Exciting times....

Monday, February 25, 2013

First things first...

We got LOA!!!!!!

If you can believe it, we actually heard about it Friday afternoon, shortly after my last post.  It took less than a month...and that was with Chinese New Year thrown into the mix.  I'm stunned, in a good way.  Now we really need to get that home study update completed.  And although our update will hold up our I-800 application, the good news is that I have already spoken with our new social worker and have scheduled her visit for this Wednesday!  How's that for being on the ball?  Woot!  Oh, and now that we have LOA, we can send Havi a care package.  That makes my heart swell.

On to news #2....this weekend was Opening Day for Spring baseball in our little neck of the woods.  I've blogged about it in the past.   It's a big "to do" here. All the teams meet up at a local church to walk in a parade, which takes them down the main street in town (past our old house) and straight to the ball fields.
This year the Fire Department escorted the teams.
All teams are announced...tee ball, coach pitch, player pitch, etc.  And then Doug Flutie gave a pep talk.  He lives here in town.  In fact, the fields are named after him.  Admittedly, I didn't listen to his talk this year because I was watching Madeline and a friend of hers playing in the bounce houses.
Once Doug's talk was over, the rest of the kids hit the bounce houses and dunk tank.  The guy in the tank was actually Caleb's coach, and Caleb was the first to sink him!
Caleb played some basketball too.
There were some friendly competitions by age groups- fastest throw and fastest base running.  Caleb didn't win, but he had fun trying.
We had actually sneaked back home for a quick lunch before Caleb's competition, and good thing too, because it was hot and the day went longer than we thought.  I missed the announcement during Doug's talk that he might come back later with his Heisman Trophy and to sign autographs, but Patrick heard it and asked me to hang around a little longer, for the kids' sake.  So the kids bounced and bounced until Doug returned.

I had nothing for them to give him to sign.  No balls.  No caps.  No gloves.  Nuthin'.  Well, since Doug had signed practically every kid's shirt and cap, he had no problem signing Caleb's brand-new-for-this-season team shirt.  I sure hope his coach doesn't get mad.  If he does, I told Caleb to blame me.  I mean, how do you say "no" when a big shot like Doug wants to give you his autograph?  I think not.  Sign away please! lol
Madeline got her shirt signed too.
It's not often one gets to meet a Heisman Trophy winner and see that humongous trophy in person.  This football lovin' mama was happy for her kiddies.  Now to meet Tim Tebow one day....a girl can dream, right? lol

She's at it again...and an update

Friday, February 22, 2013

Let's just say that 2013 is starting off with a bang for Madeline.  This little girl of ours is bound and determined to do it all.  Last month, she learned to ride a bike without training wheels.  Last week, she declared to me that she learned how to hula hoop.  And to my surprise, when I walked outside to said hula hoop, she was hula hooping!  You may recall the photos I took of the dumplings hula hooping at the Winter Carnival.  Caleb was hula hooping then; Madeline was faking it. lol.  Now, she no longer has to fake it.  

And if learning to hula hoop wasn't enough, she has learned to tie shoes!  As with Caleb, I had Madeline tie my shoe when learning because adult laces are longer and, therefore, easier to work with.  She's had the first part down for a while, and she has watched me tying my shoe one-handed.  (I figured I'd better learn how to do it myself one-handed if I was supposed to show her how to do it one-handed.)  Well, she found her own way of doing it!

This was her very first time tying it by herself.  I wasn't even sure she was going to do it because she did it completely different than what I had just shown her. But she did it!  After she ran off to play, I watched the video several more times so I could see exactly what she did.  Then I figured out a way to tweak her version to make it easier.  Instead of holding the loop in her left arm, she now just pins the loop down with her left arm so she can take the other lace around.  Also, she generally uses her left arm to help make the criss cross and pull the laces tight.  She was just being a bit silly using her toes because she knows she can't tie both shoes that way.  Stubborn and silly.  That's Madeline!

Oh, and one more thing....she's reading!  She's still working through Webster's syllabary and using the Writing Road to Reading phonogram cards to learn all the multi letter phonograms.  But  we've now added the McGuffey Primer and the Abeka K readers to the line up. She's something else, I tell ya!

Well, the reasons I have been MIA from bloggy land lately are many.  We are in the process of updating our home study for Havi, which has required me to collect a long list of documents (like practically all of the documents we needed for the original homestudy, with some of them needing to be updated.)  We finally sent that off to our agency this week and hope to get this update completed before our LOA arrives.  Our hope is to submit our Supplement 3 along with our I-800.  And we're hoping and praying that our Supplement 3 will be ready and waiting for our LOA to arrive and NOT the other way around.  I'm dreading the idea that this update might delay this part of the process for us, and that might mean bringing Havi home in July rather than June.  I soooo want to go in June.  *sigh*

And speaking of the little peanut, I have been busy sewing for her.  Prior to bringing Madeline home from China, I had the privilege of my niece Leah trying on new garments because she was/is just 5 months older than Madeline.  Well, my nephew Josh is also 5 months older than Havi, and I've already hit him up with a cute little romper.  My sister and brother-in-law are being such good sports and helping this mama out. lol. But unlike with Leah, I will NOT be photographing Josh wearing Havi's clothes!  I will, however, have to take some photos of the garments so I can share them here on the blog.

We are also preparing for a few special visitors who will be heading down here next week from Connecticut to help Madeline with an early birthday celebration.  We're looking forward to seeing Aunt Shell and Lydia!!!!  And we apologize in advance that the weather won't be bringing its A game.  But hopefully it will still be warmer than the winter you've had to endure this season.

I also haven't had much time lately to take any photos with my big girl camera.  So I just might have to whip up an iPhone photo bomb or post some older recents shots I've stumbled across.  I'll see what I can get around to...if I can pry my fingers away from my sewing machine.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Girls in pink

Monday, February 11, 2013

Last week Madeline's dance class had observation day.  It's been a while since we've watched the girls, so it was a real treat.  I'm glad I'm always toting my big girl camera around with me. Otherwise I would've missed these shots.

Madeline has been requesting double braids for her hair lately.  Apparently they're fun to play with while stretching.
It's so exciting to see all the girls improve their technique and grow as little dancers.

After returning home from class, the kids played in the cul-de-sac.  I could tell that the sunset was going to be pretty awesome, and it didn't disappoint.

It's all about the animals

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

When we first heard that the Kratt Brothers were going to be at Sea World, we knew we had a date.  The dumplings love watching the Wild Kratts.  They learn so much about animals from this show.  It's so educational.  Gotta love that.  Lots of their playtime involves acting like the Kratt brothers, Chris and Martin, and the animals they feature on the show.

Thanks to my sister's gracious mother-in-law, we headed over to Sea World this past weekend to catch the Kratt Brothers.  We arrived early to see some of the park.  We first hit up the sharks.
Then it was time to enjoy the show.  They featured a miniature otter, an anteater and a monkey, all whose proper names have escaped me.  The kids enjoyed acting like animals during the show and hearing about Chris and Martin's silly adventures in South America.

Then it was time to see the dolphins.
{That's my twin sister I'm snapping in the background above.}
Some duck- duck- goose was in order.
Then we headed over to the sting rays for some petting and feeding. Caleb and Madeline LOVED it.
After getting washed up, we headed over to the Sea Lion and Otter Show.  What's a show without chips?
The kids headed over to kiddie land for a few rides and slides.
My dare devil naturally had to go head first.  She's fearless, I tell ya.
Josh was a pretty good sport while the bigger kids played.  We can't wait until his playmate Havi makes it home this summer.  He's just 4 months older than her.
Here's the obligatory hand-on-hip shot.
Then all the kiddos went for a ride on the carousel.
Then we grabbed a late lunch before heading out to Ikea for some much needed home purchases.
My sister Deb and BIL Andy were such good sports schlepping to Ikea with us.  My sister had just a few items to get.  We had just a few items we weren't getting.  On the list of items to purchase were some new desks for our office, storage bins for all my fabric (I will sew in the office), a new extra long extension kitchen table that will also serve for special dinners, and curtains for our bedroom.  Sounds like a lot, but it's really just the tip of the iceberg.  And now, to figure out exactly what we're going to do in Madeline's room for little Havi.  We have a toddler bed, but she's so young.  The cribs were so inexpensive at Ikea that we may leave that open as an option.

Anyway, we had such a fantastic day. The weather was gorgeous and the company tops.  The only thing better would be a sit and stand stroller with Madeline and Havi in it!

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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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