May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend...

I confess...I forgot to take the camera to several things we did this weekend, however I did want to post at least a couple pictures:)  Our weekend was spent with some of our closest friends, Mark and Lora and their family and we had a wonderful time even though we had some crazy weather! Daniel, along with one of his friends, came up for the weekend which made it absolutely perfect!!

Saturday evening we went out to Pizza King for dinner (it's an Indiana thing) then came back to our house with all the kiddos...some of those "kiddos" are now in their 20's however it was awesome having all the boys and their friends, some of which they have known since kindergarten, all camped out in the great room watching movies while the parents, along with our girls, spent time out on the sun porch visiting and watching an unbelievable storm compliments of mother nature:) Sunday was not the "norm" around our house as I ran up to the hospital to meet with some wonderful nurses, "tour" the hospital I completed my nursing clinicals in many years ago and also served there as a nurse for seven years in the NICU prior to us moving to central Indiana ~ I will now be returning there to teach clinicals to our future nurses of tomorrow!  I can't even begin to put into words how incredibly blessed I feel to be home, back where our family belongs and where my roots  in nursing began so many years ago.  Life is good!!

 Monday was a beautiful day that we spent at the pool having lunch along with some wonderful family time together as well as meeting new that had two daughters adopted from China who I can see we will be spending a lot of time with!  De told me all about the China adoption play group that is located where we have moved and there are over 80 kiddos and their families that attend!  We are VERY excited to get to know some families in the community that share the same bond and have answered the same calling that our family did when we brought Gabriella home:)  Monday evening was spent at our dear friends house for birthday celebrations and a cookout with lots of family and friends!!!  I hope you all were able to spend some quality time with your family and friends and were also able to thank a veteran or their family who so graciously has served our country!

May 27, 2011

Strawberry Pie...Southern Style!

With our family being from Indiana there are many recipes we cook that have originated from the south...and to be honest I love it!

We always think strawberry pie is yummy however we add a nice little filling in the pie shell before we fill it with fresh cut strawberries and pie glaze.  It's a family favorite in our house, especially during the summer, and if you want to make it festive for Memorial Day, Fourth of July or Labor Day just toss in a few blueberries!  Trust me, it will end up red, white and blue!

Strawberry Pie...Southern Style

2-9inch pie crust (we like Marie Colander)
2lbs fresh washed and sliced strawberries
2-16 ounce packages of Wicks strawberry pie glaze
1 8oz brick of cream cheese
1.5 to 2 cups confection sugar
2 + tablespoons milk

Bake frozen pie crust as directed and let cool.  Wash and slice strawberries and place in bowl.  Add Wicks strawberry pie glaze.  In a separate bowl microwave cream cheese for 30 seconds to soften.  Add powdered sugar and milk. Mix together with mixer until smooth. If mixture is too thick add a little more milk. Spread cream cheese mixture into the bottom of the pie crust. Spoon strawberry glaze mixture on top of the cream cheese mixture.  Refrigerate and enjoy!

May 23, 2011

Making New Friends...

Moving back into the same neighborhood we have lived in before has lots of benefits!  One thing, is that you still know some of your neighbors and that makes it feel very "homey"!  On the other hand many of the neighbors have moved on so we are blessed to meet new families:)  We have two very special little girls on the street who just happen to be Gabriella's age!  Olivia lives right next door and has introduced Gabriella to the princess jeep.  Oh my goodness the girls have a good time riding around the culdaesac in this!  Gracie is the other little girl who also lives on the street and she and Olivia have been great in welcoming Gabriella into their play group:)

May 21, 2011

Princess Gabriella!

"Princess Gabriella" decided she wanted to dress up today...and I needed to practice using different lighting, angles and lines for my photography class this week soooooo it was a fun photo op!  There is an o-l-d school house that is still standing from 1893 that our school district has kept preserved so we went over there to shoot some pictures:)  Hope you all have a great weekend:)

May 18, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday...

Mission Accomplished!!!  He's awake!!!

I've Been Bitten...

by the shopping bug at Target!  I have to admit that a lot of Gabriella's outfits come from Gymboree however as I'm a major bargain shopper I know how to use my Gym bucks to the best of my ability.  Though I can't say I've bought her a lot of things at Target, there are a few things I do really like. I've also confessed to Curtis that I have two major weaknesses when it comes to dressing least for summer....bathing suits and shoes! The toddler shoes are way too cute!!  I tried to down load pictures of the ones she added to her wardrobe yesterday however I just couldn't get them to look quite right on the blog.  Let's just say she will be styling with her pedicures and while I purchased three pair of sandals and a pair of gold glittery shoes, they didn't total up to 1/2 of what we spend on one pair of the boys tennis shoes!! 

 We also found swim suits for $8 as they are on sale this week!  One of the suits we picked up is the turquoise one you see at the top of this post.  As many of you know Gabriella has spent the majority of her life in pink since she has come home.  Last night she tried on the turquoise suit, and I don't want this to come across wrong, but she looks just gorgeous in this color!  If you happen to have an Asian angle you may want to consider this color for her:)  We also ran across the shirt on clearance for $5 (I'm changing the bow to something that corresponds with her leggings) and the leggings were less than $10.  We also found an adorable hot pink dress, sorry I couldn't resist, that was also clearanced for $6!!!

So this mama is pretty excited about the bargains that she found yesterday for her baby girl..and Gabriella, well, when she was talking to Curtis last night she was beyond excited telling him all about her "new sim suit, swandals and dwess, shirt and leggings" she came home with:)

May 16, 2011

Is it Really True...Yes it Is!!!

After years of working as a nurse in the hospital setting, working year round including weekends and holidays I can't even begin to share how blessed I feel to officially be on summer break!!  While I was in grad school I spent the first half of it majoring as a family nurse practitioner...then around Christmas of 2008 I heard God say "it's time to change your love teaching how about changing to a masters in nursing education"?  I  R-E-A-L-L-Y struggled with this decision for a couple of reasons; first when I start something I always feel it needs to be completed; I'm not a "quitter" and secondly I love working with my patients and helping them.  Finally, as I'm learning with age, when God calls me to do something I need to learn  to let go of my earthly desires and follow what He has called me to do...this one was tough though as I only had seven classes left to go.

Fast forward until now.  As I was completing my MSN, in nursing education, I came across a fact in a book that will stick with me forever.  The average nurse, in their nursing career will care for and touch 50,000 patients and their families.  50, 000!!!  That's a huge amount of people to impact over a life time!  Then it occurred to me, as a nurse educator we are indirectly touching millions of patients, beyond our life time, as we educate hundreds and thousands of our future nurses of tomorrow!

Along with the nice little statistic above I can honestly say, with all my heart, that this profession fits me PERFECTLY!!!  God knew exactly what He was doing...not like that should surprise anyone:)    I get to serve as a nursing prof at the best Christian school in the entire world!  I work 7.5 to 8 months out of the year...yet get paid to be home during the entire summer, like all of May through most of August, as well as fall, Christmas and spring breaks.  All of my family can attend college and their tuition is waived...yes, I realize we have four kiddos and how blessed we are!  I can stay home and bake Christmas cookies with our family and enjoy celebrating the true meaning of Christmas and not have to worry about working or rushing around during that time. 

Though many feel summer officially starts on Memorial Day when the pools open, or a certain date in June, our summer break has already began and I can't tell you how excited I am to be spending sooooo much time at home with our little princess as well as the rest of our family!!  We are enjoying morning walks, shopping, spending time with family and friends, decorating the house, visiting with all the neighbors while our kids play until the sun sets and the list can go on and on!  Life is very, very good and it is true, I am home for the first summer since we have been married and I can't begin to tell you how blessed I'm truly feeling:)

May 9, 2011

Happy Mother's Day 2011!!

God blessed us with a beautiful afternoon filled with sunshine for Mother's Day!!  Though we've had a lot of things going on this weekend, we were able to spend a little bit of time doing one of my favorite things!  We picked up a bucket of fried chicken, along with some sides and sweet tea and headed to a local park that is known for having beautiful flowers!  We threw a blanket out, the boys and Curtis passed the football, Nicholas and Gabriella took Baily for a little walk in the park which he loved and I was able to take of my favorite hobbies in the world!  We missed that Daniel couldn't join us today however I'm hoping he will be able to make it for mother's day next year!  We were able to have a nice "heart to heart" chat on the phone. We also had to take Nicholas to the doctor as he was exhibiting signs of we are currently in the "waiting" stage to see if it is going to progress or if it may just be a "not so nice" GI thing going on.

I have completed my first week of on line photography classes and though the pics aren't perfect I was able to change my auto focus to where I could "blur" the tulips in the background so we're making progress:)  I'm enjoying my classes very much and look forward to learning more!!!

Praying you all have a blessed week and Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms!

May 6, 2011

Happy 18th Birthday Jordan!!

Eighteen years ago Jordan arrived in this world, at 8:00 am to the opening music of ESPN, Sports Center...we should have known then, and the fact that while I was in labor Curtis wanted his middle name to be Michael (though it's Tyler), that we were going to have a little athlete on our hands with his favorite sport being basketball:)

As Jordan was also born on Cinco De Mayo, and his favorite food is Mexican we went out for dinner to his favorite Mexican restaurant last night and a good time was had by all!  The restaurant had an Elvis impersonator singing and though that's not what you typically think of for Cinco De Mayo I have to say he was really good and a super nice guy!  All of the people who had birthdays gathered around the fountain and he sang Happy Birthday to them:)

We came home and had Jordan's favorite cake in the entire world...a raspberry cake with butter cream icing from, in our humble opinion, the best place that makes birthday cakes that we have ever had:)  Following cake and ice cream he took off for where else, basketball practice!  A great night was had by all!!!

May 4, 2011

Two years ago today...

Two years ago today I was out to lunch with a dear friend and ASIA's phone number popped up on my phone...I will never forget the words I heard "Teresa, this is Fe from ASIA, we have locked the file of a 22 month old little girl for you, would you like to hear more about her"?  YES I could not wait to hear more about her!  Fe was wonderful and sent all of her paper work to me via the computer then asked if I would like to see her picture ~ again ~ I all but screamed with excitement YES!!  Toni and I left the restaurant and ran back to the office to pour over her medical files; let me say it's wonderful working with nurses, as my colleagues were looking over everything with a fine tooth comb while I was so excited I could hardly even sit down!  Needless to say I was done working that day:)  I called Curtis so I could meet him and we would be together when he saw the picture of his baby girl...his words "she is precious..and she's in pink"!  I then ran over to our pediatricians office for him to review hour later I received a phone call from him "she's little but she looks healthy". I called ASIA with one question, which they called China to find out the answer and on May 5, Jordan's 16th birthday, we said YES, this our OUR baby girl where do we go from here?  Let the paper work begin!

This morning Curtis and I were talking and we both said it seems like yesterday that we received Gabriella's referral yet at the same time if feels like she has been part of our and our family's lives forever.  This precious little girl was without a doubt hand picked by God for our family and it becomes more obvious with each and every day!  I've had friends ask if Gabriella may ever have a little sister from China....I honestly can't answer that question right now; the door is not closed on that topic, at all, if it is God's will and He places the calling in our hearts as He did before, then we will follow His calling; if He does not, we will continue to advocate for orphans all over the world and do whatever we can to bring little ones home to their forever families.

May 3, 2011

Expecting from China!

As Curtis and I were driving this weekend I shared with him about how many of my blogging friends and personal friends are expecting from China right now!  It's amazing how God can work in our hearts and lives, calling us to adopt not just orphans, but our children, children who He new from the beginning, being born over 8000 miles away, would call us mommy and daddy!

Let me introduce you to all of the families who are expecting from China!  Lilly, will be joining her forever family this year and this will be her families second adoption from China; they adopted Dan Dan very close to when we adopted Gabriella. Lilly will also be welcomed home by her big sister Brooklyn:)  Gracie will be joining her family later this year as well! She will be welcomed home by three big brothers as well as Wesleigh who came home from China just prior to Gabriella.  Emme will also be joining her family and her three big sisters, one of them being Sienna.  We were blessed to meet Sienna and her family while eating lunch at Lucy's on Shaman Island in China as we adopted Gabriella the same time they were adopting Sienna:)  Ruby has also be blessed with a wonderful family and will be welcomed home by two big brothers as well as her older sister Mya, adopted from China a couple of years ago.  And today, Paul and Devon, Willows family arrived in China to begin their journey to bring Willow home!  Please feel free to click on any of the highlighted names to follow along the amazing journeys that have led these wonderful families to the children God has chosen for them:)

Many of our friends have asked how we did it when it came to adopting Gabriella.  There is a lot of paper work, hoops to jump through and yes the financial side of things. I heard a quote this week that truly summarized it all..."God does not always call the equipped.  He equips those He calls". 
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