And the peanut turned three!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Well, it's nothing like taking Christmas card photos to motivate me and catch me up on some photo editing.  I'm here today to share (and not too terribly late, I might add) some photos from Havi's birthday celebration.  We figured that we would eat out and have cake on her actual birthday, which was a week ago Sunday.  Unfortunately, Caleb's tennis tournament was pushed to Sunday from Saturday because of all the rain we had. I ended up baking her birthday cake on Saturday and then made the frosting and decorated it Sunday morning.  We were able to eat lunch, sing Happy Birthday, and open presents before heading out of town for the tournament.
I originally was going to use the same swirl decorating technique that I used on her cake last year but using pink and white this time.  Due to not knowing our actual departure time for the tournament, though, I ended up tinting the whole batch of frosting pink and just doing a simple ripple effect along the sides of the cake.  I did a small ripple effect on top too but ended up covering it up when I decided to add the sprinkles.  I used traditional American buttercream, which I do not like but my family does.  They say my Swiss Meringue buttercream isn't sweet enough, and compared to American buttercream, it isn't.  But I am going to try modifying the recipe to make it a tad sweeter for them.  It's just so much nicer to frost a cake with, in my opinion.  Oh, and I made a mini 6 inch cake so we didn't have too much uneaten cake sitting around, which worked out pretty well for our little family. 
 Well, we eventually made it over to the tennis tournament.  Caleb was half way through his first match when my sister and her family showed up.  He won that match handedly.  We are so proud of him.  Because of the weather, the rest between matches was shorter.  Consequently, we chose to hang out at the facility rather than head over to my sister's house, which we often do when he plays at that particular site. The cousins had so much fun playing together.  Caleb also hung out with a few of this tennis buddies.
 I wanted a portrait of the birthday girl on her actual birthday, but she wasn't too interested in posing for me, unless you consider acorns on your head a pose.
 After snapping a photo of the birthday girl with her brother and sister, I asked my sister to snap one of me with her.  First I stole a kiss while my nephew photo bombed us, and then she gave me a gigantic bear hug.  Oh, my heart melted.
 I had to get a photo of Baba with his little girl too.
The sun was setting when Caleb got around to playing his last match.  And so I had to snap a quick photo to show proof that it really did try to shine, even if it was ever so brief.  Caleb ended up losing his second match to the highest ranked player he's played to date.  And although he lost, he played pretty well.  We are just so proud of him. 
Anyway, fortunately for Havi next year, her birthday falls on a Monday.  So she shouldn't have to celebrate her birthday on a tennis court three years in a row. lol  We love you little Hav Hav!  

Happy 3rd Birthday!!!

{Forgotten} Halloween Fun!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I tell ya, it's crazy that with Thanksgiving on the brain, I realized I completely forgot to share the dumplings Halloween fun.  So while everyone is chowing down on turkey and all the fixings, I'm backing up to the last holiday.  I wouldn't be so insistent on sharing these (old) photos if it weren't for the handmade costumes that were worn.  Although Havi had two adorable costumes to chose from- Minnie Mouse or Snow White, she chose to wear a petticoat.  Oh well, that's better than last year when she refused to wear a costume at all.
 Although Madeline was Sleeping Beauty at our church's trunk-or-treat, she opted to wear the flamenco dancer costume I made her two years ago.  I made it as long as I possibly could.  So thankfully, the length still worked, two years later.
 Caleb took me up on my suggestion that he be a tennis ball.  And since I waited until the week before Halloween to begin making his costume, I couldn't use a pattern.  Instead I found a tutorial online for making a ball shaped costume for a toddler and then made adjustments to all the pattern pieces to fit Caleb specifically.  It's constructed completely of felt and stuffed with fiber fill.
 Caleb has taken to posing while resting his arm on Havi's head.  The cutest!  Anyway, the dumplings did a little bit of trick-or-treating before the sun completely set.  (In the photo below, you can see the back of Caleb's tennis ball costume.)
The kids all had so much fun going door-to-door for all that junk, which I'm happy to say they consumed at a leisurely pace and have now lost interest in all that remains (which was most of it!)

Well, this past Sunday we celebrated Havi's 3rd birthday.  And I did manage to capture a few photos of the birthday girl and her mini cake.  We had planned on going camping this year for Thanksgiving, but unfortunately our friends going with us had to cancel at the last minute.  So we decided to stay home.  Patrick will be deep frying our turkey, and I will be whipping up some tasty dishes to accompany it.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!
Gobble!  Gobble!

A birthday celebration for Baba

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Gulp, I can hardly believe it's been almost a month since we celebrated Patrick's birthday.  Yep, his birthday was back in October, but I'm just now getting around to sharing the photos from his special day.  Well, just like we did with my birthday these last few years, Patrick decided that he, too, wanted to celebrate his birthday on the water.  So we went ahead and rented a pontoon boat for the day.
The weather was gorgeous, sunny and pleasantly warm but not hot.  Patrick wanted to do a little fishing.  The dumplings couldn't wait to get in on the action.
Fishing from the boat was not going well.  So we opted to hang out on one of the little islands in the middle of the river.  This one was different from the one we went to for my birthday.  Still, it was a charming spot. We all had lunch, and then it was back to fishing.
While everyone was fishing from shore, we saw lots of sting rays.  That was pretty cool. Then it was time to head back to shore.  Patrick let all the dumplings drive the boat for a bit.  They loved that.  If they weren't driving, they were chilling up front with their snacks.
Well, it was such a wonderful day.  It's hard to believe it happened almost a month ago. This Sunday we will be celebrating a special little peanut's third birthday.  I still can't believe she's turning three.  It seems like yesterday we accepted her referral.  She's no longer that itty bitty toddler though.  She's growing up before our very eyes. Although I'm not sure exactly what we'll be doing to celebrate yet, other than cake/cupcakes and a tennis tournament, I'm sure I'll be snapping some photos to commemorate the occasion.  Thank goodness, because I have barely touched my camera this past month.  Makes me a bit sad.  So apparently I need to do something about that....and I will!  You can count on it!

It's pumpkin time!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Well, 'tis the season to be busy! Sheesh!

I can't believe it's been two weeks since I snapped these photos, but it really has.  Across the street from our old house is a church that puts together a little pumpkin patch come October.  Whereas we once walked out the front door to pick out pumpkins, we now have to get in the car and drive, which means actually having to plan our visit.  Anyway, we did manage to get our act together and not wait until the day before Halloween like last year.  It just seems I can't get my act together to get the photos up.  Anyway, here they are...because I have a birthday celebration and trick-or-treating photos that are also waiting to be shared and are giving these photos a swift kick in the rear.
(An osprey decided to serenade us atop the steeple.)
Later that night, the dumplings couldn't wait to paint their pumpkins.
We had such a fun little afternoon. I'm so glad we were able to squeeze it in with all of the tennis Caleb has been playing on the weekends.  I never did get a shot of all the finished pumpkins.  Shame on me.  I still have time though.

Next up...some fun in the sun and a little birthday celebration.

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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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