Saturday, February 28, 2009

Another Andrew Bragging Session!

Well it's time for another Andrew bragging session. Well as many of you know I have been teaching Andrew how to sign. I was doing this from the first day we got him to help with the communication, and just a few short months later he was signing back to me. Lately I have been losing track of all the words he knows, and he will sign something and I forget what he is telling me. So the other day I started writing down all of the signs that he knows, and I got up to eighty and I'm still counting. The amazing thing is that Andrew is starting to talk more and more everyday and the words he is learning to say are the words he has learned the signs for. I'm convinced that it is helping him learn to talk quicker now that he can hear clearly after his surgery in October. For all you parents out there I encourage you to teach your babies signs. It gives them a way to communicate and helps cut down the frustration level. Andrew amazes me everyday on what he understands and how he uses his signs to communicate with me. There is a great series of movies out there called Signing Time that are great for teaching parents and children some simple signs. You can get them on line at , and I have also found them at my local library. The Baby Signing Time Series is great for the babies to start with. There are also some books that go along with some of the movies and they are also great to look at refresh your memory. I just can't say enough good about teaching signing to your babies.

I do have a disclamer that Andrew doesn't do all his signs exactly right. It is hard for a child his age to hold specific fingers out. That comes later. For now I know what he is saying, and I think he is so smart to not just know the signs but to know what they mean and when to use them.

Andrew also does awesome with knowing where all his body parts are. He is like a sponge and always wants to learn something new. Usually I only have to show him something once or twice and he remembers it.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Spring Fever!

Well I have had enough of the cold and enough of the snow. So I decided to put some new spring colors on my blog, and maybe that might make me feel better. Poor Andrew has been so stir crazy being stuck in the house all day. Infact, he has been getting into some serious trouble, or maybe he is just being a boy and it is catching up with me. So four days ago, Andrew decided to get into my plant and spread the dirt everywhere (he also did this for Cain last week). Then three days ago, he decided to throw Cain's electric razor in the garbage. It took until the next morning for Cain to realize that it was missing. I then remembered he got it out and was pretending to shave. We have a garbage can right beside where Cain's razor goes under the bathroom sink. Needless to say it made it all the way out to the garbage can in the garage. Yuck!! Luckily we realized it before Cain took the garbage to the road that night. Then two days ago, he got into the kitchen garbage and he got coffee grounds out and also decided to spread that everywhere. Then on the same day he decided to play in the cat litter and spread that all over the basement floor. Then he has been climbing up on everything. Yesterday he decided to climb up the front of the high chair, and to get up in there, he was literally standing on the tray of it to climb in. I'm also not sure if I have mentioned that some time ago Andrew threw his toothbrush into the toilet not once but twice. I'm personally tired of buying new toothbrushes. Your probably wondering where I am while he is doing all this stuff. I'm right there but he is just to quick. I feel like I spend most of my days chasing him and getting him out of trouble. I'm just looking forward to him being able to run around in the yard and hopefully that will help cut down on so much energy in the house. So I had a little photo shoot with Andrew to get a few cute pictures of him in his room playing. I have Andrew's post placement report due soon, and I always try to include a picture of him playing in his room. So I have included a few of the pictures I got.

Here is the book I made Andrew and sent to the orphanage before we got him. I'm still so glad we were able to get it back when we were there getting him. He still loves to look at it all most everyday. He loves the voice activated button in it of all of us talking to him.

So as soon as I was done with my little photo shoot, I told Andrew it was time for his bath, and before I could catch up with him, he was getting in the tub with his clothes on.

Alright, that is more like it Andrew!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Be My Valentine!

I asked Andrew if he was my valentine this year, and he said yes. Megan got mad because she said Andrew was going to be her valentine. I decided to share Andrew with Megan since I also had Cain as my valentine. Cain and I decided to go out this year to celebrate the day. I can't remember the last time we went out for valentines, but it was a good evening. Andrew has been a little whinny lately. He is cutting some molars, and I think it has been causing him a lot of pain. Needless to say it was nice to have a quite evening without the kids, however Cain and I find ourselves still talking about the kids most of the time.

In a town near us they have an ice festival the weekend of valentines every year. We decided to take the kids on Sunday to see the sculptures. It was amazing to see what they can make out of a block of ice. Some years it has been to warm and the sculptures melt, but it was plenty cold and that wasn't a problem this year. Here are some pictures of the fun we had.

This was a statue by one of the stores by the ice sculptures. Megan is my little goof ball!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Little of This and a Little of That!

There's not much to post about from the Stahnke household. Everyone has been healthy. The girls have finally had a full week of school, and Andrew and I have been staying busy getting projects done around the house.

Andrew and I have been enjoying watching Megan cheering for basketball. My nephew is on the team, so it is almost a family gathering every home game. Here is a picture with me, Andrew and my mom.

Megan worked real hard on her valentine bag and cards this last weekend!

Andrew kept busy coloring while his sister worked on her valentine stuff!

It looks great Megan!

We finally had some warmer weather today. It got up to the 60's, so Andrew and I were sure to get out and enjoy it. This was Andrew's first walk of the year that we took. I took a picture of his first walk last year to, and I can't believe how big he has gotten.

No! No! Andrew! You got to sit down! This is all I have been saying lately. Andrew is a climber!

Yeah! It is so warm out here!

Enjoy Andrew! Tomorrow it is going to be in the 30's again! Yuck!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Day Dedicated To Hope!

We had the pleasure to attend "An Evening Dedicated to HOPE" in Dayton, Ohio on Saturday evening, January 31. We started the day with a luncheon at Jayne and David Schooler's home. We were so thankful to them for opening their home to us and 30 others. The food was yummy and the hospitality was unbelievable. We had the opportunity to meet many missionaries that serve in Kyrgyzstan, other families who have adopted from Kyrgyzstan, and some who are in the process of adopting in Kyrgyzstan. I had a chance to share Andrew's story with others, and we got to learn so much more about Andrew's birth country. I spent time laughing with some and crying with others.
Later in the evening we headed over to the church and my heart was moved. It was amazing to see what these missionaries are doing to help the people in Kyrgyzstan. Please check out their blogs listed below to see their work. These missionaries don't just witness to the people in Kyrgyzstan they see how they are hurting and they give them hope. I was amazed of the stories and how they are making a difference. Cain and I want to give more money to them in the future. Since I was in Kyrgyzstan in January 2008 picking up Andrew, I haven't been the same. My heart breaks for the people there and I have always wanted a way to be able to help them. The amazing thing is every dollar makes a difference and I can't wait to see how we can help these people in the future. These missionaries have spent a lot of time in the orphanages in Kyrgyzstan and they have become such advocates for these children.
Please pray for the families who have received referrals of children in Kyrgyzstan to adopt. Things are at a standstill with the government right now and there are many families who are waiting to go pick up their child. I met three of these families yesterday and my heart breaks for them. I will be praying for each of them by name now, and I hope we will see some things happening soon.

Look at these sights to see how you can also help the people in Kyrgyzstan. There are so many needs and not enough help!

As soon as we came in Andrew wanted David Schooler to hold him.

Matthew decided to go join Andrew!

Here was a picture of only a few of the people in the Schooler's home as we were all giving introductions of ourselves.

Of course Andrew was being a little flirt. This little girls mom is from Uzbekistan which is near Kyrgyzstan. Andrew must of thought she was cute.

I think Andrew was already proposing to her.

Andrew also wanted to give Anara a hug, but I don't think she knew what to think of Andrew. I met Anara's mom Hilary through our blogs. We started emailing before this event when we realized we were both going to be there, trying to plan the day. It was great meeting this family in person, and I hope we can spend more time with them in the future.

I took so many pictures and this was the best one. I couldn't get them all to look at the same time. Maybe someone else got a better shot!

So if that last picture wasn't hard enough we added more kids to the picture. Oh Well! This is good as it gets. There were so many of us taking pictures, you would of thought we were the paparazzi and these kids were straight out of Hollywood.

So Andrew decided if Anara wouldn't let him hug her, he would do the next best thing and have her mom hold him the same time as her. Once again Andrew, "you are a flirt"!

Here is the guys swapping orphanage pictures.

Andrew and Matthew were sure to still take some time to play cars with one another! They were so excited to see each other at this event. They both did pretty good for the day, taking in consideration their nap schedules were completely off.

Alisha was sure to bring her guitar and of course the kids loved to listen to her play and sing.

Anara doing her duck face.

Andrew with Hilary and Ann!

Wow Andrew! You even got the older ladies wrapped around your little finger.

Alisha with my new friends Nicole and Ann. Ann is waiting to bring home her daughter and Nicole is waiting to bring home her son. I will be praying for you both that your babies will come home soon and that God will give you the peace you need through this tough time! You both were such a blessing to me!

Once again this was the best of the pictures that I took.

Children in Picture: Kaleb, Anara, Matthew, and Andrew (all adopted from Kyrgyzstan)

Lynn and Ruby Johnston founders of LAMb International

John and Julie Wright - Missionaries to Kyrgyzstan

Alisha with her new friends Emma and Bekah (John and Julie Wrights daughters)
I tried getting a picture of the Schoolers, but it never happened. Sorry!

The moms with their Kyrgyz babies!