Monday, October 20, 2008

The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire

I had the privilege of going on a field trip with Sabastian and his class a couple of weeks ago to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. When I was in college, my friends kidnapped me one year for my birthday and took me to the Faire, but I haven't been back since. On regular weekends when it's open, the Faire can have some rather, shall we say, "saucy" entertainment and attire, but when they open for elementary school days, they tone it down a bit. Most of the kids in Sabastian's class dressed up in medieval attire for the occasion, as you can see in some of the photos. It was a crisp fall day when we went and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I'm glad I could go along!
Queen Elizabeth "knighting" one of Sabastian's classmates.

Sabastian's official class photo at the Faire. Three of Sabastian's classmates jousting...the lone girl won!
Sabastian and I enjoying the day.

Queen Elizabeth discoursing with the Czar of Russia...he was in the Shire looking for a wife!
The Queen's Royal Falconer shared some falconry with the students...amazing stuff!
This owl was beautiful...and huge! Apparently an owl relative of this owl is in the Harry Potter movies.
Sabastian and his classmates enjoyed all the period vendors and shops. Here he is trying on a mask.
And here is Sabastian in the stocks...quite fitting, I must say!

Friday, October 17, 2008

My Birthday Present

My dear husband married a woman who loves giving and receiving gifts, and whose family made a big deal about birthdays and the other holidays, much more so than his family ever did. He knows that I am hard to surprise, but I love surprises, but don't tell me you are going to surprise me, or I'll try really hard to figure it out (does that make any sense?). For my birthday last month, I was sure that he had REALLY listened to me this time when I said we couldn't afford any presents, so don't get me anything (you know that game so many of us play!), but after letting me sweat it out ALL day on my birthday, he told me that he had ordered something for me, but it wasn't going to arrive until October. Of course, my first (but wrong!) response was to think that he hadn't planned ahead, but as it turns out, he had been working on this surprise for quite some time; he just had not realized how long it was going to take.

Well, today I was greeted by this box on my front stoop upon returning home from my Mom's Morning Out Bible study...

...and for anyone "in the know" about teddy bears, you know that The Vermont Teddy Bear Company is one of the best for hand made, adorable bears. In fact, while in college, a good friend of mine was from Vermont, so I had the chance to visit the factory with her, and later with Dave...and I own a few of these adorable bears, all of which bear (no pun intended!) some personal meaning to me. For example, one Mother's Day, after Benjamin was born, Dave surprised me with a mother bear and three cubs, each of which is wearing denim bib overalls with my sons' names personalized on them. (Nathaniel still needs to be represented...which was what I kind of thought might be in the box!)

Anyhow, with the help of Benjamin and Nathaniel, who were equally intrigued by this box, I tore off the mailing tape and looked inside...and this is what I found...

...a one-of-a-kind, custom made "Sophia" bear dressed in a formal silk brocade, Chinese dress, holding a fan in her hand. My husband planned all of the details of this bear with the factory, and had her made especially for me...right down to the embroidery on her paw...

Needless to say, I was VERY surprised, not only by what I received, but the special time and effort Dave put in to choosing and designing this gift to commemmorate our upcoming adoption. This bear will be another reminder to me of our little girl in China, waiting to come home!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Breast Cancer Awareness

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, if you haven't noticed all of the pink everywhere yet! Even the refs and the coaches of the NFL had pink ribbons on yesterday! Breast cancer touches so many families, and ours is no exception. A friend of mine forwarded information to me about The Breast Cancer Site, a website dedicated to getting the word out about breast cancer detection and awareness. Your click on the "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button here helps fund FREE mammograms for women in need — low-income, inner-city and minority women whose awareness of breast cancer and opportunity for help is often limited. Your click is paid for by site sponsors, and mammogram funding is provided to clinics throughout the U.S. through the efforts of the National Breast Cancer Foundation . Many "clicks" are needed to fund each mammogram, so pass the word! You can click once daily, but as many days as you would like. My friend checked this out on Snopes, and according to them, it is legitimate. So, head on over and register your click to help women in need, and don't forget to do your own monthly exams!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

New Job

Yesterday I completed my second weekend of work at my new part-time job at The Children's Place Outlet Store in Hershey, PA. When Dave was moved back to first shift, I prayed about the possibility of working part-time to help offset some of the boys' schooling expenses and our adoption expenses, and the Lord led me to The Children's Place through a church friend who also works there. I'm finding it to be harder than it looks, especially physically, since I'm on my feet for 4-8 hours at a time, depending on the shift; however, it is fun, and I'm meeting lots of interesting people. So far I have been working less than 15 hours a week, mostly on the weekends, but some weeknights. Of course I'm awfully tempted to use my paycheck at the store, since I love their clothes and get a 30% discount, but so far I've been good. I really watch for bargains (like the pair of jeans I scored for Sabastian for 69 cents!) but that's it. If I knew how big our little Sophia was going to be, I'd really be having fun...the girl's clothes are so cute and reasonably priced on our sales racks! If you ever find yourself in Hershey at the outlets, look me up!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sabastian's Birthday Gifts

Here are some photos of Sabastian "modeling" his birthday gifts...see what I mean about being our little entertainer? He's saving cash for a Nintendo DS, thus the last two photos. Life is never dull in our house, can you tell?!

First Birthday Photos

Nathaniel's in his first birthday bib before eating...

Getting ready to dig in to his cake...

Enjoying the last few bites...

Opening presents with Mommy!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Happy 11th Birthday, Sabastian!

Today we celebrated 11 years of life for our second son, Sabastian. Later this week we will be taking him out to dinner to the restaurant of his choice (Red Lobster!), but today we had birthday cake and opened presents after our family dinner. If I have done it correctly, I have included a little video of our celebration above (videotaped and narrated by my dear husband). Sorry that it's a bit dark! It's hard to believe that seven years ago today was when we met Sabastian, and our oldest son, Jonathan, for the first time. We were just looking at photos of that how our sons have grown! Sabastian is our entertainer...he loves to be the center of attention and enjoys being on stage. He currently participates in the children's worship team at church and is again going to have a speaking and singing part in his school's Christmas program. We are very proud of the young man Sabastian is becoming, and pray that he will continue to grow and mature into the person God wants him to be.

We love you, Sabastian!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday, Nathaniel!

Benjamin getting his first look at his new brother

It's hard to believe that a year ago today I gave birth to our youngest son, Nathaniel. As my dear friend Beth probably recalls, I actually taught that morning with her, and then unexpectedly ended up giving birth that evening. Nathaniel has been a joy to have in our family from the very beginning. As his Daddy says, he is a bit more "high maintenance" than his older brother Benjamin--just like his Mommy! But it has been fun to see him grow and develop into his own little person. We celebrated his birthday with a few family and friends on Monday night, so I will try to post some photos from his party soon.

We love you, Nathaniel!