photo taken by Angela Speiker

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Saying good-bye to 2007 makes me a little sad. It has been a big year, full of a lot of change in the Pankewich household. This time last year we were without Calvin, living in Texas, working at UST, still tutoring and subbing some at SMG, and devoting all our time to our one child. In the last year we have added a wonderful new life to our family, watched Emerald turn into a full-fleged 2 year old, acquired a mini-van, searched and found a new job for Skip, moved out of our first home (where we celebrated all of our anniversaries, brought home our 2 kids and dog, and the only home we have known as a married couple), bought our second home, moved to a new city, and survived a car accident. It has been quite a year as we look back and reflect. Our proudest moment has been in parenting our two precious angels. I miss all my friends in Texas, having our comfortable life of no stairs and baby-proofed cabinets, and we all really miss our dog. We miss not spending the evening with Christi (our usual tradition of gorging ourselves on too much sweet stuff and toasting with our black-eyed peas and some form of beverage), going to the Kellers the next day, and spending the week around new years in shorts (it always seemed warm this time of year in Texas). We are working on new traditions, having the Harts over to celebrate with us, and putting on our gloves and snow boots to make footprints in the snow and shovel the driveway. We will continue to give our thanksgiving prayer to God thanking Him for all our wonderful gifts we have to celebrate in the arrival of this new year. Our top prayer goes to the wonderful birthmothers who gave life to our precious children. Thank you to Leticia and Josephine for the gift of life!!

May you all have a wondeful 2008 full of health and love of family and friends. We wish you the best.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Merry Christmas--Again!!

Calvin's all ready for his first Christmas.

Emerald showing her silly "cheese" face. She looked like a doll in this dress, I just couldn't get her to pose standing up.

The only way we could get Calvin to sit still. Then Emerald wanted the spoon. It made for a cute pose.

Daddy & Calvin posing for the camera. This is a great pic, because it was unplanned and we have one just like it with Emers.

Daddy & Emers. She loves her Daddy time. These days it is ALL about daddy and most days "I don't like mommy". Man they start young.

Santa brought a kitchen for both kids!

Emers is patiently posing with her stocking.

Aunt Laura said she could play with Play-doh for hours. Emerald was challenging her with every animal she could think of.

Us posing after Christmas mass. We opted not to push Calvin for midnight mass. It was a little lonely not going with all our family, but did get to have mass with the Archbishop.

Merry Christmas, again! We celebrated Christmas this week with Skip's parents, Jeff & Heidi, and Laura & Shane. It was also nice visiting with our dog, Laney, again. We had a lot of fun "ripping presents" and telling Pop Pop ahead of time what he was getting. There was too much food, as usual, and lots of laughter. We really do need some more room to store all theses new toys. Calvin even got into this present thing, and was quite excited to see his new toys. Aunt Laura is GREAT at making Play-doh monsters, dinosaurs, etc. Emerald was also excited to go to Pop Pop's store with him. She had a blast serving tea to everyone at the house. Today Emers asked "where'd all the people go?". I think she is missing everyone.
We have 2 weeks until we close on the new house. There is also about 3" of snow in our yard right now that is awaiting little feet to come and play. Happy New Year!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas family and friends. We hope you are enjoying this special time of year. For those wondering, we are going to be a little late sending our Christmas letter. We wanted to make sure the house purchase is nearly finalized before sending out our future address.

We began the "present tearing" as Emerald calls it, this weekend with Steph's parents. They drove up and delivered their sleigh full of goodies. Both kids were thrilled by their "haul". Emerald woke up the next morning telling us to "go to the grocery store and buy more presents" so she could tear into them. Too cute. We had a good time with Grandma and Grandpa watching the ice and snow fall. We showed them our new house, and visited Crown Center and Union Station. What a beautiful place at Christmas!
We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Aunt Laura & Uncle Shane who are flying in from Colorado to arrive here tomorrow. It should be an exciting day tomorrow--Santa should deliver his gift(s), Laney is coming to visit, along with Nana, Pop Pop, Aunt Heidi, & Uncle Jeff. Of course Emerald thinks the dogs, Zane, Laney, and Maggie, will be eating and opening presents with us. I have feeling we will need that nice, big garage for all the presents that are heading this way. :) It is always nice to get the chance to see our family, especially now that we are close to them all.

We wish you many Christmas blessing. Join us tomorrow in singing Happy Birthday to Jesus. We'd like to add a special Christmas blessing to the 2 wonderful birthmothers who gave life to our precious angels, Josephine & Leticia. Without their sacrifice we wouldn't have our most important gift of Christmas--our sweet children.

Merry Christmas to all!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

Today we getting a lot of snow. They predicted 6", but I'm not sure we will hit that. We meant to take a picture in the daylight, but forgot to catch the big fat flakes coming down. It was a little easier shopping for Christmas presents while it was snowing instead of our usual 65 degree weather.

Garmin hosted a children's holiday party today. The kids had a blast. Both did GREAT sitting on Santa's lap. Emerald helped teach Calvin how to do it (with no tears, yeah), and even shared with Mr. & Mrs. Claus what they both wanted for Christmas. Then we got her face painted (none of that for Calvin yet, but lots of crawling around), completed an ornament craft, and got a balloon animal. The cookies and candy cane were the favorite for both Daddy & Emers.

Last night we went to look at Christmas lights in a park. We enjoyed driving with Aunt Heidi & Uncle Jeff in our van (glad to have it back). Both kids were in awe over the lights. It is nice to find time to enjoy their wonderment of the season.

The house inspection went well. We have a few minor requests for the sellers. Hopefully that will go smoothly and we will be ready to close in early January.

Steph's parents had some things stolen recently at her grandmother's farm. They didn't take much, but it was more emotional than it was about the actual items taken. I hate that for them and wish them well in coping with this event in their life.

What a look given to a goofy sister!

Calvin decided to climb in Emerald's stroller. Good thing she wasn't awake, she'd want to push him around--her very own live baby doll!

Emerald is reading the K-Stater magazine with Daddy. She is our Wildcat in training!

and I quote, "It's ok Mommy, I'm just checking mail. This one's for you." She has been asking when Santa's letter will come. Maybe she was looking for that??
It's torture being a baby and getting all these silly pictures. Notice how rosy his cheeks are?? All that cold weather!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A new friend

Emerald LOVES being this close to Aunt Heidi and Uncle Jeff. They shared their Christmas present early and took her to Build-a-Bear. They are the ones that gave her Mango (for those that don't know Mango, he is Emerald's best friend) at 5 months. I don't know who was more excited for this trip, Emers or Jeff & Heidi. She is very into dinosaurs lately, yeah, I know, little weird. She picked out Dino and had a great time stuffing, naming, and dressing her. Then Emers got to take a ride on the carousel.

I think she looks good walking in the mall with her purchases. I see trouble in our future. :) She also thinks that Aunt Laura and Uncle Shane live close, because she always wants them to come over. She settles for many phone calls to them per week. I know we are all excited to see them at Christmas.
Update on the home front:

--We found out that Walt (Skip's dad) lost his job as of the end of the year. We feel very sad for him. We can only know that this is part of God's plan for him. Please say a prayer for Walt & Cheryl.
--We got our van back yesterday--much prettier than we left it. However, the sliding door isn't working right, so it may end up back in the shop. Couldn't be easy, right?

--Insurance issues with the car accident are still "fun" as we are still trying to chase down the car owner and is policy. It is such a pain!

--It has been a winter wonderland here. I wish I had my camera as we drove to get the car yesterday. It was like a picture, so beautiful!! You could see every single blade of grass and each tree branch. These are just a couple of pics out of our window at home. I wish I had taken it yesterday while there was more ice and the roads were still white.

--We have our house inspection tonight. We are anxious to see the house again and get some ideas on how "nice" it is per the inspector.

--Calvin has gotten a new tooth, which brings his total up to 8 now. He is into everything right now, and smiling just as cute as ever. Emerald loves to try to help him walk these days, but doesn't quite understand that he can't go as fast as her. Here is a picture of Emers trying to close him in a toy box.
That's it for now. Hopefully we will have some good news about the house after tonight.
PS Happy birthday to Karen and belated happy birthday to Anna & Anthony!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

We bought a house!!!!!

Our new home (barring problems), 2 story, 4 car garage (ridiculous, I know)

Wonderful back deck to watch the kids play in the spacious backyard.

The wet bar in the basement. Great for margaritas!

This kitchen really is nice. I love the cabinets and the double-ovens.

This is the theater/media room. Won't the watch parties work great here?

OK, so the chaos of our lives continues. We were supposed to go out house shopping today but the weather prevented that, too icy. Instead we spent hours on the phone with Mike (our agent) and made an offer on this house. It went back and forth, and short story..............they accepted our offer! Thanks Mike for all your help! We hope to clarify with all the details later this week. We will keep you updated. Too bad we can't be in by Christmas, but shortly after, with closing set for January. Anybody out there feel like packing and moving in the dead of winter?? :)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Happy St. Nick's day to all! We had St. Nick visit last night and leave some goodies for our good boy and girl. Emerald was very excited and couldn't wait to (see) share Calvin's stocking when he woke up.

Unfortunatly, we lost our computer monitor on our main computer, and this was the way we dumped our digital pics. So, for now, you will have to wait for pics. I will ask Skip to help, but it doesn't seem a priority for us right now.

We put the car in the shop and are hoping it will look brand new soon. We did go see 5 potential houses last night with our realtor. We saw a couple of potentials last night. One of them is a fantastic home, with a media room setup and fantastic wet bar. It has a 4 car garage (ridiculous, I know) that Skip said would make a great indoor driving range. :) Leave it to Skip. We are going out again this weekend to look at more options. Hopefully this will give us many good possibilities.

I will try to post pics when I can, but it could be a couple of weeks. Sorry!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Many Hats

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel as if you couldn't possibly spread yourself any thinner? That is my day. We haven't posted in a long time, but honestly, we haven't had time! We spent the first half of the day dealing with insurance (yuck), but the car is going in the shop tomorrow to get fixed. We are trying to get all of the paperwork done with Calvin's adoption, which is almost there. Next we are busy preparing for the upcoming Christmas season by teaching them about the season, decorating the house, finding the right gift without little eyes seeing and telling everyone what they are getting. We looked at 12 houses yesterday and are meeting with our agent tonight. That isn't even talking about time being a wife, mommy, and oh, friend, to all thouse deprived friends out there, sorry!

I included a few random shots. Calvin is trying to clap these days. His signing is getting much better, and I think he is trying to show us bye-bye. Emers, well, I don't know what she was thinking with Calvin's hat & bib. As you can see, I need to find timefor a haircut for the kids, and then pictures with Santa. Argh, I need 10 more hours per day. They were also hanging out having a good time with Daddy before bed.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Belated Thanksgiving

We drove the broken van home. The seal between the doors was broken (as the door was bent) so it was a little cold driving home. I know it doesn't look all that bad, it could have been a lot worse! It just stinks knowing that we've only had this van for 6 months and it is a 2007! Let me tell you, while we were driving home, we continued to observe each ditch we drove by. God really was in charge as we drove down the was so shallow and easy to take at the speed we were driving. How much difference a second can make in life. I know I already said that, but truly, it means a lot to me right now. Even the cries from my kids seem so much sweeter.

We did find time the next day to build a snowman. If we are going to live in this cold weather, at least we can enjoy the benefits of the cold. It was Emerald's first real snowman and true "playing" in the snow. She had such a good time. Calvin napped through our snow time, and when he woke up, most of the snow had melted. Unfortunatly, we didn't get a picture of him with this snowman, but I have a feeling there will be more to come in the near future.

We hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving. We feel like we ate too much and now feel like we need to eat nothing for a week.

On our plates for the upcoming week....take care of the car, start looking for a house with our new real estate agent, continue Christmas shopping, unpack from our 2 weekends of travel, and start decorating our house for Christmas. That should be a fun, calm week for us!