Thursday, June 18, 2009

Nanning Video

Nanning is a beautiful city in southern China. We were there in February and the weather was fabulous - the temps were in the seventies and it was breezy. We got to do quite a bit of site-seeing while we were there waiting on paperwork. One park had a zip-line that my neice tried out. Another park at fair-type rides: carousel, little cars and airplanes. Abby had fun getting to play around a little. We also took a paddle boat ride.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pink and Purple

Two of Abby's favorite books right now are Pinkalicious and Purplicious. They are about a little girl who likes... pink.

At bedtime one evening, Sarah had on purple and Abby had on pink and I thought it would be cute to get a picture of them with the books. It was a little easier said than done, as you can imagine.

They did seem to be having fun. But enough pictures already!!! Let's read the story!
Daddy has his arms FULL!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

China Video

My friend Sarah is an awesome video editor. I sent her the videos and pictures we took while in China and she made a 15-minute video that is amazing!

One segment of the video is of the day we met Sarah (our daughter) for the first time. We used Steven Curtis Chapman's song, "When Love Takes You In" for the background music. Get your tissues ready.

Sarah (my friend) also did segments of other parts of our trip and I'll post those soon. If you want to see some samples of her other video work, visit She can take pictures and videos and combine them to be something you'll treasure for years to come! And her rates are quite reasonable. Check it out!

Friday, June 12, 2009

"Mommy, can we play with stickers?"

"Sure," I shouted from upstairs. A little while later, I came down the stairs to this.

Thanks, Hantie, for that huge box of unused Creative Memories stickers! Even after this, we still have a TON! Anyone need any stickers?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ahhhhhhhhh, Springtime

Relaxing in the shade!
Sharing a little snack
Kicking up our heels
Making it a little more comfortable
Grabbing a quick nap (or is it playing possom?)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pre-School Picnic

I know this is a little over-due...

Abby had her last hurrah with her pre-school class at the end of May. There were 5472 (not really) little 4 and 5-year olds running around at the playground. It was a madhouse! But the kids loved it. I also brought Sarah along. And true to form, she never stopped moving the entire time. She went from slide to slide to swings to slide. I had a hard time keeping up with her.

But I did manage to snatch a few photos of Abby and her friends. If anything, they'll be cute for the Senior Slide Show in 13 years. :)

Remember this post last year? My how her friends have grown!
This little guy was also on Abby's soccer team last fall. I like his style! He wants to make sure the ladies remember all summer that he's a well dressed man.
They're all looking a little tired from playing so hard!
I lost count how many times they went up this ladder to the slide or the fire pole.
Abby's wonderful teachers. She (and I) will miss them greatly!!! We love you Mrs. R and Mrs. Y!!
I wonder what next year's Kindergarten class will look like.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


We went berry picking this morning. All of our helpers came, too! I think the Mamas did most of the work,though.

Can't wait for strawberry smoothies, strawberry spinach salad, strawberry shortcake, and strawberry-whatever-else-I-can-come-up-with!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Dancing Debut

Abby's first ballet performance came at the end of May. The dance studio does a big production every other year and this was the "off" year. They did a "Mini Performance" where each class would showcase what they had been learning through the year. Because their studio has no room for an audience, they used a local church's gymnasium.

Abby's class is the youngest class and so they performed first. They worked with partners and learned a little dance.
Abby is very serious about her dance!
I love to watch her. She dances at home a lot, and during worship at church. Although, sometimes it turns into a running match across the front of the sanctuary with her cousin, "Little Buddy."
Abby's teacher, Mrs. Bond
Our friend, Miss Eva came and brought Abby a bouquet of flowers from her garden. Miss Eva's daughter took dance for 13 years and so she knows that every dancer needs flowers at the end of a performance. I have a lot to learn!
Abby's cousin, "JR" helps in the older ballet class with partnering. He knows how to lift the girls for different ballet moves. Cousin Daniel used to do this, too. He danced and "lifted" for six years.

And totally off topic, I am having difficulty with taking photos inside . The lighting in this building was poor and so I had to use a flash and it made big shadows behind. And some of the shots came out grainy. I am still trying to get used to the different settings on my camera. And I now have a scratch on the lens (my fault). It puts a blurry white area on some of the pictures (see Mrs. Bond's shoulder area). Outside pictures seem to be ok. Anyone have any ideas for me?

Thursday, June 04, 2009

More Projects

Once some of the indoor projects were nearing completion, I started on some outdoor ones. I do love to wear myself out!

We'll start off with a few pictures of what happens when Mama starts digging in the dirt... little ones get DIRTY! Can you see the dirt splotches on her face and clothes?
Her feet were filthy! I don't think those sandals will ever be the same. And they were squeaky ones!
Daddy was clearing space to install the sandbox and Abby decided to help. She has a wild hair framing her eye. Freaky.
Here's the finished box with half a bag of sand in it that I had left over from last year.
And here's Abby playing in that little bit of sand the next day. It doesn't take much to make her happy.

Funny story. For Mother's Day, I asked Billy for some hanging baskets with flowers for my porch as well as a few to put in a pot I keep on the porch stairs in the summer. When I got home later, this lovely hydrangea was sitting on the porch. I have always wanted a hydrangea. I love the big blue blossoms. So I asked Billy, where he thought we should put it. He said, "In that pot on the stairs." To give him a little credit, the pot it came in was about the same size as the one I told him about. I said, "Honey, that plant becomes 3 to 6 feet around and tall! Didn't you look at the card on the plant?" He said, "Yea! it had pretty blue flowers on it and I know you like blue!" "I meant the BACK of the card where it tells you where to plant and how big it will get?" As I read it too him, he said, "Oh, I bought work for myself."

My sister and another friend of ours helped me find a suitable spot and we planted it. I enlarged the flower/hosta bed to include it. I think it looks lovely there!
I know the porch needs a good coat or twenty of paint. I don't want to talk about it.

We also decided to let Abby have her own spot for flowers, so Billy dug out another spot next to the patio and we used some scrap railroad ties to frame it. She wanted a rainbow garden. I told her which flowers would love the sun and she picked the colors.
She chose yellow and orange marigolds, pink and purple petunias and red salvia.
My sister gave me some irises and we made another bed for that. No picture this year; they'll look better next year anyway. And I planted some pink geraniums in the front of the house.

I need to remember that every time I add another flower bed, that means more work in preparation and weeding and mulching. This stuff wears me out! But I think I already mentioned that.

And I still need some hanging baskets.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Annual Zoo Day

Every year, our adoption agency has a reunion picnic at the Cleveland Zoo. In the five years we've been associated with them, I think we missed one year. We love to go and check in with Uncle Zhou and also see some of the people we traveled with.

We packed up the car and headed out. Sarah wanted some glasses, too. I handed her mine. Big mistake. This picture was taken about ten seconds before she broke them. She is quick!
Once we finally got there, it was lunch time, so we headed to the food pavilion to eat. We were surprised to see one of the families that we traveled to China with on the first trip. Abby and Anna are from the same orphanage. Here they are in December 2004. They are about a month apart in age. They have both grown so much.
Of course Uncle Zhou was there. Abby is (thankfully) more comfortable with him now. The baby on the right was in our travel group this past February. Sarah is at an age where she wanted nothing to do with this strange man who wanted to hold her.
But she did enjoy eating the picnic food!
Next, we headed off to visit the animals.
Here's the obligatory family shot by the wolf statue. Our family is growing!
Abby and Sarah loved the fish. I think Sarah was just glad to be able to walk around a little on her own.
Rock candy, anyone?
My, what big ears you have, dearie.

After seeing our fill, we headed home. This is what the backseat looked like 10 minutes after we left the parking lot.
It took Sarah a little longer to fall asleep, but she did!! A major accomplishment for us. She usually only sleeps in her crib.