We're in!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Big news #1: 
We have our LID for Havi- Nov 9th!  
Woo hoo!!!!!!!!!

Big news #2:
We moved!!!

I was supposed to finish this post up before we turned off our computers earlier this week, but that, obviously, didn't happen. These photos were taken at our old place.  Remember, I wanted to capture the kids just hanging out and enjoying themselves?  Well, here they are pretending to be ferocious lions.  They love to play "animals" all the time.

I loved photographing them at play in our living room because it had the absolute best light in the entire house. (Yes, technically it should probably be called the family room.  But I grew up with only one room for the family, and we called it the living room.  So that's what always stuck with me.)  

I still have other photos I've taken this past month at our old home that I still want to share.  No fear, though, I will try to put up some photos of the dumplings in our new home.  Believe it or not, I still haven't taken a shot of the front of our house.  For real.  lol.  Anyway, I think I better start downloading all those iPhone photos I've taken.  I can't believe how much light this house has!!  I haven't even bothered shooting with my big girl camera too much these last few days because I have found the photos I've taken with my iPhone to be bright enough.  Gasp!

We're still in the processing of moving everything in and helping things find their rightful place.  But the reality is, though our old house was small, we really built in some great storage. Our new house has much more space, but storage just isn't the best...not yet anyway.  It will come, if I have my way. lol

Anyway, I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.  We will be enjoying ours in our new place!  Oh, and I can't forget to say a huge thank you to our dear friend Shail and his friend Carlo, who are men of steel with hearts of gold and have graciously given up their time these past two days to help us.  And according to them, they're not done!  Say what?  Their hearts are so huge.  They have richly blessed us as they have been the hands and feet of God.  We are so grateful and are deeply humbled by their service.  A million thanks!

Last days, moving, and Thanksgiving Day-ish

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Well, my absence from the blog this time means only one thing....we closed on our house last week!  We have spent all week packing things up.  Remember how I said I wanted to capture some images inside our home, one last time before we moved?  Well, I managed to take a few.  The series I'm sharing this time is when the kidlets decided to play Candyland one afternoon.  

They had a lot of fun, and their time together almost always means tickle fights, squishing each other, and giggles.

This room no longer looks like this.  The rug, console table, arm chair and ottoman, and end tables are gone.  I did snap a few more of the kids enjoying the house before the chaos ensued.  So I will post those soon too.  And I have  also taken a handful of photos with my big girl camera and iPhone in my attempt to capture our moving process. But I still need to download those and then find the time to put them together to make a coherent blog post.  Hmm...that might take time.

Anyway, I do think our slow transition will help the kids adjust a bit better. They have been playing at the new house a lot while we unpack over there.  So it won't feel so strange to them when we're finally all moved over.  Now don't get me wrong and think that I'm thinking this will be easy as pie; I don't.  I just think it will be a wee bit easier.  That's all.

We've already met most of our neighbors on our cul-de-sac.  I'm happy to report that two families are big Florida Gator fans, just like yours truly. So we know a few more people who are celebrating the Gator victory this weekend.  (I think big Gator block parties are in our future. he he.)

On the adoption front, still no word on our LID.  I'm a little disappointed that we haven't heard about it yet.  I had hoped that we would hear by the end of this month.  And, although we haven't yet, I'm still hopeful because November still has a few more days before it's over.  So there's still a chance.  And if not, it won't be the end of me.  I have really given complete control of this adoption to the Lord.  I'm at total peace. So it is what it is.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We did indeed eat turkey prepared by my better half.  Then we spent a good part of the day moving things.  Still, turkey made it feel like Thanksgiving.  My sister, Deb, and BIL Andy came on Friday with their kidlets.  Andy helped Patrick move a few things, and my sister offered her opinion on her top choices for wall colors from the sample boards I painted.  Isn't that what sisters are so good for?  I love her!  Caleb and Madeline loved playing with Leah, and the feeling was mutual.  Now if only Joshua could morph into a 3yo who talks and listens, then life would be swell.  In the meantime, we'll continue to chase him down to keep him out of trouble and smother him with kisses.


Friday, November 16, 2012

We're just plain busy.

Tomorrow Caleb wraps up his baseball season.  We are so proud of our little player.  Each season he continues to improve.  He hits the ball well and has been making outs on the field.  His favorite positions to play are catcher and first base.  Patrick continues to help out with coaching.  So it's been a special time together for the boys.  And we just love watching him play.

Madeline continues to enjoy dance.  She has a Holiday performance coming up next month, for which she's very excited about.  She's also been begging me to do more school with her.  Although I have different programs I use to teach her, we barely do school together.  She does a great job of keeping herself busy while I work with Caleb.  However, she's asking me to teach her more.  So I'm carving out more time in the day to do that.

Still no word on our LID for Havi's adoption.  We're hoping to hear any day now.

With the cooler temps, the kids have been playing more in the front yard.  Although I don't like it getting dark so early, we do love this time of year.  It allows us to get outside any time of day, without having to load up on sunscreen and water. lol

Caleb asks me to play catch with him...daily.  It's precious.  So while we're doing that, Madeline is either riding her bike or her brother's scooter...or bringing her stuffed animals outside for storytime.

This afternoon, well, we're hoping to close on our new house.  And while we have LOVED this extra wide sidewalk in front of our house for the kids to play on (we live on a busy street), we are looking forward to living at the end of a cul-de-sac.
The reality of this impending move has really started to sink in.  There are lots of things about this house that I'm going to miss.  And I've decided that I want to do my best to capture it all one last time.  These images above really speak to how we spend our fall and winter afternoons.  I love hanging out in the front yard with the dumplings. And I LOVE hearing their squeals when Baba's car pulls into the driveway at the end of the day.  Gonna miss ya, little yellow house.

5 years with his Forever Family!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It's hard to believe that five years ago, our precious son Caleb was placed in our arms for the first time.

We love to celebrate this special time, though we know that not every adoptive family agrees that it's something to celebrate because the day is often traumatic for the adoptee. We thought we would treat Caleb to a night in a log cabin over at Fort Wilderness by the Mouse.
The weather couldn't have been more perfect...a coolness in the air without being too cold.  This was, in fact,  the warmest Family Day celebration on record for him.

The dumplings loved being surrounded by all the tall pine trees and playing on the playground before dinner.

After we finished dinner, we headed over to the Chip n Dale sing along for some marshmallow roasting and a movie outdoors on the big screen, "The Lion King."  Caleb enjoyed the marshmallows, while Madeline enjoyed the chocolate bars. I personally enjoyed eating them together in the form of 'smores.  Yum.
The next morning we headed over to the Grand Floridian for breakfast in order to fill our bellies before heading to the Magic Kingdom for the day.
Oh, and some of these photos were captured with either my iPhone or Patrick's.
We had a fun spin on the Teacups.

We managed to plan well when hitting the rides, grabbing as many fastpasses as we could, including Dumbo and Winnie-the-Pooh.

We headed over to Frontier Land for lunch.  Madeline thought her stickers looked better on her face than her shirt.
The kids really enjoyed Pirates of the Carribean, well Caleb did.  We got to ride Aladdin twice because the ride attendant placed two families on the same carpet.  Score another one for us! 
The Enchanted Tiki room was quite cute, and we thoroughly enjoyed the Jungle Queen and the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse.

Normally we start in Tomorrowland and hit up Buzz pretty early, but we decided to change things up a bit.  We chose to hit Buzz and the Raceway just before heading out.

After I took this shot of Patrick, I saw that he was taking a picture of himself with the princess.  So I had to get him to share it with me.
I usually ride with Madeline, and Patrick rides with Caleb.  So again, we switched it up.

And since we had a few minutes to spare before our Buzz fastpasses, we grabbed a nice cold tasty treat.

We've never done so many rides in such a short time.  The weather was truly perfect. Normally, we are wearing jackets during the day with gloves in the morning.  But not this year!  After hitting the bathroom one last time before driving home, Patrick snapped a shot of me with Caleb.  I had no idea he grabbed my camera out of the bag while I was in the bathroom.  I really need to hand him my camera more often.  I'm thankful. though, he managed to snap a few photos of me with our dumplings using his iPhone.

Well, I couldn't leave off this post without sharing two funnies that Caleb made yesterday.

During school, after he had finished narrating his passage from The Little Duke, in which we learned of Richard receiving the ducal mantle and subsequent banquet...

Me: That was a long ceremony and feast.
Caleb: Yeah, being Duke is hard work!

Hanging out in our room watching the election returns...

Caleb: When are they going to stop talking?
Me: Oh, they're going to talk all night.
Caleb: So, they're nocturnal?

In another bit of news, I thought I would share that we found out that our dossier was sent to China this past Friday, Nov 2nd.  I know most of you were hoping the big news I shared earlier was a referral.  However, we had one last hiccup that prevented us from sending our dossier off a few weeks ago.  So we're now officially DTC Nov 2nd and are awaiting our LID. Hooray!  Hooray!

Costumes and candy

Friday, November 2, 2012

This week the dumplings had a couple of opportunities to dress up and indulge in some candy eating.  Madeline's dance class had the chance to dress up during class this week.  I'm so glad they let us back there to snap a group photo.  Although she's partially hidden by sweet little pirate in front, you can see that she is a...drumroll please... Flamenco dancer.
I used McCalls 6418 to make the dress.
It really came together easily, although I didn't care for the zipper instructions.  So I just inserted it the way I wanted to.  It has three gathered layers for a lot of twirl power.  Gosh, I do love to sew for her.

Okay, back to the festivities...both kids had the opportunity to fill their bags with candy at our church's trunk or treat.  Caleb wanted to be an astronaut this year.  He loves to study science, so I'm not at all surprised by his costume choice.
Since it takes a long time to make your way through the line of trunks, we brought the stroller along.  Madeline was so funny getting her dress pulled up so she could sit comfortably. She's wearing six yards of fabric!
Madeline graciously let her brother rest in the stroller at times.  He's not a big gum chewer, but he thought he might chew some while he was waiting to move on to the next car.
Lollilops, of course, are never far from Madeline's mouth.  

Another favorite around these parts are Starbursts.  So we had some pretty happy kids.
And then after all the trunk or treating was over, the kids hit the bounce houses.  We actually packed a change of clothes for Madeline in case she couldn't bounce in her dress, but she did a fabulous job holding it up.  No wardrobe change was necessary.

Then it was time to head home.

And dig through each others bags at least one more time, looking for pieces to trade.

And there she goes again with another lollipop and her "I'm gonna look at my brother and pose" pose.

On Halloween night, we headed over to our friends' neighborhood to trick or treat with them.  This is how they passed out candy.
And here's our little candy eating crew.  The three big kids headed one way and the four little ones another.
The kids had a great time going door to door.  While a lot of people sat on their front porches passing candy out, some of them stayed inside and waited for little ones to ring the bell or knock. Well, Miss Madeline was so very eager to ring that bell.  She was too funny.

For more fun photos, stop by Lisa's blog.
Have a great weekend!!!
the long road

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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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