Friday, October 30, 2009

That was then, this is now...

3 years ago today we adopted our beautiful daughter. We're still amazed at what a perfect match she is for us!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Guess who went apple picking?
And it was fun! Lots of fun. The weather was perfect - sunny, cool, awesome. We went to Eckert's with my brother and his boys. It couldn't have been a better day. Other than the fact that we somehow ended up with $30 worth of apples. Anyone need some apples?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

A little late but still fun...
I made fun-in-the-sun cupcakes for our China reunion this summer. They were fun to make and turned out pretty cute. At least Grace thought so. I got the idea here. Bakerella always has great ideas. Check out her cute Halloween cupcakes. The spiders remind me a little too much of the ones we see in every corner of the dock when we're on the lake. Eeeewww!

I found food markers and even drew on bikinis, sunglasses and swimsuits. I used blue icing and graham cracker crumbs for sand. They were pretty tasty!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Driving Lessons
We believe in starting  young. For instance, you're never too young to start driving lessons. At age 3, Grace knows where to find the gas and how to buckle the seat belt. We're still working on the fact that you actually have to steer. She hasn't quite got the hang of that. Her cousin Colin did his best to pass on his mad driving skills.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ring Pops Make Your Teeth Blue
There's a Mexican restaurant in our neighborhood and one of the waiters always likes to see Grace. He thinks she looks like Dora. 

Every time we leave he gives her a special treat. Last night it was a ring pop. 

Grace calls it her binky. Then I call her my baby. Then she argues that she is not a baby. 

It's just part of the routine. Along with her blue teeth.

My Family from

Friday, July 24, 2009

New Character in Curious George

While reading Curious George to me the other day, Grace mistakenly referred to "the man in the yellow hat" as "the yellow man with the green hat". 

I had to stifle my giggle.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Is it really July?

So yesterday when I got home from work I put on sweatpants, a hoodie and socks. What? In July?

What happened to global warming? Should we rename it global cooling? Now I'm not complaining about the cool weather. I think it's heaven - 68° in July. Yahoo. But it's not making a whole lotta sense to me? In honor of the cool temperatures, Grace had a photo shoot. 

And while this picture appears to show a sweet cooperative girl, she was NOT sweet or cooperative. She didn't want to listen to anything I said. She refused to talk to anyone in the room. She was very bratty. I know she's only three, but how do you deal with this behavior? I could use some good advice. I would like to teach her that she needs to listen and follow directions. I can say something five times and she totally ignores me. ACK! 

On another note - she picked the boots to go with the dress. I think it works.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Reunion Recap

You know when you come home from church camp and you feel high on life from the fellowship and spirit that permeates the camp? You know that feeling? When you can't wait to get home and share that feeling with everyone around you. When you have an epiphany moment and you feel all is right with the world and you're right where you belong? Do you remember that feeling? That "you against the world, with God on your side" feeling? That feeling where you want to keep singing church songs and avoid saying goodbye to the people and the place that just contributed so much joy to one weekend or week in your life?

Yeah, that's kind of how I'm feeling. It wasn't exactly church camp. But I felt blessed. I felt the hand of God in everything we did. I felt the holy spirit bringing people from far and near to celebrate the joy of 10 little girls and their families. It was a great weekend. Full of talking, laughter, good food, great friends and fun. It was a weekend I'll never forget and one I hope happens again in our future.

In case you're reading this and you don't know what I'm talking about, we spent the weekend with 9 other families that traveled to China with us and adopted a daughter at the same time. 9 families from as far away as California came together to celebrate the joy of adoption and family. It was an awesome weekend. 

Thank you to all my friends that traveled to St. Louis for our reunion. You made it so special. I haven't scrapbooked in a long time, but this weekend is definitely going down in some kind of memory book. It's just too good not to share. 

Saturday, July 11, 2009

2009 China Reunion

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Ft. Myers 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Look! A blog post.

What happened to June? And why haven't I blogged?

Can you believe it's mid-almost-late June already? Where is this summer going? First off, it hasn't felt like summer until today. And today it feels like St. Louis summer through and through. How does that happen? It goes from a breezy 75° to a steamy 91°-feels-like-100°-because of the humidity. What up wit dat

Grace and I are leaving for Florida in two days. Only one more day of dropping her off at school and hearing her cry because she doesn't like her new classroom. Does she know what that's doing to me? Every morning my heart gets torn out of my chest because I have to go to this place called work and leave my daughter in a place she calls "the torture chamber" because that's how it is. OK - maybe "torture chamber" is a little dramatic. She's never actually said that. But she does cry. Mostly because she misses her previous teacher. The one who always had time for her and showered her with hugs and kisses. Her new teacher is a little less "warm". Doesn't she know my baby needs hugs and kisses? There goes my heart again.

Does anyone know of a legitimate work-at-home job with decent wages? Pick me. I'll take it!

In the meantime, I not only drop Grace off at the torture chamber on a regular basis, but I also make her work for her meals at home. Check out her latest gig...

photos courtesy of Sears Portrait Studio (not Hawaii, like you thought!).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Happy Kids
Really - is there anything more precious than happy kids?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

On Being A Mom...

Today I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I have a beautiful daughter and four loving stepchildren and as much as it's hard to admit it, stepgrandchildren. And although I cringe each time I hear myself being called "grandma" this week, I'm happy to have so many children in my life. My nephews were dedicated in their church today and part of the message was that you will never regret failing more than if you fail in bringing up your children. Or something to that affect. It hit home. It reminded me of the enormity of raising a child. The responsibility. The joy. It made me grateful for my own upbringing. It made me think about what I've done wrong so far. And what I've done right. It made me thankful that I am charged with bringing up Grace and being a role model to my stepchildren and yes, grandchildren. 

On Having the Best Mom...

My parents did it right. They may have had some bumps along the road, but they gave me the foundation I needed. They loved me unconditionally even when I was almost impossible to love (high school:). They worked hard, loved much and laughed often. I was and am lucky to have the best mom and dad on the planet. Happy Mother's Day, Mom and Grandma! I love you.

For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him. 

1 Samuel 1:27

Grace and her niece Olivia.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A day at the farm...
We spent the day at Grant's Farm with Grace's brother, his family and Grandma & Grandpa. It was a beautiful day. Grace and her niece Livy had a great time together. The elephant show was awesome. The Clydesdales were beautiful. It was a perfect day. 

Monday, May 04, 2009

A great story...

I've been away from the blog for a while. When I came upon this story I knew what my next topic had to be. I show a lot of pictures of my daughter and I shared our story of visiting China to adopt her. But there were so many children still needing homes. And the people of China were so kind. EVERY ONE WE MET was kind to us. I highly recommend adding "visiting China" to your "things to do list". It was an amazing experience for us. Check out this story from a wonderful foster home in China. Maybe it will move you to help an orphan somewhere - anywhere.