Wednesday, August 26, 2009

First Day of Pre-school

Today I dropped my babies off for their first day of their school career! Yes, I have been excited, yes even counting down the minutes to be honest because it has been kind of rough here lately. (more on that in another post) But when it came down to it today I was a little teary. Sage keeps reminding me over and over she is not my baby anymore, and is often telling us our baby is in China. Mark is ignoring that I can promise you! I was nervous of how Mavery might do, but she was very excited and when you have your sister holding your hand, that just makes everything better! They will go 4 - 1/2 days a week and they get sports training during class. Energy burned is a good thing! We know that this will be very good for Mavery and in turn good for all of us. It IS hard to believe though, they are big enough for SCHOOL??? Wow! Can you even imagine that poor sweet teacher and my twin tornadoes! The good news was they came home with no incident reports, we were a little worried they might! ;-) They came home all smiles and are ready to go back tomorrow! And the teacher was still smiling when I came so I take that as a good thing!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sage Video

I added a video over on our video blog of Sage napping, or I should say SUPPOSED to be napping.

Added Sage's gotcha day post next. ;-)

Happy Gotcha Day Sage- 3 years!

So different this year. Sage is starting to "get it" We asked "What is your Gotcha Day?" And Sage, in her oh so sweet Sagey voice said "My gotcha day is the day I got my family, my WHOLE family".

Three years have flown by in the blink of an eye. Yet I can remember every detail of that day in China, the first day I held my Sage. I am as emotional today praying over her as I was that day when I held her. We waited so long, it felt like forever. We thought it would never happen. We questioned, we cried, we wondered. And then we held her. It finally all made perfect sense. God knew all those months of waiting that our daughter was not ready for us. He wrote her story, OUR story, long before that day in China. I have not forgotten the pain of waiting, but I would do it again and again for this gift! She was so much more than we could have ever dreamed or imagined. I am so thankful for every spicy moment I have with her! Today we celebrate God growing our family in a land far away. We celebrate that Sage opened the door to bring Mavery home. We celebrate FIVE children that He has blessed us with in different ways. We feel blessed.
If you would like to peek back at the past 2 gotcha days click here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Helping Families

I have added 2 links on my sidebar and I hope that you will take a peek by clicking on them. A family is trying to raise the money to turn in their dossier for their son who waits in China. They are doing a give away and if you can spare a few dollars, just think of how it might help them out. I just found their story and was very inspired reading it. Also, if you drop in to my friend Robins blog, she has an auction going on to help them. I LOVE love love the outfit she has up. Go take a look and see for yourself. Robin is amazing as are her clothes. You know maybe not all of us are called to adopt, but ALL of us are called to help the orphans. Maybe it is as simple as throwing in some $ on an auction to change the life of one little boy who waits. Skip McDonalds this week and enter to help, you won't regret it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Disney Countdown-52 days to go!

To add to the fun of our Disney Trip we are doing Disney Countdown days each week. So far we have had 2 and the kids love it. The little girls are not familiar with all of the Disney movies so we want to introduce them to all the characters they will get to meet. Our first day was Aladdin. We went on magic carpet rides. Played hot potato with our tea pot aka our magic genie bottle. Musical carpets and watched Aladdin. We had a dinner of chicken kabobs, fruit kabobs and of course monkey bread in honor of Abu. (aladdins monkey!) We can't wait!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Day 4- Goodbye Chicago, it's been fun!

This was a bad angle of what was in the case, but Makenna loved Josefina and went on and on about how beautiful she & her hair was.
Makenna & Julie in their matching T's with Julies display.

We were all impessed with the bathrooms. Even had hooks to hang your dolls on in the stalls.

We ate in the food court with the dolls, so funny.

Sawyer at the Lego Store. This is where they would hang out while we were at AG. I did have a talk with the boy worker here. Where are the girl legos? I know they have some, but they are few. He claimed they are working on it.

Makenna with a very impressive hair do for Julie.

On our last day in Chicago the girls & I made a quick trip back to American Girl. Malaine wanted her picture done on a magazine but she had a stye on her first day. Not that we were sad to return! On our drive home we stopped briefly at Ikea. I heart Ikea, but my children were tired and crabby and ready to get home so it was not a very exciting stop. Would love to see one built here. Soon. That is one store even Mark wishes we had. (and Mark wanting a store is VERY rare!) That finally wraps up our Chicago trip! We had a great time and made many fun memories. And the girls did great at home. Chuck E Cheese, Monkey Joes, they were well taken care of!

Chicago Day 3 Legos & Lola

On our 3rd day in Chicago we headed outside of the city (traffic, oh the traffic) to Legoland. Sawyer was all about the legos and he was SO excited about this part in the trip. He was not disappointed. We were all impressed with what they built out of legos. Everything you see, is from legos. Amazing. We went through a jungle adventure, cute! Sawyer had a great time racing his car he built, especially because he continued to win over and over! They loved the large legos and I have been looking to see if I could find those for home for the little girls, they were great fun. No luck so far.
They had a few small rides, a 4 d movie and the kids all had a great time playing.
After legoland we stopped and had Chicago hot dogs, yum! Then headed back to the Pier for a speed boat ride on the lake. The kids were really bummed that we could not go on the wild speed boat ride, but Malaine was to short.

From there we took a water taxi to the Sears Tower. Which is now called The Willis Tower. (i think that was the new name) We did not plan well for this and went later in the day along with the entire city of Chicago. We waited 2 1/2 hours in line. Not fun. The kids were not all that impressed either, but did enjoy walking out in the new glass skywalk things. CRAZY! It is basically a glass square you step out of the building into. It took alot for me to make that first step, it really does look like you are walking out into the sky! We left here for another taxi ride to Ed Debeveks. Kids LOVED it! Pretty hilarious.

They make fun of you or are mean and sarcastic the entire time. Our waitress was "Sexy Lola" and we all had fun with her. We left here with a late night Chicago walk back to our hotel. Our children were a little more educated than need be, but we survived! And now I am almost finally caught up with our trip!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Chicago Day 2- Shedds Aquarium

First Taxi Ride, they loved it! And were happy that Sage & Mavery were not the only ones who have had a taxi ride in the family!

Notice Makennas camera taking a swim in the water while she pets the starfish? Thankfully the case kept it dry.

We saw Spongebob in 4D.

Sawyer wanted to see the sharks, not pose with his sisters obviously in the submarine.

We had to improvise at dinner and use the coffee maker as a cup. ;-)

We started with 2 of these pizzas. I have no idea why Mark thought we needed 2, but he claimed he was starving.

This is what we ended with. That is some heavy pizza but oh so yummy!

While we were at American Girl, the boys went shopping at the Lego Store where Sawyer does NOT have his dad in him and was more than willing to spend his entire life savings! We went to Rainforest Cafe for lunch which is always one of our favorites. The kids were thrilled that they got their first taxi ride over to Shedds Aquarium after that. We were thrilled that the taxi ride was so calm compared to China. ;-) The aquarium was VERY crowded. I think everyone is trying to squeeze in the last of summer as I have heard everyone complaining about crowds everywhere. Not to mention Lalapaloozza was going on. (some big concert thing. ) We ended the evening with dinner at Giordanos for pizza. We wanted to eat in, but when they told us it was a 2 1/2 hour wait, we opted for carry out. Makenna liked the pizza, Sawyer and Malaine did not. Crazy kids!

Chicago Day 2- American Girl


On Friday we went to the American Girl store. Makenna was not all that into the dolls, because quite frankly, I always thought the price was ridiculous. She had a doll we bought in China and she was fine with that. But Malaine has always been into all dolls, and loved going through the American Girl Magazine each month. For Christmas she got her first doll, Ruthie, and since then we have all got into them more. The girls pulled their money together and bought Julie, all for her hair. ;-) Then Kit came for kindergarten graduation. Price wise, yes, still think they are high. But I would rather cut out some of the other "stuff" that we tend to lose pieces to, or they get bored with quickly and buy something that they use their imagination with. Not to mention that Makenna & Malaine play so well together with these dolls. So, all that said, this was our first time to visit the store. Makenna was not so sure, and was certainly not going to wear a dress to match her doll. But once we walked in that store, both of their eyes lit up, their mouths dropped open and they were full of giggles and smiles!
On our way to breakfast, we stopped at the doll hospital and checked in the doll I have tried to fix myself. We all loved that they put the gown on her with promises of her having a good hospital stay. Can't wait to see what they can do with her hair and they will reattach a broken leg.

We were ushered into the dining room with a warm welcome to the girls AND dolls. They were so sweet over Malaine wearing a matching set to her doll, everywhere we went people commented about their dresses, which she loved. The pictures do not do the dining room justice. It is so cute with hot pink and black. The napkin rings were hair scrunchies for the girls to keep, they bring out chairs for the dolls. They treat the girls like grown ups. My favorite moment was when Makenna leaned over and said "I feel like such a princess mom!" We thought the food was just OK, which is what I had heard. You are paying for the experience. And it was so worth it.

After breakfast Malaine bought Chrissa. She had saved up $$ along with an early birthday advance from Grammy and she could not wait to buy her. We had ears pierced to. They had a spot you could get hair done, but Makenna has to much of Mark in her. She said there was no way she was letting me pay $$ for the hair to be done when she could do it better and then redo it later with out feeling guilty. ;-) At one point I threatened to take her home if she said one more word about $$. Mark said he told her he would give her 10% of all she saved me from spending. (kidding of course) Actually Makenna is pretty great with hair and I have to agree, she did do better than those girls there!

We all enjoyed walking around reading about the dolls and the eras they are from and looking at the things from their time periods.

All in all, a wonderful time and worth the $$. I was so into dolls when I was young, this is like MY dream come true! ;-) I loved that the entire weekend the girls just wanted to get back to the room and play with the dolls together. I can't wait to take the little girls someday. (or to give them their birthday gifts we bought while there!)

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Chicago Day 1-Run Forest Run!

It takes a team to watch Sugar & Spice! Especially when Ms Jenny has had a headache for 5 days. Hope they did not make it worse and we appreciate you all! Malaine & Kit are ready to go!
That is a BIG city!
Navy Pier

The already mostly eaten funnel cake that really was not so great. Though Makenna likes the powdered sugar!

I am pretty sure that was the quietest car ride EVER. I forget what it is like to not have toddlers around. I was actually able to finish up my chore packs I have been working on along with our schedule for the new school year. Things I have been working on for months, but just did not have the chance for a long stretch of quiet to really think. So, the drive alone was succesful for me! We ran into alot of traffic on the way down, but the kids never even complained once. (in case you wonder, we left our little girls at home, and being here it was the right choice!)

We like our hotel alot, the kids said they feel like they are in a "movie star place"! (we got a good deal online when we booked LONG ago. ) We checked in and walked down to Navy Pier. Quite a walk but we figure it is good practice for Disney. ;-) We had dinner at Bubba Gumps which is one of our favorite places to eat. Then enjoyed walking around the pier. We walked through a "fun maze" which the kids were SOO excited about, but we were pretty bummed once it was over. Not nearly as exciting as they made it sound.

Ended the evening with funnel cakes and watching Monsters vs Aliens. The girls have their dolls in bed so they are ready for breakfast at American Girl! Should be quite fun. Boys are going to do boy things, not American Girl, in case you worried I might make them.

As nice as the quiet and break is, I am missing my little girls & know I will be ready to get home on Sunday. Very thankful to friends and grandparents for helping them have lots of fun.