Thursday, December 31, 2009

Building a Snowman

First, you need one bundled up five year old.....

One chocolate Lab.....

And some willing 'helpers'!

(Where was I???? You ask.  I was inside staying warm & dry. I am very happy to live vicariously through my children for this particular activity! I did HAVE to put on my boots and my coat and my mittens and my hat and my take a few pictures...I quickly did the deed and was back inside before any coldness could descend upon me!)

Here is a interesting way to build a snowman.....

This is called 'using your head'....indeed, a unique approach!

Faith was trying very hard not to drop the middle part of the snowman on Scott!!!

Finally.....middle part is up!!!

Putting on the 'head' was pretty uneventful!

The finished product!

And, one worn out little girl! ;)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sunday Snapshot: Faith

Ni Hao Y'all

My daughter, Faith!!!

Where do I begin with this one????

How did she become 20 years old????

She was my first little girl....a total surprise.....we were expecting another son! lol

She was my first taste of pink and bonnets and bows and dollies! What fun, what fun!!

She will always be my 'first baby'!  She was my baby for 17 years until the arrival of Shea....
In some ways she will always remain the 'baby' of the family....
However, she certainly is so much more....
Let me tell ya  a little bit about this daughter of mine......

This girl is funny, and silly, and!

She is filled with such passion!!! (And can be quite feisty as well!)

She is NOT afraid to stand up for what she believes in.
She'll tell you exactly what is on her mind...with no shame or hesitation! (Arguing with her can be very ya need to come prepared!)

She loves the Lord...she will share her faith with anyone!

Her family and friends mean the world to her.

She is the BEST big sister in the world.

Don't get her started about abortion...
She will chew you up and spit you out....she is such an advocate for the pre-born child!!!!

Faith is in her second year of college.
She decided to move back home!!! Yeah!!!!
I missed her so much...
Shea missed her so much...
I think she missed us, too!!!

She is attending a near by college...
Working at American Eagle....(40% discount, baby!!)
and seeking a CNA job at an assisted living facility.

Faith wants to be a nurse....perfect profession for her.... not just any kind of nurse....(please don't take this the wrong way) but, this daughter of mine want to be a pediatric oncology nurse!!!

Holy cow!!!!

I think she will be perfect!

My heart swells with pride!!!

Have I told ya how much I love this kid?????

(BTW, she chose the pictures...kinda tells ya she IS a take charge type of person! ha!)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Day!!!!!!

We did manage to take a Christmas 'family' photo.....kind of.....

We are missing some key people......

Our oldest son couldn't make it home for Christmas due to his work sad.....however, he will be home over New Year's Eve!!! YEAH!

Our youngest child couldn't make it home for Christmas due to.....?????.....what do I say......circumstances beyond our control....yeah, that sounds right! However, she will be home next month!!! Praise the Lord!!!

And the other two???  Well, they were sleeping! Yep, sleeping.  We took these pictures on the morning of the 24th......

For those of you who don't have kids in their twenties (yet), morning means at least until noon. I just couldn't wait around for them to grace us with their presence! ha! We are on such different's a generational thing, I'm sure!!!

 But this little 'fire-cracker'....

She is always up at the crack of dawn!!! Ya know, just in case something important happens...she can't miss a thing!
(BTW, don't ya just love those chubby little feet???)

Merry Christmas Day!!!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Yes, folks our TA has arrived!!!!!!

What a great Christmas gift!!!!

I am crazy happy!!! and over-joyed and so very thankful....

Thankful to our amazing God....and His perfect timing!!!

Thankful to my family and friends and my new bloggy friends who have prayed for peace and patience as I waited for this moment to arrive!!!

Wow....I still can't believe it!!!

We are going to China!!!!!

We are REALLY going!!!!  (insert one happy momma dancing for joy!!!!!)

We are hoping to be on a plane FOR CHINA on January 15th.
Our case worker (who btw, is awesome!!) is working on our Consulate Appointment. We should know for sure by early next week.....then I can book our tickets!!!!! Yeah!!!!

This is one thrilled momma!!!

Hang on Avery....we're almost there!!!

(Notice how Shea just HAD to get into the picture....
She just couldn't let this be about Avery and Mommy....
I'm thinking this is a glimpse of things to come!!!!)

"I will bless the name of the Lord at ALL times;
His praise will ALWAYS be on my lips."
Ps 34:1

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday Snapshot : My Little Nutcracker

Ni Hao Y'all

Okay.  I was trying to come up with something Christmasy and perhaps a little creative.... creative juices are not just flowing tonight, so since I have some pictures of Shea on the day of her performance in the Nutcracker, I thought I'd go with that.  At least it's 'Christmasy'!

This was Shea's second year dancing in the Nutcracker here in our small town 'up North'.
And her second year as an angel...
...dancing that special 'angel dance' that only 4 & 5 year olds know how to do!

She dances at a small but quaint studio.....
Run by the 'Madame' and her husband.
Classes are taught by one of her sons and's Russian inspired...kinda strict and formal.....but, Shea LOVES it!!!

Here she is at home, before the performance, with her beloved Nutcracker.

Back stage....can ya tell she's super excited??????

She was only on stage for.....ummmm......'bout 10 seconds.......but, boy did she make the most of it!

There were 'clouds' on the stage that night.....(smoke or dry ice or something like that).....the 'clouds' were not there during dress rehearsal.....

I imagine those little angels were quite surprised when they started walking dancing through the clouds.

My little angle decided to dip her down head into the clouds waving her arms up and down as she was walking...errr.....dancing.....actually stopping in the middle of the stage.  Oh, what fun she was having....until she got bumped in the hiney from one of her fellow angles.  Unfortunately or should I say....fortunately,  she needed to 'get her head out of the clouds' and continue her trek across stage.

She had a wonderful time!!!!  And isn't that what it is all about???

We will be taking a break from dancing....

Avery will be home soon (yeah!!!!), and we will all need to take some time as a family to bond.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Jewels of my Heart - cute!!!

I just received the bracelets I ordered from Daleea over at Jewels of my Heart.

Just in time for Christmas!!!

I love them!!!

They are classy..
They are sweet...
They are simply wonderful!!!

I plan on ordering the months to come.

And the best part.....

I am helping to bring her daughter home from China!!!

How cool is that???

It's a win- win all the way around!!!

Please go check these gorgeous bracelets out....
They are quite affordable and there are many styles to choose from.

My 20 year old daughter wanted a couple for Christmas.
I bought her some...
I bought some for my future-daughter-law...
I bought some for my other son's girlfriend...
And, I even bought one for me!
Oh yeah, I plan on buying matching bracelets for Shea & Avery!!

Go on....

Check out these bracelets...

Be a part of something big.... and look stylish, too!

(Even though it's too late to order a bracelet for Christmas, I am sure y'all can find another reason to buy one!)

Starfish Cleft Home

Snowball Fight!! (A video)

Well, this wasn't what I intended to post about today....

But, I just couldn't resist.....

Especially since my husband was pumped about doing this particular video...

You see, it epitomizes our family....exactly!!

Everyone, except me, loves to play in the snow.

They love to sled, build forts, and more than anything else.....

....engage in a good snow ball fight!!!

Me, well, I prefer a nice cozy fire, some hot chocolate, and a good book.

So, play away, my lovely family....just keep on playing out in the snow....ahhhhh.....some peace and quite!!

Oh yeah, it just a video.....

(It's been too darn cold up here in the North to play outside....we have the snow, now we just need some 30 degree weather....btw, that's considered warm up here!)

Anyway, enjoy the video! (My husband thinks that I could have 'played' the Santa cuz he's sitting inside!!)

Snowball Fight

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Re-cap of Shea's birthday!

Well, it's been a week since my sweet baby girl has turned 5!! Five??? I still can't believe she is now five.years.old!!!!

She has been enjoying the privilege of chewing gum. This was something she could only do when she turned five...I just didn't expect it to happen so darn fast.

It's been a good week of gum chewing so far...
The dog has only eaten two pieces of gum that have fallen out of Shea's mouth.  Not bad, really.
I've used it as a bribe only once....Shea responded surprisingly well.  Looks like she will be picking up her toys when I least until the gum thing loses its appeal.
And she only played with her gum one time like it was play-doh. ( Kinda gross!)
Over all, I am pleased...not too many mishaps at all....yet!

Shea wanted a chocolate birthday cake. So, big sister Faith graciously decided to do the honors!!

She wanted Mexican food for her birthday meal. That was easy....we had tacos, cheesy rice, and chips with queso. Not the most healthy dinner, but hey, who cares about be healthy on your birthday???

Certainly not this little one!

A moment taken to think about and honor Shea's first mommy....(deep sigh, there is so much I would like to say....I think I will save that for another post.)

Let's get that cake all  lit up......
And sing a rousing chorus of 'Happy Birthday'!

Time to make a wish and blow those candles out.....

But first, a cough into the elbow....

She's so dramatic!

Now, onto the fun part.....

The big breath in....

Can she do it?  Can she blow out all those candles with one breath?

 Yes, mission accomplished!

 Happy first week of being a five year old, my darling girl!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Snapshot: Avery

Ni Hao Y'all

I decided to showcase our youngest daughter, Avery!

My heart beats with anticipation as we wait to meet her, to hold her, to love her...


This was my first glimpse of her....way back in September of 2008.
In this picture, she was only 23 months old. But, at the time she was already 2 1/2 years old.

Isn't she a cutie????

I remember the day I first saw her face... I was smitten!

My husband and I knew we were going the SN route, without a doubt.

We just didn't know for sure what special need our child would have. We were comfortable with a SN of cleft lip/palate, of course because we have experience with that medical issue.  We were even thinking about club foot thanks to all the info that Stefanie from Ni Hao Y'all fame had provided through her blog.

The SN process was a little different this time.  When we adopted Shea, we had to fill out a form specifying what SN we would accept.  So, we hunkered down in prayer and made some choices. Then in May of 2006, our case worker called with the news that we 'had a little girl'!!!  The rest is history.  Our agency now had their own list of SN kiddos, we just needed to get pre-approved (love that terminology) in order to receive our password to access their list.

This is where the story gets good....

I had just called my agency with the news that we were ready to adopt again.  I made this call on Tuesday, Sept. 2.  By Friday of that same week, I was ready to take my first peek at the list. I sat down at my computer, prayed to God for direction, and proceeded to open the heart was beating wildly....this was so surreal....I could possibly be looking at my child's face in seconds....

Yep, there she was.  Lower right-hand all her grand cuteness.  But, what was it saying her special need was.....ummmm, what is "Abnormal Sleep EEG"....I was asking myself.  My goodness, I have never heard of that....I was stumped.

I closed her file. I then went to No Hands But Ours website.  Nope, no mention of that special need. I then 'googled' it.  Bad idea.  All those medical terms and mumble jumble, I was so confused!!!  Since my agency does not take phone calls on Fridays (unless it is an emergency) because it's their paper work day, I would have to wait until Monday to get some information.....darn!

All weekend long, her little face invaded my brain.  I couldn't stop thinking about her.....
Oh, I should mention that I never told my husband about her that weekend.  I don't know why, I think I just wanted to keep her to myself.  I think I needed more details about her special need.  I think I was already in love with her, and I was so hoping that my husband would feel the same way.....I was a little scared.

Finally Monday morning arrived!

Her medical  information stated that she was pretty darn healthy (my words), and also (by the way) an EEG report showed abnormal sleep. Okaaaaay, what could this possibly mean???? There was no explanation as to why this test was!! Then it states that six months later a CT scan was administered with no 'abnormal findings'.   Huh???

Long story short.....after having her paper work evaluated by an international adoption specialist at our Children's Hospital it seems that this special need could be epilepsy.

Oh, is that all it is????  We definitely could handle that!!! Not to trivialize epilepsy, but with proper medication the doctor assured us that this was definitely manageable.

We had her file locked down by September 15, 2008!!!!!

(I have no idea why these referral pictures are so small!?)

Let me tell you a little about her....

She likes to be cuddled.  (I can't wait!)

Usually, she is obedient!  (Yeah, right.  I'll believe it when I see it. lol)

When she sleeps, she is liable to suck her fingers.  ( Awwww, how sweet is that???)

She likes tomatoes and sweet crackers. (Interesting.)

We received some updated photos of her in June.  Look at how happy she is....

This one is my all time favorite...

She is a girlie-girl!
She will fit in with all the other 'princesses' in this household!

Avery will be four in March.

We have been waiting 15 months for her.

We have celebrated her third birthday without her!

We are so ready to have her home!!!

Soon, my little one, soon!!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

O Christmas Tree....

We actually had our Christmas tree up and decorated the week before Thanksgiving!!!

Why so early....

I had really hoped to be traveling to China sometime in late December.  I thought it would be a good idea to have the tree and house all decked out early so we could enjoy them awhile.  My plan was then to have mostly everything packed up and put away before we left for China. I thought I would have a few Christmasy things out for when Avery opened her gifts.....

No worries....
Now we get to enjoy our Christmas decorations for a really long time....
I can put them away with out rushing and thus, I can keep them somewhat organized for next year. (ummm....Yeah, right.)
And frankly, since we have our Article 5 approval and feel quite confident that we will be traveling in January....I am in a very festive holiday mood and am quite prepared to enjoy this Chirstmas!!!  After all it really is about the wonder and joy of our Savior's birth, and I think because of God's perfect timing, I can now focus on the miracle of this most holy season!!!

Here are pictures from our day of decorating.....

Look how thrilled our dog looks....

My husband doesn't look too thrilled either....
Really, where is the Christmas joy????

Now all we need are the ornaments.

A willing helper....(at last)

Ta-da....all done!

Posing with a 'friend'.
(Last year this guy was taller than Shea.)

Just waiting for this little one......

Then we will be all year for Christmas!!!