Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy New Year

New Year
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Katie's First Christmas

This was so funny. All the kids wanted a baby bottle of milk or a pacifier;-))))). So I laid my babies all in a circle and issued bottles of milk and pacifiers. They are such silly little kids. We all got a big laugh out of it!!!! The next day we began our Christmas baking and had a ball.

Trisha is under my supervision making the famous German bread called "Potica".

Here she is rolling the bread out paper thin and adding the nut filling.

Here it is ready for the oven. We cut it into loaves before baking it.

Then we decorated the Christmas tree after baking all day. Some of the things we baked were peanut butter chocolate balls, peanut butter chocolate pretzel clusters, nut rolls, Christmas nuggets, and rum balls...yummmmmm.

DeeDee is working on the top of the tree.
Little Trisha wanted her turn at placing ornaments on the tree top.
Here we had finished decorating and next we sat up our Christmas Tiny Town and our Nativity scene.

Here are the kids for their Christmas picture on Christmas Eve. Top row from left to right: Katie Aunna, Casey, Annie, Little Trisha and from left to right on the bottom row: Christian, John-John, DeeDee, Mary, and Karissa.

This is Christmas morning and everyone is chomping at the bits to start ripping open their plunder of Christmas treats.
We had a wonderful time with Katie Aunna and our other darling little children. Casey and Little Trisha were my biggest helpers this year. Little Trisha shopped till she dropped for Casey, DeeDee, and her own clothes. Casey wrapped until he had sore fingers;-). I had bought special gifts for the kids from Switzerland. Particularly a watch for Casey and also a Swiss watch for Trisha and little Swiss dolls for the little girls. John-John got his favorite toy in the world.....Geo Train Tracks and more cars for his huge train set up. He really enjoys playing his train set. I bought nice winter clothes for all the children and this is the bulk of their Christmas gifts. Thank goodness that all the kids absolutely love clothes!!!!
It seems rather cruel that Christmas has come and gone so quickly. Katie Aunna was delighted and she felt like she was in Heaven. It was a very special Christmas for her. Hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas break and remember that the biggest present of all was the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. I tried to emphasize this message often during our classes before I gave them a holiday break.
I am continuing to ask from the depths of my heart and soul that everyone please continue to pray for V. Please....let God speak openly to y0ur hearts and donate any amount possible to her adoption fund so she may be able to unite with her family. We would love nothing more than to be able to afford her adoption. She is (like Katie and our other children) a shinning diamond in a dark place where she will have a very bleak future with the limp she has. One of her legs is longer than the other and here Shriners could fix this free of charge. She also is in need of dental work and properly fitting glasses.
PLEASE......Open your hearts for any amount you are led to give to help her come home!!!! Even a small amount will help bring her closer to home. So listen to God's soft and patient calling to you and help "V". God's many blessing to you...He will reward your generosity many times over as He promises to do in His Holy Bible and further, He commands us to help the orphans.
Happy holidays and many blessings...Trisha, Duane, Casey, Christian, Karissa, Katie Aunna, Mary, John, and our two grand-babies Little Trisha and DeeDee!!!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Reflections Of Christmas 2007 and Dreams Do Come True

Well....We went to the Clovis Annual Christmas Light Parade. Of course, my Developmental School had a float. It was adorable. We won 3rd place;-(. I will post some pictures in another post. Anyway, we now have the lights up on the house with all the trees in the yard decorated and the little figures placed in the lawn (I'll get a picture). Our tree is now set up in the living room, too. I still have the Christmas Tiny Town and Nativity Display to set up inside the house. Also, I have some more baking to do and I think I will do it tomorrow. The decorations have turned out beautifully this year (so far) and can't wait to do our annual family pictures in front of the tree with our newest sweet family member....Katie Aunna Gartner.

I reflect back on last Christmas when I was stressing out about getting a dossier together for little Katie Aunna's adoption. In addition, I needed to get my Christmas decorations up, presents bought, and then the task of getting them all wrapped, plus all my goodies baked. I felt like I was caught up in this horrible whirlwind last year. It was John-John's first Christmas, too. So, that added more stress as Duane felt I should not concentrate on a dossier, but, should be thinking of John's first Christmas.

Well, I tucked away the paperwork and just simply enjoyed our first year with John. Here are pictures of his time to have a family for Christmas. I am so excited to have Katie this year and not be in the process of doing a dossier and Christmas. Now I can just enjoy all the family get togethers, Christmas parties, and our family Holiday. I hope you enjoy the pictures from last Christmas which was John-John's first and I am really looking forward to making and posting the pictures of Katie Aunna's first Christmas soon.

In close, this evening I am posting because I wanted to share with you what Katie Aunna said to me tonight. I was rocking her in my over-sized rocking chair and we were talking about what happened last Christmas when she was still in the Russian orphanage. She said Santa came to visit and brought all the kids candy and they had a nice dinner that night. Then she looked into my eyes and said "Mommy, I love this Christmas really the most. I get family for Christmas this year....and do I get a present, too?" It was so touching and yet I had to laugh because she sure does get "a" present;-). More than one as a matter of fact...LOL. They are not wrapped yet so none of the children know how many gifts are for them.

Then her glowing face suddenly changed to a sad look and mentioned her friend left behind. Please, pray for Katie Aunna's best friend "V", as "V" now has had two of her dear friends, who have found families and she has not yet. I have been begging Duane, but, our finances right at this moment are a biggie;-(. So, I continue to pray about this little girl and hope God will bless us and her. When we were picking up Katie from the orphanage, "V" laid her head on my shoulder weeping and begged me to take her home with Katie. She touched my heart deeply with her tears as they spilled on me and she pled. That was so difficult and neither Duane nor I seem to be able to free our mind's eye from that picture. So, we continue to pray for God's Will to prevail in our lives and for "V".

Please, during this season of perpetual hope, pray and think of all those precious children left behind. They have not one person in their life they can call family as they are orphans. It is so easy to sit in the comfort of our world and not recognize or feel the pain of a lonely orphan. Let this be the season to open your hearts and your minds to the possibility of adopting an orphan who may look into your eyes and say as Katie did to me..."This year I have family for Christmas"!!!

After all.....aren't we so so so lucky God adopted us??? Look, during Jesus' birthday, at the price God paid to adopt us with the death of His Son Jesus Christ. Please open your hearts and homes "Until All Have Homes"!!! I ask you, in Christ's love, to go to the following site to donate to "V's" adoption and help make that miracle happen for her. Any amount the Lord asks you to give is never too small. Go to and click on waiting children.

If you are not registered, ask to be, then go to Eastern Europe children. Next go to girls and scroll down to "V's" picture 61003. Her face looks so unhappy and without hope. Hit the donate button and do whatever God leads you to do. Above all, pray for God's intervention in uniting this child to her forever family and for us to perhaps make this happen.

God's many blessings and Happy Holidays....Trisha, Katie Aunna, and Family <><