Jul 27, 2010

Bursting with Excitement...the announcement!!

As many of you know God called me into nursing 17 years ago; trust me this was a true calling because I didn't have any desire to become a nurse. I argued with God daily for three months explaining to him that He had chosen the wrong girl! Finally, I applied to a wonderful Christian nursing school, as a wife and mom to two little boys, both under the age of three and that is where my nursing story began; other than being a wife and mom this is where my true passion is. All of my nursing educational career has been spent in Christian education from my ASN, BSN and as of this week my completed MSN:)

While I learned a lot over the past two years where I was previously employed as an instructor, and met people I will consider friends for a life-time, it was very challenging for me to work as a nursing instructor and separate God from nursing when I was instructing our future nurses of tomorrow. Though I had discussions with a Christian nursing school, as we were in the middle of adopting Gabriella from China it was not possible to make the switch until she was home, yet God knew the desires of my heart.

I'm now officially working in a Christian school and I'm loving every single bit of it!!!! I feel I'm exactly where God has called me to be and I truly love what I am doing and feel extremely blessed to be where I am....did I mention I'm also working part time so I'm home with our new little princess more...I truly wouldn't change a thing!! I want to thank God for allowing His perfect timing in blessing us with Gabriella, truly the perfect daughter and sister for our family and allowing me to teach at a Christian University where I'm able to serve the God who called me into this wonderful profession so many years ago:)

Jul 26, 2010

Just in case you were wondering...

Gabriella shares with us every evening when the moon comes up that she brought the "moon home from China". For several weeks we thought this was very precious as she truly feels she has brought the moon home from China with her...then we remembered how China celebrates the moon festival and realized this may be why she finds the moon so exciting! Needless to say, we too will be celebrating the moon festival this fall so we may continue this very special part of her heritage with her:)

Jul 22, 2010

I Want to Be Like You...

As Gabriella has had the highlight on all the blog post lately I want to take time to give each of the boys some accolades as well:) From the time Daniel was little he would dress up like Curtis, put his shoes on, carry his brief case to the door and wanted to go to work with daddy. While mom was a great incubator for nine months, he has always truly been a daddy's boy! Daniel has grown up to be a very hard-working and honest young man ~ he stops to pull complete strangers out of ditches with the truck in the winter when there is snow, has volunteered his time to help people in need, loves doing secret Santa shopping for kiddos who may need it at Christmas time and is extremely dependable ~ did I mention he was in charge of the boys while we were in China for two weeks ~ now grandma and papaw were close as well however he made sure everything ran as close to normal as possible for Nicholas and Jordan while we were gone. We are very proud of the young man Daniel has become and are anxious to see all the future plans God has in store for him:)

Jul 19, 2010

Fun in the Sun at Dale Hollow Lake

As the boys have had quite a large dose of estrogen with "the little princess" the last few months...

Papaw and Grandma knew just what the doctor ordered and it was a major dose of fun in the sun at the lake:)

There is a tradition of "the hair washing" in the lake....Gavin is getting his hair washed by Papaw:)

Nicholas and Gavin are dunking Papaw...hold your breath Papaw!

Daniel was finally able to solemn ski...you talk about one EXCITED boy!!!

He loved knee boarding too!!

He makes it look so easy...yet its not!!

If you know Daniel he is chatting with Nicholas about something right now:)

This pictures was taken at the lake almost five years ago to the day of Gavin and Nicholas....where has the time gone?

Here is Papaw with the boys five years later:)
Total R & R with loads of fun!!!

Nicholas joined the fun with the traditional hair washing ceremony and a great time was had by all:) Thank you so much for the awesome trip Papaw and Grandma ~ we had a great time!!

Jul 16, 2010

Gabriella Turns Three!!!

The princess was dressed in her laua best and ready for her guest...

The food was set and Gabriella was very proud of her umbrella fruit kabobs!

Brian and Heidi were very sweet in allowing us to borrow the jumping castle and the kids loved it!

Let the fun begin....

Addie Mei and Gabriella before the jumping began:)

Brooke, Addie Mei, Emme and Gabriella:)

Heidi and Aly

Emme and Gabriella...the girls are three weeks apart in age. Emme and her family have been very kind and are allowing Gabriella to come to their home and play on the days that mom goes to work:)

Tamie and her beautiful Addie Mei:)

A very happy birthday girl!

A very happy mommy and daddy! The is the first picture with Curtis, Teresa and Gabriella smiling...thank you Tamie!

Addie Mei gave Gabriella a very special gift as she sang Happy Birthday to You in Chinese! Gabriella listened very intently and then spent the next few days singing to herself in Chinese:) Thank you for your very special gift Addie Mei:)

The cake

Gabriella getting ready to blow out her candle:)

The girls having dinner at Gabriella's new picnic table with umbrella that daddy and Nicholas did such a great job putting together:)

Blessings from China!

Did we mention how much the girls loved playing in the tent...thank you again Brian and Heidi:)

Gabriella preparing to pass out her gifts to her guests:)

She was very serious and truly excited to do this:)

Daniel made sure Bailey got in on the festivities as well:)

Grandma and Joe came all decked out for the luau!

We want to thank everyone who came to celebrate Gabriella's third birthday yet first birthday with us! You all made the day very special each in your own way ~ thank you for being such a blessing to us and to our little princess! We would also like to thank God for choosing the perfect daughter and sister for our family ~ we couldn't have hand picked anyone so special or who truly fit into our family so well! We love you and are so very proud of you Gabriella Grace Hao and we are looking forward to many more years of celebrating this special life that God has given you:)

Jul 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Jul 9, 2010

Ice cream, Popsicles & Popcorn...

Look who's talking! Miss Gabriella has done a wonderful job communicating since she has been home from China. There truly isn't a time that I can think of that we didn't understand each other; however today she began talking and saying words...big words to express herself! She shared with me that she and Emme were playing "football" together today...yes, she said "football" as clear as possible while we were shopping! Later in the day she told me she was hungry. I asked her what she would like to eat...I'm used to her saying "dat" and pointing to it...not today! Today she said "Hao Hao (her nick name in China) eat ice cream, popsicles and popcorn"...I almost wrecked the car! I asked her again what she wanted to eat and she repeated it! We went out for dinner and I asked her what she wanted to eat thinking she would point to something on the menu...nope she said "fries and shicken". While these were all very exciting the most exciting one of the day was when she was in the back seat and she said "Gabbie tea" for the first time she was able to say Gabbie...she has tried many times and she has tried Gabriella however it is just a pretty big word for her right now...we were shocked when we heard her say this! When we looked back at her she was smiling from ear to ear and said "Gabbie"...we couldn't be more proud of our precious little angel:)

Jul 7, 2010

A Wonderful 4th of July weekend!!

Our weekend started off with a Friday afternoon trip to the water park. Gabriella was more than excited when I told her we were going to go to the pool:)

Jordan spent a lot of time with his little sister that day....

and I think they both enjoyed every moment of it:)

Nicholas had a great time going down the slides, riding on the lazy river, and swimming however his favorite thing....

was seeing "how much air" he could get going off the diving board:)

After a long afternoon at the park it became obvious some family members were getting a little bit tired.

We were able to attend a cookout for a birthday celebration of a very special two year old little girl that I took care of in the NICU. I didn't say anything to her mom about posting pictures so this is the only one I will post for now. I will say it was WONDERFUL to see how well this precious little "cupcake" was doing, spending time with her family that will always be very special to me and reuniting with some very dear people from the NICU. Curtis said "cupcakes" dad is a total grill master and enjoyed some of the best grilled chicken and burgers he has ever had:)

Gabriella experienced her first bon-fire this weekend as well. It took her a little while to understand what we were doing and she was MORE than ready to eat at this point!

The hot dogs were cooked to perfection..

and Gabriella enjoyed every bite of her hot dog! If you check out how she is holding her feet together this is an indication that she is very happy:)

Our little princess, who four months ago did not want to have anything to do with saying grace or her prayers at night reminded us we even needed to say grace at a bon fire:)

Do you see this smile and the princess wave? Gabriella is skyping with her Mei Mei in TN and is loving it!

The girls were absolutely precious! Emily, her Mei Mei from China, sang happy birthday to Gabriella as her birthday is this week:) Emily also taught Gabriella how to sign I love you and she totally melted my heart when she did this. The girls were just adorable as they tried to "play" with each other over skpye! Emily brought her very special dolly to show Gabriella. Gabriella brought a few toys to the computer to show Emily as well as Bailey our golden retriever and she wanted her brothers to come say hi to Emily as well! It was hard on both the girls when they said good-bye and the computer screen went blank...they both needed some TLC afterwards. We are hoping the more we skype the more they will understand they will get to see each other again:)

We also spent time with my parents at their association cookout and fireworks display. Gabriella loved going down the air slide and jumping in castle. Daniel loved taking Gabriella down the air slide and was more than willing to go with her more than once...can you guess what the attraction may have been? He is a wonderful big brother yet he is also 19:)

Gabriella loved cuddling with grandma to watch the fireworks; she also made a comment that we will left unstated on the blog but let's just say everyone got a great laugh out of it:)

Grandma also enjoyed playing with Gabriella's new dolly as we were waiting for the fireworks to begin. Our family and our extended family has been blessed with many boys however Gabriella is only the second girl on my side of the family. Jayda, my niece is now in her teen years so it's been a while since anyone has played with dolls:)

Last but not least every 4th of July I always make a jello cake that the boys and Curtis love. As our first child was due on the 4th of July, and our gut feeling was that it may have been a girl, I always wondered what it may be like to have my daughter help decorate the fourth of July cake...after 20 years I didn't have to wonder any longer! Gabriella made a beautiful patriotic cake! We giggled as we decorated it, put cool whip on each others' noses, she would say "dair, dair, pretty mommy right dair" as she placed the "stars and stripes" on the cake:) It was precious and a memory that I will always treasure:) We hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July with your family and friends! Now, we are preparing for Gabriella's birthday party! Watch for pictures next week of a very special birthday celebration:)

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