Thursday, June 30, 2011

My excuse

Do please excuse my blog neglect lately.

As previously mentioned, I went back to work last week.

And walked back into a nightmare.

Budget woes are at a fever pitch.

Layoffs loom.

and stress is high. Very High.

So, please keep us, and the good people I work with, in your prayers.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

great pic from china

I was going through pictures of our trip to China and I ran across this one...

I assure you, I do not have the skills it would take to photoshop this. It's real.

Taken at Shaolin Temple.

Perhaps this man was a great Kung Fu master in his time. Who knows?

I love the grins on their faces. I love the way the woman is looking at Steve and Grace.

and I love that HAT!

By the way, if you ever happen to be in Henan Province, China... don't miss Shaolin Temple! One of my most favorite excursions that we took.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


There are real advantages to living in New England.

One is... you can hop in a car, drive a mere 2.5 hours... and be in one of the most breathtaking and beautiful places in the country.

Cape Cod.

That is exactly what we did this Father's Day weekend.

I won't bore you with the 350 pictures (no joke) I took this past weekend.

Just a few, or twenty... I'll post here.

Oh what beauty. and I'm not just talking about the view.

This is the beauty I'm talking about.

It's called. Pure. Fatherly. Love.

Happy Father's Day to my one in a million husband.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


It's been four months since this perfect gift from God was placed in my undeserving arms.

You may see in these pictures an outward change in Grace's appearance.

But, I assure's really me that has been changed.

My change, although unseen to most, is more dramatic that the size of Grace's chubby legs or the length of her crazy hair.

My heart will NEVER be the same. Thank God.

Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names.
They are easier to ignore before you see their faces.
It is easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms.
But once you do, everything changes.
~ David Platt

Friday, June 17, 2011

Another school year.

Oh dear.

I'm just not sure what is wrong with me these last few days.

I can't seem to hold it together.

Every little thing is making me cry.

Like the letter sent home from Kailey's Kingergarten teacher to parents' yesterday. Had me weeping in the parking lot as I read it.

or the bus pulling away this morning carrying my 9 year old to his last day of 3rd grade.

or my little four year, carrying his -too big for him- backpack to school on his last day of school.

or watching my littlest shovel a sandwich into her mouth at lunch, eating a banana with a fork, and drinking her milk all by herself from a regular cup.


maybe it's because I see my kids growing faster than I ever thought possible. I know everyone says it. but they do really grow up WAY too fast.

another school year passes. sigh.

maybe, just maybe, my weepiness has to do with the fact TODAY is the end of my time at home with Grace.

After four months of being home... Monday, I go back to being a working Mom.

I love my work. I really, really do. I miss it. I miss my co-workers. I miss my wonky policy friends. and... I can't believe I'm going to say this... but I miss that building I work in with the gold dome!

BUT, I will miss my girl. Grace has the fast forward button pressed and missing one day is like missing two weeks. Her development is progressing so fast. She came home a baby... she is now an almost two year old.

In four months, I have not left her for more than a couple hours... and I think I only did that once. So, next week... well, it's going to be hard.

and here I am crying again.

So, I leave you today with some pictures.

Another school year complete. We started out as a family of five and ended as a family of six.

Can someone PLEASE tell me to how to get these kids to hit the pause button and STOP growing up!

First day of 3rd grade...

Last day of 3rd grade...

First day of Kindergarten...

Last day of Kindergarten...

First day of Pre-K...

Last day of Pre-K...

Four months ago... Gotcha Day...

Four months later...

Yeah. I told you they grow too fast.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Does this little boy look innocent to you?

Let's take a look from a different angle...

Thanks to a friend at church (big shout out of thanks to MP!), this is what Devin looked like Sunday afternoon.

Some of it was done in the pew during Worship.

Most of it was done... while no one was looking... later in the day.

By the way... this did not come of easily. Who makes stamps for kids that aren't washable?

Does he look innocent now?

Where was this child's mother when all this was happening? Geesh!

My conclusion based on the last post and this one...

we need to keep a better on eye on these little ones.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Queen of the Bunk

Every time I hear Grace say "Mama" my heart grows in size. Even if she is saying to everyone.... because she does... say it to everyone. Oh well. I love to hear her say it anyway.

So, when I stood in the kitchen yesterday afternoon and heard her very loudly calling me from the other room... "Mama, Mama, Mama"... as any good mother would... I went in to respond.

and what did I find?

Grace sitting, very proudly, on Braden's bed.

Braden's bed is the TOP BUNK!!!!

I should have known this was coming. The day before she called "Mama, uh oh, Mama uh oh" and I found her standing on the second step of the ladder, stuck.

So, when I found her 6 feet off the floor on the bed, leaning over the railing... my immediate reaction was to tell her NO! and take her down from the top bunk before she fell over the edge and broke her neck.

But, after, I realized that I missed a GREAT picture. DARN!

So, because the title of Mother of the Year was lost to me years ago. I did what any good blogging mother would do.

I told her to climb again, so I could capture the moment on film.

She looked at me like... "but you just told me know NO"?!


... but can you do it just one more time so I can take a picture?

Then... NO! don't do it again.

Yeah, I know. I told you I wouldn't win mother of the year.

So, my brave, strong girl climbed.

and climbed.

and climbed.

Stepped over the edge...

and stood OH SO PROUDLY on the top of the bed.

Her gross motor skills seem to be developing just fine. Wouldn't you say?

Friday, June 3, 2011

6 weeks post-op update

I can't believe it has already been six weeks since Grace's palate repair.

I have no idea what it's supposed to look like in there... but it looks GREAT to me! There is a little tiny hole right where the hard palate meets the soft palate... but it doesn't actually look like a hole, more like an indentation. The surgeon thinks that it will close on it's own.


We started feeding Grace some chunky foods yesterday... still soft, but chunky. She is LOVING it!

Only problem. She refuses to eat herself. She wants to be fed.

She's no dummy. She knows it's easier to be fed. AND she gets MORE attention.

Like the girl doesn't get enough attention! :)

The last couple days she has started to say just a few words... a LOT of repeating sounds. or at least she is trying to repeat sounds. They don't always come out right, but she sure is trying!

We are hoping slowly but surely the words will come. There is NO DOUBT she understands everything we are saying. Which is just amazing considering she has only been hearing English for 3 1/2 months.

In about a month she will see the surgeon again, as well as the speech and language pathologist. She will also have her hearing re-tested to make sure the tubes that were inserted at the time of the palate repair have helped to improve her mild hearing loss.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Daddy and his girls

Before the Memorial Day Parade.

Unfortunately, they weren't able to show off their patriotic colors... the parade was rained out.

But we have BIG plans for the Fourth of July so those cutie outfits won't go unseen!