Tuesday, June 29, 2010

T-Ball Emma Style

Now that I've shared Rebecca's t-ball pictures, it's time to share some of Em's!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Moments Worth Sharing

These are two of my favorite shots from t-ball this summer ... pretty much do not need words for either! I somehow think t-ball was the furthest thing from both their minds - but you have to love the way they are just enjoying the moment. Enjoying life as it should be enjoyed!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rebecca and T-Ball

As I noted in an earlier post (Rebecca's First T-Ball Game) , t-ball didn't start out so well for little Miss Rebecca. She was so excited about playing, excited about her new orange shirt and orange socks and she was excited when it was time for her to bat. But when it was time to be out in the field she wanted to make sure her displeasure was noted. Of course it's funny looking back now, but it was a little nerve wracking to be sitting there watching her being obviously so unhappy. But we somehow muddled through those first few games then all of a sudden - the ball player in her came out! She was going for the ball like crazy. Even her little stance was like the big guys. Needless to say, she's one unhappy little girl now ... but only because t-ball is over for the summer. Too bad there isn't a ball t-ball league!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

9 Years in the 'Ville

This week marks 9 years since we moved to the 'Ville. Ryan and I departed Dallas where we left Brian & Cliff who would be following us in about a month. I'll have to admit that I shed a tear or two (maybe more) about leaving all of our friends and family behind but yet I felt in my heart it was the right thing to do for our family. As much as we have missed our family and friends - we do love it here and have considered it 'home' since the day we moved in.

9 Years in Louisville and here’s what I’ve learned

1. People in Kentucky are incredibly nice and genuine. You just know that what you see is what you get.

2. Louisville is a very social town and it must be bad manners to have a social event that doesn’t include food because we have yet to be to one that hasn’t. Hence the, hmmm – upward trend in the weight department.

3. You’ve heard the term ‘6 degrees of separation’ … here in the ‘ville, it’s more like 2.

4. Really good salsa is hard to come by, but a local dish called ‘The Hot Brown’ is to die for.

5. Compared to North Dallas traffic, the commute is a lot less stressful. But the natives, well – they brake for mirages. Drives me nuts. Come on people, they’re just changing a tire, it really isn’t necessary to hit your brakes and slow to a crawl.

6. Speaking of traffic, you have to lose or change your Dallas Freeway driving habits because many people do not drive the speed limit and are completely oblivious to the line o’ traffic behind them. When you find yourself behind a slow driver on a curvy two lane road, it’s much more therapeutic to just slow down and enjoy the scenery. You’re gonna be there a while.

7. No, there isn’t a Braum’s – but man, the Homemade Pie Kitchen may just be better! On the ice cream front, it was cause for celebration the day they started selling Blue Bell here!

8. Don’t even think about going to Wal-Mart if you are in a hurry. It’s just a slower pace of life here and it’s not at all unusual for the checkout clerk to strike up a conversation. It took me a LONG time to get used to that.

9. We’ve found more than groceries and items at Wal-Mart. In fact, we have become very good friends with some people we met – you guessed it, in Wal-Mart.

10. In Texas it's football, in Kentucky it's basketball. 9 years ago I didn't know who Rick Pitino was, now I know WAY more about him than I care to.

11. When people are discussing which school they went to, they're not comparing notes like Harvard vs Yale, nope - nor UK vs U of L ... the who's who is determined by which high school - St X or Trinity. I think the rivalry is right up there with OU / Texas.

12. Derby Time may as well be a national holiday.

13. The signs you see when you are getting on the interstate say "No Farm Implements. No animals on hoof". I kid ya' not.

13. Pretty much the way you pronounce "Louisville" is telling as to whether you're a native or not. But as the sign so perfectly says it ... any way you say it, it's a great place to live!

Monday, June 21, 2010

For Today

Outside my window: It's pretty warm here today, but not as humid as it has been - thank goodness!

I Am Thinking: About how nice it is to have Ryan home, and how quiet it seemed to be while he was away. He had a WONDERFUL time at space camp - what a great opportunity for him!

I Am Thankful For: The scholarship that paid his way, airfare, food, lodging, camp and all.

From The Kitchen: Not much! Being gone every night doesn't really make for an easy time of cooking.

I Am Wearing: black shorts, black and white shirt. Barefoot!

On the 'Go Organize' Front: No change from last week - you have to be home to be able to organize.

I Am Going: To just chill out for a while, then head to bed and try to finish my book.

I Am Reading: "The Middle Place" - which admittedly has had me in tears a few times. The story is about the author's battle with cancer and then her dad ends up with cancer too. One of those books that makes you cry one minute and then laugh the next. Having lost my dad to cancer, you can only imagine why I tear up.

I Am Hoping: That vacation time gets here soon ... I'm ready to go!

I Am Praying For: Little Rebecca.

I Am Hearing: Ryan. Like I said earlier, it was so quiet while he was gone :-)

Around The House: Paper to read, mail to go through, thank you notes to write from Emma's birthday party. Never late than never I'm hoping!

One Of My Favorite Things: Watching Rebecca play t-ball! The season didn't start out too well as you've probably seen in some of the pictures I had posted. She loves being up to bat - but can't stand being out in the field. But she's coming around, really hustling for the ball, paying attention to what's going on! I think she just might make a little ball player!

A Few Plans For The Rest of The Week: The girls had a t-ball game tonight, Ryan had batting practice in a different town all while Brian had a meeting at church. Baseball game for Ryan tomorrow night, playoff game. Youth family (church) event on Wednesday at our friend's house. T-Ball game for the girls on Thursday and possibly another game for Ryan if they win tomorrow night. So far Friday night is open. Swim party on Saturday. Then Ryan leaves for church camp on Sunday. Biz-EEE.

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Papa & His Newest Peanut


First of all, Happy Father's Day to my sweet, sweet husband! Not only do I love him, but I love spending time with him and laughing with him ... just plain ol' enjoy any time I have with him!

The real reason for this post though, in honor of Father's Day is that I want to share a little about Brian and Rebecca. Not sure why, but Rebecca pretty much took up instantly with Brian and Emma when we first adopted her and kept me at arm's distance (at best). Thinking back and trying to analyze the 'why', I think it was really because she saw me as the woman who took her away from Amanda. Maybe that's it or maybe I'm completely off base but nevertheless, she wanted nothing to do with me while we were in China. When we went walking she wanted to hold his hand. When we were on the bus, she wanted to be seated next to him. At meal time, you guessed it - she wanted to be seated right next to him. I'd be telling a major kind of story if I were to say that it didn't bother me because it did but I also knew that once we got home and settled in that it would be okay. Which it was. No sooner had we gotten home than I became the 'go to' parent and our relationship hasn't done anything but grow stronger since. But as our relationship grew she had less and less to do with Brian. Now here we are a year and half since her adoption and I am starting to see a little daddy's girl emerging from Bex. It started out with some small silly little things and then the other day I heard her refer to herself as 'papa's peanut'. You can't imagine the smiles on both of our faces when she said that because that is Brian's pet name for Emma and by her saying that it appeared that she was basically saying 'move over Emma - another peanut is in the house'!

Xian, China ... holding her papa's hand.

Adoption day - asleep on her papa's shoulder.

Summer 2010 - pretending to fix her papa's hair. We've come a long way baby!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Big News for Bex

Rebecca can now navigate the monkey bars! Go Bex!!! So very proud of my baby girl!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Toodling Around Kentucky

While my brother and sister-in-law were in town we took them to a few of our favorite places and then to a few we thought they would enjoy. It was a fun time for all! You can't come to Louisville and not try a Hot Brown so we took them downtown to the place it all began and introduced them to all that cheesy delishousness. Oh man, oh my - those things are yummy. If you haven't tried a Hot Brown I'm telling you it alone is well worth a trip to the 'Ville. Then the guys broke off and went to the Frazier Arms Museum while Laura and I took the girls for chocolate at my favorite place, Dundee Candies and then took them to play in the park. In all the excitement I somehow went off without my camera :-(

On Sunday (of all days), we took them to Versailles (the locals pronounce it Ver-sales, lest you think that it sounds the same as the France counterpart) and drove by some beautiful horse farms and even more beautiful horses. So now it's confession time ... hold on to your seats because you're not going to believe I did this ... but we took them to the Woodford Reserve Distillery. If you're going to get a true taste of Kentucky then you need to throw in a bourbon tour with the horses. On a serious note, their grounds are absolutely beautiful and they do have a nice tour. We had a great tour guide and had a wonderful time there too! I was able to catch some really cool shots of the girls while we were in one of the old limestone buildings that date back to the 1800's.

Here's some of my favorite shots from the day:

So now everyone knows my favorite shot of Emma was taken at a distillery.

Monday, June 14, 2010

For Today

Outside my window: It's stinkin' hot in the 'Ville, not just hot - but humid too.

I Am Thinking: About Ryan & hoping he is having a good time at Space Camp. I so admire the little guy that he can get on a plane all by himself and go spend a week somewhere without knowing a soul. Maybe I'm just being a proud mama, but I think he will do well in life.

I Am Thankful For: A saviour who gave His life for ours. I so don't deserve it.

From The Kitchen: Not much, busy schedules have pretty much kept me out of the kitchen unless I'm making a sandwich or getting a snack.

I Am Wearing: tan, white t-shirt.

On the 'Go Organize' Front: Somewhat on hold again, only because we needed a break. Need to clean out the closets that had things shoved into them. Still need to hang the girls curtains and their pictures. I noticed this morning that our bedroom door doesn't have a handle yet. So really, just a few little things to do to finish up the upstairs.

I Am Going: To bed soon, I just now realized - this part doesn't change much from week to week!

I Am Reading: Family Fun and a few other magazines that I needed to catch up on.

I Am Hoping: That we have some time to just do some fun things like swimming or going to the park this summer. Seems like when we do have the kids at the park that it's always during a ball game.

I Am Praying For: Several different friends who are contemplating adopting again, and for another friend who just accepted a referral for a little girl who has had open heart surgery. Adoption is so special to us and sometimes it makes me sad when I realize that we will not be able to go back again.

I Am Hearing: The dishwasher running, a few giggles from the girls who are supposed to b in bed.

Around The House: House is pretty much picked up! We've been trying to do better about keeping it picked up lately.

One Of My Favorite Things: Emma's dimpled smile. I was looking back through some pictures the other day and noticed that she's almost always smiling, even in those moments you wouldn't expect her to. Like running to a base in t-ball and even when going down the slide at the pool. She pretty much always has a smile on her face. She has such a way with people and I just love watching her interact with others. She makes my heart smile!

A Few Plans For The Rest of The Week: Ryan is at camp this week and will be coming home on Friday. It looks like we may be able to sneak a date night in on Wednesday. The girls had a ballgame tonight and then have another one on Thursday. The local fair is opening up at the end of the week and that's something we just do not miss. Not sure if we will go this week or next though.

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday Snapshot

I've been meaning to post this picture, explain where it was taken, explain why we were there in the first place, explain why I'm taking pictures instead of listening to the tour guide. But instead, I think I'll just post it. I think it's my favorite picture ever of Miz' Divine. It's not even edited, the lighting was just perfect in that old building. But the subject matter was even better, goodness I love that baby girl!

Ni Hao Y'all

'Sunday Snapshot' - brought to you by Steph over at Ni Hao Ya'll

And the funny thing is, this picture was actually taken on a Sunday!

Summer is for Camps

Ryan is having one busy summer, last week it was 4H camp and this week it's Space Camp in Huntsville, AL. Put my baby boy on a plane yesterday - all my himself - an 'unaccompanied minor'. Big deal for him? Not really. Big deal for me? Well, it's not easy but I made it through w/out any tears!

I'm so proud of him because he won a scholarship to attend space camp, something I've wanted him to be able to do for a long time - but just not something we can really afford. Needless to say, we count this as a huge blessing for him to get to go!

The whole arrangements thing was a little weird/funny though as the organization that he won the scholarship through took care of all of his arrangements. When his tickets and agenda came in the mail I really didn't pay them that close of attention because I assumed he would fly to Huntsville since we're only 4 1/2 - 5 hours away. I realized a few days ago though that no, he was flying from here to Chicago, changing planes and flying to Oklahoma where he would spend the night and then ride a chartered bus with other scholarship recipients to Huntsville. The bus was scheduled to leave at 6 in the morning and then not arrive in Huntsville until 8 at night. What a long way to get there!

So we show up at the airport yesterday to find that the weather is bad in Chicago and that his flight is delayed, the flight that should have left at 10:45 that a.m. had not even left. He didn't have that much time between flights in Chicago as it was and I started worrying that he wasn't going to make the connection. So here I am all worried but Ryan doesn't seem concerned one iota. In that regard, he's just like his daddy.

All that to say, a very nice gate agent ended up putting him on the flight that should have been gone earlier that morning and then the flight to OKC was delayed because of the weather so he ended up catching it after all but didn't arrive until way later than what was scheduled. I'm just happy he made it!!! At this point though, I'm thinking it would have been much easier to just drive him to Huntsville!

He used to love for me to take his picture, not sure when that changed. Smile Ryan, c'mon ... I'm going to hug you right here in front of everyone if you don't.

There - that's much better.

Bye Ryan.

Bye baby ... I mean Ryan, have a great time. Call me. I'll miss you. Sugah' lump.

I'm sure he MEANT to turn around and wave but it just slipped his mind.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Family Visit

This month marks nine years of us living in Louisville. We've had several family members come out to visit, namely my mom and her husband. My aunt and uncle have been out several times and another aunt and uncle have been out too. But my siblings have not, that is until this past weekend when my brother and sister-in-law came out. We had the best time showing them around to our favorite places in the area and then even to a place we'd only been to once before. More than just showing them around though, we had the best time just catching up and laughing - a lot! The girls really enjoyed all the special attention they received and poor little Emma just cried and cried when the left. Sure glad they were able to come out to see us!

A brother that will step in and finish up the toenail painting job is obviously one good brother!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Memorial Day

Memorial Day ... full of fun, food, friendship and lots of swimming. So blessed to have friends who include us in their family holidays! Here's a few shots from the day -
all three of our kiddos LOVE the water!