Saturday, December 29, 2007

New Look!

I don't know, I'm feeling crazy...New Year here we come!! Do you have any resolutions?? I guess we have a few. We always say we want to be more organized. You can see our list of goals, add that we want to wean Mo of the pacifier. We're trying to eat out a lot less! We're trying to save money...please tell me you have something more interesting!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Are you tired?

If you said "No" you must have boycotted Christmas this year, you lucky dog! I'm wiped. I'm still trying to play catch up on all the laundry and still looking for two more presents. Overall, we had fun this Christmas. If you recall, before Christmas the only thing Mo was asking Santa for was a microphone and a guitar. Well, Grandma and Grandpa found the PERFECT guitar with a microphone that plugs in! We have a **ROCK STAR** in our midst!!
The next big thing we're talking about is the polar bear plunge. Yes it's cold, yes Dave is crazy and no Mel is still not considering it! I said this year that if I had enough girlfriends willing to do it, I would. So I'm challenging any of the ladies out there to call me! I figure if I am going to do something like that, I want to be part of a large crowd of people I know so I don't feel so stupid. Does that make sense?
I guess I don't have anything really exciting to write about today, but I felt the blog was neglected. We are all looking forward to some new routines in the New Year and keeping up with the old ones. I know we can accomplish our goals, so stay tuned for updates!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Feliz Navidad

Most of you that have known us for a while already know that we like to do these goofy Christmas letters every year. This year is a little different! We decided to write about the top 5 things that impacted our family life. It's been a year of changes...some good, some not so good. We want to share these things with you because they have changed who we are and how we look at the world. If in some way our changes have a ripple affect on your lives, we'd feel even more blessed to have shared them with you!
1) We started the year with a newly remodeled kitchen! For those of you who haven't been here yet, please call us and invite yourself over! We keep forgetting who has seen it and who hasn't...since we had a wall taken out, it's a pretty significant change. Every now and then, someone comes in and goes, "WHOA....!" This has changed our lives in a good way - we can have people seated around the table and in stools around the counter of the peninsula. It is so open and comfortable! The dark side of this is that there are more counters to clutter and then clean! But overall it's inspired me to cook more =)
2) In spring, Dave's dad was on vacation and wasn't feeling well. After a few trips to various Mayo Clinics, it was discovered that he had an advanced state of pancreatic cancer. Within a few days we learned that it had already spread to his lungs. We had a bittersweet family gathering for Easter. A few weeks after that Dad decided to go to Cherry Meadows, a hospice facility. We felt blessed to see him in a place where we knew he was getting excellent care and attention. We visited numerous times and were able to enjoy music time, prayer time and quiet time together. John went home to heaven on May 13, 2007. (If you are interested in learning more, click on this Caring Bridge website that Dave's Mom kept, which is like an online journal and guestbook.) Sometimes it's hard to deal with all this, especially since it happened so quickly, but we just remember that Dad is restored to health, dancing and singing with Jesus!
3) Moses has been running, tumbling and climbing all over this house!! The newest thing that has been amazing us is his verbal ability. He talks a TON, making up his own songs or singing church ones, and having real conversations with us. Sometimes we have no idea where he gets example:
(Mo) Take these lights, Mom. (He's pointing to the can lights over the peninsula.)
(Mel) What?
(Mo) Take these lights.
(Mel) Um...Where should I take them?
(Mo) Take these lights
to Waupaca, Mom. (He's using his 'duh!' tone of voice!)
I'm thinking, "What?? Where does he get these ideas??"
All this talking has changed our lives in the sense that we really need to pay attention to which conversations he is listening to, as well as how we address him. He's growing up!! Sometimes he sounds like a little teenager. Those are the times we wish the calendar would not move so quickly...anyway - seeing Moses grow and develop has 'fanned the flames' of our desire to have more kids, which brings us to the next point...
4) We are nearing completion of certification to be foster care parents. We have attended 30 hours of classes, cleaned and purged our house (!!!), and prayed. We still need to have a home inspection and interview. We are so excited to share the blessings God has given us, but we have had our eyes opened to many things we almost can't believe. Our hearts hurt for the children in the foster care system, as well as for the birth parents who are working to be reunited with their kids. As parents, we know how hard it is and just pray that we can be a loving and supportive part of the system. We know that you, our friends and family, will pray for us in this new adventure, just as you prayed for us before we became parents to Moses! To everyone who has given us support through information, hugs and ideas - THANK YOU! We can't wait to share many more updates with you all!
5) We've been in Sheboygan now for over 5 years and it really is our home. Just this year a couple of things have happened to make us feel even more 'settled'. Mel started a parents group that meets on Friday mornings. The kids run around and giggle while us parents compare notes and plan adventures! She's still volunteering at church as the nursery coordinator, but now is considered paid part time staff since she is also the drama director. Some friends from college (Jason, Linda and Martha R.) moved here recently. It's been fun hanging out with them on a regular basis. Mo and Martha are pretty big buddies! Overall, we love living the beach, love the people and we're loving the blessings God has provided us with. Maybe if you watch this slideshow, you'll start to see why we call it the good life...(Speaking of the beach, if anyone's interested in doing the Polar Bear plunge on New Year's Day, give Dave a call!)

May God bless you and your families in the New Year!

We hope you enjoyed this green version of our Christmas card! (If you still wish to receive a paper copy, leave a comment.) There are lots of reasons we decided to do things differently this's a few:
1) Save postage. We love you, but we're cheap!
2) Save paper. You just recycle those cards after you read do recycle them, don't you??
3) Save printing costs. See reason #1!
4) Save stress. Nothing to print, sign, stuff, address...
5) Expand our options! Now you can see a practically limitless amount of photos.
6) Our greeting to you is saved in cyber-space for posterity! Yes, we can be that vain sometimes!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Thursdays are good days to review...

Well, it seems that I have only been getting around to writing on Thursdays...on Friday last week Mo and I went to the play place in the mall, and we were shocked to find the place crawling w/kids!! Almost literally too!! Mo was like, "Hey what are all these kids doing in my play place?!" He seemed a little offended. But then he got excited to run around with some other kids. One thing I noticed though was that the height requirement was being ignored, so there were some really big kids. Mo got plowed by this kid and his mom didn't notice right away. She was deep in conversation or something. That made me mad. Anyway - later Dave wanted to see the play place so we went back. Same story, only WORSE!! Friday night at the mall, who knew? I guess you're probably thinking that yeah, Friday night at the mall is busy, but our mall is mostly empty so we were surprised! The thing I noticed this time was that there were over 30 kids and only 6 parents. So unless everyone has large families all under 42 inches, the parental supervision just wasn't happening. That made me a little scared. Liability-wise that's just a I'm thinking we'll just stick to the early mornings.
In other news...Monday we made plans to get new doors and a booth in our kitchen! Ok, that doesn't really count, I know...and Wednesday we didn't work out. Sorry - it's been a really busy week. The toughest part of this week was that our last foster care class was canceled on Tuesday. BOO!! We definitely wanted to show off our family album. Plus the topic was about adoption, which of course we are into. The meeting is rescheduled for next Tuesday, so we'll keep you posted. The good news we got this week was from our friends in Russia - they are w/their son!! Their initial court date went well and now they are in the waiting period. The are watching lots of Russian TV and venturing out once in a while. Their son has learned a few new words, like ostrich (??) and one, two, three and four. We are so excited for them and it will be an eternity until they get home on the 18th! I cried when I saw the pictures of them together. Only God could design their family so perfectly!
By now, some of you have read our Christmas greeting...yeah, we're trying to go paperless! There are still some people who don't use email or the internet, so we'll still send a few cards. The other thing we're trying to do to save money and limit waste is to make presents for people this year. I know some of the them won't be as exciting as something we could have purchased, but it's our way to be good stewards of the money and the Earth that God lets us use. I will talk more about the presents after we have given might be a lucky one who gets to receive one! Hope you like it! Are you doing anything different this Christmas?