Monday, June 30, 2008


I have really been enjoying my summer. It is so nice not to have to follow a schedule. Some will think I’m a bad mom but I hope most will admit that they too can be lax at times when it comes to bedtimes etc……. We have been allowing the girls to stay up any time between uhmmm, 10:00 – 10:30 BUT they do sleep until 9:00 and Gracie will even sleep as late as 10:00. I know this is not ideal but Gracie enjoys being outside and playing with her buddy Logan (our neighbor) so much and I find it hard to make her come in and go to bed at a decent time. Isn’t that what summers are all about though? I remember my summers. My sisters and cousins and I would ride bikes all day and play in the woods on our family property. We would swim in our underwear in my grandparents pond, yes, I said pond. That’s where I learned to swim, no pools for us!!! When Mama would finally drag us in I can remember lying in my bed exhausted but feeling Oh so good. I didn’t have a care in the world and all I would think about was what kind of little fort would we build next to the creek that ran behind our house. I think extra curricular activities are fine for children but I also think it’s equally as important if not even more important for children to just play. I had an active imagination and Gracie has an incredible imagination. She and Logan will play for hours outside with just a notebook and pencil in hand playing spy, or Survivor Girl and Boy and I can’t tell you the number of treasure maps I’ve made for them.
I’m looking forward to the day when Laurie Alice can join them. Although, she does enjoy going out and being pushed on her tricycle or blowing bubbles. She still hasn’t gotten used to the nats. They pretty much drive her crazy and she swats at her face so much that she becomes miserable and we have to go in. Lately her favorite thing to do is jump. She has figured out in the past couple weeks how to jump and she is soooooo pleased with herself. Her little feet just barely (I do mean barely) come off of the floor but you would think by the smile on her face that she was jumping several inches off the floor. I’ve video taped her jumping but I’m going to try and video tape her with my camera and then attempt to load a video to this blog. So keep checking back and keep your finger crossed I can do it.
The girls have a Dr’s. apt. tomorrow. Gracie’s 6 year check up and Laurie Alice will receive another round of shots (yuck). Our insurance finally got straightened out and they have added Laurie Alice to the plan so we had to take her last week for blood work. I had to hold her down while three nurses worked on her. She did cry a good bit. The poor nurses didn’t know that she is terrified of stuffed animals so they couldn’t understand why when presented with a cute cuddly teddy bear she became hysterical. It was only after she got a Popsicle did she finally settle down. She’s so cute, she will point to the place on her arm where they drew blood and frown and jabber to us about what I assume must be her thoughts and feelings about the whole episode.
I still feel continually blessed by my girls and will continue to enjoy the rest of our summer break together. I’m posting some random pictures of the girls. Oh, Gracie can now jump off the diving board and pretty much swims on her own in the deep end of the pool. I still like for an adult to be in the pool with her incase she gets tired.



Gotta Go!

Helping Mama

Gold Medal for the Cannon Ball!!

Well if Sissy can do it then I can too!

Favorite swimming buddy.

(can't seem to get the titles under the next few pictures)

Cousin Blake (9 years old)

Cousin Brayden (6 years old)

Best Friend Jada (6 years old)

The Gang

Watch out Olympic swim team!!!!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Girls Room

I'm finally getting around to posting pictures of the girls room. It is hands down the best room in the house thanks to MeMa. She did a fantastic job!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thankful Thursday

It has been awhile since I posted a thankful Thursday but it certainly doesn’t mean I haven’t been thankful, quite the opposite. I am filled with even more joy and thankfulness than ever before.

I am thankful for our sweet Laurie Alice. I can’t imagine our family without her. I can’t believe that there was a time that I had some reservations about adopting another child. I felt so incredibly lucky to have Gracie and God had blessed us so much through her. I felt like I would be greedy to ask for another child. I also couldn’t imagine loving another child as much as I love Gracie. I’m so glad I’m married to a man who convinced me that those reasons were pure nonsense. I look at Laurie Alice and I think about what we would be missing out on if we didn’t have her in our lives. I’ve learned like all mothers do that your heart just grows for each of your children and although you love them all very much you get to have unique relationships with each one. I’m thankful they have such different personalities. I get to have two different experiences.

I am thankful that all four of us are home together until I go back to work on July 24th. It has been a wonderful summer. We have had fun hanging out at Laurie’s pool; playing outside and sleeping in.

I am thankful for all the wonderful families that we have meet through the adoption process and on our trip. They will be lifelong friends and I’m looking forward to watching their children grow up.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Fathers Day to the Best Man!

I am married to the best father and husband in the world! I hope he has a very happy fathers day because he certainly deserves it!

I love you honey.

What Makes a Dad

God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so,

He called it ... Dad

~~Author Unknown.~~

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Gracie's 6th BD Party

As I mentioned in an earlier post we decided to keep things simple this year for Gracie birthday party since we had just returned from China. We only invited family. I've always made Gracie's birthday cakes with the exception of her first birthday which my Aunt made (she has made all the children in the families first birthday cake). Anyway, in case you can't tell it is supposed to be a sand castle. I got the idea from Family Fun magazine. It doesn't look exactly like the one in Family Fun but it worked.

Here are pictures from the party and yes I've even posted one of ME in the pool!!! What am I thinking, of course it's only the top part of me and the rest doesn't show. I haven't completely lost my mind.

Never Mind

I just posted and there it was, back to normal!

Sidebar Help!!

Does anyone out there know why all the things I have listed on the right side of my bar are now at the bottom of the page?

I think it shifted after my last post. Very frustrating!!

Monday, June 9, 2008


Things are still going so well with all of us. Rusty and Gracie finished school last Thursday so it has been really nice to have them home. It’s also nice not to have to follow a strict bedtime routine now that Gracie doesn’t have to get up so early. Two nights ago I decided to leave Laurie Alice’s bed once she fell asleep and try to sleep in my own bed. The first night at about 2:00 a.m. I felt little hands rubbing my arm and when I looked it was Laurie Alice standing there. She clapped her little hands and then held them up high meaning, “Put me in the bed” so I did! She slept peacefully through the night until about 9:00. The next night I heard her coming from the den crying for me. I think she got confused about where she was going because I forgot to leave the bathroom light on which is between the two rooms. I felt so sorry for her that she had gotten disoriented. This time though I took her back to her bed and slept with her. I would have put her in the bed with us but I knew Rusty had to get up early on Sunday and I didn’t want it to disturb her. Last night Gracie begged to sleep in our bed so we let her and Rusty slept with Laurie Alice. By the way, Gracie does not want to sleep in the bed with her sister because she is such a wild child in the bed and she is afraid of being kicked. Gracie sleeps on a little couch that will fold out into a small bed. She puts this next to the big bed in her room. I say all this to say that sleeping arrangements are a little crazy right now but I am of the opinion that you just do what you have to do to get sleep! Also, I realize that before we know it our girls will be teenagers and of course they will not want to sleep with us. I’m trying to savor these moments and not worry too much about the little things in life and in the whole scheme of life the sleeping issues are so small.

I hate I don’t have any pictures to post this time but the battery went dead in my camera and I haven’t replaced it yet. I really need to because the girls are so cute! They are still loving each other and getting along very well. Now don’t get me wrong, there are fusses and they will slap at each other but all of this is normal. My favorite thing to do as a mother is to watch my girls interact with each other. I just think their relationship is so neat. I know how much my sisters mean to me (I did name Laurie Alice after them if that tells you anything) and I just hope that they will be as close as we are.

We hung out at my sister’s pool today. Laurie Alice loves the water and especially loves being passed back and to between me and her Daddy. My sister had some cantaloupe she cut up and LA was able to do the thing she loves most, feed people! Gracie and my nephews would swim up to her and she would pop the pieces of cut up cantaloupe in their mouths. She played hard and fell asleep at 4:30 and it is now 11:00 p.m. and she is still asleep. I do have this fear that she is going to wake up at 2:00 a.m. ready to play so I guess I better close this blog out incase this does happen I can get up with her.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I Would Gather Children

Some would gather money
Along the path of life
Some would gather roses,And rest from worldly strife.

But I would gather children
From among the thorns of sin,
I would seek a golden curl,
And a freckled, toothless grin.

For money cannot enter
In that land of endless day,
And roses that are gathered
Soon will wilt along the way.

But oh, the laughing children,
As I cross the sunset sea,
And the gates swing wide to heaven,
I can take them in with me!

~Author Unknown

Monday, June 2, 2008

What have I been up too?

What have I been up to since we got home on May 17th? Sleeping, cleaning, organizing, playing and enjoying both my girls. I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve blogged but there just doesn’t seem to be much time anymore. When Laurie Alice is napping I’m running around trying to clean the house, pay bills and get caught up on projects etc…… I have the best of intentions to blog but by 9:00 I’m pooped and in the bed. In fact everyone in the whole house is asleep between 9:00 – 9:30!! This is a new schedule for me and Rusty as we have always been night owls but ever since we left for China on May 1st those late nights are behind us. I’m up by 5:15 a.m. every morning so Rusty and I can at least sit together and drink our coffee; have our devotion time and find out what the other one has been up to. Then I hit the ground running. However, I do love being at home and I am really enjoying spending time with Laurie Alice. She is such a happy and affectionate child. Her transition into the family has been wonderful. It has gone better than I ever expected. Coming from a good orphanage and then being involved with the Half the Sky Foundation has really helped her ease right into her position as our new daughter and baby sister. She gives us lots of hugs and kisses and seems to be really enjoying herself. If I could read her mind she would be thinking Ahhhhh, my family, home sweet home. I am enjoying all her “first”. It’s so much fun to watch her do even the simplest of things. To some, it might seem boring or menial, but to watch her eat ice cream or watch her walk very slowly across the lawn because she’s never felt grass under her feet makes me laugh. I’m still sleeping with her and this is probably my favorite time. She loves to press her face up against mine and she will smile and giggle. She rubs my arms and face and she makes sure I am covered up. Too sweet and very mature for a 2 ½ year old!

She and Gracie have really made great strides in the sister department this week. Laurie Alice watches and mimics everything her big sister does. She will also let Gracie pick her up some without becoming agitated as she previously has before. Most of you know that Gracie is a “touch me not” but just tonight she let Laurie Alice kiss her goodnight right on the lips and they hugged. I can see that a lot of bonding is taking place between them.

Gracie celebrated her 6th birthday on the 26th and I hope to post some pictures soon. We had a family party this year at my sister’s pool. I knew having just come home from China planning a big party would be the last thing I wanted to do. She had a great time and didn’t seem to mind that none of her friends were there. I still can’t believe she is 6 and her last day of kindergarten will be Thursday. She has really grown up since our trip. Becoming a big sister has that affect I suppose.

My goal now is to try and post at least once a week. I really want to get back to Thankful Thursday because as I’ve mentioned before this blog is for Gracie and Laurie Alice and it’s important to me that they read about the things that their mother is thankful for. I pray it will have a positive impact in their lives. I may not be a super mom and I will make plenty of mistakes but what I want them to know from reading this one day is that I am a mother who loves them and their father very much

These are a few pictures taken right before Gracie’s party.

(Home 2 days)