Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Little Christmas Info About Me

I filled this out courtesy of my old high school friend Patti who hopes maybe one day I will actually do one of these. Well for your persistence here you go!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? coordinating wrapping paper
2. Real tree or artificial? always real
3. When do you put up the tree? Usually first weekend in Dec
4. When do you take the tree down? I just keep vacuuming the pine needles until there are none left!
5. Do you like eggnog? LOVE it!!
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Probably my Cabbage Patch baby. That or my Miss Piggy sleeping bag - oh yeah!
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Several. I have one my sister gave me from Benin - it stays up year round
8. Hardest person to buy for? Husband
9. Easiest person to buy for? Alexia - she always wanting something I won't buy any other time.
10. Worst Christmas gift ever received? Vacuum cleaner (for real)
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mailed 'em
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It's a Wonderful Life - husband can't watch with me because he makes fun of it too much.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? October, but I'm not done until a week or two before Christmas.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I'm sure I have, I just can't think of a specific one.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Eggnog, peanut brittle, gingerbread cookies, thin mints in my stocking...the list goes on!
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear (the colored lights on our tree this year is another story)
17. Favorite Christmas song? Oh Holy Night or Away in a Manger
18. Travel for Christmas or stay at home? We have in-laws, we have to mix it up.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? Yep...including Rudolph.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? One on C-mas Eve the rest in the morning.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? People don't celebrate the real reason for Christmas
23. What I love most about Christmas? People have a change in heart and want to help others.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Early Celebrating

We did a little early exchange of Christmas gifts with my family. The best one is that my brother was home from Iraq - not to go back any time soon!!!! Alexia's big hit was a Barbie scooter. She got caught in a downpour when she went to try it out! (Not that I am complaining about any rain mind you.) Caleb is very possessive of all of his new toys. I think his two favorites are a kitty cat keyboard with a microphone and a kiddie "MP3 player" that plays songs from the Wiggles. He loves his music!

Picture from First Fridays

Here is the picture of Alexia (2nd from left) I mentioned in the earlier post. I thought she looked so cute in a little crowd of her adopted Chinese friends!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

First Fridays

Going backwards through my weekend, we went to our monthly adoption support group as I call it. First Fridays is a wonderful group for those who have adopted from China as well as for anyone anywhere in the process of adopting. It was started by Dan and Susan who have adopted from China and are in the process again of adopting. It is always a great time of fun and encouragement. This week was especially touching. We had a speaker, Amy Eldridge, who is one of the founders of Love Without Boundaries. This is a volunteer organization created to improve the quality of life of Chinese orphans through various medical, nutritional and foster care, as well as education.
She mentioned several stories that really shook my way of thinking of orphaned children in China. Just as every person has their own story so goes the individualized stories of abandonment. She told of one heart breaking story while they were on a cleft repair mission. A woman came to them with her small newborn. She pleaded and cried for them to give her child the surgery. Unfortunately the baby was under the 10 pound criteria needed to ensure a safe surgery. The mother continued to beg and intercede for her child. She finally went on to confide that in 2 days her mother in law would come to the house and see the baby for the first time and demand that this child with cleft lip be taken away from the family because it would bring bad luck. Her story impressed the American that she gave her enough money to hide for a few months time until the baby put on more weight then go have the surgery. There was another about a father shedding tears over having to give up his albino son because the wife said they "could not keep him as he was". Thankfully that father was so moved by his love for his child he came to retrieve him three days later.
These children are not given up easily. It is difficult to think that I may be taking someone biological child that they want, but cannot afford, or was taken by extended family because a physical defect brands them as unlucky. But we have a commitment of giving this child a good home with lots of love. It was wonderful to hear of Amy's organization and see the level of commitment she has to orphans a world away. I was also once again happy to see my own child Alexia running around and playing so happily with so many little Chinese girls that she knows her sister will look like one day! I need to bring my camera next time because it is so cute! I am SO thankful to have this great group of people and the support that they are to us.

Visit with Santa

This weekend we took the kids to our town square and park where we like to go see the local Santa Claus. Well, I didn't have the highest confidence in Caleb when he told me he would go in and talk with Santa. Sure enough, as soon as we stepped into Santa's little cabin, he bristled and screamed! So, Alexia had to tell the good fellow what Caleb wants (a Thomas the Train umbrella.) Caleb did have fun however playing on the choo-choo train at the park. So it was a good day and hopefully Caleb's breakdown at the sight of Santa won't effect the outcome of his gifts this year!

Dad meets Dale

After our visit with Santa on Sat. Erik walked by a sports collectible store and saw that one of his childhood sports idols was there It was Dale Murphy a former Braves player. He took the opportunity to go in and meet him up close and in person and grab a picture. After all these years...!

Thursday, December 6, 2007


My dad's family has owned property on Lake Lanier since he was a young boy. We have all enjoyed this lake in many ways for about 50 years now. Several generations have learned to ski and fish. We have spent many holidays there and it holds many memories. These are some of our happier days this past summer.

This is what our cove looks like in just a few short months time. This is the same dock as above. No water. This is Atlanta's major drinking supply and we are literally running out. Please pray for rain.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Christmas pics

As we unpacked all the Christmas stuff from the atic this weekend - all the fun Christmas crafts and memories come back. The kids went through all their ornaments and handprint crafts with excitement. I pulled out a few fun Christmas pictures and I had to share a pair of them. This is Alexia last year as she was watching the Santa on our town square. He spotted her and they ended up in a little chit chat. It was pretty cute! She is six now and not quite sure she believes in the jolly old man anymore - kinda sad, but we think she is holding on for one more year!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My dancing elfin family

Well I laughed my head off last night! If you CLICK RIGHT HERE, you can see what our family would look like if we were dancing elves. It is quite funny to see your own faces as shown - take a look and create one for yourself for a good laugh!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

One year down!

As of yesterday (when we were on the road coming home from Thanksgiving at Mimi and Papa Jacques') we have been officially waiting for our little girl from China for ONE YEAR!! It's kind of like a celebration in some ways - one year down, but who knows how long to go?
The past few months have been more of a downer than an up swing. Thoughts of other countries and special needs route have been considered. The quilt squares lay idly in a box, no mention of names and we no longer say "next year when we have Mei-mei". We are trying to accept that it will most likely not be next year, but instead 2009. It was hard to swallow when Alexia's Sunday school teacher told us she had prayed a sweet prayer that her sister would come soon. Still I had a recent reminder of what we are in this for.
The other night Caleb had brought to me the adoption storybook Shaoey and Dot to read. It's a cute little story about a ladybug that happens upon an abandoned little baby in China and vows to never leave her. The ladybug follows the little girl on her journey to her adopted family.
To give a personal background about this book, the first time I read this, I was on vacation and in a bookstore with adoption not in our future anywhere. As I read it, I started bawling. I don't mean a tear or two, I gushed. There is a part where the ladybug friend talks to the little baby girl and explains this as she is about to be adopted into a family
"There's a cry that's the saddest of all.
In fact it's unlike any other.
It comes from a deep, empty place in your heart
That can only be filled by a mother
And after today, I will never again
Hear that sad song coming from you
You're getting adopted, you're getting a mother,
And you're getting a family too!"

As I read this to my children, I was once again crying reminded why we want to adopt. We want to give a little girl a home and a family that loves her. There are too many children in the world without loving arms to hold and comfort them. We can't wait to welcome her into ours!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Fall Hike

We try to do lots of hikes in the nice weather such as what we have been having lately. We are fortunate to live close to lots of nice trails to do so - the kids love it. Last weekend we took them up one that would be graded a little more difficult for children. They took it head on and had a ball. They climbed on every rock around just to make the hike an obstacle course! Here are some pictures.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Prayers for our Papa

This is our Papa Jacques, (Erik's stepdad) with his grandkids last Christmas. While we were off having fun at the beach a few weeks ago, he and Mimi couldn't make it to join us. Papa Jacques was stuck in the hospital finding out he has cancer of the lung and brain. This was disheartening news to us all. Since then he has had radiation and has just started his chemo this week. Please pray with us that he would remain strong and "sick free" while undergoing this phase of treatment. We are thankful that his faith has kept him upbeat and positive for the most part during this whole ordeal. Even still, he could use the good thoughts and well wishes! Thanks!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Our Halloween

This was definately Caleb's year! Our Halloween turned out better than expected since he actually put on his costume! He did not even so much as try it on until the day. He quickly learned the process of holding up a basket to get candy all just because you put on a costume. He kept up pretty good with his big sister and her friends. He toddled behind them not wanting to be put in the stroller lest we make him skip a house. He was always very proud of his booty from each house - holding it up squealing "Canny, canny!" to Erik's dad who spent the evening with us. Two suckers, a thing of M&M's, a cookie and juice box later we drug him in the house crying for more! Alexia felt like a pro this year. She was proud of herself that she was not too shy to actually say "trick or treat". Good job black kitty!!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Beach time!

We went down to Destin last week for a little vacation and to see my cousin get married. It was a great time and the beach house we were in was just lovely. My parents were there with us as well. The down side was that we greatly missed Mimi and Papa Jacques who were not able to be with us. Enjoy the pics!

Catching Up

Well, I am hopfully back to myself - goodbye full-time nights, hello normal schedule!! So, I have got to post a few catch up pics of the kids. The first set is from almost a month ago when my sister and family were visiting. Caleb had an absolute ball with his cousin Jesiah and asked to see him everyday.

They played cars a lot!

They got into some water and had a blast!

They rolled in the grass. Caleb always thinks he is doing foward rolls like his sister when he does this!

They had a belated party for Jesiah with all his cousins present.

And they just sat and "caught up" - They really enjoyed each other.

This is me and my sis on her last day right before I left for work - I got in the car and bawled!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Noisy Wagon Ride

Okay this is really sad (and crude of me) but I have to post it. This is the only thing I have uploaded of my sweet little nephew and his visit with his cousins while they were stateside. I about fell off my chair laughing when my sister sent it to me - I'm sure it wasn't MY "noisy" son

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


I have FINALLY posted all my squares received so far to my quilt blog. I have been hassled enough (deservedly) by all of you that have sent your squares since July. I know you want to see them all proudly on display - so click HERE to see them.

Dr's visit

So I had both kids in the Dr's office the other day for their well-child checkups. Yes, their birthdays were 6 and 8 weeks ago but that's doubly how long it takes to get an appointment with both kids, with the particular practioner, at the right time of day for both of them - but I digress.

It was my two year old son's turn. The medical assistant asked the routine developmental questions for the two year old check-up. Can he identify at least 6 parts of his body - Yes. Is 50% of his language intelligable - Yes. Can he jump up with both feet? My mind started racing. Caleb can't jump. Are 2 year olds supposed to jump? Is he behind? Did Alexia jump at two? I had to say no but I quickly mentioned that he can jump off of a step (did that count?) Alexia then piped in feeling like she was bragging on her little brother and said "He can even jump off the SOFA!"

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

First Day of School - Take Two!

It was only a month into her new school and we had an opportunity to get Alexia into a small private school that I've had my eyes on for some time now, so we took it. Alexia started MCCS yesterday and has transitioned great. **For you locals, it was nothing against CHE, we just thought this was better for us at this time.**
Alexia already had a friend in her class who met us at Dunkin Doughnuts for a special first day breakfast and showed her how to get to the class from carpool. Her teacher is extremely energetic (she has to be - she has 4 boys) and Alexia is drawn to her magnetic personality. We are thankful to have her there where she can learn about God and Christian basics. I will be glad to have her home earlier (7 1/2 hour days were killing her). Anyway, I think she looks adorable in her new uniform that she loves wearing!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

My Snail and the Arthur Show

What do you think will happen when my snail ticker at the top of this page reaches the end of his rope? Can I get a new one that might seem to move a little more quickly?

I watched with my daughter the much anticipated Arthur cartoon about his friend adopting a baby sister from China this week. I actually got really caught up with a kids' cartoon that was so relevant to our situation. Arthur's friend Binky was very excited to get his sister and had his bags packed the next day. It went through a lot of familiar situations like all the paper work, the excitement of mailing it all off, and even making the 100 Good Wishes Quilt (which I received 5 squares for mine today!). However, my heart sank a little bit when 15 minutes into the program they get their referral. That's not fair I thought - what about the wait, don't the animated figures have to wait like us too?
All in all it was a good little program. My daughter loves Arthur, so it was nice to have something to identify with on her level. If your interested in it - check your local PBS listings for a few more broadcasts this week and in the future.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Matches Made

There were four days worth of matches made this past month. To be nice, I wish all the new families my blessings and I am truly happy that they have received the official announcement of their new child. On the other hand, I can't believe that I even expect any more than than a few days each month. I mean, that's the norm now. I keep wanting to write my many thought on the massive slow down that has faced us in this adoption but I get a little too fed up with it say say anything worthwhile. Why do I still remain optimistic that we will even receive our daughter? I can only believe that it's because I believe God has a plan for us and her and it's for us to be together one day. But WHEN??? I feel like I am cheering on a crippled turtle that barely looks like it's getting anywhere at all. FOUR DAYS WORTH?? At least they are moving quickly in the review room. They have reviewed the dossiers through June 2006 so only a few more months until we hopefully pass through.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Alexia's Birthday

I can't believe my little baby is 6 today! Here are some pictures from her party we had recently. Everyone wish her a happy birthday because she likes to read all the comments we get on this site. Happy Birthday baby girl!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Blankie Makeover

When Caleb was born, I made him a tag blanket that to my delight he attached to. Well, the problem was that he only liked one particular tag on it and in two years, he has worn it to threads. In order to "fix" the ribbon issue, I would have to take apart his whole blanket, insert new ribbons and sew it back up. This could only be done after he went to sleep not requesting his "de-de" as he calls it for some reason.

So I finally did it last night. It took two attempts to retrieve the blanket from him so not as to wake him. I had everything ready to go by the sewing machine to make it quick as possible. I decided to keep a few of the old ribbons (including his favorite) and put in several of the type he likes which was the large satin. You can kinda see the very worn ribbon on the bottom right of the blankie in the picture.

Well the results are in. He did not reject it as slightly feared. But, he has still only rubbed the old tag and not the nice soft new ones. Oh well, maybe after it falls off he will resort to one of the others.

Pathetic Pooch

I don't recall if I've ever mentioned my dog, Tori, on this blog (yes, she's a little low on the totem poll). However, she's always been a good dog. She's sweet and patient with the kids even when Caleb pulls her ears. Her defense mechanism to that is to lick him in the face so that he backs off!

Anyway, she had to have a little tumor removed from her paw the other day and she is still limping looking pretty pathetic. This is the first time she's ever had to have anything like this done and she is 10 years old! Caleb will sometimes go up to her collar and pat it saying "hat, hat!"

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A little busy lately

I've wanted to post a few things for some time now and just haven't had the time to sit and do it all. A few weeks ago I started full time night shift so my husband could quit his job and look for another. I am back in the CCU and it has really been fun to do some "hard core" nursing. Thankfully Erik found another one quickly and will start next week. But, I am committed for a while longer at mine so we will just enjoy the double income for a little bit. When he left that job however, we had to give up both our cars because we got them through his work - so now we are double car shopping - sounds REALLY fun huh? Unfortunately he also gave up a sizable contribution towards the adoption by his former employer. Oh well, it will be provided somehow. I can always raffle off Ipods right Hayley?
Alexia started school as I have posted, we had a double birthday party for her and Caleb (another thing I haven't posted about). This past weekend we had grandparents visit from Florida which was fun.
Then Monday my sister that lives in Holland calls me and tells me she found out she is expecting TWINS!!! So now I know I gotta stash some money aside to go help take care of them all when the babies come. You have to hop over to her site, she's got a cute little boy who will be two tomorrow. (Yes, us two sisters have little boys 5 days apart.) And he is super silly like his momma!
On top of all that - somewhere within the past 2 weeks or so I reached my goal of 100 quilt squares received for our Good Wishes Quilt. I actually have more than that now! I need to really catch up on our quilt blog - I am SO behind - that's' my next project I guess!
I am still here, I am just a little overloaded for the time being trying to keep all the balls in the air. Keep checking in!

Friday, August 17, 2007

RockYou FXText - Get Your Own

Caleb turned two today. There was a little celebration in the house before the party tomorrow. Dad was home, so we took him to Chick-fil-A which is his favorite just for the lemonade and cows alone! I made some cupcakes while he took a nap and he had big smiles as we all sang Happy Birthday to him with his "sissy" at his side. He got a train table with all the fixins from us and his mimi and papa Jacques who are coming in tomorrow for the party. Isn't he adorable??

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

First Day Report

Alexia's first day of school went great. Her favorite part was "riding the bus!" I don't know what the attraction of riding a big vehicle with no air in 100 degree heat is, but I guess she liked seeing all the neighborhood friends together. In the morning she rides with our friend who teaches there and her daughter is one of Alexia's best friend's.
School absolutely wore her out. She came home and crashed on the sofa. Not to mention she is recovering from an ear infection. Overall she enjoyed it and had lots to talk about.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Poem for New Kindergarten Mothers

First Day Of Kindergarten School Poem
~Author Unknown~
She started school this morning,
And she seemed so very small.
As I walked there beside her
In the Kindergarten hall.
And as she took her place
besidethe others in the class,
I realized how all too soon
Those first few years can pass.
Remembering, I saw her as
She first learned how to walk.
The words that we alone made out
When she began to talk.
This little girl so much absorbed
In learning how to write.
It seems as though she must have grown
To girlhood overnight.
My eyes were blurred by hastily
I brushed the tears away
Lest by some word or sign of mine
I mar her first big day.
Oh how I longed to stay with her
And keep her by the hand
To lead her through the places
That she couldn't understand.
And something closely kin to fear
Was mingled with my pride.
I knew she would no longer be
A baby by my side.
But she must have her chance to live,
To work her problems out,
The privilege to grow and learn
What life is all about.
And I must share my little girl
With friends and work and play;
She's not a baby anymore --
She's in Kindergarten today.

Oh the Tears!

Well, a big day has come in our family. Our oldest Alexia has gone off to kindergarten. She was so excited this morning I was perfectly able to hold up until her ride came. She was already warned and knew full well to expect tears from me, so I didn't try to be stoic. Erik asked her what she was most excited about and she replied "giving my teachers their apples." It was something she thought of to do for them and picked out two perfect apples at the store yesterday! Here are some of her sweet pictures.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Weekend pictures

We spent the past weekend up at the lake with the intention of trying to help Alexia with her wish to learn how to water ski. It didn't go far and we didn't want to push her, but, she did consent to do what me and my siblings used to do with my dad - she stood on MY skis! It was a bit of a balance struggle, but we didn't fall and she didn't NOT like it. She just said she didn't like the water in her eyes (yes we'll bring the goggles next time!) Here are a few more pics of our weekend with my parents.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Brown Envelope

This may not look like much (and it's not) but it's the most recent mailing straight from Guangzhou, China. Yesterday we were the lucky recipients of "the brown envelope." In brief it just states that China knows we are intending to adopt a child (I should hope they knew). Many others have received this mailing and I had given up on it -but I'm in the club now!

8 down

I thought that this was a cute little summer picture. I have no idea who these little boys are but they look determined to do something. Well, we are determined to keep hanging in there and waiting for our little girl. We have eight months of waiting behind us.

When we first started this whole process in the early spring of 2006, I was convinced that we would be traveling to China in August of 2007. Why then? Well, that was our projected referral time then, but most of all because I was SURE that I would have to travel during both my kids birthday and miss Alexia starting kindergarten. Well, no fear of that now - maybe next year!

I believe that God's timing is perfect though. With all of the craziness that our family has experienced this summer, there is NO WAY I could even fathom bringing in an adopted child. I have to believe that God is the master artist and knows what he is creating in us all both individually and as a family. So, as much as we think about having her here and want her here, I know that for some reason we are being kept apart a little longer than we'd like so that we may come together at just the right moment to create a beautiful masterpiece.

Monday, July 23, 2007

What a difference a day makes!

Here are a few shots from Saturday which was a nice afternoon with NO RAIN!! Sunday was back to rain as usual :(
Alexia and her best pool buddy of 3 years - Jordan.

Caleb loves to swim too!