Sunday, November 28, 2010


Has it really been 4 days?
Thank you Mary and Brian for hosting Thanksgiving. We can't believe that it has been a year that Shaelee and Lexi have been home! I have been hoping for a year that our girls would talk to each other, and here is a picture of them smiling together in your kitchen. Quinn and Brady were trying to break the wishbone, and Ms Emily actually won!
Lexi finally held Claire's hand! Claire is still talking about it. Took us a full year to win that trust, but Mr Jeff got a hug the first night....
Thankful for our cabin. We woke up to snow. Not snow like in MN, but a dusting. To quote my dear grandfather, it was only "spitting snow."
Thankful for Shaelee, Lexi, Sienna and Kit...all home from China.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

When you work in retail, you have to plan ahead. Otherwise, the meaning of Christmas can get lost somewhere between taking care of the shoppers and taking care of how the family celebrates the holiday. We usually don't set up the tree this early, but I was inspired by a few things. Last weekend Shaelee and I saw snow...and lots of it. And this weekend, our friend Ms Mary told me that she had her house decorated already. So, Ralph got down the boxes and the 2 biggest kids helped to decorate the tree. We had a great time, as did the little one's celebrating in the backyard. Wish I knew what had Vincent so excited!

I was telling Quinn that when he was about 3, he was beyond fascinated by the tree. We told him that he could look, but not to go onto the hardwood floor. More than once we heard the crash of an ornament, only to find Quinn looking at the tree from the tile. Clearly not on the hardwood floor. He was just too cute standing there with a big grin on his face. I think he thought that he was pulling one over on us, but the truth was, he had such a good time checking out that tree, that a few ornaments on the ground were a small price to pay.

This Sunday our Pastor gave us some interesting statistics. 26% of gifts received aren't really wanted. 41% of gifts are lost or broken by April of the following year. And that $40 would feed an orphan in Africa for a full year. The kid's have all agreed to give up one present to feed an orphan for a year. Of course one of them wanted to "see" the present and give up the least favorite. Had to redirect that thought process!

Anyway, it was great getting the tree set up, the Christmas cards ordered, and 98% of the Christmas shopping complete....

Christmas is our favorite time of the year! Thankful that our children understand the reason for this very special season.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

So proud of you William Quinn

Quinn, we are so proud of you!
He made the AYSO All Star Team for our town....
Dad and I are not so athletically inclined. So excited for you. Not sure of all of the logistics, but we will figure it out. We love you soccer boy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shaelee and Sienna

What a very special weekend for Shaelee and Mom. We had the honor of being able to attend Shaelee's best buddy, Sienna's Dedication. I am always amazed at the love these little ones have for each other. I am sure that neither of them could have imagined, a year ago, how much their lives would change. Within about a month of each other, these girls were both dedicated to the Lord, and I hope that someday they remember that they were, as it should be, there for each other.

Shaelee and I are also a bit in awe of all of the snow that we saw. For the girls from AZ, this was a rare treat, to see so much snow falling at once. We are so grateful that we did not have to do much driving, and that Ms D took care of all of the snow gear so that Shaelee could enjoy the weather with her friends Sienna, Ainsley and Ruby.

Thankful for a special weekend with special friends.

PS Somehow, I got home with pictures of bedposts, pillows, the floor, and many other very blurry objects. Not sure what happened to the Dedication pictures, but I did manage to salvage about 20 pictures from the day before. (:
Thank you D and J

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

One Year Ago

One year ago, a brave little girl walked gamely into the Hunan Civil Affairs office. She was clutching a bag of fruit. She had the sweetest little face. I remember trying to pick her up, and she just fell apart. It was just so much for a 4 year old to take in. She was leaving a foster family that she clearly loved. That foster family did the most amazing job. They took such good care of her, they loved her, and I am convinced, that they did all that they could to help with our little girl's transition to her forever family. Shaelee is such a joyful child with a sunny disposition. We are all a bit smitten with this peanut. She was talking about China last week. She remembers her first days with us. We remember how quick she was to bond with her big sister Claire while in China. Now, she hugs us and tells us "I love all of the family." And we love her to pieces right back. It doesn't seem possible that it was a year ago today that we first met our little daughter. Time has just flown by! But what a difference a year makes. Love you sweet girl.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Christmas Pictures....NOT, but we tried!

Today, we tried twice to take our Christmas pictures. We got up at the crack of dawn and our friend Barb, was here to take pictures at 8:30am. Well, that didn't work, even though we tried. Then we went back to the park right at dusk, we got some great pictures, well 1, but behind the kids were huge power lines! So, we'll start over after Thanksgiving. So much for organization! But we all laughed at the top picture of Quinn yawning! The other's are a little photo challenged as well. It's tough to get a picture with 5 children all looking good! So this is our blooper pic!

But we had a great time, feeding the ducks, riding the train, and being silly. I think these kids are cute as can be. Take it for what it is worth, from a really proud Mom.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Today is my Birthday! Shaelee is 5

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Today our peanut turned 5. One year ago today, we were China bound, anxiously awaiting our new daughter. She spent 4 years in China with a special friend named Sienna. Today, they are both home, and today, Shaelee is 5, just like her best buddy!
I didn't really notice Quinn's team number until today, it just screamed at me! #5!!!
Happy Birthday Ms Shealee.
Thank to Ms Lexi(and Family) for joining our breakfast party....we all give new meaning to "Party of 5"....
Thank you Ammie and Papa, and Grandpa and Grandma, Aunt Carrie, Aunt Kim and Uncle Chris....
And to Tung Tung for remembering that Nadi loves Hello Kitty....
What a wonderful day!