Friday, December 30, 2011


It was a fun night. I took the kids out bowling. It was Grace's first time and she had a blast. What made it even more fun was I met my best friend Kelly and her girls there too. Kelly and I have been best friends since we were 11 years old. We had a lot of fun. The whole gang is above. Ciera had my heart from the beginning, her oldest because she was the first one born of this gang. Savannah and Jonathon are only 10 weeks apart. Jonathon was actually at the hospital when Savannah was born because I was still nursing and I was in the delivery room when Savannah was born and was blessed to be able to cut the cord so you can imagine we are pretty tight too.
Grace's first bowling experience

We Are Officially Waiting for TA!!!!!!!!!!

Today came with great news. The Guangzhou staff of our adoption agency has picked up our Article 5 and mailed it to Beijing so it can be delivered to the CCAA. This is our preliminary approval of our immigration file by the US Consulate and is required by the CCAA in order to issue our travel approval.

This is a huge milestone because now we just wait for our TA (Travel Approval). This can take 2-4 weeks. Chinese New Year begins January 22 and China is shut down for a week, so we are praying we get our TA before then so we can have our travel dates set and can begin planning for our travel to get our daughter. As soon as we get our travel approval our agency can request a Consulate appointment and we can receive confirmed travel dates for our family's trip to CHINA!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ski Trip!

The boys and I had a great time the past 3 days skiing! We went to Winterplace Ski Resort in West Virginia. There weren't as many slopes open as we wanted but we still had a great time. The season has been so warm so far. Enjoy some photos of the boys. Jonathon and Christian look very similar in these shots... Jonathon is above
Logan and his friend Christian (aka Little Christian)
Christian and friend Teddy

Monday, December 26, 2011

Thing 1 and Thing 2

A perfect gift for these two girls since Kelly and I are always calling them Thing 1 and Thing 2...usually it is Grace in the lead (thus Thing 1) but Lily right behind her (Thing 2) and Lily is always running so her shirt is perfect. Can't wait to dress them in their shirts for an official photo, but the pictures below give you a glimpse of the special bond these two girls have which we believe will last a lifetime...such a blessing.

The Shots the Men/Boys Dread

Yes we must take family shots and anything about organized photo shots the men/boys always dread but they comply. After all we don't do it that often.

Me, Mom and Kelly
My parents
Guy and I
Brandon and his girlfriend, Maggie
The grandparents with all their grand kids
All the grand kids
Our family (at least for another 2 months, til we bring our Olivia home)

Christmas with My Side of the Family

We had a lot of fun as always with my family. As you can see from these photos we all have a good time. You can also tell Grace loves the whole "receiving of gifts". Her expressions made it all worth while. This was a large Elmo puzzle.
Patiently waiting under the tree
Our Yankees fan
Another Yankees fan, with his new Yankees phiton
Cars from her Aunt Crystal - score!
A touching moment for Mom when we gave her a shirt we ordered with Kelly and I's new ministry logo and retreat logos on them
My beautiful niece - Morgan
My boy of little emotion this year (has an image to up hold and that includes looking cool at all costs this year) so snap every time I got a grin.
Only in our nephew Mason scored the Fart game

Remote control firetruck, Lily got the school bus - kept these girls occupied for a long while
You know it...Cars laptop
Boys, need I say more

So Blessed...

It started here about 18 years ago and who would have known...
We would be blessed to raise these four children (and Brandon and Olivia who are not here)
and Grace!
Praying blessings for all this Christmas! Giving God thanks for his Son and all he has bestowed upon us this year. Merry Christmas!

Christmas Morning - Oh the Joy of Christmas!

Christmas morning was so fun this year. Grace could hardly wait. This year she was all into Christmas. I think it is the last year our Logan will "believe" and our first year of true "magical" moments with Grace.
Grace's face when she saw all Santa left under the tree
Grace had two requests of Santa...1) Chuggington
and 2) Cars, she got several of both
And one of Grace's most favorite things to do is anything related to "art" so this bag you can tell she tore into was full of all kinds of art supplies
Logan's face when he got his Razor Pogo stick. One of his requests along with his number one item on the list a Nook - he was elated with that one too.
Christian being Christian...yes he asked for this. Should come in handy when we go skiing this week. His big request was a pair of Sperrys but he had plenty of big ticket items on his list, the age I think gifts get pricey
Jonathon didn't have as many big ticket items, he was a bit indecisive this year, so he got a lump sum of money put in his bank you can see that made him very happy. He did get plenty of other stuff though and a pair of those funky toe shoes he has been wanting.
Brandon as you can see was very excited over this pair of Sanuk shoes he asked for (since he forgot he had mentioned he wanted them)
The look of pure joy on her face...priceless
Looking on over a Turtle Beach headset - boys and their gadgets
And these two boys scored LCDs for their room. They were thrilled! Girls we thought would be taking over the playroom so boys needed a haven in their room (Jonathon already set up with LCD in his)
And then the big surprise for all of them, was the trampoline. The look on Grace's face was great. She loves gymnastics and the trampoline is her favorite. The boys have been asking for years...we broke down.
And Logan's face....loving it!
Of course she had to head out and try it out
And Logan did the same with the pogo stick.
We also surprised the boys with a ski trip. Guy doesn't ski, so he will stay home with Grace. The boys and I will head out tomorrow for 3 days. We are all very excited. We are going with my good friend Missy and her 2 boys so we should have a blast! My last get away with special time with the boys before we head to China with the girls!