Wednesday, January 22, 2014

One Year

What happens in 1 year?  A lot!  Yesterday we celebrated 1 year with Eli and cannot believe how much this sweet little boy has grown.  When he was placed in our arms that January day, he was sick, very malnourished and had no light in his eyes.  He was timid and scared and did not smile or cry for a few days.  I can only imagine what was going on in his mind.  Who are these strange people?  Where am I?  What is going on?  What are they saying?
In 1 year, he has learned to walk, run, jump and do all of the things a toddler should.  He has grown taller and gained 15 pounds (he LOVES food)!  He started preschool and is in the process of potty training (and is doing great).  He has charmed just about everyone he meets.  He has gone from a baby bed to a big boy bed.  His speech has exploded recently and he has started talking in full sentences.  He announces "Home!" whenever we pull into our neighborhood.  He has a special bond with each of his siblings.  He loves to play anything his sister asks of him, including dress up.  He enjoys snuggling with Keenan and he loves being Aidan's buddy.  They adore him and I sometimes wonder what we would have done without him in our lives.  The answer is always, "I can't even imagine!"  He brings so much joy and laughter to our family.  He is rarely upset (unless you tell him "no" to food).  He likes playing with cars, trucks, trains ... and has quite the imagination.  He has the sweetest manners and is always saying thank-you and giving kisses when he knows someone is upset.  He is also mischievous and knows how to get out of being in trouble by flashing that precious smile which makes his eyes twinkle.  He does the cutest things like fake snoring as soon as you put him down to bed.  And he has the best belly laugh ever!  He is such a blessing to us all.  We are so grateful to be his parents.  He may not have been born to us but he was definitely born in our hearts.  Adoption rocks!  We love you Eli!

We celebrated by eating some great American-Chinese food.  Here are some pics from our celebration ...

Sunday, January 5, 2014

In Review

We are now a few days into 2014 and I have to say, I am so excited to see what this year will bring!  I have also been reflecting on 2013 and unlike some years where I am ready to see them end, 2013 was a great year for us.  The year started off with a wonderful trip to China to bring Eli home.  I can't express enough how this little man is not the same little boy that was handed to us on that January day.  Eli is so full of joy and life and love.  There is not an hour that goes by that he does not make us smile. 

This year also brought a lot of time with family and friends, birthday parties, trips to Milwaukee, Myrtle Beach, Gatlinburg, Cedar Point, Hocking Hills and soccer, soccer, soccer.  Catching up with some pictures ... 

All 4 kiddos at Hocking Hills ... such a beautiful place and a favorite place for us to visit in the fall.
Halloween, TinkerBell and an Ape who quickly got the hang of asking for candy.
Bella and her cousin Addyson having some girl time - love their smiles!

Fall Fun

Lakota Futbol Club - tournament runner-up
The holidays were extra special for us this year since it was Eli's first Christmas.  He woke up Christmas morning and was so excited when he saw a car under the tree that he knew was for him.  He came running into our bedroom saying, "Mom! Car!  Mom!  Car! Mom, new Car!!!"  Priceless.  His speech has just been coming so quickly and is getting more clear all of the time.  He could have cared less for the other presents under the tree.  He just wanted to drive his new wheels. 
Love these two - they have such giving hearts.  They could not wait to give each other the gifts they picked out and bought.
We also celebrated Bella's 8th birthday surrounded by lots of family.
Aunt "T" made Bella Olaf cupcakes (from the movie Frozen) ... so cute and yummy!

So here is to a wonderful 2013 and an exciting 2014 that is yet to unfold!  May you all be blessed and surrounded by God's love this year.