Saturday, December 27, 2008

We had a wonderful Christmas!!

We had a wonderful Christmas, this year. Charlotte was excited about her presents and is still having fun with her new loot. Ethan said this was the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER. I got everything on my list. More on that later. And Jay and I enjoyed Christmas watching the glow in our children's eyes. They just had so much fun. Of course my incredible husband did way too much for me, as usual. He gave me a new zoom lens for my camera, which I am loving. He also got Photoshop Elements for me. I am looking forward to using it, but have to change out my laptop hard drive. I have had for about 6 weeks now, so I guess the procrasitnation has to end some time. Here are some pics of our fun, I will explain more about Ethan's Christmas "miracle after the pics.


Sweet Girl with her new horse at DaDa's house. She loved that he talked.



Goldfish in Sha Sha's stocking, her favorite.




Opening presents at Nana's house on Christmas Eve.



Ethan with his new tech deck ramp.
























Ethan on Christmas morning. He was up at 5 AM but I made him hold off until 6:20.



All of the Christmas loot, thanks Santa!!

So on to Ethan's Christmas miracle. You can see in the pic above that Ethan got a red Razor Electric Scooter the E175 version. He was soooo excited. He went out in his pjs to ride it. Then his friend Jack came out with his scooter, a E200 version. Well it went faster than Ethan's and at first it was ok, until he could not keep up with Jack. So on day 2, he asked if we could upgrade. We had asked about it on Christmas, but he said it was ok, he liked his red scooter. But now he had changed his mind. We told him we would clean it up and try to take it back to the store, but he would have to use his Christmas money for the difference in price. He said no problem, and that it would be ok if they did not take it back, but still wanted to try. Well luckily Spo*ts Author*ty took back the scooter, but did not have the E200 in stock. Daddy and I tried, 2 Toy stores, 3 sports stores, Wally World and Tar*et, no luck. We came home and Daddy came up with the idea to try Pep B*ys. He checked online and then called to check. They had it-yeah. And the best part it was 20% off with a $20 rebate. So the upgrade only cost $40. Can you believe it, it was a Christmas "miracle" in Ethan's eyes. I know it seems like we endulged Ethan on this one, but he is such an awesome kid, he really did deserve it. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas as well. Can't wait to see pics of your special days as well.


On the adoption front: we have our last Home Study Appointment on Tuesday. After I have that I will be able to send everything off to immigration and get my other dossier documents certified. So we are still on track for my April goal. My prediction is that we will be spending Christmas in China next year-you never know right!?!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Blessings

We had some Christmas portraits taken yesterday. They came out great and I wanted to share our Christmas Blessings with you. I can't wait for Christmas, I am so looking forward to celebrating with my family. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas as well. Wishing you joy, love and peace in the new year.

























































Saturday, December 13, 2008

Blue Belt

Ethan earned his blue belt in TKD last night. He did an awesome job on his test. He actually had to take the test by himself, as a make-up, since he was sick on the original test day. That meant he could not sneak a peak at anyone else, he had to know it all himself. And he did a great job. Master Jung told him he was one of his strongest students and he was very proud of him. We are too. Just look at how high that stretchy kick is in the picture.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

And the winner is...

After taking 70 shots using the remote control clicker here is the winner for our Christmas Card this year......

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Update on Ethan

Ethan had a great 1st day at his new school. He was super excited about riding the bus, and met new friends. He just had a wonderful day. What an answer to prayer. Thanks for praying for him and for me. Now I am off to do some baking!!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

December

December is here, can you believe it. Only 24 days until Christmas, so much to do. I did manage to get all of our decorations out and up this weekend so I was happy about that. I will post a couple of pics later from home.

But, if you would say an extra prayer for my little guy today. Ethan started at his new school this morning and it was a little overwhelming when we walked in the class and everything was so different. He was really excited, but I think the change hit him all at once. So say a prayer for him for a quick transition and for a friend to be made easily and quickly. And say a prayer for his mommy too, who had a tough time leaving him this morning. I know he is in 2nd grade, but he has been at my school since Kindergarten and he is still my baby!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

November......

November has been an emotionally exhausting month for us. We have had to make some pretty tough decisions about Ethan's schooling. He has been going to the school I work in, but we decided it would be better for all of us to move him to our neighborhood school. I did not want to move him mid-year, but he is really excited about going and riding the bus so everything is set now and he will start next Monday. Both Ethan and Charlotte have been sick this month, and I have battled with a pinched nerve in my shoulder. We are still adjusting to getting 2 kids ready and out of the house on MWF by 7:00am. And Jay and I have not had much alone time as of late. We had our 12 month post-placement visit and found out that our Social Worker will be out of the country Jan-March. This meant I needed to start jamming on all of our home study docs so that we could have the rest of our visits in Dec. Which in a way is great, it will all be done before the beginning of the year, but added a little stress to the paperwork-Queen-ME!! All of these things have made November hard and I am ready to move on to December. BUT..........

I have so very much to be grateful for!!! Last night I met my good friend Chelsea for coffee and had some much needed girl time. We had an awesome time talking about life, and reflecting on how God is working on both of us. She shared with me a scripture: which is one of my favs but she has been reading a book which caused her to look at this scripture differently.

"Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."
Isaiah 40:28-31

Chelsea was sharing that the author of the book mentioned that in the Hebrew translation of the verse the end is meant to build on itself. That soaring on wings like eagles is really only the first step. What? That seems like the best part of the scripture right. How awesome it would be to soar like an eagle but no, the best part of the verse is to "walk" and not be faint. And isn't that so true. Our mountain top experiences are special and important, but it is the daily walking with the Lord where we really see Him at work. That is where we see all He is doing in our lives and the lives of those around us. It is in that daily walking, that I look at my sweet Sha Sha's face and am so thankful for her. So thankful for the ways she has changed my heart forever. I am not the same person I was a year ago. I have come face to face with my savior, through the life of a small, spitfire named Charlotte. And I am so grateful for that.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Catching Up!

I have been meaning to blog about these pics but life has been a little busy around here. Ethan had his very first TKD Sparring Tournament a couple of weekends ago. He is only a purple belt but had to go up against a junior blackbelt and a blackbelt. He won his first match but lost the 2nd 12-9. He finished in 2nd place in his group. We were so proud of him. He did an awesome job, especially considering he had not been at TKD the entire week before because he had strep, again! I also wanted to share a couple of cute pics from our Gotcha Day celebration. It was a really fun night, celebrating Sha Sha and our trip to China!!












Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jam with us!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Christmas Card??

What do you think about using this photo for our Christmas Card this year?


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

GOTCHA!!....One year ago today!

This is so surreal to even think about, but one year ago today Charlotte was placed in our arms for the very first time.



Wow-she is so different now, yet still the same in many ways. Her strong will was definitely there from the moment we met her, she did not eat for the first 36 hours with us. Her sweet little smile, and lively eyes.




Her nannies told us when we got her that she was very smart, and believe me she is. Sometimes it is hard for me to look back at pictures of her from that day, I did not realize it at the time, but now can see just how terrified she was.


She was stripped away from everything, and I can only imagine what she was thinking those first couple of days. But now, we see so much love in her eyes. She freely gives hugs and kisses and loves to torment her brother, just like a little sister should. And definitely keeps us on our toes. When we got her she could not walk, made very few noises, only took a bottle and refused all solid food. Now she can do all of those things: now she runs, talks and babbles all the time, can say mommy, daddy, Ethan, bye-bye, more, milk, and tries to repeat everything we say to her, she also has about 30 signs that she uses frequently, drinks from a sippie cup, can suck through the straw on a juice box, is eating lots, even had pizza and grilled cheese this week! God is so good!! It is just amazing to see how far she has come, and how much joy she brings us everyday. We are truly grateful that we were chosen to be the parents of such an amazing girl, thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. She is a gift from God.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I've Been Tagged-Twice!!


Okay, since I have been tagged twice for this I have to play along. I was tagged by Carla and Jenn for this meme.
So seven random/weird facts about me?!?!
1. I love watching football, and I have since I was a young girl. My favorite team, as you can see from the pic below, is the Redskins. My husband loves this about me:)
2. I HATE seafood, don't even like the smell of it. No lobster, shrimp, fish nothing. I can't get past the fishy taste.
3. When I was in high school I was a dance instructor. I took dance from the time I was about 5 all the way through school. I even taught a couple of my own classes, small kids. My favorite style: tap! (I hope Sha Sha likes dance, but I have a suspicion she will be a soccer girl.)
4. I used to sell Longaberger Baskets and I probably have 100 of them all around my house and in the attic.
5. I graduated 5th in my high school class of over 400 students, unfortunately it did not help me get a single scholarship.
6. I love Broadway musicals!!! (all-time favs: Wicked, Les Miserables, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum)
7. I always have my nails painted.
Okay so there you go! I finally did it. It was kind of fun actually. And now to tag my 7 friends, at least I hope they will still be my friend.
Tagging:
I think everyone else has already been tagged so I will stop there.


Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Halloween will always hold special meaning for us. Last year on this night, all our bags were FINALLY packed! And we were preparing to travel half way around the world to a daughter we had only seen in pictures. Wow, what a completely surreal feeling that was. Many of you know that Jay and I tried for years to have a second child, even under went fertility treaments and one cycle of IVF. Our yearning for another child, really turned into a dark time in our lives. We were on a path, but the wrong path. Once we realized God's plan for our family, our despair turned to hope. Don't get me wrong, it was not an easy path, many ups and downs, many times I doubted our decision, many times I didn't think we could do it. But, I have never felt closer to the Lord, then when we were waiting to see Charlotte's face. Everything was out of my hands, all I could do once the mounds of paperwork were in was wait. Wait on Him and how perfect His story has turned out to be. And the incredible thing, is He is not done yet. When I look at pictures of Charlotte then and now, she is so different. She has so much love in her eyes and in her heart. It is like she has always been with us and yet it seems like just yesterday we were preparing for a 17 day journey to China. So that last night before we left for China, we went Trick or Treating with our son, by himself, for the last time. And this year we had a little sweetie with us for all the fun.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thoughtful Thursday

First here is a little something from my amazing 7 year old. He never ceases to amaze me. This is a writing assignment he had for school. They had to right the steps for a process.


Here is the transcription:
How to Adopt from China
1. First you need to do paperwork.
2. Next, you need to do some more.
3. Then, they call you so you can go.
4. Last, you go to China and go to adopt your child.


If only it was that easy, oh to have the wisdom of a child again. This has been a hard week for me adoption paperwork wise. For our last dossier I had the most trouble getting my Physical Forms and attached letters completed correctly. I was hopeful this time with a new Doctor it would be easier-HA! But I just kept smiling and apologizing for the inconvience, even though I was screaming on the inside. Hopefully when I go pick it up this afternoon it will all be correct. I know that they don't understand the severity of one little piece of paper, but this is China we are dealing with and perfection is very important:) I am going to try and keep Ethan's words of wisdom in the forefront of my mind!!! What a great kid!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My Sweet Girl

My Sha Sha is such a little beauty, she actually posed for our little photo session tonight. I was thinking when I took these that there is possibility that next year at this time we may have two little beautys to pose, that would be so amazing. I have been thinking about our new little one lots, I guess because I am working on our Dossier and following some families in China, and for 4 of the families this is their second trip. One of the families I followed on their first trip as well so it is so neat to follow them again. Enjoy the pics of our sweet girl. Oh and by the way what do you think about the name Leah Grace??




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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

FALL FUN!!

I watched my niece Alexis today, her babysitter is on vacation. We had lots of fun together. I had hoped to take the girls to a pumkin patch, but they were either only open on the weekends for individual families or not until after lunch, not really an option for 2 year olds. I guess the area pumpkin patches have plenty of work with school trips??? Anyway so we went to a local nursery so I could at least have my photo op and then we went to the park. So we still had lots of fun.







I also wanted to make a shout out for little Susannah!!! She is doing so well, and home with her family now. Check her out when you have a chance. Also Susannah's mommy gave a shout out to all her blogger buddies, of which I consider myself:) and made her very own award. Susannah's Sunflowers......




Saturday, October 18, 2008

One Year Ago Today...

One year ago today, we already had our Referral Acceptance letter from China and were waiting on our last piece of paper to make concrete travel plans. I knew there was a group leaving on November 1st and if it did not come quickly we would not be able to leave until after Thanksgiving. I posted this request on our website:

Hello Everyone,
We have a major prayer request today. We are still waiting on our Travel Approval. The last piece of paper we need before we can go get Charlotte. Our agency has a group leaving on November 1st. We really want to be part of that group!!!! Please be in prayer with us that God will move mountains and bring that TA to us from China very soon. We still have a chance to get in with the group if it comes in the next week and a half. Thank you for all your prayers thus far and please keep them coming! If we do not get in with the 11/1 group it may be closer to the end of Novemeber before we will be able to leave.
Love you,
Carla

Then later that day I posted this:

We serve an amazing God!!!! Our Travel Approval came today!!!!! Praise the Lord, we are so blessed! We still need prayers for our last little hurdle. Our agency will now request a Consulate Appointment for us in . This is where we get Charlotte’s Visa to return to the US. As long as they can secure the appt. for the 2nd week in November we should be able to leave on or around November 1st. We should know by Tuesday for sure! Keep those prayers coming-it is working!

We were able to leave on November 1st and what an awesome day it was!! And now one year later we have a special little girl that blesses us everyday with her spirit. And I am headed out to do my first solo Adoption seminar for America World. God is so amazing!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What to do today???

So, I actually have a Tuesday off with nothing that I absolutely HAVE to do. So I am trying to decide what to do, here are some of the things I was tossing around after dropping Ethan off at school:

  • Making some new hair bows
  • Scrapbooking
  • Taking more pics of Sha Sha, in her Halloween costume and new Halloween dress
  • Try to figure out what the educators discount is on Photoshop CS4-I really want this program but it is kind of $$$$$$
  • Pay Bills-ah, probably not!
  • Clean the Car-as usual it is a wreck
  • Play at the park with Sha Sha-there is a small neighborhood park in our cul-de-sac
  • Play on the computer-this will probably win out-but I will let you know!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Purple Belt and Flag Football

We had a BUSY weekend. Or should I say, we were busy taking Ethan everywhere. First Friday, eye appointment.....New Glasses for Ethan! Then TKD, belting ceremony and demonstration practice. On Saturday, Flag Football at 11:00, pick up new glasses at 12:30, TKD demonstrations at 2:15 and 3:30, then head to Nana's to spend the night with cousin Austin! Wow, needless to say we took it easy on Sunday!




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