Wednesday, December 31, 2008

To a Year of New Beginnings....

It's hard to put into words my thoughts as I think of this last year and think of the year to come. There are just not words to explain the array of feelings that I have on this New Year's Eve and then I found this quote:
For last year's words belong to last year's language.
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
~T.S. Eliot
To new beginnings in the new year, may they find us all happier and healthier, loved and at peace.
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Day!

Santa was very giving to Lily and Graeme!
With everything to chose from, Graeme went for the Santa potato head first~
Then, he saw his Thomas the train stuff! He still isn't quite sure what all the Christmas is about but he enjoyed every moment!
Lily working at figuring out Graeme's first computer
Graeme, John Christopher and Lily toasting with their Icees (Virgin Margueritas)
The shirt just says it all!
Lily enjoyed playing with John Christopher's scooter
Singing Happy Birthday to Baby Jesus
Trisha finds a quiet corner to read to Lily and Graeme. This was during our get together with Papa Jim's children and grandchildren. It was a very special time. We have all missed him so much this Christmas.
What happens when Christmas day is a little too long for the wee ones....
We were all exhausted but very happy and blessed to have spent this holiday together!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Eve

We had a wonderful evening Christmas Eve!

Lily Wen, John Christopher, Graeme and Luke are ready to open presents.

Lily loved her present from Nanan. Now she can be author/illustrator any time she wants.

Graeme is really getting into the present thing.

John played with his car all evening!

Granny and 4 of her Grandkids. Luke did not want to share his Granny with Graeme. For those wondering if Graeme really does smile that much, this picture is proof. He is still smiling even when Luke is pushing him away. He is the happiest little kid.

Our family of four

Lily and Graeme wrote letters to Santa and left him cookies and milk! They were so cute and so excited. I did not think that they would ever get to sleep.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Christmas Eve!!!

Happy Christmas Eve!
This was taken last week when Lily was an angel in our church Christmas play. She is very angelic after all!

This is the last picture that I have of my daughter's unadorned, beautiful, petite ear. She has talked for months of having her ears pierced. So off we went to Libby Lu for the ultimate ear piercing, princess for a day, experience.

Not feeling too princess like right here. Where there is true beauty, there is pain. We assured her it only hurt for a minute. Her cousin, John Christopher, repeatedly told her, "Lily, it's gonna hurt. It is REALLY gonna hurt." Nothing changed her mind. Daddy and Graeme couldn't watch. They had to walk away. It might of had something to do with Graeme trying to pick out earrings for himself. What can I say, he loves his sister and wants to do all that she does!

Now her ears have sparkly pink HAD to be the pink hearts!

On to the next Christmas Adventure, making cookies...a tradition with cousins!

What kiddo doesn't love the feel of dough and flour in his hands! John Christopher is loving it!

Baby Luke was more into eating the dough....

and just looking so darn CUTE!

The perfect snowman is hard to achieve but she did it!

My sis, Jodi, and her fun!

She is so proud!

Graeme got way into the decorating. He was the first to the table and the last to leave!

Looks good enough to eat!

So they did!

Not quite sure what he thinks about all those textures and the sweetness. The twinkle in his eye is priceless though.

Can't waste that last bite.
We had a wonderful evening! I have been very sentimental and overly sensitive the last few days, crying at the least little thing. For those who know me, I am not a cryer...not typically anyway...but once I get going well... I am also not good at expressing my emotions. I am now focusing on the positive emotions. I am starting my New Year's Resolution early. I want to push beyond the stress of everyday life and all of the big changes that have occured for us. I will Love Authentically and Enjoy the Simple Pleasures.....the look of my daughter as an angel in the play, her sweet tears as she receives her first earrings, the laughter in the kitchen last night as we all made cookies (setting the pot holder on fire in the process..another story), opening a new Christmas book and reading it to BOTH of my children. Graeme is home this year which is something my heart ached for last year. I am blessed beyond words and I will take time each day to be thankful for that.
Wishing you all Joy, Laughter and Love this Christmas and each day of the New Year!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Heading Home!!!

When I started to write tonight, I thought about what I should title the post. Heading Home seems most appropriate. Home for me will always be my mother's house in Louisiana. As soon as I get out of school tomorrow, we are starting our journey south. We will probably stop half way in Birmingham tomorrow night and continue on Saturday. I used to be a get in the car and drive the 11-12 hour drive straight kind of woman. Lily Wen and I have even made the trip many times and we drive straight through. Coming home this last time, we broke the trip up and can I say that it made a huge difference in all of our comfort!

I have been absent this week...trying to prepare for the trip, complete my therapy logs for school and complete the end of the year close out for the private practice owned by my friend and I. This has not left much time for visiting blogs or blogging. Hopefully on Saturday or Sunday I will catch up!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

6 months ago

Six months ago, we met Graeme for the first time! I can't believe that 6 months have passed already. Tomorrow, our social worker is coming to do our first post placement visit. We have cleaned the house and organized and printed the pictures. I think we are as ready as we will be. Since the house is clean and straight, there is of course a winter weather advisory for tonight. If we get the ice that they are predicting, I doubt our social worker will make the trip to see us. I hope this doesn't happen. We are ready and I am sure that she can see by the pictures that he is happy with his forever family! Here's hoping the weather passes us by!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What do you say when she says....

So we were having a quiet morning when someone e-mailed us more pics of the snow in Louisiana. As we were viewing the pics, Lily grabbed Graeme and yanked his arm a few times. He was excitedly pointing to the pictures and it was "blocking" her view. She automatically went to the "naughty spot" for grabbing him (things that hurt self or someone else result in an automatic timeout in our house). You would have thought we had beat her for all the screaming that resulted. Then, as she is "doing her time", I hear, "I don't like my brother. I want to send him back to China." This is the second time this week that we have heard something similar and I just want to be sure that I handle it appropriately. I did assure her that he was part of our family for forever and that there was nothing he would ever do or she would ever do that would ever cause us to "send them back to China". We thought that she handled the adoption of her brother so well and there seemed to be no jealousy until recently. HELP....need advice! (Elizabeth, I know you warned me that she would feel this way. What will make it better?)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Snow Day and Gingerbread Houses and Surprise of all surprises...SNOW in South Louisiana!

These pics were taken by my Mom of the biggest snow in Louisiana in 20 years. I was there for that last one. My sis and I played like 2 little kids....making snow angels and throwing snowballs! I love that they got snow. Sis sent me some wonderful pics of my nephews but I am having trouble copying them from the e-mail. The boys had a ball!
I wish I could have seen their faces when they saw that first snow.
It looks like it was a pretty one!
I hope it doesn't take 20 years for them to get another one! Could we all have a white Christmas as we celebrate down south. Now that would be a Christmas Miracle!

So last night, we got a little snow after a lot of rain. the weather combined with really cold temps led to the county schools being closed and me having a day off! We pulled out the Gingerbread House kit and I fought with the icing mix forever!!!!! I'm not one point there was icing on my ceiling! Anyway...after we got the icing on the house. It was time to decorate!
Our Little House
Graeme decorated half and Lily the other.
Here they are trying not to drop it.
Barely hanging on!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Did I ever share how much Graeme loved the Thanksgiving turkey?

He really enjoyed the turkey.

He wanted every last....

I thought ya'll would get a kick out of these. We laughed until we cried when we took them! Enjoy!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas trees....present and past

We finally decorated Graeme's first Christmas tree last night. We started the process a week ago when we pulled out our beautiful prelit Christmas tree, set it up, plugged it in and the bottom half didn't light. Wes and I both worked on the lights changing fuses and bulbs.. no luck it still didn't light. So with the busy week ahead the tree sat until the cancellation of Lily's Nutcracker performance yesterday. Have you ever tried to take lights off of a prelit tree? It took me over 20 minutes to remove one strand of the lights. So after some not so nice words said under my breath and dealing with the scratches on both hands, a new plan was devised. I just put new lights on top of the ones that weren't working. Otherwise, this tree would not get decorated until next year.

People ask if he smiles like this all the time and yes, pretty much he does. His preschool teacher sent a note home that they are amazed that the muscles in his face don't hurt from smiling.

Lily also enjoyed decorating the tree!

He worked so hard to find the perfect spot for each ornament.

As a result, the bottom of the tree is definately more decorated than the top.

Lily had to sneak and rearrange a lot of his ornaments. Too Funny!

We all had a good time.
This morning I grabbed the camera to take a pic of our tree and Graeme jumped off the couch and posed. He is so proud of his tree.
So I was already feeling nostalgic about decorating Graeme's first tree. We continue to decorate it with flowers that were used at our wedding reception (13 years ago). Then I saw the Christmas tree post on my bloggy friend, Cora's blog and it just got me thinking of Christmas trees past.
Years ago, I dated someone briefly that worked on a Christmas tree farm. He convinced my family that we had to have a live tree. Thus the tradition started. I would go with my Dad and the dogs to the farm to find the perfect tree. Dad always wanted to get the tree that the dogs "blessed" with their "attention". This produced some pretty strange looking trees over the years. I still love the smell of a fresh tree and it reminds me of these trips with Dad.
One year when I was in college, we needed two for the family house and one for my apartment. After we got home, we put the tree in the backyard until we were ready to decorate it. At some point on this windy day, the tree was blown into the swimming pool. I looked out and told Dad but he simply stated that maybe it needed a drink of water. I went out to fish it out of the pool. Mom came home from shopping and we all decorated the tree but never mentioned to her what had happened. A week later the needles started to fall off of the tree and by Christmas....well, it was the biggest, brownest Charlie Brown tree I ever saw. Mom commented that she could not figure it out because the tree at my apartment looked so nice and green. Years later we finally told her what had happened. I love the memories of those "special" times with Dad! Thanks Cora for reminding me of the trees of my past!