Monday, August 30, 2010

Back to School

Andrew and Ethan had their first day of the new school year today--Andrew in Grade 2 and Ethan in Grade 1. (Abby will be jumping into Kindergarten as well on Wednesday!) I'm quite certain I may have two of the most handsome boys in the school! ...and smart ...and hard-working ...and kind-hearted ...

(Thanks for indulging my "proud mom moment!")

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Catch-up: Our Anniversary

On August 15, 1998, this was us:

Our wedding song:
Make Us One (by Kristy [Chamberlain] Tapper)

Lord, I thank you for this man you've given me.
When I think back I marvel at your plan.
We come from so far apart; Only You could take our hearts
And make them one.

I love this man. Father, thank you for giving him to me.
I love this man, and I commit to him only.
Now we've only just begun.
Increase our love, and make us one.

Lord, I think you for this woman here with me.
I can't believe how much I love her.
Our two lives are fully Thine
Take all that's hers and mine and make us one.

I love this woman. Father, thank you for giving her to me.
I love this woman, and I commit to her only.
Now we've only just begun.
Increase our love, and make us one.

We'll walk this life as man and wife.
I'll be holding his hand. Lord, hold us in your hands!
Now we've only just begun.
Increase our love, and make us one.

This August 15th, twelve(!) years later, we were thankful to still be holding each other's hands and finding God faithful to increase our love (sometimes in the two steps forward, one step back manner), make us one (still working here, too...that selfishness stuff is tricky), and take us on some adventures we never could have imagined! Love you, babe!

Catch-up: Ethan's Birthday

Two weeks ago, during our vacation, Ethan had his seventh birthday!
It has really been quite a year for our boy. Let's see, in the last year, he successfully started and completed his first year of school. He welcomed home his big brother. He began learning to speak French. He mastered swimming in the"deep end," performing various stunts off the diving board, and diving for all kinds of sinking objects. He's become push-up king in our house. He has learned to ride a bike with no training wheels.
Ethan continues to be our sensitive, insightful child. He remembers things incredibly well. He feels things deeply. For example, here's a sample conversation Ethan had with his aunt:
Ethan: (in a moanful voice) My ankle hurts.
Alaina: Which one?
Ethan: (still pathetic) Both of them.
Ethan has also shown more independence (and a bit of impulsivity) in the last year. He is certainly not just a little boy anymore. We are so blessed to have him in our family, and we can't wait to see what else God brings into his life!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

First Cornrows


Adoption brings an obvious mystery into a family. I guess that any family addition brings some sense of mystery, but--in my experience--family additions without hereditary connection multiply the mystery considerably. The mystery involves various aspects of life: possible medical conditions, personality features, special talents and abilities, likes and dislikes, etc., etc.

This year, with the addition of Jadon and Andrew, the mysterious has taken on a whole new flavor: hair.

I wasn't completely ignorant going in. There's a lot of help out there for white families trying to learn about black hair care. And I did research. I think, however, when we knew we were getting two boys, I may have cut my research a bit short. The answer was simple! Ah, we can just buzz them!

Unfortunately (for me), from the moment our oldest could find the English language to describe his preferred hairstyle, he has presented it something like this:

"Don't ever cut my hair. I want it to grow this big (hands outstretched on either side of his head about 12 inches or so). I don't want to fit through the door." (Temperate, isn't he?)

So in the last 11 months, Andrew has gone from THIS

to THIS.
The next (completely mysterious for me) step has been figuring out what to do with all that hair. Today, we tried cornrows.

Cornrows are a traditional African hairstyle. In fact, ancient sculptures and hieroglyphs from centuries before Christ's birth depict a cornrow style of hair. Furthermore, this kind of braiding cuts down on the daily maintenance required to keep black hair healthy, which suits active children and a certain potentially busy mother just fine.

With a little searching, I found a lady in town who does them. This evening, she put nine braids in for Andrew. It took her less than an hour. (And that even included a couple breaks for our tender-headed guy. Still, Andrew admitted that he'd rather have her pulling on his hair for cornrows than me combing out his hair every day.) I watched her and might be willing to give this a try sometime in the future. Yet another mystery--but this one may be solvable.

Anyway, here's the current look on our big guy!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Camera: A Fun Friend

Admittedly, the blogging from Tapper-land has been notably sparse. To all my faithful readers, I offer my sincere apologies! Between vacation, home projects, and various school preparations (for almost the whole family), there has been much to do and the blogging, I'm afraid, has been put on a back burner. As we prepare to head back into a fall routine, I anticipate that posts will pick up again.

In the meantime, I'll offer another photo-heavy post. I always enjoy taking pictures, but I've recently been experimenting with a few features on my camera that I have never really taken the time to explore. Certainly, I'm no expert in photography...but I enjoy most things creative and artistic, so photography does offer a certain outlet for me. Here, I'll share a few nature shots I took around my parents' property last week.

And for those of you who are particularly interested in the four little wonders who hang out around here, I'm presenting some favorite shots from our outing to the beach tonight.

Come back soon, and I may have a bit more to say!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010