|Nora with her birth half-sister, Giselle, before Giselle headed home to Canada!|
2. Specific prayer request for Nora. Beyond the request of asking for her name to appear in the newspaper, we would also like to extend an invitation for you to be praying for her leg strength. We have found out she has begun crawling, but is only going for things she REALLY wants to get to. If there is nothing she really wants, she seems very content to sit and watch the other children play. She turns 11 months old this Thursday and this is a pretty typical delayed start to crawling. Without the one-on-one care she would get in a typical family, the developmental delays have to be expected. That being said, we had received word from Micah's dad when he visited briefly with Nora in July that he noticed she did not put any weight down on her legs and would not stand up on his lap at all. As we watched Ashley hold her on our Skype call, we heard her begin a brief cry when Ashley tried to have her stand. Later the following week Ashley let us know she did try to do some one-on-one time with Nora and she would "yelp" when Ashley would try to straighten out her legs to stand or put weight on them. Basically, we are not overly concerned at this point, but would appreciate prayers for her leg strength anyways. We hope as she begins crawling more and more, she will gain a desire to be more independent and therefore strengthen those weak and unused muscles. It is something I will definitely be checking out while I am there (although that could be funny since I have no medical or physical therapy training whatsoever!)
4. The rest of the Thieszen crew...
I'll start with Lily. She began her school year a little over a week ago as a 1st Grader! I still can't believe I am typing that. She has enjoyed her first week+ very much. Her teacher seems great so far, she has two of her best friends in her class, and she has brought home many papers already with smiley faces at the top so she is a happy girl.
|Lily last year on her first day of kindergarten--notice the skirt she picked to wear & the door knob coming to her mouth.|
|Lily this year--1st day of 1st Grade--notice the skirt she again picked to wear & the door knob now at her shoulders!|
Lastly, we have begun the phase of Lily writing lots of notes without asking us to help her with spelling. I love it!!! Here are a few of her samples...can you figure out what all she is saying?
|This was a menu she gave Micah and me when we were guests at her "restaurant"|
5. Next is Toby. While Lily has enjoyed the start of school, Toby on the other hand is not so thrilled about what is coming up next week. According to us, Toby will begin preschool after Labor Day. According to Toby, he is adamantly NOT going to school! Eek! He is certainly our more timid one and does not do as well with new things or new people. I am entering this time frame with an expectation that it could be a couple solid weeks of crying 3 days a week before he realizes this is actually a lot of fun and then, by all means, he will love it. It certainly helps one of his best friends from church will also be in his class...still such a huge answer of prayer for this Mama's heart. He has thoroughly enjoyed a summer of fun outdoors...mainly every day with his best friend and neighbor boy, Caleb.
|Toby practicing catching with his Uncle Charlie|
6. Quinn! He is his typical little dimpled, mischievous self. He's a pretty sweet boy who wants to do everything the bigger kids do (or more) and tends to forget he's only 2. He gives us challenges when we have to discipline as he simply isn't affected by it one way or another. Thankfully, he's still 2 and not a teenager yet. Maybe by the time he gets that old we'll find something that works! Ha! One can hope, right?!?!
|Oh, melt my heart. (I also love Micah beside us wishing it was him getting a kiss)|
7. Micah! I love that man!
There are many things about him that are different from me, but with time and wisdom I'm seeing more and more that those differences are such a blessing to our relationship and our family. I can not tell you where I would be in this life without his constant support, sarcasm, and laid-back personality. Watching him set up the tent in the back yard this past weekend for an overnight with the three kids while I had an evening/night to get some important things done inside was just another example of the priceless man he is. I simply can't wait to see Nora blossom under his leadership and love for this family. He is still hard at work making his cancer patients' time of infusions and blood draws be the best experience it can be. He feels blessed to be working at more than just a "job" but more his area of calling. I'm sure his patients (and maybe his co-workers-Ha!) feel the same way. We are looking forward to celebrating 10 years of marriage this late November. Not exactly sure what that "celebration" will look like yet, but it will be something. Probably not the dream trip to Italy/Rome we naively thought we would take on our 10 year anniversary when we first got married. : ) Something about young kids, an adoption, school schedules, budgets, etc. that seem to get in the way of that right now...maybe 25 years??? 40??? Someday, we'll get there, Babe!
|Our engagement photo--taken in April 2002|
|10 years later--a little older & still very much in love!|
9. V.A.C.A.T.I.O.N. Oh, yes, we had a wonderful time on our family vacation out to Topeka, Kansas to meet our newest nephew, Liam and then onward to Kansas City, Missiouri to visit with our friends, The Churchill's, and then finally for our stop at the St. Louis Arch. I'll let the photos speak for themselves on the amount of fun we had as a family...
|Getting out the traveling craziness|
|Pool time relaxation|
|Sibling love--this started out with Toby on the left, Lily in the middle, and Quinn on the right!|
|Summertime childhood fun!|
|Getting ready to head into quite the experience at the T-Rex Cafe!|
|Such a cool place!|
|Eating our lunch with the Churchill clan under a giant jellyfish|
|Yes, we all went up despite my nerves!!!|
|St. Louis at sunset from 630 feet up!|
|Can you tell they LOVED the Arch??? (This is in the elevator on the way down)|
|Just some cool shots of the Arch at dusk|
|A totally exhausted, happy child with his newly adopted dino, Selly. Sign of a good trip, eh!|
10. Our family did a week long (partial) fast from media. I say partial because I just HAD to be able to check my email twice a day to see if we had any news from Haiti. Well, my own overall observations of our fast are the following: that fast was not my cup of tea, I totally checked more than email by the end of the week because I had an
*Bonus* 11. Three things Micah and I are looking forward to with the change of seasons....Nebraska football, Ohio State football, and the start of the new "Castle" season (our every Monday night date night on our couch). Yep, we enjoy fall for far more than the changing leaves and cooler temps, what can we say?