Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas 2010

I guess a few people noticed that my blog went private for a few days. Every now it is nice to have one's privacy and I appreciated one commenter who said that no explanation was necessary. Just know that we are all well and the blog is open again. I did enjoy hearing from people knowing we were missed. :) One person emailed me and said she had been logging in to check on Zoya's progress, and felt like she was watching The Truman Show, rooting for him as he escaped the bubble. haha. That comment inspired me to rent the movie for family movie night last night. What a great movie. Totally worth watching a second time, twelve years later, with the family.

BTW, Zoya is wonderful! The G-tube is my new best friend and definitely a help in the family bonding department. I haven't been terribly consistent about weighing her but I know she has gained at least a pound and a half since we came home from the hospital. That is my girl!

We had an absolutely wonderful Christmas! Here are a couple of random photos from the last couple of weeks (Gosh it's been a while since I've blogged!)

I love that my almost-teenager, who is starting to get peach fuzz on his upper lip, is still a good sport about sitting on Santa Claus' lap for this mama to take his picture.

Man that is a lot of Christmas stockings!

The absolute highlight of our Christmas was getting to spend a few days with our dearest friends, the Koens. They came all the way from South Africa and we were so honored to have them all to ourselves  at Christmas time. What a blessing to celebrate with them and their sweet family. We love them dearly and feel their love as well.

As we anticipated, Joseph was far more fascinated with the wrapping paper than the little red motorcyle we bought him. We hoped that this gift would stop him from wearing the motorcycle helmet around the house, tugging on shirt sleeves and pant legs, asking for rides on the dirt bike.

As you can see, our plan didn't work!

Liesel is the most intuitive and observant person in the family, and by far the best gift giver. She puts a lot of thought into gift-giving (unlike me who would rather wax my own eyebrows than go Christmas shopping), and even invested her own money in making a lot of little Christmas wishes come true. Who knew a purple unicorn pillow pet would bring such joy to a little 6 year old sister!

 Zoya was all smiles on Christmas morning. I learned through her broken English and speech impediment that Santa Claus did indeed come visit the orphanage, but he didn't bring toys, only lots and lots of candy. Every time someone asked her what she wanted for Christmas, her answer every time was "candy". She got much more than candy this year and it was so fun to see her enjoying her first Christmas with a real family. Precious.

More photos from our time with the Koens...

The boys got a cricket set from South Africa, and they had a blast learning to play cricket together. It really does look like a lot of fun although with all the sweets I ate over the holidays I couldn't imagine getting out there and playing with them!

Zoya absolutely LOVED Tina, and cried when she left. I think Tina needs a little girl of her own. Thank goodness for Skype to keep these two connected, because Zoya will certainly go through Tina-withdrawals otherwise.

The boys got some fake rubber cockroaches in their Christmas stockings. Let me just say there is nothing more fun than hiding a fake roach under your guest's pumpkin crisp, and watching their expression when they find it.

Thankful for good-natured friends that can take a joke. Of course I should have known that Frikkie would use it as an opportunity to gross us all out, telling us he eats giant cockroaches all the time in Africa. Check out Hope's expression. Ha!

Hoping you all had a wonderful Christmas celebrating our Saviour.  Wishing you all a Happy 2011 as well. We truly have been so blessed.


MoonDog said...

happy to see you. ahhhh! that roach looks so real! and just like the big ones in Ukraine!!!

Charissa said...

Hahaha, Tammy! Actually the ones I remember were little baby ones, freshly hatched from their eggs. Gross.

Anonymous said...

glad you all are ok missed you and worried too. i have grown to love your little ones so much.
and enjoy donating to your little causes occasionally. rita wages

Amy L said...

Happy New Year!:)
Loved your photos and so happy to hear that Zoya is doing well.:)

ErinL said...

Looks like a great Christmas! Do you think I could convince you to send me the recipe for pumpkin crisp?!

Justine said...

Great pictures! It looks like you had such fun!

Charissa said...

Here ya go Erin....
The only thing I did differently was I used a white cake mix instead, only because that is what was in my pantry. Oh, and of course the roaches too!

Melissa said...

LOVE YOUR FAMILY! Love the cockroach...darling boys : )

Blessings and Happy New Year!


csmith said...

While I truly respect your right to choose privacy, I am SO glad you're back. I was really sad at the thought that I might never know how your kids are doing. My kids and I LOVE checking in on your family. I was worried that you might have gotten some negative comments that forced you to go private. I'm relieved that's not the case. Good luck and prayers from the Smiths.

Anonymous said...

Hi kids,
I loved the photos, and can totally visualize the fun everyone had with cockroaches!! I'm sure your friends were blessed by your family as much as you were blessed by theirs. SO glad to hear the good report on Zoya. Every pound on that little girl is a blessing.
Hugs to you all, Aunt Sharon

Leslie said...

So good to have you back blogging :) looks like a wonderful Christmas!

mom2four said...

See how terrible I am, I always read your blog on my blogger dashboard so I was missing your posts but thought that you were just busy with the holidays, had no idea you'd gone private!

Deb D. said...

Glad to see you back!

Chelley said...

you were missed... From Australia..

JennyH said...

Ha-Ha! About the cockroach! Love the photos. Happy New Year!

PS- glad you're not private anymore, I just love reading about your family.

Natalie said...

Happy new year! Glad you didn't need to go private, but just wanted to, and glad to see you back too!

carol said...

The christmas pictures are great. Zoya looks good. Glad she is starting to gain weight. All of your kids are so precious. I to understand the right to privacy. Some days we all need it. Glad your back!!!!!
carol n

Frikkie said...

We had the best time with you guys and this sure will be a Christmas to be remembered for a long time. Your family is a perfect example of the love of Christ in action. We were blessed to spend Christmas with you and it was priceless to see Joseph and Zoya open their presents.

Hopefully we can have the Urbans in Africa for a future Christmas. We love you guys.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you're back, I just love you're family and would miss seeing them growup. Zoya and Hope look precious together. You are special people.


Holly said...

I was just checking in on your newest treasures as I haven't been by for awhile. I have to confess that even though I knew the roach was rubber I still almost had heart failure seeing it on the plate. Bleeech!
Naughty friend!!!
Your children are precious and your Zoya has a special place in my heart. So glad she is finally home...for all the rest of her birthdays.
Holly from Purpose Driven Family