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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Last week, John and I finally got our chance to meet Gabriel! He was a tiny bit shy at first, but by the end of the week, he came all the way across the living room and hugged me! He loves to watch his Veggie Tales video and dance to all the songs, he plays patty cake and loves to shake his head in the opposite direction that you are shaking yours. So if I say no and shaking mine no…then he does yes, and the other way around.

He is showing so much flexibility in his ability to adjust to all the new changes in his life. Dennis and Abby were prepared for the worst. But even though it has not been without a few struggles, he seems to be accepting of it all. He just goes with the flow when new faces show up to meet him, is trying new foods and learning to sleep in a new place. And to top it off, it is a whole new language for him to hear and learn.

He is such a brave little guy.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Last week, I spent a few hours alone with Emily and Joshua. I don't get to do that very often. When I arrived, Emily was sitting at the dining room table with her laptop, some kind of Texas Instruments calculator quietly doing her homework. Not exactly the way I or even my own kids (her dad) had done homework when we were in middle school...oh right, we didn't even have middle school, it was called grade school all the way up until high school. I could not believe the home work she was doing! Algebra! In the sixth grade? That was not even offered to us until we were in high school! I hardly even touched on it, taking only the basic math, saying "what good is algebra anyway? I will never need it. I am going to be a mommy." As the years have passed, I was right, I have not ever needed it. John was always there if the kids needed help in algebra and I helped them on the other subjects. Well, for the first time in my life, I realized that I DID need it! I mean how do you tell your 12 year old grand daughter that you CAN'T help her with her homework because it looks like a whole foreign language? (I wish it were a foreign language, I could have helped her on it.) So my advice to youth? YES, YOU DO NEED ALGEBRA!!! Why? Because you will NOT want to have your grandchild asking you for help and you have to say...I don't know anything about that.

Now Joshua is in the 3rd grade...his homework was a whole lot better for me! Times tables. I did do them and I still know them. He was not really too excited about practicing them with me. His comment still makes me laugh! "Times tables have just RUINED the third grade!"

If I had been forced into taking more math in high school, I am sure my comment would have been the same thing! (algebra has just ruined high school!)


definition- x(no algebra knowledge)+y(really smart grandkids)=z(one grandma feeling really dumb!)

We decided to go out for dinner. I didn't want the usual McDonald's or Taco Bell. So after a little convincing, we stepped it up a notch and went to Roadhouse. When the waitress came to take our order for drinks, Joshua was first to speak up and order himself a 'coffee, black'. And he really did drink it! Emily likes to take pictures almost as much as I do, she saved up her money and bought herself a really good camera. She had hers with her like I always have mine, so while we waited for our food to arrive, we used Joshua as our subject. He didn't let us down with plenty of poses to keep us shooting.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Last week, Emily was inducted to the Honor Society at her middle school. She even had to give a speech!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dennis and Abby have joined the blogging world! There is a link to view it on the left hand side of here along with the link to Jessi's blog.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Off to Korea! Yes! Dennis and Abby finally got the call to travel to Korea to meet Gabriel! They were not able to get their appointment to meet him until a couple of days after they arrived, so they took a tour of the city and countryside to keep busy. I am so glad I was not in their place, it was hard enough waiting for word from here, just imagining what their minds were going through was all it took to get me all tingly and teary. Then finally late Wednesday night, the pictures showed up on Facebook of the newly formed family. SWEET!! I poured over and over the photos, I think I have pretty well memorized them all. I know that I would have gone crazy with the camera if I had been there, but they have an amazing collection of pictures without me. These are ones that I have taken off of Facebook as they have posted them. One of Dennis very closest friends, David Norton and his wife Shuna went along to video and photograph it all for them.

After a long long day of waiting, it was only minutes off...
Here is a collection of my favorites of those first few moments... he's in their arms where he belongs and off to the hotel they went

Now a few days getting to know each other and they will head back to California. What an answer to prayer that he has taken all the changes so calmly. Hopefully it will continue as an easy transition in this little guy's life. He had some excellent foster parents that nurtured him so well, preparing him for this time.
No event goes unphotographed by me, if I can help is a picture of them on my computer talking via Skype. What an awesome invention! FREE video talking!!! It is times like these when I give thanks that I was born in this era and not 200 years ago with families so far away from each other that they can't communicate and be a part of each other's lives.

We will be headed down to meet him in person next week!! But I think he and I are already bonded...really! He waved to me today on Skype! He already knows I'm his grandma.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011


It was Jessi's first birthday home since she left for college when she was 18. Twelve years of birthdays without her Mom. Yeah, I know, I think it was harder on me than her. But for MY sake, I hope she is in Oregon for many many more!

SNOW!!!! It never gets old to wake up in the morning and see it all white outside. We live on a hillside so from my kitchen you get the best show of those flakes almost as soon as they leave the cloud and then you can watch as they fall all the way to the ground. Add in a little wind and it is so awesome as they twirl their way to the ground. I still feel like I should turn on the TV and see if school has been cancelled. I want to run downstairs and wake up the kids and tell them to get up and see it, I want to make sure there is firewood piled high beside the wood stove and know that there is plenty of milk for hot chocolate to go with hot cookies, in case the neighbor kids show up to slide down the hillside. But those days are gone...well, at least I thought the were gone...but to my great joy, Ariel has not been in snow until he got to Oregon. It was pretty fun to watch him take it all in. He even had to get some pictures of his bare feet in the snow to send home to his family.

Emily and Joshua got to spend the 3 day weekend with us while their Mom and Dad went to celebrate a belated Valentine's Day. Josiah loved having new faces to keep him busy. One of the days they were here we went ice skating. Great Grandma and Grandpa McCool came to watch and so did Aunt Jessi and Uncle Ariel and cousin Josiah. It won't be long until Josiah joins them!