Monday, December 29, 2008

Shopping for twins

I took Emily and Anna out today to exchange a couple of things for different sizes and also to spend their gift cards. While we were out, guess what we discovered? Shopping for twins is fun. Really fun! I spent all of my own gift card money plus some extra on clothes for the twins. I can see that I'm going to have to learn to restrain myself. Although, we are building a wardrobe from scratch. We got jackets, undies, jammies and socks as well as shirts, pants and dresses.

Now all we need is a court date.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone had a beautiful Christmas day! We did... My girls are sporting the traditional "wear your pajamas all day long" look favored by the female members of the family. I wore mine all day too, but as I am the one taking the photos, you don't get to see me in them. The males don't participate in this tradition, alas, even when provided with comfy Christmas jammies.

That is not wine in Anna's glass. Just so we're clear on that.

We spent Christmas eve going to Mass followed by a get together in Omaha with my cousins. We greatly missed my Aunt Pat this year; she passed away in August.

Wishing you Christ's peace and joy throughout the remainder of the year and always.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Baby, it's cold outside...

Here is a picture of my back yard. (I had to take it through the window screen, hence the grid.) I think it looks like some sort of tundra, especially when the snow blows across the frozen lake. Our high temps the last couple of days have been in the single digits... brrrrrrr.

Now, here is a picture of how Harry our cat deals with being cold. Apparently he has totally forgotten the wild ride he took in the dryer when he was a kitten. I didn't see him then and turned the darn thing on. Good thing I heard the thunking.

And finally, here is a picture of Anna when she was home with a migraine a few days ago. Lots of companionship and warm bodies. Cold weather is good for snuggling with some loved ones.

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's been six months!

I noticed today that our adoption ticker turned to six months. When I first made the ticker, I wasn't sure what I wanted to use as a starting date for our adoption process; I ended up using the date our application was accepted by Carolina Hope. We actually made the decision to adopt two or three weeks earlier, while we were on a Disney cruise of western Mexico... good times. :) Anyway, it's both hard to believe that six months have gone by AND hard to believe that only six months have gone by!

How long will we wait before we bring our twins home?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Good-bye to coaching

It was an eventful last three days on the Spears gymnastics front. Saturday was our state meet. We managed to get fourth place, despite missing two of our best gymnasts from earlier in the season. It was a frustrating meet because it was in two sessions, and we only had one girl in session two. And as happens in gymnastics sometimes, the scores escalated a lot in the second session. I think we were really the third best team at state, but that second session hurt us a lot. Anyway, we ended our team season with two first place finishes, two seconds and a fourth. Here we are at the state meet: we definitely get the first place award for cutest team.

In other news, yesterday was my last day coaching. I am quitting to be able to spend as much time as possible with our twins when they get home. Many tears were shed by me, my girls and some of my favorite parents. The girls and parents gave me a little farewell party and I got some very nice cards and presents and these beautiful flowers. Daisies are my favorite! Thank you so much to all of you. I will miss all of the girls so much, as well as my friends on the staff. But I will still be hanging around the gym in my parent capacity, and I'm hoping to test to qualify as a judge for next year.
Good-bye, Premier Gymnastics... I will miss you.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Update on our twins!

First, I got a phone call from a very nice Ethiopian lady on one of the Yahoo boards who helped me with the girls' names. Selam is easy to say, pretty much just the way it looks. Fikir is hard for us English speaking Americans. It's almost like one syllable and a little guttaral. We are going to keep the Ethiopian names for their middle names, so the twins will be Candace Selam and Sarah Fikir. Candace is a biblical name for the queen of Ethiopia and Selam means "peace". Sarah is a Hebrew name that is also sometimes used in Ethiopia and means "princess", while Fikir means "love".

Secondly, we found out today that the twins are currently living in an orphanage compound in the city of Nazret in Ethiopia. This city is also known as Adama. It is a large city with a university and is located at a major crossroads of Ethiopia about 62 miles southeast of Addis Ababa. It is the capital of the Oromia region of Ethiopia.

Grace from Hope Adoptions said that the girls will be moved to Addis soon, and then we will be able to send them photos. She also said that they need to pass through a lower court in Nazret and then the case can be filed in Addis. She expected this to all happen fairly soon. After the case is filed in Addis, we should find out when our court date to approve the adoption will be. As far as the twins' family, she said she thought they had a living grandmother, but she isn't positive and will have to double check. I expect we will find out more about that later.

I just get so excited over every little new detail!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Second place again!

My level 4 team at Premier Gymnastics had their last regular meet of the season on Sunday. We got second place with a respectable 109+ score. Alas, we were way outgunned by the first place team, Solid Rock Gymnastics of Lincoln. Next week is our state meet; my last meet for the foreseeable future! Tears! :(

Shout outs to Jessica H. for finally hitting that beautiful beam routine in a meet for a 9.45, our individual high score of the meet; Jaime C., the most improved all-around gymnast in level 4 and to everyone on bars... most improved event!

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Christmas tag

My friend Kristen tagged me in her blog. It's a Christmas tag! Here are the questions and my answers:

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Hmmmm.... hot chocolate

2.Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Santa is too tired and lazy to wrap by the time he gets to our house. Wrapped presents from the family are under the tree, Santa leaves his presents in front of the fireplace.

3. Colored lights on house/tree or white?
Colored lights inside, white lights outside

4. Do you hang mistletoe?

5. When do you put your decorations up?
The weekend of Thanksgiving

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
homemade noodles

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?
Going to see Santa at L.S. Ayres in downtown Indianapolis... they had a little train that the kids rode through a winter wonderland before lining up to see Santa. Very "A Christmas Story"-ish.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I think I was about 8 years old. It was in the summer, and other than that, I don't remember the details much. I think I just asked my mom.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
We used to open our present from my maternal grandma on Christmas Eve

11. Snow. Love it or dread it?
My distaste for snow and all things winter can't be expressed by mere words. Having lived in California for a few years, I can honestly say that the whole four seasons thing is highly overrated.

12. Can you ice skate?
Yes. I like to ice skate. Our neighborhood has a skating pond to discourage us from skating on the lake. Last year the whole family got ice skates for Christmas.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
My favorite gift is getting matched with our new twin daughters a couple of days ago. And maybe the stuffed Lassie dog I got when I was a kid in exchange for not sucking my thumb.

14. What is the most important thing about the holidays to you?
Just being with my family

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
My favorite is peppernut cookies, just because it's a family tradition from my mom's side of the family.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
I don't really have a favorite

17. What tops your Christmas tree?
Pierced brass star. Pretty, but needs polishing

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?
Giving... it's a mom thing

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?
"O Little Town of Bethlehem" And all the Veggie Tales Christmas songs.

20. Candy Canes. Yum or Yuck?

21. What do you want for Christmas?

22. Do you attend an annual Christmas party?
Yes, more than one. Mostly work related.

23. Do you dress up for Christmas Eve or wear PJ's?
I usually wear a nice holiday outfit to church on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day, I wear my pajamas all day long. We very rarely go anywhere on Christmas Day, it is just my immediate family.

24. Do you own a Santa hat?

25. Who do you normally spend Christmas with?
For the past ten years, we have gone to my aunt's after church on Christmas Eve and spend Christmas day at home. My aunt died recently, so I'm not sure what we'll be doing.

I'm not going to tag anyone with this, but if you're reading and you want to share a Christmas memory or tradition, that would be lovely. :) I would love to read them in my comments.

Prayers for Evan

We have some very dear friends who now live in Michigan. Seven years ago, the wife/mother of this family was killed in a car accident, leaving behind two young children and her devastated husband. She was a wonderful friend to me. This tragedy brought our families very close together. We just found out that Evan, who will be 17 years old this month, has a very aggressive form of melanoma. He has had surgery at the Mayo Clinic and is at home now. We love Evan as though he was a member of our family. Please pray for Evan that he will have a complete recovery. And also for his dad, our dear friend Bill, and Evan's beautiful sister Abbey that they will be strong and that together as a family they will make it through this crisis.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Matched with twins!

I am so thrilled to share that we have officially been matched with twin girls! We found out about them yesterday, and the match was made official today. They are 4 and a half years old, 36 inches tall and 27 pounds each. Of course they are beautiful. :) We don't know much about them yet except for their health histories. I have been lobbying for a sibling group for a few weeks, and Tom wasn't sure. He told me yesterday that he had decided that if a sibling group somehow dropped into our laps, that it would be a sign from God that we should adopt them. Well, yesterday these girls dropped into our laps via an agency email about "waiting children". I couldn't believe it when I saw their description... I emailed for more information before I even told Tom what I was doing! I was in love the second I saw their photos, and I think it took Tom about that long too.

Fun facts: the date on the medical report for the girls is the exact date our dossier arrived in Ethiopia. Also, their listed birthday is my mom's birthday. How cool is that?

Kenneth, Emily and Anna are very excited as well. Emily and Anna were at school when I got the news, so I woke Kenneth up to show him the pictures. He didn't even mind. He texted Emily and I drove over to Anna's school to show her the photo. Tom is in San Diego today, so I've been emailing and forwarding emails to him all day long.

I'm exhausted because I was too excited to sleep last night. I am so thankful for the miracle of these girls... we have only been waiting for a referral for two weeks. God is great; God is good.

So happy. :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Deck the halls

Fa la la la la... la la la la.

We usually decorate our house for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. Last year we moved into our new house right after Thanksgiving, and the only decor we put up was the Christmas tree. (We didn't even know where half of the things were packed!) This year I am putting up all of our stuff. So here is our family room ready for the holidays, complete with two dogs and one half of a dog. They always manage to sneak into every photo.
Next up, the outside decorations. I'm waiting for a relatively warm and windless day. That could be a while here in windy Nebraska.