Aidan at Beach

Aidan at Beach

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Can You Read Russian???

A quick funny side note about our trip to the Air and Space Museum--a place I got NO pictures of and Aidan absolutely loved it, too!. . .the place was filled with the rockets and space ships for the US and Soviet Union.  I was trying to explain to Aidan how the US and USSR first competed and then tried to work together in our space travels.  In fact the Space Station, a model of which is also at the museum, is a combination of US and Russian ingenuity. 

Many of the Russian rockets and Spaceships had the names of each, in Russian, printed on them.  While wandering around, I was quite proud of myself that I could remember how to read so much Russian, but that pride came after I was absolutely goofy about it:

I came across a Proton Rocket with Прото́н written on it. . .of course I stood there puzzing the word out: П  P. . . р  R. . . о  O. . . т  T. . . о  Ó. . .н  N!!  Proton!!! (huge grin full of ME pride) and then noticed the sign right next to this that said Proton Rocket in big bold block letters (chagrin now sets in). . .Well, I didn't read the sign first!!  : )

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Resolutions and Renewal

Here we are again at the end of a year!!!  Now we are in the final throes of 2010. . .and about to begin 2011.  Strange.  When you stop to think about the sound of that, isn't it strange???  I remember being a kid and being asked in school to figure out how old I would be when the year 2000 hit. . .that seemed like lightyears away to my 9 year old self!!  and now here we are almost 11 years after 2000. . .

We have been having a blast being off.  We haven't been to school or work for several days now.  We have celebrated Christmas, played, organized the filing drawer and cabinet, played, gotten our tax papers together and somewhat organized, played, found homes for all of our Christmas gifts, played, taken down one tree, played, gone into D. C. to TWO museums, played, took Mosby to the vet, played, went ice skating, went to the movies, played. . .and we still have four days left!!  We still have planned to do: lunch with Grandma and Grandpa, play, ice skating, play, take the rest of the Christmas decorations down, play, go ice skating again, play, watch the Caps beat the Penguins in the Winter Classic, play, church, play, and hopefully NOT take Mosby to the vet again!!  Very full several days off. . .

Our trip to D. C. was fun and awesome.  We saw the dinosaurs, human bones, live butterflies (one of which landed on Aidan and freaked him out), rockets, spaceships, telescopes and the space station.  Here are a few pictures from that:
Rexie!!

A big Buffalo. . .

Oranutang!!

Mustafa. . .the lion. . .

Bad boy bear. . .

Dancer???
butterflies. . .


ONE IS ON ME!!!


Talking it over with Daddy. . .

The original Smithsonian Castle. . .

Me and Catherine in front of the Capital. . .

Mama, me and Daddy in front of the Capital. . .

Me with the Washington Monument behind me. . .

 We have also been thinking about what we will do for our New Year's Resolutions.  Pat and I are thinking the usual better diet and exercise and house plans but also the desire to be a better Mama and Daddy.  We have plans about this and think it will work out well if we are strong about it!  Aidan . . .well. . .he hasn't really said yet, but Mama has a few ideas of what he could do!!!  : )

What's really amazing is to think about all we accomplished this past year:  We tried to be a good Mama and Daddy; finished the floor in four rooms; worked on our budgeting better; worked with Aidan on swimming and ice skating; and getting things oranized and cleaned up and out. 

All things considered, we have done a lot, have much to do, and are living the life of truly blessed people. . .Thanks be to God!!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Final Countdown. . .

Wow.  Here we are at the final countdown!  Can you believe it will be Christmas in 2 days?  How in the world did that happen???  Fortunately, I am better prepared than last year, and even better prepared than I thought I would be a week ago.  I've made some cookies and plan to make another batch today.  I have some Cranberry cakes in the oven right now (yummy gifts for some neighbors), made some homemade Irish Cream and have most of the wrapping done. 

We're off work now until January 3rd!!  Yippee!!!  So, today we're going to head out early and have breakfast at Anitas and then go do some last minute shopping at the Outlet Mall.  Then, we'll head over to Wegman's to pick up the Christmas Eve Prime Rib Roast and the rest of the necessary groceries and then home to do the final wrapping and baking.  We're having a late lunch/early dinner with the in-laws and then tonight we'll just kick back and relax (finish laundry and ironing) and watch hockey--Go Caps!!!

Whew!!  It's been rough to stay on track this year--Aidan and I came down with colds a couple of weeks ago that have turned into Sinus Infections--but we're on the mend now with antibiotics for both of us.  Funny how you don't realize how badly you are feeling until you are feeling better!  I think by tomorrow evening we will both be around that corner fully toward mending completely. 

Tomorrow will be good.  I'm not sure what Pat has planned, but I will likely hang out in the basement with the dogs while Sofia cleans the house (yeah Sofia!!!) and then Grandma and Grandpa are coming over to spend the night.  I'll be roasting the Prime Rib, making some potatoes and a Ceaser Salad for our Christmas Eve dinner.  We'll be having Pumpkin Mousse for dessert with homemade gingered whipped cream and chocolate shavings.  Then, off to church for Christmas Eve services. 

After church, we'll come back for some warm toddy of some sort by the fire (hot chocolate for Aidan), get the plate of cookies ready for Santa and then read Twas the Night Before Christmas (family tradition going back to before I was born!) and then hang our stockings with care. . .I hope I will have pictures of this. . .lost them last year!!  Aidan will then place the baby Jesus in the manger and then. . .

And then off to bed to await the arrival of Christmas morning. . .

Christmas Day, Pat's aunt and cousin will be joining us for Christmas dinner, which I have had catered this year.  Thank goodness that big coastal storm isn't coming that day afterall!!!

Some funny sidenotes:

Mosby has been on steroids for an allergy problem for a while.  Because of this, his interest in all food has intensified.  The other day he ate a plate of sugar cookies and then drank an entire beer. . .thankfully without getting sick.  Then, he and Maggie ate an entire box, box included, of tissues as well as a ziplock baggie of chocolate chip cookies (the only thing left was the zip lock portion of the baggie).  I am keeping the rest of the foods and goodies under lock and key and close supervision. . .

Aidan came up from the Rec Room while I was baking M & M cookies the other night and dramatically sniffed the air and said, "I'm smelling something really good!  Smells like cookies!  What are we going to do with these?"  We'll give some to Santa and then eat some.  "Okay, Santa can have four of them."  : )  That's my sharing boy!

And so, on that note, if I don't talk to you all before then, Have a very Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Letter to Santa

Time for a little break from the baking of cookies and wrapping. . .

Last week was a big Santa week.  I have already posted about Aidan seeing Santa on top of the Fire Truck going down our street and then he saw him in the Christmas parade.  Then he saw Santa at the mall and then Santa came to Aidan's school, had a pancake breakfast with the children and then even sat down and had one on one conversations with the kids.  Huge!  Aidan found out that he is on the good list even though he has been a little bad (his words). . .

We have loads of pictures of Aidan with Santa this year, but this one is really cute:

This Santa is at Dulles Town Center and was really awesome.  He really spent time talking with Aidan and then asked him what he wanted for Christmas.  A Monster Truck.  What?!?!?

Then, at school, he wrote a letter to Santa--with a little help from his teacher, but he really wrote this and added Love Aidan on his own!

It's a little hard to read, but Aidan wrote that all he wants is a Monster Truck. . .hmm. . .Santa has a little more shopping to do, it appears. . .

We're going to leave the letter for Santa with the plate of cookies so that he will be sure to get the absolute latest desires of our son.  : )

I have it on good authority that he won't be disappointed on Christmas morning. . .

Back to the baking of cookies and wrapping. . .

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Some Aidanisms. . .

I haven't posted any Aidanisms in a while, but he has had some!  Here are some of his 4 year old sayings:

Mama, I like these Mcjamas.

Can I play on the Mcputer?

(Maybe a few less visits to McDonalds are in order. . .)


I want to put myself to bed but you come in and rock me after I finish my Tag book.  'K?

That wind was really bad.  Is our house going to blow away?

Drive by the Jesus lights!  (a lighted Nativity)

Mama, you say the prayer tonight.  But, make it about God.  I like him!

Alex is my BOF.  What's a BOF, Aidan?  Best Friend Forever.  Do you mean BFF?  Yeah!  BFF.  Alex is my BFF!  Who told you about BFF?  Charlotte. (really cute and precocious little girl in his class.)

I'm just kidding!

Santa said I'm on the good list, even though I was really kind of a little bad this year.  (grinning hugely)

There's more, and I'll share them soon.  But, I'll end on the note of being on the good list although being a little bad.  : )  Funny boy!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Everyone Loves A Parade

Yesterday dawned cold and cloudy.  Not so unusual in this recent cold snap we've been having, but boy is it cold!!  It was 20 degrees when we got up.  So we bundled up in our hats and gloves and heavy coats and walked up the street to stand around outside, watching our annual Christmas Parade!  Love it!!!

Aidan's buddy from school, Jack, and his sister Rachel, met us at our house with their Mom and we all walked up the road together.  The children loved it!  They were so excited waiting and waiting for the parade to start:



Even Maggie was excited, good girl that she was being. . .

The kids all got their bags ready in order to pick up the candy that the parade participants always throw. . .


And then, HERE THEY COME!!!!


I always have to laugh because the Police Escort at the beginning is always immediately followed by the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Church float. . .nice, but funny.  I say funny because our town officials are always AFTER that. . .

I love that the town always includes some of the old vehicles in the parades we have.  This is an old Police Paddy Wagon.



 There were lots of dogs in the parade this year. . .a whole section of Greyhounds from a Greyhound Rescue. . .and Maggie was being soooo good!!  That's my good girl.
Many churches were represented and several of the area high school bands were in the parade.  

We even had the Bolivian Christmas Dancers. . .many of whom were wearing open toes sandals with no socks!


There were some adorable snowflakes. . .
 And then, Frosty and Rudolph on top of the Fire Engine. . .
And then. . . .THERE HE IS!!!!  SANTA!!!! 
Hi Santa!!!!!

The loot from this parade is almost as much as from Halloween:

After the parade, we headed over to the mall, where we found a parking lot so jam packed, it's hard to believe the economy is still suffering.  So, no sitting on Santa's lap that day.  Off we went to Grandma and Grandpa's to do a little leaf blowing. . .

Aidan really helped Daddy clean up Grandma and Grandpa's yard. . .He was so into it that there was a lot of leaf debris in the bathtub last night!!!  : )

Nice day. . .

Friday, December 10, 2010

Santa Makes A Preliminary Visit

Every year, one of our local fire departments puts Christmas lights all over one of the trucks and has Santa, Frosty, and Rudolph join them for a tour of the town to the joy and amazment of the children.  The first year Pat and I lived in Leesburg, the town was small enough that the firetruck was able to do the whole town in one night and it was always closer to Christmas. . .in fact usually only a day or two before.  But, the town has gotten so large that they now do this 9 nights!  Last night was the night our street was included. . .Aidan and the neighbor girls were sooooo excited!!


We all bundled up and went outside to wait. You can hear them coming for a few blocks as they wind around on the streets before ours. . .then the advance truck comes by and a nice man yelled out to the children, "Santa's Coming!!" The children went wild with excitement!





And then. . .he came!!!!!

Aidan loved it!!!  I don't think he remembered last year because he wanted to know why Santa didn't throw candy to him!!!  LOL. 

We had to explain Santa would be back on Saturday morning, with candy, during the Christmas parade!!

Afterward, we came back inside to warm up and get ready for bed.  What a fun night!!!

In other news:

I have been following the news on the US/Russia Bilateral Adoption Agreement and see that it is all agreed upon and is just awaiting the final signatures.  Or something like that.  There are apparantly 5 points that the Russians wanted the US to agree to.  For the most part, I have not been too concerned about this thing.  Afterall, we are final with our decree in hand; we have followed all the rules were were told to do; and we have completed all of our post placement visits and reports--save for our 3 year, which is coming up--as requested.  We love our son and he loves us.  All is good.

Well, apparantly, I should have been paying closer attention because two of the points do directly concern us:
1) The Russians want Russian children to always have Russian citizenship.  I kind of thought this was already the case.  I am already committed to keeping Aidan's Russian passport, as well as his US passport, current.  I thought it was up to him to renounce either of his citizenships, or not, as he so chose after he came of age. 

2) The Russians want US families to have annual visits by Social Services until the child comes of age, which I presume means 18.  Fine, but who's going to pay for that?  The families?  Russia?

These concern us directly because, and this was the finepoint, the Russians want this to be retroactive to include all adoptions already completed.  Hmmmm. . .Is that really legal?  Well, apparantly, the US has agreed to this so that means we'll have to comply.  But, it is a little upsetting to find out that something you thought was final can be changed. 

Well, whatever.  I'll do whatever we have to do to make sure Aidan continues to grow up in a loving home with his family and all the advantages we can give him!

And now, back to Santa news!!  Stay tuned for Parade pictures. . .

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree!!!

Today, we went up to Williams Gap and met some friends at Snickersville Gap Tree Farm.  We were hunting.  Hunting for a Christmas tree.

Wait, you might be saying.  Didn't you all do your tree last week?  Well, yes.  But, and this is a big but, we really wanted Aidan to have the whole Christmas experience.  The real Christmas tree way.  And boy did we have fun!  I think it's safe to say that Pat and I had forgotten how fun it actually is to go tromping around in the country, breathing in the cold air (whew! was it ever cold!!), with the noses and toeses turning to ice, looking for just the perfect tree.  So, here's a pictorial of our outing today:

Here we are hunting the big tree!

I can't wait to find the perfect tree!  Is this it???

No, dear boy.  We need to walk up the hill and look for a while.  We don't want the first one we find. . .right by the truck!  What fun is that?

Is this the one?

Nope.  Gotta keep looking.

Is this the one??

Nope.

We're still looking!

What about this one?

Is this the one?

Could it be???

Okay!  This is it!

Now we just gotta cut it down without hitting anyone else. . .Cut right there, Dad.

Look good?  Okay, let's attach the rope and drag it back to the shed.

But, first, let's get a picture of this hunting party team in front of the bagged tree.

I can drag this back. 

Really, I can.!

Okay, Daddy can help me.

But, me and Catherine will take over on the downhill.

Silly Mommy.  She gave me the camera to hold!

And I got Daddy, too!

What a fun day!  Pat and I decided that next year we might not put up the fake tree. . .in fact, we might set that aside for a time when Aidan is in college and has to come home to set up Mom and Dad's tree for them. . .  : )

What a great day!!!  Cold, but great!!!