Friday, November 28, 2008

My Thanksgiving Blessings!

I was so excited to spend Thanksgiving this year with my son. We were making our travel arrangements at this time last year knowing we were going to get on a plane in December to go get him. I wanted to make sure that I took time this Thanksgiving to just reflect on what God has done for me, and every time I did I got chills that came over me. First of all I'm thankful that I was raised in a wonderful Christian home. If it wasn't for that, I may not know the Lord like I do today. I'm also thankful for my wonderful husband who shares my values and is my best friend and a wonderful father. I'm thankful for my three loving, healthy children. They are all unique in their own ways and for that it makes life exciting! I'm also thankful that we got our Andrew home so quickly, and that he has overcome all his health issues along with adoption issues. He is doing better then I could have ever imagined and he has become the perfect fit for our family! It's amazing how God has hand chosen our children long before we know them and once they are there with you, you wonder how you could ever of worried about it. Andrew was hand chosen by God and I'm thankful he brought him to us. If there is anyone who is reading this and doesn't have a personal relationship with God, especially those who are going through an adoption, I encourage you to do that. Without God I could of never made it through the challenges in my life, especially through our adoption process. We saw God's handy work in every step of our adoption, and I wouldn't trade that for anything!

We visited my mother and father in law last week, and me and my mom realized that we had similar hats that we both just bought! You have great taste mom!

Me and Andrew got to have a Thanksgiving feast at Megan's school on Tuesday. My mom works at the school so she also joined us for some good fixings.

We had Thanksgiving at my mom and dad's house on Wednesday so that we all wouldn't have to eat turkey twice in one day! What a great meal it was mom!

Andrew is getting the hang of this Thanksgiving thing!

Andrew and Alisha with their cousin Kylee!

We had Thanksgiving at our house this year with Cain's family. Here is a family picture on Andrew's first Thanksgiving!

The Feast!

My three big blessings!

This is how we burn off the thanksgiving fixens!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fun in the Snow!

Only in Ohio will it be 70 degrees one week and snowing the next week. We never know what is around the corner when it comes to our weather, but it makes it eventful. Andrew has enjoyed the snow. Last year he just screamed when we took him in the snow, so it is fun to see him happy with the fun white stuff coming down. Below is pictures of today. Me and the kids had a blast, aside of Alisha wiping Andrew out on the sled. It's crazy to think that the kids were playing in the leaves last week, and now the leaves are buried under the snow. I can't wait for many more days to play in the snow!

Andrew is bundled and ready to go play in the snow!

Here we are with fall decorations on our porch and snow on the bushes at the same time.

It doesn't take much snow to bury Andrew's legs!

Andrew couldn't quite figure out the snow in his hands!

My three kids!

This sled was impossible to pull!

Me and my guy!!!

I think we got this wrong!

There that's better!

Our attempt at snow angels! Andrew didn't quite get the point of laying in the snow and he would roll right over and get up.

Andrew is doing new things everyday. He has learned how to get on the chair in our family room. I really have to keep an eye on him now because he doesn't tend to sit on the chair, but instead he likes to jump around on it!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fun Family Time!

Life here at the Stahnke house has been very calm and I like it. Alisha's volleyball season is over, and she is now looking for a job but for now she is home almost every evening and I like it. We are having family dinners every night and Andrew just makes us laugh our butts off.

Andrew had his follow up appointment with the urologist last week, and he said that everything is fine and Andrew has healed nicely from surgery. We also have a follow up with the ENT in two weeks, and they will be doing another hearing test. I pray that his hearing will be better now. We have been still doing speech therapy with Andrew, and we haven't seen much improvement yet. I'm hoping that with the tubes in his ears now that we will see some improvement with his speech. He understands everything I say, and he is learning new signs all the time to help with his communication. We also have Help Me Grow come out every month (this is a free program in Ohio) and they check Andrew's development to make sure that he isn't falling behind in any other area. I suggest this for any other adopted parents out there that have a program like this in there area. The great thing with Help Me Grow is when Andrew's speech was falling behind they were aware of it right away, and they had his speech more thoroughly tested. At that point we qualified for his speech therapy also a free program through the state.

This is a lake that is walking distance from our house!

Fun at the park!

My three kids acting crazy!

Oh, feel the love!

Grandpa will be proud Andrew!

Kim, I finally got batteries in this toy that I got from the kiddie sale, and Andrew loves it!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Alisha's Volleyball Highlights!

Our Alisha's volleyball season is now over, but I waited till the end of the season to post all the pictures. I made the slideshow awhile ago and it only includes her first few games, but it was a great season and she did great! Alisha played for JV and Varsity both this year. It made for a long evening at times. I made a shirt for Andrew that said "Alisha's littlest fan" and one for Megan that said "Alisha's biggest fan". They wore their shirts to most of the games. Andrew did pretty good going to the games, but I fear for next year, because he seems less interested in sitting in his stroller everyday. Alisha's varsity team was only one game away from state, and it was a close game. This was the farthest that any volleyball team has gone in the history of her school, so it was something to be proud of. They will have two banners hanging in the school that my daughter can say she had something to do with. I can't wait to see what next year will bring!

Disclamer: I didn't take all of the pictures in this video. A father to one of the girls on my daughters team has made it a hobby to get great shots of the girls! I'm thankful for all the great pictures that he has captured!

My friend Mary and her girls made it to the Breast Cancer Awarness Volleyball Game.

Our friends Kim and Tim and their son Matthew also came to one of Megan's games. Here is a picture of Andrew with his friend Matthew walking the halls trying to pass time!

We want snacks!

This is after the girls won districts!

One proud little brother!

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Letter to my Alisha on her Birthday!

Dear Alisha,

I can't believe it has been 17 years already. It seems just like just yesterday you were putting me through over 13 hours of labor, but you were worth it. We have been through so much together, and I know there will be more to come. You are maturing into a young women, and with that comes a lot of responsibility. My prayer for you every day is that you put God first in your life, and that you make godly decisions in all you do! I also pray for God to bring you a wonderful godly spouse one day that will love you unconditionally, and will make you happy! It amazes me everyday what our God did for us on the cross, and it also amazes me of what he continues to do everyday for me, and you, and our family. God's handy work is all around us. I'm proud of you for serving through your music in church, and I hope that you will always continue to find a way to do that. You are very intelligent, and I'm proud of you for putting the wonderful mind that God gave you to use! I know post-secondary (college) has been tough this year, but hang in there, I know you can do it! You are also a very beautiful young lady, and your smile and laugh is so wonderful to have around the house. I will truly miss that when you move out one day. You are also a wonderful athlete. I think you can beat me at everything now. Alisha, you are a wonderful daughter, and I'm proud of you for all the good choices you have made. Continue to stay out of trouble, keep God closes to you, and always be careful of the influences in your life. Your an amazing daughter and God has blessed me, by putting you into my life.

I will always love you,


I'm sorry Alisha, these pictures only go back to when your sister was born. One day I will find the rest of my negatives that are stashed in the basement somewhere!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Our Family Halloween Fun!

Family Update:
What a difference a day makes! Andrew was feeling much more himself yesterday. He was still having some pain but overall he is doing great. He does having some healing to do however, and I pray everything heals the way it is suppose to. We have an appointment with the urologist next week, and I hope that his reports will be good! Megan is feeling much better as well. She must of gotten some kind of 24 hour flu bug. Alisha however wasn't feeling to good yesterday, but now she is also feeling better. We did make it trick or treating yesterday, since Andrew was feeling better! He just sat in the wagon and held on to one piece of candy the entire time, watching others fill his bucket. We did stop for a visit to Grandma's, and got pictures with some of his cousins. Then we went by my brothers house for a quick visit to see my nieces. It was a great first Halloween with Andrew! After trick or treat, Cain stayed home with Andrew, and Megan and I went to a Halloween party. It was nice to have a girls night out! On a different note Alisha had her last Regional game tonight and they lost. It was a close game the entire time, and we were disappointed that they were just a few points away from States, but it was a great season and we still have one more year, so the games are not over yet! Alisha we were so proud of you for the progress you have made in the last years! You are our number one athlete!
I decided to get Andrew's pictures done in his costume to help capture his first Halloween as a monkey. This is our last child and I want to capture all of Andrew's first as much as possible.

We decided to take the kids to boo at the zoo last Sunday, just in case Andrew wasn't up for trick or treat after his surgery! Here are the pictures from that fun evening.

I told Andrew to put his candy away that he was holding, and he went to hide it behind his back! He is already being sneaky!

We didn't know that uncle Ryan was going to be at boo at the zoo also!

We thought Andrew would love the train and he started off very happy!

As soon as the train started to move away, Andrew started to panic. I don't think he liked the feeling that he was leaving us even though he was with his sister. We won't do that again!

This is Megan's favorite part of carving the pumpkin! We tried to get Andrew to put his hand in there, but he would have nothing to do with it.

Wow! Alisha really gets into this!

Here is Andrew doing his monkey! He would do it better for me but I'm never quick enough with the camera!
This was the fun party me and Megan went to. There was a DJ and the kids had a blast. I was caught jumping around with the girls a few times myself!

This is me with some of my girls from our Bible Study. They have all been such a blessing to me!