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December 30, 2008

New Year's Craft & Well Wishes

Our New Year's eve is going to be very tame this year. We've promised Emma a night of board games and our favorite appetizers.

No extended family. No friends. It's just going to be the four of us. Have I told you how much I LOVE saying family of four? hee hee!!

What a difference a year makes. Last New Year's eve, I was obsessing over our LOA (Letter of Acceptance) and consequently making everyone in my house nuts with my anxiety. For all of my adoptive friends who are still waiting (whether it be your referral or your LOA or your TA) please know that I'm thinking of you. I feel your pain and I'm happy to vent with you anytime.

As a family, we're looking forward to 2009 because it's the end of all of Josie's major medical interventions. Now, we get to focus on all the normal family stuff instead of meeting with new medical staff.

Happy New Year's! Here's a fun craft that can be used for your upcoming Chinese New Year's celebrations.

Hewlett Packard has a great set of Chinese printables on their website. They even include instructions for making paper lanterns. Emma and I worked on these lanterns thinking they would be fun to use on New Year's Eve, and then again at the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday celebrations in late January.

For this project you'll need vellum paper (we bought our paper at Michael's), votive candle holders, tea light candles, scotch tape, scissors and a color printer.

Step 1. Download art from website (see link).
Step 2. Add vellum paper to your printer.
Step 3. Print design onto a piece of vellum, and set aside to dry completely. Each page will include two votive cover designs.
Step 4. Fold design in half.

Step 5. Using scissors, cut along the marked lines.

Step 6. Tape ends of each piece of vellum together to form a cylinder.

Step 7. Place cylinder over a votive candle holder and press down slightly to create lantern effect. Aren't they festive?

December 29, 2008

X-Rays & Cooking

Josie saw her hand surgeon today and her cast and pin will officially come off on January 19, 2009 at 2:50pm. We all can't wait. I brought the camera to the surgeon's office and took a few pictures of her x-rays. I've got to be be honest, the pin sticking out of her thumb still freaks me out. The doctor agreed that keeping her cast and hand covered with a long decorative sock is a great idea.

In cooking news, Chris put his culinary skills to good use yesterday and made his grandmother's homemade chicken soup (complete with drop noodles). This is the first time that Emma assisted Daddy in the soup making and the Mom totally appreciated a night off from cooking duty.

Even Josie used her new kitchen to assist during the cooking process.

It's been a great Christmas break full of adjustments, and we are thoroughly enjoying the slower pace.

December 28, 2008

Kitchen Sink Bathing

We've decided that until Josie's cast comes off, all her bathing will be done in the kitchen sink. It's just too tempting for Josie to stick her entire arm in the bath tub and do her regular "swimming".

Being only 26 pounds allows us to take advantage of the kitchen sink for now. Emma continues to be a big help during bath time.

Josie will be visiting her hand surgeon on Monday for her first post-op appointment. Stay tuned for more.

We're certainly enjoying our time away from our schools and playing with the girls and all their new toys.

December 25, 2008

Christmas continued

Christmas afternoon we traveled to be with my family where the girls got to enjoy their cousins and open EVEN MORE presents.

Chris and I are convinced that we need to take half of our toy collection and make a large donation to Goodwill.

The one thing that didn't make our Christmas complete this year was that my Godmother is in the Intensive Care Unit at our local hospital battling pneumonia. Please know that you are in our prayers, Aunt Jean. We are all praying for a speedy recovery.

And to all those families that follow our blog and assume that the girls are perfectly behaved all the time, don't let my pictures fool you. I'm not giving away any family secrets, but let's just say that Josie's behavior since her hand surgery has resulted in more meltdowns, biting episodes and slug-fests (with her casted arm) than Chris and I have ever seen before. My sister will secretly appreciate seeing this picture posted on our blog.

To end on a more positive note, I have to thank Barb who send us a lovely care package. Those yarn ponchos are perfect for Josie's casted arm and she looks pretty darn cute.

I hope you are all having a lovely holiday enjoying family and friends. Our first Christmas as a family of four was incredibly special.

Christmas Morning

I'm happy to report that Josie had a peaceful night of sleep and didn't disturb Santa. Big sister Emma was more than eager to assist Josie in opening presents. As you can see by the pictures, having only one hand hasn't slowed down Josie with toy playing.

And this is only the beginning...we are so blessed!!

December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas.
Have a beautiful and precious Christmas holiday.

Here's to hoping that Josie sleeps through the night and doesn't disturb Santa!!

Snow, Snow, and more Snow!

The snow in West Michigan is unbelievable. This morning, the temperatures are mild enough that we decided to bundle up the girls and head outdoors. Chris and I have been taking turns staying on top of the snow shoveling and getting some fresh air, but Josie hasn't had much outdoor time since her surgery.

Here are few more shots that show just how deep the snow is in our yard. You'll note that our illuminated Santa Claus is now buried in our yard.

This is a shot of Chris shoveling off the back deck. Yes. It's that deep.

The Kenward family wishes you all a beautiful and precious Christmas holiday. Thank you for your friendship, support and prayers over this past year.

December 22, 2008

Trains - A Tribute to Papa

This video taken at the Frederick Meijer's Gardens yesterday is what started it all at home Monday night.

Chris's father retired from CSX railroad a few years back and gave Chris a CSX model train set. After seeing how excited the girls were with the trains, Chris dug it out and set it up on the dining room table.

This is a picture taken of Emma and her cousin Quinn when they were four years old. They were visiting one of Papa's trains.

While Chris was painstakingly putting the tracks together, Josie set up her own train on the kitchen floor (note the diaper box she's using as a chair).

I'm thinking I might need to sneak out to a toy store and see if I can find any additional train supplies for my husband between now and Christmas (shhhh...our secret).

PS. In Josie recovery news, Josie has a new nickname. Instead of Josephine, she's Josescream with an emphasis on the scream. Whew. She's throwing temper tantrums and swinging that cast (when it's not in her sling) like you wouldn't believe. She's certainly adjusting to being without her hand, but it's not been perfect (which our pictures tend to show otherwise). Josie's been getting up every night between 2-4 times screaming. It feels like her open-heart surgery sleeping all over again. Santa's going to have to be sneaky when dropping off gifts. Josie just might be up when he arrives!!!

Josie's 1st outing since surgery

Between the recent snow storms and Josie's surgery and recovery, the Mommy has been going absolutely stir crazy at home. This afternoon, we headed to one of our favorite places in Grand Rapids...Frederick Meijer Gardens. Each December, they feature decorated trees from around the world, as well as an amazing miniature train display. Emma brought her good friend along and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

The key to dressing Josie and her cast for outerwear has been to put her in a winter coat that is nearly 3 sizes too big. It's ridiculous looking, but it works for our West Michigan weather.

The best part of our visit at the Gardens was the miniature trains. Josie would have stayed all day watching the trains.

Josie's train obsession has motivated us to set up our own train at home this evening. Stay tuned for more train pictures. Only 3 days until Christmas!!