Sweet Sixteen

Sweet Sixteen

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I'll Take It!!!

Today was rainy and cooler so my "Inner Fall" was finally awakened!

I can handle a few days of rain if it means the temperature is lower and we can open a few windows and enjoy the breeze.  In honor of our first Fall-like morning, I treated the kids to a mug of chai tea, blueberry muffins, and a pumpkin-scented candle on the breakfast table.  I'm definitely getting in the "Fall Zone"!

In order to keep the Fall-vibes alive, the kids and I put together the perfect "Welcome Fall" dinner. I had 'Texas Stew' simmering in the crockpot, pumpkin bread cooling on the counter, and so it was time for the group-effort applesauce making. If you've never made your own applesauce before, you really need to.  It's VERY easy and so much yummier than store bought...and it's something the whole family can help with.   Michael got the coring and slicing job--a great upper body workout when you're working through a 5lb. bag of gala apples.

Once I peeled the apples, Allen cut them into chunks and threw them in the kettle. It doesn't really matter how big or small your chunks are but I think the smaller ones are easier to mash in the next step.

Throw some sugar and cinnamon over your apples,then stir and simmer until the apples start to get a little soft.  I cover them to speed things up and just check on them in-between the rest of the dinner prep.

Then you just continue to mash the apples until they get to the consistency you like.  You may also add more sugar and cinnamon to taste!  Nothing says Fall like homemade applesauce! :)

While the guys were helping me cook, the girls were playing in the living room (as it should be right? ha ha!)  My niece comes over after school once in awhile to get her "Nadia fix".  She's a huge help to me so I'm more than happy to pick her up and bring her over!

Josi and the other kids have worked VERY HARD with Nadia to get her to play with toys appropriately instead of throwing everything across the room.  I still wouldn't give her one of our toy trucks or anything that could do some real damage, but she's definitely making progress.  (There were no visible toys in her groupa at the orphanage so she's having to start from the beginning in this area.)

"Boys, is dinner ready yet?  I'm getting kind of tired waiting."

Come and get it!
(Did I mention yet that Fall is my Favorite time of year???)

So how do you celebrate Fall? 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Nadia's First American Haircut

I was going to call this post "The Summer of My Discontent" as we're STILL having days in the 90's EVEN NOW THAT IT'S OFFICIALLY FALL....but I decided one rant on that subject was enough.

So, I'll move on to a more enjoyable topic...one that involves cute kids and haircuts. (Of course we're still dressed in shorts and we have to blast the A/C...but again I digress...)

We know that Nadia received a few haircuts while in the orphanage as well as some all-out head shavings as is standard in lots of orphanages.  But today was her first haircut at a salon where the haircuts are for style instead of for keeping things simple for the workers.

We decided that sitting on someone's lap might work better with this squirmy girl so Allen volunteered.
(Can you tell how much she adores her big brother?)

Nadia loves having her hair brushed and played with so she was in for a real treat and began the experience enjoying every minute.

Then the whole "cape around the neck" thing started to become a distraction. Even though we're not biologically related, I too have a hard time with the salon capes around my neck.  I always have my hairdresser snap it on the loosest snap possible....otherwise it's neck claustrophobia for me!!

We're fortunate to have my good friend and fellow homeschooling Mom, Tonia, as our hairdresser!  Nadia kept reaching out to Tonia for her to hold her so her haircut took quite a bit longer than usual with all of the "hug breaks" in-between trimming. 

"Not too much off the back please...I'm growing it out." 
I almost hated to get her hair trimmed but I knew that it desperately needed to be evened out and that going shorter temporarily was the only way to do that.

"How do I look?"
Nadia's favorite part of the visit was to be spun around on the extra chair. Can't wait to take her to the State Fair next month and get her on some REAL rides!!!

Michael decided to go shorter too.  He's a cutie whether it's long or short but I really like this look on him.

Josi was ready for a trim as well.  She looks beautiful even with those blue lollipop lips. :)

Does this look look familiar to those of you with teens?  I believe his exact words were, "If you put this picture on the blog I'm never speaking to you again."  Guess it will be pretty quiet around here from now on!

Even though we're not in long-sleeves and jeans and sipping hot tea out on the screen porch yet, I'm doing my best to celebrate the little and big moments of our lives.

 However, if this heat doesn't break soon (did you know that we're setting all sorts of records for the most days in the 90's in like 100yrs. or something?),  then I'm looking into flights to Caribou, Maine or somewhere else where I don't have to re-apply my deodorant 10 times a day and keep my hair in a pony tail to keep it from sticking to the back of my neck!  But, hey, that's not what this post is about so I'll sign off now and go stick my head in the freezer to cool off!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

3 Reasons to Celebrate!!!

Our celebrations came in threes yesterday as we began the day recognizing the 14th birthday of our eldest!

This guy is handsome, witty, a talented guitar and soccer player, and the reason I was finally able to claim the long-awaited title of "Mom".

We opened presents and took a few pictures. (Nadia is really eyeing that Itunes gift card--the girl loves music!)

We then went out to eat with some "extra" family members--cousins and Aunt Nicole from PA who came down to Raleigh for my brother-in-law's championship baseball game. (More on that later).

Come on Josi...smile for the camera like Aunt Nicole is doing.

I think Nadia sees something on my plate she likes better than the brown-bag dinner I brought for her. :)

Dad and the birthday boy gettin' mellow at The Mellow Mushroom.
Happy Birthday Allen!  You are a neat kid that we not only love but we really like too!

So I mentioned the baseball game.  It just so happened that the team my brother-in-law manages, The Columbus Clippers, got to play for the Governor's Cup Championship against our local AAA team--the Durham Bulls.  My sister and her kids drove down to Raleigh on Thursday for the last 3 games of the 5 game series (with Columbus already ahead 2-0).   Durham won the Thursday night game but last night it was all about the Clippers!!!  They ended up winning the game 13-2 to clinch the series and the title!

Mike accepted the Governor's Cup for the team before being doused in the ceremonial champagne bath on the field.

One very excited ball club.  Now they get to play for the National AAA Championship out in Oklahoma City on Tuesday evening (it's on Versus in case you want to watch!)

Since we made up the majority of the Columbus Clippers' fan base at the game, we were able to be down on the field for all of the festivities. 
Congratulations Mike!  We're all very proud of you!!!

And last but certainly not least...yesterday, September 17, 2010, marked 3 months since Nadia officially became a Ferguson.  Our court date back on June 17th seems so far away--especially when we see the tremendous changes Nadia has made in such a short amount of time. 

This was Nadia the moment we first met her 3 months ago...

...and here she is  last night at the ball game.

We can't imagine life without her and it's been more than worth what it took to bring her into our family to see her blossom and grow as a Ferguson.

September 17, 2010--A Day Worth Celebrating!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Are You Kidding Me???

There are only 8 days until the official first day of Fall (which is my absolute favorite time of the year), and yet here in the South we're still having days in the 90s like today!!!

I am SO sick of the heat!!!

The past two weekends we've had little glimpses of Fall that have made my heart soar and my toes tingle with the promise of cooler days, sweatshirts and jeans, homeschooling on the screened porch and many other of our "Fall Fave" Activities.

I got inspired and put my Fall Wreath on the door to chase the humidity away and welcome the cooler air that would soon be blowing in my open-air house. (The windows stay open in cooler weather around here!!!)

I even baked some pumpkin bread to truly tantalize my and my family's taste buds with the delectable treats that only taste their best in the Fall!

But alas, those 2 or 3 days of cooler weather were just a cruel meteorological trick played on those of us who have been counting down the days until Fall since JULY 1st!!! (I'm not kidding--I REALLY, REALLY like the Fall!)

So, in true toddler style, I'm having a little hissy fit tonight in protest of this VERY UN-FALL-LIKE weather in hopes that my tantrum will persuade my Heavenly Father to bring on the cooler stuff.
(Of course I know that trick never works but I thought I'd give it a try anyway).  Nadia seems to think it will work one of these days otherwise she'd give up trying don't you think??? :)
8 more days...8 more days...8 more days...8 more days...8 more days...8 more days...8 more days!!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Are You Ready For Some Football???

One of my most favorite things about the Fall (and there are many but that's for another post), is rooting for my alma mater's college football team! 

So...now that Nadia is a part of the Ferguson Family she has the privilege to root for none other than the PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS!!!

We're gearing up for one of our season's biggest games tonight as the Nittany Lions take on the Alabama Crimson Tide.  Most sports pundits aren't giving Joepa and his team much of a chance tonight,
but here at the Ferguson Household we'll be rooting with all of our might!

Win or lose, I'd say we have the CUTEST cheerleader for our team...NO COMPETITION!!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Many Faces of Nadia

So, life has gotten a whole lot "fuller" now that homeschooling and soccer season are in full swing. I have many blog entries swirling around in my head, and most even have the pictures to go with them...it's finding the time to put it all together that continues to elude me.

However, I couldn't let another day go by without at least posting some adorable photos of the youngest Ferguson!  She is her most expressive and hilarious when she's either on the potty or in the car seat.  Not sure what it is but when we have to do her speech evaluation, I'm going to have them put her in one of those two spots because she's at her peak "chattiness" there!

Here are just a few of the many expressions this girl has that keep us laughing!
(Oh, and in case you're wondering... none of them have to do with er, um...straining in any way--I'll leave the true potty blogs to Karin-tee hee)