Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone!! We are so excited this year to have all of our babies with us! I love this time of year anyways, but this year is just extra special.

I want to take a minute to thank everyone so much for all your prayers this year! I don't know how we would have made it through without them.

So, here's our Christmas picture this year..... Not bad for 5 kiddos, 3 particularly squirmy.

Some pics that didn't quite make the cut...........

We hope you all have a great holiday, full of joy and gratefulness to God!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

He's such a little smarty pants!!!

Last night we were at church and Ryan took Gideon with him to pick up Leah and Logan from their classes. He was walking down the hall with him and pointing out the purple and orange circles on the walls. Well, our little genius said "purple." I guess a passerby heard him and asked how old he was. Ryan, being the good daddy he is, actually knew his age and the lady was very impressed with our little guy. Little did she know that he has only been hearing English for less than 2 months. And, to be truthful, that is the only word he has ever said besides "mama," "dada,""bye-bye" and "baba." Anyways, just had to share about my genius!


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Some new pictures!

Here's Annie loving on her baby that Aunt Sue got for her (she got Maddie and Annie one and they LOVE them).

Ok, so the boy actually likes hats. He wore this for a couple hours.

Annie cheesing it up wearing her baby in my mei tai (no worries though because I made her one in her size for Christmas!)

So, we went to Chuck E Cheese fo Maddie's 2nd birthday and Annie was NOT impressed with any of the rides. The poor girl still panics if we drive over a bump too fast!

The kiddos just chill'in with their peanut butter sandwiches and drinks!

Gideon LOVES his chair. He sits in it at least every morning. It is funny though because he can't get out on his own without flipping it. So, he just whines when he wants out. (Look at the poor boy's rosey checks, he's not use to Ohio weather).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Just Checking in!

Hey guys, I figured I'd drop a line here at the blog since it has been a while.

Things are really going pretty well. Gideon had to go to the lab and radiology yesterday. Fortunately we just went to our local hospital, so it really didn't take too terribly long. He had a chest xray as a follow up to his TB test. He also had more blood taken seeing they didn't get enough while we were in Cincy. The blood draw was a nightmere. The poor boy tenses up when we even just set foot in a dr.'s office, let alone having someone poke him. And the lab tech was aweful!! Don't get me wrong, she was very nice, but she could not hit his vein. He was so worked up he was literally sweating. The thing is, she just kept digging and digging. Finally I told her that he had enough and needed a break. So, I consoled him for a bit and then she tried his other arm. She only had to dig a bit and finally she hit it. It was very tramatic...for us all!

Annie is still doing well, although she is still struggling a bit with sleep stuff. Gideon has a hard time with sleep also, but he seems to be getting better, Annie, not so much. Regardless of the sleep stuff, the kids are a pure joy! I can tell Gideon is loosening up and if giggly more often and that is lots of fun. He still detests baths, although he loved the pool in Guatemala. He screams bloody murder!

All three little ones here "no" about 20 times a day and they all respond differently. Madeline takes it in stride and goes along her merry way. Annie cries for like 10 seconds and looks at you like you have completely broken her heart. But then she is over it just as fast. And Gideon, well, he will just break down and one "no" can often times start an hour long whine. I will say though, Gideon is the least high maintenance though when it comes to such things. You tell him "no" 2 or 3 times and he's pretty good about staying away, at least for a while. Annie and Maddie on the other hand they will push your buttons all day. They are little stinkers!

Thanksgiving was great! We really enjoyed being with our families. I personally just loved having all my kids with me. Last year this time, Annie and Gideon were just a glimmer on our eyes, a hope. And now, well, they are our children in every sense of the word. Indeed, we have so much to be thankful for.

Well, I will post more later, but it is time for me to be off!

Until later,


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Welcome Home Party!

So last Saturday we had a "Welcome Home" party for the kiddos. It was a lot of fun. It was pretty cool to finally be celebrating our newest little ones and our completed family! It was especially great to see our family and friends show up to help us celebrate!

Here's a picture in front of our house before the party.

The yummy, yummy cake.

Gideon, a little wiped out.

My brother Nick getting some grub.

Sweet Annie!

Opening a few gifts.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

First Snow!

Well, Annie and Gideon got their first look at snow today. Although it was pretty sparce (ok, ok, you could barely see it) it made an impression on me as their first snow. It will be fun to see what all 3 of the little ones think of the snow this winter!

Also, I need to post pictures and tell you about the kids' welcome home party. I just don't have the time right now.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Some more misc. pictures,

Annie in her "cage." Check out her cool hair do!

Maddie wrking hard on that apple.

Dirty faced Gideon.

Our pretty "big" girl again.


We've been home 1 week (kind of).

Well, today marks 1 week that we've been home with sweet Gideon. All in all he is doing well. He struggles a little to go to sleep and he gets pretty whiney at times, but those are minor issues in the grand scheme of things. He also seems to be attaching pretty well to me. He prefers me over anyone else, but he goes pretty easily to Ryan, Leah, Logan and Rick. He seems to like men. It is so funny because if someone comes up to him he will shake his head "no" if he doesn't want to go to them. Even if they are just talking to them. He will also shake his head "yes" appropriately. For some reason Gideon and Annie do the same head shake. They both will get a really serious look on their face and their eyes get real big and they shake their heads "yes." For some reason it cracks me up!

Gideon seems to be pretty healthy. He eats well and drinks like 3 or 4 bottles of formula a day. He only has 7 front teeth so he is unable to eat some of the things the girls can. When I am feeding them I have to cut things into 3 sizes for each of the little ones. Gideon has his big appointment with Dr. Staat next Wednasday, so we will find out more when all those tests come back. Poor Annie, she is going to go back to Cincy with us and she has to get more blood drawn. They couldn't milk enough from the poor girl the first time. We also have to look into getting her started on her TB meds.

In general things are great, even though I am kind of exhausted. I have been struggling with some bug since we came home and I think it is kind wearing me out. Also, we went camping last weekend. Crazy? Yes, but lots of fun and we had a beautiful weekend. I do feel though that we are just now getting to relax and settle into a routine.

Here are some pictures:

A cute picture of sweet Maddie.

Leah, looking so old (and beautiful)!

Ok, Annie seriously looks way too old in this picture!

Ok, this is like our 4th attempt at a good family picture..... Oh well.

Annie listening to daddy's I phone on the plane

Maddie taking a little snooze on the way home!

Mommy and Gideon.

All the kids in their OSU shirts!

Logie and Gideon wrestling at the airport in Guatemala.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

We are home!

We flew into Columbus about 1/2 hour early yesterday, arriving around 5:00. The flights were pretty good. The first leg was great because the flirght was only about 1/2 full and we had our pick of seats. The second leg was packed, but we had the bulkhead seats and that was helpful. My mom and niece and brother met us at the airport. When then went to a local restaurant to eat and met my aunt and uncle, my grandma and some cousins. It was great to see everyone! We were all pretty tired though and about 1/2 way through the dinner the 3 little ones started breaking down. It had just been a long day.

The ride home was miserable. We only had the two car seats in because I originally thought I would just hold Gideon on the way home. Well, I was feeling increasingly worse all day and I didn't want to sit in the back where I knew I'd get car sick. Oh and to add here, Ryan was/is sick also. We both have some sort of yucky cold and just plain exhaustion. So anyways, I put Gideon and Annie in a car seat and Maddie in the back with just a regular seat belt. She did fine staying put, but she literally cried and called for me the whole 45 min. ride home. It was sooo frustrating, but she had just reached her max. And then we heard from Leah and Logan about 20 times "mom, can you make Maddie be quiet, we are trying to watch a movie." (Gesh, if I could "make" a child be quiet I think I'd be a millionaire right now). Gideon fell asleep in his car seat pretty quickly and Annie just sat there in some sort of exhaustion coma. About 1/3 of the way home Gideon threw up all over the place. It was a total mess. He doesn't have a fever or anything anymore, I just think his little belly had too much for the day. A lot of new foods and he even got some whole milk instead of formula. So I striped him down to his diaper and sat in between the two bucket seats with him. Of course I got car sick and the smell of throw up did not help any. I was so glad to get home, as I am sure everyone was.

Sleep wise everyone did great. I can't remember the last time I was that tired. Fortunately the kids slept great. Maddie woke up about 7:15 and Gideon and Annie slept until about 8:00. All three of the little ones are running around munching on a highly nutritous pop tart. I am going to work on my mountains of laundry. We also need to pick up our dog and Leah and Logan has piano. I should probably fit the grocery in here somewhere also. If will be a busy day I am sure.

I will post some pictures as soon as we get some transferred.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Big Day yesterday!

Yesterday was a pretty big day for everyone. We decided to go to the Pacaya Volcano. It was probably the scariest and coolest things I have ever done. The actual volcano is about an hour from Guatemala City. I was really looking forward to seeing a real volcano, lava and all.

We had decided previously to take the horses up the mountain. The walk seemed a little too long and brutal for all the kids. Well, let's just say the horses, in my opinion were more brutal. God love those poor animals. We weren't just trucking up a nice wide trail at a steady incline. Oh my goodness, I seriously feared for our lives at times. Ok, maybe that is a little overdramatic, but it was pretty scary. I was worried about all 5 of the kids and mama and papa (who was sweet enough to lug Annie on his back the whole time). We are talking very rugged terrain and very steep inclines. Lots of mud, lava rocks and grooves in the mountain that were just wide enough for the horses hooves. It was crazy. But, the incredible view was 100%worth it. It is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen! I am so glad we went and now we all have an experience we will never forget.

I have to add, I was so very proud of everyone yesterday. This was Debbie and Logan's first horse riding experience and they did amazing! If they can ride up a steep volcano, I would venture to say they can ride anywhere! Oh and Gideon LOVED riding the horse. Almost so much that I wonder if he had done it before. He didn't even ride in a carrier. He just sat with Ryan like a big boy!

We also got to see some more of Guatemala on our way to the volcano. Including the city the Annie was born in. We went through some local "towns" also. It was there that we saw the people of Guatemala in their more natural setting. It was very touching and sad. It was what you probably envision when we say 3rd world country.

We pick up Gideon's visa today around 4:00. And, our flight leaves tomorrow around 6:25. I am ready to come home.

A couple prayers requests if you will: Gideon has been fighting a fever (it was 102.2 last night). We seems to be doing ok while on Tylenol, but I just pray it doesn't progress to something worse and he feels better soon. Maddie is 100% again, so at least we don't have two sick babies. Also, I am not feeling great. Nothing horrible, but certainly not great. So prayers for overall health and safety would be great!


Pictures (sorry they are out of order)

Annie and Rick on their horse.

Logan and his guide at the top.


Ummm, I don't think we should be poking the lava.....

This little guy's name is Alan and he was soooo cute! He lead Ryan's horse.

This is a market across the street where we've bought a lot of goodies to bring home.

Leah on the trail.

Maddie and I on the trail.

Volcano information.

3 of our guides. They were really super guys. Oscar if on the left and he led Deb and I's horse. He was super nice and never once did he snickers at us for being such rookies. He helped us on and off the horses, and even carried our backpack. Which is probably going to stay in Guatemala now. Lets just say Oscar left his mark on it. The guy on the far right was sweet also. He carried Gideon for me for a little bit while we were walking down to the lava. And then there's little Alan again.

More lava.

This was our supermarket we went to.

A good picture of papa and 3 of his munchkins.

The volcano and how it looks from Rick and Deb's room.

Ok, so this isn't the best picture, but you get the idea. Gideon loved the water and Annie cried if I wasn't holding her. Which is crazy because she loves the water at home now.

Deb and I and the 3 little ones waiting for everyone to get back from the lava.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Ok, this picture is for Aunt Esther. It's the 3 little bambinos sporting thier Cedarville Tee's. She actually bought the light blue and pink onee a couple years ago and I had the dark blue one left over from when I went there.

We didn't get to go to the volcano today. I guess is was too rainy. It is funny because it is a beautiful day here in the city, but you can see the volcano from Rick and Deb's room and it is indeed cloudy and rainy. **Sigh** maybe tomorrow?

Instead we walked down to the local "Subway" and ate and then to the mall. It was a nice walk, until the 3 littles started breaking down. It was nothing 3 suckers couldn't handle. They were a sticky mess by the time we got home, but they were happy. They are all sleeping right now. After that we plan on taking all 5 of the kids down to the pool. That should be interesting.......


Another update and pictures.....

Boy, I like having Ryan's laptop and internet in our room! It is great to be able to get on-line from here and not have to go over to the baby lounge like we did last time.

Well, yesterday was the embassy. It went fine, although we encountered a snag. We thought Gideon would be able to come home on an IR-3 visa because Ryan is here visiting. Annie came home on an IR-4 visa because Ryan did not visit her. The difference between the two is whether they are a cictizen or permanent resident when they hit US soil. If they are only a permament resident (which Annie is) they have to be readopted in the states. I really don't understand it all because I think they have to be readopted regardless of the visa. I know Ohio recognizes the kids as our legal children (including all the benefits of that, like insurance), the law requires that, but I just don't understand all the in's and out's yet.

So, anyways, back to the Embassy. We get up to the final window and we didn't have enough documents because of the visa thing. I guess Gideon's adoption was finalized in early September and Ryan would of had to of visited before that. Luckily we got the extra papers we needed from the Embassy and Ryan was able to come back to the hotel to print off the tax return we also needed. We got all that done and back to our window before they closed at noon. So, all in all it is fine, but a bit of a pain.

Yesterday we went to a nice little Italian place to celebrate. They had really yummy food!!
We had a really good time and the place was pretty accomodating for our large group.
It rained all day yesterday. It is the rainy season here, so you expect some rain in the afternoons, but all day isn't really normal. Needless to say, our walk to and from lunch was wet. It wasn't a downpour, but steady. We had the kids covered the best we could. Annie and Maddie were in their strollers and I had Gideon in the carrier. We are all walking along and this local man comes up beside me and shares his umbrella with us. He walked a block or so with us, partially out of his way, until we got under the awning of a hotel. He didn't speak any English, but he just smiled and was so kind. It really warmed my heart!

So, here's a picture of Ryan, Gideon and I right after we got back from the Embassy.

Well, I have to go. We are going to see a volcano soon and I have to get the kiddos ready!

I will post more later today because I have a special picture for Aunt Esther!


Friday, October 12, 2007

And we have "mommy"

Just a little note, Gideon appropriately said "mommy" this morning. I think he's said it before, but there was no doubt this morning. Ryan had him in the shower with him and he cried and reached for me saying "mommy, mommy" the whole time. It was quite pitiful, but very heartwarming for me!

Also, he seems to be adjusting more. He is sleeping a little better and just has a more calm disposition, although he still has his moments!

Well, it's off to the US Embassy for us!


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tons of Pictures

This picture was taken shortly after the foster family left. Take note of the blankie that Logan picked out for him.

This was taken day 2 with Gideon.

The girls with daddy on the way to Antigua.

At the Guatemala airport.

At a local coffee roaster, on our way to Antigua.

A beautiful view of Antigua!

One of the many beautiful churches in Antigua.

On of the locals working on a table runner. They did an incredible job!

Gideon fell alseep on Leah.

Ok, this cannot be comfortable!

A local vendor at the Artisian market. He was a really nice guy, not as pushing as the hundred other vendors that "give a really good price, special for us."

Leah got all dressed up by "Carolina." She owned this shop. This is the same place as the picture of the local woman making the table ruuner. This shop was kind of special. It is pretty well known in the area and has won lots of awards.

Some snuggle time. Ok, do they get any sweeter than this??
Gideon was happy to finally be able to run around a little at the artisian market.

He looks like such a big boy in this picture. Man, I love this kid!!

At the zoo today.

That's all folks! The Embassy is tomorrow!!