Saturday, January 30, 2010

Working together

Today the boys got to play in the snow for a long time. That is because Daddy played with them and not Mommy. I stayed inside and made cookies.

Nick and Alex decided Ryan needed to make snowballs for them and they loaded up the sled with them. Then they decided that their sled would go much faster if the path was covered with snowballs. But the sledding path was on the other side of the yard. So they worked together and carried the sled from one side of the yard to the other loaded with snowballs. Then they would take the snowballs and put them down the path and go back for another load. Ryan came in and pretty soon the boys decided they were getting cold. They got in the bath and then I told them to go upstairs and get dressed in dry clothes. We had to put the picture on here of Nick in the 'outfit' he chose.

It is wonderful to see the boys working and playing together!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Alex!!!!!!!

Today, Alex is five years old. He is very excited. We are having dinner tonight with his grandparents.

Last night, we had our 6-month post-placement visit. It went good. Alex did roar at the lady once or twice, but the boys sat and played with legos and talked to our visitor a little.

She asked, "What is his personality like?"
And we said- He is a tease, he is very happy, pretty laid-back and easy going.

So today we have two five year old boys! That is a little crazy. Alex has been the perfect addition to our family. It seems like he has always been our son and we love him so much. Nick is very happy to have a brother, too!

She also asked "Do they argue?"
Ummmmmm.... yeah. Just like brothers! But they love each other more and more each day.

Monday, January 25, 2010

bugs, peanut butter and Jackie, and rattlecake

Just some of the things I have been offered this morning while Alex is 'cooking'. (with play-do)
He really cracked himself up with the peanut butter and Jackie.
I am cleaning to get ready for a home visit tonight. It is our 6-month post-placement visit but Alex has actually been our son for a little over 7 months now! Tomorrow is his birthday and I have neglected to put pictures of our great weekend in Branson. Soon!

Here is a bit of our conversation in the kitchen:

Alex: You want nacho cookie?
Me: Sure.
Alex: It has rice, peanut butter, jelly, bugs.
Me: Bugs?
Alex: You like bugs. We cook it. You like it. It has some tomatoes. Do you like tomatoes or no?
Me: I do. But I like them better with a salad.
A: They don’t go better with a salad. If you want salad, that’s fine! I got some kitty cat for you.
Me: To eat?
Alex: Yes, to eat. Do you like kitty cat or no?
Me: Not to eat, no.
Alex: Why? It’s cookie.
Me: Oh, it’s a cookie that looks like a kitty cat?
Alex: Yeah, what do you like best? Mushroom kitty cat?

and so on...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Nick's decision

Nick made the decision Tuesday night to pray and ask Jesus to come into his heart and be his Lord and Savior. From the time he could speak a little English, he has not stopped asking us questions- pretty deep theological questions. In the past couple months, he asked us often when could he become a Christian. I would go through the Bible verses and his understanding seemed to really be growing. He just never knew quite what to pray. I didn't want to put words in his mouth.
The day I told him our sweet little friend Emma had passed away and was now in Heaven with Jesus, he had a strange reaction. He was very excited. He was so happy that Emma was in Heaven. Nick kept talking about Emma getting to be with Jesus. Since that day, he has been very persistent about asking Jesus into his heart.
Tuesday we went to the hospital to meet Nick and Alex's new cousin. On the drive up there, Nick sang a very long song about all his beliefs and how much he loved Jesus- his Lord and Savior. So Tuesday night, I asked him if he wanted to pray and ask Jesus into his heart. He said yes and prayed for Jesus to save him. He was so happy. He kept jumping up and down. Nick kept asking 'Am I a Christian now? Is Jesus in my heart?"
We told him we will talk to our pastor and then he can be baptized. He is very excited about that!
I'm not sure how long he stayed up Tuesday night- he was just so excited. I told him he could stay up and talk to Jesus and sing in bed if he wanted to. He is a lot like me- my mom reminded me that when I got saved she heard me for a long time that night singing in my room about how happy I was and how much I loved Jesus. Well, I still do and I'm so happy Nick is now my little brother in Christ. Grandma Pruett told him he has two birthdays now, but I also reminded him that he has also been adopted twice! He is a child of God!

I used the questions and Bible verses in my Share Jesus Without Fear Bible.
The verses are:
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (He has this one memorized thanks to Mr. Eddie- his Sunday School teacher.)
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.
John 3:3 Jesus replied "I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
John 14:6 Jesus told him "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
Romans 10:9-10 If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 With the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation.
2 Corinthians 5:15 And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised.
Revelation 3:20 Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me.

I wish I could remember what Nick's explanation for each verse was! Someday he'll be old enough to share that himself. He has already started to try. He is trying to convince Alex to become a Christian and getting a little upset that he doesn't understand yet :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Nick and Alex have a new cousin!

Tyson was born yesterday: 01/11/10. His birthday is a palindrome! Aunt Jackie has a picture on her blog:

We were outside playing in the snow- finally- while Tyson was entering the world. Four boys on the Bradley side of the family now! And they'll have another new cousin in June- the first on the Pruett side (first cousin). I guess we'll find out soon if Uncle Nathan and Aunt Charlene are having a boy or girl.

Congratulations Greg, Jackie and Logan on the newest addition to your family. We are looking forward to meeting him today.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Painting Day

Alex's Spider-man pictures

Nick's Ankylasaurus
Alex's letter art
Nick's letter art

Alex painting

Nick painting

Maybe the pictures will explain themselves but just in case they don't:
We painted apple prints for the letter A.
For the letter B, we made a boat out of shapes.
Letter C is for counting.
And the crackers are Dinner!
Nick and Alex both did great doing 'my' paint projects for the first four letters of the alphabet and then I let them paint whatever they want.
Nick painted an Ankylasaurus eating grass at supper time. It is dark!
Alex painted spider man in a boat and spider man in a chair.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow Day!

Today was Nick's first snow day! He gets another one tomorrow. Unfortunately, it was way too cold to go outside. Sure the boys would have probably survived if I had bundled them up, but I have a condition called reynauds? that makes the cold pretty unbearable.

We had a great day inside though. The boys were great! They wrote their letters for a long time in their handwriting without tears book. We worked on the 'Frog Jump Letters'. I would sing the song for each letter and they would jump all around like frogs. Then they would draw each letter in the air. We used the chalkboard and wood pieces and mat that came with this curriculum and had lots of fun. Nick has made very good progress on his letters.

We also learned about Noah and sang a song about obeying. We worked on our Bible verses for a while for AWANA and for Alex's preschool (at home) and we practiced finding all the letters of the alphabet. We read a sight word book and were getting ready to paint when Ryan got home from work- so we went to Steak 'n Shake in the frigid weather. It's 11 degrees outside right now but the wind chill makes it feel miserable. Now to find a picture to go with this blog!

Oh, I have the perfect pictures. I made the boys special gloves to fit their hands exactly since Wal-mart doesn't seem to carry them. They were pretty thrilled by them although I think Alex's are already lost and one of Nick's is lost.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Link to Nick's artwork

Nick has never liked to color, draw, write, etc. since we met him. Obviously, he probably didn't like it before that either but I didn't know him then. I don't think he had ever held a pencil or writing utensil because he had no idea what to do with it. The first week of school, art class did not go well. I think the art teacher was concerned but she has obviously made it a priority to help Nick enjoy art and feel like he can be successful at it. He has come to really enjoy art class each Friday and brought home some neat projects.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Alex's video

Okay, I did have a video of when we met Alex in China.


Nick and Alex had so much fun last night watching videos of when we first got them in China. It is especially funny to watch Nick's videos because he has changed so much. I'm hoping I can post a couple of the videos on here. One of these days, I want to put all their videos on a DVD. That would entertain them for hours.
They've had a lot of fun playing together during Christmas break and Nick says he does not want to go back to school. But I know he will have a great day tomorrow and be glad to be back to routine. Plus, he'll get to see his friends at school. Alex may not know what to do with himself but he'll get to go to the Y to play for a little while tomorrow and I plan to start preschool back up.
The video of Alex is about a week after we came home- I think. The videos we have of him in China are on our other computer. You can see in the video how much he was already imitating Nick and how much he was teaching Nick.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Busy Books

When I was little, my mom made my sister and I both our own busy book. All three grandsons have enjoyed playing with them, so this year, my mom made the boys their own busy books. Grandpa helped out.

Grandpa wrote the sentences and used Nick's sight words for the blank spaces.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Eve

The boys spent the night with Grandma and Grandpa Bradley on New Year's Eve. They had a great time. Their crazy parents went out with friends dressed in 70's clothes. We had a wonderful time. We picked the boys up on New Years Day and took them to Bread Co. for lunch. It has been a relaxing day!

Christmas Day at Grandma Bradley's

We made it to Grandma and Grandpa Bradley's house around 2. Uncle Greg, Aunt Jackie, and Logan were already there. We opened presents first. We gave Grandma and Grandpa both a blanket. Of course, Grandma's is to use to keep warm and Grandpa's is more for decoration. It has pictures of Nick and Alex. They gave us Silver Dollar City season passes for all four of us. They also gave Ryan a gift certificate to Panera and a coin sorter. My parents gave me a gift certificate to Kohl's and a jacket that my mom made. I wore the jacket to church last Sunday and should have taken a picture. I think it is beautiful and it fits me perfectly.
All three grandsons loved playing with the plastic food from Grandma and Grandpa. It is to stay at their house so they can use it in the play kitchen. I'm not sure Logan knew it was pretend! Alex was cracking up at Ryan. I'm not even sure what they were doing but Alex kept giving him an icecream cone with different things stuck in the top instead of the icecream.
Grandma made both boys their own special play outfit. Nick got a doctor's coat and a big doctor's kit. I could hear the boys upstairs playing with it for a long time one morning this week. She made Alex an artist's shirt, and they gave him a crayola color and glow thing. It is really cool. Alex has played with that a lot and the puzzles from Grandma and Grandpa.
My mom also made all three boys a busy book. I want to put pictures of that on another blog. They are really neat and took a lot of work!
Uncle Greg and Aunt Jackie gave them remote control cars. They love those!
We ate lunch and then played with all the new toys. Well, mostly, the women visited and the men played. Ryan took the boys downstairs for a while to play nintendo. My dad still has the original Nintendo with the mario game and duckhunt. After a while, Nick and Alex came back upstairs but Ryan must have stayed downstairs playing by himself for a while- remembering the good old days.

And we can't forget...

I guess I have to include a picture of myself on Christmas morning. I had a wonderful Christmas. Ryan gave me a beautiful new watch, beautiful new earrings, beautiful pajamas which are also very soft and comfortable and two books. I read the books the next two days. Both were by Ted Dekker and were great! He also gaev me a beautiful bag that his boss's wife Nancy made. I can carry all my books to the library in it. The boys gave me a Mandessa CD and a movie- One Night with the King. I'm looking forward to watching the movie because I love the story of Esther.
Ryan got his fossil watch, some clothes from Express, and some books. The boys gave him a nice scarf and pajama pants.

Alex's Christmas

Alex celebrated his first Christmas with us! It was wonderful to have him here to hold and kiss- when he lets you. Alex came downstairs and was ready to open everything and play with it. He also got two transformers from Santa and a Little Einstein Rocket that drives and transforms into different vehicles. Once we told him there were more presents, he was ready to move on. Nick gave Alex a police car that includes a policeman and a dog plus all kinds of little accessories. Alex loves all the little guns and things. We gave Alex a camera (he loves to take pictures), a sweater, a Kung Fu Panda book and an ocean book, the same calendar as we gave Nick, stomp rockets, and something else- can't remember right now!
Our greatest gift this year was to bring home another son and I think even Nick would say his greatest gift was getting a brother. I am amazed by the progress they have both made over the past 6 months. Christmas was wonderful but definitly a lot for Alex to take in. He did really great!

Nick's Christmas

Nick was very excited about Christmas this year. For one thing, he got two weeks off school! We prayed Christmas Eve before bed that he would feel better for Christmas, and he did. Santa brought Nick two transformers and a K-Nex/ Lego Dinosaur building kit. Plus, there was a big loader and a Zippity for the boys to share. Alex gave Nick the Land Before Time Movie. And we gave Nick three shirts with pictures on them (he had told me that is what he wants to wear to school), two dinosaurs- an ankylosaurus and a triceratops, calendar, some books- mostly dinosaur books (notice a theme), and a Little Foot (from the Land Before time movies) puzzle. I made the calendar on snapfish and used Nick's sight words from school so he can read the sentence each month. Santa also gave the whole family Mario Cart. We have had a lot of fun playing with that!
Of course, there was candy and hotwheels in the stocking. Nick also got some really neat things from his grandparents and Aunts and Uncles.

Ryan's surprise

Alex went with me one day to buy Ryan a watch from Fossil. Ryan had seen it in the magazine and really liked it, but he had no idea I bought it. I wrapped it up in the middle of a big box full of coffee for his tassimo machine.

Christmas morning

Here is what Nick wanted for Christmas and probably would have been happy if this is all he had gotten. It is another Land Before Time Movie. I think it is number 10. He has watched it that many times!

Here is our tree Christmas morning right before the boys came downstairs. They slept in until 7:50. I didn't think they were ever going to wake up.

Here is what Nick wanted for Christmas and probably would have been happy if this is all he had gotten. It is another Land Before Time Movie. I think it is number 10. He has watched it that many times!

Ryan thought he got a whole box of coffee. He did but there was a suprise inside.