How Long We Have Been A Family!

Count Down To Nate's 4th Birthday!

Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Nathaniel's First Christmas -- Pictures Are Worth A Million Words!

Merry Christmas from our mischievous little love bug!


Grandpa and Nathaniel. It was at Grandpa's house on December 26th that Nathaniel took his first steps on his own!

Grandma's special time was giving Nathaniel his night bottle. He is wearing the cute new pj's from Auntie Heather.


Reading his new book with mom. He loved looking at it and touching the different textures.

Hanging out with Auntie Heather.

Santa put this special bib in Nathaniel's stocking!!!

Daddy decided to "decorate" Nathaniel's face for Christmas...he didn't seem to like it too much.

Nathaniel all dressed up for our special Christmas service. He is so handsome and is looking so grown up!

Nathaniel's first snow experience.

Ummm...I promise it is just water. We are just teaching him young about the good stuff!

Playing with just one of his noisy new toys.

A family tradition was watching "Nester the Long Eared Donkey". Nathaniel loved it!

Again, teaching him young about the important Christmas traditions! :-)

Hanging special ornaments on the tree from Grandpa and Jim.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Video of Nathaniel's 10 seconds of fame was found!

After searching and searching for a video of Nathaniel's 10 seconds of fame, I was came across someone who posted a portion of the segment on You Tube. I asked her to post the entire segment, and she graciously accepted. I am so excited!!!

Nathaniel Is Featured on the America World Blog!

Our Agency's (America World Adoption Association) blog features Nathaniel today!

Check it out! http://www.awaablog.org/blog/

Friday, December 12, 2008

Nathaniel Becomes a Celebrity!!!

Today was a historic day for the West Family! On the Friday episode of the Bonnie Hunt Show (NBC, 12 PM PST), the winning Christmas picture of Nathaniel and Chewy was shown...on National TV!!!!

Her website invites people to upload their Christmas pictures to be shown on the air. Paul told me about it on Monday night, so I did, not thinking anything would come of it. Of all the days to watch the show (I am not usually home during the days), I just so happened to watch it on the right day!

I caught me so off guard that I didn't get it on video. :-( If anyone happens to come across it or taped it, let me know! :-)

Well, since the most adorable Christmas picture of my son was shown on National TV, I decided to post it. :-)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

6 Month "Gotcha Day" Anniversary and Photo Session

I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that today marks 6 months since Nathaniel has been in our arms! The time has flown by, yet it feels like he has ALWAYS been here. I know I say it in almost every post, but what a PRIVILEDGE it is to be Nathaniel's mom...How much he has blessed our lives and made it so full of love.

Back in August, we were thrown an Adoption Shower by Paul's family. As a gift, a dear church member gave us a certificate for a professional photography session with his granddaughter.

The pictures are AMAZING and I want to share them with you! Here is how to view our pictures:
Click on "Main Site" (on the left)
Click on "Your Gallery" (on the top right)
The password is (case sensitive): Nathan10/24
She has also entered some of her favorites from our session on her blog.
Here is just a taste...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Nathaniel Gets Even Older...

Today is Nathaniel's 11 month birthday. Oh my goodness! I can't believe that in 1 month, my little boy will be a year...I am already researching decorations for his 1st birthday! It is going to be all things Sesame Street/Elmo theme!!!

In just over 2 weeks, we get to celebrate another "first" with Christmas! I feel so blessed to get to be a part of so many of Nathaniel's first.

Wednesday, December 10th marks 6 months since Nathaniel's "Gotcha Day"! At this point, he has been our son longer than he was an orphan. Nathaniel is more than a blessing, he is a MIRACLE!!! Thank you, Lord for my son!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Our Attempt At Christmas Card Pictures!

Here is a short glimpse of what it was like to get the *perfect* Christmas photo!

Monday, December 1, 2008

First Post From My New Computer and Christmas Cards!

After fighting our old laptop for over 6 months (and finding out it would cost more to fix it than get a new one), I braved the crowds on "Black Friday" and stood in line for one of Walmart *fantastic* deals. So I am hoping this will cause me to be more consistent with blog posts. :-)

Here are some pictures! :-)
Chillin' in Daddy's office before Sunday morning service. What a handsome little man. He is growing up so much.
Just the beginning of the "blooper" pictures while trying to get the *perfect* Christmas card photo :-)
What an amazingly patient dog we have. He loves Nathaniel so much too!
Playing peek-a-boo with Chewy's antlers. He eventually broke them which caused an outfit change as shown later. :-)
Trying the picture by himself. The angle is wrong and makes him appear to have huge feet. Oops! :-)
Taking a quick break.
Rudolph's nose feels much better on his gums. All Nathaniel (and Mommy & Daddy) want for Christmas is his top front tooth to finally poke through!
Makes you wonder what is going through the head of our doggy. His eyes say "help me!". :-)


This was the last of the torture for my little boy and his dog. They were such good sports! The winning picture (not posted here) will be in mailboxes all over the states very soon! :-)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I Am Thankful For All My Turkeys!

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever."
1 Chronicles 16:34

Nathaniel enjoying his First Thanksgiving, and showing his teeth! The top right tooth is about the size of all his other teeth put together! He is working on his top left tooth...pray for us. :-)



My turkey sugar cookies...yes, I know. They don't *really* look like turkeys. In fact, some looked like mice, chicks, a baseball glove, etc. But, they are supposed to be turkeys, and they taste REALLY good!



My turkey cheeseball...so, I got a little carried away trying to be creative.
:-)

Nathaniel being silly with cousins Dominic and Desarae.

Nathaniel getting his first taste of Pumpkin Pie. Grandma fed him quite a bit, and he especially LOVED the Cool Whip.

Cuddling with Auntie Shelli, wearing his "I'm Thankful For My Family" bib.


It was so much fun being able to celebrate Nathaniel's first Thanksgiving. It brought a new meaning to an already special day. We are so thankful to the Lord for our little miracle.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Heart Bursting With Love

Last night I was laying in bed, around 11:30 PM (no, I am NOT a night person, it's the seasonal night job). I was overwhelmed with undescribable love for my son! So much so, that I was considering waking him up just to hug and kiss him (I didn't though).

What an amazing miracle God has given us. We are truly thankful, not just at Thankgiving, but always.

Gobble Gobble,
Holly

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Operation Christmas Child





Every year our church and school participate in the Operation Christmas Child program which sends Shoeboxes of gift to children all over the world. This year the congregation and school kids gave over 100 boxes!!!! It is so much fun to shop for and put together the boxes! This year we did 3...one was from Nathaniel! :-)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I think Nathaniel is going to start college tomorrow...

I finally understand. It is true, children grow up way too fast. Our little Nathaniel amazes me everyday with his new discoveries. It is exciting and yet I find myself reminiscing of the first meeting with our son, just 5 months ago.


I remember watching and weeping as each family was united with their child. Rachel brought the children out in alphabetical order, so we were last with a "W" last name.

When Rachel handed our little love bug to us, I became a puddle in an instant. He smelled like heaven. I even remember he had the hiccups! (Paul teases me about this because I still talk about his hiccups when we first met him every time he gets them now!) It took him about a minute to realize he wasn't too sure of us. His reaction to us at first wasn't the "ideal" that others may expect or dream of, but that isn't what I remember. I remember holding, hugging and kissing my son for the first time. Changing his diaper was something Paul & I fought over (not anymore though)!

Now, 5 months later, I couldn't imagine our life without him. We will never be the same again!

Nathaniel has done A TON of growing and changing since I last posted! Everytime he wakes up from a nap, I think he has grown an inch. Little boy is not so little! He towers over every 1-2 year old we know. After months of rolling, he started, what we call, "swimming" across the floor. That quickly changed to the real crawl, and now he is super crawler. Seriously, don't blink or he will be gone.

He is also so close to walking, it scares me! He pulls up on everything he can (ie toilets, trash cans, the dog, our legs, the washer and dryer, etc.) He has even done the "look, ma, one hand" pose and looked determined to take a step...I will post as soon as it happens.

We have started our list of things to get him for Christmas: a box, electrical cords, dog dishes, TV controllers and shoes. :-) But seriously, why buy a bunch of the latest, greatest toys when all he will want is the box?! :-)

Here are a couple of new pictures:


Nathaniel hanging out with Auntie Misma, sporting the new outfit she gave him.
All bundled up going for a walk with Daddy.

Celebrating Auntie Misma's birthday.

Reading a book with Grandma. She was here for almost a week! Nathaniel really likes Grandma!

Thanks for checking in with us. I promise to try harder to update more often. I am working in the evenings at Harry and Davids again this year, so my days and nights are packed. I savor every moment I am home to spend with my son.
T-minus 11 days until Nathaniel's first Thanksgiving!!!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Nathaniel Goes To The Courthouse To Get Re-Adopted

This morning at the Jackson County Juvenile Court in Medford, Oregon, Mesfin Paul West became Nathaniel Mesfin Paul West, and is now re-adopted in the State of Oregon.
Here is some pictures from our morning:
Our family in the court room waiting on the judge. Don't we look cute? Even color coordinated (I made my not-so-happy husband go back into the house and change because his 1st outfit didn't match.)
The judge came out and spoke to us for a few minutes.
Then the judge spoke to Nathaniel.
After the judge had signed the official court decree and the pretty certificate of adoption.
The judge was such a good sport and let Nathaniel wear her robe while sitting where she sits.
After the ceremony, we went to the Black Bear Diner to celebrate! Nathaniel was very happy that we were all there to celebrate him...

...no I mean REALLY happy!!!

Thank you to Grandma West, Auntie Shelli and Ms. Mary for celebrating this special day with us!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Nathaniel Goes To The Pumpkin Patch!





Daddy & Nathaniel at the Sunflower Maze

Nathaniel's not too sure what to think of the hay. It's all prickly on his legs.


Daddy hitching up the wheelbarrow to take out to the pumpkin patch.


Nathaniel's not too sure what to think about this new adventure...

...but the wheelbarrow tastes good. Don't judge, we are just building his immune system! :-)



I just love all of his facial expressions when he is in a new place. Nathaniel has such a personality!
Nathaniel is now joined by the pumpkin that daddy picked out. (Mommy couldn't make up her mind. If we would have waited for mommy to make up her mind, we still would be there!)

Nathaniel quickly grew attached to his new friend the pumpkin.

We had such a good time! The weather was a little deceiving...80 degrees in the middle of October.