Saturday, December 22, 2007


It's been a month of milestones here. Noelle turned 15 which means we are now in driving mode with her (so far only in the empty church parking lot). She is going to wait to get her learner's permit because she has a lot of lines to study for in Dorothy (by the way, her performance date has been moved to February 21st.) She also has some big parts to practice for with winter guard so studying for a driving test is being put on hold. We had a family birthday party for her on her birthday (camera date must be off). Kayla made her a cake and decorated it too. It was yummy. We bought her ticktes to see "Wicked" the musical (take off from the Wizard of Oz) which Kayla, Noelle and I will see after Christmas in St. Louis.

Joel is officially finished with high school. He will walk in May, but he is done with classes. He was pretty much ready to be out of the high school scene. Everyone keeps asking me how I'm doing with this and I'm just choosing not to think about it! I really just had him the other day. Time goes way too fast. We took a "last day of school" picture to match his first day of school picture. He's grown a little! (The object in his hand is a pinata for a Spanish class project. It's a Fed Ex box.)

After MANY months of beating my head against the wall on potty training Ryan I downloaded a book for $7.00 off of the internet. It has a money back guarantee so what do I have to lose, right? Little man has just been REFUSING to learn this valuable skill and since he will be 4 soon I am pushing very hard for this. Most people start before kids are two years old, but because of his trauma before we got him he just hasn't been ready so we gave him an extra year. We started when he turned three and we're still starting. UGH! How can I successfully potty train three kids (thank goodness Angie came potty trained) and not get this one? This milestone WILL be past soon, I hope.

We want to wish all of you a very merry Christmas! With all that's going on here I have yet to get a Christmas letter out. (I're all surprised!) It will come...don't worry. It just might look a little odd getting a Christmas card in the spring (just kidding!)

Until the next Grand Adventure,

Jim, Yvonne and kids

Saturday, December 15, 2007

We Have Power!

Hello friends and family,

As many of you know we had an ice storm hit our area last Saturday night and we were without power from Sunday morning at 6:30 until Wednesday afternoon around 2:00. It was a grand adventure to say the least. The adventure was fun for about 12 hours and then we were ready for power.

Joel and Ryan keeping warm --->

We hung out in the living room to stay warm and we cooked out on the grill. Now, I'm not talking steak or wonderful grilled food. One meal we put fish sticks in aluminum foil and warmed then on the grill. They tasted good at the time, but I'm not really hungry for them now. Every morning Jim would go out and boil water on the side burner for oatmeal, hot tea and cocoa. We have a thermos that we'd keep the water in. Then we'd huddle in the living room until we needed to make lunch and so on it went. We ended up losing all of our freezer in the kitchen plus the perishables in the frig. What a mess! For more pictures please see this post on my stamping blog.

Paris has gone to be with his new foster family and we pray it goes well for him. It was hard to say goodbye. We're going to be putting up bunk beds in Noelle's room to be better equipped to take kids for emergency care.

Jim and I were able to get away to Branson for some R and R and Christmas shopping at the end of the week (we got back this afternoon). The trip did involve a time share presentation by a very windy lady but we survived. Don't worry family, we will never see it as something we will buy into. We go for the freebies! Branson just recently opened up a Titanic museum (with the building in the shape of part of the Titanic). We got "free" tickets to go and it was very facinating. At one point they had an interactive display where you stuck your hand in 28 degree water to see how long you could handle it. I lasted all of 15 seconds. I do not know how the survivors did it.

Until the next Grand Adventure (that we hope involves electricity and heat),

Jim, Yvonne and all the kiddos

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Catching Up

Lots has happened since I last wrote. Here's a little recap.
**Noelle made the lead as Dorothy in the Jr. High school musical Wizard of Oz. We are all very excited for her. Her performance will be February 22nd if any of you are able to come.

**Both Kayla and Noelle made it into their respective Winter Guard squads with positions on rifles.

**We travelled to Holyoke and saw Jim's family for Thanksgiving. We spent the day eating, talking and playing games. We saw Yvonne's family on the way home for a brief overnight visit.

**When we travel it takes us two vehicles. Joel got some good experience driving in snow on the way home. God was good to keep both cars on the road.

**We set up the Christmas tree.

**Joel has wrestled 7 times and won 4 of those matches.

**Kayla and Noelle both marched in the Christmas parade. We made the mistake of being right at the begining of the parade. It was like another dumping of Halloween candy! Wish I had photos, but it was dark and they were moving. I tried, but it didn't work.

**We are doing emergency respite care for foster kids and currently have a 4th grade boy named Paris. He will be with us for a week all together. I don't know if you realize how lucky you are to have family. He has really been touched by the fact that we all sit down and eat supper together. My heart breaks for these kids!

**Ryan's Sunday School department did their Christmas program last Sunday. The photo of him was while they were still getting the kids all lined up. He sat on the teacher's lap. Oh well, maybe next year...

So, in kind of order of are some photos from our past couple of weeks.

And the Grand Adventure continues.....

Jim, Yvonne and kids