Sunday, July 21, 2013

Just hanging out

Well we've been home a week and its been quiet.  Ellie is certainly feeling more comfortable with everything and we've settled into a great routine.  So far we've kept things just the four of us but I think this week we'll try a small play date or two and see how things go.  I'm missing my wonderful friends and I'm sure Ellie will love getting to know some more kiddos.  Here are some pics from our lazy week.

Getting all checked out at the doctor's!

 Playing at the park!

SO in love with these two!

Playing dress up!

 "Baking" cookies

Ellie loves to play with this pie/sorting toy she got!

Today Max and I got some special time together and went to the movies and Ellie and Daddy got to hang out.  It was great for all four of us and I'm sure we'll have many more "date days" in our future!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Welcome home!!!

Just like with Max, our small gathering of family and closest friends welcoming Ellie home was something I was most looking forward to!!!  We took the Amtrak down from Chicago and they were all there to greet us at the train station!  It was so emotional to see everyone there (well almost everyone, we were missing Uncle Ryan and Aunt 'Ginia but we were able to face time with them and we felt there love 100%)!  Even the man from Amtrak who helped us with our bags off the train got teary eyed!!

Ellie was quiet and took it all in, just like her brother almost three years ago.  Our sweet friend Joey (who has an amazing talent and a photography business) took pictures for us and once I get those I'll be sure to post them.  These great photos are from Stephen's dad who also has quiet a talent.

The back of everyone's shirt said something (Mom, Aunt Rae Rae, Grandma, etc).  Hattie and Ellie are the only girls on my side so her shirt said "future BFF" on the back :)

After the train station we headed back to the house for lunch and a little "welcome home/belated birthday" party.

 Ellie's Aunt Rae Rae is so crazy talented!  She whipped this up with just some paper and a couple markers!

 Holly, the sweet girl who watches Max for us made these DELICIOUS cupcakes for the party!

Ellie got the hang of opening presents real quick :)  And she LOVED the wings Max picked out for her!

It was a perfect day and the perfect way to welcome Ellie home!  Now we are slowly making our way back into reality....back into laundry and dishes and the mundane to-do's of daily life.  But there's a new peace in it.  She's here....she's finally here!  As I'm typing this post she's munching on her breakfast across from me making silly faces and things just feel right!  God has blessed us SO abundantly!!!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Catching some zzz's

My word, 14 hours is WAY too long to be on a plane!!  Thankfully our kids were total rock stars on both flights....but that doesn't make it any easier to sit for that long :)  we have been in a Chicago hotel for the last 24 hrs and will take the train home tomorrow morning!  We are SO excited to see our family and can't wait to introduce them to Ellie!!

Bumming around Target!

Check out that crazy hair!!  Any time a camera is pointed her way she immediately says "cheese!!" And makes this face :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Passing time

We are in Abu Dhabi and I am soooo not looking forward to getting on another flight!  It has nothing to do with the kids, they were amazing the first flight, it's purely me....not wanting to be stuck in a tiny not so comfortable seat for 14 hours :(  ok, I'm done whining!  The airport has a fun play place for the kids so they r having a great time!  Next blog should e from Chicago!!

Heading Home!!!

We are just a few shorts hours away from boarding our plane to the U.S!!  We are so excited and pray Ellie will be too!!

Not too many pictures from today, but I do have a video :)  We packed everything up in record time...but that left the kiddos with nothing to play with.  So, we had a dance party!

Thanks for all your prayers!!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Enjoying the calm

Today we had no "to-do's".  It was nice.  We slept in then bummed around a cute little outdoor shopping area where they sell Thai handicrafts.  It was a perfect way to spent our last stress free day here.  Tomorrow morning we pack up...swing by the Embassy to get Ellie's visa, then head off towards the airport!  We will stay in a hotel for a couple hours, just enough time to shower and get everyone changed into comfy clothes...then around midnight we'll head over.  Our flight leaves at 3am our time (3pm central time in the U.S.)

We are all so excited to be home!!!  Max keeps talking about how much he misses his bed.  I hear ya man!!  We would LOVE your prayers for safe, stress free travel!!!

Aren't they the cutest?!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Visa appointment....check!

Today we headed to the U.S. Embassy to "interview" for Ellie's visa.  Its more of turning in all the necessary papers, but they do want to see everyone face to face and ask a few simple questions.  They said her Visa will be ready Wednesday at 1pm!  Just in time for us to grab it and head to our airport hotel to shower and rest before our flight that night!!!  Sooooo close to heading home...can't wait to introduce our girl to her new life!

Ellie is doing AMAZING considering the start we had to our trip :(  This adjustment is hard, and that's not lost on us, but she has really become so comfortable with the three of us and besides nap and bedtime, is a pretty happy girl! 

This is her "say cheese" face!

Tomorrow we will begin packing everything up and run out to get a few more things that are left on our list of souvenirs.  Two more days and we're heading home!!!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The two sweetest boys

Another amazing day of reunions!  Today we visited Pakkred Babies' Home again and this time where able to spend some quality time with Max's buddy Chaiya.  He was at school the last time we visited so we wanted to be sure to go back.

The boys picked right up where they left off!  They ate dinner together and then started "playing" which quickly turned into wresting....pure boys!

Saying goodbye was very hard...we pray a family for this amazing little boy will come VERY quickly!  He has the best smile and the sweetest personality.  Of the few memories Max has from his life in Thailand...his friendship with Chaiya is the strongest one :)

Max drew Chaiya a picture of his favorite memory of the two of them, playing on the playground at the babies' home.

Max showing Chaiya how to play baseball.

Chaiya caught on very quick!

These two laughed about everything!

Wrestling fun!

Max spent almost everyday with Chaiya and Lek before we brought him emotional to see them together again!

Just like the time we were able to spend with Atte and his family, this time today with Chaiya was priceless.  So many children never get the opportunity to return to their birth country, let alone spend time with the people who love them.  What a blessing!

Tomorrow we head to the embassy for our interview for Ellie's Visa!!!  Soooo close to heading home!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

So blessed

What a day!  We have been LOVING our time with Edmond, Lek, and the Koivisto family.  What an incredible blessing that our two families are in Bangkok at the same time and our boys not only get to spend time together, but with the two people who have loved them the longest!

Today Lek and Edmond threw a birthday party for the boys since we were all together and the big "6" is right around the corner for both of them!  What an incredible surprise! 

Two super handsome boys!!

Next came the presents, and my oh my were the boys surprised!!!  SO incredibly kind of Lek and Edmond to get the boys each a Nintendo DS3!!!  Max shouted "I've been wishing for one of these!!!"
Can you tell he's excited?!

Afterwards....the gathering got a whole lot quieter.... :)

 And yes, that's our daredevil little girl in the background jumping off the stairs...fully trusting Mommy would catch her each time :)

And speaking of Ellie...

Please excuse how creepily close my face is to the camera!

Just one of the many awesome things about having a little girl...matching fingernails!!

Oh my word, this girl is SO goofy!

Somebody enjoyed the cake :)

It was an amazing day spent with incredible people!  Not sure when we'll all be together again, but we certainly plan to make it sooner rather than later!!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Sick little guy :(

Nothing exciting to blog about today :(  Today we spent our time lying around the room, taking care of our sick boy.  Max woke up today with a nasty cough, fever and complaints of a sore throat.  Definitely NOT the kind of thing you want to hear from your kiddo when you're away from home...especially this far away. 

We got him some antibiotics this morning and he's had two doses along with Motrin for the fever.  Praying he wakes up in the morning feeling 100% better!!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

We rode elephants!!

Today was so fun!  The boys got to ride on an elephant, and feed them!  Ellie was very shy around the HUGE animals, which was just fine, since she clung to me for comfort :) 

The kids also fed turtles and the biggest catfish we have every seen! 

This "little" guy is five months old!  I promise Max was having a great time...his face looks like he's a little frightened :)

View from the elephant

Max fed the turtles banana pieces from a stick.  There were soooo many of them!!

Ellie kept wanting to eat the bread herself...but she finally figured out the concept :)

Another fun day of adventure in Thailand...tomorrow we're on to the aquarium with Lek and Edmond and the Koivisto family.  Max is LOVING his time with his buddy Atte!!