Dec 28, 2010

Christmas Morning 2010...{Part I}

Nicholas could not wait to share in Gabriella's excitement on Christmas morning...he wanted to be the one to bring her downstairs and show her that Santa had come to visit.

Gabriella was just a little bit excited....

Once she began opening gifts this was what her reaction was:)

Daniel opened his cowboy boots and was thrilled! I can't believe I had a kiddo who asked for cowboy boots and I'm very happy he liked them:) Jordan helped Santa shop for the boots and what an adventure it was.

When Gabriella made her Santa list a new dolly was at the top of it ~ she was very happy when she opened her new dolly:)

The Dora Guitar brought lots of screams and giggles...

Daniel is now out on his own and loves things that make his apartment feel like home...a soft blanket made him almost as happy as his cowboy boots!

Jordan requested a "Jordan" Christmas and that is what Santa delivered! Jordan flip flops, socks, t-shirts, sweatshirts and sweat pants...he was quite the happy camper:)

Playing with his Jordan shoes:)

Nicholas is our little golfer...Santa delivered what he asked for in lots of golf items...he had fun going through them all and saying how he could use each one:)
Though all the gifts were nice it was the time we were able to spend as a family and reflect about the true meaning of Christmas that made it so special. This year wasn't rushed and for the first time we were able to enjoy time at home with our children and that made for a Very, Merry Christmas:)

Dec 27, 2010

Christmas Eve...

Our Christmas season in 2010 was one of change...changing some traditions we have had for several years, celebrating our very first Christmas with our new daughter as well as adding new items to our menu:) Steamed dumplings are something I can say we added for Gabriella this year and she truly screamed with excitement when she saw them!

Gabriella opening her very first Christmas present on Christmas was true joy seeing the her excitement shine from the inside out!

Aunti Tammi and Gabriella ~ I love their smiles!

Grammi sporting her new glasses!

Gabriella's joy and excitement continued ~ this is what the entire weekend was filled with:)

Nicholas loves many things in life and McDonalds is one them...he was pretty excited when he received a gift card from Aunti Tammi to Mc-a-D's:)

I forgot didn't take pictures when Gabriella was all dressed up for our church Christmas eve service. The service was beautiful and I can say that holding our baby girl in our arms while singing silent night was one of the best feelings in the entire world! After we came home and got comfy Curtis read "The Night Before Christmas" to Gabriella and she loved it! What thrilled us even more was when she was singing Happy Birthday Jesus...we are made sure she understood the real meaning of the season:) We did leave cookies and milk for Santa which were gone on Christmas morning:) Seeing Christmas in the eyes of a child again was truly amazing!

Dec 19, 2010

Ho Ho Ho...Merry Christmas!

To say our little princess was excited to see Santa is an understatement! As we waited outside in the winter-wonderland, her joyful and excited spirit even inspired other parents of children who were in line and they too began sharing in Gabriella's first Christmas experience in being able to meet Santa Claus. Gabriella told Santa that she wanted toys for her kitty cat Nemo and she also wanted baby dolls...pretty simple to please that's for sure! Once we left she said "Oh no, Gabbie didn't tickle Santa"...she started to giggle and then fell fast asleep:)

Dec 16, 2010

Our Little Snow Bunny...

Gabriella is adapting quite well to our midwest winters! Our little snow bunny loves looking outside and being outside when it snows ~ she will say "oh mama look at the snow its pretty"! The next comment after she sees the snow is "hot chocolate mama"? A girl totally after her mama's heart!!!

Dec 12, 2010

A card from Mei Mei!

When we returned from church this morning we picked up the mail we forget to pick up yesterday. Nicholas said it looks like we have a card from someone special. I looked and saw it was a Christmas card from Emily, Gabriella's mei mei in China. I told Gabriella she had mail to soon as she opened it and saw mei mei' Emily's picture this was her reaction:) I wanted to take a picture of the picture to complete the post however my camera died after I took this picture...I'm praying it's not a fatal situation with the camera but things aren't looking too promising right now! I'm thrilled I was able to capture this before the camera became ill!!!

Dec 9, 2010

Gabriella's First Thanksgiving...

Grammi chilling out with all her grand kids:)

A picture of "the girls" and a four generation picture too!

Ok, I admit that I'm really bad about wanting to take lots of pictures of Gabriella and yes when I peaked during prayer and saw how precious she looked I just had to take one of her first Thanksgiving you think God will forgive me?

Gabriella loved eating all the yummy food and had a very nice first Thanksgiving:)

Dec 5, 2010

Tree Trimming and a story of two very special gingerbread...

We could not wait to hang this ornament on the tree as Gabriella is
home with our family for Christmas this year!

I have always loved precious moments and received this during a Christmas exchange in 1991...I think God was dropping hints we may have a beautiful Asian daughter even twenty years ago! God is awesome!

Gabriella hanging her first Christmas ornament on the tree:)

She chose a teddy bear to hang first:)

She was having a wonderful time listening to Christmas music and hanging ornaments on the tree...

did I happen mention she was quite proud of herself too:)

I have had this ornament for several years as well...anyone who knows Gabriella well knows that she loves the moon...she likes this ornament too:)

This is where you may want to grab a tissue. Gabriella decided this was a "mama gingerbread" and gave her kiss when she hung it on the tree.

A little later she chose to hang this "baby girl gingerbread on the tree". She found a spot for the baby half way around the tree and placed it just so...yet in a few seconds she ran back and removed it saying "no, not there"...

She then brought the baby girl gingerbread from half way around the tree and hung it on the very same branch with the mama gingerbread and said "there, now the baby girl is home with her mama"...I couldn't have said it better myself. Our baby girl is indeed home with her family and yes her mama too:)

Ni Hao Y'all

Merry favorite Christmas video

The last two years our family watched this video and listened to this song in anticipation of who our baby girl was living a half a world away in China. Last year we knew all about her from reports from her foster parents and her little picture was embedded in our heads...yet she wasn't home from Christmas. Now, in God's perfect timing our Gabriella Grace Hao IS home for Christmas and it couldn't be any more perfect! I hope you enjoy the video by Third Day...please stop the music at the bottom of the blog so you can enjoy the song with the video:)

Dec 1, 2010

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow...

The night before Gabriella was placed in our arms, in Taiyuan China, there was the most beautiful snowfall. We talked about wondering how well she would like the snow. As Taiyuan was a very large coal mining city, the snow did not stay white for more than a few minutes. Though it didn't snow a lot today, Gabriella smiled from ear to ear for the first thirty minutes she was awake:) We also discussed building a snowman, which we will need just a little more snow to do, warm cozy mittens and hot chocolate with marsh mellows ~ something tells me our little girl is going to love our Midwest winters:)

Nov 29, 2010

Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving...

Twas the night before Thanksgiving and our little princess could not wait..

she heard we were making Aunt Mary's fruit salad...

and the Cool Whip she ate!

Next we mixed the corn casserole and she stirred it just right...

then onto the pumpkin pie filling where Gabriella turned on the beaters and pumpkin flew all over the kitchen that night.

Jordan was sick on the couch with a fever of 102...

while Gabriella tended to Nemo making sure he wasn't sick too.

Open your mouth wide your temperature we will take...

while Nicholas is in the kitchen icing his delicious chocolate cake.

The night did not go exactly as planned, but on our Thanksgiving eve we counted our blessings and gave thanks to God for a family filled with love, a house warm and cozy, and four beautiful children that God has blessed us with beyond measure:)

Nov 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving...

During this time of Thanksgiving we want to thank God for everyone, including family, friends and even my cyber friends for blessing us with such special people in our lives. We are also incredibly thankful for four healthy, happy children who have made our family complete. Happy Thanksgiving and praying you all have a wonderful day spent with family and friends:)

Nov 22, 2010

I Wuv You Mum!

Gabriella has told our entire family "wuv you" for several months and I do think she understands and means what she is saying which is wonderful! The last couple of months though she has been sooooo precious when she tells me she loves me:) Gabriella will take a hold of my cheeks in her little toddler hands, look me straight in the eye and say "I W-U-V you Mum" and I can tell she is saying it from the bottom of her heart:) The comment is then followed with the best toddler kiss anyone could ask for and then to top it off she wraps her little arms around my neck and gives me a huge hug. Curtis asked me what I would like for Christmas the other day ~ I told him my Christmas present arrived on March 1 of this year when our daughter was placed in our arms...she is truly a gift from God and we are thankful each and everyday for entrusting us with such a special blessing!
© The Time of Our Lives
CoffeeShop Designs