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!

Lilymei joined our family...

Lilymei was born...

Drew is...

Nate is...

Jean and Scott have been married....