Wednesday, November 28, 2007

First Day of School

Things are always a little different when you have a child with special needs. One of those things is the age that your child starts school. I am happy to announce that today was Antalya's first day of school! She goes to class three times a month for an hour. I went with her today; we had a great time. We sang songs, practiced putting toys IN and ON, and pulling pegs OUT of a board, unwrapped presents in preparation for Christmas time, used a spoon to self-feed yoghurt, and then for the "messy activity" we put "snow" (whipped cream) on paper trees. Antalya did very well with everything except with the whipped cream. She couldn't be convinced to get her hands dirty. She did so well with her birthday cake that I thought she would just right in. I guess I will have to provide more messy activities for her at home to get used to different textures on her hands.

I am so proud of Antalya. She is doing so well and learning so much everyday. I am so grateful for the early intervention program that is such a huge for us. I took some pictures "school pictures" of Antalya this morning. She was so hilarious. I think somehow she knew I wanted her to pose for me. She gave me about 10 different expressions. These were the funniest ones.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

I have so much to be thankful! Family, friends, the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, health, freedom, the luxuries of life that I enjoy. We had a great Thanksgiving with my side of the family this year. Everyone was there except Mom who is recovering from an auto accident that happened a week and a half ago. Even though she couldn't be there, I am so grateful that she is still alive - and with time - should have a full recovery. We really missed her and are all looking forward to hopefully having her back home by Christmas. Although we missed her, Jason and I had a great time heading up the dinner on her behalf. I never realized just how much work it is putting together such a big meal for so many people. Thanks Mom for always doing such a great job each year... you have taught me so much!

Friday, November 16, 2007

We're Back!

We had an incredible time in Chile! I only wish the pictures were better at capturing it. But here are some pictures all the same. Some of the highlights of our trip include: hiking and camping near a beautiful waterfall in the Cajon del Maipo just east of Santiago, pelicans in the coastal city of Vina del Mar, spending time with Gramma and Grampa Cardon who are on a mission in Paraguay, attending the the temple in Santiago, penguins in Punta Arenas (one of the last cities before you reach the end of the world), backpacking through Patagonia, glaciers, experiencing sunshine, rain, hail, wind, and snow all in the same afternoon, spending time with my chilean friends, lakes as blue as the caribbean ocean, meeting people from all around the world, Isla Negra - the wonderful bed and breakfast we found in Puerto Natales that made room for us even when they were full, and so many other wonderful things that would take me all day to list.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Santiago de Chile

Buenas tardes! I was hoping to be able to post some pictures tonight, but since I am writing from a public computer a picture from the internet will have to do. We are having a great time in Chile. We spent a few days camping in a canyon at the base of the Andes were we had a lot of fun. Antalya enjoyed eating dirt by the handfulls whenever I wasn´t looking. We hiked to a beautiful waterfall and even found a local climbing area. We were excited to go climbing because Jason had been lugging around 20 lbs or so of climbing gear all week.

We have also spent a few days in Santiago staying with my friends the Bastias-Guzman family. We enjoyed lots of yummy homemade Chilean food. I think I have already gained 5 lbs in the week we have been here. Jason´s parents arrive last night. It has been great seeing them again.

I don´t want this to be anymore a travel log so I will just highlight some of my most favorite things so far (in no particular order):

1. Antalya´s reaction to the airplane - on take off during that moment when your stomach drops to your toes her face lit up with the biggest smile I have ever seen!
2. Hermana Mercedes´ homemade lentil dish.
3. Greeting everyone you meet with a kiss.
4. Once - this is the Chilean evening snack consisting of bread, cheese, and tea.
5. After 7 nights of sleeping in between Jason and I, Antalya got to sleep in a pack-in-play just like the one she has at home. When I set her down in it she started giggling with excitement.
6. Walking the same streets I have walked so many times before.
7. Rides in the colectivo - a multi-user taxi. The driver takes you for a set rate, picking up more people along the way until the vehicle is full.
8. Introducing my beautiful family to the wonderful Chilean people.
9. Hearing the gospel taught in the celestial language!
10. Completos - a standard Chilean food. You won´t believe this but it is hotdog smothered with tomatoes, avocado, and mayo, and it is SOOO delicious!

Tomorrow we head for the coast for the afternoon. Tuesday is full of site seeing in the city, and then Wednesday morning it is off to the south to the Torres del Paine National Park. I can´t wait!