Thursday, January 31, 2008

And He's Off!


Finally got pictures of Caleb walking. He's still only taking a couple of steps at a time but today started doing it on his own without anyone there to cheer him on. He's so much fun to watch - he claps for himself and laughs and is very pleased with his new talent.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A sweet face to a prayer

Many of you have been faithful to pray for our friends Dawn and Gareth and their adoption of little Nicolas. Things continue to be a struggle but at least right now, the struggle continues. After 6 months of no updates or photos, they finally got this special gift - new photos! Is he not just adorable :) I figured it would be a good reminder for those who continue to pray that there is a sweet little boy in the middle of this struggle. Dawn wanted me to thank you for your prayers and ask that you don't stop. We're looking for a miracle!!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

First Steps!!

Anna is loving cheerleading!

The girls created a snow volcano - yeah, it was bound to not last long :)

Getting a picture of two 2 year old boys is not easy, especially when one needs a nap (I think you can figure out which one that is!)

He did it!! Caleb took his first steps on his own today!! Couldn't get pictures because we were not expecting it but he got very excited and clapped for himself. Too cute :)
We got to visit with Caleb's buddy, Ben last week. Ben and Caleb were together in the orphanage and had cribs across from each other. Ben now lives only an hour away and they had their cleft surgeries a day apart from each other with the same surgeon. The moms had fun :) as did the boys. What a huge blessing to have Ben so close by!
Otherwise we've been busy with school work, basketball, cheerleading, dance, snow... you know, everyday life with 5 kids. Sarah and Ken now have the crud. This has been a brutal season for sickness around here.
Please continue to pray for our friends Dawn and Gareth. One day it looks like their adoption is not going to happen and then another a ray of hope. Either way an investigation has been opened so please pray that the real truth of what has happened will be discovered and that Nicolas will get to come home!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New Recipe (this one is dangerous, read at your own risk!)

I really do enjoy cooking but with 5 kids and homeschooling, time just isn't on my side. Neither is my impatient personality. Most recipes in my stack are quick ones that taste good. This one has been added to my stack!! I'm glad that pecans aren't cheap or I'd be making these waaaay too often! I'm hoping I've left some for my guests tomorrow night!

Spiced Pecans
3 cups pecan halves
1 egg white
1 T water
1/2 c sugar
t cinnamon
1/2t nutmeg
1/2 t ground cloves
1/2 t salt

Preheat oven to 300 and cover a cookie sheet with foil and then spray with cooking spray. Whip egg white and water together and pour over pecans in a large baggie. Combine sugar and spices together and pour into baggie with pecans. Mix until pecans are covered. Spread on cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes, turning at least once.


School Days

We've been studying Australia and we all tried our hand at a Walpiri painting. Ok, so they aren't authentic but we had fun anway. The pictures of Caleb are of him getting into his sister's stuff and that guilty smile when caught. He's already mastering that little brother thing!

Winter is Back (sort of...)

Ok, it wasn't much and it didn't last long but the girls and I were thrilled to see the snow fly :) It gives us hope that we will see more this winter - Wasn't it just last week we were in the 70 degree range?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The missing son

Some of you who don't know our family well may be wondering where all the pictures of Nathan are. Yes, we do have a third son. Well these photos are an example of how much he likes having his picture taken. I just wanted to post them for the record - the reason there aren't a ton of Nathan photos is that he likes to be behind the camera (he got a video camera for Christmas and has made some funny videos) and not in front of it. I just have to get more creative in trying to get more pictures of him! Jacob is also a budding photographer and has taken some great photos with his new camera but he is never shy about posing for the camera! You just have to get him to slow down long enough to snap a photo!

Caleb's First Weekend Getaway

The Triplets (as they were calling themselves this weekend...)

Jacob the fearless

Caleb really likes the dvd player in the car! He's a pretty good traveler, thank goodness!

We headed for a weekend in VA Beach to visit Ken's family. I was actually pretty nervous about how Caleb would do on his first visit away from home (not including the hospital!), especially since he was suffering from an ear infection. He did surprisingly well but was SOOOO excited to be home. He crawled into the play room and started banging on his toys and bopping up and down with a grin ear to ear. I guess he likes home :) Unfortunately I didn't get a lot of pictures - I was under the weather so only managed a few of the cousin fun. Of course the girls went shopping and got matching clothes while the guys rode dirt bikes and go carts. Poor Caleb had to hang out at the mall with the girls but I don't think he minded the attention.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Better pics

Ok, these are better of Caleb :)

Is This Winter or Spring?!

It has been 70 degrees here the last couple of days - 70 degress in January in MD?! The boys commented that they didn't think we'd ever get snow this year. We'll have to wait and see but we still have plenty of winter left! The pictures of Caleb aren't very good. I think he has another ear infection (go to the dr today) so the wind seemed to be bothering him.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Everyday...

Haven't posted in awhile but we've been busy just getting settled back into a somewhat normal life. Caleb continues to heal well but has decided that only Mommy will do. This is a huge switch from before the surgery when he prefered his Daddy! It is a bit difficult at times for all of us, especially when it is time for me to do school with the boys or make dinner or do other things that have to be done and can't be done easily with a 2 year old attached to me. Right now though, he is playing with a box of rice from the pantry - who needs all those Christmas toys?! He is walking some with just one finger and continues to eat like a horse. It will be fun to see how much he gains when we take him back to the dr.
We're fighting various winter ailments but really have been blessed this winter so far with fairly good health. That is no small thing for a family of 7!
Last night we took our team to Medieval Times as an end of the year/Christmas celebration. The kids all loved it (and the grown ups too!) and Sarah caught a flower and Anna was the lady that the black and white knight was fighting for! They were smitten with (as Sarah called him), "my horsie man".

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year - Thankfully!

Since we had a houseful Sunday night to watch the Skins stomp all over the Cowboys (GO SKINS!!!), we were just doing the family thing last night. But, we started 2008 with typical Weikel fashion - a crisis. Last year on New Year's, our dog, Hershey, had run through his electric invisible fence when he was spooked by neighbors who put on their own fireworks display that lasted well past midnight. This year, remembering that very wet tromp through the neighborhood last year, I let him out at 11:45 so I could get him in before all the hoopla started (and don't get me started on how inconsiderate a 45 minute firework show in a neighborhood is at midnight...). What I didn't realize is that our neighbors were overacheivers this year and started the fireworks early. So Ken and I spent 3 hours in the cold looking for Hershey. Ken had already gone to bed earlier since he has to work today but he was up and dressed along with me. Of course all my kids (minus Caleb) were still up since we had let them stay up for the countdown. So I was kicking myself for not hearing those stupid fireworks before I let him out, dealing with kids who were very tired and on the verge of hysteria all while tromping through the woods and driving the surrounding streets and farm. Ken and I had given up for the night at 3am and then he decide to drive around one last time. At 3:30 he opened the garage door with Hershey! He found him on the next street down from our neighborhood. Of course he was probably oblivious to all the chaos and enjoyed the extra attention and treats. Anna and Jacob got a good lesson on answered prayer (and so did Mom). Needless to say, when Caleb started calling for me at 7am, I did moan a bit. We'll have to see how the day goes. I think we'll have an early to bed night tonight!
On another note, Caleb's eating is back!! On a lark, I figured out his calorie consumption this morning (a bowl of oatmeal with powdered milk and calorie additive and 2 eggs scrambled with whole milk and calorie additive washed down with a bottle of whole milk with Carnation Instant Breakfast). I figure he put away about 700 calories in one sitting! YIKES!!! For someone who is only in the 18 pound range, I would say that is huge! He is growing - some of his overalls are getting a big short and I've had to move up to size 3 diapers (although a 2 still fits in a pinch). It will be so nice when he can eat whatever he wants in a few weeks. I am a bit concerned about his fistula - it seems to have grown a bit since everything has healed so we'll have to wait and see what they want to do with that. I'm mentally preparing for the possibility of another surgery this coming year but we'll have to wait and see what the dr says at the follow up.
Praying a peaceful day and a new year full of God's grace and blessings!!!