Monday, December 31, 2007

June 2007

June brought many goodbyes. Here we are at the Agat Marina on Father's Day with our good Army Friends just before they left for New York. The rest of the month included a tour of the USS Peleliu for our family. We really enjoyed the tour and learned quite a bit. Jean and the boys wrapped up the school year with a boonie stomp field trip to Namu Falls Botanic Park in Santa Rita, Guam. The boys ushered in summer break with golf lessons and vacation bible school.
We also added another boy to our family when Jean's brother Mark and his wife Amy gave birth to Will; Scott was asked to be his Godfather!

May 2007

May was a very exciting and action packed month full of adventure. The boys began their month with a trip to Ritidian Point Beach on Guam and ended their month on Waikiki Beach in Hawaii. (a tough life indeed) We took a military hop on a KC-135 to Hawaii and had an awesome time. We visited many places to include: USS Arizona Memorial, Dole Pineapple Plantation, North Shore, Polynesian Cultural Center (2 days worth), Hawaiian Waters waterpark, Diamond Head State Park, and we even ate at Chuckie Cheese during our 8 days on the island of Oahu. Scott celebrated his birthday at the Charthouse Restaurant overlooking the water. We enjoyed the luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center, where the boys loved the pineapple drink and watching the Hawaiian dancers do their thing! A great trip was made complete with the boys getting to sit in the cockpit on takeoff and lay in the boom operators pit during our flight with the Ohio National Guard back to Guam.

April 2007

April was a very busy month for all of us. Andrew celebrated his First Holy Communion. The boys enjoyed the basewide Easter egg hunt, along with 500 of their closest friends.

The boys also learned woodcarving from the Master Ifit Woodcarver on the island; they both have completed projects to show for it.

Jean finally got Scott out to Two Lovers Point overlooking Tumon Bay and enjoyed the spectacular view!

March 2007

Here the boys are enjoying dinner with some of their friends. The month was busy with baseball and homeschooling activities with the Andersen Homeschool Support Group.
Our application for the adoption was accepted by our adoption agency in St. Louis. The paperchase had officially begun!

February 2007

The month started off with a trip to the Onward Beach Resort, which is where we finalized our decision to adopt from China.

The boys both played little league baseball and had a great time learning the details of the game.

Scott had a few of his co-workers leave for new assignments and new Airmen arrived.

Jean celebrated here 29th Birthday (again) and enjoyed a night at the Hyatt followed by a trip to the spa.

Here is a family photo showing the Andersen Palm Tree Golf Course in the background.

January 2007

Here we are out on New Year's Eve 2006 getting ready to start 2007! We had a great dinner with the boys at Al Dente', one of our favorite restaurants on Guam located on Tumon Bay!
We wondered what the New Year would bring for us.
Scott was able to visit Las Vegas with his sisters and they had a great time.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Life after Christmas

The Christmas season is winding down, much to my dismay. This morning, before I knew it, all the outside Christmas decorations were down and ready to be put away (you know~the boys can't mow the lawn with decorations in the way!).  Oh well, might as well pack them up for the year. We didn't get the ornaments on the tree until 2 days before Christmas so we'll leave it up for another week or so, at least until the Epiphany. Besides, I like looking at the tree all lit up at night.   

Gram has left the island and it sure seems strange without her. Drew even commented that it seems wrong to not have the extra chair at the table for dinner. We all had a nice visit ~thanks for coming out to see us Gram! We really kept her hopping with all of our daily commitments and trying to squeeze in as many sightseeing spots on Guam that we could fit in. I think she had a good time, even though she missed the cold winter weather Ohio has to offer during the holiday season. Now, I wonder who will visit us next???  Anybody? Anybody?

Have a Happy, Healthy, and Safe New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Santa made his way to the island of Guam and the boys were excited to see the results. Drew did have one package arrive late (it missed the first sleigh delivery). Everyone enjoyed their presents; the boys are feverishly learning how to play their two new Wii games, The Bigs and Playground. Drew is honing his piloting skills by learning to fly his Air Hogs plane in the 20 mph Guam wind. Nate is busy reading or playing anyone that will challenge him in chess.
We all had dinner with our friends across the street and really enjoyed the day. The weather was, of course, beautiful and sunny, 87 degrees as usual. We missed most of our family, but had Gram here for the Holiday. We hope you all had a great Christmas and have an exceptional New Year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tokyo, Japan...A good time was had by all!

We just got back from our second trip to Japan and really enjoyed ourselves! We tried to get Drew and Nate to understand that it is not typical for most people to have 2 stamps in their passport by ages 9 and 12. After it was all said and done we had spent 5 days in Japan and we are convinced we saw most every square inch or centimeter.
We stayed at The New Sanno Hotel in downtown Tokyo and it was excellent as always. The Asakusa Temple provided a great learning experience for all of us and we left with a greater understanding of a different religion. Scott and Nate were interviewed by Tokyo TV asking them about the supersize rice bowl at Wendy's. Nate had plenty to say as usual.
The Tokyo Tower gave us a great view of the city and a reprieve from the frigid 53-degree weather (hey, our blood has thinned by this time). We say a prayer and feel sad for all of you snow dwellers every week. Andrew said a prayer at St. Andrew's Catholic Church, another escape from the cool weather.
We had an excellent day at Tokyo Disney Sea Amusement Park and would recommend it to anyone. The Journey to the Center of the Earth and The Tower of Terror were both huge hits.
On the fourth day we visited the Imperial Palace East gardens. We finished off the trip, after logging multiple miles on the Tokyo Metro Subway, by visiting the Edo-Tokyo Museum complete with an English tour guide. If you get a chance to visit Tokyo please do, it is a great time and you will learn something new around every corner.
Just before boarding the plane for the ride home Jean and Scott were both upgraded to first class, priceless time together. Please let us know if you want more details on the trip, we took almost 200 photos in the few days there.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Congratulations Scott!

While we were on vacation in Tokyo Scott received word from his boss that he was officially selected to be promoted to the rank of Major. It looks like by April 2008 it should be a done deal. Way to go Scott! We are so proud of you!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Gram on Guam

Boy, have we been busy this week. Jean's mom flew into Guam on Thursday and we have been non-stop ever since. Friday Gram was able to see first-hand how home schooling on Guam works. Saturday Gram "ran" her first 5K. She did a great job and managed to complete it in under 49 minutes. It was all about getting the t-shirt. "Way to go Mom!" After the 5K many prizes were raffled off and Gram won a ball cap and a bottle of wine. I think she was ready to open that wine bottle immediately!

Sunday will be a big day for all of us. We are leaving for Tokyo early in the morning. The O's were in Tokyo for a few days before arriving on Guam but this will be Gram's first time....Hopefully the weather will be nice and we can get out and explore the city from morning til night. We won't be bringing our computer so you'll have to hear all about our trip when we get home. The boys are in charge of journaling all that we do so we don't forget any of the details.

Friday, November 30, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Tomorrow is December 1st and I can't believe it! It just amazes me how quickly the holiday season creeps up on you when you live in a warm climate. I can't seem to get my fall decorations out in a timely manner since the weather is so nice all year long. Before I know it Halloween is here and the kids are ready to trick-or-treat. It seems I barely get the costumes put away and Thanksgiving has arrived. Now that the fall decorations are down and ready to be put away I notice that all of my neighbors have their Christmas trees up and decorated. Colorful bright lights are glowing up and down the street and those oversized inflatable snow globes are popping up like mushrooms. I even tried to get a jump start on holiday decorating this year by getting the Christmas tree boxes out of the storage shed two days after Thanksgiving but I have yet to move those boxes from the entryway of the house.

Tonight Scott, Drew, and I went to "downtown" Tumon. (Nate was busy with his scout troop~XBOX game night!) We went with the intention of watching the Hyatt's Christmas tree lighting. The tree lighting was very nice and Drew was able to talk to Santa and get that wishlist into the ear of the Big Man himself. Drew asked Santa if his beard was real. Santa said it was. Drew wanted to pull on it and double check but then decided that he better not.

After the tree lighting and listening to a few groups singing Christmas carols we decided to walk over to eat at our local Hard Rock Cafe. After dinner we enjoyed a wonderful evening of Dance Fest 2007. We watched some Japanese drumming and local groups dancing their cultural dances. We even watched the DFS Galleria unveil their Christmas window displays. If there was a little snow was on the ground and a chill in the air I might have imagined that I was in NYC. (Imagine is the key word there. I've never been to NYC). On our way back to the car we snapped a few photos of the downtown Christmas decorations.

Hopefully you are having better luck than I am at getting your holiday decorations put up. You can guess what is on my list for this weekend. Keep your fingers crossed that we are successful. If I don't hurry up Christmas will be over. I keep reminding myself that the reason for the season is not about the decorations. There...I feel better already.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

What are you thankful for?

Thanksgiving has come and gone but we have so much to be thankful for and not just on Thanksgiving Day. After so many days of rain we had a beautiful Thanksgiving day (sorry to rub it in to all of you who are not having very nice weather). Scott was able to be home with us to give thanks and we also invited a young dentist over to share our meal with us. Once the food was eaten and the boys enjoyed their sparkling cider it was time to show our guest how fun it is to play the Wii. We really opened his eyes to the wonder of the newest game system.

Aside from all the fun and games we really feel blessed this year. We were so glad to have had the opportunity to go home and visit with family and friends just last month. We are blessed by the freedoms we have in this country and the fact that we are currently living on a tropical island. Our blessings continue with the boys doing so well with their schoolwork and extracurricular activities. Scott and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary this year and we look forward to many more. Most recently were were informed that all of our adoption paperwork is in China and for this we are very thankful. We have so many more blessings that we continue to thank God for. We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you were able to take time to reflect on all the blessings that God has provided to you and your family.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

It's a Girl!!!!

Veteran's Day brought a special delivery to our home. The all-important document that we have been waiting months for has finally arrived.....the "L.I.D."!!! Seven months ago we began a journey down the road to international adoption. After much deliberation and praying we decided to try and adopt a little girl from China. Gathering all of the necessary documents while living on Guam was interesting to say the least. Many times we wondered if our adoption was meant to be. We struggled with the red tape of a small island, yet the people of Guam really came through for us and completed our home study and authentication of our documents with considerable ease. Months went by as we waited for some documents to return from New York and California in order to complete our dossier. Finally, everything was complete and ready for FedEx.

The dossier, along with many of Scott's hard earned dollars, was sent off to our adoption agency, Children's Hope International, out of St. Louis, Missouri back in early September 2007. In mid-October we learned that our documents were on their way to China! The reason we are so excited to receive the "L.I.D." (Log-in date) is that the wait time has officially begun. We, along with other families with the same L.I.D., will generally travel together to Beijing. Unfortunately, the wait time is currently estimated at 21-24 months from the date stamped on our L.I.D., which as you can see in the photo above, is October 26, 2007. (We were very excited when we saw our L.I.D. was the same day as Drew's birthday.) :-)

We are trying to wait patiently, but it is hard not knowing if our daughter is out there somewhere waiting for us. Thank you everyone, for your continued thoughts and prayers as we travel down this wonderful path God has placed before us. Of course we will provide any updates we receive as they come in.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Our 3 Sons!

We had an opportunity to come back home to Ohio in October and we took it. It was fun to show up, unannounced, at each of our family’s doorsteps. Let's just say that our parents weren't expecting an unannounced visit from over 8,500 miles away. We miss you all very much and thank you for the good times we had. Nate and Drew had a great time and fully embraced the "fun is in the journey" mentality. We were able to fly 90% of the trip with the Air Force and it was great. "Our 3 boys" shown above was taken inside the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield, California, one of our stops along the way home. We will try to post more photos, thank you all for the great comments.

A Visit with Grandpa

The gang with Jean's maternal grandfather during our trip out east!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Our Scouts

Now that we are back home from our surprise visit to family in Ohio it is time to get down to business. The boys are working very hard with their homeschooling and have settled into a comfortable routine of school, music lessons, and swim team. We thought they weren't involved enough (haha) so we agreed to allow the boys to join scouts. Drew wasn't so sure he wanted to be involved in cub scouts but we knew it would be good for him so we signed him up and now he is a Bear Cub. He is still a little hesitant but he'll be fine once he starts earning those badges.

Nate, on the other hand, couldn't wait to join Boy Scouts. He was looking forward to meeting new friends and we were excited for him too. We knew that he would be learning lots of important life skills and we were ready to get him going. Two weeks ago we headed down to the Boy Scout "hut" and purchased all of those necessary scout items. Nate has been having a grand time at the weekly meetings, not to mention monthly video game nights, bowling, and even a trip to the haunted house with his new friends. Just today Nate had an afternoon down at Scout Beach (located on base) to learn some survival skills. He learned how to start a fire (even with all of the rain we've been having) and how to properly swing an axe. (I'm glad I missed watching that!) The scouts also helped clear a path down to the beach and did some beach cleanup picking up glass bottles and other trash. If we could just get him to work that hard at home...

Do any of you have any Cub Scout or Boy Scout stories?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Settle Down Now!

The candy buzz is in full effect and Jean is working to get some schoolwork done today. The boys are finding it hard to resist the chocolate temptation and who can blame them with over 7 pounds of candy on the table. Scott is heading back to work (halfaday) to get back into the swing of things. He has been off of work for two weeks and running a mile was definitely a chore this morning at 0600. We hope everyone enjoyed Halloween and we can't wait for Turkey Day!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Island Style

Everyone had a great time on Halloween night; the weather was a balmy 82 degrees with 100% humidity. The neighborhood was filled with children all night. We all went trick-or-treating with our friends in the neighborhood. Jean finished the night off with Snoopy and the Giant Pumpkin (a perennial favorite); Scott took Nate and Drew to the haunted house, but only came back with Nate. That's right, Andrew bailed out after "Jason" chased him with a chainsaw. Drew and his buddy Christian were all talk until they got to the haunted house and heard the music. All in all a great night for everyone and an added bonus, NO SNOW on Halloween.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Art by Andrew: This is what happens when you put a Mac in a 9 year olds hands

Andrew is 9!!

Our baby is no longer a baby and has just turned 9. He had a few of his friends spend the night and they played the Wii into the wee hours of the night. Jean and I are finding it hard to accept how quickly the boys are growing up. We had a bundt cake for Drew's party and he picked out a new golf club for his present. Andrew was very happy with all of the gifts and cash he received in the mail, thank you to everyone. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIG GUY!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Here we go.

After nearly two years of living more than 8,200 miles from our families we have finally decided to blog about our lives. We are happy to say that life is great and we hope to share our exciting life with our friends and family. Please let us know what you would like to know about via the comment section. We hope that the blog will be a fun way to keep everyone on the "same page" with our busy lives.

Lilymei joined our family...

Lilymei was born...

Drew is...

Nate is...

Jean and Scott have been married....