Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fun with Friends!!

Last week our friends, Scott, Kami, and Kaleb were visiting their relatives in MN and North Dakota, yeah, you betcha-FARGO:) and they stopped and had some fun with us. Kami is a much better photographer than I, she's had much practice because little Kaleb, is lightning fast! All the pics I took of him were blurry!!! So, we got some pics the other day and I just had to post them. They are at Edinborough Park and the Cheesecake factory, boy, that was super delicious and it was so nice to have them in town! We hope they relocate soon so the boys and the girls can get together more often. They also are waiting for Kaleb's little bro to come home from K, so keep them in your prayers! It's been a long, hard road...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy times and miscellaneous catching up!

I've had all these great ideas to post but we've been pretty ill at our house since we got back from Hawaii. We got a bug that caused tons of laundry, hours spent in the bathroom, and just downright tiredness. My babies got a cold that made them like velcro to me, and when I finally got it, I had to take tylenol and lay around most of the day, I felt sorry for them after experiencing what they went through!! So hopefully, we are done with illness for the season, one can only hope. We've also been busy trying to get things done around the house that weren't while we were ill, did some painting, more shovelling, etc, etc...the kids have been lots of fun, we met Kaleb last week at an indoor playpark, and we even went swimming on Saturday at the fitness club. They absolutely love swimming and it is so fun to hang with them. So here are some pics, I think I'm going to start a series of that was then, this is now photos in my posts, I've been finally working on their scrapbooks and I can't believe the difference! They are growing sooo fast, both John and I lamented that we don't have babies any more but toddling toddlers*sigh*We are having happy times right now and it's a good place to be in the new year! I have to post Michael's turn at the reading, he does it so quick it's hard to catch, and then sometimes I have to nudge him because he is very camera conscious, the little stinker:) Plus, I had to do it so quick that the lighting wasn't the best as it was of course, night time!

A teaching moment with Daddy!
Great shot of me but M and I were having so much fun with the camera that day!
Phoebe reads to Daddy
It's been so cold here even the dogs have to wear jackets!
This was such a good photo of Sydney I just had to post it!
yeah, I know, flattering shot of me but we all just had gotten up!
Adventure Peak, still waiting for photos from Kami:)
Michael having a blast pushing his sister around at the indoor park!
one of my favorite Phoebe shots, wearing a Christmas gift from Nana and Papa!
The infamous Tokmok outfit(3-6 months, yeah, it still fits!) I'm looking for the one where she is wearing one like it there...
Still one of our favorite Jammies, Jan 09!
July 08
Remember this, april 08?
April 08,that was then...
Oct 2008,this is then too!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Holding A Miracle

Above is a video we watched today at church. It brings many emotions, joy, sorrow, pain, conflict, anger, hurt, great and miraculous love, you name it. What struck me most when I watch this video is the miracle of my own adopted children. Honestly, it affects both my husband and I to watch as an infertile couple, longing to experience what the rounded belly and loving expressions the husbands show, and feeling a little hurt and at a loss. But it also gives us the awe and hope that we have experienced as adoptive parents, that our children are truly miracles and that actually were given to us to be part of our family, given a chance to live and breath and be part of this world. We are truly honored. Especially when 80% of all abortions are performed in other countries, and our babies came from one of them. It was indeed a miracle that Michael and Phoebe became ours. And now, we are hurt and extremely sorrowful from the fact that our hard earned money now goes to pay for those abortions, without our consent, or our choice...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Phoebe's Reading!!

I was putting together the kid's memorabilia boxes(these are awesome things made by creative memories that you can put things like your kid's gotcha day clothes, a newspaper from their birthday or gotcha day, favorite toys) and finally was able to snap footage of Phoebe "reading." It is soooo fun and exciting to see her interest in books. I have to sneak one of Michael doing it one day too, but since I have these, I'll share. It cracks us up for sure!! Especially when the book is upside down!!
sneaking a peek from behind...
Caught, and with inflections:)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

2 degrees, windchill -10, sheets of ice, Baby, it's cold outside!!!

The one thing about going to paradise in the middle of winter when you live in a very cold state....BRRRRRR!!! Both John and I decided as we get older that it is harder to come back, we're going to have to plan our winter trips closer to when it is actually over, not when you still have January and February left, the coldest months of the year!!! It is nice to go out at the beginning of winter before it gets too cold like in November but not midwinter!! Yesterday was weird weather, at 26 degrees it was raining, the colliding warm front brought rain and a sheet of ice with it, John stayed in hotel last nite as he was working at the hospital that is 50 minutes away from home. They were nice to him and gave him the hospital rate, the hospital had already put up workers that were to be there in the morning as to have staff.

I found my camera and thought I'd post the rest of paradise pictures. There is a cost to living in paradise we found. You have to be independently wealthy, inherit a lot of money, or as in most of the cultures around the world, work together and live together as a family unit(ie parents, brothers, sisters) to survive or get ahead, or else live very meagerly. My eyes almost popped out of my head at the grocery store and one lady and I were shocked and commiserated at the price of syrup, 5.99 for 10oz of syrup-generic kind. Almost everything was double. To go out to a nice restaurant in Hawaii costs a couple $100, and that is not including anything to drink, your salad, side dishes like veggies, let alone dessert or tip. So for those planning a trip to Hawaii, save you pennies, go on a diet, and make sure the place you have has a place to do food. Let alone saving for the airfare. I loved Hawaii, but I know I would get island fever in a big way and feel trapped if I had to live there. But I sure miss that weather right about now. Funny, it reminds alot of the Philippines(which is why there are so many filipinos there), especially when you get away from the resorts and to where the Hawaiians live, minus the population, fumes, pollution. And people still drive in lanes in Hawaii although they make the most dangerous left turn cut offs I've seen in the US.
It was a nice break from reality, but it sure didn't feel like Christmas. Especially since there were no grandparents around!! I feel like I lost the whole holiday this year...
One fun thing was the power went out the night before we left, I was in the middle of packing and doing laundry-bang-blackout!!(just like the philippines:) I ended up going to bed rather than using the flashlight I had found in the closet. On this trip we also got evacuated from the timeshare because one poor husband left the timeshare while he was cooking Christmas dinner-I'm sure his wife gave him an earful!
The beach was fantastic- we were not on Waikiki-which is eroding into the ocean and ubercrowded but on the quiet side of the island. There were 4 lagoons that were carved out and made safe from the rough surf so little kids could enjoy the ocean. Michael had the best time running from the waves once he figured out what was going on with the water! It was so much fun to watch him and hear him laugh:) Phoebe just liked being in the water, she doesn't have the engineer brain like her brother but is plenty precocious!! We also figured out it is much easier to raise babies in warm weather, no socks or shoes needed, what are mittens and jackets and dressing meltdowns over there?
Another thing we did was to take our kids to play with the dolphins, Phoebe was terrified and I thought she was the fearless one, Michael was fascinated but also afraid-I guess being one is too young for those fascinating creatures. Although they didn't favor being with the dolphins, they LOVED the dolphin show! It was pretty good, and so much nicer than being in a crowded stadium at Seaworld watching Shamu, not that the show isn't good, but it was definitely much more relaxed.
The best thing that happened was our friend Jo-who also leads my bible study at home, bid for our flight home to Minneapolis and surprised us at the airport! It was sooo nice to feel special and taken care of on the long journey home! Thanks Jo, we love you!!! She is an amazing woman with many stories of faith to tell! And we love the airbus 330!!! WE had a staight shot home in 8 hours overnight and I stayed up watching 2 movies...Michael slept the whole time sprawled out on 2 seats, and Phoebe slept very uncomfortably, kept waking up and crying-she missed her crib and was never a sleep in your arms girl, she did best in the ergo but then would wake up when she wanted to do a flip and couldn't...
I think I've rambled enough, I've been going stir crazy because I caught a bug somewhere and have been stuc in the house now for 3 days! Enjoy!

Honolulu airport, waiting to go home, thanks Jo!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Welcome 2009!!!

So, starting off the New Year, I can't find my soon as I find it I'll post the latest for now, just a quick new year post. I don't do resolutions like many of my blogger friends, instead I reflect on my life and think about things that I wish for the new year. On that list are
1. That I would spend more time with God, whether that be in Bible study, or personal times praying and thinking about Him.
2. Say thank you to those who have invested in my life and continue to let them know it.
3. Forgive those who have wronged me.
4. Be the best wife and mom and I can be.
5. Even though I didn't vote for Obama, I wish he would disprove my doubts and be the best US president ever.
As far as reflections go, I saw this on Lori's and Maria's blog, and it fits the new year reflections although it encompasses many years of my life. You are supposed to bold the things you've done and can provide comments on the list if you wish. It's a list of 99 things that supposedly reference how cultured you are?
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world with the Tokmok tots 2008!
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped-won't ever do that!
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea-don't want to do that either!
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child 2 of the most beautiful children I know:)
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked too many times since I married my husband:)
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort and had one collapse on me:(
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon 4 of them and 3 ski marathons
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. Visited Africa and did relief work in Rwanda 1994
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing many times as an Alaskan resident
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia-former Russia if you count Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving-another NO WAY!!
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square and watched the ball drop!
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone and didn't even know it
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox with only 1 pox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee