Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Chaos!

As expected, our Christmas was wonderful, chaotic, sad (without Mom), and most of all -- OVER!! YAY!

A good time was had by all, and the kids are already planning their lists for next year, although I'm not sure if Santa will be able to top himself. On Christmas Eve, Steve picked up my present. Two kittens! One boy and one girl. They are adorable in the psychotic way that kittens are, and by far, everyone's favorite gift. The boys follow them around everywhere and the poor kittens have taken to hiding under the coffee table, the beds, really anywhere the boys aren't!

Cute, aren't they?

Gracie enjoying her favorite present. A hideously fuzzy green chair. As you can see, she loves it!

The boys and their stockings.

Zach and his most requested gift. A bright orange stuffed Phoenix puppet. The thing goes everywhere with him!

Aftermath of the chaos!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and am wishing all of you, the best of years in 2009.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

This year it's snowmen

So last year, Caleb was terribly afraid of Santa Claus. I mean to the point where we'd see men with white beards in Walmart & he'd start screaming. We had several weeks of Santa Claus nightmares last year (only the way he says it, it's Na Cwaus) and have just now, an entire year later, settled down about the whole Santa thing.

I guess I can kind of understand. You're in China, minding your own business, then one day these crazy Americans bring you to a new home, new food, new people, and to top it all off, apparently once a year some fat man in a red suit is going to land on your roof and slide down the chimney. Then he's going to prowl around your house, eat all of your cookies and leave some presents. All while you're sleeping. Gotta say, I can understand where the kid's coming from.

Anyway, this year, thanks to a poorly timed viewing of Scooby Doo & the headless Snowman, Caleb is now terrified of snowmen. I wasn't home for the fated cartoon, but Steve tells men that said snowman takes his head off and throws it at people. So as you can guess, it's nightmares all around at the Knipper household. Sigh, I'm sure by now, Caleb is wishing he had stayed in China!

Oh the memories!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

New Link

Since I'm not the most faithful blogger, I figured, why not set up a new blog so that I'll have two I don't update. Makes sense in my head...

So, the new link on the right under Favorite Links called "Writing Life" will take you to my writing blog. It's about, yes, Writing. Mainly the fiction writing I do. There's even a link to one of my stories that was published online.

Anyway, check it out if for no other reason than to move the little counter at the bottom of the page out of double digits.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Caleb has a girlfriend, or two, or three...

For a while now, Steve and I have known that of the boys, Caleb is going to be the problem when it comes to girls. He's just so cute & he knows it! Well, now we have proof. Apparently, Caleb has a girlfriend in pre-school. Actually, he has two & might have a third.

A few days ago, he came off the bus grinning and covering his face with his hands. I laughed and asked him what was going on. All I could get was, "Hannah, Lauren. Ask my teacher." Then the hands went back over the eyes and the giggling started.

Being an astute and watchful mom, I deduced that what we must have here are the first seeds of love. I asked him if he liked said Hannah & Lauren (by the way, the names are said together, quickly -- Hannahlauren, as if the two girls are one person) and he pulled his shirt up over his face. I took that as a yes. When I asked if they were nice, he said, "Yes." When I asked if they were pretty, he buried his face in the couch and said, "Ask my teacher." I also took that as a yes.

So, taking his own advice, I asked his teacher on Saturday (she runs the theraputic horse riding clinic where Grace takes lessons every Saturday). She was not aware of the Hannahlauren development, but laughed and said she'd send home the class scrapbook so we could see pictures.

The book came home in Caleb's backpack yesterday and we spent thirty-five minutes looking at Hannahlauren. Near the end, we started looking at another little girl, Madison. All I can say is, preschool girls, watch out! Caleb's apparently discovered girls.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's been a long time...

Since I've updated this blog. As most of you know, my mom died in April and honestly, it seems like everything has been so much harder since then. Especially now, as we get closer to the holidays. Anyway, every time I'd sit down to write, I just couldn't because I'd think of Mom and of how she was really the glue that helped hold my life together. She was always over here, helping with the kids and it's hard to write about my family without thinking about the enormous empty spot in all of our lives now that she's not here. Even with all of the kids & activity that goes on in our house (and there's a lot ), it just seems so lonely without her here.

Here she is, holding Zach when he was a baby. This is how I'll always remember her:

Even now, with happy news to share (I'll get to it in a minute), the first thing I think of is that she's not here to share it.

Well, my throat is closing and tears are threatening to spill, so before that happens, on to the good news. We finally got our LOA (Letter of Acceptance) for Sarah, which means that we will probably be in China some time in the next 6 weeks! YAY! All I can say is FINALLY. This adoption has taken soooo long. With Grace, it was 8 months start to finish. With Caleb, 10 months. With Sarah, looks like it will be 14 months. That's way too long for any child to wait.

But, one really good thing about this adoption, is that we've been able to write to her & I have a new picture to share. This is Sarah, eating the birthday cake we had delivered to her orphanage the day that she turned 12. Isn't she beautiful!!

Well, I promise to update more faithfully from now on, especially as we get closer to our departure date.