Saturday, December 27, 2008

Very Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! We have had a wonderful holiday so far, and are feeling really blessed. As you may know, this is a busy month for us. Erin has a birthday on the week before Christmas, and Mallory is 6 days before her. We had one daughter singing at mas on Christmas eve, and 2 daughters in the nativity at our church. We had to get Bryan set for winter soccer which starts after the new year, and we had about 40 at our house on Christmas eve.
For me, the big deal about Christmas is family from a spiritual perspective and a personal perspective. I never want to get so busy I forget to listen to my kids and know exactly what they hope for, and I never want to be so busy that we don't have the time as a family to eat together and make cookies together. My kids are wonderful. Mallory is glad Santa is magic because (and I quote) with the economy the way it is... we might be in trouble if he weren't. Josh wanted Santa to bring him a lollipop...a big one for him and smaller ones for each of the other kids. He did not want to tell Santa this.. he wanted Ron to do the talking for him. Erin was really pretty sure she would be happy because Santa usually picks well for her but she did have one or 2 requests, and Bryan was a great big help. He is such a sweetheart. He made cookies for his grandparents with very little help, and gave them for Christmas because he doesn't want us to pay for gifts from him. I am sure Santa approves. Ron is as wonderful as ever. He worked so hard getting the house ready for the holidays and did a great job. That man is a wonder I tell you!
As for me I did my usual large amount of baking, which I love. I really enjoyed picking out gifts for the people I love. The favorite gift I gave was the Obama newspaper photo I had framed for my mom. Not a big investment, but my mom thinks he represents hope for things to get better for America and I love that she thinks that. I hope she is right. My favorite gift I got was a journal from my brother in law. In 1995 I gave him a blank small paper covered notebook for Christmas. He writes, and this was sort of an Idea book. John decided to take the book and write notes to Ron and me every so often. It is so cool to read what was going on as we were pregnant with Bryan and as we added to the family and so did they. What a neat gift. notes on and off for 12 years. I hope everyone had a wonderful hodiay and keep that holiday warmth through the year.
Bryan's bedroom door decorated for the holidays...understated, but gets the point across.Our dog decorated for Christmas, understated? not so much.
One of the several birthday celebrations at our house in December. The Santa picture from '08
There were many cookies!
Our whole first floor looked this crowded. My family is so funny. Our house is a central location, and we volunteered for the Christmas eve festivities, but we were at church until 6:15. The party started literally without us. My mom and aunts came over at 5:15 and when we got there, everyone had something to drink, and the appetizers were being served! We had family from South Carolina and Chicago as well as our usual local crew. I love my family.
This is kid hangover day (12-26-08)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

c Santa was at school today at Josh's party. He is still not hip on the Idea of Santa. At school they have done a lot of talking and a lot of "Ho HO HO"ing and Josh was the first one to volunteer to sit on his lap. He had the look we have come to recognize as resolve...He was so proud of himself, and we were proud of him too.
here is the gang... they were all over it for the picture........They were cracking each other up. This was taken the end of October. It is funny because we are actually in the middle of a snow storm here, and the picture seems not that long ago.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

LOOK AT YOU NOW! This a music video by an artist about kids with congenital heart disease and repair. It was posted to one of the lists I sort of follow by a woman who's son is in it. It is cool because I think -look at you now little man- at Josh all the time. (I don't actually say it because wouldn't you get sick of hearing it if you were Josh?)
This is a picture Josh did of a monster. He was drawing with a great deal of concentration. He showed me the finished product and I complimented him on all the colors. I asked him what it was and he told me monster! ARRH! I asked him about the fringgy stuff around the outside and he told me "hair"... Flash forward 3days. We were as school for his conference. His teacher was talking about how his drawings were really age appropriate. I was telling her about his monster, and she showed me the monster they have in the room. He has a mouth and he "eats" things like paper or hands. They have a little song they chant , and the monster is what she calls safe-scary. The monster has very distinct hair. How cute is that? Josh's school is perfect for him and he is making strides every day. He is the feel good kid in the class because he is like a sponge. He has a long attention span, and really responds well to the high intervention setting he is in. He is turing into a bit of a class clown which I believe he has learned from his brother. Conference day was a proud day to be a Debono parent. All the kids ROCKED. They are really trying hard and doing well. Here is Josh's school picture. He is looking very mature isn't he?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! I know it is November 9, but Happy Halloween can last 'til the candy is gone right? I was out doing a talk when the kids and Ron carved the pumpkins, and I think they did a great job! Clearly they had a good time, and our porch looked very decorated when I got home...
The boys were cowboys. They had a great time. I really like how much they like each other. We had ninja cowboys for part of the night, but all in the spirit of the great pumpkin.
Mallory was a cheerleader. She was a little surprised that although we live in the shadow of Ann Arbor and the Universityof Michigan, people took a minute to realize the M is for Mallory. The back said Debono. She was never out of character the whole night. I think she is a great cheerleader.
We heard about a woman who lives in a local community who would not give candy to supporters of Barrack Obama. Erin would have been fine. Just fine. (Although her costume may not be a good indication of her preference as she is the consummate actress.) Grandma is looking on. I think I should issue a disclamer with this picture. They don't act like this often, and It is rare to catch on film but very cute.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ron went to the daddy daughter dance with Mallory this year. Last year Erin went, and it was a hit. This year Erin gave Mallory the inside track on what to expect, and she had a great time with her dad. Ron enjoyed himself too. I love the pictures of the 2 of them. Time goes by too quickly not to appreicate them now.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Here is Miss Mallory enjoying a fall bike ride. It took a while for her to master the big girl bike, but she definately has it down now... Here is the soccer guy. He had a great time playing with the school team, and he really did well.
Miss Erin's school picture. And Mallory's
All is well with us. Josh's school pictures are not in yet, but he is loving school. His teacher is awesome and he is sayin more all the time!

Monday, September 29, 2008

We are back!

Here are all the littler people in St. Louis My guys Josh with Lucy and Phoebe I love the State Fair. Starting School We have not really been gone, just gone from blogworld. First off doesn't the page look totally cool since our friend Kim re-did it? I cannot get over what a great job she did! She is much more talented than I am, and who knows what other hidden talents she may have! I had stopped blogging for a while because life was too busy to write about. That is saying a mouthful. I always have something to say, and writing helps me process, but not this late summer evidently. Everyone is well and thank God! the start of school was easier this year than it has been in a long time. I am thankful for the obvious(a great speech and language program at our school district and very hard working wonderful kids on all fronts) and the not so obvious(school uniforms and the certainty that my kids will always buy lunch on Wednesdays because it is pizza day). Let's start where we left off in early/mid July. We had planned for a while to remodel our kitchen. We did a lot of leg work, and came up with a plan and a time frame. Ron and I chose our cabinets and suppliers with care, we know the contractor well, and we planned to do a lot of the bits and pieces ourselves. We started the project July 24, and it involved removing part of a wall... well you get the picture... The week we started, we got word that Ron's job would disappear at the end of August. Now this sounds weird unless you live in Michigan and are associated with the auto industry. Ron is awesome at what he does, but his company will not exist within a year, and so everyone who works there will be in the same position at some point, but what timing! It took 6 weeks for the kitchen to be livable. I have a new appreciation for the dish washer. You have no idea what it is like to have to pause the laundry to wash the dishes! That is no fun let me tell you! Fortunately we were in our finished basement, and had a nifty set up down there... The kitchen feels really good now. All our choices, Internet and otherwise worked out well. We are only waiting on back splash tile to come in now. That is a job Ron and his dad will work out in a day or two. The goal was to be done by the time school started and we were back in by then so yeah. I really like our contractor. he is an honest guy, and really does nice work. That is an excellent combination. When you add to that his being open to letting you do the part of the job you want to do... He rocks. You guys have seen pictures of the ranch on occasion on our blog. The other thing that has us a little sad is that the ranch has closed. It filed for bankruptcy, and the place is now for sale. We will have to wait and see what happens. We were able to meet with the other families we traveled to china with this summer. That was absolutely excellent. We really enjoyed each other's company, and re connected quickly. The kids had a great time. It is hard to describe the connection that develops when you share something that big in your life with people. So are some photos of our summer. Hope all is well.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

We had our usual week up north with the 30 other family members. We had a great week. The kids did really well, and we did little besides resting and eating and talking. It was a nice easy week.

Josh napping his first day of vacation.

From L to R :Tom and Josh, Evan and Dan, Mallory.

Our only rainy vacation day.

Every year the kids have a talent show, and the kids all perform. Here are all my parents grandkids together. (2 are kind of hiding)

This is what it looks like when 38 people give or take, eat dinner together.

How do you like this mug? Josh fell when he got off balance secondary to a leap by Mallory. He hit our TV cabinet, and I thought he broke his Jaw! The ER said otherwise, and it is just a bad bruise, but look at day 2!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hi all! We had a good weekend at the Ranch in western MI that we go to sometimes. Josh rode the pony with a great deal of enthusiasm. That may have to do with his brothers and sisters being super excited and very encouraging! We all had fun and several thunderstorms which were timed to as to provide little interference in our plans!

Josh on the play structure.

The cow and goat don't look to pleased do they? The pig was having fun.

Mally getting the pancake treatment from her dad. Josh wanted his turn next!

Erin ready to take off on her trail ride.

Bryan relaxing.

Erin and Mallory glamorous as ever!

My nephew Dan in his new Tee shirt. I asked for an action shot... Pretty good, Dan

Josh Debono, the king of the horse waving at all his adoring public.

Mally warming up for her trail ride. I don't have pictures because I was on the other horse, and did not feel like carrying the camera. She was exceptionally confident and very safe on the trail. I was really impressed.

Little man on his bike. He loves it!

I took this picture just after we got to the ranch. Wow. I love rainbows.