This week I got a notice from Homeland Security that in order to get Aidan's proof of citizenship we now have to appear in person with photocopies of everything that we already sent them-in March.  So now I have to make an appointment to see if I can change this interview appointment because the back of the form where I'm supposed to be able to notify them of a need to change is a blank page.  Aidan came home in October 2008 and although he has had court issued adoption papers and a state birth certificate for well over a year now, he still has no proof of citizenship and still has no social security number.  There is the small matter of not being able to claim him on our tax return, of course, but the bigger concern is what a nightmare his custody would pose in the event that something happened to us and he was still in this limbo stage.  More time.  More money.  More waiting.  I'm going to write to my senator now about the discrepancies on the USCIS forms and the incorrect advice that I've been given by DHS staff.
 
 
Our elementary school has a tradition of holding prize speaking night early every new year. I won in sixth grade; Golden Baby, Pretty Baby, Little Baby, and both of my younger sisters won. One of those sisters teaches kindergarten and the other teaches 8th grade, both at K-8 schools, so they have taken the tradition with them.  I think my brother two up from me won as well.  So, the point is, it really is a tradition and one that I wanted Aidan to participate in.  At kindergarten they don't compete; rather, they practice reciting before a crowd.  On the night of the competition between the finalists, the kindergarten students are invited to recite their poem if they wish to.  Here are shots of Aidan and his buddies on the night of their first stage adventure.
Picture
Picture
Picture
In the above shot, his teacher is talking to the kids from the left and G is looking on from the right.  Below, Aidan is on stage with his principal.
Picture
 
 
This is Aidan after sledding with RB and me on Monday.  He has decided that he doesn't want to go skiing today with his school but will instead sled.  He also rode the bus for skiing last week and then each day afterwards, but has decided that he's done with the bus, too.  We know not to push.  Better to have him smiling like this and eventually working his way into some things than to have him sobbing like he did last week on shot day-and staying home because he was truly too overwrought to go to school even though we promised him that he could just go to school and not get the H1N1 shot.
Picture
 
 
Today Aidan had his first skiing lesson.  I got home just before he did and he practically fell out of the truck to tell me all about it, about how he did the pizza (which we called the snowplow) and fell down a lot and got a snack afterwards.  Little Baby told me that he looooved skiing just before Aidan said he didn't want to do it again--very typical for him when he actually loves something.  But if you've ever skiied or like some other winter sport, you know that the minute you get inside where it's warm, you're ready for bed.  Well, Aidan was no exception:
Picture
And just look at those rosy cheeks! (not to mention helmet hair!)
 
 
Today we finally got Aidan's picture taken for his season pass at the ski area.  Lessons start this week; we'll have to wait and see how he does.  We know that he won't be taking the bus with the other kids-he still won't ride the bus-and that he does want to learn to ski or snowboard, but that he doesn't want to ride a lift.  So time will tell.

His school is also holding the first day of a two day H1N1 clinic for all the students and I signed him up to get the shot.  Another wait and see event-he has had several shots already this year and wants to know if he can just stay home from school on that day.  So if he panics, the shot will be off. 
Picture
Both of these scenes would be looking toward our house.
Picture
I was home Wednesday with a migraine that started Tuesday and still hasn't gone completely.  Probably a combination of the stress of returning to school after break (I never sleep well on Sunday nights anyway), having no heat in my room (literally) for the first two days, and all of the smells nearby (kids are painting murals in the hall near my room and I'm allergic to acrylic compound vapors).  So it was a quiet week.
Picture
Picture
Aidan is very creative; here he is wearing a fu man chu mustache made of dental floss.

Picture
Picture
Did you watch Fat Albert?  I told Aidan that he looked like the boy on that show who always wore a jacket that was too long.  He said he wants a jacket just like Daddy.

 
 
Sorry, no photos; while downloading a Microsoft upgrade our computer crashed and the hard drive is being reformatted, so we can't upload any photos right now.  Here is the scoop on  our three days of Christmas, anyway:

Day 1-December 24-Christmas candlelight service at our church followed by dinner and a tree at home with the big kids and their sons.

Day 2-December 25-Stockings and a tree at home followed by a tree at my mother's house with the 40+/- people in attendance (just family, though, and with my two oldest siblings not there, my third sibling in Heaven, and some nieces and nephews not there-still a crazy population of people)

Day 3-December 26-Stockings a tree at G's mother's house with his sister and her family, our kids and grandsons.

Aidan loved Christmas this year!  He understood enough to feel the anticipation, to be upset that making a list doesn't mean you get everything on the list, and to already be asking why Santa isn't coming again soon even though it is currently snowing outside.

The best gifts are those from God, of course, and they include G's sister being just home from open heart surgery and recovering well, and all of the loved ones that we shared our holiday season with.
 
 
Aidan loves to cook and Little  Baby loves to play house, so you put the two of them together and you have a mess, not to mention a good time.  First they colored Christmas pictures, then they decorated the tree and the living area, and then they made gingerbread men and a gingerbread tree.  After that they walked to my mother's house to deliver some of their cookies, came home and had hot tea together (it was about 0º outside with the wind chill factor).
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
I'm not a knicknack person, except for papers and books-I have reams and stacks of those.  Although I do have some knicknacks and figurines, if there is no nostalgic or personal value to them, I toss them.  Christmas is my one exception, but even then I find that almost everything has some memory attached to it.
Picture
One of several Christmas decorations made by my second sister, Kate (1948-2004)

Picture
Picture
G loves Christmas, knicknacks, decorations, Christmas (did I already mention that?), and dogs.  So when I was at a fair a couple of years ago, I couldn't resist getting this little thing for him.

Picture
Picture
My niece and her mother (1951-2005) made this for me several years ago.  It was accompanied by a beautiful wreath made of straw that was stuffed with little squares of this plaid fabric, all cut with pinking shears, and accented with gold.  My niece was probably about 10 years old at the time.  The wreath has long since gone, but not the ornament.

Picture
Picture
Pretty Baby had a collection of fat-bottomed soft snowmen, and she loves the Misfit Toys so much that we bought her a collection when she first moved out, then bought some for ourselves.  So everything in this row reminds me of her.