Friday, December 31, 2010

Jasper National Park

DSC_0197

One of my favorite places in the world. Jasper Park Lodge. It is cozy and warm and inviting and very Canadian.

DSC_0194

Tim and the older four kids went skiing, while I hung out with the girls.

Photo

DSC_0167

DSC_0162

DSC_0160

We went for walks in the woods, had long lunches in the lodge in front of the huge fireplace and then spent time in the room where they played and I read in front the fireplace.

DSC_0206

DSC_0192

DSC_0139

DSC_0148

Micah only skied one day and spent the next day with me and the girls. We spent a lot of time outside, even though it was very cold. A little bit of frostbite on the chin...

DSC_0179

Micah loved the toboggan hill and loved taking pictures of the amazing beauty surrounding us... and the peace and quiet in it all.

DSC_0184

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Our Christmas

fisheye

Trying out my favorite gift - a fish eye lens!

DSC_0007

Zoe's first Christmas... she was right into it. She didn't have a lot of patience when she had to wait for someone else to open their gifts, but she has enjoyed playing with her new toys!

zoe

We celebrate Christmas Eve by going to church, then coming home to many yummy snacks and opening our presents. Usually, we spend Christmas Eve at my parents, but this year Tim was on call and we thought it might be better for Zoe to be at home.

DSC_0033

The girls both looked lovely in their handmade dresses and sparkly shoes!

DSC_0075

The favorite gift for two three year old girls this year... Baby Alive dolls. I have to admit, they are very cute and if I was three I would want one too!

DSC_0096

DSC_0091

DSC_0102

DSC_0008

Tim... what can I say... he is a classy guy!

DSC_0041

DSC_0044

And then there is the ridiculous amounts of food, but it is so good!

food

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Atlantis

Two of my favorite shots this vacation.

DSC_0453

My mom...

DSC_0469

We had a wonderful vacation in Atlantis in the Bahamas.

DSC_0444

zoebw

Zoe has such a zest for life! It was amazing to watch her as she took everything in with complete awe. She loved everything about this vacation. The aquariums, the beaches, the pools and the food. She swims like a little fish... jumping and floating and drinking a lot of water, which caused a few issues, but luckily, she wasn't the cause of any of the daily "code browns" in the kiddie pool.

zoecollage

bw lilah

Lilah has a very different personality than Zoe. She loved having grandma and grandpa along, so they could spoil her and she could have a break from mom and dad. She needed some encouragement to go in the water, but when she gets in, she is a little fish as well. She just freezes when she gets out.

lilahcollage

DSC_0121

DSC_0202

You can rent "the bridge" room for $25,000 per night...

DSC_0334

DSC_0327

DSC_0389

elicollage

DSC_0269

Remember being so absolutely beautiful? No... me either!

abby collage

Tim and the boys love to rock climb and attempted these walls a few times. Tim even climbed the naked wall.

DSC_0320

climbing

And then there is Josiah. He is in his element here. When the last day arrives, he has to soak everything in one last time and becomes somewhat forlorn.

DSC_0466

DSC_0468

Tim and him went snorkeling in the aquarium one afternoon, where they swam with manta rays, sting rays, zebra sharks and hundreds of other fish.

snorkel

Micah had a blast staying in the room with his grandma and grandpa. He seems to have kept them laughing and he and his grandpa get along very well with a lot of laughs.

DSC_0380

We can hardly wait to go back!

DSC_0039

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Blogger Break for one week

DSC_5384

I have decided to take a week off from blogging. I want to totally relax and enjoy our family time without thinking about anything electronic.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

One Month with Zoe

DSC_0013-2

By choice, we have become a family, first in our hearts, and finally in breath and being. Great expectations are good; great experiences are better. -- Richard Fischer, adoptive parent

DSC_0018-1

Zoe has amazed us with how well she has done with all of these changes. She fits right into this family and it feels like she has always belonged here. She runs around the house laughing and we laugh too, because her laugh is contagious. Lilah and Zoe play really well together for the most part. Zoe needs her space though, and Lilah doesn't always give it too her. Which can result in some hitting (and once even biting). She does still get upset if we don't give her food that she wants when she wants it, even if it is 2 minutes until supper. We distract her, by giving her a job to do, such as setting the table with her plate and fork.

DSC_0019-2

Zoe still very much prefers her Mommy to anyone and gets somewhat jealous if anyone else tries to cuddle with me. She is slowly opening up more to Tim, on her own terms, but she will let him carry her, play with her, dance with her and feed her. She is willing to leave me in the house to go do errands with Daddy. And he is Daddy, not Baba. She is a complete girly girl. She loves jewellery, purses, dolls and lip smackers. She loves to help us do things, like emptying the dishwasher and cleaning up. She did go through a little stage where she would whine and cry for supper, not understanding that I actually need to prepare and cook it first. She was probably used to just having the food come to her, ready to eat! She now likes to sit on the counter and watch me cook or bake.

DSC_0022-2

Zoe is walking much better and is doing the stairs in our house without any issues now. She will eat pretty much whatever we give her. She will reach up to be carried or held and to give kisses or ask for kisses. She will snuggle right into my neck, with her arms tight around me. I still lay down with her until she is asleep, but she is now in her big girl bed and is starting to stay there most nights without coming to sleep in our room. It is hard to tell in what areas she is delayed at this point. Until we can communicate, it will be hard to know. She does act more like a baby in many ways, then Lilah ever did, but that is okay with us, at this point. She has a very short attention span. She will not sit to read books. She is now willing to look at cardboard books, that have things she can feel or move. She tears paper books apart. She doesn't have a lot of boundaries yet and seems to think that everything she sees, is hers for the taking. Lypsol, daddy's watch, keys, ipods, etc.

DSC_0012-2

She is copying a lot of English. She seems to understand most of what we are saying to her and will follow instructions willingly. She is not speaking a lot of English yet, other than Mommy, Daddy, up, please, thank you, all gone, no and all of the kids names. She is still throwing temper tantrums, when she doesn't get her way, or she will try to pout and whine to get her way. We are working through this by ignoring the tantrums and getting her to use her manners to get what she wants. She is willing to cooperate. This is really our only issue with her and I consider it pretty minor, considering that for 3 years she did this in the orphanage.

DSC_0014-1

What a little gift she is! We take joy in everything about her. She is strong and brave and loving. And she is loved.
Let go of your ambitions. Come let's change the world. -- St. Francis Xavier