Sunday, July 27, 2008

Simple Pleasures - Bathtime!

Nothing smells better than a little one fresh out of the bath, slathered down with a yummy smelling lotion, and in fresh jammies! I love bath time with my kids, and having two 'older' kids who would likely scream their heads off if I entered the bath while they were using it, I know all too well that simple precious moments like 'bath time' are fleeting.
This is truly on of those simple pleasures of being a parent.

Sophie laying on her bed and being dried off my the 'do!

Livie fresh and clean and ready to have her hair combed and teeth brushed.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Shanghai Surprise!

Weston, Florida, July 26, 2008 @ 4:15 am

The Choi Family saying, "Zai Jian!" to the Residence Inn (their 'home' for the past week).

Cute even when they are delirious with lack of sleep!

This kid cracks me up!

Hansen: Protector of the suitcases!

Playing (or rather trying to wake up!).

Buckled into our car and ready to follow mom and dad to the airport...
Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport @ 5:00 am
Unloading the vans...

Ahhh...the joys of flying 1st Class (Coach/Sardines line is slightly visible on the left)!

Waiting patiently...

All their worldly possessions (at least until that 20' container of their household goods arrives!) on one little cart!

Safe travels! We will miss you all!


Thursday, July 24, 2008

New Wheels

The Choi Family (namely their daughters, Aimee and Cadence), gave Livie and Sophie their beloved Cinderella Power Wheels Car...errrr...or is that *Carriage*?!?! Since the Choi's were limited to taking only those items which fit in a 20 ft. container (can you even imagine?!) with them to Shanghai, this was one of the items that didn't 'make the cut'. Thus, our little Princesses are now the happy owners of some really nice wheels!

Thankfully, we have a nice long driveway, so the girls will be able to go cruisin' quite a bit! Thanks, Aimee and Cady for the great gift, and we will think of you guys everytime Livie and Sophie take their new car out for a spin!


Monday, July 14, 2008

Six Little Words

Waaayyyyyyy back on July 4th, my friend, Vivian, tagged me with 'Six Words that Describe You'. Well, life can get in the way sometimes, and so I am now just getting to this assignment!
So, here it goes...
"My heart rejoices in the Lord"
1 Samuel 2:1 NIV
This is taken from Hannah's Prayer. As a mom who has delt with infertility issues, miscarrage and adoption, I can totally relate to the thankfulness and joy that Hannah felt upon being blessed by God with her son, Samuel. God has blessed me abundantly through the miracle of birth (Lindsay & Chris) and through the miracle of adoption (Olivia & Sophie). He has also blessed me big time with an amazing husband, Neil, who is the most wonderful husband and father.
Outside of my immediate family my blessings continue, with an enourmous extended family (parents, brother, in-laws, sister-in-laws, brother-in-laws, many nephews and one sweet niece!). God is SO GOOD!
Vivian tells me that once I post my '6 Words that Describe Myself', I must *tag* 5 other people. I have chosen people who I would love to learn just a bit more about:
I am looking forward to reading each of these ladies' '6 Words'! Have fun!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Birthday Parties & Church

Today we spent the morning with friends celebrating Ethan and Mia's birthdays! The party was a hit as it was hosted at Pump It Up. We had never been to a Pump It Up birthday party, so this was a special treat. While Chris jumped right in to play with the kids, Livie and Sophie hung back for a while and just 'took it all in'.

Finally, Livie and Sophie join in on the fun (ok...they were definitely *guarded* in their play, but at least they DID play!).

Close-up of Sophie making a funny-face. Aimee Choi and Ryan Przelomski are behind her; Cady Choi is next to her).

Close-up of Livie (Yasmin Martins & Benjamin Sbar are peeking out from the back!).

Livie & Sophie enjoying birthday cake. Sophie was enjoying it A LOT...notice the size of her 'bite'!

Kim Choi uses Tide-2-Go (product plug: I LOVE THIS STUFF!!!) on her daughter Aimee's messy shirt.

Typically more on the ummm...slightly *wimpy* side, 1st time dare-devils Livie and Hanson Choi FINALLY go down the slide!

Chris, Sophie & Livie enjoying the slide.

Chris taking Sophie back up to walk the plank...I mean go down the slide!

Group Shot


After enjoying Ethan and Mia's birthdays, we were able to close out the day with Church.

Livie learned about the importance of 'keeping your eyes on Jesus'! She just LOVES her new *glasses*, and wore them all night!

Chris giving Sophie a sweet kiss!


Back at home Lindsay was emptying the dishwasher (one of her chores), and before she knew what was happening, I was able to snap a quick photo of her! Mu-ha-ha-ha-ha (evil laugh!)!

...and then all too quickly she was 'on to me'!

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!


Chapman Family Scheduled To Speak

(Left to right: Will Franklin, Maria, Steven, Shaoey, Mary Beth, Stevey Joy, Caleb & Emily)

Just a psuedo-update, for those of you who might be interested (taken from SCC's manager, Jim Houser's blog):

Chapmans to appear on Good Morning America
We've just confirmed that Steven and Mary Beth, and potentially the Chapman children, will appear on Good Morning America the week of August 4th.
Seen nationally, ABC's morning tradition, Good Morning America began airing in 1975 and reaches a huge audience of approximately 8 to 10 million each morning.
Let the redemption of this tragedy begin. : )

Chapmans to appear on Larry King Live
Now able to confirm that Steven and Mary Beth, and possibly the Chapman children, will be appearing on Larry King Live on August 7th. They will be guests for the full hour.
This iconic journalist's interview show is seen nationally and internationally by between 1 and 2 million nightly on CNN, the Cable News Network.

Chapmans to appear in People Magazine
We've now confirmed that the Chapmans will appear in a feature in People Magazine in the issue on newsstands on August 8th.
The story will include in interviews with Steven and Mary Beth, and potentially the Chapman children. It's also expected that it will include a new photo of the family. (heartbreaking and yet we trust...)
It's circulation is between 3 and 4 million people each week. We're hopeful that many will be reached for God's purposes through this appearance in this sort of outlet.

Be sure to set your TIVO to record these two interviews, and to pick up people magazine when the Chapman family is featured. I know we will.

Be sure to kiss you kids tonight, and pray on for this family.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Blue Skies?

For all of you who have traveled to China...and for those of you preparing to travel:
Click HERE to laugh (warning, this isn't PC, but oh my goodness, is it hysterical!).

Still Cleaning out the Closets

Well, I made it through one more box of Kim's stuff! I have taken all of the photos, and loaded it all up to my site on eBay, so if you are interested in taking a peek at what was in this week's box, head on over and take a look!
I must admit that helping Kim to clean out her over-stuffed closets (yes, I am throwing her under the bus, here and letting everyone know about Kim's love for all things Chinese/Adoption inspired and her ability to SHOP!!!) has been fun. I never know what Asian/Panda/Ladybug item will be in the next box I open. Probably the only drawback is that I am developing a small pile of stuff for myself! Yikes!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Today is mine and Neil's 17th Wedding Anniversary! Wow! How time flies by so quickly. We were fresh out of college in 1991 (graduated in 1990) and only 23 (me) and 22 (Neil) on the day of our wedding. God takes care of fools and babies, and Lord knows we were both!
In 17 years we have lived in 6 different states (which included 10 different addresses!).
We have given birth to two children (Lindsay, age 14, was born in Virginia and Chris, age 10, was born in Georgia), and we have adopted two children from China (Livie, age 4, from Chongqing and Sophie, age 2, from Hubei).
We have had 5 dogs (two of which went on to Doggie Heaven), one Hampster and an untold number fish.
We've made many friends, watched loved one battle serious illnesses, some of who even lost their battles.
We have laughed every day.
We became Christians.
It has been a WONDERFUL 17 years together!

The Radisson Hotel, Tallahassee, Florida

July 6, 1991

The location of our wedding and reception.

I bought Neil clothes for our anniversay. I know it sounds lame, but if you know Neil you know that this is the PERFECT gift for him! LOL Neil bought me the most GORGEOUS Swarovski Panda Bracelet for our special day. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! Evidently, in order to buy this bracelet, you must join the Swarovski Crystal Society. Of course, he joined (joining also got him...errrr...ME!...a really cute Bamboo Window Crystal), and apparently his joining will in some way benefit the Pandas in China (obviously I haven't read all of the Membership Information!). At any rate, this Panda collection is only available until November, so I am super happy he was so organized and thought ahead. I just LOVE it!

And now we are off to enjoy a dinner in NO in NO HIGH CHAIRS! Of course we will likely spend a good portion of dinner talking about our children. Isn't that what always happens?!?!


Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!



Weather in Florida

Livie and Sophie decided that today was the PERFECT day to make 4th of July cupcakes! Okey-dokey...cupcakes it is!

Cool handpainted Ladybug measuring cup...thanks to my mom!

Notice the 'heart' in the batter? Do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do...!!!
Of course, I think the 'heart' represents just how much I love my family! :-)
While I am busy at work filling each cupcake with the batter, Livie and Sophie decide to go to their room and play. Not 5 minutes later I hear this bizarre, "thud...thud........thud!". Hmmmm...that can't be a good sign! All of a sudden out runs Livie (running at her top speed of about 50 mph!) and as she runs right PAST ME she shouts, "Sophie fell down! She is hurtttttttt........." Yeah. Great. Into the girls' room I go only to find Sophie sprawled out on her floor between her and Livie's beds...and CRYING! As I dig to the bottom of the lovely game of WHAT HAPPENED?!?!, I find that my little maniacs were...gasp...jumping on Sophie's bed! Alas, evidently Sophie didn't 'stick' her landing (gotta laugh here!), and off of the bed she toppled. No worries, she is fine, with the exception of clocking some well deserved time in Time-Out for disobeying our rule of 'NO JUMPING ON THE BEDS' (Livie also joined her in Time-Out!).

Where does it hurt? Right here, Mom!

Busted for breaking Family Rule 101! Penalty: Time Out!

But, Mom...I didn't get hurt...why am I punished?!?!

The juice cup that fell victim to the crime.

Back on track...cupcakes in the oven.

No, Mom...I SWEAR I wasn't licking the spatula...why would you say such a thing?!?!


Our backyard...rain is settling in...

...and I mean REALLY settling in!

Fireworks in the garage that will have to wait until tomorrow?!?!

Wishing you all a very Happy 4th of July!