Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas with Extended Family

We have now finally finished all the Christmas celebrations with our extended family!



It was a nice time, but it is nice to be done traveling. Hopefully we can end the habit of asking “open presents?” each morning when we first wake up and get back to normal!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Puzzle Fun

Annaliese is enjoying playing with a few of her new toys. One family from my mom’s church gave her two large floor puzzles – one is a map of the world and one is a map of the United States. It has been a great way to talk about America and Ethiopia : )

We are working on learning some of the states, too. Primarily where she lives and where some of our family & her friends from the transition home now live : )


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Travel

Over the past few days we have traveled to Missouri and back – our first long road trip! She did a great job.

For the most part, we traveled with the girls in one car and the guys in another car. Annaliese loved the extra time with Grandma Jane : )

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Family Christmas

This morning we celebrated Christmas as a family of three! What a new joy it brings to the season when you have a child to share it with : )

After eating a yummy breakfast, we read the Christmas story from one of her children’s Bibles. She loves talking about baby Jesus!

Then we opened our stockings and our Christmas gifts. We gave her three gifts and she seemed to enjoy them all! She was excited to no longer have to wait for what was under that Christmas tree : )


Jonathan and I got each other new Willow Tree figurines to symbolize our new roles as mommy & daddy. The one I received is called “Child of My Heart” and appears like it is meant to be for adoptive mommies. How sweet!

We had a nice morning together and then headed to do Christmas with some of our extended family : )

Monday, December 17, 2012

Eye Doctor

Today Annaliese had her first eye exam, which she had to have for school. They did a great job working with her and she did a great job working with them. I continue to be amazed how well she takes to everything new - what a trooper!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Church Christmas Program

This morning Annaliese participated in her first Christmas program at church : ) We tried our best to explain what she would be doing, but we were not sure what she would think of it once she was on stage!

She seemed a little overwhelmed at first, but once the music began she did a great job participating! She sang a little bit and did some of the actions. We were very proud of her.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Family Pictures

Today my sister, sister-in-law, and I got the cousins together for pictures for my mom. They did a great job! Annaliese is doing better smiling on command : )


We also took the opportunity to have a family picture taken of the three of us : )

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Fun Day

We attended our first Illini gymnastics event this afternoon. It kept her attention better than any other event we have been to there - she really seemed to enjoy it : ) She even got one of the free t-shirts they throw out.

Then we went over to help Aunt Rachel, Josh & Caleb decorate Christmas cookies. Oh, what a mess!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Learning about Christmas

This afternoon/evening we visited a Live Nativity. Annaliese got to see 2 sheep, 2 donkeys, and 2 camels : ) She thought that was pretty neat. She also got to pet some really cute baby goats.

She keeps talking about baby Jesus and his mommy & daddy…how sweet!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Almost Time for School!!

This morning we met with the principal at Unity East and began registering Annaliese for school! She got to meet her new teacher, visit her classroom, and be screened by the ESL teacher. She was excited about all of it!

The ESL teacher said that she did well for as little time as she has been here – she mentioned that she was “impressed” by what she could do so early on : )

Praying this transition goes well on January 3rd.

She also had her first official gymnastics class with Caleb. She participated in much more of the class this time and seemed to enjoy it. The entire way home she was showing me how she stretches : )

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

First Play Date

Today we had our first play date with a friend from church! They acted shy with one another, but seemed to enjoy it overall : )

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Kitchen Help

Annaliese likes to help mommy in the kitchen, but her job usually ends when it gets to handling the raw meat. Today, though, we made a meatloaf and Annaliese got to help mix it all together with her hands : ) She was not sure what to think about that!

Of course, we could not take pictures during this adventure, but here is one showing the tremendous help she is in the kitchen afterwards : )

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Birthday Party

Today we went to our first kid’s birthday party - cousin Bode turned 2 : ) She enjoyed the day and did well with the new surroundings & people.