Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Born From the Heart

November is always Adoption Awareness Month, and Saturday, November 23, was National Adoption Day.  We got word that the local agency we used to facilitate our adoption, The Barker Foundation, was hosting a special story time at Barnes and Noble, and we thought it was just the perfect way to start our day.

A staff member and her daughter read a lovely story called "Born From the Heart," which included a recipe for how to become parents.

I personally would increase the measurement of patience in the recipe above, having waited more than 2 years for the arrival of our bundle of joy.  But when it comes to adoption, there really couldn't be a truer meaning to the expression "good things come to those who wait."  

There were many oohs and aahs by the staff over how much Joseph has grown, so I looked back at the very first picture we ever took of him, the day we met him at Barker.  Then here we are 6 years later, and he has changed so much!  Oddly, my shirt has not......

And since we're taking a trip down memory lane, he's the picture that started it all, in the very 1st post to our blog, when we became the Alton Boys!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Start Early

The holiday toy catalogues have been arriving in the mail left and right.  Unlike last year, when he waited to see the big guy in person, Joseph decided to get a head start this year and wrote a letter to Santa last week.  He's really trying to butter him up!  It says: "I love you.  Christmas is one of my favorite holidays."  And he included a few pictures just so Santa would get it right.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


B's organization always has an awards ceremony and gala this time of year with some kind of crazy theme.  Who can forget the Cirque du Dance?  This year the focus was on art.

As soon as we got to the atrium, there was the usual performance troop.....and they circulate through the reception hall all night.

Brent, with his colleagues Joe and Martina, along with several other primary care physicians, were all surprised with awards for being awesome doctors.

Then there was this fabulous large scale photo booth outside of the club room.

Did I mention it was fabulous?!
Brent wasn't quite as impressed as I was.

They also had a professional photographer and team printing pics to take home, as well as digital media stations to email photos and share on social media.  SO hip and cool!  Absolutely ARTrageous!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Veteran Friends

Since the kids started full day school last year, Missy and I have lamented how are we never, ever able to get our boys together often enough.  I've really been missing those once a week playdates we had for so many years, so when we were off for Veteran's Day this week, Jack and Will were first on our list of people to see.  It's always so great to see them pick up right where they left off.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


This year's school portrait is SO CUTE, and on the first take at that!  Thankfully no reshoot like last year.  The package came with a digital download and you can play with the backgrounds, but you know, I kind of love the simplicity of the classic blue.  But what is entirely inexplicable is why on Earth  they airbrushed out every last one of his adorable freckles and moles!?!?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Tae Kwan Do Tuesdays

Exciting things have been happening at the Tae Kwan Do studio recently when I've been bringing Joseph for his lesson on Tuesdays.  Exactly one week to the day after yanking out his own loose tooth, Joseph got another surprise when his was the only name called at the end of class and Mr. H. presented him with the 1st stripe on his gold belt.  Strong work, buddy!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Benjamin's Bowling Birthday

Joseph is just destined to be the best of friends forever with our neighbors' son, Benjamin, who recently turned 5 and had a rock star bowling party to celebrate.  We really should bowl more often - the kids always have so much fun!  

In addition to some of the cutest personalized party favors ever, Benjamin's mom had the clever idea to give each kid a small prize every time they got a spare, strike, or bowled a 5 in a frame (you know, because he turned 5!  How adorable!).  Joseph came away with a high score of 97.  I'm not even sure I could do that now since my ankle surgery.

Like his sister Chloe, Benjamin has never been a big fan of cake either, so instead he got a giant chocolate chip cookie.  And there's that little guy of mine in the background, always ready to help a buddy out with the candles.  Happy birthday, Benjamin!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Halloween 2013

I missed out on a lot of the fun last year because I had to work, so I was thrilled to have the day off this year and take part in all the Halloween festivities at school.  The parents all come after lunch to help kids get into their costumes for the big parade that follows.  The whole school lines up along the perimeter of the field. and each class is called in turn to march around a lap and give everyone high fives along the way.

The teachers all dress up too, as do many of the parents, like me and Jocelyn (wearing another of my homemade costumes, the Cat in the Hat).

Our teacher this year wants to keep holiday celebrations really low key, but several of us room parents put together a small party including a snack, a craft, and a story.  I was in charge of snack.  I turned mandarin orange cups into jack o lanterns by drawing on faces with a Sharpie and adding a stem from a green Post-It note.  I also made chocolate dipped pretzels in a mold that looked like skeleton fingers.

The kids made a skeleton craft out of Q-tips and construction paper, and listened to the classic story "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie, Brown."

I also passed out glow-in-the-dark vampire teeth for the kids to take home.  Always a win.

After school I had to finish up carving our pumpkins.  Joseph picked out the designs and helped just a little.  Then it was off to trick-or-treat with our neighborhood buddies.

Another great Halloween!
Now, as an aside, can you believe this is the 1000th post on the blog?!  1000!!!  
How do we have that much to blog about?
Thanks for staying with us all this time :)