About Me

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My husband and I, the Dynamic Duo, have been married since 2003. We've weathered the storm of chronic disease (diagnosis 2006), infertility (diagnosis 2007), turning 30 (2006/2007 respectively) a first adoption (2009) of a tender hearted, compassionate Ukrainian BIG boy (born 2006), who has told us he'd like a baby sister, baby brother, big brother, and REALLY big sister. We recently completed our second Ukrainian adoption journey, which brought us a daughter (born 2005). We'll see what else God brings our way!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Two Years Ago...

Two years ago today, we met our little man.  The blog is here and I can hardly believe it.

Two years seems like just a moment ago, yet I feel like Eli has always been a part of our lives.  I can't imagine how boring my life would be without him!

We aren't exactly sure when this passport photo was taken, but this is what we saw at the SDA.

This is the little man we met.

When we first got home, Eli was really clingy to me.  

But that's all changed lately...

Having a great dad that dotes on you and let's you help with really important stuff (like new brakes) helps :)

This was us February 14, 2010 as we dedicated our son to God, and our parenting to bringing up a son who knows God.
 This is us at Thanskgiving at my parents house 2010.

Disney Nov 2010

The Snow family Jan 2011

He's grown...a lot.  I haven't gotten the latest stats on him, but I would guess he's only gained 10lbs in the last 2 years, and possibly gained 6 inches in height.  You can really see it in his arms, legs and feet.

I love you, munchkin!  No matter what, I will love you always and forever.  Even if I can't be on your team because I'm a girl...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Birthday Part Deux

As soon as Papa came home, Eli wanted to open his gifts.  He had two packages and lots of cards with money.

The Howards bought Eli a book about time and a lady bug stuffed animal.  Perfect timing, too, because Eli is really interested in learning how to read a clock!

Great Grandma Stobie bought Eli two new shirts (with cars on them, of course) and a new monster truck.

Then we left for IHOP and Eli's favorite meal...Chocolate pancake with a whipped cream smiley face.

We told the waitress it was his birthday.  I thought he'd LOVE them singing to him, but he turned beet red and sat like this eating his ice cream until they were done.  It was so cute!  He told us he didn't like it because it was too loud.

Then off to the toy store...

This is what Papa picked out for Eli.  They set up a couple batteries in the kitchen and raced each other for an hour the next morning.  All I heard was lots of laughing...can't beat that!

This is what Eli picked out for himself (even though he has two other Lightning McQueens and two drawers full of cars!).  I tried all I could to steer him to anything BUT cars, but, alas, Papas influence is just too great :)

And this is what Momma picked out for Eli...now all we have to do is get him the joystick off ebay (since VSmiles are being replaced by Vmotion)

We also bought him a box of puzzles that are a little too complicated for him right now.  We've put together one 1000 piece and two 500 piece puzzles so far...there are 8 puzzles in the box so we're putting off more until a little later.  I love puzzles!

I sat down with Eli Saturday, we counted his birthday money and discussed what we would do with it.  We put some aside for God first.  Sunday he gave his tithe to the Sunday school teacher...so proud of him!  We set aside some for him to spend next.  The rest I deposited in his savings account.  We went back to the toy store the next day and exchanged a game that wasn't working and a toy that he already had.  And I told him he could pick out whatever he wanted, but if it was more than the amount of the toys we returned he would have to pay for it out of his birthday money...

This Dinosaur Train battery operated train is what he chose.  It was more than the exchanged amount, so he handed the cashier his money and got the change back.  He was SO proud of himself!  And really excited about the change.  What a big boy I have!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Cake Frosting, Surprise!, and Partay...Eli Turns 5 Part 1

The first thing I needed to do was to bake the cake.  Easy.  Next I frosted it.  I think it turned out pretty good, although if I had to do it again, I wouldn't frost the whole thing white to start with.  I couldn't see the indentions to pipe!  I had to make it my own (and scrape off most of the white!).  It only took me an hour to frost and it was a messy blast.  Did I mention I made my own butter cream frosting?  And dyed it?

My mom came in for a few hours and surprised Eli as he was getting off the bus.  He squealed with delight!

He was excited about the balloons and all the Dinosaur Train gifts she bought him.   Especially this one who says "Head Butt!"  When you push his head down.  Eli laughs hysterically every time!

Eli knew exactly who these were from.  He even asked where Grandpa Stobie was, like "This is great and all, but I know my Grandpa would let me have these now."

We decided to have cake last night since we plan on going to IHOP tonight for smiley face chocolate pancakes tonight, followed by a trip to the toy store.  He LOVED his cake.

Don't know why, but he wanted Mickey's mouth...Strange child.  But he gulped it down, then we sent him outside to enjoy the sunny 60 degree weather we'll have for a few days.

The first thing Eli said to me this morning was "I'm 5, Mom!!"  Such a sweet boy.  I've been telling him how proud I am of his compassion and obedience.  Now all we have to do is work on him not saying "Oh, my God", which I'm assuming he picked up from school.  Sigh.  It's all a learning and guiding process.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

International Dossier

Great news!  Our dossier is en route to Ukraine tomorrow!  So excited to be done with that part of the process :)

Friday is Eli's birthday and I'm making a Mickey Mouse birthday cake...this should be interesting!  I've baked the cake and I'm going to make buttercream frosting tomorrow.  I've never done this before so I'll take pictures of the chaos.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

And the reward goes to....

 ELI!  We have a new reward system posted on our hall wall.  If Eli gets 6 smiley faces during the week, he gets to watch a movie of his choice on the weekend.  We've pretty much cut out TV other than that (and NASCAR, of course).  And it is working!  His attitude has been wonderful...Ah, the sweet relief from whining.  How do I know it's working?

This past week has been a blur of running around for our dossier.  On Friday, after receiving a call that there was no school because of icy conditions, Eli and I headed out.  First we went to the chiropractor, then to the credit union to get the last paper notarized, then to the secretary of state, where I'd spent 1.5 hours waiting the day before.  So Eli and I were prepared.  I brought several books, 4 of his favorite cars and food...lots and lots of food.  We got to the sect of state at around 10:30 and were done around noon.  I even got to read to a little girl waiting with her parents.  We had no place to go, so there was no hurry.  Fortunately I got the same woman I had the day before.  After waiting for so long, the last thing you need is a frowny face...this lady had a smile on her face and joked with me, making the wait bearable.  All in all, we were running around from 9am-12:30pm without one single meltdown!  I was so proud of my Eli.

I've gotten everything approved and apostilled, except for our home study addendum.  It had some wording that needed to be changed, but should be in the mail to us by Monday.  Once that's to us and apostilled, it goes to our agency, then Ukraine!  And I can't wait to get it out of our hands.

Feb 21st, Eli and Papa were watching a NASCAR race...and, yes, Eli watched the whole thing.  He was rooting for the M&M car saying "Come on MM car...you can win.  I know you can do it!"  Oh, it was precious.  I left for a little bit and came back to this.  Is this one of the sweetest things you've ever seen, or what?!

 Eli found his goggles and told us he wanted to wear them.  In the middle of winter.  While there was still snow on the ground.  Silly kid!  When we first bought them for him, he was terrified of them.  What a change!

 The snow is really heavy right now because of the warmer temps.  Perfect for two boys to build an awesome snow fort!  At one point, Dave put three 2x4's on top so it had a roof.  It was really decked out...there was talk about adding a second story...

 Last weekend I had the weekend to myself.  It was great!  I didn't sit still very long.  I got a pedi, and had fun playing games until the wee hours of Sat night.  And although I really enjoyed my time along, I was really happy when the boys came home.  Eli LOVES going to Buffalo to visit family (he loves his family in general).  It amazes me that when he misses someone, it's always family, never friends.  And Dave had tickets to the Sabres vs Red Wings game (hockey for the Southern or nonsportsy).  It was a great game and I'm glad he and his brother in law (the Italian cook) were able to go.  (My mother in law bought them as a Christmas gift)

My sister in law, Wendy, bought this sleeping bag for him.  He wanted to sleep in it (and has all week) and now he wants to go camping with Mama, Papa, and Eli.  All of us, because we're a family. Oh, and Jack and kitty, too.  Feel free to go with everyone else, 'cause this Mama doesn't do all that great with the great outdoors!

 Our snowman family :)  Supposedly they have snow hats on.

 These are pictures of Eli's braces.  You can see how much he's grown in two years!  You'll notice that bigger pair are solid all the way up.  That's because he figured out how to manipulate his body to keep toe walking with the smaller pair.  Now, if he toe walks, the top part of the braces dig in to his leg a little.  It has made a HUGE difference.  Now, even without braces, he tries to remember to walk on his heels.

 SCOOBY DOO!!!  I still laugh that he chose Scooby Doo.  The cartoons are too intense for him to watch...