Friday, October 11, 2013

Spider Big Shoes

I just have to write these here...if I don't they just very well may get forgotten. And these are just too cute to ever forget.

Grace-ism #1:  while walking through the house looking for me, Steve or anyone else she often says...

 "Mommy, where you are?"

I'll be very sad the day she realizes she has those two little words reversed.


Grace-sim #2:  Running in from outside she declares excitingly to Steve...

"Daddy, there is Spider Big Shoes on the slide, it is VERY scary!"   

Steve replies "do you mean a Daddy Long Legs?"   :-)

Spider Big Shoes are very scary sorts of spiders you know.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

little toes

My sweet daughter is very protective of her little toes. 

She wouldn't let them touch grass. 

She especially protected them from sand.

August 2011

(I know I'm mean for smiling)

and even when covered in boots, tried to keep them out of snow.

 (and mean taking a picture instead of rescuing her)

 Little by little.  Step by baby step.

She is letting her little toes get a taste of the funny texture of grass, snow and, last but not least, sand.

Grace is 3 years and 9 months old.  On Sunday, she played in the sand at the beach for the first time. 

This morning, she says "I have fun at beach.  I play in sand.  and in water" 

She didn't play in the water. Whe wouldn't even go near it.  But that's ok... she thinks she did.  Maybe next time, or next year, or whenever she feels comfortable.

(notice tight grip on Daddy and pulling her little toes away from the water)

We will be here when she does.  and we will celebrate with her.  Every little step she makes.  There is no rush, because we are forever.

Sunday, June 30, 2013


I have a secret.  A big one.

The kids have NO idea.

I'm not even sure I have told my friends and family (because we are so afraid our secret will get accidently revealed) and it seems my kids ARE ALWAYS around when I talk to them. 

It's coming up in two weeks.

Hopefully the kids don't read this blog. 

Here's a little hint. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

End of School Year Random Thoughts

Random thoughts whining...

For the love of all things good and evil…

PLEASE do not ask me to remember ONE MORE THING.

My brain is on complete overload.

In the past two days… we received FIVE invitations to end of year parties. I love parties and all. But how am I supposed to get my kids to all of these parties?!

Two of them are swim parties, for the two kids in my house that don’t yet swim. Which means, I think I have to attend IN A BATHING SUIT and make sure they don’t drown.

If one more baseball game gets rained out and pushed to the next day… I’m going to jump in the swollen river down the street.

Now is the time of year for...

...field days (which means sunscreen needs to be applied before school and water bottles filled)
...dress like a series book character day… requires makeup and a costume.
...sports day… every one trying to find their favorite sporting equipment to bring to school 3 minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.

"Mom, can you drive me… my golf clubs don’t fit on the bus".



"Mom, I need black pants, and a white shirt, and I can’t find my belt, and my shoes don’t fit"

Library books lost…. Pay the fines.  I'm convinced that I, and my dear children, are not responsible enough to take out books from the libary. 

"Mom can you cook 20 potatoes and cut onions for the Civil War encampment at school?".

6 year old's special week at school… supposed to bring in snack. I forgot. Promised 6 year old "I WON'T forget tomorrow".

I forgot.

"Mom, I can’t find any socks to wear". Yeah, that cause 5 loads of clean laundry are sitting in baskets unfolded. Go search for some.

I believe the hermit crabs haven’t been fed in two weeks. I gave them water. Hopefully that’s enough to sustain them.

I just do not understand why kids need to eat three meals (and several snacks) a day? I can't keep up with that right now.

It has rained 10 inches in the last week. Our failing septic system doesn't like it one bit. Nothing like shop-vac'ing dirty rain water from the basement floor at 3am.

Do I sound like I am whining?  Yeah, maybe I am.

School's out in t-minus 12 days. That means, I gain a stay-at-home husband for a couple months too! 

So, I'll be back to my normal, cheerful and not so forgetful self, by July 1. 


Tuesday, June 11, 2013


There are moments in life when things just really hit you... straight in the face. This was one of them. 

Grace had her preschool graduation last week.  I say "graduation"... she isn't really graduating anything, she returns next year for another year, but it's the end of the year and if they want to dress all the kids up in cute tee-shirts and sing awesome songs for all of us weeping parents, call it Graduation... call it whatever you want.  It sure makes us parents happy and proud.

You first need to know, or maybe be reminded (since I haven't wrote on the blog in -  GASP - five months) that Grace started off the year in preschool not talking to anyone.  Not saying a word.  Quiet as a church mouse (which, as those that sit around us in church can attest, she is NOT)... but at school that is how they knew her. 

She would go to speech therapy.  And not talk.  At. All.

So much for speech therapy.

Then something happened sometime in December.  and the switch was flipped. 

and now she is known as "Miss Chatterbox".

I digress. 

So, the awesome teachers somehow managed to teach these little tikes FIVE songs.  How they get these kids to sing five songs... I have no idea.  These teachers truly are AMAZING! 

The last song is about to start.  It's titled "Miracle". Grace is in the center, one of the littlest ones, with black hair and pink crocs.   :)

In case you have trouble catching the words, they go something like this. 

I have hands, I have hands,
Watch me clap, watch me clap.
Oh, what a miracle am I.
I have feet, I have feet,
Watch me stamp, watch me stamp.
Oh, what a miracle am I.
Oh, what  miracle, oh, what a miracle
Every little part of me.
I'm something special, so very special,
There's nobody quite like me.

Let me just tell you.  I cried.  I CRIED.  almost an ugly cry. 

Because Grace is a MIRACLE.  As are all these kids, but we often forget it. 

And I think of her birth, and the two days that followed her birth, and her first 17 months... and cry. cry. cry.  Miracle.

The day before, a news report surfaced about a little newborn baby saved from a sewage pipe in China.  and all I could think about while I watched "Miracle" was Grace, and this little baby 1/2 way around the world, and all the other Miracles out there... without Moms and Dads. 

and now I'm crying again.

Friday, February 22, 2013

First moments

If you look close at these pictures...  you can see it all on my face.

You can see months of worry.

You can see fear.

You can see worry.

Most of all you can see RELIEF.  Relief that she was finally in my arms.

and maybe, most of all, you can see the love.

We were quite blessed, Steve and I.  It isn't this way for everyone.  But for us... it was LOVE at Very. First.Sight.

And you can see it in these picture.

Maybe not in Grace's face.

That took a few months.

But in mine.  and Steve's.

There really will never, can never, be any words that can describe that moment.

Those moments.  Those first minutes.  Hours.  Days.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

2nd Gotcha Anniversary!

It's been 2 year years since that amazing day in China when we became a family of six.

Here is a a little never before seen video of Gotcha Day.   

Grace was stone silent.  And she really stayed like that way for a good 7 days or more.

Trust me when I say she is NOT stone silent anymore!

She was so stinkin' sick.  fever.  terrible cough.  and who knows what else.  So sick.

(long bus ride home... she fell asleep and was BURNING UP with fever)

I remember reading and talking to people before we left... so many parents get their children in their arms and the first thing they want to do is rip off their clothes, give them a bath and put on new clothes.

But, that's pretty much the worst thing you can do.  Just think about it... would you want your clothes ripped off by complete strangers moments after meeting them?

I knew we weren't going to make that mistake!

Ummmm.  Yeah.  Wrong I was.

As soon as we got back to our hotel room (After the LONGEST bus ride back to the hotel) we ripped off Grace's clothes so fast! Layer after layer came off.

She was SO HOT!  She must have had a fever of a 104 at the time with 5 layers of clothes on.

Oh well.  Nothing like a making things even more traumatic for her.  But, we had to do it.

So here's a picture of then and now.

She continues to amaze us   And we will NEVER stop thanking God for blessing us with her.  We are so undeserving of these four children in our lives.  Each of them so very special in their very own way.


Click here if you want to watch the First Anniversary Gotcha Day video from last year.

And click here if you want to read about Gotcha Day.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Memory Lane Day 1

I'm going to try to tell some stories about our trip from two years ago that I never wrote about before.    Some may be silly.  Some more serious.   Honestly, as the time passes, memories fad... and I just want to make sure somehow I have documented as much as I possibly can remember.

Let's see how it goes.

I'm a total control freak.  When we travel places... I really like  need to be in charge of things.

I had a bit of a dilemma this trip.   In our carry-on bags were two very important things.

A laptop... our way of communicating with everyone back home while we were away.... The blog....Skype.  It was very important to me.

And all of the important documents we needed to finalize the adoption.    Obviously also very important!

Putting both in the same backpack was not an option... to heavy.  Which meant I had to put the laptop in one backpack and the documents in the other.

Which meant, I couldn't carry both.  I had to trust my husband with one of these bags.

But which?

I literally lost sleep over this.  Not kidding.

and I KNOW you all think I'm nuts.  Steve is wonderful.  He would never lose one of these important items.  I know this.  But... I just couldn't let it go.

In the end....

I carried the documents.  He carried the laptop.  It never mattered... OF COURSE he didn't lose anything.

So there you have it.  I'm not sure Steve has ever heard that story... or realized I obsessed that much.  Hope he isn't offended.  :)

Total jetlag... trying to eat dinner the first night in China.  I literally think I fell asleep while eating.

Starbucks.  oh yes.  Starbucks.  and... while food was super cheap in China.  A Starbucks coffee was not.  Which means one coffee = same price as dinner.    It was worth it.

Here is the post from our first 1/2 day in China - two years ago.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Grace-ism #1

I should write these down as they happen or I will never remember.

So, here it is...

Grace-ism #1.

When Grace isn't a little upset with someone she will say "I not happy with you".

When she is REALLY upset with EVERYONE and just generally being a big ole grump she says....


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Trip down memory lane... wanna come?

Today marks two years since Steve and I boarded that plane at the Newark airport and took off on a journey that was JUST THE BEGINNING of a the journey of a lifetime.

I'm not talking about just the trip to China.  Sure, that was a journey of lifetime.  But, really those two weeks were just the very beginning.

Two years.

Two years ago we met this little girl in the Newark airport and her Mom.

Who knew these two would become such important people in our lives.  Lara, you are such a blessing to me... one I never expected, but God sure blessed me that day in the Newark airport when I heard you say "SOPHIE"!  

and... we boarded that LONG flight, where they served burritos in the middle of the night, or was it the day?  and I was stuck in the middle seat, next a guy that slept the WHOLE time, and I could barely move.  and it was not fun.

I think I am going to try to write about these memories over the next two weeks... how I remember them now... and how they shaped where we are today.

Wanna come along?

Thursday, January 31, 2013


Cute short story...

Steve often does this little thing with the kids.  He'll say at dinner...

"Raise you hands if you want some cookies?"

and the whole crew raises their hands high and says "ME!"

"Raise your hands if you love your Mommy"

and the whole crew raises their hands high and says "ME""

"Raise you hands if you want to".... every time it's something different.

Last night, as it does often, China was mentioned in a conversation and sort of quietly Grace says "I from China".

Steve says "Raise you hand if you are from China"

Grace practically jumps out of her chair, stretches her hand as high as it will go and most assuredly and proudly says


and then she says

"Not Braden, Not Kailey, Not Devin, JUUUUSSTTTT ME!"

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Can't think of a title

I've had several moments over the last couple weeks that I have tried hard to remember what life was like with three kids... without our Miss Spunky Pants around. 

I cannot remember.

I remember sitting in Starbucks talking to our dear friends about adoption... all the fears, realities and joy that it could be. 

I remember hiding in the basement talking to adoption agency representatives about the different options available to us, long before Steve really agreed to it.  :)  

and I remember us making that decision to move forward with the adoption.

I remember the months of worry. 

I remember the pain of having her there, and us here for FIVE LONG MONTHS. 

But, I don't actually remember our house with only three kids. 

It's been almost two years since we traveled to China.   There are parts of that trip that I remember with all the details like I lived it yesterday... and parts that are fading quickly from my memory.   Sadly.

Grace is beginning to talk about China...  just repeating the things we have said to her.  On Christmas she told a family friend "Mama, Dada and Grace went to China", and she often recalls that "Dada tickle my neck in China" (which is a "memory" from a picture that hangs in her bedroom).

We have also pulled out of her closet the clear plastic bags that have her clothes from the day we met her.  She looks with much interest... and then looks at the picture of her, me and Steve on Gotcha Day (our very first moments together).   One evening she looked up at the picture from Gotcha Day and said "Grace sad" and "Grace not like that picture".  

I have no idea if she has memories from that day, I suppose it's possible.   But, either way... she looks at the picture and knows she was sad.  I'm torn as to whether to keep that picture up or take it down. 

I know questions are going to start come soon.  and I'm just not ready to answer them.