubbles burst at this point.

After much thought, I decided we would still cook hotdogs over the firepit but we would do turkey dogs which is close to the pilgrims and Indians (right?).

We decided to have dinner on the back patio. It was a beautiful night. Here are a couple of pictures of our dinner settting:

Miley even joined us sporting her new puffer coat:

Ava wanted a picture with her "new pet" which is a ladybug she has named Cotton Candy. So Miley and Cotton Candy spent the evening with us.

Here we are cooking our turkey dogs just like they used to do back in the day. HA!

Ava got so fed up with all the smoke so she went in the house and got her swimming mask and snorkel. What a goober!

After all that roasting, it was time to eat!

I think Elia has been around her teenage cousin, Hannah, too much. Check out the arm on the hip and the lips!

Now it was time for dessert. You can't have a fire pit going and not roast SMORES so we busted out the chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers. YUM!!!

Once we were finished with smores, Ava ran in the house to get something. She came back out with her guitar and serenaded us to "Big Green Tractor". Like I said, what a goober!

After dinner and entertainment, it was time to do something special. I gave everyone a piece of paper numbered to 5. We all had to come up with 5 things we are thankful for. Here are each of our letters (with some translation for the little ones).

Kevin's Thankful List:

Jenny's Thankful List:

Elia's Thankful List:
(Don't you love how Elia put the dog before her sister? Of course, the dog got put before everyone.)

Ava's Thankful List: (Her number 1 is God, how sweet! Her number 4 is Cotton Candy her new ladybug pet. I guess it is only fair that Cotton Candy beat out Elia too.)

This was a fun way to spend dinner with our family on a beautiful night! I can't wait to see what the theme dinner for December is going to be like! Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

National Adoption Month-Ava

November is National Adoption Month. I have been reading posts I made on an adoption forum many years ago when we adopted Ava. I copied and pasted some of these posts!!!

This first post was written by me on February 22, 2005:

I just got the call a few minutes ago that we are OUT of PGN! I have been crying and screaming and calling all my friends and family. I can't believe it!!! I have sooooo much to do!!!!!!!!!!

This post was written by me on March 22, 2005:

We are so happy to be home! As many of you know, we left Tuesday for Guatemala without our pink slip. Plus, we left knowing there were riots in Guatemala that could have also delayed things. Thanks to many prayers, we got our pink slip, went to the embassy on Thursday, and came home on Friday. It was a very stressful trip since there is always that chance you won't get your pink slip when you think. Plus, the riots added to our stress nearly all week. Not to mention that on our way home when we got to Houston and got on the plane to Memphis, our plane had mechanical problems so we had to sit on the plane with a 4 month old baby while they fixed it. Putting all the stress aside, everything else is wonderful! Ava is so tiny and we are hoping to fatten her up soon. Elia is completely in love with her sister. She wants to be right beside her all the time and she wants to help with everything.

This post was written by me on September 19, 2005: (The heading I wrote on this post was simply "Life is Good")

There is not a day that goes by when I do not thank God for allowing me to go through all those years of infertility so I would be so blessed with these 2 Guatemalan beauties!

I do have to say that on November 5, 2011, Life IS Good!!!!

National Adoption Month-Elia

November is National Adoption Month. I have spent most of this night reading posts I made on an adoption forum so many years ago when we were bringing Elia home. I logged onto this forum just about every day and the other women adopting from Guatemala provided so much love and support for me during this time. I have copied and pasted many of those posts below. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did!!!

This first post was written by me on November 16, 2003:

I just have a minute, but I wanted to let everyone know that we got in last night, and things could not be any better! Elia did wonderful on the planes and throughout the day traveling. When we got to the airport we had 80 people waiting on us. It was so overwhelming, but I think Elia was the calmest one of all. About half the crowd at the airport came back to our house with us to visit with Elia. She loved all of the attention and had so much fun laughing, playing, dancing, and clapping. She was up until 9:30 last night and she slept until 7:30 this morning. We have just been amazed at how well she is adjusting. It is like she knows this is where she belongs. She won't let anyone else hold her yet except for me and DH. However, it will come with time. Anyway, I just wanted to let everyone know that we made it home, and everything is wonderful.
This post was was written by me on December 8, 2003:

Elia has been home for 3 weeks now, and things could not be more perfect. She is 13 months old, and she makes us smile all day long! She has adjusted better than we could have ever imagined. She sleeps 10 hours a night, takes 2 naps a day and is an absolute angel. The language has not been a problem at all. She understands nearly everything we say to her, and she has said about 7 words since we have been home. She has the best personality and she is really funny. She copies EVERYTHING I do from coughing to laughing and even to the way I sit. My entire family just sits around and laughs and smiles at her. She is not walking yet, but it won't be too long. I posted a question about needing help introducing our dogs to her because she was terrified of them. Well, the dogs are now her best friends. We took things very slow with them. Elia gives them food from her high chair and tried to give them kisses. Well, I guess I have bragged enough. I just wanted to let everyone know how wonderful things are once you do bring your baby home. I have not forgotten the pain of the rollercoaster ride we were all on, but it sure is a distant memory. One look at Elia reassures me it was all worth it!

This post was written by my mom on May 28, 2004: (Elia was almost 20 months old)

I wanted to share with all of you the pure joy that will be yours when your angel does come home. I remember this time last year waiting with Jenny and Kevin and hoping and being so sure that Elia would be home by the end of JUne. They were hung up in the Hague mess; received referral in Jan. of 03. As last summer went on and there was no word, we were all discouraged and quite honestly did wonder if she would ever be home. I remember some friends of mine actually suggesting some other routes for them to take to adopt a different child. Needless to say, we all knew that Elia was God's gift to all of us. She did not come home until last Nov. at 13 mo. old. Today she is truly the light of our lives; her smile, those enormous eyes, those arms that reach out when she sees me, the attempt to say, "I love you", every little thing about her is so precious to us. Just this morning she put a piece of typing paper down on the floor to use as a pad, got her Dora doll and a diaper, and looked at me and said , "Dora tted". I could go on and on, but you would never have time to read all the things I could share.

Thanks so much for letting me share about the joys of adoption!!