Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Jacob's growing up so fast!


Yes, she is THE princess.

Charlie with his typical attitude!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A cold winter's day

Friday was one of those "perfect" holiday moments...the snow was piling up outside, cookies were baking, presents were being wrapped and Christmas carols sounded throughout the house. We have so much for which to be thankful, don't we?
Look, mom, cookie dough!
Decorating cookies
Laura helped wrap some gifts...she's clapping so fast you can barely see her little hands!

Helping Daddy move that snow!

Molecules

A new science concept...molecules. Jacob learned that molecules are made of atoms, not "Adams" as he originally wrote in his notes. And molecules are even more fun when you can eat them! Mom learned that Charlie can sit for long periods of time when given lots of toothpicks and sticky marshmallows!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Great Wolf Lodge

Jamie surprised us with a trip to the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City. What an awesome place. They have an indoor water park, Magi quest, cookie decorating, story time by the fireplace, and a snowfall two times a day in the lobby. We all had a great time!

Three great kiddos!

Laura on the move.


Jacob tackled the lily pads.


Charlie being sweet with his big sister.

The Magi Quest was awesome!

Cookie decorating for the kids, with chocolate milk.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A New Bed

Laura finally got her new bed. We decided to forgo a twin size since she's starting to crawl out and we don't want her to get hurt. So, we got a toddler bed with 3.5 sides. She's sleeping well, yet still can crawl out of it, and bounce when she prefers not to nap!
Very happy with her new bed.

Nap? Who needs to nap?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas tree lighting

Our little village had a Christmas tree lighting tonight, complete with cookies, hot cocoa and carols. Santa was waiting inside a warm building close by, so we walked over to meet him. Jacob and Laura sat on his lap, but I wouldn't be surprised if this was Jacob's last encounter. And I think the only reason he went up to Santa is because he could get a candy cane! And Charlie...well, he stood on the other side of the room gripping my hand, just staring in the direction of "Ho-ho." Our friend was blocking the view of Santa from Charlie, and boy did Charlie freak out if our friend moved and he got a glimpse of "Ho-ho." Needless to say, Charlie is scared to death of Santa, and left without a candy cane.



Amy, Laura, Angie & Charlie waiting for the tree to light.

I believe the list included an I-Pod, WII, metal detector, PS2 games and anything Star Wars.

Laura almost pulled his beard off again this year!

Tattling...

...on oneself. Little Charlie hasn't yet learned the art of not tattling on himself. He knows he is not allowed in Jacob's bedroom by himself...just too many temptations. So, today he came downstairs and said to me, "No, no play in Jacob's bedroom." I asked him if had been playing in Jacob's bedroom and he shook his head no. I told him that I wanted the truth, and he nodded. So, now I'm in a catch-22. I want him to tell the truth, but I also can't allow him to get away with the crime. So, he got a verbal scolding and a time-out. I have to say, he wasn't terribly upset by the whole thing.



Can I clean the toilets?

HUH? Yes, this is a direct quote from Jacob. I was getting ready to leave the house, and Jacob yelled this question from downstairs. Normally, I would get after him for yelling through the house...but this question was worth it. So, off we went for a quick lesson in cleaning toilets. After cleaning one toilet, he was done, and back playing Star Wars. Sure wish that excitement lasted past one cleaning!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

New Adoption Trend

Well, this blog was originally set up to share adoption information, and I think it's taken a turn toward a family blog. But that's OK...it's fun to share the photos and anecdotes, especially with friends who live so far away. But during my daily visit to one of my favorite websites, Rainbowkids.com, (where God led us to Charlie), I found this article about the new popular trend of families adopting children, domestically and internationally, with Down's Syndrome. Here's a quote from their website:


"The Bedfords are part of a growing trend of families that turn to intercountry adoption to find a child with Down Syndrome. In prior generations, mothers were told when they had a baby with Down syndrome or another disability, 'Put the child in an institution and forget about them,' today there are long waiting lists in the USA to domestically adopt children with Down Syndrome. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for many developing countries, where Down Syndrome is still looked upon with embarrassment." quote taken from Rainbowkids.com


What a witness to others that ALL children are created by our Heavenly Father, and that ALL of them need to be loved and nurtured. It doesn't matter where they were born, the color of their skin, or if they struggle with health issues. If God created them, then there is nothing "wrong" with them...God just made them different from others. We're all different from one another, true? If you look at the fruits of the spirit, there's not one of us that meet the mark. We all struggle with something...tempers, selfishness, idolatry, grudges, anger, health, etc. It's a good thing that our families never set us aside because we weren't perfect, or because we might have been just a little too much stress on everyday life. And I'm thankful that God will never set us aside, either...we're His children forever.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Santa's elves

The kids could not contain their excitement any longer...we had to pull out the gazillion boxes of Christmas decorations today. There were decorations all over the place...definitely not designer style, but I think kid style is even better. They think the more decorations, the better, and I say "Go for it!" We're not done yet, and we still have to put up the tree. I can't wait to see what it looks like this year!

Don't ya just love Charlie's hat? It's crazy just like he is!



Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Charlie the Helper

Charlie loves to "help." Sometimes he's a little over the top, but he tries. The other day he even emptied my dryer, and took his and Laura's sheets and jammies up to their rooms. Now if he could just make the beds.."Helping" Laura out of the laundry room.

"Helping Laura walk with her walker."

"Helping" us turn on lights in the middle of the day.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Winter Wonderland


Welcome, December! This is our second round of snow...about 6 inches again. If this is any indication, I think we're in for a very white winter! I really prefer summer, but I have to admit it is beautiful. The snow is just hanging on every branch.
Jamie has some extra time on his hands this month, so he's making the most of it. I have a honey-do list somewhere...After taking this photo with no coat or boots, I had to dash into the house before my sweeties bombed me with snowballs. Thanks, guys!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Robot, please!

Since our little boy in Thailand is 7 years old now, he obviously has his likes and dislikes. So, we sent over a list of questions with our agency rep. and we received the translated answers yesterday. He likes to eat noodles, soup and apples...I can handle that. He likes to draw and play soccer...great match for Jacob! He likes learning Thai at school...hmmmm. And when asked if he had any special requests from us...he said he would like a robot. Sounds like a typical little boy to me!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Adoption News

Our contact person at our adoption agency visited our little boy last week in Thailand. She said he has the nicest smile and was beaming when he looked through the photo album we sent for him...photos of us and our home. We also sent him a Uof M t-shirt and he was wearing it. Our agent is mailing us new photos of him as well as a picture he drew for us. I can't wait to see them! We also sent over a list of questions, and the answers to them are being translated for us. Our dossier is also being translated in Thailand and we are waiting for our immigration approval which should arrive by Christmas. So....maybe we can travel by March?

Monday, November 17, 2008

The First Snow

It's impossible to keep one's attention on school work when there's a first snowfall right outside the window! So...off we went into the white outdoors. The fresh, cold air was good for all of us to get rid of some of those cough germs that have been hanging out lately.

Hang on, kids!

A ride down our little hill.

Not to be outdone by his big brother...Charlie will give his sister a ride.

Boy, she's heavier than she looks!

It's not fun until someone's beamed with a snowball!

Charlie trying to not get beamed by Jacob's snowballs.



Monday, November 3, 2008

Driver's Ed.

Charlie is on the road...well, around our yard and cul-de-sac, anyway. He got a new jeep for his birthday and he's learning fast!


Jacob had to throw it in reverse to keep from Charlie from driving them into the woods!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy Halloween!

The kids had a full day of trick or treating. Laura had therapy earlier in the day, and the therapists took their patients around the facility to get treats. Jacob & Charlie got to go, too. Later, we joined friends and ran from house to house for two hours. The weather was perfect, and we all had a great time!


Friday, October 31, 2008

Gotcha Day!

Hard to believe that we held Charlie for the first time 2 years ago in Taiwan. What excitement and laughs he has brought to our family! We love you, buddy!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Birthday, Charlie!

This year, Charlie definitely "got it." I sang Happy Birthday when he woke up this AM, and all day long, it was HIS day. He kept singing, "Abba doo doo, me" or "Abba doo doo, Charlie"...translation..."Happy Birthday to me" and "Happy Birthday to Charlie." And he's serious...."No Jacob, Wawa (Laura), Mommy's Abba doo doo." Nope...this day is all yours, buddy. Laura's therapists came out and sang Happy Birthday to him, too. They were in costume for Halloween and Charlie must have thought it was just for his birthday! He wanted to go to Kalloways for dinner, so off we went. He got his icecream dessert, balloons, and another serenade. Jamie brought the kids home and I went to the store to buy the cakes (the boxes filled with powder). As soon as I walked through the door, Charlie came running out, grabbed the 2 boxes of cake powder and ran off squealing with excitement to show Jacob his birthday cakes. Doesn't take much to please this little guy. And to top it off, he got a guitar. He was so excited...even wanted to take it to bed. Can you imagine waking to that in the middle of the night? I just love this age when the little things make them so happy!
The Bob t-shirt looks more like a nightgown!
Look at that rock-star pose!

Now we're rockin'.

Who's guitar is it again?

Friday, October 24, 2008

WHEN, not IF

Two nights ago I lifted Laura out of her booster seat after dinner. I placed her standing up on the floor and she proceeded to walk about 3 feet...no help from me, and with perfect balance. Then she just stood there and looked around as if this was no big deal. Jacob and I looked at one another with our mouths hanging open, and then Jacob literally fell off of his chair. (He has a flare for the dramatics). I tried it again, but she wouldn't walk. I think she realized finally what she had done, and that we had "caught" her in the act. So, the question isn't IF she can walk, it's WHEN she's good and ready to do it! You're busted, Princess!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fingerprints...check!

This morning, Jamie and I had to be in Detroit at 9 A.M. to be fingerprinted...again. I thought homeland security always kept fingerprints on record. So, if we've done this twice before, couldn't they just run them again? But I have to say, this was the most efficient I've seen immigration here in Detroit. We were on the road again by 9:20 A.M. And prints are taken electronically now...no more messy ink. Oh, yeah. As the worker was scanning my left pinky...a red "match warning" popped up on the screen. Hmmmmm...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Know the Facts


OK. I will not be using this regularly as my politcal platform...but just this once. I have never felt so passionate about an election as I do this year. Vote how you will...but be sure you know for what you're voting! I know, without a doubt, that US citizens are concerned about the war in Iraq, as well as the economy. I am, too, but there's so much more at stake that people are not really contemplating. If you belong to the body of Christ, you have a responsibility to follow the Bible's teaching. If you don't know what the Bible says about the issues...then do a little research. Here are my passions:


1. DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) signed by former Pres. Clinton on 9-21-96 determines marriage to be between one man and one woman. Obama was quoted as saying that's one of the first things he will overturn. I certainly think that the economy and war should be first on his agenda. However, if this is overturned, you will see the gay agenda strengthened and stretched across the board. More and more children will not know what it's like to have a mommy or a daddy...think we have challengs now in society? Just wait. Not to mention, do you agree that the soldiers' moral will be strenthened by having gays in the military?


2. Roe vs. Wade will remain under Obama: In 1997, Obama voted against SB230 to ban partial birth abortions. On 7-25-06, Bill S403, he voted to allow teens to be taken across state lines for an abortion without informing parents. Not only is this violating a parent's right to "be a parent," but also shows that Obama has no regard for unborn life. Do you know what happens during an abortion to a child? Do you realize that an unborn child can feel pain at 8 weeks? That's before most know they're even pregnant! Go to abortionfacts.com...you can watch a video of this poor child during an abortion...still ready to support the pro-choice agenda?


3. The War. I wish war never happened. Thank God for the brave men and women who have fought so diligently for our country in every war, and God bless those families who have lost loved ones. But we also are fighting an enemy...radical Islam. Understand, I am not saying that all Muslims are radical...but only remember those who caused 9-11, and that's who we're fighting against. And don't forget who launched his campaign in the livingroom of domestic terrorist William Ayers.


So, depending upon how you vote, be ready for your children to be taught about homosexuality in schools, watch the homosexual agenda become stronger, see the abortion rate rise, be prepared for more terrorist attacks on our soil, and watch this country's values turn into a cess pool. Know your facts before you go to the polls this November!
GOD Bless America!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Discharged!

The cardiologist cleared Laura of any heart problems yesterday. She does have a slight murmur, but he said most preschoolers do, and they're mostly harmless, as is Laura's. He wrote "discharged" on her report, and said that he doesn't get to write that very often, and that made it a great day for him. I was pretty emotional on the way home...not very often Laura gets a clean bill of health from a dr. Thanks for your prayers.

Temptation 101


This is what's left of Charlie's candy bar. He chose it as his prize at church after working hard in his quiet time book. He so badly wanted to hold it in the van, so I let him under strict direction that he NOT eat it in the van. I'm very type A about having no chocolate finger smudges in my van! Less than 1/2 way home, it dawned on me that Charlie was uncharacteristicly quiet. I asked him to give me the candy bar and the photo you see is what was left. I didn't even hear a wrapper crinkle! I told him that he disobeyed mommy and we would have to "chat" about this at home. I don't think he quite understood the implications of direct disobedience, because he joyfully ran into the house to tell daddy that he was "a bad boy and mommy says no, no eat the chocolate." (BTW, we have never called him a "bad boy!" That's his own terminology). But this is Charlie...he's either all in, or nothing. Actually, I couldn't stop snickering (without him hearing) all the way home. And quite frankly, I doubt that I could have made it home without eating the candy bar, either. He is such a character!

Monday, October 6, 2008

History Alive!

I readily admit...I detested history in school. It was a bunch of dates, people and facts that meant nothing to me, and had, I thought, nothing to do with me. The only time I really enjoyed history was in 11th grade when we studied the Depression, and simultaneously I was in our HS drama production of ANNIE. That unit made sense to me. Once we moved to Europe, history started coming alive. I remember thinking...so that's the place where Hitler marched his troops through Paris...and that's where the battle of Waterloo took place...

Then I started teaching history to Jacob using The Story of the World, by Susan Wise Bauer. Jacob has become a history buff just like his Papa Miller. I remember one time in kindergarten, he had a buddy over and the two of them were discussing the Revolutionary War in my kitchen...and they knew what they were talking about! So, after 3 years of this program, we've finally made it to the Pilgrims, and tonight Jacob cooked dinner using some recipes that would have been common back then. He made 16th Century Succotash, Traditional Wampanoag Cornbread, Stewed Pompion (squash) and Traditional "Indian" pudding. He decided that cooking is fun, but a lot of work!