Jun 28, 2011

Breaking News...the Mei Mei's will be Reunited!!!

We just found out last night that Emily, Gabriella's foster sister, and her family will be able to join us in Myrtle Beach next week!!!  To say we are all excited is an understatement!!!!  The girls were raised together in China as sisters, then Emily came home to her wonderful family in August of 2009 and Gabriella came home in March of 2010.  It has been 15 months since the girls have been together!  When Gabriella heard that her mei mei was coming she instantly said "we build sand castles, I hug her and kiss her..."!  Curtis and I too are both very excited to see Robert and Mary; have you ever met someone for the first time and just felt like you have known them forever?  There was an instant connection with our families and we knew our family hadn't just grown in having Gabriella , but by three with Emily and her mom and dad!  We're counting the days until the girls are together again!!!! 

Jun 26, 2011

Our Northern Family...

While God chooses who our biological family will be, we have learned through adoption that family doesn't have to always mean a genetic link:)  We have several people we consider family in northern Indiana and we truly love each and everyone of them!  A couple of weeks ago we had the privilege of attending Morgan's open house and celebrating her high school graduation with she, her family and lots of friends!  As Gabriella has older brothers, a mom and dad who are blessed with pretty flexible schedules, and she spent wonderful  girl time with Beth and Emme during her first year, not to mention a set of over protective parents and grandparents, she hasn't really had a babysitter since she has been home.  Well the two girls who you see pictured with Gabriella at the top have been her first two official babysitters...and boy does she love them!!!  Morgan is the oldest of five and is awesome with Gabriella and she gets so excited when she is with her.  Taylor, who is a cousin to Morgan, and is in her second year of nursing school, has also taken care of Gabriella a couple of times.  Taylor is a college cheerleader and also teaches gymnastics so when I come home Gabriella is excited to show me new things she has learned from Taylor:)  We are very blessed to have the girls and their families in our lives:)  The photos of the boys are Daniel and Josh; who started kindergarten together 16 years ago and are still best buds to this very day!  We consider Josh and his family part of our family and couldn't love them more!  Jordan is also in a couple pics with Josh and Daniel as well:)  We, along with Morgan and Josh's family and a couple of friends, for a total of 22 people are taking off for the beach next week and we are all looking very forward to some time away, plenty of laughter and some much needed R & R!!!!

The girls...

During the last two weeks Aly, my god-daughter and Gabriella were able to meet for the first time!  Aly lives in Colorado and she and her mama were able to come spend a couple of weeks with us.  The girls enjoyed playing outside, swimming, dressing up, painting finger nails, shopping; you name it and I believe we did it!  One night before going to one of our favorite local italian restaurants we took a few pictures of the girls and they had fun in front of the camera and I loved taking their pictures:) 

Jun 22, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday....

Happy, Peaceful and Home...exactly where he belongs:)

Our Little Ballerina...

Gabriella had her first ballet class on Tuesday evening and to say our little ballerina was excited is an understatement!!!  Through out the day I was asked about every 30 minutes if it was time for ballet class; along with wondering what her teacher was doing at that given time, what she was having for lunch, if she would meet new friends...I think you get the idea:)  Gabriella is in the 3 & 4 year old class and seems to really enjoy it!  I thought it was great except for the fact the parents weren't given an opportunity to come in and take pictures, so any photos that we take are through a very narrow glass door ~ how could they not realize we all wanted pictures of our precious baby girls?  There was also a sign on the door asking parents not to allow siblings to distract the dance class by looking in the window...there wasn't anything about not asking parents to take pictures and watch our sweet little ones.  One thing I love about being a mom in my 40's is that I'm not shy about making suggestions, and I can assure you I will be making at least one:)

Jun 21, 2011

Fathers Day...

Father's day was spent doing some of our family's favorite things on a Sunday:)  Sunday morning began with the rumble of Daniel's truck arriving from out of town around 7:30 in the morning.  A very nice surprise that he arrived so early!  We had coffee time and then Gabriella woke up...as soon as she found out "her" Daniel was here, along with his puppy Lucy, the squeals of excitement began!  She ran into Daniel's lap and wouldn't let go for a very long time....I'm not sure who was more excited as the smiles on both their faces didn't fade for quite a while:)  We then went to church and enjoyed an awesome church service followed by lunch at an old time favorite that was established in 1914...the miniature coke bottles, coney dogs with the best sauce in the world, chili made from scratch and the list can go on. Lunch was followed by a mini photo session that was, well, entertaining to say the least!  After a little R & R we went to a dear friends graduation open house where we spent the afternoon visiting with old and new friends alike.  Gabriella loved playing with the girls in an awesome tree/play-house custom made to attach to a swing set....just like ours!  The girls daddy mentioned that he built it in a weekend...custom made with a roof, balcony, siding etc...can you tell where this may be going?  Curtis is pretty handy in this area and Gabriella can be pretty convincing:)  A good day was had by all and it was wonderful to have our entire family together on father's day!

Jun 17, 2011

We Have a Little Mermaid!!

We have been spending a lot of time at the pool this summer and to say we have enjoyed it is an understatement!  Monday and Tuesday of this week had highs of 80 and were filled with blue sky's and sunshine...that equalled pool time!!  We're also excited that Aly, our God-daughter is here with her mama spending time with us!  We have known Aly since before she was born and before their family moved to Colorado they lived three houses away from us:)  Gabriella has also turned into quite the little mermaid this summer!  The first day at the pool over Memorial Day she wouldn't let go me.  The second time she would hold hands while "swimming" with her water wings on.  The third day Taylor, an awesome friend, college nursing student and a person that Gabbie loves to pieces took her to the pool and she was swimming with her water wings, jumping in the pool and floating on her back!!  Go Taylor!!!  Gabriella was very excited to show Aly and her brothers all the new things she could do! 

Sara had an awesome guess when she thought we were heading to the beach...two more weeks and we are heading south with several of our dearest friends and their families...we took this trip two years ago and it was an incredible vacation; we even received our I-800 approval while we were there on Gabriella's birthday!  This year, our little princess is home and will be able to join in on all the fun and we are looking very forward to it!

Jun 13, 2011

I'll give you one guess....

as to where we will be spending the next couple days:)

Jun 7, 2011

Papaw and Grandma time...

To say our extended family has accepted and loved Gabriella from the moment she came home is an understatement!  It is also very clear that God hand picked her for us as her personality overflows with many of the same characteristics the girls in our family have!  Kris, my sister, recently ask Gabriella to be the flower girl in her December wedding and gave her a Dora flower girl doll that Gabriella just loves.  She has been talking about dropping flowers from the basket for Kris to walk on and then she will sit down when she is all done.  We will be practicing quite a bit for the big day and we are all looking forward to Kris and Kevin's wedding:)  Papaw and Grandma knew that I had been taking Lisa's photography class and were more than willing to allow me to take some pics of them with Gabriella, thank you very much!  I know it will take months, if not years of practice however I'm enjoying every single bit of it and something tells me I may have more willing participants from our family:)

Jun 6, 2011

"Em & Gabs"...

Today Emme and Gabriella were able to have some girl time compliments of Emme's mom Beth:)  The girls are so cute together and have quite the routine when they are with each other!  The girls were dressed in princess gowns and high heels in less than five minutes of seeing each other:)  We also giggled that they were both wearing pink and white polk-a-dots today.  Beth shared that Emme will call Gabriella on her play phone and is now calling her "Gabs" which we think is precious!  A friend of Beths' said that Emme's nick name can be "Em"...so we have their college nick-names chosen for them both at the ripe ol age of 3!  Though we are now living a couple hours apart I don't have a doubt in the world the bond between the girls will last a life time!!  Thank you so much Beth for having Gabs over to play today; she loved every minute of it and was asleep before we even left town:)
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