Wednesday, December 23, 2009

December update

This month the caregivers at GLA all shared words they would use to describe the kids. I've included the list for both kids. I think it really gives insight into their personalities.

Peterson is...SMART, genuine, trustworthy, sensitive, people-pleaser, easy-going, ambitious, encouraging, willing, follower, protector, affectionate.

Gaëlle is... joyful, responsible, affectionate, energetic, carefree, girly, efficient.

I know I sound like a broken record but I did not think we would be here in Nova Scotia for Christmas and Peterson & Gaëlle would be in Haiti. It just never even crossed my mind last Christmas. Robin and I constantly were planning Christmas 2009.

Peterson & Gaëlle would be in the church play. Wouldn't that be cute? And wouldn't you know it, the children's church play was probably one of the best ones I've ever seen.

I would have to make their stockings? The material would be different but the style would be the same.

Gaëlle especially seems to have a sweet tooth. I wonder what she'll think of all of our Christmas goodies.

How will they handle the cold? We'll have to invest in good quality snow suits.

And on and on....

But throughout this entire process, I've determined to not do anything, not buy anything until the kids have our last name. That hasn't happened yet and so I've done nothing. Bought nothing. And Christmas 2009 will come and go and we're still separated.

I'm oh so thankful that GLA will make this time special for them. They've shared pictures of some of the December happenings and it looks like the kids are having a blast.

And Robin and I are not discussing Christmas 2010. No plans at all. We'll just wait and see what happens.

The kids are home

When we said goodbye to Emily back in September we didn't think we would see her again until May. So I feel so blessed to have her home for Christmas. I know the day will arrive when my children celebrate the holidays without us. But I'm glad it isn't here yet.

Waiting for our little girl to arrive.

Her flight from Thailand went without a hitch, except her luggage arrived 18 hours after her. But it did arrive.

She has struggled a bit with jet lag but I think she's finally turned the corner and is getting a decent night of sleep. She's having fun catching up with friends and also trying to figure out her plans for next year.

I think she's most happy to be with Kaylin again. Even though there is a 3 year difference in age, I'm so pleased that my girls just delight in being together. So much fun to see.

Josh has also come home, but we haven't seen much of him. He immediately went into band practice mode. And now he has gone on a trip to visit friends. So he's gone and he's taken the car. But we'll see lots of him in January before he goes back to school. So I'm just happy to see him out and about.

Gingerbread house... 5 years later

About 7 years ago we bought a gingerbread house mold. It has been well used. We have made gingerbread house kits for friends and Kaylin has held decorating parties. After taking a break last year, she resurrected the tradition and hosted the party once again. I dug out the photos from 5 years ago to compare to this year. What a difference!!! Where has the time gone?

Here we are in our 15 and 16 year old wonderfulness.

A cute 11 year old smile.

A 10 year old full of enthusiasm.

Lots of artistic thoughtfulness... which hasn't changed... just matured. So beautiful to see.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A yogic diet

Kaylin is loving her yoga and because of her gymnastics background, she is so flexible and strong, which means she can do all the advanced moves. So this week she has decided to add to her yoga experience and try the yogic diet. As she understands it, the idea is to eat fresh and unprocessed foods. She will also eat dairy products and seafood products, altho that will not be a pure yogic experience.

I initially thought this would be super easy for our family but it's actually not. I didn't think I used all that many processed foods, but I do. I use canned tomatoes in so many recipes. And we eat a lot of pasta. I could buy fresh tomatoes and stew them myself. But I won't. And I could make home made pasta. But I won't. I frequently make my own bread, as does Kaylin, so that won't be so hard, except I'll still use my enriched white flour.

Tonight's meal which Kaylin can't have. I think I'll set aside a little of everything except the canned tomatoes & beans and she can just add fresh tomatoes & maybe lentils to her taste.:

Curried Vegetable Stew - serves 4
1 large sweet potato chopped - 12 oz
1 medium onion chopped
1 medium zucchini chopped - 8 oz
small green pepper diced
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
15-19 oz garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained
14.5 oz diced tomatoes
3/4 c. veggie broth
1/2 tsp. salt

Sautee veggies in oil until soft- 10 minutes. Add seasonings - 2 minutes. Add additional ingredients and simmer covered until tender, but not soggy - about 10 minutes.

I serve over brown rice.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

November update

Ah... another cute photo update.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Since Josh has been going to school in the US, I've gone to my parents every year for Thanksgiving for a family get together. It's been wonderful and this year was no exception. It was a quick trip but it was well worth it.

The kids wanted to go into NY for the Macy's Day Parade so we went in for the experience, knowing that we weren't going to get very close.

And no... we didn't get very close, but it was still a blast seeing those huge floats. Everybody was in good spirits, even the young kids who were in the crowds, and the weather was perfect. A nice doorman let us stand on some private steps so we had a decent view and we had a couple of hilarious New Yorkers next to us.

We went for the huge NY pretzels. Love those!!!

And call me silly, but ever since I heard the news that Tim Hortons (Canadian coffee power house) was in NYC, I just had to see it for myself. All of these fancy NY coffee places and simple, just coffee & doughnuts, Tim Hortons competing with them. Well, we found one and Robin ordered a medium double double. But lo and behold, a medium coffe in NYC would be a super large in Canada.

The men out for some Black Friday deals.

My mom always has something fun up her sleeve. Usually involving presents. This trip was no different. She had a bag full of necklaces for us to go through. Kaylin wore one of the necklaces to school today. Fun, fun, fun.

Just in case you think Emily went blond... no... she's still in Thailand. But another Canadian who is going to school in the US came to my parent's house for the week of Thanksgiving. Sarah and Kalin were pretty much the only ones who wanted to hit Canal Street and try to find some bargains in NYC. So they went in and braved the crowds on Saturday.

They managed to find some bargains including $20 worth of t-shirts for my mom to give away as gifts. Anybody who has been to Canal Street will recognize those black bags.

Thanks mom and dad for a great week. Who knows where we'll be next year for American Thanksgiving. But can I just say that I hope we'll have 2 more little kids with us.