Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Slav's 6th birthday!

Slav- turning 5 just 2 days after arriving home in St. Louis!

Slav- turning 6 a full year after being home!

As you can see our oldest is doing great and full of spunk! He was so very excited to be turning 6. Once Sergei finished his birthday we were reminded every day how close we were getting to Slav's birthday.

We had his cousins and some friends over for dinner, presents, and cake and Slav had a blast! Of course, he is all about Spider-Man and aspiring to be a superhero. He was very excited about all of his gifts and having his brother and cousins to play with.

How much Slav has changed and grown this year! He is such a wonderful big brother, son, and friend. He has truly embraced his life as a Fritsche. He is so happy, loving, helpful, and energetic. We praise God every day that he has blessed us with such an incredible, brave, open- hearted little boy!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

From Age Three to Four - Sergei's Birthday

Sergei, Age 3, Aug. 2008, Artem Baby Home

Sergei, Age 4, Aug. 2009, St. Louis- Spiderman pose!

How much our little bundle of energy has changed in 1 year! He is reading easy books now, following directions so much better, showing lots of preference for mom and pop, and having an absolute ball being a Fritsche. We love him so much and are blessed that God has chosen us to be his parents! What joy and happiness he has brought to our lives!

His birthday celebration was so much fun. Joel's mom was here for his birthday and stayed 3 days. Other grandparents were missed but represented by fun gifts. Friends joined us for his meal and cake and presents. We got to see the St. Louis Basilica, eat at Fitzs, and have some adventure at Grant's Farm. Our little guys are tuckered out after the few days of marathon fun! More to come as Slav heads toward 6! Blessings to you all. May God be with you.

Joel, Clarion, Slav, and Sergei

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Vacation, vacation, vacation!

Hello! We are now back home after a two week vacation in Texas. It started out a couple of days with Joel's parents. Then Joel left for the week and I drove with the boys out to see my parents. When Joel got back we had a family reunion with his family. Then we went to the beach in Galveston for a couple of days. A last dinner and good bye with my parents and one more day in Houston and then we headed home.

We all had a great time. We got to spend lots of time with family. The boys spent a good amount of time in the water both at the beach and at family pools. They sure did like the beach but I think that both of them prefer the pool! They are becoming little fishes in the water. We also had plenty of wonderful food and fun. It was a lot of visiting and spending time together so we will just give you some highlights:
feeding ducks at church and seagulls at the beach
seeing a snake and frog in the pond at Uncle Ron's house
playing in the sand at the beach in Galveston
going crazy at the Children's Museum in Houston
going out to eat at various restaurants
participating in a family reunion at Uncle Mike's house
STAYING IN HOTELS- the boys love this!

Hope you enjoyed the pics! We have our 1-year post-placement visit this coming Tuesday. What a joy to show how great the boys are doing! The Lord has truly blessed this family beyond our imagination!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!!

We wanted to wish everyone a Happy Fourth of July! We had a great day despite the rain. We spent the afternoon at our friends' house. We had some great fun, laughs, and food. We are not really sure the boys understand why the day was special but they sure loved the goodies from Grandpa and Meme. God Bless America!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Nine Months Home!

Today the ticker hit the nine-month mark. It's hard to believe we've been home for that long. What a great nine months it has been! Slav & Sergei are doing remarkable well. We couldn't be more pleased with them. The Lord has been truly good to us all!

It's been a great week. Clarion's parents spent a few days with us and we had lots of time to visit and spend time together. We had a family afternoon at Incredible Pizza on Monday. The boys were excited to hang out with Grandma & Grandpa and several of their cousins. It was a day for pizza, games and good times.

We'll keep the post short today. Enjoy the pics! The Lord's blessings to you all.


Joel, Clarion, Slav & Sergei

Friday, June 05, 2009

Our Friend, Irina

What a great surprise! Last week we read on the Clute's blog that Irina, the adoption coordinator for CHI in Vladivostok, was in the US for some business and vacation. We had hoped that we could have an opportunity to see her while she was here, and we were pleased to have that opportunity come along yesterday. We got together with Irina and a couple of her friends at the Pitman's house. It was so wonderful to visit with this dear lady who does so much to bring families together. We will always be grateful to her and Lana for all that they did for our family in Vladivostok. We were so happy for her to see how well our children and the Pitman children are doing. These children are so remarkable in how they adapt and grow with language and attachment in such a short amount of time. It's fun to see Irina's reaction to those changes as well. We were disappointed that Lana couldn't be with her on this trip, but we hope to see her again someday when we take the boys back to Russia to see where they came from. Enjoy the rest of your trip, Irina, and thank you for bringing our family together!


Joel, Clarion, Slav & Sergei

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fun, Sun & More

Hello again! Here we are in the lovely month of May. Time is passing so quickly but as the title of this blog suggests we are having plenty of fun and sun with the boys.

The boys have really been into superheroes and goofing around as the pictures below suggest. They keep us on our toes but also in stitches! They also really love dogs. Not only Dodger and Dandy but the other dogs in the neighborhood too. They love taking walks and seeing which canine friends they will run into. (A favorite lately has been an adorable golden retriever named Ferdie) It has been really nice to see them connecting with the children and their families in the neighborhood as well. Spring has really seen them having fun with their friends.

They both continue to make great strides and we could not be happier with how they are adjusting in their first year here in the USA. Slav is excited about his last two days in preschool this week. Joel recently went with him to "Donuts with Dad" and Slav was thrilled to show off his classroom to his papa. He has brought back some wonderful writing from preschool and I see such growth in him.

Sergei has taken his ABC's to heart and can spell his name, Slav's name, and "Stop" (from watching the stop signs as mama drives) He still loves to read books with Mama and Papa. His coloring has become much more controlled as well. I see good growth in him as well.

They seem very confident and independent and want to do things "all by self." Of course, this is good and sometimes not so good. We have our struggles but are grateful for the gift of family. Slav and Sergei are tremendous blessings to us and we will be forever grateful to everyone who supported us through our journey to adopt them. Enjoy the pictures!


Joel, Clarion, Slav & Sergei

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Zoo Day

Greetings Everyone! We've had some very nice weather this week and have been wanting to spend a few hours at the zoo again. Our friends, the Pitmans, are on spring break this week, so we got together for a half day at the zoo. We didn't see all the animals, but we all had a blast and were tired out after a few hours of walking. If you've never been, the St. Louis Zoo is great and general admission is FREE! Here are some pics from the day...

Congratulations to the Overstreets who had a successful court hearing today in Vlad! Here's hoping that many of you who are waiting will receive referrals and court dates soon! Blessings to you all!


Joel, Clarion, Slav & Sergei