Anne:

Hello... is there anyone still out there??  We know from phone calls and emails that there are still a very few, VERY faithful people that still check this site even though we have been incredibly bad about updating it!!  We appreciate your faithfulness, and as always, promise to be better in the future, but you know how that goes!

We have actually been really busy, though!  Busy, but doing well.  I'm not going to attempt to fill you in on all the events of the last six months, and I certainly won't be able to get in all the photos, but I'll try and hit on some highlights!  Daniel and Maya are great.  We celebrated their second birthdays in December.  They definitely have their "Terrible Two" moments, but they certainly are also really entertaining!  They're both talking a lot, putting words together and as John says, "actually starting to make sense."  They love to ask questions, generally twice in a row.  For example, "Where Daddy go? Where Daddy go?"  or "Go in the car? Go in the car?"  It's great fun watching them starting to use their imaginations with their toys and being creative.  They both love doing puzzles, and they love animals of all kinds.  Their love of animals includes Ginger and Ollie-- and I think they might even be starting to love them back!  (Lots of food falling from the table always wins their affections).

In other news, I resigned from my job at Cook County on March 22nd after 7 years.  It was not an easy decision, and unfortunately it was prompted in part by lots of messiness in the health system.  It was also the result of my desire to pursue a bit of a different course in my career, so I continue to take classes toward a Masters in Public Health, and will be starting a Community Health Fellowship with the PCC, a wonderful organization and great group of family physicians.  I won't start working with them until the summer, so for now I am just doing classes, spending more time with Daniel and Maya, and just making a new start of things.

The day after my last day of work we left on a very fun and relaxing vacation to Georgia.  We spent a weekend visiting many dear friends in Atlanta, then drove a few hours south to Jekyll Island on the Atlantic Coast.  We had beautiful weather and had a wonderful time biking around the island, walking on the beach and checking out what had washed up the night before, sitting on our balcony which overlooked the ocean, and just breathing in the sea air.  This was Daniel and Maya's first airplane ride since the fateful trip home from Kazakhstan, and they generally did very well.  Daniel was beside himself with excitement watching all of the airplanes take off.  As we waited to board the plane, he was jumping up and down squealing, "Airpane, airpane, airpane!"  After we strapped him in his seat and he freaked out with the sounds of the jet engines, he was crying and whining, "Airpane, airpane!"  Luckily, after we took off and were able to turn on the portable DVD player, a few cookies and a Dora the Explorer video did the trick!

So, here are some photos from the last few months-- hope you all are doing well!

Daniel digs into the Christmas gifts

Say "cheeeeeese!"

Kaz kids reunion 2007 (guess which one is the party animal)

Snowbunny Maya

This pretty much says it all

Smelling a Valentine rose

Going sledding with cousins Sydney and Summer

Maya playing with our friend Sheila in Atlanta

John and kids at Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Hanging out with friends Elise and Audrey Isakov

Getting ready for our big bike trek around Jekyll Island

Enjoying a little lunch on the balcony

Bathing beauty

Gotta get this castle built!

Playing on the dunes

Dueling with crab parts on the beach

Boarding the boat at Okeefenokee Swamp to go see the alligators (ah-gee-ga-go in Daniel-speak)

Wheeeeeeeee!

In our Easter clothes

Coloring Easter eggs

We'd be scared of this Easter Bunny, too!

Bye until next time!!!