Friday, December 31, 2010

Amish Country For New Year's

And no, we haven't changed our religion :) We're visiting Andre's family who live in Pennsylvania. Mama and Grandfather live in a beautiful Amish valley full of cows, farms and horse-drawn buggies. We're having a restful and fun time and Jack is loving the attention from all these grown-ups. Andre's Aunt Lyuda is here for the weekend as well to celebrate Mama's 60th birthday which happens to fall on New Year's Day and his sister Olga and her family will spend the day with us too.

May your New Year celebrations be blessed may you usher in 2011 happily!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Just in time for Christmas

Alas, alack, our camera is broken. Yeah, just in time for Christmas. I can't believe it! I have asked the dear Husbie to please make a plan that involves taking photos of Jack's first Christmas, so hopefully he's going to come up with something :)

Lack of posting this week is partly due to the lack of photos to share, but also due to general busyness and Jack's over 101 degree fever that persisted for the past three days. I took him to the doc yesterday who said to come back today if he was still the same and they'd do blood tests, and a catheter to test for a UTI. Let's just say I was hugely relieved when he woke up this morning with a nice temp of 98.1. Praise the Lord! The thought of a needle in his arm (not to mention his poor little private parts!) had haunted me all night!

So, the fever and the broken camera came at a rather bad time, it being Christmas week and all. But now we're just enjoying the getting ready bustle and preparing to celebrate this special holiday with family and friends.

I will leave you with our Christmas card photo (hideous of me but the only recent and decent family one we had) from this year and a "MERRY CHRISTMAS" to you and yours!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Weekend Fun

My cousin Luke was in town this weekend, visiting us all. He is actually staying with Mum and Dad in Peoria for three weeks but came down here for a couple of days. We've had such fun with him here! We had a pretty busy weekend between family time and events at church, hence jammie day yesterday! (I spent the entire day at home doing things and didn't feel like I had much to show for it all come bedtime. Oh well, that tells you what a terrible state the house was in, as a whole day of cleaning, tidying and laundry didn't seem to make a dent!)

Anyhoo, Luke spent the day with me on Friday and we knocked out all his Christmas shopping (he was introduced to the delights of Target!) then Steve came and picked him up after work as he spent the weekend at their house. Steve came over right before Jack's bedtime and Jack thought he was big stuff, hanging out with the big boys! It took us an hour to calm him down after they left!

Steve, Jack and Luke

On Saturday morning we went over to Steve and Rachel's house for a family brunch and had a great time spending time together. Luke was a great sport with all the kiddos too and we even got to celebrate his birthday which is tomorrow!

An armful of babies!

Family portrait

On Saturday afternoon our church was doing a live nativity and craft fair at our new property, with caroling and hot drinks for the community. I had a little table displaying my tile coasters and even sold a couple much to my surprise (it's the first time I've done it and wasn't expecting to sell anything)!! The afternoon went well, despite the cold and there was actually a great turn out considering this is the first time our church has done this event. We are excited about this new location and know there is a huge need for the gospel in this community.

Sweet friends! Hannah and Robin giving Jack a cuddle

Friends participating in the live nativity with Jack and Andre admiring them
and the animals-great job Nathan and Gary!
(Jack was particularly intrigued by the miniature goat)

On Sunday afternoon we headed up to Ness and Sean's for supper and more time with Luke. Andre couldn't come as he was helping out with the Youth Group Christmas Party, but Jack and I had fun until we had to leave to get home for bed.

The cousin twins eating hot-dogs
(Jack tried ice-cream for the first time too and is in love!)

All of us having dinner together

So, very long post, but for those of you who care to know these things, that's what our weekend looked like. Hope yours was fun too!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Deck the Halls (and remember what you bought last year!)

Due to this Unfortunate Incident last Wednesday, we had to postpone our decorating and finally got around to it on Friday. It was such fun and really special to show Jack all our little traditions.

Remember why we initially went out last Wednesday, thus having to endure the Unfortunate Incident? Yes, that's right, to pick out Jack's Christmas stocking. Well, what do you know, when I opened up our Christmas box, there on the very top was a beautiful embroidered Christmas stocking just for Jack. OH MY GOSH. Can we say permanent preggy brain or what?!!! I still have absolutely NO recollection of when or from where I bought it last year. So we'll be returning the one we just bought, I guess.

Ornaments aren't for eating!

Daddy's little helper

Climbed the step stool all by himself!

Helping to put up the nativity
(although he was more interested in eating the sheep)

Family photo with the finished Christmas mantle
(we don't have a lot of room in our condo and so decorate our mantle instead of having a full size tree)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Welcome to America!

Today was a momentous day in Andre's family. His grandfather, or Deada, became a US citizen! Deada immigrated here from Kazakhstan in 2004 and now, at the age of 85 has a new country to claim as his own.

The Lord has had special plans for Deada and has guided him throughout his life. As a child and young man, he was very ill and almost died several times. As an older man, he was a respected doctor in his community. He was also a Christian and was persecuted, imprisoned and beaten many times by the KGB for his faith. In his later years, after raising 6 children and having great influence in his grand-children's lives, he was told he could apply for refugee status in the United States. His wife, Baba Nina, did not want to leave her homeland and so it was only after she died that Deada began to seriously consider applying. Well, he did and the rest is history! He passed his citizenship interview just after Thanksgiving and today was the ceremony in Philadelphia. Andre was able to be with him for the interview and we loved seeing these photos of this special occasion.

Deada receiving his citizenship


Deada with his grand-daughter Yuliya (left), daughter (and Andre's Mom) Nataliya (middle) and other daughter Lyuda (right)

Welcome to America, Deada!!!!

There's a First Time for Everything...

So yesterday looked to have a promising end. After Jack's afternoon nap, we all bundled up and headed out to the shops to pick out his first Christmas stocking. Hobby Lobby had just what we wanted!

The boys with the stocking

Since we had plenty of time left before dinner, we made one more stop to do a return and browse for a few minutes. Jack, of course, decided this was a perfect time to produce a blow out diaper so I hurried him off to the bathroom. Upon discovering the revolting state of the restroom facilities, I decided that we needed to leave and change him in the car. While walking back to where Andre was still browsing, I stepped on a small plastic hanger and slipped! Poor little Jack fell right out of my arms (I felt SO guilty for not being able to protect him more!) and hit his head on floor. Much wailing ensued (from both of us!), the manager was called, reports filed and claim numbers given (this of course took over an hour). As we were leaving we saw the manager picking up numerous hangers and mess off the floor!!!

We called Jack's doctor and were told to take him to the ER just to be safe. Another two hours later, we were on our way home, much assured that he was probably going to be just fine, but we should monitor him carefully for the next 48 hours.

First time in the Emergency Room

Needless to say, after waking him twice last night to check him, as advised, and with various bruises today, I am tired and sore, but thankful that all is well!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Too busy with work to blog much this week but wanted to put up Jack's stats from his nine month check-up on Monday:

Weight: 17.8 lbs (10%)
Height: 29.5 inches (90 %)
Iron levels low so on a supplement now

Otherwise healthy and on track, praise the Lord!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Nine Months Old

I'm nine months old and how I've grown,
I can do lots all on my own

Crawling's ok, but I want to walk soon
And when I can, I'll be over the moon!

I like my toys but prefer to be
With my Daddy and Mummy, you see

Got four teeth and more on the way
I drool and drool more each day

I love big kids and dogs as well
They make me smile, can't you tell?

My pants are too short and my shirts too tight
I'm eating and growing with all my might!

So all in all, I'm right on track

And most of all I'm just JACK!!!

Happy nine month birthday little boy!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Poor Baby

Poor little Jack has been sick almost the entire time we've been here in Peoria. He was just getting over a double ear infection when we came, then got one in the right ear before Thanksgiving, developed a cold over the weekend, and today was diagnosed with a horrid infection in the left ear! So he's now on his third round of antibiotics in a month (thankfully he loves the meds and laps them up happily).

Since Andre has been away this weekend, I was worried Jack would be doubly miserable without Daddy around, but despite not feeling 100%, he has been so sweet. Thank you Lord! Yesterday, the late afternoon sunlight was gorgeous and Jack was playing so nicely by himself, that I snuck up on him with Dad's super duper camera to take a few photos. They all turned out beautifully and I was so pleased with them until I realized that a delightfully runny nose was evident in each and every one! Yuck.

But still...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Special Visitors

Today was a "Red Letter Day", as my Nana used to say! Not only do we have my cousin Luke coming later this evening, all the way from South Africa, but we had more special visitors come to see us this morning. My very special college friend, Wendi, came down from Chicago with her husband for a few hours and after not having seen her for four years, we had lots to catch up on. It was so lovely to see her and hug her and have some face to face time again after so long. Miss you Wends, and thanks so much for visiting!

Jack thought these new friends were fascinating!

Chris and Wendi with me and my boy

Saturday, November 27, 2010

'Tis The Season

After a wonderful Thanksgiving, we are now preparing for the Christmas season and I can't wait to celebrate this first Christmas with Jack! Today got us all into the spirit as we made fruit mince pies and decorated the tree while enjoying our favorite carols. (And I decided to go all out with the blog decor this year and be extremely Christmassy. A little over the top but I love it!)

I am still here with Mum and Dad until Tuesday but Andre is now in Pennsylvania with his family for the weekend (it ended up being too pricey for me to go too). Steve and Rachel are here until tomorrow and Ness and Sean left last night. I have a college friend coming to visit tomorrow who I haven't seen in several years and I'm so thrilled to get to see her again! And then tomorrow night, my cousin Luke is flying in from South Africa, to spend a few weeks and we can't wait to see him!! Luke is in medical school in S.A. and is here to do a practicum with Dad.

So that's us this weekend. Hope everyone is having a special and blessed holiday weekend too!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks

We had a relaxing Thanksgiving Day enjoying family, food and remembering the many blessings the Lord has given us!

Here are a few highlights from our day...

Thankful for our sweet Baby Boy

Thankful for all sorts of new things to discover at Nana's house
(Grandpa's doctor bag is particularly tempting)

Thankful for new toys and special cousins :)

Thankful for family all being together this holiday

And a beautiful sunset to finish off the day

Monday, November 22, 2010

Time Away

So, we're up in Illinois with my parents for 10 days, to celebrate Thanksgiving and have a little time away. My sister and her family are here and Steve & Rachel will be joining us all for the Thanksgiving weekend. Can't wait!

It's really nice to have a change of scene for a bit, as I was feeling overwhelmed by all I have going on at the moment. We're just hanging out, relaxing and catching up with each other, playing with the babies, doing a bit of shopping and preparing for the holidays.

We're planning on doing a big batch of baking, which in our family includes fruit mince meat (for pies), the Christmas Cake, and English Christmas Pudding (you may get a delicious taste of all these treats this year Nicole since you're across the Pond!)

So, that's us this week. If I have anything of note to post about, you'll hear from me. Otherwise, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sweet and Sour

We've been testing out Jack's taste-buds lately, using first a pickle and then an apple, with expected results:

What the heck is THIS??!!!

Well, that's better, folks.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Family Date Out

So Benihana very kindly sent Andre a gift card for his birthday and we used it for lunch today and had so much fun. And Jack, apparently, is a huge Asian food fan!

Family photo

He LOVED the soup and couldn't get enough!

Becoming a pro with the rice and chopsticks

Monday, November 15, 2010

Birthday Celebrations

My sweet Husbie has a birthday today and we enjoyed celebrating with each other and our little man.

Special breakfast of blueberry waffles

And of course Jack had a little something for Daddy too (although it almost got eaten before delivery!)

We had a really fun day yesterday celebrating with some special friends who came for lunch, some of whom we haven't had over since before Jack was born, I hate to admit! So it was great to catch up.

A shot of the guys with everyone behaving, except Nagib!

Another one of the guys with no-one behaving for the camera except Nagib!!

Last night Steve and Rachel very kindly babysat while Andre and I went to Eclipse De Luna for tapas and Spanish guitar music (played by a very accomplished Russian man named Sasha), with Pip, Dave, Meg and Dave who are expecting babies any day now. So we thought it was a good occasion to have one last night out before the babies arrive and celebrate Andre's b'day at the same time.

It was such a fun night and a good excuse to put on the high heels and go out!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tea Time

Here's a catch up post from Mum's visit last week.

When we first moved to the States in 1992, we attended a small Christian school in Dunwoody and met Mrs. Gilbert and her daughter, Lyndon. They have remained close friends with me, Ness and Mum over the years and now us girls are all grown up, married and having babies. Whenever Mum is in town, she tries to get together with Mrs. Gilbert and this time, they were all able to come over for tea. Lyndon's son Christian is 18 months old and played so sweetly with Jack, who giggled hysterically anytime Christian came near him! It was such a joy to see them entertain each other so well.

Align CenterMum and Mrs. Gilbert with their grandsons
(Jack at 8 months, Christian at 18 months)

The boys playing so nicely together


Mummies and babies