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Monday, December 29, 2008

Pics of the week


Sledding, Christmas, Went to the Zoo, Hallie's 6th birthday

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Well, we made it through Christmas. For those of you that were curious, Zac had a great "first Christmas". The crazy thing was that it seemed like it was old hat for him. That seems to be the recurring theme with Zac. I have no idea how (or why) he does it, but more often than not, he handles new situations and events with tremendous ease.

For example: We went to see Santa a few weeks ago. I think we took all of 2 minutes to explain Santa to him. He barely seemed to be listening. And yet, when he saw Santa for the first time, he yelled across the mall "HI SANTA!" and then proceeded to run right to the front of the line to go and sit on his lap. I'm not even sure how he knew Santa was Santa. I don't remember describing him to Zac. Who knows.

Opening presents took very little explaining. (Of course!) But taking it one step further, he had little problems during the tough times when we made him wait to open presents. (Taking turns, waiting for photo opp's, etc.)

Christmas morning, he immediately noticed that there was something in his stocking, and quickly began asking for his presents.

Most importantly, he will be the first to tell you that Christmas is for "Jesus' Birthday". Once again, he acts like he's been doing this for years.... not months.

What a trooper. Merry Christmas little Zachy!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Quick story

Funny Zac story:

Katie wanted Zac to try on a new sweater (a common task around Christmastime!) whereupon Zac starts to whine:

"NO! It's not cool. It makes me look FAT!"

How funny is that?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

One way to say Merry Christmas

Well, you may be able to tell that our kids enjoy dressing up. It seems that the kiddo's have been dressing up a little more than normal these past few weeks. I know it's a little weird (especially the boys in dresses), but it still makes me laugh.

Here's our version of "Rockin' around the Christmas Tree":


Friday, December 12, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Brothers 2.0

More Brother Pictures:

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Still working on the format change.  I'll get a round to it later.

In the mean time, I wanted to simply state how wonderful it is that my two boys get along so well.  In fact, as I type this blog entry, I can hear big "thumping" from upstairs.  Their newest thing has been (not so subtly) sneaking out of their room and going into mom and dad's bed.  It's cute at the end of the night to find the two of them sleeping together (sometimes holding hands) in our bed.  

A parent of 2 or more kids knows the joy that comes when your kids get along.  (and the corresponding stress of when they DON'T get along).  But the absolute best thing is when your are all-out belly laughing with each other.  We seem to catch our boys doing that more and more.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Life and stuff

So apparently, Katie has abandoned me.... speaking in a "blog" metaphorical sense, that is.

And now I'm left here all alone. Having to blog by myself. And it's already been a week since my last post.

I'm going to try really hard to get this thing going again. But I'm thinking that the theme needs to change. An "adoption blog" just doesn't seem to hit the point here anymore. I really can't emphasize enough how "normal" everything is with Zac. We certainly have our moments, but it's nothing close to what the adoption books were preparing us for. In fact, this past week, Zac has repeatly won the "best kid" award in our house.

NOTE: The "best kid" award is nothing more than Katie and I comparing notes at the end of the day after the kids are in bed. We don't tell the kids the ranking and it does not impact the amount of food or love that we give them the next day. It usually goes something like this:

Katie: Man, Zac was sweet today
Ryan: Yea, and Hallie was completely NOT sweet today
Katie: So I guess it was Zac, then Jake, then Hallie today
Ryan: Indeed, Zac wins the "best kid award" today
Katie: Yea, but he was still a turd yesterday.
Ryan: Indeed...

So anyway, I was thinking that the theme needs to be something like "Fun Family". And then I can try to blog the most outragous, fun thing that we did that particular day.

I'd be open to creative titles for this new format. Feel free to post your comments. Perhaps it's even time for a template change...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy thanksgiving

Twas the night before Thanksgiving.... and what do we do? We get ready for CHRISTMAS! Perhaps we should have waited until tomorrow, but oh well.

Here's some pics:

Friday, November 21, 2008

Katie's Blog

I have decided to create my own blog. It is somewhat more reflective and deals more with mothering than with adoption. If you would like to follow it you can find it at

Monday, November 17, 2008


Katie went out of town for a days, so the kids and I thought it would be fun to go to the mall and cause some various mischief. Here's a small piece of evidence that we left behind:

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My little author, illustrator

Tonight Hallie came home from school ready to talk and share about her day (I love days like this). She told me that when she grows up she wants to be a person who draws pictures for books. She went on to add that she wants to write books and draw the pictures! An avid reader, with a creative mind and love for drawing, I think the job description fits her perfectly! It was so fun to hear her excitement. She told me I could help her with an idea and then she would write the story. She went on to tell me all about a hot air balloon ride and a swimming pool race, themes for her first book. She wanted to start on it right when we got home!

Later tonight, as we read stories before bed, she told me she wanted to read to me. Guess what? My brillant Kindergartener nearly read the whole book, "Mean Jean the Recess Queen" to me. What a delight to see her smile after working hard to sound out words and read some without hardly any effort at all. I am so thankful for the kind of interests and intellect the Lord has blessed my daughter with.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Go Huskers!

Today, Ryan and I got to go down to Lincoln and spend the day with my brother at the NE game. Nebraska won, the game was good and the company was great so we had a wonderful day. Afterwards, we went out for a dinner and then headed home just in time to play with the kids for a few minutes and then put them to bed.

Maybe it is because we are getting ready for Thanksgiving and maybe it is because my eyes are open to see all the blessings around me but I feel the need to write down all that I am thankful for today:

A husband that I adore and is my best friend. What a great day we had together.
A blessed relationship with my older brother who invited us to the game. What a great day we had together.
A nanny we trust, that loves our kids like crazy and plays and plays and plays with them.
Kids that love it when we come home and shower us with kisses and hugs. Here is some of what I heard today from my kids...

Hallie..."Mom, the best part of my day is when you came home." Followed by a huge hug.
Zac..."Mama I missed you." Followed by a huge hug.
Jacob...A huge hug followed by a zerbert on my head!

I am thankful!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Moments of Thanks

I am always trying to open my eyes to the blessings around me. Here are three from the last two days.

Hallie...I asked once for help cleaning up the living room. She said, "Sure, Mom" and went right to work. Later that night she went grocery shopping with me and was soooo helpful and delightful the whole time.

Jacob...He is not someone that shows a lot of affection with hugs and kisses and sweet words, but when I found him sleeping contentedly in the middle of our bed when I came up to bed last night I knew he loved his mom and dad. What a blessing to see a child resting so peacefully.

Zac...Today we were in the car together and he said, "Mom, I never leave you." My heart just melts!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Happy Halloween everyone! We had fun trick or treating on a beautiful night in Minnesota with cousins! Ryan's sister, Jenni, moved there with her family three weeks ago and welcomed us into her home for the weekend. It was fun to share the excitement of Zac's first Halloween with family.

We had prepped Zac with trick or treating etiquette. He also knew all too well that he got candy! In fact, when asked what he wants for Christmas his answer is, "three candy, three candy!"

So, he happily gets dressed up and walks outside. While waiting for the other cousins he walks up to the first person he sees (a fellow toddler trick or treater from down the street) and says, "trick or treat," then starts to dig in her bag for candy! oops! Once we showed him to ring doorbells he was a trick or treating machine!

Unfortunately, Hallie had strep throat, again! Fortunately, we got medicine in her and the Ibuprofen made her perk up for trick or treating. Hallie, Jacob and their cousins were off running down the street collecting all the candy they could.

Here are some pictures of my adorable kids...Gabriella, A Storm Trooper and and Silly green and yellow bird!

Monday, October 27, 2008


There are so many stories to share, and yet we find less and less time to blog. Sorry everyone, that's just the way it is. (Part of our problem is that we've gotten hooked into facebook... yea, now we're addicted to blogging AND facebook).

Here are the highlights:

1. The tests finally came back and Zac does NOT have a Human Growth Hormone deficiency. Go figure, he's just small. Because his "bone age" was so young (6 months) there is a good likelihood that he'll growth later. In fact, he seems to have growth quite a bit even in this last month. (1/2 inch, 2 or 3 pounds). Time will tell on this one.

2. Zac started swimming lessons today (along with Jake) They both did exceptionally well. Zac really liked going to "school" just like his big sister and brother.

3. It appears that in the last week, Zac has FINALLY stopped calling himself Pasha. It's kinda sad, but not really. When ever Zac wanted something really bad, he would scream out "PASHA" or better yet "PASHA DO THAT!" It much nicer to hear, "Can I have that please?"

4. His English is incredible. There is virtually nothing that can't be communicated anymore.

5. I gave Zac a timeout the other day. It was the kind where I plop him on my lap (facing me) and we sit together until he calms down. Let me tell you something, he was REALLY MAD about whatever it was he was in trouble for. But here's the point: During his time of major anger, he did NOT once hit or bite or do anything toward me. He simply cried and yelled. I had a quick flash back to last May and I thought, "Wow. How far we've come". I'm so proud of our little guy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


"Zac, Mommy can't feed you or you will lose your job."

Tonight was a bit of a power struggle with Zac. It started with dinner and then worked it's way into bathtime, pj's, bedtime story and teeth brushing.

Here's the dinner story...

So, Zac refuses to eat his food and orders his mom to, "Feed me." I calmly (and believe it or not it was calm) said, "No, Zac. You need to eat your own food. You can have some cookies when you eat your food (no comments on the bribe, please!). For ten minutes he sat at the table without touching his fork and over and over again demanded that I feed him. Now for those of you that have adopted I know that the books say we need to feed them for attachment. This episode was NOT about attachment, it was about control. So, finally I set the timer and told him that he had five minutes to eat the rest of his meal and then I would take his plate away.

All the while, Hallie is giving me a fit about how awful I am being to her brother. I go on to tell her that, "Hallie this is not about dinner this is a control issue. Do you know what that means?"

Hallie: "No."

Mom: "It's like this...if I let Zac always order me around and get his way then when we grows up and has a boss, if that boss asks him to do something he doesn't want to do Zac might throw a fit and get fired by his boss. I am helping him to learn this now when he is little so that he doesn't lose his job when he is older."

Zac: "Mom, feed me!!!! Scream!!"

Hallie: "Zac, Mommy can't feed you or you will lose your job."

Friday, October 17, 2008

Zachary's Third Birthday

We decided that since this was the first birthday that Zac has had with his family we would do it up right and celebrate big time. We piled our whole family plus a cousin and both sets of grandparents into cars and headed to the Great Wolf Lodge waterpark in Kansas City, MO for his special day, October 16. When we arrived Zac was elated to jump into the water and go down the kiddie slides.

After two hours of waterpark fun Zac needed a quick nap before presents, pizza and cake. He was pretty excited about his presents and quickly tore open his packages. We were so delighted to watch his excitement. We also let him dive into his birthday cake face first. He loved his monkey cake and did share some with his brother who also decided to go in face first for a bite. After the festivities we went back to the waterpark for more fun before crashing in bed (adults and kids). But that wasn't the end of his birthday celebration. We really were trying hard to pack birth, first, second and third birthdays all into one event!

The next morning (today) we woke up and headed back to the waterpark for one more round of pool, hot tub, slides and the lazy river before getting cleaned up and heading over to the T-Rex restaurant for lunch. This place had Disney quality decor with moving dinosaurs and bugs of every kind. Very impressive and the kids loved it.

The celebration was obviously great but what made our hearts burst was that we got to watch our son enjoy his birthday and be reminded of how amazing his life is. He is such a beatiful gift to us!

Happy Birthday, Zac! We love you more than you could ever know!

Enjoy the pictures (in reverse order)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Estes Park

It's me Katie...I'm back from the most relaxing, encouraging, Spirit-filled weekend with my wonderful, amazing, incredible husband. For my birthday he planned a trip for us to Estes Park. We wanted to get away, just the two of us, for a weekend. My birthday request was 1. that we go "do" something and not just sit around eating 2. Just the two of us 3. He makes all the plans..where we hike, how to get there, where we stay, what and where we eat etc... Well, he succeeded in planning and executing a fabulous weekend. Thanks to the help of my parents, who watched the kids (yes, Ryan planned this part of it too) and some great friends who loaned us there cabin we were able to escape to Estes. (This was our first overnight away from Zac).

We roughed it in a cabin with no running water (I love adventure) and hiked over 8 miles on Sunday in Rocky Mountain National Park. We got to experience and stand in awe of God's amazing creation. The weather was perfect and the endless talks, both deep and casual, blessed my heart so much.

I think I have decided that I want time with my husband and God in this way every year for my birthday.

Thanks be to God!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Everything is going on

Here are the Horner family updates:

1. Pumpkin Patch. It was fun and the kids loved the jumping pillows, horse rides (Zac's second horse ride, but the first caught on camera) and the mine.

2. Zac's first dentist appointment. Perfect teeth and he loved watching the videos on the ceiling while holding the sucker-thing for his mouth. No tears, in fact he was giggling at one point.

3. Zac's Dedication at church was this Sunday. All my family and most of Ryan's was able to be there. It was very special for us to share this with our family and church family because so many prayed for him during our long wait.

At naptime today this was our conversation:
Mommy: "Zac, did you know that Jesus loves you?"
Zac: "No, mommy I love God."
Mommy: "Zac, that is so nice."
Zac: "No, mommy. No talk. I love Jesus."
Mommy: "Yes!"
Zac: "No talk, mommy. I love Jesus. Jesus loves me."
Mommy: nodding head (I don't dare speak!)
Zac: "Leave."