Sunday, November 29, 2009

Giving Back

This year, the Lucky Mommy's decided that we would start to teach our kids about the true gift of Christmas which is giving back to those less fortunate than we are. Here in SoCal, especially in Orange County, there is a lot of materialism involved. Having been born and raised here, I have seen my fair share of people who have the fake boobs, lips, newest gadgets, etc. Yes I drive an SUV and have a Blackberry but my parents taught me about compassion and I could care less about what size my jeans are.

One of our mommy's, Karen, told us about a really great program called Operation Christmas Child. With this program you get a shoebox from them and then fill it with anything you want. You can then pay the $7 for shipping and track your box to its destination. If you choose, you can include a picture and your address and sometimes the kids write back! Some of the boxes stay in the US and also go all over the world. For some of these kids, this is the only Christmas present that they will receive. We had a girl from Jordan come speak at our church and tell us how much her box meant to her. She is an adult now but still has some of the items from the box she received. Her story gave me the chills. It's not too late to donate a box. You can click on the link above or the picture in my sidebar.

The Lucky Mommys met last week and we took the kids shopping. It was a very moving experience and a wonderful tradition that we will do year after year.

We walked through the mall to get to get to the store and Santa was there. He was so kind and gave all the kids candy canes.

Getting ready to shop! From left to right, Kailee, Gracie, Becky and Ryan. I had to add this picture because Kailee and Gracie look so forlorn.

The kids proudly displaying their boxes

Michelle (blonde) and Karen filling up their boxes

Karen filling her box with Gracie and Becky hanging on for dear life!

Ryan was very proud of the items that he got!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

First off, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Ours was a quiet small one. For some reason, I was a little bit sad today and not sure why. This year, I decided to try cooking the turkey and being the total control freak that I am, I had to do all my research on turkeys, so mine would turn out perfectly. I watched Martha, Rachael, Emeril, and all those famous cooks who don't use last names because they don't have to. One said to brine, one said no stuffing, yes tie the legs, no you don't, ahhhhh! My head was going to exploid with all the information given. I finally decided to go to my trusty website, allrecipes and found some good info. on there and followed that. At the last moment, I was calling up Bed, Bath and Beyond to see if they carried brining bags because I just HAD to brine my turkey as everyone raved that it would be moist if I did.

So last night had Jerry and I, almost in a comical situation, attempting to get the turkey in the brining bag without all the water spilling out and then realizing that we didn't have enough room in the fridge so out came the cooler and Jerry had to run to the store for ice but we finally got that darn turkey into the cooler and brined. This morning was even more funny while I read the directions to Jerry on how and where to insert that darn thermometer. We finally figured it out with a little help from a google image picture.

The turkey turned out great even though it doesn't look so in the picture below and everything else was yummy too! I already have plans for next year's turkey. :)

Even though you can't tell what it is, Gracie made this turkey in ceramic's class

Having a blast as usual, with Uncle Peter

Gracie loves Grandpa

The turkey looks kind of gross in this picture

Yay, a picture with me in it!

Gracie enjoying my homemade pumpkin pie

Who else would crawl under the table but Uncle Peter?

Poor Gracie didn't have a nap today and was so exhausted halfway through dinner, that she went to her room and this is how I found her asleep!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sad News

Last Friday, Jerry and I visited a pediatric neurologist to go over Brennan's medical tests. The neurologist was very honest and straighforward with us and we found out that Brennan has a very serious medical condition along with another possible serious lifelong underlying condition. For these reasons, we are not going to be able to continue with Brennan's adoption. For the privacy of Brennan, I have pulled his blog and am not going to list what his medical needs are. Our agency said that he will be put on the special needs waiting child list where a family who has experience with his condition and possibly the other one will be able to adopt him.

I have prayed a lot about this decision as it was a very difficult one. I had asked God to give us a clear answer on what to do and He did. Our family is doing okay and we know that we will get through this. We are back on the list for a new referral but I have not yet decided if I am going to post any information when we do get a referral, until after the baby is home.

Thank you to all who have said prayers for Brennan and for us. I ask you to continue to pray for him and his health.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

3 Year Check-Up

Gracie had her 3 year doctor's appointment today. She is doing great and is 38.5" tall and weighs 34 pounds. I think she's a little taller because she was kind of scrunched down and is the same height as her friend B. who was 39" at her doctor's appointment. The doctor said Gracie is very verbal which we all know (takes after Grandma :)) and healthy, yay! Gracie did get two shots today and was not happy with me at all! She kept asking for Daddy who had to leave a meeting and call Gracie so she would feel better which she did after talking to him. My peditrician was very patient and answered all types of questions that I had regarding Brennan and as soon as I get results and hard copies of those, I will be taking them to the neurologist that Gracie's doctor reccommended.

I can't believe that Gracie is growing so quickly and is already 3. She is a smart, funny, girl with an outgoing personality. She remembers everything and unfortunately, is sometimes a parrot! Gracie loves to draw and build things with Legos and blocks. She also loves to sing. Gracie is very compassionate and intiutive and likes to make sure that everyone is okay. In the picture below, Gracie was showing me her vampire fangs that she made out of an apple. She had bit out the center of the apple and then turned it around so it was sticking out like fangs and said "vampire" and hissed. She learned about the vampire part from one of her favorite shows, "Max and Ruby" but gets very creative with her fangs.