Monday, March 31, 2008

Thanks Danielle!

A huge thanks to Danielle who somehow took a few short emails and a digital scrapbook kit and redesigned my blogspot ~ exactly as I had imagined!!! She is a mind reader and so creative with the graphics!

If you are considering "redo" of your blog ~ contact Danielle. Not only does she do a great job at a great price... she donates much of her proceeds to adoption focused charities! It's win-win for everyone!!!

Her link is at the bottom of my sidebar for those interested!

Thanks again Danielle - I am very happy with the new look!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I am trying to figure out digital scrapbooking...

I can only make basic designs so far. I have a bunch of "elements" ... but I just don't know what software puts them together the best. If anyone out there has suggestions about software for digital scrapbooking... please leave a comment! Thanks!

Until then a few BASIC photos...

Night Time is the Right Time

I don't know what it is about these two littles... but they seem at their best in the evenings! They love... I'll repeat that for emphasis... they love bath time!!! They love getting their pjs on and soaking themselves head to toe in baby lotion... and they love getting their hair done with the blow dryer! But most of all... they love mommy's special smelling good stuff in the blue bottle (Aveda Hair Gloss) that I spray on their hair when all is done! It smells so GOOD!!!!!

Then they play and giggle until it is bed time!!!
Notice the cold weather pajamas are out of hiding... the beginning of winter is upon us in the capital city of Australia! YEAH!!! I love winter!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Daily Dose of Photos

New Blog Name ~ Simply Family

I have changed the name of our blog to "Simply Family". We are quite simply just a family and this blog is a log of our day to day story!

I have also been working toward a new look for the last few weeks... it will makes it's debut shortly! Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Our "Normal" Night

Who needs anything else when you have this:

This is our normal night... American Idol is on in the background while the girls play ~ Joe and I begging them to be careful and not hurt themselves! They are both rough and tumble kind of girls!
I feel guilty that the "biggies" aren't in the pictures! But guess what... as they grow up, they find their need and desire to be under mom and dad's feet (and watchful eyes) growing smaller and smaller! One was in the garage lifting weights, one was doing homework on the computer, and one was reading a book in another room ~ these two being a bit too loud for close by book reading!
Side note... We were so sad that Chekezie (have no idea how to spell that) was voted off AI tonight... he was really cool! We all liked him ~ he was Daniel's favorite!!!
Everyone is tucked in and "sawing logs" ... I should be too! Good night!

Have Batteries... Have Photos...

YEAH!!! I bought batteries... tons and tons of batteries... and they are TOO expensive in Australia... but I bought them anyway!

So here are a few pics of Lilli's new do.... she would not let me brush it before I snapped the photos... but she still is too cute for words!!!
The top one is when she spotted Joey home from school! Love the excitement!!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I Believe My Kids Snack on Batteries

I buy batteries every time I go to the store... and still, I have no batteries for my camera or my television remote when I need them! Where do they go? I have decided that my kids either snack on them after I go to bed, or I have a huge rat that is lining her nest with Duracell and EverReady products from my battery drawer!!!

I want to take a picture and post so bad... but my camera is out of operation... because I have no batteries!!!!! Lilli looks so cute... the proud owner of a new "do"!!! We went to the salon (I really typed beauty parlor first... then backspaced because it seemed too old fashion...too "Steal Magnolias!!!) and Abby received a little trim for her bangs only... and Lilli received a full service style! Her hair is beautiful and thick - but had a massive amount of layers on the bottom. The stylist simply cleaned up the back and added a few bangs as Lilli's hand is constantly on her forehead sweeping the hair out of her face.

I must go get batteries NOW so I can share how precious Miss Lilli looks with her new style!

The One on The Journey with Me

I have 4 children in school and 1 taking a nap. I was sitting in my big chair with my feet up thinking... and I decided to post about a very important person that I don't usually post about!

He will probably read this and insist I take it down, but for now... It will be posted for the world to see!

I am about to have a birthday (I don't want to... but I can't stop it!!!) ... which usually at my age, means reflection. My life, so far, has been an amazing journey ~ more than I ever dreamed! Not every second has been easy... but I do treasure every second as it took each and every one to get me to this point!

Some of my life just happens... and some (most??? all???) is a choice. I am amazed everyday that there is one person who has chosen to make the journey with me for over 20 years now... that would be Joe! Now I am telling you that I can come up with some crazy ideas; however, Joe never really bats an eye... he just lets me go, assures that I do not fall and checks that all the legalities are covered! : () )
I won't say that either of us are perfect, but we are a perfect fit! I am blessed to have such a partner in life... and such a great father for our children!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

One Month....

One month ago today, the 24th of February (it is the 24th on this side of the world) we were sitting in a parking lot in Xi'an in the snow waiting for Lilli AnHui. A taxi drove up at exactlty 5pm. It was Lilli. It is really hard to imagine that it was just one month ago... she is doing so amazing! We can't remember her not being in our family... it is like she always was!
Her language skills are increasing exponentially ~ If I wrote all of the words she has mastered, this would be a really long email! A few of the funny ones (remember we have 3 teens teaching her) are "Chill Out", "No Sportscenter. .. Watch a Movie Please", "Go Jeff Gordon" (she watches Nascar with us) "Be Nice","Pancakes Please","Momma Loves Coffee and Lilli loves chocolate", "Ten Minutes" (after being told bed time in 1 minute or 5 minutes), "Come-ma Here", "Help Me Please", "My turn or Abby's turn" and "I love-a you". She can count to 10 and say her ABCs and knows her colors in English... really too much to list! She is pretty amazing - copying everything that Abby does. She loves taking a bath and playing on their playground but her favorite thing is climbing all over her daddy like he is a playground! And... yes, we have another basketball fan!!! She begs to play basketball everyday! She loves it! She also LOVES Dora! She can sing along with the cartoon - "Backpack, Backpack.... "!
Her eating is fine... not as hard as I first thought it was going to be. She loves Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup... but really is a protein girl! She likes meat... any kind of meat! She loves steamed Brocolli and after telling me "Yuck" to carrots... she tried them raw and crunchy and loves them too! She picks out peas and corn from all food... she does not like small things in her food! Too funny to watch! She does like rice but has taken a liking to plain noodles and butter... and will do anything for a fried egg! Her favorite meal so far... stewed chicken! She chowed down!!!! She loved it... "Yummy Momma"!!! She did tell me that Kraft Macaroni and Cheese smells bad! Holding her nose with one hand and waving the other hand in front... I KNEW what she meant!!!
The greatest thing... she is a snuggle bunny! She loves hugs and gives them fairly easy and every morning creeps into my room around 6:30 and climbs into bed and snuggles in close for another good hour of sleep!
Abby and Lilli are finding their way to friendship each day. It was rough the first couple of days... really rough. Neither wanted to acknowledge the other was in the house... I have to admit - even after reading all the books - I was worried. But each day brings them a little closer. They are playing together beautifully and the "tattle factor" is getting smaller and smaller. They are learning that it is fun to have a forever playmate!

We have a ton of Dr visits scheduled for the end of this week. We saw her pediatrician last week who was amazed at how healthy she is - we will see the specialist soon and see what needs to be done to ensure Lilli's health is the best that it can be!
I will keep everyone posted! We are forever thankful for our little Lilli (who has grown 3 centimeters since our visit to the Medical Clinic in Guangzhou) and our entire family... and will be riding off into the sunset complete and happy!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Finding Their Way to Friendship

Each day that passes, the "littles" are finding their way closer to accepting each other. It is much easier for the "oldies" as they understand that an addition to the family in no way jeopardizes their "spot"! The little ones have to learn this over time... We have had a ton of fun this week and each day brings new adventures!

I think it is too funny that Abby tattles on Lilli and Lilli tattles on Abby... in Mandarin! Abby's favorite thing to tattle about is when Lilli slips up and calls me "Ayi" instead of "Momma"! Lilli understands and will quickly correct herself with a "Sorry Momma"! I think Lilli tattled on Abby today for making a face and wearing dirty socks!

All in all, We are amazed at how wonderful Lilli is doing. She is such a funny little girl! She is beautiful and charming and we feel so fortunate to call her our daughter!