Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Year in Review

Merry Christmas and New Year: From our hearts and home to yours, we wish you God’s greatest blessings and peace this Christmas and New Year’s Holiday Season! The following are our brief reflections on the amazing journey God gave us in 2009. Enjoy!

January: Twelve months ago, we started our 2009 journey by traveling north for Ty’s palate surgery at Shriner’s Hospital in Chicago. We love Chicago! After the surgery, we had the longest two weeks of our lives with daily syringe feedings and arm restraints. A huge thank you goes out to Amy’s mom, Audrey, (you rock!) who lovingly flew up from Austin to help get all of us through this challenging time.

February: We rejoiced that Ty’s palate surgery was a huge success with a return trip to Chicago! His mouth had healed beautifully and he celebrated by beginning to consume everything! - especially broccoli, peas, cauliflower, brussell sprouts and asparagus!

March: We had a great time with Amy’s family from Texas during their early Spring visit. We travelled to Arthur, IL to see “everything Amish” in this local community and eat at the famous, local restaurant – Yoder’s Kitchen.

April: We celebrated Easter with Troy’s dad from Iowa, Dan. Dan was a huge help as usual with some new house upgrades during his visit! Thanks Dad! You’re the greatest!

May: We celebrated Ty’s Second Birthday (May 01) with a 2-in-1 Birthday Party on May 10. The first part of the party celebrated his First Birthday that we missed while he was still and orphan in China. The second part celebrated his Second Year of Life that he now enjoys with his forever family. We thank Troy’s mom, Sharen, our family and friends that came to party with us!

June: We travelled for vacation to Mo Ranch in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. We enjoyed time with our extended family, the sunshine, pool and Guadalupe River during our visit. Troy conquered his fear of heights by walking over the big catwalk bridge pushing Ty in his stroller and we witnessed the ranch maintenance workers catch a big rattlesnake on the road near our cabin.

July: We celebrated the Fourth of July with Troy’s Dad, Dan on this annual summer visit and golf outing in Central Illinois. Troy completed his third Lakeside Triathlon on the shores of Lake Decatur on July 5th.

August: We travelled on back-to-back weekends to Kentucky (regional thriathlon competition)and Ohio (organic church conference). We shopped at a huge international market called Jungle Jim’s in Cincinnati and Troy swam a mile down the Ohio River completing his first Olympic distance triathlon with his friend, Scott in Maysville, KY - the hometown of Rosemary and George Clooney.

September: We celebrated the 1st Anniversary of our “Gotcha Day” on Sept 16th, the day we received Ty from Chinese orphanage officials at Mama Mia’s Italian Restaurant inside the Crowne Plaza Hotel located in Downtown Zhengzhou, Henan, China. We capped the month by traveling with Amy’s parents to The Great Pumpkin Patch in Arthur, IL so Ty could pick out his annual Halloween pumpkin.

October: We had a great time as a family during “Boo at the Zoo” Night at Scovill Zoo in Decatur. Also, Ty had a fantastic evening with his neighborhood friend, John Brevin, trick-or-treating on Halloween Night. Ty was dressed as a Train Engineer and made us crack up by saying “Choo Choo!” when people answered their doors.

November: We celebrated Thanksgiving by travelling to see both of our families on back to back weekends in Texas and Iowa.

December: Ty now has two new girlfriends – Dora the Explorer and Ni Hao Kai-Lan. He is especially fond of Kai-Lan and the Mandarin Chinese that she is teaching him. We had a great Christmas with Ty. He enjoyed seeing that Santa drank all the milk he poured, eaten the cookies he baked and taken the carrots for his reindeer. We rounded the day off by starting the new tradition of having an Open House from 3-6PM for all our neighbors and friends. It was a great day!

The Reason for the Season: Finally, as the year draws to a close and 2010 is about to begin, we would like to thank our Lord, Savior and King, Jesus Christ for all our blessings these past 52 weeks. We thank Him for being born in manger as a common human being so he could relate to common people like us. We thank Him for growing up to be our Savior, dying on the Cross, taking away the debts we could never pay ourselves and opening the door of the Kingdom of Heaven to us forever. We thank Him for being our King who lives, reigns and gives us victory over any circumstance in life, especially hard economic times. This is the true reason for the season and foundation for celebration! Peace and Love to all of you!