What we're up to
Since I received a few questions about our adoption of Havi, I thought I would go ahead and answer them here. This time around, we are using Bay Area Adoption Services (BAAS) as our placing agency and CCAI (Chinese Children Adoption International) as our home study agency. We are excited for the opportunity to finally work with BAAS. In fact, we had wanted to switch to Bay Area when we were with Bethany during Madeline's adoption. At the time, they did not have any children that matched our preferences. So we kept looking....and that is when we found our precious girl on AAC's waiting child list. So we switched from Bethany to AAC in a heartbeat. Working with AAC was great. We had such a fabulous in-China experience with Helen in Guangzhou. :) And the U.S. team was also wonderful.
We had our orientation meeting yesterday morning (yes, on a Saturday!) with CCAI. So now we have a boatload of paperwork to begin. Are paperwork fairies still in business? Or am I still playing that part?
What else have we been up to? I'll give you a clue. It starts with "S". Actually, it's two things that start with "S": School and Sickness. Both kids had quite the cough, and Caleb got the worst of it. It's times like these that I'm so glad we homeschool. I can't imagine Caleb having to make up two weeks worth of school. Not fun. But we don't have to worry about that because we school at home. *insert big grin* We did a lightened schedule and took it easy.
And school? What can I say. WE are having a great time. I say WE because not only am I thoroughly enjoying the stuff WE are learning, I am downright giddy. I plan on doing a separate post to share more details. But for now, I'll just share that I have been incorporating more Charlotte Mason inspired, Ambleside Online curriculum into our schedule. I love the content. Love the approach. And the side effect? We're learning AND remembering what we learned months later, with no review, no worksheets, no tests. :) The added bonus of incorporating Charlotte Mason's methods in our home is that I'm giving myself the education I never got as a child (in private school, no less.) We are learning together and having so much fun in the process. Okay, really...I'll share much more on all that a little later.
touching letter to Daddy. I wished I had taken a photo of the letter too.)
We managed to put up our Christmas tree this past Sunday. But the bad photographer that I am these days, I haven't even uploaded the images to my computer. So those will have to come later. For those of you who may not know, I'm quite the micromanager of the tree trimming here. Yes, every ornament has it's own special place. Well, if you can believe it, I placed only one ornament on the tree! Yes, one. That's it. Madeline managed to hang as many ornaments as she could on just a few branches. Thankfully, our tree is artificial. Those poor branches. Caleb did his best to hang some ornaments a little higher than others. Still, when he finished, he asked Patrick, "How come there aren't any ornaments on the top of the tree?" He tried. He really did. But 49" is only gonna get those ornaments so high.
I had a lot of fun this year taking the kids photos for our Christmas card. They had a lot of fun, too. As the years have passed, our Christmas card list has grown. And with each passing year, I moan about the increasing number of cards to address. Well, not this year. I decided I'm drawing a line in the sand. I know it's not proper etiquette to use labels, but I'm sorry. I decided that if I'm sending out over 100 cards, I'm allowed to use labels. I'm cheating. And I'm fine with that. Please don't take it personally if your address isn't handwritten. I'm knee deep in adoption paperwork and schooling. I need a break somewhere. Anybody else use labels to address their cards?
Well, I captured a lot of great images for our card this year. And once those babies are in the mail, I'll share the card here. For now, here are some photos I didn't use.
Anyway, I promise to be back with more on homeschooling. I was also going through some old images and videos and realized there's quite a bit I haven't gotten around to sharing. So some randomness in review will be thrown in the mix too. Anyway, it's back to the paperwork pile for me. Happy Sunday!