I guess I should start with Christmas. We had such a wonderful Christmas Day. This is the first year that all the kids were aware of what was taking place, and were terribly excited for weeks before its arrival. They made Christmas lists, marked off the calendar, and created homemade gifts for everyone, but fortunately they all still remembered the real reason we celebrate. The birth of Jesus was a topic of conversation frequently. It was very humbling to hear them reminding each other that we are honoring Christ’s birth and informing Kaitlyn and Braden of the Christmas story and the true meaning of the day. It was also a lot of fun watching Braden and Kaitlyn being overwhelmed by it all. I don’t know how past Christmases were spent, but I can’t imagine they were as filled with family and love and GIFTS as this one was. However, they did manage to become just as involved as everyone else! :)
On the Wednesday after Christmas, we received a call from our lawyers informing us we could finalize our adoption the next morning. With Christmas and the upcoming wedding, I should have know an event of this importance would be added to our busy mix! We accepted the date, and were the first family of a few to get to finalize. The court ordeal was really touching and meaningful. I’m so glad we were able to record it all! It was such a blessing because Kiley, Dad and Mom were all off work for the holidays and being as it was such a last minute affair, they were all able to be there. We had plenty of family, and plenty of pictures! PLUS, it was the last day of the year to finalize, so we have a nice tax deduction! Woo, hoo! Kiley and I have been very happy with this whole adoption process. The Lord has brought some very wonderful people into our lives and we are truly thankful for how smoothly everything has gone over the last several months. I would recommend a domestic adoption to everyone!
Thursday evening was Leah’s bachelorette party. We played laser tag, which is something I’ve never done before, and what a blast!!! I can’t say I did too well, I believe I ended up somewhere close to the middle and below on statistics, but I had fun nonetheless. No pictures for that, sorry!
Saturday brought the wedding, and what a lovely ceremony! Leah was a beautiful bride and Brad a handsome groom. All five of the children were in the wedding, and as nervous as I was for them, they all behaved well and stood still and quiet during its entirety. I was very proud of them, and so very happy for Leah and Brad. I’m so thankful the Lord brought someone so wonderful into my sister’s life. Her patience, faith, and trust in God produced a great blessing through Brad.
On my way home from the wedding (actually we stopped by Mom and Dad's house to visit with family, first) I was pulled over by a state trooper. Apparently my light above the license plate was out. I guess they really had nothing better to do at 1a.m. than to stop an overly-tired bridesmaid sporting an up-do and sweat suit asked to get out of the car and seemingly conversing as if interested, but really trying to find out if I slurred out of drunkenness. Yeah, like I really had the time. Fortunately, I wasn’t slurring because I was EXHAUSTED! Kiley had been ahead of me, and just kept going! Later he told me that if I was being pulled over for speeding, he sure as heck wasn’t going to get caught too!!! LOL! What support!
Sunday, of course, was New Year’s Eve. The Wallaces and Gustafsons joined us for a party, and I am so thankful to Rushia for providing pretty much everything! I was very worn out from the previous days, and she took care of it all even down to the decorations and little goody bags for the children! The kids actually made it to midnight this year, and we went outside with horns, streamers, and fireworks to welcome in the New Year!
This past Sunday, Kiley and I celebrated our 12th anniversary! Yes, we’ve put up with each other for 12 years, and five children later, I still love Kiley very much. God has blessed me with my soul mate and a wonderful, Godly man. However, I do believe I mentioned to him that the Lord was going to give me a whole other crown for this! Forget the extra jewels!
We have spent the last several days trying to get back into gear around here, and prepare for the upcoming wedding of my brother, Caleb, and his wonderful fiancé, Jessica. Once again, thanks to the Lord who has brought these two together.
We have had a blessed 2006 and I am looking forward to an awesome 2007!