Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hi Maetia, Eli, and Asher!

Hello to our cousins!
Hi from Aidan!
Merry Christmas from Ella!
We miss you guys! Love, Tristan

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sinter Klaas

Our friend, Rose, from the Netherlands, came to vist us. We haven't seen Rose in 3 years, so it was a really special time for us to spend with her. One of the highlights of Rose's visit was celebrating Sinter Klaas with her and the kids. Tristan and Ella really got into it and were counting down the days until December 5th! After supper, we were surpised with a knock on our back door and a bag full of presents left for us. The kids got a bag of traditional Dutch candies, John received dropjes (not sure on the spelling of this one!), and I got marzipan- my favorite! Someone knew what we liked!! Here are some pics from the celebration...

Christmas Tree

John and I took the kids to a Christmas tree farm in Indiana today. I was doing a photo shoot at the farm and the kids were able to come and enjoy the snow! It was quite chilly, but they didn't seem to mind... even Aidan was a happy boy! The family gave us a tree for our house... we are very grateful. So, tomorrow we will spend the afternoon decorating ...I can't wait!

enjoying a hayride to the field

aidan is 8 months old

snow angel
tristan loved to jump out with the surpise attack!
the car ride home... i think they're tired!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Here's a little glimpse of our Fall-
We had a beautiful October. It was about 70 degrees on Halloween and the kids went trick-or-treating for over an hour and a half (a first for us- usually it's freezing and we last for 20 minutes!) Tristan and John made an awesome Lego costume and Ella was a princess, then a butterfly, then back to princess. Aidan wore his pumpkin robeez- I thought that was enough for this year! I think we (John and I!) have managed to eat 75% of the loot already.
The picture of Tristan and Ella (and friend, Samantha) is from their choir concert. They are a part of a local church choir and they sang at a Harvest Home Dinner. They sang a beautiful hymn- we could hear Ella's little voice all the way in the back pew!
The kids loved having John's Dad visit this week. He was put through the ringer with the 3 kids- wrestling, teasing (from Ella!), and even babysitting Aidan while I went to school. He had a great time and we sure enjoyed having him around.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pumpkin Patchin'

There's a fabulous pumpkin patch in WI close to my parent's house that we visit in the fall. The weekend we went, the trees were in full color and the countryside was beautiful. We took a wagonride to the fields and picked out our own pumpkins. Ella got to go on a pony ride (a big highlight for her!) and Tristan and John did the corn maze. (ask John about his video taping "mishap" in the maze!)

You can't beat the beauty of Wisconsin in the fall!

Popcorn Farm

This weekend we all took a drive to a popcorn farm in Benson, IL where I did a photo shoot for my sister's magazine. It was so nice to be away from the city and experience farm life for a day. The highlights of the day were being up close and personal with the pigs (I was actually in the pigpen!), having a warm lunch in the field with the family, and riding on the combine with the 75 year old Grandma- wow.

John's mom was in town for the weekend and was able to go with us to the farm. We all had a really relaxing, fun day. It's amazing to me that a quiet peaceful place like this is just 2 hours away from Chicago! We all felt like we were in Iowa, not so close to the city!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Review Room

Some good news! Our paperwork (which has been sitting on a shelf the last 18 months) is finally being reviewed in China! Please pray that everything will be fine and that we won't have any setbacks. Once our paperwork has been approved and we are through the review room, all we have to do is wait (for who knows how long!) for our referral. Despite the long wait time, we are still very excited about welcoming a new little girl into our family. Ella and Tristan pray daily for "Baby China" and are hoping to be able to travel with us when we go to China. We'll let you all know when we are officially reviewed and approved!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Apple Picking

The kids and I joined friends at an apple orchard last week. We had to drive an hour to get to the orchard, but it was worth the drive. We all had a great time and are looking forward to making some apple sauce tonight with our McIntosh apples!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Behind the Couch

I have a really large picture frame behind my couch that has a very outdated family picture. I have been meaning to put a new photo in (for the past 2 years!), but we have never been able to get a nice looking family photo. Well, I've been feeling especially guilty for not updating it since Adian's been born.

SO, here it our best shot from the summer. Don't look too close at the drool marks or t-shirt text. This is who we are and what we look like, so it's going on the wall. And, I have to say, I don't think we look half bad!

The next time you visit our house, look for a new photo behind the couch and maybe some in the hallway, too!

First Day

So, another summer has come and gone and the kids are back to school. Tristan is in second grade and Ella is in 4 year old preschool. I can't believe how big they are both getting! John and I are both so proud of them and thankful for the fun and love they bring to our family. Of course, we had to include little Aidan in our "first day" photos!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Packers, Providence, and Portland

We've been out of town for 2 weeks and have just returned to Elmhurst! We had a blast on our vacations, but it's always good to come home again. At the end of July, I took the kids to WI for a week and we spent time with my parents. One of the highlights was going to the PackersFamily Night at Lambeau Field for Tristan's 8th birthday! We are still cheeseheads and loved being able to see Lambeau and all the players (and 54,000 other Packer fans who were there!)
Family Night at Lambeau

the kiddos

"Aidy," Ella's nickname for Aidan

Toucans- our favorite custard stand in West Bend

Happy 8th Birthday, Tristan!

Papa built Tristan his very own carpetball for his birthday! Somebody sure loves Tristan!


After our week in WI, John and Tristan, and the Chan boys, headed to Camp Paradise for Father & Son Camp. (pictures still coming!) They had an amazing time together! I took Ella and Aidan and went to Rhode Island to be with Steph and the girls. After camp the boys drove back to RI (a VERY long drive!) and we spent a few more days together. We are all thankful for the special week we had and the blessing of lifelong friends.


The new little cousins- Eli (5 months), Aidan (4months), and Asher (1 month)

While we were in RI, we were able to make a quick trip to Maine to see John's family and meet all the new cousins. We are quite a large group- 14 in all!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

We Love Camping!

We've been camping two times now since Aidan has been born. We were pleasantly surprised at how well Aidan did- especially at night! The mosquitos were terrific, the dirt was plentiful, and the kids played until they collapsed into their sleeping bags at night. Some highlights were "relaxing" at the beach, archery, campfires, and carpetball. But mostly, we just enjoyed being able to spend time together.