Thursday, October 29, 2009

Blog Troubles

A test post to see if it will show up on the blog. Not sure what's going on, but all of my previous posts have disappeared! yikes!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oh's the Flu

I haven't posted much lately...partly due to just being boring (lol)...and partly due to taking care of a sick kiddo, plus lots of other seasonal projects. Emily has been blessed with good health for the majority of her 13 years, but something happened once she entered Jr. high. A few weeks ago she missed several days of school due to having strep. Last week we were the lucky recipients of news we really didn't want to hear: Emily has swine flu. Oh joy! Emily was one pretty sick kiddo (fever of 105 at one point). I'm hoping everyone else will avoid the sickies now....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Little Monkey

Since we always participate in our church's annual trunk-or-treat event, we've been trying out a few costumes. I bought several costumes for Max just after we received our referral...this is one of them. I think it's cute, but isn't "the" costume for him. He LOVED wearing it though - such a monkey (says "ooh ooh aah aah" every time he sees his picture)! It's a size 12-18 month and fits him really well.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Starfish Scrapping

I was blessed again recently to be asked to make a few scrapbook pages for a Starfish baby. I love when I get an email asking if I can scrapbook for them. Miss Virginia is a wonderful lady who has taken on the huge task of making scrapbooks for all of the Starfish babies who are adopted. Amanda (who runs Starfish) takes tons of pics of her babies and sends copies to Virginia when the babies go home to their forever families. Virginia then distributes the photos to several scrappers (including herself); we all make pages, and then Virginia compiles everything into a wonderful book for the adoptive parents. I imagine it's an awesome gift to receive after returning home with their little ones.

Anyway, these are a few digi pages I did recently. Isn't she the cutest?!

Blue layout was made using a template...don't remember designer's name

Saturday, October 3, 2009


We now have a teenager in the house! Yikes, when did that happen?! Can't believe our little Emily is now 13 years old. Seems like yesterday when we were traveling to China for our first daughter. Now, she has grown into a beautiful, smart and talented young lady. (You can tell I'm not biased right?) :-)

Emily has been asking for texting for the past two apparently she is the ONLY person in our state without it. At least that's what we've heard. :-) For her birthday, she received the gift of her iPhone (yes, we have some pretty strict rules in place for her).

I have to admit I've found it very useful to have the texting too (i.e., letting Em know we were waiting forever in the eye doctor's office this week, where to pick her up from track, etc.). Just don't tell Em I admitted that.....

A Runner

Emily is really enjoying being on the cross country track team at school. She has improved her 2 mile time by 4:40 since the beginning of school. While she isn't the fastest runner at school, she is having a good time, and that's what matters the most. I tried to get a few shots of her during the track meets with other schools, but it's really hard to pick her out of the crowd as they run by! :-)

Ally's 10th Gotcha

A couple of weeks after C's gotcha day, we met with Ally's travel group to celebrate her 10th adoption anniversary. We were also missing one of the families from this group due to the father having a stroke. (Jim, Lynn and Kailynn - you were missed!)

Once everyone arrived late on Friday evening, the girls jumped into the cold pool, while the parents visited (& the mosquitoes feasted on us). After breakfast together on Saturday morning, the group went to a nature center for awhile, then back to the hotel for swimming (some...Max and I...took a nap. Well, someone had to look after him. lol). Dinner was Chinese of course, and then the kiddos opened presents. Later in the evening, another mom and myself took 8 girls to the mall where the girls had a great time trying on matching outfits at the Justice store. On Sunday, the group had breakfast together again before heading to our respective homes. I was still feeling "in a fog" that weekend, so I didn't get as many photos as normal.

Poor pets allowed. :-) He was only pretending!

A smooch for the stuffed bear at the nature center

Claire's 7th "Gotcha"

On Labor Day weekend, we celebrated Claire's 7th "gotcha" day! We met with 3 other families that we traveled with 7 years ago to adopt our beautiful kiddos. Sadly, one family couldn't make the reunion this year....we missed you Caitlyn!! We had dinner on Friday night at the host family's home, and the kids got reacquainted. On Saturday, we had brunch together and then corralled the kids long enough for a group shot of the 4 girls. One of the girls wasn't feeling well, so she went home to rest for a bit after our first group pic.

Of course, I had to grab a quick pic of my 3 girls too! :-)

After the photo shoot, we headed to Lewis & Clark to have a go at the rock climbing wall. We were thinking the kids would just climb a little bit (meaning a short distance), and then would lose interest. They all surprised us they climbed all the way to the top of the "beginner" wall and rang the bell! That wasn't enough they then decided to tackle the intermediate wall. It was much harder, but several of the girls rang that bell also. Way to GO girls!! We had lots of sweaty-headed kiddos by the time they were was hard work and really hot "UP" there! :-) After the rock wall, the group went for a quick game of bowling, and then back to the host family's house for more fun...a pinata bash!

We had dinner together at a local Chinese restaurant before returning to the host family's home for cake, ice cream...and presents of course!
We had a group breakfast at a local restaurant before everyone headed home. The girls wore one of the matching shirts they received as gifts the night before.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Home 3 Months

As of September 25th, Max has been home with us for 3 months! He has jumped right in and made himself a big part of our family. :-) His Chinese babbling is gone :-( and has been replaced by constant English chatters and demands. (lol) I think his favorite word is "EAT!" (he repeats "eat" over and over...sounds like the birds that say "mine" on Finding Nemo). He is a smart little boy who picks up words and mannerisms quickly. Some people have a "back seat driver" in their family....not me....I have a "back seat parrot"! No matter who I am talking to in the car, Max repeats everything I say, verbatim. It does get annoying sometimes because it sounds like someone is playing a recording of me...over and over. :-)

It does get really funny around here though. We have tried to teach the girls that we don't say "shut up"; however, Emily became very annoyed with Max's chatter in the car one day and said "Shut Up Max!" and he immediately became quiet. About 10 minutes later (as Emily was listening to her MP3 player), Emily began singing a song. Max immediately burst out with a "Shut Up Emmie!"

I thought I was going to do a better job at writing down all the words Max has learned so far, but I've failed that task. His favorite sentence is "Mom, where are you?" -- said when I am across the room. :-) Other things he says now: have a good day, how are you, good job mommy, right there (no matter where things are, they are always "right there!"), Ally & Claire ride bus, daddy work, i love you mommy, Maxie do it, i sit down, i want. I know there are more things he says constantly, but just can't think of them right now.

As for size, Max hasn't really grown much. Many people tell us he looks like a little football player, but he really isn't as big as he looks. I think he just has a big head! LOL He is wearing mainly 18 month clothing now, but I still have to roll the waistbands on some to keep them from falling off.

Max is *the* hardest kid to get a decent photo of, so I don't have as many pics as I would like. The boy is in constant motion, especially when the camera comes out. I wanted some good photos so I decided to distract him. While big sister was at piano practice last week, I picked a flower and let Max run through the teacher's yard with the flower stem. I had to use a zoom lens and not let him know I was taking photos. Here are the results....

This one is my favorite!

Catch-Up / Update

Buying school supplies

An update on all we've had going on this past month.....

The girls are crazy busy in school. Emily is in 7th grade and in all pre-AP classes. I can't even begin to help with her pre-Algebra class! lol Emily is in band again (playing the flute), and is also on the yearbook staff (co-editor). She joined the cross-country track team and is really enjoying it. This means we have an out-of-town track meet every Saturday, not to mention at least one at home during the week. Needless to say, we're using a lot of gas (but are enjoying watching her grow in this new endeavor). :-) On top of school activities, Emily moved up to the youth choir at church, and is also enjoying having a closer relationship to the girls in her youth group class.

Emily at locker decorating day...................................Running at the SS Invitational

Allyson is in 6th grade - last year of middle school. She is also in pre-AP classes and is enjoying a good start to the year. She started orchestra this year (playing the violin). She is in her last year of children's choir at church. We recently celebrated her 10th "gotcha/adoption day" - will put pics in a separate post.

Ally at the nature center

Claire is in 3rd grade, and doing well in school. She was chosen for a part in the 3rd grade play, which will be held later this month. She also auditioned and was chosen to be in the school's new choir. She will also be participating in the children's choir at church. We celebrated her 7th "gotcha/adoption day" recently as well - will put those pics in a separate post.

Terrific Kid at school
Max - his update coming soon! I can only type for so long with him hanging on my leg! lol

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