Nov 30, 2011

Guess Who's Birthday it Is???

Twenty -one years ago today we gave birth to our first beautiful baby boy!!!  He

had the biggest blue eyes and longest blond eyelashes you have ever seen!  I'm

convinced the nurses even passed this on in report because as soon as a

new nurse came in she said "let me see the gorgeous little guy who has the long

 blond eyelashes".

We are very proud of Daniel!  He is independent, confident, and a very hard

worker!!  He is also currently living 700 miles away from us in North Carolina


we get to see him in nine days!!!  I will give you one guess on who is VERY

excited to see her big brother next week!  You guessed it!  Gabriella is currently

drawing pictures for Daniel and writing the "words"  stating "I love

Daniel" and "I miss Daniel".  I believe she speaks for all of us!!  Happy Birthday

to our very special baby boy!!!

Nov 27, 2011

Thanksgving...Gabriella Style!

I have to confess, being a parent to a toddler/pre-schooler again in my early 40's

is absolutely AWESOME!!!  I wondered how I may handle the sleepless nights, the

 potty training, and all the time that goes into raising a child and the truth is...I

would do it again in a heartbeat!

When Gabriella came home with her little hand-print made into a turkey it really

took me back to thinking about when the boys were little and did something

similar.  What was really neat...was when I began to read what she

was thankful for! 

In case you can't make it out she loves and is thankful for Jordan as they give

each other hugs. She also loves Daniel and he lives "away" (aka in North

Carolina).  She loves mommy and she likes to take pictures of her...she

nailed that one!  She loves daddy and that he helps her draw and she loves

Nicholas as well as playing hide and seek with him.

We are thankful to God and that he has blessed our family with the most precious

 little girl in the entire world and she has captured a place in each of our hearts

that no one else could fill!

Nov 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Praying that everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving Day with their families and

loved ones!

Nov 21, 2011

We Found the Culprit

The last few days our little princess has not been acting so "princessey" to put it

mildly.  She does have a sinus infection she is being treated for but we were

 feeling like the antibiotic she was on was more like a huge dose of

steroids!!  As we were reviewing her diet over the past few days we were trying

 to think of anything that may be different causing her to be a little "hyper" shall

we say.  Last night she asked for tea with her dinner.  Gabriella has drank tea

since the day she came to us in China. 

Last week I found a great deal on Lipton tea bags at Sam's Club and didn't

even think about the fact they had caffeine as normally we mix half

Lipton decaffeinated tea with fruit flavored tea bags that we purchase at

Fresh Market. It is a yummy combination. Well, we finally put "two and two"

 together last night and realized our busy little girl arrived at the same time we

switched to tea bags with caffiene. The first errand this morning, to the

grocery store for a BIG box of decaffeinated tea!!

Nov 18, 2011

Guess What We're Doing This Weekend???

You guessed it!!  We are putting up our Christmas tree!!!  Curtis and I had to

giggle when we looked at the pictures above and realized that under where

Gabriella is sitting on the box it says "Made in China".  Though many "things" are

made in China one of the biggest blessings of our life was created in China, by

God, especially for our family and we are eternally thankful!!

This is the first time we have ever put our tree up before Thanksgiving as I like a

 definite separation between the two holidays...but as this year Jordan and

Nicholas are both on their individual school basketball teams, let's just say our

schedule is just a little bit beyond crazy the next few months...and I

wouldn't trade it for the world!

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Nov 10, 2011

Christmas Came Early!!!

Have you ever wished soooo much for something that you wish you could have or

redo?  Last week as we set our clocks back one hour for daylight savings time I

asked my friends if you could re-live one hour in your entire life what would it

be?  The answers all varied and they were all very sentimental. 

I knew in my heart if I could re-live one hour out of my entire life it would be the

hour that Gabriella was placed in our arms.  One reason is that it all happened so

 fast and I wish I could have taken in each and every moment. 

 The second reason is because we only have one very blurry picture of the

moment she was placed in our arms.

Last week I was going through all of her paper work and I found something

tucked in one of her files.  It was a miniature c.d.  It said Sun Wen Hao, her

Chinese name.  I truly didn't have a clue what was on this little c.d., if we

even had anything to open it, play it etc.  Curtis put it in the computer to see

what would happen.

When it opened this is what we saw....

a clear picture of the moment she was placed in our arms!!!  I cried!!  I couldn't

believe we had a real picture of the moment our baby girl was handed to us!!!!! 

And then...there were more!  More pictures that our guide took and tucked in our

file that some how we never ran across until last week!!!

Back at the Civil Affairs office after our first night together:)

We're preparing to sign the official paper work to make Sun Wen Hao,

 Gabriella Grace Hao.

It must be ok with Gabriella as she has already started her paper-work:)

Curtis preparing to officially be a his little girl!

Preparing to make it all official...

I have completed hundreds of foot prints for babies when they are born...this is

my favorite hand print I have ever done!!

Gabriella officially has her family...and we couldn't be happier or feel more


Outside the orphanage steps.  Gabriella was in foster care but this was

the orphanage she was initially taken to in Taiyuan.

One of the children celebrated a birthday while we were there...she wasn't quite

 in the party mood that afternoon...but it was her very first birthday party that we

attended together:)

This was Susan our guide...words can't even describe how wonderful this woman

was!  Gabriella had a lot of grieving for a few days as she had very loving

foster grandparents whom she had lived with since two weeks of age.  Susan was


This was priceless...there are times its convenient to have a mom as a

nurse...there are times that it isn't.  Once our little princess was fast asleep we

had to check her over from head to toe.  I was totally convinced she had

surgery on her belly button as it looked like tiny sutures or maybe scars...well I

learned that this was simply how Asian belly buttons may look as they have a lot

 more melanin in their skin...lesson learned:)

The red couch photo.

The rose garden:)

We had really wondered how the food might be in China...we were very pleasantly

surprised, especially Curtis.  I will try almost anything...he is more of a meat and

potatoes guy.  The food was some of the most fresh

food we have ever had.  It was delicious...and the fruit...was amazing!!!!

We were starting to see smiles of our precious baby girl!

We were blessed to meet and travel with some wonderful families from all over

the US.  It's amazing how God's hand was in each adoption as every child seemed

to be the perfect fit for every single family!  I can truly say Christmas came early

this year as I can't even begin to put into words how special it is to have a

picture of the very moment our baby girl was placed in our arms...half way around

 the world!!!

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Nov 3, 2011

A Spooktacular Night...Halloween 2011!

Our little ladybug couldn't wait to begin trick or treating!

If you ask anyone who knows Gabriella they will tell she's a hugger!  She even

hugs the pumpkins!

Nicholas completed his masterpiece...poor baby his eyes were half closed!

Curtis was nominated to scoop out the guts...he didn't seem to mind too bad:)

Nicholas creating his next pumpkin!

Jordan working on his pumpkin.

Princess riding her bike as everyone else is carving:)

There is a tradition that daddy gives the kids their first piece of Halloween

 candy.  Gabriella thought this was pretty cool!!

She loves the camera...

Let the trick or treating begin!!!

She loved running to each of the neighbors houses!

By the end of the evening we had one very tired little ladybug.  We started a

tradition years ago where we bring the bon-fire pit out onto the driveway and

cook hot dogs, smores etc on Halloween evening.  I walk around with

the kiddos and Curtis stays and passes out candy.  We love it as many of the

neighbors end up around the bon-fire and it makes for a very memorable


As Gabriella had a fall party at pre-school the following morning we found these

adorable treat bags at Mommy's Kitchen.  She has LOTS of yummy recipes and

many creative ideas for treats.

As I was putting the bags together for Gabriella's pre-school class I then decided

to put a few more together for clinical nursing students that I had the next day. 

I'm not sure who enjoyed them more, the pre-school students or my college

students:)  They are a definite repeat for next year!! 

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