Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Chinese Christmas Eve!

2008 marks the 9th year of our Chinese Christmas Eve dinner! This year we had our family, my sister's family, my step-brother and his girlfriend, Maria, and Randy's parents and sister join us for AAC's 4:00 Christmas service and a Chinese dinner at our house. We had a total of 19 people!! My favorite thing is to decorate the tables all fancy. Here are some photos of this year's table.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Build A Bear Workshop

Caleb wanted to buy Emma a bear at the Build A Bear Workshop for Christmas. So, today she got to make her very own "Emma" the panda....which not so coincidentally, is the exact same bear with the exact same name as Caleb's Build A Bear panda (wonder why she chose that one?)! The trip to the mall wore her out completely. Visiting with Santa, walking around the mall AND making your very own teddy bear is exhausting for a two year old....heck, it's exhausting for a 38 year old!!

Here are some photos of her making her Emma bear.

Visit with Santa

We took Emma to see Santa at the mall today. This is the same Santa that we took Noah to when he was just 3 months old. We only took the boys the first couple of years. The last time we saw him was 2002 when Noah was 4 and Caleb was 2. This Santa is from TN and comes every year to Appleton. He gets paid $55,000 a year to play Old Saint Nick. He stays at a local hotel and stays until Christmas Eve. He's sort of an icon here, in the Fox Valley. He's really nice...very soft spoken and good with the kids.

Emma wasn't scared at all. She walked right up and sat on his lap, gave him a hug and said "Thank you" and "Merry Christmas" to him. What a sweetheart!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas...or Halloween?

A couple of days ago, Emma started singing a song...and we realized she was singing Trick or Treat Smell My Feet. Her version goes something like this: "Tick or teat, nell my veet, veet, veet....all da way hooome"! I think it's a combination of Trick or Treat and This Little Piggy Went to Market. It's soo funny!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Gingerbread Houses

The kids were my "guinea pigs" to test out some Gingerbread Houses that we are planning to make with our Book Buddies at my school on Monday. They had fun, but the icing was a little too runny and it made the pieces slide around a bit. It got stickier as it dried, so the longer they spent playing around with it, the better their pieces stuck. Emma had fun but was concerned about her "toenails" being gone (frosting over her fingernails). Notice the wet shirt. Concentration produces lots of drool! :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Is That You, God?

Many of you know that Steve and I have been toying with the idea of adopting one more little girl. God has placed a strong desire in both of our hearts and we did a lot of calling and researching last year. Originally, we hoped to go back to China, however, we are not eligible to adopt again from China due to the new regulations. That is probably a blessing in disguise as the wait time now is several years.

The next country we had looked into was Taiwan, and after lots of researching, we found out that their regulations are the same as China's. The only country we are interested and qualified to adopt from is Ethiopia. In summer, we decided to put it on the back burner for a bit and finish our basement project and see where God leads us.

Well, Steve walked up to his office last Thursday, taking the same route he always does, past all the sales pods and he overheard a lady talking about Ethiopia adoptions and telling someone that they are working with an awesome agency that specializes in Ethiopia adoptions, in fact, that is all they do. Well, he decided to stop and talk to her a bit (never really met her b/fore) and found out that she and her husband were leaving for Ethiopia on Monday. They talked a while and Steve got the name and a contact at the agency they are using, etc...

Anyway, the cool thing was that this lady's last day of work was on Friday. What are the chances that Steve would "overhear" this conversation the day before her "last day" at West Corp.?? And, what are the chances that she was adopting from Ethiopia, when that is the only country we are eligible and interested in right now?

Steve was so excited, he called the agency to get info and called me at work to tell me "I think this was a God thing, Gina"....and he proceeded to tell me the whole story. I was excited b/c usually it is me who does the searching, etc...and to hear Steve this excited and feeling that God was speaking to him, is very cool!!

The plan right now is to start working on an adoption in summer (when I am off and have an easier time running around to do the paper chasing), with hopes that we'd submit our dossier next fall and travel in Spring of 2010 to get a 1-3 year old little girl.

Please pray for God to continue to give us more signs and provide the means for us to begin another adoption.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Lessons & Carols

Dad, Noah and Mom
Granpa Fidlin, Noah & Grandma Fidlin
Grandpa Humke, Noah & Grandma Humke
Today was Noah's big "Lessons & Carols" Christmas service with the Appleton Boychoir. It was beautiful as usual, and nice that the Senior Choir got to sing several songs this year. Last year, as a Junior Choir member, Noah only got to sing for two songs.

Both sets of Grandparents came up to see the afternoon performance and Uncle Randy and Aunt Becky went to see the evening performance.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Caleb's Holiday Concert

We made a wise choice this year and sent Emma to Becky's house to play while we went to Caleb's holiday concert at school. Last year, Steve missed the whole concert because Emma got crabby and he ended up walking the halls of the school during the concert. We got great seats and super parking. The concert was really cute and Caleb got to be in a special group of singers for two of the songs....hmmmmm....another Boychoir member??? He already informed me he would never want to be in Boychoir b/c he'd have to dress up!! Ha! Enjoy this little clip of one of the songs. It isn't the best quality, as we taped it on our digital camera. I am hoping to buy a Flip soon and I think the quality will be better.

Caleb is on the top left about three or four kids in from the end.