Monday, December 31, 2007

My Favorite Photos of 2007

Happy New Year!
And Happy Birthday to me!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas Pictures

Abby's first dollhouse

Ironing the baby blankets

It takes lots of concentration to open gifts the right way!

There's one more present under here!

It's clothes!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Four Tickets To Christmas

Last fall, I saw an advertisement for auditions for a Christmas play. I thought it might be fun, so I went. Then, I convinced Billy to audition as well. A couple weeks later, we learned that we were to play the main couple, Henry and Lucille. My sister, her husband, and their son also got parts in the play.

The play was called "Four Tickets to Christmas." A brief synopsis of the play:
This dramatic musical grows out of a captivating story set in 1905. When a touring musical family finds no place to go for Christmas, they return to their grandparents' farm in northern Ohio. There they are forced to deal with longstanding conflicts. In the process they learn the importance of following God's unique direction for their lives. New songs and familiar carols are woven together with a turn-of-the-century flavor appropriate for the era.

We had a couple of months of practices and our performances were on December 14 and 15. It was fun to do something different and meet new people. Some of these pictures are small. If you click on them, you can enlarge them.

Henry and the Chorus

The Lamplighter Trio

Singing the title song

In the barn, "practicing"

Luke, the farm hand, singing to "Mary and Baby Jesus" played by Abby!

Our own little "Mary"

The whole cast

There is already talk of doing it again next year, with a bigger chorus and more stage sets. I'm glad I'll have several months off before doing it again!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

This Just In!

Posted on the CCAA website:
"The CCAA has finished the review of the adoption application documents registered with our office before October 31, 2006. "

What does this mean? Our dossier has passed inspection and has not required any additional information! We are officially ready for adoption.

But, we still wait. The CCAA has referred through December 14, 2005 as of the beginning of December 2007. There are A LOT of LIDs between December 15 and October 9. 298 if my math is correct.

But since they're only getting a few days done at a time, it looks like our referral will be late 2009 or early 2010. That's a couple more years.

The good thing is, I'm not dwelling on it every day. Abby definitely keeps me busy. But every so often, she'll mention something she wants to do for her baby sister: feed her, play dolls with her, etc. At this rate, she'll be a huge help when the baby comes home. Maybe even change a few diapers.

God's timing is always perfect. I'm resting and trusting in His provision.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Happy Day Turned Tragic

After our snow fun and some lunch, Abby and I were in the living room decorating the Christmas tree. I had it pulled out from the wall so I could get the lights all the way around the tree. Abby was behind the tree looking out the window and twirling (in her new Snow White dress), when I heard her fall and then start to cry. And then I saw the blood.

Oh, no! I hoped it wasn't her teeth again. I took her to the kitchen to get a better look. The wailing was in full force now. Billy came down the stairs (he was working from home because of the snow) and got a good look at all the blood and determined her top tooth had pierced her bottom lip from the inside out. Ouch! The crying was reaching epic proportions.

We quickly got ready to visit the ER. On the way, Abby fell asleep (it was only a ten minute drive). Yes, it's good to know she can sleep through her pain. Aunt Kathy would be proud! It was, after all, past her nap time and she was worn out from the trauma.

She stayed asleep when we took her out of the car, as we gave her information to the receptionist, through the long wait in the WAITING room, and through the initial exam by the intern doctor. At one point, one of the nurses thought she might have a concusion because she was so out. But, that was not the case. She even slept through what felt like a tornado coming towards the hospital but we figured out later must have been a helicopter taking off above the ER.

She finally woke up about 2 hours later (normal nap time) when the doctor was exaiming her and saying that the outside of her lip would only need to be glued and the inside would heal nicely on its own.

Then came Abby's favorite part. And the part that she tells everyone who asks her about the ordeal. "The doctor says I have to have popsicles and jello to eat!" Yeah! What a happy ending!

Here she is all ready for school the next day.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

First Snow

On Wednesday, Dec 5, we got our first snow accumulation of the season. What fun! Abby wanted to immediately go out and play.

I kept warm by shoveling the entire driveway and sidewalk, but it was a bit premature. It was covered again in one hour. Oh, well. It was good excericise.

As you can see, she still fits in last year's snow gear, but it is getting a little small on her. I guess we'll be hitting the after Christmas sales or when they start putting out the spring line in January!

Party Time

Ok, so it's been a little while since I've posted anything so I thought I'd catch up on some events...

We had Abby's birthday party on December 2. Abby loved the party, of course, but was very serious about opening her presents. We had to ask her to smile for the pictures. So what we got was CHEESE!

Some of her party guests!

Nana got her a Snow White dress - her favorite gift. She wore it everyday for a week and has worn it every other day (at least) since.

A Cinderella doll. Abby asked me, "Is it real?" How am I supposed to answer that?

Her birthday party table. She had set the table with plates, cups, etc. the day before. More and more like her mama everyday. :)

Cleaning up after the party with her new vacuum. (No, it doesn't actually pick up anything - but she loves working with Mommy!)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Day In The Life Of Our Birthday Girl

Waking up is hard to do. Except when Strawberry Banana Smoothies are on the menu for breakfast!
Yummy! My FAVORITE breakfast food.
Catching an old Doris Day flick ("By The Light Of The Silvery Moon") while my Mommy is taking a shower.
All dressed up and ready to go.
Reading books at the Library.
Mmmmmm! Sheri's Coffee House! Whipped Cream with Sprinkles.

After lunch and my nap, I watched a "Belle" movie we got from the library. Hey, it's my birthday, I can watch two movies if I want. :)

Daddy's Home!
Time for Rainbows! I love Gramma Sue and all my cousins.

Bath Time and my snuggly purple towel.

Story time and then night-time prayers with Mommy and Daddy.

What a fun day! When will I be 5?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Happy Birthday To My Baby

Today is Abby's birthday!

I can't believe she's FOUR! Where has the time gone? She is getting so big. I love that she is getting more independant and can do "favors" for Mommy and help me out around the house. This past year has really been a growing year for her. She finally hit 30 pounds. We saw the end of diapers and the beginning of Pre-School. She's getting pretty good at dressing herself, but she hasn't quite conquered the shirt, yet. Her vocabulary is amazing - she's always asking, "what means ----" when I use a word she doesn't know.

I thank God for the amazing gift He gave us in Abby. She is truly "exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think." I know He orchestrated our lives to intersect at the right moment. He is a God of redemption. He has restored our dreams and hopes for the future.

My thoughts today are not only on the treasure that is Abby. I don't have the thoughts that most mothers have on their child's birthday: thoughts of pregnancy and labor and those first few moments of new life. But I have thoughts of what it might have been like for Abby's birth mother. Was she excited or scared? Did she feel pressured or helpless or confident in her decision? I know she loved her baby and wanted the best for her. I pray that she feels some comfort today and that somehow she knows that Abby is well loved and is happy.

Happy Birthday, Abby! We love you!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Prep

The ShaggaBear household is getting ready for Thanksgiving. I may even get out my Thanksgiving decorations - all two of them - and set them out for the big day.

Abby came home from school yesterday wearing this:

sorry about the quality of this one... it was taken on my phone

How cute is that?? The boys had on black paper hats with the buckle in front. And they were singing (to the tune of "Frere Jacques"):

I am thankful
I am thankful
Yes I am
Yes I am
Thank you for my Mommy
Thank you for my Daddy
And my food
And my food

It's good to know their priorities are right! Food was mentioned twice!

Speaking of food, as most of you know, we have a large extended family (two sisters with lots of children and my parents) living within walking distance. Most holidays are spent at one of our four houses with people spilling out all over the place.

This year, my two sisters decided to go visit families in another state. So it's just us and my parents for Thanksgiving. And I decided I would give my mom a break and do all the cooking myself. Well, maybe I'll talk her into doing the gravy because I am terrible at making gravy.

I've been married almost 13 years, and I think this is the first time I'll be making a turkey by myself. Amazing!

I'm excited to try out some new recipes. I found most of them in a Good Housekeeping magazine I picked up on our trip out west. They sound pretty easy... we'll see how that goes. And, of course, I've been reading the Pioneer Woman and found some recipes on her cooking site.

So far, I've got my turkey brining in the frig. And the cranberry and apple sauce is done and also chilling in the frig. Later this afternoon, Abby and I will be donning our aprons and baking up some pies. Yummy!

Hopefully we won't run out of room in our frig. Guess we could just use the one down the street that won't be seeing any activity for the next four days. Hmmmm.

Monday, November 19, 2007


The last couple of years, I've taken several pictures and a video of Abby on the trampoline in October. This year, I finally got around to it... last week. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Cute Jumper

As you all know well by now, Abby loves to dress up. On Sundays, she likes to wear her fanciest dresses. And usually, that does not include the cute jumpers. So yesterday, I put this on her, cause it's cute, and she needs to get some wear out of it and it's not happening on Sundays!

Monday, November 12, 2007

V-Cation Wrap-Up

Abby had so much fun visiting with Grandma and Grandpa. She spent hours playing with Grandma and telling her stories. I wish we lived closer so Abby would be able to spend more time with them.

This swing was at a park about a mile from their house. It was awesome. Both Billy and I could fit in it (not at the same time) and it was so comfortable. The rest of the park was pretty cool, too.

It was a nice "veecation"... getting away and having time with family is always good. One bonus was the layover in Houston. We were only in Texas for an hour or so, but we managed to score Pappasito's Mexican Cantina tacos and Blue Bell (the best ice cream in the country) Tin Roof Sundae. Awesome!! But then, I almost lost both those when we were coming in for a landing in Cleveland. But we won't talk about that!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Children's Museum

Abby really enjoyed her time at the Children's Museum. Here are some more pictures and a litle video.

The water exhibit was one of her favorites if we're judging on how much time she spent there. We literally had to beg her to try some of the other things.

And her dad was concerned that her clothes were getting so wet, even with the apron.

This was a chair that you sit on and use the ropes to pull yourself up. Too fun!

With the concentration level shown on this activity, I think we'll have some fun on our hands as she gets older.

"How do I look?"

She wanted to "paint" her nails.

The finished look. I personally love the red eyebrows.

They also had a gluing station. Buckets of glue and lots of stuff to put in it. What could be more fun?

This is a little video of her playing with the pin board (I think that's what it's called). I love her little giggles.

The pouding you hear in the background was a leather craft demonstration.