Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spring Break and Easter

Aidan was on Spring Break all last week--remember when we used to call it Easter Break?

Anyway, I love that Loudoun County always has Spring Break the week just prior to Easter.  It makes sense with all of the Holy Week activities and so many people end up going away to visit family.

This year, Pat and Aidan went to a friends house a few hours south of us for a fishing and hunting trip.  By all accounts, the boys had a blast.  They did a lot of fishing, since the weather was nice. . .

 And they did a little hunting too.  However, this is what Aidan was actually doing during the hunting time. . .

Yes, that's my baby all camoflaged out.  Sound asleep!!!  Those early mornings are tough on my little man!

They also made it over to the most favorite man store in my house:  Bass Pro Shop!  Can't you hear Tim Allen grunting and hooting???
I actually like this store too.  It has a wonderful selection of canning things as well as clothing for ladies. . .and lots of hunting and fishing things.  It's almost an amusement park because of all the stuffed animals, fish ponds with large live fish, and a shooting gallery too.  And the restaurant!  We stopped there last year on the way back from the beach just to have lunch!

Anyhoo. . .They boys were gone from Sunday until Wednesday evening.  While they were gone, I enjoyed this sight:
Our beautiful Cherry Tree in full bloom!!!  It's lost its petals now, but it is leafing out nicely.
And I cleaned our several cabinets in the kitchen and all of them in the Laundry Room, where I found these. . .
Was Aidan's foot really that small???  Wow.

And why do we have so many vases????  And so many coffee mugs???  And why were we keeping so much stuff???  Our trash was pretty full last week.

My Kitchen is almost ready now for the new granite countertops.  They will be installed on May 3rd.  Can't wait!

On Thursday of last week, the boys got up and decided to go to a friends closer to home to do a little fishing and hunting.  Fishing carried the day, though!
I was off on Friday and was able to get all the grocery shopping done for Easter dinner.  Yeah!  AND Aidan had two play dates!  One was right up the street with a bunch of neighbor kids.  They died Easter eggs and did an Egg hunt.  How fun!!

These neighbors are new to our neighborhood and seem really really nice.  And they are close enough that I feel comfortable with Aidan running up there on his own.

The other play date was at our house with one of Aidan's school friends.  Evan is a cutie and I really like his parents.  They are also close, just the next street over.  However, you have to go out onto the main road in order to get to their street.  So, no just running over there!  Pat and I did wonder, though, how long it would take before Aidan is asking to ride his bike over there.  : /

Friday evening, we dyed our own Easter Eggs.  This is always a fun time for us.

On Saturday, I got the house completely ready for Easter, and did some of the prep work for Easter dinner.
And I made this awesome center piece for the table!!
I really loved how it turned out.  It is jelly beans on the bottom with peeps lining each side of the outside vase.  There is a smaller vase inside that holds the flowers.  And the idea can be carried into other holidays as well!  So fun!  And Aidan helped. . .

Easter was beautiful, if a bit cool.  Aidan was bored waiting for everyone to come over so we went for a walk/bike ride
And then we just hung out on the porch waiting for everyone to arrive. . .so we could do our Easter Egg hunt. . .which one egg did go missing again.  I'm not sure who got it, Maggie or Mosby.  But, one was definitely gone.

The week, and especially Easter, left me feeling happy and hopeful that we're truly on to Spring and a new life.  It was a nice week off from all the hecticness. . .that is, we were off from everything except hockey!  Of course. . .

Have a great rest of the week!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Citizenship Day

It's finally Spring and it is also Spring Break.  And with that comes beautiful flowers, warmer weather and a little much needed break from the hectic schedule.  And not a moment too soon, either!

We were beginning to wonder if Spring was ever going to really get here.  I had gone so far as to say out loud that I thought it might still be March, since the Forsythia is just now blooming. . .

Ah, but Spring is really here.  And the Cherry Blossoms have bloomed into all their gorgeousness!!!

And since today marks the 6th Anniversary of Aidan becoming a US Citizen, I had him climb our Cherry Tree to sit amongst the petals for a couple of American boy pictures.

Yes, flip flops are totally appropriate for tree climbing!!  : )

And hanging upside down is totally normal!!  : )

Out tree without the boy ornament.

Not long after these pictures were taken, Pat and our boy took off for a few days of fishing and turkey hunting.  No, Aidan will not hunt turkey.  He will, however, and much to my chagrin, shoot a gun.  Under strict supervision of his dad.  Who sent me a picture of said boy with gun as soon as they got to where they were going. . .

No, it doesn't make me very happy.  But, he's going to hunt with his dad and at least Pat is teaching him all the right and responsible things of gun handling.  Turns out he's a pretty good shot, now that he is shooting from the left!  Left eye dominant.

Back at the Harrison Manse, I got the beds made, floors re-cleaned, and laundry all caught up and then headed out to the porch to sit.  Not really planning to do anything else with my day either.  The dogs, and even the cat!, joined me. .  .In fact, Maggie decided to really get into relaxation mode!

Please don't ask me what she has done to the face of that stuffed animal!  I try very hard not to think about it. . .

And so, I have now finalized, during said porch relaxing time, my Easter menu and will send it off to my in-laws.  If only Easter could be this nice!!!

One final item to report, we decided, re-decided actually, to go back to the plan of redoing the kitchen counter tops.  Yesterday we ordered our granite and new sink.  They will be installed on the 26th!!  Woo Hoo!!!  It won't be in time for Easter, but that's okay.  I have so much to move out of the kitchen and will only have a week to do it!!  And paint, too!!!  Yikes.  But, so awesome.  And here is that granite. . .
And there you have it.  Time to move on to Spring!!!  New Things!!  And more good times. . .Except, it will be awfully quiet here without my boys for the next few days. . .

Have a blessed Palm Sunday and a wonderful week!

PS.  I just love having the windows open and hearing the children's shrieks of laughter and joy at playing freely outside. . .

Friday, April 4, 2014

Wonderfully Sparkling Character

Six years ago today, I woke up so excited!  It was a day that I had been waiting and waiting for.  It still felt like a dream, but the day had finally come.  After packing up our room and moving to a larger suite with a crib, we hung around our hotel, took a walk around town, hung around the hotel some more and finally. . .it was time to go.  Time to go and pick up our precious boy and become a family forever!

Yes, now that six years have passed, it's hard to believe he was this shy little guy who broke out into an amazingly active little boy as soon as he was brought out of that Baby Home. . .And by the time we got to Moscow with him a few days later, we knew he had a wonderfully sparkling character and was a fun loving, curious and joyous little boy. . .

And now, six years later, he's growing into a handsome little man who still has a wonderfully sparkling character and is still fun loving, curious, joyous and also super smart!

Last night was the Spring Concert at Aidan's school.  So fun!  The Chorus, comprised of fourth and fifth graders hold this every year and the entire Second Grade does the opening act.  Each of the Second Grade classes had something to do for each song.  Aidan's class used little noise maker things to accompany the opening and closing numbers: Hola! and Adios!  So cute!

I did film the closing number. . .  : )
And now, the only other thing I can say about my little guy that I didn't know about him six years ago. . .

He is absolutely obsessed with hockey!!!

Total Hockey has a small rink the kids can practice shooting the puck with selected sticks. . .Aidan LOVES going there. . .

Have a great weekend!!!  Yeah Spring!!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Growing Up and Moving on Up

We've had a pretty busy and big week this past week.

Aidan's Fall/Winter Travel Hockey Team had their End of Season party last Saturday which was a lot of fun.  We found out that night that the coach for the Spring Team and for the 2006 Xtreme team would be someone we had not worked with before--added to the pre-tryout jitters, I tell you!  We were told he was a great coach and that he would do wonderful with our boys.  Okay then.

Tuesday and Wednesday were the tryouts.  Aidan did really really well.  Honestly, he looked really strong and powerful.  I jokingly told Pat that he was channeling Ovie!  And then later heard one of the parents tell someone else that Aidan looked like Ovie. . .LOL!!!

Aidan was selected for the team.  I was not surprised, but it is always really good to get the confirmation.  20 kids were selected: 18 skaters and 2 Goalies.  There will be 2 teams of 9 skaters and 1 Goalie each, A1 and A2.  Pretty sure Aidan will be on the A1 team.  When I emailed the coach to confirm Aidan's acceptance of his spot, the coach responded back within 5 minutes and told me he thought Aidan had done a fantastic job at tryouts and that he was impressed!  Cool!

The first practice will be Tuesday. . .

The other really big news from Tuesday was that Aidan passed his last Math Facts test for Second Grade.  He, along with 5 other kids in Second Grade, have moved on to multiplication tables!  Whoa!

Third Quarter ended on Friday and the kids will be off on Monday. . .so will I!!  They had an 80's dance on Friday.  Aidan insisted on going and we had to go with him.  Pretty funny to see these children dancing to 80's music.  Of course, the ones we were watching were Second Graders so they didn't dance that long. . .they began to chase eachother around the Gym. . .yes, there were five little girls chasing my baby.  Hmmmm. . .I wonder if this is a preview of the future.

And my baby. . .I think my baby isn't a baby anymore!  He told me last week that he hates the cute PJ's I bought him from Gymboree.  : (  They were adorable on him, too!  But, he is outgrowing them, so I took him to get some summery PJ's. . .I did a bad mommy thing and pointed at some with Dinosaurs on them. . .NO!  MAMA!  Ewww!!!!!  sorry. . .he did find some he liked.  He looks like a pre-teen now getting ready for bed.  How did that happen????  And all the cute ones with the cuffs around the wrists and ankles will be set aside for a yardsale.

And finally, although I think he is insane, Pat agreed with a bunch of other hockey dads to sign up for this adult learn to play class.  It begins in a week so last weekend, he went and got all of his gear at Total Hockey.  Whoa!  Well, hopefully no one will get hurt.  Coach Bucky, one of Aidan's first coaches, is heading up the class and he promised me Pat would be okay.  Alright then.

Of course, Aidan had to try on Pat's gear!!!  So funny!!
Boom!  Boom!  Firepower!!!
That's about it.  March is coming to a close (finally!) and it feels a bit like Spring (finally!!).  Although the sky is grey today and it supposed to rain off and on, it is actually in the 50's and it is still early!!  We just might get some porch sitting in. . .

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Six Years To Today's Joy

It's really hard to believe that six years have gone by since Pat and I stood in front of the Judge in the Krasnoyarsk court carefully explaining why we would be good parents for Aidan.  In all honesty, it sometimes seems surreal that we did that.  I know that we did--we have the scars to prove it (see this post  But we did ultimately get our "Da" and that was what counted.  But, the thing is, Aidan fit so seemlessly (or so it seems now!) that it's hard to imagine that he has not always been with us!

And when I think about me, that day, so nervous and careful.  Worrying about every little thing I was saying.  Every nuance of every word.  My facial expressions.  My ability to show just who I was in one short hour (that seemed like an eternity at the time).  And the me on that day would never have imagined what joy this boy has brought to our lives.  It was still a dream.

And still, the me on that day, had hopes and dreams of what our family would become and how we would be.  But, I guess I still didn't have any idea at all that I would be arranging my entire life around my son's hockey schedule!!  Or his school homework!!  Or his play time!!  I didn't really have a concept of what being a mother meant.  I knew on a deep primordial level, but I didn't really know.  I had no idea the joy it would be to have my entire life wrapped up in everything my child is and does. Or about how fun it would be talking over things Aidan is doing or saying with Pat.  I really had no idea how in love with one little boy I would become!

I wish I could see that Judge again and thank her for giving us the chance to be his parents and to tell her what a wonderful human being he is becoming.  And already is.  And to thank Galina, the Director at the baby home and also tell her of the wonderful little man Aidan is.  And Yelena and Serge for all they did to help us make this happen.  I can't tell them personally, but I will send out to the cosmos my heartfelt and joyful thanks.

And now, six years later, I have the pleasure of sitting on the porch (yeah it was warm on Saturday!!!) and listening to Aidan play street hockey on our pipestem with his buddies.  Or having him come up and say, "Mom can I. . .???"  Or going over his homework and seeing so many marks indicating he is Exceeding requirements.

Oh the joy these six years have brought us.

And now, to celebrate, Aidan has his next travel team tryouts tonight.  And tomorrow night.  I did say my entire schedule is arranged around hockey, right?  : )

Have a great week.