Tuesday, December 23, 2008
While I was shopping last night Paul & Zoe made their annual No Bake Cookies for Santa. Of course, they each had to sample them & lick the bowl clean. I was hoping they would wait until I got home so I could take some pictures of their extravaganza, but I was too late. The cookies turned out good. So good that Zoe had two for her "snack" this morning! She did inform me that she & dad discussed how many cookies they should leave out for Santa Christmas Eve night & dad convinced her that Santa would need about 5! Zoe thought that was quite a few but dad was probably right since Santa needed a lot of energy to get from house to house. (Huh - I have a feeling dad is going to be wired from all of the chocolate when he goes to bed Christmas Eve!!!!)
Tomorrow our Christmas adventure begins. (You can guarantee I will have camera in tow!!!!) Zoe & I are headed to my hometown to have lunch with our cousins - Haley, EJ, & Ian. They are such nice kids & we really enjoy their company. In the afternoon Paul, Zoe, & I will travel to Paul's sisters for Christmas with Paul's dad side of the family. Zoe is so looking forward to seeing her cousins Austen & Kylee from Louisiana. We only see them about twice a year so it's always a treat being with them (& Aunt Jan & Uncle Jeff)! Christmas morning we will open our presents & see what Santa left Zoe. Then we will have lunch & family time with Paul's mom's side of the family at his cousins Christy's. After leaving there we will make our last stop at my parents house. We always have a good time there. (especially Paul as he aggravates our nieces & nephews!) And finally, back to our house late Christmas night.
Not sure if I will be posting again before Christmas. Just in case I don't, have a Merry Christmas! May you create magical memories that will last a lifetime!
Monday, December 15, 2008
Please take the time to read Lydia's story and then go here & leave a message of encouragement for her & her family. As parents we cannot imagine the emotions associated with finding out your child has leukemia. However, as parents of an adopted child, these emotions must be even more devastating knowing the best chance of a cure for your child is finding a bone marrow donor since neither adopted parent nor siblings are a match.
In this most magical time of the year, all of us can think of at least one person/family that could use an extra prayer in their time(s) of struggles. Would you please say an extra prayer for Lydia & her family? Miracles happen every day. What a blessing it would be if a bone marrow match is found for sweet little Lydia!
Saturday night Paul & I had a date night. It had been about 6 months since just the two of us did something by ourselves. We ended up Christmas shopping, going out to eat, & seeing a movie. It was a lot of fun.
Today Zoe & I are enjoying our first snow day off of school for the year! Not that we got any amount of snow worth bragging about. However, we do have ICE. It started raining last night about 10 PM & the temperature dropped very quickly. Several hours later we were met with freezing rain & a little bit of snow. When I took Maggie out this morning, it was still sleeting & very cold. So, Zoe & I are staying inside. She's loving being in her pj's & watching her shows while laying in the recliner!!!! (my kind of girl!!!!)
I've finally completed our Christmas cards - all 320 of them! (Yes, you read that right - 320.) I love Christmas & making my own cards is one of my most favorite things to do. I love receiving Christmas cards too. Sometimes it's the only time of the year we hear from certain friends. I treasure those friendships just as I do the friends I see each & every day. So, catching up is fun to do.
By the way, only 4 more days until my Christmas break begins! Yahoo! With a snow day today, I can just imagine how out of control my students are going to be tomorrow - let alone the rest of the week!!!!
PS - Check back later this evening. I plan on posting about something very dear to our hearts!
Monday, December 1, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Being announced for the starting line up.....
Shooting a free throw....(which she made!)
Waiting for the shooter to release the ball......
I must admit that Zoe was very good considering we saw a total of 5 basketball games! As we were driving home Zoe says, "Do we have to go to another basketball game tomorrow?" I proudly replied, "No not tomorrow." (I wasn't about to tell her that two nights this coming week we will be attending basketball games.) Tuesday night we are headed to E.J.'s college game. He will be playing against our neighbor Kyle. And, on Wednesday night Zack & Ian have their first home high school games. Won't she be thrilled when we're in the car headed for those?!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I know it's been a while since I've posted. Things have been quite crazy around here. Paul & I were in Chicago this past weekend for a school board convention. Not only was the conference very informative, but the festivities that went along with it were even better! On Saturday at dusk Chicago's annual Christmas parade & fireworks were held. It was fun watching from inside the hotel as Santa rolled into town. Zoe had a great weekend with her Nana & PawPaw. She attended a couple of basketball games of her cousins, went shopping, & even sat on Santa's lap at the mall.
Tomorrow Zoe has a short pre-school Thanksgiving program. She has been practicing her songs for about a week & a half so I think she's ready. Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend. So, I'm sending Paul with the video camera as well as the digital camera. It'll be interesting to see what we end up with!!!!!
Tomorrow evening Paul is having his annual guy "Thanksgiving Eve" card party at our house. Zoe & I will be doing our usual thing as well - going to the movies. She has decided she wants to see Bolt, the kid movie about a dog. So, we'll make a night out of it. (out to eat, movies, shopping, ice cream, etc.) No reason to hurry home. Paul & his buddies won't be leaving anytime soon!
Thanksgiving day Paul is on call. He's staying home while Zoe & I go to my sister Tracy's for lunch. Zoe is very excited as she will get to hang out with her cousins! Thursday night we are going bowling with my cousin Kathy & her family. I haven't been bowling in years. That could be very interesting!
The rest of the week has us going to basketball games & perhaps doing a little shopping. I also hope to get my Christmas cards & decorations organized. On Sunday Paul, Zoe, & I are headed to an NFL game. Not so sure it will be a good game, but the nachos are always worth it.
Don't know if I will be posting again before Thanksgiving. I hope each of you have a wonderful holiday & enjoy spending time with family & friends. Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Well, of course................EJ!!!!!!
She's excited about something!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Could she have been more blunt (or truthful for that matter!!!!). Isn't it something how kids say the darnest but yet honest things?!
So, today after work I headed to the beauty shop & got my hair cut & colored. When I asked Zoe if she approved of my new look, she said - "It looks good, but the Arch's color is so much prettier!"
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
However, as stressful as the last couple of weeks have been, Zoe seems to have found a new boyfriend, EJ, my cousin Kathy's 18 year old son. Zoe latched on to him one night at the hospital last week. Since then, she has talked about him non-stop. So, you can imagine how excited Zoe was when she saw EJ walk into the funeral home for the visitation. Throughout the night she colored, ate cookies, took walks, etc. with him. When we went out to eat, she had to sit by him & he ended up holding her for over an hour. She keeps telling Paul & I that EJ is her boyfriend. So, I guess that would make them KISSIN' COUSINS! (The rule is only with first cousins, correct?! That's what we're banking on!)
Kissin' Cousins - Zoe & EJ
Monday, November 10, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
A week ago this past Wednesday, my uncle went in for an emergency appendectomy. What usually is a routine surgery ended up being not so routine. Uncle John was taken to the Intensive Care Unit & never regained consciousness. After numerous tests & consultations with several doctors, the decision was that everything that could possibly be done had been done. There was nothing else to do. So, yesterday the decision was made to take him off of life support & let him die peacefully. With his daughter & daughter-in-law by his side, he died last night about 9:20.
Now that brings me to my title of this post. Bitter or Better? One day last week we had an assembly at school. It featured a former pro-wrestler who is now a motivational speaker. His platform is Bitter or Better. Meaning we choose our emotions. We can either take a situation & make it worse or look for the positives in the situation & make it better.
I am trying very hard to look for the positives in Uncle John's death. I want to make the situation better. So, in doing so, I want to share one of my favorite moments with him:
When I was in junior high, Uncle John took my cousin Cheryl & I to a major league baseball game. On the way to & from the game we ate at White Castle. The three of us decided that we would keep all of the little boxes the burgers came in & throw them in the floorboard of my aunt's car to represent my cousin Sean's car (which we named Meals on Wheels - there was trash everywhere!). Well, Aunt Ginny didn't think this was too funny. Not only did she not like all of the trash, but she says it took about 6 months for the smell to escape the care! (I'm sure Uncle John caught hell for quite some time!)
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Heather, The Judge, Megan (Marvin's daughter) Gracie, & Marvin
The older cousins (minus Zack who was at school) line up for a picture!
That evening we had a family dinner to celebrate Gracie's adoption. Everyone enjoyed visiting with each other & watching Heather open a few gifts. Of course, Zoe loved being around Gracie & always wanted to hold her.
Zoe carrying Gracie. (Made for 2 very nervous moms!)
My One Good Thing (OGT) for the day was spending time with my nieces & nephews. They are so much fun. They are at the age when they think I'm still kind of cool. Since I was in town all day, I took my nephews Blake & Zack and Zack's girlfriend Kaylyn out to lunch. Then once school was out, my niece Courtney joined all of us as we ventured out to the apple orchard for a few much needed items! The kids decided that I just need to quit my job & chauffeur all of them around each day. At the dinner that evening they informed Uncle Paul with their decision. His reply - "If you're willing to pay her what she makes teaching I would agree with that!" So, it looks like I won't be quitting my job any time soon!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Anyway, I promised you some pictures of my freshman niece Courtney & freshman nephew Zack (They are not brother & sister, but cousins.) as they attended their first high school Homecoming dance last night. They are both good looking kids & oh so sweet.
Don't they look awesome?!
What's pictures without a close up?!
And of course, here's a couple of Zack & his girlfriend Kaylyn (Zoe's new favorite friend!):
Aren't they cute together?
Last night as I was cleaning, Zoe sat at the dining room table coloring & drawing. I walked by several times & she told me not to look. She was making something very special for me. Well, she was true to her word. Look what she drew? Pretty good, huh?!
Don't you like the fancy letters?!
This afternoon one of Zoe's friends came over to spend two nights with us as her parents were going out of town. Hannah, age 4, is adopted from India. She & Zoe are both quite the celebrities in town, which is understandable when you live in a town of 1,400. Since Hannah arrived she & Zoe have been playing non-stop. I did snap a few pictures of them having fun.
Every girl loves dressing up! (Hannah as Cinderella & Zoe as Belle)
Taking time out for a picture while Daddy reads the girls a book.
You know, while going through fertility treatments Paul & I both thought it would be kind of cool if we ended up being blessed with not only one child, but two. Yes, that's right. We were secretly hoping for twins. (We knew in our hearts & minds that if our fertility treatments worked that we would probably not undergo them again.It's just too stressful & emotional.) As you all know, God had a different plan for us & blessed us with the adoption of one precious little girl. Now, neither one of us can imagine our lives without Zoe. Let me tell you, after having two girls very close in age in the house together all day I am so thankful that I have just one. I know, I know, God doesn't give you more than you can handle, & I'm sure I could & would have learned to adjust to more than one child. But after being with a 5 year old & a 4 year old all day, I NOW more than ever admire those parents that have more than one child, especially those with children so close in age. Wow! It's hard work! So, my O.G.T. (One Good Thing) for today is that I am blessed with one & only one child! ( I think God knew what He was doing when He blessed me with ONLY Zoe Gwen!)
Tomorrow Hannah, Zoe, & I are off to court. No, I'm not in trouble. We are going to witness my niece Gracie's final adoption hearing. We are all so excited. I am tickled pink for my sister Heather. She has waited to be a mom for quite some time. She & I will always share a special bond (besides both being named Heather) as both of our daughters are adopted. Having both traveled down the fertility road, neither one of us would have ever imagined the plan that was in place for us. Isn't it amazing how God knows what's best?
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Zoe dressed up in Zack's girlfriend's old cheerleading uniform!
That'd be Zack - #11!
Getting ready to head on to the field.
Wonder what he's smiling about.....
Hanging out as time ticks off of the game clock! Another win!
Taking a little time out for Zoe after the game!
We couldn't leave cousin Blake out!
O.G.T. - Friends of ours daughter called this evening & wanted to come play with Zoe. What a wonderful idea!!! I got a lot of cleaning done while the two of them hung out together. I started at one end of the house & made my way down the hall. Didn't quite get all the way finished, but I plan to do the rest tomorrow! THANK YOU, ABIGAIL!
PS - Zack (my nephew) & my niece Courtney had their first high school homecoming dance tonight. I will post pics tomorrow!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Two Very Special Little Girls
Later in the afternoon we made our way to the pumpkin patch with Nana & Paw Paw, cousins Zack & Gracie, & aunts Heather & Tracy. We even had a chance to see cousin Megan as she was working. We had a great time picking out pumpkins, riding the pirate ship, & petting the small animals.
Zack & Zoe hanging out with Dora.
Didn't take long to find her pumpkin!
What a smile?!
Zoe had to have her picture with Barney & Baby Bop.
Zoe suggested we get a pony for our house.
Zack, Gracie, & Zoe hanging out by the ponies.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Lisa from A Motherlode has introduced me into blog tagging.
So, here I go with my 7 random &/or weird facts about myself:
1. I will not eat chicken that is on the bone. (After dissecting human bodies in mortuary school & having to pull the meat away from the bone, I just can't do it. Only boneless for this girl!)
2. When burning candles or tarts in my house, I must have the same scent burning throughout!
3. I shred everything that has any of our names on it. (A friend had her identity stolen a couple of years ago & still has not gotten it resolved. Never hurts to be too cautious.)
4. Hate talking on the telephone. I would rather text.
5. I try to send my nephew & niece in Louisiana a picture postcard of Zoe at least once a week. (We usually only see them twice a year so they enjoy keeping up with Zoe & her activities.)
6. I'm addicted to buying new candy. I know, it's weird. And what's really weird, I don't always try it. A lot of times I send it to my neighborhood kids who are away at college. I think they appreciate it though!
7. Believe it or not, I'm quite the homebody. To me there is nothing better than spending a Friday night laying around the house in my pj's reading a good book!
There you have it. Not so sure that's what you were hoping for, but that's what you got! Now it's my turn to tag 7 people. Who will it be?
Janelle at Live, Laugh, & LOVE It!
Kristie at Kristie's Dots
Jen at Addie & Alex
Missy at Party of Many
Rachel at Loving Lily
Lianna at Be Thou a Knight
Vanessa at Half a Dozen Hammonds
Saturday, October 11, 2008
While they were at the festival I took a little nap. On the way home from Backyardigans Live, I started getting a migraine. So, my husband being the nice guy he is (& with a little encouragement!) took Zoe out of the house so I could lay down. My little power nap did the trick - zapped my headache.
My O.G.T. for the day would have to be our swimming pool vacuum. We are getting ready to close our pool in just a few days. Well, I have to admit, that I have neglected keeping up with the day to day maintenance of the pool this last week. So, I decided I better take a look at how bad it was. And, much to my surprise it wasn't bad at all. Only a bunch of leaves were on the bottom. So, I hooked up the vacuum & snap - it's clear as can be. (Good thing that vacuum worked. Otherwise I guess we'd just dealt with the leaves next year when we opened the pool. My husband would NOT have been happy with that.)
Thought I would leave you with a couple of pictures of Zoe. Last week before bedtime she had me braid her hair while it was still wet. The next day she had me take the braids out so she could have wavy hair. She was sooo proud of it.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Blake at second base after getting a hit.
Waiting to catch the ball in right field.
Zoe & Jessie - (Her dad is Blake's coach.)
Need I say more?!
Zoe & her state champion! - Isn't he a cutie?!
Hooters Uniform - Several of you have asked if I have had any luck finding the orange Hooters shorts that Zoe wants so she can be a Hooters girl for trick-or-treat. You will be thrilled to know that I have found a pair of 2XS on the Internet. Just have to cross my fingers & hope that I am the highest bidder. (I know none of you are going to bid on them because you all can't wait to see Zoe sporting her costume for Halloween!!! Believe me, I WILL post pictures!)
O.G.T. - One Good Thing - I'm reading the book Recovering Charles by Jason F. Wright. In the book the main character talks about when growing up his dad regularly said that there was always One Good Thing about even the very worst of days. I thought that was pretty clever. So, I've decided that perhaps I will start letting you know what my O.G.T. is for each day........So, for today, my O.G.T. was seeing my niece Gracie. She is growing so big so fast - 9 months old already. Seems like yesterday my sister Heather received "the call" saying a baby was to be hers. When I look in Gracie's beautiful big brown eyes, I see so much love. She has truly been a blessing in our family. (I'll save that story for another time!) See what you think of Gracie for yourself: