Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lots of Pictures

The twins very 1st annual Thanksgiving morning hike with Dad.  We were all concerned it would be too much for them.  But that was not the case.  They did great and made it the entire way!

Our Christmas Tree
After decorating the tree
Christmas Cookies! 

One Messy Face 
Two Messy Faces

and Three Messy Faces

All the stockings were hung....

Emery's very first Christmas present in America

Blake's very first Christmas present in America

Ashley at Grandma Nadine's

Nicole at Grandma Nadine's

Christmas Eve at our house - I think Nicole
was happy about her gift!

Conner's turn to open a present

Nicole's turn

Happy Cousins!

Ashley's turn

Emery's turn

My handsome son

Santa was here

Christmas morning 

What a cutie!

Santa brought a new coat for Nicole

Emery received a microwave - now she doesn't have
to play with Mommy's

Carousel at the Mall


Santa Visit

Cozy PJs

Having fun with Ashley

All dressed up

Blake singing in the school Christmas
Program.  Avery is right behind him.

Emery and Ashley enjoying the singing


A new family picture

Wow, it has been awhile since I last posted.  I guess I have been busy.  Here is a bit of our life happenings:

Blake had an angiogram and everything looks good.  His surgery is scheduled for March 20th.

I began explaining to Blake what his leg will look like after the surgery. I started by showing him pictures of small kids with prosthetics.  Then I told him that is what his leg would like after it healed from the surgery. He said it looked like his crutches!  Very true.  He seemed to handle the information well and has even explained it to others.  My next step will be explain the surgery itself and what will happen to his leg.  I found a wonderful book about a horse with a prosthetic leg (true story).   I will start with the book and proceed from there.

Blake and Emery now wear eye glasses.  It has went better than expected. Emery keeps hers on, except when she wants to cuddle.  She did bend them almost into a pretzel within the 1st hour of having them. Bruce was able to straighten them and we have not had any more bending issues!   They both look so cute in their glasses.

We have been having all kinds of health insurance issues. Frustrating, to say the least.

The twins handled the Thanksgiving holiday fairly well. We spent two nights at our cottage. Emery had a little trouble falling to sleep, but otherwise was ok.  Blake had a few behavior issues, but he had been having some beforehand, so not certain if they were related to the holiday.   For the most part, we had a nice holiday.

Nicole and Ashley joined my Black Friday shopping group for the first time this year.  I loved having them with us. We had a lot of fun.  Twelve straight hours of shopping.  I love it!

Volleyball season is normally an exciting time for us.  This fall, not so much. Our athletic dept decided to combine our two 8th grade teams and make one large team of 15 girls. Anybody who knows anything about middle school volleyball, knows that many players results in very little playing time for all girls.  It was disheartening for all of our players, especially since it was their last year playing for St. Anthony.  To top it off, since there was only one team, I chose to step down as coach rather than have two head coaches.  Different coaching philosophy's coupled with one of us (me) having a much less strong personality, necessitated the step down.  The most difficult part to swallow was the fact that by league rules, we should have had two teams and for some unknown reason, our school decided to go against the league rule, despite the opinions of parents and players.

Unfortunately, Ashley's 7th grade team suffered as well.  They had a new coach this year who believed in winning at all costs, including and not limited to, breaking league rules.  This resulted in almost 50 percent of the team spending the majority of the season on the bench.  I actually stepped out of my bubble in an attempt to possibly create some compassion in this person, only to be told that I was a bad coach if I didn't agree with her philosophy.  So nice to know this is what my daughter had to deal with to play volleyball. I wrote a complete post about this, but haven't had the courage to post it yet.  Maybe sometime.

Blake had a few socialization issues at school.  Most were due to language misunderstandings.  For example, he became very angry at some classmates because they told him no "cutting" in line.  Blake thought they were going to "cut" him.  After drawing pictures and role playing, he understood that his classmates did not want to cut him.  In the process, he also learned to not cut in line!  For the past several weeks, we have had no school issues with Blake.  He is learning and his teachers are happy with his progress.

Emery is doing well in therapy.  Her therapist is wonderful and has taught me so many things.  Emery loves going on a weekly basis and loves doing therapy with me on a daily basis.  I think Miss Emery is beginning to get a little mad when she doesn't receive attention immediately upon her request.  She not only wants our attention, she expects it!

Basketball season has started.  Nicole is not playing this year.  She is practicing for her school musical and taking a high school level English course, so she decided basketball would be too much.  Although I am going to miss going to her games, I respect her decision.  Ashley is also in the school musical this year and is playing basketball.  I am coaching her team and enjoy spending the additional time with her.  Cannot wait for our first game!

Blake wants to join our church childrens choir.  I think I will sign him up next week.  He loves to sing and has a wonderful voice.  He enjoyed singing with his class for the school Christmas program and did great learning the songs!

I am officially the parent of two teenagers!  Nicole turned 14 on Dec. 14th and Ashley turned 13 on Dec. 27th.  I love my girls and look forward to this new stage of their lives.

Our Christmas holiday season was better than expected.  I was concerned that Emery would not handle it well.  She had such a hard time adjusting to the kids going to school in the Fall, I was afraid it would be too overwhelming for her.  She actually did fine.  We had 3 Christmas parties in a 3 day period and we went up to our cottage for two days after Christmas.  She had no issues at all.  She was a little bit not herself at times, but barely noticable.  Blake, of course, had no issues.  I didn't expect him to.  He acts like he has been with us his entire life!  The twins have both been to several birthday parties since coming home, so they knew all about presents.  They had no trouble unwrapping their Christmas gifts!  I already switched out the old toys for the new ones.  Its nice to have a little variety.

Some of the toys Emery received will work well with her daily therapy.  Her therapy is centered around play and her therapist uses many toys made by Melissa & Doug.  The toys listed at the bottom of my blog all have been used for Emery in therapy.  I love them.  I use the alphabet puzzles for Blake as well.

All of the books at the bottom of my blog, I have read.  They were extremely helpful in preparing me for our adoption.  I also use them for reference when an issue arises that I feel I need help with.  The first book listed was written by my daughter Nicole.  It is a great story for preteen kids.  Nicole is very proud to have published her first book and would love to sell a few through Amazon.  It is very reasonably priced and would make a great addition to any library. 

Pictures to follow!