Monday, December 30, 2013

December to Remember!

Prepare to be bombarded with cuteness!  Okay, as the mother of these kids, I suppose I am a little biased, but I couldn't seem to narrow down the photos I wanted to post to a reasonable number - just too many adorable moments to share.  And as I've said before, I write my blog first and foremost for my family; it serves to chronicle the memories that I want all of us to be able to look back on.  So here's what I want to remember about December...

The beginning of the month meant the beginning of our Advent activities.  
In addition to Advent, we kicked off the Christmas season by decorating our tree.  Bella is holding a special ornament given to her by a friend last year.  It says "Home for the Holidays", which was so appropriate since Bella and I arrived in Honolulu from Ukraine just 11 days before Christmas.
On December 2nd, we all attended the annual Christmas Concert performed by Bou's entire school - Kindergarten through 12th grade.  It was a beautiful night, with wonderful, classic songs of worship sung by the children in one of the most historic sites on Oahu:  Kawaiahao Church.  The first Christian church built on the island, it was constructed of over 14,000 coral slabs and was dedicated in 1842. 
(This is actually the photo from last year's concert, because I can't find the one from this year's concert at the moment - oops).  

Then came Buddy's preschool Christmas Concert.  It was the first time he has gone on a stage and participated in any kind of event, so I wasn't sure how it would go.  He did a GREAT job and we were so proud of him.  His favorite song was "Go Tell it on the Mountain".
Due to the services that she needs, Bella goes to a public school, and sadly they didn't have a Christmas program.  However, we caught plenty of other fun moments with her on camera.  Like seeing snow...Hawaiian style.  What is that, you might ask?  Well, it's the kind that falls (or rather is blasted by a blower strategically placed inside a giant Christmas tree) from within the cool confines of the mall, much to the excitement of all the young kids there.  And of course, it's not really snow, it's some sort of bubble-like stuff.  Hey, we do the best we can.  But check out Bella's face - she loved it!  Huge smiles.

 And then there was this completely adorable baby.  Bou came home from school with an antler headband one day - a gift from a classmate.  It's the sort of thing I generally won't buy, but let me tell you, if only I'd known how cute it would look on my babies, I might have gotten one a long time ago!  As we were walking through the grocery store, Bou decided to stick in on Bear, and the oohing and ahhing commenced.  I couldn't resist snapping a couple of pics.  He looks quite pleased with himself too, I think ;).

The Christmas hula performances are always a highlight of our season.  This year's featured songs were "Born is the King"  and "Lord You're Beautiful".  Bella and Bou are now both attending hula classes, and though Bella can only do the movements very slowly and with one hand, she enjoys the music and the other students in the class so much.  She got all dressed up for the Christmas Eve performance, but only wanted to sit on the front row with mama and watch.  However, if you watch this video, you can hear her little exclamations of "Woo!" throughout, catch glimpses of her, and see her yell "Good job everybody!" at the very end.

And one more video - Bella is the shortest dancer in the front row. 

Everyone in our family except for Bear was sick at some point during the week of Christmas.  Our family has never gotten hit by anything like that before, and while I would have definitely preferred NOT to have everyone ill, it did make us all slow down and consequently enjoy the happy moments more.  Here is one semi-happy moment:  the night-before-Christmas pajama picture :).  It was day three of Buddy being sick, and this was about the best face I could get!
Christmas morning was slow paced and relaxing.  After taking their time opening gifts, the kids enjoyed playing, talking to their grandparents on the phone, and making some homemade cinnamon rolls.

A Happy Bella
 Bear's First Christmas
 Bou's favorite book :)
 Even though Buddy was still sick, he rallied for gift-opening, then crashed afterward, in typical kid fashion.
My favorite moment:  Bou giving Bella the locket that she picked out all by herself and saved her own money to buy.  It has an 'S' on it - Bou informed me it stands for "sisters". 
Buddy's favorite moment was probably when we put the stockings on the floor for everyone to get their goodies, and a LIZARD crawled out of one of them!   From the pale color of his skin, I'd say he'd been in there awhile too.  Living in Hawaii, I have found lizards in all sorts of places (even smashed one with my bare hand in the middle of the night when I got up to close the bathroom window - AGHHH!), but finding one in the stocking was a first.  Buddy thought it was great, and temporarily abandoned gift-opening in favor of lizard-hunting.  He can be heard several times on our video saying "I just want to see the lizard!  Where'd he go?"
 It's the simplest of things that make me smile, too.  A friend dropped of a jumbo-sized tin of various popcorns for us.  Bou put the popcorn packages away, turned the lid into a cymbal for Bella, and tied string around the tin to make it a drum.  They had a great time playing "Jingle Bells" and other songs. 
And I'll leave you with a pic of my favorite gift - this little bundle of joy!  Yes, I've had him for three months now, but the new hasn't worn off yet :)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope - Romans 15:13


  1. Lisa, it brings tears to my eyes to think of the journey that Bella and your family have been on and all you have walked through in the last year, and to see the happiness and healthiness (minus the flu), and new life on the other side. I know the journey continues on, but it is just such a blessing to see how far Bella has come and the joy that is clear in your family. God has given you a quadruple dose of blessings :)

  2. What a great post! I love that reindeer baby! What a wonderful cuddly bit of love you have there. I was so tickled when I read that Bella is taking hula with Bou. I was hoping she would be able to do that. Bou looked so poised on the stage. Is she that relaxed about most things? The second song was just beautiful. The words and music were nice but the dance made it very touching. Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. Thank you for sharing your Christmas with us! I had never seen a Christmas hula dance before, how beautiful! My favorite picture was the kids in their Christmas pj's- so sweet! All your kids are just adorable, and it blesses me to see how Bella's life has been enriched and her health has improved, drastically, by being in a family that loves her. Have a great day!