Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving, Take 2

Thanksgiving came and went. We had a very low-key dinner at Grandma Paulette & Grandpa Doug's house with Grandma Gates and Aunt MarySue. After dinner we played Scattergories and Lincoln was in charge of the timer and letter ball.
Last evening we had a second Thanksgiving Dinner with our good friends, Josh & Maria Tollefson. They drove in from Johnstown, PA, for the weekend and we had a great evening, especially after the kids went to bed!

Jenn is off at work this morning and Lincoln, Lydia and I are playing with things around the kitchen while I finish straightening up from lots of cooking and food prep.

It's also been wall-to-wall Christmas music. While we'll never be as Christmas-Crazed as our friends Zach & Kristen (this is two mentions in one week!), we're doing our best to build anticipation with Lincoln. Wait until he sees his Advent calendar next week!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! We have so much for which to be thankful. Particularly, when Jenn and I think about what Henry is doing today, it's awfully humbling to think about our circumstances. This is the first Thanksgiving where Lincoln can start to understand just what Thanksgiving means. This has been a neat series of conversations with him.

Certainly a portion of our thoughts are with Auntie Em & Uncle Jeremy. They went to New York City for their anniversary trip to take in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Hopefully they'll see more balloons than OWS-Loonies.
Yesterday was an odd Wednesday in that Jenn worked (she was off on Monday). Also, Kristen worked at CFVC, which is unusual. The reason why I lead with this is because the Myers have been into Christmas 2011 for some time now, and she had it set to Christmas music in the treatment room. I've been purposely avoiding all the Christmas stuff until after Thanksgiving because I don't want to be sick of it all by the time mid-December rolls around. But I started getting into the songs, and along the same lines, I was really getting into the Christmas spirit. This, combined with Lincoln's coming excitement about the season, is going to make for a fun Christmas.

And now Jenn's preparing some Thanksgiving Dinner food in the kitchen and listening to Christmas music. I glad I didn't hear Christmas music in the treatment room in October!
Last evening I met up with my high school buddies at Fischer's. In attendance was Speas, Flaker, Jeff, Lyle, Bob & Bish. Blasts from the past, I tell you. It was good to catch up a little bit. Life has definitely pulled us in different directions, but our friendship is still there. We recalled some funny memories, and that made for a good time.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chili Cook-Off 2011

This was a big weekend. Jenn and I had our Community Group on Friday evening, so the kids went to Grandpa and Grandma Gates' house. And with our 4th Annual Gates-Wingader Chili Cook-Off, the kids were going to be at their grandparents' house on Saturday evening, so Lincoln just stayed the night on Friday and woke up early with Grandpa for a Leesville Lake Day.

Grandma Gates said that in the morning, she wasn't sure who was more excited about the day, Grandpa Doug or Lincoln! After breakfast on Saturday, they went to Bierce's Hardware to get some gravel for the driveway. Lincoln got to watch the frontloader dump the gravel in Grandpa's truck! Then they went to the cabin, did odd jobs, spread the gravel, putzed, etc., etc. He came back pretty tired.

The Chili Cook-Off was another fun evening. Most of the folks who came this year were friends of the Wingaders, which was kind of cool, because while Jenn and I are friends with Patrick and Joy, our circles of friends don't cross much. This party is always a fun mix of people, and this year was no different. There were eight chili entries, along with some great corn bread and fantastic deserts. This year was also no different because Jenn won the Cook-Off for a second straight year. The choice this year was a White Chicken Chili, and it won with several points to spare. Patrick's chili, though it didn't place in the top three, was in my personal top 2, as it was with Jenn's. Sometime we'll have to have a chili party just between the two of us families because we each make some awesome chili!
I haven't posted a swimming update in a while. Lincoln is doing well. Mr. Tyler is still his teacher, and he's becoming more comfortable in the water. Though he's not ready to swim on his own yet, we're very pleased with how he's doing with his lessons.
Lydia has been putting more and more steps together. She still prefers to crawl when she needs to get from here to there, but the steps are coming better.

We're still waiting on U.S. Immigration for the next step in Henry's adoption. As we're butting up against Thanksgiving and Christmas in America and Chinese New Year in China, we'd really like to get this document so we can ship our information out to China. This is part of the waiting game.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sous Chef

Lydia put six steps together last evening. Wow.
Lincoln helped Mommy make dinner yesterday, and he was quite the good sous chef. They made a new lasagna recipe, and Lincoln mixed up the sauce, laid out the noodles and spread the cheese. Lydia searched for containers to hold the leftovers.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Henry's Birthday

It's been a period of busy-ness with lots of little things. Not lost in the mix, though, was our remembrance of Henry's birthday on the 9th. Between his birthday, and the upcoming holidays, it's a very different feeling that Jenn and I have. We certainly want to enjoy these times, but it's a bit hard knowing he's living one day to the next in his orphanage.
Lincoln watched the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving DVD a couple of days ago. The following scene, Little Birdie, makes Lincoln laugh out loud.
Lydia's been taking one step lately. She hasn't put two together, but when she's motivated enough, she'll take that step. She's been standing confidently for about a week now. It's only a matter of time.