Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 09'

Christmas was everything and more than I imagined it to be this year. I think now that Luca is four months and in a good routine, I felt like I could accomplish all that needed to be accomplished and enjoy the little moments without the stress. My husband gave me an early gift this year...three house cleanings...which gave me the gift of time...and was what I needed the most in this season of my life.
I enjoyed a morning spent at Caedmon's kindergarten Christmas party at school on the last day before Christmas break.Christmas Eve with my family Grandpa & Grandma with their grand kiddosBaby turned four months right before Christmas. She attacks my face with wide-mouth sloppy kisses that I love. She weighs fifteen pounds and twelve ounces and is twenty-four and a half inches long...the car seat is getting heavier! She started eating solids off a spoon and loves her carrots. Her needs and routines are more predictable and flexible. Having her a part of our family this Christmas was the best gift I could ask for. cousins Emmi & Luca
Christmas Morning
Our traditional Christmas morning was very slow and laid back. We took our time in the morning getting ready and making breakfast...after clean up we took pictures beside the tree. Our little brother (Big Brothers Big Sisters), Immanuel, joined our family this year for Christmas. It was fun to have him...although I think he was a little surprised and thought we were crazy for not tearing right into the gifts as soon as we woke up. :)
After Caedmon recited the Christmas story, it was time for the gift-giving.
We typically do three gifts for each child (a small, medium and large gift) the three gifts from the Wise Men. We take turns opening one gift at a time so everyone can see what the others received. I love the blessing of giving gifts. Seeing the excitement and appreciation from the receivers is a joy. It's pretty cool how Jesus lets us give and receive gifts on His birthday! It was a complete joy to celebrate Luca's very first Christmas.
Immanuel enjoying taking his turn behind the camera.
Later that afternoon, Grandpa & Grandma stopped you your new books and ...played with your new toys with you. We also watched the movie UP......and sang happy birthday to Jesus.
A perfect day...making memories with the ones I love on Christmas Day.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

December Joy

I accompanied Caedmon on his Kindergarten field trip to see the musical "The Sound of Music". What fun to get all dressed up and have this special date with my handsome little man. Caedmon with some kids from his class, waiting for the musical to start.We stopped at McDonald's for lunch on the way home. I've discovered something lately about my son and the way to his heart. Food. Yep, it's food. He's not one to give a lot of hugs and kisses even though I give them to him all the time. A month or so ago while I was preparing supper at home he asked what we were having. I said "chicken tenders" while facing the oven. All of a sudden I get attacked with the biggest bear hug from behind. Well, I got another one of those wonderful bear hugs in line at McDonald's that day. :) Sounds funny for me to make a big deal out of, but he seriously rarely shows this type of affection to me and I soaked it all in. The bus ride home sitting with his friend got a little long and two little boys got a little sleepy. :)The first official snow came early December this year. I love that first excitement and wonder when we see it for the first time of the season. It doesn't matter how much is on the ground even if grass is still showing, it must be played in.Adoption Day
This was certainly a very exciting day for our family. Luca's adoption finalization court hearing went very smoothly and quick. We pulled Caedmon out of school so he could be a part of this special day too. I thought it was so fitting to have during this Christmas season. We feel so very blessed! Here we are pictured with the Judge and our attorney.
We stopped for a late breakfast on the way home to celebrate. The Mickey Mouse pancakes were a hit.
One of Luca's favorite things to do.We had our first snowstorm the weekend before Christmas which gave us over five inches. It was very beautiful...and even more beautiful because I was cozy and warm inside my house when it came. I do really like just makes me nervous when we or those we love have to drive anywhere in it...that's my only complaint...and maybe snow after February too. :)

Our worship leader asked this question recently:
Why does it snow?
Job 37:6 “He directs the snow to fall on the earth and tells the rain to pour down. 7 Then everyone stops working so they can watch his power. 13 He makes these things happen either to punish people or to show his unfailing love.
14 “Pay attention to this, Job. Stop and consider the wonderful miracles of God!
God is trying to get my attention when it snows...He wants me to to stop doing what I'm doing and appreciate what He has created because He loves cool is that! If you stop and think about how detailed and unique each snowflake is created...and when thousands are falling at the same's just amazing...absolutely breathtaking!!

Here is our road right before you get to our house.
Loving every minute

Baby even liked the snow. Daddy took her on a walk down the lane to get the mail. She didn't make a peep.
Introducing Luca to snow for the first time.How about a taste?And here we are all dressed up like Joseph and Mary for a dramatization at our church on Christmas Sunday. It was an honor to play this part with a new little baby in my arms. Luca did great...I was a little worried. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

From our Family to Yours

Merry Christmas!
Kevin, Sherri, Caedmon, Kaiya & Luca BellaWe send you Christmas Blessings, our Love, and invite you to share in our Joy as we celebrate the newest member of our family through the miracle of adoption!
Our Joy knows no bounds, as we celebrate this season of miracles with one of our own.

Monday, December 7, 2009

count your blessings

Yes, I'm a bit late in posting about our Thanksgiving festivities, but still want to reflect a bit on this very special holiday...because we have so much to be thankful for this year and because Thanksgiving is so quickly forgotten. I love the focus the Thanksgiving holiday brings on gratefulness. "Do everything without complaining or arguing..." Philippians 2:14
Mom's centerpiece at the Thanksgiving table

Our pastor had a wonderful message on Thanksgiving weekend about grumbling. It was so good and I wanted to write down so much...with baby in my arms, it didn't happen. I kept nudging and whispering to Kevin "did you write that down?". :)

The Power of Disposition - Disposition (our mood) determines how much we grumble. Numbers 14 1-10 is the story of the Israelites travelling to the Promised Land. God had just blessed them by freeing them from slavery and they soon quickly forgot that and focused on their present...not so great...circumstances. It's sometimes hard to read that passage and not think "those ungrateful brats!" And then I think about how many times I do the same thing...grumble about my present circumstance...just after God has given and blessed me so much.

I'm Thankful for pumpkin pie and this little pumpkin pie. (Thanksgiving with Grandma S.)
I'm thankful for a wonderful family including a mom & dad that open their home frequently and bless us with their hospitality.
My nephew Jake is a pumpkin pie lover and don't forget the whipped cream!
I'm thankful for nieces & nephews and all the laughter and joy they bring to our family.

Grumblers deal with three types of dispositions:

1. Hyperbole - saying things that are a lot worse than they are.
2. Hollowness - they don't remember what God did for them in the past.
3. Hopelessness

"When you complain, you exhibit the fact that you don't have the knowledge of God within you."
Too much Thanksgiving turkey. :)
I'm thankful for a loving husband and father who participates in family times.

The consequences of grumbling-
What we lose when we complain is exhibited again by the Israelites in Numbers 14: 11-45

11 The LORD said to Moses, "How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them? 12 I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they."

26 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron: 27 "How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites.

And we all know how the story ends when they ultimately lose the blessing of living in the beautiful land the Lord had promised them.
Grumblers lose:

1.Opportunities God had planned to bless us with.
2.God's Presence which helps us discern wisely.

Basically there are two groups we can choose to be in...
1. Complainers - If you grumble you'll be humbled
2.En-couragers (putting courage into someone) - If you encourage you'll be exalted.

It was unseasonably warm this day as you can see.

I'm thankful for warm November days.
I'm thankful for relaxing Sunday afternoons.

Kindergarten Indian Lunch
I'm thankful for opportunities to watch my kindergartner in his classroom at school.
If only I could slow this special kindergarten year down that is already half over.
I loved attending Caedmon's special Indian lunch at school. I loved listening to the Thanksgiving songs he sang with his class. I loved listening to him recite Psalm 100 that he had been memorizing for the past month.
I loved how he wanted to sit by me and Luca to eat his lunch instead of his friends. :)
When I asked him who he wanted to take a picture with, he said Bryce. Here he is with Bryce and Simon...the two friends he talks about constantly at home.

Thanksgiving Morning

We actually didn't have any plans on Thanksgiving Day this year. My mom had to work and Kevin's parents were out of town. We stayed home the whole day and enjoyed it together with our little family making breakfast, playing games and watching movies.
Daddy's delicious pumpkin pancakes & sausage

Mommy and Luca Time

I'm thankful that God knows exactly what He is doing and I don't. It's amazing how much can change in one short year. I'm thankful for these sweet cheeks to kiss and smell.
We skipped out on the great shopping deals on black Friday and headed to the children's museum in Indy with the family.
Our little brother, Immanuel, came along too.
I love these stroller days when baby takes a nap so easily in there still.
We watched a play with a twist on the wizard of oz.A very fun day!