BRAT - (noun)

Brat- (noun)

1.A child, especially a spoiled or ill-mannered one.

2.A child of a career military person.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The kids finally finished with school today! Yippee! So, to celebrate, we all loaded into the car and headed to the movie theatre. The girls went to see Tangled. I have to say, I loved it! So sweet, so romantic, probably one of the best Disney movies I've seen in a long time. And, best part of all, Michelle sat through the whole thing. (OK, she did get up a couple of times, but she didn't ask to leave, which is a huge accomplishment for her!) If you have a girl in your life, do yourself a favor and take her to see this movie.
The boys put on their 3-D glasses and headed to the theatre across the hall to see Tron. The report was a big thumbs up from the boys! Our teens go to the movie quite often, but we rarely go as a family. It's nice when you spend that kind of money to have everyone come away with a happy report. A good time was had by all.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Last week Michelle's preschool did a Christmas program. They acted out the nativity scene, and asked each child to dress like a part of the story. Of course, Michelle wanted to be an angel. The halo started out on top of her head, but I think by this point in the day it was a little lopsided. Mommy is not Martha Stewart, or even Suzy Crafty! But, I did manage to scrape together some gold pipe cleaners. (thanks to my neighbor & friend Julie!) Put together with a head band and Mommy's white blouse, and it worked for a 4 year old angel costume.
For a couple of weeks, Michelle has been bugging me to sing the "Olay" song. I knew they sang it at preschool, and I knew it was the song that the angels sang, but I could not figure out what the Olay song might be, and Michelle refused to sing it for me. She has Spanish class once a week, so I thought perhaps it was something she had learned in Spanish.
Finally, this week we were reading a new Christmas book. In the back they had some printed Christmas carols, so I sang them with her. She got very excited when I started singing "Away in a Manger" and started singing along, "Olay in a manger..." Now, we finally know what the Olay song is - silly me for not figuring that one out! (Ha!)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Gotcha Day - Part 2

We have tried to come up with some special things to do each year as we celebrate Michelle's Gotcha Day. In this season of party's & presents, it's kind of hard to top Christmas. But we also realize Christmas is the time of year we brought Michelle home, so it's o.k. if some of our celebration centers around that as well.
We started with Chinese food. Michelle still eats with gusto - she grew 11 inches the first year she was home, and she has grown over 7 this year. It's hard to believe she is truly almost twice the size she was on the day we met her! Of all the foods she has tried and loved, I would say, hands down, her favorite is still noodles. She will eat the spaghetti kind, the chicken noodle kind, but the ones that thrill her heart are still the Chinese kind. So, of course our celebration included Chinese food. And lots of memories.

Michelle had asked this morning if we could have balloons at the party. We found the perfect one at the store that said, "Joy!" What a season to celebrate - the joy we have in Jesus at Christmas, and the joy Michelle brings to our lives every day.

As we brought out the red velvet cake with 2 candles (for being home 2 years) we sang "Michelle" from the Beatles. I think she got a little teary - I was surprised by that. But they were happy tears. I think she knows how much she is loved.

We finished off our celebration by decorating our Christmas tree. We wanted to wait until big sister "La-La" (as Michelle still calls her) was home from college. She arrived home last night, and I couldn't think of a more perfect way to end a perfect day than by putting the ornaments on our tree.
What a sweet day!

Happy Family/Gotcha Day Michelle!

2 years ago today we first met our precious daughter Michelle, and completed our family. Sometimes it seems like yesterday - sometimes it seems like forever ago!
I will never forget those first few minutes in that dark hallway of the municiple building. Such a strange, wonderful way to get a child! She had on about 10 layers of clothes, had a diaper wedged in her split pants (which later caused all kinds of fun back in our hotel room!), had dried blood in her hair which was never really explained, had dry little cheeks from lack of nutrition, and she was the most beautiful thing in the world.

These are the 11 other wonderful families we traveled with on our great adventure. Happy Gotcha Day to all of them as well, especially the Altermatt's, McClintocks, Mongolds, Swansons and Smiths. They are such a part of our story, and I am glad we have been able to stay in touch. I hope to see your children grow through the years.

This is what I remember most about our trip - just walking up and down the hallway in our hotel.

Tonight we plan to celebrate with Chinese food from our favorite restaurant, cake and balloons. And of course, we will sing "Michelle" from the Beatles in honor of our Michelle. I will try to post pictures of our celebration later tonight, so you can see how much a child can change with some good food, and a lot of love.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What Christmas is all about!

I know I'm probably the only person in the world that feels this way, but sometimes by the time I get to Christmas morning, the only thing I really want under that tree is a huge bottle of bubble bath, and my family telling me to go spend the day in the bathtub relaxing! Don't get me wrong - I love the music, the decorations, the excitement in my kids eyes just as much as the next person. But my life is already really busy, and when I look at all the extra "stuff" on my calendar, and think of all the extra "stuff" that's not on my calendar but will have to happen on my part to make this "the most wonderful time of the year", well, it makes me kind of stressed!

Several years ago someone shared this little poem with me. I can't honestly even remember where I found it, but I dust it off every year and share it with all my mom friends. I mostly bring it out again to remind myself what this time of year is truly about - celebrating the greatest gift that ever came to mankind, my Lord and Savior, Jesus! And blessing my family, even more importantly, ENJOYING my family as we go through this Christmas season.

So, I hope this will encourage all you busy mom's today. Take off your running shoes for a while, pour yourself a little cup of tea, and take some time today or over the next few days to remember and relax.

By Sharon Jaynes

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls but do not show love to my family, I am just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals, and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but I do not show love to my family, I am just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of Christmas parties, and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug a child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way.

Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust. But giving the gift of love will endure.