Monday, December 31, 2012

Pool time fun

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It may not be super warm here in Phoenix, but the kids don't care! They are still spending hours in the heated pool.

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It is suppose to get warmer as the week goes on. And all I can say is... there is no snow.

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It is always such a reprieve from normal life to get away. None of the regular little tasks hanging over your head, just relaxing and doing what you want to do. Including sleep!

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Tonight is New Year's Eve and tomorrow a new day. A new year. I am excited to see what 2013 will bring to our family.

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Most of all I am praying we can settle in as a family of nine. Find joy in the little things. Enjoy being with each other and watching each other grow. Seeing where God will lead us as a family, and for me more specifically, where God will take Spirit of Adoption Alberta this year.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Our Christmas

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We celebrated Christmas a few days early with my family and then had a quiet family Christmas of our own on Christmas Eve.

We decided to head to a large church for their Christmas Eve service, which was quite beautiful. Then, headed home to open gifts and eat.

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The kids all enjoyed unwrapping their gifts. Silas was especially excited and kept asking "is it my turn again?!".

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As a little girl, I would have loved a doll like this! One the same size as me. My little girls loved them and it was quite amusing watching them trying to haul these dolls around the house.

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Rapunzel's hair is a bit of a pain! Luckily, Abby was willing to brush it out for Zoe.

I came down with the flu on Christmas Day and so it was a bit chaotic with all the clean up and packing that had to be done, so we could leave for Phoenix on Boxing Day. But we made it. And it was worth it.

It is interesting to watch Silas in all this. I still sense that he wonders where he belongs in this family of ours... when we told him we were going on a trip, he ran upstairs and packed his suitcase... almost like he was afraid we would all leave him behind. Breaks my heart. And yet, he doesn't show these emotions physically, he may not even understand what they are, he just reacts.

Hopefully, he will learn to trust us completely. That he is with us forever and we would never, ever leave him.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Book Reviews

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I have had a few people asking for book reviews, so here is some of what I have been reading and which books I have enjoyed lately.

419 by Will Ferguson

Loved it! I know others who couldn't get through it or who were finding this book a bit long winded, but I couldn't put it down. It is very well written, although can be a bit confusing with the many characters and the going between past and present.

419 refers to the famous internet scam where someone in Nigeria needs our help getting their money (or someone else's money) out of the country and if we do this good deed we will get a cut of that money. This book is based on that scam. On the families it affects, on the people that run the scam and why, on what life is like in Nigeria and just how deeply this scam runs.

The characters are all fictional and although you may wonder how it will all come together, in the end, it does all connect. The good and evil, those who stay caught up in this corrupt world, those who can't get out even though they want too... and those who overcome and prevail.

This is a book that husbands would enjoy as well. And I love that this is a Canadian author and part of the story takes place in Calgary, Alberta.

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

This is one of my favourite authors and this was probably my favourite book of hers yet. They are always engaging and I can never put them down! I love any books that have something to do with WWII and this is one of those books.

Dorothy is a famous actress who's mother is dying. As she spends time with her mother in her last days, Dorothy wants answers to the things that she saw in the past, who was the strange man that appeared at their house one day, why did her mother argue with him and why did her mother kill him? Who is this Vivian that her mother mumbles about? How is she connected to the story? It all comes together in one shocking conclusion.

Citadel by Kate Mosse

This book takes us to the southern part of France again during WWII. It is the story of a group of woman who lead a resistance group called Citadel. The leader of this undercover network is Sandrine, who meets three different men and she has to decide who is trustworthy, who is an enemy... this story of brave woman who fight against the Nazi regimen, giving up everything to do so, also coincides with the story of a secret codex, meant to be destroyed ages ago, that is now searched for once more.

I am still reading this book, but already know it will be another top favourite for this year. It is 680 pages, so if your like me, there is nothing like an amazing fat book in your hands to bring you joy!


In the Orchard, the Swallows by Peter Hobbs

So beautiful. A book so well written, you feel like you are right in Pakistan. Smelling the smells, feeling the air, seeing what the main character is seeing. I love books like this. I love when you can open a book and the very first paragraph pulls you in completely.

This is the story of a young man in love with the wrong girl. How over years and distance he longs for her and how he waits for her to come back to him.

This book is 138 pages long and I read it in a couple of hours. But this just may be my highest rated book of the year.


Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

A thriller of a book. It can be a bit crude in parts, so if you don't like that you may not want to read it. When I started this book, it took awhile for me to get into it and I almost thought I hated it. But as I continued reading, I again could not put it down. It will draw you in completely.

On Nick and Amy's fifth wedding anniversary, Amy suddenly disappears. As usual, the husband is always the first suspect. The mystery of what happened to Amy slowly unravels as we learn more about Nick, more about their marriage, and more about Amy through her diaries.

You're Already Amazing by Holley Gerth

This is not fictional. Every once and awhile I try to read a book to better myself or learn more about myself. I had read great reviews of this book. Maybe it would help others who struggle... but for me I found it just more of a reassuring book. That God already thinks I am amazing as I am, that He has a plan for me, I just have to listen. That I don't have to be MORE. Have MORE. Do MORE.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Preschool Concert

2012-12-18 17:51:57 from Paige Riegel on Vimeo.


Silas' concert was very sweet. Silas played the cow and practiced mooing for weeks!

In the video you can hear Zoe laughing and giggling and that is the reason Silas is saying sssshhhh!

Today, Silas was playing a Chinese animal game on the iPad and showed me a picture of a pig. He was excited and told me he had had a pig in China, that was black and lived in his home.

I continued trying to get more out of him -- I think it is hard for him to share his past due to language translation -- but he told me he lived in a tall, pink building with an elevator and that he had to walk to school with his YeYe and the girl who lived with them. I assume this was his foster mother, since their were no other children in the home.

It will be interesting to see what else we can get out of him as time goes on... he does get very excited about anything Chinese. At the same time, he is now saying he is Canadian!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Snoozy Snowflake



This is one of the songs the girls sang for their Christmas Concert at school. There are 12 classes of Kindergartener's and Grade One kids, so they had their own concert. The gym was so packed and I could not see either girl the entire concert, especially because some parents feel the need to stand up and watch their children, even though they are in the middle of the audience. It was very frustrating.

The concert itself was great. They do a little drama and the rest of the children sing songs throughout. So every child was involved the entire concert and it was less than one hour long!

Zoe has been singing this song for weeks. She can be rather dramatic!

After, singing this song for me, she put her hand on her heart and said: "Oh my, I am starting to get a little bit nervous..."

She did great (as did Lilah) even though she was jumping up and down the stands by the end.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Photos

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In the chaos that this time of year can bring... I am trying to remain calm. There are numerous Christmas concerts, parties, shopping to do, baking to do, wrapping to do and I often find myself getting way too anxious (I am starting to see that maybe I can relate to Lilah more than I thought!). It amazes me, that some people just go with the flow and leave things to the last minute and yet it still all comes together somehow.

“I don't really want more time; I just want enough time. Time to breathe deep and time to see real and time to laugh long, time to give You glory and rest deep and sing joy and just enough time in a day not to feel hounded, pressed, driven, or wild to get it all done-yesterday.”
― Ann Voskamp

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Teens

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This year, Josiah has grown taller than me. He is growing into an amazing young man. It is kind of crazy watching your children grow up. But especially the boys. Somehow, I always expect that a daughter will need her mother. But boys, they become men. It somehow switches to him needing me and then him wanting to protect and take care of me. I guess this is how it is meant to be. It is pretty awesome to see.

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Josiah has a great group of friends this year in his new school. And it is interesting to see him walking home with a girl on his arm! We drive by, roll down the windows and crank up the One Direction music, just to embarrass him a little.

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And then there is Abby, who wasn't really in a Christmas photo taking kind of mood. She is in grade 12 this year. She has applied to University. She is stressed and exhausted, but pushes herself hard. She loves to be involved... in leadership, in sports, academically.

It makes me a little sad, even though she will likely be home for a few more years... this feels like the last year she will be my little girl.

But I am excited for this time in her life. It is her time.

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Getting ready for Christmas

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The stockings are hung. This year I got the idea from Pinterest to use a curtain rod to hang our stockings. The rod sits in a couple of stocking holders, but holds all nine stockings perfectly.

And our family elf "Buddy" showed up.

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He is quite the mischievous little elf. (Thank goodness for Pinterest... this mama isn't very creative).

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We have two trees up since we will be hosting Christmas at our house this year.

Not sure why Zoe was laughing while "fluffing" the tree... but she was the only child who wanted to help.

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Silas wasn't sure what to think about the whole Christmas tree thing... he sat and watched, hung a few ornaments and acted excited... just because all his siblings were! He figures this Christmas thing must be something good.

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I will also be hanging one of these on our front door on Christmas Eve.

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Dear Santa, This magic key works just for you, Please open the door and come on through. Thank you for coming to our house tonight. We are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Thank you Santa for the gifts you bring. Thank you Lord for everything.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Oh, the things they say!

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While driving in the car listening to the radio and a song by Hedley came on.

Lilah: Mom, how do you kiss someone inside out?

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Zoe was walking around the house one evening in pj's and sunglasses.

Abby: Zoe, why are you wearing your sunglasses at night?

Zoe: Because I am beautiful!

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Zoe brings me the phone one day after school.

Zoe: Mommy, can you call my best friend so she can come over?

Me: What is her phone number?

Zoe: 1 2 3 4 5

Me: What is her name?

Zoe: Lahore

Me: Lahore?

Zoe: No! Lahore!

Me: Lahore?

Zoe: No! Lahore!

(Repeat 5x)

Me: Okay, what does she look like?

Zoe: She has a chocolate face.

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*I have had to disable anonymous comments on my blog due to an enormous amount of spam emails coming through to my account.