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We had so much fun this year! I think this was the most exciting year with Samuel so far. This is a long post with a lot of pictures. We were really busy this year, but enjoyed our time with friends, church family, & family. It was great to see everyone & spend a little time with them.

The celebrations started off with Samuel’s preschool play. He was Joseph for one part. He did great! 😉 Joseph was a little distracted by his headdress though. Haha! It was adorable to see all the little ones singing together & even playing instruments on one song.

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Ready for preschool!

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Here’s his fan club.

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The cutest little Joseph!

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Then we went to lunch & Marbles museum with Emma, Mimi, & Pop-pop!

The first Friday in December we went with our friends Amy & Mitchell to a Christmas concert. It was awesome! It was Newsong’s A Very Merry Christmas tour. Loved it! Definitely want to go again next year. They had Newsong, Sidewalk Prophets, Audio Adrenaline, Love & The Outcome, & Jason Castro. I may have missed one, but I think that was all of them. It really got us into the Christmas spirit! I can’t believe we didn’t get a picture with Amy & Mitchell!

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We of course had to look at Christmas lights! We went to Piper Lights that is local & they had a wonderful drive-thru with a small store that had hot chocolate, coffee, & candy. They also had a small train ride that took you back through the lights. We took our niece Makayla with us. It was cold, but we had a blast!

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We continued our tradition of the Jesse Tree this year. It starts around Thanksgiving leading up the Jesus’ birthday. Samuel definitely understood more this year & was asking a few questions. We pray as parents that God will guide us to know how to teach & lead Samuel’s heart. Our prayer is for him to come to know Christ one day also & be used mightily for the Lord.

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Our 2013 family Christmas ornament:

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I found this Korean nativity & knew we had to have it! Isn’t it beautiful?! There are more pieces, but for now we got the basic set.

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Samuel also loved playing with this nativity paper set & book that we found.

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We enjoyed a Christmas party with our Sunday School class at the beginning of December. Lots of fun & laughs together!

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Ending Samuel’s preschool year they had a Christmas party! These little ones are a lot of fun! We had a Happy birthday Jesus party!

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Samuel’s cousin Rebecca is in his class. They love Mrs. Madison!

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We had some fun with a few Christmas crafts. The gingerbread house is in the back. I couldn’t find my other pictures for that. We also painted with snow paint. It dried puffy like snow!

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The first family gathering was with the Bakers. We haven’t been able to attend the last couple of years so it was nice to see extended family & enjoy time with them. Especially my Nanny.

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Then the following weekend we had the Ladd family Christmas. We don’t get to see all of these families enough during the year! James & Samuel had the most fun playing with a card board box. Samuel’s favorite gift was of course the BIG 18-wheeler he got from Grandma Ladd. 🙂

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We had another Christmas party later that night with the Price family. Lots of fun seeing them & the kids enjoyed playing with each other again.

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The kiddos hearing the story of Jesus’ birth.

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Happy birthday Jesus!

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I love to bake, but couldn’t find time this year to do much. I did have to make time for sugar cookies with my boy!

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We had a wonderful time seeing family that we don’t get to see nearly enough! We love you all & hope you all had a great Christmas too! I’ll be posting a separate post for Christmas Eve & Christmas Day. Lots of fun!

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The last game

November 9th was Samuel’s last soccer game. He had so much fun playing soccer & was excited for every practice & game! He made some great friends as well. 🙂 Thank you to the coaches, Mrs. Danielle & Mrs. Clare. He enjoyed playing with Luke, Camden, Elaina, Tyler, Cade, Jackson, & Caleb. They received their soccer trophy at the last game! Samuel was quite proud. 🙂

 

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September 3rd was Samuel’s first day of preschool for this new year! There are only 6 kids in his class, so it is small. I think this is good for him. His teacher is Ms. Madison. Samuel loves her & we do too! She does a lot of sensory projects with the kids & Samuel really likes that. I am thankful that I was able to take him to his first day of preschool. I’m also so excited to help Ms. Madison this year with special projects! The days that I’m off work & she needs help in the classroom, I will help her out. 🙂 I truly am so excited to do this! I love being a mom!

 

 

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Meeting a friend

On June 14th we were able to go meet a blogger/facebook friend in real life!!! We have known each other for a few years through our blogs & adoption stories, but had never been able to meet in real life as we lived too far away. My friend Christy & her kids were on a cross-country trip! They happened to be coming through our state. It wasn’t too far of a drive for us, so we headed out to meet them. We were able to play at the park & have lunch together. Christy & her children are so sweet! I’m so glad that we were able to finally meet each other & get to chat together even if it was only for a couple of hours. The kids had a blast playing at the park & meeting each other too. Thank you Christy for taking time out of your travels to meet with us! It was such a blessing & I’m so glad to have finally met you in real life. Please let me know if you ever come this way again!!!

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The beach for a day

The second week of June we went to the beach for the day with my sisters (Gennie & Mary), my best friend (Beth), her children (Jacob, Andrew, Isaac, & Madilyn), & her sister (Hannah). Gennie & Hannah rode together & then Beth & I rode together with all the kids! It was a full ride & mostly fun. 😉 We left early in the morning around 6:40 or so. It took a little while to get there with a few stops along the way, but the kids did fairly well for such a long car ride & so many of them. We played on the beach for several hours & had a picnic on the beach too. Jacob & Mary rode their boogie boards most of the time. Andrew, Isaac, Samuel, & Madilyn played in the sand & at the surf. After a little while we headed to the aquarium. For some reason I don’t have any pictures of the aquarium. There may be some on my phone. The kids had so much fun together! They all got along well! Beth & I were so thankful for Gennie & Hannah’s help with the little ones. I don’t think we could have done it without them! The ride home ended up being a little long. There were some horrible storms at home & they were headed our way. They were telling everyone to take cover & not drive through the storm. We had most of our family calling Beth & I telling us how bad the storms were. We had to decide what to do. We ended up stopping at a shopping center & going inside when we first saw the bad clouds. Thankfully we only experienced winds & rain. The kids were so tired, but did ok once they had ring pops. 🙂  After stopping for about an hour we started back towards home & got back around 10:30 or so (I think). Overall we had a great time & Beth & I both said we do it again. We just needed a few days to recover. 😉  We aren’t sure if Gennie & Hannah would agree to help us again or not. 🙂  I think they now want to plan a trip with just the 2 of them, & I don’t blame them. Haha! It was certainly a fun day for us & we are so grateful for our friends that like to have just as much fun as us!

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This past weekend I went to Created for Care. I went last year with a few friends. It is an adoptive mom conference that is held at Lake Lanier in Georgia. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing it was to be with 450 other mommas that share my heart. The worship & fellowship was so great & just what I needed. I really learned a lot & will share some of the notes from the weekend in other posts.

This year Amy & I left early Friday morning & drove down together. Just like Amy said in her blog post, I really loved our non-stop chatter the whole way down & back. We had a lot of heartfelt conversations & I think we became even closer friends.  The drive was long (about 7 hours with stops), but didn’t seem like it! We were having fun! We got to the lodge about 30 minutes before the sessions started. We had just enough time to get our room, put our bags in there, & freshen up a bit. We met Amy’s friend Christy there & we were all roomies. I really enjoyed getting to meet & know Christy. She is such a sweet person & so easy to talk to! Christy went had different breakout sessions, but Amy & I had actually signed up for the same ones!

Once we got there & the first session started, it was pretty much full speed ahead! After our welcome we went to the first breakout session. I went to “Connecting while correcting” & it was very good. Then we had a main session with worship followed by an adoptive mom panel. After that we saw an adoption documentary, “Stuck.” Oh my goodness! It was so good yet so hard to watch. There are so many children that are stuck & just waiting for someone to fight for them. I had so many emotions watching this documentary. It was hard & I almost wanted to leave, but who am I to leave when all I was doing was  just watching this documentary while there are so many kids that are actually living what we were watching? I encourage everyone to watch this if they can. It will open your eyes. It definitely left me wondering if we should be doing more. There were a lot of tears, applause, & sighs throughout the entire thing. We ended up getting to bed around 1am.

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adoptive mom panel

adoptive mom panel

Saturday morning came early! We were thankful the sessions didn’t start until 9:30. We did want to be up & ready to have breakfast & then meet with other fellow Korean adoptive moms to pray together for the Korean process (it’s going through a lot of changes right now) & for all the babies that are currently stuck due to politics & changes. It was great to be of one accord with these moms & lift Korea & all the children up to the Lord.

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The rest of the day consisted of more breakouts & main sessions with worship too. The lodge at Lake Lanier was just gorgeous! Here are a few pics I got throughout the stay.

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We had one last main session with worship on Sunday before we headed home. We were encouraged to love big all weekend & to pour into the hearts of our children & families at home. Amy & I had to get a couple more pictures on the way out before we headed back home. It really was a gorgeous place!

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I’ll try to post a little more about the sessions that I went to. It really was just a great time! I’m so thankful for my hubby who made it possible for me to attend. I know he & Samuel had a great time at home. I was ready to get back & see them!

 

 

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How could I forget??

I can’t believe I forgot to blog about playdate with Amy, Mitchell, & Lukas! I was looking through my pictures & saw a few from our time together. I guess because it was right before all the hustle & bustle of Christmas. We met with them sometime at the beginning of December. We went to a local mall & out to eat. We always love the time with spend with them & it never seems like enough time! Since I forgot to blog about it, I don’t remember all the details. I did snap a few pics of our time together.

 

Play time!

Play time!

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Lukas & Amy

Lukas & Amy

Time to ride the train!

Time to ride the train!

Just a little excited!

Just a little excited!

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Lukas & Mitchell

Lukas & Mitchell

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Checking out the fish.

Checking out the fish.

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