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:
Thursday, October 9, 2008
1. Born in Illinois to Ed & Virginia who eventually divorced when I was 7
2. Born on my cousin Mark's 10th birthday. To this day he can't stand strawberry cake because that is what I insisted we have every birthday party!
3. Have 1 brother named Chuck & 4 sisters: Brooke, Heather (Yes, her name is also Heather. Okay, okay, she's my step-sister, but I consider her my sister!), Tracy, & Angie
4. Before getting my teaching certificate I obtained a degree in Mortuary Science & Funeral Service
5. Met my husband Paul (who is a funeral director) at college
6. Love salsa & chips
7. Went through numerous fertility treatments - 9 IUI's & 4 IVF's - before adopting Zoe from China in 2005
8. Coached two jr. high teams to the State Championship - volleyball & basketball
9. Drivers license still says the same weight as it did when I got it at age 16! (Why not? They ask every time I go to renew it if anything has changed. Heck, if they don't care, why should I?!)
10. Carpool with another teacher to work most mornings
11. Scared of birds (When I was young, my friend & I were walking down the street & a bird swooped down & pecked her on the head. Frightened me!)
12. Enjoy listening to a variety of music - country, Christian, rock, rap (notice I didn't say crap - that's what I call most of the music that my students listen to!!!), classical, etc.
13. Love candles - favorite is Banana Nut Bread
14. Gulf Shores, Alabama is my favorite vacation spot (right on the beach)
15. First car was a used 1981 Mercury Capri. (Didn't even get to pick it out, but had to pay for it. Let me tell ya, it was nothing to brag about, but it got me where I needed to go!) Now I drive a Mercury Mountaineer & love it!
16. Bummed when they quit making Vanilla Pepsi. (Vanilla Coke just doesn't do it for me!)
17. My family & I were missionaries in Anguilla for 5 months between my kindergarten & first grade years.
18. Could care less about politics. (Paul loves them so it really bugs him that I show no interest.)
19. Love to read. Nicholas Sparks, Debbie Macomber, John Grisham, Kristin Hannah are just a few of my favorites.
20. Hated math growing up. (Still do! I have never understood why I would have to do all 30 problems for homework if they were all covering the same task. If I could do the first 15 correctly whey did I have to do the rest? Wasn't I bound to make a mistake?)....Can you tell I don't teach math?
21. Took piano lessons for 7 years & can't play a thing. (I would give every excuse not to practice & to get out of lessons each week.)
22. Love Friday Night Lights the tv show. It's the only show that I don't miss each week. (Don't tell me what happened this week though because it's tivod!)
23. Been to two Nascar Races - Michigan & Talladega
24. Must have sugar in my tea!
25. Love looking at magazines - People, Adoptive Families, Sports Illustrated, Prevention, etc. You name it, I'd probably look at it.
26. Favorite color is green. Growing up my bedroom was decorated in pink & pale green.
27. Enjoy coloring. Zoe loves to color so there are many nights that she & I will sit at the dining room table & color.
28. Miss rocking Zoe to sleep. Haven't done this in quite a while. Since she's been in a big girl bed she doesn't let me rock her. If she would let me, you can bet that I would.
29. Can't (or should I say won't) watch a movie at the movie theater without getting a soda & buttered popcorn.
30. Saw Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer, & New Kids on the Block while in college. Crazy, huh?
31. Went boating with Tony Romo (the Dallas Cowboys quarterback) a couple of years ago when he was in college. My sister-in-law (Paul's sister) attended the same college as Tony & lived with his then girlfriend.
32. Can't stand the smell of campfire smoke on my clothes. (Disgusting!)
33. Didn't even get my bicycle out of the garage this year. You can call me lazy. Go ahead.
34. Want to visit the east coast some day.
35. Thankful for my job teaching 7th & 8th graders. I absolutely love it. I try to have fun with my students each day. I figure if they are not enjoying school then they aren't learning & they do NOT want to be there.
36. Love having lots of nieces & nephews. Just wish I could see the all more. A couple of them we see about two times a year - that's definitely not enough.
37. Have a wonderful husband & daughter who love me unconditionally. God could not have given me two people who complete me more than Paul & Zoe. I consider myself very lucky.
There you have it - all 37 things about me. Hope you learned a little about me that you didn't know before.
I can't end my post with that though. Just wanted to tell you that Zoe got her wish tonight. We did have dinner tonight again as a family. However, we didn't eat at home. Paul decided that he wasn't going to make me cook on my birthday so we went to a local restaurant. Once we got home, Paul & Zoe hooked up for a little "Daddy & Zoe time"!
Oh, I must brag a little - Zoe can tie her shoes by herself. We have been working on it every once in a while. Well, tonight she came to me & wanted to show me something. Sure enough, she tied both shoes by herself. She was so excited. She said - "Mama, are you amazed?" I told her I was & that I was so proud of her. She then said - "I knew you'd be proud of me. I wanted you to see that I could do it on your birthday!" What a great present! (It's the little things in life......)
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Crisis faced by American Adoptive Families......... Friends of ours, Erik & Adrienne, are waiting for their little girl in China. They have been logged in China for about two years now & hope to receive their referral in the coming months. Recently they learned that some of the rules & regulations with international adoption have changed. While the new law (The new Hague I800A) that Congress passed was intended for all families who have been in the international adoption process before April 1, 2008, to be grandfathered in, the Department of State & the US Department of Homeland Security's CIS (the enforcing agencies) are ignoring the new law & are forcing all families to abide by the new regulations. Not only does this contradict the way the law was written, but it also creates undue hardship for the thousands of US families affected, and will likely cause the disruption of the adoption. Under the new rules these families will have to pay additional dollars, in some cases running into the thousands in fees to US adoption and homestudy agencies. Having already spent in excess of $10,000, many cannot afford these additional fees. Besides the extra fees, some families may find themselves having to find a different adoption agency which means China will require that they resubmit their dossier, and move to the end of a line that includes adopters from many countries and is in excess of 25,000 families long. I cannot imagine being in this situation. When we went through our adoption of Zoe, the wait time was 8 months. Some families have already waited 2 or 3 years. And now there's a possibility that they will basically have to start all over? NUTS!!! So, what can you do? Sign this petition - Adoption for All: The Fairness for Families Petition. It is aimed at Congress to require the enforcing agencies to grandfather those families in just as the law was written. These families should not have to suffer because the enforcing agencies are not doing what was expected of them.
Okay, what about three in a row?..........Growing up my parents, brother, & I ate together as a family every night. It's just one of those traditions we had. Once Zoe joined our family, I always longed for those times knowing it would be impossible every night to do. With my husband Paul being a funeral director there are many nights that he is not home, let alone for dinner, because of visitations, funerals, removals, etc. The past two weeks have been crazy around our house. Paul has had to work quite a bit, & Zoe & I have been busy with activities as well as meetings. So, you can imagine how exciting it has been having everyone home the last two nights. Not only did we enjoy dinner as a family, but we actually got to spend some quality time together. Zoe has loved having her daddy home; laughing, joking, & playing with him. She has really been Daddy's girl these last couple of nights. Before going to bed tonight, she informed her daddy what plans she has in stake for the two of them tomorrow night. I sure hope we're able to make it three in a row with everyone home, or Zoe is going to be one disappointed little girl.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Do we have to hear the rules??!!!
Zoe playing on one of the slides.
Zoe getting ready to do a trick on the parallel bars.
Showing how to do a bridge kick over.
The three Amigos - Zoe, Gracie, & Sydney!
Gotta love that pink icing!!!!