Wednesday, December 30, 2009

14


Celebrating 14 years of wedded bliss ;) - by God's grace. I am thankful for the husband and daddy the Lord has given me and our kids. Javier said this morning, "Well 7 of those years we were having babies (2008 we "had" 2) - so what were doing the other 7?" Believe it or not, Javier really loves babies - especially when they are under 1 year. I love that about him. Truth be told, I think he loves them because they are quiet and don't make messes yet and because he has the special touch with all of our babies. He can calm them or get them to sleep anywhere - anytime.

Last night he rented a movie I would like and he surprised me with some gifts (big deal since we rarely give gifts and I gave him a hard time for not giving me anything for Christmas - even though gifts are definately NOT my love language). Tonight we are going to go out to dinner with a gift card while my parents watch the kids. Then Jameson will stay the night and go to San Diego with my mom for a day or 2 to meet his great grandparents and other relatives that live there.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Jordan - Fall ball - The Dodgers 2009

Jordan just finished up his fall baseball season. His team did pretty well. Again he was one of the youngest in his division - kid pitch- and it was his first year playing in our new town with new rules which allow them to steal. Once again, he was a big hitter - the most consistent on his team. The funny thing is that he is sort of slow compared to the tiny and skinny kids :) - so it is a good thing that he can hit it hard out of the infield.
video

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Greetings - from our family to yours

Oh we pray that your year was as perfect as ours, but I doubt it was!

At the end of January, our sweet little Jameson Javier was born. It was the easiest pregnancy ever and he popped right out -
just like everyone says – I am the baby machine –no morning sickness, no swollen feet, no weight gain, no extra belly rolls or acne. Of course I was able to wear my skinny jeans home from the hospital! Thankfully he slept through the night since the day we brought him home and he was potty trained at 3 months old.

As, you all know we have the most precious and easy going 1 and 2 year olds that we adopted from Ethiopia, Jeremiah and Josiah. They too potty trained themselves, so we never had to buy countless diapers for 3 babies each week at Sam’s Club. They also never had parasites, endless diarrhea for months or scabies like I have heard is quite common. I just don’t know what we would do without them organizing our cabinets and pantry, taking away Jameson’s bottle to keep him from overeating and keeping our floors spotless. If you ever call, you will never hear them squealing or fussing loudly in the background because they are likely sitting nicely on the couch while folding laundry. You will also not find them running around naked, standing up in their high chairs or conspiring against me, because they are perfectly trained and dressed at all times.

Joanna, 3, and Jacklyn, 5, are our sweet princesses. These little ladies are always sure to be training their Chihuahuas. Whether it be dressing them up and teaching them to dance, or sliding them down the slide, these dogs can do amazing tricks thanks to these beauties. These girls have many talents besides dog training. They can read chapter books and whiz through trigonometry while painting their fingernails and playing dress up. When we asked Joanna to pick up the dog poop, she informed us that princesses DO NOT pick up dog poop! How could we have made such an oversight! We will soon correct that by adding that to our gardener's duties.

The 3 big kids – Jordan, 9, Julia, 7, and Janae,10 – all speak 5 different languages now and are working on their master’s degrees. They have taken over all of the domestic duties and yard work. Who needs help when I have a gardner/chicken farmer, professional nanny and chef? These kids can do it all and always with a cheerful smile. Not a day goes by that I have to holler at them to stop talking and get back to school work or to clean the house.


Javier has a no stress job and works only a few hours a week. The rest of the week he spends golfing, taking customers out to lunch and playing softball. He never gets frustrated working with Jordan in the batting cage because Jordan swings like a major leaguer and never misses a ball. Javier often comments how quiet and peaceful 8 kids have made our home and he is ready for a dozen more.





As for me, well I just sit by the pool and work on my tan day after day while sipping frapuccinos. I certainly do not have 3 books that I have started to read but never finished. With no interruptions, I just read every book from cover to cover. I also do not count tackling with 8 kids, running after toddlers or lifting 25 lb bags of rice as my workout (of course I have a nanny and personal assistant to do all of that), because I enjoy a few hours every day at an exclusive gym and spa. Thankfully, no black bags, wrinkles or sagging happening on my entire body, because I think every child we add, just takes years off of me.


Well . . . . . . . . . . . . .maybe this will be true next year. Until then, back to wiping bums, holding one baby in each arm and one on my back, giving assignments, sweeping floors, picking silly putty out of the carpet, catching chickens, braiding hair, driving to baseball practice, cuddling with my hubby (yes we still have time for that) and counting my many blessings from the Lord. Without our eternal hope that only comes through the grace of Jesus Christ, this life would leave us empty and burnt out. Through His death and resurection, He has paid the ransom for those who believe and trust in him. He took our place, knowing He would be crucified. Although we fail day after day, He continues to heap his grace on us. He never grows weary of forgiving and restoring us! What can our response be but to worship Him - with our words, our heart and our lives?! Will you lay down your life and worship Him this year? Without it there is NO hope and NO peace.


Mar 10:45
"For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."



Love,

The D family



Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Advent/Christmas Traditions/Gift Ideas






I have had a couple of people ask me to blog about our Advent and Christmas Traditions.




Advent



Well, really we don't do much of anything out of the ordinary. This year we are going through that book I mentioned earlier and it has great questions to "hook" the kids in and help them attach the learning to something they know. Then there is the lesson and prayer time and a Christmas carol. There are crafty things and ornaments, but we aren't doing that just because I can't handle that this year. We also have a book called Christ in the Carols - that gives the stories, history and meaning behind the author and words of different carols - we love that too. Since spiritual training is a part of our every day lives, I will try to do a separate post on that soon.



Traditions


My friend Krista had a great idea on her blog last year that I am copying this year. We took all of our Christmas books that we already own and wrapped them up. Then every other day or so, I let them unwrap a "new" book and they think it is fun. Either they have fond memories of it or it is "new" to them. Some are Christ centered and some are just for fun. Maybe we will try to add one new book a year.



Also, my Aunt Carol and Grandmother started the tradition of giving us ornaments every year so when we had our own home, we already had several ornaments with memories to start off with. Now my mom and Aunt do this for all of my kids and we write their names and dates with a tiny sharpie on them.



Christmas Eve is always our Dominican meal, Bible reading about the birth of Christ and our night to open presents as a family. Then a special breakfast and day at Grandma and Grandpa's house on Christmas with all the cousins.



Presents


We only buy 1 or 2 gifts for each (plus little stocking gifts) and we spend about an average of $10 each because at least 1/2 of the gifts we buy at garage sales for $1 or less. I buy stuff all year long and put in in a "big gift box" - so when Target clearances out their $1 and it is 75% off, I buy little lotions and lip glosses and pens etc for $.25 a piece and save them for their stockings. Then the kids write notes and fill each other's stockings with little toys and candy. Also, every time a child becomes a good reader, we give them their first real ESV Bible/Bible cover - so this year Jackie is getting that and Janae is getting an ESV Study Bible (Jackie has been so excited wondering when she will get her first Bible now that she can read) PS - I have found a lot of Bible covers at Ross lately for $10 or less. The more we have scaled back on presents, the more excited and appreciative they seem. The neat part is they actually remember and treasure what they got last year. Some other FREE gift ideas that my kids LOVE/or would love and your kids might like too are . . . . . . . . getting their first library card (once they are responsible enough), taking a free cooking class at Shar's http://www.sharskitchen.com/ with me, and certificates for me to paint their toe nails. What about a certificate to join Daddy at work one day? - my kids would love this if he had a job that allowed it. Some material and a certificate to go to Grandma's house and learn to sew or make a scrap book - you know a big project that you usually can't do on a normal basis. A fabulous idea I saw on a blog was to give an apron and a recipe notebook with clear sleeves in it to your daughters. Then add a few simple recipes that you will let them try and leave room to add more. Gosh - Jordan also loves to cook and takes pride in his cooking, so I know he would love it too - maybe with a home depot apron or a chef's hat. I love all of these ideas because they build memories through quality time and are virtually free :).


Oh and if you think 1 or 2 gifts is not enough, think of the gifts they get from Grandparents, Aunts/Uncles, Great Grandparents etc - I mean really, even that can get to be too much and the focus becomes all about the gifts, which is a shame. Another thing we stopped doing was putting the gifts under the tree in advance. It consumed my kids' thoughts when they were seeing them sitting there day after day. Instead, shop with the kids for angel tree, or put together a gift box of holiday goodies for some missionaries and have the kids help, or make some shoe boxes of goodies, socks, toiletries for some homeless people and pass them out - most seem to love coffee - how easy is that to either bring a thermos of coffee and some styrofoam cups and pass out or stop at a gas station and buy a couple of coffee's. These are the kinds of memories we want our children to have about Christmas - to serve others as we seek to be like Christ and honor him - for Christ did not come to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.



Please share your favorite Christmas ideas!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Friends Behind the Scenes

This is long over-due, but I just wanted to thank my friends Lana and Molly for serving us through so many stages in our life. They put on a garage sale for us and helped with other sales as we raised $ fo the adoption, they helped us paint when we moved, they came over to bring little treats to our kids and read and play with them during the first few hectic months of having all 3 babies home. They ironed and cleaned and encouraged me greatly. We 3 share a heart for missions that has always tied us together These ladies serve when nobody else sees them and the are a true example of putting feet to their faith. Several times, (even when I had morning sickness with Jameson and now after being home for months with the boys but battling sickness) they have surprised us by cooking up big meals for us and bringing over frozen soup. For our Memorial Box Monday we put this foto in our box to remind us of how the Lord has used Molly and Lana to lovingly care for our family. Thank you ladies!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Some Christmas Fun

We always buy our gingerbread house kits at after Christmas sales and then pack them away for the next year. We don't let our kids eat it anyways, so it works perfect and saves $.

We are going through this advent book this year. So far we are really enjoying it and it has sparked some great conversations. If you are not doing some sort of Bible or advent time with your kids, I encourage you to start now. It is not too late - I bet there is even free advent stuff on the web.
There is a lot of "uh uh" and "don't touch!" going on in our house, but overall the boys are learning. I am a stickler on training instead of putting things up high or putting latches on things etc, but don't get me wrong, it isn't easy. Especially now with 3 little curious boys it makes things a lot crazier and I am struggling with being consistent more than ever before. Luckily I have a house full of "police" to help train the boys. After all, they need to be trained for when we go to other people's houses - not to open cabinets or touch their Christmas trees etc - so it is either teach them now, or have stress later.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cousin LOVE

All of the cousins love to hug and kiss each other. Well, this day, Josiah kept hugging Elizabeth and then opening his big slobbery mouth like he does. Elizabeth thought he was going to take a big bite so she kept backing up and sticking her lips out like this. Finally we got Josiah to close his mouth and wipe off his slobber.

Finally - success!
proud of his big boy undies - but still not close to being potty trained
Playhouse fun

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving

18 people for Thanksgiving

Julia and Socorro - This was Socorro's first time celebrating Thanksgiving.
Janae cooking the gravy
JJ's first Thanksgiving



For the first time ever, all of my family came to our house because our friend Socorro wanted to help us cook the turkey and a few other things. She injected the turkeys with so much flavor, I thought they would burst. MMMMM- they turned out so flavorful and juicy since they marinated overnight.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

JJ is walking!

He took his first couple of steps while still 9 months old, but yesterday, at 10 months and 3 days old, he took 5 steps. Today I caught it on camera a couple of times. All of my kids, except for Jacklyn, Joanna and probably Josiah, have all walked at 10 months old, but Jameson beats them all by a couple of weeks :) This boy is going to be a bulldozer.
video

The Big 9 - Happy B-day Jordan!

(he caught this wild bunny in the net of his batting cage and was so proud)


For years I have said, "What are we going to do with him and all his energy????" This year I can honestly say, "What would we do without him!" To the best big brother who never runs out of energy to wrestle and run around with the boys, best chicken farmer, best dishwasher loader, best Bible fact whiz, best 9 yr old cook and sweetest big boy who still loves to give me kisses without being asked - HAPPY BIRTHDAY!