We spent Thanksgiving at Steve's parent's house this year, and we had a very lovely time. Everyone was there except our niece, Maggie, who lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband, Andy, and their 2 boys - Mark (almost 19 months) and Joel (2 days).
Our December was filled with shopping and Christmas activities as we prepared for Christ's birth. We went to a Christmas party with my MOPS group, and the children got to visit with Santa. Santa was wonderful with all the children - more so than most. Derek really did some nice exploring of Santa's beard, hair, glasses, and hat (which fell off enough times that we left it off).
We also hosted a Polar Express pajama party. The movie is a huge favorite with our boys, and Katie thinks it's pretty cool, too. Everyone had a great time.
Two days before Christmas, the kids and I rang the Salvation Army bell in front of the JCPenney at Shoal Creek. I didn't know how the kids would do, but they did great! Alex loved holding the doors open for everyone, Derek liked standing by the kettle, and Katie liked ringing the bell, and in general, looking cute. People were very generous, most gave $3 - one for Derek, one for Alex, and one for Katie. At one point, a lady put a dollar in the kettle, and Katie wanted to put it in so she held her hand out to the lady for another dollar. Despite my insistance that that wasn't necessary, the woman pulled out another dollar for Katie to put in. Another lady said that she had decided to not give anymore this year, but she just couldn't say no to Katie. The mailman walked through and said that I "won." Katie was the cutest little elf he had seen. It was hilarious how much attention the kids were getting and how much money people were contributing, but that's the whole point, isn't it? To give back to those who don't have as much.
This is the picture we included in our Christmas cards this year.
A nice family picture.
Since Christmas, I took my kids and Maddy and Drew (niece and nephew) down to Branson for 4 days for Silver Dollar City, shopping, and family time. My parents joined us the next day, and we had a great time.
My birthday on the 3rd was uneventful except that we went to Chuck E. Cheese. Now, we didn't go FOR my birthday, simply ON my birthday. Alex had been working hard to earn 40 stickers for good behavior both at school and on the bus, and he wanted his reward to be Chuck E. Cheese, and that Saturday was simply a really good day to go. We all had a great time, and Derek surprised us at some of the rides he could do.
With the kids back in school, my life has been able to resume a schedule again, and I have enjoyed that. Steve turned 40 on the 10th, and we had a surprise birthday party for him at Hibachi (his favorite restaurant). He started to suspect something the last 2 days because everyone kept telling him what they were doing Saturday night, and a few things I did made him wonder. However, he kept talking himself out of it, because he had chosen the restaurant, the day, and the time - all part of the plan - make him THINK he's making the decisions! :-) Regardless, we all had a great time eating, drinking, and catching shrimp!
An update on Katie's name: You may remember that her certificate of Citizenship had the wrong spelling of her name, and we've been working for 4 months to get this replaced without paying a fee. Well, we got a letter in early December from the USCIS saying that they will replace the certificate and will waive the fee. Yea! So, I mailed all the necessary documents in mid-December, and we are still waiting for the replacement. I think it typically takes 3 weeks, and with the holidays thrown in there - who knows?! Once that arrives, then I can apply for her SSN. Whew! We also finished her 6 month post-placement report and sent that off to the agency. We will need to do a 1-year, 2-year, and 3-year as well, and then we will officially be all done with the adoption paperwork. Yea!!
Well, those are the highlights for the Trischler family. We are all doing well, Katie had a blast during her first Christmas, the boys got alot of what they wanted, we spent good times with family, Steve and I are both a year older, and we are all enjoying our lives. In addition, I have joined the Facebook revolution, so if you are also on fb, come find me!