Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Flying Horses & Roasted Pigs

Even for those not familiar with the 'Ville (Louisville), you most likely have heard of the Kentucky Derby and know that Kentucky is famous for horses. Derby time is celebrated with the Pegasus Parade, with the pegasus being the symbol of inspiration, freedom and joy. Or so I've read. Not that I personally know that much about flying horses. I'm still not sure I know the connection of flying horses and Louisville, but maybe I'll look into that one day. I just know that around Derby time, you see lots of references to the Pegasus.

A few weeks ago we were invited to an annual cookout - a 'PIG'ASUS Roast! The play on words just really cracked me up for some reason. We saw all kinds of cooked critters in China, and it was common to see the heads still on fish, ducks and such. But I'll have to admit that I don't think I've ever encountered a whole cooked pig before.

I'm still not sure how we seem to keep crossing paths with such thoughtful people, but we had the best time and that cooked pig was awesome! I know I've said this a million times, but this city is plum full of friendly people. I'm constantly amazed at how open they are to making new friendships and how quick people are to offer invitations to get-togethers. It's awesome and so un-Dallas it's not even funny. Not that I didn't like Dallas too, it's just different. And so much very appreciated.

Oh, and the corn cooked in that big ol' kettle. My oh my - that was THE BEST corn I've ever eaten in my life. It was taken right out of the boiling water and plopped into a big can of melted butter. My oh my - i'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

And I wonder why I continue to gain weight? Hmm - maybe I should move back to the big D. :-)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Goodness it's been busy around our house!

VBS was a couple of weeks ago & Ryan again had a wonderful time. I really have to hand it to the workers in our church, they go all out for this annual event. The theme this year was "Outrigger Island" and all of the activities, songs, etc. all revolved around an island theme. The wrapup party is typically held there at church on Friday nights but this year it was held at the local children's pool. The kids were able to play up a storm while the parents were able to actually fellowship with one another. Lots and lots of fun.

I tell you, there is nothing quite like watching that big of a group of kids having fun and praising our Lord and Savior!

Emma wasn't able to make it to VBS during the week since it's just 1/2 day each day & I work way too far from church to be able to drop her off and pick her up. And boy was she ticked off about it, but thankfully she was able to participate in the wrap up party and that pretty much smoothed out the ruffled feathers.

All that fun makes a girl tired!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

M's Green Beans

I've shared the story about Emma and our friends that feed her green beans ... well, not too long ago they let Emma plant some of her "own" green beans in their garden. She was invited out this past weekend to pick them! You just can't imagine how tickled one little girl can be over a patch of green beans! It's too bad we do not live next door to these kind people as I think she and Emma would be the best of buddies.

So last night we were able to snap them and fix them with dinner. I think Emma had as much fun doing that as she did actually picking them. She and Ryan both went on and on about how yummy those beans were.

Maybe we need to move to the country so my babies could enjoy the blessings of a garden!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

County Fair

Note how many kernels of corn are left on his vs hers.

They can get along so well at times!

One of those "ahhh" moments as we were riding the Ferris Wheel.

I'm not quite sure why, but our family LOVES going to fairs. County Fairs. Art Fairs. Whatever Mood is in the Air Fair. Now personally I think it has a lot to do with the food, but of course there could be other opinions. It could just be the whole happy atmosphere too.

Anyway, we spent an evening at the local county fair a few weeks ago and had a blast. Emma is getting old enough to really enjoy the rides and Ryan gets a huge kick out of the dunking booth/mouthy guy. Then of course we all share a ride or two together on the Ferris Wheel.

We're all pretty set in our food preferences too. Emma can put away an ear of corn in 3.2 seconds. Ryan ALWAYS heads for the pizza trailer (the brand shall remain nameless as I have a vested interest in NOT buying from that chain). My favorite is a pork chop sandwich. YUM. I'd never had one prior to moving to Kentucky and I'm HOOKED. Brian's favorite is usually more along the lines of some kind of a sausage. The ones with all the cooked onions and peppers. Then to my delight I happened upon a booth that had fried bologna sandwiches! Oh my. I hadn't had one of those since we left Texas. 7 years without a fried bologna sandwich is 7 years too long. Now see why I think we just go for the food? Thankfully the fair comes to town just once a year. But then again - the state fair will be here before we know it!

I have more pictures to share than this, but these were my favorite from the night.

Friday, July 18, 2008


15 years ago today my father lost his battle with cancer. These past 15 years have passed seemingly in the blink of an eye. When you are young, 15 years seems like such a LONG time but yet when you reach the age I am now, it’s a completely different outlook.

So what’s happened in those 15 years?

Brian & I married in 1995, without my dad to walk me down the aisle. Thankfully though, I have an awesome brother who was more than willing to step up to the task. I found not only was Brian my husband and my love - but my best friend as well.

Our first son was born in 1998, without a grandfather to welcome him into the world. Thankfully though, my mother was there for the whole thing. And when I say “there”, I mean literally there – in the room as it happened! I had wanted the moment to be just between me and Brian but when my mom asked I just couldn’t say no and when I look back, I’m so happy I made the decision I did. What a blessing Ryan is and oh how I love that little guy!

We moved from Texas to Kentucky in 2001. My dad had been out here to buy a few horses before he got sick and he came back extolling the beauty of Kentucky. Now that we are here, I would say I have to agree. The first time I went out to Keenland and stood in the paddock, under the trees where he had stood – I couldn’t help but feel that he was right there with us and could completely understand why he fell in love with the area.

We were blessed to add another child to the fold in 2005 and found out the hard way that 1 + 1 doesn’t necessarily = 2 when you’re talking about a pint sized child with a gallon size personality! But boy does she make life fun. Another blessing that is loved beyond measure.

In 2006 we decided to adopt again. You don’t know how deep the water is until you jump in, right? For now we wait and wait – we’ve already been waiting two years. Another blink of an eye.

As we wait though, I can’t help but ponder what my dad would have to say about our children? I can’t help but think he would be quite amused with their antics and would probably be one to bring out even more orneriness from them.

I also think about some of the things he said to us (my sister & I) about marriage and children. Our older siblings married relatively young and started their families. However my sister and I didn’t start so young and I can remember him asking me “why can’t you two be normal? Get married and have children like other people’s kids do.” He was half way joking, but I think there was a tad bit of truth to his question/statement. I can’t help but laugh when I think about that though because he’s the one who raised us to be able to “take care of yourself. Never depend on anyone”. Big words from a big guy who wanted his girls to do well in the world.

I miss him. Miss him terribly.

But today I look toward the future and hope & pray that we’re leading our children in the right direction and that we are as good of parents as we can be. We remain hopeful for our next child and pray that a specific child we’re praying for is indeed matched with our family. Big prayers. Big hope. And for some reason, all morning a song has been stuck in my head “Blessed be the name of the Lord. Blessed be His name”. It goes on to say “He gives and takes away …” “my heart will choose to say, Lord Blessed be Your Name”.

For in Him, all things are possible …

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Positional Verbiage

We've been blessed to have onsite daycare and therefore Emma commutes to work with me. The drive is about 30 minutes each way with most of the drive being on an interstate. Emma and I pass the time chit chatting or singing along with the radio and we have just a grand ol' time. We also pass the time checking out other cars. We've found that counting cars is also a good way to keep a little dumpling busy, especially on fussy days. For some reason, yellow cars are her favorite to count. Lately it's been jeeps and mustangs. A yellow mustang would probably really have her clapping & carrying on like a rock band groupie!

The other funny thing she does is that she likes to give me driving instructions. Nothing like having a 4 year old back seat driver. But she's always wanting me to get in the fast lane, or pass that car, or get behind the yellow car - on and on. Which brings me to a funny thing she says. When Emma is talking about the positions of cars, they are either:

  • Behind us.
  • Beside us.
  • BE-FRONT of us

It doesn't matter how many times I tell her, the term is "INfront", she still says "BEfront".

It's a pretty logical assumption if you think about it long enough :-)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Face (?) Painting @ The AHH Picnic

It started with a heart painted by mom earlier in the day.

Then a trip back to the booth with papa. Papa didn't paint, but baby girl was quite engrossed.

Who said it had to be "face" painting anyway?

It's a good thing I intervened - no telling what all would have been painted :-)

Monday, July 14, 2008

AHH Reunion

I've already posted the group picture taken of some of the girls from our travel group ... But we took a few more after the session and these are some of my favorites. It was so cute watching them together and just amazing to think how much they have grown and changed over the past few years.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Isn't She Lovely

I'm not sure what gets into our little dumpling, but she thinks it's the funniest thing to cross her eyes. Lovely isn't it?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I Certainly Hope I Made The Right Assumption

I had an interesting conversation with Emma the other day. While I was in the middle of drying my hair, she popped into our bathroom and the conversation went like this:

Mom - What does dam mean?

Hoping all to goodness that she in fact meant dam and not damn, I explained that it was something that held water back to keep areas from flooding and I used the side of the bath tub as an example. I exhaled and the thought crossed my mind "wow, I can't believe she just asked me that". We're by no means perfect people but off the top of my head I can't think of anywhere we could have been that someone has cussed in front of them.

I finished drying my hair and casually asked her. So, Emma. Where have you learned about dams?

She paused and said "Hmm. In Sunday School."

Oh dear ... am I going to survive this ornery child of mine? It makes you wonder, how could someone so cute be so confounded mischievous?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Fabulous Fifth!

Goodness I'm behind on blogging. I've already shared the fact that it gives me hives to blog out of order - but it looks like I'm just going to have to get over it or go buy some benadryl! I still have things to share about our trip to Nashville back in April. Our night at the local fair in June. A funny store about Miss M. All kinds of stuff.

But, back to last weekend for now. We had the pleasure of spending our 5th of July with our friends the White's. The ones who make the green beans that M loves. Our evening started with yet another fabulous meal (my goodness they can cook!) and then swimming time. Emma was so excited to show off her new capabilities to our friends and wore us out jumping and swimming to us, but it was a lot of fun. She and Angie spent time in the garden checking out Emma's own little section of green beans and then they picked berries! YUM!

Ryan spent the day and night with some friends & he came home Sunday one tired and worn out little shaver.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fabulous Fourth!

When we entered the world of adoption, I made several friends online from various parts of the country. These friendships helped a lot during the wait time as we shared our journeys and stories. These same friendships have been a source of encouragement as well as fun post adoption as well. During this time I made a very good friend here in our hometown and in the last 3 years we have talked to each other just about every day.

What I didn't realize then is that over the next 3 years we would make even more friends with the initial connection being solely based on the connection of our adoption stories. Now that doesn't mean we make instant friends with all adoptive families but we have made quite a few. One of these is Leslie, I've mentioned her before. We hadn't been home very long at all when we met her at wal-mart when she stopped us and asked some questions about China adoptions. We've crossed paths with them several other times and were also logged in for our 2nd adoptions about the same time. We also met another adoptive family, Marla at the same Wal-Mart.

Anyway, we had the pleasure of spending our 4th of July at Leslie & Larry's home with their beautiful children as well as Marla and her family and then two other families that we had only met briefly at Leslie's daughter's birthday.

What a wonderful way to spend the 4th! The girls had a wonderful time playing together and they are all just so adorable! And me ... well, I completely enjoyed having a chance to visit with the ladies. What can be more fun that food, fellowship and a house full of happy little girls along with a few big ol' boys!

As Emma says "Thank You Jesus for Friends!"

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Travel Group Reunion

My apologies for taking so long to write about this, but it's been busy around the ol' Hunter household. A couple of weeks ago we met up with some of the families from the group who traveled together to adopt our daughters in May 2005. It was amazing how much the girls have grown and changed in just 3 years!

Our original plan was to meet up at a local park which would afford the girls a chance to play and the adults the ability to visit. The weather didn't cooperate though so we met up at Chuck E Cheese instead. While it didn't work too well for the big people to visit, or really for the little ones to interact that much - the kids had a lot of fun! Somehow we have bypassed the whole CEC thing with Emma (maybe I learned my lesson with Ryan???) :-) but Emma had a blast. She is was in full 'push every button' mode and she played and she romped and she played some more - I hate to even think how much money we spent on tokens that night. But oh well. The funny thing is that the next day Emma was talking about it and she said "I didn't know about this Chuck E Cheese thing" with a big ol' grin on her face!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

12 - 10 ... Go Yankees!!!

Last night was the final night of baseball season. The first game was where the Yankees finished up their rained-out game from last week - and they won. They then came back and played the same team for the championship! Oh my goodness it was one emotional game. We were down by 4 in the first inning and then ever so slowly caught back back and then won by 2. Talk about some excited boys! And parents! Both teams played a good game and played their little hearts out.

There was one really fun play where one of our little guys who is a really good player was caught in a run down play between 3rd and home - he was almost to home, the ball was thrown in - he hightailed it back to 3rd with the ball beating him back so he headed back to home ... as I said, the little guy can flat run ... this went back and forth. The two guys trying to tag him are fairly big players who are really good players too and they were determined to get little Riley and Riley was bound and determined to scamper past them. He ended up getting called out for being outside the line but at least he wasn't tagged out. I was telling Brian later that I was watching Riley's eyes and you could see pure enjoyment in them because those big guys couldn't catch him - Brian said he was watching the other team's player and that he had pure determination in his eyes that he was going to catch Riley. I really do not even like baseball all that well and I got goosebumps from that play!

Ryan finally got a good hit with one right down the baseline, I think he made it to third on that one. Twice though he was up to bat with us having two outs already and the bases were loaded ... and he struck out. That's when I have to really fight the maternal instinct to not go down and hug him in front of all of his friends. Of course he wasn't the only one that happened to but you could still see the pain on his poor little face. No matter how many times you tell him even the pros strike out, it still hurts.

Want to take a guess as to what was missing last night? My camera. Dabnabbit. I had it laying out with the boys snacks but somehow it got left behind when my better half left the house. I took the pictures above with my camera phone, which I guess is better than nothing.

Ryan and several of his buddies will be moving up to the major league so from what I undertand that move will take place with the fall ball league. My baby is growing up way too fast for me.