Friday, August 23, 2013

First Day of School

Annaliese started her full year of Kindergarten today. She was so excited! The day went well and she is enjoying the idea of being a leader in the class since she “knows the ropes.” Thanks, again, to Ms. Jenkins for being such an amazing teacher : )

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Final Court Appearance

This morning we went to court as the last step to finalize Annaliese’s adoption! Her name is now legally changed. No more mispronouncing or looking confused by the “Jonathan” middle name at the doctor’s office! What a joyous day for our family : )


A BIG thanks to Steven Amjad and his kind staff who did so much work for us. What a blessing you are to local adoptive families!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Family Service Project

This weekend our church family participated in our annual “Be the Church” Sunday event. This year we all came together to do a Feed My Starving Children event. What a blessing this was to be a part of!!

Children as young as five were able to participate, so Annaliese was able to join us! She was such a good helper : ) We worked to help package meals for children around the world who would otherwise go to bed hungry – a cause that is certainly near and dear to our hearts.


As a community of believers, the church packaged over 209,000 meals. What a great opportunity to help make a tangible difference in the lives of so many. Thank you FCC for making this possible : )

Monday, August 12, 2013

Almost Time for School!

This afternoon we went to register Annaliese for a full year of Kindergarten. She is so excited for school to begin!!

Saturday, August 10, 2013


This weekend we have been at Grandma Jane’s house helping her remodel her bathroom. Last night was demo night and as everyone woke up this morning they were able to enjoy the “hillbilly bathroom” sitting on the curb in front of her house (note the pink tub and toilet)!

Of all the fun things to do at grandma’s house, the cousins could not resist playing with the old bathroom…oh, kids…they make no sense some times!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Babysitting Fundraiser

Let the fundraising begin!

We are hosting a "Parent's Night Out" on Saturday, September 14 from 5:30 - 9:30 p.m. If you would like a night out and to help support the DeNeal Adoption, please visit to register your children. It should be an evening of fun at First Christian Church in Champaign!

Pre-registration is required and space is limited.


Please share this information with local families who may be interested in participating : )

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Home Study Visit

Today we had our first home study visit for adoption #2. Everything went very well and Annaliese gladly reported to the social worker that she wanted a brother AND a sister – 2 brothers would be okay, but NOT 2 sisters.

Oh my – we’ll have to see how this all turns out : )

One Year Ago Today...

One year ago today, Jonathan and I sat nervously in front of an Ethiopian judge (with a group of six other AWAA families) and heard the wonderful report that we had passed court!! This meant that Annaliese was now legally our daughter and we would be able to proceed to the next stage in the process (waiting for her visa to be issued so she could come to the U.S). We knew it at the time, but looking back we are even more aware of what a miracle this was!

It was such a joy to go back to the transition home that day and hold her in our arms knowing that she was our daughter forever!

Now, here we are one year later wondering where on earth the time has gone! At the time, the process felt like it took an eternity, and now we cannot slow the calendar down enough : )

Friday, August 2, 2013

Visiting GG

This morning we headed to St. Louis to catch the train to Great Grandma Ina’s house! We have talked about doing this for months (something I have learned that you DO NOT do with a five year old – you only give them a day’s notice, unless you want to hear about it until it happens)!

She was very excited to ride and it was so nice to just sit back and enjoy the ride. She is a great traveler : )

 She was very excited to eat on the train - assuring me it would be "just as good as on the airplane" : ) Thank goodness it was a little bit better!
 A little leisurely Mary Higgins Clark book reading...

When we made it to GG's, we were surprised to also see Grandma Jane and Josh. What a treat!