Saturday, December 29, 2007
Click on the link below to see Juancho, Laura and Angie as dancing elves! Our friend Steve with Orphan's Hope put this together for us...and the kids loved watching it so much that we made some 'elves' of our own!
More later...but click below for some fun!
Thursday, December 27, 2007
This was the night of the famed 'Angie Angry Face'. Laura helped me cook Macaroni and Cheese. The first time we served Mac & Cheese to the kiddos, they thought it was very weird food and balked at it...but eventually ate it. We served it again and they decided it would taste the best with ketchup on top (they pretty much put ketchup on every food)...and they've eaten it that way ever since...and they ask us why Minnesota food is so weird... :)
Speaking of the cousins, this is the oldest cousin on the Meadows side - Heather Stanfield. She is quite sophisticated in this photo - modeling her brand new blue pashmina all the way from Italy (brought home by Uncle Jon's girlfriend Rachel - thanks Rachel!). Heather was quite excited to meet her new cousins and she was such a great cousin! She had practiced the Spanish she had been learning in school and did very well communicating with the new cousins! She also made them each some really special gifts based on their specific interests. She has a great new blog too that she started after becoming a regular reader of the DresselFamilia blog!
One of the gifts that Angie received from her Grandparents (Abuelos) was a trunk with a number of fairy costumes. For the following days that we spent in Iowa, Angie was nearly always wearing a fairy costume...and how could she resist when she had to know she was this darn cute?! We called her our 'Pink Princessa'. :)
Oh...and in case you were wondering...fairies go potty too! :) (yeah, we know this is one of those type of photos she'll yell at us for taking when she is about 14 years old...but every child needs a few of those type of photos, right?)
We've learned that all of our three ninos are very interested in crafts and putting things together. We have had a number of projects we worked on together as a familia...including painting/coloring wooden ornaments...Angie was quite excited to show off her ornament and find the perfect spot on the tree to put it. (you may also notice from her mouth that she had enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate just before this pose!)
What a handsome pooch! PJ handled the children coming home, travels for the holidays and the craziness around the house with grace and ease...we think he is GREAT!
The children on Christmas morning...each opening a gift! The kids had a wonderful Christmas - thanks in part to the many people who donated or gave gifts to our family...what a blessing for them...THANK YOU!!
Christmas Joy! Juancho, Laura and Angie - Christmas 2007
PS - For those of you thinking we forgot to send you a Christmas card this year...never fear, they are coming soon! We figure bringing home these three treasures gave us a good reason to be a bit late on Christmas cards this year!
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas too!
Monday, December 10, 2007
Our travel day on December 6th was a LONG one...we started by waking up at 4:30 AM to leave for the airport by 5:30 am. After a taxi mix-up, we were off to the airport a bit late, but things at the airport went really well and we made up the time we lost easily. As we waited to board our first plane, we visited with our friend Tamara and baby John ("Juanito") who were on our same plane to Atlanta and our new friends Megan with her daughter Maria and new son Benjamin (and her mom) who are all from Savage, MN! They literally live just five miles (or less!) from us here in Shakopee. We are looking forward to connecting with them more after the holidays! The flight to Atlanta went pretty smoothly - thankfully Angie slept for much of it! And thanks to Tia Michelle for the gift of the portable DVD player - a lifesaver when traveling!
Customs and Immigrations at Atlanta was tough only because the kids were restless and starving (we don't blame them - we were too!) and it took a long time. There weren't any problems though and around 3:30 PM Atlanta time, our kids became US Citizens! We got a little choked up realizing the significance of that! We ate lunch at Chili's in the airport and then split up - Juancho and Papi walked around the airport and looked at 'guy stuff' while Mami, Laura & Angie visited all the shops and enjoyed all the 'girly stuff'. We met up at our gate later, and waited for boarding. Thankfully there was an 'indoor playground' nearby that captivated the kids attention and energy (and gave Mami & Papi a chance to rest!).
Since then we've been unpacking suitcases, doing laundry, and experiencing a few 'firsts'! Of course there have been many snow 'firsts' like sledding (great fun!) and trying to make a snowball and snowman...unfortunately the snow is a little 'dry' for that. The children met Santa for the first time ever on Saturday night - as Santa toured the streets of Maple Plain (where Robert's dad & grandma live) and handed out bags of candy. That prompted the first time trying an "Atomic Fireball' candy...which was quickly determined to be NOT their favorite candy! :) There's been the 'first' visit to Target (to buy snowpants and snow boots, of course!) and our first visit to our gym to go swimming was today! Unfortunately our swimming adventure was cut short because some child (thankfully not one of ours) pooped in the pool! Ewww! We'll got back often though! All the children love swimming and are not afraid of the water...we may look at getting them involved in swimming lessons come this January!
It has been nice to have more than one room to spread out in, and to not worry about disturbing other families now that we are home. The children are enjoying their new rooms, toys and clothes. They are also learning the rules of the house...
"No, just because you have that many pants in your closet does not mean you can change your clothes that many times each day." (that was said to Laura - our girly girl clothes horse!)
"When you burp or fart at the table, we expect you to say 'Excuse Me' (or 'Perdon' in Spanish)" (this was said to Juancho - our true boy!)
"It hurts the puppy when you pull his ears/tail/hair/feet/etc." (said to Angie who is doing a great job of breaking PJ in to having kids!)
Here's a few pics for your viewing enjoyment! We look forward to having a few more firsts with the kids...like the first time they get to meet each one of you
Juancho picked blue, of course...he loves cooking! He helped Papi with breakfast this morning - he loves being 'the chef'!
Thursday, December 6, 2007
The last two days have been a whirlwind as I'm sure you can imagine! But we had no troubles with obtaining the visas for the children - everything went very smoothly!
I had a great birthday too...thanks to all of your comments and e-mails!
Some of you have expressed interest in coming to the airport Thursday night to welcome us home! If that works for you, we would love to see some familiar faces! Our kids think it would be pretty neat to have a welcoming committee too!
So here are our flight details...
We are flying on Delta Airlines and will be taking our connecting flight from Atlanta to Minneapolis. The flight number is #1540 which leaves Atlanta at 8:10 PM (Eastern time) and arrives in Minneapolis at 9:50 PM (Central Time).
Since our connecting flight is a domestic flight, we will have done all of our Immigration & Customs stuff in Atlanta and will just come through the regular arrival doors to the baggage claim area. If you can't make it - we understand, it is a late arrival on a "school" night! But if you can, we'd love to see you!
Otherwise, we look forward to catching up with many of you in the next few weeks/months!
Love, The Dressel Familia!
PS - T-minus 6.5 hours before our plane takes off from the Bogota Airport!
PPS - Sorry no pics tonight...quick post to give you the flight info...I'll have to do a more comprehensive 'catch up' after we get home!
Monday, December 3, 2007
This will be a quick post as time is getting short now! This morning Papi & Juancho were up bright and early to head off with Mario to get Juancho's passport taken care of.
Cute Story: When the alarm went off at 6:30 am, I leaned over Juancho and rubbed his back saying 'Time to get up Juancho'. When he opened his eyes and looked at me I told him it was 6:30, time to get up. He looked at his new $2.50 Spiderman watch and saw that it was indeed 6:30 am. Then I think he realized that he was going to get his passport b/c a big smile spread over his face and he got right out of bed and was nearly undressed and in the shower before I even got the water warmed up! He was excited to get that passport completed!
Juancho & Papi got the passport taken care of (see photo below) and then stopped off at the Delta Airlines ticketing office on the way home to purchase the children's tickets for Thursday (ours had already been changed to Thursday). It is official! We will be landing in the Twin Cities at 5:45 pm on Thursday night, December 6th...HOORAY!!
Our doctor's appointment was scheduled for 6:30 PM, but then our representative Edith called us at 11:40 and said there had been a cancellation and could we go at 12:30 instead. That seemed to be a better time to us, so we got the children dressed and ready to go! We met with Dr. Juan Fajardo at 12:30 and he did a basic medical history on the kids and a brief examination of each one (height, weight, check the ears, nose, throat, etc.). All seemed to pass the test. They are small (which we knew)...all are in around the 10% mark for height and weight...except Angie. She is at the 10% mark for height, but doesn't even get on the chart for weight...she only weighs roughly around 23 pounds! No wonder her 2T pants are falling off of her! She'll grow (as they all will) with consistency, a good diet and lots of TLC! We've already noticed her cheeks plumping up a bit...and becoming more rosy!
Here are a few pics from the day. Tomorrow we apply for visas! In the afternoon Holly is getting a manicure (birthday present from Papi) and then the parent's are going out for a meal (in honor of Holly's b-day).
With love from Bogota,
The Dressel Familia!
Street Performers are commonplace in Bogota. At red lights they come out and perform, and just before the light turns green, they walk along asking for donations from drivers. Performers range from children doing backflips to intense performers like these three men balancing on each others shoulders and juggling sticks lit on fire!
On our way to the Usaquen market we walked through a little park that had a Christmas tree decorated with Coca Cola bottles and had the Coca Cola polar bears on display too. Juancho & Laura just had to be photographed with the bears!
Robert and Laura outside of the La Fontana Hotel. There was a small market held in the indoor courtyard
Sunday, December 2, 2007
We went on a walking tour of La Candelaria - the oldest neighborhood in Bogota. This neighborhood was originally settled by the Spanish and is known for it's colonial style homes, cobblestone streets, museums and rich history. It was a very quaint area. This church is one of the oldest, and most ornate, in all of Bogota. It was designed after classic Italian church architecture.
This is how we all felt by the end of the day - though Angie was the only one able to take advantage of the opportunity to sleep!
Saturday, December 1, 2007
So we made it official today with Delta Airlines...Thursday will be our homecoming day! We will arrive in Minneapolis in the evening...we'll let you know specifics when we pick up our tickets on Monday. We had to move it back one day because we lost a day with the paperwork error that was made with Juancho's amended birth certificate. We have all the corrected documents now, and will get Juancho's passport on Monday, along with having the kids US Embassy doctors appointments on Monday afternoon. Tuesday we'll apply for our visas...Wednesday we'll pick them up, and Thursday morning we will head home...HOORAY!!!
The last 2 days were jam packed for us...I'll tell you what we did with pictures:
Laura at Divercity on the River Rapids ride! (Note: Divercity is a mini-city for children. Children 'work' at various jobs (like a veterinarian, a fireman, a doctor, etc.) to earn 'money'. With thier money they can pay for different fun things to do (like the river rapids or getting a manicure or playing soccer) It was a lot of fun...and very educational for the children!)
Juancho driving at Divercity
Juancho as a paramedic at Divercity