Monday, December 31, 2012

Additional December Memories

Our girl turned 6!

And, our boy received a box from the Chapmans
and Maria's Big House of Hope.

With most importantly, a CD of pictures! Here are some:

May 2010

 August 2010

 February 2011

 March 2011
(I'm can't keep this one from flipping.)

July 2011

 August 2011

What a treasure that CD is!
What a wonderful gift!


 December has been so special,
and as we look forward to welcoming in a new year,
we are excited and ready...
to bring Hope home!

 God bless you all,
and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas 2012

This Christmas season and time of celebration was an extra-special one for our family. It was the first time in 13 years of marriage that Derek and I stayed home. We spent the entire time at our house and kept things simple.

On December 4th, Cherish decided to memorize Luke 2:1-20 as her surprise Christmas gift for her daddy. Therefore, every weekday while Derek was at work we studied the passage. Cherish would read the verses, and then we would listen to the passage several times throughout the day (from a CD). Thus, we were soaked in the true message and meaning of Christmas. It. was. wonderful! And, Cherish had the passage memorized by December 21st!

In addition, for Andrew, we read from My First Read and Learn Countdown to Christmas by Dr. Mary Manz Simon each night. Each day is a continuation of the Christmas story with an activity or a portion of the story to act out. Andrew (and the rest of us) thoroughly enjoyed acting out the story, and we also used a child-friendly nativity set along with the story.

One evening, Andrew made Joseph, the shepherds,
and the sheep bow down to baby Jesus.
And then, he did.

On December 17th (Cherish's "Gotcha Day" Anniversary), Cherish became a "new creation". She entered into God's family. Reborn. Made new. Adopted, once again. But nothing can compare to the awesomeness of being adopted into God's family! And, as this one kindergartner describes it, she became "different".

On Christmas Eve we were able to attend our church's worship service, and Andrew and Cherish each got to sing in their children's choir. (Andrew was too little amongst the preschoolers to be able to get a picture.)

After the service and dinner, the children got into their pajamas, robes, and slippers, and we all went caroling in our neighborhood. We had so much fun! We laughed so hard!

On Christmas morning, the four of us exchanged gifts. Then, in the afternoon, Mom, Jen, Pedro, Sebastian, Paul, Becky, Kyle, and Hunter came for a meal. We were blessed to have such sweet company!

On Christmas night, Derek and I stayed up and watched "The Nativity Story". It was our first Christmas movie of the entire season. It was the perfect ending to a month focused on Jesus.

This December was one of my favorites. It was a month full of quiet reflections and times of pondering many sweet and precious memories in my heart.

It's all because of Jesus.
The most awesome gift to the world!
Thank. You. God!
What a wonderful Savior!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Sibling Love

These two are constantly loving on each other!

They give me "aww" moments daily!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Andrew's "Gotcha Day" Anniversary

We have been so blessed to have Andrew in our family! We have been continually awed by the vast amounts of joy, love, and laughter we have experienced this past year!

We have been blessed beyond comprehension!

We love you so much, Andrew!
Happy 1st "Gotcha Day" Anniversary!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Cherish's "Gotcha Day" Anniversary

Well, today I cried and hugged Cherish again and again.
and again.
and again.

I can't believe it has been 5 years since Cherish was placed into our arms.

Derek and I have been blessed beyond words!

Happy "Gotcha Day" Anniversary, Sweetheart!
You are a blessing from God!