Sunday, April 29, 2007

Timbit Toddlers

Our good friends Shawn & Amy have two daughters, Katherine & Lauren. Lauren's first birthday party is on Sunday. We unfortunately have to work so we can't go. Friday night we had our own party with her. Instead of bringing her a cake, we brought her Timbits. She LOVED them! In fact all of the kids loved them. Kendal (Rob & Michele's daughter) , Ethan & Katherine couldn't get them in their mouths fast enough.

I guess we are contributing to the first generation of Americans that are going to be addicted to Tim Horton's. We still have a long way to go before we surpass the Canadians though. (Grandma Thelma & Grandpa Charlie have been known to go there three times in ONE day☺) For right now we'll take baby steps towards achieving that goal.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

A Day Out With Thomas

Everyone got up early to make the journey up to Greenfield Village in Dearborn, MI. Ethan was terribly excited as he knew we were going to see Thomas the Tank Engine. (One of his favorite characters) Grammy and Pa came along to enjoy the festivities too.

The weather was cool and sometimes rainy, but that didn't bother Ethan a bit! Thomas is just as incredible in person as he is in any of his books! First Thomas took us all on a train ride. Ethan was in awe that he was sitting in Annie & Clarabel (Thomas' coaches). Then we had a photo opportunity with Thomas.

Greenfield Village was awesome. We visited a train roundhouse, met Sir Topham Hat (Ethan even gave him a high five☻) and rode a merry go round from the early 1920's. We even got to take a ride in a Model T built in 1914. (Ethan thought it was Stanley from the movie Cars)

Ethan even got his first tattoo! (His first "ink" before 3 years old!) He was very proud of his temporary Thomas tattoo. He kept showing it to everyone. When it finally came off he wondered where Thomas went.

It was a fantastic day that none of us will forget anytime soon. (Even if the weather was not the greatest)

Monday, April 23, 2007

I Love My Zoo!

Since we cleaned the garage yesterday, we took the day off and headed to the Toledo Zoo. We met our friends David & Suzanne there. (They also adopted from Guatemala - twin girls in December 2004). The day was absolutely gorgeous, with not a cloud in the sky, and 80 degree weather. We first went to the Arctic encounter. Ethan enjoyed watching the "focas" (seals) swim. We then headed to the Africa exhibit. This was the favorite spot for the kids because they got to ride the merry go round and train.

Next, we had lunch and then headed to Ethan's second favorite place- the aquarium. Steve loves teaching Ethan about all the different fish - especially the ones he hopes they will catch together someday. As they walked through the aquarium, Ethan would shout out the names of the fish.

We stayed at the aquarium for about an hour before moving on to the hippos and elephants. This area is under renovation so some of the animals weren't available for viewing. I guess we'll just have to come back again. With the fun we had today and the warm weather hopefully here to stay we know we will be making many trips back this summer.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Spring Cleaning

To keep ourselves busy and keep our mind off everything we tackled a project that desperately needed to be done. We cleaned the garage. Now to most of you that project may make you curl your nose up, but for us it was like a treasure hunt.

Somehow we have accumulated so much stuff in the garage, it was getting hard to walk around. When we moved everything onto the driveway, we discovered many things we had forgotten about. Steve found his dandelion popper, Ethan found his rocket ship that the Easter bunny brought him last year & a container of chalk, and Amy found a Real Simple magazine dated April 2006 she had bought but never took out of the bag (Funny that the cover read:No time to clean, quick solutions for every room). I Guess we have been a little busy!

The weather was finally warm and sunny. We got to breathe fresh air and were reacquainted with our old things. It was a win-win situation!

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Lord is Testing Us

We just received an explanation as to why it is taking so long to wrap our case up. In addition to the Easter holiday, it seems PGN made a mistake in the spelling of our name in the final adoption decree and is had to be resubmitted to be fixed. Our case doesn't have to actually go back into PGN - a document just needs to be corrected (thank the Lord!). Mia was issued a birth certificate will our misspelled name. When they went to get her passport the mistake was discovered. ARGH!!!!! This is VERY frustrating because it is just result of someone being careless. We do not no how long this sets things back. But any delay right now is heartbreaking. We just want Mia home. With many prayers and positive thoughts we hope this won't turn into a very long delay. We know that this will all happen in the Lord's time and pray for patience now. But for now we know that Mia is being well taken care of by her wonder loving foster mom, Zoila.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Getting Ready for Mia

This weekend we did the last minute purchases we need for Mia. We went to Babies R Us and got car seats, and of course clothes. We also made stops at Old Navy and the mall, all of course for clothes. This little girl has more clothes than I've ever seen before. We would like to give a shout out to Rob & Michele , and David & Suzanne for all of the clothes☻ Grammy & Pa watched Ethan when we went shopping so we could have a "date night". (I think it will be the last one for a LONG time!) We had dinner and went to see a movie. (Blades of Glory- yes I know, and I am ashamed to admit I payed almost $19 for 2 tickets, but we wanted to see a movie that would have us laughing for 1.5 hours, and yes it did just that!) We didn't get an update from our agency this week, but there was an adoption conference in Texas. I hope that next week they will have some news to tell us. But until then we have car seats to put into cars and tags that need to be taken off new clothes. That should keep us busy for a while!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Merry Easter?????

This year the Easter Bunny could have come on a sleigh!! We didn't have a white Christmas, but we had a white Easter. (Who would have thought!) We had to move our egg hunt indoors. We had to work on Easter, so we had to tell the Easter Bunny to come on Saturday. Of course that meant we had to bribe him with "organic carrots" and Evian water☻. Ethan was taking a nap when he made his visit. When Ethan woke up, he was so excited to find eggs at the end of his bed. As he came downstairs he was more excited with each egg he found. He just couldn't figure out how a bunny could have come into our house and left a trail of eggs. We told him that he must have been a very good boy. We then told him that the Easter Bunny also left him a basket but it was hidden somewhere in the house. Once he heard that, the hunt was on! He finally found it hidden in a corner of the living room. The Easter Bunny had left him many new things, such as a Thomas book, an Aqua Doodle, a new stuffed fish, and candy. But the things he got VERY excited about were his harmonica, Nemo figurines, and Silly Six Pins (a bowling game). Ethan couldn't wait for us to open

everything. (Especially the Nemo figurines!) We spent the afternoon bowling (aka. knocking pins down), playing fish, and having harmonica concerts. Pa even showed off his artistic ability by

recreasting the Nemo characters on the Aqua Doodle Pad. Sunday morning we got up and went to church. Then Ethan went over to Grammy & Pa's house. Ethan soon discovered that the Easter bunny had come there too! In his basket there he had his first chocolate bunny (which will stay there and NOT make it's way home). Ethan also showed Grammy & Pa his new "camera" (a view finder) that he got from his friends Rachel & Lauren. We celebrated Easter with the girls on Thursday. He loves "taking pictures" with it. (Especially since he can take pictures of Nemo!) He can even multi task with his view finder - he can "take pictures" & drink water at the same time! After work we had Easter dinner and then came home and crashed. Even though we had to work, everyone seemed to have a "Hoppy" day☻

Friday, April 6, 2007

Adoption Update

We got an update from our agency today and we found out we are much closer to bringing Mia home than we thought. Amy has been frantically cleaning and sorting things in Mia's room as well as trying to clean the house. We have Mia's new birth certificate and are now just waiting on her Guatemalan passport to be issued before we are submitted to the US Embassy for our Visa appointment. If all goes well we should have our PINK slip by the end of this month, and Mia home sometime early in May. What a GREAT Mother's Day gift that would be!!!!!

The Processions of Holy Week

Processions - Procesiones

The religious processions are organized and carried out by the brotherhoods. The brotherhoods (los hermandades) were originally called cofradías and are religious organizations. The brotherhoods are either men or women, not both. It is thought that the carriers (cucuruchos) participated solely as a form of penance. Today there is some degree of social status involved but the principal motivation is still a show of devotion by the carriers.

Each procession leaves from its church and follows a route through the streets of Antigua before returning to the church several hours later. Purple is the color of the robes worn by the carriers up to Good Friday, then the robes are black to signify mourning.
Thousands of processional carriers participate in the processions. They are all members of the brotherhood that cares for the particular sculpture. Some have participated in processions all their lives.

Processions generally begin with incense carriers and the brotherhood's banner, followed by the carriers and the float (anda). Carriers will carry the float for a block and then a new group will take their turn. Each turn is determined by the carriers' shoulder height to ensure that the float is balanced. This is very important as the floats can weigh as much as 7,000 pounds (3,150 kilograms.)

A block behind the main float, the women carry a smaller float (size is relative here) with the figure of the Virgin Mary. The women wear white in their procession before Good Friday. Following behind is a funeral march band and two additional floats carrying the sculptures of San Juan and Maria Magdelena.
On Easter Sunday the mood changes . The Easter Sunday procession is a joyous and celebratory occasion as Christ has risen from the grave. The mood is casual and joyful music and ringing bells can be heard. The anda bearing the risen Christ robed in white is greeted with cheers and applause, and firecrackers are set off.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The Carpets of Holy Week

Carpets - Alfombras
There are two type of carpets (alfombras) made during Semana Santa. The carpets along the processional route are made by residents along the route who invite friends and family to assist them. The carpets in the churches are made for the holy vigils (velaciones) and are made by the brotherhoods (hermandades).

Velaciones are held in the churches that have religious activities during the holiday. These carpets are made by members of the brotherhood responsible for the sculpture. The carpets are made in front of the religious figure on display and are surrounded by fruits, vegetables and candles brought as offerings to the church the day before.

The carpets along the processional route are made during the 24 hours prior to the procession. If more than one procession goes down a street a new carpet is made for each procession. Carpets express both religious as well as contemporary messages in the designs. Preparations for the carpets begin weeks, sometimes months, ahead.

Sand or sawdust is generally used to level the cobblestone roadway. Sawdust is then collected and dyed in different colors. Favorite colors are purple, green, blue, red, yellow and black. Flowers such as bougainvillea, chrysanthemums, carnations, roses and other native plants and pine needles are also used.

Carpets are started the day before the procession and the construction is timed so that the carpets are finished just before the carriers of the float arrive so that carpet looks its best.
The carriers of the main float are the first ones allowed to walk over the carpet. They are followed the rest of the procession.