Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Camera = Lots of Pictures

Lynzie and I decided to buy ourselves a new camera for Christmas (it helped that our old one suddenly stoppped working). Over the past few weeks we have literally taken hundreds (dare I say thousands) of pictures, mostly of little Miss Evelyn. Click here to see some of our favorites.

Evelyn's 1st Christmas

Evelyn enjoyed her first Christmas, even though she seemed much more interested in eating and sleeping than in enjoying her Christmas gifts. I wanted to give her something special for this first Christmas, so I decided to build a bookcase for her room. It took me about 15-20 hours or so to build it, but in the end I think it turned out very nicely. I even bought her a few new books to accompany the other children's books we've been collecting. While I was busy buying Evelyn books, it seems everyone else was intent on buying her new clothes. Even better than the gifts was all of the time we were able to spend with both Lynzie and my families. We had a special dinner or get together almost every night the week of Christmas. It will be a memorable one for us!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

We're excited to announce the arrival of our little girl!

Evelyn Allen was born 10/28 at 8:32 am, 7 lb, 1 oz., 20 inches and seems to be most happy just sleeping. Lynzie was miraculously there for the birth, just having arrived home from our trip to Greece, and it was a beautiful experience. Heather, our birthmother, had a smooth delivery. Danny found out our little surprise when his plane landed Tuesday night and went straight to see her. We took her home on Thursday evening after a beautiful placement ceremony at the hospital, and then Friday morning Evelyn's birth mother signed her over to us. It has been an emotional few days for everyone, but we're grateful for this miracle in our lives.

Trip to Athens, Greece

My work as the advisor for the Model United Nations team at school took us on another international trip this past October. This time, we took 14 students to Athens, Greece for 7 days to participate in the 2008 Deutsche Schule Athens MUN Conference. Our students did really well, and we had a lot of fun. The highlight of the trip had to be walking around the Parthenon atop the ancient acropolis of Athens. You can click here to check out some of our pictures.

Layover in London

Our trip to Greece actually came with a bonus visit to London. We took advantage of a 10 hour layover to get out and see the sights. London Heathrow has a great express train that runs every 15 minutes to the heart of the city. One quick trip on the underground, and we found ourselves visiting the city's most famous landmarks: Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the River Thames, and Buckingham Palace. Who cares that we didn't get any sleep for 72 hours! Click here for pictures.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Our Exciting News!!!

We very happily announce that we've been selected by a beautiful birthmother to adopt her little girl. Our baby is due November 11th right here in Gilbert, Arizona, and we can't wait to meet her!

We've been blessed to spend time getting to know our little girl's mother, Heather, and couldn't have dreamed for a better birthmother and a better match. She is a talented, hard working and kind lady who feels strongly that her little girl needs a dad. We are humbled by her willingness to sacrifice her own interests for her baby and to see just how much she loves her little girl.

We hope you'll all say a special prayer for the mother, baby and us during the next month.

The photo above is of our baby girl (lying on her back and sucking her thumb). This one is of the dinner we had with Heather when she gave us the wonderful news (standing next to Danny). She brought a whole basket of gifts for her baby and us!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pizzeria Bianco

We had a date-night to remember at the restaurant named "best pizza in the US" -- Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix. Kelly & David, Ashley & Kyle, and Danny & I got to catch-up for about 2 hours waiting to get a table. We sampled several of their famous pizzas, including "Wood Roasted Onion, House Smoked Mozzarella, and Fennel Sausage" and "Red Onion, Parmigiano Reggiano, Rosemary, and AZ Pistachios". It was delicious! If you go, be sure to try the "Antipasto - Wood Roasted Vegetables, Sopressata, and Bite of Cheese". This was the best part!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

D-Backs Game

The IB program at Westwood sells tickets to a Diamond Backs game as an annual fundraiser, and we couldn’t pass up the chance to eat a Diamond Dog and watch them beat the Giants in record time. Our friends, Mike & Kim Favreau, joined us for our fun night out. Danny even got the spotlight for a few seconds doing a crazy dance on the jumbo-tron.

Bath with Max

Our dog Max thinks life is great – until he gets a bath. He’s figured out that taking off his collar is the first step and now runs for cover when you slip it off his head.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

San Diego Trip

Lynzie and I enjoyed one last summer vacation at the end of July. We spent four days in San Diego enjoying some relaxation time on the beach. Lynzie found us a great deal on a beach rental on Craig's List and we stayed only a block away from the ocean. For the first two days we sat on the beach all day, reading, boogie boarding, and enjoying the waves. We found a great breakfast place in Cardiff by the Sea that we kept going back to called Pipe's Cafe. We also hit our other favorite food places in San Diego, including Extraordinary Desserts, Felipe's Pizza Grotto, Red Mango, and Puerto La Boca (my favorite Argentine restaurant that we've now eaten at for my birthday two years in a row). We enjoyed a trip to the San Diego Temple and a visit with Lynzie's grandparents and cousins in their new house in Oceanside. The backyard of their new house looks down the hill into the backyard of one of the houses where Lynzie grew up. It was wonderful to have some time away before going back to school the first week of August.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Mexico Trip

Danny took 9 students to Cuernavaca, Mexico in June for two weeks. They attended the Spanish language immersion school called Cemanahuac. Cuernavaca is about an hour south of Mexico City and is considered a vacation community for Mexicans. Mom and Dad flew down with me for a week to join him. We explored the Teotihuacan ruin nearby, bussed to Taxco (the Silver City) and Puebla (the city known for hand painted pottery and dishes), visited a wonderfully done Catholic orphanage, and ate Mexican food 3 meals a day. The churches were as ornate as I expected and the homes as colorful as East L.A. Danny loved the homemade Mexican food by his host family and worked hard on writing his book (inspired by the setting) while chaperoning the students. We all enjoyed practicing our Spanish and had a great time! See the slideshow of our travels. (Password is "mexico".)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Success at School

Danny won't toot his own horn, but I will...

Danny was happy to find out earlier this week that all thirteen of his International Baccalaureate (IB) students successfully passed the 2008 IB Spanish exam which they took in May. Five of his students scored a perfect 7 on the test. He was also named by the high school faculty as the 2007-08 Teacher of the Year. He's a little nervous, but looking forward to beginning his first year as the World Language department chair in the fall. Check out a few pictures from his Spanish 1 classes. (Password is "mexico.")

Friday, July 4, 2008

Adoption -- It's About Love

We're excited to announce our certification to adopt through LDS Family Services! Come check out our adoption profile.