Sunday, November 28, 2010

O Christmas Tree

I usually try to have the tree up and lights on before leaving for Thanksgiving so we can decorate when we get home, but this year, the time just got away from me. So, I spent the first 2 days back getting the tree up. We have one of those old trees with millions (only a slight exaggeration!) of branches that need to be shaped and put in. Ruben helps with the tree, but I'm I'm a little possessive about the lights, and he lets me do those myself. 2,250 lights this year! We love a pretty, colorful tree.

Lily had seen some trees at stores, but had no idea that one would be appearing in our house. She came in the room when it was about a third up and just stopped and stared and said, "ohhhhh". When it came time to hang the ornaments she jumped right in there with her brothers. Each year I buy the kids an ornament that represents something they liked during the year. Lily had helped me pick out a Hello Kitty ornament weeks before, and she was quick to follow her brothers and hang it on the tree. They all had a lot of fun decorating.

Of course the big question is, do I rearrange the bunched up ornaments at the bottom of the tree, or just leave them be? :)

Checking out their ornaments, and getting ready to hang.
Look at that tongue........he's really concentrating!
Taking a break from the decorating to play with the ornaments!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


This year for Thanksgiving we headed down to my parent's house in Florida. My 3 sisters and their families were also there. I absolutely LOVE being with my family. Seeing my parents, my sisters, and all of my nieces and nephews was the highlight of the holiday. It's so hard to live far from family. I'm only able to see my nieces and nephews once, or maybe twice a year. They grow and change so much. I do wish we all lived closer. Our kids have so much fun with their cousins. The weather was beautiful and we swam, went to the beach, went to a park, and just enjoyed being outside.

Lily was a little overwhelmed at first and stuck close to me. She did open up though, and it wasn't long before she was running around with her cousins. She checked back in with Ruben and I often, but she really did well handling all of the new people and staying at a new place. Nights were not great, as she woke often and cried, but that was not unexpected. She also reached a turning point with her daddy........she started initiating contact with him! By the end of the week, she was running to him to bury her head in his lap, or play with him. It was so wonderful to see!

We have so much to be thankful for this year. Our beautiful children. Our new daughter. All the new friends we have made through the adoption community.....they have been so supportive. Ruben's job. Our kid's teachers. Our health. Our home............and the list goes on and on. We're grateful for God's hand guiding us through this past year, and pray that we'll be sensitive to God's leading through the next year.

Two of my little Indians
The kids always look forward to a golf cart ride with Grandpa. Lily's cousins Allison and Amy take her on her first ride.
The 'guys' hanging out. Tyler, Andrew, and Alex
Couldn't get the boys to take a picture with the race car, but Lily was ready to strike a pose!
Fun in the firetruck
Jessica and Amy with their new friends
Michael would have stayed in the water the whole trip if we would have let him!
First time at the beach! She loved the sand and joined right in with the castle building.
Another sand lover
First walk into the ocean with Daddy
Our water lovin' boy!
My teenage nephew, Brian, does not like to have his picture taken, but I managed to sneak a few in.....isn't he handsome?!
A walk on the pier with Grandma.
6-yr old cousins at the park
Lily taking a walk with cousin Andrew. When Lily saw this picture she said, "Andrew my friend"
I told Ruben that if he was going to perform childish acts, his picture was going to be on the blog! :)
Alex, our climber
The park we went to had all sorts of fun bikes to rent. Big cousins Max and Matthew take little cousins Tyler and Andrew for a ride in the surrey.

The sisters.......Debbie, Lori, Kathy, and Kelly
The trip home. Only a few minutes in, and the kids are already zoned out!