Saturday, December 18, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas 2010
Dear Friends-
This year has certainly flown by! You are seeing a new face in our Christmas card this year! Our family is now complete with the birth of our sweet baby girl, Annelise. On January 23, we got the call that her birthmother was in labor. We jumped in the car (our bags were already packed) and drove like crazy to Smyrna, Tennessee. Our little bit was in a hurry to get here and we missed her birth by about 2 hours, but she has been in our arms from that moment on and we are truly blessed. Grayson adores being a big brother! He told Brad shortly after Annelise was born, “Thank goodness I’m not the only one anymore.” We have settled into life with ten year old and a ten month old, and strangely enough, it’s not as hard as you might think, given their age difference. Annelise is a great eater and sleeps through the night most nights in her Dragonfly nursery. >!< She is happy and smiling almost all the time (unless she is in her car seat too long, and then she screams!) I only took off about 30 “school days” and it was a bit of an adjustment to get up every two hours in the beginning and then go to teach little first graders, but somehow I made it through. “Busy” describes our life! This is why you are getting a birth announcement and a Christmas card in one mailing! Many of you have asked about Annelise’s (very long) name. Ann is a family name. Elise is a variation of Alice and Alicia. Meredith is a name I have loved for a very long time and is a variation of Marie. It honors our cousin Deana Marie who led us to Annelise’s birthmother. And of course, Brandon is for her Uncle Brandon, who met her in Heaven, before the rest of us had the honor. She may be 12 before she learns to spell it all!
Grayson loves being in 4th grade and still loves to read. He is really into movies, music and computer games, and as always, anything with wheels! Pretty soon, he will be taller than me! He has recently discovered Elvis Presley and leaves serenades on the voice recorder of my phone. Priceless!
Brad’s business is doing very well and he still loves what he does. The weather in Tuscaloosa makes it easy for him to work pretty much year-round. He and Grayson like to geocache and plan to do more of that now that the weather is cooler. As for me, I have an amazing class of first graders that I wouldn’t trade for anything! I still love teaching and can’t imagine doing anything else (except sometimes taking a nap!) In February, I will begin my 18th year of teaching. I thought I was on the “downhill slide” to retirement, however, if I teach at Rock Quarry until Annelise leaves the 8th grade (our school is K-8), I will have 13 more years left….we will see about that! In January, my teaching partner, Vicki Nevin, and I will begin teaching a reading course at The University of Alabama. The class is one night per week and we are excited about working with college-aged people again!
Brad and I are looking forward to seeing everything the New Year brings through the eyes of our children. A ten year difference gives each event a different and interesting perspective. For the first time……. in a long time………my heart, my soul and my spirit are content.
What they say is true………….a baby changes everything.
Merry Christmas! Brad, Alicia, Grayson and Annelise Jenne’

Saturday, December 11, 2010

For this child I have prayed.......

Well, the tree it up and decorated. It is not THE TREE, you know, the gigantic one that is in 4 sections that are too big and heavy for me to lift on my own. That tree is still wrapped in the tarp we store it in, down in the cellar. The Big Prince is in a walking cast (we are waiting on word from the MRI to see if more surgery is needed or if he just needs to let the foot heal on its own) and there was just no way for me to get THE TREE up the playroom stairs alone. Compound that with the fact that The Princess is standing, and has taken a few steps, thought not walking alone yet, but can crawl as fast as Dash on the Incredibles. I was beginning to imagine her climbing, like a kitten, all the way to the top of the 10 ft tree, knocking ornaments hither and yon and putting all of the rest in her mouth. I had images of her little mouth crunching on mercury glass....shiver.......

So, The Big Prince and I scouted other locations in our home that would work for us to put up a smaller tree. Finally, we deemed the corner of the breakfast room as the best spot. I could get a 7.5 ft tree and it would not look goofy in that room, since it has 8 ft ceilings, as opposed to the living room's 12 ft ones...and we figured that by placing it in the ocrner, The Princess would not bother it as much and we could also corral her out with chairs from the table.

The decorations, roughly 1/10th of them, are on the tree and it is very cute. I may just put this one up every year for a while. It was so much easier! It is not as impressive, but it works for me, and right now, simple is so much more appealing.

As I put decorated the tree, I remembered back to last year as I took them down....I had wondered as I put each ornament in it's box if I would be a mommy of 2 then next time I unpacked them to go back on the tree. I knew then, that if the adoption went through, that this year, I would have an almost 1 year seemed like such a dream....

I'm here to tell you......that dreams do come true.......
For this child(ren) I have prayed.....1 Samuel 1:27