Monday, May 31, 2010

Preschool Graduation

Little Miss Rebecca graduated from preschool this week & she was so proud of herself. Their class sang several songs with the highlight of the day being up on the stage while they sang! That's big bid'ness when you're 4! Sweet little Bex sang her heart out too!

She has done so well considering she has only been here a year and a half. Since she will still be 4 when school starts we have decided to go ahead and hold her one year before we start her in kindergarten. I think the extra year will do her well in giving her some more time to learn some of the basics and more time to mature. The main thing though is that by nature Rebecca is a little care taker, little mama-hen and by giving her this extra year then she will be one of the oldest when school starts and will give her the chance to be a helper. A job I know she will do very well!!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Rebecca's First T-Ball Game

Sweet little Rebecca has wanted to play t-ball since last summer, even to the extent of wearing gardening gloves in lieu of a ball glove while we were playing. I wrote about that here. There were also a couple of Emma's games where Rebecca grabbed up Emma's glove and tried to go out on the field. From all that I gathered, baby girl wanted to play ball.

I was a little hesitant to sign the girls up this summer because Emma is doing so well with gymnastics and I really wanted her to stick with that but there's really no way to do both since they are on the same night. Plus, Emma really should have moved up to coach pitch ... but nonetheless, Bex wanted to play and since I'm the youngest child in my family and growing up it seems I pretty much had to do whatever my siblings did, I felt a little parental guilt and felt like we needed to do something she wanted to do.

All of that sounds so good in theory. But reality ... well, she loves it when her team is up to bat. But I think these pictures explain all to well how she feels when their team is out in the field. What is the saying, "a picture is worth a thousand words" ?? something like that :-)

Monday, May 24, 2010

For Today

Outside my window: It's still light outside and pretty warm, seems like we went from winter to summer. Somewhere along the way I lost spring!

I Am Thinking: About "re" words. Restore. Repair. Rehabilitate. When you think of restoring, or restoration, you think of bringing something back to a good or better condition. Pretty much the same with rehabilitation. But what if something wasn't really in that good of shape to begin with, is restoration worth it? Or do you just toss it aside because it was never of value to begin with? And I'm not talking of "things" either, I mean this in the sense of relationships. For the heck of it, I looked up the word relationship and found "Relationships - the connection between two or more people or groups and their involvement with one another, especially as regards the way they behave toward and feel about one another". So, if it was in a "good" state then restoration would be a good thing. But what if it's never been good or healthy or kind ... really, what's the point of restoring?

I Am Thankful For: For the wonderful friendship and relationships I do have that do not need restoring, or if they did - they would be worth it because at some point they were good.

From The Kitchen: Seems like I've been on a salsa making spree lately. I'm not kidding, the 'restaurant style salsa' on the Pioneer woman's website is delish.

I Am Wearing: blue shorts, gray t-shirt.

On the 'Go Organize' Front: Progress, progress, progress!!!! We're starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. Brian took a week off a while back and knocked out a lot of what was still left to do. I took off one day last week and finished getting all the trim work cleaned up from the slopping of paint of the previous owner. Those peeps were terribly messy painters. Brian restained the woodwork & has finished all the painting upstairs! A very dear friend came and painted the areas of the stairwell that Brian couldn't reach. The girl's new room is painted in a beautiful sky blue that was in their old room. Rebecca is out of her toddler bed and now is the proud owner of a twin size bed. Ryan picked a really nice dark orange for his room and Brian painted two walls in that color and then two walls in a cream. New furniture has been ordered for him and hopefully will be in before too long. The remaining two rooms and the hallway/stairwell are having new carpet installed this week. Then it will be cleanup time! We have a lot of stuff piled up in the guest room that needs to be gone through so I can get it ready for my brother and sister-in-law's visit. We are looking so forward to their visit! I pretty much have it planned out as to where all we want to take them. Fun, fun, fun - cant' wait!

I Am Going: To bed soon, the girls had a t-ball game tonight & they are worn out.

I Am Reading: "Raising Self Reliant Children in a Self Indulgent World" and it has been an eye opener. Several things have convicted me in my parenting style and I'm only in the second chapter so far. Truly believe it's going to be well worth the time of reading it!

I Am Hoping: Brian heals up soon! He's having surgery on Wednesday for a troublesome problem he's been having and he's more than ready to be back on the well wagon.

I Am Praying For: My sweet hubby, so thankful for him.

I Am Hearing: The tv, and two little girls coming up and down the stairs when they are supposed to be in bed. Brian thinks it's due to daylight savings time ... I think it's due to two little dumplings being stinkers. But that's just my mommy expert opinion.

Around The House: House semi-picked up, more than ready to get the upstairs finished then we're going to take a break for a while on this whole remodeling thing.

One Of My Favorite Things: Friendships! We had a potluck dinner with several other families the other night and spent the evening visiting and catching up with one another while the kiddos ran and played. They have some land somewhat out in the country and the girls have the best time out there. Such easy going and fun people to hang out with. Yet another thing to be thankful for.

A Few Plans For The Rest of The Week: T-ball game for the girls tonight, Rebecca's first! Ryan and one of his friends are playing a saxophone duet tomorrow night at a school band concert. Surgery for Brian on Wednesday. A make-up game for Ryan on Wednesday night. Still not sure how I'm going to be chief-nurse and taxi driver at the same time. Gymnastics on Thursday, their last night for the spring session. I'm leaning toward taking a break for the summer and then signing back up in the fall. Emma has been going there since she was two and really enjoys it but Rebecca struggles a little with listening to her teacher and she gets frustrated - the teacher gets frustrated. So, I think a break will be a good thing. Somewhere in all of that we need to get Ryan in for an allergy shot. Birthday party on Saturday. Possibly a cookout & swimming over the weekend - but that's still up in the air.

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Celebrating Adoption Day

This is a few days late, but we celebrated the 5th year of little Emma's adoption this week. Typically we take her out to eat to the place of her choosing for her special day but we had to put it off a few days this year due to home projects, ball games and t-ball practice. We were finally able to go out and celebrate today though and her choice of restaurants was the 'Goose Creek Diner', which made me smile. You would think a child would pick something like McD's, or Chuck E' Cheese but not our little Emma bug.

It's so hard to believe it's been 5 years already. Today has been my first opportunity to go back and look through some of the photos from our trip. The digital camera we had back then didn't do well with inside shots but still, looking through these just transported me back to the other side of the world ... what a trip it was and what a blessing Emma is. Adoption is truly a miracle and I can't imagine for an instance of Emma not being our daughter.

It's amazing how much she has grown and matured but yet even going back and re-reading her referral and updated documents I couldn't help but smile at some of the descriptions of her personality and how profoundly true they are.

This was taken on the day we first met Emma, what's commonly called "Gotcha Day". All the little girls were dressed in the same little outfits, all of them had fuzzy little heads. Emma was fighting an upper respiratory problem and her little nose was running like crazy. We were told that the girls had all come in by bus and that it was a little over a 6 hour drive and they were all worn out. She was asleep in my arms in no time!

This one was taken the following day, the day your adoption is finalized. Not sure why, but we didn't have a family picture taken that day. We were so enthralled with our new little dumpling that I guess it just slipped our minds. My friend Teresa, who was also there adopting a daughter, bought our girls matching dresses for adoption day & we didn't even get a picture of the girls together. That's what baby excitement will do for you I suppose.

The first few days, Emma would just sit wherever you put her. Ryan and I would try to get her to crawl to us but she wouldn't, she would just sit there with her little back as straight as could be. She loved the little puff type cereal we were feeding her but even that wouldn't motivate her to move so we started putting it in various places and then we would turn around to do something else only to find her sitting in the same place, yet eating the cereal. We got the biggest laugh out of her. We finally did catch her scooting to get it, but then she'd scoot right back to where we'd put her. Needless to say, the stillness didn't last for long.

This was the day she came out of her shell!!! Brian was in another room finishing up paperwork. Ryan and I sat down in the floor with her and would motion for her to stand up. She did! We were sitting about 4 feet apart. She would first run to me, fall into my arms and just laugh and laugh then turn around and head for Ryan. At some point Brian called to ask a question and he couldn't believe the noise that was going on. She was having a grand ol' time and it pretty much hasn't stopped since!

Going out for ice cream, can you say yummy!

She also had this odd little quirk where she was always putting her feet on the table. We have several shots similar to this. Not quite sure where she learned this habit, but it was pretty darn hard to break.

And of course I can't post about her adoption day without again including the link to the video of her 'gotcha day'. What a blessed and happy time for our family! Thanks for allowing this little trip down memory lane :-)

Happy 5 years Emma Lian, we love you!!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Memory Lane

Wow, can it really be the 5 year anniversary of us leaving for China to get little Em's? What a plane ride. Louisville to Chicago where we met up with some of the families from our travel group & we indulged ourselves with Cinnabon buns. Not even out of the country and we were already in vacation mode. Chicago to Hong Kong where Ryan spoke to someone he thought he knew. Really Ryan, you thought you would be crossing paths in Hong Kong with someone from Louisville? I laugh about that to this day. Hong Kong to Beijing. Darn that was one long trip! Then we checked into a Best Western - another thing that cracked me up. A "Best Western" in Beijing, China. But it was HOT, HOT, HOT ... we couldn't sleep for it being so darn hot. The other weird thing about that hotel room is that the lights and air would not work unless the room key was inserted into a slot on the wall. Weird stuff for country peeps.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Girl's Night Out

I'm back to having bloggers block which is coincidentally a lot like writers block. So I took a little stroll through my picture folder and came across these & couldn't help but laugh out loud. I had been meaning to blog about this when I had time but then it had completely slipped my mind.

Long story short, a Chinese dance troupe who shall remain nameless was recently in our city. While I really, really wanted all of us to go it was just way more than we could afford for one night out. Mentioning this to a friend she told me that she might have two extra tickets and then that turned into a girl's night out with the two of us and our two precious daughters. We dined at the Spaghetti Factory and had just a grand ol' time catching up with each other. Good food, great conversation and yummy food just does wonders for the soul. We were on a roll and having a grand ol' time.
We made it to the show and into our wonderful seats and settled in to watch what had been billed as beautiful scenery and dancing. Sure enough, the first few numbers were beautiful and life was good. But every few sets there would be a scene with some weird undertones that I couldn't quite put my finger on. By this time we had two squirmy girls on our hands and it didn't seem like they were playing that close attention anyway. Then there was a really weird scene with a mother being killed and then ascending to heaven ... deep stuff. One couple ended up leaving part way through the show. We talked about it at intermission and were wondering what the undertones were but went right back in to finish the show. Again, had some beautiful scenes and then another few oddities and you could tell it was anti-com***ism but still, a word they kept using just didn't mean anything to me.

My friend had been invited to an after-party/reception and the girls were excited about getting to meet some of the dancers so as we were heading that way we were stopped in the hallway by a very insistent Chinese reporter. Being the sweet and kind friend that I am, I started inching away while he had her cornered. I know, everyone needs a friend like me :-) but as his questions seemed to change a little I inched back in to hear her answers. Once he had finished with her he asked me some questions too and then off we headed to the reception. We had no more stepped into the room and we were cornered by yet another insistent reporter. Being the friendly southern girls we are, we happily gave our names and our children's names. We enjoyed the refreshments, the girls REALLY enjoyed their refreshments, the liet. governor was even there, we listened to a few speeches/introduction things and then finally were able to meet some of the dancers. Off into the night we headed with our tired girls and we laughed and giggled all the way to the car.
Imagine my surprise when I got home and was recounting the night to Brian and I asked him what a certain word meant and he explains to me that it is an anti-comm**ism movement with a cult like reputation. Nice. Then I read an op-ed in the paper that basically said the same thing. Goodness, and to think we had just wanted to enjoy dancing and costumes! We've since laughed and laughed about our naivete and willingness to share whatever a reporter might ask us. The things that happen all in the name of fun!
For the record, our girls did enjoy it even though some of the scenes were a little on the scary side. The pretty costumes made up for that though! And the reception with all kinds of desserts and even chocolate dipped strawberries went a long way toward making up for the scary scenes!

Now, whether or not we're now on some 'no - entry' list to the land of our daughter's birth remains to be seen.

Monday, May 10, 2010

For Today

Outside my window: It's dark and a tad bit on the cool side. Ballgame tonight & we needed sweatshirts.

I Am Thinking: How do parents with many children do it? I can't seem to catch up with just three.

I Am Thankful For: For my sweet husband who is working on the upstairs this week, trying to get the bedrooms back in order before my brother and sister-in-law come out to visit in June.

From The Kitchen: Brian has been a little under the weather so I actually have been cooking. Made curry beef over the weekend, grilled chicken for some make ahead dinners and then a southwest chicken/rice type bake for tonight & tomorrow.

I Am Wearing: blue shorts, gray t-shirt.

On the 'Go Organize' Front: Looks like we're getting back to that now that Brian is finishing up the rooms. Did have a chance to clean out Ryan's shorts & nice shirts from last summer. Still can't believe he's gone up two sizes! Quick - need to put a rock on his head!

I Am Going: To bed soon, 'twas a hectic night with a baseball game, dinner, baths, checking backpacks. Again, how do parents with lots of kiddos make it through all that stuff?

I Am Reading: "The Memory Keepers Daughter" - great book so far, having a hard time putting it down at night.

I Am Hoping: The colors we picked out for the rooms look nice. As much as I'd love to have 'the decorator touch', I just do not.

I Am Praying For: My hubby & son. Yet more health things going on ... thankfully the girls & I rarely get sick.

I Am Hearing: It's pretty quiet, kids in bed - tv on, Somethng about gravitational pulls, hubble telescopes, galaxies, dark matter ... there's just no way Brian and I would ever pick the same channel to watch.

Around The House: House semi-picked up, at least the kitchen is clean. Laundry to put away. Upstairs still a mess but looks like that will be fixed soon! I know Ryan will be glad to get back in his own room. Still need to go buy him a full size bed/mattress set and a new dresser. Just didn't want to do that until I knew for sure we were ready to set them up.

One Of My Favorite Things: Watching Emma with adults. She has a knack for meeting people and remembering their names. Even adults. Ryan had a ballgame tonight and Emma was being miss social on the playground and then eventually made her way up to the stands. She talked to a few parents with kids on the same team as Ryan. Went over and visited with some parents on the other team. Then of course had to visit with even more as the kids/parents were coming up for the following game. It's really cute to watch.

A Few Plans For The Rest of The Week: Baseball game tonight, practice tomorrow and then another game on Thursday for Ryan. T-ball practice for the girls tomorrow night. So far it looks like we may actually be home on Wednesday night. Gymnastics on Thursday. Somewhere in there Ryan needs an allergy shot.

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Muffins With Mom

Emma's class hosted "Muffins with Mom" on Friday & I was able to go for a little while. What fun it was to observe Emma in her school environment. She has the sweetest teacher and just loves school. Each child had written a letter to their mother and each was given an opportunity to read their letters in front of the class and visiting mothers. Some were funny and some would make your eyes water up. Such blessings! Each and every one of the little stinkers.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


This is how we found the girls the other night after Emma's birthday party. They had gone to bed in their separate beds, but somehow both ended up in Rebecca's toddler size bed. The little dumpings ... they make my heart smile!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Emma's Birthday Celebration

We had Emma's party scheduled for last weekend but had to cancel due to rainy weather but rescheduled to her actual birthday & it just couldn't have been a prettier day. The sun came out, the sky was a beautiful blue - perfect birthday weather!!!

Our friend Angie has a sweet, sweet relationship with Rebecca. They are buds to the highest degree.
Emma and her little classmates.
My buddies Felicia, Marla & Leslie. Not sure what I ever did to deserve such wonderful friends. Wonderful & so much fun! Not a dull moment with these ladies around.
6 candles. It hasn't quite sunk in yet. Six. My baby is six.
How is it I was right there cutting the cake & didn't realize little Miss Rebecca was sampling the icing!!!

Jubliee & Emma - such good buddies, and to think they were together their first year of life.
Amy & Emma - Amy was Emma's first teacher and they share the sweetest of friendships.

Thanks to everyone who helped us share Emma's special day, we had the best time!!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Derby Day

It's a rainy, messy day in the 'Ville, but our little derby princesses still enjoyed watching the ponies run!