Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memorial Day '07

Yesterday we took an impromptu trip to General Butler State Park where the kids had fun riding on a little train, paddle boats and playing miniature golf. Ryan even road a floating bicycle! He tried to get me to join him, but I could just see how that would turn out and decided it was better to just let him go at it alone. Emma thought she was big enough to paddle the boat so she sat down under Ryan's legs and paddled for a while, all the time saying "I do it myself!".

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Optimism vs Pessimism

This story/joke was on the RQ site a while back and for some reason really cracked me up. Something made me think about it today ..


Two boys who were twins, one an incurable optimist, one a pessimist. The parents were worried about the extremes of behavior and attitude and finally took the boys in to see a psychologist. The psychologist observed them a while and then said that they could be easily helped. He said that they had a room filled with all the toys a boy could want. They would put the pessimist in that room and allow him to enjoy life.

They also had another room that they filled with horse manure. They put the optimist in that room. They observed both boys through one way mirrors. The pessimist continued to be a pessimist, stating that he had no one to play with. They went to look in on the optimist, and were astounded to find him digging through the manure. The psychologist ran into the room and asked what on earth the boy was doing. He replied that with all that manure, he was sure there had to be a pony in the room somewhere."


Friday, May 25, 2007

Shopping in China that we somehow missed

When we were in China in 2005, there was an area within walking distance from our hotel in China that I wanted to go to, but we never seemed to make it. Today I ran across a blog of a family that's there now (adopting from the same orphanage Emma is from) and I think these pictures are from that area.


It looks like a great place to check out when we do finally get to go back!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Interesting reading about an older adoptee visiting China

I ran across this today, and really enjoyed reading it. We have said that we will take Emma back to China to visit but had really thought about doing this when she was 9 or 10. After reading this though, I may wait until she is older. The one regret that I have from our trip to China was not going to the Lianjiang SWI. We based our decision on the fact that it was something like 6 or 7 hours away and Emma was sick, but now I wish I had asked if we could have gone after we had Emma for about a week. One day we will return though.

Coming of Age…A China Adoptee Returns to the land of her birth.
Really interesting article about an older teen adoptee that is traveling back to China. Read article at:

This will link you to her blog:

Monday, May 21, 2007

Batter Up

Ryan had 3 games this past week and has 3 more scheduled for this week. He's been one tired little goose! They lost two and then won the game on Saturday. There were some pretty good plays on Saturday and one incredibly good catch by one of his team mates.

Emma loves going to Ryan's games, not so much to watch the game but there they have SNACKS. Not only does her papa buy snacks, but most of the time she gets a snack when the baseball players do too. Ryan keeps telling her the snacks are for the players, but the parents keep giving them to her and she's not going to turn them down. I have a feeling she must be hanging around the cooler and flashing her little dimple. She also likes playing with the siblings of some of Ryan's team mates. It's so cute to watch her run off with two of the little boys who are 5 & 7. This past Saturday the two boys were climbing a tree and Emma was standing underneath telling them which branches to climb to ... and to think that Ryan's name means "Capable Executive" ... hmmm.

It hits us sometimes how "accepted" she is and how very much we are thankful for that. Our social worker had asked us during the adoption process if our surrounding community would be accepting and we answered yes and that has been so true. We're truly blessed to live in the area we do.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

What a way to start the day

Ryan made the sweetest card for me for Mother's Day. Inside, it had a flower pot type that was filled with flowers he had painted with water colors. Each flower had a coupon for something he would do for me. Some of the "gifts" were: a 10 minute back rub, take out the trash and clean his room. I had to laugh about the cleaning his room one ... that's not exactly a gift, but his heart was in the right place. My favorites were one where he said I could have the remote for a night. Yeah, uh huh ... sure. Not sure his dad signed up for that one. Then the best of all was one where he said he would watch Emma and let me take a nap! We discussed whether that meant an afternoon nap or if it meant he would get up with her on a Saturday a.m. and let me sleep in and he said it was my choice - I chose the latter.

Sure enough, this a.m. when Emma woke up and did he "maaaaammmmmaaaa" thing, Ryan was right there. He took her downstairs and fixed her breakfast and helped her brush her teeth and played with her for a while. I couldn't sleep with them awake but I did lay in bed & = just listened to them. God's greatest blessings are definately our children!

Then, to top it off they met me at the bedroom door after my shower and had my breakfast on a platter. The fine meal was a bowl of cheerios, and by far the best bowl of cheerios I've ever had in my life. Ryan was carrying the platter with the bowl of cheerios and Emma was telling me how she was helping because she was carrying my "poon" (spoon).

Nothing like celebrating Mother's Day for weeks on end :-)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Two Years Ago Today, Adoption Finalized

Two years ago today, we all boarded the big ol' bus again and headed back to the Civil Affairs Building. This time though it was to finalize the adoption of our precious babies. Our friend (and fellow travel mate) had bought Emma and her daughter the cutest little matching Gymboree dresses for the special day. My mind was so in the clouds about the new addition to our family that we took very few pictures that day. I did manage to snap a couple of Ryan and Emma in the playroom while we waited our turn.

During the process we met with several different people and were asked varying questions, but the common theme was asking if we promised to never abandon or abuse her and would she be a "full" member of the family. Yes, we promised with all our hearts! After all the questions, it was official - baby Emma was then a Hunter! We were officially a Forever Family!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

2 year anniversary of Gotcha Day!

Emma Gotcha Day

It's difficult to believe that it's been 2 years now since Emma was placed into our arms on the other side of the world. All of the families in our travel group had gathered together and ridden into Guanzghou on one of those great big tour buses. We arrived at the Civil Affairs building and had gone inside. Most of the families had gone on up to the conference room but several of us were still waiting on an elevator when the nannies came in with the babies. All of them were dressed alike and had their hair buzzed off. Brian immediately spotted Emma! It was all happening so fast, but people were motioning to the nanny that she was ours and she brought Emma over and handed her to Ryan. He didn't have a clue what to do, he'd never held a baby before! Then just as suddenly, they whisked the babies off to another conference room while we went to ours. Then they started calling family names one by one ... cameras were flashing and tears were flowing as our children were finally united with their forever families. It seemed like we were the very last family, not sure if that's the case or not - but that is certainly how it felt.

It's hard to describe that moment she was handed to us. This child that I had called my daughter for over a year, but I had never held or touched was finally in my arms and we were madly in love! She didn't cry, but she didn't smile either. It was like she was just quietly checking us out. We were given some time to just hold them and then later we were given some time to talk to the nannies. The main things I remember is one of the nannies wiping Emma's nose (she had a cold) and then tears forming in her eyes when we asked her questions about Emma. I may be naive, but I truly do believe the nannies loved her and took as good of care of her as they could. It was truly an amazing day!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

God Bless the Children

God Bless The Children
By Wayne Warner
Best Video Codes

I read an interesting article yesterday, then found the above video on a fellow adoptive buddy's blog. The song brings tears to my eyes.

Adoption has been such a blessing for our family and we absolutely can not imagine life without our precious children. Two children that joined our family in two very different ways, but the love is the same. I remember being asked early on in the adoption process how I could possibly love an adopted child as much as a biological child. I'm here to tell you today that it's more than possible. The greatest example we have is of God adopting us into His family through Jesus. Where would we be without that? The word "adoption" means to "set one in place as a son or daughter - with all the rights and privileges of a son or daughter" and this was part of the oath we gave when we adopted Emma. She certainly has all of that in her life just as we do in ours.

Christian groups launch massive adoption campaign


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Dance Recital

Emma had her very first "Dance Recital" this past Saturday and did an outstanding job! Trying to get all of those little kids to do the same thing at the same time was quite funny. It made me think of the analogy that Brian likes to use "it's like trying to herd cats".

Emma seemed to enjoy herself and especially liked the little bag of candy the teachers handed out after the recital. She did surprise me by asking me where her flowers were. LOL. As we were pulling in I had asked Brian if I should have bought flowers. I know, I know ... she's only three, but she's an observant little toot. I'm new at this kind of thing, you definately don't take flowers to baseball and basketball games and I wasn't sure if flowers were for musicals or plays ... one of these days I'll catch on.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Pictures from Lizzie Loo Photography

We had the kids pictures taken several weeks ago in Cherokee Park. The photographer emailed yesterday & she has the proofs ready. I can't say enough good things about this young lady. The pictures turned out great and it was amazing how well she worked with the kids and really took her time. I think what impressed me the most was how she spent time with them to allow them to relax and she just let them be kids. It was fun! She has posted some of the pictures to her blog:


Her regular website is:


Ryan & Emma's pictures are on the post dated 5/13/07.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Mother's Day ... what a wonderful, wonderful day. My prayer today is one of thanksgiving to our glorious Father in heaven, The One who has blessed our lives beyond measure with our children. In every little stinker smile, every sweet faced grin, every ornery little thing they say and do - in it all, I give thanks.

I read something the other day that really caught my attention and is so true in regards to our families:

"The days are long, but the years are short".

Makes me give cause to just stop the busy-ness and to soak in every little thing about the kids that I can. Just to stop and hug them and bury my nose in their hair and to kiss them on their little cheeks.

Blessings to you & yours on this beautiful Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Muffins with Mom

Emma's daycare hosted "Muffins with Mom" this a.m. and presented us with gifts from our little ones. Earlier this week Emma was concerned that she didn't bring home a "present" from daycare. She had me convinced someone had given her a present ... long story short, it was their surprise for us. She's not a keeper of secrets!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Play Ball!

Ryan's first baseball game of the season was last night. We've had two previously scheduled games but both were rained out. It was a perfect night for the ballpark. Cool air, beautiful sky, the trees are all green ... life just doesn't get any better than that! Well, I guess it can get somewhat better, they started off their season w/ a good game as well. Not sure what the final score was but they were ahead by quite a bit when I left. It was getting late, much too late to have Miz M out on a weeknight.

Watching Ryan's first game of the year gave reason for me to recall him as a little 2 1/2 year old, still in diapers and watching a t-ball game at a small park in Frisco, TX. He was as still as could be and was watching the game intently. He tells me in his little gravly voice "mommy, i want to play". I gently tell him (since I'm trying desperately to potty train him) that they do not let little boys that still wear diapers play ball. Without missing a beat he tells me "Mommy, take my diaper off". One of those moments I'll remember forever. The thing that tickles me now about that story is that his desire to "play ball" hasn't diminished in the last 7 years.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Expiration of adoption paperwork

We've been officially logged in for our next adoption for 10 months now. For me today, there really seems to be no end in sight. Most days I realize and understand it will happen when it's supposed to happen. No one really knows what the wait will be but currently people are waiting around 17 to 18 months but it looks to me like it's going to get longer than that.

All of that to say, our paperwork has started expiring. The first thing to expire is our homestudy. Kentucky law/regulations require us to update that at the 12 month mark so our social worker was out Saturday to do the update. The next thing to expire are our fingerprints, they expire on 7/11. You have to wonder, what exactly is it that makes your "fingerprints" expire? HMMM ... Maybe I'm a little touchy on that one since it takes forever to find a technician that can actually read mine. Then our immigration (visa) approval expires in November and you have to recopy a lot of paperwork and repay the USCIS fee. But I know that God's timing is perfect timing and after all we went through w/ lost paperwork and fingerprint snafu's when we were adopting Emma, I realize that all those things worked together for us to receive the perfect child for our family.

In regards to when we travel next time ... fellow flyer's beware as Emma says she is going to fly the plane to get her sister!

Back to this past Saturday, while we were meeting w/ our social worker - Emma and Ryan were "busy" playing outside. Again, she thinks that whatever brother does she can do just as well. Not so sure I like her riding the little scooter but she thinks she can.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Visions of Texas dancing in my head

When we lived in Texas, BlueBell icecream was by far our favorite brand. Since I had never lived anywhere besides Oklahoma & Texas, I was a little surprised when we moved here and we couldn't find BlueBell. Well, recently a wonderful thing happened ... BlueBell is now distributed in Kentucky. WOOOHOOOO!

Since I always want vanilla ... and Brian always wants chocolate, what's a wife to do but buy a combination :-)

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Children's Center at YUM's Derby Parade

Here in Kentucky it's DERBY time! All kinds of festivities have been going on around here for the past two weeks. The children's center has an annual parade (here at work) for their own version of a Derby parade. Some parents go all out and make these cute little floats. Some decorate their strollers or their wagons. I think the cutest one I saw today was a child with basically a small box around her and then strings going up to a balloon overhead (to look like one of big balloons that float around carrying people).

There were also quite a few Derby Princesses, but since Emma isn't exactly the "princess" type, we opted for a pretty white dress and her brand new birthday unicorn. Of couse I thought she was the prettiest one there. Thank you Scott & Kristie for the stick horse/unicorn!!! It's adorable and Emma loves it!

More birthday celebrations

Emma had two more birthday celebrations on Monday of this week. She's been one busy/celebrating baby girl! The first one entailed Mary & Kristi going out to lunch with us. This tradition started two years ago when we had received our referral, Emma turned one but we had not yet traveled. A year ago we returned to the same restaurant with Emma in tow and celebrated her 2nd birthday so of course we had to return again this year to celebrate 3. She was so tickled to be with the "big girls" and she behaved so well.

That afternoon I had a big cookie taken in for her to share with her little daycare buddies.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

3 years old, 30lbs & 35 inches tall!

Little Miss M had her 3 year checkup on Monday. Dr. Daly says she is doing "wonderful"! Of course I have to agree.

She now weigs 30lbs & is 35" tall. On the American growth charts she is at the 10 %ile for height and 50 %ile for weight. It's a little different on the Chinese growth chart. I think I plotted it at the 25 %ile for height but 70 something for weight. She's such a cute like chunk-e-chicken.

Lost River Cave

While my mom and David were here this past weekend, we drove down into southern Kentucky for a little outing. We ended up going to Lost River Cave that you toured on a small boat. We also checked out Mammoth Cave National Park while we were in the area.

The highlight of the day ended up being at a little family fun park in Cave City but for some reason I did not get any pictures from that outing! Ryan & I rode up a ski lift to the top of the hill and then rode a bobsled kind of thing part way down. It was a lot of fun! I had assumed Emma would be afraid of the ski lift but mom ended up taking her up too because Emma kept insisting she wanted to ride too. It's a long story, but they stopped half way up the mountain because Ryan & I had just finished our ride down. Somehow in the mixup, Emma ended up on a ski lift chair by herself and mom got knocked over from the moving chair. I wasn't sure who to check on first! All I could see was my baby girl going up that high mountain, in a chair all by herself and not belted in. Panic isn't a good enough word to describe that feeling. The worker was able to run up and get her while I helped mom up. I think we scared the bejabbers out of that poor kid. Mom, Brian & Ryan rode the bumper cars too and Emma fussed because she wanted to ride too. No amount of telling her that she wasn't big enough would convince her. She told me in no uncertain terms "I 3. I big enough". She's only 35" tall though and the sign said you had to be 52" ... sorry Emma.

Anyway, it was a nice weekend and we really enjoyed Mom & David coming out. There are times that it hits me how far away she really lives.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

brother & sis

My two babies ... well, Ryan would probably take issue with the term baby but as I tell him, he will always be my baby. The two of them are quite a pair. They can be the best of friends at times and the most mortal of enemies at others. I suppose that is typical for a sibling relationship. It's amazing to watch Ryan with her, he really and truly is a wonderful big brother. Emma can be a loving, sweet little sister up until she thinks he is "bossing" her around and then the "not so sweet" pops out a little. She thinks she is every bit as big as Ryan and that if he can do, by all means she can too!