Monday, December 22, 2008

One year already?!?


WOW- it really has flown by. Mackenzie has been with us for one whole year already. It doesn't seem like it has been that long already, but it does feel like she has always been with us. She is such a joy to all of us. She has grown and learned so much this year! She is now a pretty steady walker, and she surprises me by wanting to boldly walk ahead in places that a few short months ago she would have clung to me. We went to a Christmas party the other day, and she got down and ran around with all of the other kids. Just tonight, she was all over the lobby at the Animal Kingdom Lodge....walking right up to people...talking to them. She is talking, although not much that we can understand. Mama, Dada, and Papa are pretty clear...beyond that, you have to follow context, gestures, and intonation but she does get her point across. She is feeding herself with her own silverware, she loves to throw a ball, and she loves toys like blocks and shape sorters that present her with a challenge for her fine motor skills. She has the most magical little belly laugh...it has such a pretty ring to it. And I still marvel at how her entire face lights up with a smile. Z, we love you so very much, and we feel so blessed to be your family.

Romantic weekend

This year marked our ten year anniversary for Shaun and I. He blew me away and planned this amazing weekend for us. If you have ever met Shaun, you know this isn't his usual style, and so I was so impressed and appreciative. We had a really wonderful time. On Friday, he took me to a spa while he did the running around delivering children to grandparents and aunts. I was pampered and polished...I felt like a queen. Then it was off to surprise number 2...I had no idea where we were staying. Getting there just added to the mystery, because he got a little lost on the way, and I didn't see anything that resembled a resort near the intersection we kept circling. It turned out that we were headed to a beautiful little bed and breakfast nestled right in downtown Orlando. I had no idea it even existed, and it was so perfect because it really captured to feel of the place we were married in. We had a charming room with an antique four poster bed and a fireplace in the room. We freshened up, and he told me we were going to walk to dinner. It was a perfect night for it...the weather has been great here. He lead me to this amazing chophouse for a really fantastic meal. The next day we slept in, did a little shopping, had another wonderful meal with some friends... The entire weekend was really picture perfect, and I feel so lucky to have such an amazingly thoughtful husband. Thank you for the last 10 years, baby....looking forward to many many more.

Christmas programs

My oldest two gave me the treat of watching them perform in the Children's musicals at Church. Ashtyn was an angel with the Joyful Noise choir...she did beautifully, as did the entire choir, and my girl looked so precious. Mason was a shepherd in the Little Treble Makers (that's him- to your left of the boy with the gold hat thingy).

They are 3, 4 and 5...so they were quite amusing. The run through before went much better then the actual performance. Mason was belting it out on round one. By the time the actual show began, he was jumping back and forth from one foot to the other and staring off into space most of the time. There were angels lying down on stage...other angels trying to drag them to their feet....wise men taking off their turbans....and good old Joseph, holding it all together, singing his little heart out in front of the mic. The entire thing was too funny. They have a very fitting name, dont they?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Decking the Halls

So, my house is all decorated,time for a bloggy makeover! Here are some of the pictures that didnt make it onto the header. I thought I was being slack by not making it to a studio for professional pictures. Who needs a studio!?


I also got my picture ready for the Christmas cards. Here's hoping I actually get them out in time.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tree Trimming and the Polar Express

Yesterday morning Kenzie and I found ourselves with a quiet morning all to ourselves. So we set about the task of putting up the Christmas tree. I like to do the 'boring' parts myself, and save the ornaments for Ashtyn and Mason to help with. So my faithful young assistant and I set to work. At first, I couldn't get her to stop crawling under the tree.


Then, she started the drunken sailor walk, toddling around the room.


She must have gotten bored with all of the fluffing of branches and stringing of lights, because she started to look for other things to do. She cooked a little in her kitchen (that's a pan lid in her mouth- silly girl).



Then she fixed her hair.


Had to give teddy a hug....


Eventually, the job did get done...and I got all 20 messes she made in the process picked up as well. When Ashtyn got home from school and Mason got back from working with daddy, they helped me put on all the ornaments. Here are the fruits of our labor:


After the work was done, we enjoyed a "breakfast dinner" of bacon and eggs, waffles, and cinnamon rolls...mmmmm.


Then we all sat down together to watch the Polar Express. You see, I was anticipating our big plans for today, and I wanted to create a proper amount of excitement. We spent the afternoon today at Sea World, and every year at this time they transform the Wild Arctic into the Polar Express Experience. You get to take a simulated train ride straight to the North Pole and see Santa himself (smarty pants Ashtyn informed me that that wasn't the real Santa- he was too busy with work at the real North Pole- all of this was just pretend) I am just glad Kenzie didnt cry when I stood next to him.

Because she wasnt having any part of getting near this big-headed Santa!



Do you have your decorations out yet?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Tokmok Reunion


One of the many perks of living in Central Florida is that eventually, most of my far off blog friends will come to me! Yeah- you know you want to take the kiddos to the "happiest place on Earth". Go ahead...and give me a call when you get here. Over Thanksgiving week, we were lucky enough to spend some time with three other fellow bloggers, and Kyrgyz adoptive families. The fun kicked off on Monday night, with a girl's night out for the mommy's- Rachel, Gen, Jackie, and I...and Jackie's good friend M, who was really nice and fit right into the mix. Do I need to tell you what a luxury it is to have dinner while chatting with 4 wonderful women, be able to eat your food while it is hot, and not have to entertain anyone, cut anyone else's food, for take anyone to the bathroom? It was awesome...I had such a nice time. Then on Tuesday, the real adventure began. We met at Animal Kingdom with a grand total of 9 kids (all under the age of 7...5 one year olds) and 5 adults, and we even hopped over to Magic Kingdom before the day was done. Crazy you say? Perhaps, but I would call it a huge success. True, we didn't actually go to that many individual attractions, and yes, moving from point A to point B wasn't exactly simple. But I think it is safe to say the adults enjoyed each other's company, and that of the children..and the kids were smiling and laughing for the majority of the day. Yes, there were a few tears due to missed naps or separation anxiety, but seriously- 5 one year olds! And with a 3 year old and a 4 year old boy- we successfully avoided full-on, ugly meltdown! (Mason did cry when he hurt his hand...oh well, that is understandable.) We had a great time, and it was surreal to see the "Tokmok girls" together again. I want to say they are all within 5 months of each other, and all from the same baby house. Admittedly, at one year old, they didn't do too much actual playing together, but we are hoping the the coming years to foster a beautiful friendship there. And handsome little man Michael will be the object of their affection (except for his sis, Phoebe, who will be rolling her eyes and saying "GROSS!" when the other girls confess they think he is "so cute!") The original plan included a wrap up trip to Sea World on Sat, but by that time, poor Jackie, Phoebe, and Mackenzie were all sick, so we opted out of that one. Hope everyone is feeling better! I would love to do it again sometime.

***I have delayed posting this, in hopes of finding my temporally misplaced camera so I could add more pictures- other than the one I stole from Rach. These ladies can attest to the fact that I have to have the single worst case of "mom-brain" ever! I am sure it will turn up...eventually...in the meantime, let me go ahead and post. Seriously, I used to have brains...I even graduated cum laude...if that means anything at all.***