Thursday, December 30, 2010

Out with the old and in with the new...

2010 has flown by.  Seriously.  Last month I dated a check 11/14/09.  I think at this point I just need to forget about 2010 and move straight to 2011.

But first I'm going to do a brief really long year in review.

2010 started out with Snowmageddon 1.

Followed by celebrating our princess turning 3 at her "Breakfast at Melody's" tea party.

February was quite interesting when I, the physician's daughter, totally underestimated Jack's tummy ache while Alex was over-reacting following his intuition.  Jack had his appendix out.

February had us celebrating Valentine's Day

And freezing our tails off while trying to smile about it in Snowmageddon 2.

In March I turned 24.  Again.
We entered baseball season.

And then we finally welcomed spring and Easter in April!

And then I went back solo for the Beth Moore conference 

And the Bon Jovi concert!  \m/ (Those are metal horns for all you non-coolrock-n-roll people out there.)

 Jack lost his bottom teeth and we had our last day of school in May.

As well as this infamous incident.

We celebrated Mother's Day and Grandma's 80th (and last) birthday in May as well.  She passed away in October and is now home with the Lord.

In June I dove out of my comfort zone and went camping.  Ok, fine, it was actually yurting. I understand you tent-camping people think there's a difference but to us 5-star-resort people there's really not.

And Batman Jack turned 6!

The summer was spent swimming. A lot.  And making sure certain body parts stay attached.

And doing a little tubing on Lake Oconee.

We headed back to FL in July where Melody and I met some real life princesses!  It was truly a magical moment for both of us.  I'm a little teary just thinking about it.

 In August we took one last vacation to Resort Mitchell and Charlie had his first haircut courtesy of Granddaddy.

Once we were back home, we were all ready for the first day of 1st grade

In September Alex and I were able to take a vacation to visit Ben in Colorado

and we took several family trips down to the Plains for some fun, family, football!

and my handsome Cub Scout went on his first Scout camping trip.  This was probably the highlight of his year.  That and getting his batman costume.  I only say that based on the fact that he mentions both things at least 10 time a day.

Thanksgiving brought us to FL yet again.  We are definitely thankful for these friends...we've had a lot of fun with them this year and appreciate them hosting us so frequently.

Early December brought us Sasha who will ring in the new year with us and stay here until mid-January.

 We were happy to celebrate Christmas Day with Uncle Ben and his girlfriend, Bekah.

And we received an unexpected gift...a white Christmas! Georgia hadn't had a white Christmas since 1918.
I guess this makes Snowmageddon 3 for 2010.

We've had many adventures in 2010 and are looking forward to what lies ahead in 2011!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chritmas Lights, parties, and a budding photographer

We have been having a lot of fun this Christmas season!

Last Friday we drove out to the Lake Lanier Magical Nights of Lights with our friends Webb and Lindsey to check out a fabulous light display.

We saw fun animals, like this ba-jraff, a favorite of Melody's.

And this tractor
Scenes from famous movies like Aladdin
and the Wizard of Oz!
Afterward, in the village area, we braved the cold long enough to ride a few rides
and some of us wanted to see Santa.  Some of us did not.
On Saturday we attended New Horizons' welcome party.  Sasha was excited to see some of the children from his school and it was fun to see/hear him running around, talking excitedly in Ukrainian.  Now I guess we got a little taste of how he feels all day while we're running around chattering in English!
We also got to meet some of the chaperons, like Igor here.  He has a pretty amazing and inspirational story that I will share on a later post. 

and if that wasn't enough, we also attended our church's live nativity.  Sasha took this picture of Jack with a sheep.

He also took about a million other pictures.  In 24 hours, he blew through two disposable cameras I gave him and then moved onto my camera.  That, combined with his love of all sports, makes me think a career as a sports paparazzi might be in his future.

We've had Sasha with us for over a week now.  

I'll admit the first few days were rough for me.  It was emotionally challenging and the language barrier was especially getting to me.  However, with each passing day, Sasha's English has improved.  His comprehension is really good and I can usually get my point across with minimal confusion.  In the past few days he's started speaking more in English as well.  And he's taught us some Ukrainian.  Jack, Melody, and Charlie are learning how to count and I can say 'cow', 'dog', and 'thank you'.   Does this make us multi-cultural now?  :)

We are looking forward to Christmas (only 2 days as my kids remind me every 2.4 seconds) with Sasha.  Tonight my brother, Ben, and his girlfriend, Bekah, are flying into town.We already have quite a stash under the tree but hopefully Santa will find room to add a few more.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Boy Scouts and Bobcats

A few weeks ago, at the pack meeting, Jack was awarded his first Cub Scouts badge and belt loops.

He received the Bobcat badge

and the belt loops for archery and bb gun.

Have you ever seen a more excited face?!

In other news, I know you all want a Sasha update.  I am sorry I've been behind (we've been having too much fun with him!) but will have an update, complete with pictures, tomorrow.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

PSF and Bibliya

Біблія is the Ukrainian word for Bible.

When we learned Sasha would be coming to stay with us over Christmas, I wanted a Bible to be one of his Christmas presents.

Bibles in Eastern European languages are hard to come by but fortunately I was directed to Eastern European Missions.  They are a wonderful organization and graciously provided us with two Bibles in Russian.  

One was a children's Bible and the other a regular, full verse Bible.

I was amazed when I saw it.  It has some of the most beautiful illustrations I have seen.  I took some pictures, although they hardly do it justice.  

In other Sasha news, everything is going well.  He's such a sweet boy, plays nicely with Jack, Melody, and Charlie and has incredible manners.  I learned today he likes to cook and had a great time helping me make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  Each day, our language barrier is getting better.  He doesn't say too much but his comprehension level is rising.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The First 24 hours

So, we've had Sasha with us for 24 hours now.

While we all are having a blast with him, no one warmed up quite as fast as Melody did.  She ran downstairs this morning, took one look at him, exclaimed, "Sasha!" and just started hugging him.

(Sorry for the bad image, it was taken from my cell phone.)

One thing I learned pretty fast is Google Translator rocks.

Secondly, Nintendo is a universal language.  I showed him the Wii and his face lit up and we played while the little kids napped.  He beat me every single time.

So far he seems to be having a good time too.  He is obviously used to little kids and plays well with Charlie and Melody.  He seemed really happy when we picked Jack up from school and they had a blast all afternoon.

So far so good.  Whew! 

Monday, December 13, 2010

He's here!

Sasha has arrived!

I know you have all been anxiously awaiting and checking my blog every 3.2 seconds for new.  No?

Our first evening has been uneventful so far.
We waited at the airport for about an hour for him to get through customs.

We met him.

We said some things.  He smiled.

He said something.  We smiled.

We left.

We got home, Alex taught him how to use the shower (they don't have regular showers over there.  You don't want to know how they generally bathe) and he showered.

We said a few things via Google Translator.

We asked him if he was hungry.






So he's in bed.

At least he's not having a hard time adjusting!

I am sure you were expecting something a little more exciting.  I mean really, traveling halfway across the world and then going to sleep!?  :)  I wish I had more to say, but I'm with Sasha.  I need to go to bed.  I'm exhausted, physically and emotionally, but looking forward to what lies ahead for us starting bright and early tomorrow!

As he has basically no clothes with him and arrived wearing dress shoes, we'll be out shopping tomorrow for some essentials.

I will also try and take a few photos and with update you with the funny comments I anticipate Melody making in regards to Sasha's arrival.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tomorrow and Snow

Tomorrow is the big day!! Sasha's flight gets in at 6:15 p.m.  Please pray for all the orphans and chaperons traveling.  The children from Sasha's orphanage had to endure an 18 hour train ride, on a train that makes Amtrak seem like the most luxurious form of transportation on Earth, followed by a flight to Amsterdam, a layover, and then a flight to Atlanta.  Other children had similar, extremely long travel experiences.

We are really looking forward to meeting Sasha and pray that he will adjust quickly to being here.  I will definitely keep y'all updated.

In other news, today we enjoyed a snow day!  (And in Atlanta a snow day means we had about an hour of flurries.)

The kids ran out on to the Deck to catch snowflakes on their tongues and slide around on the slick surface.

They had blast.
For about 15 minutes...
Charlie didn't even last that long.  He was outside for about 5 minutes before he came scampering back in saying, "I cold, Mom!"
Alex and I were the smart ones...we preferred to spend our snow day here instead.  

Does this count as a white Christmas?