Sunday, July 31, 2011

Camp May Never Be The Same...

We took Logan and his cousin Mason today to their first week of overnight camp. They were very excited! I am so glad they get to experience this. It is a great camp with many cool things for them to do and it is a Christian camp so they get Jesus too! The counselors and this camp have a great reputation. But I just dropped him off today and I already miss him! We pick them up Saturday morning. Pray they do not get homesick and that they an amazing experience!
Logan and Mason about to walk to their cabin
All the cabins
Logan and Mason
Cool stuff right?
They were posing up a storm!
Love the expression on Mason's face
Outside the cabin

Me and Logan
The cabin of boys!

Whew....What A Week

One of those crazy weeks folks....

Grace is improving...eating and tongue about 80% there . Nights still a little rough and still some night bleeding, but last night only woke 2x - score!

This week it was Logan's turn. He had a bug bite that got infected, looked horrible! He is my doctor has him on 2 antibiotics, one for infection and one as a preventive for MRSA. Culture back for that on Monday.

Christian had his last baseball tournament of the summer season this weekend and they finished 4th, not what they wanted but not bad.

And for me work was very busy this week with a full day in the office and then 3 days in New Orleans for a conference. But yeah still pulled off a play date with Grace and some of her friends from China at a neighborhood pool and drum role........FINGERPRINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes we had our fingerprints done for Olivia this week too. So we now are waiting on our I-797C and hope to have that by end of August. Of course sooner would always be a welcome surprise!

Big week right! Keeps me young right?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Little Girl is a Real Trooper

Let me first say Grace came down with a bad virus last weekend that cause the lymphangioma in her tongue to flair up and several to ulcerate which meant bleeding and a lot of pain - it was the hardest thing I have dealt with I think in terms of pure pain in a child. Doctor even felt horrible because other than Tylenol and Motrin nothing could be done or given. Virus would take 3-5 days to run it's course. This little girl though is one tough cookie. She has endured more in her life time then many of us ever will and God has created her with the ability to fight and withstand what I don't think I could. Other than the first 24 hours which I cried with her, she would pull out a smile and her personality would burst through in the midst of the pain. Nights are still a little rough, days are better and we are off the Tylenol and Motrin. The virus has passed, the bleeding just occurs at night time while she sleeps so still washing sheets every morning but she is making progress. Her tongue looks much better but still a ways to go. She is eating soft foods now but still not back to normal there yet. Please continue to keep Grace in your prayers that she is back to normal soon!

We did enjoy some time with friends this week at my sister's pool. Some of my best friends and true comrades in Christ and their kiddos played and we enjoyed a last visit with our dear friend Tina before she and her family move to Florida in a few weeks.

Logan my 10 year old had his physical this week too. He is my big boy. I tell his brothers (who are 16 and 14) and pick on him, well constantly that they better be careful because he will eventually be bigger than them. The day is drawing close. He is in the 90% for height and a little over 100% for weight - the size of a 12/13 year old! He is going to be like his daddy!

Then we ended the week with a day at Carowinds. With the heat index here it was over 100 degrees so we went late in the day and enjoyed the water park, then some dinner, a show and then sun had gone down and we rode rides and enjoyed the lights. It was a great time! Grace really liked the water park.

The big boys returned from the water slides and Grace was intrigued with the big bucket of water that dumps out so they took her under it!
This is Logan - my youngest son I was just telling you about.....
We watched Snoopy on Ice show and when we came out later we saw Sally and Grace thought that was very cool, though she wouldn't go see her alone
and Lucy!
So hoping here in North Carolina this heat wave subsides, Christian and Guy have been on baseball field all weekend in this. Grace and I managed an early 9:00 game but that was about all we could take. I decided a baby shower was a little more fun Saturday afternoon, it was in AC too so hey I had they better end of the stick that day!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Pictures of Olivia!

What a wonderful surprise today! I was so longing to see new photos of Olivia. I was just saying yesterday oh Lord I would love to see some new photos of Olivia...then this today! I am smiling so big! She is so beautiful and looks so happy! Oh how I can not wait to meet her!

Olivia with some friends

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Summer Fun Continues

So this the kids have officially been out of school for a month and have stayed busy all month.

Let's see
Week 1: We took a family trip to Daufuskie for a week
Week 2 : Logan was in football camp with his cousin Mason
Week 3: Back to Daufuskie with my sister, Kelly, and her kids
Week 4: Jonathon and Christian to Goldrush (and the Wiggles, let's not forget!)

So no complaining on this end summer is off to a great start! We have even managed lots of baseball, some time with friends, pool time, birthday parties, Kindermusik, and a Gotcha Day celebration. Hoping the 2nd half of the summer is as much fun!

Oh and some more great news....we finished our final home study for Grace and submitted the home study report and pictures of Grace to our adoption agency to close out our post-adoption reviews. Now just one more step and this process is complete....filing for her birth certificate here!

On the Olivia front we have our I-800A (immigration) paperwork all done (which includes our home study) and have received our fingerprint appointment and are awaiting that later this month.

The Boys and Goldrush

Last week Jonathon and Christian spent the week at Goldrush at Perimeter Church in Atlanta, GA. Goldrush is a conference for youth that is lead by YOUTH! Yes youth lead the entire conference, from speaking, leading worship, small groups. This is a conference where they get to encounter GOD! They also had some free time in Atlanta and had two days of mission work. One of those was working on the Freeze project which is against child trafficing. I know the other mission trip had some painting at a school because well those clothes were covered in paint and trashed when they returned. I loved to hear their favorite part was the worship/prayer encounter the last night! Here are a few photos that truly show off my kids personalities. Christian well he embraces life with gusto. Jonathon a bit more reserved and HATES to have his picture taken. To the left is Christian and good friend Jasonna.

Christian being his normally silly self, don't ask....
Christian and one of the youth crazy! Love the look on Andrew's face.
Jonathon dodging the camera at all costs
Okay fine, gag! Really Jonathon, be a trooper
I guess from time to time he caves, Jonathon and one of his friends, Hannah

The Wiggles Were a Hit

We took Grace to see the Wiggles this week. She loved it! She especially loved Wags the dog. So her souvenir she picked the Wags the dog hat and has kept it close ever since, wearing it all the time! So cute! And isn't this the cutest picture ever! The shirt I could not refuse. She dances to the Wiggles a lot and wiggles her little hiney. The back of the shirt says "The 5th Wiggle"

Grace and Mom ready for the show
clapping along to the show
Holding up her flower to give to Dorothy the Dinosaur
And Maury came and collected it from her, so cool!
Holding up her sign for Sam (one of the Wiggles) and no we did not think of signs and bones for Wags or flowers for Dorothy but the mom next to us had plenty and share with Grace.
It was a fun night!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Last of the Photos from Our Final Daufuskie Trip This Summer

So Kelly and I had a blast with the kids. The girls love each other oh my gosh it is so evident. They truly have an amazing bond. They are also both strong willed so we had to be on watch as the battles would break out as well. Lily, like Kelly sneaky/clever, Grace like me bold - the dynamics were a trip as we watched ourselves through these little girls only God could have matched so well with their mommies!

Mornings at the beach and pool held so much fun. All the kids love the water, except Morgan (but she got in from time to time). Grace learned to swim without her nemo tube and was real clear to tell me to "move" if I hovered to close.

Early afternoons were nap time and the big kids went outside and played hide and seek on the property or we made scavenger hunts up and divided them up and they roamed the island. The first one was too easy, so we showed them and gave them a hard one. This ended up with a team of 3 (Christian, Logan and Mason) ending up pretty far away....have to remember my Christian is competitive and he was not gonna be beat...the two younger ones were trying to keep up but ended up stopping and asking an elderly man on a golf cart if he could give them a ride to the Equestrian Center. Please they said we have no cart and our cousin is way ahead of us and we are so tired. Really, it was funny, but yes we had a talk with them about hitching a ride with strangers....even paw-paws on a golf cart on a remote island......we ended up picking them up at the Equestrian Center after we got a call because they could not imagine traveling back...needless to say they won! Morgan was ready to change teams the next day...she is a bit competitive too and Jonathon her team mate was not about putting forth too much energy at 16 on a trivial scavenger hunt, after all that is a lot of walking and its hot and it is just not worth it to him!

Evenings held lots of exploring, visiting the horses and the farm and some golf cart fun and of course ice cream at FAPPYS (Fat and Happy)!

It was a great week! Enjoy some photos of the fun. The one above I love of Mason and Logan!

Grace thought the hole was fun to play in
That Chinese squat
Watering Lily
Awaiting our food at Daufuskie Crab Co - the girls ate their weight in fried okra..yummy!
Jonathon and Mason - precious!
Christian and Lily - she loves her Christian - he keeps her laughing
One of my favorites! Grace loves the donkey, Maggie!
Great shot right? The waves were breaking good that night on the golf course!
My girl - no tube!
Come on Lily, you can do it
Oh yeah - again, again - this is so much fun!
The way I believe my daughter will embrace life! I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Some More Formal Shots From Our Beach Trip

So we had a great week at the beach with Kelly and her kids. Here are some shots we took one afternoon on the beach. These are some of my favorites. We got a lot of kiddos so lots of pictures to enjoy. Here are all of our kiddos!
Me and my boys and Grace!
Aren't they beautiful?

Grace (little priss pot!)
Grace - she is on the move gotta catch her fast
Grace and Lily - adorable right?
Taking a stroll to the water, notice how Grace has a hold of her forearm...
Not just a walk, but a strut...she is such a trip
A little love
The boys!
Kelly and I with Grace and Lily
My sister and best friend ever!