Sunday, February 22, 2009

And The Winner Is................

Zoe reaching her hand in the cup (notice how we had to use HER cup) to pull out a name....

She pulled a special one out....Who could it be?....

And the winner is..............Jessica at Hodgepodge

Congratulations, Jessica! If you would, please e-mail me ( with your selected size of t-shirt & your mailing address. I will handle the rest. (Thanks to all who participated.)

A Ballgame & Bowling with Good Friends

Despite the very lopsided outcome of EJ's ballgame - his team lost big time - we had a great Saturday afternoon/evening. After the basketball game we headed to dinner with friends & then on to the bowling alley for an evening of fun. Here's some pictures highlighting our bowling extravaganza...

As you can tell, Zoe had a great time bowling. She can't wait until we go again.

Just a Reminder: Don't forget to visit this post & leave a comment so you are entered into the drawing for a really cool long sleeve t-shirt. One name will be drawn tonight by our very own Zoe. Good luck!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Family Time

This afternoon Paul, Zoe, & I are heading out to my cousin EJ's college basketball game. Afterwards we are planning to meet up with some dear friends for dinner & then a few games of bowling. Sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday that is cold & snowy. Of course I'm taking the camera along so I hope to get some great pictures of the family outing.

Don't forget to visit this post about my giveaway. Be sure to leave a comment to get your name in the drawing for a unique long sleeve t-shirt that is gonna help unite two children from Ethiopia with their forever family. The drawing will take place tomorrow night. Zoe will be doing the honors of drawing the winner. Good luck!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

100th Post with a Two-Fold Giveaway!!!!

When I started this blog months ago, I never dreamed it would transpire like it has. What started out as a way to keep distant family informed of Zoe's doings has lead me to people I now consider friends who have inspired me in more ways than one. (Gunner, Lianna, Livi, Stefanie - just to name a few.)

In honor of my 100th post, I am doing my first ever giveaway......

Gwen & her hubby are fundraising to bring their newest son & daughter, Joseph & Abigail, home from Ethiopia. Gwen designed a long sleeve t-shirt that is causing people to talk.

Front of the shirt.....

Back of the shirt.....

Gwen tells it best: "I DESIGNED THEM TO CAUSE PEOPLE TO TALK ... I pictured the Daisy as people would say "You Love Me, You Love Me Not?" and it hit me ... It is a personal choice to love the orphans, but it is a mandate from the Father that we all care for them in some way ... WHAT DOES CARING LOOK LIKE FOR YOU ... It could be adopting, sponsoring a child, helping someone fund their adoption, clothes drives/food drives for orphanages, volunteering at a non-profit, interim care, or simply buying this t-shirt to help bring my children home ... I know I am saying this to the choir... You, my blog family, have been amazing at caring for the orphans, so many of you are ACTING and we are changing this world !!! Let's keep talking about them to others and get more people involved."

So, here's the deal, you win a very cool shirt that is bound to have people talking when you wear it & at the same time, I am helping the Oatsvalls bring their newest additions home.

Your name will be entered in the drawing one time for each of the following:

Leaving me a comment
Posting about my giveaway on your blog

Drawing will be held Sunday, February 22nd at 8 PM!!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Today was Paul's 46th birthday. He had to work this morning but then spent all afternoon with us. He loved his present & the card that Zoe made for him. The two of them enjoyed playing Wii, tormenting each other, & just hanging out. Happy Birthday, Daddy. We love you!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

~ The Love Bug ~

Zoe had a surprise for us this morning after she was up & dressed. Apparently yesterday at pre-school she made a Valentine's Day headband that she was pretty darn proud of. She just couldn't wait for us to see her with it on. What do you think?........

Is She the Cutest Love Bug or What?!

(Happy Valentine's Day!!!!)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Far Away Friend

The other night Zoe & I attended a basketball game at my school. Not only was Zoe thrilled to see several of my students (especially the cheerleaders!!!), but she was particularly excited to see her friend Morgan, one of my co-worker's daughters who she calls her "Far Away Friend"! (even though we only live about 30 minutes apart)

Living in different towns & with school in session, these two do not see enough of each other. Right when Zoe walked in the door, they each ran to each other with their arms wide open. It amazes me how their friendship is just like adults - their conversation seem to pick up right where it had left off about two months ago! They enjoyed each other's company throughout the game & said goodbye by reminding each other they' d meet up again April 23rd on Take Your Daughter to Work Day. Zoe even went so far as to mark it on her calendar when we got home! (just in case I would forget!)

Zoe & her "Far Away Friend" Morgan

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


While we were waiting to bring Zoe home, there was one little girl who was just as excited as Paul & I - Abigail, our friends' daughter. I still remember the night that we told Abbie & her brother Bennett that we were adopting a little girl from China. They were both very thrilled & had numerous questions. However, we continue to get a kick out of Abbie's questions still today...

"How will they ship her here?" (Abbie thought that the mailman was going to deliver the new arrival just like he does the mail.)

After Abbie's mom told Abbie that she would be able to babysit when she got older, Abbie replied, "How will I talk to her?". (Abbie thought the baby would only talk Chinese. She was confused how any of us were going to communicate with the new arrival.)

Once our adoption paperwork was turned in, we quickly began working on the baby's room by painting & decorating. We chose a ladybug pattern (I'm assuming you all know the Ladybug legend in China?!) from JC Penney that included matching wallpaper border & bedding. Abigail drove her mother nuts wanting to buy anything & everything that had ladybugs on it.

The day our referral came Paul & I e-mailed all of our friends & family with the good news that we had been matched with a gorgeous little girl that we named Zoe Gwen. Upon seeing Zoe's picture Abbie was thrilled. She immediately started making all kinds of art projects with Zoe's name as well as for Zoe's room.

The time between referral & us arriving home with Zoe was about two & a half months. Abigail was there waiting for us when we walked off of the airplane with Zoe. Since that day, she & Zoe share a special bond that is like no other. As Zoe began talking, she immediately started calling Abbie "B" & continued that for a year or so.

Four years later I am positive there are times when Abbie gets tired of having to play with Zoe or hang out with her, but she never complains. Abbie continues to be the best friend Zoe could ask for. One thing is for sure - Zoe never tires of Abbie. Abigail will always be the one & only "B" Zoe will ever have!!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

What Do You Think I Said?

This weekend I have been cleaning out closets, getting rid of clutter, & listing things on Ebay to sell. Well, it was beautiful here yesterday - in the 60's. So, Paul took Zoe outside to play in the backyard so I could get in her closet & weed things out.

I found 3 hats that she has NOT played with in probably a year or so. I wasn't going to pitch them, but yet send them to Half the Sky which will use them in China for the children in the orphanages they serve to play dress-up. Well, needless to say, Zoe found them in my "getting rid of clutter stack" & immediately put one on & said in such a sweet voice, "Mama, can't we keep these? I love them & so does my froggy." So, can you guess what my reply was????.....

Of course, we'll be keeping them!!!! (& buying Half the Sky different ones for their dress-up program.)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

NO Shadow for Our Groundhog!

On Fridays when we pick Zoe up from daycare she always has a load of papers in her book bag for us to look at it. Aside from the usual Friday note, it's always fun to see what she has worked on all week & what creations she has made in pre-k. Here is what we found yesterday:

Our Own Little Groundhog!

(Who by the way did NOT see her shadow as she is ready for Spring!)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

An IPod + Bose Headphones = Rockin' Zoe

Zoe got an IPod for her birthday this past October. It is so cute to watch her listen to her music. Not realizing that she is practically screaming, she sings at the top of her lungs while dancing & shaking her bootie & then looks at us dumbfounded wondering why we are staring & laughing at her. Recently she started complaining that the little bud earphones that came with her IPod hurt her ears & won't stay in. After enough begging & pleading, Paul finally gave in to her request to use his Bose headphones. When she put them on for the first time she said - "Daddy these are awesome. These fit my ears really good & I can hear my music!" (I think that was a hint! I'm not so sure it's going to be so easy for him to get them back from her.) Anyway, Zoe is loving every bit of her IPod with the music Daddy downloaded for her - High School Musical, Hannah Montana, Jones Brothers, Taylor Swift, etc. Hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoy watching her....

Singing along to a High School Musical song...

Taking time out for a smile.

Loving Daddy's headphones...

Showing off her "little purple stick"!

Selecting a different song...

Jammin' with Mick the puppy & Blankie while sucking on her finger.

One more smile!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Little Rocket Cheerleader

Zoe had so much fun cheering at the boys' varsity basketball game last night. Here are several (okay, a lot) of pictures of her being a little "Rocket Cheerleader":

Arriving at the gym at 6:30 PM

Sitting with friends - Jordan, Kaidyn, & McKenzie

Lining up to hit the players' hands when they run out.

Taking her place on the gym floor.

Getting ready to start.

What a beautiful smile!

Zoe & McKenzie listening for the music.

Striking a pose...

With the entire group...

Zoe & Kaidyn


Go Big Blue!

Waving at Mom!

Getting ready to jump!

Running off the floor...

Reagan, Kaidyn, & Zoe

Zoe & Hannah

Zoe & Kiersten (her instructor)

Little Miss Zoe - a Rocket Cheerleader

After making their cheerleading debut, all the girls returned to sit in the stands with their parents. Just so happened that Grant, one of Zoe's daycare buddies, was sitting in front of us. Rather than watch the rest of the basketball game, the two of them played trains.