Why I have been MIA

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Alrightie, so the big question is "Why have I been so absent from the blogosphere lately?"

The answer:
We've been house hunting.  Yep. It's hard to believe we've been in our house for eight years now.  And in that time, we've added two precious dumplings.  With our fourth and final bedroom dedicated to school, we have always planned that Madeline and Havi would share a room. The only problem is that 2 out of our 4 bedrooms are busting at the seams.  Our school room is packed with school supplies and toys, and it's not enough big enough to hold our printer/copier, which is currently stationed in the dining room.Madeline currently shares her room with all my photography gear and only half of my sewing stuff (the rest of it occupies the front hall closet.)  Since we have to make room in Madeline's room for Havi, there is zero space for my stuff.  And in my gramma's favorite words, I can't put it on my head.

So, the obvious point is that we have outgrown our space, even before bringing Havi home. And for the last few weeks, we have spent our days scrolling through listings and checking out houses.  The kids have been troopers through it all.  We have seen about a dozen homes and went back to take a second look at one of them.  We made an offer.  The sellers countered.  We countered.  They countered. And now we wait.   And we'll continue to look.  And if it's the house the Lord wants us in, then He'll make it happen.  Somehow or other, we'll find a way to meet in the middle if that's what the Lord wants. The hardest part is trusting Him and His plan for us while we wait.  It's tough, and I often find myself wanting Him to just hurry up and tell me what He wants for us.  This trusting, waiting, and patience thing is just plain hard.

The other big part of this picture is that we have put our own house up for sale.  We have put a lot of time, effort, and energy into making this house our home.  I adore it.  I really do.  Although my decorating style has changed a bit recently, I still love this place.  In the eight years we've lived here, we have completely remodeled our home.  Completely.  Every surface.  Every wall, floor, ceiling, door, window, room, pool....all.of.it!  We have made it our own. Yet, we're willing to give all that up for the sake of some much needed space for our growing needs and growing family.  In the end, it's just stuff.  And we can't take it with us.  So, soon we'll find another house and again, with time, make it our home.

In the meantime, boy do I need prayer!  My mind is a mess, as I feel pulled in so many directions.  So much of what I do lately is either for our house or one that we want to buy.  School time is getting squeezed.  I'm hoping that showing our own house won't interfere with our lessons, but I still wonder.So please pray that we'll continue to do well with fitting our lessons in. Also, please pray that our house will sell quickly and for the right price.

So, that's the big news. I'll be sure to keep you posted on our progress, or lack thereof...preferably the former.

Weekend Getaway: The final day

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Our last day in South Florida was fairly short.  We started off each morning by enjoying breakfast by the pool.  It's amazing the difference a day makes because on our final morning, it was much hotter than the day before....making it hard to drink that much needed cup of coffee.  Yeesh.  The kids kept busy with iPhones and coloring while we waited for our food.

I thought I'd get a shot of my new purse/everyday camera bag.  I bought the Kelly Moore 2 Sues, and I love it!  Just perfect for every day use, though not quite big enough for a weekend getaway; mental note made.
After using the facilities following breakfast, I couldn't resist snapping a shot of me and my girl in the ladies room.
And then I HAD to get a family photo..not quite the kind you send to China for your dossier.  However, I had been admiring the lovely mirrors near the elevators and was determined to snap a photo of the four of us.  One member of the group wasn't particularly thrilled with this idea, but she didn't have a say in the matter.
So after packing up our bags, and before heading out, we snapped a few more photos around "The Grove". I loved these gigantic green doors, but my model didn't.
One last shot of Dinner Key Marina from the other side.
Palm trees galore.  Love me some sunflare.
One of the shots I was hoping to get, if time permitted, was that of the Miami skyline.  My wonderful hubby indulged me as we headed back home.  We managed to find a little tucked away spot off the Rickenbacker Causeway.

I couldn't resist snapping this shot of some graffiti out the window of the car minivan on I-95, though my camera wasn't quite ready for it.  So there's some motion blur.
Our last stop before keeping on the highway and really heading home was at the cremation garden where my mother's and gramma's ashes are kept.

It's kind of hard to see their names when we're hiding them.  Oops.  (They're right behind the kids.)

What was special about visiting that day is that the day before marked eight years since my mother had passed away.  Eight years.  It's hard to believe.  I have had the chance to bring Caleb here before during visits to the orthopedic surgeon in Miami Beach (who performed his muscle tendon transfer surgery for his brachial plexus injury.)  But this was Madeline's first visit.  And since she's named in honor of my mother, Susan Madeline, I thought it was quite fitting we had an opportunity to visit that day.  As each year passes, I can look back and see how God is healing me. I sure do miss my mom terribly, but I'm learning to live.

Well, before our final adios to South Florida, we grabbed a quick bite to eat at the local McDonalds.  And in Davie, aka horse country, this is how they do the golden arches.

Although I didn't get in as many photos as I would've liked for this mini vacation, I'm still glad that I have proof I was there.  I'm a work in progress for sure.  And Patrick is getting the hang of things when I hand off my big girl camera to him.

Our next little getaway is planned for October, when we will be heading up to Connecticut to help our niece, Lydia, celebrate her 6th birthday.  Caleb is really looking forward to that day...because then most of the little cousins will be in chronological order...7, 6, 5, 4, and then Josh at 1.  He's pretty funny like that.

Weekend Getaway: Day 2

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Since it has been almost a week since I first shared Day 1 of our weekend getaway, I better share Days 2 and 3 before you forget we even went on vacation.  I have been MIA lately and for good reason, but that will have to wait for another post.  So on to Day 2 of our mini vacation.

The kids enjoyed hanging out on the sofas in the lobby of the hotel, playing on iPhones and drinking flavored water.

Before it got too hot out, we thought we would take a stroll around Coconut Grove and see what we could.
Now, I know this is just a Johnny Rockets, which can be found anywhere, but I just loved the wedge shape and the sun peeking in to the frame here.
Here's a shot of our hotel from the street.
We decided to take a walk over by the Shoppes at Mayfair...
...because I had to capture the famous Bookstore in the Grove.
And how cute are these bike racks in the shape of, what else, bikes?!
The Improv, comedy club.
Dinner Key Marina
So, after dragging the kids around town in the heat enjoying the sights, we decided it was time to hit the Miami MetroZoo, now known as Zoo Miami.  Actually, there are so many fun places to bring your kids when you're visiting Miami, it was really hard to choose just one place.  But, since I hadn't been to MetroZoo/Zoo Miami since Hurricane Andrew destroyed it, we thought we'd go. And I'm so glad we did!
With maps and waters in hand, we hit the pavement.

Actually, the wheels of our rental bike hit the pavement.  Can I get a Hallelujah?!  Now that  is how you see Zoo Miami...in the sweltering South Florida summer heat and rain.  The family bikes are big enough to hold everyone and have a canopy on top, which is how we stayed in the shade and were protected from the rainfall.  Insert big smile on this mama's face and less grouchy kidlets.
We checked out an aviary, saw some amazing exotic birds, and even acted like them, too.  Here's Caleb hatching.

One of the highlights of the afternoon was feeding the giraffes.
Caleb and Madeline LOVED it!
Apparently giraffes speak English because Madeline kept talking to them like they understood her. lol

We also had a chance to visit the Amazon.
(How cute is my hubby toting around my purse/camera bag for me?  What a gentleman!)

Caleb has been fascinated with snakes lately (king cobras, in particular). So we had to visit our slithery friends.
On our way there, Caleb pretended to be a jaguar...
...and rode on a dart frog.

Here are the kids spying on the jaguars.
And then we finally made it to the home of our reptilian friends. Madeline was more interested in dancing.

But Caleb couldn't get enough of them.  And it was a good thing these friends live indoors at the zoo, where it's air conditioned, for the sake of all their visitors because we stayed a while.  I think Caleb probably looked over every creature at least three hundred times.  He was absolutely precious, and his sister was patient, for the most part.
So after our little excursion to the zoo, we headed back to the hotel.
We managed to out pace another storm as we headed back.  Boy, was it fascinating to watch this storm roll in from 18 floors up.  So so cool.
Later that evening, we headed out for dinner to a little Italian place called Calamari.  Thankfully the rain let up, mostly, as we walked over.  Just before we reached the restaurant, I spied the old Coconut Grove Playhouse, which closed its doors in 2006 for financial reasons.
Dinner was absolutely delicious.  And it's a good thing we had to walk back to the hotel.  Well, I was practically rolled out of there, as we all were.  Anyway, once we got back to the hotel, I wanted to snap a night time shot of Biscayne Bay. This happens to be one of my top favorite shots from our vacation.  I could really get used to a view like this. lol.
Well, that wraps up Day 2.  I promise Day 3 won't take so long to share.  And I promise to share what's been keeping me busy.

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About This Blog

This blog is the place where shared our lives while waiting to bring our daughters Madeline and Havi home from China. (Our son Caleb was already home before this blog began.) It is now the place where we continue to share our life experiences, both big and little, as we try to glorify God and raise our 3 dumplings from China.

Feel free to join us as we journey through life, while I try to capture our days...

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