Thursday, April 30, 2009

Baseball is in the Air

Baseball season is here again already. Rebecca has now officially been indoctrinated to the ballpark - well, actually to the associated fun of the ballpark - the playground and the concession stand. Emma absolutely could not wait for the first game so that she could buy Rebecca a snack! She took her little hello kitty wallet and treated her sister from her own money. She also likes to play mother-hen to Bex while we're watching the games. You know being 5 and all makes you old enough to be in charge.

Ryan is having a good season, they have won 2 out of 3 so far. This shot was taken the other night when he had walked to 1st then stole 2nd, 3rd and home! Exciting stuff!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Goodness Sakes Alive - Emma is now 5!

A tradition I have had with the children is that we go out and do something special on their birthday to have some special one on one time. This worked well when it was just Ryan but became more difficult to do after we added Emma and then Rebecca. Thankfully the children have enjoyed including their siblings in their special outings, last year Emma even invited Ryan to go along.

A new tradition was added with Emma. We had received her referral before she turned one but had not yet traveled so my friends at work were kind to take me out for lunch and celebrate her birthday - even if it was without her. For her second and subsequent birthdays my friends have taken both of us out for lunch and showered her with some special time. Well, now that I'm no longer working with these friends I really hadn't thought about this annual outing and when one of the friends emailed and asked to meet for lunch on Tuesday, it still didn't dawn one me. Thankfully Brian knew what was up though and I felt like the class dunce that I hadn't put 2 + 2 together.

The girls and I met up with my friend yesterday and we took the girls to Cafe Lou Lou - which is funny in itself because of the pet names we have for Emma is "loo-loo". After our delicious and girly lunch we walked down to Dundee Candy and partook of some chocolate!

Then last night we took her out to celebrate at Chicago Pizza where on Tuesday nights the kids can make their own pizzas. Lots and lots of birthday fun!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

More Birthday Pictures

Emma is still talking about all the fun that she had at her birthday party! She was so happy that all of her little friends were there, loved her presents and in general just had a good ol' time.

Here's some more pictures from her fabulous day.

From left to right, Isabel - she and Emma go to church together and their brothers are the same age. Isabel & Emma have spent countless hours playing together at the ballpark while their big brothers were playing baseball. To Emma's right is my friend Leslie's beautiful daughter Ella. I've shared before, but we first met Leslie in the produce section at our local Wal-Mart and then we later crossed paths a couple of other places and then were instant friends. Sweet, sweet family - Leslie was so kind to take pictures for me. You would think I would leave the guests alone and let them enjoy the day. Nooo ... not me, I had to ask for a favor :-) and she & Larry were so kind to help me!

The Party Pinata - Brian thought she should have one, I didn't think it was such a good idea. But as always he was right - the kiddos really enjoyed it!

Lots of little dumplings, friends from Emma's preschool class, church and of course the day wouldn't be complete without her little friends from China!< Speaking of our friends from China, this is Jenna. Isn't she adorable! Her parents were logged in back in the summer of 2006, just a few weeks before we were. We met in a really round about way. An online friend of mine from Washington state that I had met back when we were in the process of adopting Emma emailed me one day and said that someone from Louisville had joined an online group and she wanted me to join too so that I could help make the new person feel welcomed, etc. Nothing like making friends w/ someone via someone else who lives far off! I joined the group, met Kristie and later her husband and family and it was a match made in heaven. Another one of those friendships that I continually give thanks for. The whole confounded family is as kind, loving and genuine as you could possibly imagine.

Emma up to bat.

Our friend Marla's beautiful daughter Adalyn. I think I've shared before, but we met this family at wal-mart too - but we met them in the toy section. Again, yet another family who is genuinely nice, friendly & oh so caring. I hope I never grow complacent in knowing how kind the people are here. I swear, there must be something in the water in Kentucky :-)

All in all a wonderful day!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Birthday Bash

We celebrated Emma's 5th birthday over the weekend and then will do something with just the family on Tuesday night. For some reason or the other, this year I just did not have my act together for the party. Typically I would have had everything organized down to the nth detail and everything planned to go along w/ the theme. The prime example is last year's party that was at this little play place where the children "cooked". The cooking really was just dipping marshmallows into melted chocolate and then dipping in sprinkles - but they were yummy. The take home favors were child sized aprons that had been personalized for each pint sized guest. You get the picture - I love themes. That is until this year :-)

This year I was looking for something a little more low-key, something where the kids could play and the parents could visit and it was going to be oh so relaxing .... So, we had it up at the local small park that has a playground and a brand new shelter. Lots of room for the kids to run and play and be kids and a place for the adults to sit around and visit. Great in theory, not so great in execution! On a good note it did seem like the kiddos had a great time and really, that is what is most important. And I think the parents had a good time too. All I can say though is thank you Jesus for helpful parents because I was not doing a good job getting things out and going and it didn't seem like I was able to visit w/ any of the moms. It seemed like every mother there was helping me out in one way or the other. THANK YOU - THANK YOU - THANK YOU!
It was a beautiful sun shiny day, a little on the hot side and a little on the windy side but none of that mattered either as I watched our sweet little Emma playing with her friends and opening her presents. She had a blast and was so thankful for all of her goodies!
I'll post more pictures tomorrow, it's bedtime for bonzo :-)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Is There A Plumber In The House?

These shots crack me up ... no pun intended. Bless her little bones, this happens w/ just about anything she wears.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Dance Of The Sugarplum Dumplings

Woohoo - the girls couldn't help but dance and be happy after finally getting out of the car!
(More from our trip to Oklahoma)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

4.19.09 - A Truly Wonderful Day!

Today marks a very special day for our precious son Ryan as today he was baptized! Surely the angels in heaven were singing all kinds of praises as another soul was won for the kingdom.

Brian shared today at the service how that having children was not high on his list of priorities after we had married but how that I had prayed and prayed for a child. He went on to tell how right at 12 years ago, just about this time of year, that our pastor stopped in the middle of the service and said that he had a word for someone but he wasn't sure who and went on to say "The Lord would tell you that you can stop praying your prayer - your prayer has been answered". Brian didn't know who the word was for but I certainly did. The goosebumps on the arms, teardrops in my eyes and a swelling heart was enough for me to know it was just for me. I had cried out to our heavenly Father time after time asking for a child to call our own and on that day I knew in my heart that my prayer truly would be answered. We had talked about adoption and I truly believed then that the door would open for us to be able to adopt. What a surprise though when we found out just a few short weeks later that we were expecting! Brian also shared my favorite verse out of 1 Samuel "The Lord has given me the petition of which I asked of Him". Amen, he most certainly did! Ryan is truly a blessing and we are so proud of him. It seems so fitting that he would be dedicating his life right at the same time of year that I received the answer to my oft said prayer.

I went out shopping yesterday to buy something special for him to remember this wonderful day and found a small cross that he can sit on his night stand and it has this inscription:

Before you were conceived I wanted you.

Before you were born I loved you.

Before you were here for an hour I would die for you.

This is the miracle of life.

Congratulations my sweet son!

Friday, April 17, 2009

It Really Was In The Middle of Nowhere

This is what we saw while driving through the Oklahoma countryside ... I just couldn't pass up the opportunity of snapping a shot.

Baby Stuff

Emma learning to sew with Grandma.

The Finished Project
Typical Bex Baby - All Wrapped up!

One of Rebecca's favorite things to is to play with baby dolls. She will wrap them in blankets and line them all up and she is very very precise in how she arranges them. It really tickles us. I had gotten very tired of folding and putting up the baby blankets so I had sweet talked my aunt into making her some doll sized receiving blankets out of the same material that she had made blankets for all of my kiddos. These are made out of a light material, larger than the typical receiving blanket and she crochets around the edges. They are the PERFECT size for toddlers! Now the girls have doll sized ones that look just like their big ones! She also made some crocheted ones too.

I had thought we had enough blankets to cover all the babies but before too long Bex was back in the bigger blankets and I was back to picking up, folding and putting them away. I had shared this with my mom so she made Rebecca the cutest little bassinet type thingy for Rebecca. Before we made it to Oklahoma she decided to make one for Emma as well but hadn't had time to get it finished before we arrived so she let Emma work on it with her. Emma had the best time!

The baskets are too cute and the bedding is easily removed so that it can be laundered. She even made little pallet type things for the bottom of the baskets as well as matching blankets and tee-tiny pillows. Needless to say, Rebecca is having all kinds of fun with the new blankets.

Thank you mom - the girls love their baby baskets!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mass Transit - Oklahoma Style

Big Brothers

Nothing like going home to visit and being treated with a wonderful meal. Big brothers just know what a little sister needs .... that's right. Some grilled deer steak. Can I hear a big ol' YUM, YUM, YUM!


Head of Ranch Security ... my brother's doofus dog. Well, I think the dog is actually more my sister-in-law's than my brother's. Still though.

This goofy little dog used to be a house dog but somehow he is now living out where dogs should live. Back when he wasn't though, he used to get up early in the morning when my brother would get up to go to work. He would go into the kitchen where my brother would share his breakfast with the mutt. The mutt would then return to the bedroom and get back in bed w/ my sister-in-law. When Landon would go to kiss his sweet wife goodbye, the goofy dog would then growl at him. Some way to say thanks for breakfast!

Grandma & Her Girls

Since my mom had bought the girls their dresses, I packed them for our trip to Oklahoma even though it wasn't Easter. I had planned on visiting my old church and I thought it would tickle my mom to see them dressed up in them! Please disregard the backdrop, a little construction going on back there.
It was nice visiting my old church, I have a very special affection for the pastor and his wife. When I think of her I always think of a specific incident where her actions spoke more than any sermon either of them could have ever preached. It's funny how one incident can stick with you for years and years. This particular story took place when I was in college.
There was a family in the community where I grew up that was very poor, and most likely had some mental problems too even though I don't think I really realized that until I was much older. They rode their bikes around town and to put it as nicely as I can, they just weren't very clean. They had started coming to church although I really do not remember how long they had been coming or really even if they came on a consistent schedule but I vividly remember a church dinner and them sitting at a table off by themselves. The pastor's wife fixed her plate and went and sat down with them and visited and visited with them. That one act of genuine kindness said more about her character to me than anything else ever could have and it also served as a reminder to me of how we should be.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Trampoline Time

Not only did the girls have fun in Oklahoma, Ryan did as well. I think he is ready to move in with my brother and sister-in-law ... they have way cooler things than we have :-) He spent a lot of time on their trampoline and rode horses, but the biggest and best time was to be had when my brother took him out and let him shoot a couple of his guns. Big stuff to an 11 year old city boy!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from the Hunter family!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Horsin' Around in Oklahoma

We're back! We had a lot of fun in Oklahoma, everyone enjoyed meeting Miss Rebecca and she especially hit it off well with her Grandma. The drive out there, well - we'll just leave that part out of the story. By the time we hit Sulphur on Saturday afternoon, I was trying desperately hard to remember why I had thought it was such a good idea to drive that far. But seeing how well she took to everyone and how much she enjoyed meeting her extended family made the last painful hours worth it.

After we got unloaded and had eaten, Uncle Landon saddled up some horses and let them ride. Rebecca took to that like no tomorrow! Maybe we have a little cowgirl on our hands? We all got a good laugh when he let her ride by herself but he had his arm around her and she reached back and moved it out of the way and then tried taking the reins! I really would have thought that a big ol' horse would have scared her but that wasn't the case at all.