Friday, November 13, 2009

November 2009

Many who read this post will be discovering the blog from our holiday cards. Make sure you get our new address off the card. I know everyone loves people like us - 8 addresses now in the short 13 years of marriage. But I am thinking this one may last. If for no other reason, we are just toooo exhausted to move again.

Instead of enclosing a letter with our cards, I decided just to refer you here. I figured 1) that it would motivate me to update our blog more often and maybe even keep it current knowing you may look again and 2) it already has so much history and pictures here for you to see.

It is so hard to believe that another year has passed. The kids are growing up quickly - to quickly if you ask me. Mike and I can never find enough time to spend with them. Sara is 11 and in 5th grade. She is doing great and loves school. She has become quite the social butterfly. This past year has been quite the adventure/challenge getting her integrated into the schools and into our family, but now it feels as if she has been with us forever. Everyone who meets her loves her. She loves life. She wakes up excited to meet each new day head on. I do not worry about her at all. I know she is going to do great in life. We are blessed to be a part of her story.

Sean is 10 and in 4th grade. He has proven to be great at any sport he attempts. So far his loves are baseball, soccer and basketball. He is itching to play football but has "mean parents". Sean is also an avid reader and can be caught with an open book at any time of day. He has definitely found the true joy of reading a good story - and we hope this stays with him for life. He loves camping, reptiles, and anything outdoors. Sean is compassionate, respectful, and an all around great kid.

Ryan is now 8 and in 2nd grade. He is also quite the sportsman out on the field. He is quick, alert, sharp, and fun to watch. He is fearless and will do what it takes for his team to win. As much as he loves teamwork, Ryan also spends hours alone in his room looking through his microscope. He will make a scraping of anything (and everything) to view and compare. He also collects coins, arrowheads, fossils, and shells. He has a zest for life and desire to learn.

Evan is 4 going on 15. He keeps us on our toes. He is a deep thinker. He could care less about sports. He loves crafts, painting, and drawing. He loves music, dancing, and gymnastics. He loves to go shopping and help clean. His favorite toys are dinosaurs, barbies, and blocks. Evan can entertain himself with a pencil for hours. He is cute, smart, and oh so fun to be around.

Mike and I are doing great. This past July we completed our first "custom built" house and moved in. It was quite the experience, but not nearly as bad as I have heard it to be. I guess we were busy with Sara and the boys and just did not have time to dwell on the details like so many get hung up on. Decisions were made quickly and we did not really have time to second guess ourselves much (like maybe we should have!). Now we are settled, just working on rugs, curtains, and such as we have time.

Most of you probably know that Mike was diagnosed (at age 40) with prostate cancer back in the Spring. In August he had a total prostectomy performed in Houston at MD Anderson. After a rough six weeks, he was back to his old self and is, in fact, running the half marathon in San Antonio this month!

We hope you have a wonderful Holiday Season. Please send pictures, cards, or comments as you have time!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happy Halloween!

We had a great time "trick or treating". It was our first time to have to "travel" into town find a neighborhood, so of course we hand-picked the one known for the best (and most) candy! Sara enjoyed Halloween so much more than last year. She now loves to dress up, and she LOVES candy. So I am thinking Halloween is right up there on the top of her list. Plus, she has so much more energy now. Last year she could not even make it around the block. Now she can not be stopped!

We were also blessed to have my uncle, Garry, join the boys for parties at school and my brother, Kevin, to join us in nighttime festivities. It was a great weekend.

Fallen Soldier

Sadly, we had another soldier from our community fall in Afghanistan. His name was Chris Staats. He was in the National Guard and was helping Afghani farmers. Chris was 32 and recently married. He grew up attending the church where our kids go to school. The cub scouts had the opportunity to serve as the Honor Guard during the procession. The whole school lined up across the street holding flags. The funeral was a breath-taking, incredibly sad, but honorable experience.

A large part of the community came out to line the streets as the family left the church on their way to Luckenbach. It is times like these when living in a small town is priceless. Mike and I would not trade raising our family here.

Jack O'Lantern Fun


Camping at Pedernales Falls State Park. This is what Sean chose to do for his birthday.

Mike's Birthday. Our first birthday celebration in the new house. It was a very special day for us considering all he had gone through this year. We will always remember this day. Each kid had a quarter of the cake to decorate. Fun! Nothing like baking and decorating a cake after school while doing homework before soccer practice!


Soccer season. What a fun time of year! All four kids played this year. Sara jumped right on the girls U12 team. She had never played any type of sport before. She did great! She enjoyed everything about it...the practices, the games, and of course her dad as the coach! It was very much of a learning experience for Mike to coach girls for the first time, expecially older ones. He left every game smiling whether they won or lost!

Mike also coached Sean's team. There was not so much smiling with the boys, but he enjoys every minute of it, and makes a huge positive impact on every single boys life on his team. He is a tremendous coach and advocate for them. They are so lucky to have him.

Sean and Ryan are both great soccer players. They are athletic, coordinated, smart on the field, and fast. They both love the sport and enjoy playing. Each of them will continue playing through November until a final tournament on the 21st.

Evan played his first year this season. He loved the uniform and he loved the shoes. He also enjoyed the practices. He could take or leave the actual games. He actually refused to ever get out on the field. As much as it should maybe have bothered us or maybe we should have tried a little harder, it really worked to our advantage . Most of our games all overlapped, so he did not mind missing his games to go to his brothers or sisters. There is always next year!

Ryan's Birthday!

Ryan's 8th Birthday with friends and family.

Fun at the House!

The house has proven to be a big hit! No words needed!

Big Months!

June and July were big months for us. In June we headed up north (north Texas I mean) to finalize Sara's adoption. We landed in juvenile court in Dallas, right next to our old stomping grounds prior to children. (just look at us now!) Sara is OFFICALLY Sara Jia Majors with a State of Texas Birth Certificate! (we can't even get Sean and Ryan one of those!) We then HAD to take the kiddos to the Ballpark at Arlington!

In July, a family from California who adopted the two brothers from the camp in China that we helped with back in 2007 came to visit us. They spent four days in Fredericksburg just to visit with us and to thank us for helping put their family together. It was so incredible, absolutely amazing.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Field Day

Sara had a blast at field day! I was SOOOO proud of her. She and her friend Tiffany got a ribbon in the three legged race. All that hard work paid off. She also did wonderfully in the jumpe rope race. I have never seen someone so gracefully run while skipping rope. The pics say it all!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dancing with the stars!

I walked into my living room the other day and this is what I saw......
(and no, they were not dressed this way when they got home from school! This was strictly for ballroom dancing time!)

The Race is On!

Sara has her first Field Day coming up. She came home all excited because her and her good friend Tiffany signed up for the three-legged race! "But mom, Tiffany and me have FOUR legs?"

Yes, Sean to the rescue. It has not been a pretty site. Sara has alot of gifts and talents, however, coordination is not one of them. Fortunately for Tiffany, Sara is motivated. I will keep you updated. I think she is also signed up for the "shoe fling". Hmmm...we did not have that one way back when I was in school. From what I can gather, it is exactly what it sounds like.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Culture Day

Last Friday was Cultural Day for Sara's grade. She chose to represent China, which proved to be a very interesting choice. Part of the assignment was to write a mini-research report about your country. It was very eye-opening to learn how little Sara knew about China. We were very aware that she had never traveled out of her city, much less very far from the walls of her orphanage, but for her to read about Chinese traditions and landmarks for the first time - WOW! She is very intriqued by this big thing called "The Great Wall". She can not wait to go to China someday and see it. She feels a bit "cheated" never having celebrated a Chinese New Year or seen a Chinese Dragon dance, ect, ect, ect. She wants to "experience" China. We can not wait to give her that opportunity, especially since we have given it to our other children already.

Sara also had to make a poster and give an oral report. These were both first for her. She enjoyed both of them very much. She is doing great in school.