Wednesday, January 23, 2013

First Time Sledding

Unfortunately, we have not had much snow here in Grand Rapids so far this year.  Well, this week we received quite a bit.  It actually looks like a Michigan Winter today - finally!  Prior to this week, we only had an occasional inch or two.  As soon as the grass was barely covered, the sleds were out! 
The twins were so excited to go sledding for their first time.  Blake told us they did not play in the snow at the orphanage.  I had a very bad cold/cough and sore throat at the time.  So I was only able to sneak out for a few minutes to take some pictures.  Bruce went out with them because the girls were busy.  Cousin Avery was able to join in on the fun.  Here are a few pictures of their first sledding adventure.  I know the "hill" in our yard is rather small, but it has never stopped any of the kids from having a great time!

Avery ready to slide down the hill

There goes Blake - backwards!

The climb up - notice the grass!  Not much snow out there.

Weeeee!  What could be more fun than sledding?

Emery obviously had something chocolate to eat prior to going outside.

If you ask Blake to smile, this is what you get.
They all had a wonderful time sledding.  As soon as the temps get out of the single digits, they will be out there again!

Singing in Mass

Blake was so very excited to finally his class turn at singing for Friday Mass.  He practiced his songs for 2 weeks - constantly!  All his hard work paid off.  The 1st graders did a beautiful job.  Listening to children singing inspiring songs always makes me feel happy.  I could not get very good pictures.  But I will post a few.  Blake also was extremely excited to dress up for Mass.  He loves ties!

All dressed up for his big day

He was in the front row - but still hard to see from my angle. He is the little one with glasses.

Happy 8th Birthday Blake and Emery

Blake and Emery turned 8 on January 19th.  I still remember thinking about them last year and knowing it would be their last birthday in Bulgaria.  We celebrated their birthday with a family party on the 18th.  The twins loved being the center of attention at the party!  They have been to a lot of family birthday parties over the last 9 months.  They know what it is all about and were excited for it to finally be them!  They received all kinds of wonderful gifts and enjoyed a lasagna dinner, cake and ice cream.  On Saturday, their actual birthday, we all went to Cold Stone Creamery for an ice cream treat.  Very yummy!  The twins received an ecard on their birthday from Blake's favorite person at the orphanage.  It was adorable and we have been trying to reach her via skype to thank her.  Now for some birthday pictures.

Blake is so silly

Listening to everyone sing Happy Birthday

Blake loves to dress up and Emery loves hair accessories
                                        Yummy Cake made by Nicole - Homemade Frosting!

Emery is very excited about her new Jeep!  Blake is busy checking it out.

The twins loved cruisin' around the neighborhood in their Jeep!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Very Busy January

Normally the month of January is kind of a chill out and recover from the holidays time of year.  Not so this year.  Have already had several medical related appts.  Blake and Emery had a second appt with an ophthalmologist.  We had to find a new doctor due to insurance issues.  This doctor wants the twins to wear an eye patch for one hour every day over the next 4 months to see if this will strengthen their weak eye muscles.  So far this has been going well. I don't think they like having the patch on, but they tolerate it.  The patches have fun little designs on them and slip right over their eye glasses.   Very simple to use.

All three school kids and my niece are singing at Friday school masses this month.  I love going to the mass on Fridays but it takes up most of my morning.  Mass is over at 9:30, so Emery and I only have about 45 minutes and we have to go back to school to pick up nicole and take her to her high school English class.  Friday is usually my catch up for house, paperwork, and laundry.  So what I don't get done gets pushed to Saturday.

Nicole won the school spelling bee last Friday for the third year in a row.  She will compete in regionals on Feb. 12th. Each school sends the top two spellers to regionals. Last year, Nicole and Ashley were the top two and both went on to regionals. Ashley missed phase 1 of the school bee this year because she was home sick with the stomach flu.  She was bummed but still has next year to compete.

The twins turn 8 on Jan. 19th!  We are celebrating on Friday the 18th with family.  Nicole is baking their cake.  I need to pick up party supplies and their birthday gift.

On the 19th we are going to a hotel with a big pool and water slide for an overnight get away.  A Christmas gift from my brother.  My sister and her family are also going, so it will be a fun evening!  Looking forward to it.

The twins are being baptized on Feb. 2nd. I really need to complete the planning for this event. I have  outfits for them, ordered gifts and scheduled with the Church.  Now I have to plan and prepare for the celebration after the baptism.  I feel like it is coming up fast so I better get going on it.

Basketball practice season began in late November.  We started the season off with a tournament beginning Jan. 5th. Our team won the first two games and we are in the final championship game on Monday.   Have practice today.  Girls are doing great. Blake goes to practice with me sometimes on Sunday.  He loves it.  He blows the whistle and tells the girls to move faster!  Hoping to win the championship!

Had a meeting with Emery's therapist on Friday.  Things are progressing well.   Sometimes the progress seems slow to me, but when I look back, I can see how far she has come.  Seven years of neglect will take a long time to work on.  We are in it for the long haul and will continue to help Emery be all she can be.

Blake has been receiving all smiley faces at school!  Really happy his behavior has improved.  Giving consequences and following through is not always easy.  But it is necessary and it works for Blake.  I knew there was a good little boy in there!

So January is quite different this year.  But definitely a good kind of different. Can't wait to celebrate our twins first birthday at home!

Hope everyone has a great week!