Friday, December 26, 2008

An Unexpected Performance!

Yes, Kamryn happened to be in two school performances this year.

Kamryn and I went to Gavin's school performance. That particular evening, Kamryn wanted to dress up in her Chinese outfit. So I let her and she looked beautiful!

Little did we know that she would end up in Gavin's performance! He did not want to participate so Aunt Melanie coaxed Kamryn into taking Gavin over to his classmates. She stayed with them and actually tried to sing the songs and copied the hand motions as if she had been practicing all month! The teachers were great and actually gave her a set of antlers to wear too. So fun!

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone had a blessed and happy holiday. We enjoyed having our family over here on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Unfortunately, my niece and nephew were sick on Christmas day, so it was a bit quieter than we had expected; crazy bingo is postponed:)

We had a very full December. Kamryn's Christmas program at her preschool was very sweet. I quickly dropped her off at her classroom and ran so that we wouldn't have a meltdown like at her Halloween party. During her performance, I tried to hide but just couldn't because she was searching for all of us . . . I had to wave! She did great! She's been singing all month, "bells are ringing, bells are ringing, baby Jesus born today." She'd sing this in line at the store or wherever we were. I'd get lots of smiles:) My little angel was an angel at her performance, how appropriate! Here are some of her biggest fans!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Three Little Piggies

One of our playgroup outings was to go see the performance of the Three Little Pigs that was put on by Alphabet Soup Productions at one of the local colleges. I was expecting the traditional story and was rather pleased how they elaborated the story and added lots of piggy humor. It was very cute and entertaining for all.

Ha ha, funny funny

Grandma Dianne always emails us these great photoshows. She has fun putting captions on the pictures. I thought this one was funny:)

Yes, the tree finally did get put up and decorated along with the rest of the house for the holidays. We've had a busy but fun December. I hope to catch up and share about it soon!

The more prayers, the better.

This is the season to be joyous. Yet, my heart is very heavy because one of Kamryn's little playgroup friends is fighting cancer. I asked Ann, Abby's mom, if I could post about her situation and of course she said the more prayers, the better.

I think there was a definite "red thread" linking us with their family. My cousin Debbie and her husband Andy had a graduation party for their daughter in July. I knew that their friends who had just returned home from China were going to be there. We were excited to meet them and during our conversation that day when talking about China groups in the area, Ann mentioned that she had gone to a Friday playgroup outing at a park near our homes one day with her friend Julie. I'm the one who usually sets up the Friday playgroups, and I couldn't recall meeting her. Then I put two and two together and realized it was a day Kamryn and I missed, and Rowan's mom Julie had invited Ann & Abby that day. They attend the same church. Small world.

Abby has a "small eye" and vision loss. They had all the medical tests, MRI's etc, done when they returned home and everything checked out okay. But Abby's eye has been causing her pain so after lots of medications to help with that, the doctors decided the best course of action was to go in and remove the small eye now (instead of later) and to move forward with replacing it with a prosthetic eye. During surgery to remove her eye, they noticed the cancer.

Her website can explain everything much better than I can. She is currently in the hospital for chemo and has a long road ahead of her including daily shots and radiation treatment that will take place in Boston.

I can't even imagine being in their shoes. And they've been through this before with their first biological daughter who had a brain tumor. Ann is a pillar of strength though and has such strong faith that it really is an inspiration.

She's posted in her journal that they would like to "reward" Abby with small surprises after each of her shots. If anyone is willing to send stickers or small toys for Abby and big sister Jenna, please email me and I will forward you their address or would be happy to gather/buy/deliver for you too.

Kamryn with Abby and Rowan at Halloween.

Abby's website

Thursday, December 11, 2008

This was one of those moments!

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments that take our breath away!

Yes, that about sums it up for this day three years ago! Add this day to our list of other days - June 15th and January 30th, when the boys were born. Our three children have completely different stories about the day they came into our lives. Our three children are completely loved (and fiercely!) the same regardless.

Today is our family day. Three years ago today our family became complete.

I truly believe that this day three years ago took the boys breath away too.

They constantly write about their trip to China for numerous school projects. Good thing they always have new teachers so the subject can be written about over and over. It's interesting for me as their mom to compare their writing, so that I can understand how much they really understand (and they do!) and to realize how different the two of them are! Matt writes factual stories. Brendan writes from his heart.

So I'm going to share Brendan's latest writing since it is FAMILY day and you "hear" from me all the time. I want you to see this through his eyes. Remember he was only 7 years old (well almost 8) at the time.

by Brendan Ahearn

Click, I buckled up and the airplane took off to China. I was getting ready to meet my little sister that my family was going to adopt from China. I was thinking of what I would say to my new sister when it came time to meet her. I was bouncing out of my seat in excitement.

Kamryn was living in the Jiangxi Province in a foster care home. When we finally got to the building where Kamryn was, we noticed that there were mounds of garbage everywhere. I couldn't believe how dirty the outside was. However, when we got inside it was so nice. We went up some stairs and walked down a short hallway that had pictures of adopted children. On a bench I saw three infant girls crying. We were finally going to enter the room where we would get Kamryn!

As the doors opened we saw a room full of babies that were crying. They started calling out last names and the family would greet their new child. When they called our last name I couldn't wait to get my sister! My parents, brother and I had huge smiles on our faces. When we got Kamryn, she was crying so much! Then I realized she was one of the babies that was on the bench. We had to say, "I love you" in Chinese before she calmed down.

In conclusion, getting Kamryn was the best day of my life! I couldn't wait to get home in the U.S.A. to celebrate Christmas with my sister.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Such Great Heights

Kevin took vacation days the whole week of Thanksgiving. At first I questioned him taking those few days. I would have rather him taken some days in December when things get so hectic, and I could use some help. But then again, that wouldn't be "vacation" for him then, would it?

So be it, he took the November days off. It turned out better than I expected! Kamryn really loved having him home all the time! Her little heart was soaring with all the attention she was getting from daddy. She ended up wanting daddy's help for most everything which was a nice, welcome change.

We took a family adventure downtown to the Sears Tower one day. Brendan suggested it so we jumped on the chance to get the boys out of the house, away from their games, and to have some family time.

Fun facts about the Sears Tower

Matt had just completed a math study about scale and actually had just recently built the Sears Tower out of cardboard. I had printed off a scavenger hunt game from the Sears Tower website for the boys so they could try to find certain locations of interest. It helped because it gave detailed directions on where to look for things.

Up by the windows, there were maps with sites numbered too. I told Kamryn to look for Chinatown and as she looked out the window and only saw buildings in the distance, she said she couldn't see it. She was looking for Chinese characters on the buildings. Maybe if we had brought some binoculars or put some quarters in the ones they had, she could have seen that.

Kamryn was fussy the whole time we were up on the 103rd floor. When we got back down to the ground, she was fine. I don't think she likes such great heights.

Isn't this photo funny? They took our picture before we got on the elevator to go up to the Skydeck. Then they use the same photo with four different backgrounds. One on a sunny day up as if you are up on the Skydeck, one with a night view, one in front of Buckingham Fountain and one with the lake and skyline in the background. The great thing about this picture is that Kamryn is totally into Brendan, and he is loving it!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Back at the farm!

We are so glad that we are not that far from our Indy friends - only an hour and a half halfway. The Saturday before Thanksgiving we traveled back to the farm to see our friends Delilah, Mark and Mary Grace and Karen and Tess.

The pictures say it all! We all had a great time! It was nice to see Mary Grace walking now. And yes, I think she remembers me:) because she came right to me when I wanted to hold her.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Is it really that time again?

For snow! I for one like to look at it, but I do not really like to be outside long enough to play in it. But the boys can't wait to go sledding, and Kamryn is thrilled just to touch it.

And what is wrong with this next picture?

Anyone guess? Look close.

It's the same snowy day. Just minutes after I took the picture of her touching the snow.

Yep. This is what's wrong.

The minute she gets in the car, she takes off her coat. No big deal really until we get to our destination and I have to stand out in the cold and help her get it back on! Today I didn't pull out of the driveway until she put her coat back on and then got buckled up. I guess now I will need to add extra time to get out the door just to win this battle. Everyone has extra time especially this time of year right?

Hmph. But look at this. Is this too cute or what?

Yes, her doll has her coat on! But when her doll comes along, I have to wait a few extra minutes for them both to get buckled up.

I know, I complain about the time it takes to get out the door, but in reality, I will be begging for these "times" when she's 16 or 17, able to drive and out the door alone.

Yikes, times getting closer for Matt to be able to drive! Anyone have a secret for stopping time?

Monday, December 01, 2008

Thanksgiving Gathering

Grandpa and Grandma Dianne traveled in from Florida for the Thanksgiving holiday. Lucky for us, we were able to see them this year on the holiday! We went to Aunt Cathy and Uncle Marc's house for the delicious dinner. The kids enjoyed cousin time and it was nice spending the day with family.

The kids enjoyed an early Christmas with Grandma and Grandpa too. Brendan was thrilled to get model cars to add to his newly wanted collection. Matt got some great books that completed the series he is reading. Kamryn got some new pj's for Bitty Baby and a matching set for herself along with a snowsuit for Bitty baby to keep her warm in this winter weather we are having!

Grandpa and Grandma spent the night at our house Saturday night. Grandma played Dominos with the kids and yes even Kamryn played with some help and even seemed to understand it!

Poor Grandma got an early wake up call Sunday morning though. Matt remembered at midnight that he didn't turn off his alarm clock. I didn't want him sneaking back in his room, which was now their room, in fear that he would scare them if they woke up and saw him tiptoeing around.

So Matt wrote a note to Grandpa (who we knew would wake up in the middle of night because he always does:) asking him to go unplug the clock. Kevin woke up at 3am and found his dad awake downstairs. They talked about Matt's note, and Kevin told him that we thought his alarm was set for 6am. Grandpa goes upstairs at 5:30 am to turn off the clock, but the alarm had already gone off at 5 am. Ugh!

Silly Matt set his clock earlier the day before so he could get up and play his new Playstation 3 (please! of course he didn't) which he recently bought with his own money. Poor Grandma:( and poor Matt after getting a stern talking to by me:( Thank goodness she fell back asleep after fumbling to turn it off.

Hopefully the rest of our hospitality makes up for this; the homemade chili, yummy dessert, the fun company and WII entertainment. Won't happen again, I promise. Please come back soon!

If it makes you feel any better Dianne, Kevin did the same thing to me (almost) this morning. He left the house at 5:20 am and then the phone rang. I was startled, scared (any phone call at that hour can't be good) and saw it was his cell phone. When I called his number back, he said he had no idea how it called me.

Dianne and I will be thankful for a good night's sleep.