Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas 2007

Guitar Hero!

Trace was feeling really gyped by Santa for a few minutes until Daddy noticed something hiding beside the tv. The one thing we had just about convinced him he wouldn't be getting!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Quick Update

Sorry it's been so long! The Christmas rush hasn't allowed me much time for posting (or picture taking for that matter!). My parents came out last week to celebrate Christmas with us. We've been shopping and baking and wrapping gifts like crazy people! Yesterday we made gingerbread houses with the kids. They lasted just long enough to pile their houses in candy then start eating them! I think we are all set for Christmas and I will try to post as soon as I get a chance after the mayhem!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Let It snow, let it snow, let it snow!

We went to bed last night to the beginning of the first major snowfall of the season. We awoke this morning to a beautiful winter wonderland! About 3-4 inches total. The boys were in my room at 7:15 dressed, breakfasted and ready to go out. I made them wait until 7:30 then let them go. They "helped" Rick shovel the driveway, rolled around in the snow and made snowballs before comming in for a brownie and warm apple cider. Then it was off to the bus for Trace while Caden and Paige and I went out to finish the shoveling. I guess winter has officially arrived!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Another quick video

Now that I know how to do this I'm having all kinds of fun! Trace was watching a Bionicle music video and Paige was just going to town. I managed to set the camera on the counter with out her noticing and Rick and I were trying not to laugh! It was hysterical to watch her! Enjoy...

Dancing Paige

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Paige 21 months

Paige 21 months

I'm learning how to post video here. I took this yesterday as a practice since everything else I had was pretty outdated! Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Did You Know; Shift Happens

I thought this was pretty amazing.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Midwest weather men, can't predict a thing!

Abby and Allie (in the street) came over to play. Kaitlyn (pink boots) and Brandon (red coat) joined us from next door and Casey (green coat) is Caden's buddy from down the street.

We were supposed to get 3 inches on Thanksgiving - but about 9pm Thanksgiving night they finally decided we wouldn't. Then they said we'd get a few flurries possibly Monday night. These pictures were taken Sunday afternoon. Needless to say the kids were extatic and drug out all the snow gear which is now strewn throughout my house! Rick was less than thrilled as he was attempting to re-create the Christmas light display from last year in the freezing temperatures!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Gobble, gobble, gobble

We had a very laid back Thanksgiving this year. Originally the plan was to spend the day with our neighbors but things changed and we were on our own. So we rented some movies, fixed dinner and just hung out together. Caden had a lesson in turkey carving 101 with Daddy. Trace helped me get out our good china for the first time ever. It has been on our closet shelf (one after the other) since the day we got married and never used! I decided that I couldn't figure out what I was saving it for so out it came to make our day special. Of course with all the "must-have" foods we had more than two families of five could have eaten, but everyone had a favorite and I didn't want to skimp just because we were by ourselves.

Trace has been dying all week to go shopping Friday morning. I think he was convinced maybe they'd be giving away PS2 games or something. He managed to talk me into going out but not before 7am! There is nothing I wanted that badly! We managed to get Paige's large item and I told Trace he can't mention it to Caden because I might be helping Santa out by getting it. That confused him a little as to why Santa would need my help and how he talked to me. I just gave him my standard answer, "I don't know, some things we don't ask questions about." I also managed to get a few other items including a big one for Rick and one Trace has wanted for quite a while that was a really good deal. Rick went back out with the boys a little bit ago and I think I'm going to put Paige down for a nap and start putting up decorations. Next weekend we'll probably be getting the tree up! 'Tis the season, only 31(?) days left until Christmas.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The "Playroom"

When I get tired of cleaning I tend to just re-arrange. So yesterday, tired of living in a "show" house and tired of cleaning I decided to get creative. The hard part is that there is no wall between our "family" room and "living" room, it is just one long room with two separate carpet squares. Well now we have all the furniture on one side and toys on the other. It might look strange but at least we all have a seat now to watch tv and Paige now has toys to keep her entertained.
Trace and I spent Sunday afternoon in the emergency room. I wasn't able to find an urgent care and the hospital has something similar attached to their ER. So we sat there for what seemed like forever to find out that yes, he has a horrible case of strep throat. No school for 48 hours! Yes, 48! Ugh. Since there is no school Wednesday that means he is out of school for a whole week! Again, ugh. It is going to be a long week since it is too cold/wet to be outside and they are predicting snow for Thanksgiving day. Isn't motherhood fun?

Friday, November 16, 2007


Sandy and Hannah are on their way home! Apparently Condeleesa Rice and Sandy's senator were instrumental in getting it taken care of. Isn't it amazing what a few thousand prayers and almost as many phone calls can do?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Urgent Prayer Request

I wanted to leave our anniversary post at the top but this situation is far more important right now. Please spread this to anyone you can.

A family left for China a over a week ago to adopt their new daughter. After the adoption was complete the father passed away unexpectedly of complications from diabetes. Normally all this family would have left to do is pick up the child's visa and return home. However since the mother's "marital status" has changed the US Consulate is refusing to issue the child's visa. They are telling her she must re-apply - a process that can take months. In the meantime this child has nowhere to go. This mother is from Michigan if you feel led to write/call her senators or representatives. Condeleesa Rice's office has been notified and are aware of the situation as well. Please send up your prayers for intervention on this mother's behalf. She is going through so much right now and just needs to get home with her family. Tell all the prayer warriors you know about this situation and let's bring Hannah home!

Monday, November 12, 2007

One Year.

One year. One year. Already? Our final post placement visit is scheduled for Wednesday. Final. That's it. Done. Wow!

Someone recently asked me what the best part about adopting has been. I didn't know how to answer right away. Adopting is such an amazing and sureal experience and for a long time that was my focus. I loved "showing off" my beautiful baby girl and dressing her all up. I loved that we had "adopted" and was so proud of it. I still am. But I find myself beginning to realize what so many in the adoption community have said all along. This is just our family. Paige was adopted as in past tense. Adoption is a verb not a adjective. It is a one time act, not a description of someone. How she joined our family is special, but no more special than how her brothers joined our family. We are a family, complete. Two boys and a girl.

The day Paige was handed to us I remember thinking all day long how I wanted to remember every second. I wanted to make it last as long as possible. I knew it was finally our moment. We were handed an overdressed little bundle whose lip quivered a tad. Moments later her daddy won her first big smile! When we were back in our room and just looking at her on the bed (wondering what to do) Rick said in his best sing-song baby voice, "what was I thinking? Why did I want another baby?". Paige looked up at him and gave him her biggest, cheesiest grin yet. And he simply said, "that's why." Yes, that is why. Why we filled out paper after paper, and went through one background check after another. Why we endured the long wait that we never thought would end. Why we traveled half way around the world to love a baby we'd only seen a picture of and who needed us as much as we needed her. Those smiles that melt your heart, listening to her babbling in her crib in the morning, watching her play with Daddy, seeing her grow and change right before our eyes! That's why.

I prayed for Paige long before she was born. I still pray for her. She will have challenges to face in her life that I can't imagine. I know she will also wonder about her birth and the circumstances surounding it. I pray that she won't feel an emptiness inside but that she will know without any doubt that she is right where God wanted her to be all along.

There is an ancient Chinese proverb that is frequently used in the adoption community. " An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time or place or circumstance. The thread may streach or tangle but will never break." I've finally decided though that our red thread doesn't go directly from Paige's heart to ours because God is holding it tightly in the middle! Our beautiful baby girl has changed our lives and we will never be the same again.


"Never doubt, for one single minute

You didn't grow under my heart but

in it."

Friday, November 09, 2007

Just Reflecting a Little...

I've spent a lot of time in the last couple of weeks reflecting on where we were exactly a year ago. In fact one year ago today we were on an airplane bound for Beijing and our baby girl! I can't begin to describe the feelings it stirs up. In some ways it is just like your child's first birthday and it makes you long to do it all again. It goes by too fast! One year. In that time she has left the only home she ever knew, and all that was familiar. She has learned to trust new people, speak a new language (quite well), and adapt to new surroundings. She's gone from loving congee and steamed egg to loving chicken nuggets and scrambled eggs! Paige's language has exploded, she's learned to walk and run and she's traveled the United States. So much has changed and yet so much hasn't. Paige is still our happy little girl. The one everyone in China referred to as "Happy Paige". She is still tiny - wearing 12 month clothes at 20 months! And she still has the most mischievous and beautiful brown eyes I've ever seen! Will we do it again? Sadly, no. The wait time for a healthy baby has increased to nearly 4 years right now with no sign of it lowering any time in the foreseeable future. Financially it isn't feasible. But most importantly, our family is complete and we know it. Would I recommend adoption to anyone considering it? ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY!!! YES! I wish we had done it sooner. It changed our lives and it changed who we are. We have got to be the luckiest parents ever. I'll have more to post on Tuesday - our one year celebration of completing our family!

Fun with the neighbors

Last Sunday Jordan had his birthday party. They had over 20 kids in the backyard and the flag football game spilled over into our yard too. Jordan's dad was a riot in his referee jersey and whistle (which prooved a valuable tool when trying to maintain control of that many boys!). Fortunately it was a beautiful day - clear and crisp. Later that evening we went over to watch Meet the Robinsons. Paige and Brandon look nice and cozy on the little princess couch! I think Santa might bring one for Paige. We will miss having friends live next door if our house ever sells. I love having our yards open and all the kids running around. One afternoon I looked out and there were nine or ten kids in my backyard. I could name all but one though! Just couldn't tell you where they all live.

Little Miss Muffit

These are just a couple of cute ones of Paige. In the first one she is eating raisins out of Rick's old Navy hat. When she asked for the raisins I went to get a bowl but she held the hat up. I had just washed it so why not? Lucy is watching over her in the background. In the other it is pretty obvious! Just too tired to finish that mac-n-cheese, and it was only 11:00!

Halloween Fun

We had a pretty uneventful Halloween around here. As mid-west custom dictates we trick-or-treated between the hours of 4 & 7. Paige was pretty brave at first but as soon as she realized what was in the bag she didn't want to go to the doors anymore. She just wanted to sit in the stroller with a death grip on that bag! It was hysterical! Caden made it twice as far this year as he did last year - thank you therapy! When all was said and done they made a haul big enough for ten kids! I still managed to have them in bed by 8:00 too.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

School pictures and others...

When I realized that school pictures were going to cost us, at minimum, $50 this year for both boys I decided to give it a try myself. So I draped a black blanket over a chair and snapped away. These are the results and I don't think they are too bad if I do say so myself! Of course Paige was right there in the middle of things! On the day I did Trace I also took our Christmas card picture (but you can't see that one yet!) which is why Paige is in her Christmas dress. If anyone needs a copy that they can't get off of here just e-mail me and I'll send them!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Our mini vacation

Well, we took a quick trip to Vancouver last weekend. Everyone was feeling a bit homesick and it was also Trace's 9th birthday so we decided it was as good a time as any. Fortunately we had no trouble with flights and were able to get on our first choices each direction! Since it was such a short trip we didn't do much visiting and just tried to keep it low key. The kids had a blast hanging out with Nana and Papa, carving pumpkins with their cousins, and going out to Beaches for lunch after church! Of course it was hard to leave and I was the first one in tears (when we left Woody and Cheryl's!), but we are making some strides toward moving back. Please pray for Rick as he works to change his career direction.
Also, I've been playing around with the blog again so hang in there with me as I try to make some changes - you may log on and find it looks quite strange but trust me, I'm working on it!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My newest hobby

After spending $2-4 each on bows for Paige I finally figured out how to make them myself. I buy the cheap ribbon and the barrettes are 12 for $1.50! They are amazingly easy to make too. Since I've also mastered bibs I've debated making a business and calling it Bibs-n-Bows!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Camping fun...

Well we made it through our final camping adventure of the year. Unfortunately we only made two since we were so busy driving around the US all summer! Anyway, we went with two neighbor families out to a teeny tiny town in the middle of NOWHERE! We drove on the freeway for almost an hour then headed out into the corn fields. We went through some of the littlest and most isolated towns I've ever seen. They looked just like you'd imagine a small mid-western town might look. The old houses were so cool and there we some of the most beautiful churches out there with spires rising above everything. Well we finally found the campground at the end of the road (literally) and got settled in. It was a nice campground with big spaces and lots of trees. Since it was the last weekend of the year they'd be open they celebrated Halloween. Complete with decorating contests, a haunted house, trick or treating and a dance. Now when you plan your kid's Halloween costume you usually think about how to make it warm - especially in the mid-west. Unfortunately trick-or-treating a few weeks early can be a problem for this. We had 90 degree weather all weekend!!! With about 90% humidity on top. The kids were dying in their costumes. Caden was a Seattle Seahawk, Trace is wearing Rick's old karate uniform and Paige is a fluffy, furry ladybug! By the time we returned to our campsite Trace had his whole shirt open in the front, Caden had lost his helmit and jersey and Paige had on nothing but shorts! It was one of those weekends where you give up trying not to sweat or be too hot, you just couldn't do anything but stand there dripping. We all had a great time though and managed to get packed up seconds before the rain started. Now that we are home Rick and I washed down the trailer and Suburban and I get to spend the next few days getting the inside ready for winter. Fun, fun, fun.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Chuck E Cheese, Chinese Moon Fest & Mia

It's been a busy couple of days around here. Since the boys birthday's aren only six weeks apart and they both wanted a Chuck E Cheese party we split the difference and had a joint party on the 28th. It turned out really well and they had an absolute blast. Then, since we completely forgot Chinese Moon Fest on Tuesday we finally celebrated on Friday night with friends. It was a short, uneventful event with a fire and some moon pies. Today we had the fun of getting to see Mia again. We met Mia and her parents in China and traveled with them. Since we haven't seen them in almost a year it was fun to catch up and see the girls together. Mia is only ten days older than Paige and their size difference is pretty funny. Paige is little for her age and Mia is big but both are healthy, beautiful girls!