Life with 4 kids 6 and under. Our trip to pick up Tonito in China is: mid-March 2008 through April 12. Our trips to pick up Ricky in Ethiopia are in June and August of 2010.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Fake Christmas

Since this is our year to celebrate Christmas in Mexico, we had a "fake Christmas" after Thanksgiving! Look at these adorable aprons my mom made for the kids!!! They got a bunch of kid-sized cooking utensils and a cookbook so we can have more culinary adventures hahahaha!!! LOVE IT! I think my mom should sell these- aren't they adorable?

Here are the kids- notice Vivi is already wearing her new princess and the pea outfit, on top of her new vet costume. Nothing like diving into the new gear!!

Finally a family photo!!! Yes, Emily straightened my hair. So weird:).
Group shot of our ever-growing family!

Decorating Christmas cookies:

The kids got cute books, enormous coloring books, fairies, baby doll accessories, a soccer goal, doll clothes, games, a Slovenian dragon, Lite Brite, clothes and more!!

Christy (Tia Didi) got all of the kids beautiful handmade presents in Peru, after her intensive Quechua class there this summer. The mask above was also a Peru present. We also got an amazing honey bear mask from Tim and Colleen from their trip to Slovenia- quite the traveling bunch this year! Last year we all got gifts from China and Chile and this year was Peru and Slovenia.... Next year we might get gifts from Ethiopia? (actually it might be too early for that... I'm foreshadowing to see who is reading...

In the 2nd picture, doesn't Tonito look Peruvian!!?
At the very end of our fake Christmas, SANTA knocked on the window and waved to the kids! We all saw the white glove coming out of the red and white sleeve and everyone was SO excited- to the point that Vivi screamed "We all have to go to bed so he can come down the chimney!!!!" To which we promptly explained that Santa must have just been doing a behavior check in the neighborhood to see who was naughty and who was nice. He was NOT coming tomorrow to deliver more presents.. Even though he wasn't going to come tonight, the kids decided it was still a good idea to go straight to bed so he could see how good they were. Tonito heard reindeer hooves on the roof and that was enough to send everyone into a frenzy of brushing teeth and going potty, and running under the covers. This white glove could be extremely useful (if not overused:). ****PS LOOK AT M STRAIGHT HAIR!!!?? Crazy!!!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving was special because we are living so far away from my family, but we were able to drive back to celebrate with them. It is so hard to live away from them, but we know that this is temporary! The kids love Grandma and Grandpa so much, and have enjoyed spending this week with them again. They know where all the toys are, get out their favorite placements and bowls, watch their favorite movies, and love walking to the nearby parks. We took a nice long hike the other day and they remembered that last time we were here it was warmer. This Thanksgiving we are especially thankful for our health because we just found out that in another adoptive family, the father is fighting cancer. They have 4 beautiful young kids, and their daughter was in the same orphanage as Tonito. Please pray that he can win this battle!!! It just reminds us how fragile life is and how we cannot take anything for granted. It's terrible that it takes a devastating situation like cancer to help us remmeber how precious our families are. If you are reading this, we think about you guys all the time and hope that he is beating the battle!! I am so thankful for our beautiful kids, I'm proud of who they are becoming and am honored that I am their mom.

We enjoyed the typical turkey, "smashed" potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, veggies, and pumpkin pie- even the kids ate all of the food this year!

Spending time with family and eating delicious food makes the 22 hour drive much more bearable:).

After dinner the kids played all afternoon, and then we had dessert with our cousins, aunts and uncles. Here's Maya having a "sleepover" with her babies...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Here are some Christmas carols from the cousins:

Baby Nate is not a baby anymore- he was always big, but now he is such a boy! And I think he looks more like Sam now that you can see his neck:).

Our group picture- don't I look different with straight hair!?

Sam and Tonito, buddies!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Rainforest Cafe

We had never taken the kids to Rainforest Cafe, so we decided to go downtown for lunch. You end up paying a lot for food that isn't that good, but the kids really liked the environment and now I can check that off the list:). It was fun to see the kids enjoy themselves and they were kind-of running all over the restaurant from animal to animal since there weren't that many people eating.

We had them sing to Vivi for her birthday, which embarrassed her tremendously (how can a 4 year old get embarrassed?). She's growing up too fast!!! Cliche but true. The last picture I was trying to get of Maya when all of a sudden the snake came down and she about jumped off of Tonio's shoulders. Poor baby, the animals were a little too realistic for her liking.

I love Chicago at Christmastime!! We saw the windows at Marshall Fields (ok, it is now Macy's, but still), and how they decorated State Street. The Christkindl German market was getting set up in Daley Plaza, and there were shoppers everywhere along the Magnificent Mile. I love Chicago.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Card Factory

Stickers, crayons, and construction paper! Every year we have "card factory" to make Christmas cards for each other. This year Vivi's cards were filled with lemurs (surprise) while Tonito drew pictures of the people. Maya just had fun scribbling:).

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Vivi!

We had an early birthday celebration for my big girl Vivi! She told me I was her bestest friend, which made my day:). She also asked me what the most beautiful name in the world is, and I said "Becky." Guess what her stuffed horse is now named? :)hehe

She has been begging me to start ballet, which we will after Christmas. Grandma and Grandpa got her a ballet costume, a beautiful Corelle doll, and a ballet costume for her doll as well!

She was in heaven and had to try out all of her presents. She named her new doll "Tiana" after the new Disney movie coming out.. Every little girl should have a tutu to dance in!!:)